Chapter 24 – Withdrawing The Troops

The Grand Xia and the Seamless Gate; both forces on that battlefield were stunned.

The Grand Xia had already begun a retreat, while the Seamless Gate was in hot, eager pursuit, planning on carving a few extra pieces of flesh from the Xia Emperor.

But…

True Immortal Crimsonjoy died?

An exalted, powerful Pure Yang True Immortal…had actually died?

“What the hell?”

“How did Ji Ning DO that? He…wasn’t he trapped? Even if he managed to charge out, how could he have killed True Immortal Crimsonjoy in an instant?”

“Just now, I seemed to see snow-white lotus petals floating around True Immortal Crimsonjoy’s body. Could his death be connected to the Protocosmic spirit-treasure, the ‘Nineleaf Snowlotus’?

The Seamless Gate’s forces were completely stunned. They simply couldn’t believe this.

They were clearly on the verge of victory…how did the hell did this suddenly happen?

……

The only person on the battlefield who wasn’t stunned was Ning himself.

“Success.” Ning let out a sigh of relief. Although he had an absolute advantage in power thanks to his Heaven Punisher, he hadn’t been certain that he would be able to kill True Immortal Crimsonjoy.

Just now, he had first activated his Protocosmic spirit-treasure, the Nineleaf Snowlotus.

The Nineleaf Snowlotus was best-suited for trapping and binding foes. In the past, Ning was a mere Celestial Immortal; even when he used the power of the Heaven Punisher to activate the Nineleaf Snowlotus, it wouldn’t be excessively powerful. After becoming a Pure Yang True Immortal, however, and after merging his Pure Yang energy with the power of his Heaven Punisher, then using it all to activate the Nineleaf Snowlotus…the power of the countless snowlotuses he could create was truly astonishing.

He had instantly covered the completely unprepared True Immortal Crimsonjoy with them.

As he used the snow-white lotus petals to surround True Immortal Crimsonjoy, Ning unleashed his full power, instantly shattering apart the entangling black chains.

“Not good.” Upon being trapped by the snowlotuses, and upon sensing his spell being destroyed, True Immortal Crimsonjoy immediately knew that something bad was happening. A sudden variable had to have been introduced into the battle, but he couldn’t see what was going on beyond the barrier of snowlotuses, nor could he Greater Teleport. He didn’t dare hide himself within an Immortal estate either; if he did, the enemy would be able to immediately capture it.

Thus, the only thing he could do at the time…was to use his own Pure Yang treasures to protect himself.

BOOM!

A cold, insidious sword attack.

After shattering the black chains, Ning immediately sent out a silent, soundless sword-strike. This was an assassination sword-art which Ning had learned back at Mount Innerheart. He had learned far too many sword-arts at Mount Innerheart, including several that had been devised by Daofathers of the Great Firmament. Usually, it was rare for Ning to use any of those sword-arts, as those were sword-arts that others had developed; although they were very powerful in Ning’s hands, there was no way he could truly reach a level of absolute perfection in them. Ning, however, had never tried to create his own assassination sword-arts. Given the inconceivable power of the Heaven Punisher he led, this sword-art was already powerful enough. And so…

BOOM!

The snow-white lotus petals instantly split apart, allowing Ning’s sword to hack directly against True Immortal Crimsonjoy’s protective magic treasure.

Because True Immortal Crimsonjoy had been trapped by the snow-white lotus flowers, his protective treasure’s defensive field was very, very close to his body. This assassination sword-art Ning employed was a type of vibration-based sword-art. When he chopped down, a very strange yet incredibly powerful form of energy was transformed into a vibration that not even Pure Yang magic treasures could block. The vibration was sent straight into True Immortal Crimsonjoy’s body…and it instantly shattered apart his Pure Yang Jindan.

From this, one could imagine how powerful Ning’s sword-attack had been.

In truth, someone like True Immortal Crimsonjoy would’ve never dared to fight Venomsong’s White-Faced Flood Dragon, one of the Fiendgod armies, or the Raindragon army head-on. Ning was much more powerful than any of the three; how could Crimsonjoy possibly resist it? And in truth, Ning was lucky to possess the Nineleaf Snowlotus. If it wasn’t for the Snowlotus binding Crimsonjoy, when Ning charged over Crimsonjoy would’ve fled right away.

If Celestial Immortal Blackheaven knew that Ning had used the Nineleaf Snowlotus, a treasure which had previously belonged to Blackheaven himself, to cut off the escape path for True Immortal Crimsonjoy, who Blackheaven had asked to help out…

It really would be hard to describe how Celestial Immortal Blackheaven would feel.

……

“Seize the momentum. Kill!”

While he celebrated his victory, Ning didn’t hesitate in the slightest as he immediately charged straight towards the closest enemies.

There were three White-Faced Flood Dragons of the Seamless gate in that location, as well as a group of Empyrean God golems. They had been assaulting the five Heaven Punishers of the Grand Xia, who per the Xia Emperor’s orders were retreating while supporting each other defensively. At this moment, however, everyone had come to a halt. They were all stunned, and the forces of the Grand Xia felt wild joy in their hearts.

“Not good!”

“Quick, go help out!”

“Go help them!”

On the Seamless Gate’s side, True Immortal Whitepole and Gatemaster Azurefox were the first to come back to their senses. They didn’t have any time to be astonished at True Immortal Crimsonjoy’s death; they immediately began to give orders.

True Immortal Whitepole first changed the target of his spell to focus on Ning. The icy Solar Star that was hovering in the skies behind him began to shoot rays of frozen light towards Ning’s charging Heaven Punisher.

Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!

Cold light flashed in an unending stream.

“Hmph.” Ning’s Heaven Punisher was bounding barefoot across the land. After having seen True Immortal Whitepole use this spell before, Ning felt no fear at all. He swung out an Ananda World-Sword, his sword-light flowing like water. Ever since Ning was young, he had been particularly adept at using sword-arts to defend. The curtain-like flow of watery sword-light was able to completely block all of the frozen lances of light.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The tremendous power within Ning’s words were able to endure all of the attacks.

“I can’t stop him.” True Immortal Whitepole’s face changed. “Quick! Junior apprentice-sister Azurefox, go help out. The Heaven Punisher which Ji Ning is in command of is far too powerful. I was able to stop even a Fiendgod army, but I can’t stop him!”

“Alright.” Azurefox was anxious as well.

Both of them were fairly distant from Ning. There was no time to charge in and attack him up close; their only options were to use spells, magic treasures, and other long-distance options.

Nine bushy fox-tails lashed through the air, seeming to blot out and darken the skies themselves as they swept towards Ning.

“Just f*ck off.” Ning’s Heaven Punisher continued to bound forward, two swords in his hands. Previously, he had used just a single sword to block True Immortal Whitepole. Now, he used the other sword as well. Boom! Boom! Boom! When his sword struck out, it was as though the heavens had suddenly turned clear and bright again. The nine furry tails were blasted apart, leaving just a small portion of the tails undamaged. Quickly, however, the nine tails once more grew outwards and regenerated.

Ning didn’t slow down at all…and he was far too fast.

The Fiendgod armies, the Heaven Punishers, the White-Faced Flood Dragons, the Raindragon army…none of them were comparable to Ning’s Heaven Punisher in terms of speed! In fact, even the Bloodcloud golems were just barely on par with Ning’s speed right now. From this, one could tell how terrifyingly fast Ning truly was!

“Quick, go save them!”

“Stop that Ji Ning!”

“Quick!”

True Immortal Whitepole frantically issued the orders. Ji Ning’s sudden, explosive increase in power was absolutely capable of changing the outcome of this entire battle. If they weren’t able to slow him down and allowed him to just charge forward as he currently was…no army, Empyrean God, or True Immortal was capable of fighting against Ji Ning’s Heaven Punisher without assistance. The forces of the Seamless Gate would most likely be destroyed by Ning, one at a time…resulting in a defeat for this entire battle.

Thus, they had to focus all of their efforts on stopping him!

Whoosh!

Sword-light struck out.

The three White-Faced Flood Dragons were fleeing now, with the five Heaven Punishers in hot pursuit, as well as Ning’s Heaven Punisher. As Ning’s sword-light flew out…the White-Faced Flood Dragon he targeted only had a chance to let out a furious, unwilling roar of defeat. Slash! Ning’s longsword chopped straight through the neck of the White-Faced Flood Dragon, sending the head flying. The body of the dragon immediately broke apart, revealing the Celestial Immortals and Loose Immortals inside of it, who immediately began to flee.

“Kill! Kill! KILL!” Celestial Immortal Unity, Celestial Immortal Whacko, and the others all led their Heaven Punishers in a massacre of the survivors.

“Go!”

“Stop him!”

BOOM!

Another massive explosion could be heard. A tremendously powerful White-Faced Flood Dragon had managed to force its way in front of Ji Ning. This was Venomsong’s White-Faced Flood Dragon, which had been nearest to Ning. Venomsong struck out with the sharp, fierce claws of his dragon, while Ning once more swept out with the Ananda World-Sword.

BOOM!

This was the first time these two massive Fiendgod-manifestations had fought head-on.

Venomsong’s White-Faced Flood Dragon was actually knocked off its two scaly legs by the force of the collision and sent flying backwards. This result caused a look of utter shock to appear on the face of Venomsong’s White-Faced Flood Dragon! He…he was actually… this much weaker than Ji Ning?

“But…” True Immortal Whitepole’s face completely changed.

Previously, upon seeing Ning’s might, he had made a rough estimate of Ning’s power and had expected Ning’s Heaven Punisher to be stronger than Venomsong’s White-Faced Flood Dragon. But to actually knock Venomsong’s White-Faced Flood Dragon flying like that…this was beyond his expectations. The difference in power was enormous!

“Slow him down.”

He had no time to be astonished. True Immortal Whitepole and Gatemaster Azurefox both focused their spells against Ning, and both their spells were extraordinarily powerful. Ning had to use at least one sword at all times to defend against them. With two of them joining forces against him…Venomsong’s White-Faced Flood Dragon had more than enough time to recover from that blow, then once more charge forward to engage Ning in battle.

And so, True Immortal Whitepole, Gatemaster Azurefox, and Venomsong’s White-Faced Flood Dragon all joined forces to just barely stalemate and tie down Ji Ning. Just barely! Ning was still able to charge forward; he was just somewhat slowed down.

“Retreat!” True Immortal Whitepole had an ugly look on his face as he mentally roared the order to his forces.

They couldn’t allow this fight to continue.

They had already lost True Immortal Crimsonjoy and a White-Faced Flood Dragon. Ji Ning, all by himself, was able to tie down Whitepole, Azurefox, and Venomsong. The Seamless Gate no longer had any advantages whatsoever.

The Seamless Gate’s forces began to retreat.

Before this, the Seamless Gate had a significant tactical. After True Immortal Whitepole, Gatemaster Azurefox, and Venomsong’s White-Faced Flood Dragon had joined forces to tie down Ji Ning, their forces were no longer in significant danger, and so they were able to retreat in a very stable, orderly manner.

Soon, this sudden, unexpected ‘final battle’ came to an end.

“Withdraw our troops.” The Xia Emperor’s voice rang out as well, once more filled with vigor and willpower.

The war for the Grand Xia…

He hadn’t lost it yet!

The Xia Emperor stared at the distant, awe-inspiring, half-nude Heaven Punisher commanded by Ji Ning. In his heart, he celebrated joyfully, and he even felt a hint of gratitude towards Ji Ning. Ji NIng truly had been the fulcrum upon which the results of this battle had turned.

……

Beyond the Three Realms. The seat of awakening for Daofather Crimsonbright.

Aside from Daofather Crimsonbright himself, a whole host of Empyrean Gods and True Immortals were watching the battle scenes depicted within that mirror of light.

“Good!”

“That’s Ji Ning!”

“He just exploded with power.”

“True Immortal Crimsonjoy just died. He actually died, just like that.”

“Look, he’s still charging forward. He’s incredibly ferocious; he’s just smashing straight through them. The Seamless Gate is panicking now. True Immortal Whitepole and Gatemaster Azurefox have both used their spells, but they can’t stop him. They can’t stop him at all! The White-Faced Flood Dragons have started to flee. It’s useless! They are too slow. Ji Ning just attacked with his sword…ahaha! One of them died! Ugh, Venomsong’s White-Faced Flood Dragon just arrived…this is going to be a bit troubleso-…he was just sent flying?”

The mood had been rather depressed, but now all of the Empyrean Gods and True Immortals felt their energy levels rising.

They were all excited.

Some of their homelands and major worlds had already been conquered, after all. Even the ones that weren’t conquered yet felt grief upon seeing the Grand Xia fall into such dire straits. If even the Grand Xia had fallen…how could they hope to survive? Most likely, only extremely selfish individuals like Sword Immortal Evergreen, who didn’t have any major worlds or territories to worry about, would be completely unconcerned with the results of this battle.

“How can Ji Ning be this powerful? Can it be that he’s become a Pure Yang True Immortal?”

“He’s too strong.”

“His aura is simply…”

Everyone was sighing in amazement. Who wouldn’t hope for a brutal, dominating figure like Ning to appear on their side during a battle?

The Xia Emperor’s clone just stood there, smiling. Smiling with great happiness.

He glanced sideways at the nearby Sword Immortal Evergreen, who had a rather unpleasant look on his face. Evergreen had said quite a few things just now, after all.

“Fortunately, junior apprentice-brother Evergreen, you weren’t able to take Ji Ning on as your disciple all those years ago. Otherwise…you really would’ve delayed his progress,” the Xia Emperor sighed ‘emotionally’.

“You…!” Sword Immortal Evergreen’s face sank. He immediately began a retort; he wasn’t the sort to easily admit defeat.

But suddenly, Daofather Crimsonbright, seated above all of them on his throne, let out a loud, clear laugh. “This Ji Ning…good, very good!”

The words which Sword Immortal Evergreen was just about to spew out became stuck in his throat. He wasn’t able to say a single thing.

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