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EIF - Book 03 Chapter 056: Thorny Ritual Array

Gu Hai’s group kept flying east. One day later, they arrived at a rainforest by the seashore.

“We are almost there, right? It should be right over there?” Long Wanqing looked at Venerable Liu Nian.

Venerable Liu Nian nodded and said, “We are almost there. I have been there before. It’s that direction.”

“Do you see it? It is right there.” Mu Chenfeng smiled as he pointed to the distance.

“Oh? The Thorny Ritual Array?” Mu Chenfeng felt slightly startled.

Everyone saw a region adjacent to the sea covered in thorny brambles that soared to the sky. The thorny brambles were colossal, more than three kilometers tall. They looked like a humongous wall that blocked out everything.

When the flying ship approached, they had to go around it.

“The Thorny Ritual Array?” Gu Hai echoed, feeling puzzled.

“Yes, the Thorny Ritual Array. It is the protective ritual array of the love flower tribe and is even stronger than Silver Moon City’s city walls. Furthermore, these thorns contain poison, so people rarely try to break through this ritual array.” Mu Chenfeng frowned.

“Where is my mother’s secondary residence?” Long Wanqing looked at Mu Chenfeng.

“Inside,” Mu Chenfeng said bitterly.

“What should we do, then? With the Thorny Ritual Array sealing the place, how do we get in?” Long Wanqing frowned.

“Wait, go over there. There is a small gate there.” Mu Chenfeng pointed to the distance.

“This place should be on the borders of the Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty and the Qian Heavenly Dynasty, right?” Gu Hai asked.

“Indeed. There are too few love flower spirits, so they cannot suffer any setbacks. They never ally with any nation or side with anyone. However, Master is very hospitable and made many friends. The previous hall master got along with Master, so she established a secondary residence here,” Mu Chenfeng explained.

“Someone is fighting over there!” Ensnaring Performance frowned.

The flying ship quickly closed the distance. Indeed, a sword flashed not far away. Dirt and dust flew up, and vines erupted from the ground and clashed with the sword qi.

“Break!” A loud shout rang out.

Boom!

A tree-like creature went flying back and crashed into the Thorny Ritual Array.

The battle came to an end.

The creature that flew back looked like a tree. However, it had a human face and four limbs. Its face looked wrinkled like old tree bark, and many vibrant flowers grew on the tree.

“A love flower treant?” Gu Hai felt startled.

That treant stood up slowly. Ninety percent of its branches had broken off, and many wounds covered it. It looked at the other side weakly.

A yellow-robed man stood on the other side, holding a golden sword and looking at the treant with a murderous expression.

“It’s Chu Chen?” Long Wanqing’s expression changed.

“Chu Chen? Elite Hall’s Metal Division Master?” Gu Hai felt startled.

Indeed, many Elite Hall disciples were standing behind the yellow-robed man. At this moment, some people had collapsed to the ground, their complexions dark, looking like they had been poisoned.

“Humph! You overestimate yourself, simply seeking death!” Chu Chen glared as he swung his sword at the weakened treant.

“Stop!” Mu Chenfeng glared as he immediately flew over.

Suddenly, a wooden staff appeared in Mu Chenfeng’s hands. When he extended the wooden staff, countless roots came out and shot towards Chu Chen’s sword qi.

“Huh?” Chu Chen’s expression changed. He shifted the trajectory of his sword, swinging it at Mu Chenfeng instead.

Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!

Many sword qi charged out of the sword light Chu Chen’s sword produced, and instantly chopped the roots. A few of the sword qi even landed on Mu Chenfeng’s body.

Bang!

Mu Chenfeng flew back, covered in blood.

“Argh!” 

Clearly, Mu Chenfeng’s strength was not worth mentioning next to Chu Chen. He lost in just the first exchange.

“Oh? Mu Chenfeng? Are you seeking death? If you are, just say so. Humph!” Chu Chen glared, a baleful look flashing in his eyes.

Gu Hai extended his arms and caught Mu Chenfeng. Then, he looked at Chu Chen coldly.

Now, Chu Chen noticed the flying ship and looked at the people aboard it.

When Chu Chen saw Long Wanqing, he raised his eyebrows. “Oh? Hall Master has arrived?”

“Chu Chen, what’s going on? Why are you fighting with the love flower treants?” Long Wanqing immediately asked with a frown.

“Not fighting. I was about to kill it. As for why, ask it yourself. Humph!” Chu Chen snorted coldly.

The arrogant attitude took Gu Hai slightly aback. This is the Metal Division Master? Why does it feel like he is even haughtier than the hall master?

“Chu Chen, the strongest in Elite Hall,” Mu Chenfeng explained to Gu Hai bitterly.

The strongest in Elite Hall?

No wonder he defeated Mu Chenfeng with just one sword strike.

“Senior Brother, what happened? How are your injuries?” Mu Chenfeng endured his pain as he went over to that love flower treant and fed it a medicinal pill.

However, Gu Hai frowned as he looked at Chu Chen. Chu Chen also looked at Gu Hai.

Gu Hai immediately got goosebumps, feeling like he had been targeted as prey.

“Elite Hall’s Water Division Master, Gu Hai, greets Division Master Chu!” Gu Hai said with a faint smile.

“A superficial smile, you are nothing good. Humph!” Chu Chen snorted coldly.

“Indeed, your distinguished self is something good,” Gu Hai said, his smile turning cold.

Seeing that the other party was not polite to him, Gu Hai found no need to be polite to the other party.

“Huh?” Chu Chen looked at Gu Hai coldly, revealing a murderous intent.

Gu Hai looked back at Chu Chen coldly, not shrinking.

“Senior Brother, why were you fighting?” Mu Chenfeng looked at that treant anxiously.

That treant smiled bitterly and said, “I did not let them enter, but they insisted on doing so and charged into the Thorny Ritual Array. They got poisoned and blamed me. It was their own fault for trying to barge in.”

Chu Chen said coldly from nearby, “Barge in? What a joke. I’m going to my Elite Hall’s secondary residence. How am I barging in? You stopped me from entering and even injured my disciples. You deserve to die!”

“You are the one who deserves to die. I told you many times already. No one is permitted to enter. You are the one who did not listen!” the treant shouted while scowling.

“What’s going on? Senior Brother, why is no one allowed in?” Mu Chenfeng asked, feeling confused.

“It is Granny’s order. She activated the Thorny Ritual Array half a year ago, and my love flower treants sealed ourselves within it, not interacting with outsiders. No one is permitted in or out. Every month, a guard patrols the place. I was sent out to do the patrol. However, this bunch of people tried to barge in, and they inflicted the Thorny Ritual Array’s poison upon themselves. Even so, they blamed it all on me,” the treant said bitterly.

“Remove the poison from my subordinates and open a way. I want to see Granny Qing Hua!” Chu Chen demanded coldly.

“Humph! I’ve already told you. If you are that capable, then get Granny to open an entrance for you by yourself!” the treant yelled with a glare.

“After I kill you, I can go in!” Chu Chen pointed his sword at the treant.

“Amitābha! Division Master Chu, Granny Qing Hua and the previous hall master were good friends. When the previous hall master has passed away, this is how you treat the previous hall master’s good friend?” Venerable Liu Nian said coldly.

“Indeed. Division Master Chu, you are not to be rude!” Long Wanqing frowned.

Chu Chen looked at Long Wanqing and said coldly, “Hall Master, you are still young and do not understand many things. I am not picking on them. They are the ones picking on us. If you don’t believe me, try asking. You can’t enter, either.”

“I have to enter no matter what, so I will think of a way. However, your attitude is wrong,” Long Wanqing said, feeling depressed.

“My attitude is wrong? Humph! I rushed straight to Ying Province to investigate the previous hall master’s death, not stopping at all during these days. Yet, you went to the Thousand Islands Sea to have fun. Then, you participated in the zither bestowal event. Humph! Whose attitude is the one with problems? Are you going to investigate your mother’s death or not? I already found out that your mother came to this secondary residence before she died, so I rushed all the way here, not wasting any time, to try and find clues. What about you?!” Chu Chen said coldly.

“Who said that we have no clues? We are about to find out who the culprit is!” Long Wanqing yelled with a glare.

“Oh?” Chu Chen felt slightly startled as he looked at Long Wanqing.

“Humph!” Long Wanqing turned her head away, refusing to tell Chu Chen.

Chu Chen frowned slightly.

“Senior Brother, please report to Master. Tell her that we are here and would like to go to the Xiaoyue Secondary Residence,” Mu Chenfeng said.

While Silver Moon City had a Xiaoyue Secondary Residence, there was one here as well.

“There’s no need even to try. When Duke Lu Yang sent people, they could not enter. Granny has activated the ritual array and will not casually open it,” that treant said with a bitter smile.

“Duke Lu Yang sent people over? What for?” Mu Chenfeng felt slightly startled.

“He wants to send us into battle. How could Granny agree? In the end, she did not even open the doors.” The treant smiled bitterly.

“Battle? Why?”

“Duke Lu Yang wants us to deal with the foundation rock golems. The foundation rock golems are earth-attributed elemental spirits. The love flower treants are wood-attributed elemental spirits. Wood counters earth. He wants to use us to destroy the foundation rock golems,” the treant said bitterly.

“No wonder Master refuses to receive them. The love flower treants will not participate in war.” Mu Chenfeng nodded.

“Indeed. That’s why you don’t even need to try. She did not allow the people that Duke Lu Yang sent to enter. If she were to let you enter, it would be disrespectful of Duke Lu Yang. If Duke Lu Yang gets angry, it will bring a calamity to us,” the treant said with a bitter smile.

Mu Chenfeng’s expression turned somewhat stiff.

“There has to be a way, right?” Mu Chenfeng frowned.

“It is possible to enter. Just follow the old rules. Do you remember how Long Xiaoyue entered?” The treant shrugged.

“Huh?” Mu Chenfeng felt slightly startled.

“My mother faced the Thorny Ritual Array before?” Long Wanqing said in surprise.

“Yes. That was during the previous hall master’s first trip here!”

“How did my mother enter?”

“Love flowers are moved by love and passion. If you can move the love flowers, the love flower treants will be best friends with you, no matter who you are. The love flower treants will not stop friends from entering. Back then, the previous hall master spoke about her love journey and sang a song she wrote for the person she loved. In the end, she managed to move my master. My master allowed the previous hall master in, and they became good friends. My master even permitted the previous hall master to build a secondary residence within the tribe,” Mu Chenfeng explained.

“Love flowers? Moved by love and passion?” This slightly startled Gu Hai.

Ensnaring Performance’s eyes suddenly lit up. “I am the best at singing. Let me do it. I definitely can move Granny Qing Hua.”

“No! Don’t!” Gu Hai, Mu Chenfeng, Long Wanqing, and Venerable Liu Nian cried out simultaneously.

The treant and Chu Chen felt startled. What’s going on?

“Just because you don’t appreciate it does not mean that Granny Qing Hua won’t. Let me try. I’ll sing one song. Along the way, Master did not let me sing at all. I feel very stifled and want to sing a song. Please let me sing. Let me bring out my terrific composing talent!” Ensnaring Performance pleaded with Gu Hai.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for September: 44 / 50

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Written by Guan Qi — Watching Chess. Translated by DragonInWhite. Edited by VampireCat.