Chapter 544: Art of Spirit Reaping
These fellows who were delighting in the misery of others were also privately observing Palace Head Dan Chi’s reaction. Dan Chi’s expression never flickered from a solemn gaze; he was obviously unsure of what Jiang Chen intended. Thus, they realized that Jiang Chen was absolutely going rogue and this wasn’t something that the Regal Pill Palace had arranged for beforehand. Since it wasn’t a hidden special technique of the Regal Pill Palace, they were now certain that Jiang Chen was trying to cast around for a way forward.
To put it bluntly, they figured he was hoping to get lucky by cultivating all his spirit seeds and picking the best from them. It wasn’t that the results would not be accepted, but the plan had some severe caveats in terms of sufficient space, materials, soil and time. But during a competition, all of the above were limited. Jiang Chen was simply dooming himself with his actions! So what if he was lucky and able to germinate his seeds, would their quality be acceptable then?
With inferior quality lower or mid rank seedlings, his score wouldn’t be that high either. If the top geniuses put on a good performance, they could absolutely leap past Jiang Chen in one go. Of course, even as the center of attention, Jiang Chen was completely lost in his own world, paying no heed to the reactions of the outside world.
It was no wonder that no one understood what he was doing. The technique he was using this time was far more unique than what he’d used previously. It didn’t resemble the techniques of the Myriad Domain at all, not even the most extraordinary ones. Of course, he needed some extra materials other than the ones provided, so he took them from his storage ring.
He divided his area into two, and planted twenty seeds in one half. His actions looked random, but he was actually laying down a small spirit reaping formation in this half, creating a formation of the five elements. These twenty seeds weren’t his main focus.
The focus of his attentions lay in the other half, where he also set down the same spirit reaping formation, but instead accompanied by the 5 seventh level saint rank seeds this time. They were the true stars of the show.
The two formations formed a link, a one way transmission of energy from one half to the other. The right half was the true focal point of the energy, nurturing the five seventh level saint rank seeds. The left half would merely collect the spirit power produced by the twenty seeds and funnel it to the five seeds of the five different elements on the right. In spirit herb cultivation, this technique was called the Art of Spirit Reaping. To put it simply, it used the characteristics of spirit herbs to form a nurturing formation of the five elements. The theory behind this wasn’t complicated, but an exact, precise calculation of space, spirit herb characteristics, terrain, and usage of materials was needed to set up the formation.
The slightest deviation would result in completely wasted efforts.
At the end of the day, this was still a highly technical and difficult undertaking. It was likely that no one apart from Jiang Chen could use these methods in the Myriad Domain. There may not even be anyone who could understand what he was doing.
Wei Wuying and Sect Head Zhu were almost dancing in joy. They’d seen Jiang Chen planting the spirit seeds with their own eyes. Although Jiang Chen’s methods looked mysterious, they didn’t believe that Jiang Chen would be able to do anything now that he’d mucked it up this much!
Jiang Chen didn’t do anything else after making his preparations. This technique had a particular advantage over the ones his competitors were using; he didn’t need to keep an eye on his seedlings all the time. As a result, he decided to sit down cross-legged and start meditating.
Seven days was a long time, and he didn’t want to waste all this time. The formation had been set up and he’d done all he could. All that remained was to patiently await the fruits of his labor.
Jiang Chen didn’t believe that he couldn’t cultivate supreme rank seedlings out of mere seventh level saint rank seeds in seven days after he’d used the Art of Spirit Reaping. After all, if it wasn’t for his desire to obtain all the points in this round, he wouldn’t have used such a complicated technique. At the very least, using the same methods as the others, he would’ve definitely produced upper rank seedlings, and he had a decent chance of obtaining supreme rank seedlings. However, if he wanted to guarantee supreme rank seedlings, the conditions imposed by the organizers were far too restrictive. Of this, he was quite certain. In addition, his technique could also give him some free time. He wouldn’t need to constantly keep an eye on it, making his job much easier than the others.
Apart from Jiang Chen, Mu Gaoqi was also in his element. Like wings added to a tiger, the advantages of a wood constitution of high order were clearly noticeable. He only needed to quickly observe with his consciousness to easily identify which seed had the most potential.
Cultivating the seeds came even easier. He didn’t need any special techniques, as he easily grasped each seed’s special characteristics and used the simplest method to appropriately handle them. Everything was completed flawlessly. This was his advantage, an advantage that no one else could possibly emulate. Mu Gaoqi’s techniques were far beneath Jiang Chen’s, but his innate potential gave him a leg up that Jiang Chen didn’t possess.
Apart from Mu Gaoqi, Ding Tong was the only other with an apparent advantage. He’d brought over a spirit liquid from somewhere that induced the growth of spirit herbs. Although this wasn’t an advantage innately from his potential, it was certainly an advantage that came from one’s resources.
The seven days started passing one by one, with changes seen every day in the competitors patches of dirt. On the other hand, the first three days passed and absolutely nothing could be seen on Jiang Chen’s side.
He wasn’t worried at all, but Palace Head Dan Chi was! Three days had passed already, and the seeds of all the other top geniuses had started sprouting already. Tender new shoots could be seen poking through the ground, their elemental leanings very apparent. Jiang Chen however, still somehow remained steady and completely confident.
In the eyes of Wei Wuying and the others, this behavior was just indicative of Jiang Chen giving up on himself. The fourth day had already dawned, and his seeds had yet to make a move. What was this if not making a mess as he gave up? There were only a little over three days left. Even if Jiang Chen had a divine ability at his disposal, could he make spirit herbs grow at a crazy speed? This obviously went against common sense.
Palace Head Dan Chi was also having trouble understanding this move of Jiang Chen’s. He trusted Jiang Chen very much, and still felt that Jiang Chen had some sort of plan even though the latter was behaving this way. However, there was no proof of said plan, even as the remaining time waned. If it wasn’t for Jiang Chen’s coolly composed expression, he would’ve suspected that Jiang Chen wanted to forfeit the race.
“This Jiang Chen must’ve absorbed some heaven defying fire to put on such a performance in the first round of fire control, and obtain stunning results in the second of cauldron heating. But, his true form is coming to light in the third round. It looks like he doesn’t have any experience in cultivating spirit herbs in the sixteen kingdom alliance and is completely helpless. He can only muck around blindly. Hmph! How does one amount to anything in cultivating spirit herbs without at least three to five years of learning?” Wei Wuying was already certain that Jiang Chen had never learned how to cultivate spirit herbs, and his perfect scores in the first two rounds had been nothing but a fluke.
Sect Head Zhu’s thoughts were similar, and he was naturally delighted beyond words when he saw Jiang Chen with still no real progress. He was most happy to see Jiang Chen perform below his usual standard, because that would send Ding Tong up to the champion’s seat.
Wang Jianyu of the Sacred Sword Palace wasn’t even paying attention to his own sect’s geniuses anymore. He spent most of his efforts paying attention to Jiang Chen. It was obvious that his interest in suppressing the Regal Pill Palace was greater than watching over the development of his own disciples. “Hmph, this kid is rather good at playing the mysterious card, hmm? It’s already the fourth day, and his seeds are the only ones that haven’t sprouted at all. The others have more or less sprouted, and here he sits, pretending to be calm. He even has the mind to meditate!”
He wanted to burst out laughing. If it wasn’t for the fact that they were in the middle of a competition, he would’ve started jeering at Palace Head Dan Chi already. Cultivating martial dao in the middle of the Pill Battles, this Jiang Chen is such a weird freak.
However, Jiang Chen’s seeds finally sprouted on the afternoon of the fourth day.
“Hmph, it’s too late now. He’s almost an entire day behind the others. There’s only seven days total; how can he possibly catch up, starting so much later than everyone else?” Wei Wuying was a bit startled to see Jiang Chen’s seeds sprout. He had postulated that Jiang Chen didn’t know how to cultivate spirit herbs at all, but it looked like his thoughts were wrong.
On the fifth day, when everyone took a look at Jiang Chen’s area again, they noticed that there were 20 seeds that had all sprouted on the left hand side, and only five seeds on the right. Astonishingly, the five on the right had grown furiously in the span of a night, and their height had pretty much caught up to the others. Although there was still a bit of a distance between them and the seedlings of the top geniuses, it was apparent that Jiang Chen’s seedlings were catching up at a furious rate.
This finally made Dan Chi’s slightly furrowed brow smooth out as he inwardly brushed away the sweat from his forehead. “Jiang Chen, that kid! Just what is he up to with this move? He truly started scaring me.”
The others were greatly astonished. They almost couldn’t believe their eyes. Jiang Chen’s seeds had sprouted a full day later than the others, but their growth had already caught up to everyone else’s, and were continuing to grow at that incredible rate! Those who had been waiting to see Jiang Chen make a fool out of himself all felt that subtle prick of being played by him.
On the sixth day, Jiang Chen’s spirit herbs overtook the majority of the other seedlings and began showing signs of reaching the level of the top geniuses. Moreover, Jiang Chen’s seedlings looked distinctly superior to everyone else’s crop, whether in terms of color, luster, and vitality. Even Ding Tong, the one who’d been in the lead before Jiang Chen had caught up, had seen the gap of his advantage shorten to almost nothing.
Dan Chi smiled, he knew that Jiang Chen must’ve used some esoteric technique this time. Those seemingly ludicrous actions must have been the components of a highly sophisticated technique that no one else could understand. Dan Chi also naturally attributed all of this to the mysterious Elder Shun. He was happily going down the path that all of Jiang Chen’s marvelous techniques had been passed down from Elder Shun.