Turn their backs on their homeland and leave?
Ji Ning forcibly suppressed the unwillingness in his heart. He wasn’t willing. He truly wasn’t willing. But he saw that all the members of the clan around him, including his father, Ji Truekeep, Granny Shadow, and the others were all silent. As long as the Ji clan could continue to survive and prosper, then they would be willing to endure even departing from their homeland!
“As long as Snowdragon Mountain will hand over an official writ.” Ninefire said in a low voice. “Then our Ji clan will immediately hand over the official writ for the City of Ten Thousand Swords!”
In the distance, Dong Ziqi and the other five looked at each other, quietly discussing this amongst each other.
“Senior apprentice-brother Ziqi, what should we do?” The green-haired woman sent mentally. “Hand over an official writ?”
“Hand over?” Ziqi looked at the green-haired woman. “Junior apprentice-sister He Xing, will you hand over one?”
The green-haired woman immediately shut her mouth.
These Zifu Disciples who had left the main sect and independently set up branches were all those who didn’t have much potential, and could be considered outer members of the sect. The commandery cities of the Grand Xia Dynasty they had taken over in the Swallow Mountain region was their foundation as well! It was also the foundation of many of their tribes, and their forces had coalesced there long ago. How could they give them up?
Hand over an official writ?
Who would hand it over?
The elemental ore mine would be given to the main Snowdragon Mountain Sect. Why should we sacrifice? Why should our tribes sacrifice? Every single commandery city had three Zifu Disciples. They had to all agree before the official writ would be relinquished! But who would be willing to relinquish a base they had built up over so many years?
“We aren’t willing to give ours up, but can it be that our fellow disciples in other areas would be willing to hand over a commandery city of theirs?” Ziqi shook his head. “Our Snowdragon Mountain has many branches, and those fellow disciples of those branches won’t care about us at all. How could they be so kind-hearted as to relinquish a commandery city for us?”
“At least, it’s impossible for our Ju clan. I don’t agree, and my uncle in the clan won’t agree either.” The muscular man said hurriedly. “Forget it. I refuse to believe the Ji clan will really dare to resist.”
The green-haired man nodded. “Force the Ji clan! If they resist, we will exterminate their clan! If they obey us, they will still be able to stay alive! I trust the Ji clan knows what they should do.”
“Right. This isn’t the first time we’ve done this.” The muscular man, Ju San, nodded as well.
“Then that’s what we’ll do.” The gray-robed Muse nodded as well.
Dong Ziqi looked at his four fellow disciples. Although not every member of the Swallow Mountain branch had come, since after all they couldn’t possibly summon everyone just for the sake of an elemental ore mine, these five represented all of the various internal factions of the Swallow Mountain branch.
“Fine.” Ziqi nodded. “Then that’s what we will do. Just as junior apprentice-brother Ju San said, this isn’t the first time we’ve done this.”
Snowdragon Mountain had many branches.
With so many branches, how could they take over enough commandery cities? Fighting for each one?
That was lunacy.
They could simply use the butcher’s blade and their fame to frighten others simultaneously. In truth, the vast majority of tribes would, in the end, grit their teeth and swallow their rage, voluntarily relinquishing their official writs and obediently leaving. But of course, some battles would occasionally occur, as there were no absolutes. Dong Ziqi, however, was confident that his side’s power was definitely superior to that of the Ji clan’s.
The Ji clan was waiting.
Although they felt heartache and unwillingness, Ning and everyone else had begun to mentally prepare for leaving their homeland. As long as the Ji clan was able to continue to survive, it would all be worth it. The Ji clan was waiting for Snowdragon mountain’s response.
“Right.” Ziqi let out a light snort. “Ji Ninefire.”
Every Ji clansmen looked towards Ziqi, while Ninefire said hurriedly, “This is the final, bottom line of the Ji clan.”
“Bottom line?” Ziqi laughed coldly. “Bottom lines are meant to be broken! Ji Ninefire, you want to trade the official writ for the City of Ten Thousand Swords for another official writ? You really are dreaming. Right now, I’ll give you two options. The first option is that you defy my Snowdragon Mountain, and your Ji clan wait for annihilation. The second option is that you hand over the official writ to the City of Ten Thousand Swords. Our Snowdragon Mountain sect will permit your Ji clan to continue to live in this area. After the elemental ore mine has been fully excavated, we will return the official writ to the City of Ten Thousand Swords to you. This is the promise of myself, Dong Ziqi!”
The faces of every member of the Ji clan changed.
What a dogshit promise! What was a promise worth? Just by a saying a few empty words, he was demanding that the Ji clan hand over their official writ?
“Ziqi.” Ninefire was both furious and frantic.
“Shut your mouth.” Ziqi snapped in a fierce voice, his cold, sinister eyes staring at Ninefire. “You only need to choose…to continue surviving, or to be annihilated! This is the decision for you to make, Ji Ninefire! If you choose the annihilation of your clan…well, it has been a long time since my Eight Trigrams Dragon Blood Formation has truly drawn blood.”
The other four Zifu Disciples by his side all had savage looks flashing in their eyes. They were born in the main sect, and had each learned some powerful techniques. Their abilities were quite a bit superior to the abilities of ordinary, local experts. If they truly were to fight all out…there were three more Zifu Disciples in their headquarters. In total, they had eight Zifu Disciples!”
“Choose!” Dong Ziqi said coldly.
On the Ji clan’s side, some people were so angry that they were trembling.
“Patriarch!” Some clansmen called out loudly.
“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” Ninefire raised his head, howling heroically. “I, Ji Ninefire, am ashamed to meet the ancestors of the Ji clan!”
Ning ground his teeth, his entire body trembling.
As for the distant Dong Ziqi and the other four, they watched this with cold smiles on their faces. The decision to give up an ancestral homeland would indeed cause someone to feel ashamed to meet one’s ancestors. But would these local bumpkins dare to resist? Resistance meant death!
“Die!” Ninefire suddenly threw out six black spheres, which transformed into six rays of light, flying directly before Dong Ziqi’s group of five.
Dong Ziqi and the other four were greatly startled. As they came from the main sect, they immediately recognized these very common and extremely vicious and sinister Thunderflame Pearls. They contained the power of lightning and fire, and held extremely explosive force. Once ki caused them to explode…they would immediately detonate, and the power of the explosions would be very shocking. The sudden explosion of six Thunderflame Pearls at a close distance could cause even Zifu Disciples to die.
“These local bumpkin clans really do have some treasures. They are actually able to throw out six Thunderflame Pearls at one go.” Even as Ziqi was frantically dodging, this thought drifted into his mind.
The five Zifu Disciples of Snowdragon Mountain quickly separated into separate directions.
Powerful explosions of thunder and flame burst forth, and dazzling serpents of electricity blasted out in every direction, while flames began to burn the entire area, causing the entire world to shake. The power was indeed astonishingly fierce.
“Arise!” A look of utter savagery was in the eyes of Ninefire, who had just thrown out those six Thunderflame Pearls.
Suddenly, the desolate mountain wilderness in the nearby area was surrounded by mist and fog. Mist and fog appeared everywhere, and even Ning was only able to see to a distance of ten meters with the naked eye.
“Not good.” Dong Ziqi, who had just dodged the last attack and was feeling rather smug and disdainful, saw the mist which had appeared out of nowhere. His face instantly changed. “A bewildering formation!”
“That sly old fellow threw out those six Thunderflame Pearls not for the purpose of killing us, but to make sure that the five of us would all put some distance between us.” Ziqi’s face completely changed. He stared at the thick mist around him. He could only see to a distance of six meters with the naked eye. Previously, upon encountering the Thunderflame Pearls, they had all dodged at full strength, trying to move as far away as they could.
Thus, those fellow disciples had all put tens of meters of distance between each other. As long as they were more than fifteen meters away from each other, within this bewildering formation, they would be affected by the master of the formation, resulting in them moving further and further away from each other.
“This Ji Ninefire is planning to completely separate the five of us.” Ziqi was both frantic and furious.
“Senior apprentice-brother!” A distance voice rang out. “It’s a bewildering formation. We’ve all been separated. Ji Ninefire, that old bastard, is planning to kill us one by one! They will definitely have several Zifu Disciples join forces to fight against each of us one by one!”
Although he could hear the sound, within the bewildering formation, directions constantly changed, and so he couldn’t tell where it came from at all.
“Fellow apprentices Ju San, Muse, He Fang, and He Xing, are all of you together?” Ziqi called out frantically.
“I’m with my older brother.” A female’s voice rang out.
“I’m by myself.”
“I’m alone as well.”
The other two voices caused Ziqi’s heart to grow cold. He understood that although He Fang and his sister were together, Ju San, Muse, and Ziqi himself had been completely separated. And even if the two He siblings joined forces…once the Ji clan attacked together, they would also be in great danger.
“This time, I really have fallen into the trap of that old fellow.” Ziqi was both frantic and furious. “But how could he have set up this formation in advance?”
Separated from each other within the fog of the bewildering formation, the five Zifu Disciples of Snowdragon Mountain were in a state of panic. At this time, the Ji clan’s side was both excited and shocked.
“Patriarch, why did you suddenly attack?”
“And this…this…this…what’s going on with this formation?”
All of the clansmen were stunned.
Ninefire swept everyone with his gaze, then growled, “My Ji clan isn’t a soft bone for them to chew on. They are riding on our heads to the point where they are even pissing and shitting on our faces. How can we possibly take any more of this? Rather than slink away like cowards, let’s battle to our heart’s content. In the end, my Ji clan will still have a chance!”
“Obey my orders!” Ninefire commanded.
All the clansmen awaited.
“Northwind, you go lead Ji Mo and the others to immediately board our birds to stealthily leave Swallow Mountain in three different streams.” Ninefire said. “They will pass down the lineage of the Ji clan.”
“Ji Winterpool, immediately head to Swallow Mountain City and make a report to the Grand Xia Dynasty that an elemental ore mine has appeared within the territory of the Ji clan. I entrust this task to you. Remember, arrange for multiple messengers. You have to ensure that at least one group makes it to Swallow Mountain City.”
Ninefire swept the rest with his gaze. “Everyone else who is not at the Zifu Disciple level, return to the City of Ten Thousand Swords. Leave this place to us. Go.”
With a thud, these members of the Ji clan all fell to their knees. They looked at Ninefire, Ning, Truekeep, Yichuan. Although they didn’t say anything, all of them then quickly left.
“We are the only ones left here.” Ninefire swept the remaining people with his gaze. “These five arrogant Zifu Disciples of Snowdragon Mountain have already been separated by my formation. As long as we attack them one by one, we can completely exterminate them!”
“Ji Ning.” Ninefire looked at Ning. “You are the hope of our Ji clan, and the future of our Ji clan. If the situation truly grows dire, you are to immediately use the Traceless Talisman to flee! As long as you survive, our Ji clan will not be exterminated!”
“Yes.” Ning gritted his teeth and replied.
“Prepare to kill, then.” Ninefire began to laugh loudly. “It’s been so many years since I’ve gone wild. I suddenly feel much younger, and filled with anticipation, like the first time I entered my marital bed!”