Chapter 324 Shennong Nine-Dragon Cauldron
Cold sweat broke out on Ding Ning’s forehead as he stared dumbfounded at the mermaid tattoo on his arm. Only now did he believe Xuan Ji’s words. Each totem contained great powers. If not for the demon-sealing chain, the Tianshui totem would probably have killed Xuan Ji long ago.
But, what was he to do now that she had eaten Xuan Ji’s bones? He could not accept this.
But when he immersed his spiritual strength into the tattoo, he found that the mermaid was in a strange bubble-shaped space, carefully putting the ice coffin to the side. Seeing this, understanding appeared on his face.
Was this Tianshui totem’s mustard space? A sliver of delight rose in Ding Ning’s heart.
He wondered silently to himself whether he would be able to use the mermaid’s mustard space. If he could, he wondered if he could place Luoxue and the Air Force Wings into it. After all, who knew what dangers they would face in Wu Shen Palace? He would not rest easy bringing them with him.
The mermaid seemed to sense his thoughts as she appeared again and swallowed up Luoxue and the Air Force Wings.
With his earlier experience, Ding Ning did not panic this time. Using his spiritual strength, he carefully observed everything that happened within the tattoo. He saw that all of Luoxue’s signs of life remained normal, no different to when she was in the outside world. Seeing this, he finally felt at ease.
Abruptly, wild joy rose in his heart. He was now someone with portable space. Even though the space did not seem very big, he was very satisfied.
Furthermore, the mermaid could communicate with him using spiritual strength before but for some reason, she was no longer able to communicate directly with him. She could only act on his thoughts. This confused him greatly.
Was it because the demon-sealing chains had not been removed? Ding Ning’s focus landed on the demon-sealing chain on the mermaid’s tail and a thoughtful expression appeared on his face.
However, the Tianshui totem was extraordinary. Presumably, the other eight totems would also not disappoint him. This filled his heart with eager anticipation.
Ding Ning let his imagination roam as he envisioned the future. Ding Ning took a step forward, now that he had nothing more to worry about, it was time to open the first level of Wu Shen Palace.
Following the ancient passageway all the way to the end, two enormous and closed bronze doors appeared in front of his eyes. They were over thirty meters tall and emanated a mottled atmosphere that reflected its age.
Ding Ning was as small as an ant in front of a dragon as he stood in front of the bronze doors. The sight of them struck him speechless. Putting aside the historical value of these bronze doors, just the price they would fetch if sold as scrap metal would bring fortune to a family.
To the left and right of the bronze doors, there were four rows of bronze raised bumps. Each raised bump had a strangely shaped image on it.
In the middle, where the doors join, there was also a large yellow bronze bump. On the bump, there was a constantly changing indented image. Above the indent, there was also a small human-shaped indent.
Ding Ning was clever and immediately understood that the two indentations were to verify the totem and stone man. He immediately took down the stone man and placed it in the small indentation. As expected, it fitted perfectly.
At the same time, he raised his left arm and aimed the mermaid tattoo at the slightly larger indentation. The indentation suddenly emanated a sea-blue light that enveloped Ding Ning.
Ding Ning felt a sudden pain in his heart and a drop of essential blood abruptly flew out of his chest. It hovered in mid-air and quickly dissolved into the sea-blue light.
The entire secret space seemed to tremble and the two large bronze doors slowly opened.
Ding Ning squinted as he looked in. He discovered that all he could see was a sea-blue light in front of his eyes. Although it was not piercing, he could not see anything else.
As the doors opened, Ding Ning suddenly felt another sense of weightlessness. When his feet landed on solid ground again, he realized that he stood in the center of a majestic bronze hall.
All of the items in the hall were made of bronze and all around him was an atmosphere that made his entire body feel comfortable and relaxed.
Ding Ning took a deep and satisfying breath. He wondered to himself if this was the spiritual aura he heard of in legends.
When he calmed his mind and took in the situation in the hall, his pupils immediately contracted and his heart leaped wildly.
Eighteen strangely-shaped stone statues lined either side of the hall. They stood unmoving but their eyes were fixed on him.
Ding Ning felt his scalp itch and he cried bitterly in his heart. The one stone statue earlier had almost killed him. Now there were eighteen, and he was going to be ground into dust.
But since he was already here, he could only pray that these statues were not like the one previously and were not as capable in attacking.
He took a careful step forward and saw that the stone statues did not have any reaction, only then did he feel slightly more at ease. His gaze landed on a bronze cauldron guarded by the eighteen stone statues.
The bronze cauldron was in an old-style. Inky black, supported on three feet, with two handles rising from the mouth. All kinds of strange and mysterious creatures were carved onto the inky blackness of the cauldron’s walls. There were strange three-legged birds, ancient and ferocious vines wrapped around it, and mystical flowers blossoming strangely. The little cauldron was full of complicated images, all-inclusive, and endless. It carried the meaning of growing and multiplying without end.
Ding Ning’s eyes brightened, all of his attention was caught by the bronze cauldron. What drew his attention the most was the nine ferocious dragon heads rising out of the mouth of the cauldron. The dragons’ open mouths all faced the cauldron stove as if prepared to light the fire at any moment.
Shennong Nine-Dragon Cauldron. Ding Ning trembled all over. Even in his wildest dreams, he had not thought to see Shennong Nine-Dragon Cauldron here.
In the “Compendium of Vegetation”, it was recorded that before Shennong became a god, he used Donghai bronze as the material, took the essence of the sun and moon as spirit, gathered the spiritual aura between heaven and earth as fuel, and refined the Dan of nine dragons as essence, and used a hundred years to create the first prototype of the Nine-Dragon Cauldron.
On the day the cauldron was completed, thick clouds covered the sky and the heavens sent down calamities. After enduring eighty-one days of thunder, the Nine-Dragon Cauldron almost broke a number of times. In the end, Shennong used his own essential blood as a guide and successfully completed the cauldron.
Shennong became the first mortal to create the divine artifacts from the mortal body. Using the Nine-Dragon Cauldron could increase the success rate of alchemy by fifty-percent and it drew the covetous gaze of countless people.
Shennong tasted hundreds of herbs, refined alchemical pills, embraced the world, and saved countless people. He was loved and protected by all and in the end, his deeds came full circle. He ascended into the ethereal realm and took his place as a god.
Everyone thought that the Nine-Dragon Cauldron had gone with Shennong into the ethereal world. Who would have thought that it would appear here?
Ding Ning only thought for a moment before understanding. After all, although the Nine-Dragon Cauldron was a tool used for refining pills, it did not have any additional effect in refining ethereal pills. It would be of little value of Shennong to take it to the ethereal world.
As the pride of the Shennong tribe, Chiyou had the privilege to challenge the Yan Emperor for the position of chief. In his early years, he had also defeated the Yan Emperor. Although he eventually lost and was killed, how could he not have inherited the treasure left behind by Shennong? It was completely reasonable for Shennong’s cauldron to appear in Wu Shen Palace.
Looking at things now, Chiyou had been at a disadvantage when he challenged the Yan Emperor for the position of chief. After all, the Yan Emperor inherited Shennong’s bloodline and had the power to control fire. He had the advantage of a pure bloodline.
It was no wonder that Chiyou had to create a new path and developed the treasures of the human body. Presumably, there was some resentment motivating it. After all, compared to the Yan Emperor of the pure bloodline, even though he was a descendant of Shennong, he did not have the proper bloodline. Even if he became chief, it would lack valid justification.
This was probably the reason he did not inherit the Shennong tribe after defeating the Yan Emperor and the Shennong tribe fell apart, and instead, newly established the Jiuli tribe.
He wanted to prove himself with his stubbornness and unyielding nature that even without Shennong’s proper bloodline, he had the right to compete with his ancestors. He did not care about the position of chief of Shennong tribe because he had the power, like Shennong, to establish his own tribe and dynasty.
Understanding this, Ding Ning felt even more admiration for Chiyou but also sighed regretfully for his unfortunate fall. If he did not die, he might have been able to surpass his ancestors. This was probably why he was a thorn in the sides of the Yan and Yellow Emperors. Resorting to using another’s blade to kill him, they fooled everyone to get rid of him quickly.
If Ding Ning was in the Yan and Yellow Emperors’ position, he would probably not eat or sleep easy with an opponent like Chiyou. He would probably use any means necessary to remove such a concern.
After all, the threat he represented was too great. To the point that if they gave him some time, the world would certainly fall into his hands. For the ambitions Yan and Yellow Emperors, this could not be allowed.
All of this flashed across Ding Ning’s mind. His gaze was on the Nine-Dragon Cauldron but all his attention was on the stone statues. After all, the stone statue previously had traumatized him greatly.
Speaking of the devil… before he had a chance to get near the Nine-Dragon Cauldron to examine it, lights suddenly flashed across the eighteen statues’ eyes. Without prior agreement, they stepped together toward Ding Ning.
This move was earth-shattering. Although Ding Ning had been very careful and had been prepared to escape at any time, a sudden attack by eighteen statues left him no time to react before he was caught between two large hands like an ant.
Ding Ning wanted to struggle but found that his entire body ached and he could not summon any strength. This stone man’s knowledge of the human anatomy was no less good than his.
Afterward, the stone statues lifted the lid of the Nine-Dragon Cauldron and expressionlessly threw him into the cauldron under Ding Ning’s frightened and hopeless gaze.
Ding Ning regained his freedom and found that he could move. He wanted to escape the Nine-Dragon Cauldron but he realized it was pitch black above his head. The lid of the cauldron had been replaced by the stone statues.
“What are you doing?” “Let me go; I’m a Chiyou’s descendant, and you can’t treat me like this.”
Ding Ning yelled loudly.
Faced with these emotionless puppets, Ding Ning could only use his identity as a Chiyou’s descendant to handle matters. Unfortunately, the stone statues did not even hear him and paid him no attention. Or, even if they heard him, they ignored him.
D*mn, these b*stards. They won’t treat me like an alchemical mixture and refine me, right?
Ding Ning was very panicked. He flapped his bone wings and hammered at the lid of the cauldron. But the lid of this Nine-Dragon cauldron was shockingly thick. His fists turned red but he didn’t even make a sound, much less raise the lid.
Thunk. Water splashed in all directions.
Ding Ning suddenly fell to the bottom of the cauldron. It was only now he discovered that the bottom of the cauldron was like a pond. There was a thick layer of black liquid that gave off a powerful medicinal scent. Smelling it cleared his head and made him feel light.
Nine-leaf flower, dragon grass, ice lotus, thousand-year fruit, stone marrow, thousand stacked leaves…
Ding Ning smelled nine kinds of treasured medicinal materials. Suddenly smelling a medicine made from so many heavenly materials, he was shocked rather than joyful. His heart was filled with unease. They weren’t refining alchemy pills, but they were going to refine him with the medicine.
Sure enough, a light creak sounded and nine holes suddenly appeared on the walls of the cauldron. The nine dragon heads entered.
Ding Ning’s face was ashen. It was over for him. Once the nine dragons breathed fire, the refining process would begin.
Before he could make one final struggle, the nine dragons’ eighteen eyes suddenly lit up and they ferociously opened up their mouths as fire poured out.
The temperature in the cauldron began to increase steadily and the surface of the liquid also began to roil.
Even if it was like drinking poisoned wine, Ding Ning had no choice but to plunge headfirst into the medicinal liquid. With tears on his face, he used his spiritual power to connect with the Tianshui totem, hoping she could pull him into the totem space.