The Desolate Era - Book 12, Chapter 40 - A Swift Departure
At the entrance to Ning’s Immortal estate.
Ning came out to the entrance to greet them. Upon seeing the two, he immediately said with respect, “Greetings, King Yan, King Qi.”
“Ji Ning, good news has arrived,” King Yan said with a laugh.
“Oh?” Ning was startled. Good news? Could it be that the Grand Xia Emperor had found a Pure Yang True Immortal to be his master?
The nearby King Qi said with a laugh, “His Imperial Majesty has sought out his junior apprentice-brother, Sword Immortal Evergreen. Sword Immortal Evergreen is a Pure Yang True Immortal. He is very powerful, and has thoroughly mastered the Grand Dao of the Sword. He is quite a famous Sword Immortal in the Three Realms…he is quite suited for teaching you.”
Ning nodded gently. Sword Immortal Evergreen?
“Ji Ning,” King Yan said in a lowered voice, “This Sword Immortal Evergreen is rather arrogant and aloof. You need to be careful around him and be very respectful.”
Ning’s heart twitched. To respect one’s master was only proper; that didn’t need to be said. But for King Yan, as a Celestial Immortal, to describe a Pure Yang True Immortal like Sword Immortal Evergreen as arrogant and aloof, then tell him to be very respectful…Ning thought to himself, “I imagine this Sword Immortal Evergreen isn’t merely ‘aloof’ and ‘arrogant’. Luckily, I don’t need to take him on as my master at all.”
“Don’t say so many things,” the nearby King Qi frowned.
King Yan laughed, saying nothing else.
“Ji Ning.” King Qi waved his hand, and a little azure sword appeared within it. “This is Sword Immortal Evergreen’s talisman. I’ll hand it to you now. All you need to do is crush it, and Sword Immortal Evergreen will come find you and take you away! Remember – you have to crush it within ten days. After ten days, the talisman will automatically disintegrate. By then, given Sword Immortal Evergreen’s temper, he probably won’t take you on as a disciple.”
Ning immediately accepted the talisman. “I understand.”
“The talisman is in your hands now. I’m going to leave now.” King Qi smiled towards Ning, then turned and left.
King Yan whispered softly, “Sword Immortal Evergreen has a rather bad temper. You have to remember this. Also, before you leave with your master, let Xiyue know. You don’t need to inform me of it. I’ll pray that when you leave, you’ll be able to learn some real abilities, and that you shall overcome your Celestial Tribulation in the future and become a carefree and unbound Immortal.”
Ning could feel King Yan’s caring towards him. “Thank you, King Yan. Ji Ning will remember it.”
“Good.” King Yan immediately left.
Just moments later.
Yuchi Xiyue arrived at Ning’s estate.
“Cousin.” Ning didn’t want to part with her either. He truly was about to leave, but it wasn’t with Sword Immortal Evergreen; rather, it would be to meet the most mysterious major power of the Three Realms, Patriarch Subhuti. After this departure, it would probably be decades or a century before he could return.
“Little brother.” Xiyue sat down, then took Ning by the hand. Her eyes were filled with tears…but they were tears of joy. “The two of us were together for two or three years, but it is now time to part. However…don’t feel unhappy. This is your chance, your chance to soar into the heavens. Although you weren’t able to become a Daofather’s disciple, it’s still quite good for you to become a Pure Yang True Immortal’s disciple.”
Ning truly wanted to tell his cousin that he was taking on Patriarch Subhuti as master.
When he had gone to greet King Yan and King Qi, Lord Jiang had instructed him, “Remember, no matter what you cannot tell them of this. Upon Xiamang Xun learning of this, he will move to obstruct it. He might even pull in Daofather Crimsonbright, who stands behind him. That will make things troublesome.”
“Cousin, after I leave the world of the Grand Xia, you need to take good care of yourself,” Ning said. “Don’t let yourself suffer because of your hatred for the Youngflame clan. In the future, I will overcome my tribulation and become a Celestial Immortal. By then, dealing with the Youngflame clan will be much easier.”
“Right, right.” Xiyue nodded. “I get it. I get it.”
The two chatted for a long period of time. Xiyue only left when the sky was completely dark.
Within the Immortal estate.
“Brother Jiang, what should I do with this talisman of Sword Immortal Evergreen?” Ning pulled out the little azure sword. “If I crush it, Sword Immortal Evergreen will come take me away. If I don’t crush it, it will dissipate naturally.”
“Give it to me,” the white-robed Lord Jiang said with a laugh. He stretched his hand out, and the little azure sword flew into it.
“This world of the Grand Xia is part of the territory of Daofather Crimsonbright, after all.” Lord Jiang said with a laugh, “We can’t be too brash here. Fortunately…when a Pure Yang True Immortal takes on a disciple, the disciple has to be willing. If you don’t crush it within ten days, then Sword Immortal Evergreen will assume that you weren’t willing to accept him as your master…and they will have no idea that you’ve actually taken on Patriarch Subhuti as your master. They will probably think that you are adventuring in the outside world. Even if you reveal hints of it upon returning once you are powerful, causing someone to learn that you are Patriarch Subhuti’s disciple, so what? In the Three Realms, my master has quite a bit of face.”
Ning nodded. “Then my two spirit-beasts?”
“You can bring your spirit-beasts into the Tristar Crescent Abode,” the white-robed Lord Jun said. “However, they cannot take on Master as their teacher.”
“As long as I can bring them.” Ning nodded repeatedly in delight.
“If there’s nothing else, we can head out right now,” the white-robed Lord Jiang said.
“Right.” Ning nodded, them immediately called out, “Uncle White, Little Qing.”
The distant Little Qing flew over with a swoosh, wrapping herself around Ning’s arm. Uncle White arrived by Ning’s side as well.
“Uncle White, Little Qing, we are preparing to leave the world of the Grand Xia,” Ning said.
“Leave the world of the Grand Xia?” The two of them were both amazed. Leave this world? “To where?” Little Qing asked.
Ning turned to ask, “Brother Jiang, where is the Tristar Crescent Abode?”
“The Tristar Crescent Abode…it consists of a crescent hook and three stars. Tell me, what character is this?” The white-robed Lord Jiang said with a smile.
“A crescent hook and three stars? The character for heart ‘心’?” Ning instantly understood.
“Right. The character ‘heart’. The Tristar Crescent Abode is Master’s estate. The Three Realms is vast, but no one can find the location of Master’s estate. This place is a place where one can only go through the heart, a place you find with your heart,” the white-robed Lord Jiang said.
Ning instantly felt that this was incomparably mysterious. A crescent hook and three stars? This was indeed the character ‘heart’ 心. This name which Patriarch Subhuti gave his cavern estate was quite interesting.
“Patriarch Subhuti, the Tristar Crescent Abode…” Ning began to think back to one of the mythological fantasy novels he had read in his world, [Journey to the West]. [Journey to the West] was a novel written by ancient individuals, and it included Pangu, Nuwa, Patriarch Subhuti, and others. However, there was no mention of the three thousand major worlds or trillion minor worlds.
Ning had gone to the Netherworld Kingdom and been reincarnated before learning a few things about the Three Realms.
Ning now understood that every single world shared some legends, especially those regarding formidable figures such as Pangu, Nuwa, Houyi, and Kuafu, were discussed by countless people of the Three Realms. Novels like [Journey to the West] were influenced by even more ancient legends; for example, the legends of Pangu establishing the heavens or Nuwa creating humanity didn’t come from [Journey to the West].
Actually, in the world of the Grand Xia as well, there were some novels and literature regarding various Gods and Immortals; these novels even recorded down tales involving divine abilities such as [Heavenly Transformations] or the [Torch Dragon’s Eye], which compiled into various stories. Some of these stories were real while others were false. Some even got the names wrong!
Perhaps in the ancient days on Earth, there were actual Immortal cultivators. In fact, some humans on Earth might have been reincarnated Immortals who had awoken their previous memories, and so had left behind certain legends to the world.
“The Three Realms have countless legends, and many of them have been compiled into novels. However…the true secrets of the Three Realms remain unclear to me, even though I have slaughtered Loose Immortals and received the legacy of Daoist Threelives.” Ning sighed to himself, “Why was the previous Primordial World destroyed and transformed into the three thousand major worlds and trillion minor worlds? Who on earth attacked the Six Paths of Reincarnation?”
These were mysteries!
“The Tristar Crescent Abode is an estate of one of the major powers of the Three Realms, and the most mysterious one at that. Although I’ve always remained within the Tristar Crescent Abode, I don’t actually know where it is. I have to have Master guide me into it in order to return.” The white-robed Lord Jiang said with a sigh, “Let’s go. Pick up your Immortal estate.”
“Right.” Ning willed it. Instantly, the Immortal estate was collected. Ning stood there on the grass next to the river, Little Qing around his arm and the Whitewater Hound by his side. The white-robed Lord Jiang said, “This journey will last decades or even longer. Is there anything you need to do?”
Ning shook his head gently. There was nothing.
The reason he had left Stillwater Commandery was because of the Youngflame clan’s pursuit. He had told Autumn Leaf and the leaders of the Ji clan that he would be leaving for a very long period of time! Yu Wei had already been taken away by Lu Dongbin to train in the Dao, while he had already told his cousin, Yuchi Xiyue, of his departure. He had also bade farewell to his fellow disciples of the Black-White College.”
“Then let us go.” The white-robed Lord Jiang willed a cloud to appear beneath their feet. The cloud floated upwards, carrying Lord Jiang, Ji Ning, and the Whitewater Hound to quickly soar into the skies, completely bypassing the restrictive spells as they flew deep into the void.
Soon, they reached the very highest parts of the sky.
Riiiip. Lord Jiang waved his hands. The dim, twisting void above them was instantly torn apart, and a corridor emerged. Within the corridor, one could vaguely see twisted, distorted rainbow light.
“Let’s go.” The white-robed lord Jiang gave the little azure sword a toss, and it fell down many tens of thousands of kilometers towards the ground. He then led Ji Ning, Little Qing, and the Whitewater Hound into the spatial tunnel.
The spatial tunnel quickly closed. Everything was back to normal.
Within the world of the Grand Xia…there was no longer a Ji Ning to be found.
Twelve days passed after the conclusion of the Conclave of Immortal Destiny.
The Xia Emperor was within a side hall of the Skylight Palace, seated in the lotus position with eyes closed.
“Eh?” The Xia Emperor suddenly opened his eyes, revealing a confused look. “Why has junior apprentice-brother Evergreen come?”
Soon, a young man walked into the side hall. The servants and guards present didn’t seem to see him at all.
“Senior apprentice-brother,” Sword Immortal Evergreen said.
“Junior apprentice-brother, why have you come to my place?” The Xia Emperor asked, puzzled.
“This is the twelfth day. The talisman I gave you has long since dissipated.” Sword Immortal Evergreen shook his head. “Normally, I couldn’t be bothered to come; after all, Ji Ning didn’t crush the talisman, and so I couldn’t be bothered to take him as my disciple. But since this was Master’s instruction…I came to make a trip to this world of the Grand Xia. If Ji Ning is willing, I’ll give him another chance to be my disciple.”
“What did you say?!” The Xia Emperor was shocked. “Ji Ning didn’t crush the talisman?”
“Right. He didn’t crush it.” Sword Immortal Evergreen shook his head.
“But Ji Ning left King Yan’s estate long ago. I thought that you had taken him away. I thought that because of how arrogant and aloof you are, you simply didn’t inform me.” The Xia Emperor was flabbergasted. “I even did an investigation; he’s no longer in the imperial capital of the Grand Xia. Lu Dongbin, Mahasthamaprapta…they wouldn’t go so far as to offend the Daofather for the sake of this little fellow, right? Can it be that Ji Ning is just too young? He became the champion of the Conclave, but wasn’t able to become the Daofather’s apprentice, and so in his anger he decided not to accept a Pure Yang True Immortal as his master and instead left by himself?”
Sword Immortal Evergreen snorted coldly. “Oh? You say he left the imperial capital long ago? If that’s the case, then senior apprentice-brother, I’ve already done all I can. This matter no longer has anything to do with me.”
After speaking, Sword Immortal Evergreen turned and departed, quickly leaving this major world.
He really didn’t care about Ji Ning at all. He had only made a trip here because of his master’s instructions.