Book 17, Celestial Immortal, Chapter 1 – Ji Ning Is Still Alive!
The Black-White College had many mountain peaks, and the estates of the formal disciples were usually located atop one of them.
On the mountain path of a nameless mountain peak of the Black-White College.
The moon hung high in the sky, and the dreamy moonlight wafted down like gauze upon Ji Ning and Yu Wei. Ning and Yu Wei were currently holding hands together, strolling on the mountain path like mortals.
“This is nice,” Yu Wei said softly.
“Eh?” Ning looked at Yu Wei.
Yu Wei smiled as she glanced at Ning. She had always been as beautiful as an Immortal fairy, a true peerless beauty. This smile of hers, which came from the bottom of her heart, caused Ning to instantly feel intoxicated. Yu Wei said, “In recent years, I haven’t felt at ease for a single moment. I’ve always been worrying about this or that. I’m holding your hand, and I feel so calm right now…I don’t feel worried about anything.”
“It was my rashness.” Ning felt guilt; last time, he had indeed been too arrogant in acting against the Youngflame clan.
“It’s not your fault, junior apprentice-brother. Who would’ve thought that they would have a Protocosmic spirit-treasure like the Worldhold Pagoda? It is far too rare, after all, for Celestial Immortals to be in possession of such spirit-treasures. Even if they do have one…ones that can rip through reality and teleport you elsewhere are even rarer,” Yu Wei said.
Ning laughed. “Enough about that. Senior apprentice-sister, I haven’t congratulated you yet about becoming a Celestial Immortal! You were even faster than me.”
“Even after I became a Celestial Immortal, I’ve still had headaches every day.” Yu Wei gently kicked aside a little stone that was in her path. The stone struck a distant tree, causing a bit of snow to fall down from the trees branches.
“What’s wrong?” Ning asked.
“You’ve been gone for more than eighteen years. Stillwater Commandery, however, has changed dramatically,” Yu Wei said. “For example…the current Marquis of Stillwater is no longer Northmont Yin; it is Northmont Blacktiger.”
“Eh?!” Ning was puzzled. “Northmont Blacktiger?”
In the past, Northmont Blacktiger and Northmont Yin had struggled for the position of Marquis, and in the end Northmont Yin had won.
Even after Ning had returned and joined into an alliance with Celestial Immortals Unity and Hunchmont, the Northmont clan of Stillwater hadn’t changed Northmont Yin’s position. Why was it that during Ning’s disappearance of eighteen years, Northmont Blacktiger would end up having taken the position?
“Northmont Yin died,” Yu Wei said.
“What?! Could it be that Stillwater Commandery was in such a state of chaos that even the Marquis was assassinated?” Ning was shocked.
“It’s even worse than you think,” Yu Wei said. “Northmont Yin wasn’t assassinated. He was executed by Celestial Immortal Unity. The reason why he was executed was because more than half of the high-level members of the Northmont clan wanted to throw their support to the Seamless Gate. When they made this recommendation to Celestial Immortal Unity, all of these traitors, including the ones who had supported Northmont Yin secret, were wiped out. Not one was spared.”
Ning was truly shocked now. “How could this have happened?!”
“It all started with Celestial Immortal Hunchmont being kidnapped.” Yu Wei began to narrate the tale of how she and Celestial Immortal had been ambushed and trapped, and she even gave him a rough overview of the situation in the entire Grand Xia.
At the peak of the mountain.
Ning and Yu Wei were seated by a cliff, looking at the night sky.
“I didn’t imagine that the Seamless Gate would have become this brash and bold.” Ning frowned. “Prior to this, the Grand Xia Dynasty had been keeping them in check, but now…they actually have dared to assassinate this many Celestial Immortals? Are they really trying to start a war?”
“I don’t know.” Yu Wei shook her head.
Eighteen years ago, the Grand Xia Dynasty had been calm on the surface, at least; very, very few Celestial Immortals had perished.
But now, Celestial Immortals were dying right and left, one after the other! The Seamless Gate had even dared to carry out actions like kidnapping Hunchmont to force Unity to surrender; from this, one could see how bold they had become!
“Didn’t they inform the Xia Emperor?” Ning asked. “Since the Seamless Gate cares about Celestial Immortal Unity this much…the Xia Emperor wouldn’t just give up on him that easily, right?”
“Of course we did,” Yu Wei said. “Just this very day, we received word from the Xia Emperor. He sent someone to notify us that many Celestial Immortals throughout the entire Grand Xia Dynasty are being threatened, and have received final diplomatic notes of warning. Too many are asking for his support; he’s asking us Celestial Immortals to help each other out.”
“The Xia Emperor is just going to let things happen, come what may?” Ning frowned.
“Senior Unity really is quite impressive, though; a while ago, the Seamless Gate sent thirty-six Celestial Immortals to assault him en-masse, but they were still defeated,” Yu Wei said. “To kill Celestial Immortal Unity won’t be easy. By contrast, our Black-White College…well, we aren’t as strong as senior Unity, so we’ve been suffering quite a bit for it.”
Ning now understood what had been worrying Yu Wei.
The Black-White College was standing alongside Unity. When the Seamless Gate went to act against Unity, they’d probably throw the Black-White College into the mix as well; after all, the Black-White College had two Celestial Immortals within their ranks.
Killing Celestial Immortal Unity might be very difficult…but killing the Celestial Immortals of the Black-White College was much easier by comparison. Yu Wei and Immortal Diancai were quite ordinary; they had just recently overcome their tribulations, after all. They were far from being comparable to Celestial Immortal Unity.
“But I’m back now, right?” Ning smiled.
“Junior apprentice-brother, you haven’t overcome your tribulation.” Yu Wei actually shook her head. “The Seamless Gate is far too powerful. We have to be careful.”
That very night.
Within Immortal Diancai’s estate.
“Master.” Ning looked at Immortal Diancai.
“It’s good that you are back. It’s good that you are back.” Immortal Diancai looked at Ning, letting out a long sigh, then smiled. “You unfilial disciple! When you came back, you didn’t come see me; you went to go see your Dao-companion first!”
The nearby Yu Wei was laughing.
“Don’t blame me, Master! I admit to my wrongdoings.” Ning began to laugh as well.
“Sit, first! Later, senior Unity shall arrive,” Immortal Diancai said.
A short time later.
A youth with loose hair and a gray robe came walking in. Ning, Immortal Diancai, and Yu Wei all rose to their feet.
“Ji Ning has returned.” The gray-robed youth smiled and nodded. “I heard that you previously killed two mighty Celestial Immortals of the Youngflame clan. How valiant! You were able to overcome the karmic sinflames and to return to us; I imagine that anyone who hears about this would be filled with admiration for you.”
“You praise me too much, senior. I was just a bit luckier than most; otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to come back at all,” Ning said.
“Sit, all of you,” Celestial Immortal Unity said.
The four immediately all sat down.
Unity looked at Ning. “I imagine you know everything now, Ji Ning.”
“I just heard from them. I didn’t imagine that in the past eighteen years, the Grand Xia Dynasty would’ve changed this much. The Seamless Gate has already begun to shed all pretenses of cordiality.” Ning shook his head. “Celestial Immortal Hunchmont was captured. Alas…”
“When the storm comes, who can avoid it?” Unity looked towards Ning. “The Seamless Gate gave us their final warning, and I’ve naturally made my own preparations. This entire city of Stillwater has always been the base for my Northmont clan. One generation after another, we have set down countless formations in this place. I want to ask your Black-White College to help me control the formations of Stillwater City, so that I can focus whole-heartedly on fighting against the Seamless Gate. There’s no need for the Black-White College to exit the formation.”
“Today, the Xia Emperor sent me a messenger. Many are under threat right now, and he’s unable to assist me, which is why I’ve made this decision. I wanted to tell Yu Wei and Diancai tomorrow, but since you came back today, Ji Ning, I came to speak to you all tonight,” Unity said.
Ning, Yu Wei, and Diancai all exchanged a glance.
“Since you’ve made the request, senior Unity…our Black-White College will definitely strive to ensure you are not disappointed by us,” Ning said.
Celestial Immortal Unity had realized something…
The Black-White College had three mighty experts. Yu Wei and Ji Ning were Dao-companions, while Immortal Diancai and Ji Ning were master and disciple! In fact, Ji Ning had once guarded his master during his master’s tribulation and fought with utter ferocity, while Diancai, in turn, had been willing to face off against the Youngflame clan even when he had merely been at the Void-level; from this, one could see how close the two of them were. Clearly, Ji Ning was capable of influencing both Yu Wei and Immortal Diancai, which made him the true leader of the Black-White College.
After chatting for a bit longer, Celestial Immortal Unity departed.
Ning, Yu Wei, and Immortal Diancai, the three mighty experts of the Black-White College, were now discussing amongst themselves.
“Our Black-White College is the weakest side in this fight, regardless of whether we compare ourselves to Celestial Immortal Unity or the Seamless Gate,” Immortal Diancai said. “Senior Unity knows that we are in a tough spot. This is for the best. We shall stay within the formation and provide support. If even the formation is unable to withstand their attacks, then we’ll use Greater Teleportation to leave.”
Yu Wei and Ning both nodded.
Ning didn’t say much. It was true that he had become far more powerful over the course of eighteen years of nonstop battles, and he was probably even superior to Celestial Immortal Unity in terms of power! However, given that the Seamless Gate was a major power that dared to act against the Grand Xia Dynasty in such a brash, arrogant fashion…they might suddenly produce a True Immortal or Empyrean God who would wipe Ning out.
“Ji Ning, the Heavenly Treasures Mountain has stationed someone in our Black-White College,” Immortal Diancai said. “They’ve been waiting for news of you. Now that you are back…should we let the Heavenly Treasures Mountain know?”
“What’s this?” Ning was surprised.
The Heavenly Treasures Mountain had actually permanently stationed someone here, waiting for news regarding him?
It seemed as though the Xia Emperor truly did care quite a bit about his status.
“Go ahead and tell them,” Ning said.
His own master, Patriarch Subhuti, was good friends with Daofather Crimsonbright. The Xia Emperor had treated him fairly well; there was no need to hide this from him.
“Alright.” Immortal Diancai nodded.
The imperial capital of the Grand Xia. The Skylight Palace.
The black-robed Xia Emperor was seated facing a white-haired elder. They were playing a game of stones.
Click! The Xia Emperor frowned.
“Xiamang, if you bare your fangs too openly, you’ll suffer for it,” the white-haired elder said with a laugh, then pressed his stone onto the board. “It’s better for you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.”
The Xia Emperor, however, didn’t pay him any attention.
Click! Click! Click! The sound of chess stones being pressed onto the board rang out throughout the hall.
“You lose.” The white-haired elder rose to his feet. “Xiamang, spend a little time and think things over. But of course…you remain a descendant of our Primordial Imperial Clan. There’s no way you can let yourself be so casually abused by others. Whether you choose to retreat or to fight, you need to do it in a beautiful manner. If you do need help, come find me.”
“Thank you, Uncle.” The Xia Emperor rose to his feet.
The white-haired elder laughed, then soared into the skies and disappeared.
The Xia Emperor, however, continued to frown.
A short while later, a streak of light flew in; it was Skyfox.
“Master.” Immortal Skyfox strode in.
“What is it?” The Xia Emperor asked.
“Ji Ning has returned,” Immortal Skyfox said in a low voice.
The Xia Emperor was startled. “He came back? Alive?”
“Yes. He came back just last night; we received news just this morning,” Immortal Skyfox said.
“He managed to make it back alive? I even went so far as to speak to Venomfreak about this. Venomfreak said that he had exiled Ji Ning to the Nihilum Zone.” The Xia Emperor frowned. “The Nihilum Zone of the Primordial Ruinworld…that truly is a boundless, vast place. The voidwaves there are incredibly powerful; in order to leave that place while going against the voidwaves, one has to at least have the power of a True God or Daofather. It must have been that mysterious Daofather master of his who intervened. This Daofather seems to care about his disciples quite a bit; he actually went into the Nihilum Zone to search for him!”
“Then…with regards to Stillwater Commandery…” Immortal Skyfox said in a whispered voice.
Previous ChapterNext Chapter