Book 30, Ancient Cultivator, Chapter 3 – Within the Eastroad Sect
“Please stop, Daolord!” The Eastroad Sect’s gate-guarding disciple hurriedly called out to Ji Ning.
Ji Ning smiled as he came to a halt, then said, “Hurry up and send word that I come bearing the last will of Daolord Eastroad. I would like to ask Daolord Thunderheat to come meet with me.”
“You come bearing the will of the old Patriarch?” The gate-guarding disciple was shocked. Could it be that the old Patriarch really had prepared something for them? But why hadn’t he said anything to them before he died? Perhaps it was because he had died so suddenly that his avatar didn’t even have a chance to tell them about it. He immediately said, “Wait here for a brief moment, Daolord. I’ll send word right now.”
Within the Eastroad Sect.
Daolord Thunderheat had a violet complexion and curly whiskers, making him look like quite a barbarous figure. In reality, he was a very steady and experienced figure who had been running most affairs in the Eastroad Sect for countless years now, while Daolord Eastroad and Daolord Overgold were out adventuring. Who would’ve imagined that both of them would end up perishing, one after the other?
“Ugh.” Whenever Daolord Thunderheat thought of this, he couldn’t help but sigh.
“Master, the Eastroad Sect was built up over the course of countless years. We can’t just abandon our foundation like this.” Two yellow-robed disciples were next to Daolord Thunderheat, and the white-haired one was the one who just spoke.
“Anyone who wishes to destroy the Eastroad Sect will pay a heavy price for it.” The other disciple, a pudgy man who was similarly filled with a baleful look in his eyes, agreed.
Daolord Thunderheat shook his head. “The Patriarch was an incredibly, freakishly powerful Daolord. Over the course of countless years, he established an incredibly deep and solid foundation for our Eastroad Sect, but… if we want to protect it, in the end we’ll have to rely on our own power. The Ninedust Sect is just worried about some desperation attacks that we might unleash, which is why they’ve only been threatening us while not actually attacking us. But as more time passes… in the end, sooner or later we will be annihilated.”
“Master…” The two disciples felt both rage and grief.
“The two of you are merely at the World level. You don’t understand how terrifying the Ninedust Sect is.” Daolord Thunderheat sighed. “Especially Daolord Ninedust himself. He was close to being on par with even the old Patriarch himself.”
The two disciples ground their teeth, unwilling to accept this. The exalted Eastroad Sect had been dazzling and glorious for so many years. Everyone in the surrounding territories had always feared and respected them, with even the mighty Ninedust Sect going out of its way to avoid causing them trouble. But now, with their great sheltering tree gone, the Eastroad Sect was about to tumble.
“Uncle-Master!” Suddenly, a disciple came running towards them. He came to a halt outside the door, then said with breathless excitement, “Uncle-Master, an unfamiliar Daolord has arrived. He said he came bearing the will of the old Patriarch and wishes to meet with you.”
“What?!” Daolord Thunderheat suddenly rose to his feet while looks of excitement appeared on the faces of his two yellow-robed disciples. “He came bearing the will of the old Patriarch?” Daolord Thunderheat felt excitement as well. The existence of their sect, and in fact their entire clan, had been due to Daolord Eastroad! The reason why Thunderheat and Overgold had been able to become Samsara Daolords was partially because of Daolord Eastroad’s guidance. As a result, Daolord Eastroad’s status in the sect was extremely, extremely high.
The white-haired disciple next to him said with delight, “Master, the old Patriarch must have made arrangements before he died.”
“Don’t be impatient. Let me go out and take a look first.” Daolord Thunderheat felt eager as well. His body flickered as he immediately flew out of the door.
Outside the main gates of the Eastroad Sect. Daolord Thunderheat immediately saw the white-robed youth bearing that black scabbard on his back who was standing outside the main gates. The white-robed youth’s aura was indeed that of a Daolord’s.
“Eh?” Daolord Thunderheat frowned. The white-robed youth’s aura seemed to be even weaker than Thunderheat’s own aura. He was probably a Daolord of the Second Step.
“Daolord.” Daolord Thunderheat stepped forwards and spoke out to Ning. As for Ning, he saw a figure suddenly appear within the barrier formations surrounding the sect. It was an extremely muscular man.
“Are you Daolord Thunderheat?” Ning asked.
“I am. Dare I ask who you are, fellow Daoist?” Daolord Thunderheat said.
“I am Darknorth.” Ning smiled. “Can we chat inside? Shall you invite me in?”
“Oh, r-right. Please come in.” Daolord Thunderheat’s mind was in a state of chaos right now, which was why he had forgotten even the basic courtesies of welcoming guests. He hurriedly led Ning into the Eastroad Sect.
Within a courtyard inside the Eastroad Sect. A female attendant delivered a flagon of Immortal wine. Daolord Thunderheat sat to one side, with two yellow-robed attendants standing next to him. Ning sat to the other side. Ning was quite relaxed as he drank the wine. He let out a praiseful sigh, then said “What a wonderful flavor.”
“Fellow Daoist Darknorth.” Daolord Thunderheat couldn’t help but ask, “Didn’t you say you came bearing our old Patriarch’s will?”
“Yes.” Ning nodded. “With regards to this matter, I have to mention my senior apprentice-brother Daolord Soleman.”
“Daolord Soleman?” Daolord Thunderheat was startled upon hearing this. He had naturally heard the Patriarch speak of Soleman. Soleman and the Patriarch had definitely been good friends, and Soleman had perhaps been only on par with the Patriarch in power, but as a Heartforce Cultivator he had far more bizarre and inscrutable techniques. In the Endless Territories, Soleman definitely had a higher status than Eastroad had.
Ning nodded. “Daolord Eastroad was on an adventure with my senior apprentice-brother Daolord Soleman, as well as Daolord Skyaxe. They ended up in a dire situation. Skyaxe and Soleman managed to survive, but Daolord Eastroad was just a bit unlucky and ended up losing his life.”
“Ah.” Daolord Thunderheat revealed a look of of pain and sorrow, and the two yellow-robed disciples by his side quivered, their hearts filled with pain, sorrow, and regret. Why was it that the other two had survived while their Patriarch had died?
“All three of them knew that it was possible they would perish, and so they all left behind wills for the survivors to carry out,” Ning explained. “Before Daolord Eastroad died, his greatest and only concern was for his homeland. After the other two survived and escaped, they asked me to help deliver some treasures to the Eastroad Sect. Take a look and see if they will be of assistance to you.”
Ning tossed out a storage bracelet, one which Daolord Soleman had used to store various magic treasures. Swoosh. The bracelet flew before Daolord Thunderheat, who accepted it rather excitedly. He quickly bound it, then began to scan the items within as the two yellow-robed disciples behind him waited impatiently.
Just a short while later, Daolord Thunderheat put away the bracelet with a rather mixed expression on his face. This bracelet had also contained a talisman from Daolord Eastroad, one which all three Daolords had left behind with each other.
“And?” Ning asked.
“Seniors Soleman and Skyaxe left behind quite a few treasures.” Daolord Thunderheat sighed. “They even included two Dao-seals of incredible power; both of them created one, and I can tell they poured many resources and energy into each. There are also a number of formations and other things. In a normal situation, they would be enough for us to protect the Eastroad Sect… but our enemy is now the Ninedust Sect.”
“Master, is it still not enough?” The two yellow-robed disciples behind him grew nervous.
“The Ninedust Sectlord is close to Soleman and Skyaxe in power. Even if they came in person, they would at most be able to defeat the sectlord but probably be unable to kill him.” Daolord Thunderheat continued, “Just two Dao-seals… they might be enough to kill ordinary Daolords of the Fourth Step, but they absolutely wouldn’t be of any use against the Ninedust Sectlord.”
Ning nodded. the Ninedust Sectlord was most likely on Kongsan’s level of power. He was slightly weaker than Skyaxe and Soleman, but would be able to stay alive if attacked by them.
“Fellow Daoist Thunderheat, is the Ninedust Sect truly preparing to move against the Eastroad Sect?”
“Yes.” Daolord Thunderheat let out a hate-filled growl. “Brother Overgold was killed by the Ninedust Sect.”
“What?” Ning’s face tightened.
“Brother Overgold’s avatar personally told me this just before he died.” Daolord Thunderheat said with hatred, “Unfortunately, when he was attacked he was very, very far away from the Eastroad Sect. There was no way for us to save him. But of course… I wouldn’t have been able to do so regardless.”
Ning had a solemn look on his face. So it was indeed the Ninedust Sect which had killed Daolord Overgold? Everything was now quite clear.
“My clansmen have been evacuated quite some time ago, to ensure that our line won’t be completely extinguished.” Daolord Thunderheat said softly, “As for us… no matter what, we’ve sworn to defend this place to the death. This is our home, the place where we have lived for countless years. We’ll rely on the formations protecting the formation as well as the treasures the old Patriarch left behind. In the end, we’ll ensure that the Ninedust Sect will lose a few teeth as they devour our clan.”
“We’re going to fight to the death,” the two yellow-robed disciples said furiously.
Cultivators sought their own Daos, their own paths. Once they chose to fight to the death, they would be truly fearless.
“Gentleman.” Ning spoke out. “I’ve already promised senior apprentice-brother Soleman and the others that I will ensure the safety and security of your homeland.”
Daolord Thunderheat and the others stared at Ning, startled.
“Since I’ve promised it, I’ll carry my promise out.” Ning said calmly, “There’s no need for you to worry about the Ninedust Sect. I’ll handle everything!”
“You’ll handle everything?” Daolord Thunderheat and the others stared at this Daolord of the Second Step in astonishment.
Ning waved his hand. Whoosh. Three figures suddenly appeared by his side, each with the aura of a Daolord. They were Pillsaint, Su Youji, and Daolord Naia. Daolord Naia’s aura was particularly overwhelming.
“Master,” Daolord Naia, Su Youji, and Pillsaint said respectfully.
Daolord Thunderheat and his two disciples stared at them in astonishment. A Daolord of the Fourth Step was respectfully calling a Daolord of the Second Step ‘master’?
Ning glanced at Daolord Thunderheat. “Fellow Daoist Thunderheat, I didn’t realize how grim the situation was. However, since I’ve promised senior apprentice-brother Soleman to handle this, I will! If the Ninedust Sect dares to attack, I’ll kill as many as they come!”