The Xia Emperor and the million Loose Immortals watched from outside the grand sealing formation.
Within the formation, this quite famous Immortal Northstar, dressed in stellar Daoist robes, gave an order to the thousand Celestial Immortals and hundred thousand Loose Immortals next to him: “I’ll have to trouble you all, fellow Daoists…assemble the formation!”
Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh!!! A thousand Celestial Immortals and a hundred thousand Loose Immortals all flew into the air in unison. When the Xia Emperor had selected them, he had also assigned them each a location within the grand formation. In truth, it was quite simple; each Celestial Immortal controlled a hundred Loose Immortals, who would do whatever the Celestial Immortal ordered. The thousand Celestial Immortals, in turn, followed the lead of Immortal Northstar; thus, the Heaven Punisher Formation was quite stable.
The Immortals all hovered there in midair…and then bloody runes began to emerge from their bodies, causing a shockingly powerful warlike aura to emerge.
A blood-red aura suddenly burst out of the grand sealing formation, but it didn’t damage it in the slightest.
Countless lines of bloody red light began to converge, merging together to form a dark-red giant.
And then…the colors of the world seemed to change!
An enormous whirlpool appeared in the air above the entire imperial capital. It spread more than a million kilometers, ravenously drawing in all of the surrounding natural energy. In almost the blink of an eye, a completely void of a million kilometers was created; all of the energy in that region had been drawn into the sealing formation, into the blurry giant’s body. Instantly, the blurry form of the giant began to stabilize.
The giant was thirty thousand meters tall, and he looked like he had an absolutely enormous head, as well as a pair of muscular arms and powerful legs! However…if one took a careful look, one would see that the massive head was actually the giant’s entire upper torso! The nipples were the eyes, while the belly button was the mouth. The entire upper body was like a giant, savage, snarling face that had a vague resemblance to Celestial Immortal Northstar’s.
“So this is Xingtian, the Heaven Punisher?”
Ning and the others all sighed in amazement.
A thousand and one Celestial Immortals, along with a hundred thousand Loose Immortals, were all located within the body of this Heaven Punisher. The enormous Heaven Punisher, formed from the energy of the surrounding area, had an aura of such power that it surpassed the aura of most Empyrean Gods and True Immortals.
“It looks strong, but it’s power is rather hollow,” Celestial Immortal Unity evaluated. “Clearly, the enormous amount of natural energy hasn’t been applied perfectly; a bit is leaking out.”
“To be able to perfectly control such an enormous amount of natural energy is too difficult. Even the most powerful of Celestial Immortals can only do their best.” Ning could see and sense how massive this concentration of power was. If someone was capable of controlling all of this power with absolute perfection…even Empyrean Gods and True Immortals would have no choice but to flee in the face of it! Alas, even a Pure Yang True Immortal controlling the formation wouldn’t be able to perfectly control it.
“Fellow Immortal Northstar.”
The Xia Emperor, located outside the formation, spoke out.
A white-robed Xia Emperor appeared out of nowhere. The white-robed Xia Emperor walked towards the grand sealing formation, which didn’t impede him in the slightest, allowing him to enter.
The massive Northstar Heaven Punisher called out respectfully to him.
The Heaven Punisher’s entire body was dark-red. He was only clad in furs which covered his waist and his groin. A blood-red aura radiated from his entire massive body; it was the manifestation of his warlike intent, made corporeal.
“First familiarize yourself a bit first,” the white-robed Xia Emperor said.
“Yes,” the Northstar Heaven Punisher said respectfully. Natural energy continued to ripple over the body of the massive Heaven Punisher, slowly stabilizing as the Heaven Punisher’s form grew more solid. The aura emanating from it, however, actually shrank considerably…but then, everything came to a halt. Clearly, this Heaven Punisher was unable to strengthen any further.
The white-robed Xia Emperor nodded. “Prepare.” He waved his hand, and an enormous pile of black rocks suddenly appeared, stacked up on each other in neat layers like a small mountain. However, hints of golden light could be seen from within the black rocks, causing them to have a mysterious aura.
“This is chaos goldstone,” the white-robed Xia Emperor said. “There are a total of ten pieces piled up here. Use your full power to chop down upon the stones here with your palm. The more power your Heaven Punisher is able to split open, the more stones you will be able to split open. The other fellow Immortals who command the Heaven Punisher Formation will also be assigned the task of splitting these stones open.”
“Chaos goldstones? But we haven’t been taught the critical components to the Heaven Punisher Formation yet; will we be able to break them open?” Celestial Immortal Unity, located outside the formation, was a bit worried now.
“Hard to say.” Ning wasn’t certain either.
He naturally knew a bit about chaos goldstones. The Fifth Cycle of the [Starseizing Hand] required many Five Elements treasures, and chaos goldstones could be used to satisfy the ‘metal’ element requirements.
True Gods and Daofathers harvested them from the infinite primordial chaos. They were incredibly tough, and generally speaking only Empyrean Gods or True Immortals were capable of damaging them. For Empyrean Gods and True Immortals, the value of chaos goldstones lay in the fact that if one refined them, one would be able to extract chaos gold essence from them. The stones were completely black, but their surface glimmered with faint dots of golden light. These dots of golden light were ‘chaos gold essence’.
These ten enormous pieces of chaos goldstone, nearly three thousand meters long…if one refined and smelted them, the amount of chaos gold essence that would be produced would most likely be the size of a human fingernail.
Chaos gold essence was something which even True Gods and Daofathers would find hard to damage. It could only be used in smelting and forging if one had very special forging equipment and special techniques to melt them. They were truly top-grade ingredients, generally used in the most top-grade of Pure Yang artifacts. If one mixed in just a little chaos gold essence into those artifacts, they would become nigh indestructible.
“Begin,” the white-robed Xia Emperor ordered.
A million Immortals outside the formation watched as the Northstar Heaven Punisher raised his enormous palm. That massive palm was like a giant axe, the edge becoming the axe-blade as it chopped straight downwards! Ripples in space appeared in the area around his palm, pushing out in two opposite directions. However, his power was clearly still being held back; otherwise, space would’ve been torn apart long ago.
The enormous palm hacked straight down against the ten massive pieces of chaos goldstone. Instantly, the entire imperial plaza trembled. However, since this was the most stable and secure location in the entire Grand Xia Dynasty, it wasn’t damaged in the slightest.
“How’d he do?”
“He broke it.”
“He broke it!”
“He seems to have broken four pieces!”
The million Immortals stared, all sighing in disbelief.
To be able to shatter four pieces of chaos goldstone, despite how tough they were…it could be said that even without knowing the critical parts to the formation, the Northstar Heaven Punisher was definitely at the power level of an Empyrean God or True Immortal. Ning had to admit; this Heaven Punisher was considerably stronger than his own true body, which had just barely reached the minimum level of power for Empyrean Gods or True Immortals. And this was without knowing the most important parts to the formation!
“Four pieces shattered, some damage to the fifth piece.” The white-robed Xia Emperor nodded. “Alright. Next shall be fellow Immortal Alltruth.”
The grand sealing formation was temporarily dispelled.
The Heaven Punisher Formation disassembled. The hundred thousand Loose Immortals and one thousand and one Celestial Immortals all appeared. Celestial Immortal Northstar first bowed towards the white-robed Xia Emperor, then walked out of the grand sealing formation. As he did, a tall, skinny, ashen-faced elder walked into the formation.
Each of the 359 Celestial Immortals had a chance to test themselves.
The first testee, Celestial Immortal Northstar, was actually quite formidable; most of those who came after him were only able to break three pieces.
“Fellow Immortal Unity.” The white-robed Xia Emperor glanced outside.
“I’m going to give it a try.” Unity gave Ning a smile, then walked towards the grand sealing formation.
Ning watched closely.
Unity was the 192nd testee. The most powerful Celestial Immortal to date had, amazingly enough, been able to shatter six pieces of chaos goldstone. She was a female Immortal, Celestial Immortal Rainsoar of the Skyfarmer clan. She was a tremendously famous pill-refining expert, but she wasn’t particularly well-known for her combat abilities. And yet, till now she was the most powerful person to be tested.
“I wonder how Celestial Immortal Unity will do?” Yu Wei wondered.
“Senior Unity’s power is formidable,” Ning said. “I trust his results shall be extraordinary.”
A Heaven Punisher once more took form within the formation.
After familiarizing himself with the technique, the Unity Heaven Punisher was given the nod by the white-robed Xia Emperor. He, too, lifted up his massive right palm, then hacked downwards towards the pile of chaos goldstone.
BOOM! Yet another, now-familiar exploding sound. By now, most likely all of the dwellers within the imperial capital of the grand Xia had gotten used to this sort of explosion…because there had been nearly two hundred of them by now.
Ning took a careful look, only to see that only four pieces of the ten chaos goldstones remained undamaged.
“Six pieces!” Ning called out in delight.
“He truly is formidable. He’s comparable to Celestial Immortal Rainsoar.” Yu Wei was surprised and delighted as well.
“Truly formidable. Impressive!” Immortal Diancai was excited as well. There were so many Celestial Immortals here, quite a few of whom were almost as powerful as Pure Yang True Immortals. However, it truly was hard to say which of them would be able to unleash the most power from the Heaven Punisher Formation.
The million Immortals all sighed in praise as well.
Within the formation, the white-robed Xia Emperor nodded. “Six shattered pieces, with the seventh piece slightly damaged. You are very close to fellow Immortal Rainsoar; you are just a tiny bit weaker. You rank second amongst the 192 fellow Immortals who have tested so far.”
The formation dispersed, allowing Celestial Immortal Unity to fly out. A look of delight was in his eyes.
To rank second amongst 192 Celestial Immortals meant that he had a very good chance of ranking in the top nine of the 359 total Celestial Immortals. But of course, it was also possible that he was just unlucky, and that the later figures would all be incredibly powerful. If that was the case, there was nothing he could do.
One Celestial Immortal after another went forward as the tests continued.
“Why isn’t it your turn yet, junior apprentice-brother?” Yu Wei was getting a bit impatient.
“No rush. There will always be some who come first and some who come later,” Ning said. The Xia Emperor most likely had a very high opinion of Ning, which was why he had put Ning towards the rear, as part of a grand finale.
By now, more than three hundred Celestial Immortals had made their tests. A total of five Celestial Immortals had shattered six pieces of chaos goldstone!
“Fellow Immortal Ji Ning, please step forward,” the white-robed Xia Emperor said.
“Ji Ning is up.”
“Immortal Darknorth, Ji Ning? Supposedly, his true body was, at the Void level, capable of resisting nine mighty Celestial Immortals by himself. He’s the disciple of a Daofather…and by the looks of it, his Primaltwin has overcome the tribulation and become a Celestial Immortal.”
“I was actually watching Ji Ning during the Conclave of Immortal Destiny. He truly is a monstrously talented genius. However…fellow Doaist Ji Ning has trained for a fairly short period of time. I don’t know if he’s capable of controlling this Heaven Punisher Formation well or not.” The plaza was immediately filled with discussions regarding Ning; after all, Ning was quite well known amongst the ten thousand-plus Celestial Immortals. As they saw it, perhaps Ji Ning wasn’t particularly strong right now, but in the future he would probably surpass them.
Within the formation.
“Fellow Daoists, thank you for your help,” Ning said towards the thousand Celestial Immortals and hundred thousand Loose Immortals.
“Assemble the formation.”
Ning immediately soared upwards, flying into the air as a thousand Celestial Immortals followed him, scattering all around him. As for the hundred thousand Loose Immortals, they in turn followed their respective Celestial Immortal leaders. An enormous number of bloody runes appeared, all of which began to gather together and form into a blurry, dark-red giant. The surrounding natural energy began to furiously flow towards them. An enormous, thirty thousand meter tall Heaven Punisher quickly took shape, one whose face was rather similar to Ning’s.
“This feeling…such tremendous power…” Ning sighed in amazement.
The flood of power flowing through him was beyond what he could truly control. All he could do was to try and control it as best he could.
“Fellow Immortal Ji Ning, familiarize yourself with it first.” The white-robed Xia Emperor smiled.