Book 30, Ancient Cultivator, Chapter 22 – Outlander Demons
At the very peak of a desolate mountain. A gray-robed man was seated here in the lotus position. He had been seated here for more than a hundred thousand years, ignoring the howling of the wind and the beating of the rain.
“In the end, this world is simply too small.” The gray-robed man raised his head to stare into the skies. “I need to do the same thing the other major powers did; leave this world, fight my way through the endless demons of the outlands, and then enter the wider world beyond. According to what the legendary Prophets said, the world beyond ours is vast and filled with countless cultivators. It is a world trillions of times greater than ours.”
“That place is the place I should be in!” A look of desire was in the gray-robed man’s eyes. Leaving this world and entering the outlands carried a high risk of death, but generations of Daolords continued to do just that. In the end, this world was simply too small, even smaller than the Three Realms. For figures as powerful as Daolords, spending a few dozen chaos cycles in such a small place left them with little to no interest in it at all. They wanted to explore the wider, more exciting world outside, especially after they had learned from the Prophets who had descended as to just how amazing that world was.
“But I’m not quite there yet. I should first become a Daolord of the Fourth Step. Then, I might perhaps be able to leave.” The gray-robed man nodded slowly.
Bang! The gray-robed man suddenly turned his head to stare in a certain direction. He frowned. “Why is my disciple suddenly asking for rescue via his message-talisman?”
He truly was puzzled. This world was fairly small, and all the Daolords within it knew each other. As a result, even if they chose to punish his disciple for some reason they would first give him, Daolord Feng Xian, a heads up. This particular disciple, Slowseal, was very attentive and obedient. As a result, Daolord Feng Xian liked him very much. In addition, Slowseal had no chance of becoming a Samsara Daolord, nor did he ever go out adventuring. That was why this didn’t make sense.
He wasn’t out adventuring and Daolords wouldn’t attack him. Why then was he begging for aid?
Swoosh! Although quite puzzled, Daolord Feng Xian immediately flew into the skies towards the direction the plea had come from.
A courtyard within the Hiddensea Palace.
Ji Ning, Su Youji, and the Ninedust Sectlord were seated here casually, chatting and drinking wine. Skywind and the Dragonwing Governor stood next to them, while Palace Mistress Hiddensea hurriedly attended to their every need, pouring wine and delivering platters of fruit. As for Immortal Slowseal, he watched from a distance, his heart filled with terror and unease.
A short while later…
Whoosh. A figure suddenly descended from the skies.
“Master.” Immortal Slowseal raised his head, a look of delight on his face.
“There he is.” Ning, the Ninedust Sectlord, and Su Youji all turned their heads to stare at the gray-robed man descending from the skies. The man’s gaze instantly fell upon Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord.
“Eh?” The gray-robed man’s face changed. He was a Daolord of the Third Step; there was no way those three Daolords could mask their auras in front of him.
“Who are you?” the gray-robed man roared. He didn’t care about Su Youji, but Ning’s aura was that of a Daolord of the Third Step. As for the Ninedust Sectlord, his aura was even more powerful and terrifying than that of a Daolord of the Fourth Step!
“I’ve never met you three before. You shouldn’t be from our world.” The gray-robed man had an ugly look on his face as he roared angrily, “Are you outlander demons?!”
“Outlander demons?” The Dragonwing Governor and Skywind all stared at Ning’s group, stunned.
Outlander demons… here in this world, those things were creatures of nightmares! Once outlander demons appeared, everyone would pay any price necessary to wipe them out – this was a shared acknowledgement amongst all cultivators in this world! Skywind and the Dragonwing Governor had heard stories of outlander demons since they were young; they knew that every appearance of an outlander demon represented a calamity descending upon their world.
“Impossible. There’s no way my master could be an outlander demon.” Skywind couldn’t, wouldn’t, believe it.
“Outlander demons?” Ning’s group of three exchanged glances. This world was indeed filled with many flaming creatures who were known as outlander demons. They were incredibly powerful creatures, and some of them dared to enter this world. Although they would be suppressed by the might of this planet, ensuring that their power dropped dramatically, the ones who did dare to enter here were always amongst the most supreme of the flaming creatures and were at least at Ji Ning’s level. Some were even stronger!
But of course, upon entering this planet and being weakened by it they would become far weaker than Ning or the Ninedust Sectlord.
The gray-robed man immediately sent a message back to the sacred grounds. “Three strange figures have appeared, and their auras are at the Daolord level. One has an aura even stronger than that of a Daolord of the Fourth Step. I suspect he is a transformed demon from the outlands.”
A beautiful underground palace located roughly 190 million kilometers benearth the ground. One of Daolord Feng Xian’s avatars was located here, and it immediately sent out the word.
“Three Daolords? One has an aura even greater than that of a Daolord of the Fourth Step?”
Within an ancient, still room. A white-robed elder was seated in the lotus position here, and by his side was a violet-robed man who was also seated in the lotus position. The walls around them were filled with countless ancient runes.
“They should be the two Prophets and their servant,” the white-robed elder said. “Inkmind, go and pay a visit to those two Prophets.”
“Acknowledged,” the violet-robed Daolord Inkmind said respectfully
Ning’s group was behaving with caution, but the ‘sacred grounds’ which had unified this planet were similarly cautious. The wealth which had been built up in the sacred grounds over the course of countless years was more than enough to stir Prophets with greed! That was exactly what had happened last time, and a disaster had befallen the world as a result. As a result, the sacred grounds behaved very cautiously. At first, they had been able to track Ning’s descent through the nine barriers around their world, but they were unable to track them afterwards.
They could’ve forcibly swept the world through their godsense, but they wanted to avoid unnecessary trouble. They chose to wait and see what the two Prophets would do first, leaving the initiative to them. Given how powerful the Prophets were, it was impossible for them to remain completely hidden within this world.
“You should know exactly how you should deal with the Prophets,” the white-robed elder said. “We naturally wish to act in a friendly manner, but if they leave us no choice then we can choose to battle them and wipe them out.”
“Understood,” Daolord Inkmind said respectfully. Last time, they were only forced to use a world-destroying measure to kill the Prophet because they had been caught off-guard. As a result, virtually all living creatures on the surface of the world had been wiped out as well. Fortunately, the ‘sacred grounds’ still held living beings within it, and over the course of countless years they slowly propagated to the point of allowing the world to flourish once more. This time, if they felt that the Prophets were likely to cause trouble they would choose to immediately kill them!
Whoosh. Daolord Inkmind departed.
“We’ve never experienced two Prophets descending together. I hope things can be resolved peacefully,” the white-robed elder murmured softly in his room.
The atmosphere in the courtyard was very tense and heavy. Daolord Feng Xian stared unblinkingly at Ning’s group, certain that they were outlander demons. The only people who came from the outlands were either demons or Prophets. Prophets? From the day this entire planet was created til now, there had only been three times that Prophets had descended. The chances of this happening were incredibly low. Although outlander demons were also fairly rare, they were far more common by comparison.
“There’s no way Master and the others are outlander demons.” The nearby Skywind continued to refuse to believe it.
Swoosh! Just two seconds after the two sides first began to face off, a golden vessel suddenly appeared in the skies.
“They came.” Daolord Feng Xian revealed a look of delight when he saw that flying vessel. The sacred grounds had sent him reinforcements. He truly hadn’t been certain of victory if he had to face this alone.
“They are incredibly fast. That ship moved at roughly a hundred times the speed of light.” Ning and the others raised their heads, watching the flying vessel approach them.
A violet-robed man walked out of the flying vessel, a smile on his face as he descended towards the courtyard.
“Brother Inkmind?” Daolord Feng Xian revealed a puzzled look. Daolord Inkmind had a fairly special position in the sacred grounds, because he was the retainer of their most important leader, the ‘Grand Elder’. However, Inkmind himself was merely a Daolord of the Second Step; he was even weaker than Feng Xian. If even Feng Xian didn’t feel confident in being able to deal with these outlander demons, what good would Inkmind be?
After Daolord Inkmind descended, he turned his gaze towards Ning’s group of three. He had already seen the images of them piercing through the nine barriers and descend to their planet, and so he was able to recognize them at a glance.
“I am Inkmind. Greetings, Prophets.” Daolord Inkmind bowed. “When the two of you passed through the nine celestial barriers, those of us in the sacred grounds immediately realized that you had arrived.”
“Prophets?” Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord traded glances. So they had already been discovered when piercing through those nine barriers of mist? But they hadn’t noticed anything at all! Still, it made sense; those nine barriers did indeed seem to have been artificially created by a major power.
“They are Prophets?” Daolord Feng Xian revealed a stunned look.
“Yes. To be precise, these two are Prophets.” Daolord Inkmind nodded as he pointed towards Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord. “I’ve come on the orders of the Grand Elder. There’s no mistaking it; these two are Prophets. Prophets, would you be willing to share my ship and journey to the sacred grounds? I trust many of your questions will be resolved once you do.”