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Book 37, Flamewing God, Chapter 30 – Friends For Life

“Darknorth.” Azurefiend had been seated in the lotus position, but he hurriedly jumped to his feet to pull Ji Ning back. The Flamewing God was capable of killing even Hegemons with ease; a puny Daolord would be nothing to it. How could Azurefiend not be worried?

Unfortunately, Ning moved far too fast. With a single step, he appeared right next to the Flamewing God, who turned to look at the tiny little speck that had just appeared next to it.

“Be careful!” Azurefiend and Whitethaw both held their breaths. Ning was now so close that they wouldn’t be able to intervene in time!

“You want some too?” The Flamewing God looked at the tiny human before it, a happy look in its eyes.

“From this day forth, why don’t you stick by my side?” Ning raised his head to stare at the titanic beast before him.

“Hm. Alright. But you have to give me food,” the Flamewing God said.

“No one would be able to give you this much spirit-fruit every day. However, I promise that you’ll have much more and much better food than you have in your estate-treasure,” Ning said.

The Flamewing God felt delighted for a moment, but it then turned to look helplessly at the black chains behind it. “But I’m trapped here. I want to leave with you, but I’m unable to.”

“Let me take a close look.” Ning flew over as he spoke, landing on the Flamewing God’s giant body and moving towards one of the black chains attached to its wings.

Azurefiend and Whitethaw both stared blankly at this sight. “B-but…” Azurefiend was dazed. “Flamewing is a Chaos Primordial. Why is it being so obedient? Aren’t Chaos Primordials supposed to be easily angered and moved to eat anything that approaches them?”

Taming a Chaos Primordial was an incredibly difficult task. It had a child’s intelligence and a child’s temper. It was entirely possible that it would be happily jesting with a cultivator one moment, then devour that cultivator in the next. Not even the Sithe were able to tame it; the only thing they could do was send three Exalts to capture it with overwhelming power.

“I don’t know. All I know is that it seems to be very obedient towards my master.” Whitethaw felt puzzled as well. He transformed into a streak of light, wishing to move closer to Ning and protect him.

“Eh?” Flamewing had been squatting there while eating fruit, but now he raised his head to glare at the approaching Whitethaw in a baleful manner.

“Be good, Flamewing. He’s my Protector while the other guy is my retainer. Don’t hurt them,” Ning said from his position atop Flamewing’s back.

“Eh, alright.” Flamewing immediately calmed down and ignored Whitethaw. The terrified Whitethaw finally landed on Flamewing’s back as well.

“Master, you have to be careful. This Flamewing God might be playing nice now, but it might very well turn on you in the next moment,” Whitethaw said hurriedly.

“That won’t happen.” Ning was very calm, and his gaze continued to be focused on the black chains.

“But this is a Chaos Primordial!” Whitethaw still didn’t feel safe.

Ning shook his head. He turned to sweep Whitethaw and the distant Azurefiend with his gaze, then said: “Starting today, Flamewing shall be one of my followers as well.”

“Master, you…?” Whitethaw instantly understood.

“Darknorth, are you saying that the Flamewing God has already submitted…” the distant Azurefiend sent a stunned mental message to Ning.

Ning nodded. No longer paying any further attention to their astonishment, he focused completely on analyzing the black chains.

……

Protector Whitethaw and Hegemon Azurefiend truly were stunned by this. Ning had tamed a Chaos Primordial? This was absolutely inconceivable. Chaos Primordials were incredibly rare, and not even Hegemons knew how to tame them. The Sithe weren’t capable of it either. Most likely, only the supremely exalted Autarchs were capable of such a thing!

To tame a Chaos Primordial, one had to both be lucky enough to encounter one while also having a method of taming it. Clearly, their master ‘Ji Ning’ had one such method which had allowed him to tame it without anyone being the wiser.

“He’s tamed the Flamewing God… absolutely incredible. Simply incredible! A pity that the Flamewing God is trapped here. If he could come up with a way to release it… haha, the Flamewing God would ensure that Darknorth’s reputation would skyrocket to incredible heights. Who would dare cause trouble for him? He could simply order Flamewing to attack and wipe that person out.” Hegemon Azurefiend sighed in awe.

Not even Realmslord Windgrace would be able to withstand Flamewing’s retribution. No one would ever dare to antagonize a major power who commanded a Chaos Primordial.

Whoosh. Azurefiend flew over as well. Now that he knew that Flamewing had been tamed, he no longer felt as worried as he had previously. “How does it look, Darknorth? Are you able to break these chains?” Azurefiend asked. If Ning was unable to breach the chains, then this would all be for naught, and the tamed Chaos Primordial would not be able to overawe the outside world.

Ning frowned as he stared intently at the black chains. The chains were actually formed from countless black threads that were woven together, each of which was covered with countless tiny formations. The formations weren’t that complicated; given Ning’s current level of mastery in the Dao of Formations, he would be able to resolve them with ease. The problem was that the seeming-ordinary formations engraved upon the chains were all wrapped together and merged into a larger and even more complicated formation.

Every single chain had a suppressive effect as well as an energy absorption effect. The suppressive effect caused the Flamewing God to be completely tied down, preventing it from even changing in size.

“What marvelous formations.” Ning suddenly moved. Swish! Swish! Swish! He flew to one black chain after another, this time moving quite quickly as he carried out his inspections.

“Mmm. As I thought, all six of the black chains are virtually identical, and they also work together.” Countless thoughts flitted through Ning’s mind as he sought to come up with a way to resolve this formation.

In truth, he already had certain ideas when he saw the chains from afar. Now that he was able to inspect them closely, he completely understood how all of the formations operated. However, understanding was one thing; resolving the formations was another.

“How does it look?” Azurefiend asked again. “Can you solve it?”

“Azurefiend, you are even more impatient than I am,” Ning teased with a laugh.

“How can I not be? That’s a Chaos Primordial! If you came bring this Chaos Primordial into the outside world, you can literally do whatever you want.” Azurefiend was quite excited. “It’ll belong to you, but as your retainer… ahaha! Hurry up and tell me if you can solve it or not!”

Ning nodded. “I can!”

Azurefiend was delighted. “Incredible! Impressive indeed. My head hurts just looking at those black chains and their formations… but you think you can solve them? There probably are very few Hegemons who are a match for you in the Dao of Formations.”

Ning laughed. Of course! His mastery of the Dao of Formations had already reached the Archon level. Only someone who had relied on the Dao of Formations to complete the Daomerge and become a Hegemon would be able to surpass him in this regard! But to do that was no easy task. No one in the Sixteen Realmverses Alliance had ever been able to do such a thing!

“How long would it take, approximately?” Azurefiend asked.

“Hard to say. A few chaos cycles, probably,” Ning said.

“That’s fast! You can complete it in just a few chaos cycles?” Azurefiend praised.

Ning secretly muttered to himself. It might be just a ‘few’ chaos cycles, but that was because his Primaltwin was under the affects of accelerated time. It would be equivalent to a few hundred ‘accelerated’ chaos cycles!

These chains and their formations were extremely complex. The only reason why he stood a chance at breaking them was because he had access to many other similar Sithe formations and a very high level of insight into the art of formations, as well as the assistance of the Autarch’s stone dais. Despite that, it would still take him a few hundred chaos cycles!

Still, Ning didn’t really mind. By now, he was finding it extremely difficult to make any breakthroughs in his Omega Sword Dao. The only step waiting for him was the Daomerge! Thus, his goal right now was to focus more on other Daos, including formations, water, fire, time, space, etc. The more insight he gained into these Daos, the more assistance they would be to him in the Daomerge. All Daos shared certain commonalities, after all.

“Flamewing, I’m going to leave for a short while. I’ll be back soon,” Ning said as he flew off its body.

“Oh?” The Flamewing God suddenly raised its head to stare at Ning’s departing figure. “You aren’t going to abandon me, are you?” For some strange reason, it truly wanted to stay by Ning’s side.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon,” Ning said. In his heart, he couldn’t help but sigh. Flamewing was a Chaos Primordial, born with incredible strength but no true understanding of how to use it. It had never ‘trained’ before, and it didn’t even notice that Autarch Bolin had used a technique to invisibly infiltrate its soul and truesoul. Still… to live a life of ignorant bliss was a form of joy as well.

Whoosh. The giant red copper gate appeared once more, with Ning, Whitethaw, and Azurefiend both flying through it.

“Why are we leaving?” Azurefiend asked while flying out.

“It’ll take quite some time for me to breach those chains. Before beginning, I need to go release Ninedust,” Ning said.

“Ninedust? Oh, that friend who you risked your life for in jumping into the Jadefire Realm?” Azurefiend laughed.

“Yes. We’re friends for life.” Ning nodded.


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Book 37, Flamewing God, Chapter 31 – Soon

Ji Ning sent the realmship flying towards Ninedust’s location at high speeds. The silver-robed Ninedust was seated in the lotus position, surrounded by those whirling flames.

“Eh?” Ninedust noticed a streak of light moving towards him from afar. It quickly flew near him, resolving itself into the form of a rather tattered-looking realmship. Three figures emerged from the realmship, with the leader being a white-robed youth who bore a black sheath on his back. It was his good friend, Daolord Darknorth – Ji Ning.

“Darknorth.” Ninedust was happy to see him, but felt mixed emotions as well. As the original instigator of all the events which had occurred in the Jadefire Realm, the Ancient cultivators had kept him up to date on everything which had happened since. Ji Ning had successfully slain Archon Silksnow in order to rescue him! Alas, he had fallen for Archon Silksnow’s last act of revenge. Hegemons and Emperors from many other realmverses had come here, seeking to take his realmship.

Thankfully, the results weren’t so bad; Ning had managed to take on Hegemon Azurefiend as his retainer and force everyone to retreat! In his heart, Ninedust felt tremendous gratitude towards Ning. He knew how much risk Ning had undertaken on his behalf. A single misplaced step would’ve resulted in Ning’s death.

“Ninedust.” Ning smiled as he walked over towards the man.

“Why have you suddenly come to see me? Have you gotten bored working away on that formation?” Ninedust laughed. Ning had told him many years ago that he would have to first completely disrupt the formation-diagram in order to take control over the prisons.

“I’m here out of success, not boredom,” Ning said. “You can come out now.”

“Come out?” Ninedust was stunned. Was he really going to be able to escape this nightmarish prison cell?

Ning gently waved a finger. Whoosh! The flames around the flaming cage instantly parted, revealing an exit. “Hurry up and come out… or are you planning to complete your Daomerge inside?” Ning smirked.

The stunned Ninedust immediately transformed into a streak of light and scurried out.

“I’m actually out.” Ninedust stood within the empty space outside the cage. He stared at himself, then at the flaming cage by his side in disbelief. “It was actually as simple as that. I came out with no fuss at all.”

“Yeah, it was simple for YOU. Breaking the formation wasn’t simple at all for me,” Ning immediately said. He had needed both the Autarch’s stone dais as well as the many records regarding Sithe formation techniques. Both were absolutely critical to his success!

“I know you worked hard. Hey, your realmship is still missing some parts, right? Take it! Consider it your wages for the past few years. Don’t even think about asking me for more.” As he spoke, he tossed a realmship part over to Ning.

Seeing this, Ning didn’t move to decline. They were good friends; he naturally understood how Ninedust felt right now.

Clack clack clack! The realmship immediately swallowed the entire part, and some of the superficial damage began to be repaired once more. Soon, the realmship was in a state where only a few small parts of it remained damaged.

“Master, I’m almost completely repaired now. My internals are in good shape, with just a few missing parts preventing me from fully repairing my exterior,” the realmship-spirit sent mentally. “However, I should be able to teleport and blink just as effectively as if I was in 100% shape.”

Ning nodded. He was planning to give the realmship to the Autarch. Ning had been worried that the Autarch would be unhappy if the damage to the realmship was too great.

“This gentleman here must be Hegemon Azurefiend.” Ninedust turned to look at the skinny old man standing next to Ning. Not daring to be disrespectful, he said with a touch of respect, “Ninedust greets you, Hegemon Azurefiend.”

“Mm. It seems Darknorth and you truly are very good friends. To be able to find a few true lifelong friends on the path of cultivation is worth any price.” Hegemon Azurefiend had a rather complicated look on his face, but when he realized it he hurriedly smiled: “Darknorth kicked up quite a storm when he came here to rescue you. Quite a few Hegemons and Emperors came.”

Ninedust felt rather moved by all this. He truly had been the cause of this great affair.

“Darknorth, now that I’m out, shall we leave the JAdefire Realm?” Ninedust asked.

“I still have some business here in the Jadefire Realm. I can’t leave just yet,” Ning said.

“Oh, then I’ll leave on my own.” Ninedust laughed. “My greatest goal right now is to complete my Daomerge. I need to go out and experience more things. If I stay here with you in the Jadefire Realm, it’ll be detrimental to me with regards to the Daomerge.”

Ning nodded. “Alright. Be careful out there.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t be so unlucky as to need rescuing again.” Ninedust suddenly walked forward and gave Ning a tight hug, then turend and left. “Train hard. I’m planning to start my Daomerge soon. We brothers must both succeed in our Daomerges!”

Ninedust’s voice still echoed in the air, but he himself had already vanished. Ning could sense the determination in Ninedust’s voice when the latter spoke of the Daomerge.

“Succeed in the Daomerge together, eh?” Ning turned and went back the way he came. Friends for life didn’t need to actually be together for their entire lives; it was enough for them to keep each other in their hearts.

……

Time flowed on like water. Ninedust continued his adventures through the outside world, encountering quite a few strokes of karmic fortune. As for Ning, he remained within the Jadefire Realm and focused on analyzing those black chains and their formations. But of course, he had also swept the prison regions clean of all the treasures it held… and this time, he truly made a killing!

Although he had acquired a few treasures from threatening the Hegemons and Emperors of the Sixteen Realmverses Alliance, the combined value of those treasures was perhaps at best comparable to a single Hegemon’s networth. The treasures within the prison regions, however, were far more numerous… and Ning had swept through all of them.

……

In the blink of an eye, another five chaos cycles went past.

Within a dark region in the Great Dark which was incomparably distant from the Flamedragon Realmverse. This was a dark void which held an enormous triangular region within it that was filled with dazzlingly beautiful palaces, each of which emanated blinding golden light. This was the residence of one of the truly supreme leaders of the cultivator civilizations… the home of Autarch Titanos.

Autarchs were extremely difficult to track down. Autarch Titanos was one of the easier ones to find, because he almost always resided within his estate.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. A howling sound could be heard coming from within a private room inside the largest, most towering palace in the region.

A skull-sized gray globe which was covered with countless runes was levitating up and down in the air, emitting a strange whooshing sound as its internals continuously changed.

“How beautiful. How lovely.” The bald, black-robed old man next to the globe was staring at it greedily, his golden eyes filled with joy and the two fleshy antennae on his head quivering in excitement.

“It truly is perfect. Just a small amount of power is needed. Once the insides of the globe continuously guide the power and transform it, its able to unleash absolutely terrifying levels of destructive power. Sithe frabrication techniques were simply incredible. Although we had an overwhelming advantage in individual power during the Dawn War, we still nearly ended up being defeated by the Sithe. The Sithe truly were and are incredible. To this very day, I still don’t fully understand their technologies.” The bald old man stared greedily at the orb, as though he was staring at the person he loved the most.

“Heh heh… last time, I wasn’t careful and put in too much power, wrecking this treasure. Thank goodness that I, Titanos, am awesome. Although I still don’t fully understand this thing, I was still able to repair it! Ahahaha…” The bald old man stared at the continuously changing runes on the surface of the globe, feeling increasingly delighted as he did so. His gaze was able to see through everything, allowing him to observe the intricate transformations occurring within the gray globe.

These transformations were absolutely beautiful to him. Suddenly, the gray globe lifted up into the air and floated in front of him. The fleshy antennae on top of the bald old man’s head reached out to gently stroke the globe.

“Although I managed to successfully repair one, I’m still not able to create them from scratch.” The bald old man shook his head. “The Sithe’s underlying foundation of knowledge remains far superior to that of our cultivator civilizations. I can’t even imagine how long it would take for us to fully repair all of their shattered treasures.”

The bald old man waved his hand, causing the gray orb to vanish into thin air. Whoosh. He pushed open the door to the private room, then strolled out with his long black robes dragging behind him.

“Master.” When he reached the palace gates, an azure-robed youth immediately came to greet him. The youth said joyfully, “Master, you repaired it?”

“Of course! When have I ever failed? Don’t you know who I am? I’m an Autarch!” the bald old man said smugly.

“Right, right,” the azure-robed youth said hastily.

“Xian, my boy… that Daolord Darknorth from the Flamedragon Realmverse asked me to help out just a few dozen chaos cycles ago, yes? I told you I’d be done soon!” the bald old man said smugly.

“It was pretty quick, this time.” The azure-robed youth nodded. This was one of the faster response times for Autarch Titanos.

“Well, I’m off to the Flamedragon Realmverse,” the bald old man said, then waved his sleeves. Whoosh. Space rippled before him like water. The bald old man stepped into the rippling space, then disappeared without a trace.