“Ah?!” Ji Ning revealed a look of joy.
“Grandpa, you are one of the Ten Yama-Kings of Hell?” The nearby Yuchi Xiyue was startled as well.
King Yan laughed loudly. “Merely one of the ten that are assigned to this minor cycle of reincarnation; we’re only in charge of this region controlled by Daofather Crimsonbright. There are currently many Yama-Kings in the world; there’s nearly a thousand of us. They are not, however, the ten original ones that governed the Netherworld Kingdom…those ten were all at the True Immortal or Empyrean God level.”
“Grandpa, how did you end up as one of the Ten Yama-Kings of Hell?” Yuchi Xiyue asked curiously.
“When the Daofather first re-established the cycle of reincarnation, he needed candidates for the Ten Yama-Kings and for the First Judge of the Dead, and so the various worlds began to propose people. The Grand Xia had to propose a person as well. Because I am of the imperial clan and just became a Celestial Immortal, his Imperial Majesty had me take up the position of Yama-King,” King Yan explained.
Ning understood. Given that he was of the imperial clan and that he had just become a Celestial Immortal, it made sense that he had been chosen to become one of the Ten Yama-Kings of Hell.
Positions such as this, within a minor cycle of reincarnation, actually weren’t that exalted in status. But of course, back in the Netherworld Kingdom, the original Ten Yama-Kings of Hell were in control of all living creatures within the entire Three Realms; their power was truly enormous.
“Ji Ning, why are you asking about the minor cycle of reincarnation? Is there something you need?” King Yan looked at Ning.
“Yes.” Ning nodded. “Senior King Yan, this junior has a matter that I would beseech your assistance with.”
“Speak,” King Yan said.
The imperial clan had always been quite close-knit. Given that the world of the Grand Xia now had several powerful organizations hidden within it, the imperial clan had only become even more close-knit due to the pressure! Since the Xia Emperor had designated Ning as someone that could ‘only be befriended, not be made an enemy’, and since he felt very certain that Ning was most likely the disciple of a Daofather, he had naturally spread the word to all the Celestial Immortals within the imperial clan. King Yan’s attitude towards Ning was now much different compared to the past, prior to the Conclave of Immortal Destiny. Back then, he treated Ning as he would any other junior, but now he treated Ning as someone on the same level as him.
“I trust you know, senior King Yan, that my father Ji Yichuan and my mother Yuchi Snow have already passed away many years ago,” Ning said. “I dearly desire to learn about how my mother and father are currently doing.”
“What’s the point of investigating this?” King Yan looked towards Ning. “After being reborn, they won’t have any memories of their past life.”
“If they are living good, happy lives after their rebirth, I won’t disturb them,” Ning said. “I just want to see for myself…to see if they are doing well and to see if there’s anything I can do for them.”
“Mm.” King Yan nodded. “Fine. Leave this to me. I expect that in a few months, I’ll have an answer for you.”
“A few months?” Ning was startled.
“Do you feel that is a long time?” King Yan laughed.
King Yan asked him, “Do you know how many how many living creatures die every day across these dozens of major worlds and countless minor worlds?”
“But I heard that in the Netherworld Kingdom, such investigations are very fast,” Ning said.
“That’s because that place is the Netherworld Kingdom. It was built by Mother Nuwa herself, and it also holds the treasured Book of Life and Death, which is one with the Dao of the Heavens,” King Yan said. “The Book of Life and Death can duplicate itself into trillions of copies, and so it controlled the reincarnation, karmic merit, history, and life of all living things. But what we have here is merely a minor cycle of reincarnation established by Daofather Crimsonbright. We don’t have a Book of Life and Death! Thus, our minor cycle of reincarnation is actually even busier than the old one.”
“The process of simply recording the countless deaths and rebirths of the world, as well as karmic virtues and demerits, requires enormous amounts of information to be recorded every single day on magic books,” King Yan said. “And we only have roughly a hundred years of information; anything beyond that is completely lost.”
“Completely lost?” Ning was stunned.
“Right. There’s no way for us to investigate the records that existed before the Six Paths of Reincarnation were destroyed. Although we can go to the Netherworld Kingdom to seek out the First Judge of the Dead, Judge Cui, in order to investigate the history of a soul across a thousand lifetimes…the amount of information and history regarding every single person is simply enormous. There’s simply no way for us to record all the history regarding the countless living creatures that exist across countless millions of worlds. And so, we don’t even bother with it,” King Yan explained.
“In fact, nowadays the Judges for the various minor cycles of reincarnation don’t even bother with wasting time on examining the past lives of the souls of the dead. They just look at karma, then based on positive karma or negative sin, decide if a person will be reincarnated as an animal or as a person, and if the person will be reincarnated with wealth or into poverty.”
Ning was speechless.
When he had met Judge Cui, Judge Cui had instantly known everything that had happened to him during his previous life.
But the judges of this minor cycle of reincarnation only looked at karma and sin; they didn’t even look at a person’s life history! Still…this did speed things up considerably.
“I’ll send someone to help investigate on your behalf. Still…to search through the sea-like mass of records to find the specific history-tablets pertaining to your parents will indeed take some time,” King Yan said.
“Thank you, senior,” Ning said hurriedly with gratitude. Only now did he understand the magnitude of his request to search for someone who had been reincarnated.
Several months? So be it.
“Senior, where can one find the First Judge of the Dead of the Netherworld Kingdom, Judge Cui?” Ning asked.
“You want to find Judge Cui? He might be in the Heaven Realm, or he might be in the Netherworld Kingdom, or he might be somewhere else.” King Yan shook his head. “Ever since the Six Paths of Reincarnation were destroyed, Judge Cui no longer had any tasks shackling him to a specific place. Given that the Book of Life and Death protects him, he can go wherever he pleases. If you want to investigate his whereabouts, you’ll need to ask the Immortals of the Heaven Realm or the Netherworld, I imagine.”
It was a dark, gloomy day today. Ning departed from the imperial capital of the Grand Xia, returning to Stillwater Commandery.
“In a few more months, I’ll be able to know what happened to Mother and Father after they were reborn.” Ning’s heart was filled with hope. “I wonder if they are doing well. Are they Immortal cultivators in this life as well? Which world are they living in, in this new life? Is it still the Grand Xia?”
The skies were desolate and bleak.
Ning flew towards a distant lake. From afar, he could see the wooden house that was located next to it, the residence of his junior apprentice-brother, Mu Northson.
“Alas.” Ning sighed to himself.
His junior apprentice-brother had no family to begin with…and now, his one and only Dao-companion had been trapped within that jade globe. Every day, Northson hugged that jade globe and talked to it. Ning was very worried for his junior apprentice-brother’s Dao-heart. If this were to continue long-term…eventually, his Dao-heart might crumble, at which point he might go crazy and be unable to control his elemental ki, possibly resulting in self-detonation and death.
Within the wild grasses next to the lake, the four Celestial Immortal Patriarchs that were seated in the lotus position all opened their eyes to stare at that figure that had appeared in the distant horizons.
It was a youth who was riding the winds…Ji Ning, the source of trouble which their Youngflame clan had come for!
“He came so quickly. It seems this Ji Ning has a very deep relationship with Mu Northson,” Patriarch Arcanum sneered. “I had thought we’d have to wait for a year or two. The Heavens truly are helping our Youngflame clan!”
“The Heavens are supporting us in eradicating this danger,” Patriarch Deadwood growled as well.
“Our chance has come.” The man holding the greatclock cracked his lips in a grin as well.
As for Patriarch Infatuation, a flash of cold light crossed his eyes.
This was their best-case scenario; after all, Immortal cultivators could go into closed-door meditation sessions and stay in them for extremely long periods of time. They had no idea how long it would be before Ji Ning would come to visit Mu Northson again. If they truly did have to wait for several years or a decade…they would probably end up choosing to capture Northson instead! They’d use him as a hostage, forcing Ji Ning to show himself…but in doing so, Ji Ning would be forewarned and might even bring his friends, such as his fellow disciples from that mysterious school he was from, or the likes of Immortal Diancai. That would render it very difficult for them to kill him.
“He’s completely unprepared right now.” A cold look was in Patriarch Infatuation’s eyes. “This is our best chance.”
“Right.” The other three Patriarchs nodded as well.
“Act according to our plans.” Patriarch Arcanum stared towards the distant Ning as he flew towards the wooden house. “This is the time. Attack!”
Ning was in midair. Through the open wooden door and open windows, he could see Northson within the wooden house. Northson had placed the jade globe on the table in front of him, and was chatting with it while drinking.
“He’s still chatting with Yu Xia’s soul?” Seeing this, Ning couldn’t help but feel even more pain and worry. “If this continues…how can he possibly prevent his Dao-heart from collapsing?”
Mortals were allowed to grow dispirited and depressed…but when Immortal cultivators did so, it would be extremely dangerous. It was one thing for Fiendgod Body Refiners; after all, even if their elemental ki exploded, their bodies would be able to withstand the damage. But his junior apprentice-brother Northson was merely a Ki Refiner; an explosion of elemental ki could be more than enough to cause him to perish.
“Junior apprentice-brother!” Ning called out loudly.
Northson, within the wooden home, picked up the jade globe. He walked to the doorway, raised his head, then smiled and called out, “Senior apprentice-brother!”
Right at this moment…
A powerful yet mysterious ripple instantly spread out from nearby. Like the rays of the sun, the strange ripple instantly encompassed the entire area, including Northson, the jade globe, and Ning.
Ning felt as though his soul had suffered a powerful blow, but his Dao-heart was incomparably resilient. In addition, his Fiendgod body had become completely fused with his soul, rendering it even more stable; he was naturally able to withstand this collision.
“Not good. My junior apprentice-brother!” Ning was shocked.
He had been able to withstand the blow, yes…but would Northson be able to withstand it? Northson had only recently reached the Void-level and become an Earth Immortal; he could only be considered an extremely ordinary Loose Immortal. Would he be able to hold?
“They…” As Ning turned his gaze towards his junior apprentice-brother, he also saw that far away, in the desolate plains, four figures had suddenly appeared. Given that he had read an intelligence report regarding the Youngflame clan long ago, Ning was shocked. “Celestial Immortals Infatuation, Arcanum, Goldclock, and Deadwood? Four Celestial Immortals?”
This coresense attack had been personally executed by Patriarch Infatuation.
In the face of this terrifying coresense attack, the female soul within the jade globe was completely unable to resist. Her soul was, after all, merely the soul of a Wanxiang Adept; it was far too weak.
Like snow melting away under the rays of the sun…she evaporated away into nothingness.
In the instant that she evaporated away, she stared at Mu Northson. Simply stared at him…
As Northson suffered the coresense attack, he almost automatically summoned his own power to resist…but before his very eyes, the jade-trapped soul that he loved melted away into nothingness before him.
“NO!!!!!!” Northson’s eyes instantly turned red. Blood vessels could be seen within them, and two bloody tears came falling out. He let out an utterly agonized and inhuman scream, a howl that was akin to the roar of aa dying beast.
Faced with the coresense attack of Patriarch Arcanum, Ji Ning was able to withstand it, Yu Xia’s soul was melted away, and Northson was sent into madness.
Northson raised his head, staring at the four incomparably powerful Celestial Immortals in the distance, his eyes filled with madness. “IT WAS YOU! ALL OF YOU WILL DIE!!!”
An enormous Winged Immortal golem suddenly appeared behind him. Northson instantly merged into the body of the Winged Immortal golem, and its aura instantly exploded with power. As a grandmaster of constructs and one who had even personally made this sort of Winged Immortal golem before…
Under the maddened control of a grandmaster, the Winged Immortal golem became activated. Instantly, a series of wild gusts of wind appeared in the surrounding area. The gale smashed apart everything before it, and within the gale could be seen multiple spots of black light. Just looking at those spots was enough to cause a man to sink into oblivion.