Book 21, The Bloodlotus Blooms, Chapter 33 – Five Years Later
What did Ji Ning need the most right now?
He was in desperate need of more time!
His talent was beyond dispute. Even as a youth, Patriarch Lu and Subhuti had favored him. After experiencing so many things, he had only become an even more outstanding figure. An Immortal cultivator’s talent wasn’t something that was set in stone; it could change and transform as he grew up and experienced all sorts of events. Some might regress, while others might soar to the heavens and become increasingly dazzling.
Clearly, Ning was the type to become more and more dazzling…but even the most monstrous of geniuses needed time to grow!
Treasures that could change the rate at which time flowed…yes, they existed in the Three Realms. The Grand Xia Emperor, for example, had been able to use the Brightmoon Diagram of the Mountains and Rivers to change the flow of time within it! But this sort of temporal change used up an enormous amount of energy, even though the magic treasure itself was helping to facilitate it. Although the Xia Emperor was a Pure Yang True Immortal, he was only able to allow some weak Wanxiang-level children to experience a different rate of time. He wasn’t capable of doing the same for Celestial Immortals.
Ning was an Empyrean God and True Immortal. To change the rate of time for him…even Subhuti and Daoist Three Purities would feel a headache if they had to come up with such an idea.
If Mother Nuwa was still around, she would be able to do it.
Mother Nuwa had created the Six Paths of Reincarnation. Time flowed at a much, much faster rate than normal in the region around the Bridge of Despair and the Six Paths of Reincarnation! Countless souls flowed into the place, but time continued to flow through the area at a terrifying pace without the need for any Immortals or Fiendgods to use up their energy to maintain it. This was because the Six Paths of Reincarnation were made perfectly; they used up very little energy, and the amount of energy they absorbed from the outside world was more than enough to sustain themselves.
But the Six Paths of Reincarnation were a formation!
The Heavengazer Tower of Radiance was a magic treasure!
Inside the Heavengazer Tower, time was stably maintained at a rate that was ten times faster than that of the outside world. Ten years would pass inside for every year that passed outside. This was an extremely stable mechanism, and there was no need for any outside sources of energy. The treasure itself was a stable spacetime dimension of its own. Even True Gods, Daofathers, and World Gods could go inside it, and time would still flow at ten times the normal right.
This magic treasure could also be used to accelerate the speed of time even further! However, if one wanted to go beyond the ‘base’ of ten times normal speed, one would have to use up some Immortal energy. In addition, the more powerful the user, the more energy would be used up in speeding up time for cultivation.
“A stable spacetime treasure,” Ning marveled. “My master Subhuti was able to establish the Crescent world in a different fold of spacetime, but not even he would be able to forge such a stable spacetime treasure such as this.”
Stable spacetime treasures were far too difficult to make. This was the only one Ning had ever heard of, and it was a Chaos treasure.
More than anything else, Ning needed time. The Heavengazer Tower was able to speed up time by a factor of ten, and if Ning was willing to use up some of his energy, it would be able to speed up time even faster. Most importantly of all…this treasure existed within the prisonworld. A True God was carrying it!
“True God Shiyu?” Ning frowned.
The possessor of the Heavengazer Tower was True God Shiyu.
This True God, however, could be said to be the most terrifyingly powerful True God in the entire prisonworld. Almost all of the True Gods and True Immortals imprisoned here knew of him, but very few knew that he was in possession of the Heavengazer Tower. Ning had soulscoured many True Gods and True Immortals, but he had only learned this bit of information now because the True God which Ning had just soulscoured had been one of True God Shiyu’s subordinates.
“He’s very hard to deal with. He’s clearly just a True God, but he once battled against Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals. If you factor in the Heavengazer Tower, he has a total of three Chaos treasures,” Ning mused to himself. “Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals…in the Three Realms, they would be considered overlords. In other words, he’s at a level of power which is close to that of an overlord-class expert.”
“Exhausting his energy reserves? That won’t work either. He’s at a very high level of enlightenment; he’s one of the tiny handful of True Gods and True Immortals in the prisonworld who is able to draw energy from the primordial chaos,” Ning mused to himself.
One had to have a certain degree of insights into the Heavenly Dao of Primordial Chaos in order to be able to extract energy from it, but once this became possible, one would no longer have to worry about one’s energy being used up.
All Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals were capable of this, but only a tiny number of True Gods and True Immortals were. True God Shiyu, however, was obviously one of them.
“What should I do? How should I deal with him?” Ning pondered to himself. “I put the Starseizing Manor in the Crescent world…but even if I went back there to gather the people I need for the Rahu Formation, I’ll still be significantly weaker than someone of the overlord level of power.”
Ning had fought against an overlord-class expert before. Daomother Devilhand, using just one hand, had been able to defeat Ning while he was in command of an Envoy. But of course, her attacks were considered extremely formidable even amongst other overlord-class Daofathers.
As for True God Shiyu, he was only able to stay alive in the face of attacks from Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals; in terms of raw power, he probably wasn’t much stronger than Ning had been when controlling the Envoy.
“Perhaps, when my swordforce reaches the fifth stage, I’ll have a chance of beating him,” Ning mused to himself.
Ning continued to battle his way through the prisonworld. He no longer solely fought against True Gods; he even began to act against the True Immortals as well.
He was constantly gaining insights into the mysteries behind the sword-arts left behind by World God Northrest in the hopes of reaching the fifth stage of heartforce as soon as possible.
Although he was slowly improving nonstop, he still felt as though he was just a hairsbreadth away from reaching that stage. This sort of feeling was absolutely maddening. However, Ning was able to remain quite calm. He knew that so long as he continued to advance like this, sooner or later he would make his breakthrough.
Time continued to flow on, day by day, month by month.
In the Three Realms.
Yet another great Realmwar was taking place now, this time on the Kingshill major world of the Zhuanxu Realm.
This was the second Realmwar to occur after the one in the Yellow Emperor Realm. In terms of size, it was considerably smaller than the Yellow Emperor Realmwar, but it was still far larger than many of the Realmwars that had come before it, such as the Crimsonbright Realmwar.
On the Nuwa Alliance’s side, there was a total of more than eight hundred Empyrean Gods and True Immortals.
On the Seamless Gate’s side, there were six hundred Empyrean Gods and True Immortals, along with a supporting army of golems.
“It’s hard to say who will win this Realmwar.” Daofather Netherjade was standing atop a wall, staring off into the distance.
The black-robed Godking chuckled. “That’s normal. The war for karmic luck inherently involves an element of luck as well. All we can ask for is for no more monsters like Ji Ning to appear out of nowhere.”
“The Primordial Era gave birth to Houyi, while the Three Realms gave birth to Ji Ning. Enough already. If the Nuwa Alliance was to produce a third such monster, we should just go ahead and give the damn war up.” Daofather Netherjade shook his head.
“Agreed. Houyi truly is terrifying.” The black-robed Godking sighed. “I never heard anything about his axe-skills. Didn’t he always use arrows in the past? Archery is a long-range form of combat, while axes are used in close combat. The difference between the two is enormous. How could he have become so powerful with a hatchet?”
“I heard that long ago, Houyi tried to chop down the divine osmanthus tree of the Lunar Star.” Daofather Netherjade chuckled. “That osmanthus tree isn’t so easily chopped down. Anyone capable of chopping it down would probably be capable of annihilating the entire Lunar Star. I’ve always heard that Subhuti’s eldest disciple spent all of his days chopping down trees as a woodcutter. Now, it seems, it was because Houyi has never given up on chopping down that osmanthus tree.”
“But I’m worried…” Daofather Netherjade frowned. “Houyi’s greatest talent always lay in his arrows. If he’s that powerful with the hatchet…how powerful have his arrows become?”
“Exactly. He’s going to be trouble. If his archery skills are too formidable, when the Endwar erupts, most likely only uncle-master Everwood or the Fiendlord would be able to withstand him,” the black-robed Godking sighed.
“Right.” Daofather Netherjade nodded, then sighed again. “Even though it is true that the Endwar is rapidly approaching…I have to admit, Ji Ning is every bit the monster that Houyi was. In fact, he’s grown at an even more astonishing level of speed. In just a few short centuries, he’s mastered a sword-art that surpasses the Heavenly Daos. A peerless, monstrous Sword Immortal like him…if he’s given a few thousand years, it’s hard to imagine how powerful he will become. He would probably become another Houyi.”
The black-robed Godking nodded.
In the past, he had never truly cared about Ji Ning, but the battle at the Deerchaser world and the sight of Ji Ning clashing against Daomother Devilhand had truly caused the Godking to feel nervous. He had to admit…Ji Ning’s potential was downright horrifying.
Within Prisonworld 17, located inside the stone stele that had been placed inside the gorge of that frozen star in the primordial chaos.
Five years had passed in the blink of an eye.
It had been five years since his ‘assassination’. Ning had come to this world, determined to temper himself through battle, and he had.
Atop a beautiful grassland, there was an absolutely dazzling shrine that seemed to have been carved out of pure jade. Inside the jade shrine, a white-robed youth was seated in the lotus position, his eyes closed.
A surge of power, birthed from the essence of the sword and located in the deepest recesses of the primordial chaos, began to flow to this location.
An indescribably arcane and profound aura began to swirl in the area around Ning, a terrifying, heart-stopping aura that belonged to the essence of the sword.
Slowly, Ning’s very body began to emanate with dazzling, rainbow-colored sword-light. It was as though Ning himself had become transformed into an utterlying terrifying sword.
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