Chapter 152: The Blood Dragonfruit (1)
A few days later, they had come to a crossroad with one path leading deep into the mountain range and another path that led to a red desert.
The red desert had an ominous feeling but it was emanating with strong spiritual aura, a sign that there were wondrous spiritual treasures hidden in the desert.
Xiaofang was excited as he looked at the direction of the direction, saying aloud to the party. “Finally we get to have some tan and perhaps more lucky occurrences.”
He was the party guide and he had been leading everyone without a direction for the past several days. Finally a meaningful direction could be seen and he was excited.
As he walked toward the direction of the red desert, Ye Jing had called out to him. “Xiaofang, wait a minute. You’re heading the wrong way.”
As he turned back, he saw that the rest was looking at the other path.
“We’re not heading to this red desert?” Xiaofang asked curiously.
Ye Jing smiled weakly, “I don’t recommend for that. That place looks really treacherous. We ought to exercise some caution.”
Xuan Danfeng nodded, “I agree too. I don’t like the color of the desert. It is as red as blood. It looks like a place where the blood of the cultivators has been dyed red in there.”
Agreeing with Xuan Danfeng, Feng Minyue said. “There are also many poisonous desolate beasts that dwelled in the desert. Also the terrain of the sands may be highly disadvantageous against us. If our movements got impaired then we may also lose our lives in the next instant.”
Xiaofang was startled by their analysis of the situation and he cursed himself softly, “I am only seeing things on the surface and should have exercised more foresight. I’ve almost landed the party in a precautious situation due to greed. I am sorry…”
As he hurried back down the path to rejoin the party, Fan Yuqing whispered to him. “There is no need to feel so bad. You didn’t know better.”
Xiaofang sighed heavily and his countenance was filled with guilt for almost endangering everyone.
Fan Yuqing suddenly gave him a faint smile when no one else was seeing and whispered to him, “It is actually their lame excuses. They just didn’t want to burn their skins under the scorching hot rays. There is no way they will enter that desert even if there are no dangers.”
After a few days of following the second path deep into the mountain ranges, they had soon arrived at a beautiful vicinity where there were many beautiful spiritual plants and trees.
But what really caught their attention was a spiritual animus of a red light that they had spotted the instant that they had arrived at the valley. It was like a giant beacon of light that was attracting them.
Ye Jing was startled, “What is it? It seems like a spiritual fruit but I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Fan Yuqing smiled as she said, “We are in luck. It seems that we have found the legendary nectar of the Blood Dragonfruit. Other than the Bodhi Fruit, this is one of the most precious fruits that are known. It is said that there is only a 5% for it to appear on the second level. Even on the sixth level, there is less than 10% chance to encounter it.”
The actual chance was actually lower because it was not possible to explore all the different floating continents of the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth.
Feng Minyue was startled, “Isn’t that the…”
Xuan Danfeng was also startled as she hurriedly said, “It is said to be an immortal fruit that can nourish the vitality of the cultivator by increasing the vitality of the cultivator’s blood essence.”
Even Ye Jing was excited, “I’ve lost a lot of blood 8 years ago, this is just nice for me…”
Fan Yuqing looked at Ye Jing as she remarked sarcastically, “The one that has lost a lot of blood is me. I was the one that was feeding you with my blood for 8 whole years so that you can be revived.”
Ye Jing replied weakly, “Well, I feel weaker than before I am revived. This Blood Dragonfruit is just nice for me…”
Fan Yuqing hummed coldly, “Except that it isn’t your turn to get a share yet. Please wait for your turn.”
Ye Jing protested softly, “But it looks like a big fruit. Surely we can all share it together, am I right?”
Feng Minyue laughed, “Lucky we did not go to that red desert or we would never encounter such a wondrous find.”
Xuan Danfeng winked at Xiaofang, “I agree too. Lucky we had never gone to that accursed desert.”
When they had reached the location of the glowing spirit fruit, they were startled to see that there were about three dozen cultivators that were also in this place.
All the cultivators were meditating around a lofty red tree that had several dozens of blood dragonfruits on its branches.
It seemed that there was an immerse aura that was radiating from the Blood Dragonfruit Tree and the cultivators were cultivating so that they could approach the Blood Dragonfruit Tree for the Blood Dragonfruit.
There was a cultivator that had successfully cultivated within ten pace of the Blood Dragonfruit Tree while the next closest were at twenty pace. More than half of the cultivators were meditating more than fifty paces away from the tree.
Ye Jing was startled as she muttered, “Why are there so many cultivators in this place?”
Xuan Danfeng took a glance at their attire and whispered to them, “It seems that they are not cultivators from the Nine Celestial Fraternity.”
Ye Jing said, “Oh?”
Xuan Danfeng explained, “Beside the Nine Celestial Fraternity, there are also many other celestial fraternities in the celestial realm. Although we had rarely chanced upon them in the past but it was not unheard of. But it makes sense that they will be here as well. After all, the gods may not favor the Nine Celestial Fraternity all the time.”
At this moment quite a number of cultivators were looking in their direction. After all, the four maidens were the rare beauties of the celestial realm. Most were looking at Ye Jing and Fan Yuqing for they were awestruck by their alluring presence.
As Xiaofang was guiding the party in front, all the other cultivators had thought that Xiaofang was their young master or some important figure.
Therefore it was not surprising at all that Xiaofang was secretly being gossiped upon.
“Look at that young man. He is accompanied by four wondrous beauties. Wonder who he is…”
“We are all here to take a trial but he has brought all his consorts to take the trial with him. What a lucky man.”
“From their attire, they seem to be from the Nine Celestial Fraternity…”
As they gossiped about Xiaofang, the cultivator that was meditating closest to the Blood Dragonfruit Tree began to levitate another pace nearer and many of the cultivators were gasping with astonishment.
“He has made another progress…”
“I say that in another less months or even less, he will be able to obtain the Blood Dragonfruit…”
“What a monstrous genius…”
While most of the cultivators were looking at the monstrous genius cultivator that was nearest the Blood Dragonfruit Tree, a lanky cultivator had quietly approached Xiaofang with a smile as he said. “Fellow cultivator. I’m Gu Mingfeng, a celestial practitioner from the Desolate Celestial Fraternity. I hail from the Water Verdant Sect. May I know where you are from?” Although he was asking Xiaofang but his eyes were upon Fan Yuqing.
Xiaofang replied politely, “I am Dugu Fang, from the Nine Celestial Fraternity.” He did not report his clan of origin because he was not in a clan for the past 8 years.
Gu Mingfeng did not seem to mind that Xiaofang did not share with him his clan of origin and was smiling, “It is not easy to reach the second level of the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth. I am a golden celestial of the initial level and I have been cultivating for the past four hundred years. I wonder how I should address my fellow cultivator here?”
When he told this to Xiaofang, he was immensely proud of his cultivation progression. After all, he could be considered a proud son of the heavens for attaining as a golden celestial at such a young age.
Xiaofang knew that he was trying to probe his cultivation level. The lowest entry level to the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth was a golden celestial and this Gu Mingfeng was at the lowest level. This actually gave him an advantage for he was prepared to call anyone a senior and to befriend them with his humble demeanor.
He smiled awkwardly as he replied, “I’m also a golden celestial.”
Gu Mingfeng chuckled, “Surely Celestial Dugu here must be at a higher staging than me.”
Xiaofang refused to answer him as he said, “Since we are at the same level, there is no need to compare staging.”
Xiaofang was actually an upper golden celestial now. He felt that it was pointless to compare cultivation level.
But Fan Yuqing was suddenly smiling, “He is our master and he is an upper golden celestial. As for the four of us here, we are only half-step golden celestials here and we are his maidservants.”
Xiaofang was startled by Fan Yuqing’s reply and he turned to take a glance at her.
But Fan Yuqing, Xuan Danfeng, Feng Minyue and Ye Jing were all giggling and they had said at the same time, “Yes, we’re all Master Dugu’s maidservants.”
There was an envious look that was on Gu Mingfeng as he smiled, “Celestial Dugu must be a highly attained celestial. Moreover your four maidservants are all astonishing peerless beauties. I have thought that they are your consorts or fellow protégés.”
Ye Jing chipped in with a soft chuckle, “In our Hundred Flower Sect, we are also consorts and maidservants to our Master Dugu at the same time. Our roles are only to serve our master every whims and fancy.”
When Ye Jing saw that it was Fan Yuqing who had started the tease on Xiaofang, she could not resist adding in the fun.
Feng Minyue knitted her brows but said nothing. She had joined the tease on Xiaofang but Ye Jing further comments were a little uncomfortable to her liking.
There was a twitch on Gu Mingfeng’s face when he had heard her. No wonder why this Dugu Fang had refused to report his celestial clan to him earlier. It may because this Hundred Flower Sect had a notorious reputation in the Nine Celestial Fraternity.
Gu Mingfeng muttered, “Master Dugu is such an enviable man…”
There were many other cultivators that had overheard Ye Jing and many of them were thinking the same as Gu Mingfeng as well. The thought that this Celestial Dugu was able to bed all four of the heavenly beauties caused their blood to race.
An elderly cultivator hummed coldly when he had heard Ye Jing, “Heretics! There are many who thought of living a frivolous lifestyle the minute that they have attained the golden celestial level that they forget that sainthood is the only truth.”
Ye Jing quickly probed the cultivation level of this elderly cultivation with her divine sense and saw that he was an initial saint. At this moment, he was meditating within twenty-five paces of the Blood Dragonfruit Tree.
Xiaofang was more interested in the Blood Dragonfruit so he asked Gu Mingfeng, “Why are they meditating around the Blood Dragonfruit Tree?”
Gu Mingfeng smiled, “There is an imposing aura that prevents us from reaching the Blood Dragonfruit and moreover there is a powerful immortal array around. The only way for us to reach the Blood Dragonfruit is through our superior state of meditation. Most of them won’t be able to obtain the Blood Dragonfruit but still, it is still beneficial to mediate around here for more cultivation insights.”
Xiaofang asked, “Celestial Gu, you are not going for the Blood Dragonfruit?”
Gu Mingfeng laughed, “Actually I’ve already been for three years.” Then he said proudly, “Did you see that person who is within nine pace of the Blood Dragonfruit Tree? Well, he is my master and he is an intermediate saint. Once my master obtains the Blood Dragonfruit, I will be able to revel in the share. Moreover, I am taking a break for the time being.”
Xiaofang was startled, “You have been here for three years already.”
Gu Mingfeng nodded, “Our group is actually not the longest. That elderly cultivator over there that had just spoken has actually been here for five years.”
There was an ugly expression that was on Xiaofang’s countenance. This Blood Dragonfruit was proving to be extremely difficult to obtain.
Gu Mingfeng laughed when he saw Xiaofang’s expression as he added, “The further you are from the Blood Dragonfruit Tree, the easier it is for you to approach it but it gets increasing difficult for you to approach it with every step. My master is only able to advance a single step for every month that had passed now. It may be a year or more later before my master will be able to obtain the Blood Dragonfruit.”
Xiaofang took a second look at the cultivator that was meditating closest to the Blood Dragonfruit Tree. He did not look much older than Gu Mingfeng and he was possible a young old freak. In the celestial realm, appearances were often misleading.
Xiaofang turned to look at the four maidens with a wry smile, “The desert seems a better place to go now, am I right?”