Book 14, Return to the Grand Xia, Chapter 6 – An Arrival From the Heaven Realm
“Price? What sort of price?” Patriarch Arcanum’s long, slender eyes narrowed as he looked at the silver-robed maiden.
The silver-robed maiden responded with a calm smile, “For example…three top-grade Immortal-ranked magic items, or items of equivalent value.”
The corners of Patriarch Arcanum’s eyes instantly twitched.
“Top-grade Immortal-ranked magic treasures? Three of them?” Patriarch Arcanum had heard that the Bloodcloud Hall charged a high price, but he was still stunned by what they requested.
“This Ji Ning has only trained for around seventy years!” Patriarch Arcanum couldn’t help but growl, “Less than a century! He is currently at most comparable to a Loose Immortal who has lived for five hundred thousand years! The chances of him being comparable to a Loose Immortal who has lived for a million years is virtually negligible. To kill a young fellow like him, you want to charge me three top-grade Immortal-ranked magic treasures?”
“Don’t get angry. This is a business deal; both of us have to be willing to take part in it.” The silver-robed maiden laughed. “Indeed, the chance that Ji Ning has the power of a Loose Immortal who has lived a million years is very low…but the main issue with this mission does not lie with Ji Ning himself; Bloodcloud Hall holds a young fellow like him in no regard at all. The main issue with this mission is the master who stands behind him! He was the champion of the Conclave. His thirty-year disappearance…no one knows who his master is! Perhaps as we assassinate him, he will shatter some sort of talisman and his master will suddenly appear! Bloodcloud Hall estimates his master to be a True Immortal or Empyrean God at the very least; once his master appears, the squad which we sent out will undoubtedly perish! Since we are taking on a major risk, we naturally are going to request a high price!”
A Pure Yang True Immortal or an Empyrean God; either would be considered an expert of the Three Realms. In the world of the Grand Xia, the Xia Emperor was the only Pure Yang True Immortal present!
If the assassins Bloodcloud Hall sent out were to run into True Immortals or Empyrean Gods, they would unquestionably perish.
“Hmph.” Patriarch Arcanum shook his head. “Stop trying to fool me. When experts of the Three Realms train disciples, they all let them go out into the world to experience danger on their own. If their disciples are killed, those disciples can only blame themselves for being less skilled than their foes! How can experts and major powers of the Three Realms so casually intervene? That would be the same as abusing those of a lower status!”
The silver-robed maiden smiled. “Ji Ning’s background is significant. Three top-grade Immortal-ranked magic items, or treasures of an equivalent value. This is what Bloodcloud Hall requires!”
“You…” Patriarch Arcanum gritted his teeth.
“If you are unwilling, then you can leave, Celestial Immortal Arcanum.” The silver-robed maiden continued to smile at him.
Patriarch Arcanum gritted his teeth, then pulled out some Immortal pills, spirit-ingredients, Immortal-ranked magic treasures, and an enormous amount of liquefied elemental essence. Although he had come prepared…top-grade Immortal-ranked magic treasures were very important for Celestial Immortals, and the Youngflame clan wouldn’t easily hand them out. They would rather use other treasures to make up for them.
“This should be enough.” A savage light flashed through Patriarch Arcanum’s eyes. His heart was bleeding at the cost.
“It is enough.” The silver-robed maiden nodded. “Celestial Immortal Arcanum, don’t worry; Bloodcloud Hall definitely won’t inform others of this assignment. I can swear an oath to the Dao of the Heavens regarding this. As for Ji Ning…Bloodcloud Hall will make careful preparations, so as to ensure our success. Within a year’s time, he will die.”
“Good. I’ll await the good word from you, then.” Patriarch Arcanum nodded.
Three top-grade Immortal-ranked magic treasures. This was a price that was neither high nor low. Celestial Immortals who had lived as long as he had would generally all have several top-grade Immortal-ranked magic treasures on them. In fact, some truly supreme Celestial Immortal Patriarchs might even have Pure Yang treasures on them! Thus, for the Youngflame clan as a whole, producing three top-grade Immortal-ranked treasures would cause a bit of heartache but not bankrupt them. At a critical time like this, with the Three Realms in a state of turbulence, they were willing to pay this level of price in order to eliminate a threat.
The imperial capital of the Grand Xia.
Ning was standing atop a cloud, flying through the wide streets of the imperial capital. He had spent a day within the Black-White College of Stillwater, then had visited his good friend Northmont Baiwei before heading to the imperial capital of the Grand Xia. This was a time of turbulence in the Three Realms, after all; the sooner he could purchase materials for setting up formations, the better.
“King Yan’s Estate.” Ning saw a familiar estate from the distance. After having arrived, he was naturally going to first visit his cousin before going to the Heavenly Treasures Mountain.
Swoosh. Ning led the Whitewater Hound in flying to the estate, Little Qing wrapped around his arm as always.
“You are young master Ji Ning?” The estate guards recognized him right away, and they revealed looks of surprise on their faces. Thirty years was a fairly short period of time for Immortal cultivators; they had begun their services here well over thirty years ago, and so they naturally recognized him.
“I wish to see the princess,” Ning said.
“Young master Ji Ning, please wait a moment. I’ll go make the report right away.” Instantly, a guard flew into the estate to make the report.
Soon, a group of people came out from the estate, the leader being his cousin, Princess Xiyue.
“Ji Ning.” Princess Xiyue looked at Ning, an expression of excitement instantly covering her face. “I just heard last night from the Heavenly Treasures Mountain that you returned. I was planning to go find you after finishing some affairs here.”
“It should be me who comes to visit you, Princesss.” Ning noticed that next to her was a tall, handsome man with white skin who appeared to be rather close to her. He couldn’t help but laugh. “This is…?”
“Oh.” An awkward expression appeared on Princess Xiyue’s face. She immediately said, “This is young master Feng Yungu from the Windlocked Isles of the Heaven Realm.”
“I’ve long heard of your famous name, brother Ji Ning. Today, I see that you truly are extraordinary.” The tall, handsome young master Yungu spoke in a modest manner.
Ning gave him a glance, then nodded in secret; this Feng Yunge acted quite modestly and put on no airs.
“Hurry on in. Why are you standing here in the doorway?” Princess Xiyue said hurriedly while sending a stealthy mental message to Ning. “Cousin, unless something unexpected happens, this young master Yungu will most likely become my husband.”
“Ah?” Ning was mentally stunned. He hurriedly sent back, “Cousin, the two of you…?”
“He will marry into King Yan’s Estate,” Princess Xiyue sent to him. “In the future, I am going to resurrect the Yuchi clan; thus, I can’t marry out into another clan. As for this young master Yungu…because the Grand Xia Dynasty is allied with the Windlocked Isles of the Heaven Realm, quite a few of the imperial Xia clansmen have become Dao-companions with the disciples of the Windlocked Isles. I could tell that he’s not bad, and he’s also quite obedient; he was even willing to marry into King Yan’s Estate. That’s why I decided to accept him as my Dao-companion.”
Ning now understood.
The Windlocked Isles of the Heaven Realm?
The Grand Xia Dynasty?
“He’s not only willing to marry into her family, he’s also obedient to her wishes…and I can tell that he seems to be the humble sort.” Ning nodded privately. His cousin was completely focused on vengeance; a husband like this would perhaps be good for her.
“Cousin, you don’t need to pay too much attention to young master Yungu; his status in the Windlocked Isles of the Heaven Realm isn’t very high, and his power is ordinary, but he’s an extremely good-natured person,” Princess Xiyue sent. “However…another disciple of the Windlocked Isles is currently present within King Yan’s Estate. He, too, is pursuing me; he wants to marry me and take me back to the Windlocked Isles with him. His name is Feng Yunpeng; his status within the Windlocked Isles is extremely high! He is one of the two sons of the master of the Windlocked Isles, and the Grand Xia Emperor long ago instructed the imperial Xia clansmen are not to cause trouble with him. You need to be careful as well.”
“Oh? Don’t worry,” Ning replied.
They entered the estate.
Yuchi Xiyue prepared a welcoming banquet for Ning. The three of them chatted quite happily with each other. Young master Yungu seemed to have a bit of an innately self-abasing character; in front of Ning, at least, he acted very modestly and self-deprecatingly.
“Hahaha, I heard that the champion of the Grand Xia’s Conclave of Immortal Destiny, the peerless genius Ji Ning, had arrived here at King Yan’s Estate. Xiyue, why didn’t you inform me? You were wrong in not doing so.” Accompanying a loud laughter, a youth dressed in gaudy golden Daoist robes came walking in. The youth’s eyes twinkled like the stars, and his aura was quite extraordinary.
Behind him were two powerful servants. One had the aura of a Fiendgod; he was most likely a Void-level Fiendgod! The other was an extremely powerful Loose Immortal.
“Young master Yunpeng, I didn’t want to disturb you,” Princess Xiyue said with a laugh. “Please sit.”
Feng Yungu hurriedly rose to give up his own seat, sitting down in a lower seat. As for young master Yunpeng, he sat down directly after Princess Xiyue, face to face with Ji Ning.
“Ji Ning, this is young master Yunpeng, a genius of the Windlocked Isles of the Heaven Realm. He, too, is an expert who is a Void-level Earth Immortal,” Princess Xiyue said hurriedly.
“Greetings to you, young master Yunpeng,” Ning said, clasping his hands slightly.
Young master Yunpeng gave Ning a clearly rather indifferent glance, but as he did, his face changed slightly. With a laugh, he said, “Oh, so you’ve become a Void-level Earth Immortal, Ji Ning.”
“Just the early-stage Void-level. Compared to you, young master Yunpeng, I’m a bit lacking,” Ning said modestly.
“Hahaha…” Young master Yunpeng laughed smugly. “I hear that you are on very good terms with Xiyue. You have to help me dissuade her! She’s insisting on marrying that useless thing over there; isn’t that an utter desecration of a heavenly treasure?” As he spoke, he gave the nearby Feng Yungu a disdainful look.
No matter how good of a temper Feng Yungu had, he couldn’t prevent his face from changing…but immediately afterwards, he lowered his head slightly.
Young master Yunpeng’s laughter became even more wanton. “Xiyue and I, by contrast, are a perfect match!” As he spoke, he reached his hand out to stroke Princess Xiyue’s. Princess Xiyue moved away slightly, her face sinking. “Young master Yunpeng.”
“Fine, fine, fine. I won’t rush things.” Young master Yunpeng laughed.
After all, Princess Xiyue had a Celestial Immortal, King Yan, behind her. Given that the Windlocked Isles were an ally of the Grand Xia Dynasty, he didn’t want to cause any problems either.
“Young master Yunpeng.” Ning felt an extreme distaste towards this person, but he still changed the subject. “I hear that you come from the Windlocked Isles of the Heaven Realm. I haven’t been to the Heaven Realm yet; why don’t you tell me about of the Heaven Realm and help broaden my horizons?”
Young master Yunpeng frowned. Introduce the Heaven Realm? Him? Who did Ji Ning think he was? Asking him to introduce the Heaven Realm to him?
Still…he gave Princess Xiyue a sidelong glance, then said with a calm snort, “The Heaven Realm is quite large. The eastern part of the Heaven Realm is managed by the Celestial Court, while the western side is managed by the Buddhists of Mount Ling 1. But of course, there are many asuras and devas who live throughout the Heaven Realm, and they have naturally joined together to form powers. Our Windlocked Isles can be considered one of those powers, I suppose.”
“I heard that after you became the champion of the Conclave, Ji Ning, you decided not to take on Sword Immortal Evergreen as your master, and you also didn’t take on any of the Immortals or Fiends of Daofather Crimsonbright’s league as your master. Instead, you vanished…I wonder, where did you go, brother Ji Ning?” Young master Yunpeng’s eyes lit up as he asked this question; clearly, he was quite curious about this.
“Naturally, I went to study with my master,” Ning said calmly.
“Who?” Yunpeng asked. “Where did you study?”
“Master has ordered that I cannot tell others.” Ning shook his head.
Young master Yunpeng couldn’t help but frown.
Ning disliked this young master Yunpeng very much. He immediately said, “Princess Xiyue, I’m going to the Heavenly Treasures Mountain to buy some items. I’ll leave now.”
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- In Chinese mythology, Mount Ling is the place where the Buddha and his bodhisattvas reside. ↩