DE Book 16 Chapter 4

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Book 16, The Nihilum Zone, Chapter 4 – The Third Sinflame Tribulation

The dimension blew apart, reality shattering into tiny little pieces. The more powerful Immortal cultivators within the dimension roared with fury, seeking to charge out from within it.

“What’s going on?”

“Heavens above!”

“Abu!”

Countless mortals were completely dazed and confused. They watched as the world itself shattered…and they were completely unable to resist. The cried out in terror, in pain, in panic.

“Mother, second matron…no…no…” The youth was completely dazed. He watched as the two most important people in his life, his mother and his second matron, be ground apart as the walls of reality itself imploded.

The most important people in his life!

“Mother!”

“Second matron!”

The youth felt unbearable pain. He was filled with hatred and despair…and then, his consciousness went dark.

Ning’s soul was riding with the youth, and the emotions which the youth felt slammed into Ning as well. After riding with the youth for more than ten years, Ning had feelings for the two women as well. He viewed them almost as he would his own mother…and when they died, Ning was filled with boundless anger, regret, and…self-blame! He couldn’t help but blame himself for what had happened.

If…if I hadn’t shattered that Qiankun pearl…how wonderful it would have been…

“That poor child. Those poor mothers…” Ning’s heart had already reached the iceheart level, and so he was able to quickly suppress that thread of self-blame. He quickly and completely escaped from being in the mindset of that youth.

……

“Listen up! A foolish idiot like you isn’t worthy of my little sister.” A muscular, powerful man was standing on the prone body of a youth. The man was roaring angrily, “If you know what’s good for you, stay away in the future. Don’t you dare get close to my little sister again. Otherwise…next time I see you, things won’t end as easily as they have today. There are plenty of monsters in the deep mountains outside the city; if I were to throw you into the mountains, before a single night is over, you’ll have been completely devoured, leaving behind not even a bone.”

The muscular man gave two more kicks before turning and leaving.

Ning felt pain throughout his entire body. He rose to his feet, his face swollen and his forehead busted open.

“Am I now riding with this youth?” Ning mused to himself.

The youth turned, then hobbled with difficulty towards his own residence.

That night.

“Ji.” A maiden stealthily crept in. Upon seeing the appearance of the bedridden youth, she felt such pain that her tears came cascading down. “It’s all my fault. All my fault…”

“Yu Wei?!” Ning couldn’t help but feel shocked when he saw the maiden.

They looked too similar.

Far too similar! In fact, she looked utterly identical to his senior apprentice-sister, Yu Wei. But Ning quickly came to his senses; given that there were ten billion mortals within the Oldjade mountain range, it made sense that there was at least one maiden who looked almost identical to Yu Wei. In addition…after he gave her a closer look, he saw that this maiden appeared simpler and more guileless than Yu Wei; she didn’t have the transcendent aura possessed by an Immortal cultivator.

The maiden helped the youth bind his wounds, applying medicine to him. She had even brought over a meat soup for him to drink.

“We need to be even more careful in the future. We can’t let my big brother see us again, or any other members of my family,” the maiden said hurriedly.

“Believe me, Lotus…I’m definitely going to train to the Xiantian level, at which point I will openly woo you and wed you,” the youth said seriously.

“I know.” The maiden nodded gently.

……

“You little punk…why don’t you take a good look at yourself? You really don’t know your own limits. You little bastard, you aren’t even a Xiantian lifeform! My little sister is so beautiful, she’s like an Immortal fairy who has descended to the mortal world; she’s one of the most beautiful women of the entire city of Eastring. Plenty of people wish to wed my little sister.” The muscular man was roaring at him. “And you think you can dream of the same? I warned you last time…so don’t blame me for showing no mercy this time! Servants, tie him up and send him to the mountains. Feed him to the monsters!”

“Yes!” Two servants hurriedly assented.

The youth was pressed down against the ground, and his mouth was gagged with a cloth rag. His hands, arms, and entire body were quickly bound. He let out an unhappy groan, but the muscular man just stared at him coldly.

The youth was sent outside the city, deep into the mountains.

“Leave him here. Soon, he’ll be eaten up.” The two servants tossed him down to the ground.

The bound youth landed on the ground, covered with rocks and stones. One protruding stone stabbed deep into his chest. The youth immediately spat out a mouthful of blood, rolling around in agony on the ground.

“Am I going to die? Die here?”

The youth’s heart was filled with terror.

Time passed on…

Rustle, rustle, rustle…

Sound rang out. The youth’s heart clenched; had a monster just arrived? Forget about monsters; even ordinary animals would be able to effortlessly eat him right now.

“I’m absolutely sure that he’s over here.”

“You led us astray earlier. If you are wrong again, you can go die with that brat.”

“Earlier, I led you the wrong way because it was dark. This time, there’s no mistake at all.”

Alongside the voices…

A muscular man appeared, leading two servants.

“Urrr. Urrr.” The youth’s mouth remained gagged; he was unable to speak, but he stared towards the three with surprise and anger.

The muscular man was so angry, he laughed. “You didn’t die. Your luck really isn’t bad! I really wonder what you did, you little brat, to make my little sister so besotted that she threatened suicide. Bring him back!”

Only later did the youth discover…

Lotus, upon learning that Ji had been sent to the deep mountains to be fed to monsters, had been stunned. And then…this girl who had always been innocent, pure, and obedient…went berserk. She threatened suicide: “If I don’t see Ji before dawn, I’ll go join him.” The girl had pressed a sharp knife towards her heart. In the past, she had always been very obedient towards her peak Xiantian father, but this time, she wasn’t willing to compromise at all. “Father, you might be able to take away my knife and tie me up, but if I want to die…you won’t be able to stop me.”

In the end…her strong, domineering father had bowed his head.

After this, Lotus’ father and elder brother no longer tried to prevent the two from being together. To the contrary, they began to train Ji, providing him with good cultivation techniques. Thanks to the help of Ji’s father-in-law and brother-in-law, he truly did break through to become a Xiantian lifeform.

“What?” The youth used his Xiantian energy to probe Lotus’ stomach. He revealed a look of delight. “This, this is…”

Lotus laughed as well.

“I’m going to be a father. Hahaha, I’m going to be a father. Wonderful! Ahahahaha…”

The youth was wildly overjoyed. Lotus, however, just quietly smiled.

“Lotus, I, Youngflame Ji, swear that I will definitely take good care of you and our son.” The youth said excitedly, “My son, in the future, shall become a truly formidable figure. In fact, he’ll be one of the most formidable figures of our entire Youngflame clan.”

“Right.” Lotus nodded gently as well.

……

Ning’s soul was riding with the youth. He had a very strange feeling in his heart. Lotus looked almost identical to Yu Wei. The excitement which Youngflame Ji had felt when he had discovered that Lotus was pregnant…

Ning had a strange feeling. It was as though he had completely become one with Youngflame Ji, as though he and Yu Wei were about to have a child together.

“I, Youngflame Ji, swear that I will definitely take good care of you and our son.” When Youngflame Ji said these words…Ning felt a powerful sense of responsibility.

A husband’s…a father’s…

Responsibility.

“Can it be that they are also going to…” Ning could vaguely see their future, a future that caused Ning’s heart to feel pain. This girl looked identical to Yu Wei. She was simple and honest, but her heart was whole-heartedly with her man. Ning truly didn’t wish to see Lotus die.

Time passed, one day after another.

Lotus’ belly grew bigger and bigger. The young Youngflame Ji was working hard to acquire all sorts of treasured herbs, which he gave to Lotus to eat. “My child must be born with the best of talent. In the future, he will definitely become an important person.”

Each time Youngflame Ji had that eager, excited look on his face, Lotus would laugh as she looked at her man.

This was bliss.

“Everyone in the city is to be evacuated!” An ancient voice echoed throughout the city. Youngflame Ji, who had been holding his pregnant wife’s hand and accompanying her on a stroll, was startled.

Moments later…

The world around them changed.

Youngflame Ji and Lotus had arrived within a pocket dimension which was filled with countless people.

“Lotus, are you alright?” Youngflame Ji was extremely worried.

“I’m fine. But…but where are we?” Lotus, rather worried as well, clutched at Youngflame Ji’s hand.

“Don’t worry. I’m here.” Youngflame Ji vigilantly scanned their surroundings.

Not too long afterwards…

Whoosh…

A second round of teleportations. This time, they were moved to Old Demon Windraiser’s pearl, and the population became even denser.

“No…” Ning’s heart was filled with regret. He truly didn’t want to see this…this scene of utter despair.

Rumble…

The world broke apart.

Screams of terror…rage…despair…

Countless people began to die within the shattering dimension.

“No, no, no…” The youth was completely dazed. He stared in terror at the surrounding world. He had sworn an oath…he was going to protect his wife! “What should I do? What should I do?!” He was blaming himself over and over; he would rather die than let his beloved wife die! He couldn’t forget how they had met…the countless hardships they had experienced together before they had finally been able to be together…

“Lotus…” The youth looked towards the girl, his tears falling down.

He truly was helpless!

“It’s good that we’re together…our entire family is together…” Lotus tightly clutched her man with one hand while gently touching her stomach with the other.

Whoosh….

The shattering dimension showed no mercy at all. As the cracks in reality swept towards them…the man, the woman, and the child in the woman’s belly all perished.

The dimension was completely destroyed.

Ning even ‘saw’ that giant golden palm appear in the outside world. It was this golden palm that had shattered the Qiankun pearl, causing the three of them to all perish.

And that giant golden palm…was Ning’s palm.

“Why? Why wasn’t I just a bit more careful…why did I have to destroy it?” Upon seeing Lotus die, he couldn’t help but feel as though Yu Wei had just died in front of him. The agony which Youngflame Ji felt was sent straight to Ning’s own heart, causing him to feel pain as well.

“It was my fault.”

“I shouldn’t have.”

“Shouldn’t have.”

Ning had reached the ‘iceheart’ stage. Although he felt regret …in the deepest recesses of his heart, he was still able to maintain his state of cold transcendence. He was still able to completely control the emotions he felt regarding what had happened in the outside world, causing it to be unable to shake his inner heart.

……

One story after another.

Ning’s soul rode with one individual after another. For some, he only spent a few months with them; for others, he spent more than ten years. Each person was the type which Ning absolutely wouldn’t have been willing to kill…and in fact, many of their stories resonated with him. This sort of soul-riding felt almost like a form of rebirth. However, because Ning had reached the ‘iceheart’ level, he was able to separate all those emotions from his inner heart, causing it to remain unshaken.

However…the more Ning saw, the more he felt a certain desire in his heart…

If only I hadn’t shattered that Qiankun pearl, how wonderful things would be!

Although Ning felt this desire…he also understood that there was no way to change things. He couldn’t take it back.

……

This sorts of feelings continuously accumulated within his heart. Suddenly…

“Mother! Second matron!”

“Lotus!”

“Master!”

“Junior apprentice-brother!”

“Why, why?!”

“I don’t want to die!”

“My baby! Aaaaaaaah!”

In that instant…

Ning had experienced all sorts of powerful emotions over the course of riding with a thousand lives. All sorts of resentment, anger, pain, embarrassment, agony…they all suddenly gathered together. Before this, although Ning was deeply impacted by the emotions he felt when riding with one of the victims, the emotions came in a single, sudden rush. This time, however…all of the emotions came crashing upon him at the same time. The self-recrimination he felt came crashing down upon him like a wave, instantly drowning him within its waters.

“It was all because of you. You!”

“Why did you break it? Why?!”

“You should be damned.”

“Damned!”

“Die.”

“If you die, you’ll be free.”

“Free.”

A flood of emotions…countless voices…they completely buried and smothered Ning. In fact, they were even able to breach Ning’s ‘iceheart’ and completely fill every inch of his inner heart.

This was the most difficult tribulation of the three tribulations of the ‘red dust tribulations’…the ‘thousand lives heart-tribulation’!


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60 thoughts on “DE Book 16 Chapter 4” - NO SPOILERS

        1. I can see why “self blame” would be part of the process of getting over traumatic events, but none of this chapter makes any sense when you address it to the situation between Ning, and the Youngflame clan.

          I think the author forgot that Ning himself said: “Perhaps I won’t personally kill all of those mortals, but by killing the linchpin of the clan, their celestial-immortals, their walls will crumble and other clans will come in to annihilate everything.”
          So basically, Ning knew they’d all die anyway, and he even planned to murder them all inadvertently. Getting to know all of those victims personally, changes absolutely bloody nothing about the previous decisions he wanted to make, since if he killed those celestial immortals he hates so much — nobody would “Have such a wonderful happy life! How lovely would it have been if he hadn’t crushed those pearls!”

          Nope. They’d die anyway, just how ignorant is Ning?
          But sadly, it makes almost perfect sense for a Xianxia protagonist such as Ning, the crafty, intelligent and decisive Ning, to have absolutely no idea that destroying the Youngflame clan also means “ruining the lives of millions of innocent people”. As such, I can almost sense another powerup coming, when he overcomes his ignorance over causation and the meaning behind: “Annihilating a f**** clan.”

          1. A bit harsh but i somewhat agree in some areas. The MCs make these decisions, thinking they know what it means and thinking the have the determination to shrug that off. However what i do disagree with you about is also what proves you right, ignorance does change things, it changes everything. In fact that’s the whole basis upon which this situation was built in the first place. Even the arguments for why he shouldn’t be undergoing this tribulation were based on his ignorance of the results of his actions, yours included.

            Its easy to condemn a clan when you don’t know them, even if you think you understand that obviously not all are bad guys and not all deserve to die. Actually living with them, actually walking in their shoes changes everything. After all each human lives theirs lives subjectively, if you don’t know someone it changes how much you can feel for them.

            However this does take this tribulation into somewhat weird territory as either he gets over this by realizing that they really weren’t people he cared about and therefore he made his own decision and sticks with it, regardless of concequences for the small people… or, he simply accepts the true weight of his actions and still moves on, after all ‘regret’ is supposed to be the loss condition.

  1. this is actually quite painful.
    to escape this most people would either suicide or become the devil.
    pretty sure ji ning will go on neither of those paths though.

  2. Thanks for the chapter.

    Though you could have just summarized it with “sinflame blah blah blah, blah, sinflame” and saved us all the trouble of having to read this fluff.

  3. This long explanation of Sinflame does to a person kinda make Silvermoon more badass than we thought, shudder to think Ji Ning owe this senior disciple a lot of cash…Ji Ning better pay him back as soon as possible before he start to charge interest!

  4. I’ve been thinking this for a while, but the concept of sin in this story is really primitive. I mean, it’s mostly about who you kill, even though they will just reincarnate. Yet eternal torture and destroying a person’s soul is ok. Soul destruction should be considered truly terrible as it eliminates the possibility of redemption. And very little consideration for intent or freedom of action is involved. I get the author was setting Ning up here, but the responsibility he bears is only that he didn’t even think that someone could be as evil as Windraiser. It’s to the point that I don’t even understand why he felt any guilt during this entire chapter.

    1. Even if he was set up by Windraiser, he was the one that killed billions of people. And those people didn’t have problems with Ji Ning at all. He should feel bad about it if he has any conscience.

      Drivers who accidentally killed people who jumped onto the road would feel the same way. Police who accidentally shot a bystander in a middle of a gunfight would feel the same way too.

      1. If I’m an engineer on a train and someone jumps onto the tracks just as I pass by, I would not feel guilt over their death. Sadness, yes, but not guilt. Especially after 10 billion lifetimes to contemplate it. Even less would I feel guilt if someone had been purposely tied to the tracks in a way to guarantee their death without me noticing. In both situations, I did not sin. Rather, the first is a case of them sinning against themselves, while the second is the result of sinful machinations of a single individual against all other parties. So yeah, I find this chapter insanely contrived.

        1. If you don’t feel guilty where others might, that’s fine. But the act of killing mortals is a sin, so Ning did sin. 10 billion mortals died because of him. He used his hand to smash into the pearl. He didn’t stop to think that it was odd for Windraiser to suddenly appear after having witnessed Ning hold off all of the clan’s Celestial Immortals, he didn’t go on guard or act carefully in order to better judge the situation. But nevertheless, Ning cannot deny that his actions caused all of them to die.

          1. Only in DE logic did he sin. Windraiser did everything possible to prevent Ning from noticing. Unintentional incompetence is not a sin. Ning did not cause them to die, Windraiser did. If someone sets up a trip wire at my bedroom door that will set off a bomb in an orphanage, when I fail to notice and set it off, that is not my sin. My normal, expected actions were used just as a tree branch can be used to club someone. The branch is not at fault.

          2. “Unintentional incompetence is not a sin”

            Many (though not all) ethical systems in the world do not define sin as such. In some systems, the degree of sin might be less if it is unintentional or if the person is incompetent, but it would still be considered sin. This is not restricted to “DE logic.”

          3. Such ethical systems are wrong and illogical. Without self-determination you can do neither good nor evil. That doesn’t mean legal systems shouldn’t punish incompetence or ignorance, since it creates awareness and allows for better allocation of resources. But legality and ethics are distinct concepts.

          4. I didn’t mean to get into a debate about what the “correct” set of ethics is. I only think that the mixing in of Daoist philosophy into DE and defining sin in this context is fine in this story. I also do not think the story is “contrived” because it doesn’t agree with someone’s ethical or moral beliefs. Ji Ning’s actions helped kill 10 billion mortals. These actions have sown karma and karmic sinflames descended on both Windraiser and Ning. It was already known long ago in the story that cultivators killing mortals is a grave sin.

    2. You wouldn’t feel a thread of self-blame if your hand came crashing down on 10 billion mortals? I think most people would feel guilty; people can blame themselves for even the smallest of reasons. But this tribulation isn’t even truly about sin or guilt. It’s even less about karma, and more about accepting the good and the bad.

      The Dao doesn’t take sides;
      it gives birth to both good and evil.
      The Master doesn’t take sides;
      she welcomes both saints and sinners […]
      Hold on to the center.

      I expect that if Ning can hold on to the center, then he can overcome this tribulation.

      1. “I expect that if Ning can hold on to the center, then he can overcome this tribulation”

        What are you talking about? I swear if Ji Ning doesn’t power up on top of overcoming this tribulation, I’ll kowtow to you and call you grandfather. Hmph! Having no faith in the MC! You sure have guts

        1. wait what?

          He was just basically saying that this isn’t truly about whether what you did was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, rather more about whether you can simply come to terms with it and hold firm after having the truth trust at you.

  5. What a waste of a chapter and it ended just like that,, actually the last paragraph is equal of what is written in this whole chapter. Haist

    Well thanks for the chapter btw

  6. What a poor plot development. Ji Ning is not responsible for the deaths of those people. Its not as if he destroyed the pearl on purpose or disregarded the risk thinking it only contained a few mortals. Its like if someone pushed someone else in front of your car as you passed by, there was no opportunity to avert the disaster. If anything Ning is a victim, I mean the story makes clear that not every good act results in positive karma, and so not every “evil” act results in negative Karma. Whatever, its just another obstacle that he will overcome and be that much more powerful thereafter. He’ll probably get obscenely strong and go wreck the Youngflames after the tribulation. lol

  7. Thanks for the chapter.

    Let me express my feelings a bit.
    I don’t think these explanation or emotion describing chapters useless at all.
    It explains what really is going on, describe the feeling of the characters, and build the story.
    So I’m enjoying these explanations and world building, rather than just endless level up or fighting chapters, which would only makes the story one-dimensional. If it’s not to the point where the explanation drags on for about 5-10 chapters without a major plot then I’m pretty okay with reading it.

  8. if i am going through this kind of tribulation… i might become a devil to protect my sanity…

    or just lose my sanity to escape the pain of regret. THANKS FOR THE CHAPTER!

  9. Guess his heart needs another upgrade. Ning is truly too young. He hasn’t committed any large massacres himself and really has no understanding of just how small life is.

    Thanks for the chapter.

  10. maybe it’s time to maiden nuwa to appear again? it’s been a long time since her last appearance..
    as always thank you for the amazing chapter :3

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