Chapter 1 – You Did Not Sin

“Senior apprentice-brother!”

Mu Northson was watching from within the ten thousand kilometer formation region, wracked by agony and self-hatred for being unable to help Ji Ning. Little Qing and Uncle White’s faces both changed dramatically as well.

Both of them could tell that there had just been a spatial teleportation of some sort!

“I can no longer sense Master’s location,” Little Qing said frantically. “I can’t even get the vaguest sense of the direction he is in. Master is no longer in the world of the Grand Xia; he’s gone to an extremely distant place.”

“I can’t sense him either,” Uncle White said, trying to attentively sense Ning’s location.

“It’s all my fault. It’s all because of me, a useless piece of trash. I shouldn’t have been in such a rush to take revenge. I shouldn’t have…” Northson was filled with utter regret.

It had been Ning who had rescued him and Yu Xia’s soul from the Eastwoods mountain range…but afterwards, when the Youngflame clan’s Celestial Immortals had ambushed Ning, Yu Xia’s sould had been completely destroyed. Although he had felt utter hatred for the Youngflame clan, in truth, Northson did feel a bit of resentment towards Ning as well in his heart.

However…given Ning’s great kindness towards him, and given that they were lifelong friends to begin with, he had buried that resentment deep within his heart.

But in this moment…

When he saw the descent of the karmic sinflames, as well as the agonized look on the face of Ning as he was being burnt by the sinflames…Northson felt incomparable guilt in his heart. “If I hadn’t kept clamoring on and on about revenge, senior apprentice-brother wouldn’t have been in such a rush. He would’ve kept on waiting, waiting until he grew even more powerful…and then, he would’ve completely wiped out the entire Youngflame clan. This is all due to my own impatience.”

“Say no more.” Uncle White growled, “The Youngflame clan’s Celestial Immortals are already flying towards us. Let’s hurry up and leave. Little Qing, we need a Greater Teleportation.”

“Alright.”

Little Qing tamped down the grief and pain she felt, immediately waving her hand and bringing along Uncle White and Northson into a Greater Teleportation.

Whoosh!

They disappeared into thin air, having returned to Swallow Mountain.

……

The seven Celestial Immortals of the Youngflame clan were indeed flying straight towards the formation area. With but a single void blink, they arrived directly outside of the formation. However…as soon as they arrived, Little Qing, Uncle White, and Northson departed. Little Qing and the other two knew quite well that there was no way they could possibly deal with these Celestial Immortals. They were far too weak; they could only suppress their hatred for now. If Ning had truly died…they would train hard so that in the future, they would be able to take revenge for him.

“They ran quite fast,” Celestial Immortal Arcanum sneered.

“They were weak to begin with; they only dared to attack this place because of Ji Ning. Now that he’s dead, why wouldn’t they flee?” Celestial Immortal Blackrain said coldly.

The nearby Infatuation shook his head. “Blackrain, Ji Ning isn’t dead yet.”

“When karmic sinflames descend, they shall bring multiple rounds of punishment. I refuse to believe he won’t die,” Celestial Immortal Blackrain said. “In addition, Master also used his Worldhold Pagoda; he must have sent Ji Ning to one of the danger zones within the void beyond the Three Realms. Some of those danger zones are enough to cause even True Immortals or Empyrean Gods to perish, much less a little brat that hasn’t even overcome his Celestial Tribulation.”

The nearby horned, golden-robed man turned his head to look at the distant Old Demon Windraiser, still wracked by indescribable pain. He spoke out and said, “If Windraiser is able to withstand this tribulation of karmic sinflames…I shall personally escort him to the Ten Yama-Kings of Hell. When he is reborn, he absolutely must be reborn into our Youngflame clan. No expenses will be spared in training him.”

“Right.”

“Of course.”

All of them nodded.

This was no joke. If someone was able to overcome karmic sinflames, they would undergo an utterly astounding transformation, and their Dao-hearts would become truly remarkable in strength. Although they would lose their memories of their former lives upon being reborn…such a soul would still have enormous potential in the new life. Upon regaining one’s previous memories…one would have an extremely good chance of overcoming the Celestial Tribulation.

“Let’s see if he can overcome the karmic sinflames,” the horned, golden-robed man said with a sigh. “Every single person who is capable of overcoming karmic sinflames is an extremely remarkable person. Even amongst Celestial Immortals, such individuals are amongst the very top.”

There were very few, even amongst Celestial Immortals, who could withstand the power of karmic sinflames!

In truth, it was very hard for someone to tell how strong another person’s Dao-heart was. Even someone as powerful as Celestial Immortal Infatuation wouldn’t dare claim for certain that he was able to withstand karmic sinflames! Thus…Celestial Immortals were generally quite cautious. Only if there was no other choice would they allow themselves to act in a way that would cause karmic sinflames to swirl around their bodies. The descent of karmic sinflames was truly terrifying…but once one overcame it, one’s power would generally skyrocket!

In the Three Realms…every single person who overcame karmic sinflames would end up being an incredible figure.

For example, Ning’s senior apprentice-brother, Empyrean God Silvermoon, was a person who had karmic sinflames constantly swirling around him. Silvermoon, however, completely ignored them…proof that he truly was an utter demon.

The world of the Grand Xia. The western seas. The Seamless Gate’s gathering spot.

The enormous mirror had displayed all the scenes of the battle that had just occurred in the Oldjade mountain range. The escape and wild assault of nine hundred-plus Fiendgods…the pursuit of the Godslayer Gods…Ning’s sudden, unexpected explosion of power that had resulted in the slaying of two Celestial Immortals…Old Demon Windraiser, a Loose Immortal of the Youngflame clan, attacking ‘suicidally’…the descent of karmic sinflames…Ning being burnt by karmic sinflames…Ning being teleported away by the Worldhold Pagoda…

“Exciting. How very exciting.” Celestial Immortal Blackheaven sighed repeatedly in praise. “That Windraiser…he really is both decisive and vicious. He was able to come up with this plan and settle on it in such a short period of time…and those who died were all his own clansmen! Ten billion of his clansmen died, just like that…his heart truly is vicious and merciless. He truly does have the temperament necessary for a demon.”

“You are actually praising him? You are actually praising such a despicable, contemptible little man?” Violetgrass frowned.

“Violetgrass, little girl, you are wrong; although you are a Celestial Immortal, in terms of Dao-hearts, you are probably inferior to that Windraiser.” Celestial Immortal Blackheaven shook his head. “As far as craftiness…you are even more inferior to him. This is one of the reasons why the Gatemaster has never let you truly command your own forces; there are far, far too many things you need to see and experience first.”

“So I’m inferior to him?” Violetgrass was angry.

“How many setbacks have you encountered in life?” Celestial Immortal Blackheaven shook his head. “Although we are Celestial Immortals who hold Loose Immortals in contempt, and although indeed 99% of Loose Immortals are not worthy of us paying attention to…amongst the countless Loose Immortals who are alive, there are some who have lived for over a million years. This type of Loose Immortal has suffered repeated assaults from the Three Calamities, Nine Tribulations. Their many experiences with the demonheart tribulation has caused their Dao-hearts to become incomparably mighty.”

“You, by comparison, became a Celestial Immortal early on. Although you’ve lived longer than them…how many actual tribulations have you undergone? Despite your talent and the fact that you have superior comprehension abilities…you’ve suffered far too few setbacks. Your Dao-heart truly might be inferior to theirs. Look – even though he’s being burned by karmic sinflames, he’s still able to maintain enough presence of mind to carry on a conversation with the Celestial Immortals of the Youngflame clan. Would you dare make the claim that you could do the same?”

Violetgrass was startled.

Even monsters like Ji Ning were just barely able to maintain a modicum of consciousness when being assaulted by karmic sinflames. Old Demon Windraiser, however, was clear-minded enough to carry on a conversation. He clearly was far superior.

“The lives of ten billion commoners, in exchange for the life of a peerless, monstrous genius like Ji Ning…worth it.” Violetgrass suddenly said, “Old geezer, tell me; can this sort of method be used against Celestial Immortals?”

“Are you suicidal?” Celestial Immortal Blackheaven shook his head. “As the person who gave the order…you, the mastermind, will also incur enormous sin. Ten billion mortal lives! If you are lucky, you’ll have a bloody aura of sin that will surround you and stretch out to many hundreds of meters; if you aren’t lucky, you’ll probably see karmic sinflames descend right away as well! As for the person you sent out to actually do it…that person will definitely suffer the descent of karmic sinflames. Such an action is utter suicide.”

“In addition…perhaps ordinary Celestial Immortals are unable to withstand karmic sinflames, but the truly powerful Celestial Immortals are generally able to do so. As for True Immortals or Empyrean Gods…they are the experts of the Three Realms! All of them are capable of withstanding karmic sinflames. Don’t even ask about Daofathers.” Celestial Immortal Blackheaven sighed. “Thus…this sort of method really isn’t worth it.”

“Anyhow. This Ji Ning is being burned by karmic sinflames, and has also been teleported by Youngflame Freak to one of the danger zones in the void beyond the Three Realms. There’s nothing for me to do here. Time for me to go.” Celestial Immortal Blackheaven rose to his feet, still carrying a gourd of Immortal nectar. Drinking and whistling, he began to walk away.

“Old geezer, this one doesn’t count. You still owe me two favors,” Violetgrass called after him.

“Don’t worry. I’m not as shameless as you.” Celestial Immortal Blackheaven’s voice echoed out within the palace, but he himself had disappeared.

Violetgrass turned to stare back at the mirror, still depicting events within the Oldjade mountain range. She mumbled to herself, “So he was actually sent into a danger zone, just like that. I didn’t even have anything to do with it. Still…that’s a good thing for me.”

……

Within the ancient pagoda tower.

All seven of the Celestial Immortals, including the Youngflame Ancestor, were gathered here. Not too far away was Old Demon Windraiser, who was seated in the lotus position. However, his body was clearly trembling slightly. The karmic sinflames around him were beginning to vanish; clearly, the trials brought by the karmic sinflames were nearing their end.

“This is already the seventh day. Windraiser is still holding on.” Celestial Immortal Arcanum’s narrow eyes were filled with eagerness.

“The longer it goes on, the more dangerous it becomes. The seventh day is the final day. If he is able to withstand this day…he’ll survive. But if he doesn’t…” The Youngflame Ancestor shook his head. Suddenly, however, his face changed as he turned to stare at Old Demon Windraiser.

Old Demon Windraiser’s aura was beginning to gradually weaken.

This was the aura of his soul weakening in strength.

“What’s going on?”

“Why is his aura weakening?”

Everyone was extremely worried.

They knew very little about karmic sinflames; all they knew was that the karmic sinflames brought a tribulation that lasted for seven days, and that the final stages were the most terrifying of all! Once one made it past the seven day mark, the karmic sinflames would vanish; one would only be able to detect them through coresense or divine sense, and not with the naked eye. However…although invisible, the karmic sinflames would always be present. The constant swirl of karmic sinflames on one’s body would feel like being eternally roasted in the pits of hell.

“His heart…his heart is weakening,” the Youngflame Ancestor said. “When his heart weakens, his aura weakens as well. Once his heart dies…then his soul will instantly be burnt to ash. This is why karmic sinflames are so terrifying! The initial ‘Agony’ phase from when the karmic sinflames first descend merely cause brute-force pain. Those with powerful Dao-hearts, however, are often able to overcome this phase. The latter parts have a softer approach which will slowly cause pain and regret to seep into one’s heart…causing the tormented person’s heart to slowly wither and die. It is akin to suicide!”

Old Demon Windraiser’s aura was indeed growing weaker and weaker.

The seven Celestial Immortals watched with incomparable nervousness.

Six more hours passed.

His aura was completely extinguished.

BOOM!

After his aura had completely disappeared for just a few seconds…it suddenly began to increase rapidly in power. Finally, Old Demon Windraiser opened his eyes.

“I survived.”

Old Demon Windraiser said in a low voice, “What terrifying ‘karmic sinflames’ indeed! They were far more powerful than the Three Calamities, Nine Tribulations that one experiences at the million year mark. I actually survived…but I really don’t want to experience that again. I really do not.” A deep, haunted look was in Old Demon Windraiser’s eyes.

“Windraiser,” the Youngflame Ancestor called out.

Windraiser hurriedly came to his senses.

“Ancestor.” Windraiser said hurriedly, “Patriarchs, I, Windraiser, condemned ten billion members of our clan to death. My sin…”

“Enough. You did not sin; in fact, you rendered major merits,” the Youngflame Ancestor said with a loud laugh. “It was just ten billion mortals, after all. We can bring a few billion mortals over from our other two headquarters, and in a few more decades this place shall be flourishing once more. The reason why we were able to deal with Ji Ning this time was you; you ignored your own well-being and willingly endured karmic sinflames to deal him a fierce blow. You did very well!”

Old Demon Windraiser’s voice was still very low. “Ancestor, I’ve incurred far, far too many sins. A storm is coming to the Three Realms. Me being alive will only result in a hugely negative influence upon the Youngflame clan. I’m preparing to kill myself, then head to the Netherworld.”

“Yes.” The Ancestor nodded. “It is for the best. Given how many sins you have incurred…after you die and go to the Netherworld, you will be punished in the deepest depths of hell and tormented in countless unspeakable ways. After you are finally allowed to be reborn…I will definitely bring you back into the Youngflame clan. In the past, dealing with matters in the Netherworld Kingdom might be a bit troublesome, but now that Daofather Crimsonbright has re-established a minor cycle of reincarnation, all ten of his Yama-Kings of Hell will assuredly give me some face. I will arrange everything necessary for you.”

“Yes.” Old Demon Windraiser said respectfully, “Then…I’ll leave now.”

Old Demon Windraiser didn’t hesitate at all.

Whoosh!

His golden lotus spirit voluntarily dissipated, and a human-shaped soul, wreathed by karmic sinflames, flew straight towards the minor cycle of reincarnation.

Swoosh! The Youngflame Ancestor immediately headed towards the minor cycle of reincarnation as well.

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