Translator: Flying Lines
When the spiritual force was injected, the spirit sword became so sharp that it could insert into the cliff at a slight movement. Stirring gently with both hands, Shiao Chen easily cut off a piece of rock about half a man's size.
Shiao Chen put the stone aside and looked at the dark cave in front of him. Some hesitation appeared on his face, which then turned into a firm look. He took steps towards the cave.
The light in the cave was extremely dim, and Shiao Chen could only see the road ahead though he had channeled the weak spiritual force in his body to his eyes. So he had to feel his way forward.
After about thirty or forty meters into the cave, Shiao Chen suddenly stopped. Moving his hand away from the stone wall, he twiddled his fingers and felt a bit of moisture. He couldn’t help feeling surprised and muffled, "Does that mean there is a subterranean river here?"
He went on for about another thirty meters, the air dampened. When he turned a corner, he heard the sound of running water.
At the same time, a very faint fragrance of herbs came with it.
"Huh? The smell of Jade Lotus?" Suddenly Shiao Chen looked shocked. He had stayed in the Elixir Valley for a few days. Though he did not learn any alchemy skills, when helping the lay disciples to sort out the elixirs, he did remember some precious herbs, in which Jade Lotus was one of them.
"No, the fragrance of Jade Lotus is slightly sweet. Though this smell is very similar, it is slightly acerb. It seems like the smell of some kind of weed." Shiao Chen smiled and shook his head. Jade Lotus was very precious, and it could be used to refine more than ten precious elixirs. How could it be seen everywhere?
But at this moment, Shiao Chen was unable to control his curiosity and stretched his neck to look ahead. It was so dark that he could not see clearly at all, so he went on walking towards the source of the water flow.
“Gurgling, gurgling, gurgling…”
The closer he got, the stronger the fragrance of herbs was. Besides Jade Lotus, the aroma of the top-quality spiritual herbs such as Iron Vine, Golden Grass and Polygonum Multiflorum also pervaded the air. With just a deep breath, one might feel refreshed all over.
Shiao Chen couldn’t help fastening his pace. When he walked to the end of the stone cave, he found that it was a dead end. But the faint sound of clear flowing water came just from behind this stone wall. Shiao Chen reached out his hand and knocked on the stone wall.
"Fortunately, the stone wall is not thick." Shiao Chen was a little relieved. He reached into his storage bag and took out the spirit sword again. With spiritual power infused in, he wielded his sword to the stone wall with all might, immediately creating a hole that could accommodate one person to go in.
As the stone fell, a bright light shot out of the stone cave. Shiao Chen blocked his eyes with hands and squinted inward. But before he could plunge his head into the cave, an utterly intense fragrance of herbs came instantly out of it.
"Cough! Ahem!!!!!" Inhaling only a small bit of it, Shiao Chen immediately coughed so violently that his face reddened. The fragrance was so intense that it seemed to be a mixture of dozens or even hundreds of spiritual herbs that were sealed and fermented for decades or even centuries.
Although Shiao Chen's face reddened with intense coughing, his dark eyes were full of rapture. Although he suffered quite a bit from the strong aroma, he was extremely sure that in the grotto in front of him grew dozens or even hundreds of spiritual herbs that were absolutely not young! Because when he inhaled that herbal fragrance a moment ago, although it was mottled, the blast of acridity could not be shielded at all!
"Poison Hemlock!” The corners of Shiao Chen's mouth cocked, showing a cheerful expression. This smell was absolutely given off by the highly toxic herb that could kill people at a breath! And this pungent flavor was much stronger than the hundred-year Poison Hemlock Shiao Chen had seen in Elixir Valley. It might be inferred that it must have grown for ages!
Shiao Chen waited for a while and calmed the ecstasy in his heart. When the herbal fragrance got slightly dissipated, he covered his mouth and nose with his sleeve and stepped into the cave.
The light fluorescence on the stone walls around him made him feel uncomfortable for a short time. When his sight returned normal and he could see clearly, Shiao Chen was shocked with mouth wide open.
The grotto behind the stone wall was about 333 square meters, and the surface of the stone wall was covered with bizarre crystals of light white color. The slight ray of light was from the crystals. A crack was there above the cave, from which water flew down to the ground. After an unknown number of impacts, the bits of sand and mud carried in the water formed a delta of about 66 square meters in the grotto, on which numerous species of spiritual herbs grew wildly. The water flowed slowly over the delta, and then went into a little pool behind it. This pool should have been connected to the underground river as the water was extremely clear. However, it was so dark and bottomless that he could not know how deep it was.
As Shiao Chen's eyes slowly swept around the stone cave, he closed his eyes tightly in a hurry and took a dozen deep breaths. Only then did he squelch the impulse of screaming!
Polygonum Multiflorum that was two hundred years old!
Golden Grass that was three hundred years old!
Honeysuckle that was four hundred years old!
Iron Vine that was three hundred years old!
Looking at the various spiritual herbs growing like weeds in this grotto, Shiao Chen almost had a feeling of being in a dream!
After a long time, he slowly calmed down. With a slight frown, he could not help showing some hesitation.
"Why do so many herbs grow in the depths of this mountain? How can they survive in this place?" It was important to know that the cultivation of spiritual herbs was extremely complicated and it required attentive care of cultivators to make them grow and thrive. Apparently, no one had ever stepped in here, so it was odd indeed.
But just at the moment, Shiao Chen's gaze fell on the bizarre crystals on the stone wall. His expression changed a little, and then he closed his eyes slowly, slowly activating and practicing Plants Growing Scripture in his body. The next moment, he opened his eyes in shock. After quite a while, two words jumped out of his mouth, “Spirit vein!”
In this grotto, the nimbus was much abundant than that in the outside world, and even more intense than that in Alchemy Taoist’s medicinal garden in which spiritual herbs were planted! Under such a context, only one thing could explain for this, that was, beneath the stone cave hid a small spiritual vein! This spiritual vein was no means large, just a few meters in size at most, otherwise it must have long been noticed by cultivators in the sect, leaving no chance for Shiao Chen. In this case, the crystals emanating fluorescent on the walls could also be explained. They must have been long eroded by nimbus and gradually transformed into what they were like at the moment. In hundreds or thousands of years, they might even become true spirit stones.
But even if the reason for the survival of the spiritual herbs was found, where did the seed of them come from? Was it possible that they had been created out of nothing?
Shiao Chen glanced over the grotto, and then stopped abruptly. He walked quickly to the pool and stared at the clear water with a sharp gaze, as if he were looking for something. A moment later, his eyes suddenly lit up. He put his hand into the water, grabbing a blue and slightly flat seed in his hand. Looking at the seed, Shiao Chen suddenly remembered that there was only one flowing water running down from the mountain in the whole Luoyun Valley, and it happened to flow through some place not far away from his herbal garden. For such a fact, the water used in all the medicinal gardens of the sect was from this source of water! Shiao Chen looked silently at the seed in his hand, then a smile slowly crept over the corners of his, which quickly spread to his entire face. He murmured, "I am so lucky! This is definitely my opportunity!”
In Luoyun Valley, the spring water was channeled to all medicinal gardens. In this way, the seed of mature spiritual herbs occasionally fell into the water and were washed away. Then the water carrying the seeds flowed right through a crack in the mountain and into the grotto, where there happened to be a small spiritual vein. Such a coincidence gave birth to a medicinal garden hidden in the grotto for an unknown time!
After half a day, Shiao Chen reluctantly followed the same way out. Although this deserted medicinal garden was very remote, and few people passed by, Shiao Chen still put the stone back in its original place just in case something would happen. Then he randomly arranged some rough stones outside. Not until he was certain that the cave would not be noticed did he nod with satisfaction.
"It was supposed to be an abandoned place, but nature has tricked people. Who would have thought that such a great opportunity is hidden in this deserted medicinal garden!”
"Duan Huaming meant to frame me, but unexpectedly he just sent me a great opportunity!"
Shiao Chen looked up and smiled. Things in the world were wonderful. If it were known by Duan Huaming, he would be so incensed that he would literally cough up three liters of blood and die at the site.
After a while, Shiao Chen regained composure and said to himself, "Although the medicinal garden is very remote, some simple prohibitions should be placed outside the valley to avoid accidents. Even if it cannot prevent people from entering, it will be sufficient to forewarn me."
Alchemy Taoist was very good to him, a nominal disciple. Although Alchemy Taoist did not teach him in person, he had not been stingy with all kinds of elementary jade books. Formation Basics was just one of them.
Shiao Chen made up his mind and hurried back to the stone room in a hurry. He took the jade book from the storage bag, and put it on his forehead, trying hard to meditate its profoundness.
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