Chapter 14 – One Year

“M-mas…I…I…” Prince Eastluck’s eyes bulged out as he began to stammer.

“Eastluck?” The captured Celestial Immortal Triscorpion instantly understood when he saw the prince. A look of stunned rage appeared in his eyes, then he hurriedly said, “Senior, senior, this junior is only responsible for protecting the East Phoenix world. I did not intend to offend the two of you at all. My master is True Immortal Daoless. Please spare me, seniors.”

“Manorlord.” Ninefangs looked towards Ji Ning.

“Release him.” Ning nodded.

Only then was Triscorpion allowed to land on the ground. He hurriedly rushed two steps forward, then delivered a vicious slap against Prince Eastluck’s face as he roared furiously, “Do you think Mount Dashcloud is a place for you to cause trouble? Do you think these two seniors are people you can afford to offend?”

He slapped the prince two more times, then hurriedly turned and smiled ingratiatingly towards Ning and Ninefangs. “Seniors, when you grabbed me just now, I was so terrified that I shattered a message talisman. I’m afraid that my master is going to arrive soon.” He had thought that he was in mortal danger, but now it seemed as though these two weren’t planning to act viciously towards him.

“Your master?” Ning said.

“This junior’s master is True Immortal Daoless,” Triscorpion said hurriedly.

Ning nodded slowly. “I’ve heard of True Immortal Daoless’s great fame, but I’ve never met him. It seems I’ll have a chance to meet him today.”

Whoosh!

A figure suddenly appeared in the distance…and with it came a loud, clear laugh. “This must be the one who slew Immortals and Fiendgods with his sword as he invincibly dominated the Realmwar…fellow Daoist Darknorth, yes? How can this junior be worthy of you personally dealing with him, fellow Daoist Darknorth? You are giving him far too much face.” This laughter echoed throughout the wild mountains.

“Invincibly dominated the Realmwar?” Both Triscorpion and Eastluck were rather dazed. As for the other cultivators, they were simply puzzled, because they had no idea what a ‘Realmwar’ even was.

Ning glanced towards the newcomer. This was a sloppy-looking youth with a big beard who was flying towards him atop a cloud. His beard was extremely long, but his face looked very young; it made for an odd contrast.

“Everyone says that True Immortal Daoless is uninhibited and unconventional, but in possession of an absolutely merciless tongue. Today, I’ve seen it for myself. I admit that I am at fault; I gave a minor punishment to your disciple,” Ning said with a calm laugh. He had heard long ago that True Immortal Daoless was a man who said whatever he thought, and that sometimes his words would offend others. But in turn, his straightforward, genuine nature made it so that he made some truly good friends. He was a rather famous figure of the Three Realms.

“Hey, hey, hey, that’s not what I meant!” True Immortal Daoless flew over, his sleeves fluttering. “For a kid like this to be so brazen and foolish as to offend you? Of course you can kill him if you want! That’s completely up to you. What I’m saying is, there’s no need for you to dirty your hands. Just say the word and I’ll do it for you. Just consider it as me keeping my school clean.”

Ning was speechless.

True Immortal Daoless reputedly was uninhibited and sloppy, said what he felt, and was absolutely shameless. It seemed all the stories about him were true. There really weren’t many Empyrean Gods or True Immortals who would say such things in front of their own disciples.

“Doomed. I’m doomed.”

Prince Eastluck just sat there, completely dazed.

“Invincibly dominated the Realmwar? Is he referring to the ‘Realmwars’ which Master told me about, the ones where countless millions of Immortals will gather together in a titanic clash? The Realmwars which large numbers of Empyrean Gods and True Immortals are dying in? This…this white-robed…he…he was able to invincibly dominate a Realmwar?” Eastluck was truly dazed now. He couldn’t even comprehend what he had done.

“Even Patriarch Daoless is so humble before him. Clearly, he’s far more powerful than Patriarch Daoless…and his subordinate…his subordinate was able to stretch his arm out for thousands of kilometers to capture a Celestial Immortal…who is this person?! Why did I have to run into him? Why am I so damned unlucky?”

Prince Eastluck was filled with terror and regret. But alas…if you often walk by the riverside, how can you avoid getting your shoes wet? He had grown accustomed to acting arrogantly, thanks to his status…and today, he really had rammed into a steel plate. No; a plate of divine chaos-steel!

“Finished. I’m finished. I’m dead for sure. Dead for sure.” Prince Eastluck had gotten used to seeing heads rolling within the imperial palace upon an important figure being angered. This person before him had a status that was far, far beyond his own. It would be simplicity itself for the white-robed youth to crush him to death.

Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!

Suddenly, Ji Ning, Ninefangs, and True Immortal Daoless all soared into the skies, departing from East Phoenix world.

Only now did Prince Eastluck regain his senses.

“They…they left?” Eastluck blinked. “I…didn’t die?”

“Master!” Prince Eastluck hurriedly looked towards the nearby Celestial Immortal Triscorpion.

Triscorpion glared daggers at him. “Hmph. If we did as my master Daoless suggested, I would wipe you out right now.”

“Wipe me out?” Prince Eastluck was horrified.

“Fortunately, senior Darknorth interceded on your behalf. He said that you didn’t have any intentions to kill him. That’s the only reason why you’ve survived this,” Triscorpion snapped. “But although you shall be spared the death penalty, that doesn’t mean you’ll go unpunished.”

“It’s true that I didn’t intend to kill him,” Prince Eastluck said hurriedly. “I just wanted to shoo him away. After he crippled my subordinate, I was furious with him and planned to lock him up and punish him.” Prince Eastluck wasn’t an evil person by nature. However, because he had been born into the imperial clan and because of his talent in cultivation, he had been flattered by others all his life and became accustomed to acting in an arrogant, high-handed manner. And after he became a disciple of the Sword School, his status had only risen even further.

Simply put, he had gotten used to bullying others, which is why he had been so stunned and furious when Ning had crippled his subordinate. How long had it been since someone else had bullied him?

After Ning had revealed his true power, Eastluck had instantly been so terrified that he couldn’t stop sweating. Fortunately for him, he hadn’t planned to kill Ning. If he had, how could Ning possibly not have noticed? If that was the case, Ning wouldn’t have interceded on his behalf at all.

“My master, Daoless, had been planning on expelling you from the school, but senior Darknorth instead suggested that you be sent to the mortal world instead. You are to serve as a junior servant in a winehouse for three hundred years. During these three hundred years, you are not to fight back when struck, nor are you to argue when cursed at.” Triscorpion laughed coldly. “If you disobey, then you will immediately be expelled from the Sword School.”

Prince Eastluck finally let out a sigh of relief. He immediately fell to his knees, then kowtowed towards the skies. “Thank you, senior Darknorth!”

It would indeed be difficult for him to serve for three centuries as a servant in a winehouse, and one who could not fight back when struck or argue when cursed at. But if he was to be expelled from the Sword School…in the past, he had offended many with his arrogance. If it wasn’t for his status as a disciple of the Sword School, he probably would’ve died without a burial spot long ago. No matter what, he was still a disciple of the Sword School; all he had to do was be tempered within the red dust of the mortal world for three centuries.

“Your disciple swears to obey. May the Dao of the Heavens bear witness.” Prince Eastluck instantly swore an oath.

“Go. From this day forth, you are no longer a prince; you were nothing more than an ordinary mortal servant.” Celestial Immortal Triscorpion flicked his sleeves. “Come see me in three hundred years.”

“Yes, Master.” Eastluck immediately left respectfully, then transformed into a streak of light and flew into the skies by himself.

Triscorpion couldn’t even be bothered to take a second look at this disciple of his.

He was a Diremonster by birth, and possessed of a strange temperament. In the past, he absolutely doted on Eastluck, but now that Eastluck had caused such a disaster, resulting in him being captured…Triscorpion focused all of his resentment on Eastluck. He no longer felt any positive feelings towards Eastluck at all. If it hadn’t been for the fact that Ji Ning and Daoless had come to an agreement on Eastluck’s fate, Triscorpion would’ve expelled that little bastard from the school already.

“Three centuries. Hmph.” Triscorpion immediately teleported away and disappeared.

Even after three centuries, when this disciple came back to see him, he wouldn’t be in the mood to teach him sincerely. This was because he now detested this disciple of his. This disciple might be talented, which is why Triscorpion had previously favored him, but now…he felt repulsed by him! So what if the kid was talented? How many ‘talented’ figures would be able to overcome the Celestial Tribulation?

However…no one would’ve thought that after this arrogant, wayward Prince Eastluck spent three centuries as a servant in the mortal world, he would become modest, low-key, humble, and courteous. He was like a piece of rough jade that had been carved and polished until it shone with brilliance. He would overcome his tribulation and become a Celestial Immortal, then be accepted into the Buddhist Sangha. In fact, during the final Endwar, he would become a general of the Nuwa Alliance who would fight shoulder-to-shoulder with Ji Ning.

Ji Ning himself would never have imagined this happening, of course. He crippled the first guard because he could sense that the guard had planned to kill him. The prince, however, wasn’t beyond saving. Thus, he devised a path that he thought would be able to grind away the prince’s arrogance and pride. That was the extent of his considerations. By now, Ning’s attention was focused towards his sword-arts and his struggle against the Seamless Gate.

He had planned to stay on East Phoenix world and train there for three or four months, but True Immortal Daoless had explained to him that the other twenty-six worlds only had remnants of the [Five Treasures] sword-arts, whereas Sword Immortal world had the complete version. In other words, all of the remnants could be found within Sword Immortal world; there was no point in wasting time on the other worlds.

Ning still felt that the other worlds were worth spending some time on, but he decided that ten days per world was enough.

And so…he began to wander through one minor world after another.

Some worlds had sword-arts left behind on mountain walls. Others had sword-scars left behind on the wild landscape, in the form of rivers and creeks. Still others had sword-scars that carved out valleys and gorges within the forests. These had all been left behind in a casual manner by Daofather Fuju. Stargold beads in hand, and with Empyrean God Ninefangs by his side, Ning walked and meditated his way through all of the minor worlds.

Ning often made progress by comparing the nine chaos seals to the sword-arts. He spent at least three or four days in each world, up to a maximum of two months at most.

After he finished wandering the twenty-sixth world, a full year had passed. Finally, Ning arrived at the last of the Twenty-Seven Worlds of Fuju. The most important world…Sword Immortal world.

Sword Immortal world.

There wasn’t a single mortal within this minor world. At the very center of this minor world, there were five mountain peaks, each one taller than the last. The strange thing was, the first peak was a thousand kilometers tall, the second was two thousand kilometers tall…the pattern continued all the way to the fifth, which was five thousand kilometers tall.

For a minor world to have such tall mountains was simply inconceivable! The mountain peaks stabbed high up into the uppermost layer of clouds.

“The Five Treasure Peaks!”

Ning and Ninefangs appeared in the air amidst them. They stared at the five towering mountain peaks. The majestic aura of might and pressure that swept out towards them from the mountain peaks caused Ning to feel startled. Ninefang’s face even turned pale for a moment before he was able to steady himself.

“What a powerful aura. I was caught off-guard and felt a bit nauseous just now.” Ninefangs said with surprise, “Ordinary Celestial Immortals probably wouldn’t be able to endure it.”

“How could the mountain peaks that hold the legendary [Five Treasures] sword-art not be extraordinary? The [Five Treasures] sword-art is the number one sword-art of the Three Realms,” Ning said with a laugh. “Auras are invisible and formless; whether or not you can endure an aura is up to the strength of your Dao-heart. Ninefangs, although Empyrean Gods don’t have to worry about going insane, the Dao-heart is still important. You need to work on yours.”

Ninefangs nodded. “Yes, Manorlord.”

Of the seven Empyrean Gods under Ning’s command, Ninefangs had the weakest foundation. The others had accompanied Daoist Threelives in countless battles during the Primordial Era, after all. Back then, Ninefangs had merely been a Void-level Fiendgod. He only made his breakthrough within the Starseizer world, and he hadn’t experienced many actual battles afterwards. Given that he also didn’t have a good master to teach him, he was lacking in many areas.

“The number one sword-art of the Three Realms. I heard that it is incomparably marvelous.” Ning had heard many legends of the [Five Treasures] sword-art. Each legend was more fanciful than the last. The more legends he heard, the more curious Ning became.

Whoosh! Whoosh!

Ning and Ninefangs went flying towards the Five Treasure Peaks.

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