Ji Ning and the others stared far away at the distant mountain range, which stretched off as far as the eye could see. Although they had yet to enter, they each sensed the waves of power and might emanating from within the mountain range. This was the might of a grand formation that was continuously active, protecting the mountains.
“Senior apprentice-brother, how do we get in?” Mu Northson sent frantically.
Little Qing looked forward, then mumbled to herself, “Countless mortals, over a million Immortal cultivators…who knows how many formations have been set up to protect an ancient headquarters like this one, that has existed for countless eons. The successive generations of Celestial Immortals of the Youngflame clan have definitely strove to set down many formations. A place like this is like a steel wall. How are we supposed to get inside? What should we do?” Little Qing glanced at the nearby Ning.
“Senior apprentice-brother…” Northson looked towards Ning as well.
In the face of a place like this, they didn’t have any ideas on how to enter.
It was too tightly guarded!
This was a far more tightly guarded place than the Eastwoods mountain range; although this was just one of three bases for the Youngflame clan, it still surpassed the headquarters of the Northmont clan of Stillwater! The Youngflame clan had definitely given birth to a good number of Celestial Immortals, over the passage of countless years from the Fiendgod Era to the present day. The headquarters of such an ancient clan…entering it probably was as dangerous as entering Swallow Mountain, which was guarded by the grand formations of the Mount Innerheart League!
“Of course we can’t force our way in.” Ning shook his head. “It is layered with formations; once we force our way in, we’ll instantly become trapped within the formations.” When Bloodcloud Hall had attempted to assassinate him, Ning had been trapped within the formations of the Eastwoods mountain range; in the end, he had to use a Greater Teleportation Dao-seal in order to escape.
“Then what should we do?” Northson asked.
“Have you forgotten how I entered the forbidden region?” Ning glanced at Northson.
Northson was startled.
“I’ll use the same method to infiltrate the Oldjade mountain range,” Ning said with a smile. The practitioners of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] were the most mysterious and secretive figures of the entire Three Realms; they were able to use the art to easily slip into Immortal residences or even the Celestial Court.
Just two hours later.
Within Ning’s mobile Immortal estate.
“Spare me, senior. Spare me, senior! If I, Youngflame Blackburn, have offended you in some way, senior, please let me know!” A tall, thin, middle-aged man was staring in terror at the masked, black-robed man before him. He didn’t even think about fighting back…because this person was simply far too powerful.
He had clearly been within a commandery city earlier, but this person had suddenly appeared, completely paralyzing him through just a simple Dao Domain, then drawing him into a mobile Immortal estate.
For his Dao Domain to be so powerful…this person could probably kill him, Youngflame Blackburn, with a single thought.
“If I wanted to kill you, you’d already be dead,” the masked, black-robed man said in a gravelly voice.
Blackburn let out a secret sigh of relief. If this mysterious figure truly had killed him right away, that really would’ve been a miserable way to die. He hurriedly said, “Senior, if there’s anything you need, please let me know; this junior shall definitely do everything in my power to accomplish it for you.”
“Oh?” The masked, black-robed figure seemed to chuckle. “I wish to know a few things, so…I wish to examine your memories.”
“Examine my memories?” Blackburn was surprised. He said uneasily, “Senior…”
“I will soulscour you. If you don’t resist, the side effects probably won’t be that bad. If you do, however…I’ll have to use force,” the masked, black-robed man said. “Will you accept it willingly or not?”
Blackburn felt both miserable and helpless. Hesitating for just a fraction of a moment, he gritted his teeth then said, “This junior is willing.”
“Mm.” The masked, black-robed man immediately reached out, pressing his hand against Blackburn’s head, then using the Thousandstar soulscouring technique.
Ning was standing atop a cloud. He nodded slightly. “The first was a Primal Daoist. Primal Daoists have fairly high statuses within the Youngflame clan and know a decent amount of things. From what I saw…in Easthill Commandery, there is a clear stratification amongst its denizens, as well as many layers of formations. Even a Primal Daoist like Youngflame Blackburn was only permitted to go to some of the regions in the commandery, and he only knew the methods to bypass a few of the formations.”
This soulscouring had only resulted in him learning about part of the grand formations set up in this particular area.
“It seems I need to find more Primal Daoists and do a close investigation.”
Swoosh. Ning immediately used a void blink and disappeared.
Ning began to act against a number of Primal Daoists of the Youngflame clan within the Easthill Commandery. Different Primal Daoists had different statuses; some knew many things about the formations protecting their headquarters, while some only knew a little bit! Slowly, Ning began to build a general picture of the formations within the Oldjade mountain range of Easthill Commandery. He conveyed what information he had to Uncle White.
Uncle White was a grandmaster of formations; he would definitely be able to come up with a superior method for breaking in!
“Hahaha! You want to soulscour me?” An azure-robed man let out a wild laugh. “As I thought…you are the one the Patriarchs spoke of, yes? Ji Ning!”
“Not good.” The masked, black-robed Primaltwin Ning instantly felt that something was wrong. He immediately willed it…
A sword-light appeared out of nowhere, piercing straight through the body of the azure-robed man, chopping it in half. The azure-robed man’s Primal Turtle-Snake instantly flew out, but as the sword-light chopped towards it, the Primal Turtle-Snake was shattered as well. The human-shaped soul within began to attempt to leave for reincarnation.
“Do you think that just because you tried to self-detonate, that you would avoid my soulscouring?” Ning held a black jewel in his hand. The black jewel produced a powerful attractive power, drawing the man’s soul inside.
When killing a Primal Daoist and destroying his Primal Turtle-Snake, one would generally destroy the soul as well. However, Ning’s power vastly surpassed his foe’s; he was able to destroy the Primal Turtle-Snake but keep the soul intact. His plan was to collect it then soulscour it.
“Soulscour? Hahaha…” The human-shaped soul of the azure-robed man let out an incomparably wild laugh. His soul began to crack apart…and then it completely shattered and dissipated.
“What?!” A moment later, Ning let out a sigh to himself.
Experts with sufficiently powerful souls were capable of splitting their souls. For example, long ago Ning himself had split his soul to create his Primaltwin…but what this person had just done was to split his soul into multiple pieces, causing it to shatter.
“He actually shattered his own soul.” Ning sighed to himself. “It seems the Youngflame clan does have some extremely loyal clansmen.”
“He was able to guess that I am Ji Ning? He was quite smart.”
Ning didn’t actually feel surprised; this was because he had already soulscoured quite a few Primal Daoists, through which he discovered that the Celestial Immortals of the Youngflame clan had already sent out an order for all members of the Youngflame clan to be extremely careful. They had to keep an eye out for Ji Ning secretly infiltrating their clan!
“Last time, four Celestial Immortals worked together to attack me. Although they failed, they were able to learn that I most likely train in the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art],” Ning mused to himself. “Practitioners of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] are highly skilled in transformations and subterfuge; it would be strange if the Youngflame clan didn’t take precautions.”
“But so what if they do take precautions? In the Three Realms…practitioners of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] can enter and depart from even places as tightly guarded as the Celestial Court as they so please.”
This was the Dao of a King!
Even though they knew that Ning trained in the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], there was no way they could prevent him from entering the Oldjade mountain range.
But despite that…
Given that the enemy was prepared, it would be harder for him to reach his target.
“The Youngflame is probably already aware of this Primal Daoist’s death. However…he’s just a single person. It shouldn’t be too bad,” Ning mused to himself. The Youngflame clan was an enormous organization; given that this was an era of dangerous undercurrents, the death of a single Primal Daoist shouldn’t be viewed as a major matter. But if two died in a row…this would probably draw attention.
“I’ll leave it at this for now.”
“Uncle white.” The black-robed Ning walked to a hall within his mobile Immortal estate. Within the hall were Uncle White, Mu Northson, and Little Qing.
“How’d it go?” Uncle White looked over.
“Although I carefully compared every person I seized to figures I saw in the intelligence reports of the Heavenly Treasures Mountain…unexpectedly, in the end, I still ran into one that wasn’t afraid of death.” The black-robed Ning shook his head. “That Youngflame Xun committed suicide; I wasn’t even able to forcibly soulscour him.”
“In any large clan, there will always be some who are willing to sacrifice themselves for their clan.” Uncle White nodded.
“In total, I soulscoured eight Primal Daoists. I’ve already acquired quite a bit of information regarding the Easthill Commandery headquarters of the Youngflame clan.” The black-robed Ning said, “As to how we should deal with those formations…that’ll be up to you, Uncle White.”
“Let me think it over.” Uncle White nodded.
The memories of each of the eight Primal Daoists included parts of the formations protecting their clan’s headquarters. Ning recorded everything down onto a jade strip, then handed it to Uncle White.
Uncle White, ruminating through these findings, was able to come to a rough conclusion regarding the formations around the Oldjade mountain range.
Within the Oldjade mountain range of the Easthill Commandery.
This mountain range of more than a million kilometers was simply too vast; the mountain range even had some plains, lakes, and a large number of commandery cities within them. There were very, very many commandery cities that took up a hundred or a thousand kilometers, and a large number of ordinary mortals resided within them. Every single city was able to support over ten million people.
Lakes, plains, rivers, mountains…the commandery cities were located everywhere. The Oldjade mountain range was definitely the undisputed terrain of the Youngflame clan!
“Patriarch! Patriarch!” A youth came running towards a palace at high speed. This palace was completely composed of white jade, and it was surrounded by a large number of beautiful maidservants. Each of these maidservants could be described as peerless beauties. Some were so scantily clad, they might as well be naked; one could see their bare bodies through their gauze-like clothes. Some, however, looked like rich noblewomen, while others looked like young maidens…
The youth cleared his throat.
These maids were beauties which the Patriarch had found from throughout the world, then gathered here to serve him and him alone.
This Patriarch…he was a Loose Immortal with a very special status, here in the Oldjade mountain range. He was a Loose Immortal who had lived for more than a million years; Immortal Windraiser. However, outsiders rarely referred to him as ‘Immortal’; most referred to him as that ‘old demon, Windraiser’. He truly was an evil figure.
“What is it?” A black-haired, black-bearded old man was currently cuddling with two beautiful woman, seeming quite pleased and relaxed.
“Patriarch, Third Uncle-Master, Third Uncle-Master, he…he…” The youth hurriedly fell to his knees. He cried out, “Third Uncle-Master died!”
Old Demon Windraiser’s face instantly changed tremendously.
Amongst the Primal Daoists who currently resided within the Youngflame clan’s Easthill Commandery, the apprentice-nephew which Windraiser favored the most was Youngflame Xun. Although Xun wasn’t his disciple, he still viewed him with great favor! In fact, he felt that Youngflame Xun was like a carbon copy of himself when he was young; he stooped to all sorts of vile deeds, but was absolutely and ardently loyal to the Youngflame clan.
In addition, he was also very talented. Thus, Old Demon Windraiser often arranged for Youngflame Xun to handle tasks for him in the outside world; only by experiencing dangers and trials in the outside world could one truly grow, after all. But he didn’t expect that Xun would actually die! As one of the important younger disciples of the clan, he had naturally been given protective treasures…but he had still died…
“Damn. Damn!” Old Demon Windraiser was so angry, he gnashed his teeth.
“Investigate. Investigate!” Old Demon Windraiser bellowed with rage, “Investigate and find out exactly how Youngflame Xun died!”