Book 13, Tristar Crescent Abode, Chapter 31 – Returning to the Riverfang Mountains
Ji Ning’s bare chest was stabbed into repeatedly by the top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords, but they were still unable to leave behind any mark at all. Although he was knocked backwards with each collision, he was still able to walk back to his original spot.
“Heavenraker – Blackwater Line!”
The black-robed Ning exploded with maximum power, unleashing the most devastatingly powerful stance of the [Heavenraker]. Whoosh whoosh whoosh! One sword-tear after another slashed through the air in wavy lines so thick that they each seemed to be like a river. The illusory rivers flooded into one location like all the rivers flowing into the sea as they merged into a single torrential black flow!
This torrential black flow represented all nine Heavenraker swords as they stabbed simultaneously towards Ning’s chest.
This time, Ning’s true body wasn’t able to stay standing; he was knocked flying away as he slammed into the wall behind him with a banging sound. However, Ning used his palms to push off from the wall, stabilizing himself and landing on the ground.
Ning lowered his head. He still couldn’t see any hint of damage at all on his chest or his skin.
“What a divine ability. What a divine ability!” Ning felt utterly overjoyed. The whole point of leaving the Grand Xia for thirty years was to learn some formidable abilities before returning. And now…he had!
The [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] truly was the number one divine ability of the Three Realms for those below the True God level. The most powerful leaders of the Three Realms had joined forces in an attempt to develop a divine ability that would result in a body as mighty as that of Pangu’s. Although they hadn’t been able to develop the Twelfth Cycle…the first Nine Cycles were already incredible.
Ning was extremely weak right now, after all; he was still far from becoming an Empyrean God. As for becoming a True God? That was an even greater distance away. Even if this divine ability truly did have a tenth, eleventh, or twelfth cycle, there was no way he would be able to train in it for the foreseeable future.
“I’ve gained expertise in this divine ability. I can now go to the Riverfang Mountains again!” Ning immediately rose to his feet, the furs once more reappearing around him.
As Ning walked out of the Immortal estate, he collected it with a wave of his hand.
“Master, where are you going?” Bluecliff Xiaoyu was just about to enter the Immortal estate.
“I’m going down into the world. I should be back in a few days.” Ning instructed, “If your Aunt Qing or Grandpa White ask, that’s what you should tell them.”
“Alright.” Xiaoyu nodded obediently.
Ning left by himself. As he walked past the Divinities Palace…
“Junior apprentice-brother, junior apprentice-brother.” Silvermoon beamed merrily as he walked over, fanning himself with his fan. “Judging from your high spirits, you must’ve just finished the Third Cycle of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], right?”
“Precisely so.” Ning nodded.
There were two tough parts to training the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art]; the first was the initial mastery of the concept of the ‘seventy-two transformations’, which was a bit difficult, and the second was acquiring enough treasures to temper one’s body! Ning had gained a basic level of expertise already; naturally, he had been able to train to the Third Cycle at one go after acquiring enough top-grade Immortal-ranked spirit-pills.
“How many pills did you use up?” Silvermoon asked with curiosity.
“Ninety-nine,” Ning said with a laugh.
“Wow, it was just barely enough.” Silvermoon nodded. “Work hard, junior apprentice-brother, and earn back enough treasures to pay me back.”
“Definitely.” Ning nodded. “I have business to attend to; I’m leaving now.”
“Go, go.” Silvermoon beamed as he watched Ning leave.
After Ning left, Silvermoon shook his head, utterly tickled with himself. “I, Silvermoon, am quite the clever fellow. I gave this junior apprentice-brother of mine a hundred Immortal pills, and in ten thousand short lazy years, he’ll have to pay them back to me! I won’t end up losing a single pill, and I’ll have acquired dozens of Immortal-ranked magic treasures as well, as well as have him owe me a favor.”
Actually, these treasures really meant very little to an exalted Empyrean God like him. However, Silvermoon loved to feel like he had made a clever bargain.
The Crescent world. The Star continent.
Deep within the Riverfang Mountains. Within the lightning zone, there were two figures that were seated on the ground. One of them was the Goldfur Bearking, while the other was a youth dressed in loose Daoist robes and whose eyes were like the stars.
“Elder brother,” the Goldfur Bearking said hurriedly, “The lightning here is too hard to overcome. Even a Celestial Immortal like you has tried eight times without success. Just now, the two of us joined forces but we were still stopped at the 540 meter mark by the lightning bolts, giving us no chance to advance at all. This is our utmost limit. As I see it…we should invite another Celestial Immortal to come.”
“You fool!” The robed youth frowned as he glanced sideways at the Goldfur Bearking. “How can we let word of such a treasure trove spread to others?”
“But…all we can do is sit here and stare. Elder brother, you know as well as I do that the black-robed youth has already passed through the lightning zone into the gorge. The more we delay, the greater the chances that he might acquire the treasures,” the Goldfur Bearking said.
Ning had previously chatted with the black-robed youth, then gritted his teeth and departed. After Ning’s departure, the Goldfur Bearking had mustered all of his power to finally break through the first forbidden zone, but upon encountering the lightning zone…although he was skilled at defense, he was unable to advance a single meter further after reaching the 360 meter mark. The black-robed youth had mocked him as well, and the Goldfur Bearking, worried that the youth might end up taking the treasures, had hurried out of the Riverfang Mountains and invited a good friend of his, Patriarch Limitless.
The two had immediately sworn an oath to the Dao of the Heavens. Upon acquiring the treasures, they would split them evenly! Patriarch Limitless was a Celestial Immortal and thus a bit stronger, but the Goldfur Bearking was the one who had acquired the information regarding the treasure trove. Thus, they would split things evenly.
“There are already quite a few who know about this treasure trove. If word spreads further…the treasure probably won’t end up in our hands at all.” Patriarch Limitless shook his head. “You big dumb bear. Don’t worry too much. When that black-robed youth said that there is a third forbidden zone here, he should’ve been telling the truth. If there wasn’t, he would’ve left with the treasures long ago. Since he hasn’t…that means that the third zone is very hard to overcome. If that’s the case, then even if we do invite another Celestial Immortal, our chances of success will still remain low…but word will have spread to even more people. It’s better for us to take things slowly.”
“Fine.” The Goldfur Bearking nodded.
“Let us both meditate on how to use a more appropriate formation for overcoming the lightning zone,” Patriarch Limitless said.
“Alright.” The Goldfur Bearking nodded again.
Just two hours after they had begun meditating, a series of rumbling sounds could be heard coming from the invisible pressure region behind them.
“An expert has arrived!” Patriarch Limitless frowned as he heard the rumbles. “The rate of advancement is very fast. Can it be that news has leaked to someone else?”
“It shouldn’t have. You and I have already warned the other two surviving monster kings of us Twelve Monster Kings of the Eastern Flows about telling others and even forced them to swear an oath to the Dao of the Heavens.” The Goldfur Beraking frowned. “As for that Immortal Darknorth, he gave up more than a year ago without coming back.. Can it be…can it be the imperial Qi clan? But they are so puny…”
Right as they were chatting…
Boom! A figure charged forward and landed on the ground. It was a fur-clad youth who was wielding an Immortal sword with an incomparably enormous aura of power.
“Immortal Darknorth?” The Goldfur Bearking was amazed.
“Young fellow,” Patriarch Limitless said with a frown, “Who is your master?”
He had heard from the Goldfur Bearking about Ning; naturally, he had immediately guessed that for this ‘Darknorth’ to be so powerful at the early Void level meant that he most likely had an incredible master behind him. Perhaps this person also came from Mount Innerheart, like he himself did! However…given how many disciples Mount Innerheart had, how could he, an exalted Celestial Immortal, possibly give up this sort of treasure trove to another fellow disciple?
“Goldfur Bearking, this is your helper?” Ning’s gaze flickered towards Patriarch Limitless. This man was an azure-robed youth with an extraordinary aura.
“He is my elder brother, someone far more powerful than me: Celestial Immortal Limitless,” the Goldfur Bearking said smugly.
“A Celestial Immortal?” Ning was startled.
Patriarch Limitless repeated, “Young fellow, I asked you a question. Who is your master?”
Ning chuckled but didn’t respond. He just walked straight into the lightning zone.
Patriarch Limitless couldn’t help but frown. Still, given how calm Ning was, he felt all the more certain that Ning’s background must be incredible, and so he just said coldly, “Young fellow, this is the lightning zone. You need to make it past 540 meters of the zone before you succeeded. Given your power…you are far from being able to do it.”
Ning continued to make his way into the lightning zone.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Instantly, one bolt of lightning after another began to hammer down. Ning remained quite calm, not resisting at all as he allowed the lightning bolts to slam onto his body.
“Even a Fiendgod Body Refiner will only be able to use his body to forcibly withstand the lightning in the lightning zone for the first thirty meters.” Patriarch Limitless shook his head.
Ning continued to walk forward.
Thirty meters. Sixty meters. Ninety meters…
The lightning grew increasingly savage, but Ning continued to stroll forward, one step at a time, allowing the lightning to hit him at will.
“But, but but…” Patriarch Limitless and the Goldfur Bearking were both stupefied.
210 meters. 240 meters. 270 meters…
Ning continued to walk forward in a relaxed manner. The bolts of lightning were now as thick as water barrels, and they came crashing down with utter savagery…but Ning seemed to be simply walking through a mild rainstorm. He felt quite relaxed and content; the clashes against his skin felt like an incomparably comfortable massage.
360 meters. 390 meters. 420 meters…
Ning continued to simply walk forward.
The black-robed youth had appeared once more at the entrance to the gorge. Even he stared in amazement at this sight. “It’s only been a year since I saw this fur-clad youth…how did he suddenly become so powerful?”
480 meters. 510 meters…
“These fur robes of mine were formed from top-grade Heaven-ranked Daoist robes. They are extremely tough, resilient, and good at deflecting attacks; they are comparable to low-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords in endurance.” Flying swords were too thin and sharp, and thus broke apart more easily! In terms of ability to withstand attacks, top-grade Heaven-ranked Daoist robes were indeed comparable to low-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords.
Bathed by countless bolts of lightning, Ning stepped past the 540 meter threshold…and the lightning instantly vanished.
Patriarch Limitless and the Goldfur Bearking, on the other side of the lightning zone, were both completely dazed.
“He used his body to endure it all? But, but…at the 540 meter mark, the power of the lightning was comparable to full-force combination attacks from the two of us. That’s most likely equal to a high-class Celestial Immortal.” The Goldfur Bearking was truly amazed. “He’s at the early Void stage, but he didn’t even use a magic treasure…he just used his body to endure it all?! This body is too…”
“His body must be comparable to an Immortal-ranked magic treasure.” Patriarch Limitless’ face suddenly changed. He was a disciple of Mount Innerheart, after all; he suddenly thought of a famous divine ability, reputed to be the number one divine ability in the Three Realms for those below the True God level – the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art].
“To have a body of such toughness at this level of power…the only possibility is the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art]! But only personal disciples of the Old Patriarch can learn the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], or those the Old Patriarch provides special dispensation to. Can it be that he is a disciple of the Old Patriarch?” Patriarch Limitless instantly began to panic as he thought of this possibility. He hurriedly sent a mental message to Ning, “Dare I ask, Immortal Darknorth…do you know Empyrean God Silvermoon?”
Empyrean God Silvermoon was the controller of the Divinities Palace; every single disciple of Mount Innerheart knew him.
“You know senior apprentice-brother Silvermoon?” Ning turned his head to glance at him.
“This junior, Limitless, pays his respects to you, uncle-master!” Patriarch Limitless hurriedly sent a respectful mental message to him. He didn’t suspect Ning of faking it at all, because no one from the outside world could even enter the Crescent world! In addition…there was no faking the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art]!
Ning was startled. Still, it made sense; most of those in the Crescent world who overcame the Celestial Tribulation and became Celestial Immortals had been recruited into Mount Innerheart.
“Oh. If we have the chance, let’s chat more back at Mount Innerheart.” Ning turned once more to the gorge, then walked towards it. The black-robed youth at the entrance to the gorge frowned, then turned and walked into the gorge himself.
Soon, Ning entered the fog-shrouded gorge…and he could sense that the terrifying ripples coming from within the gorge were gaining in power.
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