The dragon-headed warship was flying through the clouds. Ji Ning and Mu Northson, faces full of joy, were going through and binding the assorted magic treasures.
“Senior apprentice-brother, this Dragonwhale’s wealth was far greater than the wealth of those four Wanxiang Adepts we killed,” Northson said, incomparably excited. “Previously, we killed more than ten Wanxiang Diremonsters, but all their wealth combined…can’t match up to this single Dragonwhale.”
“Of course. The Dragonwhale King had roamed the world for ten millennia, and had even escaped from Primal Daoists on numerous occasions, then had advanced to the Primal stage itself,” Ning said. “And it just broke through to the Primal level. If it had spent a thousand years training at the Primal level, its wealth would be even more astonishing. However, a Primal Diremonster who had been training at the Primal level for a thousand years…I probably wouldn’t be able to block it at all.”
Northson immediately shook his head. “Even a Primal who had trained for a thousand years would perish upon encountering that ancient Fiendgod! And you were quite fast with your hands, senior apprentice-brother; as soon as the Fiendgod left, you immediately collected this massive corpse of the Dragonwhale. The Loose Immortal who came afterwards didn’t notice anything; if he had, he probably would’ve taken it with him.”
Ning laughed as well. He, too, felt that he had been quite clever. Still…this Dragonwhale King truly did possess an astonishing amount of wealth. There had been eight magic treasures stored in its Zifu region, and upon the Dragonwhale’s death, they had fallen to the ground alongside its corpse. Two were Earth-ranked storage treasures, four were Earth-ranked magic treasures, while two were Heaven-ranked magic treasures. Those two Heaven-ranked magic treasures alone were worth thousands of kilograms of liquefied elemental essence! Ning and Northson were currently binding the storage-type treasures.
“So many magic treasures.”
“What treasure is this?”
“And here are other storage-type treasures. These should have belonged to Adept Dong One and Adept Redleaf. Keep searching!”
“Here’s a bottle of liquefied elemental essence. Wow, three hundred kilograms.”
“I imagine this one must be quite excellent. It should be the protective magic treasure of Adept Dong One. He previously relied on it to escape from my attacks; I didn’t expect that he would end up dying in the hands of this Dragonwhale, and his treasure would fall into my hands…”
Ning and Northson sorted through one magic treasure after another, appraising their value. The nearby Qingqing, in turn, picked up a few in curiosity. She was a Diremonster, after all…and one who hadn’t been training for too long. She naturally wasn’t able to assess the value of many unique, peculiar magic treasures. Thus, all she could do was stand next to them and celebrate with them.
“We’ve finished searching them.” Ning let out a long sigh of relief. “That was awesome.” Northson’s eyes were glowing with delight, and he chortled, “Senior apprentice-brother, I really am beginning to admire you more and more. This Dragonwhale corpse you picked up…I admire you so much, I could prostrate myself before you.”
Ning laughed as well. “Anything you need?” Northson took a careful glance, then shook his head and said, “None of them are on the Dao of Constructs. There really isn’t anything I need in particular.” Ning shook his head as well. “Nothing for I need either.”
Dong One’s protective treasure wasn’t bad, but its power was only ordinary; in the face of a Primal Daoist, it wouldn’t be able to hold for too long. Ning, by relying on his own power, was already able to flee for his life in the face of a Primal Daoist’s attacks; naturally, he wouldn’t care too much about it. His protective sword-ki treasure was something which could block the attacks of even a Loose Immortal or Earth Immortal for a full breath’s worth of time.
“Let’s split the liquefied elemental essence in half,” Ning said. “As for the magic treasures, let us send them to the Heavenly Treasures Mountain and sell them, then we’ll split the revenue.”
“But you collected them, senior apprentice-brother.” Northson stared at him, but Ning just laughed and ‘barked’ at him, “Stop kidding around, all I did was grab it.”
“What about me, what about me?” The nearby Qingqing said. Ning gave her a sideways glance. “You miser! For you, finding treasures is as easy as eating food or drinking water. Stop fighting with impoverished cultivators like us over treasure.” Qingqing’s hill-sized chunk of ancient glacial ice alone was worth more than five thousand kilograms of liquefied elemental essence.
Qingqing instantly pouted. “Stingy!”
Time flowed on. In the days after this, Ning’s group returned to the dire-ice room to continue their training. That place was quite secretive and hidden. After the three months came to an end, Ning’s group began their return journey to the Raindragon Guard encampment.
“Here we are.” The dragon-headed warship soared there through the clouds. Ning stood atop the ship, staring towards the distant earth. Soon, he saw, off in the distance, a mountain peak. It was the Raindragon Guard’s encampment.
“Hahaha, we’re back. We are about to become Raindragon Guards!” Northson whooped in delight as the warship hastened downwards.
This time, no one came to block Ning’s group. They flew directly towards the peak of the mountain encampment, the place next to the teleportation array. Ning instantly saw those two plainly dressed elders who stood next to the teleportation array; it was the same two Ning had seen last time, that skinny old man and the fat old man.
“Two more made it back alive,” the fat elder laughed, and then his gaze fell upon the little snake wrapped around Ning’s wrists. “A monster?”
“This is a spirit-beast which I tamed in the wild marshes of the Gaol Mountains,” Ning said.
“You are quite formidable, young fellow. The wild marshes of the Gaol Mountains are incomparably dangerous…it’s one thing for you to come back alive, but you actually brought a spirit-beast back as well?” The fat elder shook his head and sighed. “The two of you can go rest over there and wait a while. There are still thirty or so who haven’t arrived yet.”
Ning glanced towards the distance in surprise. A total of just sixteen Immortal cultivators were there, either seated or standing and chatting with each other. Including Ning’s group, there were only eighteen present.
“Senior, how do you know that there are thirty who have yet to arrive?” Ning asked curiously. Northson was puzzled as well. “Right. A hundred of us headed out; how do you know how many have died?”
Both the fat elder and the skinny elder laughed. “Have you forgotten the talisman which each of you bound upon entering the Crimson Dragon Mountains?” The fat elder asked.
Ning and Northson instantly remembered; only after binding the talismans had they been permitted to enter the Crimson Dragon Mountains, as otherwise, they wouldn’t have been allowed in.
“When one of you dies, the talisman becomes an ownerless object. Thus, we Raindragon Guards would immediately become aware of it,” the fat elder said. “Right now, fifty two of the talismans are in good shape, while the others are ownerless.”
Ning and Northson now both understood. So that tiny little talisman they had received…actually had this secret hidden with it. The Raindragon Guard’s methods really were unpredictable.
“Senior,” Northson asked, “A while ago, my senior apprentice-brother and I came back to send some ordinary mortals here. Those ordinary mortals who had been corralled and raised as livestock by the monsters…how are they doing?”
“Yes, are they doing alright?” Ning asked.
The fat elder said, somewhat surprised, “Oh, it was you two who sent them over? Don’t worry; of course they are doing alright. We Raindragon Guards will naturally take care of those pitiable tribesmen; however, they were teleported away long ago and left the Gaol Mountains long ago. We Raindragon Guards will take good care of them.”
Ning nodded slightly. That was good. Only, he didn’t know…what that little kid called ‘Ironboy’ would end up like.
“Let’s go.” Ning immediately moved with Northson to one side. With but a flick of their fingers, they each pointed towards a boulder that had been chopped flat. Crackle…frost appeared, instantly covering the stones with a layer of ice. These boulders were used for the Raindragon Guards who had come here to rest on, but with so much wind and dust swirling about, they had naturally been quite dirty. After Ning and Northson revealed this ability, quite a few nearby cultivators looked towards them.
Soon, cultivators came over to chat with the two of them. Ning and Northson chatted with them, making quite a few friends amongst them.
One surviving cultivator after another hurried back from locations throughout the wild marshes of the Gaol Mountains. Eastriver Cloudsoar, who both Ning and Northson recognized, returned as well. However, Cloudsoar returned with only one arm, and the baleful aura around him was much stronger than it had been in the past. This caused quite a bit of silent discussion amongst the various cultivators.
“What happened?” Northson sent mentally, “In the past, Eastriver Cloudsoar was quite the talker; why is it that he’s grown so much colder? And he’s lost an arm…but it’s just an arm. All he needs to do is eat a spirit-pill that allows the regeneration of limbs. In addition, Wanxiang Adepts can also slowly regrow their arms by using their elemental ki. Why hasn’t he done so at all?”
Ning shook his head. He, too, had noticed…that after this tempering experience, Cloudsoar seemed to have changed dramatically.
In the blink of an eye, half a day passed. More cultivators returned. “Look, Meng Liuqing!” Northson sent mentally to Ning, “She’s the only survivor of those six Immortal cultivators who tried to gang up on us.”
“Meng Liuqing?” Ning saw this female cultivator of the Meng clan arrive as well. She descended from the skies. Upon seeing Ning and Northson, her face changed slightly. She immediately turned and was about to walk to one side, when…
A fierce voice rang out.
Meng Liuqing turned her head, only to see a one-armed, white-robed youth, filled with a baleful aura that reached the heavens, and whose eyes were filled with an icy light. “I, Eastriver Cloudsoar, will definitely avenge my slain younger sister. Meng Liuqing…prepare for your death! And the other five…I won’t spare any of you!” As the disciple of the Eastriver clan, he dared to say these words openly and directly!
“The other five?” Meng Liuqing shook her head. “I don’t know about Dong One, but the other four…Northriver Zhou, Xu Manquan, Nongsan, and Jihe…are already dead.”
Cloudsoar was stunned. “Dead?”
All the surrounding cultivators looked towards them as well. Dead? Four Wanxiang Adepts had died? These cultivators all grew curious…what exactly had happened?
“They died in the hands of the two disciples of the Black-White College.” Meng Liuqing glanced sideways towards Ning and Northson. Enmity had been created between her and the two of them; naturally, she didn’t mind giving the two of them a bit of extra trouble. Earlier, she had intentionally reported the names of those four, so that the friends and family members of the four would know who had done the deed.
“You b*tch!” Northson instantly rose to his feet and roared with fury, “Previously, the six of you tried to ambush and sneak attack the two of us. Four of you died, and now, you are still trying to plot against us? Listen up, you b*tch! In the future, you’d best never run into me. If I do, I’ll take your life!”
“Right.” Ning stared coldly towards her as well. Unfortunately, this was the encampment of the Raindragon Guards; no one dared to fight here. As for Meng Liuqing, she just gave Ning and Northson a cold glance; since there was already enmity between them, why fear this additional threat?
“Fellow Daoists Ji Ning and Mu Northson.” Eastriver Cloudsoar turned to look towards Ning and Northson, then bowed deeply. “Those six didn’t go kill Diremonsters; instead, they came to ambush and kill us, fellow cultivators. They deserved to die in your hands, fellow Daoists. In the future, if either of you need anything, fellow Daoists, just let me know; I, Eastriver Cloudsoar, will definitely comply, even if I have to go through water or climb past fire.”
“You are too courteous. We, too, were ambushed and attacked, so we simply dealt with them.” Ning and Northson hurriedly went over to raise Cloudsoar from his bow.
Soon, all of the remaining, surviving cultivators had returned. Adept Redleaf returned as well! Only, Adept Redleaf had no idea that it had been Ji Ning and Mu Northson within that formation! Still, he had heard the Dragonwhale King say something about ‘blame Ji Ning’, and so he naturally gave Ning a deep look.
“You fifty two survived. If you have brought back the corpse or the head of a Wanxiang Diremonster, then you will naturally become Raindragon Guards,” the skinny elder said. “Go. Go into the teleportation array and return to the Crimson Dragon Mountains.”
The fifty two cultivators all entered the teleportation array. Soon, the array lit up, and Ning’s group of fifty two were once more teleported back to the Crimson Dragon Mountains, more than two million kilometers away.