The Desolate Era - Book 12, Chapter 1 - The Emperors Decree
“My imperial Xiamang clan is the successor to and has the bloodline of the imperial ‘Xia clan’ of the Primordial World of Pangu. We long ago unified this major world and have cultivated it for countless years. I then apprenticed myself to Master, who once said… in terms of strength of karmic luck, the major world of the Grand Xia Dynasty ranks as number one amongst the tens of major worlds under his control. With so much karmic luck present here, the upcoming tremors that are going to give birth to some peerless heroes will very likely give birth to them right here, in the world of the Grand Xia!” The black-robed Emperor was pondering this matter.
“Master is someone who mastered a Heavenly Dao. Even in the Three Realms, he is one of the most absolutely supreme of major powers… but even he is worried about the major storm that is going to sweep the Three Realms… if I am careless, the imperial clan of the Grand Xia might be wiped out.”
He knew very well that his master was one of the truly supreme powers of the Three Realms, with tens of major worlds that completely obeyed his orders. The Grand Xia’s world was just one of them.
As for the Celestial Emperor?
The Celestial Emperor was nothing more than a person who was in charge of administrating and managing some of the rules of the Three Realms. In terms of power and authority, the Celestial Emperor wasn’t that much higher than the Grand Xia Emperor, much less his master. Only individuals on the level of his master were hegemons who truly governed the destiny of the Three Realms. In the past, when there had been some disturbances in the Three Realms, quite a few Celestial Emperors had been appointed. Who would be the Celestial Emperor? This was something that would be decided by the supreme experts on his master’s level.
“If even someone like Master is worried, then his disciples, such as myself, have a very high chance of falling. I must be absolutely cautious, as careful as I can.”
The black-robed Emperor had lived from the era of the Primordial World until this era; in the past, he had led his tribe from the Primordial World and relocated to this world, later known as the world of the ‘Grand Xia Dynasty’. He had battled against the local Fiendgods and the other tribes before finally unifying the world. He wasn’t an easy person to deal with!
He knew exactly what he needed to do in order to survive a major cataclysm.
“I need to befriend even more experts of the Three Realms. It would be ideal if some of them were willing to put themselves under my command. My luck would improve significantly if they did.”
“During this Conclave of Immortal Destiny, I imagine that future experts of the Three Realms will be born.”
The black-robed Emperor’s eyes were hooded.
Suddenly… from afar, a figure appeared atop the clouds. This man was dressed in long yellow robes that were embroidered with the image of a Raindragon. His face was round, with soft lines, but his eyes were like the stars themselves. He… was King Qi! A Celestial Immortal!
“I bow before you, your Imperial Majesty,” King Qi said, bowing respectfully.
“King Qi, have any major matters occurred during this period of time when I was gone?” The black-robed Emperor asked. Normally, it was the Emperor’s clansmen and senior officials who managed the major affairs of the empire; only the truly major matters would be reported to the Emperor.
“Your Imperial Majesty, you already know that King Yan has become a Celestial Immortal. As for other matters… nothing major has occurred. Everything in the Grand Xia Dynasty is rather peaceful,” King Qi said respectfully. The death of Youngflame Nong? Forget about the next Godplume Duke; even if the current Godplume Duke died, it would be a petty, minor matter that was not worth mentioning to the Emperor.
But of course, if a Celestial Immortal like Patriarch Arcanum perished, it would be worth reporting.
“Mm.” The black-robed Emperor nodded. “There are a few months left before the Conclave of Immortal Destiny. Have you heard any unusual news regarding this Conclave?”
“The Conclave?” King Qi was startled.
The Conclave of Immortal Destiny was carried out every three centuries. For short-lived Immortal cultivators, this was something that happened only once in a lifetime, but for someone as exalted as the Grand Xia Emperor… the Emperor had lived for so incomparably long that for him, the tricentennial Conclave was quite an ordinary, regular event. He might spend ten thousand years in a single closed-door meditation session; he normally wouldn’t pay any attention to the Conclave. It would be his subordinates, the Celestial Immortals, who would spend a bit of time on it.
For Celestial Immortals to officiate over it was already putting it on a very high pedestal.
“If I must point out something unusual regarding this Conclave of Immortal Destiny…” King Qi pondered for a moment as he thought about an intelligence report that had been delivered to him by the Heavenly Treasures Mountain, then said, “I suppose there is something. In past Conclaves, some of the truly proud and peerless geniuses would disdain from attending… but all of the extremely famous peerless geniuses are attending this time. In terms of quality, the competitors in this Conclave should be exceptionally high.”
Peerless geniuses wouldn’t necessarily take part in the Conclave of Immortal Destiny. Because of their own personality, characters, and training techniques, quite a few would not attend. For example, the Sloppy Daoist had originally not been planning to attend at all.
“Oh?” The black-robed Emperor nodded lightly. Indeed; the signs were all there. Luck, the invisible intrinsic, was beginning to gather.
This Conclave of Immortal Destiny was going to be one of the places where karmic luck would gather. Those peerless geniuses would innately be drawn to attend, because the most outstanding of them would gain the blessing of even more luck, allowing their future potential to be limitless.
“I shall personally host this Conclave of Immortal Destiny,” the black-robed Emperor said.
“Persona–” King Qi said, astonished, “The Conclave happens every three centuries; it isn’t that important. Your Imperial Majesty, you are going to personally host it?
The black-robed Emperor nodded. “Yes. I shall personally host it, and I am going to increase the rewards for this Conclave a hundredfold as well.”
“A hundredfold?” King Qi’s heart shook. In the past, only the top three competitors of the Conclave would be bestowed an Immortal-ranked magic treasure. Then this time…?
“Spread my command to the various marquisates and the major schools and sects of the world,” the black-robed Emperor said calmly. “Tell them that I am paying close attention to this Conclave, and that I will personally officiate over it. Have the various marquisates, schools, and sects all arrange for their most supremely talented disciples to attend this Conclave.”
“Command?” King Qi was even more speechless. The question of participation was generally a matter of personal choice.
“King Qi, you should know about the major upheavals that occurred in the Netherworld Kingdom a few decades ago, yes?” The black-robed Emperor looked at King Qi.
“I do. Of course I know about the collapse of the Six Paths of Reincarnation. But what does this have to do with the Conclave of Immortal Destiny…?” King Qi had some vague premonitions, but because his vision was limited to this major world, he didn’t truly understand. In his heart, however, he understood that most likely it was the prior upheavals in the Netherworld Kingdom which caused the Emperor to pay such attention to this Conclave.
If that was the case, then he definitely could not be negligent.
“I’ll send your commands right away,” King Qi immediately said.
“Good. Arrange for the opening ceremony of the Conclave to be on the sixteenth of the first lunar month,” the black-robed Emperor ordered.
“Yes,” King Qi acknowledged.
Soon, the news that his Imperial Majesty the Grand Xia Emperor was going to personally host this Conclave of Immortal Destiny and was ordering the various marquisates, schools, and sects to arrange for their most elite of disciples to participate quickly spread from the imperial capital to the entirety of this major world. The countless marquises of this vast world, as well as the major powers located in the boundless seas, all received the Emperor’s commands!
“The Emperor is going to personally officiate?”
“The last time the Emperor officiated a Conclave of Immortal Destiny was back when the revolting Dong’e clan and the other clans were annihilated. That was already countless years ago… and the only time that he officiated before that was during the very first Conclave. Why is the Emperor going to host the Conclave of Immortal Destiny this time?”
All of the marquises, major schools, and major sects were all uneasy. They weren’t worried about the deaths of their Wanxiang Disciples; even if all of them perished, that would simply mean that there would be a gap at a certain level of experts for a few centuries, after which new geniuses would have arisen.
What they were worried about was what the Emperor was planning. This was the Emperor who controlled the destiny of this entire major world! He was going to personally officiate, and had sent commands to them… the hidden meaning behind this was extraordinary.
“Patriarch, it was the Emperor who officiated over the very first Conclave of Immortal Destiny; he also officiated the Conclave that occurred after the revolting Dong’e clan was wiped out. This will be only the third time the Emperor is personally hosting the Conclave… there must be a reason behind it.”
“Enough. Don’t trouble yourself about it. How can someone like you possibly comprehend the thoughts of someone as exalted as his Imperial Majesty? Even if he ordered all of the younger geniuses in our clan to go die, we would still obey. Arrange for the top three Wanxiang Disciples of the younger generation in our clan to go attend this Conclave of Immortal Destiny. As for the others… let them do as they please.”
“Summon the three Sacred Childs. They are to prepare to join the Conclave of Immortal Destiny.”
“Yes, Sacred Master.”
“The five highest ranked disciples of our school, Heaven’s Equal, are all required to participate in the Conclave of Immortal Destiny. As for the others, they can do as they please.”
“Yes, Supreme One.”
Not a single one of the many powerful forces of the world of the Grand Xia dared to disobey. Those who received the orders were all at least on the level of the Northmont clan of Stillwater. As for the likes of the Black-White College? They weren’t even qualified to receive these orders.
Another winter had arrived. The sun shone down on the accumulated snow, making it gleam brightly.
Ji Ning, Yuchi Xiyue, Yu Wei, Mu Northson, Adept Vastriver, and the Sloppy Daoist were all together, drinking Immortal nectar, eating seafood, and chatting casually.
“The order has already come down from within the imperial citadel,” Xiyue said with a laugh. “The date of this Conclave has been set down as the sixteenth of the first lunar month. A little more than a month remains now.”
Every single Conclave was hosted during the first lunar month.
“I was wandering the imperial capital the other day, and when I was eating, I heard people next to me chatting. They said that three of the nine top-ranked disciples of their school had arrived, and that various other figures from other schools had arrived as well. It seems as though very many geniuses are participating this time.” Northson, holding a beasthead goblet of wine, spoke quite excitedly.
“From the intelligence reports I purchased from the Heavenly Treasures Mountain, I can see that one batch after another of geniuses are gathering here at the imperial capital,” Yu Wei said solemnly.
Xiyue said with a laugh, “It seems as though you don’t know enough of the inner details; in reality, it will be his Imperial Majesty, the Emperor himself, who will personally officiate over this Conclave of Immortal Destiny. The various schools, sects, and marquisates are all naturally sending their most talented geniuses over, in the hopes of ingratiating themselves with his Imperial Majesty.”
“His Imperial Majesty is personally officiating?” Ning, Yu Wei, and the Sloppy Daoist were all surprised.
“Actually, all of the marquisates know about this matter, and I imagine some of the peerless geniuses of the various schools know as well. However, they don’t dare to casually discuss this with others,” Xiyue said. “I’m letting you know now, but don’t let others know.”
Ning and the others were still in a state of shock. The Grand Xia Emperor? The person who unified this entire major world? Someone who stood at the true peak of this land?
Ning and the others couldn’t help but feel even more eager now.
As time flowed out, more and more geniuses arrived at the imperial capital of the Grand Xia. In fact, there were some people who originally hadn’t planned to come, but decided to hurry over specifically because they heard that a truly staggering number of geniuses was attending this Conclave.
Time passed in the blink of an eye… and it was now the sixteenth day of the first lunar month.