Ji Ning now knew about all the twists and turns that had led to the current situation. He immediately said, “Junior apprentice-brother, I’ll come up with a way to save your Dao-companion’s soul, then lead you away.”
Although his heart was filled with a desire for murder, Ning knew very well that the truly important thing was to rescue his junior apprentice-brother and the soul of Yu Xia.
“It’s useless.” Mu Northson shook his head. “There’s no way I can leave the forbidden region.”
“Why?!” Ning hurriedly asked.
“This mysterious power seems to be worried that we might have a Greater Teleportation Dao-seal hidden within our Zifu region; without killing us, there’s no way they can find out,” Northson said. “To prevent us from escaping, when they caught us, they forced us to swear oaths to the Dao of the Heavens that unless they voluntarily grant us freedom, if we are to flee this place and go beyond the confines of the Eastwoods mountain range, we shall have our souls shattered.”
“What?!” Ning was stunned.
This was going to be trouble.
“We only have two paths before us. The first path is the path of death, followed by the souls of our loved ones suffering for countless ages, never to be reborn! The second path is to swear the oath to the Dao of the Heavens, then obediently work hard. Those of us who did not commit suicide…we are all hoping for our final freedom,” Northson said.
Ning nodded lightly.
Aside from the tight watch they maintained, they had also forced Northson and the others to swear oaths to the Dao of the Heavens not to flee. Quite cautious indeed!
“You said…‘unless they voluntarily grant you freedom’?” Ning suddenly asked.
“Right,” Northson said. “After all, the general himself also swore an oath to the Dao of the Heavens to free us within a thousand years. If we are to never be given freedom, many people would likely choose suicide instead.”
Ning pondered for a moment, then said, “Right…earlier, you said that you and the other grandmasters are pooling your abilities to create an incomparably terrifying Fiendgod Golem…and that if a Celestial Immortal was to command it, it could be described as invincible against any foes beneath the True Immortal or Empyrean God level! Then the creation of this golem must be very hard, right? The materials are quite precious?”
There were quite a few Celestial Immortals who had Pure Yang treasures. For this Fiendgod Golem to be referred to as ‘invincible against any foes beneath the True Immortal or Empyrean God level’ had to mean that it was vastly more valuable than any ordinary Pure Yang treasure.
“The creation is indeed quite difficult.” Northson nodded. “Although all of us are Loose Immortals or Earth Immortals, and have detailed blueprints, the golem formation-diagrams within…they are simply unfathomably profound. We grandmasters are like a horde of ants, diligently working away at the task. We’ve spent more than twelve years on it, but we’ve managed to finish more than half of the Fiendgod Golem. I trust that in two or three more years, we’ll have finished it.”
“As for the materials? They are naturally of enormous value. This mighty golem has extremely exacting standards when it comes to its materials; weaker materials are completely unable to withstand the power that will be circulated through it via the mighty formation-diagrams. To put it another way…this Fiendgod Golem is the most important task I have been given since I was brought here! All of the grandmasters have joined forces to work on it, while the ordinary golem-masters are merely working on secondary constructs instead.”
Ning nodded lightly. “All the grandmasters have joined forces and have spent twelve years on it? Most of you, when first arriving, must have been at a comparatively low level of skill in the Dao of Constructs. By working on secondary constructs, your skill began to slowly rise to the level of a grandmaster…which is to say, the main purpose this forbidden region has had over the past thirty years was to produce this golem!”
“Right.” Northson nodded in agreement. “As for the precious materials, they are escorted here by other generals. One time, seven generals came together in escorting a shipment.”
Of course that was how it had to be. A construct meant for a Celestial Immortal to control, that was invincible against all other Celestial Immortals. A few dozen or a hundred such Fiendgod Golems would probably be enough to completely sweep through the entire world of the Grand Xia! Ning was now a disciple of Patriarch Subhuti and had a certain level of insight into the world…but golems as terrifying as these probably were superior to even top-grade Pure Yang treasures!
They were truly priceless!
“Since you are here working on this golem, then you definitely will come into contact with it,” Ning said.
“Yes.” Northson nodded.
“Good. Then I’ll make a trip with you…and I’ll take away the Fiendgod Golem when the time is right,” Ning said confidently. “I’ll threaten that ‘general’ and force him to release you and Yu Xia’s soul.”
“How would you enter? What will you transform into? That castle is extremely tightly guarded; no living creatures are allowed in, not even mosquitos,” Northson said.
“I’ll change into…” Ning laughed. “…a hair on your head.”
Northson was speechless.
Ning laughed. Swish! He disappeared into thin air, and then an extra hair appeared on top of Northson’s head.
“What do you think, junior apprentice-brother?” Ning’s voice echoed out.
Northson, amazed, reached out with his hand to stroke this additional strand of hair that had just appeared. “You can do this?!”
This was indeed a flawless plan!
“If you transform into my hair…there’s no way I could recognize you. But is it possible that someone within the castle might detect you?” Northson asked, worried.
“Even True Immortals and Empyrean Gods will be unable to detect me,” Ning said confidently. The ‘Seventy-Two Transformations’ was no ordinary divine ability.
“Good.” Northson revealed a look of delight. “The other grandmasters and I are working in a region deep within that castle, where we are forging that Fiendgod Golem. That region is primarily meant for us grandmasters; there are only two guards there. No one else will go there to disturb us. Since there’s no way for us to escape, they aren’t worried about us at all. So long as you go…you’ll be able to easily capture that Fiendgod Golem.”
“But senior apprentice-brother!” Northson said with worry. “Once you seize it, everyone in the castle will know right away. In fact, even that general will immediately be aware of it. If you threaten them, they might just kill you, then take the Fiendgod Golem back.”
“Kill me?” Ning shook his head. “They won’t be able to kill me…so they will have to choose to lower their heads.”
All he had to do was enter his mobile Immortal estate for just a brief moment, then immediately use a Greater Teleportation Dao-seal.
The enemies would probably truly be forced to lower their heads!
Northson began to grow excited as well. His senior apprentice-brother’s plan was indeed workable. He hurriedly said, “We have to first acquire Yu Xia’s soul. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m terrified of the thought that Yu Xia’s soul will be tormented for countless ages.”
Ning was startled for a moment, then nodded. “Right.”
He could threaten them and force them to submit…but they might just pull out Yu Xia’s soul to counter-threaten him! His junior apprentice-brother would rather die than cause Yu Xia to be eternally unable to be reborn.
“Are you able to acquire Yu Xia’s soul?” Ning asked.
“It’s been a month since I’ve seen Yu Xia,” Northson said hurriedly. “After I enter the castle, I can request to see Yu Xia. Each month, we can see our loved one a single time! They won’t refuse…they’ll take me there, then I’ll see Yu Xia. You, senior apprentice-brother, will immediately strike and seize her soul.”
“Seizing Yu Xia’s soul, or seizing the Fiendgod Golem. We have to choose between the two.” Northson began to frown.
Ning laughed. “That’s simple. I’ll first go with you on a trip to the Fiendgod Golem, and then I’ll go to Yu Xia’s place. I’ll acquire her soul, then immediately use a Greater Teleportation Dao-seal to immediately head to the Fiendgod Golem and seize it as well.”
“A Greater Teleportation Dao-seal?” Northson said, worried, “But once you move to flee the Eastwoods mountain range…will you have another method of escape?”
“I have a few of these seals,” Ning said with a laugh.
He did indeed. He had acquired one from the underwater estate, a second from killing Youngflame Nong, then more than ten from killing the monster kings and the vile Patriarch on the Crescent world. Every one of the monster kings had at least one Greater Teleportation Dao-seal on them; given their statuses, acquiring one wasn’t too hard.
And now, given the number of treasures Ning had and his connection with Patriarch Skyfox of the Heavenly Treasures Mountain, it wouldn’t be too hard for him to buy eight or ten Greater Teleportation Dao-seals.
“First seize Yu Xia’s soul, then Greater Teleport to seize the Fiendgod Golem.” Northson asked, “The seizing of the soul will cause alarms to go off within the castle; I imagine that seizing the Fiendgod Golem will prove troublesome.”
“Don’t worry. As long as we are fast enough, and as long as we immediately Greater Teleport upon acquiring the soul…there will be no one who can stop us,” Ning said. “The only person in the entire Eastwoods mountain range who can threaten me is that general you spoke of. By the time he hears of the soul being stolen, I’ll have already taken the Fiendgod Golem as well.”
The plan had more or less been set. The two of them discussed some of the finer details, then Northson began to give a introduction to the layout of the castle.
Just as the two grew more and more animated in their discussions…
Northson’s face suddenly turned ashen.
“Senior apprentice-brother!” Northson looked towards Ning with worry. “If you steal Yu Xia’s soul, then threaten them to force them to release me…they’ll definitely suspect there is a connection between us. Given that you’ll have to fight when moving to steal the Fiendgod Golem…you’ll probably have to use your skills as a Sword Immortal, at which point they’ll know it is a Sword Immortal they are facing.”
“They would be able to guess right away that the person who rescued me was most likely you, senior apprentice-brother.”
“They’ll be able to tell it from your swords.”
Northson stared at Ning.
Ning sighed mentally to himself.
His junior apprentice-brother had discovered the flaw.
He had already been trapped within this Eastwoods mountain range once; given the power of that mysterious organization, they probably suspected that he had trained in the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art].
Given that he was then able to enter stealthily, then steal the Fiendgod Golem despite the tight defenses and guard…they would probably grow even more certain that he had used the ‘Seventy-Two Transformations’. After all, other methods of entry, such as a Greater Teleportation, would cause spatial ripples and be discovered.
The chances of him being exposed would be very high.
He absolutely could not underestimate this foe. They were far too powerful…Ning knew this all along.
“Junior apprentice-brother,” Ning said. “Don’t worry. Even if I am exposed in the end…all I’m doing is rescuing you. To this mysterious power, a single grandmaster of constructs isn’t that important. You are nothing more than one amongst many such grandmasters. It is the Fiendgod Golem which truly matters. So long as they let you free, I’ll return that to them; they won’t have lost much. They won’t go so far as to make an enemy out of a Daofather’s disciple over this matter.”
Northson shook his head. “Senior apprentice-brother, your words are reasonable, but I can sense how savage and arrogant that organization is…and they truly are powerful. I don’t want them to act against you. I’d rather stay here and endure the thousand years.”
“Will you be able to endure it?” Ning snapped frantically, “Look at yourself right now. You’ll probably die halfway through it!”
“Enough!” Ning said seriously. “If you disagree, then I’ll do it myself, without your help.”
“Senior apprentice-brother…” Northson couldn’t believe it.
“Decide!” Ning said. “Am I going to do this myself, or are we going to do it together?”