Book 7, Stillwater City, Chapter 2 – Arrival
Originally, the combined forces of the three members of the Meng clan had been enough to just barely hold on, but when the two disciples of Snowdragon Mountain stopped holding back, the three Meng clan members instantly found fighting back much more taxing.
“If I had known this would happen, I would’ve listened to what Rocky said.” The beautiful, willowy maiden’s face was ashen. She was filled with regret. These three hadn’t dared to continue with their training after becoming Zifu Disciples, because if upon reaching the middle Zifu stage, their foundation would have solidified into a set pattern. Some of the more powerful schools wouldn’t be willing to take them on as disciples.
Thus, all three of them remained at the early Zifu Disciple stage. Prior to heading out, Meng Roch had said: “Little Xin, our power, amongst Zifu Disciples, is at the bottom end of the scale. If we were to fly on magic treasures, then once we are attacked…we will be in danger. I recommend we walk on the ground or ride on mounts, just like ordinary people, and travel slowly. Although it will take more time, it will be far safer. Immortal practitioners can’t be bothered to act against ordinary commoners.”
“You idiot.” The other fellow, Meng Jun, had said with anger, “Ride on a mount and travel slowly on the ground? That’s a distance of a million kilometers. We’ll probably spend a year before we arrive! Hiking up mountains and wading through lakes? Even if you are willing, I’m not. I refuse to believe that if we fly as fast as we can, with the goal of making it in a few days, we will be as unlucky as to encounter someone who attacks us.”
“Rocky, Meng Jun’s words are reasonable. It’s just a few days. There won’t be any problems.” Meng Xin hadn’t wanted to spend a full year, and so they decided to fly to Stillwater City.
Unfortunately…they really did encounter bandits. Some Immortal cultivators kept their heads down and toiled bitterly towards perfection, others relied on battle to grow, while still others relied on on ambushing and slaughtering. Ambushing and slaughtering was the fastest way to acquire treasures. There truly were quite a few who engaged in this line of work.
“Slash.” One silk ribbon after another coiled about, defending against those encroaching flying swords, but the force of the impact still caused Meng Xin to vomit up a mouthful of blood. “Little Xin!” The nearby, straightforward man, Roch, grew frantic. He gritted his teeth, and his face suddenly turned red as his aura rose dramatically. The nine black stones flying about in front of him suddenly began to move at a far higher speed, and they howled through the air towards the two white-robed men.
“Hurry, leave, immediately leave!” Roch howled.
“Rocky!” Xin’s face changed. She naturally could tell that Roch had just used a forbidden technique. They had come on this trip to join a school. Using a forbidden skill resulted in harm to one’s cultivation foundation; most likely, it would be hard for him to join a good school now.
“Hurry and leave!” Roch seemed to be on the verge of insanity. “Hurry and leave!” The nearby, white-skinned youth had already transformed into a wisp of azure smoke, fleeing at high speed. Gritting her teeth, Xin followed after him and fled.
The two white-robed men, seeing this, just laughed coldly. They wanted to flee, as easy as that? Those two were dreaming.
Suddenly, a blurred form emerged from the ground, moving as fast as lightning and piercing straight through the heads of those two white-robed men.
“How could this be?!” “How could…” The two white-robed men stared, their wide eyes filled with disbelief. The two of them had engaged in quite a few acts of banditry; they were extremely cautious. Even when engaging others in battle, they would pay close attention to their surroundings, but they hadn’t sensed any elemental ki ripples earlier. And yet, they had been suddenly ambushed by a flying sword beneath their feet, and their protective magic treasures hadn’t stopped it at all.
Blood splattered everywhere, mixed in with a bit of white. The bodies of the two white-robed men went limp, and then they collapsed, life having fled.
“Kill, kill.” The simple, straightforward Meng Roch was in a berserk state, frantically controlling those nine black stone globes. But suddenly, he saw, to his amazement…that the two white-robed men collapsed to the ground? Dead?
“But…but…” Roch couldn’t believe it. As for Meng Jun, who had been fleeing at high speed, he turned to glance behind himself. Upon doing so, he saw those two white-robed figures, lying collapsed on the ground. Given his visual acuity as an Immortal practitioner, he could clearly see the bloodstains on the ground.
“Little Sister Xin!” Jun hurriedly sent. “Don’t flee. Those two member sof Snowdragon Mountain are dead.” Xin couldn’t help but come to a halt as well. She turned, only to see that those two figures that had been battling them earlier had indeed slumped to the ground.
“Come, let’s go see what happened.” Meng Jun said hurriedly. “Right.” Meng Xin grew cautious as well. The two of them flew at high speed, returning to the scene of the previous battle. Jun and Xin had confusion on their faces. They stared at Roch, who appeared completely stunned. Jun then said, “Rocky, what happened?”
Bang! Suddenly, flames descended from the heavens, completely enveloping the bodies of those two members of Snowdragon Mountain, completely incinerating them.
“Fire!” The three members of the Meng clan were all startled. They watched as a figure emerged from the mountain forest, followed by the unclear outlines of a earthbound beast. When they took a closer look…they saw that it appeared to be a delicate-looking, fur-clad youth, along with a large, snowy white hound.
Swoosh. The fur-clad youth waved his hand, and the magic treasures left behind by the incinerated members of Snowdragon Mountain all disappeared.
“Thank you, senior, for your kindness in saving our lives.” The simple, straightforward Roch fell to his knees, kowtowing to express his thanks.
“No need to show such great courtesy. No need to address me as senior either. We can simply address each other as fellow Daoist.” Ning couldn’t help but have a good impression of this straightforward man as he looked at him. Previously, he had been watching with divine sense, and had discovered that this man had used a forbidden technique and had gone berserk while instructing the woman to leave. This made Ning think of the uncle he had never met.
This was what his uncle had done; that was why Ning’s mother had been able to escape, which was why Ning was able to enter the world. Although Ning had moved quickly, and even used his divine will to control the Evanescent Demonslayer Sword to attack before he himself arrived, it would be hard for the honest-looking man to recover from the damage his usage of a forbidden technique had inflicted on himself. “What a pity.” Ning sighed to himself.
“Thank you, fellow Daoist.” The white-skinned youth hurriedly pulled the honest man to his feet. “The three of us are the disciples of the Meng clan. This is Meng Roch. Next to him is Meng Xin, while I am Meng Jun. Might I ask who you are, fellow Daoist?”
“Rocky.” Xin pulled at Roch’s hands as well, tears gathering in her eyes. At the same time, she looked towards Ning. Towards this fur-clad youth, she felt both curiosity and dread. Ning nodded. “My name is Ji Ning. I encountered the three of you by luck, on this trip to Stillwater City.”
“Brother Ji Ning, you are headed to Stillwater City as well?” The handsome, slender youth said with joy, “The three of us are headed to Stillwater City as well. Brother Ji Ning, would you be willing to travel along with us?”
Roch and that maiden, Xin, revealed expectant looks on their faces. Ning nodded slightly. “Alright!” Earlier, when he had stretched out his divine sense, Roch had just executed that forbidden technique. Thus, Ning didn’t know who these three were. Judging from their names, however, he could tell that they were from the same clan, and it seemed to be that they definitely weren’t that old.
“A single clan actually sent out three Zifu Disciples, all of the same age.” Ning mused to himself. “And all of the same surname, Meng. The map I have showing the various supreme powers include a clan named Meng.”
One of the reasons he elected to travel alongside these three, was that Ning wanted to learn more about the outside world from them. After all, the Ji clan’s information regarding the outside world was far too sparse.
“Come, my friend Ji Ning, taste this wine. This was brewed within our Meng clan.”
“My friend Ji Ning, come taste this fruit.”
A large boat was sailing through the cloudy skies. Ning and the three members of the Meng clan were all seated. There was a table before them, and the table was covered with fruit and wine. Ning was clearly very powerful, and the three members of the Meng clan wished to befriend him. In addition, for Ning to travel with them meant that he was like a guardian spirit for them.
“So they truly are of the Meng clan.” After having travelled with them for several days, Ning had learned more and more things. Of the three, Meng Jun was the most skilled in conversation as flattery; however, his flattery was too obvious, making Ning feel rather irritated by him.
Meng Xin was definitely an exceptional beauty, the likes of which would be hard to find in the Ji clan.
As for Meng Roch, that honest, straightforward man who had used the forbidden technique, he was the only one of the three whom Ning had a good impression of and was willing to make friends with.
“Meng Jun’s words are correct.” Xin shook her head, then said in a clear voice, “Our East Bend branch has always been squeezed and pressured. Even the clansmen of the East Bend’s main line of descent just barely get by. As for those of us from secondary lineages, our lives are even worse off…we are already lucky to have been able to reach the Zifu level in training. To acquire top-tier Ki Refining techniques? Completely impossible. The other Bends will all squeeze us and prevent our East Bend branch from growing. Thus, the three of us, after reaching the early Zifu stage, agreed to head out together to Stillwater City and settle within a major school in the city. We could go visit many schools and test them, one by one, but unfortunately, Rocky is already…”
Roch chuckled. “It’s fine. It’s enough that we are alive. I only use a forbidden technique once; the impact won’t be great. No matter what, we are almost at Stillwater City! We’ll have the opportunity to walk farther on the path of Immortals.”
“Right. We’ve left the clan.” Jun gritted his teeth. “When, in the future, we become Primal Daoists…hmph. All of those old fellows of the clan will come out and welcome us nervously.”
“Move forward stably, step by step.” Roch glanced at him. Jun immediately raised his head and sighed. “Unfortunately, the three of us are in an incomparably bad situation. We come from the exalted Meng clan, but our magic treasures were inferior to those two members of Snowdragon Mountain.” Jun suddenly glanced towards Ning. “My friend, Ji Ning, your power is incredible. You killed those two members of Snowdragon Mountain as easily as killing chickens. I imagine that their magic treasures, my friend Ji Ning, are completely meaningless. My friend Ji Ning…how about bestowing me with one or two of the magic treasures, so as to allow our strength to rise. That way, we won’t be slowing you down.”
“Just one or two. I don’t ask for too many.” Jun stared at Ning, his eyes filled with eagerness. Ning frowned slightly. This Meng Jun…engaging in excessive flattery was one thing, but this? Ning realized that Meng Jun had a ‘good point’; his tongue was completely shameless.
“No one feels irritated over having too many magic treasures.” Ning glanced at Jun. “I am preparing to go to Stillwater City to trade for some magic treasures, but I have too few on me. I’m afraid that I won’t have enough. Fellow Daoist Meng Jun, how about loaning me one or two?”
Meng Jun’s face turned white. He tittered nervously, but in his heart, he cursed, “How stingy. Last time, when I flattered young master Ruxu, young master Ruxu gifted me with a magic treasure. I’ve spent so much time flattering this Ji Ning and took out fine wine for him to drink, but I didn’t gain anything from it. I saw how powerful he was and the fact that he had a Zifu-level spirit-beast, and thought that he must be quite incredible. But he’s still stingy!”
Ning couldn’t be bothered to even look at this Meng Jun. He had travelled with the three, primarily because he wanted to learn more about the outside world, and also because he felt kindly disposed towards Roch.
“Brother Ji Ning.” Meng Xin suddenly pointed downwards and shouted, “Look, isn’t that Stillwater City?” “Stillwater City?” Ning hurriedly turned to look as well.
Far in the distance, on the vast earth below them, there was an enormous, gigantic city. One couldn’t see to the end of the city with the naked eye. Even though they were a thousand kilometers away, Ning could vaguely sense that a series of ripples was emanating from that vast, towering city. Although the ripples were seemingly weak, the power hidden within them was endless.
Ning, just staring at the city, felt an indescribable pressure emanating from it.
“We made it. Stillwater City.” Ning’s eyes were filled with anticipation. “Stillwater City.” Jun, Roch, and Xin all had eagerness in their eyes as well. Eagerness towards the future.