Subhuti looked at Ji Ning. He was silent for a few moments, then said slowly, “You are taking a tremendous risk. You are trying to force the Seamless Gate’s hand…but to force them to make peace with you…to make the proud, exalted Seamless Gate sue for peace…that is going to be incredibly hard. You should understand what sort of a path you have decided on.”
“Your disciple understands.” Ning didn’t hesitate at all.
This was a path filled with danger and death!
Even though Daofathers wouldn’t personally intervene, the Seamless Gate still had other methods at their disposal for dealing with Ning. For example, using human wave tactics! They could hide a Realmwar’s worth of Immortals and Fiendgods into an estate-type magic treasure an attack Ning, or produce multiple Empyrean Gods and True Immortals on Lu Dongbin’s level and have them surround Ning! Sufficiently high numbers of Immortals and Fiendgods could threaten even Daofathers, to say nothing of Ning.
Ning would be walking on a tightrope! The path forward led to success…but falling off on either side would lead to death!
“Alright,” Subhuti said softly. “If you push yourself far enough, sometimes a miracle will happen. The only thing I can do is help you locate appropriate targets amongst the headquarters of the Seamless Gate. Everything else will be up to you.”
“Thank you, Master.” Ning was overjoyed.
“You have to be as careful as possible,” Subhuti instructed. He himself had only learned just now that this disciple of his had made the choice to thrust Yu Wei into the Infinity Hells. Subhuti couldn’t help but sigh, yet remained powerless to change things.
“Go.” Subhuti nodded, then closed his eyes.
Ning bowed respectfully, then turned and left the Daoist monastery.
After leaving, Ning returned back to his own residence, then entered the Still Room of the Starseizing Manor.
He seated himself atop the netherwater jade bed, then took out the brocade sack and the gourd.
“First, the [Starseizing Hand].”
Instantly, five streaks of light flew out from the brocade sack and swirled around him in the air in a pentagon. They shone brilliantly with dazzling golden light, warm blue light, vigorous azure light, fierce red light, and ponderous yellow light. They contained such deep concentrations of Five Elements essence that one could sense them clearly, even without engaging in training.
Those crystals that were glowing with a watery blue light, for example…the tiny pile of crystals gave off a sensation akin to a vast, endless sea.
Ning shut his eyes as the surrounding Five Elements essences began to surge towards him.
Training in the [Starseizing Hand] and the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] was quite fast; both techniques were techniques that involved training the physical body to become as powerful as magic treasures. Thus, the only requirements were fully understanding how the techniques worked and having enough materials. It was the same as actually forging a treasure.
A day later.
Ning walked out from the Still Room and arrived in the main hall. He immediately saw the giant yellow bear, Redsnow, and the rest of the seven.
“Congratulations.” The giant yellow bear clasped his furry paws together and bowed. “You’ve mastered the Ninth Cycle of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], and your starseizing hands are now comparable to Protocosmic spirit-treasures. Ji Ning, these two mighty divine abilities alone are enough to allow you to roam the Three Realms without fear.”
“With your arcane art having reached the Ninth Cycle, you are now almost invulnerable. Congratulations,” Redsnow said as well.
“It would be wonderful if I could also become apprenticed to Patriarch Subhuti and learn the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art],” the child-sized Primelight said, shaking his head and sighing. “The Manorlord and elder brother Redsnow have both become apprenticed to Subhuti. Redsnow in particular…he’s absolutely ancient, but he’s shameless enough to force his way into becoming our Manorlord’s ‘junior apprentice-brother’. And he chose to start learning the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] shortly after he joined their school!”
“I want to learn it as well.” The alluring Snow Scorpion looked towards Ning.
“Which Empyrean God wouldn’t?” Ninefangs mumbled to himself, “Back when I was just a minor soldier under the command of the Godking, all I was qualified to do was to listen to him lecture. Even now, I can’t actually learn his techniques.”
Everyone else began to grumble and grouse. As for Ning and Redsnow, they just listened, not daring to say a thing.
In truth, this was something which virtually every single Empyrean God of the Three Realms felt jealous over. The [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] had long been revered as the number one divine ability in the Three Realms for those below the True Immortal level! However, training in this divine ability was simply too insanely expensive, especially for the Ninth Cycle; the price for that was far greater than the price for reaching the Fifth Cycle of the [Starseizing Hand].
Even Daofathers would feel heartache upon paying such a price.
Ning and the seven Empyrean Gods had rendered major merits during the Realmwar without taking any share of the spoils, which was why Daofather Crimsonbright, a True God and Daofather who had been born from the primordial chaos, had been able to swallow the painful price necessary to provide Ning with that gourd of Immortal pills.
“Look at the sour looks on each of your faces. Enough, enough!” The giant yellow bear hurriedly urged, “Hurry up and have Ji Ning go and break apart the seals which Master left behind. Let’s go see those three treasures.”
“Right! Those three treasures.”
“I wonder what those three treasures are?”
“Manorlord, hurry up and go take a look.”
“Come straight back and tell us right away.”
The eyes of Primelight, Snow Scorpion, and the others all lit up. They no longer grumbled or spoke words of jealousy, and instead urged Ning to go take a look right away.
“I’m quite curious as well. Wait for me here. I’ll come back shortly and inform you all.” Ning immediately left behind the main hall.
Soon, the giant yellow bear and Ji Ning arrived at that spatial corridor, as well as the glowing formation that lay at the end of the corridor.
“Break.” Ning slapped out with a palm, transforming it and making it three hundred meters in size. His palm carried a terrifying aura of power with it; it was like the heavens themselves were smashing downwards. The power of his palms was noticeably greater than it had been before. When Ning’s palm slapped down against the protective formation, a layer of light flowed across its surface as a rune that looked similar to the Starseizing Tattoo appeared on it.
Ning’s Starseizing Tattoo and the rune merged together.
Whoosh! The formation simply disappeared, as though having been blown away by a gust of wind. Ning immediately saw the wooden door in front of him.
He walked forward, immediately pushing it open. Creaaaaak. The door swung open.
“Big bear, let’s go in together.” Ning turned to look at the giant yellow bear.
“No, no. Master’s orders were explicit; only the new Manorlord is allowed to enter.” The giant bear shook his head. “Those treasures aren’t for me anyhow. After you come out, just tell me what they are and let me take a look at them. I’ll be satisfied with that.”
Ning nodded, then stepped inside the room without any further attempts at persuasion. As he entered…his surroundings changed.
“Eh?” Ning was stunned. This was a very ordinary little room. Within the room was a prayer mat, and atop the prayer mat sat a bald, one-armed man who was dressed in fur clothes. He looked towards Ning with a hooded gaze. Ning could immediately recognize this man; it was Daoist Threelives. When Ning had been taught the [Starseizing Hand] divine ability, he had personally seen Daoist Threelives’ appearance.
“You have arrived.” The man spoke.
Ning instantly understood that this was nothing more than part of the spell left behind by his teacher. These words had been spoken by Daoist Threelives long ago.
“For you to enter this place means that you have already mastered the Fifth Cycle of the [Starseizing Hand]. I, Threelives, finally have a successor.” A calm, distant look was in Daoist Threelives’ eyes. “When I was alive, I wasn’t able to find a good successor. For me to find one after I die…it is enough. I don’t have any requests to make of you. I only ask that you treat with kindness those who have decided to continue to protect the Starseizing Estate. I suspect that Redsnow will stay behind, but I am uncertain about the rest. The heart is hard to fathom, after all. When I was alive, they were loyal to me…but after I die, it’s hard to say. As for the guardians…I hope that you will treat them kindly. If there are any Pure Yang treasures within the Treasures Hall which suit them, please give them to them.”
“As for you…I have prepared these three top-grade Protocosmic spirit-treasures for you. I hope that you will survive to make yet another breakthrough, becoming a True God and a Daofather. Let my [Starseizing Hand] truly become renowned throughout the Three Realms.”
“I was able to develop the [Starseizing Hand] due to a series of lucky karmic encounters. Alas, although I am a True God, I was unable to master a Heavenly Dao and become a Daofather. Otherwise, my [Starseizing Hand] would become even more powerful.” Daoist Threelives shook his head. “But of course, that’s nothing more than a bit of empty pride. As for the path you shall take in the future, that will be entirely up to you. Even if you want to dissolve the Starseizing Manor and let everyone go their separate ways, that’s fine. I only ask that you treat the guardians of the Starseizing Manor with kindness.”
“Redsnow, Eastbreak, Primelight, Dragonsong…how many of them are willing to stay behind, I wonder?”
Daoist Threeelives then shook his head and chuckled. “Forget it, forget it.”
His figure disappeared into thin air.
Ning was stunned for a moment…then he hurriedly knelt down and kowtowed heavily. He kowtowed in thanks for Daoist Threelives having shown him such kindness in transmitting the Dao to him. If it hadn’t been for the legacy of Daoist Threelives, Ning probably wouldn’t have been able to become as accomplished as he now was.
“Although many of the Immortals and Fiendgods under your command have left, there were still some who resolutely stood guard over the Starseizing Manor. Don’t worry about the seven of them. I will definitely treat them well,” Ning said solemnly. This was a solemn oath. No one had been around to force the seven of them to wait there patiently for so long. None of them had any idea as to how long they would have to wait, but they had been willing to do so. In truth, Ning himself felt tremendous admiration and respect for those seven Empyrean Gods.
Ning rose to his feet.
He waved his finger. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh! The lids atop the three boxes in front of the prayer mat all opened.
Within the box on the left was a large amount of beads, each of which emanated an utterly shocking aura.
The second box in the middle contained a small, seemingly-ragged wooden boat that was the size of his palm.
The third box on the right contained a small golden pagoda.
“So you are the new Manorlord of the Starseizing Manor?” A small bald monk dressed in golden robes emerged from the surface of the small golden pagoda. “You’ve finally come. We’ve been trapped here forever. I’ve gotten sick of this place long ago.”
“What’s the rush? Take things slow.” An old man dressed in simple clothes appeared from the small wooden boat. He looked like an old farmer.
“Finally.” A slender, handsome-looking child appeared in the air above the countless beads, seated in the lotus position. His gaze, however, was the fiercest and sharpest of the three.
“Go ahead and introduce yourselves, the three of you,” Ning said with a laugh.
“Old man, you speak first,” the handsome child said.
The simple old man nodded. “This old man is the spirit of this raggedy old boat. This boat is known as the Voidboat. Long ago, when Heaven and Earth were established, a bead of pure energy was formed from the essence of Heaven and Earth. After 84,000 years, this bead gave birth to the boat. It can shatter the Void itself. It moves so fast that in terms of speed, it was ranked as one of the top five treasures of the Primordial Era.”
“The Voidboat is very fast,” the handsome child said calmly. “During the Primordial Era, there were only two Chaos treasures that were suited for high-speed movements. One was in Mother Nuwa’s hands, while the other is in Daoist Three Purities’ hands. In the entire Primordial Era, only those two treasures surpassed the Voidboat. Based on what Threelives’ said, he prepared the Voidboat for you as a life-saving treasure.”
“I am meant for use in fleeing as well.” The small bald monk standing atop the small golden pagoda laughed merrily. “This little pagoda was formed from some unique treasures of the primordial chaos. It is extraordinarily profound and arcane, and was titled by Threelives as the ‘Nine Lives Pagoda’. Once you bind this little tower to yourself, you can tap into the profound energy within the tower to create nine incarnations of yourself. These nine incarnations will all have power equal to your own. They can use fleeing divine abilities to flee at high speed, but when they do, they’ll use up the energy inside of them. Once the energy is all used up, the incarnations will dissipate.”
“Not even True Gods or Daofathers will be able to tell any of the nine incarnations apart from each other. However…you absolutely cannot allow these incarnations to actually fight people. Once they do, then the enemy will realize that the incarnation is not using divine power or Immortal energy and instantly realize that it isn’t ‘real’.”
“The nine incarnations are principally meant to allow you to flee and to distract the enemy, not for you to use them in combat. Their value lies in the fact that if they don’t engage in battle, there’s simply no way to tell which is real and which is not. Not even Mother Nuwa was able to tell them apart.” The bald little monk said confidently, “Daoist Threelives had been wondering as to whether or not to bring me into the war, but he heard from Nuwa that there would be extremely terrifying figures in this battle, and that the Nine Lives Pagoda wouldn’t be of much use within it. Thus, he left it behind.”
Ning was stunned. So both the Voidboat and the Nine Lives Tower were meant for fleeing?
During the war that destroyed the Primordial World, some of the major powers like Subhuti hid themselves, only occasionally intervening to rescue a few people. Threelives had known that the enemy was incredibly powerful, second only to Pangu. Even the Nine Lives Pagoda would be of limited use…but Threelives had still decided to go and face their foes head-on. He truly was a bold, valiant man.
“And you?” Ning looked towards the handsome child seated atop the beads.
The handsome child looked back at Ning. “Both of them are meant for fleeing. I, however…am meant for killing your foes.”
“He’s the supreme killing treasure,” the old man above the Voidboat agreed.
“He’s quite savage,” the small bald monk nodded.
The handsome child swept the two with a cold glance. Both of them beamed back at him in a rather silly manner. The handsome child then looked back towards Ning. “All three of us are top-grade Protocosmic spirit-treasures, but controlling them is fairly easy. I, however…I’m not something which ordinary Empyrean Gods or True Immortals can control. I am a supreme killing treasure. If you can’t control me, I urge you to hurry up and relinquish me to Daoist Three Purities and have him give you a more appropriate treasure in exchange.”
“Can’t control?” Ning was startled briefly, then laughed. “You haven’t even told me your name.”
“Bind me first,” the handsome child said coldly. “If you can control me…then I’ll tell you my name.”