“It had not been easy to make it this far. To turn back now after having gained nothing for our troubles is a huge loss,” said Ye Ziming with a smile.
“That is right. We should at least find Soulguard Flowers before leaving,” said Lu Ta, who joined in with a smile of his own.
“In that case, we will leave after finding Soulguard Flowers. I think we should cultivate up to the Sky Human stage before coming here again,” said Chen Feng, who shook his head.
A loud noise spread towards them from the distance as a humongous Sky Soaring Warship flew across the sky above them. The air currents created in its wake shook everyone on the ground.
“What a big ship!” Everyone there clamoured.
The flying ship had a length of at least a thousand metres and golden light glowed all around it. Countless air currents, created by magic arrays, surged across the surface of the ship. The bow of the ship was a large dragon head and it appeared to be bursting with power.
“That is probably a high-grade Prized artefact. The cultivators inside must surely be experts.”
“Everyone, be careful. The dangers here are not limited to yao beasts. Sometimes, human cultivators are more dangerous.”
“Killing others to plunder their belongings often happens here.”
After advancing for another 50 plus li, the environment changed for the worse again. A powerful atmosphere pressed down on them all and some of the weaker cultivators found that they could no longer fly.
Chen Feng focused and stream after stream of earthen energy wrapped around his thighs. Instantly, he felt his body becoming lighter and the primary energy within his body returned to its normal state.
Impressive. The environment here is truly unique. It now takes 10 times the effort to absorb the earthen energy here. Not only that, the demonic energy here has grown several times thicker. Tsk, tsk. Lu Ta is probably at his limits now. Chen Feng thought to himself.
“Brother Lu, how are you feeling now?” Chen Feng turned around and asked.
“The pressure is very strong. It feels like there is a mountain hovering above my head. As it is, I can no longer fly on my flying sword. Moreover, I still have to divert half of my power to fight off the surrounding demonic energy. If we encounter enemies here, I will not be able to exert even half my power here,” replied Lu Ta with a wry smile.
“We are just at the peripheral area of Demon Soul Valley. And yet, the pressure here has reached such a point. I wonder how things are in the central area. No wonder even Sky Human stage cultivators dare not recklessly enter the place,” Chen Feng muttered.
“I smell the scent of grasses. There are flowers as well,” a cultivator suddenly spoke up.
Chen Feng was taken aback. Next, he turned to peer ahead and noticed an oasis up ahead. A place with life had suddenly appeared within the greyish landscape.
“Everyone, be careful. Don’t end up in the same situation with the peculiar rattans back then. Plants that can grow here are surely no ordinary existences. Even the most normal looking plants could potentially kill us,” the unfathomable old cultivator suddenly spoke up once more.
Even though I am practicing the Longevity Scripture, I am still incapable of sensing the grasses just now. However, that guy managed to. It seems he is no ordinary character. Either that or he is cultivating a top-grade wood-type cultivation technique. Chen Feng speculated.
As they approached, a gust of fresh wind blew towards them. The wind contained a thick scent of vegetation, causing everyone there to become stunned.
“It looks similar to the forest outside,” someone said in a puzzled voice.
The oasis before them stretched out across a radius of tens of li, much bigger than their expectations. Towering bluish-green trees grew upwards; there were also some exotic flowers, grasses and bushes. A perfunctory glance showed that it was like a very common jungle.
Chen Feng’s divine sense kept swirling about as it carefully inspected the place. With the exception of the thick scent of grasses, no yao beast auras could be detected. There were also no peculiar energy fluctuations.
“Surely, this cannot be just a forest. This place is the Demon Soul Valley. Could a super-powerful expert be practicing cultivation inside this place?” someone speculated.
This encounter was different from their earlier encounter with the rattan vines. Although they were feeling doubtful, they slowly made their way into the forest.
Fresh air, thick spiritual energy and misty water vapour drifted in the air. The surrounding vegetation were filled with vitality. Even outside Demon Soul Valley, such an environment qualified it to be a good place to practice cultivation.
“This is Cloudy Torrent Flower, a very rare medicinal herb!” a cultivator exclaimed before quickly moving forward to pull up a strange-looking grass.
“These trees look like Wild Tung Trees.” One of the cultivators stretched out his hand to perform a clawing action at one of the large trees there. His action, however, only left a shallow mark upon the surface of the tree.
“What a tough tree!” The other cultivators cried out in shock. One of the cultivators sent out his flying sword to hack down on a big tree, one that required two people to wrap around.
The flying sword cut one third into the tree before stopping. Although the cultivator was not holding back, his flying sword was incapable of going any further in.
“What a hard wood! My flying sword is a grade 4 Magic artefact. It can even cut apart high-quality steel of this size,” said the cultivator, who was in shock.
“These trees are all treasures. They contain a thick wood-type power and is very beneficial to those who practice wood-type cultivation techniques,” said Ye Ziming.
As Ye Ziming was speaking, two cultivators thrust their five fingers into the trees and began practicing their cultivation technique. As they continued to absorb the wood-type power within the wood, the thick Wild Tung Tree began shrivelling up. This was clearly a sign that the life force within the wood was slowly flowing out from it.
“Wild Tung Tree. In fact, it is formerly known as Copper Tree. It refers to its toughness, which surpasses even high-quality copper. It can be considered a very rare type of tree. To think that there are such trees here. Still, it is strange that these trees could remain unaffected by the demonic energy here,” said the old cultivator with a puzzled tone.
“There must be some unknown and mysterious power at work here. Either that or someone had utilized great magic power to bless this place. Or perhaps, there are some restrictive barriers around this place. At any rate, there must surely be a reason as to why such a thriving forest can appear here,” said the short, middle-aged cultivator who stood beside Elegant Gentleman.
“Regardless, there are temporarily no dangers here that we can see. Additionally, this place is teeming with life. Everyone, hurry up and recover your energy. We will still need to advance later on,” said Mo Ji coolly.
Despite the impassive look on Mo Ji’s face, she was secretly in a state of vigilance. At the same time, she secretly communicated with the elderly man who was secretly protecting her.
“What is going on here? Why do I feel something weird? And yet, why can’t I find anything?” Mo Ji sent out a strand of divine sense towards a certain space right before her.
“I can’t see anything either. However, I am getting a foreboding sensation. You fellows would do well to hurry out from here.” An elderly voice found its way into Mo Ji’s ear.
“Not even you can see it? If so, this will be problematic,” Mo Ji whispered. She turned around, wanting to tell the others to leave only to see them all venture deeper into the forest in twos and threes. Some were chopping down the Wild Tung Trees and others were absorbing the surrounding spiritual energy to replenish their energy reserves. A few of them were even thrusting their fingers into the trees to absorb the wood essence within the trees.
Seeing that, Mo Ji swallowed back the words that were on her mouth. Everyone had exhausted themselves greatly and were in need of some time to recover. Should she give the order to leave this place right now, it was unlikely that those cultivators would listen to her.
“Those Wild Tung Trees are good stuffs. Let’s chop down some as well. Don’t let the others snatch them all away,” said Ye Ziming. With a wave of his hand, a sharp sword appeared in his hand and he moved towards a thick-looking Wild Tung Tree.
“I will go with,” said Lu Ta with a smile.
Chen Feng did not let his guard down. He first spread out his divine sense to carefully inspect their surroundings. Only after determining that there was no abnormality did he slowly move to stand before one of the Wild Tung Trees. He extended his hand and pressed his palm on the surface of the tree.
Circulating the Longevity Scripture’s cultivation technique, the primary energy within his body flowed and a suction force appeared from his palm.
Instantly, Chen Feng felt a connection between him and the Wild Tung Tree. He had become like a bottomless ocean while the tree was a river flowing into the ocean.
Wood essence, filled with vitality, flowed ceaselessly into Chen Feng’s body, his arm providing the passageway for it.
In less than one joss stick’s worth of time, the ancient, 100-metre tall tree before him withered away; first was the leaves, then the branches, followed by the trunk.
Chen Feng pulled his palm away and the thick tree trunk before him abruptly collapsed, transforming into countless withered wood chips, littering the ground around him.
Feeling the powerful primary energy within his body, Chen Feng broke into a smile. The Longevity Scripture is not a wood-type cultivation technique. However, it is even more overbearing compared to the top-grade wood-type cultivation techniques. I wonder who came up with it.
After absorbing the essence of three large Wild Tung Trees in quick succession, Chen Feng felt his meridians bursting with power. Even his three opened insight acupoints were filled with the tidal wave-like wood essence. Since opening the three insight acupoints, Chen Feng had come to notice that any unrefined spiritual energy can be stored within the insight acupoints. He can slowly refine and absorb them later. More importantly, the insight acupoints were immeasurably deep and would continue to expand in size as he grew in strength. It was even more wondrous compared to the best storage-type Magic artefact.
Next, Chen Feng utilized the Overwhelming Astral Sword. In just one breath’s worth of time, over 100 Wild Tung Trees had been cut down and all of them were stored into the Longevity Tower. After that, Chen Feng stopped chopping the trees and began spreading his divine sense out again. This time, he was inspecting the entire forest.
Naturally, it was for the sake of searching for Soulguard Flowers. Finding a place with vegetation had not been easy. Chen Feng wanted to believe that there were Soulguard Flowers growing here.
After some time, Chen Feng found a number of rare medicinal herbs, such as the Cloud Torrent Flowers, Nine-tailed Dragon Sunflowers, Demon Grasses, Spectral Mushrooms and some other incredibly rare medicinal herbs. However, there were no Soulguard Flowers. Thus, Chen Feng began feeling irritated.
The cultivators stayed there for a whole day. Finally, Mo Ji could no longer hold back and she summoned them all to continue.
As expected, a number of them chose to ignore Mo Ji’s call. Instead, they continued to find and collect the surrounding herbs and trees that were filled with spiritual attributes.
“We will not be advancing anymore. It is too dangerous up front. We also don’t want the remaining medicinal pills anymore. In a few days’ time, we will be going back,” one of the cultivators said.
“Ha ha ha ha, there are so many rare medicinal herbs here. There is also a great deal of Wild Tung Trees. Their value far exceeds the 100,000 Basic Yang Pills. We will not go to our deaths for you.”
“That is right. There are so many Wild Tung Trees here. By collecting them, we can surely sell them at a high price after getting out from here.”
Some of the cultivators began laughing and they ignored Mo Ji completely. Rather than follow her and risk their lives, they might as well stay and gather up these valuable items before turning back.
Of course, not all the cultivators shared that sentiment. At least half of the cultivators present gathered up after getting Mo Ji’s summons. Chen Feng, Ye Ziming, Lu Ta and the Five Heroes of Pot Mountain were amongst them.