Chapter 35 - Gather
This fellow has surely encountered the Bubble Rat swarm.
Chen Xi wasn’t surprised in the slightest when he heard Duanmu Ze’s shrill cry because there was a soft bog just 33m ahead, and a swarm of rat type demon beasts that were the size of a fist lived underground.
Bubble Rats moved beneath the ground with speeds that were swift like the wind, their bodies were like blown up bubbles and which were filled with rotten smelling dark-green poison. Although the toxicity wasn’t high, when spurted onto a person’s body, that rotten stench was absolutely able to cause one to go mad.
Most importantly, Bubble Rats were extremely short tempered, and when they encountered an enemy, these disgusting and ugly little things would collectively choose to self-explode. The dark-green colored liquid that exploded out from their bellies was virtually like a rainstorm that blotted out the sky and was impossible to avoid.
“This…” Du Qingxi simply couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw Duanmu Ze, he seemed as if he’d been thrown into and soaked in a dye vat. His hair, skin, clothes that were white like snow… they were all fully smeared with dark-green liquid, and he looked like an extremely ugly toad demon.
If they hadn’t seen it with their own eyes, it was absolutely difficult to imagine how the person before them was the handsome and refined Duanmu Ze who wore white clothes that fluttered in the wind.
A gust of wind blew over, and a nauseating rotten stench instantly filled every corner of the area.
“So disgusting.” Song Lin was suffocated by the rotten stench in the air to the point he was completely devoid of sleepiness, and he covered his nose as he repeatedly moved back.
“He isn’t in danger, right?” Du Qingxi frowned and asked.
Chen Xi shook his head. “He’s fine, just a little smelly.”
Du Qingxiwas suffocated to the extent she nearly vomited, she didn’t hesitate as she moved far off right away, then said, “Duanmu, quickly change your clothes and leave this place.”
“You all… How can you all be like this!?”
Duanmu Ze’s eyes opened wide as he looked at Du Qingxi and Song Lin who stayed far away from him in dejection, and his voice revealed dense patheticness that made him seem like an abandoned widow.
“Young Master Duanmu, I already warned you earlier, but you didn’t listen to me… Alas, you should hurry up and change your clothes, it’s really extremely smelly.” Chen Xi shook his head then turned around and left.
Duanmu Ze seemed as if he was struck by lightning, and he was stunned for a short moment before he let out an exceedingly furious low howl.
Chen Xi, you absolutely did it on purpose, on purpose!
I’ll fucking kill you!
Duanmu Ze was angered to the point he started breathing heavily, but he nearly fainted at the instant he smelt the stench on his body, and a wave of explosive rage once again broke out in his heart as he completely hated Chen Xi to the bones.
When Duanmu Ze appeared once again, he’d already recovered his handsome appearance, but his expression was extremely gloomy as he stared at Chen Xi with a murderous gaze.
It looks like I’ve already seriously offended this fellow, but so long as Du Qingxi is here, I presume he wouldn’t dare secretly make a move against me. Chen Xi shook his head and directly disregarded Duanmu Ze’s gaze as he walked forward.
Duanmu Ze was silent all along the way, and under Chen Xi’s lead, no other accidents occurred again.
Du Qingxi followed from behind and the surprise in her heart grew deeper and deeper. Along the way, they’d encountered some formidable demon beasts more than once, but Chen Xi seemed as if he had foresight and would bring their group to carefully circumnavigate around it to safely get by every time.
She had to admit that she’d indeed look down upon Chen Xi because it was occasionally even difficult for her to notice those demon beasts that were adept in concealment.
Whereas in the heart of Duamu Ze, Chen Xi’s display of understanding the surrounding environment like the back of his hand caused Duanmu Ze to deem that everything that happened earlier was something Chen Xi intentionally did to cause him to make a fool of himself. For a time, the hatred Duanmu Ze had towards Chen Xi was simply to the extent it was like a deep ravine, and if it wasn’t for Du Qingxi being present, he would absolutely kill Chen Xi at the first possible moment.
When daybreak was at hand, Chen Xi’s group had finally passed through the forest that was like a screen of nature and entered into the Southern Barbaric Forbidden Area to appear before an enormous lake.
Chen Xi naturally recognized that this vast and boundless lake was called Spiritcave Lake, as the first Congenital Realm greater demon he’d killed with his own two hands was precisely the two-headed Violet Rhino that had cultivated for thousands of years and stayed at the center of the lake.
At this moment, no less than tens of thousands of cultivators had already gathered by Spiritcave Lake, and wherever his gaze went, it was dense with people. Noisy sounds of discussion rose and fell, and it seemed to be extremely bustling.
“The entrance to the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain wouldn’t be atop Spiritcave Lake right?” Chen Xi looked at the far away crowd and felt slightly surprised.
“You don’t know?” Du Qingxi seemed to be even more surprised than Chen Xi.
Chen Xi shook his head. “I’ve never participated in the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain trials and I’ve never paid attention to the information about this.”
“Ha! As a disciple of Pine Mist City, you’ve actually never even participated in the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain trials. You’re really pitiable.” Duanmu Ze cut in with a tone that revealed intense disdain.
Chen Zi glanced at the fellow then said indifferently, “Although I haven't entered the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain before, I understand how to traverse the southern barbaric mountain forest.”
Understand how to traverse the southern barbaric mountain forest…
Duanmu Ze was stunned then he recalled his encounter with the Icetail Bees and Bubble Rats. It was as if a scar in his heart was torn open, and his expression instantly became extremely gloomy as he said word for word, “I hope your cultivation is as formidable as your mouth, you’d better not die in the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain.”
These words were equivalent to thoroughly and openly breaking the relations between him and Chen Xi.
Du Qingxi frowned as she glanced at the two of them before saying coldly, “Enough! If the two of you are still going to be like this when we enter the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain, then please leave now!”
Duanmu Ze curled his lips but said no more, he was obviously afraid Du Qingxi would send him packing.
Chen Xi wished for nothing more than to leave, but when he saw Du Qingxi’s extremely icy cold expression and recalled the three-year agreement he’d signed with her, he instead hesitated to speak.
Their group hastened their pace and after tens of minutes, they’d appeared in the empty space by Spiritcave Lake.
Only after they approached did Chen Xi notice that all these cultivators were mostly gathered in groups of three or five, and they all held weapons in their embrace as they stood there with vigilant expressions. Obviously, within the extremely dangerous Southern Barbaric Nether Domain, although they were all competitors, for the sake preventing those formidable demon beasts from rushing out, everyone took the same decision to gather together.
After all, the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain hadn’t appeared yet, and it wasn’t the time to openly offend each other to seize the baleful pearls.
The appearance of Chen Xi’s group attracted the attention of most of the people in the surroundings. The reason was extremely simple, the handsome Duanmu Ze standing there was like a flag. So long as it was a cultivator that had lived in Dragon Lake City, how would they be unable to recognize that this young man of extraordinary bearing was the outstanding figure from the Duanmu Clan’s younger generation, Duanmu Ze?
“So it’s Young Master Duanmu!”
“AH! Young Master Duanmu has come as well!”
“Young Master Duanmu, I never expected I would be able to see you here!”
All along the way, the sounds of greeting Duanmu Ze ceaselessly lingered in their ears, and the gazes that originally held slight hostility to Chen Xi’s group had been withdrawn. The name of the Duanmu Clan was so great that it could be considered as a colossus in the entire southern territory, and ordinary cultivators didn’t have to courage to offend the Duanmu Clan.
At this moment, Duanmu Ze’s face revealed a wisp of his usual slight smile that revealed sufficient pride within his complacency, and relying on the blinding halo above his head, their group of four smoothly picked an extremely good spot.
Chen Xi couldn’t help but sigh with emotion in his heart when he saw this. Just the name of the clan is able to make such an effect. Those clans with ancient hidden resources and reserves do indeed deserve their reputation for being able to survive until now.
Duanmu Ze’s mood seemed to be much better after being flattered by the surrounding people, then he glanced at Chen Xi who sat cross-legged and said with a frown, “Hey! You’re a spirit chef that’s really not up to standard, can’t you see that everyone’s walked for an entire night?”
Chen Xi directly disregarded the fellow and looked at Du Qingxi. “Do you need to eat something?”
Du Qingxi thought for a moment then nodded. When she walked out of the forest, she wore a black veil on her head that was able to cut off being observed by the energy of the soul, and it covered her appearance, causing others to be unable to see her expression.
Only now did Chen Xi stand up, he withdrew some ingredients from his storage ring before igniting a spirit flame and started cooking.
This storage ring was given to him by Du Qingxi when they left Clear Stream Restaurant, within it was an entire 330m of space that was piled with hills of ingredients. If they ate sparingly, it would be sufficient for a few people to eat for two to three years.
Duanmu Ze didn’t mind in the slightest when being ignored by Chen Xi, as being able to make Chen Xi cook under the gazes of everyone present had already achieved his goal.
He wanted everyone to know that Chen Xi was only a spirit chef of low status that followed by his side, and wasn’t like how it seemed on the surface, a friend that could be conversed with.
At this moment, when he saw Chen Xi starting to cook, Duanmu Ze couldn’t help but start anticipating. This mood of this fellow at this time is surely extremely unpleasant, right?
However, what disappointed Duanmu Ze was that although the surrounding people frequently shot over gazes of surprise, bewilderment, enlightenment, and disdain, Chen Xi’s expression remained the same from the beginning until the end.
Not long after, a pot of Hundred Treasures Porridge that was cooked from over 100 types of spirit fruits mixed with five cereal spirit grains[1. The five cereals represents rice, beans, wheat, and two types of millet.] was ready, and an enticing fragrance of porridge brought along traces of fresh fruity smell as it curled upwards and drifted to the surroundings.
Sounds of stomachs growling echoed out from the surroundings. Most of the cultivators here were all around the Congenital Realm and were still unable to survive on spirit energy like Violet Palace Realm cultivators, so they brought along dried rations when they came here. But when they smelt the delicious fragrance of the porridge that was fresh out of the pot, who wouldn’t covet it? Even their stomachs wouldn’t agree if they did!
“Young Master Duanmu is really someone that ordinary people can’t compare to, he even brought a spirit chef when he came out for a trip. This quality of living is truly enviable!”
“Of course! Just by smelling the fragrance of that porridge, you can absolutely know that youth is at least at the standard of a 2 leaf spirit chef!”
Duanmu Ze felt even happier in his heart when he heard this, and he picked up a white napkin and covered his leg with a complacent expression, then he instructed. “Fill a bowl of porridge for me.”
Chen Xi was holding a bowl of porridge and eating, and he muttered in reply, “There’s no more.”
There was indeed no more, after giving Du Qingxi and himself a bowl each, a large bowl was taken by Song Lin who was like the reincarnation of a hungry ghost, and the bottom of the pot had already been scraped clean.
Duanmu Ze lowered his head and gazed at the napkin that he’d prepared on his leg, then looked at the empty pot, and his expression constantly changed and was incomparably brilliant.
“Oh, this porridge is good. What’s rare is it has an entirely different taste and is not one bit inferior to the head spirit chef at my home.” Song Lin gulped down large mouthfuls of porridge with a face of intoxication and satisfaction, and would occasionally emit a slurping sound.
“This porridge is surely something he developed himself. It has a sweet taste and glutinous texture that’s different from normal, and it contains pure spirit energy that is condensed and doesn’t dissipate until it’s been eaten. It’s indeed not bad.” Du Qingxi nodded as she judged.
Duanmu Ze’s expression went even more unsightly when he saw the two of them didn’t have any intention of supporting him and were instead evaluating the taste of the Hundred Treasures Porridge with great interest.
Right at this moment, a commotion arose in the crowd and the gazes of everyone shot towards the distance.
Du Qingxi raised her head and glanced over before withdrawing her gaze, and she said with a calm expression, “So it’s that girl from the Su Clan. I knew she wouldn’t miss the opportunity this time.”
Chen Xi’s heart abruptly shook tremendously, and he quickly raised his head.
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