The Desolate Era - Book 11, Chapter 32 - A Silent Prayer
Nightfall. A cold wind was howling through the air. Within the Youngflame clan’s estate.
The current clan leader of the Youngflame Clan, the Godplume Duke, was currently seated in his study. He had no desire to keep reading through the book he was holding. There was just a single thought in his mind; had the assassination of Ji Ning succeeded?
Tonight, Kindwater Xiaolou had invited Ji Ning to a banquet. Immortal Floatcloud was going to take the chance to assassinate Ji Ning. Naturally, the Godplume Duke knew of this plan. He was waiting for the results.
The Godplume Duke suddenly turned to look at the life-tablet placed at the edges of his table. This was the life-tablet of Immortal Floatcloud, and at this moment, it had shattered.
“Floatcloud died. It seems the assassination attempt was made. However, I don’t know if it was a success or not.” The Godplume Duke took a deep breath. Regardless of whether it had succeeded or not, Floatcloud would perish. If he succeeded, then he would go reincarnate; if he failed, his soul would be shattered.
Time slowly passed…
The Godplume Duke continued to quietly wait for news to arrive.
A long time later.
“Clan leader.” An azure-robed servant charged in, then immediately whispered, “We have word.”
“Speak,” the Godplume Duke said calmly.
“Immortal Floatcloud attempted to assassinate Ji Ning in Cloudwater Manor, and he even used the Bloodcoil Heavenlock Formation, engaging in a one-on-one fight with Ji Ning within it. But Ji Ning suddenly produced a Primaltwin and killed Immortal Floatcloud,” the azure-robed servant said.
The Godplume Duke had an ugly look on his face. He hesitated for a moment, then said with a frown, “You said Ji Ning’s Primaltwin killed Immortal Floatcloud? But his true body is only at the Wanxiang level; can it be that his Primaltwin has already trained to the Void-level and become an Earth Immortal?”
“His Primaltwin should be at the Primal level,” the azure-robed servant said. “There shouldn’t be any mistake about this.”
The Godplume Duke sat there quietly pondering, and the azure-robed servant didn’t dare to make another sound.
After pondering for quite some time, the Godplume Duke said coldly, “Immortal Floatcloud was a Loose Immortal of my Youngflame clan; how dare he act in such an audacious way? Without receiving permission from my Youngflame clan, he actually dared to go attempt to assassinate Ji Ning on his own accord! This is a violation of the laws of the clan. Inform the outside world that Immortal Floatcloud violated the laws of the clan and has been expelled from the Youngflame clan, and is no longer a member of the clan. Also – blot out his name from the Youngflame clan registrar.”
“Yes,” the azure-robed servant said respectfully.
“Go now.” The Godplume Duke waved his hand, and the azure-robed servant hurriedly retreated. As for the Godplume Duke himself, he sat there quietly for a long moment. This wasn’t the news he had wanted; in fact, it was the worst news possible. Ji Ning had actually been able to rely on his own power to kill Immortal Floatcloud. Then killing Ji Ning… was truly going to be difficult.
“He’s trained for thirty years, but is already so formidable; he needs to be killed. But in the imperial capital… killing him will be as hard as ascending to heaven. I imagine that we’ll have to wait for him to leave the city before our Youngflame clan will be able to use all of the methods available to us to deal with him. But who knows how long we will have to wait before Ji Ning will leave?” The Godplume Duke quietly pondered this issue. “I can only hope that his true body will be killed in the Conclave of Immortal Destiny by other supreme geniuses! His true body has far more potential than his Primaltwin does; so long as it dies, then his threat will be greatly lessened.”
Although the Primaltwin was currently more powerful than Ning’s true body, without question, the true body had more potential and a much more solid foundation.
“It’s time to pay a visit Patriarch Arcanum.” In truth, the Godplume Duke felt some resentment as well. This was all because Patriarch Arcanum had doted on Youngflame Nong too much; otherwise, how could all of this nonsense have occurred?
“Once news of this battle spreads, the various major powers of the imperial capital will most likely all learn about Ji Ning. My Youngflame clan will have truly lost face.” The Godplume Duke shook his head. Then, by himself, he boarded his Immortal carriage and departed from the imperial capital to go pay his respects to Patriarch Arcanum.
After the Imperial Guards under the command of Xiamang Hong returned to their headquarters, the news that Ning’s Primaltwin had killed a Loose Immortal quickly spread throughout the entire headquarters. The Imperial Guard was the most important military which guarded the imperial capital; all of the various major clans had disciples within it, and so this news quickly spread to all of the major clans as well.
Now they all understood that it wasn’t that Ji Ning didn’t know his own limits; rather, it was that he did indeed have enough ability to back up his actions.
Stillwater Commander. The Black-White College.
Amongst the powers that paid the most attention to Ning, the one which cared the most was the Black-White College. Within the Headmaster’s Hall of the Black-White College.
“Apprentice-nephew headmaster, why have you asked us to all gather here?”
“Senior apprentice-brother, for what reason have you asked us to hurry here so late at night?”
The first generation Immortals and the second generation Primal Daoists who were gathered within the hall all spoke out to ask questions.
“Don’t be impatient. Listen to me read this intelligence report.”
Daoist Jadesea, the Headmaster, was holding a copy of an intelligence report sent from the Heavenly Treasures Mountain. He read aloud, “Tonight, in the Kindwater clan’s Cloudwater Manor located in the imperial capital of the Grand Xia, Kindwater Xiaolou hosted a banquet for Ji Ning. Ji Ning attended with a troop of Golden Imperials. Halfway through the banquet, Immortal Floatcloud suddenly appeared. He first used a Whitebone Immortal Slaying Needle to ambush Ji Ning, who was heavily injured but managed to stay alive. Immortal Floatcloud then utilized the Bloodcoil Heavenlock Formation to seal off the surrounding area, then engaged in a one-on-one fight with Ji Ning. Ji Ning’s Primaltwin suddenly emerged. His Primaltwin had already reached the peak Primal level. By using a sword formation technique involving hundreds of Heaven-ranked flying swords, he executed Immortal Floatcloud.”
The hall was completely silent.
Everyone was speechless for a moment… and then, a storm of commotion.
“Apprentice-nephew headmaster, are you sure about what you read?”
“Do you speak the truth?”
“Ji Ning’s Primaltwin killed Immortal Floatcloud?”
None of them could believe it. Many of them had actually been present when Ning had joined the school. That little fellow who had only been a Zifu Disciple… after just ten or so years, he had killed a Loose Immortal? Was this a joke?
“This is a report from the Heavenly Treasures Mountain. How could they lie about something like this?” Daoist Jadesea looked at his fellow disciples.
“Wonderful, wonderful.” Immortal Fivecraze called out, “This is absolutely wonderful. Spread the news. Let all of the disciples of our Black-White College learn of this matter!”
Some would celebrate, some would mourn. News of Ning’s battle spread throughout the entire imperial capital, and it also spread to the ears of certain people located in many other commandery cities. Some celebrated, some sighed in amazement, some felt jealousy, and some felt disdain.
Highwater Commander. The Dongyan Mountains.
Late night. Within a mountain peak inside the Dongyan Mountains.
Ninelotus was seated by herself at the edges of a cliff. The cold night wind felt as sharp as knives of ice, but Ninelotus allowed the wind to blow against her as she continued to sit there silently. Ever since she and Ning had parted ways at the Witchriver Immortal Estate, Ninelotus had begun to enjoy sitting by herself in this quiet place at night, a time of absolute stillness. She would just watch quietly until the sun rose.
“Little Yun.” Suddenly, a voice rang out. Ninelotus turned to look. A very beautiful woman walked over; it was her mother.
Ninelotus’ mother looked at her daughter, feeling quite pained for her. Ninelotus and her were extremely close. When Ninelotus had returned from the Witchriver Immortal Estate, she had truly been heartbroken, but had no one to talk to about it. Her mother had consoled her, and eventually, Ninelotus had told her mother about the pain in her heart. Only then did her mother realize that her daughter had very nearly chosen to completely walk the same path with Ji Ning.
“Little Yun, are you still not over it?” The mother sat down as well, looking at her daughter.
“I’ve been over it for quite some time,” Ninelotus said, gently shaking her head. “I just continue to feel ashamed.”
“If you feel ashamed, how can you say you are over it?” Her mother shook her head. “No need to be ashamed. This Ji Ning, he isn’t worth you feeling ashamed over. He just came from a backwater clan; how good could his upbringing have possibly been? The two of you belong in completely separate worlds. There’s no way the two of you could’ve been together. No way at all.”
“Enough,” Ninelotus said softly.
“You are going to command the entire Dongyan clan, and the Forefather of the Dongyan clan has full faith in you. You need to stir yourself up. You might not be able to forget about him now, but in a few centuries or millennia, you’ll realize that he was actually just a very ordinary passerby in your life. Nothing more than a bumpkin. Forget about him,” Ninelotus’ mother said.
Before Ninelotus was born, her mother and her father had decent lives in the Dongyan clan, but were quite ordinary figures. However, after Ninelotus was born, she was loved and doted upon by the Dongyan clan’s Forefather, who trained her and assigned her to be the next clan leader. Thus, Ninelotus’ father and mother saw their statuses skyrocket, and they now had a very great deal of power within the Dongyan clan.
“He isn’t a bumpkin.” Ninelotus stared at her mother. “He is my former Dao-companion, and a true genius!”
“And what good is a genius? He might just end up being killed by the Youngflame clan,” her mother said angrily.
“Enough!” Ninelotus was growing angry as well.
Her mother forced down her anger. Ninelotus was the next clan leader, after all, and so normally she and her husband would listen to Ninelotus. But with regards to Ji Ning… the mother had always nursed a belly full of anger. How exalted a status did her daughter have? How could she possibly be together with someone who came from a backwater tribe? That was an absolute travesty.
“Mistress, mistress!” Suddenly, a female servant flew in on a flying sword, landing on the mountain peak.
“Mm?” Ninelotus looked at her servant.
“The Heavenly Treasures Mountain sent an intelligence report. It has to do with young master Ji Ning,” the female servant said.
Ninelotus waved her hand, and the intelligence report scroll immediately flew towards her. By her side, her mother said unhappily, “You said you are over it, but you continue to pay attention to his intelligence reports?”
“Does being over it mean that I can no longer pay attention to news regarding him?” Ninelotus gave her mother a glance, then unfurled the scroll to read it. A look of shock and amazement appeared on her face.
“Let me take a look. What’s this all about? Was he killed by the Youngflame clan?” Her mother snatched it over to take a read. And as she did… she was so shocked that she jumped to her feet.
“Ki-ki-killed Immortal Floatcloud of the Youngflame clan?” She was astonished. “He’s only trained for thirty years, right? How could, how, how could…”
“I told you. He is a genius.” Ninelotus said softly, “Mother, go home. Let me be by myself for a while.”
Her mother was truly stunned by this news as well. She simply couldn’t comprehend it. How could this young fellow from a backwater tribe, who was even younger than her own daughter, have actually killed a supreme Loose Immortal?
Stunned, she left obediently. The maidservant left as well.
Ninelotus sat there by herself, silent.
“As long as you are doing well, I can be at ease. Ji Ning… stay alive.” Ninelotus could only pray silently in her heart. When she had chosen the path of becoming the next leader of the Dongyan clan, she had decided to follow this path to its completion. As for Ji Ning? All she could do was silently pray for him in her heart.
This was because, after their parting at the Witchriver Immortal Estate…
“You shall be you, and I shall be me…”