After just one single night, the news of Ning Fan’s return had spread all over the External Endless Sea with formidable speed.
As for the Alliance of Ming Assassins from the Ying State Immortal Island, when they heard that Ning Fan had reached the Divine Transformation Realm, at least 30% of the forces broke away from the alliance and ended their relationship with the alliance.
They were already afraid of Ning Fan’s fearsome reputation and they could not even imagine how brutal he would be after attaining the Divine Transformation Realm.
However, these were something to be talked about later.
The Sparrow Raising Platform had already been renovated. Twenty years ago, a killing tribulation happened here with Ning Fan being the main reason. Twenty years later, the snow here continued to fall like before but the people who used to be here were already gone.
Above the copper platform, Ning Fan sat around a fire stove with Dong Xu, Xu Rushan, Yan Zhongze and the other experts, chatting while drinking warm wine. Their conversations were mostly about the occurrences and changes that had happened in the External Endless Sea. Xu Rushan and Yan Zhongze tried to ask Ning Fan about what he had gone through within these twenty years, but he did not speak a single word about it. Everyone was sensible and no longer asked about it anymore.
Xu Qiuling was behaving like a lovely newly-married wife as she sat beside Ning Fan and heated the wine for him with a sweet and obedient look.
Yu Long who was behind Ning Fan was looking at him with eyes filled with admiration and zeal.
At the time he was being kept by Ning Fan as a slave, he complained endlessly about his fate. Currently, however, it seemed like being able to become Ning Fan’s follower was indeed the greatest thing that had ever happened to him in his entire lifetime.
Now, his master was already not an ordinary man but a Divine Transformation Realm old ancestor, a man who could drink wine at the same table with the Venerated Seven of the Internal Endless Sea!
The wine they drank was a spiritual wine named ‘Drunken Past’ which was fermented by Dong Xu with one hundred types of flowers. It was famous for its immensely strong alcohol. Anyone with poor magic power would definitely be unable to drink much. For Early Nascent Soul Realm cultivators, drinking one single drop of the wine would cause them to be drunk for one month. As for the old ancestors of the Early Divine Transformation Realm, they could at most drink ten bottles.
After gulping down the eleventh bottle, Xu Rushan and Yan Zhongze successively left with wry smiles. They must instantly return to have a secluded meditation to refine the alcohol of the wine. Otherwise, they would be drunk for an entire month.
After they left, Yu Long also obtained permission from Ning Fan to return to the Profound Jade Palace to rest. On the Sparrow Raising Platform, only Ning Fan and Dong Xu were left. They continued to drink with each other’s company.
From night until dawn, both of them did not get drunk at all.
This made Xu Qiuling inwardly surprised. She already has infinitely overvalued Ning Fan’s capabilities, but she never expected that Ning Fan would be able to drink together with her Half-Step Void Refinement Realm master all night long with their drinking capacity coming out even.
Ning Fan lazily flicked his sleeve to cover his face as he yawned in drowsiness. Xu Qiuling stared at him and gradually became obsessed with him.
Twenty years… Twenty years of waiting all for tonight. It’s worth it…
All ten jugs of the Drunken Past Wine were emptied. Dong Xu lost his desire for drinking and returned to rest after letting out a hearty laughter.
Meanwhile, Ning Fan kept the storage pouch that Dong Xu gave. With a sway of his magic power, the feeling of intoxication and his drunkenness disappeared.
“What treasures did my master give you?” Xu Qiuling’s eyes blinked.
“Some spiritual puppets, pills, immortal jade, treasures of Immortal's Abode… Mm… Of course there are some insights on the refinement of Immortal’s Abode treasures… Your master said that these are the dowry for you…”
Ning Fan rose up from his seat and comfortably stretched his waist. His bones gave out crisp sounds like crushing beans, shaking off the snow from his shoulders.
Even though his tone was relaxed, what Dong Xu gave him was absolutely exorbitant. They were all the benefits he promised to give Ning Fan in the past.
For the Treasures of Immortal’s Abode, there were one thousand of them and each of these treasures could be sold for more than one million immortal jade.
Then, there were 17 Divine Transformation Realm spiritual puppets with 10 of them being at the Early Divine Transformation Realm, 4 at the Mid Divine Transformation Realm, 2 at the Late Divine Transformation Realm and 1 at the Peak Divine Transformation Realm.
In terms of pills, Ning Fan received 50 bottles of Profound Primordial Pills which were Peak Fourth Revolution pills. Each bottle contained 20 pellets and each pellet could increase a Peak Nascent Soul Realm cultivator’s magic power by 1 unit.
Besides that, there was also the Profound Heart of Mother Earth. It was handed to Ning Fan by Dong Xu on behalf of Xu Rushan.
These things were definitely of great value. Regarding Dong Xu’s kindness, Ning Fan would definitely keep it in his heart.
“I will certainly cure Qiuling, you can all be rest assured.”
Ning Fan seemed to be talking to the snow, but he knew that Xu Rushan and Dong Xu were both waiting for his assurance.
While Ning Fan was performing telepathic communication towards the snow, a pink ‘message transmitting paper butterfly’ flew across the drifting snow and landed on Xu Qiuling’s palm.
She placed her finger on the butterfly and could not help but burst into laughter right afterwards, as if some kind of message had been transmitted into her spirit sense.
“What are you laughing at? Hmm? This telepathy paper butterfly looks rather delicate. You specially made it yourself?”
Ning Fan’s eyes moved. Among the low-ranked cultivators in the Endless Sea, there was one popular kind of message transmitting paper. It could be folded into a paper man, paper crane, paper butterfly, paper tiger or other forms to send out messages.
“Yes, it's a message from Xiao Lian. She has just told me something funny and I couldn't help but laugh.”
Xu Qiuling then tied up her long glossy hair together. Her ethereal temperament was like an elegant orchid amidst an empty valley.
She was a talented girl. Despite her slightly ill-looking complexion, it made her temperament stand out even more.
Xu Qiuling put away the paper butterfly and said with a faint smile, “Young Master Zhou, will the old man that you have become planning to have a rest first or will you refine the Mind Nourishing Pill right away?”
“Are you going to rest with me?” Ning Fan teased.
“It’s fine for me. I won’t cower if you dare to.” Xu Qiuling might look like it did not matter to her but her neck had already turned pinky due to shyness.
“You’re indeed the most unique one among the ladies I met…”
Ning Fan shook his head. If he were to say those words to Zhihe, he probably would be punched by Zhihe’s little fist and be scolded as a big pervert.
Xu Qiuling, however, was calmer and composed than most ladies. It was as if nothing could make her lose her composure.
This is a lady who has already downplayed the matter of her life and death and sorrow and joy…
“Well, I think it’s better to go refine the pill… I want to produce the Mind Nourishing Pills as soon as possible to cure your illness.”
“Thank you for Young Master’s affectionate love! But Young Master has to be alert, there is an old man ‘standing in the snow at the gate of Cheng's house’ outside the pill refinement room…”
“Standing in snow at the gate of Cheng's house?”
Ning Fan was rather dumbfounded. It was an allusion of the cultivation world referring to the two Confucian cultivators, You Cu and Yang Shi. In order to seek for their Dao, they stood overnight outside the house of a great Confucian with the surname ‘Cheng’ and became snowmen.
When Ning Fan spread his spirit sense over a vicinity of fifty thousand li* (500 m per li), Ning Fan instantly understood what Xu Qiuling was laughing at.
Without saying a word, he directly placed his hand around Xu Qiuling’s slim waist and stepped forward, turning into a column of purple mist to travel away. Xu Qiuling’s body slightly shivered but she did not resist.
This girl was really bold in love.
Even if Ning Fan intends to make out with her in the snow, violating the law of their families’ etiquette, perhaps this woman would not care about it.
“I won’t regret losing myself to you…” Xu Qiuling murmured.
This was Xu Qiuling’s first time experiencing the flying speed of the Divine Transformation Realm.
The wind whizzed past her ears, making her feel like she was half-conscious. Before she could even exclaim at how fast Ning Fan’s flying speed was, they had already arrived at the high grade pill refinement room of the Profound Jade Palace. All it took was only a few breaths.
Outside the room, a snowstorm was raging. An old man in scholarly robes was covered with snow, making him look just like a snowman. He had indeed stood for a night outside the pill refinement room.
As the man saw Ning Fan come along with a beauty by his side, he immediately shook off the snow on his body and cupped his fists with a smile.
“Hehe. Daoist Zhou, are you coming here to refine pills today?” This old man’s tone was filled with eagerness.
“Precisely. Daoist Yang, do you want to spectate how I refine pills at the side?”
“Of course I do!” Yang Gu’s eyes burned with enthusiasm. After he obtained the mental spell of congealing the Medicine Soul, he was very close to breaking through to the Fifth Revolution in his pill refinement techniques. At his current stage, it would absolutely be great to be able to watch how a genuine Fifth Revolution pill refinement grandmaster concoct pills in order to accumulate some experience.
“Have you brought something for me?” Ning Fan indifferently uttered.
“Hehe. Of course, of course…” Yang Gu took out a storage pouch which was fully packed with immortal jade and passed to Ning Fan.
In the Endless Sea, one has to pay a fee in order to spectate a Fifth Revolution pill master concocting pills.
Each time would cost one million for one person. Although it was not a large amount, it was the custom here.
However, try to imagine this: one Fifth Revolution pill master invites one thousand or even ten thousand people to watch and learn from spectating his pill refinement process. How much would that pill master earn?
Well, enhancing one’s pill refinement techniques was originally a money-consuming process as one would need to use lots of spiritual herbs. As such, a pill master would of course need some allowances.
Customs were unable to be abolished, especially those which allows one to receive payment.
After leaving Yang Gu at the entrance of the pill refinement room to spectate from afar, Ning Fan and Xu Qiuling walked towards the pill cauldron shoulder to shoulder and ignited the flames within.
Xu Qiuling was able to observe and learn from a close distance. Even though she was clueless in pill refinement techniques, it was quite beneficial for her to watch Ning Fan concoct pills. At least, she might have the chance to comprehend something new by observing the process.
There was a half-damaged black puppet standing beside Xu Qiuling. Even though it was half-damaged, its strong aura force made Yang Gu’s heart palpitate with fear.
“T-This is… a H-Half Step Void Refinement Realm spiritual puppet!”
Translated by Tommy, edited by Roel
“Grasping Evil” is being translated on Veratales (Click here) but Liberspark (Click here) is hosting the chapters as well. You are encouraged to read on veratales.com for project updates. :)
Some phrases or expressions of the original are changed for ease of reading.
If a mistake or mistakes were found in this chapter, feel free to comment below.
Some terms are subject to change when better suggestions are selected.
All the internal monologues will be in italic form.