Translator: Flying Lines
On the second floor, it seemed a little empty only with a few tables and chairs in the hall. Against the stairs was a large scroll painting hanging on the wall. Senior Brother Ma came to it. As he waved his hands with a spell, a glimmer of light flashed by and then the painting began slowly unfolding.
There were some words densely marked on the scroll. Senior Brother Ma cast another spell, and then most areas of the scroll faded away, leaving only a few small ones sparkling.
"Junior Brother Shiao Chen, these are the ownerless herbal gardens of our sect. Now that you have the privilege granted by the Fifth Martial Uncle, you can choose any one of them to be your own." Said the Senior Brother Ma, stepping aside smilingly.
Shiao Chen cupped his hand, then walked slowly to the picture and looked at it carefully.
At this very moment, Duan Huaming laughed suddenly, and said, “Junior Brother Shiao Chen, even though you are the nominal disciple of the Master who gave you the right to have a herbal garden, definitely your cultivation will stop at the period of Qi Refining without a spiritual root. And I’m afraid your attainments in alchemy are also extremely limited. So I think it would be better that I choose it for you in order not to waste the cultivation resources of our sect.”
After hearing this, Shiao Chen stiffened a little. He thought it finally came. He took a deep breath and then slowly turned around. Serenely he said, "All right, please."
Senior Brother Ma’s eyes swept over Shiao Chen's body. Instead of despising him because of Duan Huaming's words, he looked at Shiao Chen with appreciation after seeing his calmness.
"I think this one is not bad, although it has been abandoned for a while. There should be a lot of medicinal herbs left behind. It should be able to take shape if Brother Shiao Chen get some spiritual herbs' seeds and take good care of them after a certain time." Duan Huaming pointed to the most remote corner of Luoyun Valley, where there was a pinkie-sized place marked with "Deserted Herbal Garden" in very small fonts.
Shiao Chen's body tightened, clenching fists under the sleeves. But the next moment, he regained his composure. He knew he must be the one to lose if he fought with Duan Huaming with his current status and abilities.
"You are right, Senior Brother. In that case, I will choose this one." Said Shiao Chen expressionlessly.
Having not expected that Shiao Chen would stand such difficulty, Duan Huaming slightly lifted his eyebrows. If Shiao was unconvinced and quarreled for it, certainly he would have numerous means to let him suffer. But now he had to suppress his temper temporarily because he had no reason for it.
"Ha ha, Junior Brother Shiao Chen, you are really a sensible man. In that case, Senior Brother Ma, please mark this herbal garden under his name." Duan Huaming smiled slightly, with some complacency in his eyes. He thought, no matter how, he gave Shiao Chen a lesson this time. Hope Shiao Chen was clever, or he would have plenty of means to make this guy suffer.
Senior Brother Ma looked at Shiao Chen with more appreciation. He thought that Shiao Chen, who could take temporary setbacks, would be a big shot in the future.
After being busy for quite a while, the garden which had been wasted for many years was officially owned by Shiao Chen.
"Junior Brother Shiao Chen, cultivate harder. Our Elixir Valley is not only superior in alchemy; the cultivation speed of all the fellow disciples are also quite fast. Do not hinder us and be the butt of the joke." Duan Huaming rebuked in a superior position while leaving with undisguised disdain in his eyes.
Shiao Chen stood expressionlessly, but his fists were tightly clenched together. Then he immediately felt so frustrated that he had no spiritual root, it meant he couldn’t become a mighty cultivator all the life. How could he wash away the humiliation he had suffered today without enough strength?
After leaving Spirit Resource Loft, Shiao Chen returned to the Elixir Valley and collected some seeds of spiritual herbs and alchemy books from the warehouse. Maybe the Alchemy Taoist thought that he owed Shiao Chen a little bit. So he was quite generous in allowing Shiao Chen to collect all kinds of seeds in the warehouse.
Putting everything in order, Shiao Chen moved toward the deserted herbal garden.
Though psychologically ready for the barrenness, he was stunned by the sight of this herbal garden located in the small valley. The reason why the herbal garden was suitable for planting spiritual herbs was that the soil contained the nimbus. However, here weeds and tiny rocks had swallowed up the garden, and the nimbus in the soil was paltry. He was curious about what the senior brother who took care the herbal garden had done to destroy the herbal garden into ruin.
Shiao Chen took a deep breath and walked to the valley without any expression. Half a quarter later, he tramped all over the little valley. At the moment, as clam and tactful as Shiao Chen usually was, his face turned extremely gloomy. This herbal garden had been abandoned for a long time, and most of the nimbus in the soil had already dissipated. He was uncertain whether the seeds of spiritual herbs planted in the soil would survive or not.
What a sinister trick the Duan Huaming had used! Shiao Chen did not know how long it would take him to simply restore the rank of this herbal garden. The insidious intent of Duan Huaming almost destroyed all Shiao Chen’s prospects of alchemy.
"Duan Huaming, one day, I will certainly impose all today’s mortification that I’ve borne on you!"
Shiao Chen stood amid the valley with a sullen face for quite a while but then he gradually recovered his composure. And then, without any word, he went to the stone house at the corner of the valley. When everything was in order, Shiao Chen sat down with his legs crossed on the futon. His mind gradually settled as still water. At the same time, he began to circulate his inner energy through the Plants Growing Scripture.
For a moment, wondrous thing instantly occurred.
The nimbus filled the air seemed to be pulled by an unknown great force, and flooded into his body at the speed of more than a hundred times faster than ever before.
Shiao Chen suddenly opened his eyes and was shocked by the sudden change. He was just practicing the Plants Growing Scripture as usual, why did this change happen?
A determined look flicked across his capricious face. Then he closed his eyes again. This time, he applied the method of inner vision before he ran the Plants Growing Scripture, paying attentive attention to the circulation of nimbus in his body.
Nimbus entered veins from Dantian, running slowly, and the external nimbus begun to be absorbed into the body gradually. Everything seemed to be normal. Shiao Chen frowned slightly and wondered about the authenticity of the crazy inrush of nimbus just now. Was it an illusion? But he could feel the nimbus had obviously increased. How to explain it?
At that moment he felt a sudden fluctuation in his soul. The familiar feeling came again, and the nimbus filled in the air rushed towards him with a startling rapidity. This time, Shiao Chen had prepared for that, so he paid all the attention to his soul instead of stopping cultivating. The Gold Seal that melted into his soul emitted faint golden glow, which erupted the weird sucking force. The nimbus that flooded into the body, however, was sucked away by it, and Shiao Chen only gained a little.
But even so, in that short time, the volume of his Spiritual Energy had already increased.
Although Shiao Chen opened his eyes with a little confusion, he was more surprised. As long as he owned this Gold seal, whether he had spiritual root or not, his cultivation will definitely speed up to an unimaginable level! He clenched fists tightly and felt more confident than ever.
“Duan Huaming, for today's humiliation, I will make you pay it back a hundredfold in the future!”
The next day, Shiao Chen walked slowly out of the stone cottage, he could hardly hide his delight. This gold seal was more powerful than he had imagined. It was only one night. His tiny nimbus got pinkie-sized, Spiritual Energy diffused in his Dantian, making him feel radiant and fresh all over.
First stage of Qi-Refining Period!
In just one night, Shiao Chen was able to achieve such a level, which, if publicized, would astound all the cultivators! Even those who possessed the saint spiritual root would never have such a terrible cultivation speed.
This gold seal was absolutely Shiao Chen's greatest secret. Once exposed, such a magic treasure would absolutely make all the cultivators covet, and he would die without burial!
Shiao Chen looked extremely solemn. This should be kept only to himself, even those closest to him should not be told.
If he had stayed in crowds, Shiao Chen would have feared that someone might notice his unusual behavior. But this place was a deserted herbal garden at the edge of Luoyun Valley where even the outer disciples would not come. Therefore, his safety was greatly increased.
Shiao Chen scoffed, Duan Huaming would absolutely be angry and spit blood when he knew that he gave Shiao Chen a great help accidentally.
For two days, Shiao Chen had been cultivating in the stone cottage and never stepped out of the valley.
In the stone cottage, Shiao Chen slowly opened his eyes, and a bright light flashed across his eyes.
“Peak of the first stage of Qi Refining!” Shiao Chen clenched his fists tight and smiled.
But then he frowned, looking a bit hesitant. "Although I own this gold seal, there is absolutely no problem with the cultivation. But if someone discovered that I reached the peak of the first stage of Qi-refining in such a short time without spiritual root, it’d be a trouble."
Shiao Chen was in distress, thinking that it would be easier if he could have a cultivation method of hiding his cultivation.
When this thought came to him, there suddenly emerged countless tiny runes on the surface of the gold seal which had integrated with his soul, and on the edge of it was covered with all kinds of mysterious and abstruse patterns, exhibiting a sense of age and nobility.
Facing such an unexpected turn, Shiao Chen was taken aback and then looked at it carefully. The scrawl runes on the gold seal looked like tadpoles, glimmering faint golden light that seemed extremely mysterious.
Soul Muddling Scripture! Although Shiao Chen didn’t know why he could read this scrawl script, the next moment, he was firmly attracted by this cultivation method and completely immersed his mind in it.
Half an hour later, Shiao Chen opened his eyes, which were full of joy! The Soul Muddling Scripture was a cultivation method of refining the soul and it had the ability to conceal his cultivation. This just solved difficulties in front of Shiao Chen. He was absolutely ecstatic.
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