Lady Cultivator - Chapter 164 - Bewitching Moonstones[Updated at: 2021-01-11 13:40:55]
Chapter 164: Bewitching Moonstones
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
After Mo Tiange entered the door at the innermost part of the hall on her White Silk Handkerchief, she looked around. This was another narrow stone alley just like the one they passed through when they came here. However, the walls here had moonstones inlaid in them, so she didn’t need to light fires like she did when she first came to this place.
In fact, this was relatively strange. Moonstones rarely lasted several thousand years. According to reason, an Immortal’s Cave from several thousand years ago ought to be pitch-black, just like the path they passed at the beginning; how could the Moonstones still be functional?
Daoist Fangzheng also had the same thought as her. The two of them stood facing a wall; each pried out a Moonstone.
“This…” After studying it, Daoist Fangzheng said, “Seems to be the Mother of Moonstones!”
Mo Tiange was bewildered.
Daoist Fangzheng continued to examine it for a while. In the end, he nodded and said, “Correct! This is a Moonstone mine, and these are all Mother of Moonstones. This is why they lasted for such a long time.”
When it came to experience, Daoist Fangzheng had roamed both the cultivation and the secular worlds for several hundred years, so his experience was extensive. Because of that, when Mo Tiange heard what he said, she just nodded. She threw the Mother of Moonstone into her Qiankun Bag and continued to walk forward.
Although Moonstone mines were quite rare, moonstones didn’t have any other use except for providing a light source in the cultivation world, so they weren’t precious.
The two people cautiously tread on the stone path as they continued to move forward.
Ever since Mo Tiange came to Kunwu, she had encountered countless dangerous situations, so she had always been cautious in everything she did. As for Daoist Fangzheng, from what Mo Tiange saw, his conduct somewhat resembled her Second Uncle’s. Her own methods in handling things were developed during her time following her Second Uncle, so she and Daoist Fangzheng were able to cooperate very well.
This time, Daoist Fangzheng let his first rank bird fly ahead to find a path for them. As they proceeded on their way, they experienced a lot of dangers although they didn’t get hurt—they ran into several mechanisms on their way, but a thousand years was a very long period of time, so the spiritual aura sustaining those mechanisms had dissipated. Furthermore, they had the bird guiding them, so they were able to avoid those mechanisms consecutively.
However, they also found human remains on the ground.
Those remains were entangled with each other and all had turned into skeletons. The clothes on them had long rotted; only a few damaged magic tools and intact Qiankun Bag were left behind. There also some treasures, materials and magic weapons scattered among those skeletons.
The moment Daoist Fangzheng saw that, he crouched down and began picking them up with a happy expression on his face.
Once Mo Tiange saw what he was doing, she immediately shouted, “Fellow Daoist Fangzheng, wait!”
Daoist Fangzheng raised his head and looked at her; there was caution in his gaze. Being this old, he’d gone through many adventures and seen many comrades turn against each other fighting over things, so when he heard Mo Tiange shouting at him to stop, caution automatically emerged in his heart.
How could Mo Tiange not know his thought process after she saw his expression? Nevertheless, she only said indifferently, “There are so many skeletons here… They obviously weren’t just one group of people, yet all of them died here—maybe there’s more to this place than meets the eye.”
Upon hearing her words, Daoist Fangzheng finally lost some of his tension and started to look at the place more carefully.
Sure enough, this alley was only a bit more than a hundred feet long, yet there were remains of about twenty dead people here. Those skeletons were scattered closely to each other, leaving almost no open space at all. Their postures also showed that all of them were entangled with each other in groups of two or three; it was as if they had pulled each other to die together.
Daoist Fangzheng was so frightened when he realized this that his whole body was covered in a cold sweat. Based on their postures, these people died fighting each other. Besides, these skeletons had been here for variable amounts of time; the newest ones were still snow-white in color while the oldest ones already turned black.
The corporeal bodies of cultivators didn’t have any impurities, so instead of rotting, they would turn into spiritual aura and disperse when they died. However, the bones left behind could be preserved for a long time, and the color could be used to roughly determine how much time had passed since the cultivator died.
The bones of the skeletons in front of them varied. Among them, the blackest ones had practically turned into a pile of black ash, indicating that the cultivators died several thousand years ago at the very least. Nonetheless, there were also snow-white bones among them—these cultivators must’ve died less than a thousand years ago.
The two of them had personally experienced how terrifying the Illusory Formation outside. Out of nine people, they were the only ones well enough to reach this place. Moreover, it was also impossible that the spiritual aura fluctuation outside this valley had always been there; otherwise, they would’ve heard about it before. In other words, there weren’t many people who came here within the last several thousand years, yet the numerous magic weapons, magic weapons, and precious materials before their eyes indicated that none of those people left this place alive. That being the case, how could they pick up these treasures at will?
Now that he understood this point, Daoist Fangzheng couldn’t help but feel ashamed of himself. At first, he didn’t respect Mo Tiange much. He felt she was nothing but a disciple of a cultivation group who was on her first trip out of her group. Although her cultivation level was high, there was probably nothing special about her abilities, just like those two surnamed Lu and Wang from Guigu School. He never expected that he would be disillusioned only by one sentence from her inside the Illusory Formation and that she was far more cool-headed than him in here now. Upon reflecting on these two matters, he no longer dared to underestimate her now.
“Fellow Daoist Ye, according to you, this is…”
“There’s something wrong with this path,” Mo Tiange said slowly, “It seems… It can beguile people’s mind.” When she was inside the Illusory Formation, her Spirit-Concealing Pendant didn’t react because instead of corroding people’s consciousnesses, the Illusory Formation only tested the natures and wills of the people who entered it. When she approached this path, however, her Spirit-Concealing Pendant became ice-cold in an instant as if it was warning her.
This made sense. Being able to reach this area showed that these cultivators had passed the Illusory Formation on the Five Elements Platforms—according to reason, they ought to have a very steady temperament. Apart from issues with their willpower, what else could make them irrationally decide to perish together when they were the ones who understood that they ought to be alive to enjoy those precious treasures?
“How did Fellow Daoist know?”
Mo Tiange said faintly, “I have a magic tool that can detect things with psychotic effects.” She simply gave a perfunctory response but didn’t explain further. Having a unique treasure was something that didn’t need to be talked about in too much detail.
Daoist Fangzheng was also a smart person, so he didn’t probe further.
The two of them carefully searched their surroundings for any abnormalities.
This stone path wasn’t different from the previous ones; both were stone paths carved into the mountain. The only differences were that this path was more level and its stone walls had countless Moonstones inlaid in them.
“Oh!” The moment she came close to the stone wall, the cold feeling of her Spirit-Concealing Pendant grew even stronger. Was there perhaps something wrong with the stone wall?
Mo Tiange took some time to think. She then took out her flying sword and once again pried out one of the Moonstones on the stone wall.
It gave off a glittering white light, just like the Moonstones before. However, the faint spiritual aura it emitted gave her a familiar vibe.
“Fellow Daoist Ye!” Daoist Fangzheng suddenly shouted, “These aren’t Moonstones!” After he said that, he promptly took out Heart-Calming Talismans, pasted one on himself and gave another to Mo Tiange.
Mo Tiange hadn’t sensed any abnormalities at all. Inside the Illusory Formation, it was her own mental state that was unstable, so her Spirit-Concealing Pendant was useless. But here, she faced external factors. Fortunately, they were unable to affect her because of the Spirit-Concealing Pendant.
However, after some careful thinking, she still accepted the Heart-Calming Talisman and pasted it onto her body. She then lifted the Moonstone and asked, “Fellow Daoist said this isn’t a Moonstone? Then what is it?”
“This is a Bewitching Moonstone.” Daoist Fangzheng wasn’t as relaxed as she was. It was only after he forcefully calmed his mind that he continued on: “Moonstone mines will also give birth to Bewitching Moonstones. These things can cause people to hallucinate, and they’re perfect materials for creating Illusory Formations. However, although Moonstone mines aren’t that rare, Bewitching Moonstones are extremely rare. There aren’t many people who know of their existence. I myself happened to see a tiny chunk of one inside a secret shop several dozen years ago. That tiny chunk was sold for more than a thousand spirit stones at an auction!” At that point, Daoist Fangzheng’s face was filled with excitement. “Yet the master of this Immortal’s Cave was unexpectedly able to find so many Bewitching Moonstones. If we could take all of them out…”
As Mo Tiange quietly sensed the spiritual aura emitted by the Bewitching Moonstone, a thought flashed across her mind—she recalled something similar to this. She stretched her hand out and rummaged through her Qiankun Bag, taking out some fragmented jade stones then comparing them to the Bewitching Moonstone. Sure enough, they were made of the same materials; it was just that those fragments had exhausted their spiritual aura and had been shattered.
When she just built her foundation more than a decade ago, Wei Jiasi and she once ran into Scruffy Pair Monsters during the demonic beast riot. The short-legged wolf monster possessed innate wisdom, so it was able to design an Illusory Formation which almost made the two of them kill each other. These jade-like stone fragments were picked up by her after defeating those monsters. Now, these fragments were apparently Bewitching Moonstones.
Now that she realized this, Mo Tiange couldn’t help but feel frightened when she saw these walls full of Bewitching Moonstones.
Back then, a mere formation with a chunk of Bewitching Moonstone already beguiled her and Wei Jiasi, who were both Foundation Building cultivators. Now, there were so many Bewitching Moonstones here; if all of them were used to lay a formation, wouldn’t that formation be powerful enough that even Nascent Soul cultivators would also have a hard time freeing themselves from it?
Once Mo Tiange thought of this point, her eyes brightened just like Daoist Fangzheng’s.
The two of them immediately stopped talking. They took out their flying swords and cautiously pried those Bewitching Moonstones out of the walls.
Nonetheless, if the solution to their current situation was so straightforward, so many cultivators wouldn’t have lost their lives there. After prying out the Bewitching Moonstones for some time, Mo Tiange suddenly realized her mind was starting to lose its clarity. Fortunately, she had the Spirit-Concealing Pendant on her, so she was able to realize it and promptly keep her distance from them.
She wanted to remind Daoist Fangzheng, but the moment she turned towards him, she was met with the glimmer of a sword. Daoist Fangzheng was actually thrusting his Moonstone-prying flying sword towards her! His eyes also had ominous glints in them.
Mo Tiange raised her hand, creating a wall of spiritual aura to block his attack. Right afterward, she drew back and raised her hand again to summon the Shuttle of Flying Apsara.
Without uttering a single word, Daoist Fangzheng put his small flying sword away then took out a horsetail whisk as a replacement. With a swing of that whisk, a myriad of steel-like tiny needles was launched towards her.
Even though the quality of this horsetail-whisk-shaped magic tool fell short of her Shuttle of Flying Apsara, Mo Tiange didn’t dare to underestimate it. Daoist Fangzheng’s spiritual aura was tremendous, so although his magic tool wasn’t superb, its power couldn’t be trifled with. She flung her sleeve, hurling the White Silk Handkerchief which then transformed into a wall and blocked his attack.
Taking advantage of this opening, Mo Tiange shouted, “Fellow Daoist Fangzheng, wake up!”
Daoist Fangzheng showed no response at all and still rushed blindly towards her.
Left with no other choice, Mo Tiange retreated while using her Shuttle of Flying Apsara to stop him.
Daoist Fangzheng wasn’t weak, but compared to elite disciples of Xuanqing School, he wasn’t up to par—Mo Tiange was just unwilling to hurt him. After all, he was the only companion she had left on this journey, and the master of this place was very good at illusion-related techniques; who knew what kinds of things she would encounter later? Having someone along for company who could constantly keep her on track was far better than being alone.
But the current Daoist Fangzheng obviously showed no signs of waking up and still relentlessly attacked her.
Mo Tiange felt helpless. She only kept retreating and warding his attacks off.
They were still too close to those Bewitching Moonstones after all. If they could move a bit further from them, maybe their effect would weaken slightly.
She continued to retreat slowly. When she finally retreated about a hundred feet, Daoist Fangzheng’s gaze suddenly regained its clarity. He stopped his attacks and said with astonishment, “Fellow Daoist Ye, this…”
Mo Tiange sighed in relief to see him regaining his senses. “It’s good that Fellow Daoist has woken up. But these Bewitching Moonstones are indeed terrible…”