“Nong Zidao disappeared?” Ji Ning frowned.
The other five Zifu Disciples were utterly terrified as well. Ning, with the assistance of the grand formation, was absolutely at the Wanxiang Adept level of power. The five of them weren’t even enough to join into a formation of their own.
“Ji Ning, please spare our lives.”
“I offer to you all of the magic treasures that I am carrying. My clan will also offer up magic treasures in exchange for my life.”
The five of them were all begging, without any hint of a martial spirit.
Ning swept the five of them with his gaze.
“Ji Ning.” A voice suddenly rang out by his ears. “We’ve destroyed these two groups of Zifu Disciples, but two more days will pass before the Grand Xia Dynasty arrives…within these two days, more disciples of Snowdragon Mountain might arrive. There is no way for us to watch over and guard these people. Kill them all. As for those two Zifu-level Diremonsters, if you are able to make them submit, do so. If not, kill them!”
The Patriarch’s words were reasonable.
“All of you, accept death.” Ning looked at them and spoke calmly.
In front of his body, that flashing sword light suddenly transformed into a line of rainwater and flew towards them. It was immediately followed by yet another flash of sword light.
These were all only at the eighth level of the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation]!
“Ji Ning, Snowdragon Mountain will definitely avenge us.”
“Ji Ning, you will die a miserable death!”
These five seemed to have gone berserk. All of them wanted to go all out, but given that they weren’t able to join in a formation, even though they threw out some powerful Dao-seals…upon encountering that curtain of water, they immediately exploded, unable to touch Ning at all.
Within a few moments, all five of them perished.
“Do you two spirit-beasts submit?” Ning swept his gaze towards the still-living Landwyrm and Fairy Crane.
The Landwyrm and the Fairy Crane looked at each other, and then the Landwyrm transformed into a large, azure-armored man, while the Fairy Crane transformed into a white-robed maiden. The azure-armored man and the white-robed maiden all immediately fell to their knees. “We are willing to submit!”
Although Zifu-level Diremonsters were incomparably arrogant and hard to tame, when they were faced with only two options, to perish or to submit…they would generally submit, especially when the opponent’s power completely surpassed their own.
“Follow me.” Ning’s gaze flashed, and the falling rain disappeared. Immediately afterwards, a surge of blazing fire swept out, rendering the corpses of the five Zifu Disciples into ash, leaving behind only their magic treasures, which Ning easily collected.
“Yes.” The Landwyrm and the Celestial Crane all followed after Ning.
Soon, they passed through the layers of black fog and arrived in front of Ji Ninefire.
“Eh?” Ning was surprised. In front of him, aside from the Patriarch and his father, Ji Truekeep, Granny Shadow, and Ah Xing had all arrived as well.
“I asked them to come.” Ninefire laughed. “Both groups of Zifu Disciples are dead. For now, we have no opponents, so I had them all come over.”
“Ji Ning. Formidable.” Truekeep’s eyes were shining.
“Formidable, formidable.” Old servantAh Xing’s face was filled with delight as well.
Granny Shadow laughed and nodded as well.
All of them were very happy.
This was because, in just two or three short days worth of time, Snowdragon Mountain would only be able to invite some Zifu Disciples from nearby regions to come over…and as for the main Snowdragon Mountain Sect, it was simply too far away. There was no way they would be able to make it over in two or three short days. Having killed eighteen Zifu Disciples and tamed two spirit-beasts, the threat level had dropped dramatically.
“Unfortunately, we allowed Nong Zidao to flee.” Patriarch Ninefire shook his head.
“Patriarch, how did he escape? Why did he suddenly disappear?” Ning asked hurriedly. Granny Shadow and the others all looked towards the Patriarch as well. They had just gathered together, and so they hadn’t had a chance to ask about these things in detail.
Ninefire shook his head. “I don’t know either. He simply disappeared. There’s no trace of him in the entire formation. However, if we ask his spirit-beast, I imagine it will know.”
The eyes of Ning and the others lit up. Right. Ask the spirit-beast.
“Fairy Crane.” Ninefire looked at the white-robed maiden. “How did Nong Zidao escape?”
The white-robed woman said respectfully, “My former owner was skilled in formations. He was valued by his master, and so was given a ‘Lesser Teleportation Dao-Seal’. This Dao-seal, upon being used, will instantly allow one to teleport to any location within ten thousand kilometers.”
“A Lesser Teleportation Dao-Seal?” Ning and the others looked at each other.
Ning quietly memorized this name. It seemed as though this Lesser Teleportation Dao-Seal was the same thing as his so-called ‘Traceless Talisman’. The Traceless Talisman had been acquired in a fortuitous encounter by an ancestor of the Ji clan of the West Prefecture, who had used up two, leaving only one behind. Because it allowed one to teleport within ten thousand kilometers without a trace, it had been named the ‘Traceless Talisman’.
“Patriarch, what should we do with these two spirit-beasts?” Ning looked at Ninefire. The other five all looked at each other as well.
“Ji Ning, are you willing to accept them?” Ninefire asked Ning.
Ning looked at the Landwyrm and the Fairy Crane. Zifu-level spirit-beasts were very precious. Ordinary Zifu Disciples wouldn’t be able to acquire them, but in truth…Ning didn’t care about these two Zifu spirit-beasts. If Ning took some time to focus on his insights, in anywhere from a few hours to a few days, he would break through to the seventh level, as a Fiendgod Body Refiner.
In but a few years, he would reach the ninth level as an Fiendgod Body Refiner of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens]! By then, Zifu-level spirit-beasts would truly be useless to him; in fact, they would slow him down.
“I have no need.” Ning shook his head.
“Since that’s the case…” Ninefire nodded. “Then I will temporarily accept them. After we overcome this tribulation, I will then divide them up.”
“That’s what we’ll do, then.”
Truekeep, Granny Shadow, Yichuan, and the others all nodded without any debate. It was too early to discuss who the spirit-beasts would go to. Nobody knew which of them would survive this tribulation.
“These are the magic treasures left behind by that Jadechild.” Ning waved his hand, and a large amount of magic treasures immediately appeared on the ground. “Everyone, take a look and see which are useful. If you find any flying swords…various elders, please help me prepare them for binding. I need to find a place to train; just now, in battle, I gained some slight insights.”
“Alright. Leave it to us.” Ninefire and the others didn’t hesitate at all.
“Right.” Ning’s body flickered as he immediately departed at high speed.
The Landwyrm and the Fairy Crane, in the form of the azure-armored warrior and the white-robed maiden, were both rather disappointed. In truth, they desired to become Ning’s spirit-beasts.
First of all, they bore no hatred for Ning, as the Landwyrm had, for example, been forcibly subdued by Jadechild in the past. Although the Fairy Crane did have a close relationship with Nong Zidao, since Zidao had given her up and fled for his life, it could be said that the karmic binds between them had come to an end.
Secondly, Ning was only sixteen years old. A monster like this would have unlimited potential; if they followed a master like him, their own future would be bright as well.
Unfortunately, Ning wasn’t willing to accept them.
Ning was seated in the lotus position within the mountainous forests, surrounded by dark energy.
“Yin and Yang transform, endlessly engendering each other.” Ning murmured to himself, then closed his eyes and began to meditate on it. Prior to this, when he had analyzing the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation], he had come to a realization…that all of the great Daos of the world were, in truth, similar. Formations, swordplay, magic, divine abilities…they all contained the ‘Dao’.
The Dao was the same. Only, the paths of the Dao were different.
Ning understood this principle…and so naturally, it now became much easier for him to break through, from the sixth to the seventh stage of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens].
“Yin and Yang transform!” Ning, his eyes closed, began to activate the divine power in his body…
In midair, a thousand kilometers away from Snowdragon City, space suddenly rippled, and a figure appeared out of nowhere. It was a fur-clad Nong Zidao.
Nong Zidao’s eyes were filled with grief.
“If you encounter a formation, be cautious. Be cautious.” Nong Zidao let out a soft sigh. “This is the most simple of principles, but we disciples of Snowdragon Mountain had all forgotten about it.”
If you encounter a formation, be cautious. This was something all Immortal practitioners knew.
This was because formations were intricate and marvelous. No one could know what was within a formation, and upon entering it, one wouldn’t even be able to flee! For example, the Wanxiang Adept, Adept Mu Xiao, knew that Bei Zishan was hidden within the formation, but because Bei Zishan had set up a formation, Adept Mu Xiao had chosen to instead wait patiently outside, rather than enter the formation.
But these disciples of Snowdragon Mountain had truly held their foes in too little regard.
Although they knew that upon encountering a formation, they should be cautious, they hadn’t held the Ji clan in any regard at all. The Ji clan was nothing more than a local clan, and they had an understanding of the Ji clan’s power. They didn’t believe that the Ji clan would be capable of any powerful formations at all. In addition, they had Jadechild as well as a formations expert, Nong Zidao. They also had nearly twenty comrades…
Their power was simply too great.
They believed that they would completely dominate and crush a puny clan like the Ji clan. Because of their over-confidence, they had underestimated their foes, and so had become trapped in the formation, with no way to escape!
Jadechild. Even with the assistance of the Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation, Ning was only on par with Jadechild in power; Jadechild had only died after all of his divine power had been exhausted, rendering him unable to use his divine ability. If they had fought outside the formation, upon seeing that the situation was turning grim, he could’ve fled. But within the formation, there was no place to run!
“If you encounter a formation, be cautious. But if we didn’t enter…should we have simply allowed the Ji clan to delay? Watch as the Celestial Envoy of the Grand Xia Dynasty came?” Nong Zidao shook his head and sighed.
“The Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation, and a monster who gained insight into a Dao Domain at age sixteen. For me to encounter both these things in such a puny little local clan? My defeat was not an injust one!” A flying ship appeared beneath Nong Zidao’s feet, which immediately tore through the skies, flying at high speed towards Snowdragon City.
“No matter what, I have to go warn my other comrades, who are probably heading this way as well.” Nong Zidao mused.
Of the first group of Zifu Disciples, the sole survivor was Nong Zidao.
If he didn’t go warn the newcomers, in the future, when the main sect investigated this matter, he, Nong Zidao, would be censured.
A distant city appeared within his field of vision.
“Eh?” Nong Zidao, atop the ship, saw that there were people in the air above the distant city.
That person flew over, as fast as a ray of light.
“Dong Fanyu?” Nong Zidao immediately recognized this old man.
“Senior apprentice-brother Zidao.” Dong Fanyu, upon seeing Nong Zidao, immediately asked impatiently, “I heard that you, senior apprentice-brother Zidao, along with senior apprentice-brother Jadechild and a group of others all went to Oxhorn Mountain. Why have you come here, senior apprentice-brother Zidao? Also…the life-tablets of quite a few people who headed to Oxhorn Mountain have shattered. Even the life-tablet of my own Dong clan’s Patriarch, Dong Ziqi, has shattered. What happened at Oxhorn Mountain?”
Nong Zidao shook his head. “I feel ashamed. Aside from myself, every single one of our fellow disciples who went to Oxhorn Mountain perished.”
“What?! All perished?!” Dong Fanyu was shocked. “So many fellow disciples all, all…”
“Aside from me, all of them died.” Nong Zidao sighed. “I’ve come to warn you that Oxhorn Mountain is incredibly perilous. No matter what, do not enter. I don’t want any other fellow disciples to suffer.”
Dong Fanyu said frantically, “Can’t be entered? But just now, Wanxiang Adept, Adept Xu Li, personally led a group of Zifu Disicples to head towards Oxhorn Mountain.”