The Voidboat floated downwards past the turbid waters of a river.
A white-robed youth was seated alone atop the boat. As for the 90,000 Celestial Immortals and 8 million Loose Immortals he commanded, he had sent them all back into the Starseizer world. So long as he was in the Rahu-Ning mode, the Godking of the Seamless Gate would be unable to draw him into the dreamworld.
A figure suddenly appeared out of nowhere atop the Voidboat.
“Master.” Ning hurriedly rose to his feet.
“How did it go?” Subhuti looked at Ning. He was very concerned about this disciple of his. Ning had risked utter calamity when he had first launched these dangerous attacks against the Seamless Gate. From the very start, Subhuti understood how important Yu Wei was to him, and was worried that the Seamless Gate would make use of that to set a trap for him.
“What did the Godking of the Seamless Gate say to you?” Subhuti immediately asked. The Godking had used a technique to ensure that no one was able to spy upon his conversation with Ning. “Given my understanding of his devious disposition, there’s no way he would simply hand Yu Wei over to you. He must have listed certain preconditions…and those preconditions may very well be deadly traps!”
Subhuti was very worried about him.
“You are right,” Ning replied. “The Godking did indeed list certain preconditions. He wants me to give him three treasures in exchange for her.”
“Three treasures? Which three?” Subhuti immediately asked.
“Five kilograms of ‘Seven Treasures Azure Sunfiend’, five kilograms of ‘Bloodflower Pith’, and a single Iceheart Leaf.”
A murderous look appeared in Subhuti’s eyes. “The first two aren’t that hard to acquire; they are ingredients used to produce Great Firmament pills. I have plenty of them, and I can easily bring out five hundred kilograms. I myself can handle the first two requests. But Iceheart Leaf…it no longer exists within the Three Realms. The twelve leaves that were originally acquired were used up long ago. They want to force you into Undermoon Lake!”
Great Firmament pills were the very best Immortal pills, capable of replenishing power for Daofathers.
In the Endwar, all the Daofathers would use up enormous amounts of energy in battle, and so both sides needed to store up large amounts of Great Firmament pills! Ning was merely an Empyrean God and True Immortal, after all, and so the Seamless Gate didn’t request an excessively exorbitant amount of materials for making them.
“These three treasures are indeed somewhat useful for the Seamless Gate, but even if you gave them these items it wouldn’t have much of an impact on the overall situation.” Subhuti laughed coldly. “Their goal is to force you into Undermoon Lake! The ideal outcome for them is you dying inside that place. Even if you don’t die, you might be trapped there for countless years. Even if you manage to leave, the war would have long since ended, with you having caused no impact on the Endwar at all.”
“Ever since the Primordial Era, the only one who has ever survived to return was Buddha Jueming, but he was trapped there for countless years as well. What a fine plan. What a fine ploy!” Subhuti looked at Ning. “You have to be careful. I know you wish to rescue your wife, but your own life is even more important. Don’t forget that you have a daughter to take care of.”
“Yes,” Ning assented respectfully.
Subhuti just sighed to himself.
Some cultivators would go so far as to kill their own parents or spouse so as to strengthen their Dao-hearts! They would place their own cultivation in a position of paramount importance; everything else could be discarded. In the Three Realms, there were quite a few such figures who were completely focused on the Dao and were willing to sacrifice everything else. However, his disciple Ji Ning was a person who viewed relationships as being tremendously important.
“Houyi, all those years ago, was just like how Ji Ning is. Both of them care deeply about relationships. Can it be that this is necessary in order for one to be accomplished in heartforce?” Subhuti still felt fairly unconcerned, relatively speaking. “The Seamless Gate’s calculations are off. They want to use Undermoon Lake to trap or kill Ji Ning, but they don’t know that he has a total of 18 bodies. Even if one dies within Undermoon Lake, it won’t have much of an impact on him.”
“Hmph. Today, they are using love to manipulate my disciple. In the future…” A murderous intent began to rise within Subhuti’s heart.
After his master left, Ning continued to sit there in the lotus position within his Voidboat. He allowed the Godking’s invisible energy to infiltrate his mind, guiding his senses downwards. He remained conscious, but part of his mind had been drawn into the dreamworld.
Within the vast, dark dreamworld.
The Godking, seated atop his towering throne, stared downwards at the newly-appeared Ji Ning.
“Right after our negotiations concluded, your master sought you out. It seems he really does care about you quite a bit.” The Godking looked at Ning, then laughed coldly. “Have you changed your mind? If you’ve changed your mind, we can keep fighting. But of course, your senior apprentice-sister will continue to suffer endless torment within the Infinity Hells…”
To force Ji Ning to enter Undermoon Lake was the best idea the Godking had come up with. Ideally, Ji Ning would die, but even if he didn’t die he would still be trapped there.
His only worry was that Subhuti would dissuade Ning, causing him to change his mind.
“Don’t worry. I’ll go to Undermoon Lake.” Ning looked at the Godking. “Hurry up and release her.”
“Hahaha.” The Godking let out a secret sigh of relief. “Don’t worry. I’ll release Yu Wei right now.”
Ning suddenly sensed a ripple next to him. Turning his head, he saw that upon a distant meadow the figure of an incredibly beautiful black-robed maiden had appeared. This peerless beauty had a rather glazed look in her eyes; clearly, the torment she had endured in the Infinity Hells had nearly broken her. Fortunately, the Godking had been in control of things; otherwise, her soul would’ve shattered long ago.
But upon seeing her in such a state, Ning still felt pain in his heart.
“This wife of yours has only spent a mere century in the flame hell,” the Godking said calmly. “According to my original plans, I was going to to have her spend a thousand years in each of the hells. Your wife has only gotten a taste of the first hell…but alas, you’ve forced us to compromise with you. I have to say, I feel some admiration for you.”
Ning didn’t respond to the Godking. ‘Flame hell’? He still remembered how, when he made the choice all those years ago during the Realmwar, he had watched as Yu Wei was sent to suffer an agonizing set of torture by fire. So during the past century…she had been continuously suffering that agony.
Yu Wei slowly came back to her senses. After suffering a century within the Infinity Hells, she had already somewhat lost control of her senses. Her soul was simply too weak. Only after her torment had finally halted did she slowly come back to her senses. In front of her, off in the distance, stood a white-robed youth. A white-robed youth who seemed to have unshed tears glimmering in his eyes…
“Junior apprentice-brother.” This was the first time Yu Wei had spoken in a century.
“Senior apprentice-sister.” Ning’s body blurred, then reappeared next to her. He took Yu Wei by the hand.
Their gazes met.
Ning held Yu Wei in his arms. He could sense the warmth, her warmth, emanating from her body. “Senior apprentice-sister. I’m sorry.” It had been his choice that had consigned her into the Infinity Hells.
“It was I who wronged you.” Yu Wei smiled into Ning’s embrace. “When I destroyed Shennong’s medicine, I knew that it would be impossible for me to make up for the harm I caused you. I couldn’t even face you. I thought that perhaps death would be the best outcome.”
“It wasn’t your fault. Wasn’t your fault.” Ning said, “The Godking is the disciple of the Lord of the Demonheart; he’s skilled in mesmerizing the hearts of others. In your past life, you suffered too much and so the demon in your heart became incredibly powerful, giving him a chance to bewilder you…”
Yu Wei nodded gently.
She had become completely clear-minded now. When she had shattered Shennong’s medicine, her soul had been shattered as well. The Godking had hurried after her, dragging her truesoul back, then sending it to be reborn into a new, weak soul. That weak soul, however, no longer had any soul-imprints on it, and the Godking no longer spent any effort in mesmerizing her a second time. After all, there was no point to doing so when she was going to be in the Infinity Hells.
With the soul imprint gone, the century of burning agony she had experienced caused her to see things even more clearly.
“I’m actually quite content. Ordinary mortals only live for a single century. I’ve lived a very, very long life in my previous life and in this life, and I even met you. We even had a daughter together, Brightmoon. It’s enough.” Yu Wei said consolingly, “I did wrong by you, junior apprentice-brother.”
The Godking, seated upon his massive throne, laughed as he stared downwards towards them. “What a fine pair of Immortal lovers. Even I feel a bit moved by you two. Yu Wei, do you know? For your sake, this Dao-companion of yours used his own strength to cause major disturbances to my Seamless Gate’s disposition of forces throughout the entire Three Realms. He forced me, the exalted Godking, to bow my head and to negotiate with him. Haha…from this day forth, Yu Wei, you will no longer need to enter the Infinity Hells. You can live a peaceful, joyful life. Once your Dao-companion, Ji Ning, returns with those three treasures I’ve asked for, you’ll regain your freedom. You will be allowed to reunite with Ji Ning and your daughter.”
The two distant embracing figures suddenly let go of each other. Yu Wei stared at Ji Ning. She asked hurriedly, “Junior apprentice-brother, three treasures? Don’t trust the Godking. He’s skilled in manipulation and lies. There has to be a plot behind it.” After having recovered from her own beguiling, Yu Wei knew very well how terrifying the Godking could be.
“I know exactly what the Godking is scheming.” Ning looked at Yu Wei. “Don’t worry. Have faith in me.”
“Yes, Yu Wei, you should have faith in this junior apprentice-brother of yours. He’s become quite a noteworthy character in the Three Realms. Perhaps, towards the end of this great storm, he’ll break through to become a True God or Daofather and end up fighting against me during the Endwar. These three treasures won’t pose much of a threat to him.” The Godking looked down upon her as he spoke.
“Junior apprentice-brother.” Yu Wei looked at Ning, extremely worried. “Brightmoon. You have to take care of Brightmoon and protect her. It’s not worth it to risk yourself for me.”
Ning just held Yu Wei in his arms. “Enough. Don’t say anything else. I’ve already made up my mind.” His voice was very soft, but it was very determined.
His wife in his arms, he felt extremely calm, peaceful, and warm inside.
This sort of feeling…it had been so long!
If he was to remain alive but be like an emotionless walking zombie, life would be worse than death.
For the sake of this sort of warmth…even death would be worth it.
Seated atop the Voidboat, Ning opened his eyes. When he thought of how his family would be reunited once he emerged from Undermoon Lake, he felt filled with strength and resolve! Yu Wei had already been placed by the Godking into a minor world-estate; she was no longer suffering any torment and was going to live a blissful, peaceful life.
Ning felt much better now. During the past century, he had spent almost every day training in sword-arts as well as frantically trying to search for treasures within the prisonworld to help him grow stronger, eventually acquiring the [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent]. Despite that…deep in his heart, he felt a pain that would never go away. This was because he knew that his wife was suffering torment within the Infinity Hells.
After acquiring the [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent] evasion technique, he had been absolutely ecstatic. This was because…he finally saw hope. Hope of rescuing her.
“Soon, senior apprentice-sister…soon, we’ll be reunited for good. I’ll definitely return from Undermoon Lake.” Ning immediately boarded the Voidboat, leaving this major world.
Within the endless Void.
As soon as the Voidboat appeared within the Void, a terrifying ripple of power suddenly descended. Shocked, Ning immediately used the [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent] technique to flee at high speed, but a voice suddenly spoke out within Ning’s mind. “Don’t panic, my young friend Ji Ning.”