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Chapter Fifty-Eight: Secret Plans and Treasure
The sinister sea, the constantly moving floating island, the Jie Fish and the protection of these medicine slaves had isolated this secret land of Jiaodong Commandery. Other than the generations of Jiaodong’s masters, or envoys with tokens, no one else was able to come on the island to take away what was here. So there were no formations protecting the six warehouses, not even any locks. The dark heavy wood doors, the height of two people, were quietly closed.
Looking at these six enormous warehouses, Zhangsun Qianxue’s heart suddenly sped up.
In these centuries, before the old nobility had disappeared, they had always called Jiaodong Commandery country bumpkins. But this was just a kind of geographic exclusion. The nobility who were deeply rooted in Changling disliked those who came from outside. Any of the old families, including the Zhangsun Family, the strongest at the time, had to admit that Jiaodong Commandery, which had managed to survive hundreds of years of exclusion, was capable of surviving and had accumulated astounding wealth.
These six warehouses contained the essence of Jiaodong Commandery accumulated over the centuries. A commandery, and one like Jiaodong Commandery which could reach the sea, likely used up a lot of things in order to survive. But it was not hard to imagine, Jiaodong Commandery could not have traded the best things for money. They would not casually gift them to nobility, and some of the most important things would be selected to be stored in these warehouses.
If they told the world that the true treasure of Jiaodong Commandery were in these six warehouses, then everyone in the world would be very curious about these six warehouses, and would want to know what was in here.
Zhangsun Qianxue came from a prestigious family, and knew very well what kind of wealth had been in her family’s treasury. She also knew what was stored in Jiaodong Commandery’s warehouses would far surpass the Zhangsun Family’s treasure back then.
And what caused her, who usually was cold and not interested in material things, to become so excited was an even more important reason, because these were Zheng Xiu’s possessions.
Zheng Xiu was the person she disliked the most. Usually, when she heard her name, she would feel very displeased. And now, it felt like she was openly flipping through her treasure chests. Other than joy, she felt excited.
She pressed her lips together, like she was a young girl. She could not help but think of her going through the boxes in front of Zheng Xiu, throwing the things she treasured on the ground, and her being helpless.
Ding Ning walked to the doors of the warehouse closest to him. He took a deep breath and then pushed open the door. He also wanted to know what was in these six warehouses. Facing the secret hoard of Jiaodong Commandery, he felt the same as when he saw the sword hoard of Ba Mountain Sword Field when he first came to Ba Mountain Sword Field.
There was a creak. The heavy wooden doors opened. This warehouse seemed to have not been opened for a long time. Some dust and sand had accumulated in the door cracks. When the doors were pushed open, they fell down like snow. When everyone felt their sight light up. Or rather, there was a not so bright light which was inexplicably blinding.
“What is this?” Zhang Shiwu frowned and could not help but ask.
This warehouse was not filled with things like he had imagined but very empty. The crude but practical wood shelves were also made from dark heavy wood. On a few of the shelves, there were dozens of irregular light blue crystal stones. But as Ding Ning opened the door and the sunlight entered the warehouse and fell on the shelves, the wooden shelves started to give off a weak blue light. The glowing like was the source of the glare.
“These are moonstones. In the legends on the sea, these are gems formed when the moonlight falls deep into the water. But in reality, they are formed from a kind of deep sea jellyfish when they die and are buried deep into the sand, and a special substance inside their bodies will change after hundreds of years. Those unique jellyfish are very large. In the deep ocean, they would give off a special light. In some of the records from the islands, they had become extinct long ago, so such crystals are very rare.”
Ding Ning’s brow also furrowed deeply. “Zheng Xiu has statues outside her study in the imperial palace. These crystals are the sources of power for the combat statues. One moonstone the size of a goose’s egg is enough to support her statues for many years.”
Lin Zhujiu’s expression grew ugly. “She has at least a hundred combat statues outside her study.”
Ding Ning turned to look at him and said, “Yes.”
Their conversation was very simple, but Zhangsun Qianxue and Zhang Shiwu both understood the meaning in their words.
All cultivators in Changling knew that there were some statues on the path outside Zheng Xiu’s city who were as strong as realm four and five cultivators. The statues were made from all kinds of metals. They usually were motionless. Some were soldiers, others beasts. They looked decorative, but the statues were able to sense unusual energy vibrations on their own. If a cultivator stepped near Zheng Xiu’s study, the formations inside these statues would activate.
Only Zheng Xiu could control these statues, a method unique to Jiaodong Commandery. They were akin to the most loyal guards. But there were about a hundred or so of these statues, the number was very clear. In the wars against the Han, Zhao, and Wei, and later during the Changling battle, and the battle fields with the Chu right now, similar statues had not appeared.
However, the blue light coming off the shelves in the warehouse right now was due to being seeped by the energies of the moonstones for a long time. In other words, the moonstones were very precious and rare in the entire cultivation world, but in the secret hoard of Jiaodong Commandery, there had once been a great number. All of these shelves had once had moonstones!
If it was like Ding Ning said, a goose egg sized moonstone could support a statue for many years of use, then the moonstones which had been stored once upon a time on the wooden shelves were enough for the hundred or so statues to be used for dozens of years.
So while Zheng Xiu had taken moonstones from here to take to Changling, if it was just to support the hundred or so statues, she would not have needed to take such a terrifying amount of moonstone. Based on common sense, it was that Zheng Xiu had always had the ability to create large numbers of combat statues like these, but she kept on hiding such a method, and did not create them!
“The statues are the work of the Jiaodong Commandery craftsmen?” Zhang Shiwu was a practical man and asked a practical question. He looked at Ding Ning and asked, “Hard to make?”
Ding Ning shook his head. “Some statues are only made from ordinary metals, the materials are not precious and rare. Jiaodong Commandery has refined blueprints. Each kind of statue has their own set of formation. They should not be hard to make.”
“If we did not come here, we would not have found that she has such a trick left up her sleeve. I do not want to imagine that each of the warehouses has been emptied by her before we came.” Lin Zhujiu turned away from the room with a cold expression. He walked to the second warehouse, and then pushed open the door.
A heavy breath came from his nose. This warehouse was not empty, and there were many things stored inside. At a glance, it was stunning enough, shocking and surprising him.