DESDNewDaomergeMcGuffins

Book 38, Daomerge, Chapter 23 – Difference

“Senior,” Ji Ning asked, “Might I ask what other external treasures exist in the Chaosverse which are of major benefit to someone attempting the Daomerge?”

Success in the Daomerge was a combination of two factors; internal and external. Internal referred to one’s self and one’s insights! Only if one reached a sufficiently high level of comprehension would one’s chances increase.

External factors referred to special treasures which would improve one’s chances, such as the Autarch’s stone dais or the Stonefire Pearl.

What Ning was attempting was something which had never been successfully carried out… a Daomerge in an Omega Dao! No one in the history of the entire Chaosverse had ever successfully done such a thing, and so he naturally had to both perfect himself as well as acquire all external sources of help he could find. That way, his chances at the Daomerge would improve slightly.

“External treasures?” The white-haired elder glanced at Ning in surprise, then pointed at the Autarch’s stone dais beneath Ning. “This serves as the core for the estate, and Master spent countless amounts of effort in forging it. You’ve already acquired a Stonefire Pearl as well, which is the essence core of a creature which was comparable to an Autarch in might. These were treasures which my master himself used to assist him in cultivation. With them, what other external treasures could you possibly want?!”

“I understand,” Ning said hurriedly. “The Autarch’s stone dais and the Stonefire Pearl are both tremendously helpful in cultivation. They will provide me with sustained, long-term benefits while I am training. What I was referring to just now is another type of external treasure, something akin to the ‘Voidsea Jadeseal’ or the ‘Nine Orifices Void Pill’, treasures which can generate an astonishing effect for a brief period of time.”

“Ahh.” The white-haired elder nodded. Many talented Daolords would create magic altars and seek out special spirit-pills in preparation for their Daomerge. Those spirit-pills, when eaten, would cause the truesoul to be tremendously stimulated. As for the Voidsea Jadeseal, it actually allowed for a complete Daomerge simulation.

“You walk the path of the Omega Dao, and so there is no way to simulate your Daomerge,” the white-haired elder said. “As for special spirit-pills… they probably wouldn’t even be as useful as the state you are normally in when using the Autarch’s stone dais and the Stonefire Pearl.”

Ning immediately asked, “Isn’t there something particularly special which I could use?” Ning would go for anything and everything which was of use to him.

The white-haired old man pondered for a while, then said, “If you absolutely HAVE to have something… I do remember an incredible single-use Daomerge treasure which can instantly unleash a tremendous amount of power for an extremely brief period of time. Master once mentioned it briefly to me and described it as one of the top three treasures in its class!”

Ning’s eyes lit up upon hearing this.

“The number one treasure is known as the ‘Daomerge Firecloud Flower’. The second-ranked treasure is known as the ‘Incense Spirit-Fruit’. The third is known as the ‘Cloudworld Jade’.” The white-haired elder said resignedly, “But I’ve only heard of them because my master once chatted casually about them with other Autarchs. They didn’t speak in detail and so I know very little about them.”

“But Darknorth, these are all limited-time objects. Once you use them up, they are gone. They aren’t even close to being comparable to the stone dais or the Stonefire Pearl in value.” The white-haired elder shook his head. “And, I recall my master once saying that the Cloudworld Jade effect only lasts for roughly three months or so, but the effect is merely as strong as the Stonefire Pearl’s constant effect.”

“It can only be used for three months, while the Stonefire Pearl is constant and can be used long-term.” The white-haired elder looked at Ning. “Finding the Cloudworld Jade would be enormously difficult. Why bother?”

Ning just silently memorized all of this information. There clearly was no reason to seek out the third-ranked treasure, the ‘Cloudworld Jade’. The other two, however, were worth searching for. Anything that might increase his chances at the Daomerge by even a smidgeon was worth hunting for.

“Senior, where should I go to find these things?” Ning asked.

“No idea.” The white-haired elder shook his head. “I never asked Master about them.”

“Oh.” Ning pondered for a moment. In the past, he had never even heard of ‘Incense Spirit-Fruit’ or ‘Daomerge Firecloud Flower’. It seemed as though only truly experienced and worldly figures would know of them. A pity that he hadn’t asked his big brother Waveshift about them! In all the Sixteen Realmverses Alliance, perhaps the most worldly figure outside of Emperor Waveshift was Realmslord Windgrace.

Realmslord Windgrace had served and been taught by more than one Autarch!

“Darknorth. I have to warn you,” the white-haired elder said solemnly, “Treasures of such rarity are all extremely hard to find. Not even the Autarchs know everything there is to know about the vast Chaosverse! The technology of the Sithe, the two slain Autarch-level creatures… they are all testament to the fact that the Chaosverse holds many terrifying secrets within it. You are still just a Daolord; so what if you are strong? There are some truly dangerous places which would cause even Hegemons to fall, to say nothing of you.”

“I understand.” Ning nodded. However, since he had the Flamewing God he felt that he was still able to give it a good shot. Chaos Primordials were famous for its virtually indestructible body, after all.

“The Flamedragon Realmverse is nothing more than a tiny part of the Chaosverse. It is best for you to harbor a healthy fear of the universe,” the white-haired elder said with a sigh. “I hope that you won’t overestimate yourself prior to completing your Daomerge. If you succeed in it, you’ll probably become far more powerful than even an Otherverse Lord. You can go and wander the Chaosverse them; only then will you be assured of staying alive.”

“Thank you, senior.” Ning could sense that the estate-spirit remained worried, and so he quickly explained, “Actually, I’ve already tamed a Chaos Primordial.”

The white-haired elder instantly turned speechless. “You… wha…? Ahem. Well, enough of that.” The white-haired elder didn’t seem to know what to say, and so he immediately began to vanish into thin air. His voice echoed for one final time within the second hall: “Remember, for you to solve the Heart of Eternity is the one final wish my Master had. It will be of tremendous benefit to all cultivator civilizations as well.”

“I understand.” Ning nodded.

……

The black-robed Ning was seated atop the Autarch’s stone dais, toying with the runed Heart of Eternity with his hands.

“Oh, Autarch Awakener…” Ning looked at the Heart of Eternity. “So this is your final wish, eh? But… my only wish is to complete the Daomerge and then become an Autarch in the future.” Ning’s heart was filled with mixed emotions.

His wish and Autarch Awakener’s wish… they involved heading down two different paths. Ever since they had gained victory in the Dawn War, the Autarchs had stood at the very apex of the universe and were without equal. As a result they were quite lonely, and they often searched for things to do. Autarch Bolin had created the Aeonians, while Autarch Awakener had spent his efforts on analyzing the Nine Chaos Seals and creating a type of cultivation technique similar to what the Sithe used.

The cultivation technique the Sithe used created something similar to the azureflower mist energy, but it was clearly even more profound. Alas, they were completely different types of living creatures than cultivators, and thus there was no way for cultivators to use their cultivation techniques.

Autarch Awakener put all of his efforts in creating something similar. If he truly succeeded, it would’ve benefited all cultivator civilizations. Alas, he was only able to at most create something which allowed for Daolords of the Fourth Step to convert their divine power and Immortal energy. There was no way to transform Emperor-class energy.

“Autarch Awakener, I’ll give it a try. If I turn out to have incredible talent for this, I might be able to help you.” Ning remained quite clear-minded. As a Daolord, his time was limited. There was no way he could spend all of it on researching the Nince Chaos Seals. But if it looked like he might somehow managed to succeed in a short period of time due to having an incredible affinity for it, he didn’t mind spending that time.

“Break.” Ning looked at the runes covering the sphere. Ning was able to break through the first layer of runes with ease.

“Break again.” Ning was at an incredibly high level of insight and had trained in the Nine Chaos Seals before. Thus, he found it quite simple to break the second layer of runes.

He broke through one layer after another, but the difficulty level began to gradually increase. Ning began to need more and more time for each layer. In the blink of an eye, over a hundred million years went by.

“Time to give it a rest.” Ning suddenly came to a halt. The Heart of Eternity had a total of ninety-nine layers, and solving all of them would represent having reached the same level of insight into the Nine Chaos Seals as Autarch Awakener had reached.

“I’ve only solved nineteen layers.” Ning felt a sense of misery in his heart; the difference between the two of them was simply too great. Things would only grow more difficult as he progressed, and for now nineteen layers was his limit. If he spent an extremely long period of time, he would at most be able to just barely solve the twentieth and twenty-first levels. Ninety-nine? Far too hard!

“Autarch Awakener, you created your stone dais and procured the Stonefire Pearl, yet still spent countless years to reach your final level of insight into the Nine Chaos Seals. How can I possibly compare?” Ning shook his head. “Even if I spent another hundred thousand chaos cycles on this, my chances of successfully breaking through all ninety-nine levels are still very low.”

“I need to complete the Daomerge. Even if I did manage to somehow create this technique, it would be of no use to me in the Daomerge.” Ning secretly sighed to himself. “I’m sorry, Autarch Awakener.”

He had no choice but to put aside this mission of solving the Heart of Eternity for now. To occasionally spend some time on solving the Heart of Eternity to balance out the time spent on other things, but if he focused all of his efforts on it it would make the already-difficult Daomerge completely impossible. The end result would most likely be what big brother Waveshift had divined… certain doom.

“Ninety-nine levels… nineteen levels…” Ning could only laugh at the difference between the two. He then waved his hand, putting the Heart of Eternity away.


Book 38, Daomerge, Chapter 24 – Life Training

Ji Ning didn’t hesitate at all. He was completely focused on his own path… the path of the Daomerge! With regards to the Daomerge, all external sources of help were still of secondary use. In the end, his own insights were what counted for the most!

Ning was unable to make further strides with his Omega Sword Dao. Even though he occasionally gained a few insights, they were scattered rather than systemized. This was why he had decided to emulate Autarch Bolin. Back when Autarch Bolin had been a Hegemon, he had gone out of his way to train in many other Daos. As he had raised nine different Daos to the Hegemonic level, he had gained so many scattered insights into the Dao of the Claw that in the end, they had allowed him to suddenly burst through his bottleneck and reach Autarchy, becoming one of the paramount leaders of the cultivator civilizations.

“I am quite similar to how Autarch Bolin was. I’m unable to make any further advancements in my Omega Sword Dao, and it’s also quite difficult to gain even scattered insights. However, all Daos are linked together. The more I train in other Daos, the better my chances of succeeding in the Daomerge for my Omega Sword Dao.” Ning calmed his mind and began to train in other Daos.

Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, Earth, Formations, Space, Thunder, Illusions… he was quite accomplished in all of them already. Ning’s next target was the Dao of Wind.

Amongst Daos, there were certain groupings. For example, the Five Elements were viewed as one group, while ‘Wind Earth Fire Water’ was yet another grouping. Ning found it quite simple to train in Wind, especially after having acquired the Stonefire Pearl. He needed merely a single Chaos Cycle to train the Dao of Wind to the Archon level. Time, however, was even more difficult than Space.

……

Time flowed on like water. Ning’s black-robed Primaltwin constantly trained, while Ning’s true body began to rove the universe alongside Azurefiend, Whitethaw, and Flamewing. He had visited fairly few places within even just the Flamedragon Realmverse, after all. There were many dangerous places he had yet to visit. By visiting more places and seeing more things, he would be stimulated and have a better chance at an epiphany.

Ning had a realmship, was at the Hegemonic level of power, and also had Flamewing for protection. He only needed to spend around eighteen chaos cycles to completely go through all of the special ‘danger zones’ of the Flamedragon Realmverse. However, he had yet to truly traverse the Terror Starsea, which was filled with far too many dangers. That had been a battlefield of the Dawn War, after all. Even Flamewing would find itself easily caught by some of the dire traps located there.

After finishing his wanderings through the danger zones of the Flamedragon Realmverse, Ning began to wander through some ordinary chaosworlds and everworlds, living amongst ordinary mortals and countless aliens. Ning viewed them all from afar and up close.

……

Within an ordinary chaosworld. Thirty thousand years ago, a tremendous calamity had descended upon this world, causing its denizens to suffer countless casualties. This world had lost virtually all of its experts and many of its clans, and it was now thousands of times more difficult for mortals to cultivate to become Immortals.

“Old man, what do you think you can do? You are merely at the Houtian level, while I am as well. I’m just twenty years old but still couldn’t make the cutoff. Look at how old you are! What makes you think you can succeed?” A young man dressed in brocade who was within a teahouse was laughing and teasing an older man.

“The age cutoff this time is just fifty years, and one has to have reached the Xiantian level. You don’t fit either of the two criteria,” some of the longtime customers teased the teahouse owner.

“I heard that countless unaffiliated cultivators have been gathering within Pureplume City, located at the base of the mountain which houses the Pureplume Sect. By now, there are hundreds of thousands of them present. Just a few months remain before the great ceremony… most likely, by then nearly a million cultivators will have arrived to fight over the slots.”

“A million Xiantian experts fighting over a thousand honorary disciple slots? Uh… I can count the number of Xiantian experts in our little city on two hands. It is truly unfathomable that the Pureplume Sect can attract nearly a million cultivators when it openly recruits for new disciples.”

They all shook their heads and discussed this topic eagerly.

Several figures were seated in the corner of this teahouse. One was a white-robed youth, one was a chubby man, one was a skinny old man, and another was a muscular, honest-looking man who was clearly the bodyguard. The skinny old man looked like a steward, while the chubby man had to be a retainer. As for the white-robed youth, he had to be a young master of a clan. However, judging from how they dressed they had to be quite ordinary. It seemed unlikely that they were from a major clan or family.

The four were Ning and his three followers. Ning continued to eat while listening attentively.

“Don’t go, big brother.” A young man and woman were seated at a nearby table. The maiden was lively and dressed in green robes, and she was begging the man: “Big brother, you just broke through to the Xiantian level a short while ago and are merely at the early stage of it. Didn’t you hear? Nearly a million Xiantian experts have gathered there and all of them want to enter the Pureplume Sect! Peak-level Xiantian experts might stand a chance, while late-stage Xiantian experts can at least give it a try, but you are just an early-stage Xiantian cultivator! Going will be suicide!”

“Even if I risk my life, I have to go.” The youth gritted his teeth. “If I go, at least I have a chance at one day clearing the names of our parents and clan. If I don’t go, I’ll probably never be strong enough to gain revenge, and our clan shall forever bear the infamy of those lies. Father… mother… all the seniors of the clan… none of them will be able to rest in ease.”

“Big brother…” the green-robed maiden begged, “Let’s just find a quiet little place and live a peaceful life. What’s wrong with that?”

“You want me to swallow this feud and live a peaceful life? I can’t endure it.” The youth shook his head. “Give it up, little sister. We’re already quite close to Pureplume City. We’ve already spent three years on the road, and we’re finally about to reach our destination. You know you won’t change my mind.”

The green-robed maiden gnawed at her lips. “I… I only have you left, big brother.” The youth’s eyes reddened in response.

The two of them were also in a corner, and they spoke in hushed whispers. The people next to them were unable to hear what they were saying.

“Live a good life. If I can enter the Pureplume Sect, I’ll come find you one day.” The youth rose to his feet, then walked over to Ning’s table and said, “Brother Ning, we’ve travelled together for half a month. Today, we must part ways. Today’s drinks are on me! If fate wills it, we will meet again.”

“If fate wills it, we will meet again.” Ning smiled as he lifted up his own cup. “Brother Qu, I hope you will succeed in joining the Pureplume Sect.”

“I definitely will.” The youth’s eyes shone with great determination.

“Come, let me offer you a final toast prior to our parting.” As Ning spoke, he picked up two cups of wine and offered one to the youth.

The youth was slightly startled, but he still accepted it. “Cheers.” The youth immediately raised his head and drank the wine. As he did, a faint stream of light within the wine flowed into his body, invisibly and naturally coming to nest within his sea of consciousness.

“Time to go.” The youth put down the cup of wine, then turned and left.

Ning revealed a hint of a smile as ‘brother Qu’ left. He had spent nearly twenty chaos cycles wandering through various ordinary chaosworlds, and he rarely revealed his power. He chose to act just like an ordinary mortal. Ning had met this youth previously while riding a ship alongside him. The two had shared a spirited conversation while drinking one night on the ship, and thus they had travelled together until today.

“Little sister Qu.” Ning walked over to the young maiden’s table. The young maiden’s eyes were rather red and wet.

“Big brother Ning,” the green-robed maiden said.

“Your big brother will definitely join the Pureplume Sect, and he might become one of the most incredible cultivators in their history. He’ll definitely come back and find you,” Ning said. “I want to offer you a toast as well.”

“Alright.” The green-robed maiden shared a cup with Ning as well, and once more that invisible essence of light slipped into her body via the wine.

A short while later, the green-robed maiden bade Ning farewell as she departed from the teanhouse. She was going to Pureplume City as well to watch what happened. She was worried about her big brother.

“Darknorth.” Azurefiend watched as the green-robed maiden departed, then walked over to Ning. Puzzled, he asked, “You’ve spent nearly twenty chaos cycles wandering through various ordinary worlds. You rarely show your power, and even when you do choose to help someone you merely provide them with a tiny bit of guidance. Why did you go out of your way to help these two so much? Not only did you begin an invisible process of completely transforming their bodies, you even bequeathed each of them them with a legacy.”

Ning laughed. In the past, he had merely provided a bit of guidance through karmic magic, using it to change a few mortal destinies. This time, however, he had indeed provided the two with an enormous amount of help. The help he had just provided was enough to allow these two to reach the absolute apex of this chaosworld with ease, and they would even have a chance to reach the World level.

“Haha, this is because today is the final day of my twenty chaos cycles of voyaging,” Ning said with a laugh. “Why can’t I have a bit of fun on my last day?”

“Last day?” Azurefiend, Whitethaw, and Flamewing all stared at Ning in surprise. They had spent nearly twenty chaos cycles wandering through mortal worlds. Why was today suddenly the final day?

“Yes. I’ve more or less finished my training.” Ning nodded.

Leave a Reply