Book 4, Underwater Estate, Chapter 13 – Zifu Disciple
“Go ahead and kill me.”
“Even as a ghost, I won’t forgive you.”
“No, no, no!”
Standing in the middle of the boundless darkness of the great formation, sounds could vaguely be heard from everywhere, as though many people were suffering terrifying torments. Ji Ning was secretly startled. “They wildly purchased so many slaves, and even controlled the leaders of some tribes to snatch up some slaves through battling other tribes. What are they doing!”
“No matter what, first I have to leave.” Ning stared seriously at his surroundings. With a ‘swoosh’, he charged forward, moving more than a kilometer. And then, he once more turned and began to sprint, retreat, leap forward…within the pitch black, foggy formation, Ning moved around at high speed for a long time, but no matter where he moved, he remained within the formation filled with the dark fog and cold air.
“Not good.” Ning’s face changed slightly. “This is no ordinary maze formation. I moved at such high speed and constantly changed directions, but the formation remained utterly stable. The person controlling this formation is most likely not a Xiantian lifeform.”
During this past month of pursuit, Ning had focused on training in the [Nine Scrolls on Formations] and had made some accomplishments. Although he was unable to easily defeat the formation in front of him, he was able to tell…this was far above the likes of simple formations such as the Yin Yang Twin Energy Formation. It was an extremely intricate formation, and a magic treasure capable of setting up this sort of formation would have to be considered a ranked magic treasure.
There was no way for a Xiantian lifeform to bind a ranked magic treasure.
“A person on the level of a Wanxiang Adept wouldn’t deign to act in such a manner in a place like Swallow Mountain. Nine out of ten…the person who set up this formation should be a Zifu Disciple, and one specialized in using poisons.” Ning quickly came to this conclusion based on what he had encountered previously.
“Human child, I’m coming for you.” The ear-piercing laugh reverberated within the endless black mist.
Ning just stood there, completely unmoving, while at the same time, around him appeared three fire lotus petals and three water lotus petals. The two layers of lotus petals slowly swiveled around Ning in opposite directions…
“Hahaha!” A sinister laughter echoed.
A shadow suddenly leapt forth from the dark mist, pouncing towards Ning. But when that shadow saw Ning being protected by the Waterflame Lotus, it paused slightly.
“Hmph.” Ning’s eyes had a fierce look flash past them, and he immediately charged forward, his Darknorth sword in his hand transforming into a ray of firelight as he executed the ‘Thunderflash Flint’, chopping the shadow in half.
The shadow instantly split into mist, then glided backwards before reforming into a mutant beast. Hidden in the darkness, there was no way to clearly see the mutant beast at all.
“This isn’t a human child, this is a human Xiantian lifeform who has been training for who-knows how many years!” The ear-piercing sound emanated out from the mist, travelling a long distance. “This human most likely broke through to become a Xiantian when very young, and so his features remain so very young. In addition, he has a protective lotus surrounding his body. The lotus flower around his body should be a magic treasure.”
From far off in the distance, another clear, cold voice echoed forth. “If he isn’t a Zifu Disciple, he doesn’t matter. Just kill him.”
“I’ll handle it.” The mutant beast in front of Ning, hidden in the mist, said directly.
Hearing this, Ning’s face changed slightly.
If he isn’t a Zifu Disciple, he doesn’t matter. For someone to dare say something like this most likely meant that the person who set up this formation really was a Zifu Disciple! In addition, the one who had attacked just now was nothing more than a monstrous beast, most likely a spirit beast under the command of that Zifu Disciple.
“My Master said.” The mutant beast in the mist slowly began to change positions, occasionally appearing here, and then over there. “When adventuring in the outside world, the younger a human you encounter, the harder they are to deal with. It looks like his words weren’t wrong…but unfortunately, you ran into me!”
Ning just stood there calmly.
After a person reached the Xiantian lifeform stage, that person would no longer be a mortal, and his appearance would remain virtually unchanged. Only when he began to reach the limits of his life would he slowly age. Thus, elderly looking Xiantian lifeforms were virtually all over a century old. Ji Yichuan, who had first made his name echo in Swallow Mountain, and then had gone out adventuring for many years before bringing his wife back, was now nearly fifty, but he still looked exactly as he had when he was a youngster. If a Xiantian lifeform looked like a child, then that meant that he became a Xiantian lifeform when he was a child.
Thus, the younger one appeared, the harder they were to deal with.
Even some Immortals might have the appearance of a child.
“Swish!” “Swish!” “Swish!”
Suddenly, three black rays shot towards Ning, but when they hit those swiveling lotus petals of fire and water which were protecting Ning, they just barely broke through the first layer of lotus petals, but the second layer successfully blocked them.
The enormous black shadow emerged from the mist, and an enormous claw grabbed towards Ning!
“Dang!” Ning’s sword light flashed, and the grab attempt was blocked while Ning himself dodged to the side.
“Eh?” Ning frowned as he looked. This was a mutant beast which looked like a panther. Ning was actually momentarily unable to recognize what sort of mutant beast this was, primarily because many mutant beasts had mixed lineages, which would often resulted in mutant beasts. The mutant beast in front of him could only be said to look similar to a Bi’an Tiger. Its body was extremely long. The mutant beast stared at Ning, its tail swaying. Its tail had circles of black bony spikes which, if struck onto a person’s body, would definitely be no weaker than a whip-type magic treasure striking a person.
Ning’s pupils contracted, and he transformed into a blur.
Moving as fast as lightning, he pounced towards the mutant beast, and the mutant Diremonster’s twin claws snatched towards Ning as well.
“Raindrop Pierces Rocks!” A water-like sword light flashed past, seeming like a drop of water falling down, and with a thundering sound, that mutant Diremonster collapsed to the ground, rolling a few times before coming to a halt, no longer moving. Its head had a large hole in it, with blood and brain matter flowing outside.
Ning quietly landed on the ground, still holding his twin swords as he cautiously stared around himself. He only glanced sideways at the mutant beast. “Nothing more than a late-stage Xiantian level Diremonster!”
“Black Needle!” From afar came the call of that cold voice. “Is that human dead yet? Black Needle! Black-”
Quickly, that clear, cold voice went silent.
“I killed the mutant, but he didn’t know about it. It seems that mutant beast wasn’t his spirit-beast.” Ning understood that there wasn’t necessarily only a single Zifu Disciple here in this mountain. It was very possible that a hidden power was here! But the person capable of setting up this sort of formation had to at least be a Zifu Disciple.
“This is big trouble.” Ning hadn’t imagined that in the Swallow Mountain area, at the borders of the Ji clan and the Ironwood clan, such a powerful force was hidden.
Ning was trapped within the great formation. The protective Waterflame Lotus swirled around him, and in his mind, he was constantly pondering formations. The [Nine Scrolls on Formations] were abstruse, especially those extremely hard to memorize diagrams, but Ning had still been able to forcibly commit the contents of the first scroll to memory. He was currently using the greater part of his mental power to analyze them.
“I have to break this formation. While trapped here, all I can do is allow them to use whatever techniques they have against me.” Ning focused on analyzing the formation, while constantly hearing miserably cries, fierce curses. It seemed as though a true hell was hidden within this mountain.
Ji clan of the West Prefecture. Snowfall Palace.
Ji Young was seated at the throne of the palace, while Ji Yichuan, Ji Lee, and others were all seated below him, their faces all solemn.
“In the past ten days.” Ji Lee’s voice was rather hoarse, and his eyes were rather red. “The Five Prefectures of our Ji clan has already had multiple Xiantian lifeforms disappear! We have neither found them alive nor found their corpses!”
“Prefecture Lord, who has come to the territory of our Ji clan to cause trouble?”
“Find them and destroy them.”
“I’ve almost gone crazy in the past few days. My close friend! I must find him and rescue him.”
The members of the Ji clan seated below couldn’t help but howl.
Ji Lee, glaring, let out a hiss, “My son has gone missing as well. I must find him, I must!” And then, he looked at the Prefecture Lord, seated in the throne. “Elder brother, up till now, how many Xiantian lifeforms have gone missing? Also, who exactly is acting against our Ji clan? Have we found the culprit?”
“Based on the news which the Central Prefecture just sent over, up till now, already twenty three Xiantian lifeforms have gone missing.” Ji Young shook his head. “And most of them are fairly powerful and quite famous Xiantian lifeforms! The Five Prefectures of the Ji clan have lost five of our Commanders who were outside. As for where they have gone, there’s no trace of them at all.”
“This is provoking our Ji clan. They show no regard for the Ji clan at all.” Lee bellowed.
Young’s eyes were red. “All the ones who went missing were quite powerful and were at least mid-stage Xiantian lifeforms. There were even late-stage Xiantian lifeforms, and even peak Xiantian lifeforms! They are running roughshod over our Ji clan, then pissing on our faces! We have to find the culprits! No matter how great the price, we must destroy them!”
Yichuan, seated to one side, spoke out. “They must be destroyed indeed. However, based on my experience, this power should have a Zifu Disciple guarding it.”
“Oh?” Everyone looked towards Yichuan.
Yichuan, after all, had gone adventuring outside. He had even gone to the Darknorth Seas. His experience was greater than theirs.
Yichuan continued, “There are two possibilities which have the greatest likelihood. The first is that it should be some sort of fleeing tribe, who lost their city and no longer have a base and were sent wandering…but the remnants of this tribe are still very powerful. Thus, they want to cause a battle here in Swallow Mountain and conquer a commandery city through it.”
With a commandery city, they would have their own territory. Only then would a tribe have a base!
“The second possibility is that it is a fleeing Immortal practitioner. The Immortal practitioners of some evil sects will use souls and corpses to train in some evil magic spells. Snatching Xiantian lifeforms is done because Xiantian lifeforms have more powerful souls, and can be better used to train in some magic spells.” Yichuan said.
“And the disappearance of Xiantian lifeforms,” Yichuan continued, “Based on the intelligence of our Ji clan, is not just limited to the Ji clan, but also the nearby Ironwood clan! The Riverbank clan has Xiantian lifeforms missing as well. Only, we don’t know how many Xiantian lifeforms they have lost. For them to act so wildly means that the power which has come to our Swallow Mountain is not weak. We absolutely must get revenge, and we must rescue the missing Xiantian lifeforms, but we cannot be rash. We need to first discover the true situation regarding the opponents, and then set a strategy to destroy them at one blow!”
Everyone in the palace went silent.