Book 17, Celestial Immortal, Chapter 18 – Demonheart
“Thank you, your Imperial Majesty.” Ji Ning was utterly delighted.
The Xia Emperor nodded. “The Celestial Tribulation is the greatest, most dangerous tribulation any Immortal cultivator will face on his path. One cannot be overconfident in dealing with it. Since you have karmic sinflames around you, your demonheart tribulation will definitely be quite extraordinary…”
Last time, when the karmic sinflames had unleashed three rounds of tribulations upon him, Ning had realized how terrifying his demonheart tribulation would be. In truth…he didn’t know for certain if he would be able to withstand it this time.
“Then I’ll leave now, your Imperial Majesty,” Ning said.
“Go. I’ll decide upon your tribulation area within the next two days,” the Xia Emperor said.
Ning immediately left.
This trip had been worth it. The Xia Emperor’s promise of assistance…if a Daofather truly was going to protect him, then he would have no outside factors to worry about during his Celestial Tribulation.
The day after Ning had gone to speak to the Xia Emperor. The azure-robed woman had previously been seating calmly in the lotus position atop her jade bed. Now, her face changed. She immediately barked, “Hurry up and invite True Immortal Gaudy, True Immortal Deadgrass, Celestial Immortal Blackheaven, Celestial Immortal Venomfreak, Empyrean God Threesuns, and Empyrean God Beastleave. Also invite the leaders of the Myriad Demons Cave and Bloodcloud Hall.”
“Alright.” The maid outside immediately acknowledged the order.
A short while later, everyone had arrived within the palace.
Empyrean God Azurefox, Empyrean God Threesuns, and Empyrean God Beastleave were of the Seamless Gate. True Immortal Gaudy and True Immortal Deadgrass were both Pure Yang True Immortals, while Celestial Immortal Blackheaven was equivalent to them in status. Immortal Venomfreak had the lowest status of the group.
Empyrean Gods and True Immortals were major figures of the Three Realms, after all, and when they took on masters, their masters were usually Daofathers. In fact, within the Three Realms, almost all Empyrean Gods or True Immortals had a Daofather or True God supporting them. Thus, even though Ji Ning might have a Daofather master, they wouldn’t really care that much; the only thing causing them some nervousness was the fact that Ji Ning had trained in the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art].
“The situation has changed.” After everyone arrived, the azure-robed woman spoke out in a solemn voice.
“What happened?” They all looked at her.
They knew that she must have invited them all over to discuss matters pertaining to Ji Ning. The faces of Blackheaven and Venomfreak instantly changed; of the people present, these two cared about this matter the most.
The azure-robed woman said solemnly, “I just received word that the location of Ji Ning’s tribulation has been set.”
“Where?” Blackheaven immediately asked.
“He asked the Xia Emperor to protect him. The Xia Emperor, wanting to be cautious, didn’t summon his own forces. Instead, he reported this to Daofather Crimsonbright, asking for Ji Ning to be allowed to undergo his tribulation at Daofather Crimsonbright’s seat of awakening. Daofather Crimsonbright has already given the nod and agreed,” the azure-robed woman said.
This news was actually top-secret. The Xia Emperor hadn’t even told his subordinates about it, and very few people by the side of Daofather Crimsonbright knew about it. The Seamless Gate, however, had found out right away. The accuracy and lethality of their intelligence…it was the best in the Three Realms! It had reached an utterly terrifying level.
However, the people present didn’t have any desire to ponder about such matters. All of them knew exactly how formidable the Seamless Gate’s intelligence network was.
“If it’s at his seat of awakening, then we have no chance at all.”
“Are we going to have to invite a major power?”
They all began to worry.
Forget about their incarnations and their clones; even if they sent their true bodies in to violate a Daofather’s seat of awakening…Daofather Crimsonbright would probably wipe them all out in an instant.
“There’s no way our superiors will start a war against Daofather Crimsonbright for Ji Ning’s sake.” The azure-robed woman shook her head. “Once a battle starts, the other Daofathers and True Gods will jump in as well…the end result might be a massive, chaotic war amongst True Gods and Daofathers. We can’t possibly afford to pay such a price.”
“Right.” They all nodded.
If a huge storm erupted due to personal grudges between True Gods and Daofathers, that was one thing. But if as a result of their report, a huge storm erupted that claimed the lives of two or three of their Daofathers…they wouldn’t be able to bear that sort of responsibility.
“Then what should we do?” Blackheaven frowned and barked.
Everyone was silent.
However, the horned figure that had been silent up till now suddenly laughed. “I have an idea.”
“Oh?” All of them looked over to him.
Immortal Venomfreak laughed, “Exalted Immortals, all of you should know that when Ji Ning battled against my Youngflame clan, he was punished with karmic sinflames.”
All of their eyes lit up; they were all intelligent people, and only one word was all it took for them to sense what Immortal Venomfreak was saying.
“Due to the karmic sinflames, when he undergoes his Celestial Tribulation, the power of the wind, fire, and thunder tribulations will increase significantl, but those aren’t that important…what really matters is his demonheart tribulation. That’s when the tribulation shall become the most astonishing and the most terrifying.” Immortal Venomfreak laughed. “I already know exactly what sort of a person this Ji Ning is; he cares deeply about filial piety and loyalty to his loved ones and friends. He’s willing to die for his loved ones, and he’s also willing to die for his brothers.”
“Right.” The nearby fire-robed man nodded. “To save his junior apprentice-brother, this Ji Ning once launched a major battle within one of the bases of our Myriad Demons Cave, not worrying about offending us at all.”
“His devotion to his friends is worthy of our admiration; although I, Venomfreak, would never act like him, I still admire him very much.” Immortal Venomfreak chortled. “The greatest strength of a person like him is that his devotion can make his Dao-heart incredibly, terrifyingly strong. But at the same time, his devotion is also his weak spot; once it crumbles, then his Dao-heart will also crumble.”
“Now, since Ji Ning overcame karmic sinflames, it’s not very likely that we will be able to make the devotion he feels for his loved ones crumble. However…it’s possible for us to fill his heart with boundless rage and hate!”
“Kill those who he cares about!”
“Kill that ‘Uncle White’, who he treats as he would a father or a mother! Kill that obedient little spirit-beast of his, that Azure Skysnake!”
“Kill that Autumn Leaf, who he loves as he would a sister.”
“His Dao-companion, Yu Wei.”
“His junior apprentice-brother, Mu Northson.”
“Kill them all! Ji Ning will definitely be enraged, and he’ll definitely turn berserk and go mad!” Immortal Venomfreak’s smile began even more brilliant. “Although sometimes madness can increase one’s power…during the demonheart tribulation, going berserk is one of the greatest taboos. There are very, very few berserk demons who are capable of overcoming their Celestial Tribulation, unless they truly have pure Dao-hearts and truly are born demons. However, Ji Ning is not a demon by nature; there’s no way he can have a pure, demonic Dao-heart.”
“Good idea.” The azure-robed woman nodded. “However, Yu Wei cannot be killed.”
“Cannot kill Yu Wei?” Immortal Venomfreak nodded. “Although killing the others would also enrage him…Yu Wei is his Dao-companion. Killing her will have the greatest impact on Ji NIng.”
“No. Yu Wei is Lu Dongbin’s disciple. Our target right now is Ji Ning; I don’t want to pull Lu Dongbin into the mix.” The azure-robed woman swept them with her gaze. “You should all know that if Lu Dongbin gets involved…then our branch of the Seamless Gate probably wouldn’t be able to survive.”
Everyone turned solemn.
The Godking had a total of three hundred Seamless Gates under his command. Although their particular branch was strong, Lu Dongbin himself was incredibly powerful, and his friends spanned the Three Realms. He was only friendly terms with more than ten True Gods and Daofathers. One of them treated Lu Dongbin like a son…and that one was one of the most supremely powerful leaders of the Daoist Path. If Lu Dongbin got into the mix…it could indeed cause a tremendous storm. Even if he just called his friends, such as the Eight Immortals of the High Caves, that would be enough to wipe out their Seamless Gate.
“Fine. We won’t touch Yu Wei.”
“Don’t touch her.”
Immortal Venomfreak secretly smirked. These people only dared to go after the easy targets. It seemed as though in the Seamless Gate…only the most powerful of figures would dare cause trouble for the likes of Lu Dongbin. These Empyrean Gods and True Immortals present today, at least, didn’t have the courage to go up against him.
“Haha, killing the others is enough. That Uncle White, that Autumn Leaf…they are family to Ji NIng.” Immortal Venomfreak laughed. “Gatemaster, when shall we move?”
“There’s no time to waste. Let’s make some quick preparations, then make our move tomorrow morning and assault Serpentwing Lake.” The azure-robed woman added, “If Ji Ning is at Serpentwing Lake as well, then let’s kill him as well. If we can’t kill him, killing those targets will satisfy our objectives.”
They all nodded.
Time flowed on. Soon, the day ended…and the next day arrived.
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