Chapter 883: A Mint Ginseng
A vast and roaring river stretched horizontally before Jiang Chen and Huang'er. There had originally been a bridge crossing the river. But the bridge had fallen into severe disrepair with the passage of time. Vegetation grew rampantly around the broken bridge, protruding from the river like pillars of coral reef.
"We've reached the river," Jiang Chen was delighted. "Our destination lies just beyond the other bank."
Huang'er also examined the map. This river had been clearly marked out. Once they crossed the river and passed by a few more areas, they would reach the place that He Hongshu had indicated where the Requiem Wood lay. "According to He Hongshu, there are some aggressive spirits residing in the river, but they aren't very strong."
This place hadn't been unearthed at all from ancient times until now. Just the natural spiritual energy suffusing this place would be enough to birth various powerful spirits. Without the interference of the outside world, even a plant with some degree of natural aptitude could become a spirit being, developing into a sentient lifeform. The two of them had refined the Golden Cicada bloodline and simultaneously called on the power of the Golden Cicada wings, leaping towards the opposing riverbank.
Although He Hongshu had given them this information, Jiang Chen didn't rely entirely on the other's experience. He continued to be on his guard as he crossed the river. That was then and this was now. When He Hongshu had crossed the river, he might have been lucky enough to be disrupted by only a few small spirits. However, the rapid currents of this wide river were inky green. They obscured the riverbase like the currents of a vast ocean, giving people an unfathomable feeling. It wouldn't be surprising that some powerful spirit was lurking in the depths. Caution was the parent of safety. Even when he approached the opposite bank, Jiang Chen did not lower his guard lest he fail in the face of success. It had to be said that his instincts were quite strong.
When the two had flown across the center of the river, something unexpected suddenly appeared from a piece of the shattered bridge. Without warning, what had originally been nothing but a swathe of innocent vegetation abruptly spewed jet after jet of green-colored fog. Amidst the fog, a tentacle covered with countless green warts writhed into the air towards them like an enormous green python. The green fog actually carried some kind of mysterious power. It had powerful swathes of restraining energy that instantly reduced the speed of Jiang Chen and Huang'er's wings. Like flowers scattered from the sky, that tumor-like tentacle instantly sealed off the space within a hundred meters around it.
Jiang Chen smiled in cold rage. These tentacles were comparable to his Lotus of Fire and Ice. In the second it took to think, the Lotus of Fire and Ice on him had already been unleashed. The vines of countless lotuses violently lashed out towards those tumor-like tentacles. Simple and direct! Ever since Jiang Chen had nurtured the Bewitching Lotus of Fire and Ice, its form had evolved continuously. Its speed of evolution was still full speed ahead. As of today, even a random prompt by Jiang Chen would cause hundreds of vines to completely immobilize the tumor-like tentacles.
Immense flower petals lunged towards those tentacles like the gaping maw of a beast. At the same time, Jiang Chen and Huang'er unleashed their techniques, sweeping away the green smoke that creeped towards them. The two people moved with urgency, swiftly dashing higher into the clouds. In the face of adversity, the brave prevail. The Bewitching Lotus of Ice and Fire truly deserved its status as a sky rank spirit creature. These terrifying tentacles had initially been a cultivator's worst nightmare. But the petals of the lotus closed around them like an enormous mouth and slurped them up like a bowl of noodles. No matter how the tentacles struggled, they could not break free.
Awwoooo! Suddenly, the bridge split in two with a loud rumble. A green monster emerged, its entire body covered with green patterns that looked like eyes. The ends of those tumor-like tentacles just so happened to be attached to these patterns.
"What kind of monster is this?" Huang'er frowned. As expected, the desolate wildlands was truly a bizarre place. Such a hideous monster had actually managed to conceal itself in the vegetation so that even Jiang Chen had not detected its presence!
With a sweep of his God's Eye, Jiang Chen spotted its limitation. "Look at its main body. Doesn't it look like a mint ginseng?"
The mint ginseng was a kind of spirit herb. Huang'er had also heard of this. Upon closer inspection, its main body really resembled the fabled mint ginseng. However, the size of that spirit herb was only supposed to be that of an infant. This monster was well over eighty feet long and twenty feet wide. It was definitely a mint ginseng that had been magnified a few hundred times. Moreover, the mint ginseng might be a kind of spirit herb, but it couldn't possibly be sentient!
"That thing must have been nurtured here for ten thousand years, to the extent that its physical form changed and it developed a consciousness. It's become a sentient lifeform!" Jiang Chen exclaimed upon seeing this. Nonetheless, even if this mint ginseng had developed sentience, it still posed no big threat to Jiang Chen. Moreover, the guy seemed to have just gained its consciousness. Its attacks might be powerful, but they lacked cunning. Spewing poison fog, using toxic tentacles to sweep things away… These attacks might be sufficiently fatal for any ordinary cultivator. But Jiang Chen was not one of them.
As they spoke, that mint ginseng's tentacles were being continuously engulfed by the Bewitching Lotus of Fire and Ice, eliciting screeching howls. Clearly, this newly-born creature that had just developed consciousness was just like a small child. It wailed and cried whenever it suffered. The devouring ability of the Lotus was extremely strong. Soon enough, the bottom part of the monster would be swallowed. After that, the main body of this mint ginseng would then be cut apart by the lotus. It would be destroyed.
When Huang'er heard the mint ginseng's howls of pain and saw it writhe around in agony, she couldn't help but feel sorry for it. "Brother Chen, it should be a newborn lifeform, just like a baby. Perhaps, you should capture it instead?" She was innately soft-hearted.
When Jiang Chen heard the girl's words, he immediately prompted the lotus to stop. An ordinary person might truly be baffled by how he could communicate with this mint ginseng. But Jiang Chen had been fluent in numerous languages in his previous life. He understood the speech of ancient beasts and somewhat knew the languages of various spirit races.
"I see that developing a consciousness was not easy for you. Perhaps you'd be willing be accept me as your master?" Jiang Chen used the language of the spirit races to converse with the mint ginseng.
The mint ginseng had just been born. It was just like a small child being bullied by a stronger person. Since it had no parents to tattle to, raising its hands in surrender was its instinct.
"I am, I am, just don't kill me!" The foremost instinct of any sentient life form was putting its survival above everything else. The human race was like that, as was the demon race and any other race.
Although it had already surrendered, Jiang Chen did not let down his guard. A ray of consciousness surged into the mint ginseng's form. "Since you've surrendered, don't think about trying something else."
"N-no, I wouldn't dare." Initially, that mint ginseng seemed to have some thoughts in mind. But after seeing Jiang Chen's methods and being pierced by a ray of consciousness, how would it dare resist? It let Jiang Chen's consciousness settle within its soul. This ray of consciousness was to monitor the creature's actions. Once this guy showed any sense of disloyalty, Jiang Chen's consciousness would instantly know.
"Relax, you won't lose out by following me. It's not like you'll have any future to speak of if you keep hiding under this bridge. You'll be destroyed the moment you encounter any powerful opponents."
"Yes, of course." The mint ginseng was obviously terrified of Jiang Chen. It went along with whatever its new master said, not daring to rebut anything. The mint ginseng could increase or decrease its size at will. After it was captured, it turned back into the form of an ordinary mint ginseng. Although it was still a little bigger than normal, it wasn't as exaggeratedly enormous as just now. This small interlude might have been more bark than bite, but it still cost Jiang Chen a bit of time.
After they crossed the river, they encountered no further dangers along their way. Jiang Chen also asked the mint ginseng about the demon race, but the creature had just gained its consciousness not long ago. It was completely ignorant, not even comprehending the concept of the demon race. He didn't know whether to cry or to laugh. This whole situation felt like the blind leading the blind.
After around fifteen minutes, two shadows flitted past the vast river, landing on the bridge fragment where Jiang Chen had captured the mint ginseng. Unexpectedly, it was Prince of Shangping and his trusted aide.
"There was a battle here not long ago," Prince of Shangping had keen senses. "It should be him. The remnants of battle haven't been erased. From the looks of it, he's confident in his power."
His aide replied, "That brat is too arrogant. I feel that he swaggers everywhere is because he doesn't feel that anyone here poses a threat to him."
Prince of Shangping muttered, "We can't be sure about that. I still suspect that his bluster is all an act. Perhaps his goal is for us to underestimate him."
"How can a young cultivator be that shrewd?" His aide asked, half mired in doubt.
"And who cares whether he's faking it? Hurry and catch up to him before it's too late. Listen to my commands. When the time comes, I'll keep him busy with small talk while you launch a amush." This master and servant pair did not hesitant as they continued their pursuit of Jiang Chen.
After Jiang Chen crossed the river, he began to slow down. According to the hints provided on He Hongshu's map, beyond the river, this was a comparatively more dangerous territory. This territory stretched across a valley. According to He Hongshu's records, this valley was heavily suffused with yin energy. From time to time, fiendish yin demons and monsters would appear. Back then, He Hongshu's party had lost plenty of people because of this place. However, fortunately, someone amongst his companions had possessed a treasure with the yang attribute that specialized in restraining those yin monsters. This had allowed their group to escape with their lives.
"Huang'er, we'll have to be careful here." They would be one step closer to their destination after passing through this valley. Moreover, although this valley was not too big, at first glance, it was as dark as the interior of a sack, giving off an extremely unpleasant impression.
Jiang Chen himself wasn't too scared of these things, but Huang'er was different. Although Huang'er's cultivation was very powerful, these yin monsters might affect her Generation Binding Curse.
Yin monsters and foul creatures could most easily trigger the Generation Binding Curse. This was what Jiang Chen was most afraid. He instantly retrieved some wood spirit spring. "Huang'er, this is the essence of the wood spirit spring. When you feel like something is wrong, swallow some of it. It's effective against those yin monsters."
Wood spirit spring contained purifying qualities, more so for the essence that he had extracted.