Viledragon River. A large boat was sailing through it with the currents.
Within a cabin on the large boat. The crown prince, Qi Rufeng, was currently alongside his two little sisters.
“By this point…all we can do is trust this senior Darknorth,” Qi Rufeng sent mentally.
“Hmph.” The violet-robed princess, Qi Ruhui, had a look of dissatisfaction in her eyes. “Although Xiaoyu was just one of our servants, she was surrounded by the light of great karmic virtue. Loose Immortals and Earth Immortals of major clans would fight for the chance of taking her on as a disciple. We actually let this Darknorth acquire her so easily; he didn’t even have to swear an oath to the Dao of the Heavens! He took advantage of how downtrodden we are; back when our imperial clan was flourishing, we would’ve annihilated him for daring to toy with us in such a manner!”
“Little sister,” the black-robed princess sent mentally, “That was then, this is now. We are now extremely weak, and senior Darknorth had even offered a hundred high-grade Heaven-ranked flying swords for her. This means that he isn’t an unreasonable person. He hasn’t abandoned us after taking her own as his disciple, and is continuing to hold fast to his promise to protect us. Given how weak we are right now, we should celebrate the fact that we’ve found someone who keeps his promises.”
“Little sister, remember this: You are no longer a princess like you were before,” Qi Rufeng mentally barked at her.
The youngest princess had been a child living in the palace back when the attack came; she had been spoiled absolutely rotten. Before the elders had a chance to teach and train her as she grew up, the entire nation had been destroyed. They had been fleeing this entire time, and nobody had a chance to teach her and see to her upbringing. Growing up in a state of constant flight, the hatred and grievances in her heart had grown increasingly strong. In fact, because the elders of the clan took good care of Xiaoyu, she herself felt jealousy and dislike for Xiaoyu.
However, since Qi Xiaoyu was a person of great karmic virtue, the clan had ordered long ago that she could not be assaulted or killed. Otherwise…the princess probably would’ve arranged for Qi Xiaoyu’s death long ago.
Thud. Thud. Thud. Suddenly, footsteps rang out on the stairs outside.
The crown prince and the two princesses looked out through the window towards the deck. They saw a white-robed maiden walking down from the second floor. The white-robed maiden was clearly different from other people, and a series of ripples could be sensed coming from the magic robes she wore.
The crown prince and princesses were greatly shocked.
Qi Xiaoyu, who had previously been in servant clothes, now looked completely different. Her robes were clearly extroradinary, and she had a silver bracelet around her arm. Her pure white arms were a perfect match for the bracelet, which made her skin look even paler. She now had a jade hairpin affixed in her hair which gave off mysterious, powerful ripples. As the saying goes, clothes make the man; Qi Xiaoyu was already a person of great karmic virtue who naturally made others feel positively towards her, and as an Immortal cultivator, her skin and her figure were superb. Beauty, poise, a wondrous aura…and now that she had changed clothes, she appeared even more dazzling than the two princesses.
“Those robes, that bracelet…they should be extremely rare top-grade Mortal-ranked magic treasures. As for the jade hairpin…even I can’t tell what it is!” Qi Rufeng said.
“Darknorth truly is an extraordinary figure. Although Mortal-ranked magic treasures aren’t that precious, top-grade Mortal-ranked magic treasures…they are still very rare.” The black-robed princess sighed in amazement. “In addition, judging from the way in which senior Darknorth took out a hundred high-grade Heaven-ranked magic treasures earlier, he probably would’ve given her even better treasures, were it not for the fact that she is still weak and can only use Mortal-ranked treasures. That jade hairpin…it should also be a top-grade Mortal-ranked treasure.”
The violet-robed princess disagreed. “It’s just a bunch of Mortal-ranked items.”
Qi Xiaoyu walked down the stairs, then knocked on the door to the cabin.
“Open the door,” the crown prince immediately instructed. One of the guards behind him immediately walked forward to push open the cabin door.
Qi Xiaoyu walked in, then immediately said, “Your Highness, Master wishes you to go to him.”
“In the future, there’s no need to refer to me as ‘your Highness’. You are now the exalted disciple of senior Darknorth; you can just refer to me by my name,” Crown Prince Qi Rufeng said.
But young princess Qi Ruhui said, “Xiaoyu, what sort of magic treasure is that hairpin? Neither my big brother nor my second sister can recognize it.”
“Master said that this is a protective treasure that can only be used once. Once the elemental ki within it is unleashed, it can withstand the attacks of even a supreme Loose Immortal for a space of ten breaths,” Qi Xiaoyu replied obediently.
“What?!” Everyone in the cabin was astonished. Block a supreme Loose Immortal’s attacks for the space of ten breaths? This was definitely a supremely valuable protective item.
In truth, this was just one of the many magic items left behind by Immortal Juhua. Ning felt that it was actually rather embarrassing for him to give out Mortal-ranked magic treasures to his first disciple; after all, she too was now a member of Mount Innerheart. Thus, he gave her this protective item.
“To block a supreme Loose Immortal…” The violet-robed princess gritted her teeth. She couldn’t help but feel jealous. “This shitty slave…she sure has some good luck.”
Because they had been fleeing for so long, they had often used this sort of protective, anti-attack magic treasure. Over the course of tens of years, they had used them all up!
Qi Rufeng hurriedly emerged from his cabin, climbing up the stairs to the second floor to go see Ji Ning.
“Greetings to you, senior Darknorth,” Qi Rufeng said respectfully.
“Qi Rufeng, I have questions for you.” Ning sat there, pointing towards a chair. “You can sit as well.”
“Alright.” Qi Rufeng immediately sat down obediently as directed. He was a person who knew when to advance and when to retreat. There was an enormous gap in power right now; he was completely unable to fight back against someone like Ning. Ning had given him a promise, and he had the feeling that this senior Darknorth was a decent person. If he had encountered a vicious, barbaric person, that sort of person would undoubtedly have had many ways to force him to hand over Qi Xiaoyu.
“I ask you this. Why is it that you have fled for so many years from the Flamewing King without successfully escaping?” Ning asked, puzzled, “Given how large this Star continent is, if you run a few million kilometers away, it will be easier for the Flamewing King to find a needle in the sea than to find you. And yet…you’ve been fleeing in such a haggard fashion for decades, and remain under pursuit.”
Qi Rufeng shook his head and sighed. “This Flamewing King was originally a venomous pest of a type known as the ‘flamewing bug’ who cultivated the Dao. After he led his Diremonster army to suddenly attack my Qi Empire, the Flamewing King personally covered the entire imperial citadel with flamewing venom. The venom filled every single palace, and it instantly merged into the body of every single person it touched. There’s no way to separate it from the bodies it has touched, and in fact it even has corrupted our souls. Even Earth Immortals or Loose Immortals are unable to get rid of this poison.”
“Oh?” Ning was surprised. Flamewing bugs? He had never heard of this sort of venomous bug back in the Grand Xia world.
“This flamewing venom doesn’t actually harm the body or the soul.” Qi Rufeng shook his head, then said bitterly, “But no matter how far away we move away, the flamewing bugs can still sense the location of the flamewing venom. Even if we flee to the Cloud continent or the Flame continent, the flamewing bugs can still sense us. The Loose Immortals and Earth Immortals under the Flamewing King’s command can engage in teleportation and go to the Cloud continent and Flame continent…and so no matter where we flee to, we are unable to escape pursuit.”
Ning now understood. What a nasty poison! He still remembered how in his youth, when he was adventuring in Eastmount Marsh, he had been attacked and pursued by Ironwood Zhan. It was precisely because Ning had been touched by that ‘iceflower liquid’ that Ironwood Zhan was able to continue the chase, even though Ning had fled very far away.
However, by comparison this flamewing venom was even more formidable…and it was the Flamewing King who had personally used it. It was able to stain even the soul. Within this Crescent world, no matter where the clan fled to, the countless flamewing bugs under the king’s command would still be able to sense their direction.
“The majority of our imperial clan was killed on the spot, and the rest fled in every direction,” Qi Rufeng said. “Back then, Loose Immortals numbered amongst the fleeing survivors. However, no matter where we fled to, they continued to chase us. Thus, we chose to continue to flee about the former territory of our Qi Empire; after all, this was the place we originally controlled, and so we were quite familiar with it. In addition, the imperial clan had built up many secret bases…”
“After having fled for so long, we three are the only survivors.”
Qi Rufeng’s words were filled with grief and powerlessness.
Ning now understood it all.
The main problem was that the flamewing venom was hard to eradicate; thus, this crown prince and the princesses were constantly pursued. This sort of venom that stained even the soul…not even Ning was able to help get rid of it.
“I ask you this,” Ning said. “How great a sinner is this Flamewing King? Is he surrounded by bloody sin light?”
“The Flamewing King is one of the Twelve Monster Kings of the Eastern Flows. He is famous for his savagery; naturally, the amount of sins he has committed towers to the skies. As far as the bloody aura of sin…from what I hear, all twelve of them are wreathed in tremendous amounts of bloody sin light. Anyone who uses divine sense to look at them will see a towering, tidal-wave of bloody sin light swirling around them. Even Earth Immortals and Loose Immortals will feel terrified upon seeing them,” Qi Rufeng said.
Ning felt a sense of jubilation in his heart. A towering tidal-wave of bloody sin light? A huge sinner?
The trial to acquire the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] was to kill ten great sinners and to accept a disciple. He had now accepted a disciple, and his next objective was to kill ten great sinners. Perhaps he would be able to fulfill the criteria by dealing with these twelve monster kings.
“You heard this personally, yes? You aren’t just making this up?” Ning asked.
“Perhaps the stories are exaggerated, but they shouldn’t be too exaggerated. The savagery of the Twelve Monster Kings of the Eastern Flows is known throughout the Star continent. In fact, even those in the Cloud continent and the Flame continent know about their reputation. Even supreme powers with Celestial Immortal Patriarchs are unwilling to go all out against these twelve monster kings,” Qi Rufeng said. “Although my imperial Qi clan had originally fled to the Cloud continent, we were unfamiliar with the place and the people there. The fame of the Twelve Monster Kings of the Eastern Flows was simply too great; no one was willing to help us, and so in the end, we were chased all the way back home. At least here within the former territory of our Qi Empire, we are able to struggle and fight for a period of time.”
Ning felt startled. Even powers with Celestial Immortal Patriarchs were unwilling to fight with them?
“How strong are these twelve monster kings?” Ning asked. “How strong is the Flamewing King?”
“All twelve of them are incomparably savage and ferocious; the reason why they were willing to swear brotherhood was because they all had similar temperaments. Every one of them is incredibly powerful…but of course, some are stronger and some are weaker. The Flamewing King’s power is average for the twelve; he has nearly a hundred Earth Immortals or Loose Immortals under his command. Given his power, killing ordinary Earth Immortals or Loose Immortals is as easy as killing a chicken,” Qi Rufeng said.
“The strongest of the twelve, their number one figure, is the Goldfur Bearking. I’ve heard that the Goldfur Bearking has previously fought a Celestial Immortal Patriarch, who was unable to do anything to him. In the end, it was the Celestial Immortal who retreated. You tell me; is he powerful or not? When these twelve monster kings join forces, advancing and retreating in unison…they are one of the absolute hegemons of the entire Eastern Flows region. Although our Qi Empire previously spanned a million kilometers, we’ve never dared to encroach on their territory. Who would’ve thought that the Flamewing King would annihilate our empire?”
Ning was secretly startled. Even a Celestial Immortal had been unable to do anything, and had voluntarily retreated?
He had thought that he would be able to get his quota of ten great sinners from these twelve monster kings…but now, it seemed, things wouldn’t be so easy!
“Easy is boring. Hard is interesting. I spent more than thirty years training at Mount Innerheart; I have yet to truly fight with anyone. The Twelve Monster Kings of the Eastern Flows…a perfect foe!” Ning could feel his blood beginning to pump excitedly through his veins, and his desire to do battle was growing…