The lady in red robes calmly looked at the golden leaves disappearing one after another.
The longer she looked, the more she found it unable to comprehend. She had immense doubt towards the identities of the intruders.
“What cultivation base does that intruder have? This individual seems to be a little different.”
“If the intruder is just a Divine Transformation Realm or even Void Refinement Realm cultivator, it is impossible for me not to see through its camouflage. However, if the intruder is a Void Fragmentation Realm being, it is, of course, beyond my capabilities… However, which Void Fragmentation Realm being in the Rain World will hide the head but show the tail when they are in action and steal the mere golden bamboo leaves? Besides, if they want to steal, they should be stealing the ‘dark golden bamboo leaf’ of the small chiliocosm… It’s illogical…”
“If this person is not a Void Fragmentation Realm expert, then is he just a Void Refinement Realm cultivator? A Void Refinement Realm cultivator who can avoid being discovered by my spirit sense… This person’s camouflage technique sure is somewhat profound. If this person can be recruited for our own use, he will be quite useful. However, what is this intruder’s background…? Could he be an assassin from the Palace…?”
“Somehow, I felt a hint of familiarity from this person’s qi. It’s as if I have met him before somewhere…”
“In the past, my physical body was destroyed. My primordial spirit dispersed into ten thousand tufts of thunder grass which in order to hide herself from the world. Now, I have already gathered back all ten thousand tufts of thunder grass and condensed my primordial spirit completely. Unexpected, my mind is flooded with ten thousand traces of new memories… Among all of them, nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine traces of memories are the recollections of being a grass or a plant. However, there is one trace of memory which is rather unique. That single trace of my primordial spirit accidentally changed its form and turned into a ghost… When all my ten thousand traces of scattered primordial spirit reunited, the tuft of thunder grass which took the form of a ghost eventually dominated whole entity…”
“Ning Honghong. It’s almost time for me to abandon that identity… I have to erase those irrelevant and unimportant memories in my mind… Otherwise, my Sea of Consciousness will surely collapse carrying the ten thousand traces of different memories and the ten thousand traces of consciousness.”
The lady in red robes raised one of her hands. Arcs of silver lightning sizzled around her fingers. When she waved it across her Sea of Consciousness in her mind, fragments of her past memories vanished like smoke in thin air.
She did not need those memories. She did not need to remember that there was a point in her life when she lived under the alias Ning Honghong!
It was because she still had a more highly respectable identity!
“If this person who has such a heaven-defying camouflage technique is just a Void Refinement Realm cultivator, I can team up with him to get the dark golden bamboo leaves in the small chiliocosm. Apparently, this person seems to be extremely interested in the mere golden leaves. I can give him all the golden leaves in this area as a present and it will certainly make him delighted and be sincerely willing to work for me! Of course, this person first has to be able to get enough amount of dark golden bamboo leaves for me!”
The lady in red robes took a light step in the air. In the next second, she was already standing by Ning Fan’s side. Countless thoughts flew across her mind.
If he doesn’t know how to appreciate kindness, I won’t mind spending some effort to make him regret.
She was also concealing her presence and her camouflage technique was not weak either.
She could not see Ning Fan and the latter could not see her too.
She could sense that Ning Fan was right there and Ning Fan could also feel that there was an obscure qi approaching him!
Instinctively, he could tell that the person who had got closer to him was probably the red-robed lady who had entered this secret dwelling prior to him!
Ning Fan could not help but feel somewhat shocked.
The profoundness of my camouflage originates from the Heaven Deceiving Cloak. As for the red-robed lady, however, what supreme treasure she has depended on to give her a camouflage which is not any weaker than mine?
Perhaps this lady is proficient and skilled in camouflage technique?
Ning Fan’s mind was full of thoughts. The next thing he knew that he had to do after being spotted by the lady was to retreat and get out of this area as fast as possible in order to avoid any unwanted trouble.
Unfortunately, before he had even made a move, the lady in red robes suddenly revealed herself in the next second. Her baleful qi was terrifying. Her blood-red eyes coldly swept across the area in front of her and then spoke to the empty air with a menacing voice.
“Show yourself, intruder! Otherwise, I will seal off this ‘Golden Thunder Heavenly Dwelling’ and you will never be able to return!”
The lady in red robes waved one of her hands. Instantly, thunder crackled and lightning flashed ferociously in the sky. The thunder rumble was so loud as if the entire area was going to crumble!
That lady seemed to be the lord of this heavenly dwelling. All of a sudden, she summoned countless traces of golden lightning which turned into barriers of electricity, sealing off all the exits of the area.
Ning Fan’s heart sank. The lady in red robes acted as fast as lightning. With just a wave of her hand, she had shut off all his escape routes!
He did not know this lady’s identity and neither was he prepared to show himself obediently. He had already obtained one hundred pieces of golden leaves. They were enough for Yue Lingkong to heal her wound and the remaining leaves would be able to help Luo You’s primordial spirit recover quite some power. What’s the benefit of continue staying around?
The barrier of electricity which now stretched into the entire sky might seem to be terrifying, but they could not cause Ning Fan to fear.
He had the Wind Mist Finger. This mere lightning heavenly dwelling might be strong enough to block an ordinary Void Refinement Realm being, but it could not stop Ning Fan’s footsteps.
To him, he could come and leave this place as he wishes!
Moreover, he was capable enough to visit most of the dangerous places in the Rain World!
Ning Fan flew backwards. A faint golden purple mist began to coil around his body. When the mist he conjured was blown, golden purple mist permeated the atmosphere between heaven and earth.
Everything disintegrated just like an ancient saying, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
That horrifying power of samsara was enough to wipe out everything!
Countless rays of lightning were eroded by the wind and disintegrated into samsara. A hole was also formed on the exits of the heavenly dwelling which were sealed off with dense barriers of electricity earlier.
The cold eyes of the lady glinted with surprise. That golden purple mist gave her a familiar but frightening feeling. She did not expect that Ning Fan had such a scary technique which could weather out everything. Now, the latter was about to escape!
She did not mind losing some of the mere golden bamboo leaves. However, if she loses Ning Fan’s help, perhaps she would not be able to obtain too many dark golden bamboo leaves in the next realm.
Judging from how the current situation looked like, she needed some other thing to threaten Ning Fan in order to make him stay.
Since the first plan did not work, one shall come up with a new plan.
The eyes of the lady in red robes flashed. She could tell that Ning Fan must have an extremely important reason to intrude this place to steal the golden leaves at the risk of offending the Zhou Clan.
In other words, the golden bamboo leaves were Ning Fan’s weak point…
Since she had figured out Ning Fan’s weak point, she had a way to force Ning Fan to show himself and lend her a hand.
The method might be a little mean and despicable, but… so what?
“Even if you manage to escape, your effort will also be in vain. I can crush all the golden leaves in this area with just a single will of mine. You have to know that each golden leaf here is imbued with my sense power. If you still don’t show yourself and face me, don’t blame me for activating my spirit sense to destroy all the golden leaves here. You should understand the consequence!”
“What?!” Ning Fan was inwardly stunned. He instantly activated his Fu Li Eye and checked the golden leaves. Indeed, there was an extremely hidden mark of spirit sense on the golden leaves.
Not only did the golden leaves have it, even the silver bamboo leaves which grew outside of this secret dwelling had it as well.
This lady in red robes was not lying and neither did she have the intention to make a joke.
At the next moment, she spread her spirit sense and detonated the marks of the golden leaves in Ning Fan’s possession. All one hundred pieces of golden leaves in his hands trembled violently and crumbled into golden ashes and vanished into nothingness…
This red-robed lady was also a person who would act without hesitation. To her, even though the golden leaves were not of great use, they still had some worth. However, in order to make Ning Fan stay, she did not hesitate at all to destroy all the one hundred pieces of golden leaves to instill fear in him.
If Ning Fan still does not reveal himself, she would activate her spirit sense again and destroy all the golden leaves in this place to crush Ning Fan’s hope and cause him unable to save the person he wanted to.
Perhaps the lady would not be able to force Ning Fan to show himself in the end.
However, no matter what Ning Fan does, he would not able to obtain even half a piece of a golden leaf, much less save Yue Lingkong!
“Let’s leave. This lady is not simple… She seems to be up to something on you…”
Yue Lingkong told Ning Fan through telepathy with a frown. Compared to her own injuries, she was even more worried about Ning Fan falling into that lady’s trap. She could vaguely tell that the lady’s motive was not kind by compelling Ning Fan to show himself.
“If we just leave like this, what about your injury?”
Ning Fan’s eyes turned grim. After hesitating for a while, his expression became determined.
He descended to the ground. With a flick of his sleeve, he took out the cloak and showed his true appearance.
At the same time, he patted his storage pouch and took out three Void Refinement Realm spiritual puppets, trying to intimidate the lady in red robes.
Ning Fan’s face was cold and expressionless like still water. For the sake of treating Yue Lingkong’s injuries, he did not dare to let the lady destroy all the golden leaves in this place.
Looking at the lady’s appearance which greatly resembled that of Ning Honghong, Ning Fan’s heart felt even more confused.
“Void Refinement Realm spiritual puppets? You have three of them? These spiritual puppets are quite excellent. They are being refined from Realm Beasts, huh? Unfortunately, they are just half-completed products. Otherwise, these three spiritual puppets alone will be more than enough for you to overturn the Rain World
The piercing cold eyes of that red-robed lady scanned past the three puppets and nodded gently, seemingly complimenting the quality of the puppets.
Then, she glanced at the female corpse and Yue Lingkong. As soon as she gave Yue Lingkong a sidelong glance, she immediately saw through the wound of her broken primordial spirit. Then, she knew that the reason why Ning Fan stole the golden leaves must be because of this woman.
When she shifted her gaze to the female corpse, she was slightly stunned. Indistinctively, she felt that the female corpse was familiar to her. However, she had already wiped out her past memories, she could not remember who the female corpse was.
She only thought that the female corpse was probably just someone who appeared in her past experience in the mundane world and thus, she did not bother about it. The irrelevant past memories were like a puff of smoke. Why should one bother to recollect?
If she did not erase her past memories, her Sea of Consciousness would break apart when the ten thousand traces of memories and ten thousand traces of consciousness exist at the same time.
Eventually, the lady’s gaze fell upon Ning Fan who greatly startled her.
“Half Step Void Refinement Realm? You aren’t even an Early Void Refinement Realm cultivator?”
She did not expect at all that an expert who could conceal himself from being detected by her spirit sense would actually be a cultivator who was not even at the Void Refinement Realm. At first, she thought that the expert would at least be a Peak Void Refinement Realm being.
“The reason I came here is for the golden leaves. If you have any conditions, you may speak out without reservation.”
Ning Fan knitted his brows. His words sounded a little pleading. Well, he had no other choices. Yue Lingkong needed the golden leaves to save her life and whether all the golden leaves would be destroyed depended on the will of the lady in red robes.
Hence, if he wants to get the golden leaves to treat Yue Lingkong’s wound, he must first obtain the approval from the red-robed lady.
If the lady is stubborn and she insists not to give the golden leaves, Ning Fan would not hesitate activating his Stele of Sun and Moon to subdue the lady with the Void Fragmentation Realm strike and obtain the golden leaves forcefully.
Even though using the stored Void Fragmentation Realm strike from the Stele of Sn and Moon in this scenario was a little wasteful and this red-robed lady who shared a great resemblance with Ning Honghong aroused Ning Fan’s interest to find out her background, he could not back off as it was related to Yue Lingkong’s life. To treat Yue Lingkong and save her life from danger, he must get the golden leaves.
At most, Ning Fan would reserve some power of the stele to spare this lady and capture for the moment so that he could slowly investigate her relationship with Ning Honghong in the future.
Yue Lingkong bit her lips harshly and pulled Ning Fan to walk towards the exit without hesitation. She felt really upset. She disliked seeing Ning Fan beg others for help. As far as she knew, Ning Fan rarely lowered himself to beg others.
The first time he begged someone for help was for the Star Tempering Purple Zoysia. Because of that zoysia, he begged for the medicine from the old bear’s father-in-law, Man Xiong.
Today, it was Ning Fan’s second time begging others. This time, it was for saving her.
She was irritated, very irritated.
How could Little Cucumber beg others?!
He’s a man with pride, a man who is eager to excel… Letting him beg others is much more agonizing than slashing him with a sword!
“You don’t have to worry.”
Ning Fan stopped his footsteps and gently pushed Yue Lingkong to his back. His icy eyes turned towards the lady in red robes.
He was a man of principle. However, there were something which were more important than principles.
Besides, he was not just begging her. In his request, there was still a threat.
“My name is Zhou Ming. She is Yue’er. Both of us are two of the eight venerated beings of the internal sea. We originally have the right to obtain the golden leaves. Unfortunately, the Thunder Bamboo Island was being forced to close down. Since we have no other option, we only resort to this method of stealing the golden leaves… It may be an unwise move, but we are determined to do so. If you stand in my way, you will regret it! No matter what, I must get the golden leaves!”
Ning Fan was already prepared to act at any moment.
Although the lady in red robes seemed to still have some plans for him, if the situation really goes to a point where both of them would have to fight each other, Ning Fan was not afraid.
“*Snort* How dare you threaten me?” A frown formed between the lady’s brows. One corner of her mouth curved upward and formed into a cold sneer.
She had never been threatened by anyone. Ning Fan, however, had done so.
It was an extremely ridiculous matter to her…
According to her custom, she would usually finish off the person who made a threatening remark to her with a ray of lightning.
When she faced Ning Fan, however, she felt a little soft-hearted from the marrow of her bones. She did not understand why.
Even though she had erased her past memories, she kept feeling that she had mt Ning Fan before. From a certain sense, this red-robed lady was Ning Honghong.
As for Ning Honghong, she had a very intimate relationship with Ning Fan.
Unfortunately, the lady in red robes could not remember Ning Fan after all and she was lazy to do so as well.
Facing Ning Fan’s threat, the lady rolled her eyes and ignored his remark in the end.
“The internal sea already has eight venerated beings in the internal sea…? Time flies…”
“Fine. Since both of you are the venerated beings of the internal sea, you are considered as one of our own. I can forgive your sin in stealing the leaves. However, there is one condition! If you promise me to fulfil this condition, all the golden leaves in this place will belong to you. You can take them to save your beauty. I will even grant you some dark golden bamboo leaves which are much precious than these.”
“Condition? What condition?” Ning Fan’s eyes became less cold. If he could exchange for the golden leaves by fulfilling a condition, it could not be better.
He noticed that this lady’s identity was rather unusual. Perhaps this lady had some kind of relationship with Ning Honghong. Thus, Ning Fan was not going to kill her.
On the other hand, if Ning Fan hurts and captures her, he would certainly face a relentless pursuit from the Zhou Clan.
Rumor has it that Thunder Sovereign Bu Zhou isn’t dead yet. I Fi kill this lady and provoke that old monster, he will certainly pursue me until I am dead. The loss is not worth the gain.
Thunder Sovereign Bu Zhou… That’s a being whom even the Rain Sovereign fears…
That’s a being who could fight the three sovereigns of the Sword World on his own!
“Rest assured. I just want you to help me pluck some leaves and that’s it. Due to some reasons, I need some dark golden bamboo leaves. This type of leaves is much more precious than the golden leaves. They are hard to be obtained. Furthermore, in my current condition, it is especially unsuitable for me to risk myself plucking the bamboo leaves…”
“You can ask the cultivators of the Zhou Clan to help you get the leaves, can’t you? Why do you choose me to help you…?” Ning Fan’s eyes were filled with confusion.
“That small chiliocosm is a little unique… If one does not have strong camouflage technique, they will not even be able to enter the realm. Even if one has the Void Refinement Realm cultivation base, they may die right away… To be honest, your appearance has solved my concern. If you can help me, not only will I forgive your crime of stealing the leaves, but I will also owe you a favor. In order to repay your kindness, the entire Zhou Clan can become your backer in the Endless Sea with a command from me. You should understand the meaning behind it.”
“A favor? Becoming my backer? Who are you exactly? How are you able to make the Zhou Clan which has such a deep background to obey your command?”
Ning Fan nodded his head gently. This lady indeed was a significant being in the Zhou Clan.
Having the authority to command the Zhou Clan to protect a junior. This lady perhaps was at least a close person to the Thunder Sovereign Bu Zhou.
If Ning Fan has the support from the Zhou Clan, he would have a smooth sailing in the Endless Sea and it would be much certain that no one would dare to offend him.
At the same time, an even more bolder idea rose in his mind.
If he could gain a favorable impression from Thunder Sovereign Bu Zhou through this lady just as the saying goes, “follow the vine to get the melon”, would he be able to request the thunder sovereign to confront Sovereign Moksha!
Yun Tianjue could defeat the sword sovereign with a single move. His strength was nearly on par with Sovereign moksha.
The thunder sovereign, however, could combat against the three sovereigns of the Sword World on his own without being defeated. This kind of achievement was much more prominent than Yun Tianjue’s. In other words, the strength of the thunder sovereign was probably equivalent to the strength of at least three Sovereign Moksha combined!
If Ning Fan could get the thunder sovereign’s help, he would have greater confidence in eliminating Sovereign Moksha.
For the battle at the Ancient Heavenly Court, Ning Fan would need Void Fragmentation Realm allies. He would be willing to give it a try on anyone whom he could possibly recruit.
Even though his idea was great, it was just a casual thought.
Not to mention that the thunder sovereign’s state was strange and he was unable to leave the thunder tomb, even if he could move freely, why would he have to help Ning Fan who was just junior?
There is no such thing as a free lunch in the world. In order to get the thunder sovereign’s help, getting the favorable impression from the Zhou Clan was far from enough.
This lady requested Ning Fan to pluck the dark golden bamboo leaves. It might not sound difficult but it must consist countless danger. Ning Fan knew that very well.
However, if it was for the sake of Yue Lingkong, he would be willing to brace himself for the danger.
“I promise you to help you pluck the bamboo leaves. However, there are some information which you should enlighten me first. For example, the difficulties in plucking the dark golden bamboo leaves, the possible danger which I may face or your identity!”
“What does my identity have to do with you?” The lady in red robes sounded cold.
“…” Ning Fan frowned. He just wanted to know her relationship with Ning Honghong and that’s it.
“If you insist to know, there’s no harm telling you either. I am the daughter of Thunder Sovereign Bu Zhou, Hong Yi! Are you satisfied now?”
“The daughter of Thunder Sovereign Bu Zhou! May I be so bold to ask Miss Hoong Yi whether you know a woman called Ning Honghong?!” Ning Fan cupped his fists and asked.
“I don’t.” The lady’s tone was cold as usual. Since her past memories were completely erased, she certainly could not remember that she was once called Ning Honghong.
However, so what if she remembers?
Ning Honghong was just one of her ten thousand traces of separated primordial spirit, a tuft of thunder grass which took the form of a ghost.
Would Hong Yi have a connection or involvement with Ning Fan because of a tiny part of her primordial spirit?
No, she would not.
Her identity was bound to not have any connection with any men.
Ning Honghong was just a past full of blood feud.
Today, her name was called Hong Yi.
Translated by Tommy, edited by Roel