The Desolate Era - Book 11, Chapter 7 - Binding the Underwater Estate
Within the quiet hall. The black-robed Ning sat in the lotus position, a jade bottle in front of him. The liquefied elemental essence within it was continuously flowing into Ning’s mouth.
“Heh heh heh.” The old black bull watched, quite excited. He had been alone for far, far too long.
As for the giant yellow bear, he waved a paw and two giant sacks opened up. The golems within all flew out, howling through the air. A total of thirty-six Qiongqi Manticore Golems, along with a black-armored male golem, emerged. As they flew out, they began to frantically struggle, trying to fight back.
“Be good and be obedient,” the giant yellow bear chuckled merrily. The thirty-six Qiongqi golems and the black-armored man all hung there in midair. Although they were struggling, they were unable to move at all, causing them to all reveal looks of amazement.
“Who are you?” The black-armored man stared at the giant yellow bear, then shouted, “Why are you confining us?”
“Oh, you actually have a soul planted inside you?” The giant yellow bear then shook his head. “Who made these golems? He was so rough and clumsy.”
Clatter clatter clatter…
The thirty-six Qiongqi golems and the black-armored man all suddenly separated into tens of thousands of component parts.
“Let me first collect the parts. I’ll slowly reconfigure them.” The giant yellow bear had a look of anticipation in his eyes. He waved a paw, and whoosh, all of the tens of thousands of parts disappeared, having been teleported away.
“Ji Ning, kid,” the giant yellow bear said. “I’m going to go analyze these golems and wipe out some of the seals the former controller placed on them. After fixing them up, I’ll return them to you.”
“No rush,” Ning laughed. Ning himself wasn’t training; it was currently the Primaltwin, the ‘black-robed Ji Ning’, who was training.
Time slowly passed on. Finally, all of the fifty thousand kilograms of liquefied elemental essence in the jade bottle had been used up. The black-robed Ning opened his eyes, revealing a look of joy in them.
“Ji Ning, how is it?” The old black bull asked eagerly.
“Just as I used up the liquefied elemental essence, I finally reached the late Primal stage,” the black-robed Ning said. “Let me test the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] first.”
Swish. Once again, more than seven hundred flying swords appeared. The Earth-ranked flying swords, led by the Nethercold Sword Formation, all flew into the air. However, even after trying his hardest for a long period of time, Ning was still unable to control them well, and was only able to execute the eighth level of the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation]. “My elemental ki is far more pure than it was before, but I’m still only able to use the eighth level?”
“Ji Ning, you’ve already reached the Primal level with your Primaltwin. By using it, you can go and bind this underwater estate now,” the giant yellow bear said.
“Bind the estate?” Ning willed it, and suddenly, the Primaltwin transformed into a pearl that flew into Ning’s clothes.
“Come with me.” The giant yellow bear walked forward.
Ning felt tremendous anticipation. He had waited for this day for a very, very long time. When he had become a Zifu Disciple, he had only been able to bind a talisman; now, after having created his Primaltwin, he was finally going to be able to bind the underwater estate. Afterwards, he would be able to carry it around with him, just like Immortal Juhua had.
He followed the giant yellow bear through a wide, spacious corridor that he previously hadn’t been given access to at all.
“From now on, you will be granted access into 90% of the areas of the underwater estate,” the giant yellow bear said. “After binding the underwater estate, you’ll be able to carry it with you.”
“90%? Senior, are you saying that there are still areas which I cannot enter?” Ning asked.
“Right. For example, the Divine Abilities Hall; you cannot enter it. There are some other regions as well.” The giant yellow bear gave Ning a glance. “I imagine that you have already guessed… that at the Primal stage, you are only able to do a very basic binding of the estate, allowing you to carry it with you. To truly master all of its mysteries, you will need to wait until the day you become an Empyrean God and truly become Master’s disciple.”
Ning nodded. He had expected this all along. Earlier, he had watched as the giant yellow bear had effortlessly paralyzed in midair and rendered immobile the black-armored male golem, which was comparable to a peak Loose Immortal. In addition, Ning could sense the ancient aura of eternity emanating from the giant yellow bear, an aura that was even more heart-shaking than the aura which emanated from the Fiendgod he had encountered in the wild marshes of the Gaol Mountains. To completely master the underwater estate as a Primal Daoist? Even Ning himself felt that he was far from being able to do so.
“Empyrean God?” Ning murmured to himself, “Daoist Threelives, what in the world did you leave behind, that I have to become an Empyrean God before receiving it?”
They walked through the corridor and thorugh various passages. Soon, they arrived at an ancient, simple room. Ning walked in, immediately feeling as though his heart was more peaceful than it ever had been before.
“This is the Still Room. In the past, Master personally set down a Buddhist formation, the ‘Grand Bodhi Stillheart Formation’, in this place. Amongst all the mind-calming formations known throughout the Three Realms, this formation ranks close to the top. Its name is ordinary, but its power is extraordinary.” The giant yellow bear pointed at the giant, vast room with a claw. Instantly, an incomparably complicated golden formation appeared on the walls. Ning felt dizzy just looking at it. “This formation isn’t something you can try to comprehend yet. One glance is enough; don’t stare at it.”
The complicated golden formation covering the four walls of the place once more dimmed.
“Look.” The giant yellow bear pointed at the center of the Still Room. There was a platform there, atop which was an ordinary-looking, inky jade bed which emanated a frigid aura. “This is made from netherwater jade, retrieved from the deepest depths of the Nine Hells. It is extremely cold. When you first sit atop it, you will feel extremely cold, but soon afterwards, you will feel very comfortable, and also feel it help to calm your heart. This jade bed alone is comparable in value to a Pure Yang magic treasure.”
Ning’s heart clenched, hard. A Pure Yang magic treasure? Daoist Threelives truly was wealthy and generous.
“However, don’t even think about selling it. This is already part of the underwater estate; there’s no way for you to pull it off.” The corners of the giant yellow bear’s mouth twitched upwards, a hint of smug amusement visible. “Haha, enough joking. The Still Room is the center of the entire underwater estate. All you need to do is bind it, and you’ll have a basic control over the underwater estate. Go ahead and start the binding process.”
Ning nodded, walking straight towards the inky jade bed.
Upon sitting atop it, he did indeed feel a heart-penetrating chill instantly fill his entire body. Even his soul seemed to have been frozen solid, but immediately afterwards, he felt calmer than he ever had before.
A void-soul! His soul was in a state of complete transcendence. Ning began to carefully go through and dissect every single thing which had happened to him recently. This sort of reflection and contemplation of one’s memories caused Ning’s Dao-heart to slowly strengthen even further.
“This is incredible. The Buddhist formation, ‘Bodhi Stillheart Formation’, and the netherwater jade truly are extraordinary.” Ning hesitated no longer. With but a thought, he unleashed the black-robed Ning, who also sat down atop the netherwater jade, then began to use his powerful elemental ki to fill the Still Room and bind it to him.
The Still Room was slowly becoming bound. Time flowed on…
This binding process took six full days! And this was only the first, most elementary binding possible for the underwater estate.
“What a truly marvelous feeling.” It felt as though every part of the entire underwater estate was under his control, but the strange thing was, although he felt as though he was in complete control, the Divine Abilities Hall seemed to have vanished, as though it didn’t exist.
“Weird.” Ning returned to the main hall. Within the main hall, the giant yellow bear and the old black bull were both present.
“Senior, did you forget about something?” Ning asked.
“What is it?” The giant yellow bear looked towards Ning.
“The treasures which Immortal Juhua left behind.” Ning couldn’t help but say, “I’ve already bound the underwater estate… where are his treasures?” The treasures of Immortal Juhua, the disassembled golems… although Ning could sense the entire estate, he couldn’t find any trace of those things. And, right now, Ning didn’t feel any sense of control over the giant yellow bear either.
“Oh, I almost forgot.” The giant yellow bear waved a hand.
Whoosh! Instantly, a mountain of magic treasures appeared within the hall. It truly was a mountain! A treasure mountain that was hundreds on hundreds of meters in height. Ning’s eyes instantly lit up upon seeing it.
“After living for a few million years, he really did accumulate quite a bit of treasure.” The giant yellow bear shook his head. “Immortal Juhua left behind a total of three Immortal-ranked magic treasures, and each one of them could be considered high-grade for Immortal-ranked treasures.”
Ning’s eyes instantly began to shine. Three? And all high-grade?
Immortal Juhua really lived up to his reputation as a Loose Immortal who had lived for millions of years, a figure even more powerful than Immortal Northwalker. Most likely, even the Immortal artifacts owned by actual Celestial Immortals were only on par with his at best.
“Still, only one is left,” the giant yellow bear continued, pointing towards the old black bull. “Him.”
“Just one?!” Ning was flabbergasted. “Didn’t you say there were three? Immortal Juhua left three behind, right? The fourth master of the estate died at the Wanxiang level; there’s no way he could’ve taken away the Immortal-ranked magic treasures. Where’d the other two go?”
Was this a joke? Two high-grade Immortal-ranked magic treasures had just ‘gone missing’?!
“Don’t be in such a rush. It’s a good thing for you that two of them are gone now,” the old black bull said smugly. “You still have me, right? Ji Ning, kiddo, in the future, this old bull is going to follow you, and you are enormously lucky to have me.”
Ning was still filled with puzzlement. What about the other two Immortal-ranked magic treasures? The spirit of the estate wouldn’t have embezzled them, would he?
The giant yellow bear said, “The three Immortal-ranked magic treasures left behind by Immortal Juhua were the ‘Thousandbull Sword’, the ‘Nightriver Painting’, and the ‘Nine Realms Seal’.”
“The Nightriver Painting was chosen by Immortal Juhua as his reward after he overcame the seventh level of the Wargod Hall, a high-grade Immortal-ranked magic treasure. Within it, it held an ancient river from the primordial era that came before the three thousand major worlds were born; the Nightriver. By drawing the enemy into the painting, the enemy would be within your domain and dramatically weakened, while you would be able to borrow from the power of the Nightriver to increase your own might. One of the reasons why Immortal Juhua was so famous was because of this magic treasure,” the giant yellow bear said.
Ning listened, speechless. What fine treasures! Compared to the Nightriver Painting, the Azuresilk Godfire Lamp was far too inferior. That was a primordial river, the Nightriver, which existed before the three thousand major worlds had been born!
“The Nine Realms Seal was fashioned by Immortal Juhua from the extract of materials collected by Immortal Juhua after wandering nine different major worlds. This seal… naturally, it’s used to smash and crush. He used up an astonishing amount of precious materials in fashioning it, managing to brute-force it up to be a high-grade Immortal-ranked seal. In his old age, Immortal Juhua loved to smash people with the seal.”
“The Thousandbull Sword… when Immortal Juhua met the Thousand Swords Immortal, the two exchanged blows. After killing the Thousand Swords Immortal and acquiring hundreds of valuable flying swords, he traded them for precious materials, using them and other treasures he had accumulated in forging a flying sword. Immortal Juhua was also a Sword Immortal; the most important thing for a Sword Immortal is their flying swords. The Thousandbull Sword was thus the weapon he used in order to dominate the world.”
Ning listened, spellbound and rapt. He couldn’t help but ask, “Then what happened to the Nightriver Painting and the Nine Realms Seal?”