DECIAltUniv

Book 27, Twelve Palaces, Chapter 26 – Entering the Alternate Universe

The grayish humanoid statue first made some slight alterations to the spacetime transfer array in front of the imperial palace, then activated it.

Ji Ning, Solewind, Firesurge, Greatjoy, and Skyfire could sense spacetime twisting around them. Soon, everything went silent.

“Eh?” Ning and the others stared at their new surroundings.

They were at the peak of a towering mountain that was levitating in empty space. At the very apex of the mountain peak sat a white-bearded old man dressed in snowy robes who had six curved horns on his head. Ning and the others had seen the almighty Hegemon’s true form before, and they immediately recognized the old man’s aura as that of the Hegemon’s. They immediately bowed respectfully. “Hegemon.”

“This place here is the transversal conduit.” The white-bearded old man pointed at a place halfway up the mountain. At first glance it seemed quite ordinary, but a more careful examination revealed a series of faint, concentric spacetime ripples emanating an aura of incredible power. If the transversal conduit was to collapse with them inside, they would probably all perish.

“Once you enter the alternate universe, even items like ‘truesoul towers’ and ‘heart lamps’ will no longer be able to detect whether or not you are still alive, to say nothing of ordinary life tablets,” the white-bearded elder said. “These are two completely separate universes, after all. But of course, if you have trained in some sort of cloning technique, you can leave a clone behind in this universe. If the other clones all perish, you can rebuild them with your backup clone. That’s one way to tell if you are alive or not.”

“Alright.” Ning and the others all nodded.

Heart lamps and truesoul towers were attuned directly to one’s truesoul. Even if one entered the most deadly of locations, they would still be able to sense the presence of your truesoul. Alas, if you entered an alternate universe they would be useless.

Life tablets were the most simple and common items used to determine if someone was alive or not. Many special locations were able to completely block the effect of life tablets. In fact, a sufficiently great distance would also be enough to make it impossible for a life tablet to function.

“No one will be able to assist you on this journey to this alternate universe. Everything will all be up to yourselves,” the white-bearded elder said. “Go in. After you enter the conduit, make sure you remember to only go forwards and follow the flow.”

“Understood,” Ning and the other four acknowledged. They then all turned to walk towards those the seemingly ordinary, concentric spacetime ripples. As the five moved closer to the ripples, they quickly began to feel as though they had been dragged into a powerful spacetime whirlpool.

The journey through the transversal conduit started off quite calm and peaceful. Soon, however, Ning and the others could sense how space and time were twisting and distorting around them, as were many of the laws they had taken for granted. This was quite a miserable feeling; even their truesouls felt stifled and choked.

“Let’s move faster,” Prince Greatjoy growled.

“Forwards!” Ning urged.

They all suppressed the nauseous feelings they had as they hurriedly flew forwards. In front of them was a dark tunnel which had been formed by rings of spacetime vortices. The black tunnel seemingly had no exit, and the laws of both universes were in force throughout the tunnel. Thankfully, Ning and the others had not yet reached the Daolord level, and so the disturbance they created was fairly minor. If a true Daolord had dared to make use of this transversal conduit, it was very likely that the two differing laws of the two universes would’ve crushed him to death.

Whoosh. Ning and the others continued to fly forwards at high speed.

“Why is this tunnel so long?”

“How long is this transversal conduit? There seems to be no end to it!”

Ning and the others had been flying for more than two hours by now, but they were still stuck within that tunnel of darkness. They all felt quite nauseous, but at least they weren’t at risk of losing their lives. They were all able to resist the uncomfortable feelings.

Heartlord Solewind sent mentally to the others, “The Hegemon told us to just keep pressing onwards after we enter the tunnel. Let’s just keep flying like this. Sooner or later, we’ll reach the exit.”

“Right.” Waterlord Firesurge nodded as well.

“A transversal conduit which links two universes. Today, I’ve finally seen such a thing with my own eyes.” Prince Greatjoy laughed loudly.

The five of them chatted as they continued to fly forwards, but they soon ran out of topics to talk about and so just continued to fly in silence.

One day. Two days. Three days…

Ning had never imagined that this transversal conduit would be so long. If this was ‘normal’ flying, he wouldn’t have minded, but this was a place where the laws of two universes were clashing against each other. Every second here felt like an entire miserable year. Why hadn’t the almighty Hegemon warned them about this? Most likely, he wanted to use it to temper their hearts and wills.

In the blink of an eye, three full years went by.

“Wait, what’s that?”

“Is that the exit?”

“I think that’s the exit.”

Ning and the others had been flying silently when suddenly, they all revealed looks of great joy. They saw some light sparkling up ahead, breaking up the monotonous darkness of the transversal conduit. It didn’t seem as though there was anything past those sparkles of light. It seemed as though they had reached the end.

“Keep flying.” They had no other options but to fly straight towards the light.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. The five of them all flew out of the darkness.

“What is this place?” The five of them found themselves within a region of drifting primordial chaos. In front of them was an enormous chaos star that blazed like a giant ball of fire. Due to its close proximity the surrounding area was illuminated quite brightly by this chaos star.

Ning and the others turned to look behind them, only to see an enormous spatial vortex.

“I imagine there aren’t many who would dare to enter this spatial vortex,” Heartlord Solewind laughed.

Ning nodded.

He himself had arrived in the Badlands Territory by leaving the Three Realms through a spatial vortex. There were quite a few such vortices in the Endless Territories, but because most were naturally formed they often contained unknown dangers. Generally speaking, cultivators wouldn’t dare to risk their lives within one of them.

But of course, there were always those like ‘Old Man Yuan’ or Godfiend Witherspike who would enter the vortices because they were being chased and had nowhere else to flee. They had no choice but to flee into the most dangerous of places.

“Even if they made it through and were lucky enough to survive… on the other side is the Hegemon himself.” Prince Greatjoy sent a mental chuckle as well.

“Can you sense it, everyone?” Skyfire Brightshore’s eyes were closed as he sent out his senses. “It is true. Many of the prime essences in this place are different from ours.”

Ning was attuning himself to the local prime essences as well.

This place was similar to the Endless Territories in that both had a prime essence of the sword, a prince essence of fire, a prime essence of water, a prime essence of lightning, a prime essence of space, and many other types of prime essence. These prime essences were like giant stone pillars that were holding up the entire universe they were in, and the outermost ripples of these prime essences could be sensed and attuned to by cultivators. In this respect, things were exactly the same as they were in the Endless Territories!

Thus, cultivation was a similar process as well. However, ‘inside’ the prime essences things were very different.

“In the Endless Territories, the prime essence of the sword is more all-encompassing and massive. In this alternate universe, the prime essence of the sword seems to be more reserved but also more savage,” Ning mused.

The five of them were all curiously attuning themselves to the local prime essences.

“According to our star maps, our current location is quite a long ways off from the Archaeus region. Let us head off, gentlemen,” Waterlord Firesurge said.

“Yes, time to head off.”

“Our journey is a long one. Our most important mission right now is to reach the Archaeus region safely.”

“Let’s go.”

Although the five were all very confident, and although their chances of reaching the Archaeus region were quite high, they didn’t dare to be reckless. The distance between their location and the Archaeus region truly was quite great, as the Archaeus region was the core of this entire alternate universe and was truly, indescribably vast.

According to their star maps, it would take Ning’s group at least 1500 years to go from the transversal conduit to the Archaeus region. They would have go to through more than three thousand territories! World-level cultivators would almost never be willing to take on a journey of such distances, as it would be simply far too dangerous. Who knew when they would perish?

It took them two months to go to the nearest spacetime transfer array. The spacetime transfer arrays here were quite similar to the ones in the Endless Territories. Clearly, the two universes had very similar systems of cultivation.

Be it by flying, teleporting, or using spacetime transfer arrays, the group advanced through the alternate universe for more than a hundred years. Finally, they reached a specific chaos planet that was the core of a spacetime transfer array they had to pass through.

Deep within a gorge on this planet, there were a series of estates where other World-level cultivators resided.

Crackle. Pop.

A figure was seated in the lotus position by the banks of a lake, his entire body wreathed in flames that didn’t cause any damage to the nearby mud or grass at all.

Swoosh.

A streak of light flew towards him from afar. It was a green-haired World God who was carrying a greataxe on his back and radiated an aura of great strength.

“Five World-level cultivators arrived,” the green-haired World God growled.

“Oh? Five dared to trespass in our territory? Do they have extraordinary backgrounds?” The flaming figure asked.

“They should be outsiders. I’ve never seen them before,” the green-haired World God said.

“Never seen them before? Mm. We should know all of the World-level cultivators in the ten or so territories around us. If we don’t know them… they must have come from very far away.” The flaming figure let out a hoarse chuckle. “Inform the other leaders. Begin our preparations for killing these outsiders. We discovered them, so I insist on getting a full share.”

“Understood,” the green-haired World God said respectfully.

“By now, we’ve killed more than three hundred World-level cultivators. Still… that’s not enough. We aren’t even close to our quota of a thousand,” the flaming figure mused softly.

Book 27, Twelve Palaces, Chapter 27 – Ambushed

Ji Ning’s squad of five descended upon this chaos planet.

They were able to see the heart of the spacetime transfer array far off in the distance. Here in this alternate universe, cultivators also used chaos nectar and chaos jewels for bartering.

“Halt!”

An Elder God standing in front of a beautiful palace suddenly bellowed at them. Although the five before him were all World-level cultivators, and although he was merely an Elder God, he was a representative of a universe-wide organization which dominated this entire universe, the Church of Annihilation. Every single spacetime transfer array in this alternate universe was governed by the Church of Annihilation.

No major powers would dare to challenge the might and prestige of the Church of Annihilation! In this universe, the Church of Annihilation was an utterly exalted and supreme organization!

“We are going to the star of Cricket,” Heartlord Solewind said with a smile. Here in the alternate universe, it was usually Solewind’s responsibility to meet and speak with the locals.

“The spacetime transfer array is currently under maintenance. It’ll be half a month before it can be activated,” the Elder God said.

“Half a month?” Ning and the others looked at each other, feeling quite helpless. Spacetime transfer arrays did indeed require maintenance and repairs. If they were not given the proper maintenance, these ancient devices would slowly begin to break down. Ning’s group had no choice but to leave for now. They travelled a few hundred kilometers away and landed within a beautiful mountain valley.

“Let’s wait here for half a month,” Heartlord solewind said.

“The Church of Annihilation truly is incredible. It was actually able to take complete control over this entire alternate universe. The Endless Territories is just one part of our own universe, but it’s still divided up into many different organizations,” Prince Greatjoy sent mentally. He couldn’t help but sigh. “In the Endless Territories, more than 99% of the people belong to the Dao Alliance, but the Dao Alliance is dispersed into many different locations. Everyone operates independently, with some training and some fighting. As for the spacetime transfer arrays, the local schools and sects are allowed to run them.”

Ning chuckled as well. The Dao Alliance was quite relaxed… but that was why Ning liked it. It granted freedom and governed on a principle of non-governance.

“Cultivators, by our very nature, wish for freedom,” Solewind said. “The reason why the Brightshore Kingdom is so unified is because the almighty Hegemon is so strong as to completely overpower everyone else! The reason why the Aeonians are so unified is because if they aren’t unified, they’ll be wiped out as a race! The Dao Alliance is simply too strong, forcing them to be unified if they wish to survive. The reason why those other top-tier organizations are unified is also because they are few in number. They can’t not be unified.”

“And this alternate universe?” Firesurge asked.

Ning was curious as well. “For this universe to be completely unified is truly inconceivable.”

“Absolutely.”

The five of them were all extraordinary figures. In the future, if they worked hard in their cultivation, they would become truly monstrous Daolords. They were all very proud individuals, but they felt the utmost of admiration and awe towards this organization which had dominated and unified an entire universe.

The five of them continued to wait there quietly, drinking while chatting. But of course, when they discussed sensitive matters they sent mental messages to each other.

“Eh?” Their faces tightened at the exact same instant.

Boom!

The world around them changed as countless roaring waves came crashing out towards them in an apocalyptic scene. The waves swept straight towards the five of them, and at the edges of the endless waves there were a number of World-level cultivators who were riding the waves forward. They stared at Ning’s group of five, their eyes filled with murderous intentions.

“We’ve just been waylaid.” Ning’s group knew what was happening.

“Elder brothers, let me handle these waves.” Firesurge was dressed in deep blue robes and his face was grim and cold. He was quite humble when speaking to Ning and the other three, but he was filled with nothing besides icy contempt towards these attacking cultivators. He waved his hand. BOOM! A ring of seemingly ordinary black water began to spread out in every direction around him.

The ring of black water was able to easily defend against the roaring waves.

“What?”

“The ‘Empyrean Divine Water Formation’ we set up using 109 World-level cultivators was blocked with such ease?” The attackers were all horrified and shocked.

“Break!” Firesurge let out a cold snort, and the roaring waves of water suddenly were pushed backwards, causing the entire formation to collapse.

“It was only meant to bind and capture them anyhow. If we can’t capture them, we will just kill them.” A golden-winged World God issued mental orders to the others. Although he could tell that Firesurge wasn’t an easy person to deal with, he was very confident in his groups abilities. Given their overwhelming advantage in numbers, he truly felt no concern whatsoever.

The awe-inspiring horde of World-level cultivators suddenly switched to a different formation, causing blurry light to spread out amongst their ranks. All of them were now reinforced by the formation they were using, and they charged towards Ning’s group.

“They really are courting death.” Prince Greatjoy let out a cold laugh as he slapped out with his left hand. His left palm instantly expanded to become thirty thousand meters in size, and it emanated an aura of dazzling golden light. This dazzling golden palm moved terrifyingly fast as spacetime twisted and distorted in front of it. It was clearly quite far away from the attackers, but it somehow appeared directly in front of them in an instant.

Boom! Boom! Boom! Every single World-level cultivator touched by the golden palm was reduced to dust.

“Is that a Daolord?!”

“That has to be a Daolord!”

“What the hell is going on? He clearly has the aura of a World God.”

“He’s actually a Daolord pretending to be a World God!” The attackers were instantly scared silly.

Skyfire Brightshore let out a laugh. “There are quite a few attackers. Let me handle them.”

“GWAAAR!” Skyfire opened his mouth and let out a loud, furious roar as flames began to belch forth. The flames instantly covered the entire area and began blasting out in every direction. It must be understood that although Prince Greatjoy was very strong, each of his palm-strikes was only able to kill roughly ten or so World-level cultivators at once. This ring of fire, however, spread out in every direction. There was no way for anyone to run at all.

“Ahhhhh!” Some of the weaker Chaos Immortals were instantly burnt into dust. Even the World Gods with weaker bodies were burnt to ashes.

“Run away immediately!”

“These five World-level cultivators are way too strong.”

“They are probably all transcendent World Gods!”

“Why is our luck such shit?”

Some of the strongest World Gods, along with ones who had access to decent protective divine abilities, were able to endure the roaring flames. Just over twenty of them were able to survive and quickly began to flee in every direction. Although some of them were incredibly strong, they no longer wished to continue this fight against Ning’s group.

Ning nodded as he watched. The flames which Skyfire Brightshore had unleashed seemed to be slightly more powerful than his Chaos-level [Novessence Thunder] technique had been.

“Skyfire, let me give you a hand.” Ning let out a chuckle.

Whoooosh.

Seven streaks of Dao lightning and seven streams of Dao water instantly spread out to cover an area of a million kilometers, catching all of the fleeing World Gods within their area of effect. The Dao lightning and the Dao water were simply too fast; there was no way for them to escape.

The lightning and water all transformed into enormous greatswords that danced through the skies. The entire region of a million kilometers became transformed into an enormous domain of chaotic might. The terrifyingly powerful sword-intent filling this domain tore at the bodies of every single World God, resulting in many of them ground to dust by the clashing and grinding power of the lightning sword-intent and water sword-intent.

It was like an enormous millstone had ground them to bits!

The Yin-Yang Sword Domain, at maximum power, was something which quickly cause even Daolords of the First Step to perish! Even if Ning expanded the zone to cover an area of a million kilometers, Daolords of the First Step would still suffer very heavy injuries, to say nothing of these World-level cultivators.

“Brother Darknorth, your domain truly is formidable. Let me finish the stragglers.” Heartlord Solewind let out a laugh, then turned his gaze to the two World Gods who had made it very far away and were still struggling to flee.

“Why are they this powerful?!”

“Even our transcendent World Gods were wiped out?!”

“B-but…”

“Where the hell did these five come from?!”

The two World Gods who had managed to survive the Yin-Yang Sword Domain were terrified senseless by now. Of the two, one was a transcendent World God while the other was merely a supreme World God. The one thing they shared in common was that both had incredibly powerful protective divine abilities. There was no way for them to actually escape the domain itself, but their bodies were tough enough to let them survive for a moment longer.

“What is going-….”

“I…”

“Ahaha… death, sweet death! Once I die, I’ll have no more worries.”

Boom! Boom!

The two World Gods simultaneously fell to the ground, completely lifeless.

Heartlord Solewind’s lips curved upwards slightly.

“Those two were both elite World Gods, but you were able to make them both commit suicide, Solewind. Admirable, admirable.” Ning nodded.

“They were utterly terrified and driven to the brink of despair by your attacks, my friends. That’s why it was so easy for me to deal with them.” Heartlord Solewind smiled.

Ning and the other three, however, were still shocked by what had happened.

The ability to force a World God to commit suicide? Although the four of them were impressive, none of them were capable of such a thing. True Heartforce Cultivators really were terrifying.

The five of them quickly cleaned up the battlefield, getting rid of the corpses and dividing up the spoils.

“These World-level cultivators weren’t bad. They were fairly strong.” Prince Greatjoy frowned. “There were actually more than ten supreme World Gods and three or four transcendent World Gods! It doesn’t really make sense for there to have been that many transcendent World Gods, does it?”