Chapter 237: Ever Growing Garden
Having no knowledge about the events occurring in the other parts of the island and being lucky enough to where they did not encounter another severed soul while spurred on by Zhang’s hunger for treasure, the beauties their husband continued searching for treasure.
Needless to say, after their previous close run in with danger, Zhang, and the beauties proceeded forth with utmost caution, sweeping every building and the area around them with their divine sense before moving forward while also readying themselves to act at a moment’s notice.
With their new sense of caution and an insane amount of luck, the group stumbled upon quite a few treasures. Finding the remains of an ancient library they found a dozen or so scrolls, which contained low to mid-level techniques, along with the scrolls was the discovery of a few unmarked books, a few of which contained very powerful and unique techniques.
It could be said that after obtaining all of the scrolls and manuals that remained within the timeworn library, Ling was ecstatic. Being an avid researcher of ancient and lost techniques, it could be said that these scrolls and books were god given, possessing enough knowledge to enlighten Ling in regards to quite a few puzzling mysterious that she had come across throughout the years.
“Once we get back home these books will help me greatly.” Ling said in a tone full of joy after storing away a large number of scrolls and manuals into her interspatial ring.
“Anyone who masters this technique cannot be harmed by any kind of physical fire. Hmmm, physical fire? Interesting...” Zhang said while reading out loud the first page of a red colored book with golden thread binding.
“I’ll read over this later.” Zhang thought with a grin as he stored away the red book before exiting the library with his wives, only to enter another run-down building located a few steps away.
“It-it-it ca-can’t be…” Lingqi stuttered she peered through a wall of thick vines that hung down from the ceiling, partially blocking the entrance into the building.
Looking at the scenery in front of her wide-eyed and with a face full of shock, Lingqi’s pulse began to increase as the sheer amount of joy in her heart reached a dangerous level. Sprawled out in front of the group, hidden behind a wall of vines and branches, enclosed under a roof made of fractured glass, and mixed in with countless weeds was a massive overgrown garden filled with all kinds of herbs, plants, and trees.
“Th-th-there are so many herbs here! Sister, we have to gather all of these and put them into the domain!” Lingqi yelled in joy as her gaze looked past a wall of intertwined vines and spotted many rare herbs sprouting out of the ground.
Retrieving a small vial from her interspatial ring and splashing a few black colored droplets onto the wall of vines in her of her, Lingqi created a path for her and the rest of the group as the plants touched by the black colored droplets began to wither and die.
Within anything to bar them from entering the building anymore, Lingqi lead the group into the greenhouse-like building with gleeful steps full of vigor. From a single glance, one could tell the Lingqi was utterly filled with joy due to the discovery of this greenhouse.
“Oh, heaven above, I pray that we do not stumble upon any more herbs, for if we do I fear that my wife will live out the rest of her days within the Ruler’s Domain tending to that garden. Also, if anything I’ve yet to even spot a single gold coin or shiny gem… Please be fair and give me a little something too…” Zhang prayed inside his mind as he saw how feverish and obsessed Lingqi looked. Of course, Zhang was merely letting his thoughts run wild due to becoming slightly delirious due to the lack of gold and jewels laying around because based on Lingqi’s personality alone it was impossible for her to bear to hide away within the Ruler’s Domain unless her handsome husband was with her.
Despite his early lack of enthusiasm for the building full of herbs, Zhang couldn’t help but take back his words a few minutes later. Walking through the overgrown garden Zhang’s attention had been drawn in by a blinding gleaming light.
“Oh, heaven above, thank you! I pray that we find many many more trees like this one!” Zhang thought as he stood in a front of a large tree whose leaves were composed of solid gold.
At first Zhang, had been full of disbelief, however, once he plucked one of the leaves off of the tree and used his teeth to test whether or not it was real gold, utter delight swelled within his body and appeared on his face.
“This is a Golden Leafed Maple Tree! To think we would come across one of these here.” Lingqi said as she arrived beside Zhang, wrapping one of her arms around his waist.
“If I pluck all of the leaves will they grow back?” Zhang asked while gulping down a mouth of saliva.
“Of course, it would! Also, this tree here should still be in its early stages of development. From the book I had read, in maturity the Golden Leafed Maple Tree’s branches will begin releasing a steady flow of liquid gold, coating the ground underneath a layer of gold.” Lingqi said before giggling as she saw Zhang gasping with a tinge of glee.
“Oh yeah, if you do it properly you might be able to grow another Golden Leafed Maple Tree by cutting off parts of its limbs and planting them into the ground.” Lingqi added, sparking a wild scene full of gold-leafed trees to appear in Zhang’s mind.
“It's so shiny…” Ai said as she arrived beside Zhang, staring intently at the Golden Leafed Maple Tree just like her husband.
Of all of his wives, Ai could be said to be the one who shared the most common interests with Zhang. While Zhang fancied gold and jewels, Ai loved shiny objects and what kind of objects were shiny? Gold and jewels of course!
“Let's quickly collect this tree!” Zhang said with sparkling eyes filled with greed.
“Yea!” Ai said in agreement after plucking a golden maple leaf and stared at it with a bright expression on her face.
Blissfully, Zhang utilized the power of the Underworld Heart to envelop the Golden Leafed Maple Tree within a layer of essence just like he had done with the Human Faced Peach Tree. In a flash, the Golden Leafed Maple Tree was added to the ever-growing garden within the Ruler’s domain.
Spurred on and encouraged by the excitement of obtaining what many would refer to as a money growing tree, Zhang further used the power of the Underworld Heart to uproot and retrieve the rest of the overgrown garden.
Happy with their harvests Zhang and the beauties continued to search the ruins of the Sea Beast Sect further hoping to find something for Yuying. Ai and Zhang had laid claim to the Golden Leafed Maple Tree, Ling had obtained a trove of ancient scrolls and technique manuals, Lingqi had been the luckiest and found an abundance of rare herbs and plants, leaving only Yuying without any significant gains.
“Keep an eye out for old looking bones, or other weird looking stuff. If you guys, see another severed soul tell me right away I might be able to harvest it. Yuying said to Zhang with a chuckle as she walked alongside him.
Compared to the other beauties, things that interested Yuying were much harder to come by so she didn’t particularly mind that they had yet to happen upon anything that would be useful for her.
But as a man who treated all of his wives equally, Zhang felt the need to get Yuying a little something. Although Yuying might now think so, Zhang thought that if he made her feel excluded major repercussions may occur. As an old saying once said, a wise man keeps his mother, his wife and his daughter happy under all circumstances for these three women can call about disaster and devastation.
So, with the eyes peel the group proceeded to wander around the ruins some more and roughly thirty minutes later one could say that their supply of otherworldly luck came to an end as they caught sight of a pair of lesser saints being attacked by a group of five severed souls. Enveloped in a thin a thick blanket of black mist, and grasping for air it was clear that the two lesser saints were in over their hands in trouble.
“Five severed souls… There’s definitely something out of the ordinary occurring on this island. Usually stumbling upon a single severed soul is already considered a rare event, but to think there were more of them wondering around.” Yuying said through her divine sense as she and the rest of the group hid behind a crumbling wall, watching the five severed souls and the two lesser saints.
“Should we help those two out?” Zhang asked while eyeing the distressed lesser saints, recognizing them as members of the Divine Wave Sect.
“Even if we were to charge in to help them by the time we get there they would have already succumbed to the might of the severed souls. Keep watch as I set up an array.” Yuying said as she bent over and pressed her two delicate looking hands onto the ground while channeling the essence within her body. Before long thousands if not tens of thousands of ruins began streaming from Yuying’s hands onto the ground where they dispersed to form a massive circular ring.
Very similar to the barriers that Yuying had created many times before the ring of runes began to glow and emit faint pulses of essence into the air, channeling and focusing upon the area where the five severed souls and the two lesser saints were.
“Expel!” Yuying said in a loud tone as the faint pulses of essence were amplified tenfold, creating visible waves in the air.
“Wa-what is this!” A hoarse and ancient voice could be heard.
“Deafen and silence!” Yuying yelled yet again, causing the runes on the ground to abruptly change color and create a thin membrane, encasing the area.
“As a precaution, I’m going to prevent the sounds within this area from leaking outside so that if there are any more severed souls around they won’t be attracted here.” Yuying said to the others as she continued to manipulate the array.
Bombarded by the pulses of essence, the five severed souls released angry and terrifying screeches that would have otherwise traveled across the island had it not been for Yuying’s barrier.
“Bind!” Yuying said as she made a series of hand signs, causing a few of the runes on the ground to quickly snake about and wrap around the five wisps of smoke that were the severed souls. Once the five severed souls were bound by Yuying’s chain of runes, the two lesser saints who were being assault stumbled onto the ground where they lost consciousness.
“It should be safe to approach now.” Yuying stated as she got up from the ground and walked beside Zhang toward the severed souls.
“These two seem to be alright, their vitals are somewhat messed up but nothing life threatening.” Lingqi said after arriving next to the two lesser saints who had fainted.
“Only time will tell, unlike Ai who possesses a very powerful innate soul defense, these two might have already had their souls ripped to pieces and only their hollow shells are left behind.” Yuying said while a faint trace of pity appeared on her face.
“Now let’s ask these guys a few questions.” She said as she arrived in front of one of the severed souls.
“Why are there so many of you on this island?” Yuying asked one of the severed souls.
“Ha, foolish girl! You think that a brat like you has the right to question me? If I hadn’t been weakened by the passage of time and possessed my full powers, the lot of you would have already met your demise!” The severed soul replied in a haughty tone full of malice and disdain.
“Ha! For a mere severed soul to dare to act haughtily toward this princess... Answer me or perish...” Yuying responded in an equally haughty voice filled with disdain.
“Hmph, you have no right to demand anything from me. In terms of cultivation compared to me when I was at my peak you are but an insect. In terms of status and prestige, we are worlds apart. Lastly, although I don’t know how you are capable of binding us but surely you are exhausting a huge amount of power, soon enough I will break out of these chains and slaughter the lot of you.” The severed soul said while laughing mockingly.
“It seems the old saying, shed no tears until seeing the coffin, would be the most fitting to be used at this time.” Yuying laughed as she looked at the severed soul. One could only imagine how many times Yuying had encountered severed souls during her time within the world of the dead, the Underworld. For a severed soul to talk to the ninety-ninth princess of the Underworld in such a way was quite laughable.