Ji Ning and the others landed onto the ground. Upon seeing him appear, the servants and maids of Brightheart Island all called out in respectful unison, “Young master.”
“Ji Ning, you’ve returned.” A frantic-looking, black-robed Ji Truekeep came walking over.
“Uncle Truekeep.” Ning smiled. “What has you looking so worried?”
“How can I not be worried? If it weren’t for the fact that I knew you were undergoing your tribulation, I would’ve gone looking for you long ago. Thank goodness…thank goodness you are back!” As Truekeep spoke, an armored soldier began to walk towards them from not too far away. Ning immediately recognized this man as a captain of the Imperial Guard of the imperial capital, a Loose Immortal soldier.
Truekeep immediately said, “This general came all the way here from the imperial capital on the Xia Emperor’s orders. He’s been waiting here for you for two months.”
“Two months?” Ning was startled.
“If you didn’t come back in three days…I would’ve gone looking for you, even thought I know you were undergoing your tribulation,” Truekeep said.
The fact that Ning’s Primaltwin was undergoing the Celestial Tribulation wasn’t a secret; both the Xia Emperor and the Seamless Gate knew, and so Ning couldn’t be bothered to hide it from anyone else.
“Does the Xia Emperor need something?” Ning looked towards the Imperial Guard captain.
The captain said respectfully, “Immortal Darknorth, I have come on the orders of the Xia Emperor to deliver this to you in person.” He held up a leather scroll, offering it to Ning.
Ning reached out to accept it.
“I’ll be leaving now.” The captain immediately turned to leave.
“Let me send you off.” Clan leader Ji Truekeep moved to escort the captain.
Ji Ning opened the leather scroll. The nearby Immortal Diancai and Yu Wei were both puzzled; what urgent matter was this?
Upon seeing the contents of the leather scroll, Ning’s face changed slightly.
“Ji Ning, what is it?” Immortal Diancai asked. “Of course, if it’s something that cannot be told to others, you don’t have to tell me.”
“There’s no point to keeping this a secret,” Ning said. By now, Truekeep had returned as well. Truekeep said nervously, “All I know is that the messenger captain said that this is critically urgent news that had to be delivered to you, Ji Ning, before the sixth day of the eighth month. Thankfully, you finally came back with seven days to spare. Right…what is this about?”
Ning swept everyone present with his gaze. Mu Northson, Little Qing, Autumn Leaf, Immortal Diancai, and Yu Wei all looked back at him.
“The Seamless Gate is about to truly launch their war against the Grand Xia,” Ning said.
“So it’s finally starting…”
They all felt their hearts sink. All of them, however, had mentally prepared themselves for this long ago. Some major worlds of the Three Realms had already descended into war, and some of the weaker ones had already been subjugated. But of course, things happened more slowly with the more powerful major worlds. The Grand Xia was one example; things were just beginning here. The Seamless Gate’s attempted conquest of it wasn’t something that could be resolved in a day or two.
“By now…everyone will have to choose a side,” Ning said. “I trust that soon, the entire Grand Xia will be divided into two sides. One will be the Xia Emperor’s side, which is to say Daofather Crimsonbright’s side. The other will of course be the Seamless Gate’s side. Naturally…I will of course stand with the Xia Emperor.”
“Right.” Everyone present nodded.
They all knew of the feud between Ning and the Seamless Gate. Ning was their leader; they naturally would follow him wherever he led.
In turn, Ning was definitely going to follow Patriarch Subhuti. Subhuti, Daoist Threelives…both of them were on the side of the Nuwa Alliance. Be it for personal reasons or organizational reasons, Ning was definitely going to stand with the Nuwa Alliance as well.
“The evening of the sixth, I am to head to the Skylight Palace of the imperial capital. I imagine many Celestial Immortals will be present, and even True Immortals and Empyrean Gods will appear,” Ning said. “Of the Ji clan, I am the only person required to take part in battle; no one else needs to participate.”
“Then what of the Black-White College?” Immortal Diancai asked.
“I imagine this same information has been sent to the Black-White College already,” Ning said. “I don’t know the details with regards to the College; Master, if you return to the College, you should be able to find out right away.”
“Right. I’ll go back right away to take a look.” Immortal Diancai nodded, then immediately flew away on a cloud, quickly disappearing into the horizons.
Ning continued, “On the sixth day of the eighth month, I am to go to the Skylight Palace. Before the sixth…the Ji clan needs to evacuate.”
“Evacuate?” Autumn Leaf, Ji Truekeep, Uncle White, and the others were all stunned.
“Ji Ning, where are we evacuating to?” Truekeep asked.
“Here is a Pure Yang treasure, a ‘Violetdawn Pearl’.” Ning waved his hand, and a mottled, violet-colored pearl appeared out of nowhere. This pearl was one of the Pure Yang treasures which Ning had acquired when he attacked those eighteen Celestial Immortals of the Seamless Gate. Alas, although those eighteen had a few Pure Yang treasures, none of them had any top-grade treasures!
The Violetdawn Pearl was used to capture and bewilder foes. It contained a minor world within it that was comparable to the Earth of his previous life in size. It would be very simple to have the Ji clansmen move there and live there.
“A Pure Yang treasure?” Truekeep was rather stunned. To many Immortal cultivators, Pure Yang treasures were mere myths. Only Celestial Immortals could even use Pure Yang treasures!
Yu Wei and the others, however, were quite calm; they had far more experience.
“While the war is going on in the Grand Xia, I won’t be able to guarantee the safety of Swallow Mountain. Evacuation is the only option,” Ning said. “Uncle Truekeep, don’t worry; I will definitely protect the Ji clan.”
“Alright. I’ll go give the order right now to have the clansmen make their preparations,” Truekeep said.
“Good. Three days from now, we will begin the evacuation,” Ning said.
Ning, Immortal Diancai, Yu Wei, and Celestial Immortal Unity were meeting at the Black-White College.
“Per the Xia Emperor’s orders…the two Celestial Immortals of the Black-White College, along with all of the Loose Immortals, must arrive at the imperial palace of the Grand Xia by the evening of the sixth,” Immortal Diancai said.
“The Northmont clan of Stillwater received the same order; all the Loose Immortals and Celestial Immortals must go.” Unity sighed. “The Xia Emperor is being fairly benevolent; he isn’t forcing us to send our Primal Daoists or Earth Immortals into battle.”
Unity then chuckled. “Right; the Seamless Gate has sent yet another a messenger to me. They are inviting me to go to Whitepole City on the sixth. They said that if I went, I would no longer be an enemy; I would be a friend.”
“They actually dare to send yet another invitation?” Immortal Diancai was shocked.
“Perhaps the Seamless Gate thinks that senior Unity might lose his mind and join them,” Ning laughed.
“From the looks of it, neither the Xia Emperor nor the Seamless Gate is going to hide their conflict any longer. Both of them chose the sixth of the eighth month…” Unity sighed. “However, one meeting is at the imperial palace of the Grand Xia, while the other is at Whitepole City. It seems as though Whitepole City has already joined the Seamless Gate!”
Ji Ning, Immortal Diancai, and the others all had solemn looks on their faces.
This was a very low-key city, an incredibly low-key city. It was incredibly rare for people in the imperial capital of the Grand Xia to hear of any news from Whitepole City. However, the Whitepole clan clan was one of the top ten ancient clans of the entire Grand Xia Dynasty. They were content to just hold onto a small piece of land, and they had no interest in going to the imperial capital to take up official positions. Instead, they had built up their fief of Whitepole Commandery to the point where it was almost completely invulnerable to attack. The power of this clan was actually greater than that of the brash Youngflame clan’s! Who would’ve thought that they would have silently, wordlessly joined the Seamless Gate? Their city had even ended up as the headquarters for the Seamless Gate’s conference! From this, one could see how much the Seamless Gate trusted the Whitepole clan.
“The reason why the Xia Emperor was able to force the other clans to join him was because he had the Primordial Imperial Clan behind him; this was why he was able to finally unify the world,” Unity said. “In truth, however, there had been many clans that were struggling quite fiercely against the Xiamang clan. The Whitepole clan was one of the clans that struggled with the Xiamang clan for supremacy. However…they didn’t have enough of a foundation, and so in the end they submitted.”
“If the many clans of the world all joined forces, the Xiamang clan would be completely unable to resist them,” Unity continued. “In fact…there have been marquis-led rebellions in the past. Only after that did the Xia Emperor set up the massive commandery cities to further solidify his rule.”
“I wonder…how many marquises have joined the Seamless Gate?” Unity sighed.
Ning nodded as well.
There were differences amongst the various marquises.
The likes of the Xiamang clan and the Kindwater clan were all branches of major clans of the Primordial Era!
The Whitepole clan, however, originally belonged to Celestial Immortal Whitepole, a lone cultivator. After Pangu’s World was destroyed, Celestial Immortal Whitepole had established his clan within the newly created world that was later known as the Grand Xia. Afterwards, he had broken through to become a Pure Yang True Immortal; this naturally resulted in the Whitepole clan flourishing and becoming powerful. Alas…Whitepole didn’t have any powerful backers, as he had created his clan by himself, unlike the Xiamang clan or the Kindwater clan, which had the major clans of the Primordial Era behind them.
“True Immortal Whitepole has always been very low-key. After the Grand Xia was unified, he has never acted against the Grand Xia Dynasty,” Unity said. “In addition, I know of two others at the True Immortal or Empyrean God level; one belongs to the Kindwater clan, the other belongs to the Skyfarmer clan. Neither of them acted against the Grand Xia either; clearly, they aren’t willing to make enemies out of the Xia Emperor.
Ning was surprised.
The Skyfarmer clan?
He knew that the Kindwater clan had an Empyrean God behind it, but this was the first time he had heard that the Skyfarmer clan had such a power behind it as well. Celestial Immortal Unity, who had lived through the Fiendgod Era, truly was a man who knew many mysteries.
Ning’s group, without question, stood by the side of the Xia Emperor. However, they couldn’t help but feel worried by how powerful the Seamless Gate’s side was.
Two sides were struggling for supremacy…
Would the Xia Emperor suffer a disastrous defeat, or would the Seamless Gate be sent fleeing in disgrace?
All of this was unknown for now. However, one thing was certain…this was going to be a savage, cruel war! After all, many major worlds had already been conquered, while many others were already burning in the fires of war. The power of the Seamless Gate…it caused everyone in the Three Realms to shudder.
Ning’s Primaltwin was able to easily bind the Pure Yang treasure, ‘Violetdawn Pearl’. The evacuation of the Ji clan started. Since there weren’t many Ji clansmen to begin with, the evacuation was fairly simple; in just the time needed to boil a kettle of tea, the evacuation was completedly.
Ji Ning, Yu Wei, Uncle White, Little Qing, Autumn Leaf, Mu Northson, and Ji Truekeep stood atop the clouds, staring down at the vast world below them.
“Time to leave Swallow Mountain.” Truekeep let out a sigh. This was the land which countless generations of the Ji clan had worked to till and make prosperous.
“We’ll be back,” the black-robed Ning said.
Ning suddenly waved his hand, releasing his Celestial Immortal energy. Using a worldshaping technique, he manifested an utterly enormous palm out of natural energy, a palm that was many hundreds of kilometers in size. The enormous palm looked misty and blurry, as it was formed by energy and air. Suddenly, the giant palm made a downwards grab!
The entire Serpentwing Lake, along with the centermost Brightheart Island, was caught up by the giant palm. Not even a single drop of water was missed.
“Come in.” Ning used a technique, instantly drawing the entire Serpentwing Lake into the Violetdawn Pearl.
Serpentwing Lake held extraordinary meaning for him. He didn’t want to leave Serpentwing Lake here. If it ended up being destroyed…he would be filled with endless regrets.
If Ning had the energy of a Pure Yang True Immortal, he would’ve been able to move away the entire Swallow Mountain region of a hundred thousand kilometers!
The underwater estate.
Ning’s true body emerged from the Wargod Hall. He had just successfully challenged the highest level of the Wargod Hall, the tenth level.
“The war is about to begin. It is time for me to find a suitable Pure Yang treasure for myself.” Ning headed straight for the Treasure Hall.