Book 21, The Bloodlotus Blooms, Chapter 3 – The Mirrors of the Heavens
Every single goldstar bead’s aura was now far more powerful than before. It was as though they had evolved somehow…and the reason was because Ji Ning had just mastered the second of the Nine Chaos Seals.
“How truly extraordinary. It supports and reinforces the [Five Treasures] sword-art, and is even more profound.” After mastering the second chaos seal, Ning could immediately sense how extraordinary these nine seals truly were. “If I had those two clones each bring a goldstar bead into Undermoon Lake and meditate on it, it most likely would’ve been beneficial to them in their quest.”
It was extremely difficult to completely memorize all nine of the Nine Chaos Seals. Daoist Three Purities had spent an enormous amount of effort before succeeding, and had only been able to master seven of the seals. Prior to becoming a World God, Mother Nuwa had only been able to master eight of the seals. There was simply no way that Ning could possibly memorize these incredibly profound and arcane chaos seals; he had to keep the goldstar beads by his side in order to train in them. The reason why he hadn’t taken them into Undermoon Lake was because he was afraid that if he died in Undermoon Lake, the beads would be lost as well.
Even if just a single one of the 3600 beads was lost, the set would become incomplete and there would be no way for them to join together into the Thirty-Six Heavens in the future.
“Form.” The black-robed Ning willed it, and the 3600 dazzling goldstar beads in the skies joined together, rapidly merging into 360 stars, then further merging together into the Thirty-Six Heavens.
The Thirty-Six Heavens hoverered around Ning, and Ning could vaguely sense that were somehow connecting to the workings of fate. Ning had a sudden thought, and he immediately barked out, “Change!”
Whoosh. The thirty-six dazzling, glowing globes suddenly transformed into a series of ancient, unadorned mirrors. These mirrors all had bronze borders to them. Some of the mirrors had stellar diagrams of the sun and the moon on the bronze, while others had diagrams of fish, bugs, birds, and other beasts on them. Others were covered with flowers, trees, and other vegetation…
Every single mirror seemed quite extraordinary.
“Eh?” Ning stared carefully at these thirty-six levitating bronze mirrors with curiosity.
The Thirty-Six Heavens could transform into anything. The reason why they had changed into mirrors just now was because Ning had mastered the second chaos seal. Upon doing so, Ning felt a vague, hidden connection between them and the hidden workings of fate, and so he allowed them to go with the flow and transform as they pleased…and they became mirrors. Their current appearance was the most suitable appearance for unleashing the power of the Thirty-Six Heavens when using the second chaos seal.
Ning’s Immortal energy quickly filled into them.
“So that’s how it works. They are actually able to scry the workings of fate itself,” Ning murmured to himself. “They can view the past, the present…and the future?”
There weren’t many treasures in the Three Realms that were capable of touching upon the workings of fate, but there were a few. The number one such treasure was the Book of Life and Death!
The Book of Life and Death was one of the most mysterious, arcane treasures that existed. It recorded the details of the past and present lives of countless living creatures. It was capable of recording hundreds or even thousands of lives for each person. The Book of Life and Death was so powerful that just by scribbling a few extra markings onto it, a person who was destined to live just thirty years could instead be given a lifespan of three hundred years! It could be used to effortlessly change the workings of fate. It truly was an utterly heaven-defying treasure.
The Celestial Court, Buddhist Sangha, Daoist Path, and the Three Sovereigns all had treasures of their own that could also scry on the workings of fate. They had also developed various fate-scrying methods and techniques as well.
Another example was the ‘Stone of Three Lives’ that lay by the side of the River of Forgetfulness. The Stone of Three Lives was similarly capable of illuminating the past, present, and future lives of a person.
“My Thirty-Six Heavens are quite similar to the Stone of Three Lives.” Ning nodded slowly. “If that’s the case…then since it has the appearance of mirrors, let them be known as the Mirrors of the Heavens.”
There were only so many fate-scrying treasures in the Three Realms, and each of them had been created by major powers. This was the first time that an Empyrean God/True Immortal like Ji Ning had acquired a treasure like this. But of course, Ning hadn’t created it on his own; he didn’t have that ability! He had relied on on the power of the Nine Chaos Seals, unconsciously applying them through the goldstar beads and transforming them into the Mirrors of the Heavens.
“They are capable of scanning one’s past, present, and future. In addition, these thirty-six mirrors are shaped like rectangles; they are perfect for defense. In fact, it should even be possible to use them to reflect an enemy’s attacks.” Ning carefully expected his treasures, quickly coming to this conclusion regarding their uniqueness.
In the past, the goldstar beads had mainly been useful because of their extremely high quality, which was why Ning would use them in the form of various weapons. But now, thanks to the chaos seals, they had gained certain special powers as well.
After mastering the second chaos seal, Ning continued to wander the Three Realms as he had before. He watched many mortals, seeing their joys, their sorrows, their farewells, their reunions, their love, their hate, their debts, their grudges.
Love…love was the hardest one to truly fathom.
No expert, no matter how powerful, would be able to claim that he had truly transcended beyond this word, ‘love’. Ning couldn’t, despite having mastered the fourth stage of heartforce. Not even Houyi, who had mastered the fifth stage of heartforce, could make that claim.
One year passed after the other. Ning continued to wander the vast world…
A towering palace began to collapse as a flood of hatred, malevolence, and death energy soared into the heavens.
Two armies of Immortal cultivators were battling each other, as were many mortals.
“Is this what things have come to on the eve of apocalypse?” The midair Ning stared downwards at the slaughter proceeding. He shook his head. He couldn’t, wouldn’t get involved. This sight was incredibly common these days in the Three Realms.
“Who can compare to the Seamless Gate when it comes to manipulating the hearts of men?”
“Why must they cause the entire Three Realms to be thrown into such a state of turmoil?” Ning felt quite powerless. Not even the major powers could stop this, to say nothing of him.
Even if he stopped this particular battle, as soon as he left the war would continue. During his journey across the Three Realms, Ning had long ago discovered that all of these disputes were caused by the secret machinations of the Seamless Gate. Aside from the more mundane methods of incitement they used, the Seamless Gate had a particularly powerful tool at their disposal…the Heavenly Dao of Heart!
The Seamless Chaosworld had originally had six Heavenly Daos; the Heavenly Daos of Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, Heart, and Primordial Chaos.
The Pangu Chaosworld had ten Heavenly Daos; the Heavenly Daos of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, Earth, Yin, Yang, Destruction, Life, and Primordial Chaos.
But then, the Primordial Era had come to an end. Under the guidance of Mother Nuwa, the Three Realms was founded using the Pangu Chaosworld and its Daos as the foundation. The Heaven Realm, for example, had originally been one of the largest surviving pieces of the Pangu chaosworld. The Pangu Chaosworld had served as the core, while the Seamless Chaosworld had been used as a support structure. Thus, the Heavenly Daos remained those of the Pangu Chaosworld!
As a result there was no way to, for example, truly understand and master the Heavenly Dao of Wind. The Three Realms had a flawed Heavenly Dao of Wind that had been divided up into many different Grand Daos.
The Heavenly Dao of Heart similarly no longer existed in the Three Realms.
However, of the major powers of the Seamless Chaosworld who had been alive during the old days, such as the Godking, quite a few had very high levels of attainment in the Heavenly Dao of Heart. They were tremendously skilled in manipulating the hearts of men. With but a single gaze, they could cause some ordinary Immortal cultivators to immediately fall to their knees and willingly become slaves.
The Seamless Gate had many who had gained insight into the Heavenly Dao of Heart early on, including many who were Empyrean Gods and True Immortals. They used their many clones to cause trouble throughout the Three Realms, and there was nothing the Nuwa Alliance could do about it.
Time continued to flow on.
Ten years. A hundred years. Three hundred years…
The situation in the Three Realms had become increasingly dire. The chaos in the mortal worlds was just a minor matter; the real problems lay in the repeated Realmwars between the Seamless Gate and the Nuwa Alliance! In the beginning, Realmwars only occurred every so often, but now they became increasingly frequent and increasingly deadly as both sides grew more and more berserk.
More and more Empyrean Gods and True Immortals began to perish!
Six hundred years had passed since the two clones had entered Undermoon Lake.
A shout could be heard echoing from far away.
Ning was seated atop a wooden boat, allowing it to be carried forward by the waters of the river.
Upon hearing the shout, Ning raised his to look. A long-haired man dressed in loose robes was walking through the air towards him from far away. He had been far away just a moment ago, but in the next instant he appeared before Ning’s wooden boat.
“Fellow Daoist Luoshui.” Ning pulled out a flask of wine.
“Why didn’t you let me know that you came to my place?” The long-haired man laughed as he sat down. This was True Immortal Luoshui, the controller of this world, the Luoshui major world. He was the disciple of Exalted Celestial Carefree, a True Immortal who had found his Dao during the Primordial Era.
“Quite a few old friends have died. I really wasn’t in the mood to pay a call.” Ning shook his head.
Upon hearing this, True Immortal Luoshui couldn’t help but shake his head and sigh as well. “True. Especially during the past three centuries. More and more Empyrean Gods and True Immortals have died. Quite a few old drinking buddies of mine have died.”
Based on what he knew, during the past six centuries since his two clones had entered Undermoon Lake, the Nuwa Alliance had lost more than 1300 Empyrean Gods and True Immortals! As for the Seamless Gate, they had lost more than 1000 as well! The number of Celestial Immortals and Loose Immortals who had died…that number was truly incalculable. Although the casualties in each Realmwar weren’t that great, there had been many, many Realmwars by now!
“Damn the Seamless Gate.” True Immortal Luoshui ground his teeth. “They are simply too despicable.”
“Indeed.” Ning’s face sank as well.
The Seamless Gate’s actions were simply contemptible! They actually acted in merciless fashion against the family members and loved ones of the Empyrean Gods and True Immortals of the Three Realms! For example, if they discovered that a True Immortal had a child, the Seamless Gate would send people to assassinate that child! An Empyrean God had just two disciples? The Seamless Gate would assassinate them!
“The Seamless Gate seeks to drive our Empyrean Gods and True Immortals mad. Ideally, they would go completely insane and die in their madness.” True Immortal Luoshui said furiously, “Even if they don’t go insane, they can be driven so berserk that they will seek out vengeance in such a way that leads to their deaths.”
For ordinary True Immortals and Empyrean Gods, to act alone in seeking vengeance upon the Seamless Gate was akin to committing suicide. Not everyone had as many powerful tools as Ning did! Only by staying calm and relying on the support of an army of other Empyrean Gods and True Immortals a Realmwar would they have a chance to win. The angrier they became, the easier it would be for them to die.
For the sake of achieving victory, the Seamless Gate would stoop to anything.
Fortunately, Ning had placed his daughter Brightmoon within the Crescent major world. Otherwise, she probably would’ve suffered an attack as well. These large-scale assassination programs the Seamless Gate had initiated had driven the Nuwa Alliance utterly furious. This was one of the reasons why the Realmwars were occurring nonstop now!
“All those years ago, when the Lord of All Fiends brought back the Seamless Gate survivors, we should’ve refused to let them in.” True Immortal Luoshui ground his teeth. “Better to have fought then than to have allowed them back into the Three Realms. Now, they rooted themselves firmly here, growing increasingly powerful…and they have used that power to deliver us a vicious bite.”
“But who could’ve imagined all this?” Ning shook his head.
“True. No one was ready for any of this. We actually addressed many of the Seamless Gate as ‘brother’, and some were lifelong friends of mine. We even traded many of our techniques for theirs, resulting in them learning quite a few of our powerful techniques.” True Immortal Luoshui shook his head. “We didn’t try to prevent them from recruiting apprentices from our ranks either, resulting in them gaining large numbers of Empyrean Gods and True Immortals.”
“It’s far too late to be saying these things now. All we can do is prepare for the war. Let all of this be decided on the field of battle,” Ning said.
“Right. The wars are becoming increasingly larger in size and scope. In a hundred years, or perhaps a thousand years at most, the final war for karmic luck will most likely begin,” True Immortal Luoshui said.
The final war for karmic luck…
That would be one of the last great battles before the end. All the Empyrean Gods and True Immortals would enter this final battle that would truly decide the war for karmic luck. In fact, if the losing side felt that things were going worse than expected, they might immediately launch the Endwar, resulting in all the major powers attacking! All the surviving major powers would then engage the final, true Endwar.
Indeed, from the looks of things, this final battle would happen anywhere from a hundred to a thousand years from now.
“Right. Yesterday, True Immortal Dongyan of your Grand Xia died in battle.” True Immortal Luoshui looked at Ning. “Did you hear this news?”
“True Immortal Dongyan?” Ning was stunned.
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