“I don’t know. Please instruct me, father,” Ning said respectfully.
Actually, after having read so many books, Ning had learned about it long ago. But as a four-year-old child, there was no need for him to appear so devilishly intelligent.
“Then I will tell you and let you understand.” Yichuan’s voice was like ice. “First, let’s talk about the seven major stages.”
“The first stage, Houtian. Lifespan of a hundred years."
“The second stage, Xiantian. Lifespan of two hundred years"
“The third stage, Zifu, the ‘Violet Palace’. At this level, one will be addressed as Zifu Disciple. Lifespan of five hundred years."
“The fourth stage, Wanxiang, ‘Manifestations’. At this level, one will be addressed as Wanxiang Adept. Lifespan of eight hundred years."
“The fifth stage, Primal. Can be referred to as Primal Daoist."
“The sixth stage, Void. Can be referred to as ‘Land Immortal’, or ‘Earth Immortal’. In the later levels of the Void stage, a heavenly tribulation will test them. If they fail, then they will die and their spirits will be extinguished. If a Primal’s body is destroyed but manages to escape with his soul, then he will become a ‘Loose Immortal’, whose power is roughly on par with the ‘Earth Immortals’."
“The seventh stage, Celestial Immortal. Only at this stage can one be considered to have ascended beyond the Three Realms and no longer be formed by the Five Elements!”
Yichuan stared at Ning after speaking. He wanted to see the look of awe and surprise on his son’s face… but Ning was just listening intently.
“You say you wish to train to become an Immortal. Thus, I wish you to know how hard it is to become an Immortal.” Ji Yichuan’s voice sank down. “The first obstacle to becoming an Immortal… is to pass from the Houtian stage to the Xiantian stage!”
“What does Xiantian mean? Only a lifeform which was naturally born by the heavens and the earth can be described as a Xiantian lifeform. In the distant Fiendgod Era, there were Fiendgods that were born naturally by the heavens and by the earth and which possessed tremendous power from their birth. In addition, there are those who are reborn into the Heavenly Realms as ‘Devas’ or as ‘Asuras’. These Devas and Asuras are all birthed by nature itself, and thus by their very nature, they are a Xiantian lifeform. This makes it very fast for them to train, because only Xiantian lifeforms can train to become an Immortal!”
“It is impossible for mortals to train to become an Immortal… but the Heavens always leave a thread of hope. Thus, in the past, benevolent elders created a set of training techniques which can allow the bodies of ordinary people to become akin to the bodies of Xiantian lifeforms. Only then did it become possible for ordinary people to train to become an Immortal.”
“But for an ordinary person to become a Xiantian lifeform is against the natural laws of the universe, making it very hard! The success rate is lower than one in ten thousand! Tell me, is it hard or not?”
Ning continued to listen.
Xiantian lifeform? If it wasn’t for that huge disturbance in the Netherworld Kingdom, he probably would have already reincarnated and become a Deva in the Heavenly Realms. Naturally, that would mean he would already be a Xiantian lifeform. However, currently he was a mortal… and indeed, for a mortal to reach the Xiantian stage was an extremely difficult path.”
“The second great obstacle to becoming an Immortal… from the Xiantian stage to the Zifu stage!”
“Only by establishing a Zifu, also known as a ‘Violet Palace’, can one continue to train as an Immortal. Establishing a ‘Violet Palace’ is like laying the ‘foundation’ when building a house, or seeding the fields in order to harvest the crops. The Violet Palace is the crop field and is the core for an Immortal. It is the basic underpinning of the path of Immortals! Only after one has truly established a ‘Violet Palace’ in one’s body can one embark on the route to becoming an Immortal. And only then can one be titled a Zifu Disciple! For a Xiantian expert to establish a ‘Violet Palace’… perhaps one in a thousand will succeed. Tell me, is it hard or not?”
Right. It was hard.
At the same time, he continued to listen carefully. The books of the Ji clan of the West Prefecture only described these two obstacles. They didn’t describe the obstacles after that.
“In order to establish a Zifu and become an Immortal, one must possess a world-shaking power.”
“But becoming an Immortal, by its very nature, is against the laws of the universe. Thus, starting from the day you step onto the path of the Immortals, in other words from the day on which you establish your Zifu, you will be tested every three hundred years. Every nine hundred years, you will undergo a major tribulation. Thus, as the saying goes, ‘Three centuries a calamity, nine centuries a tribulation. Calamities are easy to avoid, but tribulations are hard to escape!’ A test every three centuries, and a tribulation every nine… after embarking on the path to becoming an Immortal, this will continue forever, unless you become a Celestial Immortal. Otherwise, the ‘Three Calamities, Nine Tribulations’ will become your eternal fate.”
Three Calamities, Nine Tribulations?
Three centuries a calamity, nine centuries a tribulation. Calamities are easy to avoid, but tribulations are hard to escape?
Ning truly was shocked by this. Unless one became a Celestial Immortal, everyone who trained in the path of Immortals would have to deal with a test every three centuries.
Ji Yichuan and Yuchi Snow looked at their son. Right now, there was a look of shock and disbelief on their son’s face. Seeing the stunned look, Yichuan nodded slightly. He had finally managed to shock the little rascal.
“Our son is still very young. Why did you tell him all those things?” Snow said unhappily.
“Mother.” Ji Ning lifted his head up, a smile on his lips. “It is fine.”
Ji Yichuan looked at him in surprise.
“Father.” Ji Ning laughed. “From mortal to Xiantian, from Xiantian to Zifu. These two obstacles alone… are extremely difficult. The ‘Three Calamities, Nine Tribulations’ are very distant and very far off. I don’t need to worry about them at all for now.”
“Mm.” Yichuan nodded. “Your attitude isn’t bad. You are correct. Right now, there truly is no need for you to think about becoming a Zifu Disciple. That’s too far away for you. At the vast area around Mount Swallow, the strongest people in the countless tribes and in the Ji clan are only at the Zifu Disciple level. The path of the Immortals is a hard one. Even our massive Grand Xia Dynasty would perhaps produce only a single Celestial Immortal in the space of a million years.”
Ning nodded gently.
In the Netherworld Kingdom, the Ruler of Cui Palace had told him that the ‘Nuwa Painting’ would only give him a chance at becoming a Celestial Immortal, and that there were still many obstacles to overcome. And that was assuming that he was going to be a Deva and also a soldier in the armies of Heaven. From this, one could imagine how hard it was for one to become a Celestial Immortal. To escape the confines of the Three Realms and no longer be subject to the Five Elements wasn’t so easily done.
“Do you still desire to train to become an Immortal?” Yichuan looked at Ning.
“Yes.” Ning nodded.
Yichuan nodded slightly. If the boy had been terrified just by hearing about this, Yichuan would have been disappointed. What he didn’t know was… how could Ning possibly be scared as easily as this? There was nothing without risk. Even walking on the street, one might be killed by a rock falling down from the skies. Even when eating, one might choke to death. Training to become an Immortal naturally would be extremely risky. It would be bizarre if it wasn’t.
“However…” Yichuan frowned. “You are too young, and training techniques are very complicated. If I was to transmit a high-class Immortal training technique to you and you trained in a wrong direction, it would harm your body. But ordinary Immortal techniques aren’t worth learning…”
“Father,” Ning said. “I wish to learn the Fiendgod Body Refining Technique.”
“Oh? You know about Body Refining?” Yichuan was extremely surprised, and Snow began to laugh. “It seems our son has read quite a few books. He even knows that there are two main paths of Immortal training.”
There were two primary paths of training to become an Immortal.
The first was in Ki Refining, refining ki energy! 99% of those who trained to become an Immortal chose this path. This path allowed one to use many mysterious Immortal treasures, create complicated golems, control large amounts of deadly magical beasts, develop powerful magical formations, and also use some extremely vile techniques… in a word, this was an extremely glorious and profound path.
The other path was in Body Refining.
Supposedly, the three Realms had each given birth to many Fiendgods. All of them were born from nature itself and were powerful from their birth! As for the creator of the universe, Pangu, he himself was the mightiest of them, the Fiendgod of Primordial Chaos. He also possessed the most powerful body… and thus, a number of elders managed to develop this ‘Fiendgod Body Refining’ technique, which would allow the practitioners to possess bodies on par with Fiendgods. Indestructible bodies, possession of boundless strength, having three heads and six arms, regenerating from a single drop of blood, immortal and undying…these all belonged to the Fiendgod Body Refining method.
Reputedly, at the same level of development, a Fiendgod Body Refiner would be able to totally suppress his opponents!
“Body Refining is a hundred times more difficult than Ki Refining,” Yichuan said seriously. “The Fiendgod Body Refining method allows one to possess the power of a Fiendgod. How powerful is that? Hard, very hard…”
“Father, first I’ll train the body. Afterwards, I will develop Ki,” Ning said. “These two training methods can be simultaneously progressed in. By then, I’ll take whatever path I am most skilled in, which will be my primary path. In addition, weren’t you afraid that I am too young and that training in ki will damage my veins? The Fiendgod Body Refining technique doesn’t have this risk.”
Yichuan and Snow glanced at each other.
It seemed their son had thought things through. Indeed, the Fiendgod Body Refining technique primarily exercised the entire body’s muscles and internal organs. As for the blood vessels? It didn’t have much to do with that at all. It must be known that Innate Fiendgods came in all types, and their veins were totally different from the veins of human beings. The benevolence of those ancestors had developed the Fiendgod Body Refining technique from the bodies of the Fiendgods. Naturally, they ignored the veins.
“Alright!” Yichuan nodded. “The Fiendgod Body Refining method is incomparably precious. Our Ji clan in total has nineteen books on Fiendgod Body Refining scattered through our five prefectures. I will let you choose the one you wish to train in!”
“Yes.” Ning was extremely excited.
“Brother Black.” Yichuan shouted towards the outside.
A black-haired middle-aged man appeared from outside. His eyes faintly glowed with red light, and his eyes were rather long. It was the human form of that massive black python.
“Uncle Black,” Ning hurriedly called out. Two years ago, when he was born, he had learned that this black-haired man was a Diremonster who had already trained to reach the ‘Xiantian lifeform’ stage. Generally speaking, animals who had reached a certain level of intelligence would be called ‘monsters’. After beginning to absorb the energy of nature, since they didn’t possess special training techniques, it was even harder for them to train than it was for humans. Only when they broke through to become Xiantian lifeforms would they possess the ability to transform themselves!
The black-haired man smiled and nodded. “Yichuan, what do you need?”
“I’d like to trouble you to make a journey to the library,” Yichuan said. “Bring the abridged versions of those nineteen training methods of the Fiendgod Body Refining techniques here. Ning wants to use them.”
“Ning wants to use them?” The black-haired man looked at Ning with a laugh. “Someone who trains in Fiendgod Body Refining would have the power of a Fiendgod. It seems Ning is quite ambitious.”
The black-haired man disappeared into thin air.
Ning took a deep breath as he waited. Uncle Black spoke the truth. He was indeed ambitious. The first reason was because he knew that due to his youth, his father probably wouldn’t allow him to train in Ki Refining. Self-study? Ning didn’t have the confidence. The second was that the Fiendgod Body Refining method had some very powerful benefits. To kill a Fiendgod practitioner was more than a thousand times more difficult than to kill a ki practitioner! Fiendgod Body Refining experts, at the same level, could totally dominate a Ki Refining expert!
They had both strong self-preservation abilities and strong power. Just based on these two alone, Ning took a liking to the Fiendgod Body Refining method.
A gentle wind appeared out of nowhere, and the black-haired man appeared in the middle of the hall, a smile on his face. “Nineteen copies of abridged versions of Fiendgod Body Refining techniques.”
“Ning.” Yichuan looked at his son. “The abridged versions only have the first parts of each Immortal training technique, combined with a summary and description of the technique. Take a close look and see which one you want.”
The black-haired man placed the nineteen tomes in front of Ning.
Every single tome was very thin. After all, these were abridged versions. Even if they were stolen, they wouldn’t pose a loss for the Ji clan. They couldn’t possibly place precious Immortal training copies in their entirety in the library, after all. However, even these abridged versions of the Fiendgod Body Refining weren’t freely available for others to see. This was why Yichuan had sent the black-haired man to make the trip.
Ning began to read in earnest.