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Book 36, Daolord of the Fourth Step, Chapter 20 – Whitethaw

A cool mountain wind howled past the two. Daoist Bluestone immediately began to swear an oath: “I, Bluestone, swear on my very life itself that I absolutely will not show fellow Daoist Darknorth’s [Omega Sword Dao] technique to anyone else…”

The words to the oath echoed within the mountains. Ji Ning smiled, then waved his hand and gently tapped the air. Instantly, a crystal formed from his godsense flew out from his finger. This godsense crystal contained extremely detailed information regarding Ning’s Omega Sword Dao, as well as images of how each stance was used and executed. Since Ning had already chosen to engage in this trade, he wasn’t going to be miserly about it.

“Godsense?” Daoist Bluestone was overjoyed upon seeing this. He immediately said, “Brother Darknorth, I really must thank you.” He had thought that Ning would simply record information about the technique into a jade slip for him to view. Who would’ve thought that Ning would actually use a small portion of his godsense to transmit the legacy to him? This was a form of transmission that was far more detailed than information written within a jade slip could ever be. Jade slip transmissions were via diagrams and characters, but godsense transmissions included many actual demonstrations.

“It is nothing more than a wisp of my godsense,” Ning said.

“Then here are the treasures I promised you.” Daoist Bluestone waved his hand. Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. Instantly, a series of fist-sized drops of silver liquid appeared next to him. Every single drop was perfectly round. Despite Ning’s visual acuity, he could see no flaws in the perfect spherical shape of the silver drops… but he could vaguely make out light flowing inside the spheres!

“These are the ‘Silver Daolord bodies’ of the Sithe.” Daoist Bluestone pointed at the silver droplets. “If you undergo the Ritual Sacrificium, you can send your soul and truesoul into the liquid and become one with it, transforming yourself into a Silver Daolord! Every single Silver Daolord has a body that contains Archon-level power, but your insights into the Dao will determine how much of it you can bring to bear.”

Ning knew this already. When he had been in the world inside the Stone Hellephant Wall, he had encountered those three clan elders. They had a very low level of insight into the Dao, and thus they weren’t able to unleash the amount of power which Silver Daolords should’ve been capable of.

However… Ning truly felt shocked when he saw those twenty-five drops. Those twenty-five drops represented twenty-five Silver Daolords!

“You have that much?” Ning said in surprise.

Daoist Bluestone nodded. “I originally acquired a total of twenty-nine drops. I gave four drops to others long ago, leaving behind these twenty-five. This is all I have.”

“Brother Bluestone, there’s no need for you to give them all to me,” Ning said hurriedly.

“They are of no use to me.” Daoist Bluestone shook his head. “The friends and family I truly cared about… they died long ago. Given my current level of power, these things are of no use to me.”

Ning couldn’t help but sigh. Indeed, the most powerful person in the entire Flamedragon Realmverse was Hegemon Brightshore. If you wanted to help train and strengthen a cultivator through using external tools, you would at most be able to help that person break through to become a Daolord of the First Step via using certain pills and treasures. However, it would be extremely difficult for that person to make any further breakthroughs. Thus, if one wished to become a Daolord of the Fourth Step then one would have to rely on his or her own abilities and slowly train away.

As for the Daomerge? Nobody could help you there! Not even the legendary Autarchs could help you with the Daomerge. If they could, then they would be able to ‘manufacture’ Hegemons on a large scale. The battle against the Sithe wouldn’t have been so difficult!

It was precisely because no one could help anyone else with the Daomerge that virtually no cultivators could live beyond the 108,000 chaos cycle limit! The major powers who were able to live past that were all generally quite lonely. At most, they would occasionally befriend other Eternal Emperors.

Some of them might feel regret… but most of them were able to see the bigger picture. Take Ning for example; if he was able to accompany his family and friends for 108,000 chaos cycles and then die alongside them, it would all be worth it.

“Aside from these Silver Daolord ‘bodies’, I have an even more important treasure to give you,” Daoist Bluestone said. “Silver Daolord bodies might be viewed as highly valuable by various organizations, but Autarchs probably won’t be interested in them. This treasure, however… even an Autarch might take some notice.” As he spoke, he waved his hand and caused a strange creature to appear at the top of the mountain. This creature was completely covered in slick white fur and was extremely muscular. It looked humanoid, and it had a very honest, amiable look on its face.

“Master.” The strange, white-furred creature bowed respectfully to Daoist Bluestone.

“This is a Sithe Protector,” Daoist Bluestone said. “It is a very special golem.”

“A golem?” Ning nodded slowly. As soon as he saw the creature, he could sense that it didn’t have any lifeforce within it. He had already guessed that it was a golem.

“The Sithe generally created three levels of combat golems. The weakest are comparable to supreme Daolords, the average ones are comparable to Archons, while the most powerful are comparable to Hegemons,” Daoist Bluestone said. “However… there are a few other rare types of golems. Extremely high-status or influential members of the Sithe who were weak would generally be assigned Protectors!”

A reminiscent look was in Daoist Bluestone’s eyes. “Come to think of it… its previous guardian was a fairly high-status individual who was both greedy and afraid of death. That’s why he left behind so many treasures for me to find. A pity… if I had found those things earlier, then my little sister…”

“Haha, but I digress.” Daoist Bluestone came back to his senses and said towards Ning, “You can bind this Sithe Protector. It will recognize you as your master, and it is very good at being a guardian. With it by your side while you are out adventuring, it might be able to save your life if something bad happens. In the more distant future, you can give it to an Autarch. The Autarch would probably be interested in it, as these Sithe Protectors are quite rare.”

Ning nodded.

“Whitethaw, from this day forth your new master shall be brother Darknorth.” Daoist Bluestone looked at the white-furred creature.

“Master…” The white-furred creature was a bit reluctant to part from him.

“Brother Bluestone, this golem should still be of use to you, right?” Ning couldn’t help but speak out. Daoist Bluestone’s Primaltwin was a Black Emperor and was out adventuring; it truly had the power of a Hegemon and didn’t need protecting. Daoist Bluestone’s true body, however, wasn’t that powerful. If this Protector was meant for guarding high-level Sithe, its protective abilities had to be exceptional. Why wouldn’t Daoist Bluestone keep it for himself?

“No need to worry about that. I have other options available,” Daoist Bluestone said. Ning nodded, no longer arguing.

“The main treasures of interest are the Sithe Protector and the Silver Daolord bodies. The other treasures are of little use to you and no use to an Autarch.” Daoist Bluestone casually tossed a gourd to Ning. “There are some Dao-seals and other treasures here of varying power. The best four or five are Hegemonic in power; you can go ahead and gift them to your friends, I suppose.”

“Alright.” Ning smiled and accepted the treasures. These things truly were of limited use to him, as even a strike from an actual Hegemon would not be able to injure him. In fact, it might not even be enough to force him to reveal his invulnerable form! However, they would make fine gifts for friends, family, or disciples.

Ning had acquired quite a few treasures from the Eternal Emperors he had slain. Most of those things would be of limited use to him. At his level, there were fewer and fewer items that were of use to him.

“Is there anything you need?” Daoist Bluestone asked. “If there is, just tell me. I already told you that I can help you deal with Archon Silksnow and Emperor Bloodsnow. It might be difficult, but given enough time I’ll be able to handle it.”

“No need for now.” Ning smiled. “If in the future I fail in the Daomerge… then before I die, there will be a few things I would like to request of you, brother Bluestone. I hope, when the time comes, you won’t refuse.”

“A minor matter.” Daoist Bluestone nodded.

“Oh, right. Brother Bluestone, do you have a detailed map of the Terror Starsea?” Ning asked. He needed to accumulate treasures… which meant in the future he would definitely adventure through the Terror Starsea! The most detailed maps were kept highly secret by the various major powers, and they wouldn’t casually reveal those maps to others. During the Dawn War, the cultivator civilizations had been very unified. Now, however, the Sithe had been extinguished. There was no external pressure to force the various cultivators to share everything selflessly with each other.

“Haha, you are asking the right person!” Daoist Bluestone laughed loudly. “That great fortune I encountered, I encountered while adventuring within the Terror Starsea. My Primaltwin often adventures within the Terror Starsea as well. I’m not sure if I know more about the Terror Starsea than everyone else in the Flamedragon Realmverse, but I definitely rank in the top three for sure.”

“Here. Here’s a detailed map of the Terror Starsea.” Daoist Bluestone tossed out a golden scroll. He added, “But you have to be careful. The Terror Starsea was one of the battlefields where the Dawn War was fought. Many major powers on both sides fought there and fell there. Even Hegemons perished in large numbers! The place is filled with danger, and many of those dangers can annihilate even Hegemons with ease. You have to be cautious.”

“Understood.” Ning unfurled the star map and took a look at it, quickly memorizing its contents.

“Haha. If there’s nothing else, let us part ways now. If there’s anything you need, you can seek me out through the Dao Alliance.” Daoist Bluestone waved his hand, causing the distorted field of spacetime to return to its normal calm. He then ripped open a dimensional hole next to him.

“Farewell,” Ning said. He watched as Daoist Bluestone stepped into the dimensional tear.

Ning stood there by himself atop the mountain. He nodded slowly. “It is time to visit the Azureflower Estate… but prior to that, I need to pay a second visit to the Stone Hellephant Wall.”


Book 36, Daolord of the Fourth Step, Chapter 21 – Archon Silksnow’s Plan

The conquest of the Sacred City of Silksnow had concluded long ago. As time flowed on, word began to spread through the Endless Territories. By now, even many ordinary Daolords had gradually begun to hear the word. By now, even the World-level cultivators of the Twelve Palaces of the Brightshore Kingdom had heard the stunning news about Daolord Darknorth.

Countless cultivators had been completely stunned by this this revelation. News of the battle had stirred waves in the realmverse. Everyone was talking about how ‘Daolord Darknorth crushed over twenty Emperors by himself’ and how ‘Darknorth blew through eight Eternal Emperors and annihilated them with ease, then sent Archon Silksnow fleeing and the others fleeing for their lives’. They spoke of how ‘Daolord Daolord is close to the Hegemon level of power’, how ‘Daolord Darknorth has surpassed the eight lords of the Sacred Cities in power’, and how he was the ‘number one Daolord to ever exist’.

All sorts of flattery could be heard. All of the cultivators felt proud that one of them, a Daolord, could achieve such a level of power.

At first, those who heard the news were rather puzzled. They couldn’t believe that it was true. However, as more and more information spread out, they began to understand that all of these stories were real! They naturally began to spread the stories even more vigorously, and the legend of Darknorth began to spread even more energetically than the legends of Emperor Heartsword had! Emperor Heartsword had been an Eternal Emperor, after all… but Darknorth was just a Daolord!

How was it that a Daolord had reached such an incredible level of power? It could be said that within just a few short centuries, everyone within the Endless Territories was talking about the legendary Daolord Darknorth! He was the topic of every get-together. It could be said that Daolord Darknorth’s fame and reputation was now second only to the three legendary Hegemons!

……

A desolate, barren planet. Every so often, a few flickers of flame would appear on the surface of the planet.

The skinny, white-browed Archon Silksnow had hidden himself within a valley inside this planet. When the flames moved close, they would naturally part before him. He sat there in the lotus position within the valley, a cold and dark look on his face.

“Damn him. He’s forced me to go into hiding at the very margins of the Endless Territories.” Archon Silksnow’s face was downcast, but there was nothing he could do. If he was a bit closer to Ning, both would be able to sense each other due to the resonance between their realmship parts! His only choice was to hide far, far away. He knew that he absolutely could not reveal the fact that he owned a realmship.

Even Nign and Ninedust merely believed that Archon Silksnow also had a realmship part… they had no idea that what Archon Silksnow had was a complete, albeit damaged, realmship that was actually usable!

This was a secret which Archon Silksnow had never made public. He was the only person who knew this secret. If it was ever made public, he would be in serious trouble. Most likely, even the three Hegemons would hunt him down with all the resources available to him, seeking to kill him no matter what the cost. A complete realmship would allow one to easily travel between realmverses and otherverses. It was definitely every bit as valuable as Crimsonwave Temple!

But of course, Archon Silksnow’s realmship was damaged and needed repairing.

“Darknorth. Darknorth!” Archon Silksnow’s eyes were filled with hatred and malice. He was by nature a savage and violent man. It was this brutal nature of his that caused so many evil Daolords and Emperors to choose to follow him.

Emperor Bloodcloud was just as strong as him, but he wasn’t as decisive. He wasn’t determined enough or ruthless enough when necessary. Only Archon Silksnow was ruthless and dominating enough to become the leader of their group.

“No rush, no rush. What I need to do is to repair the realmship as soon as possible. Once I repair it, I’ll be able to use it to escape with ease. Not even Hegemon Brightshore would be able to stop me, despite his unparalleled mastery of the Dao of Spacetime.” Archon Silksnow felt quite confident, because a fully operational realmship was truly unmatchable in terms of tunnel through spacetime. It vastly surpassed Hegemon Brightshore in this regard.

“Right. If I can’t handle Darknorth, I should go find Ninedust. Ninedust has a realmship part on him as well.” Archon Silksnow nodded slowly. “Perhaps the part he holds will be enough to repair my realmship.”

“Ninedust… hmph. He seems to be extremely good friends with Darknorth. If I can’t kill Darknroth, I’ll kill Ninedust. Hmph. Let’s see what Darknorth can do about it.” Archon Silksnow’s eyes flickered with dangerous light, but he then frowned. “However… I need to first locate Ninedust. Based on the information I uncovered, he entered the Terror Starsea a long time ago. How suicidal of him! Still… the places he would dare enter would probably be of no danger to me.”

“To the Terror Starsea I go!” Archon Silksnow decided to head to the Terror Starsea to hunt down Ninedust and take the realmship part.

……

For now, Ning had left all his troubles and worries behind… because he had already left the Flamedragon Realmverse. He had entered the Great Dark and was hurrying towards the Stone Hellephant Wall.

“Here we are.” Now that he was a Daolord of the Fourth Step, he was far faster than before. Just a short while after heading out, he reached the Stone Hellephant Wall.

The entrance to the enormous silver Stone Hellephant Wall remained open. Prior to Ning and Ninedust’s original arrival, the local cultivators had long ago searched the insides of the Stone Hellephant Wall and had realized that there was no way out. Thus, even though it had been hundreds of millions of years since Ning had left the Stone Hellephant Wall, not a single one of them had exited via the entranceway! Even if they did, though… when faced with the endless darkness of the Great Dark, they probably would’ve been completely lost.

Whoosh. Ning flew into the passageway, quickly descending upon that world inside. Darknorth Palace remained the preeminent power of this planet… and no one even realized that Ning had already left and then returned.

Boom! The headquarters of the Fumo clan, one of the ‘three great clans’. This was a place protected by many barriers and a Sithe disc, but an enormous explosion suddenly rang out as a terrifying, watery streak of sword-light tore straight through the layers of barriers with overwhelming power.

“What?!”

“W-what’s going on?!” The countless Fumo clan members were all shocked and terrified.

Sithe discs were used by the Sithe to construct and stabilize large-scale barrier formations. They were generally used in sets of nine, twelve, or more in order to set up the formations. These locals, however, didn’t really know how to use them properly. They didn’t have enough of the discs anyhow, and so they merely used a single disc… and with Daolord-level energy, at that! Despite that, the barriers were still strong enough to defend against ordinary Archon-level foes.

If they had eleven more discs and used them properly with an Emperor controlling them, not even ten Hegemons working together would be able to burst through the barriers! Alas… the original attacker had been Autarch Bolin. He had blown trhough the formations with ease, destroying everything with impunity. Quite a few Sithe discs had been destroyed by his assault. Autarch Bolin wouldn’t even bother to look at ordinary treasures; he only took away the precious ones, such as the complete realmship.

“Spare us!”

“Spare us, Lord Darknorth!” The Fumo clan members finally saw the white-robed youth standing in midair.

“Hand over all of your Emperor-class golems,” Ning called out from the skies. “You are permitted to keep a single royal golem.”

“Understood.” Although the Fumo clan members were both terrified and reluctant to comply, no one dared to voice an objection. In the past, they had been the rulers of this planet… but they were completely unable to fight back against Ji Ning. Even their protective Sithe disc had been torn apart. How could they even think about resisting?

Soon, Ning departed with the Emperor-class golems and the royal golems (comparable to Daolords of the Fourth Step) in tow. He also took away many of their magic treasures. The Fumo clan now only had a single royal golem left to them. This was now the most powerful force they had to muster. With it, they would probably be able to stay strong… but if they spread themselves too thin and attracted an entire host of enemies, they would still be doomed.

Ning couldn’t be bothered with intervening in the lives of the local cultivators on this planet. He was now on a completely different of level compared to before. He simply blew through the barriers protecting the three great clans, then swept them clean of their Emperor-class golems, royal golems, and treasures.

……

Now that no one had access to any Emperor-class golems, no clan on this planet was overwhelmingly more powerful than any other clan. No one was invincible any longer… and so, the planet entered a brand new era.

Ning once more entered the secret Sithe ruins located within this planet.

“Whitethaw, guard the entrance.” Ning waved his hand, causing that honest-looking Sithe Protector to appear by his side.

“Yes, Master,” Whitethaw said respectfully, then stood in front of the entranceway to the ruins.

Ning nodded. He had once sparred against this golem… and even when he fought with all his power, he still wasn’t able to seize any advantage over it! Whitethaw was like an immovable mountain. Even if a Hegemon came, he would still be able to protect Ning for a time. With Whitethaw watching the entrance, there was no way any of the golems within the ruins would be able to escape.

Whoosh. Ning transformed into a streak of light as he flew into the shattered palace ruins. A number of Emperor-class golems secretly watched him from behind the barriers that were still active within the vast ruins. For now, Ning ignored them as he flew straight towards the core regions.

“You again?!”

“Darknorth, how dare you return!” Four streaks of light flew over towards Ning. It was the four Archon-class golems.

Ning slowed down when he saw them, then smiled. “My four old friends, join me in leaving these ruins. Life here is far too boring. The outside world is much more interesting.”