Plundering The Heavens - Chapter 112
"Shijie Linyun and I have been investigating the reasons behind all of these beast packs. Although there weren’t many discoveries, we did notice that around a hundred miles south of us, there’s a hidden valley tucked away in the winds and clouds. Mount Desolation is sealing a beast king, and with the beast king’s Demonic Qi seeping throughout this land year round, it seems that hidden valley in particular must have accumulated a large amount of it. It’s even possible that the area may have nurtured a very large number of rare spirit herbs!"
Pi Junzi also grew excited when he heard such news. "If that’s the case, wouldn’t that mean the resources there would be worth as much as these beast packs, if not even more? There is no way we can miss it;we must get it!"
However, Xu Linyun softly began, "It’s possible the valley has nurtured large amounts of rare spirit herbs only because that place is shrouded under winds and thick clouds. By the same token, this also means that there’s a chance those same winds and clouds have nurtured powerful beasts. It’s not a clever idea to dive straight in without first deciphering the current situation with these strange attacks from the packs of beast!"
Feng Qingwei’s response was quick. "Didn’t we already check that, Shijie Linyun? The cloud of Demonic Qi atop that area is very dense and without impurities. It doesn’t seem as though any beasts have lived beneath it, or else the cloud wouldn’t be this pure. It’s only when large amounts of spirit herbs are growing below that such pure clouds form above. If there were any beasts, these clouds would not be so clean!"
Xu Linyun looked towards Fang Xing without speaking a word, hoping that the boy would put forward his own opinion right now. It was Fang Xing who had helped her out when she had been fighting the three Fiery-Scaled Serpents, and it was also Fang Xing who had shown her the clues when she had raised questions on the strangeness of the beast packs;now, she viewed him as someone of importance. Even if he was young and had a low cultivation level, she still trusted in Fang Xing’s words more than those from the others.
However, Fang Xing unexpectedly didn’t seem to think too much about this and grinned instead. "Such a large area filled with rare spirit herbs. If all the brothers and sisters have heard about this, why would they not want to go? We’ll just have to make sure we prepare a bit!"
Xu Linyun nodded in agreement. She knew what he meant: even if there was danger, there was no way she could completely persuade people not to go. The reason these Qing-Yun disciples accepted this mission in the first place was to test their own limits and skills, after all, and it could further be said that most of them were also here to make a great fortune. If they were to hear about a land filled with rare spirit herbs up for grabs, for someone to then tell them they were not allowed to go near would be just as bad as killing them altogether. Since there weren’t any methods to stop them, there was only one choice—be extra prepared.
"Since that’s the case, let’s get ready to go. Shidi Pi, you and your Shuwen disciples might have to help us a little more by crafting each of us a defense talisman so we can avoid being caught off guard by any dangerous situations on the way."
Pi Junzi quickly accepted Xu Linyun’s orders and immediately went to make the arrangements.
The rest of the Qing-Yun disciples all grew excited when they heard the news. Although Fang Xing had killed one of three serpents and the other valley disciples’ slow reactions had allowed the Duanzhen Valley to claim most of the profit, the disciples didn’t dare fight over it. Now that they’d heard about this area with a large amount of spirit herbs, all of them were filled with energy and enthusiasm. It didn’t take long before nearly everyone had decided they would depart for the hidden valley.
Since this was the second time they’d entered the forests, their speed this time around had markedly increased. All of the beasts within the forest were scattered, and the beasts’ numbers had been significantly reduced after the earlier pack attacks. For these disciples, such a large forest without the threats of these beasts was like a wide and clear road. Coupled with the longing for the spirit herbs at the end of the road, they would have flown there if they were able.
The party followed Xu Linyun and Feng Qingwei’s directions, and it took them only half a day before they’d arrived at the valley’s outskirts. The valley couldn’t be seen from afar, as it was hidden by numerous stones of various sizes;even if someone were to look down from the sky above, it would be hard to notice its existence due to the peculiar geography. If it wasn’t for Feng Qingwei’s rather well-established expertise in geography that allowed her to decipher the landscape and mountain ranges, they truly might not have been able to find this place.
"What the…. Holy crap, I’m not dreaming, am I?"
As the disciples arrived at the valley, they were all stunned by the sight of an ocean of blue flowers. The valley was surrounded by tall stone walls that were tilted inwards, forming a square mile of enclosed land. On the other side of the strangely shaped stones and trees, a great expanse of curious-looking blue flowers could be seen blossoming with vitality. The flowers did not have any scent, and their stamen was thin and long, while a large number of butterflies and bees could be seen flying around.
"Illusory Soulgrass? It’s Illusory Soulgrass! This much…. This isn’t an illusion, right?" A Danxia disciple walked up and picked one of these blue flowers. As she tasted one of its leaves, the disciple’s expression shifted from solemn to fanatical, and she seemed to grow crazy with excitement as she began to yell out.
When the rest of the disciples heard the name "Illusory Soulgrass", they were also surprised, and all of them dashed into the valley. No one wasted even a moment to spare a single word as they all tried to pick as many of these flowers as possible, throwing them frantically into their storage sacks and rings. It was as though a bunch of stray dogs were scavenging over a large pile of leftover food. There was no sign of a cultivator’s elegance or pride as all of them behaved like maddened money-grubbers.
In truth, the disciples were not entirely to blame for their behavior. This so-called "Illusory Soulgrass" was no ordinary spirit herb, but a crucial ingredient in crafting the Nirvana Pellet used to break through the sixth tier into the seventh.
The Nirvana Pellet needed to break from tier three to four required at least a thousand low-grade Spirit Stones to purchase, but the Nirvana Pellet to break through from tier six to seven was much more expensive, requiring three hundred mid-grade Spirit Stones—equivalent to thirty-thousand low-grade Stones. Even if the disciples were to purchase the materials separately before having it crafted, it would still cost at least a hundred and fifty mid-grade Spirit Stones. This "Illusory Soulgrass" was one of the most important ingredients, and a single plant could be sold within the sect for three mid-grade Spirit Stones. Furthermore, the Nirvana Pellet for sixth-tier disciples would require ten of these herbs, meaning that these Illusory Soulgrasses alone would require at least thirty mid-grade Stones.
There was so much Illusory Soulgrass right in front of their very eyes! Once it was picked and brought back to the sect, not only would the disciples each save quite a significant sum when they crafted their Nirvana Pellet in the future, but if they exchanged all of these herbs with the sect, it might even be possible to purchase a ready-crafted Nirvana Pellet outright! These disciples had effectively hit the jackpot;these were not just herbs anymore, but the hopes and dreams of those disciples who wanted to break into the seventh tier!
In mere moments, nearly everyone had begun to scramble about as much as they could. It was to the point that even rationality had been lost;despite so much being available, two disciples were even seen fighting over a single herb. Pi Junzi and Feng Qingwei also joined the other disciples to collect, with only Fang Xing and Xu Linyun keeping their sanity while standing at the valley’s entrance. Xu Linyun had her brows creased together as she watched these disciples’ behavior in disgust, while Fang Xing on the other hand had his arms crossed with an amused yet alert expression, as if watching a group of stray dogs fighting over food.
"Why aren’t you collecting these herbs as well?" Xu Linyun asked without emotion while turning towards Fang Xing.
Fang Xing snickered. "For some reason, I lost interest the moment I saw so many people fighting over them!" As he spoke, he lifted his nose ever so slightly, his gaze landing suddenly on a large stone at the valley’s entrance.
Xu Linyun let out a sigh. "I still feel that something isn’t right with so much Illusory Soulgrass growing here," she quietly explained.
Fang Xing’s expression suddenly changed. "You’re correct. Heh, we’ve got trouble coming our way, Shijie Linyun!"
"Hmm?" Xu Linyun followed his gaze before her expression shifted as well. She immediately pushed Qi into her voice, commanding the disciples inside the valley, "Everyone out of the valley, NOW!"
Xu Linyun’s voice was so loud that the entire valley shook, yet the command left the disciples dumbstruck and no one seemed to react. It was at that precise moment that the stone walls surrounding the valley let out sudden loud cracking sounds while small stone shards began to break away from the top. As the sound grew louder, giant stone hands began to come out from the sides of the stone walls. Within each pair of hands was a giant stone club, which was waved furiously about in the air before being slammed down upon the Qing-Yun disciples below who had still not yet realized what was happening.
In mere seconds, two or three disciples had already been crushed into minced meat before they could react.
Rumble rumble rumble….
The earth shook as two stone golems formed behind the stone arms, each standing a hundred feet tall. They were devoid of expression yet held extreme strength, and their enchanting red eyes were turned and locked onto the Qing-Yun disciples picking the herbs inside the valley. Each of their clubs weighed no less than a thousand pounds and left behind a huge pit where it landed.
"It’s… it’s a demonic beast! Why is there a demonic beast here?"
From out of nowhere, the white crane flew towards Xu Linyun and picked her up as she activated her longsword. With a swoosh sound, the light from her sword flickered like lightning as she plunged it into the arm of the golem to the left. Stone shards began to fall all over the place as the stone golem’s arm was cut off and the lives of three Danxia disciples just below were saved.
‘Demonic beasts? Why does the Book of Revelation say that they’re Earth Puppets?’ Startled, Fang Xing looked towards the panic-stricken Qing-Yun disciples while his thoughts moved as quickly as his mind would allow.