“Ji Ning won!”
“Ji Ning of the Black-White College of Stillwater Commandery won!”
The imperial citadel plaza was a hubbub of noise. The delegates from the 3600 commanderies and four seas were all excitedly discussing this most recent battle. It had indeed been quite spectacular! This was because the other competitors, such as Xiamang Zishan, Adept Ninedeaths, or the Sloppy Daoist all relied on their hands or on staffs.
When they fought, their techniques might be more exquisite or more violent…but in terms of murderous savagery, they were far from being a match for the Dao of the Sword or the Dao of the Saber. Sword Immortals and Saber Devils were highly suited to combat! Previously, the two had easily defeated their foes, but this time when they collided against each other…they finally, truly revealed the strengths of Sword Immortals and Saber Devils, these two major schools of combat.
The sight of their battled caused hearts to shudder and grow numb.
The sword-light, the saber-light…any casual blow was capable of slaughtering a Primal Daoist!
Ning walked back into the main hall of the Skylight Palace, moving behind King Yan and seating himself alongside the Sloppy Daoist, Yuchi Xiyue, and Yu Wei once more.
The gazes of many individuals within the main hall all fell upon Ning.
“I absolutely can’t exchange blows head-on against this Ji Ning. I need to use my strengths to seize his weaknesses.”
“Sword Immortals truly are formidable in an all-out fight.”
“I can’t take him head-on.”
The rest of the twenty-four Wanxiang Adept competitors were all pondering. Only when knowing one’s self and one’s enemies could one win a hundred battles without fail. They all knew that Sword Immortals specialized in attacking, and they naturally knew where their own advantages lay as well…and so the likes of Adept Ninedeaths, Xiamang Zishan, Cangwu Jiu, Youngflame Zhan, and Adept Blackstone were all quietly pondering on their plans.
The nine Pure Yang True Immortals seated on high, by contrast, began to grow puzzled.
“I wasn’t able to see it clearly previously,” the Immortal Elder of the Northlands said in a suspicious manner, “But during the battle between Ji Ning and Saberslave, everything became apparent. In terms of their levels of comprehension regarding the sword and the saber, the two were on par…but when they fought head-on, Ji Ning actually held the upper hand. This Saberslave is the disciple of a good friend of Eastflower; his divine abilities shouldn’t be weak. So…this Ji Ning should train in an even more powerful divine ability! Or perhaps the power of the swords he wields is greater!”
Truelord Chiji nodded as well. “Ji Ning has only trained for around thirty or so years, but has already reached such a level; he should have had a tremendous stroke of luck that allowed him to learn a powerful divine ability. However, this divine ability is a support-type divine ability that is quite low-key, making it extremely hard to detect from the surface.”
“He should indeed have a formidable divine ability.” Lu Dongbing laughed loudly. “But each of those who have managed to survive this Conclave thus far are the darlings of this entire major world of the Grand Xia; I’m sure that all of them have had tremendous strokes of luck. Since the universe was established, countless divine abilities have been invented. Some are for attack, others are for suppressing and sealing, others are for poison, while some are for raw strength…they are all different. Ji Ning should have trained in one meant for raw strength.”
“His speed isn’t exceptionally impressive.”
They all nodded.
There were, after all, far too many variables that could affect a person’s combat power. Some were exceptionally talented; even if they were also just at the twelfth stage of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens], their talent made it so that they were a bit stronger! Not everyone at the same level would necessarily have the exact same level of strength! Even those who trained in the same Ki Refining technique, such as the [Flowing Watersource], would need different levels of liquefied elemental essence for a breakthrough. After all, each of them were born with unique bodies that had their differences; the only thing that could be said was that the difference between them wouldn’t be too ridiculous.
Different weapons, different insights into different Daos, particularly special divine abilities, or secret arts that allowed elemental ki to explode in certain ways…
These could all cause differences in one’s level of power.
Previously, they hadn’t even been able to tell that Ning possessed a powerful divine ability, but in Ning’s battle against Saberslave, the two had simply been too similar! One was of the Dao of the Sword, the other was of the Dao of the Saber. Putting them side by side made the differences very easily detected, which was why the Pure Yang True Immortals were able to ascertain that Ning should be in possession of a powerful divine ability.
But that was nothing special.
There were plenty of formidable divine abilities; the imperial treasury of the Grand Xia Emperor even held the [Torch Dragon’s Eye], one of the top hundred grand divine abilities of the Three Realms. However, the treasury only held the first part of the [Torch Dragon’s Eye]; it was only suitable for Void-level Fiendgods to train in. They didn’t have the higher-level training techniques.
In truth, a grand divine ability like this, ranked in the top hundred in the entire Three Realms, shouldn’t actually have been transmitted to outsiders, even if it was just the first part. The reason the imperial treasury of the Grand Xia had it was because…the creator of the [Torch Dragon’s Eye], the major power of the Three Realms known as the Torch Dragon, had died long ago during the era of the Primordial World!
“Ji Ning might have learned a unique divine ability developed by some Empyrean God or major power,” the Pure Yang True Immortals believed.
The divine abilities developed by major powers weren’t necessarily the most supreme abilities.
For example, Grand Emperor Xuanwu; only his ‘Grand Black Tortoise’ divine ability was exceptionally famous. He would occasionally develop some other unique divine abilities as well. Some were suited for fleeing, others were suited for defense, while still others were suited for attacking…these types divine abilities, which he would create in a fairly casual manner, were comparatively speaking of much lower value. Only supreme abilities which the creator poured all of their blood and sweat into would become truly precious.
For example, the ‘Grand Black Tortoise’ divine ability of Grand Emperor Xuanwu.
Or for example, the [Starseizing Hand] of Daoist Threelives.
“In the second duel, the unaffiliated Adept Ninedeaths will battle against Adept Rainflower of the Soaring Immortal School.”
This was a battle between two women.
Adept Ninedeaths had a body like a magic treasure; Adept Rainflower was completely unable to do anything to her. After all, her attacks weren’t as powerful as that of a Sword Immortal like Ji Ning!
In this battle…Adept Ninedeaths was the victor!
“The third duel…”
“The fourth duel…”
One duel after another. The people watching from the imperial citadel plaza below were all breathless. The Celestial Immortals and Pure Yang True Immortals seated within the main hall of the Skylight Palace were all watching attentively as well. The only reason why the Pure Yang True Immortals were paying so much attention was because Daofather Crimsonbright would choose one of them as a disciple.
“The eighth duel shall wee Youngflame Zhan fight against Xiangtian Xiao.”
This was a battle that many people cared about.
This was because, amongst the twenty-four competitors, only four came from the major clans of the Grand Xia Dynasty – Xiamang Zishan of the imperial Xiamang clan, Cangwu Jiu of the Cangwu clan, Youngflame Zhan of the Youngflame clan, and Xiangtian Xiao of the Xiangtian clan. Just four of them! This proved that in terms of searching for geniuses, the number of geniuses within the various clans was vastly inferior to the number of geniuses spread out within the entire world.
In this battle, Xiangtian Xiao was quite berserk. He completely displayed the legendary valor and savagery of the Xiangtian clan, famous for being willing to challenge the heavens themselves. However…he still lost. His power was indeed quite a bit lower than Youngflame Zhan’s. 1
In addition, Youngflame Zhan had been entrusted with the hopes of his clan; he had also gone all out.
The victor of the eighth battle was Youngflame Zhan!
“Good, good, good. Very good!” Watching the battle, Patriarch Arcanum couldn’t help but laugh so hard his mouth was about to split apart. Everyone knew how crazed and cold-blooded he was; it was rare to see him smile a single time in ten thousand years. But right now, he was laughing! And in truth, the other Celestial Immortals all understood how Patriarch Arcanum was feeling.
“Zhan, child, well done. Charge forward in just this manner. You’ve already made it to the top twelve.” Patriarch Arcanum watched as Youngflame Zhan walked to his side, then immediately encouraged him, “You are very, very, very close to being in the top three now.”
Finally, the twelve competitions in the third round came to an end.
This resulted in the final twelve being determined!
Ning and the rest of the twelve all stood in a neat line in the main hall, awaiting the Grand Xia Emperor’s bestowal of five million kilograms of liquefied elemental essence.
“Xiamang Zishan. Cangwu Jiu. Ji Ning. Sloppy Daoist. Youngflame Zhan. Adept Woodpass. Adept Blackstone. Adept Ninedeaths. Adept Whitedragon. Adept Unicosmo. Adept Primalback. Adept Goldcrow.” The Xia Emperor stood at the front of the hall, listing out the names of all twelve before continuing. “The twelve of you have ranked in the top twelve in this Conclave of Immortal Destiny. I said previously that those who made it into the top twelve would each receive five million kilograms of liquefied elemental essence.”
The Xia Emperor waved his hand. Instantly, twelve violet-jade bottles appeared out of nowhere in the air before them. One of the twelve violet-jade bottles flew to each of the twelve victors.
This caused even the Celestial Immortals present to stare towards the bottles. Five million kilograms! This caused even them to feel envy and desire. These twelve little fellows ended up acquiring so much!
Ning and the others reached out to grab them. They then swept the bottles with their divine senses!
“Wow.” Ning secretly sighed in amazement. “This violet bottle is a wonderful treasure for storing liquefied elemental essence as well. It is actually able to hold five million kilograms of it. It’s comparable to a high-grade Heaven-ranked flying sword in value.”
“With these five million kilograms, my Primaltwin should be able to charge all the way to the peak of the Void-stage,” Ning mused to himself. “But there’s no need to rush it; my Primaltwin has spent very little time at the Primal level. I should keep it there for a period of time longer and understand it better.”
At every single level, there were different insights to be gained. Reincarnated Immortals might have already trained at a certain level, so it didn’t matter, but Ji Ning was no reincarnated Immortal. It was best for him to spend a bit of extra time at each level. But of course, after his true body broke through to become a Primal, his Primaltwin could make the breakthrough to the Void-level.
“You shall first enter the world of the Brightmoon Diagram of the Mountains and Rivers,” the Xia Emperor suddenly said. “I will change the flow of time in the place where you reside. I shall wait for you for two hours in the outside world; within the Diagram, you will have three days to quietly train.”
Ning and the others were flabbergasted. Train for three days within the Diagram?
“Strange. Previously, when the hundred thousand-plus competitors entered the world of the Diagram, wasn’t the flow of time inside it the same as the flow of time outside it? Why is it that all of a sudden, three days in the diagram becomes equal to two hours outside of it?” Ning was puzzled.
“Ji Ning!” The giant yellow bear’s voice rang out in Ning’s mind. “It seems as though the emperor of your Grand Xia Dynasty has quite a bit of insight into the Grand Dao of Time. However, changing the flow of time will use a tremendous amount of energy; although the Grand Xia Emperor is a Pure Yang True Immortal, he still wouldn’t dare to try and change the flow of time for more than a hundred thousand people. The twelve of you represent a much lower burden to him.”
Swoosh swoosh swoosh!!!
Ning and the rest of the twelve were teleported straight into the world of the Diagram, and then the scroll of the Diagram itself flew into the Grand Xia Emperor’s hands.
“Xiamang, you want to let them train for three days?” Truelord Chiji laughed. “It seems you truly do place tremendous importance on this Conclave.”
“It’s not that I place importance on it; it’s that I must not only be hard-working in service to Master, I also must put thought into it,” the Xia Emperor said. “There are only twelve who remain in this Conclave. The previous battles they engaged in have caused their hearts to be tempered through the invisible pressure their competitors placed upon them…and they are currently in the process of evolving. I am giving them three days. Perhaps, this will be enough to let them make a breakthrough. I naturally wish to ensure that only the three best geniuses are presented to Master for the choosing.”
“Right. When you are working for your master, you need to not only be hard-working, but also put thought into it.” Lu Dongbin nodded and smiled. “No wonder Daofather Crimsonbright likes you so much, Xiamang.”
Ji Ning and the others appeared atop a mountain peak. The mountain peak was more than a three hundred meters in size; naturally, it was enough for twelve cultivators to train in. In addition, there were invisible barriers surrounding the mountain peak; there was no way for Ning or the others to walk out from the area of the peak.
Ning and the others immediately sat down into the lotus position, not even saying anything to each other.
They all felt as though their souls had been filled with new insights; perhaps this might be their chance to apply them and make a breakthrough. A little bit of a breakthrough might make a tremendous difference in whether or not they would be able to be selected into the top three! That meant a chance to become the disciple of Daofather Crimsonbright! Who wouldn’t go all out for that chance?
Ning, too, had the ardent desire to become Daofather Crimsonbright’s disciple!