Book 18, Pure Yang, Chapter 56 – Departure
“Yes. Once the Realmwar ends, I shall prepare for my Empyrean Tribulation,” Ji Ning sent back. His original plan had been to wait until his soul heartforce technique had been perfected before attempting the tribulation, as that would give him a better chance. However, things never happen quite according to plan. His heartforce had advanced from the third level to the fourth level; this was a qualitative change.
The stronger his heartforce, the greater his chances were of overcoming the demonheart tribulation of the Empyrean Tribulation.
By this point…there was no point in delaying any further.
“If my guess is correct, you haven’t merely become a Pure Yang True Immortal; you made a breakthrough in heartforce as well,” the Seven Planets God sent.
“Yes.” Ning admitted to it.
When he unleashed his full power and tied down a Daofather golem with just his Heaven Punisher, he knew that any of the truly experienced experts of the Three Realms would most likely be able to guess at what had happened. For the sake of achieving victory in the Realmwar, and for the sake of wiping out as much of the Seamless Gate’s forces as he could, Ning didn’t mind revealing his true power.
The only thing that mattered was making sure that the outcome of his reveal was worth it.
This was an outcome that was completely worth it!
“So many of the Seamless Gate have died.” The Seven Planets God stood next to him, staring at the rivers of Immortal and Fiendgod blood that stained the vast wilderness. Countless corpses and magic treasures littered the ground. He couldn’t help but let out a sigh.
“Not enough,” Ning replied calmly. He watched as the armies of the Crimsonbright Realm tidied up the battlefield, collecting the many spoils of war. When their foes had fled, the Crimsonbright Realm’s forces had naturally been completely focused on pursuing them, hoping to make their victory even more overwhelming. They hadn’t had a chance to pick up the magic treasures that had been left behind by the slaughtered Immortals.
“Withdraw!” After a long period of time, Daofather Crimsonbright’s voice rang out, echoing throughout the battlefield.
“Time to go back.”
“Let’s go back.”
“That was excellent.”
Filled with laughter and joy, the forces of the Crimsonbright Realm rejoiced as the entire army escorted Ning’s Heaven Punisher and the Seven Planets God back to the Eight Dragons Cloudcity.
While the Crimsonbright Realm’s forces were jubilant, the Seamless City was filled with a deathly silence. The aura here was both heavy and incredibly oppressive.
Too many of them had died.
“This really was…”
All three of the Diremonster Gods of Mount Dragoneater were perfectly fine, but four of the six Diremonster Gods of Mount Tonglian had been slain. As for the Nine Cloudmist Fairies, only the youngest Ninth Fairy had survived; the other eight had all died. Even True Immortal Whitepole, Empyrean God Threesuns, Empyrean God Beastleave, the Cavemaster of the Myriad Demons Cave, and the Hallmaster of Bloodcloud Hall had perished on the battlefield. Only Gatemaster Azurefox, who was skilled in escape techniques, had been lucky enough to survive.
Including Sword Immortal Evergreen, the total number of surviving Empyrean Gods and True Immortals on their side…was merely eleven!
The few lucky survivors felt only two emotions; joy for having survived, and grief for their losses.
The main hall of the Seamless City. The surviving Empyrean Gods and True Immortals were all gathered here. All of them were silent.
Daofather Ink Bamboo stared downwards towards them. His gaze lingered on Sword Immortal Evergreen for a moment, a cold light flashing through his eyes, before he said in a calm voice, “We have lost this Realmwar!”
The mood of the room became even heavier than before.
“However…there are always victories and defeats in war. There have been multiple previous Realmwars. We’ve won some of them, and we’ve also completely shattered their forces and massacred them.” Daofather Ink Bamboo continued calmly, “This was merely one war in one of the many areas of the Three Realms. Since you all survived, you all have your own special abilities. In the future, our Seamless Gate shall continue to battle against the Nuwa Alliance. We’ll need you to continue to go to war for us.”
“Yes!” Sword Immortal Evergreen was the first to assent to this, and he did so hurriedly.
The other Empyrean Gods and True Immortals assented as well…and as they did, they couldn’t help but glance sideways in a disdainful manner towards him.
“Evergreen.” Daofather Ink Bamboo looked towards Sword Immortal Evergreen. He said coldly, “This time…you have truly disappointed me. Forget about ‘defeating both Ji Ning and Redsnow’; Ji Ning by himself was enough to stun you.”
Sweat appeared on Sword Immortal Evergreen’s forehead. He understood that their losses in this Realmwar had been utterly catastrophic. He naturally had to shoulder blame for it. He immediately fell to his knees, then said respectfully, “Evergreen disappointed you, Daofather. Ji Ning’s power truly was far beyond my expectations, which is why I ended up in such dire straits. Don’t worry, Daofather; Evergreen shall definitely work hard to gain further insights and grow in strength, so as to be able to better unleash the power of the Daofather golem. Next time, I shall definitely slay Ji Ning.”
“No need.” Daofather Ink Bamboo shook his head. “The major powers have already issued an order. You are no longer required to control the Daofather golem.”
Sword Immortal Evergreen’s face instantly turned white. His control over the Daofather golem gave him a status which was slightly higher than that of even the three Diremonster Gods of Mount Dragoneater. Without it, he was much weaker than them. In addition, if he had the Daofather golem with him throughout this great storm, his chances of survival would be thousands of times greater. After all, unless a Daofather personally intervened, it was almost impossible to kill him when he was hiding within the Daofather golem.
Thus, Sword Immortal Evergreen cared tremendously about this Daofather golem. Ever since he had been assigned it, he had made up his mind to keep perpetual control over it.
Sword Immortal Evergreen was unwilling to just give up. He said frantically, “Daofather, I simply didn’t have enough time. If you give me some more time, I’ll definitely be able to unleash more power from the-”
“Enough!” Daofather Ink Bamboo snapped.
Sword Immortal Evergreen shut his eyes. He respectfully kowtowed, pressing his forehead down to the ground and saying nothing else.
“Quietly focus on your training and your meditations. The Godking and I both view you with great favor. If you can become a Daofather, you shall command far more power than you would with the Daofather golem,” Daofather Ink Bamboo said.
“Understood,” Sword Immortal Evergreen said respectfully.
Daofather Ink Bamboo nodded, then turned to look towards the three Diremonster Gods of Mount Dragoneater. In a noticeably more pleasant manner, he said, “Skyswallower, the three of you should make the arrangements for this Seamless City to leave the Grand Xia and return to the Fifth World.”
“Understood,” the three Diremonster Gods said respectfully.
Sword Immortal Evergreen, seeing this, couldn’t help but secretly feel regret and hatred.
In the midst of a great tribulation like this, the more powerful one was, the higher one’s status would be. Even the Daofathers were not immune to this.
“It’s all due to that damnable Ji Ning. If it hadn’t been for him, I would’ve slaughtered that Seven Planets God, then led the army of the Seamless Gate in eradicating the army of the Crimsonbright Realm.” Sword Immortal Evergreen’s heart was filled with endless hatred. “Just wait. I, Evergreen, will definitely train to become even more powerful, until the day comes when I kill you. And you three of Mount Dragoneater…I’ll make you all kneel down to lick at my feet. Daofather Ink Bamboo? Hmph…you are nothing more than an extremely ordinary Daofather. Once I become a Daofather, even you shall have to bow your head before me!”
Evergreen had extremely great ambitions. He was completely different from Yu Wei.
Yu Wei and many others had become loyal followers of the Godking long ago, then had been seeded across the various major worlds of the Three Realms in an unorganized manner. They were allowed to develop without interference, and so the Nuwa Alliance had naturally found it very hard to identify them.
Evergreen, however, had long ago become the disciple of Daofather Crimsonbright. He truly did belong to the Nuwa Alliance. However, despite his painstaking efforts at training, he found it difficult to advance any further. Daofather Crimsonbright’s abilities as a teacher were comparatively limited, but Evergreen truly desired to grow more powerful…and this desire caused him to become seduced by the seamless Gate. The Godking was the sole disciple of the most powerful member of the Seamless Gate, their ‘king’. The ‘king’, even after having become merged into the Heavenly Daos, had continued to teach the Godking; naturally, his tutelage was extraordinary.
The Godking had used the exact same method to teach his own disciples as well, and so he was quite formidable in this regard.
Evergreen had been seduced by him. The Godking had transmitted some formidable techniques to him in the dreamworld, and had even personally expounded on the Dao to him. But of course, Evergreen had to pay a price as well. The price was…to leave the Nuwa Alliance and join the Seamless Gate!
“Nuwa Alliance? Who gives a damn about alliances? My personal power is what really matters!” Evergreen hadn’t even hesitated before immediately joining the Godking.
His focus on the Dao truly was quite frenzied.
Even Daofather Crimsonbright had noticed how single-minded he was in pursuing the Dao. Daofather Crimsonbright had even believed that Evergreen was his subordinate with the highest chance of becoming a Daofather! But what Crimsonbright didn’t understand…was that Evergreen’s ambitions were simply too wild and untamed. He had an almost fanatical, demon-like obsession towards advancing in the Dao, and it was this obsession which led to him joining the Seamless Gate.
As far as Evergreen was concerned, neither the Nuwa Alliance nor the Seamless Gate mattered.
He himself was the only person that mattered. His heart was filled with an extremely strong desire…that one day, he would become like Mother Nuwa, the most powerful figure of the Three Realms.
“By then…the Nuwa Alliance and the Seamless Gate will be like nothing more than dogshit before me. I, and I alone, shall reign supreme.” However, Sword Immortal Evergreen kept his great ambitions hidden within his heart because they were simply too wild. Still…he continue to pursue them, never questioning or abandoning them.
An enormous rift appeared within the skies, and the now-miniaturized Seamless City flew straight into the giant rift, disappearing from the world.
Ning was alone atop the walls of the Eight Dragons Cloudcity. Turning his head, he looked towards the lively Crimsonbright camps. Because of their great victory, the tens of millions of Immortals and Fiendgods within the city were all celebrating.
“Ji Ning.” A figure walked towards him from afar. It was the black-robed Xia Emperor.
“Imperial Majesty,” Ning replied.
“You can just call me Xiamang,” the Xia Emperor said with a smile. “In terms of status and influence, you aren’t much lower than me. I might be thick-skinned enough to accept you addressing me as ‘Imperial Majesty’, but the other Empyrean Gods and True Immortals will undoubtedly curse me as being shameless.”
Ning nodded gently.
“Everyone is very happy. The war is over. They’ve survived…and they’ve killed countless Immortals and Fiendgods of the Seamless Gate. You should go celebrate with them,” the Xia Emperor said.
“No need.” Ning gently shook his head.
The Xia Emperor didn’t try to persuade him. He could sense that ever since Yu Wei’s betrayal, Ji Ning’s temperament and personality had changed. The Xia Emperor understood that her betrayal truly had been a huge blow to Ji Ning.
“Right. With the Realmwar over, the soldiers shall begin to return to their respective major worlds. The Immortals of our Grand Xia shall return with me to the imperial capital,” the Xia Emperor said. “All of our Immortals and Fiendgods shall remain in the imperial capital. That way, they can easily join together to fight against the Seamless Gate as needed. I imagine that after Azurefox’s Seamless Gate suffered such heavy losses, they probably won’t be able to infiltrate us that easily again.”
“What about you? Come to the imperial capital with us,” the Xia Emperor said.
Of course he wanted Ji Ning to be in the imperial capital. The Seven Planets God moved in lockstep with Ji Ning, which meant that Ji Ning represented a combat force consisting of a perfect Heaven Punisher and the Seven Planets God. This was equivalent to nearly half the total combat power of the entire Crimsonbright Realm!
“No, I need to undergo my Empyrean Tribulation.” Ning shook his head. “Other places are not going to be safe. The Seamless Gate will undoubtedly attempt to disrupt my tribulation, no matter where I go. The only place for me is my master’s place.”
“Undergo the Empyrean Tribulation?” The Xia Emperor laughed and said, “Haha, yes, it is indeed time for it.”
The Xia Emperor was in quite the celebratory mood.
He felt quite fortunate that he had chosen to treat Ji Ning so kindly all this time, especially in the dispute between him and the Youngflame clan. He had stood by Ji Ning’s side the entire time, and had even personally intervened to rescue Ji Ning. These were all debts of gratitude that Ji Ning owed him! They were in the midst of a deadly storm. If he was to ask Ji Ning to help at a critical moment, how could Ji Ning possibly just watch with hands folded behind his back?
“Ji Ning, in this war, you, Redsnow, and the rest of the seven have rendered tremendous military merits, and we killed countless members of the Seamless Gate at the end when they fled.” Daofather Crimsonbright was giving a personal audience to Ji Ning, Redsnow, and the rest of the seven Empyrean Gods. He urged them, “We’ve acquired so many treasures, and you deserve them. Why don’t you want them?”
Ning shook his head. “I don’t need them.”
He truly didn’t need them. He had already acquired enough from this war…and after he became the true master of the Starseizing Manor, he really wouldn’t care about such a petty amount of treasures.
“Haha…I know that you are going to undergo your Empyrean Tribulation soon.” Daofather Crimsonbright said with a laugh, “After you become an Empyrean God, you’ll be able to train the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] to the Ninth Cycle. I imagine you’ll need quite a few Daofather-level Immortal pills! Forget about the treasures, then; I guarantee that I’ll cover all of the pills you’ll need to train to the Ninth Cycle of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art]. However, I’ll need a bit of time to prepare it all. After you complete your Empyrean Tribulation, I’ll send them over.”
“But…” Ning was stunned.
This was a tremendous gift. Although they had gained many treasures from this war, the value of all of them combined probably still wouldn’t be enough for him to train to the Ninth Cycle of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art].
“Just accept it, disciple. You’ve helped out Crimsonbright quite a bit this time. You can accept it with a calm mind.” An old man with a white beard suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
“Master.” Upon seeing him, Ning immediately called out to him respectfully.
“Even your master agrees. Just accept this small gift of mine.” Daofather Crimsonbright did indeed feel grateful towards Ji Ning. He had also learned from Subhuti that Ji Ning was the successor to Daoist Threelives’ legacy, and that the seven Empyrean Gods would follow Ji Ning. If it hadn’t been for Ji Ning and the seven of them, he would’ve lost this war long ago.
If he lost the war…his losses would be catastrophic and agonizing. Compared to that? Although some Great Firmament Immortal pills were precious and rare, as a True God who had been born from the primordial chaos itself, he was still capable of giving them to Ning.
“Alright.” Ning no longer refused.
“You’ve finished your arrangements, I imagine.” Subhuti looked towards Ning. “If you have, then come back with me to Mount Innerheart and prepare for the Empyrean Tribulation.”
“I’ve made all my arrangements. I can leave at any moment,” Ning said respectfully.
He had already bid farewell to his master, Immortal Diancai, and had also bid farewell to his dear friends such as Unity and Allbeasts. Immortal Diancai, Unity, Allbeasts, Whacko…they cared deeply about Ji Ning and didn’t want him to leave, but they understood that the safest place for his tribulation would be Mount Innerheart. That was a place which even other Daofathers would find difficult to enter.
Ning didn’t have the authority to invite Unity and the others to Mount Innerheart. His only choice was to bid them farewell. Immortal Diancai and the others all followed the Xia Emperor back to the imperial capital, where they would be stationed! It wouldn’t be too hard to meet with them in the future.
“Since you’ve completed your preparations, let us go. Crimsonbright, hurry up and prepare those Great Firmament Immortal pills. Once you’ve collected them, just let me know and I’ll come pick them up.” As Subhuti spoke, he waved his hand.
A dark gray spatial whirlpool suddenly appeared within the palace. Subhuti led Ji Ning and the seven Empyrean Gods straight into the spatial whirlpool.
“It seems he is about to undergo the Empyrean Tribulation right away. I need to start gathering the pills right away as well.” Daofather Crimsonbright hurriedly began to stroke his beard as he pondered this issue. Since he’d already boasted that he would cover all the pills, he had to be able to back it up. “I need to pay a visit to Daoist Three Purities. He has the most Immortal pills. I’ll go trade some treasures for them.”
Daofather Crimsonbright continued to stroke his beard. He was in an utterly delightful mood. This Realmwar…he had won it!