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The Dragon

The Dragon By Oct 15, 2023 3 Comments
Table of Contents
Previous: Chapter 6
Next: Chapter 8

Chapter 7

Dizang

Gu Fuyou and her two companions had no intention of getting involved with Zuo Tianlang. They planned to quietly slip away, blending in with the crowd.

Unfortunately, Si Miao’s three-legged crow was too conspicuous. With just a casual glance, Zuo Tianlang noticed the three of them.

With a voice dripping with disdain, Zuo Tianlang remarked, “Oh, isn’t this the Gu siblings?”

As Gu Fuyou looked over, Zuo Tianlang was already approaching swiftly on his flying horse. “Where’s Gu Ren?” he mocked. “Didn’t have the guts to come to Xian Luo? Instead, he sent two useless people in his stead?”

Perhaps it was his flippant grin, but his words carried an air of frivolity.

Gu Fuyou’s brow furrowed in displeasure.

Gu Ren, also known as Gu Shuangqing, was her elder brother.

Zuo Tianlang had previously faced off against Gu Shuangqing a few times and lost on each occasion. Being prideful, his defeats left a bitter taste, and he always took the opportunity to snipe at any member of the Gu family.

With cold eyes, Gu Fuyou responded, “My brother doesn’t need to hunt spirit beasts to curry favor or boost his standing. With his exceptional talent, he doesn’t rely on external aids for cultivation, so naturally, he wouldn’t come to Xian Luo.”

Zuo Tianlang could clearly detect the sarcasm in Gu Fuyou’s retort, and his face darkened, on the verge of losing his temper.

Suddenly, the ground trembled. Everyone looked down.

The earth cracked open, and some enormous creature was about to burst out from the ground.

The explosive Man Tian Xing had startled out quite a few spirit beasts. The wilderness was now a scene of thousands of beasts stampeding. The ground split apart, and many spirit beasts fell into the crevices.

As the enormous creature’s body crawled out, or more accurately, leaped out, Gu Fuyou and the others finally saw its full appearance. Everyone’s eyes widened.

This creature’s entire body was earthen yellow, as if it was made of mud. Upon closer inspection, one could see that within this ‘mud’ were the bones of many spirit beasts and withered tree branches. The top of its head had a patch of green moss growing on it.

Its overall appearance closely resembled a whale in the sea. It leaped into the air, indeed embodying the majestic posture of a whale breaching the waves.

This thing’s body was incredibly large, like a small mountain. It soared into the sky, blocking out the sun. It let out a howl that resonated through the nine heavens, deafening to the ears.

Zuo Tianlang’s eyes gleamed at the sight of the creature. Forgetting his quarrel with Gu Fuyou, he directed his carriage straight towards it.

Looking at this creature, Gu Fuyou was also itching with desire. “Who would’ve thought that Zuo Tianlang’s reckless actions would unearth a Dizang? It’s like a blind cat stumbling upon a dead rat!”

The so-called Dizang is a spiritual entity formed from the bones of thousands of spirit beasts and the dead vegetation of spiritual plants, which have sunk into the earth. Over the years, these materials mingle through decay and coalescence, eventually awakening with a form of intelligence. Although born from dead matter, the Dizang simulates life more convincingly than many living beings.

It could be said to have absorbed the essence of all things and obtained the mysteries of heaven and earth.

Within a thousand miles, and over the span of a thousand years, it is exceedingly rare for a Dizang to form.

The flesh of the Dizang, whether used in crafting artifacts or in alchemy, is of the highest quality. A piece of Dizang flesh the size of a fingernail can fetch ten thousand spirit stones on the market, and the older the Dizang, the more valuable it becomes.

Similar to agarwood, which forms from the decay and solidification of trees, the principle remains the same: the older it is, the more valuable it becomes.

Just as Gu Fuyou was pondering whether to secretly extract a piece of it, she saw Zuo Tianlang and his men throwing ‘Pan Tian ropes’ towards the Dizang.

This ‘Pan Tian rope’ is equipped with blades at both ends and can be extended at will.

One end of the blade, fitted with barbs, would embed itself into the gaps of a spirit beast’s bones and unfold to hook onto the bone securely, while the other end would pierce into rock. Even as the blood of the struggling spirit beast drained, escape was nearly impossible. These ropes were traditionally used in capturing large spirit beasts.

Several Pan Tian ropes were already embedded into the Dizang. Driven by his ambition, Zuo Tianlang aimed not only to secure a piece of Dizang flesh but also to capture the entire creature.

As the Dizang roared skyward, bombarded by Zuo Tianlang’s Tian Xing, Gu Fuyou’s eyelids twitched, and she silently abandoned the idea of carving out a piece of its flesh.

The Dizang, a collector of the spiritual essence of countless deceased creatures and plants, has the power to decompose the corpses of spirit beasts and spiritual plants, transforming them into spiritual energy that nourishes the land.

The formation of a Dizang is an exceedingly rare occurrence, and in some places, it is revered as a guardian deity of the land.

Even when cultivators seek to harvest its flesh, they typically extract only a small piece, always with respect and gratitude toward nature. After extracting, they would typically offer prayers, seeking forgiveness for their actions.

Zuo Tianlang, however, harbored other intentions. Not satisfied with merely capturing the Dizang, he appeared determined to subdue it, possibly aiming to break it into smaller pieces for easier transport.

It is crucial to understand that once the Dizang becomes sentient, it also develops a temperament.

Though the Dizang is generally mild-mannered, and it did not attack the cultivators even when disturbed by Zuo Tianlang’s Tian Xing, its reaction to continued aggression is unpredictable.

Disregarding the formidable spiritual powers of a millennia-old Dizang, just its immense size alone is enough to pose a serious challenge to all present.

Gu Fuyou nudged Si Miao, whispering to her, “We’d better stay far away. This young master will surely cause trouble sooner or later.”

Both Si Miao and Gu Huaiyou nodded in agreement and headed towards the east.

Within Xian Luo, there are three distinct layers—inner, middle, and outer—and young disciples like them were restricted to the outer layer. Venturing into the middle layer was risky even for those at the Nascent Soul stage, and the inner layer was off-limits even to old elders.

The deeper one goes, the more dangerous it becomes.

The scenery within Xian Luo differed from the outer world, following its own unique set of rules.

Here, the climate and terrain were bizarre and wonderful—day and night could coexist, winter neighbored summer, a mountain could hide both ice and fire, and at the end of a desert, a deep sea might appear—these were some of the marvels found within Xian Luo.

The three approached a withered forest near the wilderness. A group of cultivators was searching the woods for precious flowers, herbs, rare beasts, and birds. Upon spotting the three, they initially tensed, fearing a confrontation over treasures.

Upon closer inspection, they relaxed, recognizing them as fellow sect members.

These cultivators were also disciples of the Xuan Miao Sect.

Gu Fuyou felt a headache coming on, sighed deeply, and leaned her head against Si Miao’s back.

Behind them was Zuo Tianlang, and ahead, Yuan Changshui.

She thought, “I should’ve checked the almanac before leaving; this trip is proving to be inauspicious.”

Just as Gu Fuyou was about to suggest to Si Miao that they should move to another spot, she heard a flurry of panicked shouts.

The Xuan Miao disciples stared past them into the sky, pointing and gaping, “What is that thing?!”

Gu Fuyou felt a gust of wind from behind, as if from a giant creature flying overhead. She turned around abruptly, just in time to see the Dizang leap from the ground, roaring as it headed their way.

It was still entangled with the Pan Tian ropes, likely enraged by Zuo Tianlang’s Tian Xing, and it had used its massive body to yank the ropes right out of the ground.

Zuo Tianlang and a few others, gripping the Pan Tian Ropes, stood atop the Dizang, relentlessly attacking it, determined to capture it.

Gu Fuyou inhaled sharply and exclaimed, “Let’s go!”

Before the Dizang gets angry, it would typically ignore you regardless of how much flesh you extract. However, once enraged, it wouldn’t care if you were human, ghost, God, or demon—it would destroy first without hesitation.

As the Dizang moved, it resembled a pufferfish inflating itself, turning the land and air around it into a river. It would leap from the ground into the air, flying for a distance, then dive back down, continuing its journey through the earth.

When the Dizang burrowed into the earth, it stirred up numerous clods of soil that shot outwards like thunderbolts in all directions.

The three-legged crow had barely landed before it took flight again, attempting to escape the area of conflict. However, as soil and stones rained down like a storm, they struck its wings and feathers.

It let out a pained cry and plummeted to the ground.

Gu Huaiyou shouted in alarm: “Si Miao, Ah Man!”

He too fell down after them.

The injured three-legged crow shrank to the size of a small arm and was quickly scooped up by Si Miao, cradling it in her arms.

Gu Huaiyou asked the two, “Are you hurt?”

Gu Fuyou replied, “I’m fine.”

They got up and resumed their desperate escape. With the ground crumbling beneath their feet and rocks falling from above, neither walking nor flying seemed safe.

After a moment’s consideration, Gu Fuyou decided to proceed on foot—not because it was faster; flying on a sword would naturally be quicker. However, such speed was insignificant compared to the Dizang’s ability to leap three thousand feet in a single bound.

Their cultivation levels were too low to completely evade the Dizang by flying on swords.

The quickest and most convenient way to escape would be to find a teleportation formation, which could cover great distances in a single step.

She recalled an elder mentioning that within Xian Luo, there were countless formations, some hidden within a single flower or leaf, with teleportation formations being the most common.

This area was a hub of spiritual energy, with paths branching out in all directions. The spiritual energy here moved swiftly, spreading outwards like tentacles reaching into every corner. It was certain that teleportation formations were present nearby.

Gu Fuyou instructed Si Miao and Gu Huaiyou to manage the falling rocks while she leaped across the fractured earth, searching for a formation.

Frustratingly, although she knew there were teleportation formations here, she could not pinpoint their exact locations; she had to search bit by bit.

The Dizang was moving through the earth, fighting with Zuo Tianlang and his men not far from them. If the Dizang decided to leap towards them, it could crush all three of them.

As Gu Fuyou searched for the formation, she silently prayed in her heart that the Dizang would stay away.

Fate, however, was not on their side.

For reasons unknown, Yuan Changshui, who was nearby, threw one of Zuo Tianlang’s Tian Xing at the Dizang, perhaps attempting to help or for some other motive.

However, he didn’t know how to properly use this magical artifact. When the Tian Xing exploded near the Dizang, it rebounded and detonated closer to them.

There’s a saying that enemies often cross each other’s paths

Gu Fuyou, who was close by and focused on finding the formation, did not expect this. The Tian Xing exploded next to her, and before she could react, sparks burst open on her left side.

She was knocked to the ground by the force, her ears ringing, and as she staggered to her feet, she felt a burning pain on her forehead and saw her hand covered in blood.

She glared at Yuan Changshui, shouting, “Did you do that on purpose?”

Yuan Changsu, either dazed by the Tian Xing blast or stunned to see that he had accidentally struck a teammate, just stared blankly at Gu Fuyou.

Before Gu Fuyou could retaliate, the Dizang suddenly let out another roar.

Blessings don’t come in pairs, but misfortunes never come alone.

The Dizang, whether attracted by the noise of the Tian Xing or something else, suddenly turned and leaped towards them. Its massive body soared from the earth and with its mouth agape, it seemed poised to swallow them whole.

Under the immense pressure of the descending giant, Gu Fuyou found herself paralyzed, unable to move. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Si Miao and Gu Huai You, one on each side, reaching out in a split-second decision to push her away.

The Dizang was enormous; as Si Miao and Gu Huaiyou used a wind spell to shield her from harm, Gu Fuyou narrowly missed the Dizang’s jaws.

Si Miao and Gu Huai You, however, weren’t so lucky. Because they had pushed Gu Fuyou to safety, they couldn’t escape in time and were caught in the Dizang’s bite.

Once the Dizang had clamped onto its targets, it dove back into the earth, shattering the surrounding ground as it disappeared.

“Brother! Si Miao!” Gu Fuyou, in a swift reaction, grabbed onto the protruding corner of the Dizang’s mouth with one hand and lay on the side of the Dizang’s body, falling underground with it.

Inside the Dizang’s mouth, there were no sharp teeth or stomach, and it couldn’t digest food. Although there was no immediate danger for the two inside the Dizang’s mouth, staying too long would expose them to the toxic miasma of decay, leading to poisoning. She needed to find a way to rescue them quickly.

Gu Fuyou fumbled with her storage bag at her waist, searching for any useful talisman.

Unexpectedly, the hand gripping the Dizang’s mouth corner slipped—not because she had loosened her grip, but because the flesh of the Dizang was soft and loose, easily tearing away when pulled.

She accidentally ripped off a piece of the Dizang’s mouth, losing her grip. Her body was immediately thrown against a dirt wall by a downward gust of wind.

As fate would have it, the teleportation formation she had been searching for was right there on the dirt wall, and she had just pulled out a spirit stone from her storage bag.

If a teleportation formation could be likened to a door, a spirit stone filled with spiritual energy was the key.

She didn’t even have time to determine the distance or direction of the teleportation formation.

With a flash of spiritual light, the formation activated.

In an instant, she was transported thousands of miles away.

When Gu Fuyou blinked and fell from the sky, she was no longer in the deep abyss created by the Dizang’s impact. Instead, she found herself in a pitch-black place with a bright, circular patch of white sky overhead.

It seemed like the bottom of a well.

Gu Fuyou landed on solid ground, but surprisingly, it didn’t hurt. Feeling around beneath her, she found it quite soft and warm.

Using the light from above, she saw clearly that she was on a patch of snow-white, rising and falling beneath her.

Shifting her gaze upward, she met a pair of round, brown beast eyes. She froze for a moment, then was startled awake by the sound of a wild beast’s purr.

From the tiger’s den into the wolf’s lair—she had fallen into a snow bear’s den, directly onto the bear’s belly.

Gu Fuyou’s mind raced, her hands frantically searching through her storage bag, but in her urgency, she couldn’t find the talisman she needed.

She mentally vowed that once she had a moment, she would organize her storage pouch categorically.

Just as she managed to pull out a Wind Riding Talisman before the snow bear could reach her, she threw the talisman and cried out, “Wind, come!”

A gust of wind lifted her from the ground, carrying her straight up to the opening of the den.

Gu Fuyou leaped out and looked back to see she was in a snow-covered forest.

The place she had fallen into earlier was the bottom of a tree hollow in a tree that would take a dozen people to encircle with their arms.

Before she could take in her surroundings, a roar came from the hollow, and the snow bear leaped out.

Gu Fuyou turned and ran, shouting as she fled, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to fall into your home!”

She thought the snow bear might be cranky from having its sleep disturbed or perhaps it was just hungry after a long hibernation, but it relentlessly pursued her.

Gu Fuyou felt it was unfair—her talents might be mediocre, but now even her luck seemed to be failing.

Looking around, she saw only the towering, sturdy pines of the snowy forest and suddenly had an idea.

She couldn’t outrun the snow bear, which was at least at the Foundation Building stage.

Her only chance was to take the initiative. Luckily, such spirit beasts did not develop intelligence while building their qi foundation.

In short, they were brainless and easier to deceive.

Gu Fuyou pulled out a stack of talismans as she ran past a tree, slapping one on it. She rounded another tree and affixed another talisman, with the snow bear relentlessly following her loops around the area. She continued to run in tight circles, placing talismans on all the surrounding trees.

Thankfully, her past days spent jumping and darting about, coupled with a stint focused on physical training, had made her agile. Otherwise, the snow bear would have easily caught her by now.

After placing the last talisman, Gu Fuyou halted, turned to face the charging snow bear, and shouted, “Bind!”

The talismans on the surrounding pine trees bore the image of a closed eye. As her command echoed, the eyes on the talismans opened, shooting out a red beam that tightly wound around the snow bear.

Naturally, the snow bear struggled fiercely, but the thread was both thin and resilient, refusing to break. The more the bear struggled, the tighter the thread constricted, embedding deeply into its flesh.

The snow bear, fierce and brawny, managed to uproot the towering pines.

Gu Fuyou cautiously took a step back. Initially, she had intended to kill the snow bear to harvest its inner core, but now it seemed wiser to prioritize her safety and escape.

Dizzy and utterly drained, Gu Fuyou could no longer think to use another talisman. Her slow pace didn’t get her far before a loud crash sounded from behind.

Turning, she saw the snow bear had collapsed from exhaustion, pinned under the fallen pine trees. The red thread had cut deeply into its flesh, with blood staining the snow around it.

Hesitating only for a moment, Gu Fuyou decided to go back for the core—it was not every day one managed to kill such a creature.

As she approached, she noticed the bear was on its last breath. She took out a talisman and delivered the final blow. Just as she was about to extract the core, a roar echoed from the depths of the forest, making her heart skip a beat.

She looked towards the source of the roar, stumbling backward in shock and falling to the ground.

From the direction she had fled came another snow bear—larger, stronger, and more ferocious, standing over ten feet tall.

Glancing at the dead bear, Gu Fuyou realized in horror it was just a young cub. And the roaring newcomer? Likely its mother?

Just as one crisis had passed, another had risen.

“This is it, I shouldn’t have come back,” Gu Fuyou thought despairingly. “When luck turns against you, even drinking water gets stuck between your teeth.”

The mother must be at the phase of a Body Tempering or Golden Core stage, far beyond her capacity to fight, especially in her current exhausted state.

She didn’t want to die, but she was out of options.

In a moment of desperation, she mustered the last bit of her spiritual energy to create a formation. Then, she cried out to the heavens, “Nanzhu Jun, save me!”

Table of Contents
Previous: Chapter 6
Next: Chapter 8

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dadin
dadin
8 months ago

the description of this novel is actually easy to read that’s why it’s enjoyable..

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago

Oh no! Her friends ;; I hope they aren’t just cannon fodder, author you’ve spent too much time characterizing them to let them expire so soon!

Hatimo
Hatimo
22 days ago

Nooo her bro and her sis in law 😭 I hope they live