However, Ji Ning didn’t slow down in the slightest. With a swish, he moved hundreds of thousands of kilometers away while spreading out his heartforce, taking a close look at the major power who had just arrived.
“No need to panic.” A warm, gentle laugh rang out.
As Ning dodged past the man, his heartforce completed the scan. The newcomer was dressed in Daoist robes; it was a very authentic-looking white-bearded Daoist.
“Him?” Ning was secretly surprised. “I knew that my display of the [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent] would arouse the attention of some major powers. I’m not worried about the Seamless Gate; it’s the ones on our side that are more troublesome. So the first one to appear is Daoist Yu Qiu. His nickname ‘Ascetic’ is quite fitting; he really is quite shameless.”
Some True Gods and Daofathers were vile, vicious demons. Others were crafty, unscrupulous, petty figures.
Daoist Yu Qiu was one of the most classic examples of the latter.
His avariciousness and craftiness was legendary, and so the major powers of the Three Realms all referred to him as the ‘Ascetic’; clearly, this was a title given to mock him! However, given that he had become a Daofather, his Dao-heart wouldn’t possibly be shaken by a bit of mere mockery, and he continued to act as he pleased.
Many of the major powers of the Nuwa Alliance had been intrigued after Ning had displayed his [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent], with the evil ones becoming especially greedy for it. However, because so many people were watching, and because Ning was a member of their alliance, everyone continued to hesitate. No one wanted to be the first to act.
And so, Daoist Yu Qiu became the first.
“Greetings, senior Yu Qiu,” Ning said respectfully.
“No need for such courtesy. I have quite a close relationship with your master, Subhuti. As for your other master, Daoist Threelives, we were lifelong bosom friends. We were like brothers,” Daoist Yu Qiu said with a merry laugh.
Ning instantly became speechless.
Subhuti held Daoist Yu Qiu in disdain; the number of times they had met could probably be counted on one hand. To stretch that into a so-called ‘close relationship’? Fine. As for Daoist Threelives, over the course of his battles for supremacy during the Primordial Era, he had made friends with many of the other major powers. He had merely been on courteous terms with Daoist Yu Qiu. For that sort of lukewarm relationship to be described as ‘lifelong bosom friends’ and ‘like brothers’ by Daoist Yu Qiu was…
“I heard that old Threelives finally found a successor. I’m delighted for him. Alas…” Daoist Yu Qiu let out a sigh. “A pity that in that battle, my old brother Threelives ended up dying in the fight. I still regret it to this very day.”
“Fortunately, he has a disciple like you now.” Daoist Yu Qiu laughed and nodded. “Just now, I saw you use an evasion technique that involved riding a Ninehorn Lightning Serpent. Now that the storm has descended upon us, if the major powers of our alliance were to learn this technique, we would have a much better chance of surviving. Ji Ning, would you be willing to let me take a look at this evasion technique?”
Ning had been given orders by his master Subhuti long ago. He immediately said, “Senior, this evasion technique was accidentally acquired by my master, Subhuti. Although he’s transmitted it to me, he’s strictly ordered me not to teach it to any others. As his disciple, I wouldn’t dare to disobey my master’s orders. If you wish to learn this evasion technique, senior, you can go and speak to my master about it.”
Daoist Yu Qiu frowned slightly. Seek out Subhuti?
Subhuti’s status was close to that of the likes of the Human Sovereigns and the leaders of the Daoist Path and the Buddhist Sangha. His mastery over spacetime was number one in the Three Realms. If he wanted to avoid someone, that person would never be able to find him.
“It’s just an evasion technique.” Daoist Yu Qiu’s face sank. “This matter involves all the major powers of our side, as well as the storm that we are facing. Can it be that Subhuti is trying to hoard it for himself?”
Yet another aura of power and majesty descended, and the Void began to crackle with bolts of lightning. This aura was a familiar one. Ning’s heart clenched. This familiar aura…it belonged to Exalted Celestial Thundergod, who he had once paid a visit to.
The Void split apart, and a muscular, black-armored man came walking out from it. His eyes brimmed with sparks of lightning, and as he walked forward Ning felt as though the entire Void itself was rendered breathless. If Daoist Yu Qiu was merely an ordinary Daofather, Exalted Celestial Thundergod was a elite Daofather.
“Thundergod.” Daoist Yu Qiu smiled at him.
For once, Thundergod gave him a nod, showing him some face. This time, they were standing on the same side, after all.
“Ji Ning.” Thundergod’s face was as cold as ever. “Daoist Yu Qiu’s words are correct. This matter has an impact on the war and involves the lives of countless living creatures on our side. You had best hurry up and hand this divine ability over.”
“Master’s orders are…”
As soon as Ning spoke, Thundergod frowned and barked, “If your master has given you orders and you aren’t qualified to decide on your own, then have your master come out! You are his disciple; you definitely must have a method that you can use to notify him. Go summon your master right now. Have him come over here.”
It was true. Subhuti had indeed given Ning a message-talisman. As for the other major powers? Aside from the few who were on very close terms with Subhuti, they weren’t able to simply go meet with him when they wanted to.
A vortex suddenly appeared in the Void, with a robed elder walking out from it.
Daofather Subhuti had been paying close attention the entire time. He knew very well that sooner or later, a major power would jump out to speak to Ning. He had been quite calm when Daoist Yu Qiu had emerged, but once Exalted Celestial Thundergod also emerged, Subhuti knew that things had become a bit troublesome. This was because Daoist Yu Qiu was weak; he wouldn’t really dare to offend Subhuti. Thundergod, however, was an extremely powerful person with an incredibly violent and stubborn temper. He often wouldn’t even give face to the two leaders of the Buddhist Sangha and the Daoist Path. He was also the most highly skilled lightning expert in the Three Realms; he definitely would feel deep desire towards the [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent] technique.
“Thundergod.” Subhuti appeared before them.
“Respectful greetings, Subhuti,” the smiling Daoist Yu Qiu hurriedly said.
Thundergod looked at Subhuti. He growled, “Subhuti. This evasion technique…I think you had best hand it over.”
“Hmph.” Subhuti normally had a calm smile on his face, but his face was calm and cold right now. “I worked hard to acquire that technique. It’s my decision as to who I wish to teach it to. What, do you want to try and force it out of me? Is there now a new rule that all the major powers have to offer up all of the techniques they have at their disposal? Why haven’t I heard about this rule?”
Thundergod was momentarily speechless. The supreme techniques which each major power used to roam the Three Realms were generally not taught to outsiders. For example, there was no way Daoist Three Purities would teach anyone else his ‘Immortal Slaying Sword Formation’. And, in truth, even if he was willing to teach it to someone else, no one else would be able to successfully learn it, as they wouldn’t have the four Chaos-level swords.
However, even though no one else could master the technique, once others completely understood it, it would be much easier for them to deal with it.
Similarly, Subhuti’s special skills involving spacetime would only be taught to Redsnow. No major powers would say anything about it, nor would they try to force the spacetime technique out of Subhuti or the Immortal Slaying Sword Formation out of Daoist Three Purities. This was because every major power had their own path of Immortal cultivation; they couldn’t split their attention and focus on something else. Thus, they didn’t feel too much desire for other top-tier techniques.
However, Ji Ning’s [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent] evasion technique was different. It was a divine ability; anybody could use it upon learning it!
“This divine ability will be of tremendous use to the other major powers on our side,” Thundergod said angrily. “This is a matter which has implications for the lives of countless people on our side. Don’t you think you should hand it over?”
“It’s not that I’m unwilling to. Of course I care about this war! That’s why I offered it up long ago.” Subhuti suddenly let out a sigh. “The Buddhist Sangha, the Daoist Path, and the Sovereigns of Mankind have already acquired copies of this technique. Fuxi, Shennong, Suiren, and the two leaders of Buddhism and Daoism each have a copy, but none of them have been able to master it yet.”
Daoist Yu Qiu, Exalted Celestial Thundergod, and the many major powers who had sent their coresense to watch this location were all shocked.
There were many major powers who were paying attention to this place. Most of the major powers of the Nuwa Alliance had sent their corense to keep watch here, covering the entire region! In fact, they were all prepared to appear at any moment. As for the major powers of the Seamless Gate…they wanted to scan this place as well, but Subhuti, Daoist Three Purities, and the others had long ago joined together to completely seal the area off from the Seamless Gate’s forces, preventing their coresenses from entering it.
This seal allowed their allies in but completely blocked their enemies out.
“If such an unearthly divine ability could be easily learned by all major powers, our side would be guaranteed to win.” Subhuti shook his head and sighed. “Tell me, do you really think that this divine ability is an easy one to learn?”
Thundergod muttered, “Why don’t you transmit copies of it to all the major powers on our side? Perhaps one of us will be able to master it.”
“There’s no rush.” Subhuti shook his head. “It isn’t as though you don’t know how terrifying the spy network of the Seamless Gate is. Over the years, we’ve found quite a few Seamless Gate spies amongst our ranks; in fact, even one of the major powers on our side was revealed to be a spy. It is entirely possible that there are other spies amongst the major powers as well. We have to be careful, be cautious. Otherwise…once the spy procures this technique, the Seamless Gate will have access to it. If the supreme powers on their side learn it, that would be disastrous.”
Thundergod was stunned yet again. Indeed, the Seamless Gate’s network of spies was very formidable. The Empyrean Gods and True Immortals would never be discovered until they themselves chose to reveal themselves. The only reason why the Nuwa Alliance found out about the likes of Sword Immortal Evergreen was when they suddenly engaged in acts of betrayal at a crucial moment.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
One figure after another began to materialize out of nowhere. Some were tall and muscular, some were as ephemeral as the clouds, some were filled with murderous auras, some seemed to be as cold as glaciers. Incarnations of one True God or Daofather after another began to form.
After this group manifested, more and more True Gods and Daofathers began to send their incarnations to this place. Clearly, everyone wanted to discuss this manner.
From Subhuti’s words, they understood that their most supreme leaders such as Suiren and Daoist Three Purities were hesitating on what to do, due to their concerns over potential spies.
“Good heavens…” Ning could barely breathe. To see so many True Gods and Daofathers together was an incredibly rare occurrence.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
Five supremely powerful auras suddenly descended together.
Shennong. Fuxi. Suiren. Lord Tathagata the Buddha. Daoist Three Purities. They, too, only sent incarnations over.
“Eighty-two True Gods and Daofathers.” Ning was secretly shocked. “However…not everyone has arrived. My eldest apprentice-brother and second apprentice-brother have yet to arrive.”
“I feel that Subhuti’s words are correct.” A distant, headless Fiendgod, Xing Tian, spoke out. “This divine ability was discovered by fellow Daoist Subhuti. It is completely his choice as to whether or not he should offer it up, and he’s already chosen to act on all of our behalfs. The Three Sovereigns of Mankind and the two leaders of Daoism and Buddhism cannot possibly be spies. As for other major powers…it is best to be a bit more cautious. Training in a divine ability like this must be incredibly difficult. I don’t wish to see all of us fail in learning it, only for it to be acquired by the Seamless Gate and someone on their side mastering it. That would be a nightmare.”
“Agreed. We can’t be hasty,” Lu Dongbin concurred.
There were actually many major powers who were supportive of Subhuti’s decision. This was primarily because the five mighty overlords were all standing alongside Subhuti. Their influence and power was simply tremendous.
Thundergod began to grow frantic. Although many of the major powers here wanted this divine ability, mots of them would follow the lead of the five mighty overlords. In addition, the chance that they would be able to actually succeed in mastering this divine ability was miniscule. Ninehorn Lightning Serpents weren’t so easily tamed, after all. Thundergod, however, felt that he had a much better chance than the rest of them.
“I was born from the primordial chaos as one of the eighty-one original True Gods.” Thundergod could no longer hold himself back, and he immediately spoke out in a thunderous voice that echoed within the Void. “There’s no way that I could possibly be willing to become a spy for the Seamless Gate. In addition, in terms of control over lightning, I am the number one expert in the entire Three Realms. I’m also extremely familiar with Ninehorn Lightning Serpents. There’s a very high chance that I will be able to master this divine ability. Sovereigns of Mankind, Tathagata, Three Purities…can it be that all of you believe that I, Thundergod, am not able to learn this divine ability?”