The Azure Firebird landed in the courtyard, and the red-haired, gray-robed Ji Ninefire stepped own, arriving outside the room’s door in just two steps.
“Yichuan.” Ninefire had a smile that would make a person feel peaceful. According to legend, when Ninefire was young, he had an incomparably explosive temperament, but because Ninefire had lived nearly four centuries by now, while the oldest member of the Ji clan of the Western Prefecture was only a century or so in age, the stories of what Ninefire had been like when young were lost to legends.
“Clan leader.” Ji Yichuan, upon seeing the clan leader, immediately revealed a look of urgency in his eyes. “Snow, she…”
“I heard from Redflower.” Ninefire nodded. “Let me take a look.”
“Right.” Yichuan immediately led the way forward. At this moment, Snow had already left her bed, curtseying respectfully. “Snow greets the clan leader.”
Ninefire said, “Your body is very weak right now. First lie down. There’s no need to stand on empty ceremonies.”
Only then did Snow half lie down on the bed, while Ninefire sat on the chair by the side of the bed. He stretched his hand out, placing it against Snow’s wrist, gently tapping with his finger…immediately, a spot of red, fiery light immediately enveloped Snow’s entire body. In this instant, it seemed as though Snow’s entire body was covered by a layer of flames.
Yichuan watched nervously by the side, while Ninefire’s eyes were closed.
As much time as was needed for a pot of tea to be brewed passed before the fiery light surrounding Snow’s body vanished. Only now did Ninefire open his eyes as well. Facing Yichuan, whose face was filled with anticipation, Ninefire couldn’t help but let a soft sigh, then gently shake his head. “The seeds of the illness have taken deep root. There’s no way for it to be reversed.”
“Ah!” Yichuan’s face instantly turned white.
Ninefire sighed. “That year, your wife was a peak Xiantian expert. During that disaster, it was one thing for her foundation to have been damaged; if she had been immediately treated, it would have been fine. But your wife then executed that secret art which took her own life energy…it was like another blow to her already heavily injured body, causing the illness to be even more deeply rooted! Unless you can find some sort of pill suitable for mortals to use to extend their lives…there is no other method.”
“Longevity-enhancing pill for mortals?” Yichuan looked his wife, and Snow looked back at him. Their gazes intersected, and Snow sighed gently. “Yichuan, I understand my illness.”
If it was just a matter of consuming a longevity-enhancing pill, although such a pill would be incomparably expensive, if Yichuan bankrupted himself, sold off all his possessions as well as the thousands of unranked magic treasures Ji Ning had given him, and also borrowed some money from the Ji clan, he might be able to acquire one such pill. But the additional requirement of ‘suitable for mortals to use’…the price would instantly rise by several additional levels.
The more powerful a medicinal pill, the more powerful the medicinal effect. A pill that was capable of extending a person’s lifespan was a pill that defied the natural course of heaven. A pill that not only did this but also did it in such a way which allowed the weak, fragile bodies of a mortal to be able to endure the process…the preciousness of such a pill was far beyond what the likes of the Ji clan could possibly imagine.
“Yichuan.” Ninefire said slowly, “I’ve refined some pills. I will immediately arrange for them to be sent over. Your wife should have another three months of life.”
“Three months!” Yichuan’s face completely changed.
Snow just revealed a smile. She said, “Yichuan.” Yichuan hurriedly turned to look at his wife, who laughed and said, “Three months is better than I had anticipated. I regret nothing. I did what I did that year in order to give birth to Ning. If I hadn’t given birth to Ning, I might have been able to live an extra twenty years, but every single day of those twenty years, I would have been in a hell of regret. But now, every day of these ten years that I have lived, I have lived happily. It’s enough, it’s enough. Have Ning come back. I want to see him. As long as he is by my side, all is well!”
“Alright.” Yichuan hurriedly nodded, then after pondering for a moment, shouted, “Brother Black, Azure Firebird.”
Immediately, from outside, a black-clothed man and an azure-clothed woman stepped in. It was the human forms of the black serpent and the Azure Firebird.
“Brother Black.” Yichuan said hurriedly. “Ji Ning will easily be able to recognize your voice. Thus, ride atop the Azure Firebird and quickly head to the border region between our Ji clan and the Ironwood clan.” As he spoke, a map appeared in Yichuan’s hands. He just casually glanced towards the door, making sure of their directions, then carefully sensed the location of the jade sword which Ning was holding.
Staring at the map, Yichuan quickly ascertained a location. With a gentle tap of the finger, he pointed to a mountain on the map, and a spot of blood stained the map there. “Ji Ning is currently at this location. He hasn’t moved this entire time. Based on my sense, although there are slight uncertainties regarding the distance between us, he’s definitely within a hundred kilometers of this mountain. As long as you ride the Azure Firebird to the air above the mountain, then call for him and say that his mother is critically ill and that he is to quickly return, he will definitely hear it.”
“Understood.” The black-clothed man said hurriedly. “Yichuan, don’t worry. Ning’s hearing ability is far beyond that of ordinary people’s. He should be able to hear my voice from as far as two or three hundred kilometers away.”
It wasn’t possible for mortals to project their voices a hundred kilometers, but it was simple for a Xiantian lifeform. For example, when Ning had been at Serpentwing Lake and shouted at Serpentwing, his voice had also projected throughout the lake.
“Azure Firebird, I’ll have to trouble you to make a trip.” Yichuan looked at the azure-garbed woman.
“A small matter.” The Azure Firebird’s voice was very gentle. “We can’t delay for even a moment. I’ll immediately head out along with Elder Brother Black.”
“Let’s go.” The black-clothed man also nodded right away.
Taking the map with them, the black-garbed man quickly mounted onto the back of the Azure Firebird, then quickly flew towards the direction of the borders between the Ji clan and the Ironwood clan.
“Ning, son.” Snow watched as the Azure Firebird flew high into the sky, and in her heart she began to miss her son. The closer she drew to death, the more she wanted to see her son, her dearly beloved son.
The Azure Firebird’s speed was astonishingly fast. In less than two hours, she had already arrived in the air above that mountain.
“This is the mountain.” The black serpent nodded. From high up in the air, it was very easy to recognize the landscape below.
“Elder Brother Black, call for him right away.” The Azure Firebird urged.
“Right.” The black serpent stared below, then immediately infused his voice with monstrous energy, shouting loudly, “Young master Ji Ning, your mother is critically ill. Quickly return!”
“Young master Ji Ning, your mother is critically ill. Quickly return!” This voice echoed down from the heavens, quickly covering an area of two hundred kilometers of the forests and mountain below. And directly beneath them, deep within that mountain…there were a million commoners, whom the two spirit-beasts didn’t notice at all.
Within the mountain.
Those Xiantian lifeforms that were bound to the pillars were still undergoing countless amounts of torment. They had to endure torture, and yet they were still kept alive. This was because the longer they were tortured, the greater the rage and hatred these Xiantian lifeforms would feel! The more powerful, the deeper their hatred, the fiercer the dread wraiths their souls would transform into.
“Young master Ji Ning, your mother is critically ill. Quickly return!” The voice drifted down from far above.
Although a great formation was hidden here, causing the curses and cries of the million commoners within to be trapped and unable to leave, the sounds from the outside world could still come in…it was much as how the Zifu Disciple, ‘Bei Zishan’, was deep within the secret in the mountain and could hear the sounds from the outside world, even though the sounds from within the secret room wouldn’t go out.
That way, they could more easily detect what was going on in the outside world.
“Young master Ji Ning, your mother is critically ill. Quickly return!” The voice echoed throughout the mountains, the voice shockingly loud.
“What a loud voice.”
“Who is shouting up there?”
The six beautifully dressed men and women all looked upwards towards the sky, with one of them, a scraggly, bearded man, hurriedly saying, “Fellow apprentices, do you hear that? They are calling for that Ji Ning.”
“Ji Ning’s mother is critically ill?” The women with the scorpion said in surprise. “His mother’s ill?”
“Hahaha…” The most muscular man of the group, a man with cyan hair, began to laugh loudly. “That Ji Ning is a monstrously talented figure. If he is allowed to develop, who knows how terrifying he will be in the future? But he won’t be able to live for more than three days, and is trapped within the formation. His mother is clearly critically ill, but even if he shouts until he is hoarse, his voice won’t escape!”
“Right.” The handsome youth sighed. “Most likely, he is in a state of extreme rage right now.”
“I must say, this Ji Ning really is a formidable figure. At eleven or twelve years of age, he was able to kill our senior martial-apprentice. But his final doom is so pitiful. He will pass away in the midst of despair, rage, pain, and regret. Hahaha…this is the end of this genius!”
These fellow apprentices chatted amongst themselves. They could imagine how Ji Ning currently felt, which made them feel all the more delighted.
“Madame is critically ill?”
“Yuchi Snow is critically ill?”
The Ji clan of the West Prefecture’s Blindfish, Ji Jadewich, Poortile, and other members were all incomparably astonished, enraged, and filled with hate. At the same time, they felt a hint of pity for Ji Ning. After all, he had less than three days to live, and his mother was critically ill, yet he had no way to return…this sort of pain must be heart-breaking.
Right. Everything was exactly as how those fellow apprentices deep in the mountain imagined. It was also exactly as Blindfish and the others feared. Ning was currently feeling utterly agony and grief in his heart.
“Mother!” Ning’s tears began to fall down uncontrollably. He was in such pain, his entire body trembled. His heart felt as though it was being cut by a knife. That woman who had loved him since he was a child, that woman who had treated him as her world…that woman who always, uncontrollably doted on him. She was actually critically ill? Critically ill?
“Aaaaaah!” Ning suddenly threw his head upwards, letting out a howl of incomparable pain. This howl spread throughout the mountain, but no matter what, it couldn’t spread out from it.
As for those six men and women within the mountain residence, when they heard the howl, their hearts couldn’t help but tremble. That could sense the boundless grief and pain contained within that howl.
“Young master Ji Ning.” Blindfish wept. That precocious, brilliant four year old toddler who he had personally taught archery…how had he ended up like this? This was even more agonizing and terrifying that the torture his body had endured.
“I’m going to leave, I’m going to leave, I’m going to leave.” Ning’s voice was quavering. “Break the formation! I’m going to break the formation!”
Ning forced his eyes shut.
An incomparably powerful surge of emotion swept his entire body, filling his entire spirit. He was going to break the formation!!! He had to leave it, he had to go see that woman who treated him as more important than her life. He had to see her!!! Otherwise, even if he died and went to the Netherworld Kingdom, he would feel incomparable guilt and regret!
“Break the formation. I’m going to break the formation.” Ning’s closed eyes were trembling, and his soul, filled with this incomparably powerful emotion that was even greater than what was felt at the moment between life and death, reached a new limit as he frantically visualized methods for the breaking of this formation.
Blood began to leak out from Ning’s nose, and blood was coming from his ears as well.
Clearly, this surge of powerful emotion had injured his body.
“That’s it!” Ning’s soul, which had been constantly testing out new formations, suddenly halted. An incomparably complicated formation model suddenly appeared in his mind, which contained every possible variable within it.
Ning opened his eyes.
“Mother!” Ning raised his head, letting out a frenzied howl. “I will go back to see you, I will definitely go back to see you! Wait for your child!”
Immediately, he transformed into a blur, moving through the formation. Ning moved like a ghost, quickly reaching a place which was still covered with thick black mist, but which had a black formation flag inserted into the earth. The runes atop the formation flag were currently fashing. Ning reached out, directly grabbing the flag and giving it a powerful pull.
Instantly, the black mist that had been covering the entire world vanished, revealing a clearly visible mountain scene. From afar, many servants were staring in astonishment towards him.
“What.” The six men and women rushed out of the mountain, staring in his direction with astonishment. “The formation was destroyed!”
Ning was holding the formation flag in his hand, the light of utter madness in his eyes.
“Kill! Kill him! Kill him at all costs! He cannot be permitted to leave this place alive!” Suddenly, a shrill voice filled with incomparable rage emanated from underground.