Chapter 17 – The Five Emperors

The towering Five Treasures Peaks.

Ji Ning was staring at the sword stances engraved upon the mountainside of the first peak, sensing the sword-intent radiating from it. Suddenly, the space around him turned blurry as an old man in Daoist robes suddenly manifested.

“Master.” Ning immediately called out respectfully upon seeing him.

“Work hard to learn the [Five Treasures] sword-art. If you master it, you’ll have a greater chance to survive this storm,” Subhuti said with a laugh. “Now…prior to this, you said you wish to act against the Seamless Gate, I believe?”

Ning’s eyes lit up. He nodded repeatedly. “Yes.”

“The Seamless Gate is spread across the Three Realms. Some worlds have more experts, some worlds have fewer.” Subhuti continued, “Realms such as the one Crimsonbright ruled over are comparatively weak. Your homeland, the Grand Xia, for example; prior to the Seamless Gate’s actions, there were almost no Empyrean Gods or True Immortals within it.”

Ning nodded repeatedly. “Master, I want to go to the major worlds of supreme powers. Killing Loose Immortals and Celestial Immortals won’t affect the Seamless Gate that much, unless I kill an absolutely enormous amount of them. I’m going to be launching sneak attacks; there’s not going to be enough time for me to kill that many of them. That’s why I want to primarily focus on Empyrean Gods and True Immortals.”

Only the deaths of Empyrean Gods and True Immortals would cause heartache for the Seamless Gate.

“In the Three Realms…the strongest force on our side is that of the human race,” Subhuti said. “The human race is led by the Three Sovereigns of Mankind: Suiren, Fuxi, and Shennong. The three of them are on the same level as the leaders of the Daoist Path and Buddhist Sangha.”

“Second to them are the Five Emperors. These five Emperors were all former rulers of the human race. The final one, Xia Yu, completely unified all humans under his rule; only then did they all become true rulers. Ever since then, the Primordial Imperial Clan which rules the human race has been led by the Xia clan.” 1

Ning nodded.

He knew that during the Primordial Era, Xia Yu had tamed the floods with his divine abilities, blessing the lands with kindness and benevolence. Even the Three Sovereigns acknowledged him and supported him, causing his rule to become even more stable and firm. And of course, Xia Yu himself possessed tremendous power. How could someone be considered an ‘Emperor’ of the human race be weak? Even Ning’s own senior apprentice-brother, Sun Wukong, had acquired the golden staff he used from Xia Yu, who had made it for him. 2”

“Thus, in terms of major worlds…the major worlds which are controlled by the Primordial Imperial Clan are all extremely powerful. The Seamless Gate has stationed many troops in those worlds, and the battles between the experts there are all incredibly savage. If you attack, the Seamless Gate will immediately send their vast armies to tie you down. I recommend that you do not go there,” Subhuti said.

Ning understood. The battlegrounds between the Primordial Imperial Clan and the Seamless Gate were some of the most terrifying places of the entire Three Realms. Both sides had concentrated enormous amounts of power there.

“The realms ruled over by the other four Emperors, however, are comparatively much weaker. But of course, they are still much stronger than the Crimsonbright Realm,” Subhuti said. “Which of the realms ruled over by the other four Emperors would you like to go to?”

“Which one? Any one of them works,” Ning said hurriedly. He just wanted to kill the Seamless Gate’s people. The location didn’t really matter.

“One of the major worlds under Emperor Zhuanxu, the Winterherald world, holds Youngflame Freak within it. He has a total of eighteen clones spread throughout the Three Realms, with sixteen of them being within the Winterherald world,” Subhuti said. Although Youngflame Freak’s life-preserving methods were formidable, they were nothing to Subhuti.

Ning’s eyes lit up. “Does the Winterherald world have many Empyrean Gods and True Immortals within it?”

“Although war has yet to come to the Winterherald world, the Seamless Gate has a total of nine Empyrean Gods and True Immortals already stationed there,” Subhuti said.

Ning sighed in amazement.

Emperor Zhuanxu was one of the Five Emperors who had once ruled over the human race. Naturally, he had many powerful human experts following him. He himself was also exceedingly powerful, and in truth, the ‘Kindwater’ 3 clan was a branch of Zhuanxu’s clan. But of course, the Kindwater clan was on a lower level than the Xiamang clan, much like how Emperor Zhuanxu was on a lower level than Emperor Xia Yu.

“Nine Empyrean Gods and True Immortals…fine. I choose this world.” Ning nodded.

“This is a map of the forces of the Seamless Gate that are spread throughout the entire Zhuanxu Realm.” Subhuti handed over a furled scroll to Ning, then instructed, “But you must not tarry overlong in each battle!”

“Your disciple understands.” Ning nodded.

“Hurry up and look at it, then destroy it,” Subhuti instructed. Ning immediately opened up and began to memorize the contents of the scroll.

The scroll had very detailed notes regarding the disposition of forces of both sides across the thirty-nine major worlds of the Zhuanxu Realm. The locations of the sixteen clones of Youngflame Freak were all marked out as well.

Whoosh. Ning flared the divine power in his hands, reducing the scroll to dust.

“Good.” Subhuti nodded, then disappeared into thin air.

A hint of a killing intent flashed past Ning’s eyes. “The time has finally come.”

“Ninefangs.” Ning’s form blurred momentarily, then he appeared next to Ninefangs, who was napping next to a nearby thatched cottage.

“Manorlord.” Ninefangs hurriedly woke up and rose to his feet.

“Go back to the Starseizer world for now,” Ning instructed, “And carry out the plan as we previously discussed.”

Ninefangs instantly understood what Ning was planning.

“Yes,” Ninefangs said respectfully. He then allowed Ning to pull him directly into the Starseizer world. By now, after Ning had completely mastered and bound the Starseizing Manor, Ning realized that the Starseizer world was actually hidden within a special region of the Starseizing Manor. Mother Nuwa had actually created the Starseizer world in that region.

He was now completely capable of drawing others straight into the Starseizer world or teleporting people out from it. There was no need to go through the Starseizing Manor first, though of course this was only possible because he had already fully bound it.

……

The Zhuanxu Realm. The Winterherald major world.

Winterherald was the world where the great army which Emperor Zhuanxu had once used to unify the human race, the Winterherald Army, was stationed. The various matters of the Winterherald world were all decided upon by the general and the deputy general of the army. Normally, this was quite a peaceful world, but ever since the Seamless Gate had begun to infiltrate it, a large number of minor clashes had begun to erupt, causing the Winterherald world to become rather chaotic.

But of course…

These were all small-scale battles. They were still far away from launching the campaign against this major world, to say nothing of launching a Realmwar. A war against Emperor Zhuanxu, one of the Five Emperors of the Primordial Imperial Clan, would definitely come towards the very end of the campaign against the three thousand major worlds. The only thing the Seamless Gate was doing right now was tying down his forces, preventing him from being able to easily reinforce the other Daofathers.

“This really is a different place.” Ning stood atop a mountain peak, staring at the vast world. His heartforce had spread out to cover it long ago.

Heartforce, ephemeral and invisible…one had to reach the fourth stage to be able to cover an entire world with it. Most importantly of all, there was almost no way to sense someone else’s heartforce, as it was completely traceless; the only possible way was to possess heartforce on the same level. For example, when Ning had made his breakthrough on the Grand Xia, he had unconsciously spread his heartforce out to cover the entire Grand Xia without Daofather Ink Bamboo or Daofather Crimsonbright noticing it. This was because, although they were born as a True God and a True Fiend of tremendous power, they weren’t particularly strong in heartforce. Neither had reached the fourth level.

Old Man Yuan and some of the supreme major powers, in turn, had only reached the fourth stage of heartforce.

Only Houyi had ever reached the fifth stage.

Of course, the Godking of the Seamless Gate would’ve been able to notice that Ning had spread his heartforce out, but the Godking had been in the Fifth World, not the Grand Xia. He was able to watch the battle and mentally converse with Daofather Ink Bamboo through sending his coresense out through the Void and into the Grand Xia, but coresense alone wouldn’t be able to discover heartforce.

“The Winterherald world is actually very tightly governed and ruled. The Celestial Immortals and Fiendgods are all arranged into armies,” Ning sighed internally. “The Grand Xia only formed Immortal armies when forced to do so, but the army of Emperor Zhuanxu has existed since the Primordial Era. I imagine that their teamwork is far superior as well.”

“Right. First, I’ll go wipe out the sixteen clones of Youngflame Freak.”

“Youngflame Freak truly is a cautious fellow. On the surface, he appears to be accompanying Azurefox in the Crimsonbright Realm, but his other bodies were squirreled away here at the Zhuanxu Realm.” Ning’s body transformed as he used the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], instantly becoming a bit taller. He now had the aura of a Celestial Immortal.

Swoosh.

Ning disappeared into thin air.

……

The Winterherald world. The Seamless Gate had three headquarters here, each of which had three Empyrean Gods and True Immortals guarding over them, along with many Immortals and layers of formations. Even if the experts of the Winterherald world assaulted them, they would be able to hold on.

Aside from these three headquarters, there were also 182 bases spread throughout the world. These bases could be withdrawn or abandoned at a moment’s notice, or be used to launch sneak attacks when needed. They were more than enough to create chaos throughout the Winterherald world. To the Winterherald world, however, these bases were like ants that would occasionally give them a bite. But if they were to actually attack those bases…given the Seamless Gate’s intelligence abilities, the bases would be instantly evacuated. And, most importantly of all, those bases were so weak that they weren’t really worth annihilating.

“Hmph. Yeah, yeah. Keep on killing. So many of us died during the Crimsonbright Realmwar, and now you want us to go kill others?” An ugly old man was eating some meat, a cold light in his eyes. “Still, I don’t really mind. Even if I lose another one of my clone, I’ll still have my sixteen clones hiding here safe and sound.”

“The Zhuanxu Realm…I imagine that the war will only come here at the very end. That’s going to be quite some time from now. When it comes, I’ll slink off to a different Realm.”

The two alliances were battling each other, and there was nowhere for the Celestial Immortals to run. He had to have a ‘legal’ status somewhere. The Crimsonbright Realm was very far away from the Zhuanxu Realm. Given that Youngflame Freak had been very low-key in the Grand Xia, there had only been a very low number of Celestial Immortals who had ever seen him. His clones in the Winterherald world were similarly low-key, and the number of Celestial Immortals who encountered him was similarly low.

Only someone who had previously met him in person before would be able to tell that these were his clones! But clearly, Youngflame Freak hadn’t been that unlucky thus far.

He had been hidden for countless years with the false identity of ‘Immortal Bloodfiend’. This was a publicly acknowledged persona, and no one suspected that there was a connection between ‘Immortal Bloodfiend’ and ‘Youngflame Freak’. Now that he had joined the Seamless Gate and had been inserted here, he was quite low-key.

Youngflame Freak was very famous, but only had two clones; one public, one hidden.

Immortal Bloodfiend was almost unknown. He had one public clone and fifteen hidden ones for a total of sixteen.

“This storm is supposedly going to be a very dangerous one, but perhaps I’ll be able to survive yet again. Hmph, of what use is power? Staying alive is what matters. Ji Ning? I can’t be bothered to deal with you. You have already displayed your brilliance and your sharpness…now, let’s see if you’ll be able to survive the storm.” Youngflame Freak munched on his meat and guzzled his wine in a very relaxed manner.

“I’m not going to go too crazy in defending this base. Some of the other bases are much more brash than me; the Winterherald world will go after them first, not me. However, my base isn’t a weak one either; the Seamless Gate will have no grounds to blame me. How pleasant.” When he thought about how the other Immortals and Fiendgods were risking their lives, and how many had died in the Realmwar, Youngflame Freak felt even more self-satisfied at how clever he was!

“Staying alive is what really matt-” Youngflame Freak’s face suddenly changed. “An enemy’s attacking? Wait, that doesn’t make sense. There shouldn’t be any attacks against me.” Youngflame Freak immediately flew out, having no time to worry about anything else.

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