DEHASoRonerySoRonery

Book 38, Daomerge, Chapter 7 – The Lonely King

The Flamedragon Realmverse. Vastheaven Territory. Within the Vastheaven Everworld.

Whoooosh. An enormous tear in space appeared, with three towering onyx humanoids emerging from within it. Each of them radiated auras of tremendous power that showed them to be at the Hegemon level.

“That is Vastheaven Palace,” one of the onyx humanoids said.

“Thankfully, Hegemon Winterflame has long ago spread word regarding Daolord Darknorth. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to acquire such detailed information regarding him with such ease,” the skinny onyx humanoid said with a laugh.

“I hear that Hegemon Winterflame remains trapped within the Jadefire Realm.”

“That’s why he hates Daolord Darknorth so much. However… the Jadefire Realm truly is a terrifying place. Not even the three of us would dare to barge into it; only the general himself would dare to do such a thing! However, I trust Daolord Darknorth will be wise enough not to fight us head-on.” The three onyx humanoids flew through the skies towards Vastheaven Palace.

……

Within Vastheaven Palace.

Daolord Pillsaint was working on his alchemy, while Su Youji, Ji Ning, and Solesky were both watching.

“I can smell the fragrance of the pill,” Su Youji said eagerly.

Crack. Sizzle. Pop. The flames continued to sizzle away at the alchemy pot as Pillsaint focused all of his efforts on controlling the fire.

“Not bad.” The nearby Ning nodded. “Pillsaint is getting to be increasingly impressive in the Dao of Alchemy. He can now be considered a legendary grandmaster in alchemy in the Endless Territories. I have to admit, I’m far from being a match for him.”

“Master, that’s because you didn’t put any effort into alchemy,” Su Youji immediately rebutted. In her mind, Ning was the most talented in every aspect.

In truth, Ning was at such a high level of enlightenment with regards to the Dao that he had reached incredible heights in both the Dao of Formations and the Dao of Fire. In truth, he was better at controlling the alchemical flame than Pillsaint, but he lacked experience with regards to understanding how the medicinal properties of the various materials were mixed together. This required countless trials and experience.

Boom! Suddenly, a terrifying wave of power swept across the area. Bang! Startled by this, Pillsaint lost control over the fire, causing the alchemy pot to explode and the pill within to be destroyed.

“What’s going on?” Su Youji and Emperor Solesky both stared towards the outside, stunned.

“Such power… a Hegemon’s aura? Since when did Hegemons become this commonplace?” Ning frowned. Hegemons were extremely rare; they were supreme within their realmverses. For Hegemon Winterflame to attack was one thing; it had only been a few dozen chaos cycles, but yet another Hegemon had come. Judging from the way the Hegemon had flared his aura, he clearly had come with bad intentions.

“Let’s go take a look.” Ning remained quite calm. With a swoosh, he flew into the skies with Emperor Solesky flying right behind him.

The two flew into the air of Vastheaven Palace and stared outside. Ning’s face immediately turned solemn. There were three towering figures standing in the air… and their bodies were not of cultivators but the onyx humanoids he had encountered in the past. There were three of them! However, they were different from the Sithe onyx humanoids which Ning had encountered in the past. These three onyx humanoids were all covered with silver diagrams and emanated an aura of endless cold.

“Black Emperors of the Sithe?” Ning was shocked. “Three of them?” Black Emperors were terrifyingly strong. Their bodies were much tougher than the bodies of most Hegemons, which was why they had an advantage in combat. In the cave which Ning and Ninedust had visited all those years ago, they had found a Black Emperor who had perished in battle while taking two Hegemons with it.

“You are Darknorth?” the skinny onyx humanoid said.

“Yes I am,” Ning said. “Dare I ask why the three of you have come to Vastheaven Palace?”

“Haha, we’ve come to visit you on business, of course. Why else would we come all the way here to the Flamedragon Realmverse?” the muscular onyx humanoid said with a snicker.

“Darknorth, I hear you have a realmship,” the skinny onyx humanoid said.

Ning’s heart trembled. As he had suspected, this was about his realmship. Realmships were simply of tremendous interest to Hegemons, but he never would’ve expected them to attract three Black Emperors. Still… he hadn’t feared even an entire host of Hegemons from the Sixteen Realmverses Alliance. Why would he fear these three onyx humanoids?

“So what if I do? So what if I don’t?” Ning asked.

“You dare act with such arrogance to our face? Quite bold.” A cold light flashed through the skinny onyx humanoid’s eyes. “Hmph. If you do have it, hand it over and we’ll spare your life. If you don’t have it… then you are useless to us and shall die right now.”

“Hand over the realmship,” the cyclopean onyx humanoid commanded coldly.

“If you don’t hand it over, everyone connected to you will perish.”

Riiiiip. A tear in space appeared off in the distance. The three onyx humanoids all turned to look, only to see an ancient realmship fly out of the tear.

“The realmship.” They immediately revealed looks of delight.

“Haha, the kid’s pretty straightforward.”

“Not bad, not bad. You are a smart boy. Hand over the realmship and you can all survive.”

“Give us the realmship.” The three onyx humanoids nodded approvingly at this. They had acquired quite a bit of intelligence regarding Ning and knew that he wasn’t easy to deal with. If Daolord Darknorth had chosen to remain hidden within the Jadefire Realm, there would’ve been nothing they could do; their only option would’ve been to ask their general, Lord Wulf, to intervene. But if they did that, they wouldn’t have rendered any real merits to the organization.

Given that this Daolord had Hegemon Azurefiend by his side, if he wanted to flee and hide there really wouldn’t have been much they could do to him. If Ning was willing nto hand it over, though, they would be so magnanimous as to spare his life.

Whoosh. A white-robed youth, an honest-looking white-furred golem, and a shriveled-up old man emerged from the realmship.

Ning’s avatar and Emperor Solesky’s avatar both retreated for now.

“And who are the three of you?” Ning asked. “Why have you immediately demanded my realmship?”

“The three of us are soldiers from the Icepeak Army,” the skinnier black humanoid said calmly. “While wandering through the various realmverses, we heard word of you and so came here as quickly as possible. We wish to take your realmship and offer it to our general, ‘Lord Wulf’. Kid, as a Daolord you will only live a short period of time. You probably haven’t even finished exploring the Flamedragon Realmverse. This realmship will be of little use to you. Hand it over to us, and you’ll have avoided calamity.”

“The Icepeak Army?” Ning frowned.

“It really is the Icepeak Army.” Hegemon Azurefiend’s face tightened slightly.

“Azurefiend, you’ve heard of the Icepeak Army before?” Ning sent mentally.

“Darknorth, as you might know, when we defeated the Sithe during the Dawn War the Sithe left behind many treasures which ended up falling into our hands,” Hegemon Azurefiend sent mentally. Ning just continued to listen.

“Some of the most powerful Sithe weapons of war, such as the ‘Blacksun’, ended up in the hands of people like Realmslord Windgrace. That is why Realmslord Windgrace is so famous and has such a higher status than other Otherverse Lords. Not even the Icepeak Army would go cause problems for him.”

“The leader of the Icepeak Army is generally referred to respectfully as the ‘Lonely King’. He was born an Ancient cultivator and has an eccentric personality. He always has a cold look on his face, and he delights in slaughter! It is said that he only ever smiles when he kills. The Lonely King once acquired a Sithe treasury which was filled with Sithe war machines and weapons. He is personally in control of the most powerful war machines, but he also acquired four ‘Golden Emperors’ and sixty-nine ‘Black Emperors’. He used one of them to undergo the Ritual Sacrificium to become a Golden Emperor, while allowing three Hegemons who joined him to do the same! Over the course of countless years, he allowed some of his Eternal Emperors to be transformed into Black Emperors. As a result, he now has a terrifyingly powerful army under his control, with him at the lead. This army is named the Icepeak Army.”

“Although the name sounds rather ordinary, it is legendary for its savagery. It will battle ot the death anyone who offends the Lonely King! They’ve caused many great wars and have even destroyed an otherverse, causing three Otherverse Lords to die by their hands. But of course, they suffered certain losses during those wars as well. Supposedly, they now only have sixty-one Black Emperors left.”

Ning was stunned upon hearing this. Even three Otherverse Lords had died by their hands? “Aren’t Otherverse Lords able to hide within their alternate universes?” Ning couldn’t help but ask, “Doesn’t that mean they had to destroy the entire alternate universe?”

“There are two supremely powerful war machines publicly acknowledged to be under the Lonely King’s control. One of them can be instantly activated, which was why two of the Otherverse Lords were slain before they even had a chance to run,” Azurefiend sent mentally. “The third managed to hide within his otherverse, but the enraged Lonely King continued his pursuit into the otherverse. No one knows what exactly happened inside it, but the end result was that the otherverse was completely destroyed and the Otherverse Lord died. It was that battle which truly allowed the Lonely King to rise to fame and for the Icepeak Army to become known as one of the most terrifyingly powerful organizations in the Chaosverse.”


Book 38, Daomerge, Chapter 8 – Ning Battles Black Emperors

“An Otherverse Lord had escaped into his otherverse, yet had still been killed and his entire otherverse had been destroyed.” Azurefiend sent a mental sigh: “That is why everyone suspects that in addition to the two war machines the Lonely King has made public, he should also have a third Sithe war machine of incredible power. Thus, Darknorth… I really do urge you to reconsider how you wish to treat the Icepeak Army. They aren’t easy to deal with. I’m a solitary wanderer who doesn’t have that many treasures, and so the Icepeak Army won’t expend too much resources on hunting me down… but you, Darknorth, have a realmship. The Icepeak Army isn’t going to just give up.”

Azurefiend was quite a proud man, but he felt that Ji Ning had to consider what was best for his sect and his homeland.

“Azurefiend, aside from the Lonely King, do the other three Golden Emperors of the Icepeak Army have especially powerful war machines?” Ning asked.

“They do not.” Azurefiend’s response was quite succinct. “The Icepeak Army has caused quite a few wars, but I’ve never heard of the three Golden Emperors employing any war machines of repute.”

Ning let out a sigh secretly. Given how exalted the Lonely King was, he wouldn’t go so far as to act against a Daolord for the sake of a mere realmship.

“Oh, right. The Flamewing God vs the Lonely King… which should be stronger?” Ning asked mentally. He had his own thoughts, but Azurefiend had been alive for much longer and had seen many things.

“Hard to say who is stronger. Flamewing is just a bit too dumb. It was born with tremendous vitality and has a virtually indestructible body, but Otherverse Lords should be able to stay alive against him,” Azurefiend said. “The Lonely King, however, is different; he’s able to use war machines and is thus a greater threat.”

“What if Flamewing fights the Lonely King?” Ning asked mentally.

“Flamewing won’t be able to kill the Lonely King, but there’s no way the Lonely King would be able to kill Flamewing. I’ve been alive for an extremely long period of time, but I’ve never heard of any major power who was capable of subduing a Chaos Primordial, save for the Autarchs themselves. Kill one? Impossible,” Azurefiend sent mentally. “Darknorth, as you know, the most powerful members of the Sithe race were their Exalts, and it took three of them in order to capture Flamewing… and it remained completely unharmed. Amongst cultivators, everyone knows that only Autarchs are capable of killing Chaos Primordials!”

“Good to know.” Ning came to a decision. Based on the information he had, he also felt confident that no one save for an Autarch would be able to kill Flamewing. Perhaps the Sithe during their glory days were capable of capturing Chaos Primordials when they sent out their most powerful members, and perhaps they might even be able to kill Chaos Primordials via their unique technology… but the Sithe were dust. Although the Lonely King was terrifyingly strong, he had merely gained access to a single war machine treasury the Sithe had left behind.

“What do you plan to do?” Azurefiend sent back.

“Azurefiend, will you be frightened if I refuse them?” Ning sent mentally.

Azurefiend glanced at Ning, rather surprised. “I’m a solitary Hegemon who wanders alone. What do I have to be afraid of? Have you really decided?”

“Yes. I’m confident in my chances.” Ning nodded.

……

The three onyx humanoids simply stood there and waited as Ning and Hegemon Azurefiend spoke mentally to each other. They were in no rush. They could tell that Darknorth and Azurefiend were discussing this matter. They felt that once this weak Daolord learned the truth of the Icepeak Army’s might, he would make the wise choice.

“So do you know a bit more about the Icepeak Army now?” the skinny onyx humanoid looked at Ning.

“I’m a Daolord who is unlearned compared to my Hegemonic peers. I’ve only heard of you for the first time today. Impressive, truly impressive,” Ning said.

“Cut the crap.” The cyclopean onyx humanoid was growing a bit impatient. Frowning, he barked out, “Hurry up and hand over the realmship. Otherwise, we’re going to attack. When that happens, both you and your sect shall both perish.” He had long ago grown accustomed to acting as he pleased. He had originally been a fairly powerful Eternal Emperor, and after he underwent the Ritual Sacrificium to become a member of the Icepeak Army he had received difference from even Hegemons and Otherverse Lords, all of whom feared the Icepeak Army’s reputation.”

Originally, his greatest worry was that this Daolord would cause trouble due to the Daolord’s ignorance of the Icpeeak Army’s might. That was why he had held back. But now? Now, he was naturally going to press hard.

Ning stood there, flanked by Azurefiend and Whitethaw. “I don’t wish to make an enemy out of the Icepeak Army, and I’m not qualified to do that either. However, realmships are incredibly precious. You wish for me to simply hand it over for nothing? I might be a mere Daolord, but I have my pride.” Ning smiled. “I have a simple, mutually beneficial solution which will result in me handing over the realmship willingly.”

“A mutually beneficial solution?”

“Speak.” The three onyx humanoids were rather irritated. The Icepeak Army was so incredibly famous that even Hegemons were terrified of them. Only a few solitary Hegemons who wandered alone would dare act so arrogantly before them.

“Simple. The Icepeak Army can buy the realmship from me,” Ning said.

“Buy?” The three onyx humanoids exchanged a glance. “Very well. This estate-world of mine has quite a few treasures inside. I’ll give it to you in exchange for the realmship.” The skinny onyx humanoid casually handed over a golden palm-sized disc which was actually an estate-treasure. The two onyx humanoids were quite calm as well; they felt certain that this Daolord simply wanted a way to save face. It didn’t really matter if they tossed out a few treasures.

Ning shook his head. “The value has to be on par with the realmship.”

“On par?” Finally, the looks on the faces of the three onyx humanoids changed. For the first time, they began to realize that this Daolord wasn’t looking for a way to save face; he was going to be a tough nut to crack! Realmships were incredibly valuable; not even treasures like Crimsonwave Temple were even close in value to a realmship. Even if the three onyx humanoids pooled all of their treasures together, they still wouldn’t be able to afford one. Most likely, their general Lord Wulf would have to trade all of his treasures to just barely afford a realmship.

Trade for something of equivalent value? This would be a fairly good deal if it was between two figures who were on par with each other, such as the Lonely King and Realmslord Windgrace. This was because generally speaking people were completely unwilling to sell realmships; to merely ask for treasures of equivalent value was already a good bargain.

However… Realmslord Windgrace was in command of the Blacksun. He was on the same level as the Lonely King. How was it that a mere Daolord dared to demand treasures of equivalent value?

“Are you looking to die?” the skinny onyx humanoid’s eyes flashed with cold light.

“I’ve already taken a step back and given face. If you accept, we’ll carry out the trade. If you refuse? I can’t just hand over my realmship for nothing.” Ning’s own aura began to sharpen as well.

“You…!” The three onyx humanoids stared at the Daolord before them, stunned. He actually was going to face them head-on?

“He’s courting death.”

“Kill him.” The cyclopean onyx humanoid was the first to attack. He instantly transformed into a streak of light who shot towards Ning. He struck out with his right hand, sending it piercing towards Ning like a long spear, with his fingernails being the tip! Black Emperors all had incredibly powerful bodies; every single part of them was like a weapon.

The arm-spear pierced straight through the void, so powerful as to cause Ning’s eyebrows to rise slightly. “Hmph.” Whitethaw, bby Ning’s side, let out an angry snort and immediately charged forwards. While charging, he transformed into an enormous white cloth that swept out towards his foe.

“A mere golem seeks to block me?” The cyclopean onyx humanoid felt some disdain. He was at the Hegemon level of power! Although his insights into the Dao were a bit inferior to true Hegemons, his Black Emperor body gave him tremendous power and allowed him to match Hegemons in battle. His body was so incredibly tough and resilient that in a real battle of life and death, he actually had an advantage.

Bang! This terrifying Hegemonic strike stabbed straight into the enormous white cloth, but the white cloth was incredibly resilient and dispersed all of the attacking energy.

“What?!” The cyclopean onyx humanoid was shocked. The golem had actually blocked his attack?

“Kill them all.”

“Kill them and take the realmship.” The two other onyx humanoids began to attack as well. Whoosh! Whoosh! Both moved with incredible speed. Although Whitethaw had blocked one of them, that was already his limit; there was no way he could block the other two.

“Hahaha…” Azurefiend laughed loudly as he transformed into his bestial form. His entire body became covered with azure scales, and his head became triangular in shape. His scale-covered tail waved menacingly like a whip, and his entire body glimmered with dark light. He let out a furious howl as he charged through the air, moving to engage.

“The Daolord actually isn’t hiding in Hegemon Azurefiend’s estate-world.” The skinny onyx humanoid was delighted by this and sent mentally, “I’ll tie down Azurefiend. You go kill the Daolord.”

“Alright.” The muscular onyx humanoid was delighted as well. Neither of them had imagined that the Daolord wouldn’t go into hiding.