Ning Fan did not immediately give his answer.
To him, be it King Ming or Marquis White Robe, both of them were mere titles. It did not matter which of them he would choose.
However, when he thought about it carefully, he realized that the Rain Sovereign was making a big fuss over it by deliberately sending a Void Fragmentation Realm expert here to grant him a title.
If something is out of the ordinary, there must be a hidden danger. Thus, there must be an underlying meaning behind these two titles.
“King Ming… Marquis White Robe… I see…”
After pondering for some time, Ning Fan found out that there were no problems with the two titles. The only difference was the designation of ‘King’ and ‘Marquis’.
In the world of mortals, a king is the ruler while a marquis is an official or a minister. Although no one paid a lot of attention to such designations in the cultivation world, Ning Fan could not help but think one layer deeper since the Rain Sovereign purposely sent someone to grant him these two titles and even let him choose between them.
When Ning Fan thought of the Rain Sovereign’s behavior, he could faintly guess that the Rain Sovereign was giving him a test through the conferral of titles.
Well, it could not be helped since Ning Fan had been getting too much attention in his journey of devil cultivation. That must be why he made the Rain Sovereign suspicious of him.
The Rain Sovereign was worried whether Ning Fan would become the next Yun Tianjue or Thunder Sovereign Bu Zhou who would go out of his control and become the next sovereign being of the Rain World that would seize it from his hand…
Ning Fan was quite sure that if he chose the title ‘King Ming’, the Rain Sovereign would have suspicion that he harbored great ambition. Then, the Rain Sovereign would try to suppress him or even get rid of him altogether…
“The Rain Sovereign is too narrow-minded… It’s only the position of the Rain World’s Divine Sovereign. What’s so good about it for it to be worth fighting for…?”
Ning Fan’s heart was filled with disdain. His ambition was not in the Rain World but the Four Heavens of the upper realm. He did not have any intention at all to fight against the Rain Sovereign for power and wealth.
If he and the Rain Sovereign turn against each other in the future, it definitely would not be because of the latter’s power but because of some other reasons.
After seeing through the Rain Sovereign’s intentions, Ning Fan would not choose the title ‘King Ming’ since it would make the Rain Sovereign suspect him even though he despised his conduct.
Currently, his greatest enemy was Moksha Sovereign of the Devil World. It was completely unnecessary to bring himself a calamitous tribulation just for a mere title.
Moreover, he did not like that title at all.
Zhou Ming was just his pseudonym. He was naturally unwilling to be called King Ming. Even if he were to get a king’s title, he should be called King Ning, right?
He made up his mind and said to Yun Daoku indifferently.
“The Rain Sovereign really thinks highly of me. He actually sent a Void Fragmentation Realm expert to grant me a title. It really flatters me…Oh yes. Fellow Daoist Yun, which of the titles do you think I should choose?”
“*Cough Cough*… It’s Fellow Daoist Zhou’s personal matter to select whichever of the two titles. I am not bold enough to simply offer an opinion.” Yun Daoku made a dry laugh.
“Is that so…? Then, I’ll choose ‘Marquis White Robe’.” Ning Fan casually said.
“Marquis White Robe?! Fellow Daoist will really choose this title?!!!” Yun Daoku sounded a bit too excited and delighted. Then, he heaved a long sigh of relief.
Fortunately, Ning Fan chose the title “Marquis White Robe”!
If Ning Fan were to choose the title “King Ming”, Yun Daoku would need to execute the Rain Sovereign’s order and “quietly” plant a sinful seal on Ning Fan to restrain the growth of his cultivation base.
Yun Daoku originally held a grudge against Ning Fan and hoped that he would choose the title “King Ming” so that he could openly plant a sinful seal on him.
Now, however, since he had already been scared half to death by Ning Fan’s Void Ignition Technique, how could he still be bold enough to plant a sinful seal on him?
What if he fails to plant the sinful seal and provokes Ning Fan to use another immortal technique which might kill him instantly? Wouldn’t he have an unjustified death…?
Fortunately, this young man chose the title of “Marquis White Robe”. In any case, I don’t need to fight him anymore… This is good. This is really good…
Ning Fan noticed the slight change in Yun Daoku’s expression and smirked inwardly.
Indeed, the selection of titles contains malice.
“Since Fellow Daoist has chosen the title ‘Marquis White Robe’, I will then announce another decree from the Rain Sovereign. Hehe. Congratulations to you, Fellow Daoist. The Rain Sovereign has appointed you as the palace lord of one of the Nine Heavenly Divine Palaces of the Rain Palace. You will be in charge of the Scarlet Heaven Palace and will be taking orders from the Seventh Prince. The letter of command as the Scarlet Heaven Palace Lord and the reward for your conferred title are inside this storage pouch. Fellow Daoist, kindly accept them.”
While wearing an apologetic smile, Yun Daoku took out a white storage pouch that was woven using the silk of rain and dew and passed it to Ning Fan.
The storage pouch was extremely high quality. It might not necessarily break even if it receives a Void Glimpse Stage attack. Without a doubt, the rewards stored inside the pouch must be precious items.
Ning Fan received the pouch and directly kept it without inspecting it on the spot. Afterward, he uttered with a cold tone.
“Is there anything else, Fellow Daoist Yun?” His intention of seeing the guest out was quite clear.
“Nothing. Nothing else… Hehe. Since I have something else to do, I am not going to impose on you any longer. Please excuse me, Marquis White Robe, you don’t have to bother with seeing me out. I can leave on my own…”
Yun Daoku kept an ingratiating smile on his face all the time, hoping that he could leave the Giant Devil Clan, a hotbed of trouble as soon as possible.
As a dignified Void Fragmentation Realm expert, he had never lowered his tone to anybody in his life. Today, however, he was really nearly shocked to death by Ning Fan.
That Void Ignition Technique would become Yun Daoku’s nightmare which he could never forget for the rest of his life.
Yun Daoku politely cupped his fists at Ning Fan and turned around to walk away. However, Ning Fan called him and stopped him from leaving.
“Fellow Daoist, please stay for a bit.”
Yun Daoku’s heart skipped a beat. Inwardly, he was cursing his own bad luck. He was slightly afraid because he did not know why Ning Fan would suddenly tell him to stop. On his face, however, he did not dare to express the slightest hint of dissatisfaction. With a dry laugh, he asked.
“Marquis White Robe, is there anything else you wish to tell me? Please say it clearly. I will do as you say as long as it is within my capabilities.”
“Fellow Daoist, you don’t have to worry. The reason I called you back is just to tell you one thing.” Ning Fan was only smiling, but Yun Daoku felt a chill in the air.
“What is it…?”
“Actually, my true name isn’t Zhou Ming but Ning Fan instead. Please pass on the following message to the Rain Sovereign. I really like the title ‘Marquis White Robe’. I will be as unworldly as a wild crane or the floating clouds in my life. I am not used to being a king, emperor or a sovereign being. However, if I am driven into despair, I can’t guarantee that I won’t do anything crazy. If the Rain World doesn’t let me down, I will not let the Rain World down in return. My ambition is beyond the Rain World!”
As Ning Fan’s words fell into Yun Daoku’s ears, they blasted loudly like a sudden clap of thunder. It deeply surprised him!
Yun Daoku was not shocked regarding Ning Fan’s true name. To cultivators, a name was just a way to address someone. Besides, who does not have a few pseudonyms?
What he found shocking was Ning Fan’s tone and expression.
What Ning Fan said might seem random but Yun Daoku understood that Ning Fan was showing his hand to the Rain Sovereign.
His ambition was not in the Rain World which meant that he was not eyeing the status of being a Void Fragmentation Realm sovereign at all!
Furthermore, his voice contained an insanely stubborn resolve. This resolve could make every enemy barring his path to disappear into ashes!
At this moment, Yun Daoku actually felt a sense of danger from Ning Fan once again.
Even if he was an expert at the First Heavenly Layer of the Void Fragmentation Realm, he would die without a grave if he made Ning Fan his enemy!
“You can leave now!”
Ning Fan flicked his sleeve to signal Yun Daoku to leave. He woke up with a start. He cupped his fists again and again and hurriedly left.
The moment he turned around, he gritted his teeth and swore that he would never offend Ning Fan again in his entire life!
Even if Ning Fan’s current cultivation base was weaker than his, he certainly could not dare to underestimate him.
Yun Daoku had a strong hunch that Ning Fan would grow to a point where he could only look up to him with admiration someday in the future!
Each of the cultivators of the Giant Devil Clan was stunned with mouths agape. What had they just witnessed?!
Spiritual Master Daoku, a dignified Void Fragmentation Realm expert, was actually behaving politely with an apologetic smile toward Ning Fan!? Ning Fan actually made someone that powerful yield to him!?
As for the others who heard about Ning Fan being conferred the title of “Marquis White Robe” and being appointed as the Scarlet Heaven Palace Lord by the Rain Sovereign, each of them was cheering and dancing in happiness. It was really a joyful matter which they had to celebrate properly!
“Big Brother Biscuit, you’re too awesome! What was that magic technique you used earlier? Could that be an immortal technique? It actually scared off Yun Daoku just like that! Teach me! I want to learn it too!”
Ming Que happily jumped into Ning Fan’s embrace and gave him a pleading look.
Scaring off a Void Fragmentation Realm expert with only a magic technique. That magic technique must be very powerful. She must learn it!
“You won’t be able to learn it…”
Ning Fan gently patted her head as his eyes scanned across the ruins within the area of ten thousand li* (500m per li). Then, he wore a satisfied look.
These ruins were probably caused by the Void Ignition Technique. I suppose its power must be pretty good.
The Void Ignition Technique which Ning Fan had created was a Void Flame Realm fire control technique.
Ning Fan did not infuse the samsara power into this magic technique. Instead, he infused another kind of power.
Persistence! To put it in another way… belief!
Ning Fan had infused his determination of igniting the moonlight into this magic technique, making it nearly reach the standard of immortal techniques.
If Ning Fan did not have that crazy determination, the destructive power of this technique would at most be equivalent to a Mortal Void Realm technique.
The destructive power of the Void Ignition Technique was indeed terrifying. However, Ning Fan helplessly realized that his current cultivation base was not enough for him to use this technique at will.
The magic technique’s grade was too high while his cultivation base was far too low.
If he forcibly used it, he would either be injured by the backlash or lose control of the magic technique. The black fire butterfly he summoned might eliminate his enemy and himself.
Now, he could command the black fire butterfly to flap its wings no more than three times. Doing it a fourth time was clearly beyond him.
The power of the three flaps could terrify Yun Daoku but it definitely could not kill him.
With Ning Fan’s current cultivation base, he could not kill a Void Fragmentation Realm expert no matter what. Thus, it was hilarious that Yun Daoku had been too timid and was unaware that Ning Fan had yet to completely master this technique.
“The Void Ignition Technique can be kept as a trump card. If it isn’t absolutely necessary, I should not use it unless my cultivation base reaches a higher level…”
Ning Fan examined his internal body. During the past few months where he entered the Sovereign Tomb with a trace of his soul, nearly eighty percent of his body’s injuries had already been healed using the Black Star Healing Technique.
He only needed to swallow the Seventh Revolution Life Returning Pill that the Thunder Sovereign had given to him and his injuries would be completely healed in one go.
Once he fully recovers and finishes some trivial matters, he could then leave this place…
“Big Brother, don’t you need to explain to the elder sisters why your true name is ‘Ning Fan’…?” Xu Qiuling reminded him.
“Yes. It’s time for me to explain it properly. It all started from a low-grade cultivation country. It’s a very long and old story…”
Ning Fan smiled faintly and reached out his hand to grab the snow in the air. Countless snowflakes condensed into houses, snowy mountains and rivers.
In an instant, Ning Fan rebuilt the ruins within the area of ten thousand li* (500m per li) using a magic technique!
However, the style of the buildings and the landscape of the mountains did not resemble the Giant Devil Clan but the terrain of the Wu and Yue Countries instead.
Every shape of the mountains and rivers there had already been etched deeply into Ning Fan’s heart…
“Let’s enter the house and talk inside…”
In just half a month, a cultivator’s name that none had ever heard of spread across the Rain World!
‘Marquis White Robe’… Ning Fan!
‘Scarlet Heaven Palace Lord’… Ning Fan!
The title might sound unfamiliar, but no one dared to underestimate this Marquis White Robe whom the Rain Sovereign had newly promoted.
It was all because this Marquis White Robe was none other than the person who made countless experts of the Rain World tremble with fear upon hearing his name – Zhou Ming, ‘Revered Ming’!
A ballad began to spread among countless cultivators to let all the low-grade cultivators in their sects remember that they must never mess with this Marquis White Robe!
Those cultivators who luckily survived the battle of the one hundred plus sects in the Giant Devil Clan spread Ning Fan’s terrifying infamy around after they returned to their respective cultivation countries.
Scarlet Heaven Palace Lord, slaughterer of one hundred sects!
When the white robe appears, the world wears white mourning dress!
Despite it being a graceful and elegant title, it became fearsome and awe-inspiring when it became Ning Fan’s. It almost had the magical effect of stopping a baby from crying.
In the Middle State’s Rain Palace, a few palace lords of the Rain Palace’s divisions complained to the elderly man on the throne, displaying their discontentment.
“Your Majesty! That Ning Fan is a devil cultivator who has slaughtered countless people. It’s still acceptable to confer him the title of marquis but how can we make him the Scarlet Heaven Palace Lord?! If he comes to the Middle State, isn’t he going to enjoy the same status as we righteous cultivators do?!”
“Your Majesty! This man had been rude toward you. How dare he make an impertinent remark saying ‘if the Rain World does not let me down, I won’t let the Rain World down in return!’ He must be punished in order to warn him against a greater crime!”
The dissatisfaction each of the palace lords felt was related to Ning Fan.
The Rain Sovereign did not mind their complaints and maintained his silence all throughout.
After Yun Daoku conveyed what Ning Fan had said to him, those words still reverberated in his ears.
“If the Rain World does not let me down, I won’t let the Rain World down in return!”
“My ambition is beyond the Rain World!”
The Rain Sovereign’s expression was filled with mixed feelings. He muttered to himself.
This young man does not seem to harbor the intention of becoming a sovereign… However, it’s hard to predict a man’s heart… But he is still extremely useful to me…
The Rain Sovereign’s eyes gradually grew deeper. No one knew what he was thinking in his mind.
In a remote country of the eight hundred cultivation countries, a white-robed middle-aged sword cultivator who only had a single arm was walking alone within a cultivation city.
He was Yun Tianjue who had just returned from an ancient site. Originally, he had found a remnant piece of the Immortal Severing Sword. However, it was destroyed by the void beast which was guarding the place. This made him extremely unhappy.
Whoever provokes Yun Tianjue when he is in a bad mood would certainly be doomed!
All of a sudden, he stopped outside a tavern, listening to the casual conversations of the people inside with interest.
“Did you hear about it? That Revered Ming’s true name is Ning Fan. Now, he has been promoted to the position of Scarlet Heaven Palace Lord of the Rain Palace and he has even been granted the title ‘Marquis White Robe’.”
“Scarlet Heaven Palace Lord, slaughterer of one hundred sects. When the white robe appears, the world wears white mourning dress! This Marquis White Robe certainly is someone we must not provoke!”
“You know what? This Ning Fan was even audacious enough to threaten the Rain Sovereign…”
All of a sudden, Yun Tianjue’s cold tight brows slightly loosened up. His mood actually got slightly better.
“So his name is Ning Fan… Ning Fan…”
In the Ning Family in Hai Ning of Wu Country, a young mistress wearing green robes was having her secluded cultivation inside a stone chamber. Suddenly, she heard a maidservant outside the stone door reporting to her in a hurry.
“Mistress Qing, I’ve found Ning Fan’s whereabouts!”
“Did you find him…?” Ning Qingqing stopped circulating her qi. Her face remained cold and indifferent as if she had no emotions. However, deep inside her bright eyes, there was a hint of joy that came from the bottom of her heart.
Have I finally found him…?
“Look! Mistress Qing! All of this is information related to Ning Fan, the Marquis White Robe…” The maidservant passed all the jade slips containing all the information related to Ning Fan that had been gathered to Ning Qingqing.
Ning Qingqing flew out from the stone chamber and took the jade slips eagerly. However, when she scanned the information inside the jade slips, she wore a look of disappointment.
“It isn’t him… This also isn’t him…”
“In the past, he was just a mortal… How can he be a Void Refinement Realm expert now…?”
Ning Qingqing sighed dejectedly with eyes filled with disappointment.
“Will I forever lose the chance to repay him for his help in the past…?”
Inside Seven Apricot City of Yue Country, a young lady who appeared to be around sixteen to seventeen years old stood on a field of ice and snow, flying a kite while longing for someone. She wore a coat made out of snow-white fox fur with an appearance that looked clean and somber.
All of a sudden, a maidservant ran toward her with a jade slip in her hand.
“City Lord Zhi He, there is information about the young master!”
“Is there some news about Big Brother Fan…?”
The young lady’s heart skipped a beat. She threw away her kite and took the jade slip. When she finished reading it, she beamed in joy with her eyes turning into the shape of crescent moons. However, her expression turned sad the next moment.
“Big Brother Fan… Will you return before I form my gold core…? I don’t want to forget about you… I am reluctant to sever my heart’s devil because that heart’s devil is you…”
That silly innocent young girl in the past was now actually on the verge of forming her gold core. Moreover, she also became the city lord who was in command of both Seven Apricot City and Ning City!
In her hometown, she was waiting for Ning Fan’s return, waiting for the sound of the bell orchid to arrive…
No matter how many years it would take…
Translated by Tommy, edited by Roel