Ji Ning stood outside the entrance of his Immortal estate.
“Uncle White. Little Qing.” Ning sent a mental message to the two, and they soon arrived.
These two had previously been elsewhere at the Divinities Palace, discussing the Dao with the other disciples of Mount Innerheart.
“Master, why have you summoned us? We were in the middle of this great discussion about the Dao,” Little Qing said unhappily. The Whitewater Hound just looked at Ning, waiting for him to speak.
“I am going to go down into the world and roam about this estate-world,” Ning said. “It will be anywhere from a year to ten years before I return.”
“Whaaa?! Go down into the world?!” Little Qing said with great excitement, “Great, great! Although Mount Innerheart is nice enough, and I have the chance to listen to the Old Patriarch discuss the Dao here and have many divine abilities and secret arts to peruse…it is way too relaxed and boring here.”
Ning shook his head. “I’m going down into the world on official business. You and Uncle White need to seize every moment of this incredible chance you have to study here at Mount Innerheart. After all, we are going to go back to the Grand Xia in the future…and I don’t know when we will return. A chance to study here is something that most people can’t even dream of.”
After they went back to the world of the Grand Xia, it would not be easy for them to come back here. It wasn’t up to them; it was up to the Old Patriarch. Without his permission, no one could locate this estate-world.
“Oh.” Little Qing nodded in understanding.
“Ning, child, be careful as you roam the world. This estate-world is not one whit inferior to the world of the Grand Xia, and experts are as common as the clouds within it. I imagine there are quite a few Celestial Immortals as well,” Uncle White instructed.
“Don’t worry.” Ning nodded.
“Master, why are you going down into the world? What’s this official business all about? Oh, if it’s really important, then don’t worry about telling me.” Although this was what Little Qing said aloud, her eyes were sparkling. Clearly, she was quite intrigued.
Ning laughed. “This is a test which Master gave me. I need to go down into the world, accept a disciple, and kill some people.”
“Accept disciples? Kill people?” Little Qing and Uncle White both grew intrigued.
“These two jade bottles each have a total of 750,000 kilograms of liquefied elemental essence.” Ning waved his hand, and two jade-green bottles appeared. “Uncle White, Little Qing, the two of you have reached the peak Primal level in recent years as well. However, from the peak Primal level to the Void level requires a long period of time. Although the techniques you use are the techniques from Mount Innerheart, you will still probably need a few decades before succeeding. With this essence, the two of you will be able to reach the early Void stage and also stabilize your foundation.”
The Whitewater Hound hesitated momentarily. Little Qing, however, immediately accepted her bottle with glee. “Thanks, Master! Master, you are the best. I’ve been hankering to reach the Void-level and become an Earth Immortal.”
“Take it, Uncle White,” Ning said.
Here at Mount Innerheart, there was no way to acquire more liquefied elemental essence. Otherwise, given his current level of power, it wouldn’t be too hard to sell some treasures and procure some. In the future, his true body, Uncle White, and Little Qing would all rise to the late Void level.
As for the peak Void level?
Ning was in no rush because he often heard Patriarch Subhuti expound on the Dao and had learned that every Celestial Tribulation was tailored to the specific person. The more monstrous a genius, the more ridiculously powerful a Celestial Tribulation would be. For someone like him, an expert who had divine abilities such as the [Starseizing Hand] and who was blessed by luck, the power of his divine tribulation would be similarly astonishing!
He had to make ample preparations!
He had to raise his level of comprehension. The [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], [Houyi’s Archery], and the [Starseizing Hand]; they all had to reach the highest level of power possible prior to the Celestial Immortal level. He had to prepare enough magic treasures and curios as well. His Dao-heart also needed to be stronger…in short, in the face of the Celestial Tribulation, no matter how many preparations he made, it wouldn’t be too much. No one wanted to be defeated by it, after all!
Upon being defeated, one would naturally perish. Even if one managed to luck out and become a Loose Immortal, under the eternal, remorseless trials of the Three Calamities and Nine Tribulations, death would be the only result.
The Celestial Tribulation…
This was a true tribulation that would determine one’s destiny! The greatest tribulation there was on the Immortal path! Those who succeeded would soar into the heavens and truly escape the binds of the Three Realms. They would be carefree and unbound, no longer subject to the Three Calamities and Nine Tribulations. But those who failed…they were finished.
On the mountain paths of Mount Innerheart.
The Whitewater Hound and Little Qing sent off Ning together. Ning didn’t bid his fellow disciples farewell; after all, this was just a trial, and a short one at that. To his fellow disciples who had lived for countless years, this was indeed a very brief trip.
“No need to send me any further,” Ning said with a smile. He then transformed into a streak of light and flew out of the giant, levitating Mount Innerheart. He flew downwards towards the vast, endless world.
“Ning, my son, be careful.”
“Master, be careful.” The Whitewater Hound and Little Qing watched as Ning flew away. They watched until he disappeared.
Ning stared downwards towards the countless cities that dotted the vast world. Prior to him leaving Mount Innerheart, Little Qing had gone to a good friend she had made, an ordinary disciple of Mount Innerheart who was a Void-level Diremonster, and acquired a fairly detailed map of the entire Crescent world!
“The Crescent world is as large as the world of the Grand Xia. Above an endless sea, there are three enormous continents. These three continents are all slightly smaller than the continent of the Grand Xia, but combined they are comparable to it.” Ning pondered to himself. “Mm. To the Star continent!”
The Crescent world had a total of three continents. The Cloud continent, the Flame continent, and the Star continent.
The one which was below the airborne Mount Innerheart was known as the Cloud continent. The Cloud continent was the continent with the best governance, whereas the Flame continent and the Star continent were in states of utter chaos. They had many small kingdoms, as well as many Diremonsters, clans and sects that caused a state of turmoil to be maintained.
“Great sinners can be found amidst great chaos. Perhaps I might also find an individual of great karmic merit who has escaped notice,” Ning mused to himself.
Space rippled around him, and Ning then disappeared from midair.
The Crescent world. The Star continent.
A flying shuttle was flying through the skies at high speed. Within the shuttle were a group of cultivators, with the leader being a man and two women. The other six were all servants and guards.
“Our Qi Empire has been abandoned to those monsters. Why won’t they let us be?!” A violet-robed woman spoke out, her eyes filled with rage. “When we hide in mountain wilds, the Diremonsters still find us and chase us. Our imperial clan of the Qi Empire is now extremely puny; we aren’t a threat to them at all. Why won’t they let us be?!”
“Little sister.” A black-robed maiden next to her shook her head. “The monster king who has taken over our Qi Empire has given the order to completely exterminate our imperial clan of Qi. None are to be spared. The countless monsters under that monster king’s command are naturally going to chase us and kill us. Only by killing us will they have rendered merits and be rewarded by the monster king.”
“So are we just going to keep running and running?” The violet-robed maiden gritted her teeth. “I’ve had enough of this life of fleeing. I started fleeing when I was a child, and it has now been several decades. I’ve been running away this entire time. I have had enough. Enough! Let’s go all out against these demons. Big brother, second sister, let’s fight them!”
“Shut your mouth.”
The tall, muscular man who was on his feet growled softly, “Our imperial clan has existed for tens of thousands of years; now, only the three of us still remain. Even our uncle ended up dying when he fought against those demons to try and protect us. We are alive because of the sacrifices of countless subordinates. We absolutely cannot just throw our lives away.”
“Then what should we do? That monster king is so powerful; how are we supposed to escape him? And where can we run to?” The violet-robed woman said with rage.
The tall man growled, “By now, there’s no other choices for us. The only choice is…to go to the Viledragon River!”
Instantly, everyone fell silent.
The two younger sisters who were behind him as well as all of the servants fell silent. Their eyes were filled with amazement.
The Star continent was vast and boundless. There was no way these three imperial scions and their servants could fly out from the Star continent. Within the Star continent, however, Viledragon River was one of the most famous and largest rivers of all!
Viledragon River cut through a large half of the entire Star continent. It was incomparably wide; even at the narrowest points, it was at least eight hundred kilometers across, and up to a thousand or more at its thickest. As far as its length…given that it cut through most of the Star continent and was a sinuous, undulating river, one could imagine how unfathomably long it was!
According to legend, after a primordial Viledragon was killed, its body was transformed into this river. But of course, this was too extravagant a legend and there was no way to verify its authenticity. Still…Viledragon River truly was bizarre. Anyone who moved within a thousand kilometers of it would become completely unable to fly, and also become unable to use evasive techniques based off the Five Elements. Supposedly, even Celestial Immortal Patriarchs who neared this Viledragon River would also be unable to fly or use evasive techniques.
From this, one could see how bizarre Viledragon River was!
In addition, Viledragon River also had some dangerous zones inside of it which even Immortal cultivators did not dare to charge into.
“There’s no way to fly within Viledragon River, and no way to use evasive techniques. It will be very hard for the monsters to catch us within it,” the tall man growled. “I trust that they will also be nervous, and won’t dare to chase us all the way into Viledragon River.
“But…that’s Viledragon River,” the black-robed maiden said hurriedly.
“We’re trying to find a way to stay alive in an impossibly lethal situation. It doesn’t matter how dangerous Viledragon River is! In addition, Viledragon River is enormous, and it cuts through more than half of the Star continent. Actually, most of it is quite safe; only a few parts of it are dangerous. If we are lucky, we can find a safe island and start life anew there. We can build up our power on the island, and in the future, we can slaughter that monster king and take back the Qi Empire,” the tall man said. “Second sister, little sister…we have no other paths to take.”
The two girls gritted their teeth and nodded.
“Life or death…it comes down to this toss of the dice,” the black-robed woman said.
“Right. Let’s do it.” The violet-robed maiden gritted her teeth as well.
Viledragon River. The waters of the river frothed and bubbled with unnatural turbidity.
“Big brother, up ahead is Viledragon river.”
“Here we are.”
The man, two women, and six guards quickly arrived at the banks of Viledragon River. They stared at the turbid waters. They could already sense the invisible, nameless ripples of power emanating from the entire Viledragon River. They couldn’t help but feel terrified; Viledragon River was simply too famous.
“Hey, big brother, second sister, hurry and look over there.” The violet-robed maiden pointed at the distant, wide Viledragon River. Aboard the river, a wooden boat was slowly sailing forward. Atop the wooden ship was a fur-clad youth who was holding and playing a bamboo flute.
Everyone present was an Immortal cultivator; given their perfect vision, they were able to see this person clearly.
“This youth actually dares to sit on a boat on Viledragon River and leisurely play the flute?” The black-robed woman was extremely startled as well.
“If he is an Immortal cultivator…no matter how powerful he is, he should still be extremely cautious right now.” The tall man frowned. “Can he be an ordinary mortal?”
Although Viledragon River was reputed to be dangerous, that was only in some parts of it. There were often some stupidly brave mortals who would try to show off their valor and sail on a ship atop Viledragon River. And indeed, there were some mortals who were lucky enough to be able to sail on Viledragon River for months, then come back to tell the tale.
“Big brother, that youth is coming over here!” The violet-robed maiden called out in alarm.
The fur-clad youth’s ship, which had previously been following the currents of the river, suddenly turned. The oars on the boat began to strike against the water, kicking up waves of white froth as it moved closer.
Ning used his hands to steer the boat, beaming as he stared at the individuals on the distant shore. His divine sense had covered this region long ago, and he saw that amongst the crowd, there was a female servant who was emanating a golden light detectable only by his divine sense. The golden light of karmic virtue was at least nine hundred meters long and was utterly astonishing.
“How very lucky I am! I found a person of great karmic virtue quite quickly.” Ning felt incomparably delighted.