“Junior apprentice-brother!” Immortal Fivecraze looked excitedly towards Immortal Diancai.
All of them just stared with bated breaths.
Immortal Diancai’s eyes were open. He remained seated in the lotus position, but rainbow-colored clouds suddenly began to appear in the skies. These fortuitous clouds descended around Immortal Diancai, and in the ground around him there began to manifest petals of a golden lotus flower. It seemed as though Immortal Diancai was seated atop an enormous golden lotus. Murmurs of what sounded like celestial music could be heard from the world around him. Of course, this wasn’t an actual melody; rather, it was the sound of the Heavens and the Earth. Just listening to it, one would feel as though it was filled with infinite mysteries.
At the same time, a terrifying aura of power began to descend, completely enveloping Immortal Diancai.
“Such terrifying power.” The black-robed Ji Ning and the others all felt their hearts tremble, even though they were barely touched by the power itself.
An enormous flood of natural power began to gather around Immortal Diancai. His body now began to manifest the ‘aura of an Immortal soul’, something which one would have only after becoming a Celestial Immortal. His energy was transforming on a fundamental level as well.
From the Zifu stage to the Void stage, one merely had ‘elemental ki’.
After becoming a Celestial Immortal, the power of the soul and all other powers would completely merge into one power. The lotus-bud at the top of the Goldlotus Primal would draw in the essence of all the other types of power, fusing them into one and then refining them into a single brilliant golden pellet, a ‘Jindan’. [1. Readers of Stellar Transformations may recall that in that novel, the power rankings started off as Houtian, Xiantian, Jindan, etc., with Jindan being the first level of ‘true’ Immortal practitioners.]
This new power could be described as either dharmic energy or Immortal energy.
“The great path of the Jindan, the great path of the Jindan…once the golden pellet enters my flank, then my destiny shall no longer be subject to the Heavens.” Immortal Diancai laughed softly, “All shall become one, a perfect, flawless whole…from this day forth, there shall be no more Three Calamities, no more Nine Tribulations. I have truly become a carefree Immortal, having escaped the rules of the Three Realms and the binds of the Five Elements.”
“Congratulations, Master. Felicitations, Master!” The black-robed Ning walked over.
“Haha, junior apprentice-brother, oh, junior apprentice-brother…you didn’t let us down! Ahahaha…” Immortal Fivecraze was the most excited person right now. “After countless years…our Black-White College has finally produced a second Celestial Immortal. A Celestial Immortal! True immortality, an infinite lifespan…a Celestial Immortal!!! And one who overcame six nine-sets of the thunder tribulation! Haha, even if this crazy old man was to die right away, it would be worth it!”
There were differences in power amongst Celestial Immortals as well. Ordinary thunder tribulations, such as those with two nine-sets or three nine-sets, wouldn’t be too powerful. By contrast, some extraordinarily powerful Fiendgod experts might be capable of overcoming nine nine-sets and become Empyrean Gods, immediately comparable to Pure Yang True Immortals in power.
“Eh? What’s going on here?” Immortal Diancai was startled. He asked in surprise, “What’s that little black ship inside this formation?”
“Celestial Immortal Diancai, congratulations to you!” A person emerged from within the little black ship; it was the sect leader of the Blood God Church, the Scion of the Blood God. Laughing loudly, he said, “It’s quite rare to be able to see the birth of a Celestial Immortal. Still…you have to thank this fine disciple you have here. He killed seven of my Law Protectors, then trapped me here. If it wasn’t for the fact I wanted to see if you would become a Celestial Immortal, Immortal Diancai, I would’ve left long ago. Alright…no more playing around with you.”
The Scion returned to his ship. Then, with a rumble and a ripple…he disappeared into thin air.
He had been clenching a Dao-seal when he he was speaking.
“Made him waste a Greater Teleportation Dao-seal. Worth it.” Immortal Fivecraze laughed and nodded.
“What’s this he said about killing seven Law Protectors?” Immortal Diancai frowned. “And Ji Ning, this is your Primaltwin, yes? Where’s your true body?”
After having known Ji Ning for so long, Immortal Diancai knew quite well that Ning himself liked to wear furs, while his Primaltwin usually wore black robes.
Ning laughed. “These are all just minor matters.”
“Let me be the one to tell you.” Immortal Fivecraze called out excitedly, “Junior apprentice-brother, you have no idea. When you were undergoing your demonheart tribulation, everything happened just as you predicted; someone came to attack you. First came the Scion of the Blood God; he came in person, commanding his seven mighty Law Protectors to assault you. This precious disciple of yours showed of all his might…”
Immortal Fivecraze was in an absolutely divine mood as he blabbered on and on. Finally, he finished his tail.
Immortal Diancai looked towards Ning, feeling a hint of guilt in his heart. “Disciple, sorry for the trouble.”
“It’s fine. My true body is fine as well. In addition, the second group of assassins, the stronger ones, they came for me, not for you, Master,” Ning said.
Immortal Diancai shook his head. “Because I was undergoing my tribulation, you were distracted and had to worry about me; that’s the reason why they chose this opportunity to assassinate you. In a normal situation where you didn’t have to worry about me…you probably wouldn’t even have had to fight. You could’ve slipped away long ago.”
“Enough, enough! No need for the two of you, master and disciple, to stand on such ceremony,” Immortal Fivecraze laughed loudly. “Our Black-White College now has a Celestial Immortal. This is a joyous event! Come, come, come. Hurry back to the Black-White College and let all of our fellow disciples learn of this and celebrate. You became a Celestial Immortal! That is the dream of every Immortal cultivator.”
“Are we going to just publicize the fact that Master became a Celestial Immortal?” Ning asked.
Immortal Fivecraze laughed. “We would like to keep it a secret, but since even the Scion of the Blood God knows about it, news will quickly spread. Thus, we should still inform the Earth Immortals and Loose Immortals of the Black-White College. We should also notify Celestial Immortal Hunchmont of the Northmont clan of Stillwater.”
“Celestial Immortal Hunchmont?” Ning was puzzled.
“There is a deeper meaning in this. The reason why our Black-White College is established directly within Stillwater City is because we long ago decided to share weal and woe with the Northmont clan of Stillwater,” Immortal Fivecraze said. “The reason why the Black-White College can recruit all the geniuses we want from throughout the entire Stillwater City and not be impeded in the slightest is because of the Northmont clan; without their permission, how could this be possible?”
Ning now understood.
“Junior apprentice-brother, now that you are a Celestial Immortal, the Northmont clan will definitely want to further deepen the relationship between themselves and our Black-White College,” Immortal Fivecraze laughed. “And of course…our Black-White College has toiled so hard on their behalf. Now that you became a Celestial Immortal, they need to prepare a valuable gift to congratulate you. Junior apprentice-brother, aren’t you lacking in formidable Immortal swords? Now let me think…where should we get such precious treasures? How about…from the Northmont clan of Stillwater?”
Ning nodded. Compared to those ancient clans, Ning was a bit lacking in treasures; after all, his Primaltwin needed all the Heavenraker swords for the [Heavenraker] sword-formation, while his true body needed six Immortal-ranked swords, but didn’t have them! If he wanted to help out his master, he ideally had to offer five formidable Immortal-ranked swords; after all, his master already had five Immortal-ranked swords, just somewhat weak ones.
However, the Northmont clan had existed for countless generations after obtaining the marquisdom for Stillwater Commandery back during the Fiendgod Era. They had given birth to a number of Celestial Immortals, and they definitely had quite a few treasures. The Youngflame clan was capable of bringing out even twenty top-grade Immortal-ranked magic treasures if necessary; although the Northmont clan was a bit weaker, they still had quite a deep foundation.
“Let’s go. Back to Stillwater City,” Immortal Fivecraze urged.
This time, they didn’t need to so carefully creep into the dimensional corridor; rather, they tore a hole through space and returned straight to the world of the Grand Xia, then immediately used a spatial teleport to return to Stillwater City.
The Eastwoods mountain range. One particular mountain, surrounded by layers of formations.
Ning was seated in the lotus position here.
“Master became a Celestial Immortal.” Ning’s face was covered with delight; he felt as though his heart and soul had just become much less burdened. “I want to prepare a valuable gift to congratulate master as well, but alas…all of the Immortal-ranked treasures I obtained from killing those seven Law Protectors were quite ordinary.”
The seven Law Protectors had previously all been ordinary Loose Immortals, after all; it was only thanks to a secret technique that in the past twenty to thirty years, they had increased their levels of power to that of a five hundred thousand year old Loose Immortal. But although their power levels had risen, their magic treasures hadn’t changed much yet.
“Time for me to go back now.”
The reason why Ning had allowed himself to be pummeled like a beanbag without fleeing was because he didn’t want to disrupt his master’s tribulation. Now that the tribulation was over, it was time for him to go back.
Whoosh. Ning rose to his feet, staring at the surrounding area.
“Where exactly am I, and what is this place? Where in the Grand Xia Dynasty is it? Why is such a terrifyingly strong power hidden here?” The twelve white-robed figures who had attacked him…the terrifying killing formation, ‘Divine Venomflame of the Nine Heavens Cauldron’…that mysterious, foggy black cave entrance…Ning could tell from these things that this place was definitely quite extraordinary!
“I need to investigate. After suffering for so long, I need to at least ensure that I know who it is that caused me so much trouble.”
“In addition…the world of the Grand Xia is in a state of chaos right now. This hidden power is most likely one of the causes of it. Only when one knows both one’s self and one’s foe can one win a hundred battles without fail,” Ning mused to himself. Perhaps investigating this place might bring him some danger, but by relying on the ‘Seventy-Two Transformations’ of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], I can infiltrate and investigate this place. Not even True Immortals or Empyrean Gods would be able to discover who I truly was, unless they have a special divine ability that can see through the ‘Seventy-Two Transformations’…but those are far too rare.”
“Time to go!” Ning immediately activated the Greater Teleportation Dao-seal he had taken out. Swoosh! Ning instantly disappeared.
“General,” the Eastwoods sect leader reported, “Ji Ning has already used a Greater Teleportation Dao-seal to leave.”
“If he’s gone, he’s gone.” The silver-armored youth didn’t care one whit.
A million kilometers east of the Eastwoods mountain range. Ning suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
By relying on his Greater Teleportation Dao-seal, he could’ve teleported straight back to Swallow Mountain or Stillwater City, but Ning had to find out just who it was that had trapped him in that location. Thus, he had only teleported a million kilometers! He refused to believe that the enemy base spanned a million kilometers.
Swoosh. Ning flew towards the air above an ordinary commandery city. Sweeping it with his divine sense, he instantly found the most powerful person within the city; a Zifu Disciple.
Whoosh. Ning used a spatial teleport to appear in the person’s study.
There was an old man in the study, leafing through some books.
“Who are you?” The old man lifted his head, instantly shocked.
“I’m going to ask you some questions,” Ning said, and the old man’s gaze instantly turned lost and dull.
“Which commandery is this?” Ning asked.
“Flamedoor Commandery,” the old man said.
Ning was startled. Flamedoor Commandery; it wasn’t too far away from Stillwater Commandery, just two commanderies away.
“What is the name of this city?” Ning asked.
“Weirflow,” the old man said.
Ning frowned. There were far too many commandery cities, and they often changed names. Once a tribe took over a commandery city, they would often change its name. For example, the first commandery city the Ji clan had taken over, they had renamed to the City of Ten Thousand Swords. Precisely because commandery cities changed names so often, maps generally wouldn’t even have city names written down for most of them.
“Which mountains and rivers are nearby?” Ning asked. “Large-scale ones.”
“More than a hundred thousand kilometers east of the city, there is a vast mountain range that spans tens of thousands of kilometers known as the Goosewine Mountains,” the old man said.
Ning’s eyes immediately lit up. The Goosewine Mountains?
Ning had long ago memorized a map of the entire domain of the Grand Xia Dynasty. He quickly ascertained his current, exact location! Upon doing soon, Ning quickly was able to calculate who was located a million kilometers away from him: “The Eastwoods mountain range…the Eastwoods Sect! So that’s where they were hiding!”