Book 19, Empyrean God, Chapter 27 – Prisonworld
In terms of value, the [Taowu Eighteen Fiendgods] was comparable to the other six techniques. However, thanks to this bottle of chaos nectar, Ji Ning had been able to train to the second level of the technique, causing his body to undergo a fundamental change in quality.
“There’s actually a bit left over.” Ning waved his hand, causing the black bottle to fly into it. The drops of chaos nectar were clearly visible at the base of the bottle. “Each bottle holds a total of ninety-nine drops. There are actually twenty-two left. According to what Jailor Westbat said, the previous Overseers would all use up nearly an entire battle. It seems as though my strength is slightly lacking, compared to the previous Overseers.”
The more powerful one was, the more chaos nectar would be needed to train to the second stage of the [Taowu Eighteen Fiendgods].
The price of training the first stage and creating eighteen clones was having one’s strength lowered. The price of training the second stage lay in consuming chaos nectar to quickly return back to one’s original level of power. Thus, the more powerful one was, the more chaos nectar would be needed. For example, the Jindan and the soul which True Gods and Daofathers possessed were far more powerful than Ning’s, and so they would need far more chaos nectar as well. This, too, had been recorded within the details of the technique.
The generations of Overseers were only permitted to assume their position after showing that they were capable of ‘reading’ the entire stone stele. Ning had just barely succeeded, but had still successfully become an Overseer. This meant his level of power was still quite close to that of the previous Overseers. Clearly, the previous Overseers hadn’t reached the True God or Daofather level.
The other seventeen clones remained seated, pondering the remaining six techniques. One of them, however, arose and walked out towards the spatial gateway.
Upon passing through the gateway, the world seemed to change.
He was now in a wide, vast world. At the very peak of a ten thousand kilometer mountain, a white-robed youth appeared out of nowhere.
“So this is a prisonworld…?” Ning saw that this vast world was dark and blurry. There were no stars, no sun, no moon. Countless divine runes could be seen swimming through the skies like dragons. These golden divine runes caused the skies to glitter, perpetually casting the vast earth in dim light.
“Spread out.” Standing atop the peak of the towering mountain, Ning willed his heartforce to emerge.
Boom! His heartforce instead spread out in every direction. Ning did not dare to release his coresense in this region, where so many prisoners were located, for fear of suffering an attack! Comparatively speaking, using heartforce was much safer.
In an instant, his heartforce spread out to cover an area that was at least three times the size of the Grand Xia.
Far away, there was a filthy-looking old man who was leaning against a stone cliff. His legs were shackled together, and the shackles emanated strange, mysterious ripples of power. It was precisely because of these shackles that he had been imprisoned here for more than ten chaos cycles.
“Heartforce…? It seems that the new Overseer has arrived. The Overseers are all young fellows. This one has fairly strong heartforce, at least.” The filthy-looking old man raised his head, a green light emanating from his eyes. Instantly, a surge of powerful heartforce swept out to cover an area of a thousand kilometers. As for the heartforce which Ning had sent into the region, it was completely surrounded and smothered by this second surge of heartforce.
Off in the distance, there was a wild dog who was lying on the ground. The wild dog’s fur and skin was damaged so badly that his black bones could be seen in some places. The wild dog blinked. “This kid really doesn’t know his own limits. That old bastard, Pangaea, is increasingly lax when sending out his Overseers. Doesn’t he warn these kids? Still…his heartforce is much stronger than that of the previous Overseer.”
Everything within a thousand kilometers suddenly turned dark. Even the surrounding space trembled slightly.
Still atop the distant mountain peak, Ning’s face suddenly turned ashen. He gritted his teeth. “Break!”
Instantly, Ning forcibly severed off part of the heartforce which he had sent out. He treated it as though he had shot out an arrow with heartforce, completely severing it from himself.
Only after breaking the connection did the fear hit Ning.
“The region my heartforce was able to cover had to be just a tiny portion of this prisonworld. The most terrifying figures within this region were that old man and that wild dog.” Ning swallowed, hard. “That old man had to be at the Daofather level, while the wild dog should be at the Elder God level. That old man’s heartforce is merely at the fourth stage as well, but he’s far more powerful than me in using techniques to apply it. He was actually able to instantly trap me in an illusion. Fortunately, both of us are at the fourth stage of heartforce, which is why I was able to forcibly sever the connection.”
“As for that wild dog…his divine ability is simply incredible. He was able to devour my heartforce in the blink of an eye.” 1
Ning instantly understood that those two figures were definitely not people he could mess with.
“The area I scanned also contained eighteen True Gods, thirty-three Pure Yang True Immortals, seventy-one Empyrean Gods, and ninety-six Celestial Immortals.” Ning did some quick calculations.
The auras of the True Gods were as powerful as expected. The Pure Yang True Immortals also gave Ning a sense of tremendous danger.
“The Empyrean Gods and Celestial Immortals shouldn’t be too dangerous.” Ning pondered for another moment. “Right. I’ll choose a Celestial Immortal as my first contact. Celestial Immortals are the weakest. I should be able to discover quite a few secrets from them.”
The two jailors were nothing more than constructs; they didn’t understand any cultivation techniques at all. The prisoners here, however, did.
Ning sat down within his Voidboat. The Voidboat transformed into a streak of light, rapidly advancing through the dark prisonworld. Ning intentionally kept more than a thousand kilometers away from the prisoners, because every single prisoner was surrounded by complicated formations that were a thousand kilometers around them. These formations were meant to subdue the prisoners and prevent their techniques from going outside.
There was no way to tear through the space in the prisonworld, nor was there any way to engage in spatial teleportation. The only choice was to slowly fly forward.
It usually took the two jailors more than 120,000 years to complete a full inspection of all the prisoners in the prisonworld. From this, one could tell how vast this world truly was. But of course, this was also a testament to how slow the jailors were. As constructs, they were able to absorb enough energy from the world to stay alive, but their flying speed was ridiculously slow. If they had a Voidboat like Ning did, they would be much, much faster.
Ning flew for half a day.
“Here it is.” Ning put away the Voidboat, then landed within a valley.
“That Celestial Immortal is right up ahead.”
As he walked through the valley, Ning moved hundreds of kilometers with each step. He quickly arrived at the margins of the formation.
The blurry formation barrier covered the region like a giant dome. The prisoner was completely unable to step past the formation barrier. However, the barrier was only effective against the prisoner; Ning and the two jailors could enter and exit as they pleased.
Whoosh. Ning took a single step forward. The barrier didn’t harm Ning at all.
Ning once more sent out his heartforce, using it to encompass this region.
Far away, there was a youth dressed in tattered clothes who was seated in the lotus position. The youth had a pair of black shackles around his feet. The chains attached to the black shackles stretched off into the distance, disappearing into an empty region as though they had emerged from it. The black shackles were absolutely terrifying; once they were attached, there was no way to remove them at all. Not even Elder Gods could do it.
Although the black shackles looked like they were attached to the legs, in truth they bound the soul and the truesoul.
Suddenly, faint footsteps could be heard off in the distance.
“Eh?” The youth dressed in tattered clothes blurrily opened his eyes.
It had been far too long. He had been here far, far too long, so long that even the magic treasure clothes he wore had been reduced to a tattered state. In truth, all he had to do was use a bit of energy and he would be able to instantly repair them, but there was no way to absorb any energy whatsoever within the prisonworld. All any of them could do was rely on the original amount they had to sustain themselves.
He had committed a grave crime, so great that not even his school could save him. His master had given him many spirit-pills, so that he might live longer within this prisonworld. His master had said to him, “Goodhill, I’m unable to save you. Be sparing with these spirit-pills. You’ll only be able to survive within the prisonworld by relying on your own Immortal energy, but once it is used up, once the spirit-pills are used up, you will die! Only if you manage to stay alive will you be able to escape. I’ll definitely help you and come up with a way to save you, so you have to hold on. No matter what, don’t kill yourself. Hold on!”
“Someone’s finally come. It’s been far, far too long.” A look of hope was in the youth’s eyes. “Am I going to be released?”
It was this hope which had sustained him for three chaos cycles, which kept him going even now. He had been extremely sparing with every drop of energy, and fortunately his master had provided him with many spirit-pills. However, by now he had already used up the majority of them; most likely, he would only be able to hold on for another chaos cycle, at which point he would succumb.
“Eh?” The youth looked at the white-robed figure. “His aura…True Immortal? Wait…why is he…so weak?”
Ning stared at the skeletal-looking youth. This youth had a human-like appearance, but he was too skinny. Still, Ning’s heartforce had discovered that every single prisoner seemed to be extremely gaunt, as though they were ordinary mortals that were starved to the brink of death. No…not even starving mortals would be as ridiculously gaunt as them.
The Elder God in the shape of a wild dog, for example…he had been starved so badly that his very skin had broken apart, revealing his black bones.
“You must be the new Overseer.” The youth looked at him. “I am a Celestial Immortal, but an Overseer has actually come to visit me…are you going to release me?”
“Release you?” Ning was startled.
“Why didn’t you bring the talisman of command? Without it, you won’t be able to open these shackles.” The youth shook his head.
Ning shook his own head as well. “I don’t have it. I have no way to release you.” Not even Elder Gods could break these shackles, to say nothing of Ning.
The youth was stunned. He stared at Ning in amazement. “Y-you…you aren’t of the Pangaea chaos-kingdom! Who are you? How did you enter this prisonworld? What happened to the Pangaea chaos-kingdom?”
“I’m the Overseer which His Majesty sent,” Ning said, looking at the youth.
“Don’t deny it.” The youth shook his head. “If you came from our Pangaea chaos-kingdom, if you were sent by His Majesty, then you would definitely know that His Majesty would personally send an Elder God or Ancestral Immortal to open the shackles. Even if you did have the command talisman, you still wouldn’t be able to open the shackles. But just now, when I asked you about opening the shackles with the command talisman, you didn’t express any puzzlement at all.”
Ning was stunned.
He hadn’t revealed anything in front of those two golems…but as soon as he interacted with an actual intelligent being, a Celestial Immortal, he had immediately revealed himself.
Still, Ning didn’t panic at all. When he had first entered, he had been worried about his true identity being revealed, but after chatting with Westbat for so long, Ning realized that this stone stele was a very special treasure, much like his Starseizing Manor. It contained many formations and restrictions within it, but he now truly was the master of the stone stele. As for the two golems, they were nothing more than laborers. Perhaps they weren’t weak, but they would never, ever be able to leave the stone stele.
Ning, however, could leave the stone stele world whenever he so chose. And so, he was no longer worried about any danger.
“Why did you suspect my identity? Why did you test me?” Ning asked.
“Tell me, what has happened to the Pangaea chaos-kingdom?!” The youth asked frantically.
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- This wild dog is likely modeled after the ‘tiangou’, the Heavenly Dog which eats/swallows the sun during an eclipse. The Japanese ‘tengu’ was derived from the Chinese ‘tiangou’. ↩