DEHATheFullDaomerge

Book 38, Daomerge, Chapter 40 – The Daomerge Begins

Within the Azureflower Estate.

The elderly white-haired spirit of the estate watched silently, feeling both worried but hopeful: “I hope this kid can succeed. If he can succeed in the Daomerge with the Omega Sword Dao, he will have achieved something which no one has ever done before. Perhaps Master’s final wishes will then be completed.”

The Autarch’s wishes were simply too hard to achieve. After becoming an Autarch, Awakener had reached a level of tremendous insight and understanding, and he had many treasures aiding him. He had been alive for unfathomably more times longer than Ji Ning had, and he had reached incredible heights in his mastery of the Nine Chaos Seals.

There were a total of ninety-nine layers to the Heart of Eternity!

Even after having returned from the Icewind Sea, Ning had only been able to solve the first twenty-two layers of the Heart. He was far, far away from being able to completely solve it! In truth, the spirit of the estate also knew how unlikely it was that Ning would succeed, because even the other dazzling geniuses who had come before Ning had fallen fall short of the mark of completing Autarch Awakener’s wishes.

“The Daomerge Firecloud Flower.” The black-robed Ning waved his hand, causing a jade box to appear before the stone dais. The jade box opened on its own, followed by a perfect Daomerge Firecloud Flower that was still attached to its roots and leaves to fly out.

“Let the Daomerge begin!” The black-robed Ning closed his eyes. Over in Vastheaven Palace, the white-robed Ning in Vastheaven Palace swallowed his own spirit-pills, activated the incense from the Stone Censer of Reunion, and then closed his eyes.

He began to visualize the inside of his divine body, formed from a total of 108,000 godgems. Each godgem contained his divine power, his soul, his truesoul, and more. They also contained Ning’s insights into his Omega Sword Dao.

Ning visualized the Dao-tree within his Jindan chaos region. The towering Dao-tree’s branches and leaves were the material representations of Ning’s insights. Countless insights began to resonate through his mind and soul.

What he needed to do was to gather together all of these insights, then transform them all and cause his Dao-tree to give birth to a beautiful Flower of Eternity! His divine body would then transform to become a truly eternal body. If he became an Eternal Emperor, every single one of his godgems would could transform into a Worldheart, even if his truesoul was somehow extinguished. The godgems would forever give birth to new chaosworlds.

“The Flower of Eternity… an eternal body…” Ning exerted his will. Boom! Every single godgem in his body began to tremble. The godgems, previously coalesced with his fourth-step Daolord energies, began to disassemble and then advance to a completely new level of existence! The towering Dao-tree within his body was shaking as well, as all of the insights represented by those branches and leaves began to gather together.

If someone was standing nearby, that person would quickly discover that the white-robed Ning and the black-robed Ning were both beginning to glow with blurry sword-light. Countless streaks of sword-light emanated from Ning with such power as to cause even Hegemons to shudder. This was the light of the Dao! Or to be precise, this was the light of the Omega Sword Dao, and its power was covering him and protecting him.

Every single Daolord would emanate the light of the Dao when they began the Daomerge. This would be the most dazzling moment of their life, and it was only in this state that the Daomerge would even be possible. This was also the state one needed to be in order for the Daomerge Firecloud Flower to unleash its true potential.

“Arise.” The black-robed Ning opened his eyes, staring at the Daomerge Firecloud Flower within the jade box.

The blurry sword-light emanating from Ning’s entire body illuminated the Daomerge Firecloud Flower, causing it to levitate into the air. Guided by Ning’s will, the flower began to be surrounded by clouds of fire that gathered together into a half-translucent humanoid figure directly above the flower. This figure looked identical to Ning.

“My incarnation! The incarnation formed by the Daomerge Firecloud Flower.” Ning immediately took control over the flow of time, having the incarnation complete a simulated Daomerge as quickly as possible.

If a Daolord like Ninedust used the Daomerge Firecloud Flower, a total of nine incarnations would be formed. In other words, one would have nine chances to simulate a Daomerge! If one took control over the flow of time and accelerated time for the incarnations, these nine simulated Daomerges would at most take perhaps two or so hours, at which point the Daolord could begin the true Daomerge.

“I hope this incarnation can last long enough to attempt a complete Daomerge.” Ning felt hopeful. “Let’s begin.” The incarnation immediately initiated a simulated Daomerge, with a towering Dao-tree appearing within its body. The reason why it didn’t form a complete divine body was because Ning wanted to conserve power; there was a limit to how much energy the Daomerge Firecloud Flower held within it.

Time passed, one day after another. The incarnation continued to carefully carry out the Daomerge, with the Omega Sword Dao insights embodied by the Dao-tree all slowly gathering together. Finally, a series of thick trunks began to emerge from the very center of the Dao-tree. These trunks began to manifest a total of two new leaves. One of the two leaves emanated an incredibly profound and abstruse aura, while the other emanated an aura that was incredibly titanic and vast.

Between these two leaves, an unremarkable little flower bud began to emerge as well. The flower bud began to slowly grow larger and larger…

“So far, so good. My path is the correct one. This is just how it should be.” Ning felt a tremendous sense of confidence in himself and how things were progressing. The Autarch’s stone dais and the Stonefire Pearl helped ensured that he was in absolute peak condition for this Daomerge, and he was in a prajna-like state of epiphany. All sorts of scattered insights were rapidly coming together to form a perfect whole, with no flaws that could be discerned whatsoever.

One year. Two years. Three years. By now, the flower was so large that it could no longer grow any further. All of Ning’s insights into the Omega Sword Dao, as well as the other scattered insights he had gained, had been infused into the flower bud.

“Time to let it bloom.” Ning knew that the blooming process was the most dangerous part of the Daomerge. Many, many Daolords had attempted to make the Flower of Eternity bloom, only to see it wither halfway through.

Suddenly, his incarnation began to tremble.

“Eh?” Ning’s face tightened slightly. Only now did he turn his attention to the Daomerge Firecloud Flower. He realized that the flaming clouds around it had almost all vanished. As the final cloud was depleted, the materialized incarnation suddenly vanished as well. As a result, the simulated Daomerge came to an end as well.

“Its over? The energies were all used up?” Although Ning was briefly startled, he quickly regained his equanimity. “Omega Daos truly are the hardest of Daos. I wasn’t even given a chance to attempt to cause the Flower of Eternity to bloom via a simulated Daomerge,” Ning mused. The Daomerge Firecloud Flower had enough power to allow a Daolord who had fused multiple Supreme Daos to simulate the Daomerge nine times, but he hadn’t even been able to do it a single time! This had at most been half of a simulated Daomerge… and strictly speaking, it was the simpler first half. Even if Ning hadn’t had a Daomerge Firecloud Flower, Ning wouldn’t have made any mistakes during the first part.

“However… it still helped me save three years of time.” Ning didn’t let himself feel dispirited. Saving three years of time meant that his chances at succeeding in the Daomerge had increased considerably.

“And so… let the true Daomerge begin!” Thanks to the wonders of temporal acceleration, the three years of time which the simulated Daomerge had taken had, in reality, been nothing more than a few minutes for Ning’s true body and Primaltwin.

The white-robed Ning and the black-robed Ning simultaneously began to speed up the Daomerge process. Whoosh! The transformation process of the godgems began to speed up rapidly, advancing in the blink of an eye.

As for the Dao-tree in his body, it began to give birth to a new trunk upon which two leaves grew. A flower bud quickly appeared and began to grow larger, and it quickly reached its maximum size in just a few seconds. Now, it was ready to bloom whenever Ning chose.

“Let it bloom…” Ning knew just how the Daomerge worked. The Flower of Eternity was safe when it was merely a bud. Once the initial blooming process began, it was extremely easy for cultivators to make mistakes… and a single mistake would result in a failure in the blooming process, causing the flower to wither away! That would represent the Daomerge having failed. The truesoul would immediately begin to crumble.

If the initial blooming process was successful, the flower would slowly bloom more and more. This middle part would be comparatively safer, and the Flower of Eternity would grow more and more beautiful. When it reached its most dazzlingly beautiful form, it would gain true eternity for itself! This final part of the blooming process was the most difficult part of the Daomerge.

Ning had met Daolord Laya in the Starflow River. When Daolord Laya had failed the Daomerge, he had failed during the initial blooming process; in other words, the Flower of Eternity hadn’t been able to bloom at all.

In truth, the blooming represented the process by which Daolords crossed beyond that final threshold to become Eternal Emperors! That moment when the Flower of Eternity reached maximum beauty was the moment in which both it and the Dao stabilized. This represented success, with the Daolord having become an Eternal Emperor.

Whoooosh. The petals slowly began to extend up the stem of the Flower of Eternity, laboriously seeking to reach out and bloom. As for Ning himself, he began the process of leaping into a new level of existence.

BOOM!!! The Dao-light surrounding both the white-robed Ning in Vastheaven Palace and the black-robed Azureflower Estate began to dramatically increase in intensity. The countless streaks of sword-light began to skyrocket in power, instantly ascending beyond Hegemony. In just the blink of an eye, it actually surpassed even the Otherverse Lord level of power!

Rumble…

This terrifying aura of power instantly swept through all that sought to contain it. The formations around Vastheaven Palace were completely incapable of containing this terrifying aura, a supreme aura of power that vastly surpassed that of Hegemons and even Otherverse Lords. This was the most terrifying aura generated by the Dao of the Sword which had ever appeared in the Chaosverse… the aura of an Eternal Omega Sword Dao!

Emperor Solesky, Su Youji, Pillsaint, Azurefiend, Whitethaw, and everyone else all felt so terrified by this aura that their hearts trembled. It was as though every single cell in their bodies were screaming in fear.

Even the Flamewing God felt a sense of fear when this mighty aura swept past it!


Book 38, Daomerge, Chapter 41 – The Critical Moment

Within the Azureflower Estate.

Boom! The black-robed Ji Ning was seated in the lotus position. Suddenly, the sword-light coming from his body dramatically increased in luminosity and power! The might of his aura spread out in every direction, causing even the elderly white-haired spirit of the estate who was watching nearby to feel a tinge of fear. The spirit couldn’t help but lower his head and hunch over. This was an intrinsic fear that came from the very core of his being. In truth, estate-spirits could be considered a special type of lifeform.

“Such power…” the white-haired elder tamped down his fear and struggled to raise his head to look at Ning.

The black-robed Ning was emanating countless streams of sword-light that were filled with an aura of utter dominance and exaltedness. The only time the long-lived white-haired elder had ever seen anyone like this had been when he had served his almighty master, Autarch Awakener.

“The Omega Daos live up to their reputation. If he succeeds in the Daomerge, perhaps the only people who will be a match for him in the entire Chaosverse shall be the Autarchs,” the white-haired elder mused silently.

Once an Omega Dao became eternal, how powerful would it become? No one knew. This was because no one thus far had ever been able to accomplish such a thing. The vast Chaosverse had given birth to numerous Autarchs, but it had never given birth to an Emperor of an Omega Dao!

The Hegemons and Otherverse Lords, no matter how talented, were at most only at the Hegemonic level of insight. Beyond that was the level of Autarchy! However, one who made an Omega Dao eternal would surpass all Hegemons in terms of profundity of insight into the Dao!

“Only two beings can surpass Hegemony. The first are the Autarchs; the second would be an Eternal Omega Dao.” The white-haired elder stared rather eagerly at the black-robed Ning, who continued to glow with that aura of infinitely awesome light. “Darknorth, there has never been an Eternal Omega Dao before! If you succeed, all of Master’s efforts would’ve been worth it.”

……

The Azureflower Estate had been the Autarch’s personal, private training grounds. It was filled with barriers and restrictions of such might that it naturally was able to block out all auras, including that of Ning’s Daomerge.

Vastheaven Palace, however, was completely incapable of the same. The white-robed Ning within the Darknorth Estate of the Vastheaven Palace was also emanating blinding amounts of sword-light, and the power from his aura surged straight out of Vastheaven Palace and reached out to spread across the entire Vastheaven Everworld. In fact, the ripples spread out into the vast void outside as well. However, the farther the ripples spread, the fainter and harder-to-detect the ripples became. They quickly spread out to cover the entire Flamedragon Realmverse and then spread out into the endless Great Dark as well.

“What’s going on?”

“What is this sense of awe and pressure?”

The countless living beings within Vastheaven Palace, from the mortals and animals to the Eternal Emperors, all felt a sense of terror stemming from the very fiber of their being.

None of these living beings were injured, but in this instant the entire everworld fell completely silent. All of them instinctively knelt down towards the direction from whence this aura came, almost as if they were prostrating themselves and displaying submission towards an emperor.

This aura was the aura of an Eternal Omega Sword Dao! No one would dare to stand against this terrifying aura.

“Such power! Such might! This aura is far more powerful than mine. Not even the Sithe Exalts were this powerful!” Flamewing was able to instinctively judge the power of this aura. There had never been an Emperor who reached that level via an Eternal Omega Dao. Someone who did would be more powerful than Otherverse Lords, Sourcewalkers, and even Sithe Exalts! Only the unfathomably powerful Autarchs would be on this level of power.

“So this is the power of the Eternal Omega Sword Dao?” Emperor Solesky, Azurefiend, and the others all felt completely stunned. This level of power was far beyond the Hegemonic level of power.

……

Whoosh! A dimensional tear appeared at the very margins of the Vastheaven Everworld, followed by a snowy-robed, white-bearded old man appearing. This was Hegemon Brightshore. A heartbeat later two more tears appeared. A man with long green hair and a green beard emerged from the first, while a dazzlingly beautiful scepter-wielding woman appeared from the second. They were Hegemon Windrain and Hegemon Netherlily.

Riiiiip. Another dimensional tear appeared off in the distance, followed by five figures emerging. The first was a golden humanoid figure, while the other four were all onyx humanoid figures. This was Lord Wulf of the Icepeak Army and four of his Black Emperors.

“Such power.” Everyone’s gazes were focused towards the distant Vastheaven Palace. Vastheaven Palace was the source of this incredible, exalted aura. Simply looking at Vastheaven Palace caused them to all feel a sense of tremendous pressure! If Ning himself appeared, staring at him would cause them all to feel a sense of terror. This was something you would innately feel when you encountered someone who was at a higher level of existence than you.

“So this is the power which comes from an Omega Dao which has gained eternity?” Hegemon Brightshore murmured softly, “This aura is utterly terrifying. I’ve never sensed anything as terrifying as this.”

“Daolord Darknorth’s ‘Flower of Eternity’ has probably already begun to bloom,” Hegemon Windrain said. “If he can succeed in making it fully bloom, he’ll gain true eternity.”

“Will he be dazzling for an instant, or dazzling for all eternity? The answer will come soon,” Hegemon Netherlily said.

They had witnessed many Daolords undergone the Daomerge and thus they understood the process. The aura of the Eternal Omega Sword Dao which they could all sense wasn’t being consciously produced by Ning; rather, it was something which naturally manifested as the Daomerge began. Only if he succeeded in the Daomerge and truly gained a complete Eternal Omega Sword Dao would he gain control over that terrifying level of power! If he failed? Everything would disappear like mist, and his brief moment of brilliance would amount to nothing more than a testament to how powerful an Eternal Omega Sword Dao truly was.

“He has begun the Daomerge.” Lord Wulf stared from afar, a look of dread in his eyes. “How terrifying. If he succeeds in the Daomerge, not even the Lonely King would stand any chance against him.”

“There’s no way something as unearthly powerful as this can exist,” one of his Black Emperor subordinates said.

“Agreed. If he succeeds in the Daomerge, he’ll probably be invincible unless an Autarch intervenes,” Lord Wulf murmured softly. “But if he fails… that’ll be when he becomes truly troublesome. No one can guess what a Daolord who has failed the Daomerge would do. More importantly, the Lonely King also will be competing against Realmslord Windgrace. The struggle over the Flamewing God will probably be the greatest battle which our Icepeak Army has ever engaged in…”

Although the Icepeak Army had taken part in numerous great wars, it had never faced off against an opponent of Realmslord Windgrace’s caliber. In addition, there was a third party to this conflict… Ji Ning and the Flamewing God who served him. Lord Wulf spoke the truth when he described this conflict as the ‘greatest battle’ the Icepeak Army would have ever engaged in.

“Daolord Darknorth won’t go crazy, right?” The four Black Emperors were rather nervous. They had all witnessed the Flamewing God’s power.

“Who knows what a Daolord who has failed the Daomerge might do?” Lord Wulf stared at the distant Vastheaven Palace. “However… we must give it our best shot, no matter how dangerous it is! There’s no way Realmslord Windgrace or our Lonely King would give up a chance to control the Flamewing God. They’ll throw every resource they have into it.”

The Flamewing God was more valuable than all the combined value of all the treasures Realmslord Windgrace and the Lonely King possessed. There was a limit to how powerful a Sithe war machine could be, after all… and the greater the power, the greater the cost of activating it. Each time Realmslord Windgrace wished to use the Blacksun to fire off an attack, he had to pay an enormous price. But Flamewing? It had a virtually indesctructible body and could fight without rest. The Flamewing God was more valuable than the entire Icewing Army.

However, only the likes of the Lonely King and Realmslord Windgrace were actually interested in trying to take control over Flamewing. The ordinary soldiers and generals of the Icepeak Army, along with the likes of Hegemon Brightshore, simply felt fear! This was because no one could predict how wide-ranging and destructive such a war would become. A war on this level could easily result in the deaths of Hegemons and Black Emperors. Even the likes of Lord Wulf would perish under the might of a fully-powered Blacksun!

The only ones who stood a good chance at surviving were the Lonely King, who had numerous Sithe war machines at his disposal, and Realmslord Windgrace, who had his Blacksun. Everyone else could very well perish!

Oh, right. Daolord Darknorth would be safe, as he could hide behind the Flamewing god. However… if Daolord Darknorth had failed the Daomerge, he might go crazy and become an even greater threat than Windgrace or the Lonely King.

“Ugh.”

“Let’s pray that he succeeds in the Daomerge.” In truth, some of the Black Emperors were silently hoping for Ning’s success. They would be nothing more than cannon fodder in a battle at this level, after all. Still… all of them knew in their hearts how unlikely it was that Ning would succeed.

……

The white-robed Ning in Vastheaven Palace and the black-robed Ning in the Azureflower Estate meditated silently as the Flower of Eternity began to bloom with excruciating slowness.

“This is correct. No errors thus far.” Ning was being incredibly careful. As soon as the flower had started to bloom, his Eternal Omega Sword Dao had begun to take form. Everything seemed so perfect and flawless… but if he made so much as a single mistake, the Flower of Eternity would instantly begin to wither and his truesoul would begin to crumble away.

He couldn’t afford a single mistake! Thus, Ning proceeded very slowly with the Daomerge.

Time passed on, one day after the other, and more Eternal Emperors appeared around the Vastheaven Everworld. Ning’s exalted aura had covered all of the Flamedragon Realmverse and had even stretched out into the Great Dark. Although the aura grew increasingly weak with distance, the majority of Eternal Emperors in the Flamedragon Realmverse were able to sense it. However, realmverses were so far from each other that the aura spread just a comparatively short distance into the Great Dark before becoming completely indetectable.

“Eh?” Roughly half a year after the Flower of Eternity began to bloom, the faces of the white-robed Ning and the black-robed Ning simultaneously turned pale.


Book 38, Daomerge, Chapter 42 – Sword-Heart

“Now this is a deadly problem.” Ji Ning had just encountered the greatest obstacle within the Daomerge thus far.

Why was it that Daolords all wished for the chance to completely simulate the Daomerge? It was so that they would have sufficient experience for the real thing. A mistake in the simulated Daomerge could be fixed in the real one.

Alas, even the Daomerge Firecloud Flower could only simulate a partial Daomerge for an Omega Dao. It could only simulate the Daomerge up to the point where the bud first formed! In other words, the only real benefit it brought to Ning was that it had saved him three years worth of time; it hadn’t given him a chance to actually compensate for any mistakes or errors! And now, as a result, the completely unprepared Ning now encountered an enormous problem which he had to resolve.

“If I wish to succeed in the Daomerge for the Omega Sword Dao, I must also master the fifteenth stance of the [Heartsword] art!” After spending half a year slowly blooming his Flower of Eternity, he immediately realized this problem.

Ning had originally thought that the [Heartsword] art was just a type of special technique that combined heartforce, divine power, and Immortal energy. He didn’t believe that it had anything to do with his Omega Sword Dao… but now that he had actually initiated the Daomerge, he realized that he was wrong!

It was connected! In fact, it was connected in a very important way!

Ordinary Emperors and even Hegemons didn’t need to worry about techniques like the [Heartsword] art during their Daomerges, but Ning was different; his path was that of the Omega Sword Dao!

“The [Heartsword] art focuses on training the heart, the heart of the sword. The more sincere one’s heart is towards the sword, the more perfectly one can merge heartforce, divine power, and Immortal energy. I was only able to master the fourteenth stance of the [Heartforce] art because I realized that Yu Wei would not come back to life, and thus I came to understand the essence of ‘Remorseless Unto Death’. I poured everything into the sword without any remorse… but that isn’t enough. Although a sword-heart like this is enough to merge divine power, heartforce, and Immortal energy to a very high degree… it still isn’t enough.”

“I need a truly perfect and complete sword-heart! Only then can I also have a perfect, Eternal Omega Sword Dao.”

He only came to understand this during the Daomerge itself. The many insights he had gained into the Dao of the Sword would form the ‘body’ of his Eternal Omega Sword Dao, while his perfect sword-heart would form its ‘soul’. Only then would it be fully formed! Only then would it become a true and truly terrifying Eternal Omega Sword Dao.

This was why the [Heartsword] art was so marvelous, and why it allowed for one to merge all types of energy together, resulting in every single attack increasing explosively in might.

“There’s a limit to how long the Daomerge can take. I have to comprehend the fifteenth stance of the [Heartsword] art. If I cannot, I’ll definitely fail the Daomerge.” When Ning came to understand this, his face instantly turned pale. There wasn’t enough time! The fifteenth stance of the [Heartsword] art was incredibly difficult.

In truth, the [Heartsword] art was just a sword-focused energy-combining technique which Emperor Heartsword had created. There had been other major powers in the vast Chaosverse who had done the same. Ning didn’t really need the technique itself; what he needed to do was to truly perfect his sword-heart.

Whoosh. One technique after another flickered through Ning’s mind. These were the various similar techniques which had been created by the cultivator civilizations as well as the Sithe.

“What should I do? How should I make the breakthrough to the next level?” Although the state he was in during the Daomerge allowed breakthroughs to come much more easily, he still wasn’t able to find the key to the fifteenth stance.

“Wrong. Wrong. Wrong! The [Heartsword] art and the other techniques all came as a result of the unique hearts and minds produced by the experiences these various major powers had.” Ning’s eyes suddenly lit up. “In the end, they reached perfection… but they each walked their own paths! Every single cultivator will have different mental and spiritual experiences. If you try to force yourself to emulate their paths, you might be able to reach an extremely high level but you’ll never reach perfection.”

“This is why, despite the passage of so many chaos cycles, there has been no one save Emperor Heartsword who was able to master the fifteenth stance of the [Heartsword] art. That’s because one has to find own’s sword-heart in order to reach this stance!”

The prajna-state Ning was currently in was an extraordinary one, and he was able to quickly identify where the problem lay.

In the early stages, the [Heartsword] art might’ve allowed him to walk faster along his path, but the farther along the path Ning went, the more of an obstacle the [Heartsword] art became. Thus, he had to discard it… because it represented Emperor Heartsword’s sword-heart!

“Then what of my own sword-heart?” Ning began to reminisce about all the experiences he had undergone through countless years of cultivation, as well as the many times he had trained in the sword.

Slowly… Ning began to understand.

One day. Two days. Three days. One month. Two months. One year. Two years…

The Daomerge allowed for a Daolord to enter the most incredible and marvelous meditative state known to cultivators. This wasn’t the first time Ning had thought back to his memories and his life, but now that he was in middle of the Daomerge the insights he gained were naturally different.

“Yes… long, long ago, I once lived a life that was without worries and carefree. That was back when my mother and father were teaching me. In the West Prefecture City of the Ji clan, I trained with them in sword-arts. I was so happy back then. I simply loved sword-arts; that was all there was to it.

“When did it all change? All kinds of different competing desires arose in my heart and in my cultivation of the sword. I sought to train in the sword to take revenge for my parents, to become famous in the Grand Xia, to kill the Godking and take my revenge, to revive Yu Wei… I entrusted all of my hopes to the sword, wishing to use it to make all of my hopes real. In doing so, my sword-heart actually became impure.”

“Even when I reached the stage of ‘Remorseless Unto Death’, my remorselessness stemmed from my emotions and my love of Yu Wei, not for the love of the sword itself. But…

“In truth, I really do love the sword as well.”

If he didn’t love the Dao of the Sword from the very depths of his being, there was no way he could’ve embarked upon the path of the Omega Sword Dao and reached his current heights. However, all of the many hopes and fears he had entrusted to the sword had resulted in his sword-heart becoming impure.

Ning suddenly thought of something which Autarch Titanos had told him: “Foolish child… sometimes, you have to learn when to let go. On the path of cultivation, excessive obsession can sometimes result in self-destruction.”

Ning had suddenly awoken to the truth. It was a true moment of epiphany! After spending three years of the Daomerge going through his many memories, he felt as though he had revisited his entire life… and as a result, he had truly awoken.

“Even if I cast aside everything, including all of my hopes and fears, I would still love the sword. I love it simply because I love it; there’s no need for any other reason. The Dao of the Sword is a vast and boundless one which allows me to experience many new things. Of course I love it. Why wouldn’t I?”

Both the white-robed Ning and the black-robed Ning opened their eyes to stare forwards.

In front of eacho f them, a stream of sword-light manifested. The sword-light flew out in a beautiful, natural, and transcendent way. There were no strong emotions attached to it, no grief, no sorrow, no madness… it simply flew forward, illuminating everything around it with its brilliance.

“One Sword, One World.” Ning smiled. He knew that his sword-heart had reached the level of true perfection. In fact, he now suspected that Emperor Heartsword himself must have mastered the ‘One Sword, One World’ stance during the Daomerge as well. For those who had chosen a weaker Sword Dao, simply possessing a perfect sword-heart would allow for one to succeed in the Daomerge, even if one’s Dao of the Sword was flawed!

Emperor Heartsword’s Sword Dao wasn’t a particularly impressive one, but he had a perfect sword-heart and as a result had succeeded in the Daomerge.

Ning now had a perfect sword-heart as well… but he was attempting to master an Eternal Omega Sword Dao. A perfect sword-heart was just one component!

“My sword-heart has been perfected.” Ning immediately continued to the next stage of his Daomerge, causing the Flower of Eternity to continue its blooming once more. Now that he had a perfect sword-heart, the Flower of Eternity semed to have gained a spirit, and it rustled in his soul much like a true flower would in the outside world.

……

“It’s nearly been nine years.”

“The Daomerge can at most last for nine years. Daolord Darknorth’s Daomerge must be coming to an end soon.”

“I wonder if he will succeed or fail.” Within the Vastheaven Everworld, the Hegemons and the Icepeak Army were all waiting. The other Eternal Emperors, such as Daoist Bluestone, Emperor Goldisle, and Emperor Blackcloud were all waiting nervously as well.

It had indeed been nearly nine years since Ning had unleashed that wave of terrifying presence.

“Perhaps the Daomerge time limit for Omega Daos is longer than normal?” Hegemon Netherlily suggested curiously.

“Who knows?” Hegemon Brightshore shook his head.

“Let’s just wait. We’ll see a result soon,” Hegemon Windrain said.

All of the Hegemons and Emperors were waiting, as were Hegemon Azurefiend, Flamewing, Emperor Solesky, Su Youji, Pillsaint, and Ning’s disciples and fellow apprentices within Vastheaven Palace. All of them were extremely nervous.

……

“I’m almost out of time.” The white-robed Ning in Vastheaven Palace and the black-robed Ning in the Azureflower Estate both knew that they only had nine years for the Daomerge. The Daomerge Firecloud Flower had saved them three years of time, but they had wasted three more in perfecting the Dao-heart.

The Flower of Eternity slowly continued to bloom. There could be no mistakes at all right now.

“Time for the final push.” Ning could sense the growth of the Flower of Eterniety within the Dao-tree in his body, and could also sense how his godgems had reconfigured themselves. It was time to take the final step.

In his heart, he already had a complete structure for his Eternal Omega Sword Dao. Whether or not it was the correct one could only be ascertained through actually using it in the Daomerge.

“There are no mistakes. Such a perfect Dao has to be worthy of eternity.” Ning was filled with confidence, but since he hadn’t had the chance to simulate a Daomerge he had to be absolutely correct in order to succeed. The slightest of errors would result in failure.

“I’m out of time. There’s no way to stop the Daomerge. Time for the final step!”

Ning willed it, and with a rumble his Flower of Eternity went into full bloom, revealing dazzling amounts of radiance. The godgems in his body instantly went into a brand new configuration as well.

Would the result be eternity? Or a withering?


Book 38, Daomerge, Chapter 43 – The Curtain Falls

The Flower of Eternity bloomed with incandescent light, striving to achieve eternity… but then, its light began to slowly shudder. The transformed and reconfigured godgems also sought to stabilize, but they slowly began to tremble as well.

The awesome aura of the Eternal Omega Sword Dao emanating from Ji Ning’s body suddenly began to decay, with Ning’s own life aura weakening as well.

“No! I was too hasty!” In the final instant that his Flower of Eternity fully bloomed, Ning immediately understood where the error lay in his Eternal Omega Sword Dao

If he had been given a chance to simulate the Daomerge, he would’ve been able to actually test out some of the assumptions regarding his Dao and discover its flaws. But he hadn’t had that chance, and so he had to forge ahead without it!

Samsara Daolords took a total of four steps, and each step represented them treading the line between life and death! However, these four steps were all fairly short steps. They only led the Daolord to rise to a slightly higher level each time, which was why almost all of the truly talented Daolords were able to reach the fourth step. However, the Daomerge represented an enormous chasm!

Even when ordinary Daolords succeeded in the Daomerge, their power would rise by two full levels. As for supreme Daolords like Ninedust or Winesage, they’d immediately become Hegemons. Those slightly weaker would still reach the Archon level of power.

Ning’s Omega Sword Dao would have an even more incredible result. The mysteries of the Sword Dao alone would result in him improving by two full levels of power, but he also needed to infuse it with a perfect sword-heart. In other words, advancing from the fourth-step Daolord Omega Sword Dao to an Eternal Omega Sword Dao would result in an increase of more than three fulls of power!

This was an enormous step he had to take, and there was no chance at all to test it out in advance! Even though Ning’s preparations had been quite plentiful, in the end he had still made a tiny mistake.

“This must be the true Eternal Omega Sword Dao.” Ning opened his eyes. In front of him was a faint sheen of sword-light. It looked very ordinary, with no special about it at all. It seemed to have no aura, no presence… nothing.

Rumble…

Unfathomably far away from the Flamedragon Realmverse, there existed a place. This place was where the prime essences of the entire Chaosverse were located, including the prime essence of the Dao of the Sword.

“So this is the prime essence of the Dao of the Sword?” Ning’s mind could clearly and distinctly sense it from afar… and it was identical in nature to the Eternal Omega Sword Dao he had just understood.

Suddenly, a surge of invisible power swept out and surrounded Ning’s consciousness. This power was vast and overwhelming but also as gentle as a mother’s embrace.

Ning instantly understood. This surge of power was the power of the prime essences of the Chaosverse. It was embracing his mind and… comforting him. It was as though the Chaosverse itself felt a sense of regret and sympathy towards this cultivator.

“So I am the only one who has ever comprehended an Eternal Omega Dao?” Ning understood what the Chaosverse was whispering to him.

There had been others who had embarked upon the path of the Omega Dao, but all of them had failed during the daomerge! The vast majority of the failures didn’t even have a technique like the [Heartsword] art available to them. Much like Ning, they had only realized how stringent the requirements for their Dao-hearts were during the actual Daomerge itself. Most of them had failed due to this. Occasionally, there were a few incredibly talented Daolords who did in fact have perfect Dao-hearts, but in the end there were quite a few errors in the Eternal Omega Dao they devised. Even though they eventually realized what their mistakes were, there was no way for them to discover what the right answer was.

Ning had the Autarch’s stone dais, the Stonefire Pearl, the Daomerge Firecloud Flower, and other external sources of support. He also had a perfect sword-heart and was at a level of talent that was every bit the equal of anyone who had come before him.

In the end, he had still failed the Daomerge… but immediately afterwards, he had instantly realized what the true Eternal Omega Sword Dao was. Alas, it was too late! He was now in control of and the master of the Eternal Omega Sword Dao, but he had already failed his Daomerge. Each person would only have one chance at the Daomerge. If you failed it, you failed it. Even the prime essences of the Chaosverse couldn’t help but sigh on his behalf. Alas, there was nothing they could do; all they could do was function in the way their nature instrinsically demanded. Everything they did was simply an expression of their intrinsic nature, and in truth they weren’t exactly ‘sentient’ in the normal definition of the word.

All they could do was feel and express an innate sense of sorrow and sympathy for this poor soul.

……

The Flower of Eternity withered away, its petals crumbling apart and falling.

It had been just a single tiny mistake, but that mistake was still enough to cause everything to crumble. There was no way for it to gain eternity.

Divine power and Immortal energy could be instantly recovered; they didn’t count for much. The truly lethal aspect of failing the Daomerge was the dissipation of the soul and truesoul. There was no way at all to halt or reverse the crumbling of a truesoul. No one was capable of it whatsoever. Not even Autarchs were able to do this!

The white-robed Ning within Vastheaven Palace and the black-robed Primaltwin in the Azureflower Estate were both filled with Ning’s truesoul. Their failure in the Daomerge caused the truesoul to begin to crumble. Ning’s soul and truesoul had become incredibly powerful over his countless years of cultivation, and the Nine Chaos Seals technique had further strengthened it to the Archon level… but it was of no use.

Hairline fractures had already appeared throughout every part of Ning’s truesoul.

Crack! A tiny, crystalline piece of truesoul broke free. This fragment was translucent and dazzlingly beautiful, but as it floated away it gradually disappeared into nothingness, returning to the prime essences of the Chaosverse. Those who had their truesouls destroyed in a chaosworld would see their soul fragments be reclaimed by the prime essences of the Chaosverse. Those who failed the Daomerge would see their truesouls slowly and naturally fragment apart, also to be reclaimed by the Chaosverse. When the final pieces of truesoul were gone, they would die.

They could do nothing but watch as they slowly died. This was a very cruel end, and there were some Daolords who would be driven mad as a result.

The aura of life disappeared from both of Ning’s avatars, and the truesoul within Ning’s main body and Primaltwin both began to crumble…

……

Ning arose from the altar. Even before the Daomerge he had began, he had already prepared himself for the possibility of failure.

“For one who has found the Dao in the morning, death in the evening is nothing. I may have failed, but my failure has allowed me to find the true Eternal Omega Sword Dao. Compared to many other cultivators, I’m quite lucky. Nothing in the universe will go exactly as you hope.” Ning’s gaze was distant. He murmured, “Yu Wei… sorry. I still failed in the end…”

Ning didn’t care too much that he had failed the Daomerge and would perish. Given how long he had cultivated for, why would he fear death? As for his family, he had already spent an extremely long period of time by the side of his parents and his daughter. The only one he felt a debt towards was his wife, Yu Wei.

“I thought that I was invincible, that I could do anything and everything. But in the end, there was a limit to what I could accomplish. My road has come to an end.” Ning waved his hand, causing a black jade stone to appear before him. This jade stone had already been cut to be roughly as tall as Ning himself.

Ning stretched out his right hand, gently stroking the surface of the jade. Sword-light appeared from the tips of his fingers, and as it swept past the jade, tiny bits of jade dust flew everywhere.

Slowly, the figure of a black-robed maiden became formed from the jade stone. Her features truly were dazzlingly beautiful, and her aura was quite extraordinary.

A hint of a smile appeared around Ning’s lips. His wife, Yu Wei, truly had been a dazzling and beautiful person. She had been the most beautiful member of the Black-White College.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. Ning’s fingers continued to flicker across the jade stone, causing the sculpture to become more and more distinct. The jade Yu Wei’s hair seemed to flutter, and her eyes stared lovingly at Ning.

Suddenly, Ning came to a halt and stepped back.

The white-robed Ning and the black-robed Yu Wei stared at each other, their gazes meeting in the air. It was almost as though she was still alive.

Moments later, Ning regained his composure. With but a thought, he caused the sculpture of the black-robed Yu Wei to fly towards him while shrinking to become palm-sized. As it flew towards Ning’s chest, a string suddenly appeared out of nowhere and pierced through it. It hung inside Ning’s clothes like a necklace, pressed against his bosom.

Ning gently stroked his chest. “Yu Wei… accompany me on the final steps of my journey.” Ning then waved his hand, causing all six Northbow swords to appear before him.

“Quintessences, arise!” With but a thought, Ning transformed the quintessences within his six Lifeblood weapons, upgrading them from the fourth-step Daolord-level Omega Sword Dao to the Eternal Omega Sword Dao.

Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! The six Northbow swords all emitted a keening sound as sword-light flared around them, revealing a terrifying sharpness. The light circulated across them, revealing that each and every one of them was changing and evolving from inside out. They immediately skyrocketed to the Universe treasure level! A good while later, the light completely vanished from them. Their power was now so reserved that they were like ordinary pieces of wood… but in truth, they had already become the deadliest weapons in all the Chaosverse.

This was because the quintessence cores within them had been created by the Eternal Omega Sword Dao, something which had never existed before. The Dao of the Sword was a Dao meant for battle and slaughter. In terms of killing power, these six swords had already vastly outstripped all other Universe treasures.

Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! All six swords flew back into the sheath on Ning’s back.

……

Vastheaven Palace.

“That aura of might is weakening.”

“How can this be?”

“But…” Emperor Solesky, Hegemon Azurefiend, the Flamewing God, Pillsaint, and the others were all shocked. Su Youji’s face was completely ashen and devoid of all color.

“Master.”

“Senior apprentice-brother.” Ning’s students and ‘fellow disciples’ were all frantic as well.

In the air outside Vastheaven Palace were Hegemon Brightshore, Hegemon Windrain, Hegemon Netherlily, Lord Wulf, the Black Emperors, Daoist Bluestone, Emperor Goldisle, and the other Eternal Emperors. Some sighed. Some shook their heads. Some smiled with delight. Some had ugly looks on their faces.

All of them had their own thoughts and considerations… but all of them knew that Daolord Darknorth had just failed the Daomerge.

They had seen far too many Daolords attempt the Daomerge. If a Daolord succeeded, there was no way his aura would plummet like that. In addition, they would also sense an aura of true eternity about that cultivator.

“Darknorth, a dazzling and peerless Daolord, has come to an end just like that.” Hegemon Brightshore shook his head and sighed.

“Daomerges for Omega Daos are simply too difficult,” Hegemon Windrain said.

“Go ahead and report it to Realmslord Windgrace,” Hegemon Netherlily said.

The three of them had long ago received orders from Realmslord Windgrace to monitor the situation, and so they all began to send word back.

“Hurry up and inform his Majesty that Daolord Darknorth has already failed the Daomerge.” The distant Lord Wulf could already foresee the grand war that was about to erupt, but he didn’t dare to delay in the slightest.

……

The Hiddenfiend Realmverse. The Blacksun.

A bearded, disheveled-looking old man walked out of a courtyard. He raised his head to stare in the void, his eyes filled with light. “Daolord Darknorth… he was such an incredibly talented figure, but he still failed. The war against the Lonely King shall come next.”

……

The endless Great Dark.

A large group of onyx humanoids were clustered together within a realmship. Alongside them were two golden humanoids who were standing to each side of a silver throne… and a third golden humanoid dressed in silver robes who was seated on that throne.

His gaze was as cold as ice, and the blood-red diamond in his forehead was beginning to change.

In truth, this man had long ago led the entire Icepeak Army to a place within the Great Dark that was extremely close to the Flamedragon Realmverse. He had been silently waiting for the signal, as he knew that if he was to fight against Realmslord Windgrace he couldn’t afford to get there late.

“Your Majesty, Lord Wulf sends word. Daolord darknorth has failed the Daomerge!” a gray-robed Emperor said respectfully.

“As expected, he failed.” The Lonely King rested his arms on the armrests of his throne, then said softly, “Windgrace… let’s see if you win or if I win.”

“Head out!”

BOOM! The realmship tore through spacetime and immediately began to warp towards the Flamedragon Realmverse.