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Chapter 26: Trapped Dragon
The beauty in palace attire took a deep breath.
Silently, she looked at where Forefather Zhou, Ding Ning and Fu Su had disappeared.
Previously, she had thought all Emperor Yuanwu and the empress did for the Qin Dynasty was justified. In order to create a great empire unprecedented in history, they had to be ruthless and make sacrifices at many times. The ruthlessness and sacrifices were to make the Qin Dynasty more powerful, so the people of Qin could prosper to a greater degree.
Yet, to stop the king of Chu today, they had to sacrifice Fu Su. When it was her turn to personally give up on a person closest to her, her belief was slightly shaken.
Ding Ning and Fu Su were pushed into the formation door by Forefather Zhou’s force. Though the power within the formation door had weakened greatly, to Ding Ning and Fu Su, it was still extremely powerful.
Chaotic branches filled Ding Ning’s consciousness, suffocating him, and reversing the flow of his energies. But a kind of coldness and murderousness that no one was aware of appeared in his expression.
Controlled by his perception, the numerous little silkworms that had disappeared in his body, silently reappeared. They started to consume the cold energy blocking his meridians.
With the feeding of the countless little silkworms, his blocked meridians quickly started to ease. But he still kept all of his vital energy in his energy sea, so his body’s presence did not change at all.
Forefather Zhou did not know that the king of Chu and the Qin emperor’s tutor had made a decision to not act. He only knew he had to be quick. At the cost of half of his meridians being frozen, the thicket-like power around him, Ding Ning and Fu Su quickly faded in a few breaths and everything grew clear.
They had passed the realm door.
What Fu Su should be worried about right now would be his own safety. As the most valued child of Emperor Yuanwu and the empress, Fu Su knew that, for him, the Qin Dynasty had invested countless items that cultivators could only dream about. He knew what the consequences of his death here would be.
Yet, when he passed through the realm door to see the scene inside, Fu Su temporarily forgot the danger he was in, he was completely absorbed by the ancient cultivator’s setup.
The mountain valley that appeared in front of him seemed to be a dried riverbed without any weeds or trees. There were only oval crystal stones shaped like a goose egg.
These crystals looked like crimson rubies, slightly transparent, and flowing with heat as though golden flames were burning within.
The mist that had appeared to shroud the entire valley, kept hovering dozens of meters above the ground.
At the center of the dry valley was an enormous structure made from blue rock.
This structure was square, and grew smaller with increasing height like an enormous tomb. There were curved arches spaced around the base and every dozen meters or so upwards. Verdant greens and vines grew out from these arches with an ancient presence.
The whole set up gave off the vibe of a garden built for a king.
But even a garden built for the king would not possess such a strong structure to surround the rare flowers and trees within.
“What is inside?”
Fu Su took a deep breath. He turned to look at Forefather Zhou, his usually kind face showing a hint of murderousness. “This structure does not appear to be stopping cultivators from entering, but built to trap what is inside. What vicious beast is in there? What do you want to use us for?”
There was only the final step now. Forefather Zhou had collapsed to the ground, unable to even sit up. But his face had a red flush due to his excitement and eagerness.
“Since we have reached the last minute, there is no meaning in concealing from you.”
He looked at Ding Ning and Fu Su. When he spoke, only half of his face could move so he looked unspeakably strange and vicious.
“There is a flesh Bodhi here, and also a blind dragon.”
At these words, even Ding Ning was shocked.
“There is a flesh Bodhi and a blind dragon here?” he couldn’t help but take a deep breath and say to himself.
“What is a flesh bodhi and a blind dragon?” Fu Su couldn’t help but ask. He had never heard of these terms before.
“They are freakish things.”
Ding Ning looked at him and explained with an odd expression. “The primal and vital energies of some powerful cultivators, after they pass away, will not dissipate. Some of that energy will produce peculiar unions with surrounding items. The flesh bodhi is one of those. When some special plants combine with the remains of cultivators, it will become a spirit body; neither a plant nor meat. This kind of spirit object’s use was first discovered by cultivators of the Qi Dynasty who cultivated yin and ghosts. They found, if they refined such spirit objects, their own bodies would also display odd changes, and their bodies would become a kind of spirit body that would not age easily.”
“Would not age easily?” Fu Su could not comprehend.
Ding Ning said calmly, “The simplest example are the zombies. A spirit body that will not die even if one part of the body is seriously damaged. Unless their bodies are hacked into pieces or their head cut off. But at the same time, these kinds of spirit bodies will heal extremely slowly. So, if some holes are created in your body, they will last for a long time.”
Fu Su finally understood why the king of Chu and Forefather Zhou came here.
The king of Chu and Forefather Zhou were near the end of their life, but they all had powerful cultivation, especially the king of Chu. If their bodies became this kind of spirit body, he could fight more powerful opponents at the Deer Mountain Conference. The king of Chu was not an ordinary cultivator. Even if his body became a spirit body like a zombie and his cultivation could not advance any further, time and the victory at the Deer Mountain Conference would be everything.
“The blind dragon is not a true dragon, but an enormous groundwalking insect. While it has eyes, its eyes cannot see, and it can only sense. But at the same time, it is extremely powerful, equivalent to a realm seven. As a result, past cultivators called it a dragon.” Ding Ning looked at Fu Su and continued. “Thirty years ago, even if that flesh bodhi had matured, even if it hadn’t, Forefather Zhou, who had forced his way into the formation and sustained considerable wounds, would have not been a match for it. As for now, even without the king of Chu’s appearance, I think we will pay a great price in order to kill it. So from the start, he must have wanted me to lure away this blind dragon, so he could take the opportunity to take out the flesh bodhi.”
“You have read many books.”
Forefather Zhou sneered when he heard Ding Ning speak as though he did not exist. He said, “But this cannot change the result.”
Fu Su shook his head and said, “You cannot do this.”
Ding Ning immediately frowned. He knew what Fu Su wanted to do, but he did not think it would be effective.
Fu Su’s words were simple, but there was an indescribable nobility and authority that he usually did not have. Forefather Zhou sensed a clear difference.
His gaze landed on Fu Su.
“I order you to not do this.” Fu Su looked at him with a cold expression and said slowly, “Because I am not any ordinary Gongzi Su, but the imperial son Fu Su.”
Forefather Zhou’s heart sank.
He suddenly understood why an existence like Mo Shoucheng would appear here at this time.
“So you are the beloved son of Emperor Yuanwu and the empress.”
An indescribable emotion filled Forefather Zhou’s heart. He snarled inexplicably. “You order me to do this?”
Fu Su had the aura of the imperial house as he looked authoritatively at Forefather Zhou and said, “Does the Zhou Family no longer want to stay in Changling?”
“The Zhou Family is me, I am the Zhou Family. If I do not exist, can the Zhou Family stay in Changling?”
Forefather Zhou said disdainfully, “Child, what is important now is my life. I need to use this wine shop youth’s life to trade for my life. You think I will listen to your orders?”
“Also, I know that this is not urgent.”
Forefather Zhou’s body could almost not move, but slowly a presence pushed his body to turn around. He looked at the mountain valley, and spoke with some sympathy but even more scorn. “Child, you are also someone who has been abandoned.”
“You!” Fu Su’s face paled. He was furious but he didn’t know what to say. He instinctively shouted. “Insolence!”
“Since I have learned your true identity, I cannot spare you.” Forefather Zhou said seriously, “Today, I am bringing about your good friend’s death If I let you live, you will not spare me in the future. But I will not kill you quickly. I can pretend to use you, so Emperor Yuanwu and that woman will hold back in their actions out of fear.”
Such a result was something Fu Su had not anticipated. He turned around, face pale, to look at Ding Ning, his eyes filled with guilt and grief.
“While it is a pity, he is more important than you right now.”
Forefather Zhou looked at the silent Ding Ning and slowly said, “But if you can prove you have more value than him, I will allow you to live.”
Ding Ning lifted his head to look at him and said, “You are dreaming.”
Forefather Zhou’s gaze grew harsh. He did not say anything, a black wind blew from under his clothes, thrusting Ding Ning straight into one of the arches ahead.
Translator Ramblings: The bodhi tree is a sacred fig tree in India where the Buddha achieved enlightenment. So this flesh bodhi is technically a fig fruit/plant grown together with a corpse …