Book 14, Return to the Grand Xia, Chapter 29 – Preparing to Head Out
“Choose carefully,” the giant yellow bear said with a smirk. “When you come choose Pure Yang treasures, you’ll have to wait until your third shot before you once more see such an awesome display.”
Ji Ning nodded. He understood this, of course. The first time he had chosen Immortal-ranked magic treasures, he had only been able to choose a high-grade treasure, the Tripartite Immortal-Locking Circlet. Only on the second time had he been given the option of choosing the set of Heavenraker swords. As for the third time…it had been completely different.
The first two times he would have to choose a Pure Yang treasure, he would have to overcome the ninth and tenth levels; the number of treasures would probably be limited. Only after becoming an Empyrean God would he have the third chance to choose Pure Yang treasures; only then would he have the chance to see the most powerful treasures on offer within the entire underwater estate.
But the prerequisite…becoming an Empyrean God!
Empyrean Gods were comparable to Pure Yang True Immortals in power. To become an Empyrean God, one would have to overcome nine nine-sets of the thunder tribulation. In addition, given how extraordinary Ning’s background was, with him being a successor to both Daoist Threelives and Patriarch Subhuti…his Empyrean Tribulation would probably be even more difficult than that of most Fiendgods. Thus, Ning didn’t dare to be the slightest bit overconfident.
“My [Greater Thousand Swords Formation] requires a total of 729 Immortal swords. Most likely, for the foreseeable future, I’ll be using top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords,” Ning mused to himself.
Even after he became a Celestial Immortal, it wasn’t very likely that he would be able to acquire more than seven hundred Pure Yang treasures, even if he was able to acquire a few.
He had to become an Empyrean God. The third chance to choose a Pure Yang treasure from the underwater estate’s Treasure Hall…perhaps there would be a chance. Just a chance! After all, Daoist Threelives had merely left behind some of his stored items; he didn’t necessarily have nearly a thousand Pure Yang flying swords that he could leave behind for use in a formation!
And in addition, becoming an Empyrean God was far too distant a goal!
As Ning planned it, he definitely had to let his Primaltwin undergo its tribulation first; only then would he let his true body undergo the Celestial Tribulation. This was because his Primaltwin was merely a Ki Refiner; its tribulation would be a bit easier. As for his true body, a Fiendgod Body Refiner…its tribulation would be utterly terrifying. Since he knew that, he naturally wasn’t going to let his true body and his Primaltwin undergo tribulations simultaneously. Ning didn’t even dare imagine how terrifying the Celestial Tribulation would be if he did!
In addition, back when he was living on Mount Innerheart, Ning had often chatted with his senior apprentice-brother Silvermoon and the others. His various senior apprentice-brothers had all advised him to have his Primaltwin be the first to undergo the tribulation. That way, it would first enter the Celestial Immortal stage, allowing him to comprehend the Grand Dao of the Sword at a faster rate. Once his level of insight into it became higher…after his preparations were more thorough…only then would his true body undergo the tribulation.
“The Three Realms are in a state of chaos. I’ll be relying on this final set of flying swords to protect myself! I’ll also be using them to withstand the Celestial Tribulation!” Ning was extremely cautious and careful as he flipped through the book, reading each page carefully. He saw many formidable sets of powerful top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords, but unfortunately there were no sets of nearly a thousand top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords.
But suddenly, his eyes lit up and came to a halt.
“There it is.” Ning revealed a look of delight.
The Yin-Yang Duality Thousand Supremes Formation: A sword-formation formed by a set of five hundred extremely Yin-aligned ‘Sole-Ki Frost Swords’ and five hundred extremely Yang-aligned ‘Qiangang Inferno Swords’. They could combine into the Yin-Yang Duality Thousand Supremes Formation; once formed, Yin and Yang would intersect and fire and water would converge, annihilating all things. All of the swords were top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords; they could be controlled by two different people at the same time, with one controlling the five hundred Sole-Ki Frost Swords and the other controlling the five hundred Qiangang Inferno Swords, with the two working together to set up the formation. However, all thousand swords could be used by a single person to establish the formation as well.
The book had quite a few mysteries recorded within it. In fact, it even recorded one of the major formations that could be used with this Yin-Yang Duality Thousand Supremes Formation.
However, there were some things regarding this formation that were never recorded down. In truth, this sword-formation had originally been controlled by a pair of Celestial Immortal Dao-companions. The female Immortal controlled the Sole-Ki Frost Swords, while the male Immortal had controlled the Qiangang Inferno Swords.
Controlling this many top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords was simply too mentally exhausting; there were very few individuals, even amongst Celestial Immortals, who would be able to control a thousand of these top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords to set up the Yin-Yang Duality Thousand Supremes Formation.
“This formation is far too difficult.” Ning’s face couldn’t help but change as he read through it. “Although this formation uses swords, it actually places a higher burden with regards to understanding the Dao of Formations. These precious Immortal swords are actually merely used as markers to position the formation; what a waste of fine swords!”
There were many Immortals who used swords, but they weren’t necessarily Sword Immortals!
For example, Immortal Fivecraze was a wielder of Immortal swords, while Little Qing’s weapon of choice was also an Immortal sword. Most likely, more than half of the Loose Immortals alive all used Immortal swords as their weapon of choice…but less than one in a thousand of them were Sword Immortals! In this Yin-Yang Duality Formation, every single sword served as a formation-base, allowing the establishing of a truly enormous formation of unearthly power.
“Only in my hands shall you truly be able to unleash the power of a ‘sword’,” Ning murmured to himself.
Ning continued to read.
Soon, he finished reading the entire book. This book had notes on quite a few sets of Immortal swords, but there were only two sets of sword-formations that included more than 729 swords! The swords of the Yin-Yang Duality Thousand Supremes Formation were divided into Yin and Yang; in terms of the Dao of Formations, Ning just so happened to be fairly skilled in harmonizing Yin and Yang, and so he ended up choosing this set.
“This’ll be the one,” Ning said with a smile.
The underwater estate. The Stellar Hall.
Ning was seated in the lotus position within the thatched cottage, holding an Immortal sword that was emanating an icy cold aura. A small, snow-white snake suddenly appeared on the surface of the Immortal sword. “Are you the master of myself and my many sisters?”
“Sisters?” Ning smiled as he gave this snow-white snake a glance.
“All five hundred of us Sole-Ki Frost Swords are dear sisters to each other,” the little white snake said, “While those five hundred Qiangang Inferno Swords are our rowdy brothers.”
Ning laughed. He pointed towards the empty air and elemental ki flew out from his finger, forming into a series of runes. These runes emanated a blurry, dark light as they simply hung there in the air. These had been taught to Ning by his master, Patriarch Subhuti, in transmitting the technique for the [Greater Thousand Swords Formation]; the Old Patriarch had used up an enormous amount of energy in developing them.
Moments later, more than ten thousand runes had appeared in midair, forming into a strange, enormous Fiendgod character, ‘thousand’.
“Condense.” Ning activated his elemental ki one more time. Instantly, all of the many runes joined together, transforming into a single rune of incomparable complexity; this was the ‘Greater Thousand Rune’. This, too, was a simple rune-fusing technique which the Old Patriarch had taught him. An expert in runes would be able to instantly generate this Greater Thousand Rune; Ning, by contrast, had to first manifest each of the small runes.
“Combine.” Ning slapped his palm against the Greater Thousand Rune, then slapped the side of the Immortal sword, pressing them together.
The blade of the sword instantly began to manifest a distorted yet complicated pattern of runes on it, and it seemed as though the aura of this Immortal sword had grown sharper as well.
“One down. Another!” Ning continued to create his runes.
One Immortal sword after another was retrofitted by Ning. To the current Ning, the runes of the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] could probably be generated with a single thought and within a single breath as he imprinted all the swords with the Lesser Thousand Rune. However, this Greater Thousand Rune that was created based off the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] and other exceptional skills that involved many treasures was a far more complicated creature. Just setting up a single Greater Thousand Rune required more than ten thousand smaller runes; every single one of them far more complicated than the Lesser Thousand Rune.
He spent a total of three days before finally imprinting the last of the 729 Immortal swords with the Greater Thousand Rune. As for the remaining 200+ swords, Ning temporarily put them away.
“Arise, my [Greater Thousand Swords Formation]!”
Ning tested time and time again, but he realized that even with the help of the Greater Thousand Runes, and even though the many Immortal swords would resonate together as if they were one…his true body and his Primaltwin, combined, were at most only able to unleash the second level of the [Greater Thousand Swords Formation], controlling 182 top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords! This was a maximum limit, and if his true body needed to also spend some of its attention on close combat…at most, he would be able to unleash the first level of the [Greater Thousand Swords Formation].
“What terrifying power.”
The hundred-plus top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords, even without using any formations, just chopping wildly, still made for an awe-inspiring sight.
By relying on the power of the [Greater Thousand Swords Formation], they could merge their power together.
In an instant, Ning’s power as a Ki Refiner once more surpassed his true body’s close combat power as a Fiendgod Refiner!
After making his breakthrough, Ning remained at Swallow Mountain for a few more times, carefully testing his close combat power and his [Greater Thousand Swords Formation]. After stabilizing at his latest level of power…Ning finally left Swallow Mountain.
Flamedoor Commandery. The air above Weirflow City.
It was dawn. The air above Weirflow was cold and crisp. A faint spatial ripple suddenly appeared, then a fur-clad youth emerged from within it.
This time, Ning had come alone, primarily because he was relying on the ‘Seventy-Two Transformations’ for his investigations; it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to bring Uncle White and the others.
“Last time, I fled a million kilometers through teleportation; I ended up arriving here, at Weirflow. My original predictions was the mountain range I was in was the Eastwoods mountain range, but I don’t know if that was a correct guess or not.” Ning smiled. “Time to go test it.”
Ning flew straight towards the direction he had fled from previously. While flying, he would occasionally do a short ten-kilometer teleportation. Soon, Ning verified that his original hypothesis was indeed correct; that place was indeed the Eastwoods mountain range of the Eastwoods Sect.
“The Eastwoods Sect?”
“How should I get in?”
“Should I change into a bug? But the Eastwoods mountain range is protected by formations; if a mosquito or bug was able to break through it, others would probably notice.” Ning frowned in a pondering manner…then decided to begin the area surrounding the Eastwoods mountain range. “I refuse to believe that not a single disciple of a major school such as this would enter or leave from time to time!”
Ning first went to the Heavenly Treasures Mountain to buy some reports regarding the experts of the Eastwoods Sect, so that he might be able to recognize their important figures. Ning then set up watch outside the Eastwoods mountain range, often using the [Torch-Dragon’s Eye] to search the surrounding area.
Ning searched for three full days.
“We are venerable Primal Daoists, but we are now in such a sorry state that all we can do is act as messenger dogs and servants. We have to buy Immortal nectar, Immortal fruit, and all sorts of other queer marvels and strange beasts to be butchered and cooked. How sad!” A large warship descended, and two Immortal practitioners walked out from within it, walking side-by-side, chatting mentally to each other. They were so cautious that they used mental messages to carry out their grumblings.
“Even the sect leader is summoned willy nilly by them; what can Primal Daoists like us do about it? Forget it. Just endure it. Didn’t that general himself say that he would definitely leave within a thousand years and give us our freedom back?”
“We’ll probably have died before then.”
The two Primal Daoists were complaining. Tens of thousands of kilometers away from them, there sat a fur-clad youth in the lotus position. His eyes were glowing with torch-light, and as he saw them from afar, a look of delight instantly appeared on his face. “Hey, aren’t those two the Primal Daoists of the Eastwoods Sect? I knew it; an enormous clan that’s taken up a hundred thousand kilometers of space definitely has people entering and leaving it. It seems I need to rely on them to get inside.”
Ning suddenly disappeared as he executed a void blink, stealthily moving closer to them.
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