Chapter Six Hundred and Seventy Eight - Nether Decay Reincarnation Lotus
Both Ji Zheng and Dai Tao hadn't thought that Zuo Mo would secretly give the Little Mo Treasure Cup to Ceng Lian'er. While the Little Mo Treasure Cup did not have as astounding of power in Ceng Lian'er's hands as it did in Zuo Mo's, it was still enough to deliver a fatal blow when Ji Zheng had let his guard down.
If the news of this spread, Little Mo Treasure Cup would be elevated into the top level of talismans in the world after this fight!
The shock that Ji Zheng's death gave Xuan Kong Temple was peerless.
When they received the news, the elders of Xuan Kong Temple were still on their way. They almost collectively lost the power of speech. Almost none of them believed that this was true.
A fanxu elder could die?
Many elders had blank expressions when they heard the news. In their minds, Elder Ji Zheng was like a god! Many more elders started to waver. While the enemy was only three people, this mission had become more dangerous than it had been in the past!
Of course, the one that had suffered the greatest blow was Dai Tao. He had lost all courage, turned and ran from the scene. This was an instinctive response. It could be seen from this how strong the terror he felt was.
Ji Zheng's death surpassed Xuan Kong Temple's expectations and caused the Xuan Kong temple elders to not know what to do.
This was the first fanxu xiuzhe's death in nearly twenty years.
Coincidentally, the most recent death of a marshal in twenty years in the mo territories had also been caused by Zuo Mo. This was also a Xuan Kong Temple elder of the four great sects.
New of Ji Zheng's death quickly spread to all the sects through all kinds of avenues and created a great wave.
Some of the sects that had been yearning to join the fray quickly changed tactics and recalled the experts they had sent towards the mo territories. While the loss of a fanxu expert to a large sect like Xuan Kong Temple was painful, it would not lead to their immediate collapse. But for sects outside the four great sects, this kind of loss was enough to wound them to the bone.
And reality proved that fanxu were not as powerful as people had imagined. They could also be killed!
The fanxu experts that had lived in luxury for a long time needed time to adjust to the chaotic world.
The name of Xiao Mo Ge once again entered people's ears. However, this time, the name contained intimidation it did not have before.
Killing a marshal might be a lucky circumstance, but if he killed a fanxu as well then no one would doubt his strength.
For Zuo Mo, this risk had been a successful gamble!
He had won!
The gains this time were plentiful as he had expected. Ji Zheng was wealthy. While he did not have many talismans, there were rare materials that had Zuo Mo's eyes lighting up!
Seventeen Incense Fire Ling Wish Beads!
The Incense Fire Ling Wish Beads were forged using a special method unique to dhyana xiu sects. The beads were formed by the power of incense fire. These seventeen ling wish beads were translucent and pure. He didn't know how many years worth of incense had they had been treated with. Only a great sect like Xuan Kong Temple could produce such high level Incense Fire Ling Wish Beads.
The power of incense fire was similar to wish power. However, the beads were not used for cultivation. It was actually an extremely rare dhyana material.
Based on the number of beads, Zuo Mo speculated that Ji Zheng had wanted to obtain eighteen to make a bracelet. If this bracelet could be completed, it would be a top tier talisman. Zuo Mo did not understand the Incense Fire Ling Wish Bead well. Each of the Incense Fire Ling Wish Beads were given in tribute by the sects under Xuan Kong Temple. Each bead had experienced five hundred years of incense fire. The quality was high and rare. It was only because Ji Zheng had been waiting on the last one that he hadn't forged his talisman and his plans ended up benefitting Zuo Mo.
However, the forging of Incense Fire Ling Wish Beads required special methods that Zuo Mo was not suited to using. Zuo Mo decide to leave them to Zong Ru, who had wish power and making it more appropriate for him to forge these. It would be even better than talismans using ling power.
The next treasure was more wondrous. There seemed to be a crimson red lotus growing on top of a rotating black piece of wood.
"Nether's Rotten Reincarnation Lotus!" Pu Yao's exclamation sounded in Zuo Mo's mind.
Hearing Pu Yao's shout, Zuo Mo became alert. Something that Pu Yao would exclaim about would not be an average treasure. He hurried to ask, "What lotus?"
"This is the Nether's Rotten Reincarnation Lotus!" Pu Yao repeated. His gaze was tightly locked on the tender lotus fire and his tone was filled with shock and wonder. "The rumors say that there are organisms that grow in the Ten Thousand Wasteland in the deepest reaches of the Nether Realm. The Reincarnation Lotus is the most valuable material grown in the region. It uses the most corrosive poison as nutrients, and it gives birth to the purest and most miraculous thing."
Zuo Mo felt tempted hearing about it. "Then what is the use in such a thing?"
Pu Yao smirked coldly and said, "The best use for dhyana xiu is to preserve their mind during reincarnation. That old thieving baldy definitely planned to use it like that."
"Reincarnation!" Zuo Mo sighed. He was slightly disappointed. It meant that this could not be used now.
"You do not know the wonders of reincarnation. If someone knows that you possess such an object, your life is over. All those decrepit antiques will come make trouble for you. You can use it to trade for any talisman you want. You can have them do anything you want. Of course, they can also just kill you and steal the treasure."
Zuo Mo jumped in fright, "It is that powerful?"
So this is that valuable! His mind started to move. He was considering what treasure he could trade with this.
Pu Yao then said, "It is not just for reincarnation. This is a rare object that xiuzhe, yao, and mo can all use. Also ... ..."
Zuo Mo looked at Pu Yao that seemed reluctant to speak. "And what?"
"And it has a wondrous effect." Pu Yao glanced at Zuo Mo. "It can nurture the soul. It is the tiny bit of vitality that forms in an place of extreme death and corrosion. Nothing can compare to its effects on nurturing the soul!"
"Nurturing the soul?" Zuo Mo immediately stilled.
"Yes." Pu Yao closed his mouth.
A smile slowly started to form on corner of Zuo Mo's mouth and continue to grow. He was like a child that received his most beloved wish. "Then this is something A Gui can use?"
"Yes." Pu Yao said in a certain tone. "While it is the first time I have seen this and I am not entirely sure what its effect are, it is something that will be of great help to A Gui."
"Great! Great!" Zuo Mo suddenly became excited. He suddenly thought of a problem and hurriedly asked, "Is there anything special method used to consume it?"
"Just eat it," Pu Yao said.
Zuo Mo licked his lips. Suddenly, he felt nervous. He turned his face to look at A Gui. At this time, he was not in the mood to inspect his other gains. Those treasures that were worth ten thousand jingshi were not things that could hold his gaze at the moment.
A Gui looked silently at him. Like usual, those wooden and grey pupils did not avoid Zuo Mo's gaze.
Zuo Mo suddenly felt pain in his heart.
That fragmented scene and this calm and wooden face flashed through his mind.
He suddenly understood.
He wasn't just doing this for an answer.
With his left hand, he grabbed A Gui's hand tightly. He plucked the reincarnation lotus and moved it next to A Gui's lips.
The reincarnation lotus turned into a green energy and burrowed into A Gui's mouth.
Within his hand, A Gui's hand shook.
Luo Da was slightly nervous. Xiao Mo Ge's battalion had suddenly disappeared. Thinking to how Xiao Mo Ge's battalion had been publicly searching for guides previously, a thought uncontrollably rose in Luo Da's mind.
Had they truly found a secret path?
Originally, it was not his responsibility to worry about such matters. With Jiang Zhe Daren in command of the entire situation, he just had to listen to orders. But the region in which Xiao Mo Ge's battalions had disappeared was very close to the defense line that he was in charge of.
How could he not have his heart in the air?
He had already sent the information to Jiang Zhe Daren, but up until now, Jiang Zhe Daren had just ordered him to continue to maintain his position.
Out of caution, he sent out several groups of scouts. But the scouts seemed to disappear and not one had returned.
Without any scouts and left ignorant of the situation outside, Luo Dai's worry increased.
Other than battles of coincidence caused by outside factors, there would rarely be final battles where the main battalions on both sides would battle when a conflict first started. The two sides would test each other and it would usually start with groups of scouts.
The fighting between battalion elites was much crueler and intense.
Jiang Zhe did not hesitate in sending out large numbers of scouts. He needed intelligence, he needed to know Bie Han's movements.
It had been too long since he fought against Bie Han. He did not know what kind of changes Bie Han had gone through in this time. However, there was something else. The importance he placed on Bie Han surpassed anyone else.
Those elders in the sect all said that Bie Han was dangerous, but no one understood how terrifying Bie Han actually was, only Jiang Zhe did!
He also knew of Bie Han's hate for Xuan Kong Temple.
The two had competed from a young age and were evenly matched. However, Jiang Zhe had been allowed to take sole command of a battalion ever since the age of ten. Later on, he was allowed to form his own battalion, the Jiangze Battalion.
On the other side, Bie Han was forced to copy sutras in the desolate mountain valley. It was supposed to wear away his viciousness. In a break with convention the sect leader had allowed him to take command of Sin Battalion, but it was only after Bie Han had publicly fought him to a stalemate. In the eyes of other disciples, command of Sin Battalion was a punishment.
Sin Battalion was famous but no disciple was willing to be isolated so, to interact all day with a group of silent and unresponsive puppets.
Later, as Bie Han's identity as a mo was made public, Jiang Zhe finally understood why the sect leader and others treated Bie Han so poorly. But he also knew that Bie Han's hate of Xuan Kong Temple reached deep into his bones.
Jiang Zhe decided that no matter what, he had to kill Bie Han in this fight.
He could not sit by and watch as a person as dangerous as Bie Han become the greatest threat to Xuan Kong Temple!
Five hundred elite scouts appeared on front of Jiang Zhe. They formed ten little teams.
Jiang Zhe only had one order for them. Hunt the other's scouts and kill them at any price.
He knew that not many of these five hundred would come back alive. Their expressions were calm and at ease. They did not feel any fear about the upcoming dangerous battles.
They were truly elite.
The fight between scouts meant that this battle that was fated to cause a great number of casualties had formally started!
Translator Ramblings: or "fragrant fire" has multiple meanings. One refers to the worship of the Buddha/deity by believers, and the second meaning is the incense and candles used during rituals. Since this is a fantasy novel and there hasn't been any mention of worshipers, I'm going with a literal incense fire.