Book 13, Tristar Crescent Abode, Chapter 29 – Training in the Arcane Art
By the time Ji Ning came back to his senses, it was already dark.
He was still standing outside the small building. As for the nearby Crazy Ji, he had long since gone back to sleep and was snoring contentedly.
“Although my soul is unfathomably more powerful than it was back when I learned the [Starseizing Hand], it still took me many hours to process all that information.” A hint of a smile was on Ning’s face. This feeling of complete confidence was quite wonderful. He had fully memorized the method of training in the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art].
“It truly is the number one divine ability in the Three Realms for those below the True God level.”
Ning smiled as he walked into the Three Realms Palace.
“Junior apprentice-brother, you can just put the complete copy of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] back in the Three Realms Palace. If you want to choose something else, you can do so.” Crazy Ji lay there, seemingly mumbling in his sleep. He then turned and started to snore again.
Ning smiled. He turned and bowed. “Yes, senior apprentice-brother.”
After returning the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], Ning unhesitatingly walked forward to pick up another abridged book. Atop this book were the characters: [Houyi’s Archery].
Ning had dreamed of learning [Houyi’s Archery] for a long time now. His own divine ability was the [Starseizing Hand], a divine ability which caused his pair of hands to possess unfathomably great power. With one hand holding the bow, and the other drawing it…and in addition, [Houyi’s Archery] was a technique-focused ability. These two divine abilities, both ranked in the top ten of the Three Realms, could be used simultaneously and would synergize very well.
The first gave Ning’s twin hands unfathomable power. The second would raise his archery skills to the limit. Combined…they would become one of Ning’s most powerful killer combinations.
“However…this trial truly is difficult. Can I accomplish it?” Ning stared at the trial, frowning. “No matter what, I have to give it a try. There’s no time limit, anyhow.”
“Senior apprentice-brother.” Ning put down the abridged book, walked to the doorway, and looked at the slumbering Crazy Ji. “I wish to learn [Houyi’s Archery].”
“Go then. Come back after you pass the trial,” Crazy Ji mumbled in his sleep.
Ning smiled, turned his head, and immediately departed.
Actually, although on the surface it seemed as though he was informing Crazy Ji, in reality his was telling his master, Patriarch Subhuti! After all, it was the Patriarch who would decide whether or not this technique could be taught to him.
Whoosh. Ning departed.
Crazy Ji suddenly sat up. Leaning against the wooden door of the hall, he frowned as he stared at the departing Ning. “He wants to train in the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] and [Houyi’s Archery]? Doesn’t this little junior apprentice-brother of mine walk the path of the Sword Immortal? Why is it that I feel as though he views [Houyi’s Archery] as absolutely critical for him to acquire? No one in the entire Three Realms has ever reached a level of archery as terrifying as Houyi did.”
The [Starseizing Hand] only required sufficient amounts of Five Elements essence; with it, one could train all the way to the Sixth Cycle and master it!
The same was also true for the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art]. Upon gaining a basic level of skill with it, as long as one fused enough magic treasures, one could master all nine of its cycles.
But the [Starseizing Hand] and the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] both needed astonishing amounts of items. The first required shocking amounts of Five Elements essence, while the other required similarly shocking amounts of magic treasures. There were quite a few people in the Three Realms who trained in the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], but the number who truly achieved mastery and an unbreakable, vajra-like body was very very low.[Houyi’s Archery] was completely different! It was a skill-based, technique-based ability. It required a certain level of comprehension and enlightenment. This made it even harder to master! It also required a person to constantly ruminate on the Dao of Archery…although Houyi’s own level of archery had already surpassed the bounds of the actual Dao of Archery.
“A Sword Immortal…who is also going to split up his attention to walk the Dao of Archery?” Crazy Ji pondered. “Perhaps it is simply because this junior apprentice-brother knows that [Houyi’s Archery] is one of the top ten divine abilities of the Three Realms, and so he truly wishes to learn it. After he learns how truly difficult it is, he might just give it up.”
Within the Still Room in the underwater estate. Ning was seated in the lotus position as he began to train in the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art]. This was a divine ability, and so he had to have his true body train it!
Whooosh. Ning let out a breath of air. A blurry golden light began to slowly appear around his body. The golden light was very faint at first, but it slowly grew denser until Ning seemed to be made out of gold.
“Change!” Ji Ning, who had been seated atop the netherwater jade bed, suddenly vanished. Atop the jade bed appeared a rock. However, this rock had a living aura; any Immortal cultivators would be able to immediately tell that it was extraordinary.
“Cancel.” The rock disappeared and Ning once more reappeared.
For a Fiendgod Body Refiner at Ning’s level, the divine body could be completely transformed into divine power, and vice versa! In fact, even a single hair could be transformed into a completely separate body! Thus, to transform one’s self into a rock wasn’t difficult; what was difficult was to make it so that one’s aura would be so retracted that one would be indistinguishable from a true rock.
“Retract the aura? Change even the aura of one’s soul?” Ning murmured softly to himself, “This [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] truly is difficult to learn. However…once I gain a basic level of expertise, I can change my aura as I please and will be able to easily make it so that I am like a rock or a piece of dirt.”
The [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] was the [Seventy-Two Transformations]. As noted, the term ‘seventy-two’ came from the term ‘eight-nine’; in reality, the number of transformations it allowed was limitless. Rocks, trees, flowers, plants, animals…even humans, monsters, and Fiendgods! Anything that existed in the Three Realms, one could transform into. Even the aura would become absolutely identical.
Even those more powerful than the user would find it difficult to see through the transformation. Only those who specialized in extremely powerful ‘god-eye’ techniques or other special techniques, when actively using those techniques, would be able to see the truth! If they didn’t actively use the special techniques, however, even they would be unable to realize that the tree before them was actually someone else transformed.
Bluecliff Xiaoyu, rather bored, walked out of her room.
“It’s been half a year since Master brought me back to Mount Innerheart, but he’s only taught me twice. He instructed me to go learn everything, such as Ki Refining Techniques, divine abilities, and secret arts, from the Divinities Palace.” Xiaoyu felt rather resigned. She knew that some experts had strange temperaments, but she didn’t expect that her master would care so little about her. She normally didn’t even have a chance to meet him.
“Mount Innerheart truly is an incredible place.” Xiaoyu sighed in amazement. Over the course of the past half year, she was often together with Uncle White and Little Qing, as well as the other disciples of Mount Innerheart. Thus, she was beginning to learn more and more. And the more she learned, the more amazed she was!
Celestial Immortals? Their statuses was lower than her master’s!
Personal disciples? The others were all Pure Yang True Immortals or Empyrean Gods. The guard of the Divinities Palace was an Empyrean God. No wonder that day her master had told her that this uncle-master killed Celestial Immortals as easily as chickens!
Whaaaat?! The entire Crescent world had been created by Patriarch Subhuti? He had set up his own cycle of reincarnation? The Old Patriarch had done this all by himself?
Xiaoyu now realized that the entire Crescent world was like a garden world for the members of Mount Innerheart. Supposedly, beyond the Crescent world, there was the even vaster Three Realms. Supposedly, this ‘Three Realms’ had many other major powers that were comparable to the Old Patriarch.
“Um.” Xiaoyu saw a large rock next to her as she walked forward. Without thinking too much, she plopped her rear down on it and sat down.
“I wonder when I’ll see Master again,” Xiaoyu murmured to herself. And then…
“Eh?” She suddenly frowned, glancing downwards at the stone beneath her. “Weird. If memory serves…there shouldn’t be a rock here. Where did this rock come from? Uh…well, this is Master’s Immortal estate; everything within it is under his control. No need for me to worry about it, I suppose. Mm…right. I’m going to go find that big dumb lunk. He’s at a fairly high level of enlightenment; he can provide me with some guidance.”
Bluecliff Xiaoyu stood up and quickly ran off.
The stone transformed into a fur-clad youth, Ji Ning.
“…I was actually sat on by my disciple.” Ning took a deep breath. “Fortunately, no one saw this. Um…right. Definitely can’t tell anyone about this.”
“No more transforming into rocks. I’ll transform into a tree. I refuse to believe anyone is going to sit on me then.”
In a corner of the estate, there were some trees and flowers. Another tree, a small pine tree that was a few meters tall, now joined their ranks. The branches of the tree even fluttered in the breeze.
Ning had already more than half-mastered the rudiments to the transformation aspects of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art]. What he was doing every day was transforming into rocks, trees, creeks, grass, and other things. To this day, no one had been able to discover him. In fact, Ning’s Primaltwin had visually searched, used divine sense, and even opened the ‘Celestial Eye’, but was still unable to discover any flaws!
When Ning was transformed into a tree, his bark, his branches, his leaves…they were absolutely identical to real ones. Even the aura of his soul had transformed into a tree’s aura! There was nothing special about it at all!
Time flowed on, day by day. Ning constantly trained in his transformation techniques, testing himself repeatedly and accruing more and more experience. Finally, after spending a year and three months on the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], Ning mastered all of the ‘seventy-two’ transformations.
“The final transformations truly were difficult. They took so much time! Still, I’ve finally mastered them. Change!”
Ning had been seated in the lotus position next to a creek, but suddenly his figure changed completely. Now, seated next to the creek was a handsome, fan-wielding, white-robed man; Empyrean God Silvermoon. He was identical in both appearance and aura. That incomparably powerful aura, so great as to cause others to tremble in fear…the aura of an Empyrean God…and the unique properties of Silvermoon’s own personal aura…Ning had replicated it all.
“Let me give it a try.”
Ning, appearing as Silvermoon, smiled as he walked through the Tristar Crescent Abode.
As he walked through the Tristar Crescent Abode, Ning heard others address him for the first time as ‘senior uncle-master’. It must be understood that amongst the other personal disciples, Ning was the newest addition, and so most people just addressed him as ‘uncle-master’.
“Haha. These Void-level Fiendgods and Diremonsters…none of them suspect a thing.” Ning was in an extremely good mood. He occasionally even nodded to them.
“Strange. Why isn’t Patriarch Silvermoon at the Divinities Palace?”
“It’s quite rare to see Patriarch Silvermoon out for a walk, isn’t it?”
“It is rather odd.”
After Ning walked away, the disciples of Mount Innerheart quietly speculated amongst themselves. Silvermoon was simply too famous for his ferocity; he was truly a demon-like figure. The amount of sin which swirled around him was utterly inconceivable! Silvermoon had accumulated so much sin that he was no longer covered in the bloody light of sin; rather, covering him were the legendary karmic sinflames!
However, given how unearthly powerful Silvermon was, he didn’t fear the karmic sinflames at all!
Ning quickly arrived at the Divinities Palace. In front of it, as always, were congregated many of the disciples of Mount Innerheart.
They all called out with respect, and even Bluecliff Xiaoyu, who had been chatting with the other disciples, hurriedly rose to her feet and called out respectfully, “Senior uncle-master.”
But Little Qing and Uncle White stared in amazement at Ning.
“Who are you?!” Because of their spiritual connection to Ning, both Little Qing and Uncle White knew that it was him. However, they couldn’t help but feel completely amazed and confused. The terrifying aura of the white-robed man before them…his appearance…clearly, this should be Empyrean God Silvermoon! But their spiritual sense was telling them that this man before them was actuall Ji Ning.
This caused both of them to feel very strange. Previously, Ning had only displayed the ability to transform into a tree in front of them; he had never transformed into a person before.
“Mm.” Ning nodded, then smiled as he walked into the Divinities Palace.
Within the Divinities Palace there was another white-robed man, also holding a fan. Their gazes met. Their appearances and their auras were identical.
“Someone who dares transform into my appearance? Second senior apprentice-brother has better things to do, and Lord Jiang doesn’t have this sort of personality…junior apprentice-brother, it seems you’ve successfully trained in the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art]?” Silvermoon immediately guessed that it was Ji Ning.
“Formidable, senior apprentice-brother.” The figure of one of the white-robed men turned blurry, then transformed back into the figure of a fur-clad youth, Ji Ning.
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