The Desolate Era - Book 11, Chapter 33 - From Whence Came, To Where Go
It was a late, cold winter night. The temperature was bone-chillingly low.
But Princess Xiyue, of King Yan’s Estate, was filled with burning rage. She angrily slammed her hand against the table. “The Youngflame clan is truly damnable. They actually dare to attempt an assassination within the imperial capital. Damnable, damnable, absolutely damnable!”
“Cousin, although the Youngflame clan sent a Loose Immortal Deathsworn, that person ended up dying in my hands,” Ji Ning said. “Don’t be so angry, cousin.”
“How can I not be angry?” Princess Xiyue looked towards Ning. “I’m still covered in cold sweat. Fortunately, you are strong and were able to block both the Whitebone Immortal Slaying Needle as well as Immortal Floatcloud. If not… little brother, aside from Grandpa, you are my own family.”
If her one and only little brother would have died… Princess Xiyue didn’t even know what she would’ve done.
“The Youngflame clan is utterly damnable,” Princess Xiyue said, so angry that she was shaking.
“Their strategy this time of sending out a Loose Immortal Deathsworn failed. I imagine that for now, they won’t have any other tricks up their sleeves; so long as I stay within the imperial capital, the Youngflame clan shouldn’t be able to do anything to me,” Ning hurriedly consoled his cousin.
Princess Xiyue took a deep breath, then nodded. “Right. There is nothing else they can do to you. I imagine that a year later though, during the Conclave of Immortal Destiny, they will use the rules of the Conclave to act against you.”
“Against others who are at the peak Wanxiang level… although I don’t dare say that I am unequaled in the world, I should be able to keep myself alive.” Ning’s eyes suddenly lit up. “Cousin, my Primaltwin just finished binding the storage treasure which the deceased Immortal Floatcloud left behind.”
“Oh?” Yuchi Xiyue’s eyes lit up as well. “Let’s see what sort of treasure Immortal Floatcloud left behind. However… since he dared to attempt to assassinate you, and also carried a Whitebone Immortal Slaying Needle and a Bloodcoil Heavenlock Formation with him, I imagine that he no longer had many other treasures on him.”
“Let me take a close look.” Ning nodded. He immediately began to have his Primaltwin, located within the underwater estate, to carefully investigate each treasure. Suddenly, Ning revealed a look of astonishment.
“What is it?” Yuchi Xiyue asked hurriedly.
“The other treasures are as I expected, but I found a scroll.” Ning waved his hand, and a golden scroll suddenly appeared within it, emanating ripples of power that were ancient and strange.
“This scroll…?” Yuchi Xiyue looked at it, also curious. Ning unfurled the scroll. Atop the golden scroll, there was just a single, simple line of characters. They stated:
“From whence come, to where go. Xiamang Xun.”
Every single stroke was simple and plain, but an aura of majesty exploded forth from them. Both Ning and Xiyue felt their hearts tremble; they felt as if they were facing the heavens themselves. Even Ning, when facing that ancient Fiendgod in the wild marshes of the Gaol Mountains, hadn’t felt such terror.
Whoosh. Ning hurriedly closed the scroll, and only then did the terrifying majesty completely disappear.
“What in the world is this?” Xiyue was absolutely amazed.
“I don’t know either.” Ning shook his head.
“Just a single line of characters; from whence come, to where go. And a single, simple signature inscription – Xiamang Xun. Who exactly is Xiamang Xun? Can it be that he is an ancient member of the imperial Xiamang clan?” Xiyue was completely puzzled. “Why haven’t I ever heard of this name before?”
Ning said with a frown, “The person who wrote the line of words should be named Xiamang Xun… and judging from the majestic power from those words, he should be an incredibly powerful figure.”
“I’ll go ask Grandpa,” Xiyue immediately said. “Wait a moment for me.”
“Right now? So late at night?” Ning was amazed.
“It’s fine. My grandfather is a Celestial Immortal; do you think there is a big difference between day and night for him? And he lives by himself; he doesn’t even let maidservants move close to him. It’s fine for me to find him late at night. And I’m in quite an uneasy mood as well; I feel as though this scroll is quite extraordinary. Wait a moment; I’ll be back shortly.” Xiyue hurriedly departed.
In just the amount of time needed to boil a kettle of tea.
Xiyue once more flew back gracefully, her face filled with excitement.
“Cousin, what’d he say?” Ning was quite curious as well as to exactly what this scroll is.
“Do you know who Xiamang Xun is?” Xiyue had a secretive look on her face.
“Who?” Ning asked. He had never heard of this name before.
“He is his Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of our Grand Xia Dynasty!” Xiyue whispered to him, “He’s also the founder of the Grand Xia Dynasty, and the sovereign of this major world.”
“His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor?” Ning was awestruck. The Grand Xia Emperor stood far above them. He was the sovereign of this entire major world, and his power filled the skies. In fact, it was said that the Grand Xia Emperor could even sit down and speak to the Celestial Emperor as equals. One was the Emperor of a major world of the mortal realms; the other was the Emperor of the Deva realms.
This was how things had been since the Fiendgod Era.
The Grand Xia Emperor had never been anyone else. He rarely showed himself; after all, this ancient dynasty which he had founded and which had existed for countless millions of years had long ago stabilized. It had its own laws, and most matters could be handled by his senior officials.
He was powerful. After all, he had single-handedly established an enormous dynasty and unified the world, after the end of the Fiendgod Era.
He was mysterious. Over the course of countless years, he had almost never shown himself.
He was exalted. No one in the Grand Xia Dynasty dared to go against his decrees.
As the sovereign of this major world, who had stood at its very peak from the Fiendgod Era until now, a figure who the vast majority of Earth Immortals and Loose Immortals couldn’t even approach… very few people even knew his name.
“Right. His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor. This is his name.” Xiyue was extremely excited. “Xiamang Xun… that’s the name of his Imperial Majesty.”
“Xiamang Xun, his Imperial Majesty… the Emperor…” Ning’s heart was suddenly filled with fright and nervousness.
In his subconscious… he suddenly felt as though a pair of eyes was staring directly at him.
Previously, when he hadn’t known this was the name of the Emperor, Ning hadn’t felt anything. But now that he knew… he felt in his subconscious as though a pair of eyes had suddenly turned towards him.
“Do you know what this scroll is?” Xiyue didn’t sense anything amiss at all. All she felt was excitement and energy. “A dharmic decree of reincarnation! This is a dharmic decree that was personally penned by the Grand Xia Emperor. If you possess this decree, once you perish, the dharmic decree will escort and accompany your soul into the Netherworld Kingdom. When the Yama-Kings of the Ten Halls see this dharmic decree, they will naturally give some face to our Grand Xia Emperor. The line of ‘from whence come, to whence go’ is an instruction; it means that the bearer is to reborn back into the major world and the clan from whence he last lived in.”
Ning was enlightened.
The Yama-Kings of the Ten Halls. The Lord of Cui Palace. All of them had exalted statuses in the Netherworld Kingdom. For them, letting a few Immortals return to their own major world and clans was nothing more than a minor matter. It could also be viewed as helping to build up ties between themselves and the major power who wrote the dharmic decree.
“Right. My grandfather said that you are not to rashly tell others of the name of his Imperial Majesty,” Xiyue said hurriedly. “According to what my grandfather said, if you say his Imperial Majesty’s name aloud, his Imperial Majesty will sense it. However, since we are within King Yan’s Estate, his Imperial Majesty won’t mind too much.”
“Understood. I won’t tell others,” Ning immediately said. In his heart, however, he felt shocked. So just now, when he felt in his subconscious as though a pair of eyes were paying attention to him… it had probably been his Imperial Majesty, the Emperor.
Time flowed on. News of Ning’s Primaltwin’s slaying of Immortal Floatcloud spread, and Ning’s fame grew greater and greater. In the imperial capital, almost everyone believed that Ning had an exceedingly high level of insight into the Dao; far higher, at least, than Immortal Floatcloud possessed. Otherwise, how could he have so fought him, despite Immortal Floatcloud being at a higher tier of power?
Stillwater Commandery. Within a private training room in the Black-White College.
The Sloppy Daoist, the number one figure amongst the third generation disciples, was seated in the lotus position. He was only wearing pants, his upper body unclad. The skin on his upper body was actually covered with runes that looked like the shell of a tortoise, and a series of ancient-feeling ripples of power poured out from him.
Suddenly, within the private training room, the illusion of an incomparably enormous Turtle-Snake appeared. This Turtle-Snake filled nearly the entire training room, and the Sloppy Daoist stood on the illusory Turtle-Snake’s back. The entire Turtle-Snake began to move, and both the turtle head and the serpent head emitted growling roars.
A layer of turtle shell began to appear on the Sloppy Daoist’s entire body as he sat there, but his eyes were like the eyes of a snake, capable of filling the hearts of viewers with terror. His aura was incredibly ancient and powerful.
“Eh?” The Sloppy Daoist suddenly frowned. In his subconscious, he could feel something calling to him. It was…
“The Conclave of Immortal Destiny?” The Sloppy Daoist mumbled to himself, “What’s going on? Why is it that when I’m training in the Black Tortoise [1. This term ‘Xuanwu’literally translates as ‘Black Warrior’, but is also supposed to be, in Chinese mythology, either the name of the Black Tortoise/Turtle-Snake of the Four Beasts, or the Immortal whose pet is the Black Tortoise. ] divine ability, my subconscious is foretelling that this upcoming Conclave is going to be quite important. It seems as though it is a major chance for me.”
The powerful call was so strong that the Sloppy Daoist was almost unable to suppress it.
The Sloppy Daoist knew very well that this sort of subconscious feeling didn’t need to be doubted; if he could sense that it was going to be a major stroke of luck for him, then he had to go.
“I don’t like fighting and struggling with others. I just want to quietly relax and train. But… I didn’t expect that in the end, I still have to go to this Conclave of Immortal Destiny.” The Sloppy Daoist nodded lightly. “What shall be, shall be. Those things that are meant to be mine will be; for those things that aren’t meant to be mine, there’s no need to force it. I’ll go give this Conclave a try and test out these geniuses of our major world.”
“I’ve just reached the second Cycle of my Black Tortoise divine ability. I was planning to break through to the Primal level, but it now seems that I shouldn’t be in a hurry. After this Conclave of Immortal Destiny is concluded, I’ll make my breakthrough.” The Sloppy Daoist no longer considered this matter, and began to train once more.
The enormous phantom of a Turtle-Snake once more filled the entire training room.
The Sloppy Daoist was like an ancient, primordial Fiendgod. He sat there quietly, meditating.
In the great Darknorth Sea, there was an Immortal island known as Goldcrow Island. The master of this island was referred to as Immortal Goldcrow; he was a truly mighty Void-level Earth Immortal. Although he had only reached the Void level a century ago, he had been famous for a long period of time. He had the lineage of the Golden Crow, and so although he was merely a Void-level Earth Immortal, he was close to Celestial Immortals in power.
In the Darknorth Sea, there were countless powers who wanted to befriend him, but Immortal Goldcrow was solitary and did as he pleased. As someone with the lineage of the Golden Crows, and as a man with a strange temper who was quite bloodthirsty, there were very few powers who dared to antagonize him.
Within Goldcrow Island.
A golden-robed Immortal Goldcrow was seated at the front of a grand palace, expounding on the Dao. Before him were six young men and women who were listening reverently. These were the six major disciples of Immortal Goldcrow.
During a pause in the expounding of the Dao, the eldest of the six disciples, a human, spoke out and asked, “Master, I heard that the Grand Xia Dynasty is about to hold the Conclave of Immortal Destiny. Your disciple wishes to go; may I?”
“You, with your level of power, plan to go to the Conclave of Immortal Destiny? Do you want to die?” Immortal Goldcrow responded calmly, but as soon as his words came out, his face suddenly changed.