Daoist Three Purities’ eyes had been shut this entire time. Suddenly, they opened up slightly, his sword-like gaze landing upon Exalted Celestial Thundergod. “Thundergod, this isn’t just about you. This will have an impact on the lives of countless living beings on ours die. How can we be so blasé about handing out this divine ability? If we make just a single misstep and the Seamless Gate acquires it…we might very well end up losing this entire war. We’ll never be able to recover!”
“I know that…but do you really think that I’m a spy?!” Thundergod was still unwilling to bow his head.
Daoist Three Purities said calmly, “I know that you badly desire to learn this technique, and that you think you have a good chance of succeeding.”
“Of course! Even Ji Ning was able to learn it. My mastery over lightning is second to none in the Three Realms. Why wouldn’t I be able to?” Thundergod glanced at Ning, who was standing next to Subhuti. A lofty, self-confident look was in his eyes. “I know more about Ninehorn Lightning Serpents than anyone else. All I need is a tiny hint about this technique and I might very well master it at one go.”
“Such arrogance.” A deep, sonorous voice suddenly rang out.
Thundergod immediately turned his head to look. He discovered that the speaker was the fur-clad Suiren. Suiren’s beard flowed like the whiskers of a dragon, and his gaze caused even Thundergod to feel his heart clench. This was the most ancient, most powerful member of the human race. Long ago, he had caused even Elder God Zhurong to bow his head and admit inferiority. In the past, for the sake of protecting the human race, Suiren had challenged all comers to display his power. He had actually beaten Thundergod senseless.
“Most of the major powers present understand that the big picture is what matters. They know what matters and what doesn’t.” Suiren gave Thundergod a look, then swept his gaze towards the others. “However…I imagine that all of you are quite curious regarding this evasion divine ability. I’ll let you all take a look.”
“Human Sovereign, you must not.”
“You absolutely must not.”
Instantly, quite a few major powers began to cry out in disagreement.
“If we really do have a spy amongst our ranks, that would be disastrous.” Exalted Celestial Carefree argued frantically against it.
As for Thundergod, his eyes lit up. If he was able to acquire this technique, it would be a wonderful thing.
“There’s no need to worry,” Suiren said. “I’ll only reveal a very small part of this evasion divine ability. This part is just one of the many difficulties that are inherent in cultivating this technique. I trust that after seeing this part…everyone will understand how difficult it is to learn this technique.”
After he spoke, one flame after another began to appear within the Void around him. Every single flame twisted into the form of a character, resulting in a dense cluster of characters appearing within the Void. This was a record of part of this technique. Instantly, all the major powers looked towards it.
“Eh?” The nearby Ning hurriedly turned to look as well. “That’s really the Ninehorn Lightning Serp-…”
“Wait. They changed it a bit.”
Ning quickly finished reading through it. He continued to stand there quite calmly, not saying a word…but in his heart, he sighed with utter amazement.
The part of the technique which Suiren had just made public pertained to the taming of the Ninehorn Lightning Serpent. Originally, the technique had described three items which one could use to tame the serpents; chaos nectar, Myriad Thunders Godgems, and Thousandrot Godfruits. One of them had to be used! The version which Suiren had publicized, however, had a fourth, additional option…
To ‘use heartforce to commune with the Ninehorn Lightning Serpent, then tame it’.
“Everyone, you can see it for yourself.” Suiren’s sonorous voice boomed out, reverberating within the Void. “This is the final part of the [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent] evasion technique, the part which involves the taming of the serpent itself. You can succeed by using either chaos nectar, Myriad Thunders Godgems, or Thousandrot Godfruits. But do any of you have any? Do they exist anywhere within the Three Realms?”
Everyone was thinking on this matter.
Some of these major powers had previous slain alien Outsiders and had acquired techniques from them, and thus had heard of those three items. Even in the infinite primordial chaos, those three treasures were incredibly rare and precious. They didn’t exist in the Three Realms at all!
“Without those three treasures, the only option remaining is the fourth option, the most clumsy option,” Suiren said. “To use heartforce to commune with a lightning serpent and tame it. Ninehorn Lightning Serpents are sentient, which is why they can be tamed, but to use heartforce to do so is incredibly difficult, and the chances for success are incredibly low. All of us have tried to use heartforce to tame the serpents, but all of us failed.”
Daoist Three Purities shook his head. “I can be considered as quite learned in the art of heartforce, but I was still unable to tame a serpent.”
No one present knew what to say. All five of them, with Subhuti being the sixth, had failed?
It must be understood that almost all of them had reached the fourth stage of heartforce. Daoist Three Purities in particular was particularly skilled in the application of heartforce; his breadth of knowledge in heartforce was not one whit inferior to that of Old Man Yuan’s.
“In the end, it was my young friend Ji Ning who succeeded. He is extremely talented in the application of heartforce.” Suiren looked towards Ning, letting out an approving sigh. “He was able to come up with a heartforce sword technique years ago, after just a few decades of cultivation. Then, during the Realmwar, he came up with his own soul heartforce technique. Now, he’s successfully mastered the [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent] evasion technique. I feel tremendous admiration for him.”
Ning could sense that Human Sovereign Suiren was looking towards him with a very gentle, loving look in his eyes. Suiren’s repeated praises to all these other major powers made Ning feel quite embarrassed, as in reality Ning had relied on chaos nectar to succeed.
What he didn’t understand was that Suiren, being the oldest human major power, viewed all the talented humans who came after him as he would his own grandchildren. He was extremely protective of humanity. Nuwa had initially only created a few humans, after all; the race had only proliferated after countless generations of procreation. It was actually entirely possible that Ning held the blood of Suiren’s lineage within his veins.
In addition, it was Suiren who ended up being the overlord who trained in the [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent] technique. Thus, Suiren felt as though he owed Ning.
“Training in this technique involves multiple difficulties. I’ve merely described one of them to you.” Suiren stared at Thundergod. “Thundergod, do you still believe that you can master it? As I recall…you’ve only reached the second stage of heartforce.”
Thundergod was silent, not saying a thing.
He was unwilling to accept this! But he also knew full well that if not even Daoist Three Purities was able to use heartforce to tame the serpents, the chances of him succeeding would be even more remote.
“Thus, Thundergod…” Subhuti said calmly, “Don’t think that just because Ji Ning was able to learn this technique, that you would be able to learn it as well. To learn this sort of supreme evasion technique…you need strength, skill, and luck. You can’t be lacking in any of the criteria!”
“Why would you even compare me to a puny little Empyrean God?” Thundergod snapped, somewhat embarrassed and irritated.
“Houyi was once a ‘mere’ Empyrean God as well,” Subhuti said calmly.
“You…!” Thundergod was infuriated.
“If you continue to have such a poor temper, you’ll probably never be able to break through in heartforce.” After saying this, Subhuti couldn’t be bothered to say anything else.
Exalted Celestial Thundergod and the rest of his fellows were all born at the True God level of power from the primordial chaos! However, there’s a flip side to all things. They didn’t have the experience of starting weak and slowly growing powerful. They didn’t undergo enough mental toughtening, and so almost all of these True Gods and Elder Gods of Primordial Chaos had poor talent for heartforce. Even the likes of Daoist Three Purities and Lord Tathagata, who had been iron-willed enough to repeatedly commit suicide and throw themselves into the cycle of reincarnation, had only been able to reach the fourth level of heartforce. As for those who merely had their clones go reincarnate, their heartforce was even weaker.
Thundergod was clearly a classic example. He was born with incredible power and arrogance. Because of his great power, he was naturally able to hold great sway over the lives and deaths of others, resulting in his terrible temper growing even worse.
Deep in his heart, he viewed those weaker than him with disdain.
Those creatures were nothing more than crawling worms! He was a True God of Primordial Chaos. Those weak little fellows were nothing compared to him.
“You can all leave. The six of us will discuss the matter of how to transmit this technique to others without giving the Seamless Gate any chance to steal it,” Daoist Three Purities said.
Instantly, the various incarnations all began to vanish. Daoist Yu Qiu tore a hole through the Void and left as well. As for Thundergod, he gave Ning a hard look, then turned and left. Clearly, in his heart Thundergod had already transferred to Ning all the resentment he felt for having lost so much face in front of so many major powers today. All of this was because of Ji Ning…a puny Empyrean God and True Immortal!
“Disciple, no need to quibble with Thundergod.” Subhuti looked at Ning, then chuckled. “He was born a True God, but that was just a matter of luck. That Dao-heart of his…he’s essentially reached his limit. He can forget about improving even one whit.”
“I wouldn’t dare be angry with him,” Ning said hurriedly.
“Mm.” Subhuti nodded. “You can leave now.”
The vast prisonworld. The endless ‘skies’ of this world were covered with countless divine runes. They were part of the large, marvelous formation that extracted the essence the primordial chaos, refining it into chaos nectar.
Even as Ning had been negotiating with the Godking and meeting with the True Gods and Daofathers, his two clones within this world continued to sweep through it.
Where did the [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent] evasion technique come from? The prisonworld!
Ning knew very well that this prisonworld was a tremendous source of karmic luck for him.
He had to make good use of it!
“I, True God Skysplitter, dominated the land for multiple chaos cycles. I’ve killed more than a hundred puny True Immortals like you…who would’ve thought that I’d end up dying in the hands of an ant? What a joke. A joke!” A shackled True God dressed in tattered clothes raised his head, roaring with fury.
His entire body blasted apart, causing the entire area inside the formation to shudder.
As for the white-robed Ji Ning who was outside the formation, keeping the ‘Eight Fires Qiankun World’ active, he could sense the three divine swords within his body absorb an enormous amount of baleful energy, causing them to rapidly grow. There was no way he was going to let all of this baleful energy go to waste. With the Darknorth swords gone, he had procured three other exquisite swords to use. He had also named them ‘Darknorth swords’, and so he now had a total of six ‘Darknorth swords’. “This time, my luck wasn’t bad. I met a True God who only had a little bit of divine power left. I managed to finish him off after just a few years. Alas, everyone imprisoned here had extraordinarily high status back in their world. All of them are simply too proud.”
After briefly inspecting and collecting the relics left behind by True God Skysplitter, Ning flew away.
Just one hour later, he arrived at a vast prairie. A True Immortal dressed in beautiful golden robes was imprisoned here, his shackles stretching off into an empty Void.
“Odd. Most people imprisoned here are conserving their energy, but this True Immortal has kept his clothes in perfect shape.” The white-robed Ning flew towards him through the skies.
“He is…True Immortal Sevenwind?” Ning immediately recognized the person upon seeing his face. Ning had engaged in multiple soulscours, and thus now knew quite a bit regarding the chaos-kingdom of Pangaea. The True Immortal in front of him had maintained his original appearance instead of allowing himself to turn skeletally thin like the others, making him easy to recognize.
Ning quickly flew forward, then descended outside the formation.
“Overseer?” The beautifully dressed True Immortal looked at Ning, then suddenly frowned. “You…”
“The chaos-kingdom of Pangaea has already been destroyed.” Ning chuckled. “This prisonworld has fallen into my hands. I can’t just sit outside such a treasure vault without entering and making use of it, right? Thus, you have two choices right now. One, let me soulscour you and take away your treasures. Two…die. Prior to this, I’ve already encountered and dealt with four True Gods and True Immortals. Here are their treasures.”
Whoosh. One Protocosmic spirit-treasure after another began to appear in front of Ning, hovering in the air and emanating auras of shocking power.
“Empress Jin? Skysplitter…” The formerly tranquil True Immortal Sevenwind’s face instantly changed. Everyone imprisoned here was an influential member of society in Pangaea. The True Immortals that Ning had encountered were all first-tier True Immortals; he hadn’t encountered a single one of the second-tier ones thus far. True Immortal Sevenwind naturally knew how formidable the four slain ones were.”
“Hah.” True Immortal Sevenwind laughed as he looked at Ning. “I’m nothing more than a prisoner now. What’s the point of resisting? In the future, would you be willing to release me?”
“If I have gain the power I need to release you, I will,” Ning said.
True Immortal Sevenwind nodded, then shut his eyes.
Ning was absolutely delighted. This was the fifth True God/True Immortal he had encountered. The previous four had required quite a bit of time and effort on his power to deal with, but this one had been willing to submit right away. Ning immediately stretched out with his hand. His arm stretched out hundreds of kilometers, landing atop True Immortal Sevenwind’s head as Ning began the soulscour.
Time continued to flow onwards, one minute after the next.
“Eh?” Ning suddenly halted.
“[Icefire Jindan Smelting]?”
In True Immortal Sevenwind’s memories, Ning discovered a particular thought-bubble that was unprotected by any life-oaths which contained something called the [Icefire Jindan Smelting] technique. Ning’s soul quickly began to memorize the contents of the thought-bubble.
Ning’s long arm rapidly began to shrink as he returned to normal. He just stood there, dazed.
“[Icefire Jindan Smelting]...”
“Ninefire Lava…Iceheart Pith…” Ning mumbled to himself.
Earlier, when Exalted Celestial Thundergod had shown Ning disdain, Ning hadn’t grown angry. His heartforce had reached the fourth level; he knew very well that he was indeed just an Empyrean God and True Immortal. Although he had a formidable evasion technique, he was still far, far away from the power level of a elite Daofather like Thundergod. Thundergod would be able to kill him ease.
There was no one to blame for it from himself for being weak.
If Ning wanted to prove himself to the Daofathers, he had to train to a level where he was equal in power to them! However, he truly didn’t expect that in such a short period of time after the gathering of Daofathers, he would discover a Jindan upgrade method within his prisonworld.
“Upgrading the Jindan requires outside sources of energy and materials. Chaos ingredients are necessary.” Ning sighed softly to himself, “I had thought that even if I was to obtain such a technique, actually upgrading my Jindan would be incredibly difficult. I’d have to find many Chaos ingredients, and it’s quite possible that I would never find many of them.”
“This [Icefire Jindan Smelting] technique requires just two types of Chaos ingredients; Ninefire Lava and Iceheart Pith. Although it’ll be hard, it’s still possible for me.”
Ning had heard of it long ago. It existed in the Three Realms! The Three Realms was born from the collision of two large chaosworlds, after all, and it had many major powers who often roamed the primordial chaos, collecting quite a few Chaos ingredients. Right at this very moment, the treasure vaults of the Sovereigns of Mankind held Ninefire Lava within it. He absolutely could trade for it using his own treasures!
Thus, the ‘Ninefire Lava’ would be easily acquired. It wasn’t viewed as particularly precious in the Three Realms, because to date the Three Realms had discovered no use for it, aside from using it to forge treasures! For now, the Three Realms had discovered no other uses.
As for Iceheart Pith, it didn’t exist in the Three Realms. But…
“Iceheart Pith can be found in Undermoon Lake!”
Undermoon Lake had Iceheart Leaves…and Iceheart Leaves grew out of Iceheart Pith.
“The Seamless Gate’s Godking is forcing me into Undermoon Lake. Now that I have this Jindan upgrade method, I’m in desperate need of Iceheart Pith. And I just so happen to be heading towards Undermoon Lake…” Ning suddenly felt that fate truly worked in mysterious ways.
“No matter what…I absolutely have to acquire Iceheart Pith! So long as I acquire those two Chaos ingredients, I’ll be able to use this [Icefire Jindan Smelting]] method. By then, I’ll be a second-tier True Immortal; I’ll have half-stepped into the Daofather level.” Ning finally began to have the feeling that he was beginning to gain the power he needed to fight back in this war.