Chapter 22, Earth-Rank Magic Treasure

“What is that?” The seven Zifu Disciples of Snowdragon Mountain stared in amazement at the tips of the flower petals, which stretched out just beyond the distant black fog. Just from the tips of the petals alone, they could imagine how enormous the entire flower was.

“What is the Ji clan doing?”

“Adept Xu, the Ji clan…” The Zifu Disciples all looked at Adept Xu Li, who frowned and replied, “It should be an enormous flower, with the petals either a fiery red color or a watery blue color. It should be formed from fire and water.”

They weren’t able to reach much of a conclusion from this distance, just by staring at the tips of the flower emerging from the black fog.

“Let me try something.” Adept Xu pointed into the distance. “Descend!”

That giant moonlight hand once more emerged from the brilliant moon that hung in the pitch-black sky. It seized the huge, three hundred meter long seal and smashed downwards towards the petal. Immediately, a dragon’s body emerged from the black fog, receiving the blow from the great seal. With a boom…the black draconic form trembled, but managed to withstand the blow.

“Hmph. They are hiding in a formation. In close quarters, I would be able to crumble that draconic body with a single seal-blow.” Adept Xu shook his head.

…..

Within the formation.

Ji Ninefire was extremely nervous. He sent mentally, “Ji Ning is currently at the most critical moment of his training. That Wanxiang Adept wants to attack by using his Manifestations. No matter what, we must stop him!”

As for Ji Truekeep, Granny Shadow, and the others, they all understood that Ning was the future hope for their Ji clan. How could they permit anyone to disturb Ning’s training?

“He formed a flower of fire and water…what is Ji Ning doing?” Although Ninefire could sense that flower, he was still puzzled. This was because Ning already had the Waterflame Lotus technique. Was Ning currently gaining insights into the Dao? Or was he training in his techniques?

……

An enormous flower of fire and water, more than three hundred meters tall, completely enveloped Ning.

The core of it was formed from Lunar Truewater and Solar Truefire, which activated and summoned a large amount of solar power and lunar power, flooding Ning’s body with it. Under the guidance of Ning’s divine tattoos, it caused Ning’s divine body to naturally, slowly evolve. Every single tendon, muscle, bone…even every single cell of every organ was wildly devouring this power.

[Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens]. Generally speaking, in order to advance by a stage, one slowly accumulated power, and then broke through. For example, from the fourth to the fifth stage, or from the fifth to the sixth stage, one had to slowly train and accumulate strength.
But from the sixth stage to the seventh stage was a giant leap between different realms!

The divine body would change on a qualitative level, and so the amount of energy that was needed was incomparably astonishing. In fact, the amount needed was even more astonishingly tremendous than the amount which Ning had acquired over the course of nearly five years, as he advanced from the fourth stage to the sixth stage. This was the most difficult-to-train Fiendgod Body Refining technique. Ning had even developed his own ‘Rainwater Sword Domain’ by now, and yet only today did he break through to the seventh stage!

The most difficult technique!

The most profound, mysterious technique!

But upon breakthrough through and advancing past this stage, one would receive assistance from the Solar Star and the Lunar Star, the two exalted, supreme stars. They would send down their Solar Truefire and Lunar Truewater to draw in enormous amounts of power, so as to allow the divine body to rapidly increase in strength.

“Whooosh!”

The enormous flower of water and fire became translucent, slowly opening and revealing the nude form of a youth, whose body was incomparably jewel-like and completely untarnished. It was Ning! A layer of fur clothing quickly appeared on Ning’s body, formed from his armor-type magic treasure.

A hint of a smile was on Ning’s face. He had finally passed into the seventh stage of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens]. He could sense the surging divine power within his body, and the tremendous, endless lifeforce it contained. His body could be reborn from a single drop of blood.

“Finally, I can truly use divine abilities.” Ning revealed a look of joy.

A Fiendgod Body Refiner had to reach the Zifu level in order to unleash divine abilities.

The Windwing Evasion technique was more a matter of skill and technique, and so it could be used with just elemental ki energy. Still, divine abilities were ‘divine’ abilities, and so only when using divine power to fuel them would they truly be divine, and truly unleash their full power. Previously, Ning was only at the peak Xiantian level as a Fiendgod Body Refiner, while his elemental ki energy was beyond the peak Zifu-level within the formation. The difference was too great…which was why he had used his elemental ki to perform the Windwing Evasion.

Now, however, although he had just reached the seventh stage, he had done so by using the number one Fiendgod Body Refining technique. Ning was no weaker than a normal late-stage Zifu Disciple Fiendgod Body Refiner.

“Compared to Jadechild,” Ning mused, “My current divine body is perhaps just a level weaker than his was.”

“He had the divine ability, ‘Heavenly Transformation’, while I have the divine ability, ‘Windwing Evasion.’”

“I also have my Rainwater Sword Domain, the Darknorth swords…if we were to fight again, I would still be able to kill him, even if we were to fight head-on.” Ning was very confident in himself. The Windwing Evasion was a very different type of divine ability, compared to the Heavenly Transformation. Each had their own advantages; Heavenly Transformation was superlative in terms of power and speed, but lacking a bit in agility.

As for Windwing Evasion, it focused on both speed and agility!

“Ji Ning.” A voice rang out by his ears.

“Patriarch?” Ning revealed a smile.

“Hurry over.” Ninefire sent frantically. A corridor appeared in the black fog in front of Ning, and Ning transformed into a ray of light as he hurried through it.

…..

Patriarch Ninefire, Yichuan, and the Fairy Crane in the form of that white-robed maiden were all standing there.

“Patriarch.” When Ning emerged from the corridor within the black fog, he had a feeling that something was wrong. He saw that the Patriarch and his father didn’t look the slightest bit excited; instead, they had very somber looks on their faces.

“What is it?” Ning asked.

Ninefire said in a low voice, “I originally thought that after you killed that group of Zifu Disciples and Jadechild, that we would be able to survive this tribulation. But I didn’t expect…that Snowdragon Mountain would send yet another group of Zifu Disciples over, with a Wanxiang Adept amongst them.”

“Wanxiang Adept?” Ning was shocked. “How could there be a Wanxiang Adept? How could the Swallow Mountain branch of Snowdragon Mountain have managed to invite a Wanxiang Adept to come in such a short period of time? Aren’t we extremely far away from the main sect of Snowdragon Mountain?”

“I don’t know.” Ninefire shook his head.

Yichuan said solemnly as well, “No matter what, this Wanxiang Adept has already arrived. His power is quite terrifying. Earlier, he used his Manifestation to attack with a giant seal. By relying on the Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation, we were just barely able to withstand it.”

Ning’s face grew solemn as well.

A Manifestation? One which the Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation was just barely able to resist?

“That Wanxiang Adept should be named Xu Li.” The nearby white-robed maiden suddenly said.

“Eh?” Ning, Ninefire, and Yichuan all looked towards the Fairy Crane.

The white-robed maiden said, “I followed Nong Zidao for many years, and once encountered this Xu Li. Adept Xu Li is a formidable figure in Snowdragon Mountain; he’s not someone who Jadechild could be compared to. Jadechild’s status in Snowdragon Mountain was quite ordinary, and even by using his divine ability, he was only on the same level as an early Wanxiang Adept.”

“Adept Xu Li became a Wanxiang Adept more than sixty years ago.” The white-robed maiden said. “He is a Ki Refiner, and the technique he trains in is definitely one of the best techniques available to Snowdragon Mountain. Although his training speed is slow, his elemental ki is extremely pure. After sixty years, he must at least be at the middle stage for Wanxiang Adepts.”

“In addition, as a Wanxiang Adept of Snowdragon Mountain, he definitely has an Earth-ranked magic treasure! There is a qualitative difference between Mortal-ranked magic treasures and Earth-ranked magic treasures…the difference in power is tremendous as well. In addition, his comprehension of the Dao is definitely far above that of Jadechild’s as well. Although Jadechild had a divine ability, there was no way for him to use an Earth-ranked magic treasure. This is a fundamental difference between him and Adept Xu. If Adept Xu wished to kill Jadechild, it would be simplicity itself.”

After speaking, the white-robed maiden no longer spoke.

Ninefire and Yichuan exchanged glances. Earlier, when they were in a state of panic, the white-robed maiden hadn’t said a word. Once Ning appeared, however, the white-robed maiden had provided some information regarding Adept Xu. Clearly, this white-robed maiden felt rather subservient towards Ning, rather than towards the Ji clan as a whole.

“At least at the middle-stage Wanxiang Adept level? An Earth-ranked magic treasure? Insights into the Dao?” Ning pondered. He wasn’t a foolish child who understood nothing. After having seen so many magic treasures in the aquatic estate, Ning knew very well that the difference in power between magic treasures at different levels was tremendous.

There was a fundamental difference in power between an Earth-ranked magic treasure and a Mortal-ranked magic treasure.

As the maiden had said, if Adept Xu wanted to kill Jadechild, it would be simple!

“Ji Ning.” Ninefire’s face was red with worry. He said frantically, “We have never before fought against a Wanxiang Adept; we’ve only heard legends of battling them. Wanxiang Adepts definitely vastly outstrip Zifu Disciples in power. Wanxiang Adepts are able to kill Zifu Disciples as easily as we kill Xiantian lifeforms. Earth-ranked magic treasures…we’ve only heard of them, but have never experienced their power first-hand. You absolutely must not be careless. You hold the official writ to our City of Ten Thousand Swords, and also have the Traceless Talisman. Remember. If the situation begins to turn grim, immediately flee!”

Ning was stunned.

Flee?

“As long as you escape, the Ji clan will definitely rise again, and to even greater heights.” Ninefire instructed.

Ning had a restless feeling. He could vaguely sense danger looming. His soul was so powerful that generally speaking, when encountering danger, he would feel a vague, warning sense.

“Wanxiang Adept?” Ning didn’t have any experience fighting one either.

“Remember. You are not to risk yourself.” Ninefire looked at Ning, and Yichuan looked at his son with worry as well.

“I understand.” Ning nodded gently. “This Wanxiang Adept…I will definitely be very careful. If anything goes wrong, I will immediately flee.”

“Right.” Ninefire nodded.

…..

Outside the formation.

The Immortal practitioners of Snowdragon Mountain stared towards the distant Oxhorn Mountain, shrouded in black fog. The tips of the flower petals had disappeared by now.

“Adept Xu, what should we do?”

“Are we just to wait and watch here?” The Zifu Disciples all looked towards Adept Xu, waiting for his orders.

Adept Xu stared into the distance, a cold look in his eyes. He said a single, cold word. “Wait!”

Both Jadechild and Nong Zidao had failed. Although there was a huge difference in power between him and them, he still had to be cautious. He knew very well that this formation was extremely strange. Even though he was very powerful, he couldn’t enter recklessly. At worst…they could just give up this elemental ore mine.

“Master-uncle Xu, master-uncle Xu.” A distant ray of light shot towards them.

Xu Li lifted his head to take a look.

There was a fur-clad man, riding atop that streak of light.

“Apprentice-nephew Zidao.” A look of surprised delight appeared on Xu Li’s face. He hurriedly went forward to greet him. Out of all the people who had entered the formation, Nong Zidao was the one which Xu Li cared about the most. Nong Zidao was also an expert in formations, and had experience with this one. He was precisely what Xu Li needed the most right now.

“Master-uncle Xu.” Nong Zidao said hurriedly. “I was afraid that you had already entered the formation. Fortunately, you didn’t.”

“What?” Xu Li frowned as he looked at Nong Zidao. “Is this formation truly so terrifying?”

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