Book 1, Chapter 4 - Prefecture Lord
The banquet at Snowfall Palace continued late into the night. Late at night, the sky was covered with stars. Ji Yichuan and his wife took their infant back home.
“Whoah.” Ji Ning blearily opened his little eyes and saw the night sky filled with stars.
He had fallen asleep. He had actually fallen asleep mid-way.
There had been fascinating performances, with musicians, drummers, and barefoot, fur-clad female dancers filling the hall. This was very different from Earth’s performances, but it was still very pleasing to the eye. However, he was still just an infant. Halfway through, he was simply too sleepy and thus he immediately fell asleep.
“Yichuan,” Yuchi Snow said with a hint of anger while walking in the snow. “At the banquet, why did you say that you would let our son go seize the golden sword? Don’t you know how hard that is?”
“I was able to accomplish it.” Yichuan frowned.
“You are the most powerful member of the West Prefecture of the Ji clan. You were able to do it as a youth, but in the thousand year history of the Ji clan’s West Prefecture, how many have been like you?” Snow was angry. Normally, she was very gentle, but anything which involved her son made her anxious. “And today, when the Prefecture Lord raised the question of having our son becoming the next Prefecture Lord, five overseers had agreed. Only a single additional overseer was needed. All you had to do was convince a single overseer… with six overseers in agreement, then our son would have easily been able to become the next Prefecture Lord. Why go seize the golden sword?”
Seizing the golden sword was simply too hard.
Yichuan shook his head and sighed. “You don’t understand.”
“What don’t I understand?” Snow said angrily.
“You haven’t been at the West Prefecture for a long time yet. You don’t understand the intricacies hidden within.” Yichuan explained, "The ten overseers of the West Prefecture are divided into the Prefecture Lord’s side and Ji Lee’s side. There are three centrists. If we were to draw another overseer into our orbit, the price would have been too high.”
“So what if the price is high?” Snow said unhappily.
“Yes, if we paid an enormous price, we could let our son become the Prefecture Lord.” Yichuan frowned. “But if our son is incapable, even if he is allowed to take the position of Prefecture Lord, he’ll just suffer countless miseries, unspeakable miseries. That will be a form of torment!”
Yuchi Snow was stunned.
“I don’t want my son to be miserable.” Yichuan continued slowly, "Thus, I brought up seizing the golden sword.”
“If my son possesses astonishing insight and talent and is able to strengthen rapidly, then naturally, he’ll be able to seize the golden sword. No one would say a single word of dissent if he were to take over the Prefecture Lord position after doing so,” Yichuan said. “But if my son is unable to seize the golden sword, then he can just live a life of leisure. I, Yichuan, will protect him his entire life and let him live without any cares.”
Snow seemed to have understood.
Becoming Prefecture Lord didn’t necessarily mean a life of ease. If an expert became the Prefecture Lord, then naturally, his rule would be stable. But if someone incapable took the position… even if he was forcibly installed, he would just be miserable.
“Yichuan, I was wrong to blame you,” Snow said softly.
Yichuan just lowered his head and rubbed his son’s face. “His eyes are wide open. This kid woke up long ago.”
“Right, Yichuan. What name should we give him?” Snow suddenly asked. “I asked you when I was pregnant, but you weren’t happy with any of the names. Now that he’s been born, we have to come up with a suitable name.”
“Let his name come into the world alongside him,” Yichuan said. “How could I not be careful about it? I hadn’t made up my mind in the past, but just now, I suddenly thought of a name… let’s call our son ‘Ning’, meaning ‘calm’. No matter whether his life is normal or exciting, no matter if he is weak or becomes an expert, let him maintain a calm, peaceful heart.”
“Ning?” Snow murmured. “Ji Ning. Ji Ning…”
The infant in his mother’s arms stared with wide eyes. Was this the name which the First Judge, the Lord of Cui Palace, had preordained that he would have in the Book of Life and Death? Or was it a true coincidence?
In this life, he would be named Ji Ning once again?
The most powerful member of the West Prefecture of the Ji clan was the Raindrop Sword, Ji Yichuan.
The second was the ‘Tiger Demon’, Ji Lee.
Within Lee’s Prefecture.
“Congratulations and felicitations, father,” a middle-aged man with several dozen braids in his hair said. “That Yichuan was so arrogant and blind that he actually said he would have his son go seize the golden sword… the West Prefecture has been in the hands of our Ji clan for generations. Not a single person has taken the Prefecture Lord position through seizing the golden sword.”
The old man with flaming red hair and that scarlet snake in his ears slapped his hands together. “When I was young, I should’ve become the Prefecture Lord! But at that time, I was simply too much of a show-off and ended up losing to my big brother, Ji Young. That old bastard Young ended up taking the Prefecture Lord position and has been in that position for eighty years!”
“Eighty full years!”
“I’ve been waiting all this time. Every day has been a crucible.” Lee ground his teeth. “I didn’t expect that his line of descent would produce someone like Yichuan! He truly is a glorious, outstanding talent. Fortunately, fortunately, Yichuan is only interested in training to become an Immortal and doesn’t care about becoming the Prefecture Lord. Yichuan was simply too arrogant today. He actually chose such a path for his son.”
“It seems it is the will of Heaven that we take the Prefecture Lord’s position,” the middle-aged man said excitedly.
“Don’t be hasty.”
Lee shouted. “When I was young, that loss I suffered taught me… that a person can’t be too happy before one has actually succeeded! What we need to do is prepare!”
“Father, do you mean to say…” the man asked.
Lee was frowning in concentration.
Time slowly passed. The middle-aged man sat off to one side, not daring to disturb him. He knew his father was thinking.
“Right!” Ji Lee suddenly said in a soft voice. “That’s what we’ll do!”
The middle-aged man looked at his father. “Father, what is your plan?”
“In order to seize the golden sword, one must defeat all of the youths of the tribes and the descendants of the Ji clan,” Lee said in a low voice. “Although there are few clan members, they are able to acquire a large amount of treasures and secret manuals, while there are many youths in the tribes, very few will get any treasures. But despite that, in the quadrennial Golden Sword Ceremony, out of every five or six ceremonies, only once will a Ji clan member win.”
The middle-aged man nodded. “There are simply too many tribe members. There will always be an extremely talented person who emerges. However, no matter how great their talent, we won’t teach them the truly powerful arts of the Ji clan. We’ll only teach them some of the lesser arts. Although those youths of the tribes might be powerful during the Golden Sword Ceremony, after seventy or eighty years, the most powerful exponents are those of the Ji clan.”
“What I mean to do is…” Ji Lee said in a whisper. “Select a few outstanding youths from the tribes and give them a large amount of treasures and resources and train them. Without my training, those tribal youth talents are already so powerful. Once they receive my training, they will definitely skyrocket in power and become even mightier! I refuse to believe that the son of Yichuan will be able to defeat all of them and seize the golden sword.”
“Right. Right.” The middle-aged man hurriedly nodded.
Usually, the treatment of the tribal youths and of the Ji clan members were totally different.
The Ji clan youths were of one family. Naturally, the Ji clan would treat them much better. But in dealing with the youths of the tribes, they would have to both draw them close and also control them well! But this time… he would use all of his talent to cultivate the most promising youths!
“Father, if you do this, then Ji Yichuan’s son will definitely lose,” the middle-aged man said confidently.
“Hahaha…” Lee laughed. “Remember. Plant some of our people by Yichuan’s side. I want to know how rapidly Yichuan’s son grows in power. Only knowing one’s own power and one’s opponent’s power will one gain victory!”
“Yes!” The middle-aged man’s eyes were shining.
Yuchi Snow gently placed her son down atop the warm bed.
“Ning, be a good boy and sleep tight.” Snow gently kissed her son’s face, then lay down on the bed as well.
A pained look was on Ning’s face.
He wiped the corner of his lips. He had just drank breast milk. What a weird sensation.
The events of the past twenty four hours were simply too shocking, too unbelievable. First, he had passed the Bridge of Despair, but then, just before he was to drink Grandma Meng’s Elixir, a great upheaval had occurred in the Netherworld Kingdom. It was as though the world was about to shatter. He had been lucky enough to react in time and jump into the Mortal Realm’s tunnel, and had been reincarnated into this world.
A snow white hound who was his ‘Uncle White’?
A several hundred-meter giant black python that could raise its head up to the level of a house, and also transform into a black-haired middle-aged man, who was his ‘Uncle Black’?
And now, he was supposed to seize some golden sword and become some Prefecture Lord?
Hey guys, did you think about asking me how I feel about all this?
“Bah. Infants have no human rights.” Ji Ning licked the milk from the corner of his lips while pondering. Still, a hint of excitement was in his eyes. “Time to train!”
The very first day he had arrived here, he had sensed that his clan was a powerful one. How could a clan capable of commanding countless tribes be ordinary? But clearly, the position of Prefecture Lord had aroused interest from all sides. That old fellow with the red snake in his ear wasn’t weak either. He dared to argue against the Prefecture Lord and squabble with Ning’s father.
Ning was still just an infant. There was no reason for him to worry about all these things. Right now, the most important thing was to train. Train in the visualization technique – Nuwa Painting.
The Nuwa Painting, according to the Lord of Cui Palace, was something which would allow him to be an outstanding figure, even if he had been born into the Heaven Realm and had joined the Celestial Host, much less here in the Mortal Realm. In the Mortal Realm, it definitely would be the most top tier of visualization techniques. Such a precious technique that had been deeply ingrained into his mind was the most powerful source of support he would have in this world.
In his past life, he had been tormented by illness for eighteen years. He had been exhausted just by strolling for half an hour. He had simply had enough of that powerless sensation! The sensation of being powerless in the face of death! He had enough! Enough! Enough!!! He would take his destiny into his own hands, and that destiny was to follow the path that the Lord of Cui Palace had spoken to him of: Training to become an Immortal!
Training to become an Immortal was the only choice he would make!
Ning closed his eyes and began.
A hint of natural energy slowly began to enter Ji Ning’s body. It was being attracted into his consciousness and began to strengthen his soul. But because only a tiny amount of natural energy was being absorbed, neither Yichuan nor Snow noticed at all.
The visualization technique was capable of absorbing natural energy?
This was simply incredible.
The reason was, this wasn’t an Immortal training technique, nor was it a Immortal magic technique. If it was an Immortal training technique, it would wildly devour the surrounding natural energy. But the visualization technique, despite absorbing just a bit of natural energy… was already quite incredible.
Whoosh. Whoosh. Tiny threads of elemental energy constantly entered Ning’s infant body.
Natural energy repeatedly entered his body and cleansed his body. Infants were born pure. Only after experiencing life would they be sullied by the dirt and grime of the world. But right now, Ning’s body had very few impurities within it. With the natural energy repeatedly cleansing him, he quickly became incomparably pure, as pure as a newborn.
Desolate Era(English Translation)