DE Book 27, Chapter 19

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Book 27, Twelve Palaces, Chapter 19 – Challenging the Daolord Cloudworld

Ji Ning tested out using the seven types of Dao water and Dao lightning in the privacy of his study, using them to form a Heptastar Duality Formation. Cultivators would often use lightning and water in joint formations. The treasures which Ning had purchased previously all had formations built into them, such as the Godwater Flagon of the Seven Flags which held a Seven Flags Formation.

After familiarizing himself with the formation, Ning calmed himself down and started to think back to the insights regarding the sword which he had gained in recent years. Slowly, his heart grew peaceful, calm, and empty.

A full day passed in the blink of an eye.

Ning opened his eyes, a hint of eagerness in them. “Time to try out the Daolord Cloudworld.”

Ning left the study, then glanced at World God Pillsaint and Flamefairy Su Youji. The two were seated outside, drinking some wine, but when they saw Ning they immediately rose to their feet. Su Youji immediately said, “Master, are you going to the Daolord Cloudworld?”

“Yes.” Ning nodded.

“Master.” Pillsaint hurriedly said, “I’ve heard that quite a few of the acknowledged World-level cultivators of the Twelve Palaces went to the Daolord Cloudworld on the very first day. It seems the competition will be quite fierce… but I know that you will definitely succeed.”

“You both know about it?” Ning was surprised. It seemed as though everyone knew about the Daolord Cloudworld trials.

“Although you didn’t tell us about it, even an idiot would be able to figure it out. The Twelve Palaces don’t exactly have that many acknowledged World-level cultivators! For so many of them to enter the Daolord Cloudworld on the exact same day is far too bizarre.” World God Pillsaint looked towards Ning. “As I see it… you’ll definitely succeed, Master. In fact, you might be number one. Those other fellows are nothing more than ‘dirt chickens and clay dogs’, of no worth whatsoever.”

Pillsaint was such an adorable-looking figure that these words didn’t seem offensive at all. Instead, he made them sound amusing.

“I hope you are right.” Ning laughed. “Alright, time for me to go to the Daolord Cloudworld.”

Su Youji and Pillsaint watched as Ning flew into the air towards the distant Daolord Cloudworld.

The Daolord Cloudworld was the tallest building in the entire Palace of the Sword, and its outer surface was that of four enormous layers of clouds.

“I’ll do everything I can. Let’s see how far I’ll be able to make it.” Ning craned his neck, staring upwards at the Daolord Cloudworld. Even though he had tried it out several times in recent years, those had all been merely for the sake of testing out some new sword-arts. He had never really gone all out.


Ning took a single step forwards, moving deep into the layer of black mist and inside the Daolord Cloudworld.

“Swordlord Darknorth just went in.”

“Now, all of our qualified Swordlords have entered.”

“I wonder what’s going on? All of the geniuses of the Twelve Palaces have gone inside recently.” The black-armored Daolords patrolling off in the distance were all watching. News spread quite quickly within the Twelve Palaces.

The Daolord Cloudworld was split up into four levels. These levels were known as the Blackcloud World, the Azurecloud World, the Silvercloud World, and the Goldcloud World.

Cultivators of the Sword Palace would have to start from the Blackcloud World each time, because the main point of the Daolord Cloudworld was to help cultivators find suitable opponents.


The Azurecloud World. The white-robed Ji Ning was striding atop a long path formed from azure clouds, wielding a longsword in one hand. Right in front of him was a golem barring a path. The golem was shaped like a strange beast with four legs and was roughly as strong as a Daolord of the First Step.


Sword-light swept against the golem’s chest in a seemingly casual manner, but the golem was knocked flying backwards off its feet. This was Ning’s ‘Heavenbreaker stance’ of the [Brightmoon] sword-art.


Sword-light flashed again in a mysterious manner, causing many sword-shadows to appear in the air. There was no way to tell which attack was real and which attack was illusory. The edge of the sword sheared against the neck of a spider-shaped golem, and it couldn’t help but crumple as it was sent flying backwards by Ning’s sword-light.

Ning defeated opponent after opponent on the azure cloud path, but the more he defeated the stronger the new opponents became. In fact, even the total number of opponents began to increase as well. Ning, however, continued to merely use a single sword, and the only sword-art he used was his own [Brightmoon] sword-art.

“I’ve never finished going through the entire second level before.” Ning’s sword-arts had truly reached a profound level.

Each of the five stances of [Brightmoon] were actually stronger than the seventh stances of the [Heartsword] or the [Heartseal] sword-arts.

“It seems that at my current level of sword-arts, a single sword is enough to easily overcome this level.” Ning was already able to see the distant end to this azure cloud path. He had distilled some of the essence of [Heartseal] and [Heartsword] sword-arts, then raised them to a higher level. When he used his own sword-arts, they carried an aura of cyclical reincarnation as well, making the five stances of [Brightmoon] naturally become illusory.


A dazzling streak of sword-light split the air.

Ning’s sword was like a comet that sped through the skies. It was the most beautiful thing in this world, and it seemed almost dreamlike. Ning’s sword had reached an incredible level of speed! With a slash, it cut deep into the body of a golem. Generally speaking, most people would stay far away from golems and fight them from ad istance, but this was the final opponent which Ning had to deal with.

Swish! The sword-light stabbed through the golem’s throat.

“Eh?” Ning was rather surprised. “It went through? I usually wasn’t able to cut or pierce through the other golems.”

Whoosh. The stabbed golem quickly retreated backwards, and a strange liquid began to flow out of its throat. The wound quickly disappeared, and the golem left the azure cloud path.

“I’ve finally reached the end of the path.” Ning flew out of the azure cloud path. In front of him was a small island that was only a few square kilometers in size, and there was a suit of azure armor placed on the island.

Ning chuckled when he saw the suit of azure armor.

“Azure armor? It seems as though it is time for me to upgrade my outfit.”

The first time one passed the Blackcloud World, a suit of black armor would be awarded. The first time a person overcame the Azurecloud World, a suit of azure cloud would be awarded. Ning had acquired his black armor long ago, which was a top-grade Dao armor. It wasn’t even as useful as the aquaflect armor he had purchased during the treasure auction. The azure armor, however, was an Eternal-level treasure.

“C’mere.” Ning stepped forward and accepted the azure armor, then sat down in the lotus position and began to slowly bind it while mentally preparing himself for the third level, the Silvercloud World.

The Silvercloud World…

World-level cultivators had absolutely no chance of making it to the end of this level! To make it past this level meant that you had reached the threshold of power of a Daolord of the Third Step. This was completely impossible. Even if Ning reached the third stage in the [Novessence Thunder] and [Novessence Water] and was thus able to slay a Daolord of the First Step, he would merely be equivalent to a fairly formidable Daolord of the Second Step. There was no way he’d be able to overcome the Silvercloud World.

Bertulu… Eastcult… none of them, not even the most talented of geniuses, could accomplish this task!

However, more than 90% of the geniuses acknowledged by the ancient pagodas were able to reach the threshold of Daolords of the Second Step. Ning, for example, was already equivalent to a Daolord of the First Step with his azureflower mist energy alone. Given that his sword-arts were even more profound than the Reincarnation stance and the Cosmic Heart stance, his skill in this area was actually somewhat higher than that of many actual Daolords of the Second Step! This was why he had been able to make it through the Azurecloud World with just a single sword.

“The azure armor is a low-grade Eternal treasure. It has no special properties other than its ability to absorb some degree of energy.” Ning couldn’t help but shake his head. At least his aquaflect armor was able to reflect damage. “Still, the more powerful my future opponents are, the less useful my current armor will be. As for my opponents on the Silvercloud World, they will all be at least at the threshold of the Daolord of the Second Step level.”

Ning switched armors, but he still elected to make it look like a set of white clothes.

Ning then sat down in the lotus position again and began to breathe quietly as he started to work on replenishing the azurelower mist energy he had used up during the first two levels. At the same time, he also thought back to some of the mistakes he had made in his earlier battle. This was the first time in the hundred years he been trying out in the Cloudworld that he had made it all the way through the second level. He had gained quite a few insights from this.

He thought back to the previous battles he had fought as he pondered on his sword-arts.

“On the final day, I will test myself against the Silvercloud World.” Ning came to a decision.

Ning was actually one of the slowest ones, as most of the World-level cultivators acknowledged by the ancient pagodas had already finished.


The imperial palace. The thirteen thrones levitating within the void of space.

“Ahaha, Heartforce Cultivators truly are impressive. Solewind’s heartforce is becoming more and more frightening.” Daolord Yinwind laughed merrily. “Our Saber Palace won’t say a single begrudging word if he is ranked number one.”

At present, aside from Heartlord Solewind of the Heartforce Palace being ranked as number one, the rest of the top four had been completely dominated by the Palace of the Saber!

“Hmph.” The nearby Lord Woodflower just let out a cold snort.

The Sword Palace and the Saber Palace had always been somewhat at loggerheads, because the Dao of the Sword and the Dao of the Saber had always been the two most offensive, combative Daos in the Endless Territories. Generally speaking, more cultivators trained in the Dao of the Sword! Slightly fewer trained in the Dao of the Saber.

“Woodflower.” Daolord Yinwind glanced sideways at Lord Woodflower, then let out an odd chuckle. “Five members of your Sword Palace have already finished their attempts, yes? The highest ranking member is merely ranked seventh. You have no chance at all.”

“Hmph.” Lord Woodflower had an ugly look on his face. He did not, however, try to argue. The Saber Palace’s performance truly had been dominating, while the Sword Palace’s performance truly had been lackluster.

These Palace Lords and Vice Palace Lords had all reached the end of the line. If they succeeded in their Daomerge, they would gain eternity. If they failed, they would die and their Dao would vanish. At their level, face mattered more than almost anything else.

“We’ll see about that,” Lord Woodflower said flatly.

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28 thoughts on “DE Book 27, Chapter 19” - NO SPOILERS and NO CURSING

  1. The second to last paragraph sums up my problem with these stories.

    After eons of existence dedicated to delving into the mysteries of the universe, they finally glimpse their ultimate destiny… And what is the default thought pattern? “You ain’t give’n me no face, b!”

    After all that enlightenment, all they care about is making sure as many people as possible are grovelling at their feet…

    1. All that the 2nd last paragraph of this chapter tells me is that even at a high level, living for countless years, one simply will always be affected by peer pressure.

      What would you do in their shoes if a peer disrespected you to your face? What would you do if weaklings/juniors do not give you face and humiliate, harm, or insult your loved ones while knowing you exist? Would you just take the ‘high’ road and let it go bc you’re at a high level of power/insight into the Dao?

      We need to remember that most of these experts start off as mortals/weaklings, with all the vices that come with it. They cultivate in order to become stronger and be able to live unfettered lives. The stronger they become, the more free they can be to not deal with crap. If someone is foolish enough to not give face, insult, or disrepect them, they HAD to deal with it when weak in the past, but now, a palm wave will end them. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, where consequences of one’s actions are more pronounced.

      ‘After all that enlightenment, all they care about is making sure as many people as possible are grovelling at their feet…’

      Some are that way, but not all. But they sure as hell will not accept weaklings looking down on them. They did not become super strong just to have their dignity trampled on by the weak.

      1. I’ve never respected anyone to whom ‘face mattered more than almost anything else.’

        That sort of egotism is expected in the young, but disgraceful in the old. The results of such an indulgence of pride is well portrayed by the fractious disunity of the various cultivater organisations.

        1. “I’ve never respected anyone to whom ‘face mattered more than almost anything else.’”

          Fair enough. It’s your opinion and your choice. But you still didn’t answer my questions of:

          “What would you do in their shoes if a peer disrespected you to your face? What would you do if weaklings/juniors do not give you face and humiliate, harm, or insult your loved ones while knowing you exist?”

          Would you not care about face (respect) and let it all go, and continue to do so forever? And then, would you care EVEN LESS for face if you’re no longer the current you, but an old mighty king/rulers of a vast, powerful, and revered empire, with a mighty reputation? Bc that’s where the Hegemon’s and the 12 palace lords’ viewpoints currently stand.

          1. My apologies, I thought that question must have been rhetorical.

            In my case, I am often too literal to realize when someone is being disrespectful until they do something so egregious that it is no longer a matter of personal respect but an issue of general morality or personal injury. I am also becoming less concerned with insults as I get older, and feel this is a good thing. For criminal acts, like murder and injury, I endeavor to pursue what is Just, regardless of the involved parties’ relations to me. I am thankful to have had very few occasions for this policy to be put to the test, but have had decent success in small matters. Likely I would attempt to continue developing my conscience throughout an extended life. As for humiliation, it is my opinion true humiliation can only come from within yourself and as a result of your own actions. I have never felt humiliated by anything other than my own missteps, feelings which are also fading with maturity as they can now be viewed with greater perspective.

            I find a world that pre-supposes the idea of ‘face’ as an eternal motivation disturbing. Likely, I would do my best to be a hermit if I lived long in the DE world. Being only afraid of dying, but not quite afraid of death, I’d probably be ok with passing away in meditation. Or else hunting down villains if I by some miracle obtain the requisite power, which is unlikely given my unambitious nature. If I did become a Palace Lord, I likely spend almost no time thinking about face at all, having reached such a height of power where reputation is no longer required to carry out my desires. The only interest I’d have in this whole affair is in humouring the Hegemon and checking to see how well I was doing in my duties of raising future major powers. It would certainly be an intense period of analyses where my brain would be too occupied with more important things to even register snide remarks.

            However, that sort of attitude isn’t very entertaining, is it? It would just be nice if these stories had a few more people around who at least attempt to cultivate their conscience or gained a bit of understanding of life’s meaning.

            At least Ji Ning has is better than many MC, one of the reasons I like this series.

        2. These multiple replies are confusing, but I hope you see this.

          Your last, long comment (a good thing, thanks!) essentially just solved your own issue that you have with these LNs. You want to see more mellow, wise, approaching-sage-over-time characters. You also know that those characters will not be entertaining to read for web novels, but you had faulted them for not focusing on them. And you’re right! They’re not too entertaining to read about (not for bite-sized reading anyway). Which is why, out of the13 experts present, you only see 2 of them bickering, but they are the ones to get the most screen time. They generate more friction/excitement 🙂 . That doesn’t mean that the other 11 experts think and act the same.

          Your original, first comment was too broad a statement. It suggested that since you don’t like a certain concept in these LNs, then it should drive down the worth of these works/LNs for the readers (for you specifically, it may do just that, fair game).

          It also suggested that it’s ok for mortals to care about face, and to be emotional/petty bc they are weak and don’t understand the dao, therefore experts should be above such emotions and concepts such as ‘face’ bc they understood the dao and are more enlightened (i.e. they KNOW more). By that logic, one can assume that it’s ok for cavemen to be emotional and petty, but since we modern day earthlings understand more through the sciences, philosophies, etc. (akin to a cultivator’s dao), we should also be above such emotions and concepts such as ‘face’, since we KNOW more. I’m not sure I know any such person, but I certainly am Not one. 😛

        3. P.S. With your personality, you can’t be the MC. Not hot-headed enough. Me? I’ll most likely be a medicine boy, or an outer disciple at best. I’ll be lucky to have one line written about me. 😛

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