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Book 37, Flamewing God, Chapter 10 – Realmslord Windgrace

Extremely far away from the Flamedragon Realmverse was another realmverse known as the Hiddenfiend Realmverse. Countless cultivators lived here, and the cultivator civilizations flourished every bit as the ones in the Flamedragon Realmverse.

The Hiddenfiend Realmverse had on particularly special star within it known as the Blacksun.

The Blacksun was more than a billion kilometers in diameter and completely black in color. Although it was named ‘Blacksun’, it was actually a war machine which the Sithe had once paid an unspeakable price in blood and treasure to assemble. It was vastly more valuable than any realmship! When the Sithe had lost the Dawn War, this vast, mighty war machine had fallen into the hands of a major power who was known as Realmslord Windgrace.

Whooosh.

Every so often, a streak of light could be seeing flying into our away from the surface of the Blacksun. Space for ten billion kilometers around the Blacksun was under invisible pressure and restrictions, forbidding anyone from using spacetime techniques to teleport through it. Flying was the only option!

Whoosh. A streak of light flew into the Blacksun, landing on the ground and coalescing into the form of a white-robed elder.

The white-robed elder raised his head to look at a distant mountain peak, where a few courtyards could vaguely be seen. He took a single step forwards, his body flickering as he instantly arrived at the base of the mountain. He then called out towards a strange stone statue of an animal, “Second apprentice-brother, please send word! I wish to meet Master!”

“Seventh apprentice-brother, you are back?” The stone statue’s eyelids twitched, voice coming out of its lips: “I’m with Master right now. We’re drinking together. Uh, Master just said for you to come over as well.”

The white-robed elder smiled. Only then did he climb onto the mountain and advance at high speeds towards the top. Courtyards were sprinkled across the peak of this mountain, making it look rather like an ordinary mountain village of mortals. He soon reached the courtyard at the very top, at which point a voice rang out from inside: “Come on inside, Skylight.”

“Yes.” The white-robed elder pushed the door open and stepped inside. There was a table within this quiet, secluded courtyard, as well as two people next to the table. One was old, the other was young. The old man had tousled hair and a messy beard, and even his eyebrows looked rather unkempt and scruffy. As for the youth, he was a chubby-looking fellow who was shoving meat into his mouth with one hand and pouring wine into his mouth with the other. His face was covered with oil.

“Master. Second apprentice-brother,” the white-robed elder called out respectfully. These two unassuming figures, the sloppy old man and the fat kid, were actually the most supreme figures in all the Hiddenfiend Realmverse.

The sloppy old man was a famous and awe-inspiring man who was acknowledged by all the major powers of the Sixteen Realmworlds Alliance as their supreme leader… Realmslord Windgrace, master of the Blacksun!

Realmslord Windgrace was an incredibly powerful Otherverse Lord. During the Dawn War, he had accomplished great deeds during a critical battle, reversing the entire flow of events. He had managed to survive the Dawn War and had won for himself the terrifyingly destructive Sithe war machine known as the Blacksun. Given his power as well as the Sithe treasures he now had, no one dared to take him lightly, and so he was given the paramount position within the Sixteen Realmverses Alliance.

In terms of overall strength, he was also the undisputed number one figure in all sixteen realmverses! Most likely, only Autarchs could truly eclipse him in might.

As for the chubby kid? He was the only disciple under Realmslord Windgrace who had managed to become a Hegemon as well! His Daoist title was ‘Wuye’.

Realmslord Windgrace was an exalted figure with many disciples, but the only one to succeed in becoming a Hegemon had been the unremarkable ‘Daolord Wuye’, who had spent all of his time studying constructs. Hegemon Wuye… he had no interest in fighting for supremacy, and so he continued to accompany his master here, living a simple and plain life while spending his time analyzing the strange, bizarre Sithe artifacts and constructs that he found. Thankfully, Realmslord Windgrace had many treasures for him to pore over; after they had won the war, Windgrace had acquired quite a few Sithe golems, and he let his disciple obsess over them.

Hegemon Wuye was completely obsessed with golems… but in reality, he had actually become a Hegemon through the Dao of Fire. This was something which truly rendered countless cultivators completely speechless. In fact, he didn’t even really do much in preparation for the Daomerge! One day, when he was in secluded meditation while working on some golem parts, he simply succeeded in it.

As Hegemon Wuye had put it, “I suddenly had the feeling that I’d definitely succeed in the Daomerge, so I went ahead and tried it out… and it really worked.”

These words caused countless cultivators to feel both jealousy and despair.

“Seventh apprentice-brother, what is it?” Hegemon Wuye asked casually while drinking.

“Why does it have to be something, second apprentice-brother? Can’t I just be missing you and master?” the white-robed elder said helplessly.

“You? Pshaw. You only ever come when there’s business,” Hegemon Wuye snickered.

Realmslord Windgrace chortled, “Come, Skylight. Sit, sit. Sit and we’ll talk.”

“Yes, Master.” Only then did the white-robed elder sit down and pick up a glass of wine, accompanying his master and his senior brother for a few cups before continuing. “Master, I am indeed here on business. You asked me to watch over the Sixteen Realmverses Alliance, yes?”

Both of the other two men looked at him. Both of them were extremely high-level figures who were unwilling to get involved in mundane management affairs, and so they let those with steadier dispositions such as Emperor Skylight to manage many things in their stead.

“Word has spread from the Flamedragon Realmverse that someone known as Daolord Darknorth has managed to acquire a realmship,” the white-robed elder said.

“A realmship?” Both Realmslord Windgrace and Hegemon Wuye were surprised.

“I don’t even have a realmship! How does a Daolord have one?” Hegemon Wuye stared wide-eyed. “Is this for real? Are the three Hegemons and the many ancient Emperors in the Flamedragon Realmverse just going to watch without taking it for themselves?”

“The news is definitely real. It was passed on by an extremely powerful Emperor who swore a lifeblood oath that this information is true,” the white-robed elder said. “Daolord Darknorth isn’t easy to deal with; he may be a Daolord, but he is incredibly strong. Most likely, he stands at the very apex in the Flamedragon Realmverse’s Dao Alliance. Over there, only Daoist Bluestone might stand above him. Supposedly even ‘Archon Silksnow’, one of their ‘eight lords of the Sacred Cities’, was forced by Daolord Darknorth to commit suicide. Even Hegemons would find it very difficult to slay him.”

“He was able to kill one of the lords of the Sacred Cities?” Hegemon Wuye was rather surprised.

“A Daolord?” Realmslord Windgrace murmured, “Can it be an Omega Dao?”

“Omega Dao?”

“What’s an Omega Dao?” The two disciples looked at their master, puzzled.

“I’ve never mentioned this before, because not even I have personally encountered a Daolord who has developed an Omega Dao,” Realmslord Windgrace said. “However, when I was chatting with an Autarch, he once mentioned the ‘Omega Daos’ to me.” Realmslord Windgrace gave a brief explanation of how formidable Omega Daos were, causing both Hegemon Wuye and Emperor Skylight to feel rather stunned.

“For Daolord Darknorth to become second only to Daoist Bluestone in power means that not only has he developed an Omega Dao, he also has other things he is relying upon.” Realmslord Windgrace laughed. “I didn’t imagine that our Sixteen Realmverses Alliance would produce such a genius.”

“Has this information already been spread out?” Realmslord Windgrace asked.

“Master, you already approved of the rules by which the Sixteen Realmverses Alliance were established. Since word was sent from the Flamedragon Realmverse, all fifteen of the other realmverses have found out about it. Even the alternate universe you are in control of is probably aware of this,” the white-robed elder said. “I came to speak to you about this because I wanted to ask if we should intervene as well? That’s a realmship, after all.”

“Wuye, any interest in it?” Realmslord Windgrace asked.

Wuye shook his head. “My focus is on researching golems. What am I going to do with a realmship? And besides… you already have one, Master. If I wanted to use one, I’d just borrow yours, right?”

“You lazy pig.” Realmslord Windgrace laughed. This was what he actually liked the most about this disciple, his obssessive nature. Windgrace had met many major powers in the past, and the ones who managed to amount to anything were often obsessive by nature. The fact that this disciple constantly stayed by his side meant that Windgrace couldn’t help but view his second disciple almost as an actual child. If Wuye wanted to borrow his realmship, he wouldn’t decline.

“Master, what should we do?” the white-robed elder asked.

“There’s no need for us to get involved into this. All things in the Chaosverse come and go in a cycle; if he’s strong enough to keep it, then it will be his. If he is not, then he has no one to blame but himself,” Realmslord Windgrace laughed.

“Master, is it possible that other Hegemons or Emperors will come and ask you to activate the Blacksun to send them over to the Flamedragon Realmverse?” Hegemon Wuye suddenly said.

To travel from one realmverse to another was extremely arduous and time-consuming. The normal method of travel was to slowly teleport through the Great Dark, which would generally take an extremely long period of time.

A better option would be to travel via a realmship, but even faster would be to have an Otherverse Lord blaze a path relying on the otherverse’s prime essences. This would be even faster than using a realmship, but it was extremely taxing. Generally speaking, Otherverse Lords would not be willing to do such a thing. Yes, the Otherverse Lords could slow down a bit and use up less energy, but that would mean travelling slower than a realmship.

The fastest option of all was to rely on the power of the Blacksun, which could allow one to instantly teleport from one realmverse to another. Once the Blacksun was activated, it would be able to connect to extremely distant places and, for an exceedingly brief period of time, form a spacetime conduit would allow instantaneous teleportation! However, the energy needed to activate the Blacksun was unspeakably vast. The cost of such a thing was more than enough to beggar or bankrupt an ordinary Hegemon.

The Blacksun had other capabilities as well. Aside from being able to connect two distant realmverses together via a transversal conduit, it could be used to launch terrifying attacks as well. It was truly one of the most deadly Sithe war machines available.

“Over just the chance to win a realmship? There’ll be many competitors, and they won’t necessarily be the victors in the end… I don’t think there are many who are determined enough to ask me to activate the Blacksun,” Realmslord Windgrace said with a laugh. Even he himself rarely activated the Blacksun. It had remained sealed ever since the end of the Dawn War, and it now rarely revealed its true power.

……

This information from the Flamedragon Realmverse quickly spread throughout the other fifteen realmverses as well as the otherverse. All of the major powers were stunned to hear that a Daolord could be this powerful… and they were all covetuous of that realmship!

“How strong can a Daolord be, really?”

“I became a Hegemon countless years ago. How could I be unable to kill a Daolord?”

This information quickly drew many Hegemons and a few Emperors out of seclusion. A realmship was simply far too enticing an object… and Daolords were simply viewed as being of no threat at all.


Book 37, Flamewing God, Chapter 11 – Heading Off Soon

Vastheaven Territory. Vastheaven Palace.

Emperor Goldisle had come to visit this place once more, and both Ji Ning’s avatar and Emperor Solesky had come out to welcome him in person.

“Darknorth,” Emperor Goldisle immediately began, “I’m embarrassed to have to tell you about this.”

“Brother Goldisle, come inside and sit. We can discuss things slowly.” Ning was rather surprised; why was Emperor Goldisle professing to be ‘embarrassed’ as soon as they met?

Emperor Goldisle nodded, holding back for now. Ning and Solesky led the way for him as the three entered a secluded side-hall within Vastheaven Palace.

The three then sat down, some fine wine placed in front of each of their tables. The aroma of the wine wafted through the entire hall, but Emperor Goldisle was in no mood to relax. He shook his head and sighed, “I’m embarrassed to be telling you this, but… just today, Emperor Bloodcloud went and sought me out.”

“Bloodcloud?” Ning frowned. Emperor Bloodcloud was definitely the main pillar of the evil forces left behind by Archon Silksnow! “What, does he want to beg for mercy?” Ning asked.

“That’s where you are wrong, Darknorth.” Emperor Goldisle shook his head. “He didn’t ask for mercy. Instead, he sought to send word through the Dao Alliance to the other realmverses about something he had discovered… and by now, it’s probably made its way to all the Sixteen Realmverses Alliance.”

“Sixteen Realmverses Alliance? What’s that?” Ning was puzzled.

“A great alliance that was originally established and led by Realmslord Windgrace. It consists of the Dao Alliances of the sixteen nearest realmverses which have joined together to ensure stability, peace, and allies in the event of outside invaders. We can notify each other of various dangers or important information we discover. In times of crisis, the sixteen realmverses will be in absolute lockstep and will not fear any outside forces. Realmslord Windgrace was chosen as the paramount leader by all sixteen realmverses, and is acclaimed as the most powerful expert of the Sixteen Realmverses Alliance.”

“Realmslord Windgrace?” Ning sighed in amazement.

“The strongest in sixteen realmverses?” The nearby Emperor Solesky sighed in amazement as well. That meant he had to be far stronger than even Hegemon Brightshore.

“He’s in control of an alternate universe and is incredibly strong. During the Dawn War, he rendered incredible merits in battle and ended up in control of the terrifying Sithe war machine known was the Blacksun…” Emperor Goldisle continued, “But that’s enough about him. I’m here because of what Emperor Bloodcloud instructed our Dao Alliance to send to everyone else. This is something that will be of deep concern to you, Darknorth.”

Ning and Solesky exchanged a glance.

“What did he say?” Ning had a bad feeling already.

“Emperor Blackcloud said that it was you who hunted down Archon Silksnow, forcing him to commit suicide in the end… and that his realmship is now in your hands.” Emperor Goldisle continued, “Emperor Bloodcloud asked me to send this information outwards. As you know, the Dao Alliance is a very loose structure and has just a few basic rules. There were no grounds for me to reject this proposa… and even if he didn’t go through me, he would’ve been able to go through the numerous other Emperors who are connected to the other realmverses.”

“No need to say anything more, brother Goldisle. I understand.” Ning’s face was tight. “Give me a moment to think.”

“Yes, you do need to think this over,” Emperor Goldisle agreed, a heavy look on his face. “Now that word has been sent to all sixteen realmverses was well as the otherverse which is under Realmslord Windgrace… I’m worried that quite a few Hegemons and powerful Emperors will hasten to our Flamedragon Realmverse and try to take that realmship from you.”

Ning was lost in thought. Nasty. A truly nasty shot. Archon Silksnow was just as hard-hearted towards himself as he was towards his foes. He had never dared to reveal the secrets of the realmship prior to his passing, so why was it that Emperor Bloodcloud had found out immediately after he had died? Why was it that Emperor Bloodcloud also knew that Archon Silksnow had been hunted down by Ning and forced to commit suicide?

Who would know all these little details? Aside from Ning himself, only the deceased Archon Silksnow knew.

“Nasty move, Silksnow… so this is the final card up your sleeve to kill me?” Ning slowly shook his head. “You risked your life to delve into the Jadefire Realm, all for the purpose of trying to draw me inside and kill me… and you even came up with a final backup plan to use the realmship to kill me if you yourself could not.”

Emperor Solesky and Emperor Goldisle both looked at Ning, waiting for him to make a decision.

“Darknorth, why don’t you give the realmship up?” Emperor Solesky couldn’t help but suggest.

“Give it up?” Ning shook his head. “If I trade the realmship to others, I’ll still be in possession of a vast amount of treasure. That treasure will continue to attract greedy eyes from some other major powers…”

“Then don’t ask for any treasures at all. Just hand it over as a gift,” Emperor Solesky said.

“And why do I have to give away my treasures?” Ning shook his head, a cold smile on his lips and a chilling gleam in his eyes. He then looked at Emperor Goldisle. “Brother Goldisle, there’s something I’ll have to trouble you with.”

“Just go ahead and say the word.” Emperor Goldisle felt a bit embarrassed himself, but there had been nothing he could do; the Dao Alliance’s rules were binding! In addition, quite a few Emperors were connected to the outside world. Many of them spent their days wandering and adventuring but kept their avatars back home! Thus, it was extremely simple to ask these Emperors to help spread the word.

There was no way to stop it at all, and so Emperor Goldisle wasn’t willing to disobey the laws of the Dao Alliance.

“As you know, I’ve always wished to reverse spacetime to revive my Dao-companion.” Ning smiled. “Now that I have this realmship, I wish to use it to ask an Autarch to do just that.”

“Ask an Autarch?” Emperor Goldisle and Emperor Solesky were both stunned. They had both heard of Autarchs, but not even the majority of Hegemons were ever able to actually meet one.

“Fine.” Emperor Goldisle nodded repeatedly. “That’s a good solution. If your treasures ends up in the hands of an Autarch, nobody would be able to do anything about it! But Darknorth, I have to warn you… the Dao Alliance can only help you send the word to the Autarch as soon as possible. As for how long the Autarch will take, we can’t be sure. To Autarchs, realmships might be nice little toys, but they still won’t care enough to drop everything for one. They’d only accept your offer to ensure that the most basic laws of fairness in the universe are maintained.”

“I understand.” Ning nodded. Autarchs were at the apex of power amongst cultivators, capable of creating even otherverses with ease. When the Sithe had been defeated, the Autarchs must’ve acquired countless spoils of war. Even if that wasn’t the case, at their level these treasures really held almost no meaning for them at all.

They weren’t truly completely uncaring towards the weaker cultivators… but they couldn’t just help everyone who asked willy-nilly either! That wouldn’t be appropriate. Thus, Autarchs operated off a simple principle… if you wanted one of them to help you out, you had to pay a corresponding price, even though they themselves didn’t care about treasure per se.

“Right. I’ll go send the word now,” Emperor Goldisle said. “I’ll get you a response as soon as I can.”

“Good.” Ning felt excitement swell in his breast. He was asking a favor of an Autarch! A favor for a realmship… when would the Autarch come?

……

Word quickly spread to Realmslord Windgrace’s territory. He possessed a pre-eminent status; he was the only one in all the Sixteen Realmverses Alliance who was capable of contacting an Autarch.

“He wishes to use a realmship to ask an Autarch to revive his Dao-companion? This Daolord Darknorth is quite the romantic.” Realmslord Windgrace laughed when he heard this, then immediately helped send the word.

……

A distant region of great darkness. Within the emptiness of the void, there was an enormous triangular region with a series of dazzlingly beautiful palaces in the very center, each of which emanated specks of golden light.

At the very center was a particularly towering palace, the greatest of them all.

“Master.” An azure-robed youth who emanated the aura of eternity moved to stand respectfully outside a private room within the palace.

Inside the private room was a bald, black-robed old man who had a pair of fleshy antennae growing from the top of his head. His golden eyes were focused intently on the skull-sized round gray globe in front of him, and the countless runes and patterns the globe was covered with.

The fleshy antennae waved about above the bald old man’s head, but his eyes were filled with excitement. He gently reached out to tap the gray globe once, causing the countless patterns to instantly change and an aura of power to build.

“Still not right.” The bald old man shook his head, then reached out with his ashen white right hand to give it another tap, bringing it back into quiescence.

“Master.” A second call rang out from outside.

“Xian’er. Why are you bothering me?” Only now did the old man notice the distraction and respond.

“Realmslord Windgrace sent word that someone named Daolord Darknorth in the Flamedragon Realmverse wishes to use a realmship to ask you to help him reverse spacetime to revive his Dao-companion,” the azure-robed youth outside said respectfully.

“Another lovesick man.” The bald old man nodded. “Alright, fine. Got it. Stop bothering me, I’ll head over there soon!”

“Soon?” The youth outside the door murmured softly, “Master, the last time you said you would go ‘soon’, you delayed by over 600,000 chaos cycles…”

The bald old man’s antennae instantly begin to twist in embarrassment and irritation. “How dare you mock me, you brat! This time, it really will be soon! I’ve pretty much finished repairing this treasure. It needs just a tiny bit more work. Once I’ve finished repairing it, I’ll head over! Alright, don’t bother me again before I finish this project.’

“Alright.” The azure-robed youth had no choice but to leave, then send this response back to his good friend ‘Realmslord Windgrace’.