Book 21, The Bloodlotus Blooms, Chapter 34 – Swordforce, Stage Five
Ji Ning’s eyes were closed.
The many insights he had gained into the sword were continuously merging together. It was like mist being condensed. Finally, with a boom, the mist completely condensed into a ‘seed’, a seed surrounded by a faint aura of sword-ki. This sword-ki seed was the complete crystallization of all of Ning’s insights into the essence of the sword. It was something which he could sense in his heart.
It wasn’t something that could be seen with the naked it. It was something that could only be seen and sensed by the heart.
This sword-seed had been planted within Ning’s heart.
“Whew.” Ning let out a soft breath, then opened his eyes.
The jade shrine had become quiet and peaceful once more. The rainbow-colored sword-light surrounding Ning had vanished as well, and Ning now looked as ordinary as ever. However, his eyes dimly shone with a sharpness that struck fear in the hearts of others.
“When one’s insights into the sword crystallize into a seed, it will naturally gain a soul of its own,” Ning murmured softly to himself.
Thanks to the guidance of World God Northrest, Ning knew exactly what a Sword Immortal’s path would be like.
The fifth stage of swordforce, ‘Sword God’. When one’s insights into the essence of the sword reached an extremely high level, after one broke the final bottleneck a Dao-seed would naturally be formed. Plant seeds would have to sprout before they could grow, and the same was true for this Dao-seed, which naturally had the aura of the true essence of the sword. In fact, Ning’s every punch and kick would now contain the tremendous power of fifth-stage swordforce, which was the dazzling, rainbow-colored light that had surrounded him earlier.
“I’ve finally reached the Sword God stage.” Ning stretched out his middle finger, thrusting it forward as he could a sword. Rumble…instantly, rainbow-colored sword-light emerged from his finger and swirled around it.
The rainbow sword-light was incomparably agile, filled with a transcendent aura of sharpness.
It felt as though it could cut through all things as easily as rotten wood!
It was utterly unshakable and unbreakable.
This…this was the sword!
“No wonder it is this difficult to reach the fifth stage of swordforce. If it wasn’t for the Nine Chaos Seals, the assistance of the stone steles, and all those True God and True Immortal sparring partners, I can’t even imagine how long it would’ve taken for me to break through.” Only after making the breakthrough did he truly sense and understand how different the Sword God stage was.
In this moment, Ning understood that the path of the sword was a far longer one than he had imagined. Even World God Northrest was merely a traveler on that path.
“Good. The more powerful the path is, the better. If there was a limit to it, it would be boring.” Ning rose to his feet, walking out of the jade shrine and staring at the stone sword-steles outside. “I’ve just barely reached the Sword God stage; I need to carefully stabilize myself at this new level of power. Next, I’ll once more ponder on the sword-arts which World God Northrest left behind, so as to incorporate them into my [Brightmoon].”
It had instantly become much easier for Ning to meditate on the stone sword-steles. Many things which had previously puzzled him had become clear, and his understanding of the sword continued to rise.
He was fusing all of these insights into his own [Brightmoon] sword-art! The [Brightmoon] sword-art was the representation of all of Ning’s insights into the sword, and he had infused it with everything he knew.
This meditation session ended up lasting for three months.
Whoosh. Ning was wielding a Darknorth sword in his hands, gently twirling it around.
Rainbow sword-light flowed over its surface, making it seem so dreamlike that it looked as though it was a series of illusions, making it hard to discern with clarity. This was the new ‘Shadowless’ stance of the [Brightmoon] sword-art.
“It’ll be hard for me to improve any further in a short amount of time,” Ning mused to himself. “True God Shiyu possesses the Heavengazer Tower of Radiance; no matter what, I have to acquire that treasure. Given enough time, I’ll be able to grow even more powerful. However, prior to battling against him…I should first use other experts to further temper my sword-arts.”
Sword-arts could only be truly perfected through combat, through trial by battle.
If one completely focused on meditating, perhaps one might reach a high level of insight, but one’s actual combat ability would be flawed.
“Who should I choose to test my sword out? Mm…” Ning suddenly smiled. “Him.”
A wizened old man was seated in the lotus position atop a desolate grassland.
“Eh?” He suddenly raised his head, glancing at the white-robed youth that had just appeared in the skies far above him. The white-robed youth was charging down towards him.
“The Overseer?” The skinny old man revealed a hint of cold amusement. “He actually dares to return to my place?”
The white-robed youth landed on the ground, just a few hundred meters away from the skinny old man. He was now located deep within the restrictive formation, and the skinny old man would be able to attack him at any time.
“Long time no see.” Ning looked at him.
“It’s only been five years. I’ve barely had enough time to shut my eyes, but you’ve come back again.” The skinny old man shook his head. “Your Immortal energy truly is astoundingly vast, and you would be able to withstand my power if you controlled magic treasures to fight from afar. You wouldn’t be able to actually do anything to me, but it would be equally hard for me to kill you. I think you should leave. I don’t want to waste more of my divine power.”
This old man was True God Ultrafish, the one who had nearly killed Ning five years ago.
Whoosh. Whoosh. A pair of swords appeared in Ning’s hands.
“Eh?” The skinny old man’s face changed. He smirked. “You want to fight me in close combat again? You?”
“Yes. Me.” As soon as Ning’s words came out, he immediately charged forward.
The skinny old man was instantly enraged. He was a prisoner here, after all, and so he was extremely sparing in his use of energy. Every time he used up a bit of energy, his lifespan in the prisonworld was reduced correspondingly. He could tell that this Overseer would be quite powerful in controlling magic treasures, and so he really didn’t even wish to fight. However, this Overseer was so wildly arrogant as to actually engage him in close combat again?
“Since he wishes to die, I’ll send him on the path to oblivion.” Although the old man could guess that the Overseer had probably made some sort of a breakthrough, he felt that the breakthrough couldn’t amount to much. It had only been five years. How big of a breakthrough could it be?
The two instantly began to clash against each other.
“That’s all the power you have? How dare you come back again!” The skinny old man bellowed.
Their two shadows flickered as fast as lightning as sword-light clashed against claw-light.
“You really have improved a bit…but it is useless. Although your sword is fast, your power is too weak. If you were to become a True God, you might have a chance of beating me, but for now? You are far from that level.” The skinny old man assaulted Ning with both his words and his attacks, but he remained unable to defeat Ning.
Ning was extremely calm.
He had completely suppressed and withdrawn his rainbow sword-light! Its power was simply too great; he’d be able to easily defeat his foe, which wasn’t the result he wished for. He had come here to further temper his sword-arts, allowing them to grow and be improved. Naturally, Ning had chosen to suppress his rainbow sword-light, completely relying on the intricacies of the [Brightmoon] sword-art and his divine power as a half-step True God to fight this foe.
Even though he didn’t use the rainbow sword-light, his [Brightmoon] sword-art was now far more profound than before, and so he was able to stave off this foe.
“Break, break, break!” The skinny old man fought with utterly wild abandon, and his fifth-stage abyssforce was extraordinarily powerful, but he remained unable to break apart Ning’s sword-arts.
“His sword is too fast, faster than the limits of the Heavenly Daos. Now, it has become even more mysterious and unpredictable than before, and his techniques have become even more skillful. Although I have the upper hand, I’m actually unable to defeat him.” The skinny old man grew frantic. “If this continues, my divine power will be depleted soon. Although I have Immortal energy as well, I merely have a second-tier Jindan as a Ki Refiner; I’ll be much weaker than I am now in close combat.”
The two continued to battle furiously. As more time passed, the old man grew increasingly frantic.
“It’s about time.” Ning could no longer see anything new coming from the old man’s claw-arts, making this fight no longer useful to him. The Darknorth sword in his hands instantly flashed with the colors of the rainbow.
“The Sword God stage?” The skinny old man called out in shock.
Ning’s sword, covered with a layer of rainbow swordforce, instantly increased in power by a tremendous amount, becoming even more powerful than the old man’s claw-arts!
The sword-light drifted outwards, knocking aside the old man’s claws and slicing out in a solitary, ghostly arc through the old man’s body. The old man’s body fell apart into two pieces, then rapidly reformed once more. The old man stared in blank shock at Ning.
“True God Ultrafish…are you willing to submit?” Ning looked at him.
True God Ultrafish stared blankly at him for a long moment, then lowered his head. “I submit.”
True God Ultrafish was never the arrogant, prideful type as he had a very ordinary status in the chaos-kingdom of Pangaea. It was only because he had been imprisoned here for a very long period of time that he had managed to break through to reach the fifth stage of abyssforce, resulting in his power increasing dramatically. However, he had long ago grown accustomed to bowing his head before greater powers. He was accustomed to submitting.
“I defeated a True God who reached the fifth stage of abyssforce, just like that.” Ning’s face was calm, but he felt great excitement in his heart.
This was absolutely the power of a elite Daofather.
He hadn’t used any formations, nor had he used an Envoy. He had merely used his own close combat skills to defeat his opponent.
The term Sword God, in and of itself, represented a group of utterly terrifying figures. The former number one assassin of the Seamless Gate, the deceased Swordfather Darklight, had also reached the fifth stage of swordforce. The awe-inspiringly famous Daofather Fuju, who had been possessed by World God Northrest, had also reached the fifth stage of swordforce. And now, Ji Ning had reached the fifth stage of swordforce as well, and he had also mastered the [Five Treasures] sword-art.
Fifth-stage swordforce, paired with techniques that surpassed the limits of the Heavenly Daos…this was undoubtedly the most terrifyingly powerful sword-art that existed in the Three Realms.
His sword-arts were now even more terrifying than Swordfather Darklight’s had been!
If the current Ji Ning was once more ambushed as he had been a few years ago, Ning could’ve blocked Swordfather Darklight’s ambushing attack head-on!
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