The Desolate Era - Book 8, Chapter 8 - Entering the Raindragon Guard
The next morning, at dawn. Darknorth Peak.
“Senior apprentice-brother Ji Ning, I want to go alongside with you. I can pour tea for you and service you.” Cloudjade looked expectantly at Ning.
“We are going out in the world to adventure and to test ourselves. There will be countless dangers. This isn’t tourism! You had best just stay here calmly at the Black-White College.” Ning looked towards his retainers; Meng Roch, Cloudjade, Cloudship, Forgard, Weifang, and Nethersun. “After I leave the Black-White College, all matters here at Darknorth Peak, great and small, will be managed by Meng Roch.”
Cloudship and the others, upon hearing this, were all rather amazed. Roch? The weakest amongst them was most likely Roch. The others had all improved in strength, but because Roch’s ki foundation had been damaged, he had been forced to divide his attention and also train as a Fiendgod. For now, at least, he was the weakest of them.
“Yes, senior apprentice-brother Ji Ning.” Cloudjade and the others all acknowledged the order.
“Rocky. I entrust Darknorth Peak to you.” Ning looked towards Roch. The tall, swarthy Roch nodded solemnly. “Senior apprentice-brother Ji Ning, don’t worry at all.”
Ning suddenly raised his head. From afar, a streak of light was flying over. It was Mu Northson, riding on his Azure Dragon construct. Northson called out towards him from afar, “Senior apprentice-brother Ji Ning!”
“Let’s go, Uncle White.” The flying boat appeared next to Ning, and the Whitewater Hound ambled into the boat. The two of them, a man and a large, snowy white hound, immediately soared into the air, moving to join with the distant Northson, aboard his flying dragon. Soon, they all disappeared into the distant mountain peaks.
Ning, Northson, and the Whitewater Hound walked out from the main gates of the Black-White College. “The next time we return,” Northson said, “We will be even more powerful.” Northson turned to look at the gates of the school, his eyes filled with anticipation and desire. He said softly, “And I’m going to bring back a pile of techniques and arts which the College doesn’t have…I’ve grown sick of not having enough black-white pellets, and of the pain of not having enough of them to trade for all sorts of golem-related arts.”
The Black-White College had a sea of techniques and arts; where did they all come from? Naturally, they had been accumulated over the years by its disciples, who had brought them back after adventuring in the outside world. When the disciples offered new techniques and arts, they would receive corresponding rewards in black-white pellets and liquefied elemental essence!
Ning actually had two extremely powerful techniques which he could offer to the College; the first was his divine ability, the [Windwing Evasion], while the second was the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation]. The entire school only had five divine abilities; from this, one could see how rare they were. This divine ability, however, had been passed down from generation to generation by the Yuchi clan, and even his mother had told him that it was not to be given to outsiders. How could he so casually give it up?
As for the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation], that was something he could make his own decision on, but he had already left the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] to the Ji clan; in the future, the Ji clan would rely on it to rise to prominence. His father had given his entire life for the Ji clan, and Ning had grown up within the clan ever since he was young. He felt a powerful sense of loyalty to the clan. For now, Ning still needed to seriously consider as to whether or not he was to give such a powerful, consummate technique to the College.
After all, all schools, sects, tribes, and clans viewed arts and techniques with great importance. It was entirely possible that an entire tribe might be exterminated for the sake of a divine ability or a powerful secret art.
“Let’s go,” Ning said.
“Where should we go?” Northson asked.
“First, to the Heavenly Treasures Mountain.” Ning laughed. “The Heavenly Treasures Mountain has countless treasures within it. If we are going to go adventuring, we’ll need to prepare ourselves. We can go shopping there.”
“Right. I really do want to go shopping.” Northson nodded. And so, Ning, Northson, and the Whitewater Hound immediately departed the Black-White College.
A white-haired, young-faced old granny was standing within a courtyard. The water-scrying mirror in front of her revealed Ning, Northson, and the Whitewater Hound departing from the gates of the Black-White College.
“Northson…” Daoist Jadefine’s eyes held a hint of both worry and anticipation.
The black-robed, black-haired Immortal Diancai was seated in the lotus position on his bed. Suddenly, he opened his eyes. They were filled with anticipation. His disciple had gone out to temper himself.
Some disciples would return in two or three years. Some would only return after decades. Still others would return only after centuries! But of course, there were also some who would never return, having died in the outside world.
Heavenly Treasures Mountain. This place had the support of the mighty imperial clan of the Xia Dynasty. They were in every single one of the commandery cities which were stretched across the vast land.
In the three years since joining the Black-White College, Ning had come out and met with Northmont Baiwei quite a few times. Naturally, he had gone to the Heavenly Treasures Mountain as well.
“Uncle White, this time when we go adventuring, we shall be beset by dangers. What do you need?” Ning looked towards the Whitewater Hound by his side and spoke to him mentally.
“You’ve already given me that Lesser Teleportation Dao-seal,” the Whitewater Hound sent back mentally. “Right now, there is one thing which I wish for the most…the ‘Fuxi Staff Formation’.”
“Fuxi Staff Formation?” Ning nodded. Although he couldn’t compare with his Uncle White in terms of formations, in his spare time, Ning would also go meditate on them. Naturally, he knew about the renowned ‘Fuxi Staff Formation’. Fuxi…that was a major power from the legends. Even in his previous life on Earth, Ning had heard some of the legends of Fuxi.
Fuxi, Houyi, Kuafu…these were all figures out of ancient legends. The Fuxi Staff Formation, in turn, was supposedly created by Fuxi, formed from eight arrays of eight staffs, for 64 staffs in total. Fuxi was able to use it to execute all sorts of formations. Those 64 staffs…there were boundless ways in which they could be used. In the hands of an ordinary Immortal cultivator, they might be useless, but in the hands of a formations expert, they could unleash astonishing levels of power.
The higher one’s level of insights into formations was, the greater and the more miraculous the power one would be able to unleash from the Fuxi Staff Formation. According to legends, Fuxi was able to rely on this Fuxi Staff Formation to set up a grand formation that had the power to annihilate the heavens and exterminate the earth. In addition, the Fuxi Staff Formation was something which could be carried about; like the ‘Eight Trigrams Blood Dragon Formation’, it could be unleashed at any time. Thus, those who were skilled in formations would generally try to procure a set of the Fuxi Staff Formation.
“Alright. Leave it to me.” Ning nodded.
“Young master Ji. Young master Mu.” A devilishly attractive female Zifu Disciple had come to the gates of the Heavenly Treasures Mountain early on, and she now came to welcome them. Ning, Northson, and the Whitewater Hound thus entered the Heavenly Treasures Mountain.
There were countless treasures within the Heavenly Treasures Mountain, but the prices were similarly extravagant. Still, those who the Heavenly Treasures Mountain cared about would generally be given discounts. For genius disciples of the Black-White College, a 30% discount would be given. This was essentially as large a discount as was possible, because when the Heavenly Treasures Mountain purchased treasures, they would usually buy them at a 60% valuation!
But of course, there were stories of some Immortals who both bought and sold items at a cost of 60%; the Heavenly Treasures Mountain wouldn’t try to make any money off them at all. But of course, for now, Ning’s group couldn’t possibly be treated in this way.
“I’m selling this set of sword formations. This magic treasure as well. Oh, this set of sword formations as well.” Within the Heavenly Treasures Mountain, Ning quickly began to sell off the many magic treasures he had accumulated, such as the various magic treasures he had acquired when killing the Immortal cultivators of Snowdragon Mountain. He had even sold off the sword formations bestowed upon him by Northmont Blacktiger and senior apprentice-brother Bloodshadow. This was because, although these sword formations were of high quality, they came from different sources; some were ice-attribute flying swords, while others were fire-attribute flying swords. Having too many swords of different types was not beneficial to the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation].
Soon, an hour had passed. Ning, Northson, and the Whitewater Hound all departed from the Heavenly Treasures Mountain.
Ning acquired a set of 360 high-grade Mortal-ranked water-attribute flying swords, then acquired another set of 360 high-grade Mortal-ranked fire-attribute flying swords. In total, he had 720 high-grade flying swords now. Although these were all produced by the Heavenly Treasures Mountain, and were flying swords of the most common variety, with nothing unique about them, they were still high-grade Mortal-ranked weapons. If he had to use liquefied elemental essence to purchase them, he would have spent nearly five hundred kilograms.
Blacktiger had gifted him two sword formations, while Bloodshadow had gifted him with one. He had managed to sell them off for nearly 450 kilograms of liquefied elemental essence. The magic treasures of Adept Xu Li, in turn, were sold off for nearly fifty kilograms.
In short, in the end, Ning ended up paying an additional hundred kilograms in exchange for 720 high-grade Mortal-ranked flying swords, and a Fuxi Staff Formation. He then spent a bit more to purchase some necessary adventuring items.
“Ugh!” After exiting the Heavenly Treasures Mountain, Northson let out a sigh. “After entering the Heavenly Treasures Mountain, I realized how poor I actually am. All I have left right now is around five kilograms of liquefied elemental essence or so. As for you, senior apprentice-brother, I imagine you should be a bit better off.”
“In the past three years, although I’ve won a few battles at the Dao Debate Palace…” Ning shook his head. “After this visit to the Heavenly Treasures Mountain, I’m essentially bankrupt as well. I only have around fifty or so kilograms left.”
Northson nodded, but then his eyes lit up. “Of course we won’t be able to acquire any treasures while staying within the College all the time. We are now going to go out adventuring, and we’ll have plenty of opportunities to acquire them. For example, back in the day, senior apprentice-brother Bloodshadow managed to effortlessly gift you that precious Mortal-ranked sword formation to you, senior apprentice-brother Ji Ning. Clearly, to him, it wasn’t worth anything at all. Now that we are going out adventuring, I trust that soon, we’ll be just like him.”
“Right.” Ning’s eyes were filled with eagerness as well. In the College, they would often hear about how this senior apprentice-brother found a senior’s legacy and acquired some precious item, or about how that senior apprentice-sister had killed hundreds of other Immortal practitioners over ten-plus years of wandering and battling, and had acquired countless treasures. Or…
Well. In short, Ning and Northson had never been out adventuring, and so they naturally felt itchiness in their hearts.
“Just now, I traded for some treasures. My power has improved a bit, compared to the past. This time, I’m definitely going to go on a rampage around the world.” Northson was filled with a boundless heroic aura.
“Hahaha.” Ning just laughed.
His [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] still had, as its core, the Nine Yang Swords Formation which he had acquired in the underwater estate. The other 360 water-attribute flying swords and 360 fire-attribute flying swords…they both countered and reinforced each other, and extremely well-suited for controlling within the Dao of formations. Ning trusted that his [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] would also have incomparably astonishing combat power.
“My long-distance attacks are now comparable to my close-quarters attacks,” Ning mused to himself. Ning was now extremely powerful in close combat, because he had reached the ninth stage of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens], which was comparable to an ordinary early stage Wanxiang Adept Fiendgod! In addition, after he had reached the Dao Domain level in the Dao of the Inferno and gained a thousand black-white pellets, Ning had purchased both the divine ability [Heavenly Transformation] as well as the second scroll of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens].
Thus, even if he didn’t use the utterly monstrous [Starseizing Hand] ability, just by relying on his [Windwing Evasion] and [Heavenly Transformation] divine abilities, Ning could unleash a truly astonishing amount of power in close combat. In addition, as a Ki Refiner, he had the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation], and so he was also extremely strong. Both in close quarters and at long range…he was extremely powerful.
“Senior apprentice-brother Ji Ning, where should we go?” Northson looked at the nearby Ning. “Where should we go adventure?”
“Previously, our senior fellow disciples all recommended that we go join the Raindragon Guard,” Ning said. “There are many benefits for someone to join the Raindragon Guard, and we can also take on missions from them, and so have fixed goals when we go out adventuring. In addition, as Raindragon Guards who are out on official missions…we can also overawe and frighten off some people, and also avoid some difficulties.”
“Right.” Northson nodded. “I was thinking the same thing.”
The two finished their discussion, and their decision was…to first join the Raindragon Guard!