Chapter 17 – Forced

The twelve Diremonsters that had formed into the massive Dao-soldier formation of a giant flamewing bug were all filled with terror.

This formation was formed by a Primal Diremonster leading eleven Wanxiang Diremonsters. Through the Dao-soldier formation, they were extremely powerful when fighting together, and only foes who at least had the power of a Loose Immortals or Earth Immortals were able to do anything to them. They had held this fur-clad youth atop the ship’s prow in no regard…but now, just standing there without moving at all, the fur-clad youth had unleashed such an aura of majestic power that they were completely frozen!

“Where did this expert come from?!”

“How…how can he be so terrifying?! What level of insight into the Dao has he reached?!”

The monsters were completely stunned. They had held the fur-clad youth in no regard and wanted to just dispose of him…but now they realized they had stomped down on a giant steel plate that was harder than any they had ever seen.

Boom! Boom! Boom! One streak of light after another appeared in the skies. They instantly pierced through the enormous flamewing bug and the twelve Diremonsters within it. The Primal Diremonster, the Wanxiang Diremonsters…they all instantly perished.

……

Ning stood at the prow of his ship, looking at the twelve dead Diremonsters. He couldn’t help but shake his head and chuckle.

Killing these twelve Diremonsters was as easy as waving his hand. They had actually dared to assault him without even saying a few words to him; naturally, Ning had shown no mercy in dealing with them.

As for why Ning was laughing…

It was because he was thinking back to the ancient Fiendgod he had met back in the wild marshes of the Gaol Mountains. “When I had encountered that ancient Fiendgod, the Dao Domain the Fiendgod unleashed was enough to freeze everything, causing me to be unable to move…and now, I just used the exact same sort of technique to kill a squad that was far more powerful than I was back then, led by that Primal Diremonster.”

Dao Domains…through one’s mastery and insights into a Dao, one could use the power of the natural world to form a Domain that solely belonged to one’s self!

Dao Domains, Dao-Realms, Grand Dao Domains…although they had differing levels of power, in truth, they were all variations on Dao Domains. They shared the same principles.

Ning’s Rainwater Sword Domain was also a sort of Dao Domain.

At a higher level, after one mastered a complete Dao-Path, one’s mastery over the energy of the natural world would become even stronger; this was what was known as a Dao-Realm.

But of course, that only referred to lesser Daos!

There were also Grand Dao Domains. They belonged to Grand Daos, and were actually even more powerful than Dao-Realms. And beyond them were the Grand Dao-Realms! After one completely mastered an entire Grand Dao, one would be able to summon an even more terrifying amount of natural energy than Ning was currently able to. In the face of this sort of power, even Loose Immortals or Earth Immortals would probably be paralyzed.

……

Dao Domains were linked to one’s insight into the Dao. The higher one’s level of insights, the more natural energy of Heaven and Earth one could activate. As one’s insights into a Grand Dao increased, the power of the Grand Dao Domain would similarly increase, until finally it reached the Grand Dao-Realm level.

Ning’s level of insight into the Dao of the Sword was already at Immortal Northwalker’s level! This level of insight was even superior to the level which that ancient Fiendgod of the Gaol Mountains had possessed. Thus, just by using his Dao Domain, he had been able to completely suppress those twelve Diremonsters who had been in a Dao-soldier formation, to the point of making it completely impossible for them to fight back.

……

Everything was back to normal now. The waves of the Viledragon River continued to crash forward, and the large ship continued to sail forward.

The survivors of the Qi Empire, standing atop the deck of the ship, stared towards Ning in utter terror and unease.

“The survivors of the Qi Empire?” Ning sat down relaxedly, then said slowly, “Are you still trying to hide it, given the situation? Are you still going to try and tell me that your name is Shi Feng?”

The crown prince Qi Rufeng exchanged glances with the two princesses. The guards behind them looked towards Ning with fear in their gazes as well. The look in Qi Xiaoyu’s eyes was especially complicated. This Daoist Darknorth wanted to take her on as his disciple, and the power he had just displayed was truly inconceivable.

“Big brother, what should we do? When the Flamewing Guard attacked, they revealed our true identities. This Darknorth knows that we are of the imperial Qi clan,” the black-robed woman sent mentally.

“Word of the destruction of our Qi Empire has long since spread. This Darknorth must know very well by now that we are the lucky survivors of the imperial clan. He might act to seize our treasures,” the violet-robed princess sent frantically. “We need to seize the advantage and use up our magic treasures to kill him.”

“Idiocy. Although the remnant treasures of the Qi Empire are in my hands, I have no confidence in being able to deal with this Darknorth.” Crown Prince Qi Rufeng sent back with anger, “Just by relying on his Dao Domain, he was able to summon enough energy from the Heavens and the Earth to cause a squad of the Flamewing Guard to be completely unable to move. His insights into the Dao are superior to those of even supreme Earth Immortals and Loose Immortals. Although judging from the ripples of power emanating from him, he should still be a peak Primal Daoist, his power is definitely at the Earth Immortal or Loose Immortal level. And given that he was able to so easily bring out a hundred high-grade Heaven-ranked flying swords, he certainly has powerful treasures of his own. I imagine that he has the power of a supreme Loose Immortal or Earth Immortal.”

His nation had once spanned a million kilometers. The final survivors, including the crown prince of the nation, naturally had quite a few formidable treasures of their own.

“Then what should we do?” The violet-robed princess was panicking now.

“We only have two Greater Teleportation Dao-seals; at most, two of us can escape,” the crown prince said. “This Daoist Darknorth hasn’t moved to attack us yet; we can still negotiate with him.”

“Right. Let’s negotiate,” the violet-robed princess said hurriedly.

“We have no other choices,” the black-robed princess sent as well.

……

Ning watched as the crown prince and the two princesses stealthily sent mental messages to each other. Previously, when they had first boarded the ship, they had felt mentally superior to Ning; they had believed him to merely be a Primal Daoist, and that by relying on their imperial treasures they could deal with him. Now, however, they didn’t even think about fighting back against him.

“Senior.” Crown Prince Qi Rufeng said respectfully, “I imagine that since you have heard what the Flamewing Guard said, you already know the truth. It is true. We are indeed of the imperial Qi clan.”

News of the destruction of the Qi Empire was extremely wide-spread. Virtually all of the at least somewhat powerful cultivators in the surrounding million kilometers knew about this matter. However, although Ning had arrived at the Star continent half a month ago, he actually didn’t know about this matter at all.

Ning calmly sipped his wine as he listened.

Qi Rufeng continued nervously, “Ever since our Qi Empire was destroyed by the Flamewing King, the imperial Qi clan has been fleeing. The Flamewing Guard has never let up on their pursuit of us…and so we had to be cautious. I was forced to report a false name, ‘Shi Feng’, to you. My true name is Qi Rufeng! A prince of the Qi Empire!”

“Prince?” Ning gently murmured this word, but continued to look at Qi Rufeng.

Qi Rufeng hurriedly continued, “This is my little sister, Qi Ruyu. This is another little sister, Qi Ruhui.”

Ning glanced sideways at the two; the black-robed princess was Qi Ruyu, while the violet-robed princess was Qi Ruhui.

“Wise. You didn’t continue to lie.” Ning just sat there. “If you continue to lie…I probably will no longer have the patience to talk to you. I’d just kill you and take away the treasures of your imperial Qi clan.”

The crown prince and the princesses felt their hearts tremble as they heard this.

Ning said calmly, “I wish to take Qi Xiaoyu as my disciple. I imagine that all you need to do is nod and agree to it. Do not lie to me. If you lie…I will know.”

The difference in power between the two was simply too vast. In addition, Ning’s soul was extraordinarily powerful; this was why Ning was so confident. If the crown prince’s soul was a bit stronger, however, then Ning would no longer be so sure of himself.

“It is true. So long as I agree, I can indeed give Qi Xiaoyu to you, senior,” the crown prince said respectfully.

“Then why haven’t you done so?” Ning snapped softly.

The crown prince, Qi Rufeng, just shook his head.

“You want those hundred high-grade Heaven-ranked flying swords?” Ning looked at him, then said calmly, “I can give them to you. However…don’t go too far. Taking your life would be as easy as turning over my hand.”

“I don’t want flying swords.” Crown Prince Qi Rufeng looked at Ning. “I want you, senior, to protect our imperial clan for a hundred years! If you agree to protect us for a hundred years, then I will immediately allow Qi Xiaoyu to take you on as master, and…after a hundred years, I definitely won’t hinder you in any way. If you want to leave then, you can!”

Ning’s face sank, and a cold light flashed through his eyes. “You are courting death!”

“Hahaha…”

Qi Rufeng actually began to laugh, laugh in a mad manner. “Courting death? Right, I am indeed courting death. Senior, you have no idea how pitiful the lives of myself and my two little sisters have been. Ever since the Qi Empire was annihilated many decades ago, we have been under constant pursuit. Every day, we are filled with terror and unease. One clansman after another has perished, one elder relative after another has died, and one sibling after another has perished. Many imperial Qi clansmen had fled with us…but now, only three of us remain. I’m the only surviving male of our entire imperial Qi clan.”

“Hahaha, it’s enough. I’ve had enough! My little sister here is already unable to endure the stress; she wanted to fight those Flamewing Guards to the death. Although Ruyu has never said it aloud…I know that she is tired as well.”

“And in truth, I am even more tired!”

Qi Rufeng stared at Ning, tears in his eyes. “I’m the final male survivor. The three of us are the only survivors of the entire imperial clan, and I am the most powerful of our group, a Wanxiang Adept. All of the burdens are on my shoulders. Where shall we go? How shall we rebuild our empire? How shall we take revenge? All of these burdens are crushing me down. I’ve had enough. Enough! You can say that I’m courting death or that I’m crazy. Whatever! I’ve given you my terms. If you protect us for a century, then I will give my servant, Qi Xiaoyu, to serve you as your disciple, senior.”

“Qi Xiaoyu is a person of tremendous karmic virtue, and more than nine hundred meters of golden light surrounds her. When the elders of our clan discovered her, they were absolutely delighted and believed that she would be able to provide luck to our entire imperial clan.”

“I will not so easily let Qi Xiaoyu go…”

“Either protect us for a century, or kill us and let us reunite with our mother, our father, and our many relatives.”

Qi Rufeng’s eyes were filled with tears, but his voice was filled with absolute determination.

He was staking it all. He was throwing their lives into this wager. He was tired…he didn’t want to continue to flee in terror like this. He could tell how powerful Ning was; with Ning as their guardian and protector, they would have a much better chance at surviving.

“Big brother.” The black-robed princess’s face was streaked with tears as well.

“Big brother, don’t beg him. Let’s just end it all here.” The violet-robed princess gritted her teeth, madness in her eyes.

Ning frowned. This was trouble. He hadn’t expected that the survivors of the imperial Qi clan felt such despair, that they had nowhere to go. He had thought that a simple threat would have been enough…but they were now staking everything against him!

A hundred years?

No chance. Ning had only spent thirty years on Mount Innerheart, and he had agreed to reunite with Yu Wei back in the world of the Grand Xia as soon as possible. How could he possibly extend their reunion by a century?

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