Chapter 25 – A New Life

The seventieth bolt of thunder.

A violet streak of lightning crashed down with ice-cold callousness. The black-robed Ji Ning beneath it pointed with his finger, causing the golden sword of the [Greater Thousand Swords Formation] to once more soar into the skies.

Rumble…

It once more blocked the assault.

“I hope it is merely eight nine-sets. If it grows much stronger…it may put too much stress on my heartforce.” Ning was a bit worried as well. Third-level heartforce was very powerful, and it would be easy to use it against eight nine-sets, but if it became the full nine nine-sets…the power of the thunder would skyrocket to a new level. By then, each blow would most likely require Ning to use up quite a bit of his heartforce. Once it was used up, he would definitely perish.

Ning had never imagined that he would have failed during the thunder tribulation of the Celestial Tribulation, but he was now beginning to worry. The power of the eighth nine-set was already a bit beyond what he had expected.

Boom!

Boom!

The divine thunder grew increasingly powerful. After these two consecutive blows of divine thunder…everyone, be it Ning or the distant group of spectators including Immortal Diancai and Yu Wei, stared upwards nervously.

“This is merely junior apprentice-brother’s Primaltwin. Eight nine-sets should be enough; there shouldn’t be nine nine-sets, right?”

“The legendary nine nine-sets…generally speaking, only Void-level Fiendgods will encounter them.”

They all watched nervously.

Thousands of kilometers away, an old man in Daoist robes was watching from atop a distant mountain peak. When he saw that the tribulation clouds in the sky did not disperse, and instead began to gather an even more terrifying amount of power, his face changed. He murmured softly to himself, “My disciple’s Primaltwin has actually encountered the ninth nine-set?”

“It’s just a Primaltwin. In terms of fortuitous encounters, it probably isn’t even up to Lu Dongbin’s standard…can this be due to the karmic sinflames?” Subhuti began to worry.

Ning was a monster, but that was with regards to his true body.

His Primaltwin, by comparison…although it had control over heartforce, it was far inferior in all other aspects to the Void-level Lu Dongbin of countless years ago. Although heartforce was powerful, it had a glaring weakness: It could only be used to fight for a short period of time. Once one’s heartforce was used up, one’s power would drop dramatically.

For Ning’s Primaltwin to encounter nine nine-sets of thunder tribulation…Subhuti felt that this was too excessive, even though Ning did have karmic sinflames covering him.

“If this is the case…then my disciple’s true body…?” Subhuti began to worry.

If even the Primaltwin had to undergo nine nine-sets, then the Empyrean Tribulation of the true body would be…

“Once he becomes an Empyrean God, he will quickly reach the pinnacle of power amongst Empyrean Gods. In fact, after he undergoes a bit more tempering, he’ll be like Houyi was, capable of rivaling the Daofathers despite merely being at the Empyrean God level.” Subhuti let out a soft sigh. “It seems not even the heavens are willing to casually permit such a monstrous genius like this to exist. The heavens will insist on unleashing a terrifying tribulation…”

From the era of Pangu’s World to the modern day, countless monsters had their souls shattered by their tribulations!

“Forget about the Empyrean Tribulation; even this Celestial Tribulation…” Subhuti stared off into the distance, a frown on his face.

“Nine nine-sets!”

“There’s more?!”

“How can this be?!”

Immortal Diancai, Mu Northson, Autumn Leaf, Uncle White, Little Qing, and Yu Wei all revealed frantic looks on their faces. There was no way they could help Ning; during the Celestial Tribulation, a person could only rely on himself.

“Junior apprentice-brother, you have to succeed.” Yu Wei gently stroked her belly, her eyes filled with hope.

“Ji Ning.”

“Young master.”

They were all filled with hope. Although the fame of the ninth nine-set was terrifying, Ning had overcome the previous eight nine-sets with utter ease, not seeming to be taxed by them at all. Thus…they were still filled with hope.

Boom!

The ninth nine-set of the thunder tribulation. The seventy-third bolt of thunder was a streak of violet lightning that was tinged with a white color. This hint of white caused the thunderbolt to become beautiful, a terrible beauty to behold. It was as though the lord of all creation had just taken a look at his universe with a gaze that of ineffable power. Weaker Void-level Earth Immortals probably wouldn’t even try to fight back against this thunderbolt…but of course, there was no way a weak Void-level Earth Immortal would even be able to make it this far, to the ninth nine-set of the thunder tribulation.

In all the Three Realms, in all of history, every single person who had encountered nine nine-sets was an extraordinary figure. They wouldn’t easily admit defeat; even if they had to die, they would die standing.

“Go.” Ning pointed into the distance, and the golden sword in front of his chest once more flew out. While flying out, Ning manifested yet another golden sword in front of himself.

Clang!

As the first golden sword flew out, it was struck head-on by the violet-white thunderbolt and broken apart.

“It seems I have to use one-fiftieth of my total heartforce in order to completely block these attacks. The power of the divine thunder truly has risen significantly.” Ning hurriedly commanded his second golden sword to fly out, blocking the remaining power of the violet-white thunderbolt. “The power of these thunderbolts are greater than the full-strength blows of the likes of Celestial Immortal Infatuation. How could an ordinary Void-level Earth Immortal possibly withstand them?”

Only by accurately predicting the power of each thunderbolt could Ning ensure that he wasn’t wasting too much of his heartforce with each blow.

“He blocked the seventy-third thunderbolt.”

“He blocked the first bolt of the ninth nine-set!” Immortal Diancai and the others revealed looks of excitement and nervousness in their eyes. There was a huge increasing in power between the last bolt of the eighth nine-set and the first bolt of the ninth nine-set; for him to be able to block this first bolt meant that there was hope for him to block the others.

Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!

One bolt of lightning after another came crashing down.

All the thunderbolts were violet-white in color, but towards the end, the white grew more and more dominant, and the power grew increasingly greater. In turn, Ning was forced to use up more and more of his heartforce.

The seventy-ninth bolt!

The eightieth!

“There’s one more left.”

“The last one.”

Yu Wei, Uncle White, and the others felt as though their hearts were hanging in the air. The legendary nine nine-sets of thunder tribulation…finally, the last blow of it was going to reveal its force. Not everyone was lucky enough to witness such a thing. However, their hearts were only filled with a dim, vague fear…because the very sight of the cloud-lightning vortex swirling above them was filling them with inexplicable terror.

“Even if it was me…the current me, who has become a Celestial Immortal long ago…I would probably die beneath this below,” Immortal Diancai mused to himself.

……

Ning stood there at the very peak of the mountain, like a sharp sword unfurled towards the heavens. Beneath his feet was the Nineleaf Snowlotus, and lotus flowers swirled and bloomed all around him. Hundreds of swords levitated around him, all pointed towards the heavens as Ning raised his head, staring at the tribulation clouds.

The final thunderbolt.

The final bolt of the ninth nine-set of the thunder tribulation.

BOOM!!!!

It was a thunderbolt of pure white, filled with holiness and sanctity. It didn’t have even the slightest hint of wildness or savagery; all it held was an exalted, noble aura within it as it came crushing down from the heavens. This was the true face of the very final thunderbolt of the ninth nine-set.

“Go.” Ning pointed a finger.

Swoosh!

The golden sword-light flashed with incomparable brilliance, expanding to become an enormous sword that instantly shot into the heavens, striking towards that pure-white thunderbolt.

“Go.” As fast as Ning could, Ning manifested and unleashed a second golden sword. By now, the first golden sword he had sent towards the white thunderbolt had already been completely blasted apart. The second golden sword quickly soared upwards. BOOM! The remnants of the pure-white thunderbolt trembled, and then completely dispersed.

The enormous golden sword continued on its upwards trajectory, stabbing straight into the heart of the cloud-lightning vortex in the skies, completely dispersing the entire vortex.

One last streak of lightning suddenly appeared out of nowhere, crashing into Ning’s body.

Ning’s body began to emit an Immortal aura.

“Celestial Immortal Body.” The distant spectators, including Immortal Diancai, Yu Wei, and Autumn Leaf, began to call out in excitement.

“Success.”

“Nine nine-sets of thunder tribulation…the legendary nine nine-sets! Master actually withstood it!”

“So the final bolt from the ninth nine-set is actually a bolt of completely white lightning. Why did that white bolt of thunder seem so holy and noble? I felt the urge to bow towards it.”

……

Ning looked at Uncle White, Yu Wei, Immortal Diancai, and rest of his distant, celebrating friends. He revealed a smile…but still felt a hint of lingering fear in his heart. “The nine nine-sets were simply too terrifying. I’ve been very stingy with my heartforce, but I still have less than thirty percent of it left. That final thunderbolt in particular…even my full-strength sword-strike was unable to withstand it!”

“If the thunder tribulation is already so frightening…then what of the demonheart tribulation?”

Ning had a bad feeling.

Although this was merely his Primaltwin’s tribulation, the power of the Celestial Tribulation had still exceeded his expectations. The demonheart tribulation coming up would probably also be as powerful as the most terrifying ones in the legends.

……

“It’s a boy! It’s a boy!” A distorted voice suddenly rang out in Ning’s mind, summoning his memories.

Ning opened his eyes.

A giant dressed in white furs was holding him. The white-furred giant ordered, “The rest of you can leave!”

“Father!” The face of the giant caused Ning’s heart to tremble. Ning immediately turned to look towards one side. He immediately saw a body covered with sweat that lay on an enormous, fur-draped bed.

“Mother! I…did I just go back to the moment of my birth?”

Time passed, one day after the another.

Ning once more lived life in West Prefecture City. Under his father’s protection, he began to train. Although Ning had all his memories, he still had to undergo normal training. Still, although the demonheart world had given him a weak body, it was unable to change Ning’s memories or his Dao-heart. Thus…Ning knew very well that this was the demonheart world!

However, even though he knew it, he wasn’t able to do anything about it, because there was no way for him to leave this world at all. He had to wait for the demonheart tribulation to come to an end; only then would this demonheart world come to an end as well.

……

Ning slowly grew up.

Because he did possess all of his memories, Ning was able to train very quickly within this demonheart world. In addition, he had control over his heartforce; third level heartforce was simply too powerful! Thus, although he was a child of less than ten years of age, his power was no weaker than that of a supreme Celestial Immortal’s. Thus…everything was changed. In the demonheart world, he had to train normally as a Fiendgod Body Refiner, but his training speed as a Ki Refiner was incredibly fast. With the assistance of his powerful heartforce, he was naturally able to acquire Immortal spirit-pills. He became a Void-level Earth Immortal by age nine, procuring spirit-pills for his mother, Yuchi Snow, that would allow her to continue to live.

A nine year old Void-level Earth Immortal.

What an utter monster.

Within the demonheart world, Ning continued to hide his control over heartforce. The fact that he was a Void-level Earth Immortal, however, could not be hidden. And so, just like that, a nine year old Void-level Earth Immortal emerged into the world of the Grand Xia. His status was so special that even the Northmont clan of Stillwater sent someone over to recruit him. The Xia Emperor, however, ignored him. This was because the Xia Emperor believed that this Ji Ning had to be the disciple of a major power, which was why he possessed all of his memories immediately after being reincarnated and born again. As someone who had all of his former memories, to become a Void-level Earth Immortal at age nine wasn’t that unheard of.

Still…the entire situation within Stillwater Commandery had changed.

Ning’s status became more and more transcendent. And yet…out of habit, Ning kept the form of a youth.

“Ning, son, a disciple of the Black-White College named Ninelotus has come to pay you a visit.” Yuchi Snow, already a Zifu Disciple herself, smiled as she spoke to her son. Now that Ning’s status within Stillwater Commandery was so transcendent, many people came to pay their respects to him. As for their enemies such as Snowdragon Mountain, Ning had wiped them out long ago.

“Ninelotus?” Ning’s heart trembled. In the demonheart world, he hadn’t even visited the Black-White College yet; why had Ninelotus come?

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