Although the tenth level was seemingly difficult, in truth Ji Ning had already acquired the power to overcome it by the time he had returned from the Nihilum Zone. However, since his Primaltwin had yet to overcome the tribulation, he wouldn’t have been able to put the Pure Yang treasure to any use, and so he hadn’t been in a rush to attempt it. The treasure he had acquired last time, the ‘Sole-Ki Nine Element Pearls’, he had traded to the Xia Emperor for many other treasures, so as to repair the Rahu Bow and train in both the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] and the [Starseizing Hand].
This time, there was no way Ning would trade the treasure away.
The war was beginning. He needed powerful treasures for it! Although he had acquired quite a few treasures from the Seamless Gate, especially the three top-grade Pure Yang treasures and the Protocosmic spirit-treasure which Old Man Yuan had given him, alas…the only treasure which was of significant use to him was the Nineleaf Snowlotus. The others weren’t very useful to him; in fact, they weren’t even of great use to Yu Wei. Thus, Ning had given one of the Pure Yang treasures to Immortal Diancai, then put the others into storage.
“I hope there are flying swords.” As Ning stepped into the Treasure Hall, he saw the giant yellow bear waiting for him.
“Ji Ning, you can now choose one of the twenty-two Pure Yang treasures we have available.” The giant yellow bear waved his hand, and a book instantly flew towards Ning.
“There are only five more choices than last time?” Ning was surprised.
“These are Pure Yang treasures. How many do you think we have?” The giant yellow bear was irritated.
Last time, Ning had chosen the Sole-Ki Nine Element Pearls out of eighteen available choices, leaving behind seventeen. Now, five more choices appeared for a total of twenty-two. In truth, however…Ning didn’t fancy any of the previous seventeen, and so he would really be choosing from these five.
“Once you become an Empyrean God and become the master of the Starseizing Manor, you’ll be able to acquire better treasures. For now…you’ll have to continue to act in accordance with Master’s rules,” the big bear said.
Ning smiled, then lowered his head to flip through the books.
There had to…
There simply had to be top-grade Pure Yang flying swords here! His Primaltwin’s [Greater Thousand Swords Formation] truly needed flying swords!
“How extraordinary.” Ning could barely breathe.
The Pure Yang treasures which Daoist Threelives had collected truly were not treasures which most Empyrean Gods or True Immortals could hope to touch.
In terms of preciousness…
Of the five Pure Yang treasures, the most precious treasure was a set known as the ‘Nine Invisible Mother-Son Hooks’. This was a treasure set formed by nine top-grade and eighty-one middle grade Pure Yang-level poison hooks. They formed into nine mother-son formation sets that could lock down space itself, preventing foes from using Greater Teleportation! In addition, they were extremely fast and possessed astonishing power.
Alas, Ning needed swords, not poison hooks.
“These two sets of flying swords…” Ning revealed a look of delight. Of the five sets, two were actually sword-sets. It seemed as though the giant yellow bear had really been very thoughtful in bringing these out for him.
The first set of flying swords was known as the Three Pure Ones. These were three top-grade Pure Yang swords that were personally forged by the leader of the Daoist Path, Daoist Three Purities. These three flying swords were extraordinary, even amongst top-grade Pure Yang swords.
In his past life on Earth, Ning had heard of the legends of the Three Pure Ones. However, only after he had embarked upon the path of Immortal cultivation and had become apprenticed to Subhuti had he truly understood that Earth’s myths regarding the Exalted Celestial of Primordial Origins, the Exalted Celestial of the Virtuous Dao, and the Exalted Celestial of the Luminous Treasure were all about the same person. These three, the Three Pure Ones, were merely the three mighty incarnations of Daoist Three Purities!
As the leader of the Daoist Path, Daoist Three Purities was acknowledged without dispute as one of the most powerful figures of the Three Realms. The only person one might dare to proclaim as being more powerful as him would probably be Mother Nuwa, who had left the Three Realms to enter the endless primordial chaos.
The second set of flying swords were known as the Ananda [1. Ananda was the cousin of the Buddha and one of his closest disciple.] World-Swords.
Ananda was the attendant and protector of the leader of the Buddhist Sangha. Although he was merely an ‘attendant’, he was also someone who was at the Buddha (Daofather) level of power. His status within the Buddhist Sangha was extremely high, definitely high enough to rank in the top ten.
The Ananda World-Swords were nine top-grade Pure Yang flying swords that had been personally fashioned by Buddha Ananda. They were incomparably sharp, capable of cutting through the miseries of the mortal world.
“I didn’t expect that one of these two sets would have been forged by the leader of the Daoist Path, while the other was created by Buddha Ananda of the Buddhist Sangha.” Ning laughed. He was a disciple of Subhuti; although Subhuti knew both Daoist and Buddhist divine abilities and spells, he belonged to neither camp. Both the Daoist Way and the Buddhist Sangha belonged to Mother Nuwa’s side; they could be considered allies and friends of Ning.
“Have you made your choice?” The giant yellow bear asked.
“The Ananda World-Swords, I suppose.” Ning smiled. “They are nine top-grade Pure Yang flying swords; they can serve as a formation-base, allowing the power of my [Greater Thousand Swords Formation] to increase dramatically.”
The giant yellow bear waved his paw.
Deep from the thronging mass of treasures that hovered in the air above the Treasure Hall, a massively powerful ripple suddenly spread out. Nine flying swords that were completely lacquered came descending downwards, appearing in front of Ji Ning. At the same time, nine little monks that glowed with golden light flew out from the nine swords. The little monks were bald and all dressed yellow robes, and they looked as if they were seven or eight years old.
All nine of these little monks, however, possessed sharp auras that were filled with killing intent.
“So you are our new master?” One of the little monks said.
“Right.” Ning nodded.
“Shall you work to sever misery and its bringers from the world, bringing blessings to the countless living beings of the world?” The little monk asked.
Ning smiled. “A storm has arisen, and I shall naturally be forced to kill. I am, however, on the same side as the one who created you, Buddha Ananda.”
The nine little monks immediately folded their hands together into a prayer. “Amitabha.” [2. Amitabha is the name of a Buddha, the most important Buddha of the popular Pure Lands School. It is believed by many Buddhists, even in this very day, that saying his name will bring blessings.]
With the nine top-grade Pure Yang swords serving as a formation-base, and the hundreds of top-grade Immortal-ranked swords supporting them…the power of the [Greater Thousand Swords Formation] instantly increased to become far more greater than that of the Nineleaf Snowlotus, which was a high grade Protocosmic spirit-treasure. Top-grade Pure Yang treasures were normally only comparable to middle grade Protocosmic spirit-treasures, but nine of them combined into a large formation naturally resulted in more power.
In addition, the Nineleaf Snowlotus was mainly meant for trapping and binding foes, while Immortal swords were meant for launching attacks.
The sixth day of the eighth month. Night was descending.
Celestial Immortal Unity, the black-robed Ji Ning, Yu Wei, Immortal Diancai, and more than two hundred Loose Immortals all soared into the skies in awe-inspiring fashion, then left through teleportation.
Two hundred Loose Immortals…this represented all of the Loose Immortals of Stillwater Commandery! The various major schools and sects of Stillwater Commandery, such as the Skysplitter Sword Sect, the Hundred Flowers Fairyland, the Dragonhunter clan, and the Eastriver clan actually had even more Loose Immortals than the Black-White College did…and now, all of them were being mobilized. There was no way any of them would dare to violate the Xia Emperor’s orders.
“The war really is starting. All the Loose Immortals and Celestial Immortals are being dragged into it.” Upon seeing more than two hundred Loose Immortals gather here, Ning couldn’t help but secretly sigh to himself.
The air above the imperial capital of the Grand Xia.
One spatial ripple after another appeared, followed by the emergence of squads of Celestial Immortals and Loose Immortals. Every squad had at least a few dozen people, while some had several thousand! If the Youngflame clan hadn’t joined the Seamless Gate, their three commanderies would’ve sent the thousands of Loose Immortals they possessed as well.
This day was simply too stunning.
Countless citizens of the imperial capital raised their heads, staring at the skies. Upon seeing a countless number of Loose Immortals pour in at a steady rate, and even many exalted Celestial Immortals appear, everyone was shocked.
“They have to all be at least Loose Immortals.”
The local citizens were completely dazed.
As for the Immortals, they shot out like an endless stream of meteors, shooting through the skies towards the imperial palace.
Ning’s group of two hundred or so from Stillwater Commandery arrived as well.
“So many.” As Ning stared at the many Celestial Immortals and Loose Immortals who had been gathered here, he couldn’t help but feel stunned as well. At the same time, he felt a hint of dread in his heart. “So many Immortals…even Empyrean Gods or True Immortals would be in grave danger if they tried to fight by themselves.
Ning glanced sideways at Yu Wei. Yu Wei’s belly still wasn’t protruding yet; Ning was a Fiendgod, after all, while Yu Wei was a Celestial Immortal. Their child would spend a fairly long period of time gestating in her womb. Ning mused silently to himself, “She’s pregnant; it wouldn’t be appropriate for her to go out into battle. I need to have a chat with the Xia Emperor about this.”
The delegation from Stillwater Commandery flew towards the imperial palace as well.
The plaza below the imperial palace. Countless figures had appeared here; it truly was a veritable ocean of people.
The Xia Emperor had given the order long ago that only Celestial Immortals were qualified to go into the Skylight Palace and congregate there. The main reason for this was that there were simply far too many Loose Immortals; there was no way the Skylight Palace could possibly fit that many people aside. Were all the Immortals supposed to be packed in together shoulder-to-shoulder? Even back during the Conclave of Immortal Destiny, only a few thousand people had been permitted to sit within the main hall of the Skylight Palace.
“You wait here.” Celestial Immortal Unity gave the order, and the two hundred-plus Loose Immortals all landed, leaving Ji Ning, Yu Wei, Immortal Diancai, and Unity to continue flying forwards by themselves towards the Skylight Palace.
Within the Skylight Palace. Many Celestial Immortals were gathered here, having rushed here from throughout the 3600 commanderies and the four seas. Although the Seamless Gate had worked hard to pull others into their orbit, over the course of countless years, these Celestial Immortals had all become tightly drawn into Daofather Crimsonbright’s alliance. Thus, many of them had still chosen to come here.
“So many.” Ning, Yu Wei, Immortal Diancai, and Celestial Immortal Unity all entered the palace, and as they did they felt breathless for a moment.
“There has to be at least six…seven thousand people here!” Ning swept his gaze forward.
“Fellow Daoist Ji Ning.”
“Fellow Daoist Darknorth.”
Ji Ning’s arrival caused quite a few Celestial Immortals to head towards them to chat with him. Of course, they said a few things to Celestial Immortal Unity, Yu Wei, and Immortal Diancai as well, but most of them clearly came over to chat with Ning.
Celestial Immortal Unity had been in seclusion for far, far too long. Immortal Diancai was the least-known of the group, with Yu Wei being slightly better off thanks to her being Patriarch Lu’s disciple. As for Ji Ning, he was a monstrous genius who was capable of resisting nine Celestial Immortals of the Youngflame clan while being merely at the Void level. He was also the disciple of a Daofather with unfathomable power. Naturally, the various Celestial Immortals wanted to become better acquainted with Ning; that way, if they encountered any problems in the future and they wanted to ask Ning to help out, Ning would at least have met them before.
“So many Celestial Immortals.” Yu Wei couldn’t help but feel stunned as well.
“In the past, many major clans were hiding some of their oldest experts, who lived in seclusion. The exact number of Celestial Immortals each clan had was always a mystery. However, the storm has now swept the Three Realms. The Xia Emperor has personally ordered them to show up, which is equivalent to Daofather Crimsonbright ordering to them to attend. None of them dare to disobey; after all, Daofather Crimsonbright knows exactly how many Celestial Immortals are under his control,” Unity said. “Thus…now that so many of the hidden ones have appeared, the total number is naturally quite high.”
As time flowed on, more and more Celestial Immortals arrived. Soon, the number reached over nine thousand, continuing to climb.
“Why haven’t any Empyrean Gods or True Immortals arrived?” Immortal Diancai was puzzled.
“I imagine the Xia Emperor has invited all the Empyrean Gods and True Immortals to meet with him privately,” Celestial Immortal Unity said. “They have higher statuses than we do, after all.”
Another two hours passed.
The Celestial Immortals within the Skylight Palace were all provided arranged seating by the attendants here. They each had tables placed in front of them, allowing the entire hall to just barely fit in all of the ten thousand-plus Celestial Immortals who had arrived.
“His Imperial Majesty has arrived.”
All of the Celestial Immortals turned their heads in unison to look.
The black-robed Xia Emperor was walking in through a side door…and behind him, there were five True Immortals or Empyrean Gods who had auras as powerful as his!
The Xia Emperor sat up high in his throne, gazing down at his subjects.
“We bow in respect to you, Imperial Majesty.” Instantly, the five True Immortals and Empyrean Gods all bowed and called out.
“We bow in respect to you, Imperial Majesty.” The more than ten thousand Celestial Immortals present all rose to their feet, bowing and calling out in unison.
The Xia Emperor sat atop his throne, staring down at his bowing subjects while feeling high-spirited. To have more than ten thousand Celestial Immortals bowing towards him…this was a first for even the Xia Emperor himself!