The Desolate Era - Book 17, Chapter 6 - The Curtains Are Raised
Daoist Icebreak knelt there. He felt as though freezing icewater had just been poured across his entire body. He felt extremely cold, and his face had turned white. Kill him? Torture him? Torment his soul? Daoist Icebreak repeatedly kowtowed, smashing his forehead against the ground until blood began to pour from it. He screamed frantically, “Patriarch, Patriarch! Two seniors! Spare me, spare me! I’ve definitely never offended this senior, Ji Ning. Someone must have framed me. Framed me!”
Ji Ning just stood there, staring at the terrified, kneeling Daoist Icebreak. He was very calm.
The nearby King Yan, however, did speak out. “If I say you deserve to die, then you deserve to die!”
Daoist Icebreak’s heart trembled.
Even a Celestial Immortal like Patriarch Flowermont was so respectful of these two. If they wanted to kill him…did they even really need to give a good excuse?
The yellow-robed man knelt there by his side. He loved his son, but he didn’t dare to say a single word. He knew what sort of terrifying situation they were currently facing.
“Even if I have to die…senior, please tell me what I’ve done, exactly!” Daoist Icebreak was still frantically trying to find a way to survive. He suppressed his terror as he raised his head to look towards Ning. He had to find out what this was all about. Only when he understood the reason behind this could he explain and argue back. Otherwise, there was no way for him to even argue about it!
“In recent years…you’ve harmed quite a few mortals, haven’t you.” Ning’s voice was very calm. His eyes were very calm as well.
Daoist Icebreak’s body shook. He immediately collapsed supinely to the ground, a look of utter despair on his face.
Even he himself didn’t know how many woman had fallen into his hands, then been ravaged to death by him. Forget about mortals; even quite a few female cultivators had fallen into his hands. However…he had never left behind any traces.
“Who…who is this youth, that even the Patriarch must be wary of? Which mortal was he connected to? Little Sparrow? Nuan’er? Dongyou?” One figure after another flashed through Daoist Icebreak’s mind. These were images of the woman who had suffered under him that he remembered the most keenly.
“You harmed so many that you can’t even guess?” Ning said softly, “Then think it over, slowly, in Purgatory.”
A strange ripple suddenly reached Daoist Icebreak’s body. Daoist Icebreak’s body trembled. A look of despair and terror appeared in his eyes…and he stopped moving. His soul instantly flew out from his body. What Ning had just done was to hypnotize him, then forcibly rip his soul out of his body. A black bottle appeared in Ning’s hand which instantly sucked Daoist Icebreak’s soul into it. Green flames could vaguely be seen blazing within the bottle.
The kneeling, yellow-robed man stared at the flames in the bottle. His heart instantly shuddered. “Son…your father didn’t discipline you well enough.” He understood what his son’s flaws were, and he often urged his son to do better. Daoist Icebreak was always quite obedient in front of him…but as soon as he turned his head, Icebreak would go back to his old ways. All he did was hide it even better.
In the end, he felt that since his son focused on mortals, it shouldn’t make much of a difference, and so he didn’t reprimand his son too strongly.
“If one often walks by the riverside, one’s shoes will eventually get wet. He did too many evil deeds…one might be able to avoid retribution for a time, but no one can avoid retribution forever.” Only now did the yellow-robed man truly understand this saying. The righteous laws of Heaven applied to all men, and the wheel of karma turned without end; both had their own ways of punishing the wicked.
“Fellow Daoist Ji Ning, this Daoist Icebreak has committed countless vile deeds. The only reason why this vile miscreant was able to live so long was because I didn’t maintain a firm enough grip over my disciples. Daoist Icebreak’s father, ‘Yangfish’, is right here as well. Without his father’s protection, how would this vile miscreant have dared to act so boldly? Fellow Daoist Ji Ning, punish him as you see fit; there’s no need to worry about me!” Patriarch Flowermont said.
A mere Void-level Earth Immortal truly meant very little to a Celestial Immortal.
Ning gave the yellow-robed man a glance.
King Yan had collected intelligence reports regarding both Daoist Icebreak and his father, and Ning had read them all. Daoist Icebreak was a hypocrite and a false gentleman who had done many vile deeds in secret, harming many people. His father, however, could be considered a righteous man. He didn’t do evil deeds and was quite an admirable person, and was also quite talented, which was why he had become a Void-level Earth Immortal. His only personality flaw was that he doted on his son too much.
“Let’s go,” Ning said to King Yan, then turned to look at Patriarch Flowermont. “Fellow Daoist Flowermont, we’ve disturbed you long enough. We’ll go back to the Grand Xia now.”
“Sure, sure.” Patriarch Flowermont smiled. “If you have free time, come and visit our Wusky world again.”
King Yan expressed his thanks as well, then he and Ning flew away on a cloud. They left the Flowermont Immortal School, then used a spatial teleport to leave.
After they left, Patriarch Flowermont’s face sank down as he looked at the yellow-robed man. “Yangfish, you failed as a father. Your son nearly caused our school a huge disaster. As the person who shielded him this entire time, you have to be punished. End your own life and go reincarnate.”
The yellow-robed man trembled. He didn’t dare to argue back; he immediately kowtowed, then his body imploded. Even his goldlotus primal soul dissipated. A wind blew past his body…and it completely dissipated, leaving behind no traces. His soul, escorted by the Dao of the Heavens, was sent to the minor Netherworld right away.
“Patriarch.” Only now did the nearby Flowermont Immortal School’s leader speak out. “Why did you order Yangfish to die? Didn’t senior Ji Ning decide to spare him?”
“The reason why fellow Daoist Ji Ning didn’t act against him was because he didn’t want to act against someone who wasn’t directly responsible.” Patriarch Flowermont shook his head. “However…what if Yangfish was to harbor hatred in his heart and, overestimating his abilities, tried to exact revenge in some form against Ji Ning? That would cause an utter disaster for our Flowermont Immortal School. In addition…although fellow Daoist Ji Ning seemed to have left, who knows if he secretly felt hatred for Yangfish or not? If I didn’t kill him…fellow Daoist Ji Ning might harbor a grudge! Thus, it is better to kill him….that way, fellow Daoist Ji Ning wouldn’t hold a grudge against me.”
The Headmaster now understood how carefully the Patriarch was behaving. He immediately asked, “Patriarch, who in the world is this Ji Ning, that you act so carefully around him? I took a careful look at him earlier, but I didn’t find any Immortal spirit-qi around him; he shouldn’t be a Celestial Immortal.”
The Patriarch gave him a glance. “He is not a Celestial Immortal; he is merely a Void-level Fiendgod. However, he was able to fight against nine mighty Celestial Immortals of the Youngflame clan in the world of the Grand Xia, and he even killed two of them. In addition…he was able to survive even the descent of karmic sinflames! Despite being merely at the Void-level, it wouldn’t be hard for him to wipe out our entire Flowermont Immortal School…and he is the disciple of a Daofather!”
“The disciple of a Daofather?!” The Headmaster had been feeling stunned by Ning’s power, but upon hearing this, he was truly terrified.
“Now do you understand?” Patriarch Flowermont said calmly, “Be it due to his power, his potential, or his background…I have to be careful around him.”
The two had teleported back to the world of the Grand Xia.
The world of the Grand Xia. Stillwater Commandery. The Black-White College. Ji Ning and King Yan both appeared in the skies above the College. They then flew towards Yu Wei’s residence.
It was late in the afternoon, almost nightfall.
Yu Wei and Yuchi Xiyue were waiting for them in the courtyard.
Ning nodded lightly. He didn’t feel the slightest bit of joy for having killed Daoist Icebreak. All he felt in his heart was pain…and an endless amount of hatred towards the Seamless Gate!
“Senior apprentice-sister…prepare some food. I’m going to eat a bit, then take a rest,” Ning said. “The Seamless Gate already sent their final diplomatic note; their attacks will come very soon. We need to make as many preparations as we can.”
“Alright.” Yu Wei could tell that Ning was in a terrible mood, and so she acceded to his request.
That night, during dinner. Xiyue did her best to bring up interesting topics so as to help improve Ning’s mood. Yu Wei did her best to help out as well. Ning forced out a smile, but his smile caused Xiyue and Yu Wei to both sigh inside. “The only thing we can do is wait for time to heal all wounds.”
Only later that night did Ning say a few things to Yu Wei, a few words from the bottom of his heart.
“This world is filled with injustices, and I’m unable to address them all. The countless cultivators and mortals of the world are all unable to address them all. The only ones who can change the world…are the likes of my master, and the other major powers who stand at the very top of the universe,” Ning said. “Right now, I, Ji Ning, am helpless to change this world…but after I become a True God or a Daofather, I’ll have a chance to change things.”
“I want to stand at the peak, to change everything. I want to protect you…protect our future children….protect the ones I love.” Ning sat there on a dais, Yu Wei in his arms. “I want to stand at the peak!”
“I want to change everything!”
“But first…I have to be strong enough.”
Ning raised his head to stare at the crescent moon in the skies.
Yu Wei looked at Ning. She could sense a terrifying determination within this youth’s heart.
“The more ambitions you have, the more accomplishments you will have.” This was something that she had once heard. It was within a dark region, where countless figures had been prostrating themselves, Yu Wei one of them. The ruler of that black region had spoken these words.
In this moment, as she lay next to Ning, Yu Wei understood the true meaning of those words that had been spoken by that terrifying figure.
A powerful heart…would have the power to change destiny itself.
“Perhaps…junior apprentice-brother truly will become a True God or a Daofather,” Yu Wei said quietly to herself. “By then…will I still be by his side? Will I still be accompanying him?”
In the coming days, Celestial Immortal Unity of Stillwater City, Immortal Diancai, Yu Wei, and Ji Ning all began to make their preparations. They familiarized themselves with the formations protecting Stillwater City. Ning’s Primaltwin completely focused on meditating on the Dao, searching for the way to apply heartforce to Immortal swords! Previously, in the Nihilum Zone, Ning had only developed a way to apply heartforce to his sword-fingers.
There were a few differences between using sword-fingers and actual swords. Still…since both involved sword-arts, Ning was able to grasp the essence of it right away. However, he needed some time to reach a perfect level of mastery in it.
Ning felt eager…because once his Primaltwin completely mastered the art of applying heartforce to swords, he would undergo his Celestial Tribulation!
The Fifth World. The enormous, castle-like city, filled with countless towering edifices. The most towering edifice was the one where only Empyrean Gods or True Immortals could enter.
Within an enormous palace.
Scorching flames blazed in the very center of the palace. Surrounding the center, there were three massive thrones, with an azure-robed, white-skinned woman seated in the central throne. To her left sat a fire-robed man, while to her right sat a skinny, monkey-like elder.
“The Mount Stele major world has already been occupied. Only a few scattered pockets of resistance remain.” The azure-robed woman’s voice had a magnetic, soul-penetrating quality to it. “We can begin to transfer our forces over and truly begin to act against the world of the Grand Xia.”
“The power of the world of the Grand Xia…Mount Stele can’t begin to compare to it.” The skinny elder said in a low voice, “Our Bloodcloud Hall has infiltrated the Grand Xia, and I’ve even personally investigated it several times. The power of the Grand Xia Dynasty caused even me to feel shocked! Don’t forget that behind him stands Daofather Crimsonbright and Daofather Raindragon, as well as the Primordial Imperial Clan!”
“The human Imperial Clan…would they truly initiate a final battle against us for the sake of one of their branches?” The azure-robed woman shook her head. “They will not.”
“But the human Imperial Clan of the Primordial Era will send reinforcements,” the skinny elder warned. “Although we’ll be able to send over our forces from the Mount Stele world and many other places, I keep on having this feeling…that it is going to be dangerous, very dangerous. The world of the Grand Xia…this is probably the most powerful major world under the command of Daofather Crimsonbright.”
The azure-robed woman looked at the fire-robed man.
The fire-robed man laughed. “Don’t look at me. My Myriad Demons Cave is only responsible for manufacturing golems. The question of how to attack the world of the Grand Xia is the primary responsibility of your Seamless Gate.”
“Do you think I’m unaware of how hard it will be for us to deal with the Grand Xia world?” The azure-robed woman looked sideways at the skinny elder. “This time…we’ll act against more than half of the commandery cities of the Grand Xia as a test. This will be our first test, our first initial clash that comes before the true war. After the test, after we’ve gathered enough information…the final battle between our sides will begin.”
“Mm. And when do you plan to move?” The skinny elder asked.
“Ten days from now! We’ll send out two thousand units to attack in unison!” A cold light flashed through the azure-robed woman’s eyes.
The Hallmaster of Bloodcloud Hall and the Cavemaster of the Myriad Demons Cave both turned solemn. They had a feeling of tremendous pressure.
They were finally going to act against the world of the Grand Xia, the toughest nut to crack of them all!