“Wipe out all the alien Outsiders in the Primordial Ruinworld?” Ji Ning was rather worried. “Is that really doable?”
“Now that they’ve joined forces with the Seamless Gate, it’s uncertain,” Subhuti said. “However, the major powers that we sent out are led by Fuxi and Tathagata.”
“Fuxi is a master of formations and skilled in tying down foes, while Buddha Tathagata possesses incredible defenses and is skilled in dealing with dangerous situations. With them leading the strike force, even if unexpected circumstances arose they would be able to hold out for a period of time, more than enough time for reinforcements to make it to their side.”
Ning relaxed slightly.
Fuxi was the number one formations expert of the Three Realms.
Tathagata could be said to have the most durable divine body of all major powers.
“They are leading a total of nineteen Daofathers with them on this strike mission, including both elite Daofathers and ordinary Daofathers,” Subhuti said. “They will work in unison, but they’ll split up into four squads to do so. All four squads will simultaneously attack a single world together.”
“A single world?” Ning was puzzled.
“Right. The Primordial Ruinworld has many worlds within it,” Subhuti said. “The Snaphorn world you encountered in the past was just an ordinary, unremarkable, small part of the Ruinworld. We’re not sure about exactly what the Ruinworld holds either, or what alien Outsider major powers are hiding where. The only choice we have is to crush all their worlds, one by one! They’ll simultaneously attack the same world together.”
“The reason why they have split up into four squads is because they are worried that they might fall into an enemy trap or formation,” Subhuti explained. “By splitting up into four squads as they attack each world, they can ensure that even if one squad does fall into a trap formation, the other three squads would immediately become aware of it and will thus be on their guard, and can also go reinforce them and rescue them. That way, even if the Seamless Gate or the Primordial Ruinworld have set up traps, they won’t be able to get all of us at once.”
Ning nodded. He was silent for a moment, then said solemnly, “Master, I wish to go to the Primordial Ruinworld.”
“You wish to take part in the battle?” Subhuti was stunned.
“Yes.” Ning nodded seriously.
Subhuti was silent for a moment, then looked at Ning. “In the Primordial Ruinworld, both space and time are in a state of chaos. They are located in an extremely dangerous part of the Ruinworld right now. If you were to enter, you would first need to join together with them, but we don’t have a clear sense of where they are exactly. This is because the Primordial Ruinworld is simply too chaotic. I would only be able to tell you the general region they are in. It would be very dangerous for you to try and join together with those squads.”
Subhuti said these words in the hope that Ning would change his mind. He knew, after all, that Ning’s Envoy had already been ruined!
“I’m confident in my abilities.” Ning looked at his master, and as he did his eyes flashed with hidden sword-light.
“You…” Upon seeing that seven-colored sword-light flash in his disciple’s eyes, Patriarch Subhuti felt stunned.
Lu Dongbin had mastered fifth-stage taiji-force, which was already quite impressive. But now, Ji Ning had mastered fifth-stage swordforce, which possessed even more powerful offensive abilities! It must be understood that the reason why Swordfather Darklight was so powerful as an assassin, powerful enough to kill Ji Ning’s true body with a single sword-strike, was because of how powerful his swordforce was! Ji Ning, however, was different from Swordfather Darklight; his sword had surpassed the limits of the Heavenly Daos in terms of speed.
His sword-arts alone would ensure that he would be extremely close to the overlord level of power!
“I didn’t expect that in the blink of an eye, you would’ve reached such a level of power.” Patriarch Subhuti laughed. “It seems I was worrying over nothing. You might as well go. You have a self-cloning technique; for you to adventure through the Primordial Ruinworld won’t be too great an issue.”
“Right.” Ning nodded. “Your disciple wishes to first visit with his daughter.”
“Your daughter, Brightmoon, has been worried about you all this time. It is indeed time for you to visit her,” Subhuti said.
“Worried…” Ning was stunned for a moment, then nodded gently. He immediately left.
Subhuti stroked his beard and smiled as he watched Ning leave. “This old Daoist judged correctly, all those years ago. Ji Ning’s talent for the sword truly is superior to his talent for heartforce. In less than a thousand years, he’s upgraded his sword-arts to such an incredible level. His sword-arts alone shall ensure that he can stare down upon the entire Three Realms from his lofty perch.”
By the side of a lake.
A black-robed maiden was quietly seated by the lakeside, staring at the waters of the lake.
“Brightmoon.” Autumn Leaf walked to her side and called out to her.
The black-robed maiden turned her head to glance at her, then turned to stare at the lake once more. She stared at the lake silently.
“What’s wrong? Why are you unhappy?” Autumn Leaf asked.
“I’m fine, Aunt.” The black-robed maiden shook her head.
“Worried about your father?” Autumn Leaf sat down next to her.
The black-robed maiden hesitated a moment, then nodded slowly. “A little. Father’s been completely devoted to his cultivation, and he was the only figure ever since the Primordial Era who was comparable to Houyi. But Aunt…you must have heard it as well. Those people were saying that Father’s true body was slain by the Seamless Gate. They said that Father’s golem was destroyed as well. I didn’t believe it, so I went to ask Patriarch Subhuti…and the Old Patriarch didn’t deny it…”
“Stop worrying.” Autumn Leaf stretched her arms out to gently take Brightmoon into her embrace. “I watched your father grow up. Your father will ignore all setbacks and continue to grow more and more powerful. He definitely won’t despair. He will never give up. You need to have faith in your father.”
“Can you tell me some more stories about Father?” Brightmoon looked at Autumn Leaf.
“Alright.” Autumn Leaf laughed and nodded.
Ji Ning, Uncle White, and Little Qing were watching the two from afar.
“The Nuwa Alliance’s major powers have all moved their progeny and disciples here. Thus, Ji Ning, there was no way for us to continue hiding from Brightmoon what had happened to you on the Deerchaser world,” Uncle White said. “Brightmoon didn’t believe it at first and she even argued with them. Afterwards, she paid a personal visit to Patriarch Subhuti…only then did she truly believe the stories about what had happened on the Deerchaser world. She’s been worried about you for months now.”
“Mm.” Ning looked at his daughter, a warm feeling in his heart.
“Go. When she sees you, she’ll definitely be very happy,” Uncle White said.
“Alright.” Ning walked towards her.
Autumn Leaf was speaking to Brightmoon in a soft voice, telling her of her father’s stories. Brightmoon was listening intently. No matter how often she heard these stories, she never got tired of them. She always hoped to hear more.
Ning secretly felt a sense of guilt. He really was a failure of a father, having made his daughter worry so much about him. Although one of his clones had been quietly protecting his daughter this entire time, that clone had always kept in hiding, not even paying attention to the affairs of the outside world. Only when his daughter was in danger would certain restrictive seals be dispelled, allowing the clone to take a look at what was happening outside.
It had been many years, but the clone had never been activated. Thus, Ning didn’t know anything at all about what had happened in the Crescent world.
“My clone’s been staying in hiding all this time. Although this helps to temper her…perhaps sometimes, love is more important than training?” Ning quietly pondered to himself. “Was I wrong?”
“Father!” Brightmoon had turned her head, as though she had sensed his presence. When she saw Ning standing behind her, she immediately clambered to her feet in surprise and delight, then charged straight towards Ning.
“Father. You finally came back! I’ve been waiting forever and ever for you. You’ve been gone for way, way, way too long.” Brightmoon clutched at Ning, babbling nonstop.
Ning gently stroked his daughter’s hair. Ever since she had become a Celestial Immortal and manifested her body, she had chosen this appearance for herself. She looked very similar to her mother, Yu Wei. In fact, she also liked to wear black clothes. When Ning looked at his daughter, he sometimes felt as though his wife was by his side. However, his wife’s gaze was soft and steadier, while his daughter’s gaze was filled with veneration and love.
His wife was a bit colder.
His daughter was a bit more playful and hyper.
“Father, the Immortals and Fiendgods on the island are all saying that your true body was destroyed. They said you…” Brightmoon looked at Ning, her hands tightly wrapped around Ning’s arm. She said softly, “Can you stop fighting against the Seamless Gate?”
“The elders and teachers of those Immortals and Fiendgods on the island…are any of them shirking in their duties?” Ning shook his head. “I cannot simply run and hide. You should understand, Brightmoon.”
“But Father, you’ve already sacrificed enough. Your true body was destroyed and you’ve been drastically weakened. What more do they want from you? Father, you are now just a True Immortal. Even if you have powerful heartforce and can use it to command the Rahu Formation, you still aren’t a True God or a Daofather. There are many Empyrean Gods and True Immortals on the island who aren’t taking part in the war. You’ve already done much more than them, Father.” Brightmoon looked at Ning, at the verge of tears. “I’m so afraid. I’m afraid that your Primaltwin will also be killed. I’ve already lost Mother. I can’t lose you too!”
Ning’s heart shook.
“Promise me.” Brightmoon looked at Ning. “Just stay with me. Alright?”
“I’ll stay with you.” Ning’s heart ached when he saw that look in his daughter’s eyes. He nodded gently. “I’ll always stay with you. From today onwards, my Primaltwin will stay with you here.”
“Primaltwin?” Brightmoon was puzzled.
“Don’t you know? I only wear white robes with my true body.” Ning patted Brightmoon on the head.
“I thought…I thought…” A look of joy appeared in Brightmoon’s eyes.
“Others might underestimate your father, but you really should not.” Ning laughed. “My true body and my Primaltwin are both fine. In fact, I’m even more powerful than before.” Ning stretched his hand out, and his hand glowed dimly with a seven-colored sword-light. The dazzling, brilliant rainbow sword-light possessed an aura of utterly terrifying power.
Brightmoon stared at the rainbow sword-light in shock.
She was Ji Ning’s daughter, and a disciple of Mount Innerheart. She naturally knew many things. Given that Ji Ning walked the path of the Sword Immortal, Brightmoon had learned long ago what fifth-stage swordforce was like. Thus, she recognized it right away.
“Father, y-you…” Brightmoon was filled with both joy and pride. Fifth-stage swordforce, and speed which surpassed the limits of the Heavenly Daos? This was her father! Those Immortals and Fiendgods had all been prattling on and on, but her father had actually become far more powerful than before.
“Father, you said you were going to have your Primaltwin stay by my side. Then…your true body…?” Brightmoon suddenly realized what this meant.
Ning laughed. “Will go out and fight, of course. Your father can’t just hide.”
“B-but…” Brightmoon chewed on her lips, then said softly, “I, I really don’t want you to go to war any longer, Father.”
“The Endwar is nigh. We have to step forward to face it,” Ning said it with a smile.
“When the skies collapse, let the big guys handle it,” Brightmoon argued.
“Your father is now one of the big guys,” Ning laughed. “Enough. You are a Celestial Immortal now, you know. You are acting like a little girl.”
His daughter was by his side once more. Ning could sense a surge of strength and energy come from his heart in an unbroken stream. It came from an absolutely indomitable determination that was etched into his very bones.
“I have to protect my daughter.”
“Even if it costs me my life.”
The white-robed Ning turned his head, giving the black-robed maiden who was standing at the side of the lake a final glance. Then, he cast aside all his doubt. “Master, send me away,” Ning sent mentally.
“Be careful in the Primordial Ruinworld.” Subhuti’s voice rang out by Ning’s ears as well.
“Right.” Ning nodded.
A spatial vortex appeared in front of Ning. Ning stepped into it.