“Hmph.” Sword Immortal Evergreen could sense that he had become one with the Daofather golem…and the tremendous power which the Daofather golem contained.
“The aura of that perfect Heaven Punisher is quite strong as well. It lives up to its reputation as a grand formation formed from 9000 Celestial Immortals and 810,000 Loose Immortals. The aura alone is no weaker than the aura of my Daofather golem.” Sword Immortal Evergreen, however, wasn’t worried in the slightest. In fact, he was rather disdainful. “It’s all show and no substance. What’s the use of just having an aura of power? Although it is very strong, taking control over all that power is harder than ascending to the heavens! Even the simplest version of the Heaven Punisher is difficult for many Empyrean Gods and True Immortals to command, much less the perfect version.”
The Heaven Punishers could be divided into three tiers.
The simplest version had 1000 Celestial Immortals and 100,000 Loose Immortals.
The expert version had 3000 Celestial Immortals and 300,000 Loose Immortals.
Only when 9000 Celestial Immortals and 810,000 Loose Immortals were used, however, was the Heaven Punisher ‘perfect’, allowing it to reach an inconceivable level of power. If Ning, as a Pure Yang True Immortal, merely had third-stage heartforce and mastery over the soul heartforce technique…he’d be able to command at most a tenth of the Heaven Punisher’s full power. From this, one could imagine how truly difficult it was for one to take command over the perfect Heaven Punisher’s power.
“I’m different from him!”
“I have a Daofather golem, and I have complete control over all of its power. Ji Ning isn’t much of a threat; to the contrary, it’s the Seven Planets God, which seems to have a weaker aura than mine, which is dangerous. It is formed from seven Empyrean Gods, and Redsnow has complete control over all of its power as well.”
Under Evergreen’s control, the Daofather golem was extremely fast.
Swish! Swish! Swish!
Distorted light could be seen in the skies. The Daofather golem looked like a spider crawling upon the vast web of heaven as it charged forward, the first to attack the Crimsonbright Realm’s forces.
This battle wasn’t just being watched by Daofather Crimsonbright, the Godking, and Daofather Ink Bamboo. In truth, more than 90% of the Daofathers of the Three Realms were watching this battle.
The Celestial Realm.
Mount Ling, in the western region.
Lord Buddha was seated up high on his honored throne, radiating a boundless aura of light. The light surrounding him was dazzling to behold, and if one looked at it carefully, one would be able to vaguely make out the colors of the Five Elements. Beneath him was seated Amitabha, Kshitigarbha, Maitreya, and other major powers of the Buddhist Sangha. [1. These are all important Buddhas in religious Buddhism. Lord Buddha usually refers to Siddhartha/Sakyamuni, the historical Buddha. Amitabha is the main Buddha of the extremely popular Pure Lands sect of Buddhism. Kshitigarbha is the bodhisattva of hell-beings, as he swore an oath to free everyone who was tormented in hell. Maitreya is the future Buddha who will come to Earth in the future, the successor to Siddhartha/Sakyamuni.]
Lord Buddha, also known as Tathagata, was the highest-level Buddhist leader of the Three Realms. His power was inconceivable, and the divine abilities he had devised, such as the [Vairocana Guardian Halo] and the [Buddha-Realm Within the Palm] were some of the most supreme divine abilities of the Three Realms. Only Mother Nuwa was more powerful than him.
The Buddhas seated below him were all extraordinarily formidable as well.
Amitabha, for example, had created ten million clones of himself. In both the Primordial Era and the modern day, his many clones were constantly spreading the teachings of Buddhism. It could be said that many of the most formidable figures of Buddhism had received some degree of tutelage from Amitabha. There was a widespread saying; more than half of the arhats and bodhisattvas of the Three Realms had been taught by Amitabha and thus succeeded in their cultivation. [2. In terms of enlightenment, in religious Buddhism, it basically goes arhat > bodhisattva > Buddha.]
The countless bodhisattvas and arhats thus naturally felt tremendous gratitude towards the Buddha Amitabha. Thus, Buddha Amitabha had a very special status amongst the ranks of the Buddhist Sangha. He was often referred to as the ‘Teacher Buddha’, or as the ‘Welcomer Buddha’, which referred to his actions in welcoming his many adherents to his pure land of Sukhavati, the Western Paradise. [3. One of the most important beliefs in the Pure Lands sect of Buddhism is that if you call out Amitabha’s name at least ten times in your life, he will guarantee that you will be reborn into Sukhavati, a ‘pure land’ he created of pure bliss.] The holy light radiating from Buddha Amitabha was a light of infinite kindness and gentleness. Anyone who saw it would feel inner peace, and they would uncontrollably wish to kneel down and listen to his teachings.
“Multiple Realmwars have occurred within the Three Realms. All the major powers are tiring themselves out for the sake of this great war.” The gaze of Lord Tathagata pierced through the vast Void, allowing him to see the battle within the Crimsonbright Realm. “For the sake of his Realm, Crimsonbright has done everything he can. This Realmwar is a far greater one than the ones which have come before. Welcomer, do you think they can win?”
Buddha Amitabha’s gaze was kind and benevolent. Clasping his hands together, he said, “The key issue in this battle revolves around the battle between the Daofather golem, which shall battle Ji Ning’s Heaven Punisher and Redsnow’s Seven Planets God.”
The other major Buddhist powers were watching as well.
It was only natural that they cared.
It was a minor matter for a Celestial Emperor to be changed, but a Realmwar would have a major impact on karmic luck! The two sides were currently engaged in a war for karmic luck, with the Endwar only coming once both sides were convinced that no further gains could be made. That was when all of the major Buddhist powers would have to go all out as well.
“I wonder how many of us shall be at Mount Ling, after the great storm passes.” Lord Tathagata stared downwards, sighing to himself. He could never forget how much blood had been shed when the Primordial Era was brought to an end. Even he had very nearly perished before the might of the Lord of All Things. Fortunately, by relying on his [Golden Nirmana Body], he was able to survive and keep the Lord of All Things tied down.
That had been a calamitous war.
The majority of the Buddhas of the Buddhist Sangha had died in battle. Fortunately, Mother Nuwa had made a breakthrough in the end, allowing for a reversal in the war!
The Celestial Realm.
The Dao Palace, in the eastern regions.
Daoist Three Purities was seated high up upon his throne. Unlike Lord Buddha, Daoist Three Purities had a much more reserved aura. And yet, when one looked at Daoist Three Purities…one would occasionally feel as though one was seeing a terrifying illusion of the destruction of the entire Three Realms.
Beneath him were seated the major powers of the Daoist Path.
“We are about to see a result to this Realmwar,” Daoist Three Purities said softly. “Zixiu, who do you think will win?”
An old man with a long beard who was dressed in loose robes said softly, “Fifty-fifty.”
This old man was Daofather Carefree. He was also known as Zhuang Zhou…Zhuang Zixiu! [4. Zhuang Zhou is an actual historical figure from the 4th century BC who wrote one of the most important philosophical Daoist books, the ‘Zhuangzi’.]
Long ago, two True Gods were born from the primordial chaos and became extremely good friends.
One was Yuanshi Tianzun, the Exalted Celestial of Genesis. The second was Xiaoyao Tianzun, the Carefree Exalted Celestial.
The two had trained painstakingly, with Yuanshi Tianzun having mastered the Heavenly Dao of Yang and the Heavenly Dao of Destruction. Of the ten Heavenly Daos, however, the Heavenly Dao of Primordial Chaos was the most exalted of Daos. The Heavenly Dao of Life was mated with the Heavenly Dao of Destruction, while the Heavenly Dao of Yin was mated with the Heavenly Dao of Yang. Last came the Five Elements of metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. If one wanted to make a qualitative breakthrough, one would have to gain insights into matching sets of Heavenly Daos…which was incredibly hard. For example, if you gained insights into the Heavenly Dao of Life, then the Heavenly Dao of Life itself would interfere with your efforts to gain insights into the Heavenly Dao of Destruction, preventing you from calmly training in it.
Or, for example, the Five Elements.
If one managed to master metal, wood, water, and fire…then when one began to work on water, one would suffer many interferences. Thus, it was incredibly difficult to master the full set of Five Elements, the duality of Life and Destruction, or the duality of Yin and Yang.
Lord Tathagata had managed to master the entire Five Elements of the Heavenly Daos, which was why he was able to become the leader of the Buddhist Sangha!
Yuanshi Tianzun had tremendous willpower and determination. During the Primordial Era, he placed a seal on his own truesoul, one which locked away his memories and prevented him from reawakening them unless he fully mastered the Heavenly Dao of Yin. He then sent himself into the Six Paths of Reincarnation and committed suicide, sending his truesoul into the cycle of reincarnation.
He was reborn multiple times. On his ninth life, he was reborn as Laozi [5. Also known as Lao-Tzu, Laozi is the historical author of Tao Te Ching and the historical founder of Daoism, much like how Shakyamuni/Siddartha is credited as the founder of Buddhism.]! In this life, he finally embarked on a path of nonstop breakthroughs, culminating in him mastering the Heavenly Dao of Yin and becoming a Daofather. At this moment, his memories were completely reawakened…and with Yin and Yang joined together, his power instantly skyrocketed, resulting in him standing at the very pinnacle of the Three Realms! Back then, of course, Mother Nuwa hadn’t reached the Pangu level yet.
He devised a technique which allowed him to transform in the Three Pure Ones; Shangqing the Supreme Pure One, Yuqing the Jade Pure One, and Taiqing the Grand Pure One. His three incarnations all had their separate strengths, and they were each very suited to their respective Heavenly Daos.
Daoist Yuqing was his former, true body; known as Yuanshi Tianzun, it controlled the Heavenly Dao of Yang.
Daoist Shangqing was known as Lingbao Tianzun, the Exalted Celestial of the Holy Treasure. He controlled the Heavenly Dao of Destruction.
Daoist Taiqing was the reincarnated Laozi, the master of the Heavenly Dao of Yin.
When Daoist Three Purities had devised this technique to create the Three Pure Ones, his three incarnations were capable of joining together to reach an unfathomable level of power. He had even been able to battle the ‘king’ of the Seamless Gate for a long period of time.
Committing suicide and sending the truesoul to be reincarnated was incredibly dangerous. For example, if in a reincarnated life he had become a Celestial Immortal, then suddenly was killed and had his soul shattered, his truesoul would’ve been sent into the River of Destiny. He would’ve truly been dead, then! What he did was a dangerous gamble…but Yuanshi Tianzun possessed astonishing willpower and determination, which was why he dared to act in such a way.
The Carefree Exalted Celestial, however, didn’t possess that sort of determination. He did, however, create an incarnation which he sent to be reborn and experience new lives. In these new lives, however, he was naturally unable to gain any insights into the corresponding Heavenly Dao. Still, he didn’t care about this at all, because his power was still considered one of the top five of the Daoist Path.
Lu Dongbin had taken on two true teachers. One was Daoist Three Purities, while the other was the Carefree Exalted Celestial.
The imperial palace of the Primordial Imperial Clan, and other regions within the primordial chaos, such as Shennong’s residence or the residence of the ancient Suiren.
These ancient figures, some of whom were legendary recluses of the Three Realms, were all watching this battle. Perhaps they might’ve been reclusive in the past, but now that the storm had come, there was no way for them to avoid it. They would have to fight as well.
Some of the ancient, major powers of the Seamless Alliance, scattered throughout the Three Realms, were watching as well. This was the time for the war for karmic luck, which was why they permitted the Godking to be in charge of the Seamless Gate! When the end came, however…these ancient figures would emerge. Long ago, they had followed behind their king…and compared to them, this ‘Godking’ was actually one of their juniors.
“This battle hinges on the performance of those three.” All the major powers understood this.
On the battlefield.
The Daofather golem was the fastest on its side, while the Seven Planets God and perfect Heaven Punisher were the fastest on the Crimsonbright Realm’s side.
The three of them were like the tips of the spear for their respective armies, and they headed straight towards each other.
As the titanic spider flew forward, it suddenly lashed out with two of its slender, knife-legs, sending two blurry streaks of light flying towards the Crimsonbright Realm’s army.
“Block it! Careful!”
The distant units immediately pooled its power to defend against the strike.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Although three Heaven Punishers and a Raindragon joined forces to block the strike, one of the Heaven Punishers was completely shattered. Fortunately, the Daofather golem had launched an attack from very far away, and so very few Immortals within the Heaven Punisher were slain.
“What incredible power. Ji Ning, let me test him first,” Empyrean God Redsnow sent mentally.
The Seven Planets God brandished its spear. Snow began to fall in the area around it as spacetime began to twist and distort. Its power increased dramatically as it charged straight towards the Daofather golem.
If Ji Ning was to explode forth with the full power of the perfect Heaven Punisher, his speed wouldn’t be slower than that of the Seven Planets God at all. However…Ning understood that once he unleashed his full power, the controller of the Daofather golem would become cautious! Thus, the best plan was to wait for them to actually clash. If he could catch his foe off-guard at the point of collision, it would result in a major advantage for him.
“Redsnow, you dare to take my Daofather golem head-on with that little bit of power you have? Die!” Sword Immortal Evergreen’s voice rang out from within the Daofather golem, echoing throughout the battlefield.
“Damn that Evergreen.”
The Xia Emperor and the others ground their teeth as they watched carefully.
“Break!” The Seven Planets God flung its longspear forward with such incredible power that even the shaft of the longspear began to twist in mid-flight.
The Daofather golem immediately swept out with two of its front spider-legs, blocking the oncoming spear.
A terrifying shockwave blasted outwards, forcing the Seven Planets God backwards. Time began to twist and distort around it, allowing it to instantly retreat by several hundred kilometers, thus dodging the four retaliatory leg-strikes of the pursuing Daofather golem.
“Don’t be so cocky!” As the Seven Planets God retreated, Ji Ning advanced.
“You’re the one I really want to kill!” Sword Immortal Evergreen’s morale soared. He had been able to easily beat back even the Seven Planets God; was he going to be worried about Ji Ning’s Heaven Punisher? Yes, the perfect Heaven Punisher had an incredible aura, but how much power would Ji Ning actually control?
Ning’s Heaven Punisher ran forward on its bare feet, wielding a pair of enormous Ananda World-Swords in its hands.
An Ananda World-Sword was raised high into the air in a stance reminiscent of Pangu splitting apart Heaven and Earth to establish the universe. It chopped straight downwards! This was a stance which Ning had created after he thoroughly mastered the Grand Dao of the Sword…the twelfth stance of the [Three-Foot Sword]. However, because he had been hiding his status as a Pure Yang True Immortal in the past, he had never used this technique before. Now…it was finally time for him to unleash it!
[Three-Foot Sword], twelfth stance – Cleaving Heaven and Earth!
With this stance, the entire [Three-Foot Sword] was finally perfected. These twelve stances covered the entirety of the Grand Dao of the Sword, from the basics to full mastery of it. The reason why Ning had chosen such a mighty name, ‘Cleaving Heaven and Earth’, was because he had been in an excellent mood and because his heartforce had been at the dominating ‘ruler’ stage.
“F*ck off.” Sword Immortal Evergreen’s Daofather golem laughed wickedly, once more using its two front spider-legs to block with the intention of sending Ning flying back as well.
The longsword slammed down upon the two spider-legs.
“Don’t take it head-on!”
Although this took time to describe, it actually all happened as fast as lightning. Just after the Seven Planets God retreated, Ji Ning’s swords came chopping down. This greatly shocked Empyrean God Redsnow and the others. He knew that Ji Ning had to have seen the astonishing power of the Daofather golem from its clash against the Seven Planets God; how could Ji Ning be so foolish as to fight it head-on?
“Time to go d-…what the hell!!!”
Just as Sword Immortal Evergreen’s morale was soaring, he suddenly sensed a surge of inconceivable power pass into the golem from the longsword. The power of the blow was so great…that even his Daofather golem felt somewhat unable to withstand it.
It was powerful.
Far too powerful!
BOOM! As Ning’s barefoot Heaven Punisher leapt forward, its angry sword-blow smote the Daofather golem down into the ground, causing the earth beneath it to cave in!
“The Daofather golem is actually weaker?”
“This…this isn’t possible.”
Everyone on the battlefield was stunned. The Seamless Gate’s forces had been very confident in the power of the Daofather golem; Evergreen was able to fully unleash all of its power, after all. Although the perfect Heaven Punisher possessed an aura of tremendous might which was comparable to that of an actual True God or Daofather…how much of that power could Ji Ning control? How could he possibly be able to suppress the Daofather golem?
“Impossible!!!” Sword Immortal Evergreen was utterly enraged. He used all his power to push upwards while sending two more of his spider-legs upwards to block Ning’s longsword. Four legs supporting it on the ground, four legs pressing upwards to defend; he was already using as much power as he could from the Daofather golem.
“You shall KNEEL before me!” Ning’s other longsword came slamming down as well.
The same stance; Cleaving Heaven and Earth! When staring at it, one could almost see Pangu within the primordial chaos, brandishing his greataxe to chop downwards.
The Daofather golem was using four of its spider-legs to block, giving it only four other spider-legs to stand on. In the face of this mountain of pressure that slammed down upon it…the four spider-legs it was standing on went limp as it was pressed down onto its knee-joints.
The two armies had been charging towards each other, but had yet to actually join battle. Both instantly fell completely silent. The Crimsonbright Realm’s forces, the Seamless Gate’s forces…they all just stared in disbelief at this sight!