Book 19, Empyrean God, Chapter 48 – Deep Within the Lightning Sea
“I have to enter the lightning sea in order to train this divine ability.” Ji Ning had no other options.
Ning had fifteen other clones of his true body by his side, hidden within the Starseizing Manor. One of them emerged from the manor, then flew towards the endless sea of lightning.
After flying for a short while, the clone reached the borders of the lightning sea.
“Whew.” Staring at the countless flashes of white lightning before him, Ning couldn’t help but feel his heart shudder.
“Time to go in.” With a boom, Ning charged forward into the endless flashing streaks of lightning. Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Countless lightning bolts surged around him. Ning had long ago put away his magic robes, leaving him completely nude within the sea of lightning. He allowed the white lightning bolts to crash down upon his body repeatedly, and almost instantly close to a thousand lightning bolts came hammering down against him.
These lightning bolts were countless times more powerful than the lightning bolts Ning had encountered during the ninth nine-set of his Empyrean Tribulation. Fortunately, Ning had already mastered the Ninth Cycle of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] and so was able to take them with ease.
“Time to begin training in the [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent] and transform my divine body.” Ning allowed his nude body to bathe in the lightning, shutting his eyes and focusing on activating the divine ability. Instantly, a series of divine golden tattoos began to appear on the surface of his body. As the divine tattoos continued to appear, the white lightning around Ning that had been attacking him seemed to become more gentle.
Slowly, Ning’s entire body became covered in countless golden tattoos. These golden tattoos were all linked together, and one could vaguely make out a single massive character…the character for lightning in the script of the Pangaea chaos-kingdom.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Once the barrier of golden tattoo-light was formed, the surrounding white lightning all began to swirl around it. Slowly, a vortex of lightning was formed, and at the center of this vortex was what looked like a cocoon of lightning, with Ning located within the cocoon.
Inside the lightning cocoon.
The muscles and skin of Ning’s naked body were all twitching and shuddering as strands of white lightning continuously flowed into them.
Previously, Ning’s body had been capable of easily withstanding the white bolts of lightning thanks to the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], which completely blocked all the lightning. But to transform his divine body, he had to allow the lightning to enter every single part of it. Only then would his divine body undergo a qualitative change. Right now, his body wasn’t truly ‘defending’ against the lightning; it was just lowering the power of the lightning dramatically. One slip-up, however, and the body would instantly be reduced to dust.
This was just the beginning. The body’s elemental composition had to be complete changed.
All bodies had elemental affinities and natures. Some, for example, were born with bodies of water, while others were born with bodies of fire. Generally speaking, at Ning’s level, the nature of the body didn’t really matter. For example, even Exalted Celestial Thundergod, who was born with control over the Grand Dao of Thunder, didn’t have a body that could allow lightning sea serpents or Ninehorn Lightning Serpents to roam within it without causing damage. What Ning had to do was to change his body to become a perfect lightning vessel, capable of allowing lightning sea serpents and Ninehorn Lightning Serpents to roam about it with impunity.
Perhaps in terms of power, there was no way he could match Exalted Celestial Thundergod, but his affinity towards lightning would become closer than even the Thundergod’s.
In truth, this alone was testament to how difficult it was to transform one’s divine body. The major power who developed this evasion technique was definitely an extraordinary individual. The only reason why the True God which Ning had acquired this technique from even had access this technique was because he had been extremely lucky when adventuring in a dangerous area.
“Argh.” Ning could sense his entire body being wracked by pain.
The divine body had to be transformed in a procedural manner.
The first step was to use weak lightning bolts to transform it. Next, he would slowly upgrade the power of the lightning, allowing his divine body to become even more perfectly affiliated with lightning, until finally it was suitable for Ninehorn Lightning Serpents to reside within!
The other types of lightning were easily encountered. Ninehorn Lightning Serpents, however, were incredibly rare and precious. Ning had been planning to slowly train within the Three Realms, but he was now forced to enter the lightning seas. The power of the lightning within the lightning seas would increase the further he went in, making it quite a suitable place for him. However, what awaited Ning within the heart of the lightning sea wasn’t the Ninehorn Lightning Serpents; it was the even wilder race of mindless lightning sea serpents.
As for the final step of perfecting his divine body…
Ning had planned to use the Ninehorn Lightning Serpent to do this. The lightning sea serpents were simply too wild; clearly, using them to transform the body would be much more dangerous. However…since he didn’t have a Ninehorn Lightning Serpent, he had no choice but to accept the dangerous alternative.
Time slowly passed on. His divine body transformed at a very slow pace, and every so often a small part of his body would break apart. Ning would hurriedly use his divine power to repair the damage, then continue with his efforts. He spent more than a month within the white cocoon of lightning. Still completely naked, he allowed the white lightning to roam across his body and even inside his body, suffering no damage at all.
“Continue.” Ning soon began to advance towards the deeper parts of the lightning sea.
Slowly, the color of the lightning began to turn darker and darker, and they began to increase in power as well.
Ning came to a halt, then once more began his cultivation. He guided the dull white lightning bolts into his body, allowing them to transform it. He spent merely half a year before succeeding, then once more headed deeper into the sea…
Once Ning reached an area where all the lightning was gray, he came to a halt. He began to use the gray lightning to transform his divine body. This time, he succeeded after just a few days.
“The final step is before me.” Ning stared forward. Past this region of gray lightning was the region of black lightning.
The black lightning serpents swam everywhere. Once they moved at full speed, they would be moving at the speed of light, giving them extraordinary power and savagery.
No matter where Ning looked, he could only see these lightning sea serpents; he was unable to see any Ninehorn Lightning Serpents at all.
“Using lightning sea serpents to transform my body is very dangerous…” Ning stared forward, sensing a certain pressure that made it hard for him to breathe. His [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] was completely incapable of withstanding such terrifying lightning bolts. Even major powers would fear them; Ning was nothing by comparison.
“If I had a Ninehorn Lightning Serpent, my chances would be comparatively greater. Well…there’s nothing for it.” Ning once more activated the body transformation technique. Once more, the golden tattoos appeared atop his skin, quickly forming together into a cocoon of golden light, causing the lightning around Ning to begin to swirl towards him.
Ning continued to advance forward, moving towards the region where the black lightning intersected with the gray lightning.
The lightning sea serpents were wild and unbridled. They were in the shape of serpents but possessed no sentience. In truth, they were nothing more than peculiarly-shaped bolts of lightning.
Finally, a lightning sea serpent at the border region brushed past Ning’s body. The black lightning was instantly attracted towards the golden barrier formed by the divine tattoos, resulting in a cocoon of black electric light surrounding Ning, who immediately retreated back into the region of gray lightning.
“Time to begin.” Black electricity crackled within the cocoon. Ning carefully guided a strand of black lightning from the cocoon into his own divine body, allowing it to invade.
Lightning sea serpents and Ninehorn Lightning Serpents were both types of lightning; the only difference was that Ninehorn Lightning Serpents were sentient. If he was able to succeed in transforming his body via lightning sea serpents, it would also become suitable for Ninehorn Lightning Serpents.
The nude Ning’s arm instantly blew apart…and then the cocoon of black lightning collapsed as well. When the vestiges of black lightning brushed past Ning’s body, it instantly collapsed and transformed into dust, leaving nothing else behind.
“Failure.” Outside the sea of lightning. Ning was still seated atop his Voidboat, and his face turned pale. The pain his clone had felt as it was destroyed filled Ning with utter agony. The lightning sea snakes were simply too terrifying; even the portion of truesoul within the clone had been reduced to nothing. “Damn. The lightning sea snakes are far too wild. I just guided a tiny part of their energy into my body, but wasn’t even able to succeed in transforming one of my arms.”
“Let’s do it again.” Ning once more sent a clone forth.
Although he had sent just a single clone into the lightning sea, all of his other clones had shared in the experience. They had all begun to ponder on how to increase his chances of succeeding in transforming his body. Although the [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent] evasion technique had very detailed notes, once the time came to actually apply the technique, experience made a tremendous difference.
This death had given Ning experience in using a lightning sea serpent to transform his body. Next time, he would avoid certain mistakes and do better.
After three months…the second clone died as well.
The other bodies were all pondering carefully on what to do. His true body’s clones continued to enter the lightning sea, testing and trying new techniques, but this was indeed the most dangerous part of training in this divine ability. The technique’s notes didn’t exaggerate at all; the stated 90% chance of death wasn’t just talk! This was even more true for Ning, who was using the extremely dangerous method of using lightning sea serpents to transform his body.
In the blink of an eye, more than four years had gone by. Ning remained within the Voidboat, staring at the distant, vast sea of lightning.
“It’s been more than four years.”
“My other fifteen clones have all died, but I still haven’t succeeded. I was just a tiny, tiny bit off.” Ning gritted his teeth.
His true body’s clones had all died. Only one of them remained alive, and that one would be able to slowly grow out new clones. This was a process that allowed for the rebirth of the truesoul, the soul, and the divine body. However, a fairly long period of time was required. To completely recover all fifteen bodies would take countless years. This was the reason why Youngflame Freak had felt such despair when he lost his sixteen clones.
There was one other method that could be used to quickly replenish the clones; to use the incomparably marvelous ‘chaos nectar’. Ning was able to use chaos nectar to break through from the first level of the [Taowu Eighteen Fiendgods] to the second level; to use it to merely rebuild his clones was a waste of precious resources.
But the great storm had already descended…Ning simply didn’t have the time he needed to allow his clones to recover.
“I’ll have to use chaos nectar.”
Ning spent a full hour travelling towards an enormous star within the primordial chaos. He located a mountain estate, then temporarily secluded himself within it. He then entered the Starseizing Manor, beginning his training.
“Chaos nectar can be used to train in the second level of the [Taowu Eighteen Fiendgods]. I, however, am wasting it in replenishing my divine body…” Ning himself felt heartache at the waste. However, this was all for the sake of learning the [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent]. This was an evasion technique that would make even major powers grow red-eyed with envy, an absolutely first-class evasion technique that would allow him to always have the initiative.
When those ten Golden Crows had devastated the Primordial Era, not even Mother Nuwa had been able to do anything about them, precisely because the [Golden Sunstreak] was simply too powerful.
Ning pulled out the stopper to a black bottle. Pop! The stopper came out, and Ning stopped worrying about the cost. Closing his eyes, he began to employ the regenerative technique included in the [Taowu Eighteen Fiendgods]. Instantly, one drop of chaos nectar after another began to fly out of the black bottle. Every single drop contained countless bubble that were like worlds unto themselves. The bubbles would appear and disappear in a marvelous, unending cycle of creation and destruction.
Ning slowly absorbed the chaos nectar into his body.
An illusory figure flew out from within Ning’s body, then solidified. Instantly, a second Ning appeared.
As more time passed on, additional bodies were restored and rebuilt. In the end, a total of sixteen Ji Nings appeared within the Starseizing Manor. This was the limit; there was no way he could regain any more.
“The amount of chaos nectar needed to replenish my clones is actually the same as needed to break through to the second stage of the [Taowu Eighteen Fiendgods].” Ning truly felt heartache at the cost.
“I refuse to believe that I’ll fail this time as well.”
Ning left the cave, then rode the Voidboat back into the primordial chaos, heading once more towards the sea of lightning.
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