Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
The fog—the mysterious energy of the Pool of Divine Purification in its gaseous state—was dense enough to be turned into liquid. Lu Ye only needed to gather as much of the fog as he could, and it could easily become liquid already.
Lu Ye wasn’t sure at first if this would work. The idea occurred to him just out of the blue, and he decided to just give it a go. After all, there was hardly anything to lose even if his hunch failed to work.
Lu Ye held his hand out before the swirling fog rising up to his face. He channeled his power. Each almost the size of his hand, Yin and Yang primary elements materialized right before his eyes and clicked into each other like Chinese Luban Lock puzzles. In mere seconds, the Glyphs grew so many that they filled his sight.
The Lord Governor was sitting by the pit when he saw what was going on inside. Shock filled his gaze. He did not expect Lu Ye to be a Glyphweaver and one who was able to construct Glyphs with such ease.
[Those are… Glyphs!?] The Lord Governor realized. [And they are taking the shape of something large… big… is that Glyph: Gathering Spirits?!]
Unlike the usual Gathering Spirits that the Lord Governor had seen before, what Lu Ye was constructing was different—bigger and strange in form. With a wide opening that tapered into a smaller neck, the Lord Governor recognized what it was: a funnel.
[A funnel?!] The Lord Governor straightened up nervously.
[Damn, this fellow is becoming more than a mere nuisance…] He had agreed to allow Lu Ye and his companions access to the Pool of Divine Purification only because he deemed that they would not consume too much of the Pool’s energies. For the release of the apparitions, they were thinking about spiriting out of the Lost City, this did not seem like a terrible price to pay at first.
But if Lu Ye really was going to do what he believed he was trying to do, then this would not be a trade. It would be a scam. He had fallen victim to a scam!
Inside the pit, Lu Ye exhaled a long and deep breath. He had just constructed the biggest Glyph: Gathering Spirits funnel he ever had—a funnel as far as thirty meters wide.
This had easily depleted a considerable portion of his Spiritual Power.
He would have constructed an even bigger funnel if he did not have to worry about the risk of failing.
Now that it had been completed, all he needed to do was give it a go and see if it would work.
He paused. More fog was swirling and gathering around the funnel and the plasma was beginning to grow thicker. The force of the Glyph was drawing in every shred of the fog nearby, pulling it into the funnel and compacting it while it spouted out of the bottleneck at the bottom, pouring out like a huge geyser.
[No, this helps to gather all the energy, but I need to do something to let it actually condense.]
Lu Ye lifted his arms and channeled his power, discharging Spiritual Power to seal off the bottleneck at the bottom of the funnel.
Without an outlet to escape from, the energy was compressed further and further until droplets of liquid appeared inside the funnel. The droplets grew larger and larger, putting on more and more weight until they slipped down the edge of the funnel and collected at the bottom of the bottleneck.
[It works! It really works!]
Overjoyed, Lu Ye watched the amount of liquid increase. Little by little, the waterline rose as more droplets resembling dew drops accumulating in the center of a lotus leaf in the morning slid down the edge of the funnel and into the bottleneck.
Meanwhile, the Lord Governor watching from the edge of the Pool could take no more. The Pool and its energy constituted not only the source of power for the entire Lost City of Xianyuan; it also provided power to the other parts of the Rift of Fortune. Therefore, there was no way he could allow the energy from the Pool to be depleted so wantonly.
If only he did not give Lu Ye six hours; he had mistaken Lu Ye for a middling Cultivator, so six hours should be more than enough to satisfy him. Only now did he realize that he had severely misjudged not only Lu Ye’s gluttony but also his ingenuity and shrewdness/.
If only he had promised one hour.
But there was nothing much he could do. A promise is a promise, and the die had been cast. As Lord Governor and a man of his word, he could not just head inside and drag Lu Ye out like a naughty child.
He looked left and right. Making sure that none of the Xianyuan City Watchmen were looking his way, he aimed a finger at the pit and twirled in circles.
Back inside the shaft, Lu Ye was watching as the liquid energy accumulated with thrill and satisfaction when the air around him began to toss. The peaceful air turned choppy as if a storm was beginning its rage and the gigantic funnel warped and shattered, releasing the fog inside, which scattered into the air as soon as it escaped.
They were gone.
And the droplets of liquid energy that he managed to accumulate so far—after all his troubles and efforts—began bursting into the air.
Lu Ye frantically channeled his power and groped for every drop he could seize before they dissolved into nothing. He had lost some, but at least he managed to salvage the lion’s share of what he managed to produce earlier. From his Storage Bag, he found a jade flask which he used to store all the liquid.
He gave the vessel a gentle shake, finding it half-filled. There must be at least a dozen droplets inside by his reckoning.
He had never heard of anyone bringing that much liquid energy out of the Pool of Divine Purification before. Most stories mentioned only just a handful of drops.
Nevertheless, the success of his first try was enough to spur him to another attempt.
If there was anything that he had learned from his first endeavor, it was that the Glyph: Gathering Spirits funnel that he constructed needed to be smaller. Being wider made the process faster, but it lacked stability and strength. If there was turbulence again, the earlier mishap might repeat and thwart his efforts.
Therefore, he decided to construct a small funnel this time.
He focused his Spiritual Power in both hands and began constructing his Glyph once more as swarms of Yin and Yang elements fell into shape before his gaze.
Lu Ye finished creating another giant funnel, although this one was markedly smaller than the earlier one at barely twenty meters wide.
Lu Ye extracted a vial of Mystic Fruit cider from inside his Storage Bag and consumed it to replenish his Spiritual Power quickly.
With a smaller funnel, the droplets of liquid energy that it yielded were expectedly fewer. But somehow, the funnel failed to last longer than the bigger funnel he constructed earlier…
But this time, as soon as the turbulence of air began, Lu Ye was ready to secure the droplets as soon as the funnel collapsed and poured them all into his jade flask.
Lu Ye repeated the process again.
The cycle would go on and on. In spite of having more Mystic Fruit cider to restore his power, Lu Ye nevertheless felt overwhelmed. The refreshment of his Spiritual Power just couldn’t keep up with the incessant and taxing depletion from every attempt. As time passed, the funnels that he could construct eventually became smaller and smaller. Even so, none of them could hold out long enough to produce a satisfactory yield.
Lu Ye finally lost track of time, but he did not stop until he felt a strange force constrict around him. Realizing that his time should be up, Lu Ye hastily collected what droplets that had formed in his last attempt.
And he was fortunate his instincts served him well; as soon as he was finished, his vision went blurry. By the time he could see properly again, he was back in the enclosure of the cottage that was within the grounds of a large mansion where the rest of his Grand Sky Coalition allies were taking refuge. He crashed to the ground on all fours, an indication of how fatigued he was.
Yi Yi, Amber, and Ju Jia materialized just beside him. Seeing Lu Ye on the ground, Yi Yi wished to come over to help him up, but she did not look normal herself; her spectral self was pulsing with a strange glow and she, despite her struggles, failed to walk in a straight line, it was as if she was tipsy.
She was not the only one; even Amber and Ju Jia were displaying similar traits. All of them wobbled around unsteadily as if they had just survived a drinking competition!
Perhaps six hours really were too long for them; each of them could barely get used to the sudden disorientation.
Nevertheless, there was hardly anything to be alarmed about. They would fully recover in just a few days.
Lu Ye got to his feet, waving a hand to indicate that he was fine.
Satisfied that Lu Ye was uninjured, Ju Jia immediately sat on the ground and began meditating.
Yi Yi too vanished, retreating inside Amber to rest, while the tiger laid down on the ground and rested its head on Ju Jia’s lap. Within seconds, the giant feline was in a deep slumber, snoring.
Back at the Lord Governor’s court complex, the master of the Lost City of Xianyuan surveyed the aftermath of Lu Ye’s visit. He sighed. The Pool of Divine Purification had suffered a considerable loss, but fortunately, he had intervened just in time to prevent permanent damage.
That a young Cultivator like Lu Ye could pull off such unusual methods to turn the fog into liquid really was beyond his expectations.
To say nothing about the strange concoction he had been consuming, again and again, to replenish his power so that he could keep on constructing those funnel-like Glyphs!
As Lord Governor, it would be unbecoming of him to stop Lu Ye, hence causing the turbulence without the latter’s knowledge and disrupting the funnel-shaped Glyphs were the fullest extent of what he could do, which he only did after ascertaining that Lu Ye had his just desserts.
He could have chosen to not interfere, but Lu Ye would walk out of this encounter with a huge amount of liquid energy, which was greatly endangering the stability of this city and the Rift’s existence.
In the meantime, a satisfied Lu Ye was examining his spoils. His soul had grown spiritually stronger, and he had managed to collect three to four tiny flasks of liquid energy.
Despite their relatively tiny size, the flasks, which were originally used to store pills, could fill at least thirty drops of liquid energy. That would make at least one hundred droplets of liquid energy now in Lu Ye’s possession.
Liquid energy which was the essence extracted from the swirling Pool of Divine Purification in its gaseous state.
Lu Ye wished to get back home fast. The droplets of liquid energy would make a great gift for his mentor, Grand Master of the Crimson Blood Sect Tang Yifeng.
And then there was also Shui Yuan. Still in the Real Lake Realm, the droplets would be extremely useful once she began her attempt at the Divine Ocean Realm.
Lu Ye did not forget Li Baxian as well. While, like Lu Ye, Li Baxian still had a long way to go before reaching the state where the potency of one’s spirit substantially affected one’s strength and power, Lu Ye was confident a soul that was spiritually stronger and more potent would nevertheless be a great boon.
On that note, Lu Ye reflected on and reexamined himself.
He had been so busy in the pit that he had not reassessed himself just now.
But now, he realized that he felt starkly different.
In the past, Lu Ye could only rely on the flow of Spiritual Power in his body to examine his condition. Even so, this method of probing would only provide a vague idea of what was going on in his body—not unlike feeling with his hands without any visual representation. But now that he had grown spiritually enriched, he could picture himself more coherently.
It was a similar transitory feeling he sensed when he was in the state of astral projection earlier.
That way, he could more accurately reassess himself and make correct decisions. If he were wounded somewhere he could not physically see, Lu Ye could now project a sixth sense to properly probe the wound.
And the use of this Divine Sense was not only limited to himself. With this ability, he could now sense and “see” everything within thirty meters of his position.
Everything that was close to him, especially within three meters, he could “see” with his sixth sense with tremendous clarity. The further an object was, the more unclear it would be from him, making distance one of the only weaknesses of this ability.
He immediately thought of a great use for this newfound Divine Sense.
He no longer needed to worry about being ambushed from behind by any Ghost Cultivators.
He had relied on his Nine Realms Scroll to prevent him from being attacked by any Ghost Cultivators who managed to creep up on him from behind.
Glyph: Insight could only help him so much because constructing Glyphs required time. This newfound Divine Sense, on the other hand, was a self-subsistent ability without any blind spots. That easily made it more convenient and better than Glyph: Insight.
Lu Ye had encountered only a few Ghost Cultivators and while most of them were skilled in surreptitious methods of assassination, barely any of them posed any potent threats to him yet.
Nevertheless, Lu Ye was certain that he would one day encounter a Ghost Cultivator strong and deadly enough to be a menace, and this Divine Sense would be the very object of his salvation and triumph.