Book 38, Daomerge, Chapter 2 – Ning’s Nervousness

“Chaos Primordials are born from within the prime essences of the vast Chaosverse. They are blessed by the prime essences and born with tremendous karmic luck. The vast majority of cultivators will never have a chance to even encounter one of these creatures.” The bald old man looked at Ning, a smile on his face as he offered his congratulations: “Although you also have tremendous karmic luck, you still can’t compare to that Chaos Primordial. I imagine it wasn’t easy for you to run into it.”

Ji Ning was briefly startled, but he quickly understood. It was indeed true that running into Chaos Primordials was incredibly rare, due to how much the prime essences of the Chaosverse doted upon them. Indeed, Ning himself had entered the Jadefire Realm many chaos cycles ago, but he had to undergo countless hardships before managing to solve the formation-diagram and thus have the chance to meet the Chaos Primordial.

However, from another perspective, this was also proof that in the long run, being ‘blessed with karmic luck’ and ‘beloved by the prime essences’ didn’t count for THAT much. The Chaos Primordial had still been trapped by the Sithe for countless years, right?

“I had to solve the Jadefire Realm’s formation-diagram before I was able to meet the Chaos Primordial,” Ning said.

“Treat it well. It will be of great help to you. Come, let us go to your homeland,” the bald old man said.

Whoosh. As soon as these words came out, spacetime twisted around them and everything became illusory and dreamlike. By the time spacetime went back to normal, Ning immediately saw a chaosworld off in the distance.

“We’ve already left the Terror Starsea?” Ning was immediately able to sense the location of his avatar and Primaltwin and thus knew where he was. He couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe, but he was able to keep his expression calm.

“I’ll take you to my homeland right away, senior,” Ning said.

“Wait, wait. Not just yet. I teleported your realmship here because there’s a young fellow that needs rescuing,” the bald old man immediately called out. With a swoosh, he flew out of the realmship and towards that distant chaosworld.

“Needs rescuing? Needs rescuing by an exalted AUTARCH?!” Ning and Azurefiend shared a glance, both feeling rather puzzled.

Swoosh. Swoosh. Ning put away the realmship for now, then flew towards that chaosworld as well. Azurefiend and Whitethaw followed close behind. Once they flew into the chaosworld…

“Haha, Daolord Cleardust, you’ve been trapped with my formation and have nowhere to run. In a mere thirty thousand years, the power of my formation will have ground you into dust and wiped out your truesoul. Did you think, young fellow, that you would be able to defeat me just because you broke through to become a Samsara Daolord? This chaosworld shall remain mine. No one can violate my will!” A red-haired old man was seated at the peak of a mountain, staring downwards into a valley.

The valley was filled with rolling black clouds and billowing flames. Every so often, one could see a fragile-looking you seated in the air in the lotus position. He was suffering all sorts of torment. The youth sat there in the lotus position, murmuring a chant while completely ignoring the red-haired elder.

“I established this chaosworld as my estate, and thus all the living creatures within it are subject to my will. All shall be as I will it! I never would’ve imagined that this chaosworld would actually give birth to a freakishly talented genius like yourself. You actually managed to reach the Samsara Daolord level because of a few so-called legacies I left behind out of boredom.” The red-haired elder was in a good mood, as victory was clearly at hand. “You, a Daolord of the First Step, actually managed to fight me to a standstill even though I am a Daolord of the Third Step. I truly admire you very much. In the outside world, someone as talented as you would probably be recruited by one of the major organizations. Unfortunately, you shall die here.”

“Yes, you shall die here!” A voice suddenly rang out, followed by a giant foot descending from the heavens. Sploosh! The giant foot stomped down upon the red-haired old man, smushing him into the ground. The red-haired man instantly stopped moving.

The owner of the foot descended from the heavens. It was a merry-looking bald old man. Moments later, Ning, Azurefiend, and Whitethaw all descended as well.

“No wonder this chaosworld was protected by so many barriers. I imagine most Daolords of the Second Step and even Daolords of the Third Step would be unable to pass through them,” Ning sent mentally. “So this was the estate of that deceased Daolord over there.”

“Autarch Titanos intervened for the sake of that kid?” Azurefiend glanced downwards at the valley.

The bald old man had already walked down into the valley, easily tearing apart and destroying the formations. He was chatting with that fragile-looking youth, whose gaze was calm and distant. It was as though the youth had long ago seen and suffered countless torments and had endured everything one could endure.

“Hahaha. That Daolord over there… just judging from his gaze, I can sense that he has experienced much pain,” Azurefiend said.

“This chaosworld is an absolute hell.” Ning swept the area with his gaze, seeing everything there was to see within this chaosworld. That demonic Daolord had clearly delighted in tormenting and abusing all the living creatures of this chaosworld, treating them as his playthings.

A short while later… “Time to go.” The bald old man returned to Ning’s side.

“Alright.” Ning and Azurefiend cast a final glance to ‘Daolord Cleardust’, who remained within the gorge. Daolord Cleardust looked back at these foreign cultivators, a slightly confused look in his eyes. He had no idea who was before him. One was a terrifyingly powerful golem, one was a supremely talented Daolord, the third was a Hegemon, and the old man was an Autarch, supreme amongst the cultivator civilizations.

“Autarch.” While flying away from the chaosworld, Azurefiend couldn’t help but ask, “Why did you intervene to save a Daolord of the First Step?”

“Couldn’t you sense how much karmic luck swirled around him? Of course I had to aid him,” the bald old man said with a merry grin.

“You have to help him because of his karmic luck?” Ning was puzzled. Karmic luck was just a side benefit; personal power was what truly mattered. No amount of karmic luck would protect you in the face of overwhelming power!

“Of course!” The bald old man said hurriedly, “You clearly don’t understand. Each time I help someone like him out, my own karmic luck increases as well. When I act in accordance with the will of the prime essences of the Chaosverse, my own karmic luck will continuously increase. Do you know what will happen once your karmic luck reaches an incredibly high level?”

“What will happen?” Ning was curious.

“All sorts of rare and incredible treasures will appear out of nowhere, almost as though they are throwing themselves at me. I could choose a random boulder to sit on, and then I’d find out that it was part of an incredibly rare ore vein. Any random tree I chose to take shade under could possibly be a spirit-fruit tree of great value.” The bald old man sighed. “All sorts of treasures will throw themselves at me. It is quite the pleasant experience.”

“Buuut… I’ve come here to help you reverse spacetime to revive a Celestial Immortal. That goes against the will of the Chaosverse.” The bald old man sighed again. “Looks like my karmic luck is going to drop by quite a bit.”

An awkward look appeared on Ning’s face.

“Haha, I’m just teasing you. Honestly, karmic luck doesn’t matter all that much. Once you’ve trained to my level, it really makes no difference at all. It’s just a little game we play to keep score.” The bald old man swept the area with his gaze. Boom! Suddenly, the space around them seemed to retreat as karma, spacetime, and luck all withdrew from them. A field of absolute void was formed around them, a region of complete stillness.

Ning and Azurefiend could both sense that they were completely unable to move. This invisible pressure had forced away even the prime essences of the Chaosverse, to say nothing of them.

“See this? This area is now devoid of the prime essences of the Chaosverse. This is now my absolute domain.” The bald old man laughed.

Ning suddenly remembered how the area around the Azureflower Estate was similarly devoid of all outside types of energy. But of course, the effect wasn’t as strong as it was right now, where Autarch Titanos was personally and actively maintaining the effect.

“In the end, personal power is what matters the most. Kid, as a practitioner of an Omega Dao, if you somehow manage to succeed in your Daomerge you’ll probably understand.” The bald old man continued, “Alright, hurry up and bring out your realmship. Lead me to your homeland.”

“Alright.” Ning, Azurefiend, and Whitethaw could sense that they were able to move again. They immediately entered the realmship. Whoosh! After just a short spacetime blink, the realmship appeared within the void outside the new Three Realms.

The bald old man stared at the distant Three Realms, then let out a surprised breath: “What an impressive chaosworld! Just by looking at it, I can tell that it is extraordinary. No wonder it was able to produce a freak of a Daolord like yourself, someone who trains in an Omega Dao!”

“It has already been destroyed once.” Ning pointed at the void next to the new Three Realms. “That place over there used to be my homeland, a world within the Three Realms which was known as the ‘Grand Xia world’. My Dao-companion used to live by my side there.”

The original Three Realms took up much more space than the new one, as it had been shattered and splintered into countless pieces. There had been a Celestial Realm, a Netherworld Kingdom, and three thousand major worlds that had been scattered across an enormous amount of space. The new Three Realms was a single complete entity which took up much less space. The location the Grand Xia had been in was now just an empty patch of psace.

“Oh. Over here, right?” The bald old man walked over and chuckled while spacetime churned around him and began to reverse at increasingly high speeds.

Whoooooosh. Spacetime continued to reverse, and they quickly reached the scene of the old Three Realms.

“Slow down a bit,” Ning urged.

“Don’t worry. I’ll find the old you first,” the bald old man said. “Oh. There you are.” A projection of the Grand Xia had appeared, centered around the old Black-White College. The scene was that of Ning, who had just entered the Black-White College. He was about to begin his duel against Yu Wei.

“The Black-White College?” The bald old man pointed towards Yu Wei’s image. “That should be your wife, yes?”

“Yes.” Ning felt as though his blood was boiling from nervousness. It had been a long, long time since he had been this nervous.

“It seems she really did have a big impact on you.” The bald old man laughed. “Wait for me to reverse the flows of spacetime and bring her back to life!”

Book 38, Daomerge, Chapter 3 – Origins

“Oh, right. Where’s the realmship? I conduct business fairly. I have to take your realmship in payment for reviving your Dao-companion.” The old man looked at Ning.

“Here it is.” At a time like this, the realmship meant absolutely nothing to Ji Ning. He immediately waved his hand, sending the palm-sized realmship flying over. Hegemon Azurefiend watched with a rather agonized look in his eyes, but all he could do was sigh to himself: “Darknorth truly is willing to sacrifice anything in order to revive his Dao-companion. A realmship has been lost, just like that.”

The bald old man cared as little about the realmship as Ning did. He waved his hand to accept it, then said solemnly: “None of you are to disturb me. Stay far away from me as well.”

“Alright.” Ning, Azurefiend, and White that all immediately retreated off into the distance.

“Chaosverse, I’ve come to steal yet another truesoul fragment from you.” A hint of a smile appeared on the bald old man’s lips. He then reached out with both hands, the fleshy antennae on his head wriggling as a terrifying amount of power began to spread out from him. He became the absolute master of this area of space.

“Condense.” The bald old man waved a finger, causing the illusory phantom of the black-robed Yu Wei to begin to light up.

Boom. Boom. Boom. Countless specks of light began to appear deep within the incredibly distant prime essences of the Chaosverse. They flew into the illusory phantom of the black-robed Yu Wei, pulling at her.

“It has begun.” Ning watched nervously. The illusory Yu Wei was nothing more than a phantom of the past. In order to make the phantom real, it had to have a truesoul within it! However, when the living beings of the Three Realms lost their truesouls, those truesouls would return to the where they came from – the prime essences of the Chaosverse.

“To reverse spacetime and revive someone who perished… this is my first time seeing an Autarch do such a thing,” Hegemon Azurefiend sent mentally. “Look at how nervous your master is!”

Whitethaw looked at Ning, then nodded and sent back, “This is my master’s deepest desire. Of course he is nervous.”

“For an ordinary mortal to train to such heights and then be able to ask an Autarch to help him out… I truly do feel a great deal of admiration for him.” Azurefiend sighed.

Both Azurefiend and Whitethaw were fairly calm. They watched this rare sight with interest and appreciation, but the only thing Ning felt was nervousness.

In that empty region of space, the bald old Autarch Titanos had already completely unleashed his power. The black-robed Yu Wei was glimmering with countless specks of light, and she was becoming increasingly ‘real’. However… gradually, the gathering of the light seemed to slow down. Some of the light actually started to disappear.

“Eh?!” The bald old man’s face tightened, while Ning’s heart shuddered.

“Get over here!” A hint of anger flashed past the bald old man’s face, and more light instantly began to gather around Yu Wei’s phantom once more. The bald old man’s face became increasingly ugly to behold, but Yu Wei’s body began to become more and more real. Slowly, the light that gathered over her eyes caused a look of sentience to appear within her eyes.

“Senior apprentice-sister.” Ning looked at Yu Wei.

The light-bathed Yu Wei looked back at Ning. A hint of life flashed through her eyes. She was no longer a phantom of the past; it was as though a real person was looking back at Ning. Their gazes met… and in that instant, Ning suddenly felt as though it was all worth it. Anything was worth it, so long as she could come back to life.

“Ugh!” The bald old man suddenly spat out a mouthful of blood. His face was ashen, and Yu Wei’s phantom immediately began to crumble apart as the countless specks of light began to dissipate.

“No…!” Ning frantically reached out, wanting to claw back the dissipating light. Alas, the power of the prime essences of the Chaosverse caused all the specks of light to disappear into nothingness.

“DAMNIT!” The bald old man’s face was ashen. He was so angry that even the two fleshy antennae on his head were quivering with rage. He howled furiously, “Prime essences of the Chaosverse, the truesoul fragments of countless living beings have returned to you upon death. All I want is to bring a single one of them back! A single truesoul is nothing to you! Why must you fight me to the death like this? Why must you seize it back!”

The binding power of the prime essences of the Chaosverse was simply too great. Normally, Hegemons and even Otherverse Lords did not have the power to try and resist it. Only Autarchs were qualified to make the attempt.

“Is it worth it?! Is it worth it for you to spend so much effort in fighting me?!” The old man’s entire body was trembling from rage. The area around him, however, remained completely silence. The prime essences of the Chaosverse made no response at all.

The bald old man forced down his rage, then turned to look at Ning.

“Autarch.” Ning looked at Autarch Titanos.

“Where did your Dao-companion come from? I should be able to revive even a World God with ease, to say nothing of a Celestial Immortal like her.” The bald old man stared at Ning. “Just now, when I tried to reverse spacetime and revive your wife, the prime essences of the Chaosverse fought me so hard, I felt as though I was trying to revive a Hegemon! Even if I killed myself trying to bring her back, I still wouldn’t stand much of a chance.”

Ning’s face turned ashen as well. What?! An Autarch could kill himself trying to revive Yu Wei? Ning knew that there was no need for Autarch Titanos to lie to someone like him. In fact, Autarch Titanos had tried so hard that he had suffered an injury because of it, vomiting blood as a result.

“How is this possible? She’s nothing more than an ordinary Celestial Immortal of the Three Realms. There was nothing special about her.” Ning couldn’t understand either. “Why can’t you revive her? This makes no sense.”

“Let me take a closer look at things.” The bald old man turned to stare at the surrounding void. Rumble… countless images began to flicker through the void. These images included what had happened in the new Three Realms, the events of the old Three Realms, the collision between the Pangu Chaosworld and the Seamless Chaosworld, and even the images of what had happened prior to the Pangu Chaosworld being born.

Countless images flashed through the void around him…

“So that’s how it is.” The bald old man nodded slowly.

“Autarch?” Ning looked at the bald old man.

“During the Dawn War, when we fought against the Sithe… we had a number of Autarchs on our side,” the bald old man said. “One of them was named Autarch Awakener.”

“Autarch Awakener?” Hegemon Azurefiend had a puzzled look on his face.

Ning, however, turned pale. He naturally knew that Autarch Awakener had been the master of the Azureflower Estate. He immediately said, “This has something to do with Autarch Awakener?”

“You seem to have heard of Awakener before.” The bald old man laughed. “The number of people in the vast Chaosverse who were able to become Autarchs can be counted on just two hands! Autarch Awakener died long ago. It could be considered a form of suicide.”

“He died? Suicided?” Azurefiend became increasingly confused. Ning, however, had heard this long ago and thus simply continued to listen attentively.

“Darknorth, kid… Worldhearts can be naturally birthed from the primordial chaos, but there is also a second way a chaosworld’s Worldheart can be formed. Do you know what that way is?” The bald old man looked at Ning.

“An Eternal Emperor’s godgems,” Ning said. This was a secret, but Ning had studied the countless techniques Autarch Awakener had acquired from the Sithe and the cultivator civilizations. Thus, he knew these secrets long ago.

A Samsara Daolord could have at most a total of 108,000 godgems in his divine body. Once he completed hisDaomerge, those godgems would become Eternal godgems and be filled with miraculous powers.

If an Eternal Emperor perished, each of his godgems could give birth to a new chaosworld. The living beings in this chaosworld would generally be fairly special, and it would give birth to experts at a slightly higher rate. However, the difference between these chaosworlds and ordinary chaosworlds wasn’t all that great. However, the godgems left behind by a deceased Hegemon could give birth to extremely special chaosworlds.

“Correct.” The bald old man nodded. “As you may know, your Three Realms was born from a collision between the Pangu Chaosworld and the Seamless Chaosworld… but what you didn’t know was that each was formed from a godgem.”

“A godgem?” Ning immediately thought back to the fused and dazzlingly beautiful Worldheart he had seen when the old Three Realms had been destroyed.

“Yes. Godgems from Autarch Awakener!” the bald old man said.

“What?!” Azurefiend called out in shock.

“An Autarch’s godgems?!” Ning was stunned as well.

“Autarch Awakener died, but he made preparations prior to his death. He made arrangements for all 108,000 of his godgems,” the bald old man said. “Two of them were sent into the void and ended up becoming a chaosworld.”

“The living beings in these two chaosworlds were all blessed with incredible talent. These two chaosworlds vastly outstripped all other chaosworlds, and each of them gave birth to as many geniuses as an entire territory might,” the bald old man said.

Ning was starting to understand. No wonder the Pangu Chaosworld and Seamless Chaosworld had so many freakishly talented people! They didn’t have any good techniques or legacies, but they were still so talented that they were able to fight at a higher level of power than they were at. Once they were given good techniques, they skyrocketed in power.

“Later on, these two chaosworlds collided against each other. Their Worldhearts smashed together as well, and parts of their Worldhearts were actually broken off and splintered,” the bald old man said. “The shattered Worldheart bits were completely melted away and their power was dispersed upon the countless living beings of the new world.”