Ji Ning hesitated. Which to choose?
“Senior.” Ning hurriedly, deferentially asked, “Given that when my Fiendgod body reaches the Wanxiang level, I’ll have another chance to acquire an Earth-ranked magic treasure after overcoming the fourth level of the Wargod Hall…will I have the chance to acquire even better magic treasures at that time?”
“Of course!” The giant yellow bear said confidently, “Items better than the Earthfire Heartlamp, the Dire-Ice Mirror, and the Nethercold Sword Formation…there will be more than one that is better than these three! You’ve merely overcome the third level of the Wargod Hall; how can I possibly bring out the very best Earth-ranked magic treasures right away? When I bring those out, you won’t choose the likes of the Earthfire Heartlamp.”
“Hurry up and choose. In the end, there will be countless treasures, but unfortunately, I can’t give them all to you.” The giant yellow bear looked at Ning. “Master left behind many treasures, but not for just any single successor. In the event of your death, I need to ensure that the next successor has some treasures as well, yes?”
Ning pursed his lips. What a doleful thing to say! Die? Ning absolutely didn’t wish to fail, after having embarked on the Immortal path.
“This is my choice.” Ning flipped through the book to the third to last page, the one mentioning the Nethercold Sword Formation.
“I really do want the Earthfire Heartlamp and the Dire-Ice Mirror,” Ning sighed to himself. “However, they aren’t able to increase my power right away, but the Nethercold Sword Formation can! These nine Nethercold Swords in the formation are all top-grade, and it was Daoist Threelives who was the appraiser; their power must be superior to that of ordinary Heaven-ranked flying swords. They’ll be able to increase the power of my [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] to a whole new level!”
The higher one’s level of power became, the more difficult it was to further strengthen one’s self. To rise by a full level was incomparably difficult, but these Nethercold Swords were simply too powerful.
If he were to go and try to purchase them at the Heavenly Treasures Mountain, their price would surpass that of an ordinary Heaven-ranked flying sword. And, given their rarity, they would probably at least five thousand kilograms per sword! With all nine top-grade flying swords having come from the same source…the entire set would definitely go for at least fifty thousand kilograms of liquefied elemental essence. Fifty thousand kilograms? That was enough to make even a Primal Daoist turn green in envy. Even when Ning had been lucky enough to loot the corpse of the Dragonwhale King, he hadn’t reaped such a fortune.
“The power of the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] depends entirely on the powerful flying swords comprising it! This is completely indisputable! Fortunately, I have the Treasures Hall,” Ning mused to himself. “In turn, only in my hands can this [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] unleash its true, terrifying power.”
The more powerful the swords used, the more monstrous and heaven-defying these swords were. In the past, the Thousand Swords Immortal had grown tremendously famous with this technique, but in the end, he had still fallen to Immortal Juhua. Given that Ning had the Treasure Hall behind him…the power of his [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] would be even more incomparably shocking.
“Come.” The giant yellow bear beckoned towards the distance. In the void above, a point of light suddenly flashed and started to descend. It quickly passed through the restrictive spells, arriving next to Ning. It was nine completely black flying swords. Although they were completely black, they had a very soft, luxuriant gleam to them; it was almost as though a faint, extremely dark green luster covered these flying swords. They were so beautiful that they could be considered a work of art.
“They are perfect.” Ning couldn’t help but let out a sigh of praise. Reaching out with this elemental ki, he sent one strand after another of watery-blue ki forward, swirling around the nine Nethercold Swords and easily binding them. With but a thought, Ning sent them swirling around him like nine shining stars.
“They are comparable to Heaven-ranked magic treasures in power,” Ning said in praise. Heaven-ranked magic treasures were only usable by Primal Daoists, but his magic treasures were also at this level of power…this was why they were considered top-grade treasures. And he had nine of them!
“Most likely, they would be enough to cause even Primal Daoists to grow envious and kill me for them,” Ning said with a soft laugh. The giant yellow bear replied, “If they don’t bind them personally, it’ll be hard for them to tell just by looking at them that these are top-grade.”
“What fine treasures.” The more Ning thought about them, the happier he became.
“Time to go. If you want more treasures, go back and train hard,” the giant yellow bear urged. Ning nodded. Instantly, a phantom of a giant bear’s head appeared, swallowing Ning with a single gulp.
Serpentwing Lake. Brightheart Island. Soon, everyone on the island knew that after half a month, Ji Ning had left from his secluded meditation.
Aside from Ning, no one else knew of the existence of the underwater estate. Given that Ning’s training room was a place where others were strictly forbidden from trespassing, everyone had assumed that he had been in the room training this entire time.
“Master, Master!” An azure-robed maiden was the first to suddenly appear at the entrance of the room. Ning walked out of it, raising his head to look towards the outside. A cold wind pressed down upon him, and giant plumes of snow were falling down from the skies.
“Master, why is it that after you went into training, I could no longer sense your presence?” The azure-robed maiden stared at Ning, mentally sending to him with franticness, “I felt as though you were very, very far away. I’m your spirit-beast, and our spirit-bond was not dispersed, so I knew that you weren’t dead, but…if you weren’t dead, why couldn’t I sense you?”
The nearby Whitewater Hound walked over, sending mentally, “Ning, son, when you went into training, this Azure Skysnake wanted to go inside to search for you. I had to stop her.”
“Oh.” Ning laughed. The first time he had entered the underwater estate, he had caused his father and mother to be concerned over him. They all knew that he had entered a special, ancient relic site, and naturally, Uncle White had learned this as well.
“I had a stroke of karmic luck,” Ning said. “Luck?” Qingqing was surprised. The Grand Xia Dynasty’s territory was simply too vast and contained far too many secrets; anything was possible within it. For example, someone might be in the middle of a perfectly normal battle when an ancient Fiendgod might suddenly wake up and intervene. If this could happen, what couldn’t?
Qingqing could tell that Ning didn’t want to discuss this in detail, so she just muttered to herself, “So stingy with your secrets.”
Ning laughed. The underwater estate involved Daoist Threelives, and it was so important as to be able to shock the entire Three Realms! How could Ning casually reveal its secrets to others? For example, although he was now the master of the underwater estate, he was the only one who could enter it; others could not. Thus, Ning hadn’t even told his parents; after all, given that his parents couldn’t enter it, letting them know of it would only prove problematic, not beneficial in any way.
“Young master.” Autumn Leaf walked towards them from afar, face covered in smiles. “You’ve left your secluded meditation. During this period of time, young master Ji Mo came. He wished to ask for your instructions, young master.”
“Ji Mo?” Ning nodded. “During those first three days after my return, he hadn’t come.” Ji Mo was, aside from Ning himself, the most talented member of the younger generation of the Ji clan.
“Young master Ji Mo was adventuring and testing himself in the outside world as well,” Autumn Leaf said. “Thus, when you returned, the Patriarch sent people out to find young master Jji Mo. They spent quite a few days before finding him, and afterwards, young master Ji Mo came by himself, arriving on the ninth day of your secluded meditation.”
Smiling, Ning nodded. Suddenly, another figure appeared in the distance. In but two flashes, the figure appeared close to them; it was a tall, sturdy-looking handsome youth with a pair of sword-shaped eyebrows. He stared towards Ning with a blazingly eager gaze, and he immediately said with respect, “I pay my respects to you, young master Ji Ning.”
“It seems as though you’ve improved quite a bit in recent years,” Ning said with a praising laugh. With but a single glance, he could tell that Ji Mo’s aura had changed significantly. In the past, Ji Mo had been quite reserved, but now, Ji Mo seemed like a drawn warblade. He had a powerful, sturdy willpower that was forged through battle.
“Compared to you, young master, I’m still quite inferior,” Ji Mo said respectfully.
“If you are willing,” Ning suddenly said, “You can come here and stay here whenever you please.” Ji Mo was stunned. Instantly, he revealed a look of joy on his face. In the past, he had knelt down to beg Ji Ning to accept him as disciple, but at that time, Ning was focused on his own pursuit of the Dao, and didn’t have any time to spare. Now that Ning had chosen to permanently stay here at Serpentwing Lake…he was naturally willing to occasionally make the time to provide some guidance to the most talented younger members of the Ji clan. This could be considered a way in which he would help the Ji clan train future experts.
“Is junior apprentice-brother Ji Ning present?” A very familiar voice rang out, echoing throughout the entire Serpentwing Lake.
“Junior apprentice-brother Ji Ning?”
“Someone who addresses our young master as ‘junior apprentice-brother’?” Autumn Leaf revealed a look of amazement.
“Someone who is addressing the island master as junior apprentice-brother?” The many maids and servants who lived on Brightheart Island all revealed looks of amazement. The ‘island master’ was, of course, the master of Brightheart Island, Ji Ning.
Instantly, everyone in the Serpentwing Lake area was puzzled and curious. Only a very few of them knew that Ning had joined the Black-White College, and they were able to guess at the truth: “Most likely, a member of the Black-White College has come.”
Upon hearing this voice, Ning also lifted his head in surprise, staring towards the source of the voice. A masted ship soared towards them from the distance, with two beautiful, indistinct figures atop it.
“Ning, son, it seems to be two of your senior apprentice-sisters,” the Whitewater Hound sent. “You really are formidable. As soon as you came back, you managed to get two of your senior apprentice-sisters to chase after you all the way here.”
Ning stared at Uncle White. “They are just passing through and paying their respects.” Uncle White just snickered.
Ning lifted his head, staring towards the distant ship. He said softly, “But it really is a coincidence. As soon as I left my seclusion, they arrived.”
Swoosh. Ning immediately flew into the skies to go greet them. “Senior apprentice-sister Ninelotus, senior apprentice-sister Qingqing.” In the skies above Serpentwing Lake were the blue-robed Ninelotus and the silver-robed Qingqing. They, too, flew over.
“We learned from junior apprentice-brother Twinwood that you, junior apprentice-brother Ji Ning, were living here,” Ninelotus laughed. “We are out adventuring and just so happened to go past Swallow Mountain, so we decided to come and pay a visit. Junior apprentice-brother, you really have quite the eye; you actually chose such a beautiful place! This vast Serpentwing Lake, and that island in the center of the lake; they are all quite lovely.”
Ning turned to look. Indeed; light rippled off the waves, which appeared as beautiful as jade, and the countless flowers and grassy areas on the central island, along with the various pavilions, made it look like a true utopia, a peach garden beyond the mortal world.
“Senior apprentice-sister, you don’t know this, but this used to be the territory of a monster,” Ning said with a laugh. “Afterwards, I eradicated that monster, and our Ji clan arranged for quite a few people to spend a long period of time renovating the place. Only then was the previously monster-infested island changed to its current appearance. My two senior apprentice-sisters, let’s not chat in the air. Come, let me show you around my island and show you some hospitality.”
Ninelotus and Qingqing, along with Ji Ning, immediately flew down. The mortal maids of Brightheart Island all murmured to themselves, “Wow…as Immortal fairies!”
“They are flying.”
“They are so beautiful.”
All of the mortals were extremely excited.
Ning’s group of three quickly descended. The Azure Skysnake and the Whitewater Hound came over at this time as well. “These two Diremonsters are the ones which junior apprentice-brother Twinwood spoke of, right? The Azure Skysnake, ‘Qingqing’, and the Whitewater Hound, ‘Uncle White’?” Ninelotus laughed.
“What?! Qingqing!?” The nearby, silver-robed maiden instantly stared.
“Right, Qingqing, she’s also named Qingqing.” Ninelotus choked back a laugh. She had been waiting, a long, long time to say these words; she had been eagerly anticipating the meeting between these two Qingqings.