Book 4, Underwater Estate, Chapter 3 – To Make a Copy
“The fifth master?” Ji Ning was astonished. “Me?”
The old black bull had a hint of laughter in his eyes. He slowly ambled over, his body seeming vaguely illusory. He wasn’t a material creature, after all; just the spirit of a magic treasure.
“Of course it is you.” The old black bull said.
“That’s not what I meant. What I meant was…I’m only the fifth master?” Ning hurriedly asked. “Can it be that Immortal Juhua wasn’t the first one?”
He had previously discovered the letter on that Godbanian tree bark, and had hypothesized that after Immortal Juhua died, he shouldn’t have given this Immortal estate to anyone else.
“Immortal Juhua was the third master of this Immortal estate.” The old black bull said.
“Who was the fourth?” Ning asked.
The old black bull’s eyes held a hint of wistful memory in them. He slowly said, “In those days, Immortal Juhua’s fame was widespread. He was someone who stood at the very forefront of the entire Grand Xia Dynasty. A Loose Immortal capable of living for millions of years is an absolute miracle. The Three Disasters and Nine Tribulations which everyone who embarks on the Immortal path must endure…each tribulation is fiercer than the last. He had lived for simply too long, and the difficulty of the tribulations had reached an inconceivable level. Even Celestial Immortals probably wouldn’t be able to survive them. The longer he lived, the more the people in the Grand Xia Dynasty became aware of how formidable he was.”
“Immortal Juhua knew that his time was limited, and so he wanted to accept a disciple, and thus he spread the word…that he would only accept a Fiendgod Body Refiner who was at least a Xiantian lifeform but no more than a Zifu Disciple. Of the major clans of the Grand Xia Dynasty, the ones who were in the know all sent their disciples to attempt the trials of that corridor.
“Two corridors. One for Xiantian lifeforms, one for Zifu Disciples.”
“One young person after another died. In the end, finally, a Zifu Disciple named ‘Rampart’ successfully passed the three trials of his corridor, and thus Rampart became the fourth master of this Immortal estate.
Immortal Juhua was the third.
Rampart was the fourth.
“Unfortunately.” The old black bull shook his head. “In the face of the endless tribulations, Immortal Juhua died. Not long after Immortal Juhua died…Rampart, who was merely at the ‘Wanxiang Adept’ level died as well. As for how he died and where he died, that’s unclear. Ever since Rampart died, this Immortal estate has not had an owner.”
Ning nodded, then said questioningly, “Rampart didn’t carry the Immortal estate with him?”
“Carry it with him?” The old black bull said in a low voice. “He was unable to even completely bind this Immortal estate. How could he have carried it with him?”
“He, a venerable Wanxiang Adept, was unable to bind it?” Ning asked.
The old black bull said, “Child, don’t underestimate this Immortal estate. This Immortal estate has an extraordinary background and history, and binding it is extremely hard. You should know that the more powerful a magic treasure is, the harder it is to bind it. This Immortal estate is actually a ‘dwelling’ type magic treasure…only by becoming a Primal will one become just barely capable of binding it and carrying it.”
“A Primal can only just barely bind it; he wouldn’t be able to completely control this Immortal estate, which has some secret areas within that he still wouldn’t be able to enter. Only by becoming an Earthly Immortal or a Loose Immortal will one truly be in control of this Immortal estate.”
Ning understood. It made sense. If one was able to easily bind a magic treasure which was capable of teleporting people, that would be bizarre.
“Child, do you now understand how extraordinary this Immortal estate is?” The old black bull said complacently.
“Elder, you can address me as Ji Ning.” Ning said.
“Child Ji Ning.” The old black bull stepped onto one of the giant prayer mats on the ground. “Take a look at this prayer mat. The prayer mats are all hundreds of meters wide. Have you considered why?”
Ning pondered, then said, “Elder, when I first arrived within this palace hall, I was very puzzled as well. There is no need for an Immortal estate to have such enormous prayer mats. I actually wondered…if this Immortal estate was previously lived in by a race of giants or some other races.”
“Although Immortal Juhua was only a Loose Immortal, he survived for millions of years before dying.” The old black bull sighed. “He is the only Loose Immortal I know of who lived for so long! Why was Immortal Juhua so powerful, and why could he last for so long before dying? It was because of this…this Immortal estate!”
“This Immortal estate’s age is beyond reckoning. According to the guesses of Immortal Juhua, this should have been the dwelling of an extremely powerful Fiendgod, which is why such enormous prayer mats, beds, and corridors were built.” The old black bull said. “Immortal Juhua had, when he was young, made it past three trials before becoming the third master of this place.”
“Immortal Juhua had to pass three trials as well?” Ning was stunned.
The old black bull said, “The three trials….was the rule set down by the first master of this Immortal estate! That first master should have been an extremely powerful Fiendgod. Judging from the way the giant prayer mats in this hall are laid out, that Fiendgod should have been sat on the one up front, expounding on the Dao, while below many other Fiendgods would listen. Haha, these are all the affairs of the past. The Fiendgod Era ended long ago.”
The old black bull and Ning chatted for quite a long while.
Ning finally couldn’t help but ask, “As the fifth master of this Immortal estate, what sort of benefits do I get?”
The old black bull blinked.
“Immortal Juhua was a Loose Immortal who had lived for millions of years. He should have left some things behind.” Ning asked.
The old black bull remained silent.
“Alas!” The old black bull finally let out a sigh. “The third master and the fourth master both died, and they died too long ago. Immortal Juhua had originally given Rampart some treasures, but Rampart died outside. Countless years have passed, and you can’t possibly get anything from Rampart. Immortal Juhua did indeed leave some magic treasures within this Immortal estate, but you won’t be able to get them.”
“Why not?” Ning asked. “Aren’t I the master of this Immortal estate now?”
The old black bull shook his head. “Imagine that you are the owner of a storage-type magic treasure, but you aren’t able to bind it. Will you be able to take out the treasures within it? This Immortal estate is a dwelling-type magic treasure. If you don’t bind it, there are many areas you cannot enter. Right now, you are only able to be here in the main palace hall. The other areas are off limits to you.”
“I can only enter this main hall?” Ning was astonished.
“You should have discovered that you are only able to be in this main hall and that you are unable to enter the other areas of this Immortal estate.” The old black bull said. “First become a Zifu Disciple; that will allow you to bind the control talisman. When you bind the control talisman, there will be many benefits to you. You will be able to enter many of the areas within the Immortal estate, and you’ll also be able to voluntarily enter the Immortal estate from outside; for example, at Serpentwing Lake, you’ll be able to enter the Immortal estate as you please.”
Out of nowhere, a dark gray talisman appeared, landing on the floor with a clattering sound atop a prayer mat.
“This is the control talisman.” The old black bull said. “Only the master is permitted to have the control talisman. Hurry up and take it. Once you reach the Zifu Disciple level, you’ll be able to bind it. After binding it, come back to the Immortal estate. Right now, you aren’t able to enter any place at all, and you won’t be able to get anything.”
Ning collected this talisman.
The talisman was very rough. Atop it, there was a complicated, ancient-looking character; ‘Left’! Just a single character. Although Ning had never learned the meaning of this character, upon seeing it, he naturally understood what it meant.
“Control talisman?” Ning stored it into his storage-type magic treasure.
“Alright. You’ve taken the control talisman, and I’ve told you everything. You can leave now.” The old black bull said. “I’ll send you off now and teleport you back to that island in Serpentwing Lake.”
Ning hurriedly called out, “Stop!”
The old black bull looked towards Ning. “Is there something else?”
“Just like that…I’m supposed to leave?” Ning couldn’t help but say. “I just barely survived, and I’m supposed to leave with just a control talisman?”
The old black bull blinked twice. “Whose fault is it that the previous owner has already died? If he was alive, he could probably guide you or help you. But I’m just the spirit of a magic treasure…I don’t have any magic treasures or curios of my own. As for you yourself, you train in the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens], the number one Fiendgod Body Refining technique which was even better than the technique which Immortal Juhua trained it. What can I give you? Oh! You probably don’t have any visualization techniques, right?”
“visualization techniques?” Ning was startled.
The Lord of Cui Palace had given him the [Nuwa Painting] visualization technique!
“visualization techniques are capable of refining the soul and strengthening it.” The old black bull said hurriedly. “This is something only the most powerful of clans have access to. I have a visualization technique in my memory. I’ll transmit it to you.”
“Transmit?” Ning was curious.
“Take out a quill and some ink.” The old black bull urged.
Flipping his hand, Ning took out a quill and some ink, as well as a large piece of beast skin, placing them to one side.
The old black bull looked at the quill, which began to hover in the air. “I am the spirit of a magic treasure who has trained for countless years, but my ‘divine will’ is most likely still weaker than yours. Still, grabbing a quill isn’t too difficult.” Controlling the quill, he began to draw a painting onto that glossy beast skin parchment. Soon, a picture of a Buddha that had a compassionate look on his face began to appear on the parchment.
This Buddha had the sun and the moon behind his back, and radiated boundless light.
Just by looking at it, Ning felt slightly affected.
“What do you think?” The old black bull casually controlled the quill and tossed it to one side, then said delightedly, “This is a painting of the true form of Buddha, and the Shining Sun Moon Buddha at that! This [Inner Visualization of the Shining Sun-Moon Buddha] is the visualization technique which Immortal Juhua had previously used. I always was by his side, looking at this painting of Buddha, and thus I naturally memorized it. Although my painting isn’t as good as the original, as long as you often look at this painting of Buddha…you will definitely strengthen your soul.
Ning was puzzled. “Inner visualization of Buddha?”
“To become a master of the Great Dao, aside from your body, you must understand the myriad mysteries of the Great Dao.” The old black bull said.
Ning only felt resigned. Compared with the [Nuwa Painting]…it wasn’t even comparable. His [Nuwa Painting] had been imprinted by the Lord of Cui Palace into his very soul and his memory. Naturally, he could sense it much more clearly. This old bull had simply drawn out an image of Buddha based on his own memory.
“Can it be that you already have a visualization technique?” The old black bull noticed that Ning wasn’t very excited, and he couldn’t help but nod. “Makes sense. Your soul is so powerful. You should already have a visualization technique. Right…”
The old black bull pondered for a while.
Ning just waited.
This old bull was the spirit of an extremely powerful magic treasure who had followed Immortal Juhua for countless years. He should know many things.
“I remember now. Before this, you controlled thousands of magic treasures, right? I have a secret sword formation technique that is suitable for you to learn.” The old black bull suddenly said hurriedly. “In the past, I watched Immortal Juhua kill a powerful enemy who controlled a large number of flying swords in a formation to attack his enemies. His sword formation was thus recorded down by Immortal Juhua, who carefully looked through it. Although I only saw it once, I completely memorized it. I’ll make a copy for you.”
Ning hurriedly took out a large number of beastskin parchments.
The old black bull once again controlled the quill and began to write with it.
At the very top of the beastskin parchment were four words: [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation]!