Book 20, Jindan Upgrade, Chapter 24 – Kilostar Island
The gray-robed figure instantly felt puzzled. “Who is he? I know all the Empyrean Gods on Kilostar Island. Hell, I know most of the Empyrean Gods of the entire Three Realms. But this white-robed youth…” Although quite puzzled, he knew that here in Undermoon Lake, there were only two possible reasons for Empyrean Gods to be here.
The first was they had fought a path through the challenges. The second was that they had followed someone who did.
“He’s new. Does this mean…he just made it through Demon Icepass?” The gray-robed man felt shock in his heart. He watched as Ji Ning sat there meditatively, not daring to disturb him.
He waited for a total of twelve days.
Finally, Ning opened his eyes. All of the scattered insights he had gained over the course of a century had been unified, and his understanding of the sword had risen once more. In fact, Ning was able to vaguely sense a bit of what complete mastery of the [Five Treasures] should look like. However, he always felt as though he was a bit off, as though he was searching for flowers within a great fog. He was unable to truly understand and fully master the entire [Five Treasures].
“I’m still a bit off.” Ning sighed to himself. “If I could advance a bit more and fully understand the [Five Treasures], thus gaining full mastery over a sword-art that surpasses the limits of the Heavenly Daos…I’d probably be able to leave Undermoon Lake.”
The complete [Five Treasures] was something which even True Gods and Daofathers would find desirable. But alas, the price of learning this consummate sword-art was simply too high; learning it meant forgetting all insights into all other Daos. Very, very few major powers were willing to pay such a price…and few of the ones who might be willing had true talent for the Dao of the Sword.
Ning’s talent for the sword, however, was indeed quite high. Lu Dongbin and Daofather Subhuti had judged him correctly when they had named him a born Sword Immortal.
“Chunyi greets you, fellow Daoist.” The gray-robed man appeared next to him with a smile.
“Empyrean God Chunyi?” Ning laughed. “I am Darknorth. I’ve heard of your illustrious reputation long ago.”
Empyrean God Chunyi’s real name was Li Chunyi. He, too, was an Empyrean God who had risen to prominence during the era of the Three Realms. However, he eventually vanished, with no one knowing where he had gone. Ning had memorized all of the ‘missing’ Empyrean Gods like him, and in his visit to Undermoon Lake he had already seen five of the Empyrean Gods who had gone ‘missing’ from the Three Realms.
Not every Empyrean God would announce their entry into Undermoon Lake, after all.
“Empyrean God Darknorth,” Li Chunyi said, “I’ve never seen you on Kilostar Island before. Can it be that you just made it past Demon Icepass?”
“Yes.” Ning nodded.
“Admirable, admirable!” Li Chunyi’s eyes shone, and he immediately seemed much friendlier. “You need to battle for a hundred years to make it past Demon Icepass, an extremely dangerous affair, especially when that demon king assaults you alongside countless lesser demons. The slightest bit of carelessness can lead to instant death. Even if one is strong enough to survive for a hundred years, it’s still hard to gain the demon king’s approval. Kilostar Island…over the course of countless years, only a total of nine Empyrean Gods have been able to make it here on their own power, and that’s including you, Empyrean God Darknorth.”
“Just nine in total?” Ning asked, “How many of them are currently on the island?”
“Previously, there were three. With your arrival, fellow Daoist Darknoth, there are now four,” Li Chunyi said. “It’s been countless years, but only Reverend Jueming was able to leave this island. Four of them have died as well.”
Upon saying the word ‘died’, Li Chunyi hesitated a moment, then said, “Fellow Daoist Darknorth, there’s something I should tell you. Of the four Empyrean Gods who died, three of them died when attempting to advance through the wooden bridge, as they were too weak to succeed. One, however…died here on the island itself.”
“Died on Kilostar Island?” Ning was puzzled. “Prior to this, I chatted with the demon king for a bit. I heard that the forces of Undermoon Lake won’t launch any attacks on Kilostar Island. How could someone have died?”
“…Empyrean God Greatdream was the killer,” Li Chunyi said in a low voice.
“Empyrean God Greatdream?” Ning’s eyes narrowed.
Empyrean God Greatdream. Of course Ning had heard of this person. One of the Empyrean Gods who had gone ‘missing’ but actually entered Undermoon Lake was Greatdream. The reason why Greatdream had given himself the sobriquet of ‘Greatdream’ was because he was the personal disciple of the Seamless Gate’s Godking! The Godking was extremely harsh and cruel when training disciples, and Greatdream was filled with tremendous ambitions. Upon hearing that Jueming had become a Buddha, he had made up his mind to enter Undermoon Lake.
“Right now, the ones on the island who made it here under their own power are Empyrean God Greatdream, Empyrean God Sealthroat, and Empyrean God Sin,” Li Chunyi said solemnly.
“Empyrean God Greatdream belongs to the Seamless Gate, while Empyrean Gods Sealthroat and Sin belong to our Pangu Chaosworld. Logically speaking, since the Seamless Gate has joined the Three Realms long ago, they should be peaceful to us. And indeed, after Empyrean God Greatdream entered Undermoon Lake, he’s worked to befriend all of the Empyrean Gods here. He constantly worked hard to improve himself, spending ten million years to make it to Kilostar Island.”
Li Chunyi said solemnly, “Back then, there were four who made it to Kilostar Island on their own; Empyrean God Greatdream, Empyrean God Sealthroat, Empyrean God Sin, and Empyrean God Ninedawn. The others here had all given up and been carried here.”
“Empyrean God Greatdream continued to befriend everyone, and he became particularly friendly with Empyrean God Ninedawn. But who would’ve thought that Empyrean God Greatdream was actually such an insidious person…”
“He caught Empyrean God Ninedawn completely offguard with a sudden attack and killed him.”
Li Chunyi shook his head and sighed. “Back then, Empyrean God Ninedawn was actually the strongest of the four, and he had the best chance of making it out. But just like that, he died by the hands of a despicable, petty man like Empyrean God Greatdream. The sneak-attack caused a huge disturbance and we all immediately hastened towards the two, but we were too late…just one step too late. Both Empyrean God Sin and Empyrean God Sealthroat were utterly enraged and they sought to slay Empyrean God Greatdream, but he continually hides within his Immortal palace. In addition, a large number of Empyrean Gods are following and protecting him.”
“He actually attacked his own friend?” Ning found this unbelievable. “But why? Did Empyrean God Ninedawn do something to him?”
Ning was beginning to feel fury in his heart as well…because Empyrean God Ninedawn was actually one of the primordial humans!
The primordial humans numbered a tribe known as the ‘Dawnsun clan’ amongst their ranks. The nine most powerful Empyrean Gods of this clan were named based on age as Onedawn, Twodawn, Threedawn…all the way through Ninedawn. These were humans who had followed Suiren in his earliest campaigns, and Ning had always felt tremendous admiration for these primordial human Empyrean Gods.
Who would’ve thought that one would die to Empyrean God Greatdream of the Seamless Gate…and due to a sneak attack at that!
“Others are still willing to follow Empyrean God Greatdream despite what he did?” Ning asked.
“His followers are all members of the Seamless Gate,” Li Chunyi said. “He publicly proclaimed that during the war that destroyed the Primordial Era, many of his beloved friends and brothers had been slain by Ninedawn, and so his heart has always been filled with endless amounts of hatred and rage. Although some of the the other members of the Seamless Gate didn’t approve of his actions, they belong to the same side, after all. When Empyrean Gods Sealthroat and Sin led their armies to attack Empyrean God Greatdream, the Empyrean Gods of the Seamless Gate still chose to stand on Greatdream’s side. They couldn’t just stand there and watch him be killed.”
“Come. Let me guide you to meet Empyrean God Sin and Empyrean God Sealthroat,” Li Chunyi said.
Soon, they arrived at a palace where many Empyrean Gods were gathered. Surrounding this palace was a number of Immortal estates as well.
“Ahaha, it’s quite lively here!”
“So many Empyrean Gods!”
“Seven Dragon Gods! You made it!”
“Elder brother Feiyou.”
More than a hundred Empyrean Gods came out to welcome Ning and his followers. Ning was accompanied by an amazing number of followers, and when Li Chunyi saw all of them emerge, he was badly shocked as well. He had guessed that Ning must’ve brought some followers with him, but he never would’ve thought that Ning would bring this many. Since everyone Ning brought was of the Nuwa Alliance, they were naturally quite welcome in this place, and in fact many of the people in the palace all knew the newcomers. Some were extremely close friends!
A long while later.
At the top of a mountain peak, three figures sat down to drink wine and chat. These three were three of the four primary Empyrean Gods of Kilostar Island…Empyrean God Darknorth, Empyrean God Sealthroat, and Empyrean God Sin.
“Those are all magic treasures the various Empyrean Gods brought with them.” Empyrean God Sealthroat was a callous-looking silver-haired youth, and he pointed at the distant Immortal estates around the palace. “That vile miscreant Greatdream’s murder of Ninedawn caused an enormous outcry throughout all of Kilostar Island. Everyone was worried about being ambushed, and so when they cultivate they will normally retreat into their own Immortal estates. Within those estates, others can’t easily enter, and so things are much safer.”
“Damn that Greatdream.” Empyrean God Sin clenched his winecup, a murderous look in his eyes.
“Darknorth, you must be careful.” Empyrean God Sin said in a low voice, “Sealthroat and I have tussled with Greatdream quite a few times in recent years, and we understand him quite well. Greatdream publicly proclaims that he killed Ninedawn out of hatred, but based on what Sealthroat and I have discovered…he’s simply an incredibly self-centered, narrowminded person. Ninedawn had the best chance of us all of leaving Undermoon Lake, which is why he befriended then murdered him.”
“He’ll kill whoever has a good chance of leaving,” Empyrean God Sealthroat said solemnly. “In fact, he even tried to kill me.”
“That’s because you are a fool.” Empyrean God Sin snickered. “He murdered Ninedawn, but you wanted to give him a second chance?”
“I just wanted to get a clear look at his true nature,” Empyrean God Sealthroat said with a sigh.
“And I imagine you did.” Empyrean God Sin snickered again.
“Darknorth, the demon king said that of those who have come after Reverend Jueming, you stand the highest chance of leaving Undermoon Lake, correct?” Empyrean God Sealthroat looked at Ning.
Ning nodded. When he had ‘released’ the many Empyrean Gods he had been carrying, some of them naturally began to talk about him to their old friends. Feiyou and the others had actually asked Ning for permission to talk about him, and Ning had given it as he had felt that there was nothing to hide. Thus, Feiyou and the others had naturally bragged and boasted quite a bit about Ning, allowing the other Empyrean Gods here to learn a bit more about him.
“You stand a high chance of leaving, and so it is very likely that Greatdream will act against you,” Empyrean God Sealthroat said. “Although he doesn’t know exactly how powerful you are yet, I imagine that he’ll hear of you in time. In fact, as more time passes, he’ll probably get a clear sense of how formidable you.”
“You have to be wary of him. He’s quite insidious and very powerful. He was very close to Ninedawn in power, and is a bit stronger than the two of us. Over the course of all these years, he’s continued to improve in power. Perhaps in the future, it’ll be possible for him to escape Undermoon Lake as well. You have to be on your guard against him,” Empyrean God Sealthroat warned repeatedly.
“Oh?” Ning’s eyes narrowed. “There’s something I haven’t told you yet.”
“What is it?” The two both looked towards Ning.
“A storm has already descended upon the Three Realms…” Ning told the tale to the two Empyrean Gods, and upon hearing it the two became both furious and frantic.
“I knew that the Seamless Gate was a pack of untamable savages. They all deserve to die!” Empyrean God Sin roared angrily.
“Is the situation outside really so grim?” Empyrean God Sealthroat was worried as well.
Ning said calmly, “Empyrean God Greatdream has slain senior Ninedawn, and there’s a chance that he might be able to escape Undermoon Lake. Once he does, he’ll become a threat to our side. In the future, he might make a breakthrough to become a Daofather.”
The other two nodded.
“I imagine you two also wish him dead, right?” Ning asked.
“I want him dead. Even in my dreams, I want him dead. Ninedawn was my dear brother; we battled together amongst the other primordial humans as our race rose to power. For him to die so unfairly…!” Empyrean God Sin ground his teeth. “But it’s useless. I know that you want to help us, Darknorth, but Empyrean God Greatdream is extremely cautious, and he has a large number of Empyrean Gods by his side as he hides himself within his Immortal estate. How are we supposed to kill him?”
“It’s true. Although you’ve brought a group of new Empyrean Gods, giving us an absolute advantage in numbers, they are hiding within their Immortal estate and relying on it to defend against us.” Empyrean God Sealthroat shook his head.
“How will we know if we don’t try?” Ning said calmly.
“You have an idea?” The other two grew excited. They had long ago been filled with the desire to kill the despicable Greatdream, but they didn’t have the chance.
“I’ll give it a try,” Ning said. “We can’t force things, though; we’ll have to use a softer method.”
“Darknorth, Greatdream isn’t easy to deal with. Don’t try to use a ‘soft’ method and end up losing your life to him,” Empyrean God Sin warned nervously. He was afraid that Ning would deliver himself up for slaughter.
“Don’t worry,” Ning said.
Prior to this conversation, Ning felt detestation towards Greatdream and would’ve killed him without hesitation if the opportunity came. However, he wouldn’t have gone out of his way to hunt Greatdream down! But upon hearing that Greatdream was very powerful and stood a good chance of escaping Undermoon Lake, a killing intent entered Ning’s heart. If Greatdream left and broke through to become a Daofather, he would become yet another powerful general for the Seamless Gate. Although it wasn’t guaranteed that he would become a Daofather after escaping, Ning wasn’t willing to take the risk.
The people trapped within Undermoon Lake were outside the confines of the Three Realms and so couldn’t sense the Heavenly Daos. Thus, their only choice was to work on other types of force, mastering the likes of taiji-force, infiniforce, thunderforce, and more.
However, upon leaving Undermoon Lake they would be able to once more sense the Heavenly Daos of the Three Realms. There truly was a good chance of breaking through to become a Daofather. Jueming, the only person to escape, had succeeded. Ning wasn’t willing to see the Seamless Gate gain a new major power, a ‘Daofather Greatdream’.
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