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Chapter 1144: 1144

These were the only two possibilities .

With respect to the first, Jiang Chen surmised that Great Scarlet Mid Region had no formation master of that caliber, period . A formation master at the level of the heavenly planes was probably alive somewhere on the Divine Abyss Continent, but there was no chance he was in Great Scarlet Mid Region . It was possible that he wasn’t even located in the human domain .  Therefore, that possibility could be eliminated . All that remained was the second .

His heart was conflicted . He had spent his utmost efforts on finding a powerful earth attribute treasure . Among the five elemental attributes, he’d always lacked completion of earth . That was one of the fundamental reasons he hadn’t yet broken through to emperor realm . He had been waiting–no, was still waiting–for an earth attribute treasure to appear .

If this place really did have an earth attribute treasure that could make the earth pulsate, then it was definitely an extraordinary one! Despite his experienced eye from a previous life, he felt a fire beginning to burn in his heart .

He had seen treasures ten or a hundred times more potent than this in his previous life for sure, but they weren’t exactly available to the present him . They might as well not have existed either in his past life, since he had literally zero cultivation talent, and therefore couldn’t use any of them . This time, things were different . It was the exact kind of treasure he was missing . Fancy the sheer luck involved in such a coincidence!

He had originally come to seek out the Resplendent Emerald Veranda’s master in an attempt to save Wei Xing’er . This discovery was the definition of serendipity! It was an astoundingly valuable reward for his troubles .

Jiang Chen’s brain fired up for only a moment before cooling down again . He sat down cross-legged, and began to meditate on his assumptions . To ensure accuracy, he sent out the Goldbiter Rat King to scout the premises once again . He needed to double-check the earth pulse’s veracity . As a fine specimen of the Goldbiter Rat species, the king wouldn’t attract any attention from the emperor realm cultivators guarding the formation upon approach . In the heart of the mountains, it was normal to find powerful spirit beasts glutted with cultivation .

Though the king was a cowardly critter, he still carried out Jiang Chen’s commands to the letter . After about an hour, he returned to confirm that the pulse of the earth did indeed exist here . There was no problem, no sir!

Having received supporting evidence for his hypothesis, Jiang Chen was increasingly reassured that there was an earth attribute treasure in the area . What was it exactly, though? He had no idea .

He knew only that it had been here a long time . Its tendrils of influence wouldn’t have extended this far, otherwise . The formation of a pulse in the earth required a great deal of energy . A piece of pulsating land like this could be adapted into any number of terrifying formations by even the most rudimentary of formation masters .

Simply triggering the pulse of the earth was enough to eliminate emperor realm cultivators on the spot . There was no need to encode any offense into any superimposed formations . The original discoverer of this place had been a lucky man indeed!

Was it the master of the Resplendent Emerald Veranda? It was yet another guess, but Jiang Chen believed there was a very good reason that the Veranda master was breaking through here . The pulse of the earth was a prime candidate for that .

It had probably been a long time since the Veranda master first noticed the phenomenon . He wouldn’t have set up the formation and the other periphery here otherwise . The stage wasn’t entirely flawless, but fleeting workmanship could not have accomplished it . A decade or so at minimum had gone into the execution .

Having mused out his thoughts, Jiang Chen decided that it was better to take a look himself . Calling upon the Bewitching Lotus of Ice and Fire, he approached the edge of the formation from deep underground .

Coming to the formation’s edges, Jiang Chen began to study it with all he knew . The formation itself was rather elementary . What made it special was a vortex of energy in the middle of its eye . The pulse of the earth originated from there, radiating into the surroundings as an enormous field of energy .

The only function of the formation was to guide the energy from the pulse of the earth outwards . It shaped that energy into an impenetrable bulwark, restraining all trespassers .

Jiang Chen scrutinized the formation from every angle a long while . He wanted to find a loophole, a path of escape through which he could proceed . Disappointingly, the formation had no vulnerabilities whatsoever despite its simplicity . More accurately, the pulse had no gaps whatsoever in its energy field .

Unless the formation was brought to a halt entirely so that it no longer drew on its source of power, not even a great emperor cultivator could pass by unscathed . One thing relieved Jiang Chen, however . The formation was also far too basic to make full use of all of the energies available from the earth’s pulsation .

Otherwise, things very well could have been different . This place would’ve become a dead zone thanks to the all-encompassing power of the pulse . The area of the pulse’s reach was like that of a great grindstone . It generated enough force to pulverize everything that dared to come into its vicinity . Any living beings especially who entered the area’s core would be reduced to grit .

“Ole Gold, what do you think?” Jiang Chen looked down the formation’s four corners with a long stare . Four of the Veranda master’s invited protectors stood at them, one to each cardinal direction . It seemed that there was no opportunity to take advantage of a breach in the line . Unless the protectors came out themselves, an outsider had no room to sneak in undetected .

“Young master Chen,” the Goldbiter Rat King sighed, “I’m not being pessimistic, but… we’ve seen what the pulse is doing on the outside . I reckon it gets much worse further in . Even if all of my children went in at once, the pulse would still stop us . Unless… that formation stops . ”

The rat king understood the pulse of the earth to a certain extent thanks to knowledge inherited from his bloodline .

“There’s four emperor realm experts holding down the fort here,” Jiang Chen sighed softly . “There’s no reason for the formation to stop by itself . We’d have to get them to leave the formation voluntarily, or we can’t even attack them through it . ”

He had been looking for a loophole all the while, but nothing of the sort sadly existed .

The Rat King nodded incessantly in agreement . “Young master Chen, you know… only an idiot would leave the formation normally, but an irresistible lure can turn anyone’s brain to mush . You have so many treasures on you . Why not try baiting one or two of them out?”

The spirit creature’s words were a spark of inspiration to Jiang Chen . None of the four protectors were ordinary people . One was sixth level emperor realm, one was fifth, and the other two were at the peak of fourth level . The Upper Eight Regions notwithstanding, here in the Great Scarlet Mid Region, they were nothing short of elite . Ordinary bait would be insufficient to attract their attention . But Jiang Chen had no shortage of bait-worthy treasures .

… . . .

The Goldbiter Rat King fled with maddening haste, the outline of sky rank spirit herb leaves visible between its teeth . Feigning disorientation, it pounced at the formation’s boundary with every ounce of its strength . Behind it, someone cried out . “Where are you going, filthy animal? No matter where you go, I won’t let you escape!”

The owner of that voice was none other than Jiang Chen himself . They were putting on an act of hardship to win their enemies’ confidence . However, the fear on the rat king’s face was no act . Goldbiter Rats were craven by nature, and proximity to the formation exponentially increased the amount of psychological pressure on the rat .

The formation had four manned positions . The protectors stood independently, but each man was ready to support the others at a moment’s notice . The position closest to him was occupied by one of the most senior elders of a third rank Scarlet Parting Sect . He had been specially invited by the Veranda master .

Surnamed Gao, the old man was a fifth level emperor realm cultivator, edging on sixth . He was an exceptionally important member of his sect, but minded few worldly affairs because of his age . The Veranda’s successful invitation of him had been a big surprise to many .

A man as paranoid as they came, the elderly Gao deployed an art of the eye as soon as he heard Jiang Chen’s cry . His scan revealed a large, golden-furred mouse rushing towards his direction . Not three or five miles behind it was a cultivator in hot pursuit, his dash as frenzied as his prey’s .

Elder Gao furrowed his brow . He hadn’t expected a human cultivator to show up here at all, much less for them to be charging straight at him . The two sky rank spirit herbs in the mouse’ maw impelled him to cut down the oversized rodent immediately, so that he could take the spirit herbs for himself .

Coming through at the last second, his reason told him that such recklessness was folly . His most important mission right now was to protect the formation . He was absolutely safe within its range, but had zero guarantee as to his security outside . Though Elder Gao did not think that either the rat or the cultivator could threaten him at all, an elderly old man always maintained the most basic of cautions . Despite the fact that his heart was beckoning for him to make a move, he maintained a cool head . He chose to stand at the border of the formation in silent observation .

The Goldbiter Rat King quickly collided with the formation’s boundary, stumbling at the impact . It was summarily sent flying by an invisible repelling force . The formation intrinsically rejected outside energies as a kind of warning . Any forced intrusion would trigger the pulse of the earth completely, consuming the invader with its power . A hapless trespasser who got caught up in the pulse would certainly be ground into dust . The Goldbiter Rat King reeled from the formation, but Jiang Chen was behind it in the next moment .

“Keep running, why don’t you,” he snickered .

The Rat King ran about all helter-skelter, screeching all the while . “Don’t kill me, don’t kill me . I’ll give you your spirit herbs back!”

“It’s too late to do that now,” Jiang Chen sneered . “I don’t just want my spirit herbs back, I want you to serve me for the next three thousand years!”




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