Book 9, Ji Ning of Serpentwing Lake, Chapter 27 – Traversing the Immortal Path Together
“You…” Chen Jin stared at Ji Ning, his eyes filled with astonishment. Previously, Ning had appeared to be a very courteous, handsome, slim young man, but now, he was no longer masking the killing intent in his eyes. “If…if I don’t swear an oath to the Dao of the Heavens…he’ll kill me. He’ll definitely kill me!”
Ning did indeed desire to kill him now. He absolutely wouldn’t permit his own clan, the Ji clan, to face annihilation. Whether for the sake of his father,the sake of those clansmen who he cared about, or because he felt a strong sense of belonging for the clan, Ning would definitely do everything he could to preserve the clan.
“Even if I commit fratricide against a fellow disciple and violate the laws of the school, so what! I’ll accept the punishment!” This was what Ning was thinking to himself.
Although the school did indeed forbid fratricide, if he actually were to kill Chen Jin…in carrying out any punishment, the school would still first investigate the details of the situation. For example, if a disciple of the College sought to kill another disciple, could it be that the second disciple would not be allowed to fight back? Thus, this rule against fratricide was an internal rule of the College, and the exact punishment for violators would be determined by the College.
Chen Jin had threatened to annihilate the Ji clan…it was understandable for Ning to desire to kill him. The College wouldn’t go so far as to destroy his Zifu; however, he would most likely be sentenced to go into a confinement of atonement for three hundred years, at the very least.
“What do you choose?” Ning stared at Chen Jin.
The distant Holyfire felt quite startled and nervous as well. “This Ji Ning…he actually is capable of using divine soul attacks. It seems he must have reached the divine sense level long ago…and he’s also extremely strong! Chen Jin has fallen into his hands, and he can kill him with a thought; there’s no way I can save him in time.”
He felt somewhat confident in being able to deal with Ji Ning. However…his advantage in power over Ning was still limited; it could be said that the two of them were on the same general level of power. To rescue Chen Jin from Ning’s hands? It clearly wasn’t possible.
“I, I…” Chen Jin’s entire body was quivering slightly; he felt both agonized and humiliated. He finally spat out a phrase that he would never forget for the rest of his life. “I am willing to swear an oath to the Dao of the Heavens!”
“Whew…” Holyfire let out a sigh of relief. The distant Ninelotus, watching this, also let out a sigh of relief. She had been nervous this entire time, because this entire problem was due to her. Although she herself was innocent in her actions, she still felt nervous and ashamed.
“I’ll speak first. Repeat the words that I say in swearing your oath to the Dao of the Heavens. You are not permitted to change a single word!” Ning continued to grip Chen Jin by the neck as he said coldly, “Listen clearly. I, Chen Jin, swear an oath right now, with the Dao of the Heavens as my witness…”
“I, Chen Jin, swear an oath right now, with the Dao of the Heavens as my witness…” Although Chen Jin was unwilling, he still repeated every single word.
Invisible ripples of power descended. These were ripples generated by the most supreme of Daos, the Heavenly Daos. This meant that this oath had been officially acknowledged by the Dao of the Heavens. Upon violating this oath, one would have to face the punishment of the Dao! Even an Immortal who violated such an oath would immediately suffer a retributive attack, and if the Immortal had originally sworn that a violation of the oath would cause his soul to be destroyed, then his soul would indeed be destroyed and dispersed.
“…and if I violate this oath, then let the soul of myself, Chen Jin, immediately be destroyed and dispersed, never to be reincarnated again.” Chen Jin gritted his teeth as he stared at Ning. “Junior apprentice-brother Ji Ning, are you satisfied?”
Ning let out a cold laugh, then swung his hand. Swoosh! He tossed Chen Jin far away from him. This time, Chen Jin managed to stabilize himself in midair. He gave Ning a cold glare.
“If you want to act against me, do your best,” Ning said. “If you can invite any experts to come help you, I, Ji Ning, will be here waiting for you.” Ning stared hard at him. “But when you come to deal with me, prepare to suffer my reprisal!”
“Aren’t you a piece of work.” Chen Jin gritted his teeth. Of course he wanted to kill Ji Ning. But…he couldn’t!
He was, after all, just a disciple of the Chen clan with a bit of status; he wasn’t even the heir who was in line to become the next clan leader! His father was merely a Primal Daoist…even if an Immortal of his clan was somehow willing to give him face and help him, how could that Immortal possibly go kill the disciple of Immortal Diancai, a monstrously talented genius of the Black-White College?
For the sake of its own survival, a clan would definitely not act in rash, violent, dangerous ways. A clan which did act in such a way wouldn’t be able to survive for too long!
“Let’s go.” Holyfire flew to his side. Chen Jin glanced at Holyfire. Although his heart still blazed with rage, there was nothing he could do. All he could do was nod. “Fine.”
“Ji Ning.” Chen Jin, before leaving, gave Ning a final glance, then said in a low voice, “Let me offer you a word of advice. Ninelotus is the next leader of the Dongyan clan; this has already been set in stone. The Dongyan clan is an ancient clan that is even more powerful than our Black-White College. Not just anyone can become the Dao-companion to the next leader of a clan like this. Even I, in terms of background alone, don’t quite match up; that’s why I still have to frantically train. As for you? Hmph…”
“No need to worry yourself about that,” Ning said calmly.
Chen Jin and Holyfire once more mounted that fiery red cloud, transforming into a streak of light and disappearing into the distant horizons. The only figures now left in the skies of Serpentwing Lake were Ning and Ninelotus.
“Ji Ning.” NInelotus stood there, a look of guilt on her face. “It’s all my fault…I’ve caused you to gain another enemy.”
This was the way of human interactions in the world.
Prior to this, Ji Ning and Chen Jin were fellow disciples of the same school who had never met. In the blink of an eye, however, Ji Ning had become a fiend in Chen Jin’s heart, casting a shadow over it! Similarly, because Chen Jin had threatened to annihilate the Ji clan, Ning now viewed him as his hated enemy.
“This isn’t your fault, senior apprentice-sister,” Ning said with a laugh. “Don’t worry. Chen Jin is nothing more than a dancing clown. He might be able to hop around smugly for a time…but what of it? What can he do to me?”
He was one of the two Sword Immortals of the entire Black-White College! The other, naturally, was his own master, Immortal Diancai.
“Right. Earlier, you demonstrated the third stance of the [Three-Foot Sword], the ‘Sudden Sword Light’,” Ninelotus said softly. “If the Black-White College was to learn of this, the degree of importance they view you with would skyrocket even more. The [Three-Foot Sword] is the most powerful sword art of the Black-White College, and you are a genius of the Dao of the Sword; the Black-White College will definitely spare no expense in training you!”
“The Chen clan is comparable to the Black-White College, but it’s in the Highwater Commandery; the amount of influence it has in Stillwater Commandery is quite low. In addition, Chen Jin’s status in the Chen clan is fairly ordinary…and so you truly don’t have much to worry about.” Ning nodded as he listened.
Both of them were chatting in midair, and standing very close to each other. When Ninelotus spoke, Ning could almost feel her breath. This caused Ning, who had never before had a relationship with a woman, to suddenly have an impetuous feeling...which was only strengthened by the fact that just now, he had defeated his ‘rival in love’, Chen Jin. Ning suddenly stretched his hand out, grasping Ninelotus’ hand.
Ninelotus’ hand was very soft, as though it were made out of water.
“Eh?” Ninelotus was somewhat caught off guard.
“Be my Dao-companion,” Ning said.
For a moment, Ninelotus’ mind was thrown into a state of chaos. She had actually been hesitating this entire time; during the past year, she had slowly grown more certain of herself, but she was, by nature, a cautious person. She had been planning to wait and watch for a few more years, but in the face of Ning’s sudden ‘attack’…she didn’t know what to say or do.
“The path of Immortal cultivation is one filled with pitfalls and traps. But we would at least have a Dao-companion as we traverse this path.” Ning looked at Ninelotus. “Senior apprentice-sister, are you willing to accompany me in traversing this path of Immortal cultivation for a thousand years…for ten thousand years…and for eternity?”
Ninelotus’ eyes suddenly turned red. She nodded gently. “Hahaha….” Ning began to laugh joyfully.
“Remember what you said,” Ninelotus said, looking at Ning. “We shall walk this path of Immortal cultivation together. A thousand years…ten thousand years…an eternity.”
“Right.” Ning nodded.
Their gazes met.
As for Autumn Leaf, who was watching this scene from the distant Brightheart Island, she revealed a hint of a smile as well. “The young master…has finally found his love.”
The Black-White College of Stillwater City. Adept Flowcloud, also known as Chen Jin, had returned to his own estate. He sat there by himself, drinking one cup of wine after another.
Chen Jin muttered this name repeatedly, a terrifying look in his eyes. The woman he had loved had been taken from him, and he had first been defeated, then been choked and forced to swear an oath to the Dao of the Heavens. All of these things caused Chen Jin to feel a boundless amount of hatred towards Ning, but…there was nothing he could do. Ning had been training for far fewer years than him, but Ning’s rate of advancement caused even Chen Jin to feel tongue-tied and speechless.
“I won’t be able to catch up to him. I won’t be a match for him.” Chen Jin couldn’t even rouse himself to fight back.
“What should I do?”
Agony filled Chen Jin’s heart.
“Right!” Chen Jin’s eyes suddenly let up. “Although Ninelotus won’t be mine, Ji Ning’s clan is far inferior to mine. Although he is a monstrously talented person…to an ancient, massive clan such as the Dongyan clan, they won’t care about that at all. Right…I imagine that the Dongyan clan doesn’t know about Ninelotus and Ji Ning yet. Then…I’ll give Ji Ning ‘a hand’!”
“Once the Dongyan clan learns of this, they will definitely prevent the two from being together. Definitely!”
Chen Jin was a disciple of a major clan as well; he knew very well how major clans carried out their affairs. Everything was done for the sake of the clan! The same was true for the leader of the clan as well. Only someone whose status in the clan was like Ji Ning’s status to the Ji clan, whose personal status and influence completely eclipsed the entire clan itself, was able to surpass the importance of the clan. In those cases, the entire clan would move according to the wishes of that person.
Clearly, Ninelotus, by herself, couldn’t possibly surpass the entirety of the Dongyan clan in importance!
“Let’s do this.” Swoosh. Chen Jin transformed into a streak of light, once more departing from the Black-White College.
The Dongyan clan was an extremely mighty clan; since it stretched over three commanderies, it naturally had a local branch in Stillwater City. That very day, Chen Jin spread news of Ninelotus and Ji Ning to this branch.
The Primal Daoist in charge of running this branch didn’t dare to be negligent at all in handling this affair; this news, after all, involved their next leader, ‘Ninelotus’.
Very soon…the news made its way back to the primary headquarters of the Dongyan clan in Highwater Commandery, in the Dongyan Mountains. This was a mountain range that spanned more than a hundred thousand kilometers, and which was densely packed with countless structures and buildings. The Dongyan clan’s population was calculated in the hundreds of millions, and all of the clansmen lived here. In addition, this mountain range was also filled with countless ancient formations.
This was, after all, an ancient clan that spanned three commanderies, one which had produced multiple Celestial Immortals. But of course, too much time had passed; although Celestial Immortals had infinite lifespans, they might fall or die. No one knew for certain if the Dongyan clan still had any living Celestial Immortals.
In terms of their roots and their foundation, the Dongyan clan definitely surpassed the eight major powers of the Stillwater Commandery; they were actually close to the Northmont clan in power! Perhaps the only major difference between them and the Northmont clan was that they had never been enfeoffed with a marquisdom.
“Little Yun has chosen a Dao-companion?”
“What’s her Dao-companion’s name?”
This news instantly caused a major upheaval amongst the high-ranking members of the Dongyan clan.