Ji Ning, Adept Woodpass, and Adept Blackstone all felt their hearts clench. The joy they felt upon acquiring the [Torch Dragon’s Eye] instantly fled to the back of their minds. All three of them had the same question in their heart: “Who did the Daofather choose? Was it me?”
“Let’s go,” King Qi said.
“Right.” Ning and the other two obediently followed behind him, but in their hearts, they felt their emotions surge like the waves of the ocean.
The main hall of the Skylight Palace. The Xia Emperor’s face changed as he revealed a look of surprise.
“What is it, Xiamang?” Lu Dongbin, Seatopple, and the rest of the nine all looked towards the Xia Emperor.
“Xiamang, can it be that the Daofather has already chosen a disciple?” Lu Dongbin chortled as he spoke. These Pure Yang True Immortals were all clever fellows; a simple change in expression by the Xia Emperor instantly drew their attention and caused them to be able to guess at what had happened. After all, given the Xia Emperor’s status, why would he suddenly appear surprised for no reason at all?
“Hahaha…” The Xia Emperor laughed and nodded. “I really can’t hide anything from you all. Indeed, my Primaltwin has visited Master, and Master just made his choice.”
“Who did the Daofather choose?”
These Pure Yang True Immortals from the Celestial Court, the Buddhist Sangha, and the Daoist Path were all filled with curiosity as they asked the Xia Emperor.
“No rush, no rush. I’ve already sent for King Qi to bring those three little fellows back,” the Xia Emperor laughed. “After those three little fellows return, I’ll make the announcement.”
“Show-off!” Seatopple pursed his lips, then glanced at the Sloppy Daoist. “Junior apprentice-brother, this Conclave you participated in the world of the Grand Xia really is quite special. You are a disciple of Master, while Daofather Crimsonbright is going to accept a disciple as well…the news that there were two disciples of a Daofather in a single Conclave is most likely going to soon spread throughout the Three Realms.”
The Sloppy Daoist just smiled. In front of these True Immortals and Empyrean Gods, he rarely said anything.
“Who will the Daofather choose?” The Sloppy Daoist felt puzzlement in his heart as well. “Will it be junior apprentice-brother Ji Ning?” In his heart, he hoped that his own junior apprentice-brother would be the one to be apprenticed to the Daofather. If that were to happen, then things really would be perfect for the Black-White College this time.
Moments later. King Qi led Ning and the other two back into the main hall. Instantly, the gazes of the nearly thousand Celestial Immortals present swung towards them.
“Why have the three of them returned?”
“Can it be that the Daofather has already made his choice?”
The Celestial Immortals instantly guessed at the reason, and they all felt nervousness in their hearts.
“Your Imperial Majesty, the three have come,” King Qi said respectfully. Ji Ning, Adept Woodpass, and Adept Blackstone stood obediently behind him.
“Mm.” The Xia Emperor nodded slightly.
King Qi retreated to one side, sitting down in the lotus position in the seat he had been in previously. Ning and the other two were now the focal point for the entire main hall of the Skylight Palace. They found it difficult to hide the restlessness and nervousness in their eyes. Although all three of them were monstrous geniuses, they were still extremely nervous right now!
The Xia Emperor, seated above them atop his throne, revealed a rare smile. He said in a clear voice: “Master has already chosen a disciple amongst you three. The disciple shall be…”
When these words came out, everyone held their breaths.
“Gotta be Ji Ning. Gotta be Ji Ning.” Yuchi Xiyue was tightly clenching Yu Wei’s hands.
“Ji Ning. Ji Ning.”
Ninelotus raised her head to watch as well.
“Don’t let it be Ji Ning. Don’t let it be him!” Patriarch Arcanum’s narrow eyes were filled with frantic worry. If Ji Ning became the Daofather’s disciple, then in the future, he would most likely prove to become a true disaster for the Youngflame clan!
Many people were waiting silently. Some hoped it would be Ning; others hoped it would be Adept Woodpass; still others hoped it would be Adept Blackstone. They each had their own supporters and detractors.
For the world of the Grand Xia to give birth to a new disciple of a Daofather was something that would completely, fundamentally change the balance of power in the entire Grand Xia Dynasty.
The Xia Emperor’s gaze swept downwards, pausing to intentionally prolong the tension. Only upon seeing Seatopple glare angrily at him and Lu Dongbin rub his nose did the Xia Emperor declare, “The Daofather’s chosen disciple is…Adept Woodpass!”
The Xia Emperor’s voice echoed within the entire main hall. For a moment, the entire main hall was completely silent.
“The Daofather’s disciple…Adept Woodpass!”
In perfect unison, all of the Celestial Immortals and eliminiated Wanxiang Adepts within the main hall all turned their gazes towards the simple, honest-looking youth, Adept Woodpass. For a time, all of the Celestial Immortals found it difficult to mask the envy and desire they felt. They knew very well that this honest-looking youth’s status had just soared into the heavens!
The Daofather’s disciple! Adept Woodpass!
In this instant, Adept Woodpass had become the most dazzling figure in the entire Skylight Palace!
“It was actually Adept Woodpass!” Yuchi Xiyue, Yu Wei, the Sloppy Daoist, and some others all turned to look at Ji Ning. They felt unhappy on Ning’s behalf.
Ning had already tried his best. He was the youngest of the three, and was number one in this Conclave. Why hadn’t he been chosen?
However, they didn’t argue against this decision, because the decision was Daofather Crimsonbright’s! Only the person who the Daofather took a favoring to would be chosen…and that person didn’t necessarily have to be number one.
“The Daofather’s chosen disciple is…Adept Woodpass!” The voice rang out in Ning’s ears. He felt dazed.
For an extremely brief moment, Ning’s entire mind went blank. However, he quickly came back to consciousness. Although he was clear-headed now, in his heart, he still felt countless emotions.
“Why would it be him? Why did the Daofather choose him?” Ning’s heart was filled with urgency, resentment, rage…and helplessness!
He was helpless. Truly helpless. The choice of a disciple was up to the Daofather; no matter how dazzling Ning had proven himself to be, if the Daofather didn’t like him, it was all for nothing.
“If I had completely exposed my [Starseizing Hand], then perhaps Daofather Crimsonbright would have chosen me.” This thought suddenly came to Ning’s mind…but it was nothing more than a disgruntled thought. Ning knew very well that given how many people were watching this Conclave, as soon as his [Starseizing Hand] was revealed, the after-effects would be completely unpredictable!
The Three Realms were currently filled with turbulent undercurrents that were simply too mysterious. Daoist Threelives’ status was unknown. Ning didn’t dare take this risk.
“Congratulations, brother Woodpass.” Ning immediately turned to the nearby Adept Woodpass, expressing his congratulations.
On his other side was Adept Blackstone, who had an extremely complicated look in his eyes. Upon hearing Ning’s words, he immediately came to his own senses. In his heart, he secretly felt ashamed; in the face of this mental blow, he had actually taken longer to recover than Ji Ning, who had trained for just thirty or so years. But no matter what…he hadn’t been chosen. It was guaranteed that two of them would be eliminated.
“Congratulations, brother Woodpass,” Adept Blackstone said as well.
Adept Woodpass’s eyes were filled with joy. He immediately said, “Brother Ji Ning, brother Blackstone, I was just lucky. Neither of you are inferior to me.”
The Xia Emperor, seated on his throne, nodded slightly upon seeing this.
Ji Ning and Blackstone’s Dao-hearts were fairly formidable. The chance of becoming the Daofather’s disciple had suddenly disappeared; this was a tremendous blow that would cause some people’s Dao-hearts to completely crumble, and perhaps even cause them to go insane. For Ji Ning and Adept Blackstone to be able to quickly recover from this blow and regain their faculties…they did indeed live up to being top of the top three contestants in this Conclave.
“Ji Ning, Blackstone,” the Xia Emperor said. “The two of you don’t need to be depressed. I told you that the two of you will both be able to apprentice yourselves to a Pure Yang True Immortal! I will help you select a suitable master…and if others do not take you in, then I, Xiamang Xun, will personally take you on as my disciples. However, I do not travel on the Dao of the Sword, nor do I travel on the Dao of Formations. I’m not necessarily the best suited master for you two. Go and spend three days in the imperial capital first. Within three days, I’ll send someone to meet you two.”
“Thank you, your Imperial Majesty.” Ning and Adept Blackstone both responded respectfully.
“The two of you can leave now,” the Xia Emperor said. He was quite favorably disposed towards both Ji Ning and Adept Blackstone. The attack on the Six Paths of Reincarnation and its collapse…the fact that this Conclave gave birth to two Daofather’s disciples…the Xia Emperor felt increasingly certain that this Conclave was going to give birth to future heroes of the Three Realms. Ji Ning and Adept Blackstone both had this potential!
“Junior apprentice-brother Woodpass, go ahead and seat yourself next to junior apprentice-brother Sovereign Hao,” the Xia Emperor said.
Adept Woodpass couldn’t breath. ‘Junior apprentice-brother’? The Xia Emperor had just referred to him as junior apprentice-brother? Adept Woodpass now truly understood…that from today onwards, his destiny had indeed been completely changed. He truly was about to soar into the heavens.
“Yes.” Adept Woodpass obediently walked forward. Sovereign Hao grabbed him and pulled him over to sit next to him.
“Eh?” Only now did Adept Woodpass see Empyrean God Seatopple, as well as the Sloppy Daoist who was beside him. “Why is the Sloppy Daoist sitting here as well?”
This place was a place where the True Immortals and Empyrean Gods were seated; not even the Celestial Immortals were permitted to come close. Why was the Sloppy Daoist here? And who was this man dressed in deep green Flood Dragon armor?
Ning was seated back before King Yan once more. King Yan consoled him, “Ji Ning, don’t feel dispirited. After all, you shall still become the disciple of a Pure Yang True Immortal. Even if there are no suitable ones…you will at least become his Imperial Majesty’s personal disciple. For him to become your master means that in the future, you will have no troubles at all within the world of the Grand Xia Dynasty. You will no longer need to fear the Youngflame clan.”
Ning nodded lightly. Since he couldn’t become the Daofather’s disciple, then all he could do was lower his expectations for now. Pure Yang True Immortals were truly formidable figures of the Three Realms as well. Perhaps they might know about whether Daoist Threelives was alive or not. In addition, with a Pure Yang True Immortal as his master, he would have a powerful backer in the future!
“Ji Ning.” Yuchi Xiyue looked towards Ning with concern.
“Ji Ning.” Yu Wei looked towards him as well.
Both of them were worried about him.
Ning, after sitting down, smiled gently. “There’s no way I can change the Daofather’s decision on whether or not too choose me! No matter what, I’ve already done all I can.”
“Right.” Both Yu Wei and Xiyue let out sighs of relief. Ning’s Dao-heart was even more firm and strong than they had expected.
Ning then looked towards the place where the True Immortals and Empyrean Gods were gathered. He immediately whispered, “Why is eldest apprentice-brother seated over there? Who is that fellow dressed in the dark green Flood Dragon armor in front of him?”
Yu Wei and Xiyue exchanged a glance. Xiyue spoke out, “When you went to choose a divine ability, that Empyrean God known as Seatopple arrived. He is the disciple of Grand Emperor Xuanwu, and he has come to this Conclave for the express purpose of bringing back the Sloppy Daoist.”
“He’s taking him away?” Ning was puzzled.
Yu Wei said, “You didn’t see it, Ji Ning. Everyone in the main hall was talking about it earlier. The divine ability which eldest apprentice-brother uses is known as the ‘Grand Black Tortoise’ divine ability, which was created by Grand Emperor Xuanwu, one of the major powers of the Three Realms. In reality…he had been chosen by Grand Emperor Xuanwu long ago to be his disciple. After this Conclave, he is going to be taken before Grand Emperor Xuanwu and truly taught the Dao.”
“What?!” Ning was stunned. Woodpass was a major power’s disciple, and now the Sloppy Daoist was becoming one as well?