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EIF - Book 03 Chapter 068: Wood Deity Palace

“How audacious!” Duke Lu Yang snorted coldly.

Duke Lu Yang’s cold snort sounded like a loud chime pounding at Chu Chen’s mind. The dazed Chu Chen immediately froze in midthrust, his sword aimed at Gu Hai. Cold sweat appeared on his head.

“Duke, this subordinate was rash!” Chu Chen said as cold sweat dripped down his forehead.

Duke Lu Yang looked at Chu Chen coldly before eventually calming down.

“Hahahaha! Chu Chen? After all the plotting and scheming, you ended up with nothing. Hahahaha!” Granny Qing Hua guffawed.

As Granny Qing Hua guffawed, her body aged rapidly. Her hair turned pure white, and her skin dried up, her body shriveling.

“Granny! Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob!” Countless treants immediately knelt, crying as they watched the relentless changes to Granny Qing Hua’s body.

“Cough! Cough! Cough! The tree lives while the deity lives. The tree dies when the deity dies. The prime of a race hands their life to the deity. When the deity dies, they die. Cough! Cough! Cough! Cough!” The weakened Venerable Liu Nian sighed.

Granny Qing Hua slowly shriveled up as she guffawed, eventually turning into a withered, dead love flower tree before decaying into a pile of rotten wood.

“Humph!” Chu Chen snorted coldly and swung his sword.

Boom!

Chu Chen chopped the pile of rotten wood that was Granny Qing Hua in half.

“Granny!” The treants rushed forward while crying and picked up Granny Qing Hua’s corpse.

After splitting Granny Qing Hua’s body in half, Chu Chen gave Gu Hai an unreconciled look. Right now, Gu Hai’s entire body gave off a lush green light.

When the love flower treant deity entered Gu Hai’s body, Granny Qing Hua had given up her life. The love flower treant deity seemed to recognize its fate, so it willingly sacrificed itself to help Gu Hai open his liver aperture with all its might.

Boom!

Suddenly, a loud sound rang out as Gu Hai’s liver aperture burst open. The lush green wood deity instantly altered the liver aperture and the liver. In the blink of an eye, the liver aperture shone with a lush green light as a wood deity palace formed. Then, the lush green light resonated with the icy-blue light from the kidney aperture’s water deity palace.

The Golden Core Realm’s fourth stage? Satisfaction filled Gu Hai’s heart.

Rumble…!

Gu Hai no longer needed to suppress the energy from the bone saber’s consumption of one thousand flood dragons and baxias earlier. The energy now funneled towards the liver aperture.

Buzz!

The energy immediately resonated upon entering the liver aperture, turning into wood-attributed Veritable Essence that slowly spun around in the liver aperture.

As Gu Hai circulated the True Dragon Golden Core Cultivation Technique, he split off his consciousness and immediately formed a wood-attributed green dragon to rule over the ball-shaped, wood-attributed Veritable Essence.

Roar! Roar! Roar!

The purple dragon of his dantian, the blue dragon of his kidney aperture, and the green dragon of his liver aperture slowly sent Veritable Essence through Gu Hai’s meridians. The three streams of Veritable Essence did not interfere with each other even when they met. However, when the water-attributed Veritable Essence ruled by the blue dragon in the kidney aperture reached the liver aperture, some of it transformed into wood-attributed Veritable Essence and entered the liver aperture.

Water births wood? The Veritable Essence’s transformation shocked Gu Hai.

Can the five elemental Veritable Essences transform into each other?

Gu Hai felt excited. However, he did not dare to be careless at this moment as he waited for the three streams of Veritable Essence to finish circulating through his body and return to their respective apertures or the dantian. Once that was done, these three sets of Veritable Energy could circulate on their own from then on.

Boom!

Gu Hai’s body gave off a shock wave as he opened his eyes.

“The Golden Core Realm’s fifth stage?” Some joy flashed in Gu Hai’s eyes.

However, Gu Hai’s expression became solemn once more as he looked at the flying ship in the sky.

Duke Lu Yang had been waiting for him all this while.

“The Golden Core Realm’s fifth stage? Congratulations, Mister Gu!” Duke Lu Yang said with a faint smile.

“Many thanks, Duke!” Gu Hai nodded.

However, Chu Chen wore a sullen expression at the side, giving Gu Hai a death stare.

“Mister Gu, since you are recovering from your recent breakthrough, how about you come with me back to my duke’s official residence now?” Duke Lu Yang looked at Gu Hai.

Gu Hai’s eyelids twitched slightly. He wanted to refuse, but he could not do so now.

Just at this moment, Army Breaker suddenly raised his eyebrows and showed an expression of joy.

Then, Army Breaker waved his hand. Buzz! He immediately formed a sound barrier, preventing anyone from listening in.

“Duke, the goods have arrived at the official residence. They have arrived at the official residence ahead of schedule!” Army Breaker said happily.

“Oh?” Duke Lu Yang’s eyes lit up.

“If Duke hands these goods to me, I can set up a matchless army!” Army Breaker’s eyes twinkled with excitement.

“Mister Mo has returned?” Duke Lu Yang looked at Army Breaker.

“No, he has not. Mister Mo’s voice was not among the voices I heard at the duke’s official residence. Hey, wait a moment. The person moving the goods explained it. Huh? Mister Mo will arrive two days later? He seems to have remained in Silver Moon City, waiting to hear about someone.” Army Breaker frowned.

“Whose information is he waiting to hear about? To think that requires Mister Mo to remain and wait personally?” Duke Lu Yang asked.

“Right. The steward asked the same question. That person answered that Mister Mo said this person is extremely important, a great talent who would be worth even more than those goods if the duke could obtain this person.” This slightly startled Army Breaker.

“Oh?” Duke Lu Yang’s eyes lit up.

“However, that is not possible, right? Those goods are…what could be more valuable than them?” Army Breaker raised his eyebrows. 

“So, Mister Mo is helping me find and recruit talents. Hahahaha! Excellent! A great talent? Army Breaker, don’t underestimate a great talent. Just take Mister Mo, for example. Those goods could never compare to Mister Mo in value!” Duke Lu Yang laughed.

“Huh? Yes!” Army Breaker nodded.

“Alright. Prepare to return. I want to see whether those goods live up to my expectations!” Anticipation flashed in Duke Lu Yang’s eyes.

As the sound barrier blocked out all sound, no one could make out what was being said. However, Gu Hai could tell from the two’s expressions that they were in a buoyant mood. Furthermore, it seemed like they intended to leave immediately.

Buzz!

The sound barrier vanished. However, before Duke Lu Yang could say anything, Gu Hai rushed to get a word in first.

“Duke, Gu Hai would like to head immediately for the duke’s official residence as well. However, Granny Qing Hua did help me out. She even used her wood deity to establish my wood deity palace. Gu Hai has no other request but for the duke to allow me to deal with Granny Qing Hua’s funeral first. Consider it as fulfilling my wish,” Gu Hai said.

“Huh?” Duke Lu Yang frowned.

“Although Granny Qing Hua betrayed the Qian Heavenly Dynasty, I am still indebted to her in the end. Please permit me to collect her corpse and bury it,” Gu Hai requested gravely.

“Bury? Humph, this pile of rotten wood is worthy of burial?” Chu Chen revealed a trace of a sneer.

At the side, Venerable Liu Nian jeered, “This is the difference between a person and a beast. Haha. Division Master Gu is incomparably honorable. He will sincerely repay anyone who shows him kindness. This is unlike certain people whom Elite Hall treated well and sincerely but who ended up helping others secretly while living off Elite Hall. Such a person is not trustworthy. Who would dare use such a person? Since you can betray Elite Hall today, who knows whether you will betray Duke Lu Yang in the future?”

“You old fogey, are you tired of living?!” Chu Chen shouted while glowering.

Duke Lu Yang narrowed his eyes slightly as he looked at Chu Chen.

“Isn’t that so? Everyone’s character is different. You can be two-faced and betray your previous master, but Gu Hai won’t. He makes sure to finish what he starts. Once he makes a promise, he never backs off from it,” Venerable Liu Nian said coldly.

Duke Lu Yang looked at Gu Hai.

Indeed, Venerable Liu Nian is right. Gu Hai has good moral conduct, much better than Chu Chen. Although this moral conduct makes me somewhat unhappy, if I can make such a person submit to me one day, this person will be just as loyal to me.

At this thought, Duke Lu Yang’s anger disappeared. Then, he frowned at Chu Chen.

Indeed. This person is quite capable. However, I can only use him as a hired thug.

As Venerable Liu Nian scolded Chu Chen, he observed Duke Lu Yang’s expression. Upon seeing Duke Lu Yang’s anger at Gu Hai subside slowly and more admiration for Gu Hai appear instead, Venerable Liu Nian inwardly let out a long breath of relief.

Duke Lu Yang looked at Gu Hai’s group.

Gu Hai, Golden Core Realm.

Venerable Liu Nian and Mu Chenfeng, severely injured and unable to do anything.

Long Wanqing? Likely recently advanced to the Nascent Soul Realm. She should not even be comparable to Mu Chenfeng.

The treants are all crippled already. There are nearly one thousand Wood Division disciples, but they are very weak.

Ensnaring Performance?

Gu Hai can only rely on Ensnaring Performance?

“Alright. Mister Gu, this duke respects you for your loyalty and commitment. Stay and deal with Granny Qing Hua’s funeral. You have one day. After that, immediately come to the duke’s official residence,” Duke Lu Yang said.

“Duke, rest assured.” Gu Hai nodded.

“Chu Chen, Army Breaker, stay behind and wait for Gu Hai. Then, show Gu Hai the way later,” Duke Lu Yang instructed.

“Yes!” Army Breaker somewhat reluctantly nodded.

After all, Army Breaker also felt anxious about the goods that Mister Mo sent people to bring back and wanted to check them out. He felt quite depressed at having to remain here.

However, Army Breaker also understood that the duke left him here to monitor Ensnaring Performance. After all, they were both heaven-grade zithers and understood each other well. The duke would worry if he left anyone else.

As for Chu Chen and the Metal Division disciples, naturally, they were used to monitor Gu Hai’s group.

With Chu Chen’s strength, monitoring Gu Hai’s group would be effortless for him.

“Mister Gu, see you back at this duke’s official residence. This duke is also interested in hearing about Mister Gu’s other great works,” Duke Lu Yang said with a smile.

“Duke, rest assured. I still have some other pieces. I will bring them out for the duke to appreciate later on.” Gu Hai smiled.

“Excellent. Let’s return!” Duke Lu Yang smiled.

“Yes!” the one million soldiers in the surroundings shouted, then boarded the flying ships.

Rumble…!

The one hundred flying ships slowly flew into the distance, carrying Duke Lu Yang and his subordinates.

Duke Lu Yang left behind a Love Flower Valley filled with rubble and fire, a hell in the mortal realm.

The thousands of love flower treant corpses, including Granny Qing Hua’s, looked very sorrowful.

“Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob!” The treants hugged these corpses and cried.

“Cough! Cough! Cough!” Venerable Liu Nian weakly coughed out blood, appearing to be significantly injured as well.

Long Wanqing’s eyes turned bloodshot.

“Hall Master, I’m sorry for your loss. Let’s take care of Granny Qing Hua’s corpse,” Gu Hai sighed.

“Master!” At this moment, the blood-covered Mu Chenfeng cried in pain. 

Ensnaring Performance did not say anything at all. He just bit his lips, showing an extremely unsightly expression. He had sensed a great threat from Duke Lu Yang earlier.

“What are you looking at? You are just a defeated foe. Humph!” Ensnaring Performance said coldly as he looked at Army Breaker.

“A defeated foe? Ha! What is there to be cocky about when you only won in one piece? I know thousands of pieces. You only recently gained sentience. How many pieces have you heard? ‘Ambush from Ten Sides’? Well, I know it now. Want to give it a try?” Army Breaker sneered.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for October: 06 / 50

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