Ji Ning departed respectfully.
The supreme figures of the Nuwa Alliance within the hall watched as Ning departed. They then exchanged glances. Clearly, they all had their doubts and concerns.
“Everyone…do you believe that Darknorth truly has a solution?” Exalted Celestial Thundergod couldn’t but say, “It’s not that I look down on him; rather, we all know exactly how powerful the Envoy is. When the Lord of All Things led his army of Envoys, he nearly wiped out both the Pangu Chaosworld and the Seamless Chaosworld. Fortunately, Mother Nuwa made her breakthrough and swept through all challengers. Although this Envoy before us is merely under the command of an Empyrean God, it still definitely has the power of a elite Daofather. Ji Ning…I really can’t imagine how he can come up with any solution.”
“I can’t imagine it either. What could he possibly do?”
“Can it be that his swordforce or his heartforce has reached the fifth stage?” Emperor Zhuanxu frowned.
“The fifth stage isn’t that easy to reach. Swordforce and heartforce increase exponentially in difficulty with each stage. The fifth stage is harder to reach than becoming a True God or Daofather.” Xuan Yuan slowly shook his head. “He’s just returned from Undermoon Lake. My best guess is that he must’ve acquired some sort of treasure in Undermoon Lake. Something which allows him, an Empyrean God and True Immortal, to be able to unleash the power of a elite Daofather.”
“Can such a treasure truly exist?” Exalted Celestial Thundergod was puzzled.
“They do. For example…” Xuan Yuan said softly, “The Envoy of All Things! If Ji Ning also had an Envoy, given the power he displayed in overcoming Undermoon Lake, he could probably defeat the enemy.”
Everyone present blinked.
“Everyone, we’ve been guessing all along that Undermoon Lake was created by an ancient major power, yes?” Xuan Yuan chuckled. “That major power must have been shockingly powerful; it’s not impossible that he might’ve left behind a golem comparable to an Envoy of All Things. But of course, that’s just a guess. The other possibility is that Ji Ning is so infuriated that he’s completely overestimated himself.”
“Ji Ning is an Empyrean God and True Immortal; there’s no way he would be that unreliable.” Shennong frowned as he spoke in a calm voice.
“The person who knows Ji Ning best is his master.” Fuxi looked towards Subhuti.
Everyone present looked towards Subhuti. Quite a few people had spoken, but thus far Subhuti had yet to say a thing.
Subhuti frowned, then said slowly, “Xuan Yuan…it’s best if you still make preparations in the event of defeat.”
“Oh?” Xuan Yuan was startled.
The hearts of everyone present sunk.
Subhuti said nothing else. He didn’t want to reveal all of Ning’s secrets to everyone! Still, in Subhuti’s heart, he was indeed a bit nervous. He knew that throughout the course of history, from the Primordial Era to the present day, the word ‘love’ had caused quite a few major powers to be driven mad. Even Houyi, whose heartforce had reached the fifth stage, was unable to escape from this word, ‘love’.
Subhuti himself wasn’t sure as to how heavy a mental blow Ning had been delivered by what had just happened.
“Fine. I’ll make complete preparations.” Xuan Yuan nodded.
News of the return of more than two hundred Empyrean Gods quickly spread throughout the Three Realms. The Empyrean Gods and True Immortals of the Three Realms all heard that the return of all these people was thanks to Ji Ning.
Far away, in the Celestial Realm. Mount Ling, in the eastern lands.
Buddha Jueming’s palace was a simple, plain, unadorned one. There were only two novice monks here, guarding the entrance. He only became truly famous in the Three Realms after returning from Undermoon Lake, then training to become a True God and Daofather. Ever since then, he had never caused much of a stir, as he had lived here in seclusion by himself.
“Mm?” Buddha Jueming was seated in the lotus position. Slowly, he opened his eyes. “Undermoon Lake? Empyrean God Darknorth overcame Undermoon Lake?”
“Has Darknorth also acquired [Forlorn World God] and [Nine Elements Annihilation]?” Buddha Jueming mused to himself. The [Forlorn World God]…it was indeed the best Fiendgod Body Refiner technique that World God Northrest had access to which could be taught to others. Right now, Ning was indeed training in the [Forlorn World God].
The key to this technique lay in the word ‘Forlorn’.
One would have to search through endless solitude and dullness in order to find the secrets regarding the divine body, then make the breakthrough.
Thus, in order to train in this technique, what one truly needed was silence and calm. Sometimes, a single ‘forlorn’ meditation session could span ten thousand years or a million years. Buddha Jueming himself was perpetually seated in the meditative posture, and thus he naturally understood the profound secrets to this art. Long ago, it was this art which he used to break through to become a True God.
“So, there is now yet another cultivator of the [Nine Elements Annihilation] and the [Forlorn World God],” Buddha Jueming mused to himself. “The power of this divine ability is truly endless; the only thing one really needs is a long period of time to meditate on it. Unfortunately, Darknorth hasn’t spent enough time cultivating. Otherwise, he would be of tremendous benefit in this war.”
The longer one cultivated, the more powerful he realized the [Forlorn World God] and the [Nine Elements Annihilation] to be. These two techniques alone were enough to allow one to become an unparalleled expert amongst Elder Gods, and perhaps even break through to the World God stage.
News that Ji Ning was about to enter the fray was kept completely secret. Even the other major powers of the Nuwa Alliance such as Buddha Jueming were not informed.
The only ones who knew were the leaders of Daoism and Buddhism, the Three Emperors, and around ten-plus other major powers. Although they were worried that Ning would fail, they still felt a hint of hope. Naturally, they would keep this a tight secret.
Time passed, one day at a time. In the blink of an eye, a month had gone by.
Within the world of the estate-world.
This was a world of towering mountain peaks. Ning’s seventeen true body clones and seventeen Primaltwin clones had all gathered here, at the very top of one of the mountain peaks.
“The Jindan smelting process is complete.”
“Time to train in the [One True Body] technique.”
The seventeen white-robed youths all sat down in the lotus position together. Slowly, the bodies of two of them began to emit a hazy white light. Their bodies, their Jindans, and their souls were all emanating this hazy white light which was filled with arcane, abstruse divine runes. Ning was completely, slavishly imitating the technique and runes as it had been written down. This technique had been created by a major power of the primordial chaos, and its runes were incredibly profound and mysterious. There was no way Ning could understand these runes at all; all he had to do was memorize them and then replicate them.
The two white-robed youths began to slowly draw closer to each other. One of them actually ended up flying into the body of the other, causing the aura of white light to dramatically expand.
It was an extremely slow and very relaxed, comfortable process.
It was like a baby bird sleeping inside the egg shell.
It was like a baby child sleeping within the mother’s womb.
The ball of white light completely surrounded the blurry figure. In this moment, all thought was impossible. Clearly, the Jindan, soul, and bodies had all begun to merge together. Only things that had come from the same source could merge together in such a manner. The divine bodies, Jindans, and souls of these clones were all absolutely identical. There were no differences whatsoever!
If there was even the slightest bit of difference, the merger would become impossible.
For example, Ning’s Primaltwin had been formed through a Sole-Ki Pearl of Primalwater. Thus, there were a major differences between it and Ning’s true body. And so, there was no way whatsoever for the Primaltwin and the true body to merge together! But of course, the eighteen Primaltwin clones could all merge into each other.
The blurry white light completely faded away, withdrawing into the remaining clone’s body. The white-robed figure emerged once more, and it once more became capable of thought. As Ning regained his senses, he could immediately sense how his body had changed. “My divine power has transformed in some way. The Pure Yang energy in my Jindan has become more pure, and the Jindan region has expanded in size by a bit. My soul has become more powerful as well…even my heartforce has grown considerably stronger.”
When two completely identical souls fused together, the resultant soul would of course be much stronger. This sort of fusion would result in an upgrade in every single aspect and area.
Long ago, when the King of Pangaea had been an Elder God, he had relied on mastering the complete [Taowu Eighteen Fiendgods] to join his clones together, allowing him to surpass other Elder Gods in every single aspect. It had given him overwhelmingly superior power.
Yet another white-robed youth was drawn into the first one’s body. The first clone’s body continued to rise in power, and the soul, divine power, heartforce, and Pure Yang energy all continued to evolve.
One clone after another was absorbed into the first one.
The [One True Body] technique relied on the fact that all the clones originated from the same source. This was the reason why the technique could work. The more clones were absorbed, the more powerful one would become. If Ning had been able to train in the even more ridiculous [Thousand Bodies Sutra], he would’ve been able to fuse a thousand clones together. The increase in power would be even more ridiculous, in that case, allowing an Empyrean God to become the equivalent of a True God, and a True God to become the equivalent of an Elder God. An Elder God would become the equivalent of a World God!
This was what made the [Thousand Bodies Sutra] to be such an unearthly, almighty technique! But alas, the price of training in this technique was simply too great. For even a weak Empyrean God to train in it would require a Worldheart to be consumed. The price that would need to be paid for someone more powerful would be truly incalculable. Which World God would be willing to part with a Worldheart, giving it away to an Empyrean God for cultivation? Even if the Empyrean God was to succeed, that person would still be tremendously weak and unable to help the World God at all. It would only make a difference if the Empyrean God was able to train all the way to become an Elder God…but in the path of Immortal cultivation, advancing through every single major stage saw tremendous difficulties. Far, far too many cultivators were washed out at each stage.
With each merger, Ning continued to transform.
Finally, all seventeen white-robed youths had merged into one. Into one true body.
“What a strange sensation.” Ning looked at his surroundings. His soul was now far more powerful than it had been before, and even the rate at which he gained insights into the Dao was now far faster. Even though he previously was able to simultaneously train with thirty-six different bodies, the speed at which he gained insights was less than his current speed, after his one true body had been formed.
“This…is this the level of Daofathers?” Ning murmured softly to himself.
Seventeen clones, each of which had second-tier Jindans. Now that they had merged together into one true body, the power of the Jindan inside his body was comparable to first-tier Jindans! True Immortals of Pangaea with first-tier Jindans were indeed on the same level of power as the Daofathers of the Three Realms, and in fact they actually had deeper reservoirs of energy.
“My energy is on the level of a Daofather’s.”
“My divine body has surpassed the limits of an Empyrean God; it can be considered a half-step into the True God level.”
“My soul…it should have thirty to forty percent of the might of an ordinary Daofather’s soul. In order for my soul to reach the level of a true Daofather, I’ll need to spend another century nourishing it. Of my seventeen clones, two had long ago gained second-tier Jindans, and so their souls had been nourished significantly. The other fifteen had only just recently upgraded to second-tier Jindans. Their souls didn’t have enough time to evolve.”
Ning understood this principle. Still…it was enough.
His true body’s soul was already more than a hundred times stronger than that of an ordinary True Immortal’s. Daofathers could easily cover the Three Realms with the coresense, while Ning could perhaps just barely do the same, if he went all out. As for Empyrean Gods and True Immortals? They generally were only capable of covering a major world with their coresense. From this, one could easily see the difference in soul power!
“Compared to Daofather Holyflame…let’s see. We have equivalent levels of energy. I have more technically profound sword-arts, but his have been infused with the Heavenly Dao of Fire. However…I have a Darknorth sword that is a Chaos weapon.” Ning nodded to himself. “In terms of power…my true body should be comparable to Daofather Holyflame.”
“If I were to use the Rahu Formation…”
“I would be given a divine body that was comparable to that of a elite Daofather. In that case, my total power would surpass Daofather Holyflame’s.”
“Defeating the Envoy of All Things will be simplicity itself!”
Ning willed his aura to be retracted into his body. Instantly, the incredible aura of power surrounding him, an aura comparable to a Daofather’s, was completely retracted inside of him. This wasn’t the aura-hiding technique which Subhuti had taught him; it was one of the many techniques which World God Northrest had left behind for him. While wandering the primordial chaos, one would easily perish if one’s power was revealed for all others to know.
The estate-world treasure which Ning was within was something which he had acquired from a True God of the prisonworld. Not even Elder Gods or Ancestral Immortals would be able to spy on it.
Ning turned to look towards the side. Next to him were the black-robed Ning’s, and they were in the process of fusing together as well. Soon, they transformed into a single black-robed Ning. This Ning also had the power of a elite Daofather.
“There’s not much of a difference between fusing eighteen clones and fusing seventeen clones. It’s best to leave one behind as a ‘seed’. If I’m going to war against the Seamless Gate…best to remain cautious.” Ning willed it, and with a swoosh he disappeared from the estate-world.
The Starseizer major world. A large shrine.
“We pay our respects to you, Manorlord!”
Empyrean God Ninefangs and Empyrean God Snow Scorpion, upon seeing Ning suddenly appear, hastily bowed towards him.
“Ninefangs, summon the army immediately,” Ning instructed.
“Yes.” Ninefangs immediately went to make the arrangements.
“Has Redsnow left seclusion?” Ning looked towards Snow Scorpion, who shook her head and laughed. “Redsnow is still in seclusion. I really have no idea when he will emerge.”
“No rush.” Ning nodded, then immediately walked outside. Ninefangs remained the weakest of the seven, and was also the last to become an Empyrean God. Thus, he was also the most industrious of the seven, and many of the miscellaneous tasks were left for him to handle.
Soon, the plaza before the shrine became filled with a teeming horde of Celestial Immortals and Loose Immortals.
A white-robed youth emerged from the divine hall. Instantly, the throng of Celestial Immortals and Loose Immortals turned their gazes towards him, Ji Ning. They all called out respectfully, “Manorlord.”
“Assemble the formation,” Ning commanded.
Instantly, the countless Immortals all flew into the air together. Ning flew to the very center of the host of Immortals, and the energy of Heaven and Earth began to flow into him in such a flow that it was affecting the entire Starseizer world. An utterly ferocious, titanic Fiendgod began to emerge. His body was pitch-black, but his lower back was covered with extremely fine strands of silver fur. Six burly, thick arms grew out from the body. Then, a head that was rather similar to Ning’s own head grew out and emerged as well.
The Rahu God had manifested.
“This body is far more powerful than a True God’s body.” Ning’s six hands clenched tightly into fists. Boom! Space itself was trembling.