Kindwater Xiaolou, Skyfarmer Songspear, and the others were unable to even breathe. They were all in a state of shock.
“Xiaolou, whose this friend of yours?” The leader of the thirty-six Loose Immortals, a burly and muscular bearded man, spoke out.
“Uncle Fan, he is Ji Ning. I invited him here… but who would’ve thought that he’d suffer an attack from a Loose Immortal Deathsworn?” Xiaolou said.
“Ji Ning?” The bearded, burly ‘Uncle Fan’ immediately realized who Ning was, as did the group of Loose Immortals behind him. The death of Youngflame Nong wasn’t something everyone knew, but most of these Loose Immortals who were permanently stationed at Cloudwater Manor knew about this matter. They thus immediately guessed that it had been the Youngflame clan who had sent out the Loose Immortal Deathsworn. Instantly, these Immortals of the Kindwater clan began to feel a sense of delighted schadenfreude; the Kindwater clan had been mortal enemies with the Youngflame clan for countless eons now.
“My young friend Ji Ning.” Kindwater Sanfan looked at the black-robed Ning, then said with a loud laugh, “You truly are formidable. If my guess is correct, this Loose Immortal should have been Immortal Floatcloud. He’s a Loose Immortal who has lived for a hundred thousand years, but he actually died in your hands… and your Primaltwin should be at the peak Primal level, correct?”
“For a peak Primal to be able to kill a supreme Loose Immortal… you clearly are a level lower in terms of elemental ki, and you’ve only trained for thirty years, but… formidable, formidable.”
“That lotus technique truly broadened my horizons as well, and that sword formation technique was also quite impressive.”
The group of Loose Immortals of the Kindwater clan all laughed and praised Ning.
The reason why they praised him was not just because Ning truly had surprised them; more importantly, there was a huge grudge between Ning and the Youngflame clan! Since the Kindwater clan was mortal enemies against the Youngflame clan, they took a true liking towards Ning. The more impressive he was, the more of a threat he would be to the Youngflame clan, and the more they would like him.
“You praise me too much.” The black-robed Ning shook his head. “The only reason I won was because your combined powers, seniors, was far too strong. You caused the Bloodcoil Heavenlock Formation to nearly break down. Immortal Floatcloud knew that he had no more time left, and so he voluntarily gave up. Only thus could I kill him.”
In terms of power, Ning’s Primaltwin was actually only on par with Immortal Floatcloud. If they had been in a simple one-on-one fight, it would be hard to say who would be the winner.
But this was no simple battle; it was an assassination attempt! An assassination attempt in the Cloudwater Manor of the imperial capital of the Grand Xia! It had to be resolved quickly. As a Deathsworn, Immortal Floatcloud had already been forced to the brink from the very beginning. If he wasn’t able to kill Ning in a short moment, then he would have no choice but to welcome death in his despair.
Swoosh. Swoosh. The Whitewater Hound and Little Qing charged over to the black-robed Ning. Previously, the two had been seated alongside the Golden Imperials, drinking and eating with them. When Ning suffered the attack, not even the Golden Imperials had been able to protect him in time, much less the two of them.
The two had been frantic and nervous, and had been driven nearly to the point of insanity. They didn’t even dare to send soul messages, for fear that Ning would be distracted by them; after all, this was a life-and-death battle. If Ning was distracted and something untoward happened as a result, then it truly would be too late for regrets.
Fortunately! Fortunately, Ning had survived.
“You killed him, that’s all that matters.” Kindwater Sanfan shook his head, then laughed, “Your Primaltwin is at the peak Primal level; it is a full tier lower than Immortal Floatcloud in power. But in the end, Immortal Floatcloud wasn’t able to do anything to you. There’s nothing he can say about his loss, and your victory was a clean and fair one.”
Right at this moment, a powerful aura suddenly spread out from the air above them. This caused all the people present, including the Loose Immortals, Ning, Xiaolou, Songspear, and the others to all raise their heads to look. From the opened ceiling above them, a group of figures flew downwards, with the leader dressed in black armor and the rest dressed in silver armor. These were the Imperial Guards of the Grand Xia!
The leader, a black-armored youth, chortled, appearing to be quite relaxed and at ease. The silver-armored warriors behind him also seemed quite relaxed.
“Xiaolou, what’s going on in your Cloudwater Manor?” The black-armored youth laughed. “Just now, when the watchers of the Imperial Guard headquarters were scanning the entire imperial capital, they realized that thirty-six Loose Immortals had appeared in the air above Cloudwater Manor, and that they had all formed into the Kindwater Godsnake and flew into this building. Something happen?”
The Imperial Guards watched over the entire imperial capital, including the streets, the arenas, and the many Immortal estates. Once powerful ripples of battle were felt, the Imperial Guard would immediately hurry over.
However, places like the Heavenly Treasures Mountain or Cloudwater Manor would often have some gambling duels and battles; these locations had all applied for permission for these events from the Grand Xia Dynasty. That was why they were permitted to hold battles, ‘with conditions’. The so-called ‘battles with conditions’ were almost all gambling battles and duels.
Assassinations, however, were still absolutely forbidden.
When the Imperial Guard had first noticed the powerful ripples coming from Cloudwater Manor, they had thought that it was a fairly powerful betting duel going on. Only after seeing the thirty-six Loose Immortals form into the Kindwater Godsnake did they realize that something was wrong! Still, with so many experts protecting Cloudwater Manor, the Imperial Guard didn’t panic; one of the deputy commanders just grabbed a few people and casually sauntered over.
“It was an assassination,” Xiaolou laughed. “The Loose Immortal Deathsworn assassin should have been Immortal Floatcloud of the Youngflame clan. Brother Hong, although I say that it was Immortal Floatcloud, that’s just a guess.”
“Immortal Floatcloud of the Youngflame clan? Who was he assassinating?” The black-armored youth, Xiamang Hong, exclaimed in surprise.
Xiaolou pointed at Ning. “Look. Him right there.”
Xiamang Hong looked towards Ning with curiosity. “Him?” Xiamang Hong said, “The Youngflame clan sent a Deathsworn to assassinate you, but you remain alive?”
Ning was speechless. This man was excessively impolitic in his words; he actually said to the assassination target, ‘you remain alive’?! How was Ning even supposed to respond to that?
“Ji Ning, let me make the introductions,” Xiaolou said. “This is Deputy Commander Xiamang Hong of the Imperial Guard, and a good friend of mine.”
Ning instantly understood. Xiamang Hong? So he was of the imperial clan of the Grand Xia. Most likely, he was viewed with some degree of importance by the imperial clan; otherwise, Kindwater Xiaolou wouldn’t be so courteous to him.
“Brother Hong, this Ji Ning is a good friend of mine; when Immortal Floatcloud tried to assassinate him, he used the Bloodcoil Heavenlock Formation to seal the region off from outsiders, causing the many Immortals of my Cloudwater Manor to be unable to save Ji Ning in time. Fortunately, Ji Ning had a Primaltwin, and his Primaltwin should have been at the Primal Daoist level… and yet, he was able to actually kill Immortal Floatcloud. You tell me; is he amazing or not?” Xiaolou said.
“He’s that amazing?” Xiamang Hong’s eyes lit up. “Ji Ning? I know about you. You are the little Wanxiang Adept fellow who killed Youngflame Nong, right? I didn’t expect that you’d actually have a Primaltwin. If my memory serves, you’ve only trained for thirty years… and in thirty short years, you produced a Primaltwin that was able to kill Immortal Floatcloud, who was a full tier higher in power? Impressive, impressive. I, Xiamang Hong, deeply admire people of ability. I imagine that after this assassination attempt, you are a bit unsettled; in a few days, I’ll send someone to invite you over. I’ll put on a feast, and we can chat a bit. You have to give me this face, right?”
“I naturally will accept Commander Xiamang’s invitation,” the black-robed Ning said.
“Brother Ji Ning, you truly did scare me silly this time,” Xiaolou said, looking at Ning. “It was a series of frightening events; even I thought that you would find it hard to overcome this tribulation.”
“Brother Ji Ning’s power is truly formidable. In this Conclave of Immortal Destiny, I am certain that brother Ji Ning will shine quite brightly,” Skyfarmer Songspear nodded in praise as well. For Ning to be able to use his true body to survive the attack from the Whitebone Immortal Slaying Needle was enough for Skysong to feel certain that Ning’s true body was incredibly powerful as well.
“I quite admire brother Ji Ning as well,” Fairy Wavecolor said with a laugh while looking towards the nearby Xiao Lang. “But just now, someone was provoking brother Ji Ning repeatedly, insisting on sparring with him and looking down on him… and saying that if brother Ji Ning went to the Conclave, he would just lose face… and advising Ji Ning to go back home and train for three more centuries…”
“The person who said that is quite incredible as well.”
Xiao Lang’s face instantly began to alternate between purple and pale.
It was true that earlier, he had provoked Ning repeatedly, and had even spoken disdainfully about Ning afterwards. When he had defeated Fairy Wavecolor, he had indeed felt quite smug, and in his arrogance had said quite a few unpleasant things. Now, looking back… it did all seem quite laughable.
“Look down on Ji Ning? Told him to not to go lose face in the Conclave of Immortal Destiny, and to go home and train for three more centuries instead?” Xiamang Hong could tell what was going on, but he put on an act as he asked with ‘curiosity’, “Who in the world said that?”
“Who else could it be? None other than the distinguished, elegant, and suave young master, Adept Xiao Lang,” Fairy Wavecolor said, pointing at Xiao Lang.
Earlier, Xiao Lang had given her no face at all. Women… held grudges.
“Xiao Lang? It was you who looked down upon Ji Ning?” Xiamang Hong clearly was playing his role to perfection as he looked at Xiao Lang.
Xiao Lang gritted his teeth, his face pale. “Hmph.” He let out an angry snort, then turned and left, pushing open the main door and walking out from the corridor.
“He left?” Xiamang Hong shook his head. “Boooring.”
Kindwater Xiaolou was still looking at Ning. “Brother Ji Ning, you suffered an assassination attempt at my Cloudwater Manor, and we weren’t even able to help save you; the Cloudwater Manor was remiss…”
“The Cloudwater Manor is not to blame. This feud is one that I caused myself,” Ning said.
“Since our Kindwater clan has established Cloudwater Manor, we absolutely have to protect our guests who come here. There is nothing more to be said about this; it was our Kindwater clan who did not do what we were supposed to. Here is a treasure I recently acquired; I saw that you, brother Ji Ning, are exceptionally formidable in lotus techniques, and this treasure might help bring you some more insight.” Xiaolou suddenly produced a very slender bottle in his hand, topped by a lotus flower.
“This lotus bottle has been infused with some of the essence of the arcane secrets of the lotus within it; I’ll give it to you in recompense,” Xiaolou said, handing it over to Ning. “Brother Ji Ning, no need to refuse; if you refuse, I truly won’t know what to do.”
Ning hesitated a moment, then accepted it.
Ning was able to tell at a single glance that this lotus bottle was extraordinary; the bottle itself wasn’t too impressive of a treasure, but the lotus flower on top of it was covered with many runes. It was indeed worth analyzing. It might indeed help inspire Ning to further perfect his Lotusflower Swordland.
After chatting for a few more moments, Ning made his farewells. He had just suffered an assassination attempt, after all; there was no way this banquet could continue.
Before Cloudwater Manor.
Kindwater Xiaolou and Skyfarmer Songspear watched as Ning flew out within that giant warship, which sent out waves of energy as it departed. They were silent for a moment.
“Xiamang Hong led a group of Imperial Guard over and learned about this event. I imagine that soon, the entire Imperial Guard will know about it… and as a result, the entire imperial capital will know about it.” Xiaolou sighed. “Word of this battle is going to quickly spread over the entire imperial capital. Ji Ning has now truly become famous.”
Previously, when Ning had purchased the peacock plumes, others thought that he had simply been lucky. But this time, however, Ning had proven his power in battle; only now would others truly hold him in esteem.
“It is true. He’s only trained for thirty years, but has already produced a Primaltwin, and one which can kill a supreme Loose Immortal at that. A genius like him is quite rare, even in the imperial capital. The Youngflame clan has actually attracted an enemy like him… I imagine that in a few thousand years or a few tens of thousands of years, Ji Ning will be able to give the Youngflame clan quite a few good battles,” Songspear said with a laugh.