The Parasol Tree Forest was the ancestral home of the Phoenix and the Divine Parasol Trees.
Many years ago, because of the Parasol Tree King, Lin Feng, Xiao Yan and the other disciples were able to build close ties with the Divine Parasol Trees. That was when Xiao Yan sent Lin Tong to the Parasol Tree Forest.
Lin Feng cut through the void as he enveloped Yang Qing, Luo Qingwu, Chu Yang and the rest with his mana. Wang Lin, Shi Tianhao and Zhuge Zhan followed by his side.
Zhuge Zhan sighed and said, "The Parasol Tree Forest has not been open to others for many years. Other than some dragons and the Vermilion Bird Grand Sage, few people other than the phoenix and the Divine Parasol Trees come here."
Amongst the few powerful demons of the Barren Expanses, the Vermilion Bird Grand Sage was one of those demons who preferred to operate alone and had few relatives, just like the White Tiger Grand Sage, the Xiangliu Grand Sage and the Lu Yuan Grand Sage.
The Vermilion Bird Grand Sage was one of the few, rare pure-blooded vermilion birds. With his vast demonic powers, he was used to operating alone.
However, the Vermilion Bird Grand Sage had good ties with the phoenix. At the very least, he was one of the few demons who could enter and exit the Parasol Tree Forest freely.
"In terms of operating alone…" Lin Feng stared at Zhuge Zhan and said, "In the Divine Lands today, there are only three other Immortal Soul Third Level cultivators who are independent cultivators, right?"
To what Lin Feng knew, there were only four powerful Immortal Soul Third Level cultivators in the Divine Lands.
Other than the Scorching Sun Holy Man, Zhuge Zhan, before him and the Luofu Holy Man of the Luofu Mystical Island, there were two others. They were Qianshu Toutuo and the Dream Holy Man, Ning Wange.
Amongst the four of them, only the Luofu Holy Man had a fixed residence in the Luofu Mystical Island. The other three of them had no place to live and their steps were hard to track. Furthermore, they rarely revealed themselves.
Amongst them, Qianshu Toutuo took part in the War of Buddha Annihilation. Together with Shi Tianfang of the Samsara Sect Path of the Heaven-Born, he was able to obtain something that he wanted from the Great Thunderclap Temple. After the War of Buddha Annihilation ended, there had been no news of Qianshu Toutuo.
As for the Dream Holy Man, Ning Wange, he was even more mysterious. No one knew exactly where he was or who he was. Many people suspected that he did not even exist in the first place and was a cover for one of the Supreme Elders of the Great Void Sect.
That was all the information Lin Feng knew. Hence, as he had thought about it, he decided to ask Zhuge Zhan.
Amongst independent cultivators, they would occasionally communicate with one another and they were normally quite close. While they were not exactly allies, they had managed to form their own circles.
For example, Zhuge Zhan's relationship with Qianshu Toutuo was not bad.
Zhuge Zhan replied, "Right now, there are only four of us."
He paused for a while and then said with an odd expression, "If Ning Wange is really an independent cultivator like us, then there's really just four of us."
Lin Feng looked at Zhuge Zhan and said, "Oh, so does Daoist Zhuge think that Ning Wange does not exist?"
Zhuge Zhan laughed and said, "Don't blame me, Master Lin. Since the Battle of Xiling City, I've been suspecting that you are actually Ning Wange and you have finally decided to reveal yourself to establish your own sect."
"Many people have the same thoughts as me. Since your appearance, many have suspected that Ning Wange is either your cover or the cover of a Supreme Elder of the Great Void Sect. Increasing number of people think that he doesn't even exist in the first place."
Hearing that, Lin Feng was shocked. He could not help but smiled slightly and said, "You have thought too much. I am completely unrelated to Ning Wange."
Zhuge Zhan nodded his head and said, "If you say so, Master Lin, I believe you."
Lin Feng then said, "To what I know, the Dream Holy Man Ning Wange formerly fought with Shi Tianfang of the Samsara Sect's Path of the Heaven-Born and the Supreme Elder of the Great Thunderclap Temple, the Supreme Truth Zen Master. It was purely a battle of technique. No one used any magic treasure and no one battled to the death. In the end, the battle ended as a draw."
Zhuge Zhan answered, "That's right. Ning Wange's spells are very strange and mystical. It would cause others to sink into a dream-like state which they could not escape from. However, it was different from the changes between illusion and reality. It has never appeared before in the Grand Celestial World and hence, no one knew a lot about it."
"At the same time, no one knew what Ning Wange's cultivation is. Even Shi Tianfang and the Supreme Truth Zen Master did not know if Ning Wange had used all his powers."
His mouth twitched and said, "Furthermore, they did not even know if Ning Wange is a man or a woman. It's fine if one of them was unable to tell. However, if both were unable to tell, it could very well mean that Ning Wange was holding back."
Lin Feng smiled and said, "While I have never seen him before, his spells are different from mine. So your guess is wrong."
Zhuge Zhan laughed and nodded his head. With Lin Feng's current status, he had no need to lie and deceive others, which was way beneath him. hence, he too believed that Ning Wange was not Lin Feng. However, he still did not trust Lin Feng fully despite what he said. Who knew what other tricks Lin Feng had?
During the battle just now, even Zhuge Zhan, who had seen much and was powerful himself, felt his heart jump.
The escape of the Golden Cicada, the return of the Earth Dragon King and the Azure Sky Dragon King to the Black Sea and the fact that the monkey, the Heavenly Charms Grand Sage, the Heavenly Master Grand Sage and the Golden Roc Grand Sage all heralded the end of the battle.
However, before that, no one would have thought that the result would be as such.
Through the Battle for Mount Shu as well as the battles Lin Feng had with Crimson Gorilla Grand Sage, the Azure Sky Dragon King and the monkey in the Barren Expanses, no one could deny that Lin Feng was extremely powerful.
However, by coming alone to the Barren Expanses, he placed himself at great risk. If he had revealed any form of weakness, then he would have been surrounded and killed by the many demons.
Of course, to surround and kill Lin Feng, the demons would have to pay a huge price too. After all, the Heaven-Destroying Sword, Mount Yujing and the Bell of Destiny were not there for ornamental purposes.
However, the result was still shocking. Without even using his magic treasures like the Heaven-Destroying Sword, Lin Feng was still able to emerge unscathed while killing and injuring many powerful demons.
Let's not mention the Golden Cicada who was beaten back by the monkey. Lin Feng severely injured the Earth Dragon King and the Azure Sky Dragon King, capturing the White Tiger Grand Sage and the Lu Yuan Grand Sage and killing the Xiangliu Grand Sage and the Zu'e Grand Sage. If not for the monkey, the Yu'ao Dragon King would have died too.
Lin Feng used countless methods and shocked everyone. No one was able to ascertain what powers he himself possessed.
It was exactly because of this reason that prevented the Heavenly Charms Grand Sage, the Heavenly Master Grand Sage and the Golden Roc Grand Sage from acting.
Thinking about it here, Zhuge Zhan shook his head while admiring Lin Feng in his heart.
Thinking about it, another question popped up in Lin Feng's mind, "In that case, Ning Wange is another character like the Heavenly Charms Grand Sage. However, he keeps a lower profile than the Heavenly Charms Grand Sage."
While the Heavenly Charms Grand Sage was able to establish her preponderance for many thousand years as well as dominate the Barren Expanses, neither humans nor demons knew of her true depths. Neither had anyone seen her powers.
Not only was her original tribe unknown to many, many people did not know her true face.
Unlike the Nine-Tailed Heavenly Fox Grand Sage who was apt at transformation, the Heavenly Charms Grand Sage appeared to be perpetually shrouded in fog and clouds that no one could see through.
Legend had it that the Great Void Sect tried to use their formerly-incomplete Supreme Heavenly Mirror to see through her but failed.
While she might be in the Vipralopa stage right now, almost no one was able to find out her mastery level all those years before. That was indeed strange news in the Barren Expanses.
Zhuge Zhan appeared to be thinking along similar lines as he said, "However, other than the four of us, there was one more powerful independent cultivator senior who had gone missing. No one knows if he is dead or alive or well."
"Oh?" Lin Feng smiled and said, "That's truly a mystery."
As he chatted with Zhuge Zhan, Wang Lin and Shi Tianhao listened to them with great interest. As they listened, they increased their own knowledge as well.
This voyage to the Barren Expanses had greatly benefitted the Celestial Sect of Wonders.
Wang Lin and Shi Tianhao tricked the Lu Yuan Grand Sage and benefitted greatly off him. Lin Feng viewed those as their personal gains, which did not need to be submitted to the sect. Had that been the case, the Celestial Sect of Wonders would have earned even more.
For treasures like the door to the Starry Sea and the golden alms bowl, there was no need to mention them first. Just by killing the Xiangliu Grand Sage and the Zu'e Grand Sage, the sect benefitted a great deal.
A powerful demon's entire body was full of treasures and that was no exaggeration. Both the Golden Cicada and the Earth Dragon King were forced to retreat and hence, they were unable to collect the corpses of the Xiangliu Grand Sage and the Zu'e Grand Sage. Hence, everything fell into the hands of Lin Feng and the Celestial Sect of Wonders.
In comparison, while the Xiangliu Grand Sage's cultivation was higher, because of the unique characteristic of his tribe, a longer time was needed to truly harvest the treasures from his body. On the other hand, the Zu'e Grand Sage's body was worth much more.
Other than that, the White Tiger and the Lu Yuan were both caught. The Yu'ao Dragon Tribe paid for his freedom in blood.
Coupled with the Earth Dragon King's claws and the blood and flesh Lin Feng obtained from his tail, the value of his loot was incredible.
"Oh right, there's the Cang Heaven Spell Blade too," laughed Lin Feng as he shook his head. He did not know if the luck of the blade was good or bad. "I really made a great deal of profit from this battle. With one blast from the cannon, I reaped treasures of innumerable worth."
The battle in the Barren Expanses greatly benefitted the Celestial Sect of Wonders while humiliating many demons.
When news of the battle spread to the Divine Lands, it too created quite a stir that was no smaller than the impact of the Anti-Celestial Sect War.
Prince Yanliang of the Great Zhou Empire, Liang Fu, and the Cheng Yun Holy Man, Li Yao, quickly returned to the capital of the Great Zhou Empire, Tianjing. When he heard the news, he was immensely relieved that he did not follow Wang Lin and Shi Tianhao into the interiors of the mine. If he had done that, he would have entered the Outer Realm. The consequences were unthinkable.
"Fifth Brother and Li Yao have worked hard. Please rest well." After the Zhou Emperor, Liang Pan, heard their reports, he waved his hands to dismiss them without any change in expressions.
After Liang Fu and the Cheng Yun Holy Man left, the Zhou Emperor sat on his dragon throne and contemplated in silence. After a while, he said softly, "Yan Mingyue, I wish to meet with the Qing Yi Holy Woman and your master."
In the palace, a green-robed woman sat quietly at the guest's seat. It was Yan Mingyue. Her expression was as per normal. However, she appeared more ethereal and unpredictable, like the thick clouds that always enveloped Mount Baiyun.
She looked at Liang Pan, smiled and nodded her head and said, "Grandmaster is in the Barren Expanses. However, I can help you contact my master."