Book 24, Chapter 28 - The First Retainer

Desolate Era

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“He can break through the limits of the Heavenly Daos as he pleases.”

“Quite a few of Elder God Skysouth’s servants were supreme Elder Gods, but they were still unable to so much as touch him. They were like toddlers facing off against a giant.” Su Youji was truly stunned by what she had just seen.

Prior to mastering the Nine Chaos Seals and manifesting the azureflower seal, even if Ning had Violetjewel on him he would’ve still had to use it to block the enemy’s weapons. This time, however, he had the azureflower energy powering his body, upgrading it considerably and making it much faster in every way. His enhanced body was fast, his sword was fast, and his sword-arts were incredibly profound. This was why his enemies hadn’t even been able to touch him.

“Is he a World-level expert?”

“But he clearly is an Elder God. His Elder God aura is very noticeable. I saw him just a few years ago; he definitely was an Elder God back then. There’s no mistaking it at all.” Su Youji’s heart was shaking.

She had suddenly thought of something.

It was fairly easy for most Elder Gods to become ranked as ‘standard’ Elder Gods or ‘elite’ Elder Gods. ‘Supreme’ Elder Gods would be considered experts. As for ‘transcendent’ Elder Gods, they were truly formidable figures, and the generals of the Fogstone Army were all at that level. When they used certain weapons or certain explosive techniques, they might even be able to temporarily reach the World level of power. When Ning had first gone to Fogstone, he was just barely at the World God level of power when he used Violetjewel. However, if he had battled against a true World God, he probably would’ve been defeated in a single blow.

But according to the legends…

There were some true monsters who could accomplish the impossible!

They were truly invincible amongst Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals…and some of them were so terrifyingly strong as to be able to slay even World Gods and Chaos Immortals! However, less than one in a million Elder Gods would ever reach such a level of power.

“I actually ended up running this one of those legendary monsters.” Su Youji grew excited.

Someone like Ning was capable of fighting against World-level experts despite merely being an Elder God and Ancestral Immortal. Once he became a World God, he would instantly become one of the most elite of World Gods!

“If I miss an opportunity like this, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.” Su Youji quickly came to her decision.

All this seemed to happen in slow motion, but in truth it happened in an instant.

After slaying Skysouth, Ning waved his hand and caused the corpses of thousand Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals to be swept into his storage treasure. After putting them away, he said, “I’ll find a suitable burial ground for some of these corpses in this estate-world. The deceased figures had all died on their own paths of Immortal cultivation; Ning would rather bury them than allow their corpses to remain there in the air. He wanted to build a special graveyard for Immortals and Fiendgods here, so as to constantly remind himself that his path was a perilous one that required the utmost of caution.

“Fellow Daoist!” The distant fiery-robed Flamefairy immediately flew towards him.

Ning turned his head to glance at her, immediately recognizing her. He had encountered her a few years ago when he had first entered this region. He nodded slightly. “It seems we truly do have a bit of fate connecting us.”

“Indeed.” Su Youji said curiously, “Don’t you recognize me?”

“You are…?” Ning looked at her.

Ning had only purchased a single star map, one which primarily explained the various major organizations located within the Badlands Territory. It focused on the World-level experts as well as a few incredibly powerful Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals. As for the Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals who spent most of their time roaming and adventuring, there was very little information regarding them. This was why Ning wasn’t able to immediately recognize figures such as Elder God Skysouth.

Hellsword had belonged to one of the local organization; he was simply out on a brief adventure. This was why Ning recognized him.

“My name is Su Youji. Most people refer to me as the ‘Flamefairy’,” Su Youji said.

“You can simply address me as Sunrise,” Ning said.

“Oh.” Su Youji looked at Ning, her eyes shining. “Fellow Daoist Sunrise, would you be willing to accept me as your retainer?”

“Retainer?” Ning was startled for a moment before understanding that the Flamefairy must have seen him slay Elder God Skysouth. He had long ago heard that some extremely powerful Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals would have other such figures be willing to serve them as retainers. However, it was incredibly rare for someone to voluntarily offer to join someone in such a fashion!

“I’m a Ki Refiner but I an comparable to a supreme Elder God,” Su Youji said hurriedly. “I’ve trained for less than a million years and stand a chance of becoming a World-level expert.”

A retainer who had a chance of becoming a World-level expert was completely different from one who did not.

“Oh?” Ning carefully scrutinized Su Youji.

He did indeed wish to acquire some retainers; in fact, if he wasn’t able to find enough, he would go and purchase some slaves. Although he was now very powerful, even World-level experts had need of an army of cultivators, to say nothing of him. An army of a thousand Elder Gods in a formation could very well slay even a World-level figure! However, this was mostly dependent on the strength of the combination formation as well as sturdy Immortal estates that could resist outside attacks.

This allowed them to both attack or retreat in relatively safety. Who wouldn’t want such an army?

However, a formation that could use a thousand Elder Gods or a thousand Ancestral Immortals wasn’t easily acquired. Even if Ning did manage to acquire one, he would need a number of commanders who had reached very high levels of comprehension in the Dao.

“A Ki Refiner?” Ning looked at Su Youji. “Attack me using your most powerful techniques. If I find you acceptable, you may be my retainer.”

“Alright.” Su Youji’s eyes lit up. “Be careful.”

“Go!” Su Youji raised her milky-white hand, pointing towards Ning with a finger as red light flashed in her eyes.

BOOM!!! Nine streaks of fiery red light simultaneously shot out around her. If one carefully inspected them, one would see that every single stream of fiery red light was actually formed from an enormous number of fiery blades. These nine streams of fiery red light joined together into a perfect whole, coming to form a beautiful, nine-tailed bird. The bird’s entire body blazed with flames as it charged straight towards Ning.

It had an aura of tremendous power and incomparable dominance.

“She’s merely an Ancestral Immortal, yet she has such tremendous power. And I have the feeling…that this technique hasn’t revealed its full power yet.” Ning instantly understood that the Flamefairy had been telling the truth. She did indeed possess a high level of insight; in this regard, she was probably comparable to transcendent Elder Gods in power. However, because she was a Ki Refiner and didn’t have access to any powerful divine abilities, in battle she was merely comparable to a supreme Elder God.

Ning stretched out with his right hand. It increased dramatically in length, transforming to become dozens of meters in size as his palm became as crystalline as jade.


The nine-tailed firebird slammed directly against Ning’s palm. Countless sparks of fiery light appeared on the surface of Ning’s palm, but in the end the firebird was completely destroyed while Ning’s palm was completely undamaged.

“I wasn’t even able to shake him.” Su Youji was secretly shocked by what she saw. “So he’s this powerful, even in terms of just raw strength?”

When Ning had killed Elder God Skysouth, he had focused on speed and sword-arts. This time, he revealed his terrifying raw strength.

“Mm.” Ning looked at Su Youji and nodded. “Very well. I’ll accept you as my retainer. Here’s an oathstone. Take a look for yourself.”

There were two types of retainer relationships.

The first type of relationship was like the one between Saber and Godfiend Witherspike. His status had been nearly identical to that of his master’s. In this type of relationship, both the master and the retainer would swear lifeblood oaths; only then would the two trust each other. But of course, the master’s lifeblood oath would be much looser.

The second type of retainer involved a relationship like the one between Daolord Windsource and some of his World Gods. Those World Gods had chosen to serve him in the hopes that he would provide them with guidance and tutelage. They naturally had a much lower status than him. All of them had to swear lifeblood oaths to Daolord Windsource, but the Daolord naturally would never swear one to them. Whenever he was in the mood, he would occasionally impart them with a bit of guidance. That would be enough to make those World Gods delirious with joy.

The relationship between Ning and Su Youji belonged to the first type.

Su Youji feared just one thing…that Ji Ning would force himself upon her. Her [Libertine Dream] technique was one which required her to be a virgin until the day she became a World God. Given how strong Ning was, if he wanted to force himself upon her there was no way she’d be able to fight back.

When Ning heard Su Youji’s request, he felt absolutely speechless. Still, in the end he just chuckled and swore the oath.

“Youji greets you, Master.” After the two swore their lifeblood oaths, the relationship between them had changed permanently. Su Youji beamed at Ning as she bowed, her smile filled with endless charm.

Ning nodded and smiled as well. “You are the very first retainer I’ve ever accepted.”

“You’ll definitely accept more and more in the future, Master.” Su Youji’s eyes were shining with light. “But I’ll always be your first.”

“Let’s go. We’re going to leave the Ruins,” Ning said. “Oh, right. My true Daoist name is ‘Darknorth’. ‘Sunrise’ is just a Daoist name I’m temporarily using.”

“As you wish, Master.” Su Youji followed by Ning’s side, but in her heart she was mumbling to herself, “Darknorth? Darknorth?”

The two travelled more than ten thousand kilometers through the mountain range before finally reaching a region where the skies were filled with mist.

“Let’s go.”

Swoosh. Swoosh.

The two immediately soared into the skies, flying into the mist. They then disappeared into thin air.

The Windsource Ruins were perpetually shrouded in clouds and mist. Whenever you found a place in the dangerous areas or in the swamps where you could see the mist, all you had to do was fly into the mist and you would be able to leave! This was something everyone knew about the Windsource Ruins.

The Eastcalm Mountains. The Sunrise Courtyard.

Two streaks of light descended upon the courtyard.

“This is my residence,” Ning said.

“You live here on the Windsource Chaosworld, Master?” Su Youji was surprised.

“Right. I’m a Sentinel of Fogstone,” Ning said. He couldn’t help but let out a sigh. He had spent quite a few years wandering the Ruins, but Elder God Mountain Eater and the other soldiers stationed here had never sought him out. Ning had ordered that they were to immediately contact him if the forces of God Emperor Blacklotus invaded. Once they shattered the message talisman which Ning had given them, Ning would immediately know what had happened and would return from the Ruins.

Still, it made sense. He had spent a hundred years in training without any attacks occurring. This most recent adventure had only lasted a few years.

“Choose a place for yourself to live in,” Ning instructed.

“Yes, Master.” Su Youji turned her head to glance at a nearby room, then pointed towards it and said, “Then I’ll live right over here.”

Ning nodded, then retired to his own private rooms. He began to carefully inspect the treasures he had acquired during this journey through the Ruins. He had acquired quite a few treasures, as well as several storage-type treasures which he hadn’t even had the chance to inspect carefully yet.

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