Book 20, Jindan Upgrade, Chapter 18 – Wuji Births Taiji
Atop the vast wilderness, the white-robed Ji Ning stood facing the fur-clad Empyrean God Feiyou. Off in the distance, more than a hundred Empyrean Gods were watching them.
“Although Myriad Mountains Island doesn’t suffer from the ‘millenial invasion’, it suffers from an even more terrifying calamity whenever a new Empyrean God arrives. The Empyrean Gods who can make it to this place are all tremendously powerful…and yet, almost every single time, some will die when the calamity arrives.” Empyrean God Roughpeak shook his head and sighed.
“Only a deadly threat like this can stir us into becoming more powerful. The stronger you become, the greater your chances will be of making it to the next island,” Empyrean God Witherdragon said solemnly.
This was the third island. The fourth island was next. As for the fifth island, there were no dangers there; upon reaching it, one would be permitted to leave. Thus, all of the Empyrean Gods who had made it to the third island were extremely powerful. As for the ones on the fourth island, they were just one step away from leaving this place.
The tribulations on the third island weren’t meant for the Empyrean Gods who had given up to face; they were meant for the stronger Empyrean Gods who had made it here under their own power.
“Be careful, brother Darknorth.” A pair of short black halberds appeared in Feiyou’s hands.
“Short halberds?” Ning was startled.
According to the reports he had read, during the Primordial Era, Empyrean God Feiyou didn’t use short halberds as his weapons.
“Here in Undermoon Lake, when watching the Purgatory God, I ended up discovering weapons that suited me even better than my old ones.” Feiyou looked at Ning. “Although the Purgatory God and I both use twin halberds…I’m much more formidable than him.”
“After you.” A pair of blood-red swords appeared in Ning’s hands.
The hundred-plus spectating Empyrean Gods all held their breaths. Through this fight, they would be able to find out exactly how powerful this newly-arrived Empyrean God Darknorth was! If he was truly powerful, they would all stand a better chance of surviving once the calamity came.
Of course, the calamity posed no danger to the Empyrean Gods who had given up, but it was deadly to the other Empyrean Gods who had brought them here. They had watched many of their benefactors die over the years, and they hoped that less would die this time.
Swoosh. Feiyou transformed into a streak of light, flying towards Ning. Ning also transformed into a streak of light, going forward to engage.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
The twin swords collided against the twin halberds in midair. Upon exchanging blows, Ning was shocked: “Eh? Empyrean God Feiyou’s short halberd technique is identical to the Purgatory God’s?” Thanks to his earlier experience battling against the Purgatory God, it was fairly easy for Ning to deal with Feiyou’s attacks. In turn, Ning put his sword-arts on full display. This spar was mainly meant so that the other nine Empyrean Gods would have a good understanding of Ning’s abilities, allowing them to cooperate better once the calamity came.
A queer, unpredictable sword-light lashed out, flashing towards Feiyou’s neck. Fortunately, the short halberd managed to block in time.
Yet another bizarre streak of sword-light, this one black. It scraped upwards towards Feiyou’s body, but Feiyou managed to once more block it with a clever twist of his halberd.
“This Darknorth fellow…what a strange, fast sword-art he has.”
“His sword-art is both fast and unpredictable. The Dao of the Sword really is well-suited to launching attacks.”
“Yes, quite formidable. This sword-art alone is enough to allow him to overcome the Purgatory God.”
Cloudscar, Eastvoid, Seasonstep, and the others all sighed in amazement. Although they had all made it past the Purgatory God as well, none of them walked upon the Dao of the Sword! From Ning’s sword-arts, they were able to get a sense of how deadly and dangerous an expert of the Dao of the Sword could be.
As for Roughpeak and the Seven Dragon Gods, their eyes shone as they watched. Although Ning had brought them to this place, they had never truly seen Ning fight with full power as he was right now.
The two clashed together then separated, landing on the ground.
Feiyou said excitedly, “Brother Darknorth, although I was at a disadvantage, that was just the warmup. We were just getting a bit familiar with each other. Now…I’m going to fight for real.” After speaking, Feiyou’s aura changed in a subtle manner. Transforming into a streak of light, he once more charged towards Ning, and as soon as they exchanged attacks, Ning could sense that Feiyou’s short halberd techniques had changed…
It was no longer the technique the Purgatory God had used. It was an even more exquisite technique.
Although Ning was skilled in attacking, for a time Ning was unable to seize the upper hand again. Clearly, the amount of time Feiyou had spent on this island had resulted in him perfecting his short halberd technique to a level that was far superior to Ning’s sword-arts.
“Formidable, formidable.” After battling for a short while, Ning laughed. “Big brother Feiyou, I’m wondering how strong your protective divine abilities are?”
After speaking, Ning no longer moved to dodge. He allowed his opponent’s halberds to land on him as he sent his own swords howling towards Feiyou. Feiyou was so terrified that even the look on his face changed. He hurriedly pulled back his halberds to block Ning’s attacks instead.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Feiyou was repeatedly knocked backwards. He called out in a loud voice, “Is this the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art]?!”
“The Ninth Cycle of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art],” Ning chortled.
“That’s CHEATING!” Feiyou was furious. If Ning was a bit weaker than him, then he would’ve still been able to suppress Ning, even though Ning had the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] guarding his body. But since the two were equal in power…for Ning to be able to focus solely on offense meant that he had an enormous advantage.
“Who is your master?” Feiyou roared. “He actually let you train in the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art], and you even reached the Ninth Cycle!”
“My master? Daofather Subhuti.” Ning chortled happily. “Jealous? Envious?”
“Daofather Subhuti? You have such bullshit luck!” The more Feiyou fought, the angrier he became as he was being beaten into an increasingly sorry state. “Enough, enough! I already know that you have a powerful protective divine ability. Stop abusing it, alright?”
Seeing that the point had been made, Ning stopped ‘cheating’. He began to fight normally, no longer relying on the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] to protect him and instead using his swords to block the enemy’s attacking halberds.
This sort of fight was much more interesting, anyways.
“I didn’t know that brother Darknorth had actually reached the Ninth Cycle of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art]. This is going to be wonderful.” Oddwitch chortled merrily, “When the demon army comes, brother Coppersong, we won’t need you soak up all the damage all by yourself like a target dummy, like we normally would. This time, brother Darknorth can work together with you to take them on.”
In the face of an army of demons, they would indeed need Fiendgods with incredibly tough bodies to withstand the front-line blows for them.
The muscular Coppersong, his entire body shimmering with an ancient copper aura, said in a low voice, “The [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] which brother Darknorth has trained in is the number one divine ability below the True God level. Although I’ve had some fortuitous encounters, my divine body isn’t a match for brother Darknorth’s. This time, brother Darknorth will have to serve as the vanguard for taking on the enemy’s attacks.”
“My word! Coppersong, you big dumb lunk…you’ve learned how to take advantage of others?”
“He actually understands the principle of letting someone else charge in front of him!”
The others all laughed.
Coppersong stared at them. “I had to do that because none of you have tough enough divine bodies. In the past, I served as the vanguard because I had no other choice, and was just barely up to the task. However, Ji Ning’s divine body is even tougher than mine. That’s the Ninth Cycle of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] we are talking about! His body is akin to a supreme Pure Yang Treasure. Even a True God or Daofather would find it difficult to destroy such a body.”
“In both the Primordial Era and the era of the Three Realms, very few have been able to reach the Ninth Cycle of the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art]. Every single person who succeeded was not only tremendously talented but also doted upon heavily by a True God or Daofather. There’s no need for someone like that to enter Undermoon Lake, right?”
“There really is no need for someone who a Daofather holds in such favor to enter Undermoon Lake.”
All of them were quite puzzled.
Generally speaking, the people who entered Undermoon Lake during the Primordial Era and the era of the Three Realms were people who felt that they had no chance of becoming a True God or Daofather. This was why they were willing to risk everything here in Undermoon Lake. In addition, not even emerging from Undermoon Lake was a guarantee that one would succeed. Buddha Jueming, for example; a long time passed after his departure from Undermoon Lake before he became a Buddha.
Thus, Undermoon Lake really didn’t make much of a difference! Everyone who came in was just gambling with their lives. As for the truly supreme geniuses like Lu Dongbin, Redsnow, and Sun Wukong, none of them would actually enter such a place.
But of course, although the likes of Feiyou, Oddwitch, and the others had been fairly ordinary in strength when they had entered, thanks to Undermoon Lake, they had been trained to the point where they all verily gleamed with talent and power. The nine of them had all reached the fourth level of forces such as taiji-force. In the Three Realms, they would be viewed with great importance by the True Gods and Daofathers. From this, one could see how effective Undermoon Lake’s training regime was.
Suddenly, a colossal explosion could be heard. The shockwave caused the earth to crack like the shell of a turtle, and the nearest mountain began to tremble as well, causing many boulders to fall down.
The power of this collision caused all the distant spectators to be badly shocked.
“How fierce!” Feiyou retreated a long distance, staring towards Ning in shock.
“You blocked it?!” Ning was shocked as well.
“What happened just now? Y-you…how did you suddenly make your sword-arts increase in power by that much?” Feiyou was shocked.
“Just now, I filled my sword with fourth-stage heartforce,” Ning explained. “With heartforce supporting my attack, the strength naturally increased dramatically.”
Buyou was stunned. “Fourth-stage heartforce? You’ve not only reached the fourth stage of swordforce, but also the fourth stage of heartforce? And…but…even if you have reached the fourth stage of heartforce, how could you pour it into your sword? Did you come up with a heartforce sword-technique?”
Heartforce was an invisible, ephemeral thing. Even major powers were often bedeviled by the question of how to apply it.
“And you?” Ning was puzzled as well. “Just now, your halberd techniques…” He clearly had released a maximum-strength blow; he had unleashed swordforce, heartforce, and even the [Starseizing Hand]. Although he had knocked Feiyou backwards, Feiyou had still successfully blocked the attack. Ning had seen the blurry image of a taiji diagram appear before Feiyou, and it felt as though his attack had been trapped into an endless vortex.
“That’s a new technique that I just came up with,” Feiyou said with a laugh. “My infiniforce has reached the fourth stage, while my taiji-force has only reached the second stage. However…the infinite Wuji gives birth to the supreme Taiji. Infiniforce and taiji-force can be joined together, and so I came up with this technique that does just that, which is why it is so defensively powerful.” 1
Ning couldn’t help but sigh in awe. Impressive.
He naturally knew that some of the supreme types of force could be merged together. For example, timeforce and spaceforce could join together. Redsnow had managed to join them together into spacetime-force, which was why Subhuti was so delighted with him and had taken him on as his disciple.
However, only certain matching, suitable forces could be joined together.
For example, there would be no way to join swordforce together with saberforce. They simply didn’t have anything to do with each other; there was no way to forcibly join them together.
Wuji gave birth to Taiji, and so the two could join together perfectly. Even though Feiyou had only reached the second stage of taiji-force, upon joining these two types of force together the results were quite shocking.
“That’s why I said that I was the stablest and most unshakable of the nine. I can withstand even the attacks of Empyrean God Zhenbu, who has the most ferocious attacks of us all.” Feiyou looked at Ning, then let out an amazed sigh. “But in terms of ferociousness, you are a bit superior to even Zhenbu. Impressive, quite impressive.”
Ning said hurriedly, “Heartforce is different from other types of energy. There’s no way to sustainably attack using heartforce; if I attacked repeatedly with it, I would only be able to launch a bit over ten attacks.”
“Oh…” Feiyou now understood. He shook his head. “A pity…”
“Still, your power surpasses my expectations. We need to make some careful arrangements…and then, the only thing for us to do is wait. Roughly ten days or so from now, the demon army of Undermoon Lake will attack.” Feiyou let out a laugh. “When the time comes, then ten of us shall work together to engage our foes!”
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- This phrase, ‘Wuji births Taiji’, is one of the most famous phrases in Daoism, and you can find out more in the ‘basic primer to Daoism’ on Wuxiaworld. Wuji means ‘infinity’ or ‘limitless’, while Taiji means ‘the supreme’. The full saying is, Wuji gives birth to Taiji, which gives birth to (the duality of) Liangyi. The duality is known as Yin and Yang, and the transformations of Yin and Yang are known as the (four phenomenon) Sixiang, which are reflected within the world as the (eight trigrams) Bagua. You can think of it as 0 => 1 => 2 => 4 => 8 ↩