A spatial ripple suddenly appeared in the skies above the desolate plains. Two figures emerged from the spatial ripple; a staff-wielding Celestial Immortal Hunchmont, and a black-robed, black-haired Immortal Diancai.
“It’s up ahead.”
“But there’s a formation covering that area.”
Celestial Immortal Hunchmont and Immortal Diancai immediately released their coresense, using it to cover an area of tens of thousands of kilometers; they were naturally able to discover that large formation. The formations which the four Celestial Immortals of the Youngflame clan had set up here weren’t meant to be used to guard their headquarters; naturally, they wouldn’t pay too high of a price for them. These formations were merely meant for trapping enemies by mystifying them, barring spatial ripples, and causing enemies to be unable to use void blink techniques to escape; they were unable to completely block out the coresense of a determined Celestial Immortal.
“Ji Ning!” Both were shocked by what their coresense found.
They saw Ning, with three heads and six arms, suffering repeated attacks from four mighty Celestial Immortals within that grand formation.
Patriarch Arcanum used the Starlight Revolution to negatively impact Ning’s movements time and time again.
Patriarch Goldclock was using his top-grade Pure Yang greatclock in an attempt to trap and suppress Ning within it.
Patriarch Infatuation was continuing to unleash the full power of his miniature frozen world with every blow, beating Ning senseless and giving him no chance to fight back at all; he was a truly supreme Celestial Immortal.
Patriarch Deadwood was controlling countless tendrils and vines in an attempt to bind and constrict Ning.
Although he had the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], Ning was being forced to rely on body-separation, followed by self-detonation, something which he wouldn’t be able to sustain for very long.
“Hurry up and break the formation.” Celestial Immortal Hunchmont was shocked and worried. “Diancai, this great formation is mainly focused inwards and doesn’t have much resistance to outside attacks. If the two of us join together, we can break it open through raw force.”
“Alright.” Immortal Diancai was frantic as well.
Immortal Diancai pointed from far away. Instantly, five Immortal swords appeared out of nowhere, instantly piercing through the skies, transforming into five dazzling rainbows of light. Every single sword manifested the illusion of a giant mountain…and moments later, the five illusory mountains actually joined together, transforming into a single enormous mountain with five peaks! These five peaks were like five fingers of different colors that carried the intent of utter extermination.
Five Elements Sword – Minor Five Elements Extermination!
“Mountainshift!” Celestial Immortal Hunchmont released a low growl as well. A total of nine massive seals appeared out of nowhere, each of which flew out at high speed and transformed into a massive mountain. These nine massive mountains were different in appearance, with some being towering, some being squat, and some being sharp. They were completely different from Immortal Diancai’s swords, as they were not illusory; rather, they were nine true mountain peaks.
In addition, around the nine true mountains, a host of illusory mountains could be seen as well. A total of eighty-one such illusory mountain peaks appeared..
It was like an entire mountain range was crashing down!
The reason why Celestial Immortal Hunchmont’s nickname was ‘Hunchmont’ was precisely because he relied on this supreme ability of his, the [Mountainbringer] technique.
The illusory five-peaked mountain of sword-light radiated an aura of extermination, while the nine true mountain peaks carried eighty-one illusory mountain peaks with them as they came crashing down with raw force.
The two joined together…and the formation flags which the Celestial Immortals had spread throughout the region were instantly shattered apart. Even the desolate plains themselves had massive, jagged scars blasted into them.
Both figures were extraordinary in their power.
Immortal Diancai had become a Celestial Immortal after undergoing six nine-sets of thunder tribulation; his sword-art, the ‘Minor Five Elements Extermination’, was on a level that was even higher than Ning’s own sword-arts! In addition, he was using five top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords to execute his technique. Ning’s fourth stage of his [Greater Thousand Swords Formation] was probably roughly on par with his master’s techniques in terms of sword-arts, but Immortal Diancai was now a Celestial Immortal…naturally, his power was much greater, due to the fact that he was using Celestial Immortal-level power.
As for Celestial Immortal Hunchmont, he was also on the same level as Patriarch Deadwood and Patriarch Goldclock; he, too, was more powerful than Ning.
And the two of them had just joined forces!
Naturally, they were able to completely smash apart that grand formation.
“Our formation’s been destroyed.”
“The newcomers are Hunchmont of the Northmont clan and Immortal Diancai of the Black-White College,” Patriarch Arcanum sent frantically.
“Infatuation, what should we do now?” Patriarch Goldclock sent a frantic mental message as well.
“Damn!” Patriarch Infatuation had an ugly look on his face. He stared at the distant Ji Ning, who was frantically dodging past the many tendrils in an attempt to buy as much time as possible. What he saw made him feel all the more unwilling to give up; although Ji Ning had trained in the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], his foundation was far too weak. Patriarch Infatuation was now certain that if the four of them were given just a bit more time, they would be able to suppress and trap Ji Ning within the divine greatclock!
Once trapped and suppressed within that top-grade Pure Yang treasure, even True Immortals or Empyrean Gods would be unable to escape, to say nothing of Ji Ning.
But of course…a True Immortal or Empyrean God wouldn’t be so stupid as to let themselves be trapped within.
The five-peaked mountain of sword-light carried an incomparably fierce aura.
The nine true mountains carried a host of illusory mountains as they came crashing forward.
There was nothing to stop them.
“Damn, damn, DAMN!!!” Patriarch Infatuation was both frantic and enraged; they were so very close to victory! However, he knew that the appearance of Celestial Immortal Hunchmont and Immortal Diancai meant that they were now unable to suppress Ji Ning. After all, Ji Ning had trained in the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art]; they were unable to kill him, and would only be able to suppress and trap him.
They no longer had the time necessary to do that.
“Leave!” Patriarch Infatuation sent with an angry roar. “Let’s leave.”
“Damnit.” Patriarch Goldclock and Patriarch Deadwood felt similarly unwilling to just give up like this.
“If we had just a few extra moments, Ji Ning would’ve been finished.” Patriarch Arcanum was unbelievably frustrated as well.
“Celestial Immortal Infatuation, this is my territory, Stillwater Commandery. By doing this, your Youngflame clan is truly showing no regard for our Northmont clan.” A sonorous voice, backed by Celestial Immortal-level power, instantly shook every single inch of the surrounding area. The elderly staff-wielding hunch back and the black-robed, black-haired man had already begun moving towards them, side-by-side.
“Hmph.” The four Celestial Immortals of the Youngflame clan couldn’t even be bothered to talk to them; they each retreated at high speed, disappearing into the distant horizons.
They made quite a clean getaway.
“Ji Ning.” Celestial Immortal Hunchmont and Immortal Diancai flew over to him.
“Senior Hunchmont. Master.” Ning went over to welcome them.
“What happened? Four Celestial Immortals of the Youngflame clan joined forces to attack you?” Immortal Diancai was incomparably worried, while the nearby Celestial Immortal Hunchmont was secretly shocked as well. All four of the Celestial Immortals were exceedingly powerful; logically speaking, a slightly weaker Celestial Immortal should’ve been instantly killed! Ji Ning, however, had been able to hold on until their arrival.
“They have been looking to get rid of me for some time now. This time, they set up a trap here at my junior apprentice-brother Mu Northson’s place, waiting for me.” Ning’s heart was filled with guilt.
The thing most important to his junior apprentice-brother, the soul of his Dao-companion, had been destroyed. Ning didn’t know what his junior apprentice-brother was currently thinking right now; his junior apprentice-brother had completely been collateral damage in this attempt to kill Ning.
“If I had known this would happen, when he refused, I would’ve forcibly abducted him to Swallow Mountain.” Ning was filled with endless regret. Because his junior apprentice-brother was filled with longing and love for this place, he was unwilling to listen to Ning’s suggestions, no matter what Ning said. In addition, since Ning felt that nobody would know that Northson had returned to this place, and given that Northson also had the Winged Immortal golem, he didn’t force his junior apprentice-brother to go back with him.
“My junior apprentice-brother literally just returned. How did the Youngflame clan find out?” Ning mused to himself.
“Ji Ning, you spoke of a junior apprentice-brother?” Immortal Diancai hurriedly asked.
“Yes. Mu Northson.” Ning nodded.
“You found him?” Immortal Diancai was shocked.
“I found him. Let’s go back first; let’s not stay here.” Ning glanced at the surrounding area; even the wooden house which his junior apprentice-brother had built had been utterly annihilated by this battle. That earlier battle had simply been too frenzied.
Ning, Immortal Diancai, and Celestial Immortal Hunchmont first returned to Stillwater City. After discussing a few affairs in detail, even Immortal Diancai agreed, “Based on what you said, Bloodcloud Hall’s attempted assassination of you was very likely done at the request of the Youngflame clan. Now that they have personally attempted to remove you…they probably won’t let matters rest like this.”
“Agreed. Ji Ning, given your current level of power, you aren’t able to withstand the Youngflame clan yet. You have to keep waiting and enduring it. After you become a Celestial Immortal, your chances will be much greater,” Celestial Immortal Hunchmont urged as well.
Ning was filled with regret and hate.
Wait and endure?
For how much longer was he supposed to wait and endure?
In the past, his mother had carried the burden of knowing who their mortal enemy was by herself; she had been unwilling to tell him that their enemy was the Youngflame clan, precisely because in her eyes, her son was more important than vengeance. In addition, she was afraid; the Youngflame clan was truly far too powerful. She didn’t even dare imagine her son fighting against an ancient clan like this, one of the top ten clans of the entire world of the Grand Xia.
When the Youngflame clan had been frantically searching for him, and even trapping the Ji clan within Swallow Mountain, Ning had been forced to endure and bide his time!
When they had attempted to assassinate him within the imperial capital of the Grand Xia, Ning had still waited and endured!
He had never taken any reprisal actions against them.
In fact, even upon his return from Mount Innerheart, Ning had continued to wait and bide his time…because he didn’t feel any confidence at all in his ability to deal with the Youngflame clan. The Northmont clan of Stillwater was already so incredibly powerful; what then of the Youngflame clan? The four Celestial Immortals that had appeared today were already incredibly terrifying…and this was probably not the full power the Youngflame clan could bring to bear.
Only after returning to Swallow Mountain did Ning release his junior apprentice-brother.
“Youngflame clan…Youngflame clan…Youngflame clan…”
Within a house, a series of agonized, maddened growls could be heard. The nearby servants and maids who heard the voice felt their hearts shudder. A grand formation had long ago been set up around this house, causing Northson to be completely unable to escape.
Ning stood there on the hallway, listening to the heart-rending growls.
He walked through the grand formation. He walked to the room. He pushed the door open. He entered.
Within the room.
Mu Northson was sitting on his knees like a madman, his hair tousled and even whiter than before. He raised his head to look towards Ning.
“Senior apprentice-brother.” Northson’s face was twisted with agony. His eyes were blood-red, and he said in hoarsely, “I will take revenge. I will take revenge! I will kill the Youngflame clan. Kill them. Kill them all. They took everything from me. I’m going to take everything from them. Annihilate them. Senior apprentice-brother, let me out!”
“This was all my fault.” Ning walked to his junior apprentice-brother’s side, then knelt down as well, taking his junior apprentice-brother’s hand into his own.
His junior apprentice-brother’s hand was trembling nonstop.
Ning was filled with tremendous guilt.
This was all purely because of the feud between him and the Youngflame clan. His junior apprentice-brother had ended up being dragged into it.
“It isn’t your fault, senior apprentice-brother. It was the Youngflame clan,” Northson said hoarsely. “I will take revenge. Kill them. The more I kill, the better. Senior apprentice-brother, why don’t you let me out? Why?”
“Wait. Wait a few more days,” Ning said in a low voice.
“I need to keep waiting?” Northson’s eyes were filled with madness.
“Junior apprentice-brother, do you think I don’t want to wipe out the Youngflame clan?” Ning’s entire body began to tremble slightly as well. “I’ve been biding my time for so many years. I want to take revenge very badly…and not just for myself. This is for my mother…my uncle…my cousin…this is for all of them. I tell you this - Wait a few more days. Once my preparations are complete, I will definitely assault the Youngflame clan’s headquarters.”
“Wait how long?” Northson stared at Ning.
“Soon. Very soon,” Ning said consolingly.
Suddenly, Ning rose to his feet. Turning his head, he stared towards the south. His gaze seemed to pass through the walls of space and penetrate to the imperial capital of the Grand Xia. In this moment, within the imperial palace of the imperial capital, the silver-haired Skyfox had just shattered the talisman which Ning had given him.
Northson, noticing that Ning had suddenly risen to his feet, couldn’t help but turn his head to look at him.
“…Our chance just arrived,” Ning said softly. “I’ll go on a trip to the imperial capital of the Grand Xia first. After that…it will be time for the Youngflame clan to pay their blood debt to us.”