The trial was explained in just two simple lines of words:
Go and take on a disciple of great karmic virtue, surrounded by at least three hundred meters of golden karmic light.
Go and kill ten Earth Immortals or Loose Immortals who have committed great sins, surrounded by at least three hundred meters of bloody sin light.
“This…” Ning frowned.
To take on a disciple? To go kill?
Someone who had accumulated so much karmic virtue as to be surrounded by three hundred meters of golden karmic light was far too rare. Generally speaking, such individuals would have tremendously good luck, and so they would have joined a school long ago, and most likely a major school at that. After all, the larger a clan or sect, the more they would desire to take on a disciple with that much karmic virtue. This would bring the entire sect fortune!
Was he supposed to steal a disciple from someone else?
As for killing someone…the Three Calamities and Nine Tribulations which Earth Immortals and Loose Immortals had to face were of frightening power. The more sin one had accumulated, the greater the power of the calamities and tribulations. Thus, most Earth Immortals and Loose Immortals would limit the amount of sin they would accumulate; they wouldn’t dare act in excessively sinful ways, and would in fact try to do good as much as they could. Only truly fiendishly demonic figures who truly had formidable Dao-hearts and unearthly levels of power would dare engage in wanton slaughter and draw countless amounts of sin to them! This type of Earth Immortal or Loose Immortal definitely wasn’t easy to deal with.
And he didn’t have to just kill one…he had to kill ten!
“Taking on a disciple and killing others…second senior apprentice-brother…” Ning looked towards Crazy Ji.
“To take on a person with great karmic virtue as a disciple and to teach that person is in and of itself an act of karmic virtue. Killing great sinners, in turn, is also an act of karmic virtue. Both of these things are good for you.” Crazy Ji nodded. “Although it might take a bit of time…there’s no need for you to rush. Go down into the world and spend some time searching. If you haven’t succeeded in one year, then go ahead and take ten.”
Ning nodded. “The so-called going ‘down into the world’…where am I supposed to go? The three thousand major worlds and the trillion minor worlds?”
“You haven’t left Master’s tutelage; you are not permitted to leave this estate-world,” Crazy Ji said. “The so-called going ‘down into the world’ refers to this estate-world itself. It is absolutely not inferior to a major world in any way. You can spend a million years wandering it without seeing everything within.”
“Alright.” Ning immediately said, “Thank you for your guidance, second senior apprentice-brother. I’m going to leave now.”
“Go ahead.” Crazy Ji waved his fan.
Ning didn’t immediately go into the rest of the estate-world; first, he returned to his own Immortal estate.
Within the Still Room in the underwater estate.
Rumble…the stone door swung shut.
Ning sat in the lotus position atop the netherwater jade bed, his heart quickly calming down. The excitement he had felt upon previously seeing so many divine abilities in the Three Realms Palace gradually dissipated. After he was completely calm, Ning began to ponder.
“Although there are many divine abilities and secret arts in the world, it is true that one should focus on a few. If you learn many of them but are unable to focus on them, there’s no point.” Ning calmly reflected on each divine ability and secret art he had learned.”
“Learning the [Vairocana Guardian Halo] is a waste of time; it is of very little help to me. Although the [Buddha-Realm Within the Palm] technique is quite powerful, I already have the [Starseizing Hand]; training in that divine ability won’t increase my power by much.” Ning quickly began to mentally discard one divine ability after another as he focused on which techniques were worth his energy and which ones would bring the maximum amount of power to him.
“There are two I must train in.”
“The first is the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art]. Once I train in it, my body will be as unbreakable as a vajra, just like a magic treasure. I won’t need to waste any divine power; most divine abilities require divine power to be used, such as my [Starseizing Hand], which uses up a shocking amount of it. The Nine Cycles of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], however, causes the body itself to be made as hard as a vajra. The fact that this does not consume divine power in battle is a tremendous advantage! I can just stand there, and my foes will be unable to do anything to me.”
Ning mentally discarded all of the other techniques within the Three Realms Palace.
The [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] focused on defense! It made the body as unbreakable as a vajra, and it didn’t use up any divine power.
[Houyi’s Archery] focused on long range combat! It was one of the top ten divine abilities of the Three Realms.
The [Starseizing Hand] focused on close combat! It was also one of the top ten divine abilities of the Three Realms.
“Defense, long range combat, close combat…that’s enough.” Ning nodded gently. “If Master permits it, I will also choose the [Torch Dragon’s Eye].”
The [Torch Dragon’s Eye] was neither defense, nor long range combat, nor close combat; it was an extremely powerful support technique! And not only was it able to provide support skills, it was also a divine ability with an extremely simple ‘trial’; to simply clean the mountain roads a single time. However, Ning didn’t dare choose it just yet. After all, no one could say how many techniques Patriarch Subhuti would choose from the Three Realms Palace.
If Ning were to choose the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] and the [Torch Dragon’s Eye] and the Old Patriarch then forbade him from choosing any more, he would feel miserable.
First, the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art]. Then, [Houyi’s Archery]. Lastly, if possible, [Torch Dragon’s Eye].
“But why is it that the Three Realms Palace doesn’t have a single evasive divine ability?” Ning furrowed his brows. The Windwing Evasion was just the simplified version of the divine ability [Garuda’s Wings]; after having spent thirty years at Mount Innerheart, he now felt that the Windwing Evasion was far too weak and wasn’t suitable for him to use at all.
He had already completely mastered the Windwing Evasion, but the technique itself was far too low-level.
“When I next see Master, I’ll ask him to provide me guidance and teach me an evasive divine ability,” Ning mused to himself. “If there are no other options…then I’ll go find one in the Divinities Palace.”
The Divinities Palace had quite a few divine abilities. Ning had completely focused on studying sword-arts, and hadn’t chosen a single other type of manual from the Divinities Palace. He had wanted to choose his other techniques from the Three Realms Palace, but who would’ve expected that the Three Realms Palace wouldn’t even have one evasive technique? He would first go ask his master; if his master wasn’t able to provide him with one, then he would go to the Divinities Palace to find an evasive divine ability. Although those techniques were fairly average amongst the upper tiers of the Three Realms, they were still hundreds to thousands of times better than the likes of the Windwing Evasion.
“Whew.” Ning seated himself atop the netherwater jade bed, a mist arising around his body. The mist condensed into a figure; it was the black-robed Ji Ning. Ning’s Primaltwin!
“It is time for my Primaltwin to become a Void-level Earth Immortal.”
During the past thirty-one years at Mount Innerheart, Ning’s Primaltwin had remained at the peak Primal stage. The reason he didn’t advance further was because his master, Patriarch Subhuti, had warned Ning: “Ji Ning, I know that you acquired five million kilograms of liquefied elemental essence during the Conclave of Immortal Destiny, but you should not be in a hurry to make your Primaltwin break through to the next level. Your Primaltwin was formed from the Sole-Ki of Primalwater, and has an extremely high level of aptitude for understanding the element of Water. Even though both are at the Primal level, there is a difference between your true body and your Primaltwin in terms of how fast you will comprehend Water. Thus, you should have your Primaltwin remain at the Primal level for at least ten years.”
“Understood.” Ning had immediately acknowledged his master’s orders back then.
And indeed, it had been as his master had said; the Primaltwin’s aptitude for Water was quite incredible. Aside from the Dao of the Sword, Ning’s current highest level of attainment was in Water. Water far surpassed Fire…and the weakest were Wind and the Grand Dao of Qiankun!
Because he saw the aforementioned advantages, and because there were no fights on Mount Innerheart whatsoever, Ning had never been in a rush to make any breakthroughs. He wanted to let his Primaltwin remain at the Primal level for as long as possible. His master had said ten years, but Ning had spent more than thirty years at this level. But now, he was going to leave the mountain and go kill enemies.
He wasn’t going out to kill ordinary Loose Immortals or Earth Immortals; he was going to kill figures who were surrounded by sin, going to kill terrifying, demonic figures that were surrounded by three hundred meters of bloody sin light. Ning naturally was going to make ample preparations, and thus he was going to have his Primaltwin advance to the Void level.
Actually, during these past thirty-one years, the Primaltwin had also been training in the [Darknorth Sutra]. However, since this sutra was created by a Daofather of the Great Firmament, the Primaltwin remained at the peak Primal level and had not reached its limit, despite having painstakingly trained for all these years! If it had still been training in the [Flowing Watersource] of the Black-White College, most likely thirty or so years after reaching the Primal level it would have been time for a breakthrough to the Void-level and to become an Earth Immortal.
Given that Ning was training in the even more profound [Darknorth Sutra], if he had slowly cultivated as he had planned without using any spirit-pills or liquefied elemental essence, he would’ve had to spend at least eighty or ninety years before training to the early Void level.
A jade bottle flew out, landing in front of Ning. The bottle’s stopper opened on its own.
“Fortunately, I have five million kilograms.” The Primaltwin Ning willed it, and wish a swoosh, a flood of liquefied elemental essence flew out from the jade bottle. The mouth of the bottle was only as thick as a finger, but as the essence flew into the air the stream became more than thirty meters thick. It flew straight towards the Primaltwin Ning, then formed into a vortex around him.
The essence vortex swirled into Ning, then disappeared.
Within the Sole-Ki Pearl of Primalwater inside the Primaltwin Ning’s body, a blurry void of a Zifu region could be seen. Within this void, there was a sea of elemental ki which had an enormous Turtle-Snake within it. On the back of the Turtle-Snake, flames could be seen blazing. These flames were Primal Fire!
The Zifu sea began to surge and swell as refined elemental essence began to surge to the ‘skies’ above them. The countless stars in the sky shone down with rays of light, all centered upon the giant Turtle-Snake. The Primal Fire on the Turtle-Snake’s back instantly and dramatically expanded!
The Primal Fire roared and blazed, causing the Turtle-Snake to begin hiss and screech.
Fifty thousand kilograms. A hundred thousand kilograms. A hundred and fifty thousand kilograms…more and more of the liquefied elemental essence was absorbed, and as Ning’s level of power began to rise, his rate of absorption began to rise as well. The Primal Fire began to blaze with greater and greater fury.
A long time later…
It was like a planted seed suddenly sprouting up beyond the dirt. From within the blazing, heaven-towering flames on the back of the Turtle-Snake, a single, slender, delicate golden lotus emerged from the cracked turtle shell.
The turtle shell was like the soil. The Primal Fire was like the sunlight and water. The golden lotus slowly grew out and grew larger.
This golden lotus was extremely small; compared to the heaven-towering flames on the back of the massive Turtle-Snake, it was extremely unremarkable. However, elemental ki of unbelievable purity swirled arounded the golden lotus, far surpassing the purity of the elemental ki Ning had in the past. Then, the entire Turtle-Snake began to grow dim as large amounts of its essence began to flow towards the golden lotus, causing the lotus to continuously grow larger and larger. As it continued to grow, the luster of the shell of the Turtle-Snake began to disappear as it grew dark.
“The early Void level.” Ning’s Primaltwin soul had advanced from the Primal Turtle-Snake to the ‘Goldlotus’ level.
Earth Immortals and Loose Immortals all had Goldlotus souls for their Primal soul!
If one wished to become a carefree, unbound Immortal, one had to plant the seeds of the Goldlotus within the flames!
“Continue!” The Primaltwin Ning was like a black hole, absorbing as much liquefied elemental essence as there was on offer. Only after a long time did he stop.
The Primaltwin Ning pointed towards the distance. Instantly, the jade bottle on the ground became stoppered up again.
“The amount of liquefied elemental ki needed to train in the [Darknorth Sutra] is absolutely astonishing. However, my elemental ki is now up to two levels more pure than that of an ordinary Earth Immortal.” Ning didn’t feel sorry for how much he had used up. “I used a total of 2.5 million kilograms of liquefied elemental essence in training from the peak Primal stage to the late Void stage! Around two million kilograms remain in this jade bottle of mine. Right…I should leave it for Uncle White and Little Qing.”
The reason why he had halted at the late Void stage was because upon reaching the peak of the Void stage, the Celestial Tribulation would be impending.
“Time to go down into the world.”
The door to the Still Room slid open, and Ning’s true body walked out.