Empyrean God Ninefangs was waiting outside the levitating mountain atop his cloud. Suddenly, he saw his Manorlord, Ji Ning, appear from within the distant mountain peaks. Ning was hurriedly walking in his direction. Ninefangs couldn’t help but feel surprised: “Why has the Manorlord returned so quickly from his meeting with Exalted Celestial Thundergod?”
With a single step, Ning moved to Ninefangs’ cloud.
“Manorlord?” Ninefangs whispered softly.
“Let’s leave.” Ning didn’t waste time explaining. He immediately released his Voidboat, entered it alongside Ninefangs, then departed through the Void.
A Voidboat suddenly appeared amidst the clouds of the major world known as the ‘Hu Kingdom’.
“When Exalted Celestial Thundergod first saw me, he was clearly quite courteous. But as soon as I mentioned the Ninehorn Lightning Serpent, he immediately turned hostile.” Ning carefully pondered what had just happened. Given that the Three Realms had been swept into a storm, most of the major powers in their alliance were fairly friendly towards the younger fellows. Ning had already met with figures like Daofather Crimsonbright, Fuxi, and others. All of them were very friendly to him. Although Exalted Celestial Thundergod was famous for his explosive temper, he had also been quite friendly at first as well.
“Why did he turn so hostile when I mentioned the Ninehorn Lightning Serpent? I was willing to use treasures to trade for it, but he wasn’t even willing to consider it.” Ning frowned in thought. “What should I do? The only major power in the Three Realms that possesses Ninehorn Lightning Serpents is Exalted Celestial Thundergod. If I can’t acquire one from him, then I’ll have no choice but to go to a lightning sea if I want to train in this technique…”
Capturing Ninehorn Lightning Serpents was incredibly difficult. Not even the major powers who were skilled in capturing creatures were generally willing to spend the effort necessary, as the Ninehorn Lightning Serpents were of no use to them. The only one who was willing to spend so many years on this task was Exalted Celestial Thundergod, who had captured quite a few of them over the countless eons.
“Manorlord?” Ninefangs asked, puzzled, “Why have we come to the Hu Kingdom?”
“To visit True Immortal Hu Yu, of course,” Ning said.
The Hu clan was a clan that was subordinate to the Primordial Imperial Clan of humanity. Although it was quite flourishing, it had never given birth to a True God or a Daofather. After the Primordial World was destroyed and the Three Realms were born, the Hu clan had moved here to this major world, taking it over! Given the Hu clan’s power, conquering a major world was very easy.
Even back during the Primordial Era, the Hu clan had more than eighteen Empyrean Gods and True Immortals amongst their ranks. By now, they had more than thirty!
“True Immortal Hu Yu?” Ninefangs was puzzled. He didn’t understand why Ning wished to meet with True Immortal Hu Yu.
Whoosh. Ning spread out his coresense to encompass the entire major world, quickly discovering True Immortal Hu Yu’s location.
Within a secluded mountain valley. There were a few thatched cottages scattered throughout the valley. A few women could be seen teasing each other, some of them playing around within the waters of a creek.
“Fellow Daoist Hu Yu.” A voice suddenly rang out within the valley.
“Mm?” One of the women playing around within the water, a green-robed woman, unleashed her coresense. She immediately located the white-robed youth and the bald elder located outside the formation protecting this valley.
“Ji Ning?” The green-robed woman immediately recognized him. “That bald old man by his side should be Empyrean God Ninefangs, one of the seven Empyrean Gods led by Empyrean God Redsnow who appeared within the Realmwar for the Crimsonbright Realm.”
“Big sister, what is it?”
The other women all emerged from the creek and from their respective houses, gathering around her. In truth, women were all Celestial Immortals who were under the tutelage of True Immortal Hu Yu. However, True Immortal Hu Yu disliked referring to others as ‘disciple’ or being referred to as ‘master’, and so these women usually referred to her as ‘big sister’.
“No more playing around,” True Immortal Hu Yu instructed. Instantly, the female Celestial Immortals all fell silent, no longer daring to run around. However, they were all curious…who was this visitor?
True Immortal Hu Yu waved her hand.
An opening suddenly appeared at the end of the gorge. This gorge had been covered by a protective barrier which wasn’t easy to penetrate. From the opening emerged two men, a white-robed youth and a bald old servant.
“Fellow Daoist Darknorth.” True Immortal Hu Yu smiled merrily.
“Fellow Daoist Hu Yu. I’ve come with a request,” Ning said.
“Oh? Come inside and speak. If there’s anything I can help you with, fellow Daoist, I definitely won’t just stand by idle.” True Immortal Hu Yu was extremely curious. What did this famous Sword Immortal Darknorth wish of her? She immediately guided Ning into a thatched cottage.
The interior of the thatched cottage was decorated in a very refined manner. Ning and Hu Yu both sat down facing each other, with Hu Yu pouring some Immortal wine for Ning.
“Before I came to your place, fellow Daoist, I paid a visit to your master; Exalted Celestial Thundergod,” Ning said. “I visited him with the intention of trading him some treasures for a Ninehorn Lightning Serpent…but I didn’t expect that he immediately ordered me to leave without even letting me finish my words. I was out of options, so I came here to meet with you, fellow Daoist, in the hopes that you might have an idea.”
Hu Yu was the disciple which Thundergod doted on the most.
Exalted Celestial Thundergod was born from the primordial chaos with control over the Grand Dao of Thunder. His temper was equally explosive as his Dao; although there were some disciples he doted upon, there were others he was extremely strict with. The one he doted on the most was his one and only female disciple, True Immortal Hu Yu. This was why Ning had come to meet with Hu Yu, in the hopes that she might have an idea.
“You want a Ninehorn Lightning Serpent?” Hu Yu was surprised.
“Yes.” Ning nodded.
“That’s…going to be hard.” Hu Yu shook her head. “It’s true that the only person in the Three Realms who possesses these serpents is my master…but to Master, these serpents are incredibly important. Once, long ago, Daoist Three Purities asked for Master to provide him with a Ninehorn Lightning Serpent for use in forging a certain magic treasure. Master was extremely unwilling. In the end, Daoist Three Purities gave my master multiple Chaos ingredients that he needed before my master accepted. However, that was a long, long time ago. Now that the storm has decided…there’s no way even Daoist Three Purities would be able to acquire another serpent from him, to say nothing of you.”
“Oh?” Ning was surprised.
“Don’t you know that Master’s most important treasure is the ‘Hammer of Punishment Thunder’?” Hu Yu asked.
“I do know.” Ning nodded. “Exalted Celestial Thundergod wields the Hammer of Punishment Thunder, releasing lightning to punish wicked Immortals and Fiends alike.” Ning was puzzled. “But what does that have to do with the Ninehorn Lightning Serpents?”
“Where do you think the lightning of the hammer comes from?” Hu Yu shook her head and smiled. “Master can simply summon some of the weaker types of lightning from the natural world, but he has to work hard to extract the more powerful types of lightning from lightning seas in the primordial chaos. This is especially true for the supreme type of lightning, the Ninehorn Lightning Serpents. After extracting them, he has to refine them before he can smelt them into his Hammer of Punishment Thunder. This allows him to release them at a critical moment to assault his foes, then draw them back after the attack is finished.”
Ning was startled.
It was true that of the various types of thunder, the most powerful types were the lightning sea serpents and Ninehorn Lightning Serpents. The lightning sea serpents were not sentient, while the Ninehorn Lightning Serpents were. Thus, comparatively speaking the horned serpents were easier to refine and smelt, as the mindless lightning sea serpents were completely uncontrollable.
This was why even the likes of Elder God Zhurong was unable to take control over Golden Solarfire, forcing him to devise his own ‘Zhurong Godfire’. Suiren had similarly been unable to control Golden Solarfire, which was why he had to devise his own Eternal Kindlefire, which was equally powerful.
The reason why they couldn’t control it…was because it was simply too explosive and wild!
Golden Solarfire didn’t possess any sentience. Thus, it was too explosive and wild! Even Fuxi, the number one formations expert of the Three Realms, was merely able to ‘guide’ the Golden Solarfire into his formation, and the guiding process was still extraordinarily tiresome. He had completely mastered and fused the Heavenly Daos of both Yin and Yang, and his skill in formations was tremendous…but that was still all he was capable of.
Lightning sea serpents were just like Golden Solarfire; they were both too wild and untamable.
Ninehorn Lightning Serpents were sentient, which was why one could bind them. However, they were extremely rare; only a tiny percentage of the already-rare lightning sea serpents would gain sentience and transform into Ninehorn Lightning Serpents.
“As far as Master is concerned, these serpents are part of his killer weapon, his most powerful attack. Master has spent an enormous amount of blood and sweat binding every single serpent and infusing them into his hammer.” Hu Yu continued, “If it wasn’t for this great tribulation, there might be a tiny chance that Master would be willing to give up one of them…but the tribulation has arrived, and he might very well die in the Endwar. There’s absolutely no way he would give up any of them at all.”
“This is something that will have an impact on his chances of his survival. Given Master’s temperament…it’s useless for anyone to try to convince him.” Hu Yu gave Ning a look. “I’m just his disciple; there’s nothing I can do at all.”
Ning nodded. “So that’s why. I was rash and foolish.”
“Fellow Daoist Darknorth, I urge you to give up your hopes of acquiring the Ninehorn Lightning Serpents,” Hu Yu said. “Aside from Master’s serpents, the only way you can find them is by going to the lightning seas within the primordial chaos. However, those lightning seas contain many lightning sea serpents, with a small number of Ninehorn Lightning Serpents intermingled within. Not even major powers would dare to go too deep within. Master has the body of a thundergod, and thus he is most likely the number one figure in the Three Realms in terms of catching these serpents. Despite that, it took him a long time and much work before he was able to catch a few.”
“I know.” Ning nodded slowly. “Sorry to have troubled you, fellow Daoist Hu Yu. I’ll leave now.”
Ning ordered Ninefangs to temporarily return to the Starseizer major world, then went by himself via Voidboat into the primordial chaos.
Chaos mist billowed everywhere around him.
If he went too far and too deep into the primordial chaos, it was entirely possible that he would become lost. Thankfully, Ning had some maps regarding the chaos regions around the Three Realms. Two lightning seas were marked down on the maps, and so Ning naturally headed towards the closest one. However…this still took him much deeper into the primordial chaos than he went last time. Thus, he advanced very carefully, for fear of becoming lost.
He advanced continuously through the primordial chaos in his Voidboat, tearing through space and using the various stars as his signposts. He advanced for twelve full hours, and the amount of space he travelled past in the Voidboat was most likely several times larger than the Three Realms themselves.
“Here I am.”
Ning stood up within the Voidboat, staring into the distance.
A vast, endless sea…
A sea of lightning and thunder…
As far as he could see, there were countless streaks of jagged white lightning that came together to form an endless sea of electricity. The deeper one went into the sea, the darker it became. At the deepest parts, one could even see black flashes of lightning. These black flashes of lightning were all shaped like giant serpents. These were the ‘lightning sea serpents’, living lightning-beings that even major powers feared.
A single lightning sea serpent was one thing, but the depths of the lightning sea held countless black streaks of lightning within them. The lightning sea serpents there were simply uncountably numerous. Even the mightiest of major powers would have to go all-out in order to go deep into the lightning sea. However, Ninehorn Lightning Serpents were incredibly rare, with less than one in ten million lightning sea serpents giving birth to one such sentient serpent. From this, one could tell how difficult it was to find and catch them!
“I have no other choice.”
“I’ll have to take the risk.” Ning stood atop the Voidboat, gazing deep into the endless lightning sea.