Chapter 40 – Raking It In

Ji Ning waved his hand, and the eight downward-facing petals instantly withdrew their streams of truefire. The eight petals then shrank in size and flew back into Ning’s hands.

“Heh, as the saying goes, it looks like you ‘wouldn’t shed tears until you saw your coffin’. You knew that you were eventually going to die if you fought against me, but you still just had to fight against me until now.” Still, Ning had to sigh at how strong his foe was. Ning had eight types of truefire to rely on, while the enemy had to actively control a magic treasure to defend; this True Immortal was using up far more energy than him, but thanks to his Daofather-equivalent level of power, he had been able to survive for fifteen years!

From this, one could see how vast a gulf in power there lay between Ning and a Daofather. If it wasn’t for the fact that this person was imprisoned, there was no way Ning could’ve forced him to bow his head.

Whoosh. The bowl-shaped magic treasure disappeared, and True Immortal Winterpeak reappeared. A hint of anger and humiliation was in his eyes as he stared at Ning. “I admit defeat. I…I’m willing…to serve…”

Anger.

Humiliation.

All sorts of complicated emotions filled his mind. For him to prostrate himself before Ji Ning was like having Ji Ning prostrate himself before a Celestial Immortal! Experts had their own pride and arrogance. Fortunately, he had been imprisoned here for many chaos cycles, which had whittled it away a bit; otherwise, he would probably would’ve chosen to die rather than to bow his head. Even the current-him had spent fifteen years resisting before submitting after realizing that he had already reached the end of the line.

“There’s no need to feel so upset,” Ning said. “I’m unable to allow you to leave your prison cell, and so you’ll continue to live here as before.”

Winterpeak knew that Ning was trying to ‘console’ him and make him more pliable and less resistant. He said calmly, “What do you wish for me to do? Do you want magic treasures? Or to ask me certain questions? I can give you any treasures you desire; imprisoned here, they are of no use to me anyways.”

“I need you to not resist me whatsoever. Open up your soul to me. Let me see your memories,” Ning said.

“You…” Winterpeak’s face completely changed. “Overseer, don’t go too far.”

“It’s a mere memory search,” Ning said.

Winterpeak ground his teeth as he stared at Ning. “Impossible! I can give you all of my magic treasures, but a soulscouring…impossible!”

To completely open up his soul meant that this person would know everything about him. He wouldn’t be able to fight back against a Chaos Immortal or World God who wished to do this to him, but this person was far weaker than he was. To completely expose himself in such a manner to a weakling? An expert like Winterpeak truly couldn’t accept it.

“To you, I’m nothing more than an outsider,” Ning said. “Those private memories of yours are useless to me.”

Winterpeak shut his eyes. Memories and scenes began to flash through his mind.

“Junior apprentice-brother.”

“Grandfather.”

“Disciple.”

He would never be able to forget these people. These were the most important people in his life.

Perhaps the Pangaea chaos-kingdom had truly been destroyed, but even so, perhaps some of the important people in his life were still alive. He wanted to go see them, go search for them.

“Fine.” Winterpeak opened his eyes. He looked coldly at Ning. “I accept…but I imagine you wouldn’t dare to come inside and soulscour me.”

“Haha…” Ning chuckled, then immediately stretched out his arm.

Whoosh! His arm instantly expanded to become hundreds of kilometers long, stretching out to land on Winterpeak’s head.

“Coward,” Winterpeak sneered. “Even after training in the [Taowu Eighteen Fiendgods], you are still so cowardly.”

“If a prisoner like you was to suddenly wipe out one of my clones in a desperation attack…that really wouldn’t be worth it for me.” Ning stood there outside the formation, but his incredibly long arm had reached Winterpeak.

Even if his foe wanted to suddenly counter-attack, Ning could instantly and voluntarily separate that arm. The severing of an arm would only result in the loss of some divine power, and in fact some of the divine power from the arm would make it back to him.

“Come, then.” Winterpeak shut his eyes, still seated in the lotus position.

Ning’s hand was pressed against the top of Winterpeak’s head. He began to invade the man’s soul…and Winterpeak didn’t fight back at all.

Instantly, magnificent scenes of an expert’s rise to power began to appear before Ning. As a top-tier True Immortal, Winterpeak’s life experiences had been far more exciting than those of the Empyrean Gods and Celestial Immortals, and his status had been much higher as well.

A full day and a night passed before Ning withdrew his hand. He closed his eyes in thought.

“It seems…there really is no hope of gaining a top-tier Jindan.” Ning sighed to himself.

Although he had expected this, after searching through Winterpeak’s memories Ning became certain of it. To form a first-class Jindan, one of the prerequisites was that a Chaos Immortal had to be by your side, assisting you. In addition, in Pangaea the technique of forming a first-class Jindan was only known to the three World-level experts! Not even Elder Gods or Ancestral Immortals were qualified to learn this technique.

Second-class Jindans…there were quite a few who knew the technique for this, including True Gods and True Immortals. Winterpeak, however, was not one of them.

This made sense. The Jindan-creation techniques were only needed by mortals who wanted to train to become Celestial Immortals! Ji Ning, for example, had long ago become a Pure Yang True Immortal; these techniques really were of no use to him. The reason why Ning had searched for more information about them was so that he would be able to transmit them to Brightmoon and the others, assuming they all survived this great storm.

“And there truly are very few ways of upgrading a True Immortal’s Jindan.” Ning shook his head. A Jindan upgrade method was what Ning truly want. However…

In truth, these upgrade methods were also fairly valuable as well. This was because there were some Immortals in backwater regions who were incredibly talented, but who had already become Celestial Immortals or True Immortals using inferior methods. The various powers in the Pangaea chaos-kingdom would often recruit them, then work with them to upgrade their Jindans. Still, since even the best techniques only allowed them to upgrade the Jindans to the second tier, they weren’t THAT valuable.

Almost all the True Gods and True Immortals imprisoned here possessed the most elite level of power at their rank. They had incredibly high statuses, and so there was a chance that some of them knew these techniques. The chances that an Elder God or an Ancestral Immortal knew these techniques were even higher, but alas there was nothing Ning could do to any of them.

“Let’s take it slow. If I can’t find it from one True Immortal, I’ll go find a second True God or True Immortal. Ten…a hundred…I’ll just keep searching. Eventually, I’ll definitely succeed.” Ning then looked towards Winterpeak.

“Did you find what you wanted?” Winterpeak looked at Ning.

“Give me your ‘Flashing Skystars’,” Ning said.

Winterpeak ground his teeth. “You’ve already soulscoured me. Now, you want my Protocosmic spirit-treasure?”

“Hand it over,” Ning said.

“Hmph.” Winterpeak truly didn’t want to give it up, but he waved his hand. Instantly, a large amount of eight-cornered, deep-blue stars appeared in midair. There were a total of ninety-nine of them, and each of them seemed to contain the vast skies within them. This was the most important treasure which Winterpeak possessed, a Protocosmic spirit-treasure set.

“Take it.” Winterpeak dispersed his soul imprint on the treasure set, then tossed it towards Ning.

Ning’s hand expanded to become three hundred meters in size as he caught the various treasures.

“Here is a bottle of Immortal pills and a message talisman. The pills should be enough for you to stay alive for a period of time. If there’s anything urgent, you can shatter the talisman to summon me.” Ning waved his hand, tossing our these two items. Winterpeak immediately accepted them. He had completely used up his spirit-pills; this was exactly what he needed right now.

“Hmph.” Winterpeak gave the items a look, then snorted.

Ning knew that this person was feeling rather frustrated after having been soulscoured, then forced to hand over his most powerful treasure. Thus, Ning didn’t quibble about his attitude, instead transforming into a streak of light and departing.

“Judging from True Immortal Winterpeak’s memories, hierarchical stratification is extremely strict in Pangaea.” Ning flew forward atop a cloud, thinking to himself. “True Gods and True Immortals all generally use Protocosmic spirit-treasures, but only first-class True Immortals like Winterpeak are allowed to use entire sets of Protocosmic treasures, such as these ninety-nine stars.”

“Most importantly of all, Pangaea actually has methods of producing even higher-class treasures.” Ning sighed in amazement.

In truth, it was actually quite simple to upgrade the power of a Protocosmic spirit-treasure. The method was to add more seals into the treasure itself!

His own Goldstar Beads of the Heavens, for example, had the nine chaos seals infused into them. This was a method strengthening spirit-treasures…but of course, you had to be capable of binding and infusing the necessary seals! Or, for another example, Daoist Three Purities had devised his Immortal Slaying Swords’ sword-diagrams using a total of seven seals. The more profound the seals were, the more powerful they would be.

This set of ‘Flashing Skystars’ also contained seals within them, and their power was extraordinary.

“However…this set of treasures isn’t a good fit for me,” Ning murmured softly to himself. “Still, the more treasures my side has, the stronger my side will become. I have to take away all the Protocosmic spirit-treasures these True Gods and True Immortals have.”

In the Three Realms, only some of the major powers had access to Chaos treasures…and the majority of them weren’t meant for combat! Thus, the absolute vast majority of major powers still used Protocosmic spirit-treasures in battle. Treasures like the Goldstar Beads of the Heavens were actually rather useless to most major powers. For Ning, of course, the beads were quite suitable, thanks to his powerful heartforce. To the others, however, treasures like the Flashing Skystars were more valuable, and the seals they contained inside them would delight quite a few major powers.

“I can trade this to the Sovereigns of Mankind for other treasures,” Ning mused. “Once I acquire a few more treasures, I’ll go and do a trade.”

The Sovereigns of Mankind, the Daoist Path, and the Buddhist Sangha all had vast treasuries. If he went with treasures of his own, he could trade the ones he didn’t need for ones which he could. But of course, the value had to be equivalent.

Now that the storm had descended, all of the various headquarters of the Nuwa Alliance had placed the various items they didn’t need within those treasuries, including many precious materials, Chaos ingredients, Immortal pills, and other things. That way, members of their alliance could trade for what they needed, making the alliance as a whole grow more powerful!

“I succeeded against a True Immortal. Now…let me see if I can deal with a True God.” Ning’s cloud flew straight towards a large mountain.

Atop the mountain, there was an emaciated, green-haired man seated in the lotus position. As soon as Ning landed, the man opened his eyes.

“What a True God!” Ning felt a bit breathless. The True Gods of the Pangaea chaos-kingdom were comparable to the True Gods of the Three Realms.

“Overseer?” The green-haired man’s eyes were as sharp as a hawk’s as he carefully scrutinized Ning. “What happened to Pangaea? Why have they sent you?”

“The chaos-kingdom of Pangaea has already been destroyed.” Ning stood there atop the mountain as he spoke. “I am now in control of the entire prisonworld. You have two choices before you. The first is to resist me. The second is to submit to me. Just now, True Immortal Winterpeak submitted to me, and I have already acquired his Protocosmic spirit-treasure, the ‘Flashing Skystars’.”

Ning revealed the ninety-nine deep-blue eight-sided stars that were hovering above his hands.

The green-haired man narrowed his eyes. “Winterpeak, that useless piece of…he actually submitted to you?”

“Will you?” Ning looked at him calmly.

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