Chapter 3 – Xingtian, Heaven Punisher

When the Grand Xia had been unified, all of the Immortals and Gods had come to pay their respects…but that was after countless years of wars against the Fiendgods, resulting in catastrophic casualties. Very few Celestial Immortals were alive after those wars. Now that the Grand Xia had been at peace for so many eons, the total number of Celestial Immortals within the Grand Xia had reached astonishing heights.

“This is a tribulation like none we have ever faced before. I wonder…how many of them will be alive at its conclusion?” The Xia Emperor stared downwards, sighing privately to himself. “I’m not even sure if I myself will survive…”

“Arise,” the Xia Emperor said aloud. “Take your seats.”

Ji Ning and the others all took their seats. Immortal fruit and nectars were placed in front of them, but none of the Immortals were in the mood for food. They were all waiting to hear the Xia Emperor’s words.

“Junior apprentice-brother, look; it seems as though the Dongyan Forefather is amongst those five True Immortals up there,” Yu Wei suddenly sent.

“The Dongyan Forefather?!” Ning was shocked, immediately looking over.

Indeed.

Amongst the group of five, there was a man dressed in plain blue robes. He looked quite ordinary, but his aura was that of a True Immortal.

The Dongyan Forefather was the pillar that held up the skies for the Dongyan clan! Ninelotus was now the current clan leader for the Dongyan clan, and during the Conclave of Immortal Destiny, Ning had personally seen the Dongyan Forefather. However, back then he had merely been a Celestial Immortal. Who would’ve thought that when upon his next appearance, he was a Pure Yang True Immortal?

Ning suddenly thought of what his master, Subhuti, had told him. He couldn’t help but sigh to himself. “The world of the Grand Xia truly is a world of crouching tigers and hidden dragons.”

“My many fellow Immortal…” The Xia Emperor finally spoke out.

Instantly, everyone looked at him. Ning no longer pondered on the Dongyan clan, also focusing on the Xia Emperor’s words.

“I trust all of you, fellow Immortals, know what our current situation is like.” The black-robed Xia Emperor’s voice was very somber. The Seamless Gate has summoned a storm that is sweeping through the entire Grand Xia. By now, hundreds of the weaker major worlds of the Three Realms have already been fully subjugated by them. In addition to those, more than a thousand major worlds have been embroiled by the flames of war…and our Grand Xia has also become embroiled into a war against the Seamless Gate.”

Everyone felt heaviness in their hearts.

Hundreds of major worlds had already been subjugated? They hadn’t know this previously, before the Xia Emperor announced it. It must be understood that the Three Realms only had three thousand major worlds to begin with; as for the trillion minor worlds, they were far, far weaker. Any clan or school could easily take over a minor world, which was why in the short run it didn’t really matter who the minor worlds belonged to. The major worlds were the places where both sides were fighting!

“The Seamless Gate is indeed powerful.” The Xia Emperor nodded. “If we were weak and divided like a pile of loose sound, we would’ve been broken apart and defeated individually by them long ago.”

“However…we are unified!” The Xia Emperor’s eyes flashed with divine light. “The Seamless Gate’s power is unfathomable, but we have the many Daofathers and Buddhas of the Daoist Path and Buddhist Sangha behind us, as well as the many True Gods who were born from the primordial chaos and many other major powers with unbelievable might. Our power is great as well! If the Seamless Gate was capable of completely suppressing us with force, they would’ve swept through and taken over the Three Realms long ago. They wouldn’t have settled upon their current plan of launching sneak attacks everywhere in such a cautious manner.”

Everyone present nodded.

The reason why so many Celestial Immortals had come was because they were all quite confident in their side.

Their own alliance, after all, was an incredibly powerful one as well. They were also under the command of Daofather Crimsonbright, who was under the command of Mother Nuwa. So many major powers…they made up a force of utterly inconceivably terrifying might.

“In war, there is triage. Some places have to be abandoned, while some places must be protected,” the Xia Emperor said. “Our power, although great, doesn’t allow us to protect every single world of the three thousand major worlds. Thus, we have to abandon a few of those places, allowing us to concentrate our strength to protect the important worlds.”

“And the Grand Xia…is one of the places we have to protect!” The Xia Emperor’s voice carried a terrifying, combative will within it.

Everyone listening, however, felt uneasy.

Most likely, the Empyrean God and True Immortal rulers of the other conquered major worlds had said the same things to their subordinates…that their world ‘had to be protected’. Otherwise, how could they have convinced their Celestial Immortals to fight for them?

The Xia Emperor swept his subjects with his gaze, understanding their concerns. He immediately said, “The karmic luck of our Grand Xia is one of the highest of all the three thousand major worlds of the Three Realms. In the face of a tribulation like this, the war over karmic luck is a critically important component. Even the loss of ten of those weaker major worlds wouldn’t compare to our Grand Xia!”

Everyone below him nodded. This was definitely true!

“Thus…the Grand Xia absolutely not must be lost,” the Xia Emperor said solemnly.

“In addition!”

“Our side already has eleven thousand Celestial Immortals and more than a million Loose Immortals!” The Xia Emperor continued, “I have spoken with multiple True Gods and Daofathers regarding how the Grand Xia shall defend against our foes.”

The many Immortals all felt their hearts clench. Multiple True Gods and Daofathers? They all listened attentively.

Eleven thousand Celestial Immortals, more than a million Loose Immortals…although this figure was stunning, everyone had already guessed at it after seeing the veritable sea of Loose Immortals present.

“We have decided upon our plan,” the Xia Emperor said. “Of the elven thousand Celestial Immortals, two thousand will be under my direct command! The other nine thousand will be divided up into nine major armies, each of which will consist of a thousand Celestial Immortals and a hundred thousand Loose Immortals. Every single army will train in the ‘Heaven Punisher Formation’. During the conference, True God Xingtian 1 personally agreed to transmit this grand formation to me!”

“Xingtian the Heaven Punisher?”

Everyone revealed a look of shock and joy.

True God Xingtian was extremely famous in the Three Realms. He was a figure out of the oldest legends. Long ago, during the era of Pangu’s World, Xingtian had been merely an Empyrean God, one of the mighty generals under the command of humanity’s Primordial Imperial Clan. Early on during the Primordial Era, although humans were a very powerful race and the Human Sovereign was acknowledged as a true Emperor, the thousands of other races were all quite powerful as well. The monsters, for example, were only slightly weaker than the humans. Thus, the major powers had all worked together to establish the Celestial Court. As for the Celestial Emperor, his job was to assure peace between the various parties, so as to ensure the safety and stability of the Primordial World.

Back then, the Human Sovereign had been a truly dominating force. The Celestial Emperor, by contrast, was merely a mediator.

During that era, Xingtian had a quarrel with the Celestial Emperor, resulting in him launching a direct assault against the Celestial Court. Xingtian was a general of the imperial clan who was extremely skilled in battle. Although the Celestial Emperor had some Empyrean Gods and True Immortals by his side, they were unable to withstand Xingtian. In the end, the Celestial Emperor had been forced to go all-out and also invite other Empyrean Gods and True Immortals to assist him before he had been able to suppress Xingtian. In the end, they actually managed to chop off Xingtian’s head.

Now, as a Fiendgod, Xingtian naturally wouldn’t die after having his head severed. However, Xingtian was an excessively proud person. Much like how Daoist Threelives had been unwilling to regrow his severed arm, Xingtian had been unwilling to regrow his head after it was cut off. Instead, he transformed his nipples into eyes and his bellybutton into his mouth.

Who would’ve thought that as a result of that wild battle, Xingtian would actually break through from being an Empyrean God to the True God level? He had instantly executed the Celestial Emperor. 2

The Primordial Imperial Clan of humans had gained yet another True God; they were naturally delighted by this and were completely determined to protect Xingtian. The other major powers didn’t quibble too much; after all, Xingtian had already become a True God, and that was that. They ended up just choosing a new Celestial Emperor.

True God Xingtian, a member of the Primordial Imperial Clan, had bestowed upon the Xia Emperor the ‘Heaven Punisher Formation’; clearly, he was standing alongside the Xia Emperor as well.

The fact that the Xia Emperor had the Primordial Imperial Clan behind him was yet another reason why all of these Celestial Immortals were willing to risk their lives for him. The Primordial Imperial Clan was simply too strong! It had multiple major powers within its ranks, and the most ancient members, the Human Sovereigns, definitely were some of the most supreme figures of the Three Realms. The Human Sovereigns included many ancient figures, such as Suiren of the Flame and Shennong the Divine Farmer. 3 Even the leaders of the Daoist Path and the Buddhist Way worked to befriend the human race; from this, one could tell how powerful the Primordial Imperial Clan of humans was.

“The Heaven Punisher Formation requires a commander, a thousand Celestial Immortals, and a hundred thousand Loose Immortals working in unison,” the Xia Emperor said. “This enormous formation has the power to link into the energy of the natural world. The hundred thousand Loose Immortals serve as a powerful foundation that will pull in natural energy from an area of a million kilometers. The Celestial Immortals will guide them to use that energy to form a Xingtian Divinity which is so powerful that even Empyrean Gods and True Immortals will find hard to damage.”

Ning and the others sighed in amazement upon hearing this.

What an incredible effort the Xia Emperor had made.

If the Loose Immortals all struck out without coordination without guidance, they would be completely and effortlessly slaughtered. However, once a hundred thousand Loose Immortals activated the power of the natural world…they would be able to make a much larger difference. It wasn’t hard for a single Loose Immortal to fully activate the natural energy for an area of ten thousand kilometers. A hundred thousand Loose Immortals could definitely activate all of the energy for an area of a million kilometers. So much natural energy…how terrifying that had to be! Not even Empyrean Gods or True Immortals were at such a ridiculous level of power!

But of course, although the Loose Immortals could activate the energy, they wouldn’t be able to control it. Thus, a thousand Celestial Immortals were needed to provide guidance and to mobilize that energy, serving as the skeleton and spine…and of course, a commander was needed to serve as the head, in charge of everything. Only then could the power of this mighty Heaven Punisher Formation be unleashed.

“I will transmit to all the Loose Immortals the basic fundaments of the Heaven Punisher Formation,” the Xia Emperor said. “But of course, I’ll leave out the most important parts of it.”

“I’ll choose the commanders of the nine armies from the eleven thousand of you.” The Xia Emperor looked downwards, and instantly everyone below him began to murmur. To command a thousand Celestial Immortals and a hundred thousand Loose Immortals…who wouldn’t be willing to accept such an honor? All of them wanted to be commanders, not soldiers. They had thought that the Empyrean Gods and True Immortals would take up those positions; who would’ve thought that the Xia Emperor would choose from the Celestial Immortals?

“The most important part of the Heaven Punisher Formation is the activation of natural energy by the Loose Immortals; an Empyrean God or True God leading it wouldn’t actually add that much power to it,” the Xia Emperor said. “Thus, I’m choosing from the Celestial Immortals. As for the True Gods and Empyrean Gods…at critical moments, they’ll help you out and deal heavy blows to the Seamless Gate.”

“I’ll give you all half a month,” the Xia Emperor said. “During this period of time, you are to fully learn and understand the Heaven Punisher Formation, and you’ll have a chance to fight for the opportunity to become a commander.”

“When the time comes, I’ll send out a thousand Celestial Immortals and a hundred thousand Loose Immortals and give every contestant a chance to try to command them in a formation,” the Xia Emperor said. “The nine Celestial Immortals who control the formation with the greatest amount of skill and allow it to unleash the most power will become the nine commanders.”

Upon hearing his words, Ning and the others all felt persuaded.

To let those who were able to unleash the most power from the formation become the commanders was quite fair.

“The nine final commanders shall be taught the most important aspects of the Heaven Punisher Formation,” the Xia Emperor said. “Without those parts, the formation can still be used, but the power will only be comparable to some other ancient formations. With those important parts…the power will be increased tens of times over.”

This formation was a secret of the Primordial Imperial Clan; the important parts to it naturally could not be taught to just anyone and everyone.

……

One bamboo slip after another was delivered to the tables of the Celestial Immortals. The many Celestial Immortals all pored their coresense into the bamboo slips, easily acquiring the Heaven Punisher Formation. But of course, actually learning it would require some time.

“Everyone, you will only have half a month. When the time ends, only those who have already fully learned the Heaven Punisher Formation will have a chance to fight over the commander positions,” the Xia Emperor said. “Alright, everyone…hurry up and learn the Heaven Punisher Formation!”

That night.

A million Loose Immortals were at the plaza below the Skylight Palace, all seated in the lotus position as they focused on learning the basics of the Heaven Punisher Formation.

As for the many Celestial Immortals, they remained at the main hall of the Skylight Palace. They, too, sat in the lotus position as they meditated on the Heaven Punisher Formation. Ji Ning, Yu Wei, Celestial Immortal Unity, Immortal Diancai…all of them quietly sat there, meditating.

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