Chapter 1, Mid-Journey

A boat was soaring through the clouds and the mist, heading straight towards Stillwater City. Ji Ning lay there within the boat, leaning against the stern of the boat. From this position, he could stare down at the boundless land beneath him.

“Uncle. Father. Mother. They must be avenged.” Ning pondered to himself. The scroll his father had left him had the name of his enemy. There had been a total of three malefactors; the primary one was named ‘Dong Seven’. This was an extremely strange name, but this Dong Seven’s grandfather was a Primal Daoist.

Ning knew his own power quite well. To be able to kill Adept Xu Li truly didn’t mean anything. After all, there were exceptionally powerful, talented Wanxiang Adepts such as that Xue Hongyi, who Ning didn’t feel confident in being able to defeat. As for those lofty, exalted Primal Daoists…most likely, a single breath of primal flame from them could incinerate Ning and shatter his soul.

Primal fire…this was a sort of ability someone only had upon becoming a Primal Daoist. No one who was not a Primal Daoist was capable of it, much like how the ‘Myriad Manifestations’ could only be unleashed by someone who was at least at the Wanxiang Adept level.

“A total of three culprits, with Dong Seven being the primary one. As for the other two, ‘Yu Dong’ and ‘Shui Yi’, they were accomplices.” Ning pondered to himself. According to what his father had told him, Yu Dong and Shui Yi were like manservants who followed behind Dong Seven. Upon Seven giving the order, they would immediately attack and kill.

Strictly speaking, the killers were actually Yu Dong and Shui Yi, with Dong Seven having given the order.

“Dong Seven! Yu Dong! Shui Yi! All three of you deserve death.” A savage light flashed past Ning’s eyes, and then he considered what to do. “For now, I can’t be in a rush to get revenge. My foundations are still quite shallow; I don’t even know exactly how strong Dong Seven and the other two currently are, nor where they are located. There’s no way I can take revenge.”

“It’s best if I first go to Stillwater City. I should find a school and enter it.” Ning mused to himself. Ning was no fool. His parents had previously told him as well that after he went out into the world, he should find a major power to take shelter under. After all, it was extremely dangerous for a single, solitary person to go wandering the world by himself. If he had someone to rely on, then things would naturally be different. For ordinary Zifu Disciples, it was quite hard for them to be accepted into a school, but unrivaled geniuses like Ning could easily join with a major power.

Since he obviously was capable of joining a major power, Ning naturally wouldn’t make things difficult for himself and act rashly by himself.

“Upon entering a school…I will be able to learn divine abilities within the school, and even learn some supreme Ki Refining techniques.” Ning mused to himself. Even someone like Jadechild had been able to learn the ‘Heavenly Transformation’ technique at Snowdragon Mountain. As long as Ning chose a school that was even more powerful than Snowdragon Mountain, he felt certain that the school should definitely have a divine ability within.

“By borrowing from a school’s strength…my own power shall rise greatly, and my horizons shall be expanded. Only then will I be qualified to take revenge.” Ning didn’t wish to lose his life for the sake of revenge.

It was just as his parents had said; taking revenge was one matter, but his life was more important. He was going to ensure that his name was known throughout the vast world, and that one day, he was going to meet again with the Lord of Cui Palace.

“Unfortunately, I am not strong enough. Otherwise, I could simply directly enter the Raindragon Guard.” Ning shook his head. It was too difficult for one to join the Raindragon Guard. Even Adept Mu Xiao had entered as a late-stage Wanxiang Adept. If Ning were to enter, even if he truly were to pass, upon others discovering that Ning was only at the seventh stage of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens] and yet capable of unleashing such great power thanks to the [Starseizing Hand], they would certainly realize that something was amiss.

His divine ability, the [Starseizing Hand], was his true trump card. Ning wasn’t willing to rely on this technique to enter the Raindragon Guard.

…….

“First find a school and borrow from their strength to increase my own. Afterwards, I’ll join the Raindragon Guard. The Raindragon Guard’s divine abilities and techniques should be all-encompassing, and most likely even more powerful than those available to the Marquisate of Stillwater.” Ning nodded. If one was to stand at the peak, it would be sheer stupidity to foolishly struggle randomly. Without a powerful Ki Refining technique, he wouldn’t be able to break through to the Wanxiang level, much less the Primal Daoist level.

The more precious a Ki Refining technique was, the less willing a school would be to allow outsiders to gain access to it. Anyone who disseminated a precious Ki Refining technique would be hunted and killed by the school!

Given that his talent was unparalleled…first entering a school, and then entering the Raindragon Guard was the proper course of action.

The path of cultivation was one where, as the saying went, every third person in a line could become one’s teacher. The spirit of the underwater estate had also advised Ning to take on many different teachers and masters, to absorb the best from them, and thus more easily become one of the great powers of the Three Realms in the future.

“Uncle White.” Ning spoke out. The Whitewater Hound atop the boat turned to look towards Ning. “Tell me. On this trip to Stillwater City, should I first find a master and then pay a visit to Northmont Baiwei? Or should I go see Northmont Baiwei first?” Ning said. “This man has treated me quite well, and he asked me to go meet him if I were to go to Stillwater City.”

“Northmont Baiwei?” The Whitewater Hound spoke in the human tongue. “This person has an extraordinary background, and likes to make friends. Since he asked you to do so, go and see him. This Northmont Baiwei must be quite familiar with Stillwater City and the various schools within. This will be of assistance to you in choosing a school to join.”

Ning nodded lightly. This made sense. After all, the only major sect within the Stillwater Commandery area which Ning was familiar with was Snowdragon Mountain. He didn’t know much about the others. However, within the borders of the Stillwater Commandery, Snowdragon Mountain couldn’t be considered one of the top schools. Only a school that had an Immortal guarding it could be considered a top school.

…….

The flying boat Ning was aboard didn’t fly too quickly. Each time, it would spend roughly seventeen or eighteen hours flying, with the other six or seven hours on the ground, where Ning would search for a place to train, rest, visualize the [Nuwa Painting], and other things. Travelling at this rate, he was able to advance nearly a hundred thousand kilometers each day.

The sixth day after Ning had left Swallow Mountain. He was aboard his flying boat, moving through the clouds. “Eh?” Ning suddenly sensed a powerful ripple. He couldn’t help but turn his head to look, only to see in the distance, a tall ship was pressing down at high speed, generating waves of air in its wake.

Aboard the large ship, there were many beautiful, flower-like women. On the second deck of the large ship, there sat a young noble with white skin, who had three beautiful women by his side, massaging his legs and his shoulders. This young noble was dressed in red clothes. He held a cup of wine in his hands. He flicked a glance towards Ning, but paid him no heed.

“Look at that man dressed in furs. I wonder which wild, backwater region he came from. He has no class at all.”

“I can tell with a single glance that he doesn’t come from a major clan.”

Those beautiful, flower-like women aboard the ship all spoke as they looked towards Ning. Whoosh! The large ship sped off into the distance, quickly disappearing from Ning’s field of vision.

“That ship is rather fast, at least. I imagine that a Wanxiang Adept is controlling is.” Ning still lay there in his own boat. It continued to ‘slowly’ and ‘leisurely’ advance at the rate of a hundred thousand kilometers each day. Actually, through the flying speed of a magic treasure, one could come to a rough determination regarding the strength of its controller.

“The closer we get to Stillwater City, the more frequently we encounter Immortal practitioners. That large vessel was the sixth one we have encountered.” Ning sighed with emotion.

Stillwater City was the heart and core of the vast Stillwater Commandery. Immortals and devils congregated there. All of the larger clans, schools, and sects would establish a branch in Stillwater City. Many Loose Immortals also enjoyed to gather there in Stillwater City. Because so many Immortals and devils were there, all sorts of treasures were available in the city, which could be traded for.

In addition, the security of Stillwater City was excellent. One could peacefully train there.

“Time to rest.” With but a thought, Ning sent his boat charging downwards, towards the desolate mountain forests below him.

Given Ning’s current power, it was indeed quite hard for him to encounter true danger while he was adventuring. Only Primal Daoists could truly render him helpless, but which of the Primal Daoists wouldn’t be hidden away in their own estates or caves, training? Even if they occasionally came out and wandered, they either travelled about in grand fashion or moved about tracelessly.

Whoosh. The boat charged into the mountain forest, then disappeared. Ning and the Whitewater Hound landed on the ground. “I should rest here, I suppose.” Ning said. With a wave of his hand, he tossed out three formation flags which landed far into the distance, then disappeared without a trace.

From the outside world, one wouldn’t be able to see Ning and the Whitewater Hound within this area at all. Ning sat down in the lotus position, beginning to train quietly, the image of Lady Nuwa floating in his mind.

The Whitewater Hound took out a scroll as well, and it lay there, staring at the dense, complicated array of characters atop the scroll. This was a copy of the [Nine Scrolls on Formations]. Ning had the original [Nine Scrolls on Formations], and so by using a simple technique, ‘Water Seal Technique’, he had printed out two copies of the scrolls. He had left one with his tribe, then gave the other to the Whitewater Hound.

Uncle White was quite knowledgeable regarding formations. In fact, his accomplishments far outstripped Nong Zidao’s; naturally, he surpassed Ning as well. Only, he hadn’t had sufficiently good scrolls on formations to study from. Now that he acquired the [Nine Scrolls on Formations], he naturally spent every day studying it.

The skies slowly grew bright.

Ning rose to his feet. “Uncle White.” Ning looked at the nearby Whitewater Hound, who was still lying there, staring at the scroll. Upon hearing Ning’s shout, he immediately clambered to his feet, collecting the scroll.

“Let’s go.” Ning boarded the ship, with the Whitewater Hound following him. Swoosh! The flying boat immediately and quickly flew into the skies, continuing to head towards Stillwater City.

“Eh?” After flying just a few dozen kilometers, the boat suddenly came to a halt. Ning lowered his head, staring downwards. “What is it?” The Whitewater Hound looked at Ning.

“I sense a disturbance.” Ning lowered his head, looking down at the mountainous forests beneath him. Based on the strengths of the ripples and the general location from which they came, he could tell that it should be Zifu Disciples who were battling. He immediately spread out his divine sense, quickly covering the mountain forest below him with it.

Even when he had first broken through to the level of manifesting his divine sense, Ning had been able to encompass a region of a hundred kilometers. After the passage of half a year, his divine sense’s reach had further expanded.

…..

Within the mountain forest.

“We are the disciples of the Meng clan.” A handsome, pale-skinned youth was roaring in anger. By his side, there was a willowy, extremely beautiful maiden, along with an extremely muscular and sturdy, tiger-backed, bear-waisted youth. The three of them were struggling to defend against their attackers, who were a pair of white-robed men.

The two white-robed men had unleashed their magic treasures and had completely trapped the three of them. “Dregs of Snowdragon Mountain. Once my father learns of this, he will definitely annihilate you two pieces of trash.” The handsome, white-skinned youth roared.

“If the two of you were to leave…our clan won’t come take revenge for a trifling matter such as this. But if we die, our Meng clan will definitely investigate this matter to the very end.” The willowy woman shouted in anger and fear as well.

Only that sturdy, muscular youth remained completely silent.

The three of them truly were disciples of the Meng clan. The Meng clan was one of the highly ranked, extremely large clans within Stillwater Commandery, even more powerful than Snowdragon Mountain. However, as one of the supreme clans…it had quite a bit internal strife as well. Even the Ji clan of the West Prefecture had its own internal struggles, much less a supreme, giant clan like this one. These three were ordinary in terms of talent, and they were born to a fairly low status within the clan. They weren’t viewed as important, and found it hard to even gain a change to learn some top-class techniques. Thus, after making their breakthrough to the early Zifu Disciple stage, they immediately joined forces and set out in the hopes of making it to Stillwatery City and joining a school.

There were quite a few disciples of major clans who would enter a school. Generally, they were all people who were not treated with importance in their own clans.

“Senior apprentice-brother, judging from their clothing, these three truly are of the Meng clan.” The two white-robed men were speaking mentally to each other. “Should we kill them?”

“Clearly, you don’t understand. A truly high-level member of the Meng clan, when setting out on a trip, will have an entire entourage of maids, servants, and guards. These three in front of us might truly be of the Meng clan, but even so, they definitely don’t have any important status within the clan. Kill’m.”

“Alright.”

The two white-robed men came to their decision, then immediately began to launch killing blows.

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