“One of your clones can focus on using the Heartseep technique to bind the sword while the other can begin the slow process of memorizing all these techniques,” the golden-armored warlady suggested.
Ji Ning nodded.
Two white-robed youths appeared within the jade shrine. One stood silently in front of the mountain of bamboo scrolls, with every single scroll emanating ripples of power. The other walked next to the divine sword, moved the prayer mat closer to it, then sat down by himself and quietly began to use the Heartseep technique.
Using the Heartseep technique was quite simple, but there was one prerequisite; one had to have a basic understanding of heartforce!
World God Northrest knew for certain that his chosen successor would have a basic understanding of heartforce. It must be understood that most of the True Gods and Daofathers of the Three Realms had reached the second or third stages of heartforce. Truly powerful experts all generally had at least some mastery of heartforce. Anyone capable of mastering the [Five Treasures] would definitely have some level of understanding of heartforce.
As noted by the instructions included with the Heartseep technique, heartforce was ephemeral and formless, yet extraordinarily marvelous and effective. The Heartseep technique, in and of itself, was a special way of applying heartforce.
Ning’s heartforce had reached the fourth level. Based on his calculations, he would need a thousand years to bind the sword. If his heartforce had only been on the first or second level, the amount of time needed would’ve been even greater.
Ning’s invisible heartforce seeped into the body of the Violetjewel sword. It entered the sword effortlessly.
Ning’s heartforce could sense that within Violetjewel, there was a blurry region that was filled with countless cracks and scars. Clearly, Violetjewel had been damaged tremendously. Within the blurry region, there was a complex, octahedral crystalline structure. Every single face of the octahedral crystal was covered with extremely complicated runes. The runes were far, far more complicated than anything Ning had ever encountered, even the nine chaos seals.
The surface of the octahedral crystal was covered with a layer of flowing light that prevented Ning’s heartforce from penetrating through it in the slightest, but he was still able to sense the unearthly power that lay hidden within it.
This was the power source of the Violetjewel sword! The most central core of it!
So long as the core remained intact, even if the entire physical sword was destroyed, it could one day be repaired.
“Time to begin.” Ning’s heartforce was like an invisible hand within the sword. It began to form countless dots of starlight, all of which joined together to form slender threads. The many starlight threads swirled around the octahedral crystal, beginning to ‘seep’ into it as instructed by the Heartseep technique.
Two white-robed youths; one seated atop a prayer mat next to the sword on the stone dais, the other standing in front of a mountain of bamboo scrolls.
Time flowed on nonstop. In the blink of an eye, four months passed.
“I’ve finally finished memorizing them all.” Ning was finally able to relax. Although these powerful techniques included the ninety-eight sword arts on the stone tablets, other powerful sword-arts, Fiendgod Body Refining techniques, Ki Refining techniques, special secret arts, and powerful divine abilities…Ning was still somewhat disappointed.
These techniques would all be of some use to him after he became very powerful, upon reaching the Elder God or even World God levels. But as for right now? They were of no use at all in improving his current level of power.
He had been hoping that he would be able to find a way to upgrade his second-tier Jindan into a first-tier Jindan. But alas…he had hoped in vain. There was nothing.
“Disappointed?” The golden-armored warlady smirked at him.
Ning couldn’t be bothered to lie to a treasure-spirit. He nodded. “A bit. The Three Realms are in a state of war right now, after all. If it wasn’t for the war, I wouldn’t be in a rush to increase my level of power, but the war has already arrived. None of these techniques can help me increase my power within a short period of time. I was hoping that I would be able to improve slightly.”
“I knew you’d be in a rush.” The golden-armored warlady revealed a slightly smug look on her face. “When I saw that look on your face when you heard how long it would take to bind the sword, I understood how frantic you were to leave. Thus…I played a little joke on you.”
“Joke?” Ning was stunned.
“The three most important techniques aren’t actually in any of those bamboo scrolls.” The golden-armored warlady pointed at the mountain of scrolls. Ning’s eyes instantly lit up.
“Look.” She pointed at the nearby walls of the jade shrine. Instantly, the semi-translucent walls became filled with various diagrams as countless images of sword-stances appeared. With the restrictive spell removed, the aura of the sword-intent within the stances came surging outwards, causing Ning to shudder uncontrollably.
“Master was a World God of the sword. This is the most powerful technique Master acquired while wandering the endless primordial chaos, a nameless sword-art that has utterly Heaven-shaking power. The reason why Master stood amongst the most top-tier of World Gods was primarily due to this sword-art,” the golden-armored warlady said. “Master wrote down everything he had memorized about the sword-art here.”
“The ninety-eight sword-arts on the stone tablets outside were developed by Master after he gained insight into this nameless sword-art. After you master them, you can begin to study the nameless sword-art,” the warlady said.
“Now look at this.” Another stone tablet suddenly appeared in her hands.
“This is the ‘talisman of welcome’ which Master personally forged.” The golden-armored warlady looked at Ning. “After you bind it, it will become part of you. Once you die, the talisman will shatter.”
“Talisman of welcome?” Ning was puzzled.
“Right. In the endless primordial chaos, there are countless Elder Gods, Ancestral Immortals, and even World Gods who would desperately desire to acquire this talisman,” the golden-armored warlady said. “According to what Master said, Vastheaven Palace is a very powerful organization within the primordial chaos, and all of the experts within it refer to each other as brothers; there’s no such thing as ‘masters’ or ‘disciples’ in their ranks. Any and every member of Vastheaven Palace is a brother to the others.”
“If you want to join Vastheaven Palace, you have to be welcomed in by a formal member of Vastheaven Palace.” The golden-armored warlady explained, “At Vastheaven Palace, there is a ‘Welcomer’ who is perennially responsible for welcoming new members. If any outsiders wish to join Vastheaven Palace, they have to pass the many tests which the Welcomer gives, at which point they will be welcomed into Vastheaven Palace.”
“Aside from this option!”
“Every formal member of Vastheaven Palace is permitted to welcome a single new member into their ranks.” The golden-armored warlady continued, “World God Northrest never welcomed any other experts into the palace. Before dying, he fashioned this ‘talisman of welcome’ for your sake, which means that so long as you can reach the Elder God or Ancestral Immortal level, you will be qualified to join Vastheaven Palace.”
Upon hearing this, Ning remained quite calm, although he did of course feel anticipation.
World God Northrest had fled so frantically that even he himself didn’t know the way back. Thus, he had given Ning a full chaos cycle to locate Vastheaven Palace. Who knew where the place even was?
“The nameless sword-art and the talisman of welcome are both extremely important.” The golden-armored warlady looked at Ning. “There was a scroll within that pile over there that would be quite useful for you, but I intentionally took it out and kept it from you.”
“Ah?!” Ning was stunned.
“Take a look.” The golden-armored warlady waved her hand, producing yet another bamboo scroll. “I know that you have a body-duplicating technique, so I felt certain that this bamboo scroll would be very useful to you. Heh heh…I intentionally made sure it was the last one you see.”
Ning quickly accepted the scroll.
The nameless sword-art? He would have to master the other ninety-eight sword-arts before he could study in it. That was not going to happen for a long, long time.
The talisman of welcome from Vastheaven Palace? That wouldn’t matter for an even longer period of time.
“This is the last scroll.” Ning accepted it, then immediately sent his coresense into it. Instantly, information began to flood towards him as a technique entered his mind.
“The ‘One True Body’ technique?” Ning murmured to himself.
This was a secret art!
By relying on the [One True Body] technique, bodies that all came from the same source could be merged together into one! The underlying principle of this technique was based off the rationale that, since all bodies and clones stemmed from the same source, they all had hidden connections that could be used to join them together again. Thus, a major power in the primordial chaos ended up creating this technique, the [One True Body].
The third stage of the [Taowu Eighteen Fiendgods] allowed for its eighteen clones to merge into one, but also allowed it to split apart again.
As for the [One True Body] secret art, it could merge together separate clones to form a ‘true body’, but upon doing so it would no longer be able to split the clones apart again!
This, compared to the [Taowu Eighteen Fiendgods], was its weakness; its inability to split up again. However, [One True Body] could be used without any material requirements.
“It is useful to you, yes?” The golden-armored warlady laughed as she spoke. In the future, she would follow Ning, and so she naturally felt intrinsically friendly towards him.
“Yes.” Ning nodded.
After his bodies merged together, they wouldn’t be able to split apart again…but why would he even need to split them apart? It was enough for his power to increase by an explosive amount!
When all his clones merged together, the power of his soul, his ki, his divine power, his heartforce, and his divine body would all skyrocket. If him possessing a second-tier Jindan made him a ‘half-step Daofather’, once he merged all of his clones together he would become equivalent to an actual Daofather.
This wasn’t just useful; this was exactly what he needed!
Life in this standalone dimension was quite peaceful. One of Ning’s bodies focused on binding the extraordinarily powerful sword, while the other spent every single day meditating on the sword-arts recorded on the ninety-eight stone tablets. The sword-arts recorded into the bamboo scrolls were nothing more than images, after all, whereas the sword-arts left behind on the stone tablets had been personally carved into them by World God Northrest. They were filled with his boundless intent, making it so that meditating on them was many tens of times easier.
One year passed. Ten years. A hundred years…
Ning’s sword-arts and cultivation base began to silently rise. For someone like Ning who had already mastered the [Five Treasures], it was entirely possible to meditate on these sword-arts left behind by a powerful World God. Although he wouldn’t be able to forcibly master all of them, he was still able to meditate on them one part at a time. And as time went on, he began to understand more and more.
This was one of the things which Ning would rely on in the future to truly roam the Three Realms with his sword-arts.
But as Ning lived this peaceful, fulfilling life of cultivation in this standalone region, the Three Realms…had been thrust into a state of complete and utter turmoil!