Chapter 626: Who’s the Prey?
Since the formations that covered the entire Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect were now under Jiang Chen’s control, he only needed to inspect them closely to find the problematic areas. His first sweep covered the interior of the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect. His consciousness first swept through the tower of inheritance, then the cavern, Ancestor Cliff, the cenotaph… There were no problems with the ruins within the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect.
Jiang Chen’s consciousness swept outward to explore the three platforms of the altar in the outskirts of the ancient herb garden. He finally understood the purpose of the three platforms. Clearly, each level corresponded to one of the three ancestors, and thus, the three legacies. He continued to expand his consciousness beyond those altars; there were no problems around the lake. As he used his consciousness to examine every possible area, he didn’t find any fluctuations in the formation in the interior of the ancient herb garden either.
Jiang Chen’s consciousness continued to spread outwards when suddenly—
It came to a stop, locking onto the entrance to the ancient herb garden, in front of that great waterfall. Three figures were at the entrance to the great waterfall, furiously attacking the Rippling Mirage Great Formation around the exterior of that waterfall.
“Who’s this?” Jiang Chen used the formation to investigate these newcomers, keeping his consciousness concealed. All of them were similarly unfamiliar, but each possessed terrifying potential. Jiang Chen could feel a startling power and presence emanating from the blue browed youth in particular. He had never even seen this kind of mighty pressure in the Myriad Domain, not even from Sect Head Xiang Wentian of the Great Cathedral.
“They, they, they’re not from the Myriad Domain, are they?” Jiang Chen was greatly taken aback. He’d suddenly realized that the power radiating from the three people was slightly similar to that of Ding Tong’s. It wasn’t just Ding Tong, but it was also akin to the Ninesuns Sky Sect members he’d met back in the Precious Tree Sect.
“Disciples of the Ninesuns Sky Sect?” Jiang Chen slightly strengthened his consciousness, quickly recognizing the background of these three people.
“Why have they come here?” Jiang Chen’s brain was momentarily filled with questions but he immediately realized that the Tristar Sect must have exposed the secret.
Initially, everyone had sworn heavenly oaths before entering the ancient herb garden. Jiang Chen had known for a while now that the Tristar Sect was colluding with the Ninesuns Sky Sect. Hence, he had even specifically reminded Elder Yun Nie to close off the Tristar Sect’s loophole. Common sense dictated that the Tristar Sect would not reveal the secret for fear of suffering the tragedy of a heavenly tribulation. But when he saw these three disciples of the Ninesuns Sky Sect, Jiang Chen had a hunch that the Tristar Sect had already revealed everything!
Although he didn’t know what method the Tristar Sect had used to evade heavenly judgment, Jiang Chen was almost entirely certain that only the Tristar Sect had enough motive to reveal this matter. Moreover, from the situation, they’d probably only revealed it to the Ninesuns Sky Sect. Otherwise, there wouldn’t just be these three knocking at the doorstep.
Although Jiang Chen’s consciousness had become very powerful, he still couldn’t cover the entirety of the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect’s outskirts. Even though he’d spotted the three enemies, he couldn’t hear what they were saying. However, Jiang Chen immediately came up with a countermeasure.
He descended from the tower and walked out of the cavern, returning to the area around the altar. Through the transportation formation on the altar, he returned to the altar in the ancient herb garden. Then, he released a pack of Goldbiter Rats, instructing them, “Go, scout the area.”
The Goldbiter Rats had already been trained to become Jiang Chen’s eyes and ears. They quickly confirmed the reason behind the group’s arrival. As expected, these three were from the Ninesuns Sky Sect. The one in charge of shattering the formation hadn’t actually broken through the formation. Instead, it seemed he’d used some special method to create a temporary crack in the formation.
Jiang Chen had naturally heard of this kind of formation splitting art. Who’d have expected that this disciple of the Ninesuns Sky Sect would know such a high-level technique? He actually impressed Jiang Chen. “As expected of disciples from the Upper Eight Regions. Bringing this kind of technique to the Myriad Domain is truly overkill. To be able to crack this ancient formation, even temporarily, he rather has some skill.”
Although Jiang Chen hated the insufferably arrogant Ninesuns Sky Sect, he knew that offending members of a first rate sect would have severe consequences. Even that Ding Tong, who was only a second rate disciple of the Ninesuns Sky Sect, had been difficult to face. None of these three people were weaker than Ding Tong. That blue browed youth, in particular, possessed a deep and immeasurable power. Jiang Chen had a suspicion that, even if his strength was not yet of the emperor realm, he would be fairly close.
Even if Jiang Chen summoned Long Xiaoxuan, there would still only be a fifty percent chance to win over these three enemies. Moreover, Long Xiaoxuan was one of the cards that he definitely couldn’t reveal to the world. Once he was exposed, there would be no end of problems. Hence, Jiang Chen sank into momentary contemplation. What was a surefire way to chase these three away?
If it had been the Jiang Chen of two years ago, there was no way he would’ve bothered to make a plan after catching sight of them. The first and only course of action would’ve been retreat. Even then, whether he would be able to successfully do so would be another question entirely. But, after two years of rigorous training, his abilities had risen to another level, along with his confidence. Moreover, Mt. Rippling Mirage was now his territory. The combination was enough for Jiang Chen to feel that he had a serious chance in the upcoming fight.
“These three probably want to enter to kill me. Then, I will allow them to enter.” Jiang Chen could see that if any one of these three used the formation splitting technique, none by themselves could create a crack. But the three of them had cooperated to assault the formation continuously for many days. It was very possible that their efforts would bear fruit soon.
“Men die for wealth, while birds die for food. It looks like even the disciples of the Ninesuns Sky Sect couldn’t help their greed when they heard of the ancient herb garden.” Jiang Chen sneered silently when he saw the insanity gripping the three.
However, at the same time, a sense of sorrow surfaced in his heart. With things as they were now, the cons of the ancient herb garden appearing ultimately outweighed the pros. The Tristar Sect’s exposure of the secret would bring great calamity to the Myriad Domain. From today onwards, the Myriad Domain might not know any more peace!.
On the other hand, Mt. Rippling Mirage was now under his control. Without the right token, no one else could enter the restricted grounds of the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect. They could at most reach the altar. But, Jiang Chen still did not wish for outsiders to continuously intrude into this mountain. Although Mt. Rippling Mirage was only the outer restricted area of the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect, it was still part of the sect’s territory. And now, it had even become Jiang Chen’s personal territory.
Anyone who ventured inside without an invitation should die!
Jiang Chen took a moment to plan his course of action and came up with the general gist of a plan. When it really came down to things, there was still some time until the Myriad Grand Ceremony, so he wasn’t in the greatest of hurry to leave. These three had used a formation shattering technique to enter the ancient herb garden with the intention to kill him and plunder his sky rank herbs. Jiang Chen’s lips curved into a cold smile. “Kill me? It seems they think of me, Jiang Chen, as some kind of prey to be eaten. When they enter the ancient herb garden, we shall see just who the real prey is.”
He began to make preparations as he spoke. Although this was his territory, Jiang Chen didn’t dare to be careless. None of these three were the benevolent sort. The only enemies of this level that Jiang Chen had faced before were Ding Tong and Elder Chen of the Sacred Sword Palace. Moreover, Jiang Chen had only defeated them after summoning Long Xiaoxuan. Even the weakest of these three people were at least on par with Ding Tong. And that blue browed youth was more than equal to the combined strength of five Ding Tongs. Jiang Chen had no reason to underestimate this kind of opponent.
Fortunately, it looked like he still had a day or two before these three people cracked the formation. Two days of preparation were enough for Jiang Chen to make many arrangements. “If those three people can use the formation shattering technique, there must be a formation master among them. No wonder they dared to trespass into Mt. Rippling Mirage!”
But even a formation master ultimately could not compete with the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect’s formations.
“Even with the combined efforts of three people, they still need a lot of time to create a sizable crack. I’ll only need to eliminate one of them after they enter to make it so that they can’t use that formation splitting technique anymore. Then, they won’t be able to leave this place until the formation opens. During that time, they’ll be no different from turtles in a jar, waiting to be slaughtered…” Jiang Chen smiled slightly and disappeared with a flicker of his shadow.
Two days later, Fatty Wu Hen stood in front of the great waterfall. His forehead was beading over with perspiration but he was unusually excited, “Soon, soon. Everyone, work hard and put in all your effort!”
Although the Rippling Mirage Great Formation was powerful, given that it had lasted from the ancient era, its defensive power had degraded to less than a third of its peak. As such, the combined continuous efforts of the three had finally allowed them to create a crack in the formation. At the sight of gaping void, the three went wild with glee, rushing in at full speed. As if they were standing at the gates of heaven, they fought to be first through the void.
Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh.
Three shadows rapidly flew in before the formation on the great waterfall snapped shut with crash. Clearly, although the three had cracked the formation, it lasted but for a split second. Nonetheless, the three were in high spirits right now. After spending so much time and effort, they had finally entered.
“Mm, there’s so much spirit energy in this place. It’s significantly different from the outside. It seems that this is indeed the ancient herb garden you’ve mentioned, Senior brother Cao,” Shi Zhen clucked his tongue in wonder after surveying his surroundings. He casually pocketed a stalk of a true saint spirit herb. “I hadn’t imagined that true saint spirit herbs would sprout everywhere here. It seems that this ancient herb garden is truly deserving of its name!”
Cao Jin clearly did not intend to simply pluck some true saint spirit herbs after entering this place. With a wave of his hand, he gathered the other two close to him, “The two of you, we’ll have more than enough time to pluck all the spirit herbs from this place after. Our top priority right is to find Jiang Chen. But there’s something I must tell you guys first—we might not be able to find Jiang Chen on this trip.”
“What?” Fatty Wu and Shi Zhen’s expressions instantly shifted. “Senior Brother Cao, what do you mean? We’ve already come this far and you’re saying that we might not find Jiang Chen?”
“Don’t panic. Initially, the Tristar Sect’s report said that one of the elders of the Sacred Sword Sect had also not made his way out. It’s very likely that he stayed behind to kill Jiang Chen. Hence, whether it’s Jiang Chen or that Sacred Sword Palace elder, we cannot let them slip away. If the elder killed Jiang Chen, it’s very possible that Jiang Chen’s treasures fell into his hands.”
After the other two heard this, both of them replied, “As long as the treasures exist, that’s fine. A mere elder of a fourth rank sect isn’t worth worrying over.”
Cao Jin nodded. “Even so, the three of us shouldn’t split up too far in case we stay long enough for catastrophe to strike. After all, if these ancient ruins have any strange traps, we can at least take care of each other by staying together.”
Even someone as powerful as Cao Jin was being extremely cautious. The other two had no reason to be conceited about their abilities and nodded one after another.