Grasping Evil - Chapter 67
The Plan That Would Startle the Two Girls
The light of the early morning sun penetrated through the mist. It made Ning Fan feel stifled. This forest wasn’t an appropriate place for a living human to live in.
He pushed open the door and the sunlight shone in. The two ladies that were watching him had left to rest. He wouldn’t be restricted from going out during the day, but that didn’t mean that he could go in and out of the clan encampment freely.
“There isn’t a distinct differences of rank or position among the ghosts of Green Clan, not to mention they aren’t united. It’s safe to say that every ghost that joined the clan has an ulterior motive.”
Ning Fan pushed open the bamboo fence and walked into the forest. His eyes scanned every ghost expert which brushed past him, as if he was trying to read their hearts.
Every one of them had a hidden agenda. There was only one word for these Gold Core ghost gathering here; that was ‘benefit’.
It indicated that it wasn’t definite that the vault elder wouldn’t steal the treasure inside the vault himself, but because there were ten intermediate and fifty early Gold Core ghosts guarding in the vicinity at the same time, it meant that he didn’t have the chance.
Sinister, this was the most suitable word to describe the ghosts in Green Clan.
Thus, it wasn’t only Ning Fan alone who had the motive to seize the treasures in the vault as every ghosts here was preoccupied with their ulterior motives.
The vault of the clan was located at the end of the forest. That area was encompassed by a shapeless force of formation and guarded by Gold Core experts at different hidden spots. The security of the building was very tight.
He wanted to go there to gather information such as the topography of the land, the formation that it was set in and the arrangement of the guards before setting up a comprehensive plan to seize their Sense Beads.
Every month, the medical officer would go into the vault to get a certain portion of herbs to concoct medicinal pills. Ning Fan wanted to take this opportunity to explore the vault and its surroundings.
When he reached the outer part of the vault, he saw a ghost trying to steal herbs from the vault, provoking the formation.
That ghost was an early Gold Core expert. It was considered a top-notch expert across Yue Country, but its spirit sense didn’t know that there was a defensive formation outside the vault.
The formation shook slightly and the ghost’s facial expression changed. It retreated at once, but it was too late. A force was exerted and a wave of irresistible spirit sense permeated out, incinerating it in a breath’s time as it let out a wail.
“Another early Gold Core thief. After a certain period, there will be someone bold enough to risk their life to steal the items in the vault.”
Snickers came out of the darkness, as if they were mocking the incinerated ghost and at the same time, Ning Fan.
These experts thought that Ning Fan’s intention of joining the Green Clan was mostly to obtain the herbs in the vault. In fact, it wasn’t hard for them to guess because many of them who chose to guard the vault had similar hidden motives.
Ning Fan came to a halt as the shapeless formation was just in front of him. He could also feel the Qis of countless experts hidden in the vicinity indistinctly. He definitely couldn’t discover their presence if he didn’t use his spirit sense.
Given his cultivation level in formation, he was able determine the number of formation eyes in just a few moments.
There were 108 formation eyes within the formation. It was almost a ‘Nascent’ realm formation. Furthermore, each formation eye wasn’t formed by Immortal Jades or Immortal Ores but Sense Beads!
It was a grand formation that was set using the power of spirit sense from the sense beads. Any ghost cultivator below Nascent Soul realm could be eliminated by the formation easily.
Ning Fan’s eyes blazed while focusing on the 108 formation eyes. He found it a little unacceptable for them to use just Sense Beads as the formation eyes. That was purely wasting the gifts of heavens.
However, it was understandable. Only herbs were precious to ghosts. As for the Sense Beads, they could get it after killing others of the same kind. Besides using Sense Beads to craft magical treasures and setting a formation, there wasn’t any other better uses for it. this was because they were unable to devour the Sense Beads as they weren’t humans.
A dazzling golden Sense Bead emerged beside the dead ghost. Very quickly, a female ghost who had the waist of a serpent appeared beside the Sense Bead with a green flash. She snatched it away and shifted her eyes towards Ning Fan.
“Huh? Isn’t he the newly joined medical officer named Zhou Ming? He wants to come here to steal and die?”
Ning Fan’s eyes turned cold when he saw the female ghost.
She was a late Gold Core female ghost. It seemed she was the vault elder.
“Zhou Ming won’t dare to steal anything from the vault. But as Zhou Ming is a medical officer and is in need of some herbs to concoct pills, I come here on purpose to claim some herbs. According to the rule of Green Clan, the medical officer is allowed to claim ten century-old herbs every month to concoct pills. Meanwhile, the medical officer is required to present at least one Second Revolution pill to the clan every month.”
Ning Fan’s expression was unchanged. He made an obeisance by cupping his hands before his chest.
His composed facial expression impressed the late Gold Core female ghost. She slowly kept her jeering face and looked at Ning Fan eloquently.
“You know how to concoct pills? Which revolution of pills?”
“I wonder how may I address you, Elder?” Instead of answering the question, he questioned the elder with a faint smile.
“Hehe…an early Gold Core puny ghost dares to ask for my name? Do you want death so badly? Fine. I forgive you for you are an alchemist. Listen, my name is Qu Han.”
The elder answered Ning Fan’s question which amazed those experts around because they had never seen the elder treat an early Gold Core ghost with such benign countenance.
However, it made sense because very few ghosts knew actual the skills of an alchemist. Although many of them knew these skills before they died and turned into a ghost, majority of them would lose their past memories when they became ghost. So, there was an even a lower chance for them to remember their alchemy technique in the past.
Ning Fan didn’t show any significant abilities yesterday when he joined the clan but if he really could concoct pills, his status and position would be raised. At the time, he might have a higher rank than the intermediate Gold Core elders.
Qu Han scanned Ning Fan. She found it strange that he could be this calm even though he was merely an early Gold Core expert.
“Elder Qu Han. I am Zhou Ming, a Second Revolution Dan Master.”
Ning Fan replied in a flat tone. He wouldn’t reveal his identity as a Fourth Revolution Dan Master because that would immediately attract the attention of countless of experts, making it harder for him to act in secrecy.
“I see, Second Revolution…” The expression in Elder Qu Han’s eyes became unenthusiastic again because of disappointment.
Although there weren’t a lot of Second Revolution Dan Master, the demand for these Dan Masters wasn’t high because Second Revolution pill was virtually ineffective to Gold Core ghosts.
“Chu Chen, bring him in to select the herbs, only herbs of century old. If I find any of the five centuries herbs and millennium herbs missing…you should know what the consequences will be.”
Qu Han said coldly with murderous intent. Then she turned and disappeared without a trace, refusing to converse with Ning Fan anymore.
A moment later, an old and shaky elder in fisherman’s attire emerged slowly with a disk array on his hand and chuckled at Ning Fan.
“I am Chu Chen. Greetings, Dan Master Zhou.”
This fisherman-like elder was merely an early Gold Core expert and the tone he used was with respect, courteous and sincerity, but the moment he appeared gave Ning Fan a sense of coldness that made him feel slightly fearful of the elder.
This was strange. He hasn’t felt this kind of danger even if he is facing a late Gold Core expert. This elder mustn’t be as simple as he looked.
As Ning Fan continued to analyse the elder, he found some clues from the elder’s Qi.
The Qi of Nascent Soul? This elder was a half-step Nascent Soul expert. His grade was on par with those Great Elders of other clans. He must be a Great Elder of any other clan but who would know which clan this Great Elder was from?
Ning Fan was afraid that this elder had the same ulterior motive—camouflaging the cultivation grade and sneaking into Green Clan. Since he was guarding the vault, his target naturally would be the herbs.
“I am Zhou Ming. Greetings, Senior Chu. Lead the way, Senior.”
His mind was running with hundreds of thoughts but his facial expression didn’t change even the slightest bit. He cupped his hands before his chest and followed the elder into the vault.
The elder was a good talker. He had a wide range of knowledge and experience in different topics. In fact, he was implicitly finding out Ning Fan’s background from the conversations.
Ning Fan patronized all his questions. Given the memory and history of Immortal Emperor, he wouldn’t slip out any of the information that would jeopardize himself.
Despite his passive response in the conversation, he was able to follow the elder’s topic and this made the elder frown.
‘I am the Great Elder of Purple Clan and I have these experiences and knowledge because I had dominated the Rain Immortal World when I was alive a thousand years ago. According to his bone age, he looks younger than 17 years old but he was able to understand my conversation. He has the experience to see through my intention of prying. Although he said he didn’t know when I asked him some questions, he was able to catch up with the conversation. These are the proof of his camouflage. This kid must have a hidden agenda. I’m afraid he is here for the vault as well, which is coincidentally similar to mine. But, this brat won’t be able to seize the item that I have targeted away.’
Their doubts for each other grew and their conversing rate became lesser. As Ning Fan stepped into the vault, he was observing the condition in the vault secretly while patronizing the elder.
The vault comprised of four levels. The first level had the weakest security. He would be able to empty the first level without leaving a trace if he was careful enough, but unfortunately, there were only century herbs here.
The second level was where the Sense Beads were stored and where some magical treasures of ghost cultivators could be found. The third level was stored with five-century-old herbs and above. The fourth level was used to store millennium herbs!
Ning Fan’s chuckled in his heart. It seemed that Green Clan doesn’t view Gold Core Sense Beads as a very important item. The strength of the defensive formation in the second level was below that of Nascent realm. He would be able to break the grand formation simply by using the soul burning ability in his Separation Slayer and he would seize all the Sense Beads.
Of course, it was impossible to do this now. He could sense countless vault guards watching him right now. They had locked their spirit sense on him. They would activate the power of the formation to incinerate him into dust once they notice any unusual action.
So, he had to pick another day to steal these Sense Beads.
“Century herbs are all in the first level. Dan Master Zhou, choose at your will.” The elder said with a faint smile as he monitored Ning Fan.
Ning Fan’s eyes were sweeping across the room full of century herbs.
Different categories of herbs were placed on wooden cabinets that are sealed with the power of a formation to prevent anyone from stealing it and retaining the medicinal energy in the herbs.
Ning Fan was slightly astonished when he scanned across the variety of herbs. Plenty of herbs that were extinct in Rain Immortal World could be found here in the forest.
To concoct a Raising Spirit Dan, he would need two more herbs. To concoct a Consolidating Spirit Dan, he would need one of these herbs…
Raising Spirit Dan had become useless to Ning Fan. As for Consolidating Spirit Dan, it was a necessity when a cultivator was breaking through the peak of Harmonious Spirit realm.
There was a limited number of Consolidating Spirit Dan in the outer world. Due to this reason, the price of that Dan skyrocketed. Most of these pills were possessed by Gold Core old experts. They were keeping them for their apprentices.
Initially, Ning Fan was pretending to be interested in those century herbs, but after seeing the hill-like piles of century herbs, he had a new idea.
He should seize all the century herbs to concoct vast amounts of Raising Spirit Dans and Consolidating Spirit Dans for himself and his Three Black Demon Guards.
In ten years, he was confident that all three of his Black Demon Guards could become Harmonious Spirit guards.
At that time he would have 1400 Harmonious Spirit experts! Even if he hadn’t reached Nascent Soul realm, he would have no problem in conquering the Extreme Yin Gate.
He put his thoughts aside, took ten ordinary century herbs away and left. He didn’t take the herbs that were used to concoct Consolidating Spirit Dan to avoid any suspicions.
After Ning Fan left, the elder reported to Elder Qu Han about Ning Fan’s movements in the process of collecting the herbs.
“Century River Grass, Century Slanting Valley, Century Fragrant Land… All of these are the ingredients needed to concoct the Second Revolution pill—Soul Recovering Dan. I think this kid is free of suspicion. Chu Chen, you can go now. I will give you a last warning, don’t even think about taking the herbs in the vault.”
Qu Han sat cross-legged with her eyes and mouth shut. She was absolutely uninterested in the Second Revolution Dan Master Ning Fan.
“Hehe… Chu Chen is merely an early Gold Core expert. How could he send himself to death in the vault? If I have Elder’s cultivation base, I may be willing to do something about it.”
The elder chuckled and left. As he left, he looked towards the direction where Ning Fan left and started to feel doubtful.
“That kid stopped his gaze at the main herb used to concoct Consolidating Spirit Dan for a few breaths. Consolidating Spirit Dan is the pill needed by those Harmonious Spirit juniors. It is useless to Gold Core ghosts like us. But I saw that he was interested in it and I’m sure that it wasn’t a pretence. Could it be that this Zhou Ming isn’t a Gold Core ghost? If he isn’t a Gold Core ghost, how could he enter the Third Region? Unless he is a living human. Could he be the human who killed the incarnation of Bone Emperor? Hehe…If this kid is really the human who killed Bone Emperor’s incarnation, I will be happy to work with him to eradicate Green Clan.”
This elder was able to deduce so much merely from traces of Ning Fan’s expressions. Fortunately, the elder didn’t have any ill intentions against Ning Fan but a cooperative intention instead.
This was the Great Elder of Purple Clan after all. He was once the underling of Princess Mei and is now in the rebel forces against Bone Emperor.
Killing the incarnation of Bone Emperor was actually in favour of him. So, naturally, he wouldn’t expose Ning Fan’s identity to gain Bone Emperor’s favouritism.
Ning Fan didn’t return to his house. He spent his day circling around the territory of Green Clan.
He had decided to treat the injuries of the two female ghosts and remove their restrictive spells. He wanted to build a relationship with them so that they could help him in seizing the vault.
Quite a lot of items are needed in treating them and removing the spells. However, as there were many shops in Green Clan that were run by their own experts, Ning Fan was able to get those ingredients from these shops. All he needed was some herbs to purchase those items.
A Third Revolution pill named ‘Regaining Eyesight Dan’ required two herbs. He needed to concoct two of them. He would then put them into the female ghosts’ two sockets to help her regain her eyesight.
A Third Revolution pill named ‘Blood Healing Dan’ required one particular herb. Any injuries caused by the High Rank Magical Treasure was hard to heal. Only by using the Blood Healing Dan would her wounds heal.
As for the removal of the restrictive spells, he would need some poison. The more poisonous the poison, the better. He would need plenty of the very poisonous one. In the Immortal Emperor’s memory, there was a special method to break a restrictive spell. It was by using poison to attack the poison in the body. If the poison was strong and lethal enough, it could break the restrictive spell without a doubt.
Of course, the poison needed to break the restrictive spell must be a terrifying poison and couldn’t be found in Rain Immortal World.
After exchanging for the required herbs, he walked back to his house to begin the concoction. This was the accommodation for medical officers, so it was furnished with earth fire and cauldron. Third Revolution pills weren’t that much of hard task to Ning Fan, given his current concoction techniques and spirit sense realm.
As the night approached, the concoction of the pills were almost done. The fragrance of the pills dispersed and lingered outside the bamboo house.
The female ghosts in white and red had arrived at the appointed time to monitor Ning Fan’s movement.
However, as they reached the bamboo house, they were captivated by the scent of the pills lingering in the air.
“It smells very fragrant! Could it be that Zhou Ming is concocting pills? My god! He knows how to concoct pills? I just don’t know which revolution of pills he is concocting. It shouldn’t be a Third Revolution pill right?” If the female ghost in white had her eyes, her eyes would be filled with stars.
“How is that possible? That Zhou Ming is just a hooligan rascal with low cultivation base. He only knows how to make girls happy. He is considered good if he is able to concoct a Second Revolution pill.”
The female ghost in red curled her lips as her blood-red eyes were glancing at the bamboo house. While she was smelling the fragrance of the pills, she could somehow feel something moving at her lower abdomen. She saw that the hole in her lower abdomen was healing by itself.
Her expression was frigid but she was struck with astonishment inside her heart.
“What is that Zhou Ming concocting? How can the fragrance of his pills heal my wounds?”
“The pills are ready!”
“Why not come in and have a look of the pills which I have concocted?”
Ning Fan’s teasing voice came out of the bamboo house.
[Suffocating from the length of the words. Please help in Patreon.]
Certain name of skills will be italicized. Some terms are subject to change when better suggestions are selected.