The black loop seemed quite ordinary, but as Xiangliu Fang struck out with his massive, dark, cloud-like hand, with those giant, serpentine fingers… the black loop actually passed straight through it. The giant Fiendgod’s hand wasn’t harmed at all; it was as though the black loop was composed of a different type of force, as though it was illusory. It passed straight through.
“What’s this?” Xiangliu Fang was completely flabbergasted.
“Kill him.” Youngflame Nong’s eyes were filled with a murderous intent as well, but then… he too stared in amazement at the black loop which had appeared.
A seemingly ordinary black loop, but it caused both Youngflame Nong and Xiangliu Fang to feel nervousness, because they had no idea what sort of a treasure it was.
One of them was an ancient Fiendgod with vast experience. The other was all-but-guaranteed to be the next Godplume Duke, who similarly had seen many things. The two of them had seen countless treasures… but they had never seen a treasure like this before. In fact, they couldn’t even tell what it was.
“This black loop easily passed through Xiangliu Fang’s massive, Fiendgod hand… and didn’t injure it in the slightest?” Mu Northson was completely awestruck as well.
It was like an ordinary person being ‘struck’ by a ghost; the ghost would pass straight through the person. When Xiangliu Fang and the sphere collided, the sphere shot straight through him. But Xiangliu Fang, as a Fiendgod, had an incredibly powerful level of divine power; if it had been a ghost or something like a ghost, it would have been shattered.
“What queer thing is this?” NInelotus was amazed as well. She came from the Dongyan clan, but had never heard of such a treasure.
“Eh?” Adept Vastriver had long ago awakened fragments of his former memories, but he felt puzzled as well.
Yu Wei originally had a look of puzzlement, but then she revealed a look of astonishment. “Can this be… how can it…”
The black loop flew into the air directly above Youngflame Nong and Xiangliu Fang, and as it did, it suddenly emanated a soft, hazy glow, causing it to appear dreamlike and illusory.
“Shatter,” Xiangliu Fang howled angrily. A long awl appeared in his hand, filled with a boundless, savage aura, and Xiangliu Fang stabbed the black loop viciously with his awl.
“Protect me.” Youngflame Nong also felt that this black loop was extremely bizarre. He had already taken out that leaf-like Dao-seal earlier, in order to protect against the black-armored golem’s sudden ambush if necessary. He now shattered it right away. Instantly, a hazy golden aura covered him with a tight defensive aura. “This would be able to withstand for a few moments against even a full-strength attack from a Loose Immortal.”
Xiangliu Fang’s ferocious stab… missed. It was as though the black loop didn’t exist at all; or perhaps, it existed on a completely different plane.
The black loop continued to emanate that hazy light. Suddenly, an invisible, devouring ripple swept out.
Youngflame Nong and Xiangliu Fang’s faces both changed dramatically. They could both sense that invisible devouring force… and it was aimed directly at their souls.
“AHH!! NO---!” Youngflame Nong’s face turned incomparably savage and terrified. He let out a hideous howl… and then, his soul left his body. Twisting and distorting, it was forcibly drawn into that black loop.
Youngflame Nong was a peak Wanxiang Adept, and ever since he was young, he had access to an extremely high level visualization technique; his soul was comparable to a Primal Daoist’s by now, and so naturally it could almost take physical form. Ning and everyone else personally witnessed his twisting, distorting soul howl in anguish as it was drawn into the black loop.
“What sort of treasure is this? How can it absorb my soul? How can… how can… how can this be my end? How could I have died to this Ji Ning? Is my soul about to be destroyed? Ji Ning, Ji Ning, spare me, spare me!” Youngflame Nong’s soul let out a soundless screech, continuing to twist and distort as it was drawn deeper and deeper within.
“I, I…” Xiangliu Fang was struggling in a berserk manner. And yet… his powerful Fiendgod’s soul was still being forcibly ripped out from his Fiendgod body. As a Primal-level Fiendgod who was capable of creating a clone of himself, it was clear that his soul had long ago completely merged with his Fiendgod body, fusing into one. And yet, it was still being forcibly ripped out right now.
It was an enormous soul, and it was letting out earth-shaking bellows that shook the entire hall… but it, too, was being drawn into the black loop.
And so, just like that…
Youngflame Nong and Xiangliu Fang, despite their protective treasures or powerful divine bodies… had their souls forcibly devoured by this terrifying, bizarre treasure.
Crack. The black loop let out a clear sound, like a piece of ice breaking. Instantly, it shattered apart, dissipating and melting in midair, leaving nothing behind at all. Even Youngflame Nong and Xiangliu Fang’s souls had completely vanished.
Youngflame Nong’s body remained standing there for a moment, eyes completely blank, and then his body slumped gently to the ground. The mighty Xiangliu Fang remained standing for a moment as well, but then he too collapsed to the ground, no longer breathing. This ancient Fiendgod, who had been born in the Fiendgod Era, then been enslaved by the Youngflame clan… finally died on this day.
“Youngflame Nong and Xiangliu Fang just… just… just died, like that?” Northson stared with huge eyes. He cleared his throat repeatedly, completely awestruck.
“Dead. This… this…” Adept Vastriver was completely awestruck as well.
Ninelotus and Yu Wei both looked at the two collapsed, lifeless figures as well; one master, the other a servant. They felt as though they were in a dream.
Xiangliu Fang had been so powerful! He was an ancient Fiendgod! As for Youngflame Nong, his background and status were both mighty as well; earlier, when dealing with the monstrous Dao-soldiers, he had taken out the likes of the ‘Lock’ scroll and the ‘Polaris Starshifter’ treasure. They had watched him do this and had realized how truly extraordinary the next Godplume Duke truly was, and how many protective items he had. But the end result? They had both died.
Ji Ning, who had been knocked flying backwards and had vomited out blood, revealed a look of astonishment as well. He had never imagined that the black loop would be this powerful.
When he had originally selected the black loop, the giant yellow bear had said to him, “Ji Ning, to tell the truth, I originally didn’t want to give you this treasure. However, after you grow more powerful, it will no longer be of much use to you, as by the time you become a Primal, you’ll be able to carry around this underwater estate with you. The Wanxiang Adept period… this is the period in an Immortal cultivator’s life when he is most susceptible to dying. This treasure was personally forged by my master; although he did so casually, it is more than enough to keep you alive. You can consider it a second life… but it can only protect you once.”
“A treasure personally forged by Daoist Threelives… even though he made it in a casual way, it was simplicity itself for it to devour the souls of a Primal Fiendgod and a Wanxiang-level noble of a major clan.” Ning couldn’t help but sigh in astonishment to himself.
He only knew that this black loop was meant for the sole purpose of drawing in and eradicating souls… but up till now, he had no idea how powerful it was.
Ning was only amazed for a second. In the next instant, however, he understood that he had embarked on a path of no return.
Actually, ever since Youngflame Nong had determined that Ning was a descendant of the Yuchi clan and moved to kill him, Ning had already embarked on a path of no return. Either he would be killed by Youngflame Nong, or he would kill Youngflame Nong. These were his only two options! But by killing Youngflame Nong, someone who was virtually guaranteed to be the next Godplume Duke, and whose background was incredibly astonishing…
Youngflame Nong’s status within his clan was similar to Ning’s former status in the Ji clan of West Prefecture City; Ning had both the Lord Prefect and his own father supporting him. For it to be all but determined that Youngflame Nong would be the next Godplume Duke meant that he definitely had an incredibly powerful figure supporting him as well!
Youngflame Nong had died. If only for emotional reasons alone, that powerful figure would come to seek revenge! Aside from saving face for the Youngflame clan, revenge for Youngflame Nong would also be an important reason!
“Hahaha…” Ning actually began to laugh loudly. With a wave of his hand, he sent out a streak of earthfire, which burnt the corpse of Xue Hongyi to ash. He then collected the magic treasures which Xue Hongyi had left behind. Xue Hongyi had that Immortal-ranked magic treasure; naturally, since Ning was about to flee for his life, he would want to carry as many treasures with him as possible.
With a single step, Ning moved to Youngflame Nong and the Fiendgod Xiangliu Fang’s corpses. A streak of earthfire burned Youngflame Nong’s corpses to gray ash, but the earthfire was completely unable to damage Xiangliu Fang’s Fiendgod body at all. This caused Ning to frown.
“Come in here.” He simply stored the entire Fiendgod body into his storage-type magic treasure. Then, with a wave of his hand, Ning collected the key to the Immortal estate.
Ning quickly began to bind it. The key to the Immortal estate was merely a talisman; binding it was quite simple.
The nearby Northson, Yu Wei, Ninelotus, and Adept Vastriver just watched as Ning burned the corpses of Xue Hongyi and Youngflame Nong, then took away all their magic treasures. All of them were still in a state of shock.
“Senior apprentice-brother, you, you… you killed Youngflame Nong?” Northson’s mouth flapped open a few times. He was still speechless.
More than ten or so Zifu Disciples were still alive. They all watched Ning intently, especially those two female Zifu-level maidservants who served Youngflame Nong.
Ning’s gaze flickered past them. Suddenly, the air was filled with sword-ki, which howled downwards, instantly killing all of the Deathsworn.
“If the Deathsworn remain alive, they would only reveal everything which happened here.” Ning knew very well that these Deathsworn were completely loyal to Youngflame Nong. They had watched everything happen; once the Youngflame clan found these Deathsworn, everything would have been exposed.
“Ji Ning.” Ninelotus had a look of panic on her face. Tears actually began to appear. “How could you have killed Youngflame Nong. This… next… this… the Youngflame clan is definitely going to pursue and kill you. There’s no way… no way to stop the Youngflame clan. He was one of the Four Dukelings of the imperial capital of the Grand Xia Dynasty. He was extremely famous… for the sake of their reputation alone, the Youngflame clan would spare no expense in pursuing and killing you.”
Ning looked towards Ninelotus. “I had no choice. I only had two options; to let him kill me, or to kill him! Either he died or I died. What should I have done?”
Ninelotus was so frantic, she began to cry. Previously, she had been trying her best to prevent hatred from developing between Ning and Youngflame Nong, but in the end… the result was even worse than what she had feared. Youngflame Nong, the exalted heir-presumptive to the position of Godplume Duke of the Youngflame clan… had died.
“No need to panic,” Ning said with cold calmness. “I killed Youngflame Nong, but I trust that none of you will voluntarily report me. There’s no way the Youngflame clan would be able to ascertain, within such a short period of time, who the killer was. They will need to spend time to investigate. I’ll immediately send you all out of this Immortal estate. By then, you can return to your own homes, to the Dongyan clan and to the Black-White College of Stillwater City. Nothing which happened here had anything to do with you. I was the killer; the Youngflame clan won’t act against the rest of you. But by the time they’ve fully investigated this matter, I’ll have already arranged an escape plan and executed it.”
“Junior apprentice-brother Ji Ning, you are wrong.” Yu Wei was frantic and restless as well, and she said hurriedly, “According to legends, some extremely powerful figures, such as Celestial Immortals, are completely capable of causing a temporal inversion, resulting in scenes from the past being replayed in the present. From this, they can discover right away that you were the culprit.”
Ning instantly felt his heart clench.