Grasping Evil - Chapter 37
The Nan Lou Battle Guards, Kidnapping Case
The Sinister Sparrow Sect was located in the western region of Yue Country, built upon the ancient sect of the Underworld Sparrow Valley. According to legends, in ancient times a Primordial Xuan Yin Sparrow died on this spot and its bones became the mark of its grave, hence the name.
Three hundred li outside the Sinister Sparrow Sect was an area of dense maple trees stretching out over a hundred li, called Maple Forest. The place looked like it was abandoned by a cultivation family, and now, it was filled overgrown weeds, a place that no one bothered with.
There were three more days until the Sinister Sparrow Sect big event began. Above the abandoned maple forest hovered a magnificent voyage ship!
Three Harmonious Spirit experts stepped out from the ship and stood in the sky. One displayed ice magical power, one controlled a purple demon pet, and another one dressed somberly, swinging his double-edged sword. Each displayed their prowess in cleaning out the forest.
A maple forest that stretched over a hundred li, in the short span of half an hour’s time the three of them had it flattened!
The occasional passerby cultivators seeing the eerie glow enshrouding the grand voyage ship thought it was some Gold Core old monsters making a trip out, each of them sped away at the quickest, not daring to spy for information.
From afar, it appeared as though this Gold Core old monster wanted to build a city in the abandoned forest; the only point they couldn’t determine was why a powerful Gold Core old monster would fancy a city in this maple forest.
This piece of forest land had no mountain, no water, and no spiritual energy, to build a city here was simply a waste of resources.
The voyage ship landed on the forest floor, and from the magnificent voyage ship 1400 evil cultivators descended. As if given a command, they moved quickly and started to build houses; lastly, from the ship one young man and two young women exited.
With a point of his finger, the magnificent huge voyage ship shrunk to palm-sized before the young man placed it into his storage bag.
The young man looked somewhat pale as if dealing with severe injuries, yet he forced himself to oversee the construction and layout of the new houses, occasionally using immortal jades, immortal metals, and divine sense to link with heaven and earth’s ‘momentum’ to arrange a large array formation.
Cultivators’ physical strength was stronger than the average person, in less than half a day’s work, under the instruction of the young man, the 1400 evil cultivators had already completed more than two thousand houses that were arranged in the shape of a ring, intertwined into the hidden array formation. A three zhang tall city wall was built on the perimeter surrounding the entire new city within, leaving only a single entrance as city gates.
The young man invested countless immortal jades and rare immortal metals within the city walls to lay out a Core level defense formation. With this defense formation, even if it was a Gold Core old monster, they would not dare to swagger into his city. Still, there was a dissatisfied frown on the young man’s brows.
“A city built on wooden houses could at most resist some beasts, if cultivators attack, everything would crumble and be destroyed easily. The barren hills here with the thin spiritual energy is unfavorable to the armies’ cultivation…. Forget it, let the three armies settle down first, we’ll look for some immortal mines and spirit veins to revamp the environment here and strengthen the city!”
The young man was none other than Ning Fan that had traveled a far distance, coming to the western part of Yue Country, away from Seven Apricot City. The most crucial task was to have a base.
A three li city within a seven li city wall, barely a livable condition.
High up on the city walls, Situ’s sword intent flew out, inscribing two words on the city entrance ‘Ning City’; Ning City, meaning Ning Fan’s City!
Towards the prospects of joining the Sinister Sparrow Sect, Ning Fan had lukewarm interest; if it wasn’t for repaying the kindness on behalf of the Old Monster, if it wasn’t for stealing the Xuan Yin Qi, he might not have been willing to come to Sinister Sparrow Sect even if here had his so-called fiancée.
Two thousand houses within a seven li city space, the size was pitifully small, and the construction materials were – nondescript.
Compared to the Seven Apricot City’s Xuan Ice structures that had an amazing defense, the Heaven Separation Sect which was built with ‘Jasper Jade’ that gathered an overwhelming spiritual energy, this newly built city was pitiful to say the least. If any building masters were to witness the quality of these two thousand ‘houses’ within Ning City, they would probably laugh themselves to death.
Other than the defense array formation which could be considered passable, Ning City possessed no other points that could be complemented.
“Sisi, connect the earth’s fire vein here, I want to open a dan refinement room in the city.”
While everyone was busy, Ning Fan actually told Si Wuxie to open up an earth fire pit, guiding the fire up so he could refine medicine pellets. And the medicine pellet he was refining was of course, the Jade Royal Dan!
No one imagined the moment this earth fire tunnel pit was connected, it raised a small bubble of trouble, trouble that could not be overlooked.
Within one day, on the west land of Yue Country emerged Ning City.
However, the occasion coincided with an evil sects disciples recruitment session, thus no one paid any attention to Ning City.
The only party that bore hostility towards Ning City was the west Yue Country’s righteous family – the Lu Family.
The Master of the Lu Family − Lu Nanzi - a peak Harmonious Spirit expert. He was a half-step into the Gold Core realm, cultivating in a physique refining technique, and his name was quite famous in the Yue Country. The place Ning Fan chose to build Ning City− Maple Forest was the land abandoned by the Lu Family.
More than a decade ago, the Maple Forest produced ‘Fire Maple Fruit’ which could quench the physical body. It was a very valuable fruit that brought infinite benefits to Lu Family at that time. Later, because the underground earth fire vein was impeded due to the changes of the land, the trees were affected and no longer bore fruits, hence abandoned by the Lu Family.
A group of evil cultivators taking over the Maple Forest and built a city, of course Lu Nanzi got wind about it, but they did not care in the beginning.
Just a useless forest, losing it was nothing of concern.
But then a message arrived that caused Lu Nanzi to lose his calm, inciting a burning emotion.
The earth fire vein beneath the Maple Forest was actually opened up by someone using great magical powers!
“The earth fire veins is opened, doesn’t that mean Fire Maple Fruit can grow again?!” Lu Nanzi was thrilled and depressed at the same time. That year, when the earth fire vein was impeded, even with his peak Harmonious Spirit strength he failed to reopen the connection, now a bunch of evil cultivators that built some lousy city was able to reopen the earth fire vein, this bunch of evil cultivators really ran into some f*cking good fortune.
Since the earth fire vein was reopened, he couldn’t allow these evil cultivators to occupy Maple Forest land as a city for free.
Stroking his beard, a sharp light gleamed in his eyes as he turned to the old servant at his side, “Lu Ming, describe the people that are now occupying Maple Forest, what is their cultivation level, origin, and background….”
“Replying to House Master, this old servant sent some people to check. This so-called Ning City, in reality, was simply some crudely built houses, unpresentable… this Ning City very likely does not have any strong background or origin, or perhaps, it is just a new force.”
“A newly developed force? This is a possibility…. En, let me think… ‘Ning City’… this city’s lord must have Ning as a surname, surname Ning…. There seem to be no powerful forces with the surname Ning in the Yue Country….let’s do it this way, you lead the Nan Lou Battle Guards and oust these group of evil cultivators. If possible, try not to kill, of course, if these people are too stubborn for their own good, then you don’t have to be merciful…”
“Master wants this old servant to bring the Nan Lou Battle Guards?!”
The old servant named Lu Ming was extremely shocked.
In the cultivation world, a medium sized force would cultivate the experts under them into battle guards and/or war guards. They would place them into their own separate battle formations, like Old Monster who had three battle armies under him – the Ice Guards, Apricot Guards, and Sword Guards. The Yue Country Lu Family had a group of 500 people referred to as Nan Lou Battle Guards, ranked seventeenth in Yue Country’s ‘War Guards List’. Even some of the bigger sect’s battle guards were incomparable to the Lu Family’s Battle Guards.
Every battle guard within the 500 Nan Lou Battle Guards were at Fourth level Vein Opening and above, and all of them were well-trained; sending them to battle could destroy an entire clans smaller forces.
Lu Ming could not figure out why the House Master would use the Nan Lou Battle Guards just to deal with a newly developed power; isn’t this killing kittens with a butcher’s knife?
The House Master was too cautious.
The old servant swallowed nervously, and tried to persuade Lu Nanzi cautiously, “House Master, there is no need to involve the Nan Lou Battle Guards, this old slave alone as an early Harmonious Spirit cultivator is more than enough to destroy a small city.”
“Lu Ming, you’re good in every aspect but there is one fatal weakness, and that is you are too proud…You must remember, even when facing the weakest enemy, you must exert all your effort; ‘a hawk swoops down on the rabbit with all its might’, remember this sentence well….go…”
Lu Nanzi closed his eyes and didn’t say more.
As for Lu Ming, he dared not violate House Master Lu Nanzi’s order; after taking his leave, he went to gather the 500 Nan Lou Battle Guards, then rode through the night in Ning City’s direction.
500 Nan Lou Battle Guards of Fourth level Vein Opening, riding on beast mounts, exuding a sharp aura as they moved like a flash flood towards Ning City. Traveling cultivators quickly stepped aside in panic seeing it was the Nan Lou Battle Guards going out at full force.
“Lu Family released the Nan Lou Battle Guards again, which evil city are they going to destroy this time….”
“Look, that is the early Harmonious Spirit Commander Lu Ming, he actually led the troops in person…tsk tsk, if I can witness a Harmonious Spirit expert’s triumphant battle, my life will not have been in vain…”
Discussion breaking out by onlooking cultivators accompanied the rumbling of hooves as it entered Lu Ming’s ears, which only increased his irritation.
The House Master was really making a big fuss out of nothing….. gathering all of the troops just to destroy a measly little Ning City.
Two hours later, the Nan Lou Battle Guards had crossed several hundred li in the dark horizon before they saw the outline of an unremarkable city in the distance.
Lu Ming was a Harmonious Spirit expert after all, and with his eyesight, just one look and he could tell the building materials of this so-called Ning City was normal timber. Nothing to be lauded over or worth attention in his eyes.
He lifted his hand and the Nan Lou Battle Guards reined in their horses ten li outside the Ning City walls.
Then, his divine sense spread out under the waning moon, with an arrogant tone resounding throughout the entire Ning City.
“This old one is called Lu Ming, Commander of Lu Family’s Nan Lou Battle Guards, we’ve come to take command of Ning City; Ning City Lord, this old man gives you ten breaths of time, come out to see me. If you surrender, this old man can let bygones be bygones and not take any lives.”
Lu Ming squinted his wrinkly eyes as he sat atop his unicorn mount, fully displaying the stance of a revered Ancestor.
A cold sneer curved at his mouth, he used the divine sense of a Harmonious Spirit expert to transmit the message, these evil cultivators must be frightened, shivering in their beds.
Such a lousy city, the evil cultivators that live inside must be some country bumpkins that have never seen a Harmonious Spirit expert before.
While he was sneering complacently, the cold sneer on his face stiffened as his eyes widened in surprise, disbelief written all over his face.
Due to extreme fright, his wrinkly old face muscles cramped as if he suddenly had a stroke, looking extremely funny, words fumbling about in his mouth.
“Three… three Harmonious Spirit experts….two mid…one late….also…so many ….people…”
In the dim moonlight, Nangong, Situ, and Yuchi were standing in the air, fully releasing their Harmonious Spirit aura and each of them displaying murderous expressions. The 1400 evil cultivators, within a few breaths’ time, swarmed out of Ning City like a tidal wave, and with impressive skill separated into three large formations.
Riot Apricot Heaven and Earth Formation, Three Talent Sword Killing Formation, and Four Directions Ice Emperor Formation.
1400 people with the lowest cultivation at the Fifth level of Vein Opening. These 1400 people froze their killing intent for more than forty years, but on this night, it exploded!
“What dog fart is this, bursting over here late at night disturbing our ‘Young Noble’ Ning’s sweet dream, do you still want to live?!”
Yuchi had a radiant glow on his face, carrying the little purple pig in his arms and laughing heartily. With a simple flip of his palm using his mid-Harmonious Spirit realm magical power, he smacked Commander Lu Ming around until he spat blood and showed an inconceivable look all over his face.
Young Noble Ning? Who is Young Noble Ning? Someone who could convince three tyrannical battle guard commanders, someone who could subdue three Harmonious Spirit experts as his subordinates, this Young Noble Ning cannot be a nameless person in Yue Country.
Finished, this time our Lu Family kicked an extra thick iron plate….
“Attack! This father’s big sword was left thirsty for a very long time!” Yuchi was the first to leap out, the Divine Black Demon Army instantly had the Nan Lou Battle Guards surrounded, a one-sided slaughter in the night began.
In just half an hour, Nan Lou Battle Guards lost 300 people, and 200 were captured alive, including Commander Lu Ming. Beaten half to death by Yuchi and captured alive.
It was raucous outside of Ning City whereas inside, specifically the new fan refinement room, Ning Fan revealed a smile as he used divine sense to watch the battle outside, everything that happened did not escape his eyes.
“Not bad, looks like I don’t need to show up, the Divine Three Black Demon Army is indeed extraordinary…”
Recovering his divine sense, Ning Fan focused on his alchemy. The ground in front of him was a three zhang fire pit, kindles of flames were led up from deep underground.
The Dan Shattering Cauldron was placed above the large fire pit, the eight black flame dragon were sealed inside the Yin Yang Locket; at the moment, Ning Fan was refining the Jade Royal Dan inside the cauldron.
Jade Royal Dan wasn’t complex to refine, and it could only be considered as a four revolution dan but the ingredients were very rare.
Not to mention the supplementary ingredients, the most crucial two ingredients – Jade Royal Grass, and Coiled Devil Grass were said to be ‘even items that an Immortal Emperor would beseech’ for these two kinds of grass. Jade Royal Dan refined from these two kinds of grass could cleanse the marrow and strengthen the body with a heaven-defying effect.
It could restructure the cultivator’s constitution, increase and enhance the density of the bones, and it was also rumored that people who took Jade Royal Dan could cultivate a ‘Transcended Immortal Body’; the physiques defense was so tough that even an Immemorial Divine Weapon could not cut through it, hailed to be immortal and indestructible!”
However, the ingredients for this Jade Royal Dan were too hard to get and has one harsh condition for the people who take it – that person must be severely injured. As they say, repair after destruction, without damage there can be no reconstruction. If your bones weren’t shattered, veins and meridians crushed, how could you truly reconstruct a new body, cleansing the marrows, strengthening the body?
Merely expelling the impurities in the body are not enough; no matter how much cotton expels its impurities, can it turn into steel?
Ning Fan’s body was malnourished since he was small, physically weak, adding his injuries on top of everything else, every part of his body was currently fractured and damaged.
This body is irrevocably damaged. This was the perfect time and condition to take the Jade Royal Dan.
From the Dan Shattering Cauldron, a medicinal smell wafted out, exuding a fluctuating spiritual energy as it lingered in the air.
In another half of a day, the Jade Royal Dan will be complete!
The sky gradually grew brighter, and the Lu Family’s situation five hundred li away was in a big tumult.
Lu Nanzi had a relaxing night of sleep, but when he woke up, he noticed Lu Ming and the Nan Lou Battle Guards had yet to return.
Strange…. With a troop of ranked battle guards in the Yue Country, does it need such a long time to destroy a small city built by a new force? A full night was not enough?
“There shouldn’t be any mishaps? Hehe, no way, although Lu Ming is a little arrogant he is still a Harmonious Spirit expert. Combined with the Nan Lou Battle Guards formation, even if there is a Gold Core old monster, they would need to retreat. En, I must be over thinking, perhaps Lu Ming met with something on the way, slightly delaying them. They will be back very soon….”
After waiting several hours, noon came. Lu Ming still hadn’t returned. Lu Nanzi’s eyelids were constantly twitching and an uneasy feeling arose in his heart.
He took out a jade token. This jade slip was called a ‘Sound Transmitting Token’ which was separated into master and subsidiary tokens; as long as both tokens were within the range of one thousand li, the holders of the tokens could communicate with each other.
Executing a hand seal formed from magical power, Lu Nanzi cleared his throat and began to transmit a scolding message into the jade token, “Lu Ming, return immediately! How long does it take for you to destroy one small Ning City, you….”
“…..” the magical energy inside the jade token dissipated but there was no reply from the other side.
“Lu Ming? Reply!”
“……….” No sound.
“Not good, did an accident occur?!” Lu Nanzi was shocked; Lu Ming was a Harmonious Spirit expert that brought 500 Nan Lou Battle Guards with him. What is it, what could’ve happened?
If there was no mishap, how dare Lu Ming ignore his summons!
Just as Lu Nanzi was immersed in shock, from the other end of the jade token came a delicate man’s voice which made Lu Nanzi shiver even though they were separated by the jade tokens.
Such a strong ice element power!
“I’m Nangong, your people are in my hands…Hehe, if you want to ransom them, how about you come to Ning City for negotiation….”
On this day, in Yue Country’s cultivation world, an earth-shattering kidnapping case happened. And Ning City entered the sights of the cultivation world for the first time!