Chapter 564: The Hidden Chameleon Cloudpine
Jiang Chen no longer stood on ceremony and summoned a group of Goldbiter Rats, marking the beginning of his voracious looting. However, he personally harvested the true saint spirit herbs. Harvesting spirit herbs of this level required a bit of technique. The Goldbiter Rats could be used for transportation, but Jiang Chen decided to do things himself when it came to higher level spirit herbs. He’d feel quite heartbroken if even a single one was damaged.
He finished collecting the roughly dozen true saint herbs around the lake very quickly, then glanced at the waters again. “What a pity I have the wood spirit spring already. Otherwise, taking this lake away with me would be a good idea as well.”
Although this lake wasn’t a spirit spring, it was clearly awash with spirit power since it nurtured so many spirit herbs. If he could take it with him, it would be a good tool to use to cultivate spirit herbs. However, the wood spring was superior to this lake, so it didn’t hold any allure for him.
After the Goldbiter Rats cleared a rough circle around the area, there weren’t many good pickings left by the lake. Jiang Chen raised his foot, about to leave, when his gaze suddenly halted on the lake. He almost doubted his eyes as he looked rather incredulously into the waters.
Reflected onto the waters was a pale yellow pine tree, but no such tree stood on the opposite shore of the lake.
“This…” Jiang Chen froze in his tracks and looked disbelievingly at the scene. “Is this a delusion?”
He suspected that he had seen incorrectly, but once again noted the reflection when he peered at the water’s surface. However, this time, the pine tree seemed to be green in color instead. A look of delight blossomed on his face as he smacked his head. The sight had stirred a certain memory in his head. He circled the lake and made for the other shore.
When he’d meandered in a few circles on that shore, Jiang Chen suddenly made a hand gesture. Metal energy flowed from his body, pervading the immediate surroundings in an instant. The very next moment, a stunning event occurred.
A ramrod straight pine tree, roughly three meters tall, materialized in front of Jiang Chen.
“Haha, it really is the Hidden Chameleon Cloudpine! I’ve made it, I’ve really made it!” Jiang Chen was overjoyed. If it hadn’t been for the reflection on the water surface, he would’ve overlooked the existence of the Cloudpine.
He smacked his forehead again. “And here I thought I’d picked up some treasures with a dozen true saint rank spirit herbs! I almost overlooked the really good stuff.”
It was obvious that this Cloudpine had just started growing. It was only three meters tall, thus marking it as no more than twenty years old. This meant that it had just matured past a sapling. Although this Cloudpine really wasn’t anything from a celestial perspective, it was of the sky rank in the mortal plane. What true saint rank, earth rank—all of them could shove over in front of the Hidden Chameleon Cloudpine!
This was an entity that was of solid sky rank, and of a higher level of existence amongst all sky rank flora. What was even more frightening was that the Cloudpine would ascend into higher and higher ranks as it grew. The Cloudpine that Jiang Chen had seen in his past life had been far greater than sky rank. But this one had just been born, and so could only be ranked in the sky rank for now. This particular species of pine had a constantly shifting, ever-changing appearance as its color and shape often morphed.
Its greatest characteristic was that it could use this transformation ability to conceal itself. Ordinary eyes, even ones trained in various eye arts, would be hard pressed to discover its existence. This “hidden” characteristic even extended beyond hiding its appearance to concealing its very presence.
Jiang Chen would’ve missed this tree had it not been for sheer coincidence. “The Hidden Chameleon Cloudpine is reflected in water and revealed by metal. This is a real Cloudpine alright! What a stroke of fortune, great fortune!” Jiang Chen circled the Cloudpine a couple of times, excitement filling his heart. Even if he left Mt. Rippling Mirage right now, he could still count it as a profitable trip after gaining the Cloudpine. He’d originally planned on just coming in to loot the area of its true saint rank spirit herbs and raid another round of saint rank herbs. He’d left to the hands of fortune as to whether he’d be able to find any earth rank herbs.
But who would’ve thought that his luck would be so good as to run into a sky rank spirit tree? This Hidden Chameleon Cloudpine was no ordinary spirit tree. Its entirety was a treasure. Its pine needles would shed once a year, with its potential increasing one level each time it did. The pine leaves and needles it shed were all exceedingly precious pill refining materials. It would also bear fruit once a year. Although it wouldn’t bear that many fruits, but the pine cone of the Cloudpine was one of the two major ingredients in refining the Pinecrane Pill!
If the Longevity Pill was claimed as a pseudo-earth rank pill used to extend the lives of sage realm cultivators, then the Pinecrane Pill was a solid sky rank pill that extended the lives of emperor realm cultivators. Of the two major ingredients required to concoct it, one of them was the pinecone of this Cloudpine.
One Longevity Pill had been enough to make those old monsters at the peak of the sage realm stir themselves into a frenzy. Following that logic, one Pinecrane Pill was likely capable of disturbing even the emperor realm old monsters of the entire Divine Abyss Continent. Possibly even great emperor level cultivators would take heed.
This was because each Pinecrane Pill had a fifty percent chance of success even if consumed by those in the great emperor level. If the Pinecrane Pill extended an ordinary emperor realm cultivator’s life by eight hundred years, then a great emperor would receive three to five hundred years. This made this pill’s value several hundred times greater than the Longevity Pill’s.
However, refining the Pinecrane Pill required some exacting conditions, and utilized ingredients several hundred levels higher than the Longevity Pill. Take the Cloudpine pinecone for instance. It was normally an ingredient difficult to locate in the entirety of the Divine Abyss Continent, and there was no substitute for it in the Pinecrane Pill recipe. The other main ingredient, the Goldencrown Cloudcrane heart, was actually easier to find. Yet both were equally important to concoct the pill.
Even if one had a thousand Cloudcrane hearts, they would still be useless without the Cloudpine pinecone. It would still be impossible to refine the Pinecrane Pill. It was said that the pine crane extended life, which was how the pill had come by its name. Both ingredients were crucial for the pill to be successfully refined!
Even so, refining the Pinecrane Pill wasn’t the most precious use of the Cloudpine. Its most cherished use lay in the area of refining weapons. Its branches may not be sharp enough to refine into weapons, but they were uncommonly useful in dispelling spirits and averting evil. The Cloudpine’s ability naturally countered monsters and demons.
In the world of cultivation, there were those that specialized in monsters, demons, and ghosts. They were the epitome of evil to cultivators who specialized in proper martial dao legacies. The former were always exceedingly hard to deal with if anyone ran afoul of them, as this kind of cultivator was hard to track and possessed eccentric techniques, making them difficult to defend against. They had all sorts of evil items and vicious methods to ensnare an opponent before they could muster a defense. However, if one had a weapon refined from Cloudpine with them in those moments, not only would the weapon sound a warning, but it would also play a key role in eradicating those evil beings. A weapon made of Cloudpine could easily kill evil entities that precious weapons forged of metal were unable to take out.
Therefore, a Cloudpine weapon still occupied a high position in the greater picture of things. With this weapon in hand, all evil spirits and entities would be left unable to approach. It was a form of unseen insurance, and was a classic example of the theory that all things had a natural counteragent.
The five elements nurtured each other in turn, so this Cloudpine would grow faster when growing in waters with a dense spirit qi concentration. No wonder it had found a home on the shores of this lake.
Transplanting this pine tree wasn’t an easy task. Jiang Chen spent several hours before finally moving it into his space ring. To ensure that the Cloudpine wouldn’t weaken or begin to decline, he even purposefully doused it with water from the wood spirit spring. It was a good thing that the Cloudpine had just matured past a sapling and wasn’t too big, just a tad over three meters. Jiang Chen on the other hand, was naturally transporting much of the wood spirit spring with him.
Once the Cloudpine was moved, the spirit energy that had accumulated was immediately released. Jiang Chen instantly knew that this was a bad development when he saw the spirit energy spreading. He'd thought of all contingencies but had forgotten this point. The energy that had been produced by the Cloudpine had been stored into the soil beneath it. But now that the tree had been removed, the accumulated energy that had yet to be digested was instantly released and transformed into a beam of spirit light that shot up into the sky.
“This is bad!” When Jiang Chen saw the spirit light shoot up, he knew that his doings here would be exposed soon if he didn’t leave. It would be a tricky matter if those with ulterior motives came and realized the existence of such a treasure. Although he wasn’t afraid of trouble, he didn’t want to be entangled with the newcomers if they happened to be an elder or two. It was all the same to him, but if he ran into those from the Walkabout Sect or Sacred Sword Palace, they would certainly harbor thoughts of killing on their minds.
Jiang Chen wasn’t afraid of anyone making trouble for him since he had Long Xiaoxuan. But this lake extended in all directions and was obviously not a secluded area. If he summoned Long Xiaoxuan here and alarmed others, that would create only greater trouble for himself. Therefore, he would choose the best strategy out of the thirty six stratagems. Jiang Chen decided to flee.
A short while after he’d left, two figures quickly arrived at the lake, plainly drawn by the phenomenon of spirit power rising to the air. The two visitors were from the Walkabout Sect, and were a duo of an elder and young genius. The elder was the champion of the elder group in the Pill Battles, Elder Wu Hen, and the younger was Wei Qing.
The two rushed to the banks of the lake and saw the remaining spirit power still geysering out without stop. It seemed that the energy stored by the Cloudpine wouldn’t dissipate that quickly.
Elder Wu Hen’s triumph over Elder Yun Nie to seize the championship of the elder group was an unspoken testament to his potential in pill dao. Although it had been partially due to the skyfire, his talent in pill dao was still above reproach. Elder Wu Hen frowned after circling once around the lake. “There must have been a very high level spirit herb here, and one that’s just been taken by someone else.”
Wei Qing asked curiously when he saw Elder Wu Hen so cautious. “How high level?”
“If my guess is correct, it should be a sky rank spirit herb!” Elder Wu Hen spoke gravely.
“What?! Sky rank?” Wei Qing was greatly taken aback. There hadn’t ever been a sky rank spirit herb cultivated in the entire history of the Walkabout Sect! One had to understand that normally only emperor realm cultivators had the ability to use earth rank spirit herbs. Those who could use sky rank herbs were few and far in between. Only Titled Great Emperors had the right to occasionally use them, but it was still difficult for them to be able to use it on a normal basis. This meant that even Titled Great Emperors would fight over sky rank spirit herbs!
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