The Desolate Era - Book 11, Chapter 9 - Foundation Established
The City of Ten Thousand Swords, under the falling snow, remained as lively as ever. The city had now become the very center of the entire Swallow Mountain region; naturally, it was quite bustling! As for the grudge between the Youngflame clan and the Ji clan? Those merchants and peddlers who came and went from Swallow Mountain’s commandery cities were all ordinary mortals; the Immortal cultivators stationed by the Youngflame clan weren’t willing to wantonly slaughter too many mortals, as that would cause the accumulation of far too much sin.
Within a particular alleyway in the City of Ten Thousand Swords.
Space rippled, and then Ji Ning appeared. Although there were some ordinary mortals within the alleyway, they didn’t seem to notice Ning’s presence at all.
“These minor invisibility tricks are still useful against mortals.” Ning spread his sense out, and as he did, he couldn’t help but feel startled. “The city is absolutely…”
“Fellow Daoist Ji Ning.” A ripple of divine sense spread out to him.
“Immortal Duohe.” Ning took a single step forward, then transformed into a gust of wind and disappeared.
The Lord Prefect’s estate was the heart of the entire city; it also comprised the inner city. Within a particular courtyard in the estate. Immortals Duohe and Witchsui were both seated here. A gust of wind blew in, then Ning appeared as well.
“Ning, son.” Two other figures almost simultaneously appeared as well; it was the Whitewater Hound and Little Qing. In the instant Ning had teleported to the City of Ten Thousand Swords, Uncle White and Little Ning had sensed his arrival.
“Master, it’s been over a year.” Little Qing, in azure serpent form, immediately coiled around Ning’s arm, then raised her little serpentine head and spoke in the human tongue. “I’ve been worried to death over you during this past year. The army of the Youngflame clan has been sending nonstop patrols around. Fortunately, I could sense that you were still alive, master; otherwise, I wouldn’t even be able to sleep.”
The Whitewater Hound looked at Ning. He, too, had been worried about Ning this entire time.
“Uncle White, Little Qing,” Ning laughed. “The Youngflame clan isn’t able to do anything to me.”
“Immortal Duohe, Immortal Witchsui.” Ning turned to look at the two already-standing monstrous Immortals, then laughed. “I didn’t expect that after being absent from here for a year, by the time of my return, your forces would have layered it in protections that render it as impregnable as an iron fortress. I sense more than a hundred different types of formations alone, and wasn’t even able to teleport into the city. Also, you discovered me as soon as I arrived; this is an even more restrictive area than some headquarters for major schools.”
Immortal Duohe nodded. “This is the core of your Ji clan, and the place where all of us monsters of the Immortal estate world have gathered. Naturally, we cannot be careless. We’ve used all our power to set up these formations; so long as any Loose Immortal dares to enter, we will immediately notice them.”
“This is the homeland of your Ji clan, and the home of our clans as well, for the next thousand years,” Immortal Witchsui said with a smile.
Ning let out a sigh of relief. He had been right to invite the monsters here.
“Not just that,” Immortal Duohe chuckled, “Our clans have a vast number of Xiantian lifeforms amid our ranks as well. We’ve sent out tens of thousands of these Xiantian Diremonsters to spread out throughout the Swallow Mountain region, allowing us to completely control and oversee the mortals here as well. This way, it will be hard for the Youngflame clan to kill the mortals.”
Ning nodded. It was a grave sin to kill ordinary mortals, but Xiantian lifeforms had yet to truly embark on the Immortal path; the amount of sin they accumulated was much lower.
“This is the decision which we came to after negotiating with Old Patriarch Ninefire. The Old Patriarch was worried that the Youngflame clan would butcher ordinary mortals with abandon,” Immortal Duohe said. “Actually, I feel that the Old Patriarch is worrying too much; the Youngflame clan is, after all, a major clan that has existed for countless years. Clans like this care tremendously about their karmic luck. Even if they send Xiantian lifeforms to slaughter ordinary mortals, there will still be some degree of sin that will surround the bodies of the Youngflame clan members, which will affect the luck of the clan as a whole. Although it won’t have a huge impact, given how much these ancient clans care about luck, they absolutely wouldn’t do anything that would negatively influence it, just for the sake of giving vent to a bit of anger.”
Ning nodded. Luck. You couldn’t see it, nor could you feel it. But it did indeed exist. Those blessed by luck were the favored of heaven, and their lives would naturally be different. For example, the Grand Xia Dynasty established the Raindragon Guard, whose primary mission was to constantly capture and kill major sinners and thus allowing the Dynasty’s luck to constantly rise!
“I’ll trouble you all to take care of my Ji clan’s affairs,” Ning said. “I need to go see the clan leader and the others. Afterwards, I’ll leave the city, and it will most likely be many years before we meet again.”
“Fellow Daoist Ji Ning, you must be careful,” Immortal Witchsui and Immortal Duohe both said.
“Right.” Ning nodded. And then, he led Uncle White and Little Qing to go see the clan leader.
Ji Ninefire and the others had no idea that Ning had returned. Soon, however, Ning’s divine sense reached out to Ji Ninefire, Granny Shadow, and Ji Truekeep, who went to go meet with Ning, Uncle White, and Little Qing in a secluded courtyard.
Rumble… the door to the courtyard shut.
Ninefire, Granny Shadow, and Truekeep all looked at Ning. Given they had secluded themselves in this place, the conversation was undoubtedly a weighty one.
Ning spread out his divine sense as well, keeping a vigilant watch on the surrounding area.
“We are going to leave the City of Ten Thousand Swords soon. I don’t know how long this journey will last, or if I will be able to return,” Ning said.
“Ji Ning, don’t say such things; you’ll definitely be able to return,” Ninefire said hurriedly.
Ning laughed. “Alright. I’ll definitely be able to return. Before leaving, there’s something I want to give you all.”
“Oh?” Ninefire and the others were quite curious.
Ning waved his hand, and the floor became filled with piles of magic treasures, such as swords, spears, staffs, needles, shuttles, grand seals, ribbons, and horsetail whisks. The treasures were numerous beyond counting.
“This is?” Ninefire and the others held their breaths.
Ning waved his arm again, and nearly a thousand magic treasures appeared on the ground.
Yet another wave of the arm, and ten more treasures appeared as well.
“There are more than ten thousand Mortal-ranked magic treasures, nine hundred-plus Earth-ranked magic treasures, and twelve Heaven-ranked magic treasures,” Ning said. “Even if our Ji clan produces several Primal Daoists and a group of Wanxiang Adepts, these treasures should be enough for us.”
“It’s enough, it’s enough. Immortal cultivators usually acquire magic treasures through adventuring in the outside world,” Ninefire said hurriedly. “At most, the clan will provide a little bit of support. So many treasures… Ning, son, where in the world did you get them?”
Ning didn’t answer. Instead, he waved his hand again. A large number of spirit-pills and valuable treasures and materials appeared.
“These are all spirit-pills and valuable materials,” Ning said. “There are some commonly seen Immortal elixirs and pills here. Clan leader, if you flip through this book, you’ll know what is here. As for the most precious spirit-pills and materials, I’ve written down a book explaining their value and usage. You can’t be too wild in your use of these things; after all, some of them are poisonous in nature.”
This caused Ninefire and the others to all feel breathless.
“These magic treasures are all external items.” Ning solemnly waved his hand, and instantly, a vast, dense cluster of books appeared, filling more than half of the hall and rising to thirty meters in height.
“This will be our Dao Repository,” Ning said. “It includes everything, and in number should be even larger than Snowdragon Mountain’s.”
He had killed Xue Hongyi, Youngflame Nong, and had also acquired the Dao Repository of the Witchriver Immortal Estate.
“These eighteen sets are the most important.” Ning waved his hand yet again. “Here there are Immortal-ranked Ki Refining techniques, Fiendgod Body Refining techniques, divine abilities, and divine will arts,” Ning said. “These are precious techniques which Celestial Immortals and those on their level use; some of them aren’t even available to the Black-White College.”
Ninefire, Truekeep, and Granny Shadow were all completely stunned.
Divine will techniques?
These were things that only existed in legendary Dao Repositories. Actually, these things had been left behind both by Immortal Juhua and the Witchriver Immortal Estate. Immortal Juhua had lived for millions of years, after all, and his combat power was comparable to a Celestial Immortal’s; he had acquired quite a few Dao Repositories in his time. In other words, Ning’s repository was the combination of the ones that had belonged to Immortal Witchriver and Immortal Juhua!
Immortal Juhua was a lone wanderer with no clan to worry about, and so the techniques he left behind were all top-notch, at least at the Heaven-rank.
“These eighteen sets that I’m giving to you,” Ning said solemnly, “Absolutely must not be taught to others. They are the hope for our Ji clan’s rise to power, the heart of our heart. Who to pass them down to? When to pass them down? I’ve left behind my recommendations on this book.” Ning handed a book directly over to Truekeep. Truekeep, hands trembling, accepted it.
He was completely stunned. Perhaps this repository was quite a bit weaker than the Dao Repository which the Black-White College had accumulated over the course of countless years, but it definitely far surpassed the likes of Snowdragon Mountain, and definitely ranked amongst the top ten or so of the entire Stillwater Commandery. Those divine abilities and secret arts in particular… the other powers didn’t have them at all.
Whooosh. Ning waved his hand yet again, and a pile of statues appeared. A total of nine golems, all of Qiongqi Manticores.
“Master.” The nine Qiongqi Manticore golems all looked towards Ning with respect.
He had originally acquired thirty-six Qiongqi golems and the black-armored male golem from the Witchriver Immortal Estate. The giant yellow bear had completely disassembled them, then rebuilt them into eighteen Qiongqi golems. As for that black-armored male golem? He was completely, truly finished; he no longer existed.
After the retrofitting of the eighteen Qiongqi golems, every single one of them was now close to a Loose Immortal in combat power. Nine of them could join together to form into a ‘Grand Nine Heavens Formation’, and even Ning’s Primaltwin fighting at full power still found it hard to overcome them when surrounded.
“These nine golems are each close to a Loose Immortal in combat power. For a single one to actually kill a Primal Daoist on its own might be difficult,” Ning said, “But once the nine join forces into a golem formation… they will be able to kill Primal Daoists as easily as killing chickens. This will become our Ji clan’s final trump card. Every single one of them has an elemental ki formation within their bodies, and they can absorb natural elemental energy and distill it into liquefied elemental essence, so there’s no need for you to provide them with a power supply. However, remember this… don’t use them too often. Once they use up the essence inside, they will no longer be able to fight. You can ask them yourself how much energy they have remaining and how much longer they can fight for.”
“Kill Primal Daoists as easily as killing chickens?” Ninefire, Truekeep, and Granny Shadow exchanged a glance. They were completely filled with joy by this situation.
“Ji Ning,” Ninefire said hurriedly, “I know about golems. Such powerful, mighty golems are incomparably valuable; it’s better to keep them by your side. You will be experiencing countless dangers; these golems will be of great use to you.”
“For me, killing Primal Daoists is also as easy as killing chickens,” Ning said.
Ninefire and the others were speechless.
These words were simply too savage and brutal. If Ning dared to say these words, that meant he absolutely had the combat power of a Loose Immortal! Actually, Ning’s true body wasn’t that strong, but his Primaltwin? It definitely did have that power.
“Hurry up and collect these,” Ning said.
“Right, right. Truekeep, hurry up and collect them,” Ninefire said hurriedly.
Truekeep nodded. “These treasures cannot leave the City of Ten Thousand Swords; in fact, they can’t even leave the Lord Prefect’s manor. I’ll allow these nine Loose Immortal golems to guard them.”
Everything had been arranged.
The door to the hall swung open.
Ning led Uncle White and Little Qing out, transforming into a gust of wind that disappeared into the skies.
Truekeep, Ninefire, and Granny Shadow raised their heads, staring into the firmament.
“Our Ji clan’s foundation has been established. So long as we are given enough time, we will definitely become one of the local hegemons of Stillwater Commandery.” Ninefire murmured silently to himself, “Although my life is coming to an end… it’s enough… it’s enough. Even in death, my life will have been worth it. Yichuan… I knew your son was formidable, but not that he was this formidable! You produced a fine son!”
Truekeep and Granny Shadow were both in a stunned state as well.
They both understood… that because of the things Ji Ning had left behind today, the Ji clan now had a powerful foundation. Like seeds entering fertile mud, the only thing left to do was to wait. All they needed now… was time!