Chapter 446: Something Appears Amiss
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Upon hearing the notification from the system, which informed him of the presence of a sarira of the Great Thunderclap Temple, Lin Feng was initially happy.
The system’s side quest that he had accepted earlier on of collecting the lost sariras and returning them back to the Great Thunderclap Temple had no time limit, but it was immensely difficult. Many people were confounded by this task and believed that they needed luck to complete it.
Now, upon hearing the system’s notification, it appeared that as long as there was a sarira near Lin Feng, the system would notify him automatically.
This made searching for sariras a lot easier. While it was still difficult, at least Lin Feng would not accidentally miss them.
However, after the momentary joy, Lin Feng suddenly felt a sense of suspicion. In such a desolate and untamed place in this Middle World, why would a relic of the sarira of the Great Thunderclap Temple be here?
Could the Qiong Qis have already taken it, or could it be because it already belonged to someone?
As Lin Feng pondered this, he did not betray any emotion. He looked at Yan Mingyue and said, “We must keep in contact with one another and search this place separately.”
Yan Mingyue looked at the Cloud Forest Trees ahead and said slowly, “This could be known as the Cloud Forest World.”
Lin Feng and the rest nodded their heads. They did not mind Yan Mingyue naming this Middle World. Its sovereignty was a question for tomorrow.
The most pressing thing before them was to find out if the Qiong Qi Demon Tribe was here.
Lin Feng, Yan Mingyue, the Guanchong Swordmaster, Shi Zongyue and the Stellar Holy Man split up at that point and headed in the directions of different Cloud Forest Trees.
“I wonder how good is a fruit of a Cloud Forest Tree, its trunk and branches are both high-quality materials and could be used to cultivate magic treasures,” Lin Feng chose a Cloud Forest Tree and flew before its trunk.
The trunk of it was imaginably thick. As Lin Feng approached it, he felt as if he was staring at a wall. The trunk was completely black but underneath the black trunk, an odd light dazzled curiously. Its bark was not thick. Instead, it was glossy and reflective like a mirror.
Lin Feng did not touch it directly. He looked up and realized that the black tree trunk was as high as his eyes could see.
Above his head, there was a green canopy. As Lin Feng headed up along the trunk, he noticed that the many branches of the tree spread and reached out in many directions.
Between the tree branches, there were impenetrable bushes. In the thick canopy provided by the leaves of the branches, there was an eerie silence.
Lin Feng did not dare enter. Instead, he landed on the intersection between two branches and quietly felt the change in the spiritual energy within this Cloud Forest Tree.
“The spiritual energy of these ten Cloud Forest Trees were all connected with one another through their branches and leaves?” Lin Feng was slightly shocked as he could subtly feel that while he landed on only one Cloud Forest Tree, he felt as if he was surrounded by dozens more.
Its spiritual energy was this plentiful. The sky could not contain its expanse and the ocean could not contain its depth.
Lin Feng felt as if he was facing the entire Cloud Forest World.
Thinking about it here, Lin Feng’s eyebrows arched too. “Strange, why couldn’t I feel a sense of consciousness within this tree?”
The Middle World did not have the Void Lightning Tribulations, hence for stronger beings, they could only reach the aurous core stage through cultivating their qi.
Even a giant Cloud Forest Tree like this, which had absorbed an immense amount of spiritual energy, could not form its nascent soul and the become a Demonic Lord without undergoing the Void Lightning Tribulations.
However, they were surely powerful Demonic Commanders. From its overall power, some Demonic Lords would pale in comparison to it. Some of them may not even be able to match it.
Without talking about anything else and focusing solely on one’s overall demonic powers, if these Cloud Forest Trees were to actually become demons then their powers would easily rival that of those demons who had formed their Undying Demonic Soul, or even the Ten Demonic Saints.
However, here was the problem. Lin Feng could not feel the sentience of these Cloud Forest Trees. He could only a feel a simplistic, plant-like instinct.
In other words, these Cloud Forest Trees were similar to the saplings of the Saros Steel Tree. It could not be classified as a demon, only an extremely rare type of tree.
Lin Feng became warier, “For it to have so much spiritual energy, its foundation must lie in a very powerful spiritual seed. It could not compare to the Ginseng Fruit Tree, but it will not too far away from the Saros Steel Tree. After so many years of accumulation, it could not have not become a demon.”
Now, the situation also had one explanation. Someone had cultivated these Cloud Forest Trees and then destroyed their Tree Demon Sentience, and then turned them into unthinking, unfeeling spiritual trees.
And now, the fluctuations of the spiritual energy of the Cloud Forest Trees were merged into one. Perhaps it was a trick by the opponent.
Lin Feng had to be extremely careful. The combined spiritual energy of a dozens Cloud Forest Trees was already incredibly dangerous. Now that they had all merged into one and almost rivalled the entire spiritual energy of their whole world, it was more a reason for concern. Facing the possibility of suppression by an entire world was enough to make even an Immortal Soul stage cultivator wary.
However, Lin Feng was protected by the system. Unless someone saw him directly, his opponent would not be able to detect his presence even if he was standing on the same Cloud Forest Tree.
Those who could achieve the Immortal Soul stage were all extraordinary in their own rights. Yan Mingyue and the rest soon discovered the problem. They then each used their separate methods to conceal their own whereabouts before they continued to probe amongst the tree branches of the Cloud Forest Trees in search of the Qiong Qi Demon Tribe that may be hiding within.
“Hmm, I wonder where is the sarira?” Lin Feng did not rush to advance forward as he heard another notification from the system.
This time, the notification was more accurate. It told Lin Feng that the sarira was shifting to his position.
Lin Feng hid his body and decided to stay there and wait for his target.
After a while, he saw a ray of golden light shoot out from the depths of the leaves of the giant tree. The ray of golden light was not particularly fast, but it felt extremely heavy and solemn. Evidently, it brimmed with Buddhist mana. However, unlike the serenity of the usual Buddhist mana, this one carried within its golden light a powerful killing intent.
Lin Feng narrowed his eyes and focused even more carefully. He then saw a middle-aged man flying about on a golden halo of light.
He stepped on a golden alms bowl. The alms bowl turned golden and was able to support his entire weight.
The middle-aged man was not clad in Buddhist robes. Instead, he wore an ordinary grey robe and his expression was deadly. His hair was cut extremely short and it could not be thicker than 1 cm. Amongst his black hair, nine circular scars (Translator’s Note: Buddhist monks, even till today, will scar their foreheads with either 3, 6 or 9 dots to remind themselves of their vows) could be seen.
While he dressed like an ordinary person, he was undoubtedly a Buddhist disciple. Furthermore, he was a high-level Buddhist monk who had reached the nascent soul stage.
However, at this moment, his entire body brimmed with a sharp, killing intent. His expression betrayed sorrow as violence darted about in his eyes.
No matter how one looked at him, he was more like a butcher than a high-ranking Buddhist monk.
Looking at this monk, Lin Feng suddenly felt a sense of familiarity. His mind turned and suddenly, the image of a particular person surfaced.
Earlier on, when Lin Feng entered the Black Cloud Earth Palace to accept Zhu Yi as his disciple, he met a monk who had escaped the destruction of the Great Thunderclap Temple. His name was Hui Ku.
To exact revenge against the alliance and to increase his own powers, Hui Ku took out 24 sariras that belonged to his elders from the temple with the intention of cultivating them into magic items.
Hui Ku cultivated the Art of Acalanātha of the Great Thunderclap Temple. However, he lacked its overview chapter and after he saw Xiao Yan cultivate the Art of Acalanātha, he sought to steal it. Lin Feng killed him in the Black Cloud Earth Palace.
Looking at the monk before him now, Lin Feng thought of Hui Ku.
While Hui Ku was only in the Foundation Establishment stage and the monk before him was in the Nascent Soul stage, both of them were highly similar in terms of overall demeanor.
Lin Feng looked at the golden alms bowl beneath his feet and could feel that it was created through Buddhist powers. In his heart, he thought, “A direct disciple of the Great Thunderclap Temple. When it was destroyed, he was probably one of the few lucky ones who escaped.”
From his appearance and aura, one knew that he had killed many people. He had probably killed countless people.
This was because after the Great Thunderclap Temple was destroyed, his life completely changed. While he cultivated the Buddhist way earlier on, it had all been replaced by anger and resentment which drowned his soul.
Buddhist disciples all had extremely strong wills. They were able to understand someone’s nature perfectly and differentiate clearly between good and bad. They would not sway easily.
However, once they had been lead astray, it was likely that they would become extremists.
Hui Ku, from earlier on, was like that. The monk before him was like that too. While he did not know how many sariras this monk possessed, Lin Feng knew that the devious baldy before him would not hesitate to turn the sariras into magic items to be used against him.
As long as he could increase his powers and exact vengeance for the Great Thunderclap Temple, he would do anything.
“Was it possible that he would even form an alliance with the Demonic Clan?” Lin Feng thought to himself as he realized that this person could move freely amongst the Cloud Forest Trees. Evidently, he was with the demons.
It was also possible that his allegiance was bought by the Qiong Qi like the Brilliant Lunar Grandmaster, who ran errands for them in the Divine Lands.
However, while the Brilliant Lunar Grandmaster submitted to the Qiong Qi for benefits, this person probably did so out of a thirst for revenge.
“While your desire to avenge your masters and comrades is commendable, your method is terrible,” Lin Feng thought as he looked at the person disappear with a cold gaze. “The Qiong Qi wrecked havoc upon the Divine Lands with their Nine Luminaries Heaven-Crushing Formation and the destruction they wrought is uncountable. Not only are cultivators affected, even ordinary mortals are affected as well.”
As Lin Feng was about to stop the person, he suddenly felt the Cloud Forest Tree underneath him vibrate.
Lin Feng furrowed his brows as he endured it for a while. Suddenly, two giant beasts appeared from the thick foliage.
The two beasts were winged and had skins like porcupines. They resembled a cow and a tiger at the same time but the sound they made was like a bark.
“Qiong Qi, these are indeed Qiong Qi!” Lin Feng took in a deep breath as he realized that it could now be confirmed that the demons that hid in the Cloud Forest World and who had wrecked havoc earlier on in the Sea of the Northern Wind and nearly collapsed the Ancient Huanghai World was indeed the Qiong Qi.
The two Qiong Qi before him were both Demonic Lords. They stared at the disappearing monk.
One of them said in a deep voice. “I hope that this human could bring his uncle (Translator’s Note: ‘Uncle’ here refers to the junior of the monk’s master) here.”
The other one laughed in a weird way. “Of course he will! Once his uncle realized that a disciple from his former sect had cultivated his sect’s sariras into magic items like their former enemies, he would not be able to resist coming.”
The first Qiong Qi then laughed oddly too, “Once they’re all here, then everyone will finally be present.”
Hearing their conversation, Lin Feng’s brows became tighter. “Everyone will be present? What does he mean by that?”
“Something appears amiss.”