Soon, Ji Ning met with Immortal Diancai.
Within a quiet, secluded courtyard. There was a gourd of Immortal wine, two wine cups, a master, and a disciple. The two were drinking wine and chatting with each other.
“Master, I didn’t disturb your meditations, did I?” Ning asked.
“I was just engaging in ordinary meditation; I wasn’t in a prajna-state of sudden enlightenment. What’s there to disturb?” Immortal Diancai looked at Ning, then nodded with satisfaction. “Ji Ning, you are far more powerful than you were in the past. When you first entered my tutelage, you were a piece of unpolished jade; you were quite young. But now, your divine sense is a bit more powerful than even mine; you truly are the peerless genius who became the champion of the Conclave after having trained for merely thirty or so years.”
“If you keep praising me this much, Master, I’m going to start wiggling with delight,” Ning joked with a laugh.
“You little punk…” Immortal Diancai laughed, then shook his head.
Ning said seriously, “Master, are you truly planning to take on your Celestial Tribulation soon? This is something that you need to be extremely cautious about; you can’t be the slightest bit over-confident in handling it.”
“I know that. Of course I know that. There are countless Earth Immortals and Loose Immortals, but it’s rare for the entire Grand Xia world to produce a single Celestial Immortal in a million years.” Immortal Diancai continued, “But times are changing. In the past twenty, thirty years, there were multiple Earth Immortals who successfully overcame their Celestial Tribulation and became Celestial Immortals in the Grand Xia world.”
“Multiple?!” Ning was surprised.
“Right.” Immortal Diancai nodded. “The greater a storm, the more experts are born from within! And during my previous period of training, my subconscious was telling me…that a great storm is coming. If I want to overcome my tribulation and become a Celestial Immortal, I have to do so before this storm comes. Only then will I have a chance. If I delay…I’ll probably die within it.”
Ning was secretly shocked.
An Immortal’s subconscious senses were usually very accurate. In truth, ever since he had returned to the Grand Xia world, Ning himself had subconsciously felt as though a terrifying tempest was about to erupt. However…he didn’t sense that he needed to make his breakthrough before it. Clearly, with his success in training the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], Ning’s chances of survival were much greater than Immortal Diancai’s.
“Master.” Ning suddenly waved his hand, and a man-high pile of books suddenly appeared.
“What’s this?” Immortal Diancai said, puzzled.
“A Dao-Repository,” Ning said. “You can look at these three books, Master.”
Ning pulled out three thick tomes from the pile.
Immortal Diancai immediately accepted the three books, then began to flip through them. These had been acquired by Ning in the Crescent world after killing the monster kings and the evil Patriarch! It must be understood that these powerful figures were generally extremely self-confident; in order to prevent other powers from destroying their Dao-Repositories, they would generally carry a copy with them at all times. When the Flamewing King had destroyed the Qi Empire, he had acquired a portion of the Qi Empire’s Dao-Repository, which Ning now naturally had as well.
“A fine sword-art. A fine sword-art!” Immortal Diancai’s eyes were shining as he flipped through a second book. He said excitedly, “This directly guides one through the Grand Dao!”
It must be understood that the Qi Empire needed only a few tens of thousands of years to establish an Empire that spanned a million kilometers. How incredible had its Dao-Repository been? The Twelve Monster Kings of the Eastern Flows and the evil Patriarch were all comparable to Celestial Immortals; the Dao-Repositories they had built up were similarly astonishing. Although there was no way they could come close to comparing to Mount Innerheart’s, their repositories were ten times superior to the Black-White College’s!
“Ji Ning, these Dao-Repositories…?” Immortal Diancai looked towards Ning.
“Don’t worry, Master. Your disciple acquired them with his own power; they don’t come with any strings attached. I prepared them for you, Master, and for the Black-White College,” Ning said. Because of the rules of the Old Patriarch, the supreme arts of Mount Innerheart were absolutely not to be taught to any outsiders. There were no such restrictions, however, on the techniques Ning had acquired from the monster kings and the evil Patriarch.
The Black-White College had ten-plus Earth Immortals and Loose Immortals, all of which were extraordinary. With these Dao-Repositories, their level of power would rise once again.
As for the Ji clan?
Ning had used an ink technique to duplicate copies for the Ji clan. In addition…Ning believed that as he grew increasingly powerful, the Dao-Repositories he would acquire would also become increasingly formidable. For the dreams of his father, for the dreams of the deceased Patriarch Ninefire and the others, and for the sake of himself as a descendant of the Ji clan, he would naturally do everything he could to make the Ji clan flourish.
“Good, good, good. These Dao-Repositories are all quite incredible.” Immortal Diancai was truly excited. “The three sword-arts manuals you picked out are all of great help to me and have given me insight. I need to immediately go into closed-door meditation and ponder on them. My chances of overcoming the tribulation are now a bit greater.”
These three sword-arts manuals were all comparable to the complete [Three-Foot Sword]; they were truly superb tomes on the Dao of the Sword! In the current Black-White College, there were only two Sword Immortals at the Void level; Ji Ning and Immortal Diancai. No one would fight with Immortal Diancai over these tomes.
All of the Earth Immortals and Loose Immortals of the Black-White College were now gathered at Immortal Diancai’s place. Upon seeing the piles of Dao-Repositories, they were instantly all overjoyed.
“Divine ability, [Nine Melodies of Virtue].”
“Divine ability, [Bloodshadow Evasion].”
“Secret art, [Thousandstar Soulscour].”
“A Pure Yang-level Ki Refining Technique. Our Black-White College has no Pure Yang-level Ki Refining Techniques!”
“This one is a Pure Yang-level Ki Refining Technique as well.”
“A formation here.”
“Is this a technique for creating constructs?”
All sorts of tomes on the Dao were present. The Loose Immortals and Earth Immortals could feel the blood boiling in their veins as they read.
Ning just quietly sighed to himself. At Mount Innerheart, there were quite a few Ki Refining Techniques that were at the Daofather level! There were many sword-arts created by Daofathers, but unfortunately Mount Innerheart techniques could not be taught to others. Thus, he could only give the repositories of the monster kings and the vile Patriarch to his school…and yet, this was already enough to make them go wild with joy.
The Earth Immortals and Loose Immortals of the Black-White College were all extraordinary figures.
In the past,they didn’t have a truly top-tier Dao-Repository. Now that Ning had given them one, it was guaranteed that all of them would once more increase in power. Even Immortal Fivecraze was laughing loudly right now. “With this Dao-Repository, the fortunes of our Black-White College have improved tenfold! Back during the Conclave of Immortal Destiny, when little Sloppy entered the top six and Ji Ning became champion, I knew that our Black-White College was in for an era of tremendous luck…and today, I’ve finally seen the fruits of that luck. With this Dao-Repository, haha…even I myself can live for at least another ten thousand years.”
Immortal Fivecraze had expected that after roughly nine centuries or so, he would no longer be able to withstand the next trial from the Three Calamities and Nine Tribulations, but with these new Dao-Repositories, his insights would deepen and his strength would grow; naturally, he would now be able to live longer.
Ji Ning and Immortal Diancai were walking within a path inside the Black-White College.
“Ji Ning, a Dao-Repository is a school’s foundation. With these new ones, the Black-White College will grow more powerful, and will become comparable to some of the supreme schools of the entire Grand Xia Dynasty.” Immortal Diancai looked at Ning. “This is all because of you. The contribution you have made this time is too, too great.”
Some disciples preferred to give powerful Dao-Repositories to their own tribes instead. It was very rare for them to give so much to their school.
“It really was nothing.” Ning shook his head.
“Currently, it isn’t just Stillwater Commandery that is in a state of chaos; there are dangerous undercurrents within the entire Grand Xia world, causing all sorts of trouble. With these Dao-Repositories, the supreme Loose Immortals and Earth Immortals of our Black-White College will rise to a new level of power. As a result, more members of the Black-White College will be able to survive this storm.” Immortal Diancai looked at Ning. “The arrival of a Dao-Repository at such a critical moment is worth more than ten Dao-Repositories that come after the storm passes.”
Ning was puzzled. “Master, how exactly is our Stillwater Commandery in a state of chaos?”
“You don’t know?” Immortal Diancai didn’t understand.
“I just returned to the Grand Xia, and I didn’t have a chance to chat too much with old brother Fivecraze before you left your meditations, Master,” Ning said.
Immortal Diancai nodded. “Then I’ll give you a rough idea. Stillwater Commandery…right, roughly ten years ago, that friend of yours named Northmont Baiwei suffered an assassination attempt and nearly died. The assassination attempt was here in Stillwater City!”
“What?!” Ning was shocked. “Within Stillwater City? But…but this is a direct challenge to the Grand Xia Dynasty!”
Violence was forbidden within the commandery cities of the Grand Xia. This was the law! When the likes of the Youngflame clan sent out the likes of Immortal Floatcloud, they were sending out Deathsworn who were willing to die!
“How is Northmont Baiwei doing now?” Ning asked.
“He was lucky enough to survive, and so he’s naturally doing fine,” Immortal Diancai said. “During the past twenty, thirty years…there have been more than a hundred assassination’s within Stillwater Commandery. Although we all suspect that it was the Blood God Church behind them, that’s just our suspicion; we have no proof. Without proof, it isn’t appropriate for the Grand Xia Dynasty to intervene.”
Ning said, puzzled, “The Blood God Church…one of the eight great powers of Stillwater Commandery? They have this sort of audacity?”
More than a hundred assassinations within Stillwater City…this was too crazy.
“Why wouldn’t they? They have more audacity than you can imagine.” Immortal Diancai shook his head. “The Blood God Church has always been an association of madmen…and in recent days, they have exploded forth with astonishing power. They butted heads with the Northmont clan multiple times recently, and it was actually the Northmont clan that was at a disadvantage each time.”
“What?!” Ning could hardly believe it. The Northmont clan of Stillwater held the marquisate for this entire region! The Blood God Church was merely one of the eight strongest powers here. Logically speaking, if the Northmont clan wanted to deal with the Blood God Church, it wouldn’t be too hard for them to completely wipe it out.
“The Blood God Church’s power is far greater than it appeared in the past,” Immortal Diancai said. “The leader of the Blood God Church battled against Celestial Immortal Hunchmont…and even Celestial Immortal Hunchmont was unable to do anything to him. Quite a few bases and cultivator armies of the Northmont clan have been forcibly wiped out and uprooted by the Blood God Church. In battles at the Loose Immortal level or at lower levels, the Northmont clan has never been able to seize the upper hand. All that can be said is that both sides are fighting a tight battle against each other.”
Ning could scarcely believe what he was hearing. An exalted marquisate was actually unable to wipe out just one of eight major powers within its demesnes?
“The leader of the Blood God Church wasn’t this powerful in the past.” Immortal Diancai shook his head. “I even fought with him, the ‘Son of the Blood God’, in the past. In such a short period of time…he’s actually raised his power to the Celestial Immortal level.”
“The Northmont clan of Stillwater is feeling some pain now. They want to pull in the other powers to deal with the Blood God Church together,” Immortal Diancai said. “But not just our own Stillwater Commandery is in a state of chaos; the entire Grand Xia Dynasty is in a state of chaos. How could the various tribes and schools dare act rashly?”
“How could things have ended up this way?” Ning frowned.
The entire Grand Xia was in a state of chaos; it seemed as though the previous order had already been torn apart. It was as though there was an incomparably terrifying invisible hand moving behind the scenes, guiding everything.
“The storm sweeping the entire Grand Xia world, the sudden increase in power of the Blood God School…these things have caused us to guess that there should be a tremendous secret behind the rise of the Blood God School. Ji Ning, you must not be a fool and charge blindly forward into it. This is something for the Northmont clan to worry about,” Immortal Diancai instructed. “During a storm, during a tribulation…you need to be extremely careful.”
“Right.” Ning nodded. “Master, go rest for now. I’m going to go meet with my fellow disciples.”
“Your fellow disciples? Do you know where your junior apprentice-brother, Mu Northson, has gone?” Immortal Diancai asked.
“No idea. We haven’t met for thirty-plus years; I was planning to go see him.” Puzzled, Ning asked, “What, where is he?”
Immortal Diancai shook his head. “More than twenty years ago, Mu Northson and his Dao-companion both disappeared!”