Book 43, Chapter 8 - Terminal Seclusion RWX's Thoughts

Desolate Era

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Before Ji Ning brought his ninth disciple, Qin An, back to the Three Realms, he first paid a brief visit to the Badlands Territory.

“Halt,” Ning instructed. The realmship came to a halt in midair. Ning turned to glance at Qin An, then reached out to tap Qin An on the middle of his forehead. An enormous amount of information began to pour into Qin An’s mind, followed by three surges of sword-intent being hidden deep within his soul. All three surges of sword-intent were of varying levels of power.

At Qin An’s current level of power, if he had to learn this enormous amount of information from jade slips it would probably take over ten thousand years. Using this method, Ning had accomplished it in the blink of an eye. Most of the information, however, would remain sealed. Qin An was currently too weak; his soul and truesoul simply couldn’t absorb that much information at once.

“Master.” Qin An regained consciousness.

“Of my nine disciples, you are the most talented at dealing with danger,” Ning said. “I’ve left you three surges of sword-intent to protect you and many techniques for you to learn. The rest shall be up to you. This place is known as the Badlands Territories, and it is very vast, far vaster than the ‘Cataclysm Trials’ you were in. You’ll have to rely on yourself in adventuring through this place. Once you reach the World level or become a Daolord, you’ll probably be able to locate your fellow disciples.”

“World level?” This was an incredibly distant concept to Qin An. He hadn’t even become a Celestial Immortal yet!

“Alright, you can leave now. Your path will be your own.” Ning waved his hand. Whoosh! Qin An was teleported through spacetime into an ordinary chaosworld within the Badlands Territory.

“Master… you remain as, uh, succinct as ever in teaching your disciples,” Su Youji said with a snicker.

“The more setbacks they encounter, the farther they’ll make it on their respective paths,” Azurefiend said.


When Ning returned to the Three Realms, he began to meet with some of his old friends for what was perhaps the final time.

Northmont Baiwei, Mu Northson, his master Immortal Diancai…

It must be remembered that even Empyrean Gods and Celestial Immortals were able to live for the incredibly long time of 108,000 chaos cycles. When Ning had been very young, he had acquired a prisonworld filled with Empyrean Gods and Celestial Immortals who had been alive for multiple chaos cycles.

However, Empyrean Gods and Celestial Immortals generally had very weak Dao-hearts. Very few would be able to live to their maximum lifespans, as most would end up developing mental issues that would result in their energies running wild, resulting in death. Most had to rely on using spirit-pills to nourish their bodies; only then would they be able to live long enough to hit the 108,000 cycle limit. Northmont Baiwei, for example, was merely a Pure Yang True Immortal, but he was still alive.

Another person Ning went to visit was Ninelotus.

Ninelotus was the first woman Ning had ever romantically loved. Ning’s status was so incredibly high that after they broke up, no one else ever dared to pursue Ninelotus! Ninelotus herself set up her own school long ago, and she only accepted female cultivators who swore to be forever single.

Ninelotus had vanished for many years after establishing her sect, but then she had suddenly skyrocketed in power. She had first reached the World level of power, then became a Samsara Daolord during the period of time that Ning was secluded in meditation. This caused many people in the Three Realms to feel quite speechless… and many secretly whispered that Fairy Ninelotus had to have reached this level thanks to Daolord Darknorth’s help. Otherwise, how could she have been ordinary for so long, then suddenly risen to power?

Ning himself, however, knew that he hadn’t helped Ninelotus at all!

Below a giant tree within a courtyard. Ning and Ninelotus were seated facing each other, with Ninelotus pouring Ning some tea.

“I grew this tea tree myself and personally harvested the leaves,” Ninelotus said. “Have a taste.”

“Senior apprentice-sister Ninelotus.” Ning smiled. “You truly amaze me.”

Ning had seen many things. By now, he knew that there were indeed some cultivators who rose to prominence late in life! Common sense dictated that they shouldn’t be able to make any further breakthroughs, given how long they had been alive for, but they somehow did. They just slowly advanced at their own pace.

“For a long time, you cast a deep shadow over my heart.” Ninelotus looked at Ning. She could sense his truesoul crumbling away, and she felt sorrow for him. He had been an extremely important man in her life, after all. “I eventually set up my own female-only school and strictly forbade my disciples from falling in love… but that’s not something a mere rule can prevent. In the end, quite a few of my disciples ended up becoming Dao-companions with men from the outside world. After teaching many of them and seeing many things, the shadow over my heart began to gradually dissipate. I began to get over the past.”

“I simply taught my disciples and tended to my garden, planting trees and weeding weeds. Every so often, I’d read a few treatises on the Dao.” Ninelotus smiled. “Honestly, it was quite strange. For some reason, cultivation became easier and easier for me, and I began to improve faster and faster.”

Ning could sense that Ninelotus’ Dao-heart had reached incredible heights after she had managed to dispel the shadow that had bedeviled her heart for so many years. In the end, the Dao-heart was what mattered the most to cultivators!

Long ago, Ning had established a Dao-repository filled with countless techniques which all talented cultivators of the Three Realms were given access to. Many of those techniques had been written down by Hegemons and included a detailed explanation from start to finish. This had allowed the Three Realms to produce more and more major powers.

“Junior apprentice-brother Ji Ning, the brightest star of the Black-White College… I felt certain that you would continue to dazzle long after I died,” Ninelotus said. “I never thought that I’d still be alive while you…”

“That’s why I had to come visit you, old friend.” Ning smiled.

“Is there hope?” Ninelotus suddenly asked.

Although the love between them had vanished long ago, she still cared deeply about Ning. Many failed Daolords refused to give up hope. Daolord Allgod, for example, had tried all sorts of methods to extend his life! The law of the universe was that the heavens always gave a chance, no matter how slim… and it was true! There was, in fact, a way for those who failed the Daomerge to survive. Alas, to this very day not even the Autarchs had been able to truly grasp it.

“I’ll enter terminal seclusion soon to find out,” Ning said with a smile. “If you ever see me again, you’ll know that I succeeded.”

“Then I’ll wait for you to come back. I’ll make sure to have some more tea ready for you,” Ninelotus said hopefully.


Ning felt quite happy after leaving Ninelotus’ residence. He could tell from her breakthroughs that she had gotten over her previous issues. This was why he had been willing to visit her. If she was still entangled by the demons of the past, he wouldn’t have disturbed her.

He continued to wander the Three Realms, visiting all of his old friends. Finally, he hosted a family banquet in Brightheart Island. The only ones invited to the banquet included his parents, Brightmoon, Uncle White, Autumn Leaf, and other extremely close friends and family. Youji, Pillsaint, and Azurefiend were also permitted to attend as his retainers. Even the slumbering Flamewing God was awakened by Ning and called over to take part.

After the banquet ended, Ning was going to enter terminal seclusion.

“Flamewing,” Ning instructed, “Stay for a few hundred thousand more chaos cycles in the Flamedragon Realmverse. After that, you can go where you please.”

“You’ll definitely make it back, Master!” Flamewing truly couldn’t bear to part with Ning.

“Haha…” Ning chuckled, then turned to look at everyone else present.

“Ning. Son.” Yuchi Snow’s eyes were filled with worry.

“Young master.” Autumn Leaf looked at Ning as well.

Ji Yichuan and Uncle White looked at Ning. Both were able to remain fairly calm.

“Master.” Su Youji’s eyes were filled with anxiousness.

Ning looked at this gathering of the friends and family who meant the most to him, then smiled. “Relax, everyone. I’m going into terminal seclusion, not certain death. Besides, I’ve already lived a far longer life than ordinary mortals are granted. I’m an old fart by now! Alright. I’m off!”

As he turned to leave, he cast Su Youji a final glance and nodded towards her.

How could he not understand the feelings Su Youji bore him? Su Youji, in turn, knew how Ning felt and so she continued to ‘hide’ her feelings, never giving voice to them.

Ning had no answer for this, no solution. Mortals might be easily moved to love, but someone like Ning? At most, he could care about her as he would a beloved family member. As far as romantic love went… he truly felt nothing for her at all.

Whoosh. As Ning took a single step forwards, a dimensional tunnel appeared before him. He stepped into the dimensional tunnel, then vanished.

Everyone on Brightheart Island watched as Ning departed, their hearts filled with many emotions.


“Master. Nuwa. If I truly do fail in my terminal seclusion, the security of the Three Realms will be up to the two of you.” Ning’s voice suddenly rang out in the minds of Subhuti and Nuwa.

Subhuti had been meditating, while Nuwa had been teaching students. Both were startled by Ning’s sudden message.

Ning hadn’t met with them before going into secluded meditation. He only sent them this single, simple mental message.

“Disciple,” Subhuti murmured softly.

“There is still hope.” Nuwa turned to stare into the void beyond the Three Realms.


The Azureflower Estate was as same as it always was as the white-robed Ning stepped inside.

“Daolord Darknorth.” The white-haired elder had been waiting at the gates for quite some time now. He immediately bowed respectfully as Ning entered.

“Haha. You get to be the last one by my side as I enter terminal seclusion,” Ning teased.

“To accompany you in this is my honor,” the white-haired elder chuckled.

Ning turned to glance at the world behind him. He felt as though he could see the images of those who he cared about appearing outside.

“Close the gates,” Ning instructed.

With a rumble, the towering gates to the Azureflower Estate swung shut.

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I really liked this chapter and kinda wanted to end here instead of the two daily, but alas...

It was nice to get a few extra name drops and also that scene with Ninelotus was quite touching.  To me, it finally completed an arc that started hundreds of chapters and many many chaos cycles ago.