The Heavengazer Tower of the Heavens had been placed within the Immortal estate.
Ji Ning was seated inside the tower in the lotus position, as still as a lifeless rock. He had activated the ‘solitude’ technique of the [Solitary World God] while using the [Nine Elements Annihilation] to work on the [Starseizing Hand].
The ‘solitude’ technique would allow a cultivator to reach an extremely calm state, with the inner heart becoming far more sensitive and nimble. It was meant to allow one to find the secrets of the body, but it also made it easier for one to visualize and hypothesize certain techniques. Buddha Jueming, who had already sacrificed himself, had perpetually stayed in the ‘solitude’ state, which was why he had been able to come up with a divine ability that was just as strong as Lord Tathagata’s.
Right now…Ning was researching and developing the Seventh Cycle of the [Starseizing Hand]!
The first six cycles all served as guides for this project. Previously, when he didn’t have any golden starstone, he had actually used the [Nine Elements Annihilation] to disassemble and overhaul the [Starseizing Hand], allowing him to create a brand new Sixth Cycle. Now, he naturally wished to come up with an even more profound Seventh Cycle!
“A True God body can train in the Sixth Cycle.”
“I already have an Elder God body. Logically speaking, I should be able to train in a Seventh Cycle…but to develop it truly is difficult.” Ning continually visualized and worked on this project but was only able to make a tiny bit of progress.
To train in a Seventh Cycle, one had to first come up with an even more profound way to allow divine power to blast out. In addition, one also needed to come up with a way to transform the palms and make them comparable to Dao weapons. Only then would they be able to withstand the bursts of divine power.
Both of these requirements would be extremely difficult to fulfill.
“Daoist Threelives, as a True God, was able to develop the Sixth Cycle. As an Elder God who has the [Nine Elements Annihilation], I should be completely capable of developing a Seventh Cycle.” Ning was completely absorbed in his meditations.
His soul trembled slightly.
The aura of life slowly began to return to Ning’s unmoving, rock-like body. As his aura began to strengthen, color began to return to his skin. Finally, his eyes opened.
“160 years passed in the blink of an eye. It has been eight years in the outside world.” Ning rose to his feet. “Time to head out.”
It was time to journey from Earthdrake to the distant Sevenwater Star.
“They really know how to make money. A single activation of the formation nets them a hundred bottles of chaos nectar.” Ning shook his head as he walked out of the spacetime transfer array and glanced at the cultivators who were scattering in various directions. “Although each activation of a spacetime transfer array does require a certain amount of resources, they are making at least a 50% profit. They are making money at an insane rate.”
“Every single cultivator has to pay a bottle of chaos nectar each time the array is activated. No wonder only Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals take part.” Ning couldn’t help but sigh to himself.
True Gods and True Immortals simply couldn’t play around like this. The price was too high. True Gods and True Immortals would generally just wander around nearby chaosworlds or follow Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals and servants.
“Any World God or Chaos Immortal would love the chance to take control over a spacetime array like this. A pity that these are all controlled by the Badlands Court.” Ning sighed. The greatest power in the vast Badlands Territory was the Badlands Court. It was an organization that rivaled Vastheaven Palace in power! In the Badlands Territory, the Badlands Court held supreme, unchecked power.
“Where should I go?” Ning stood in the air above Sevenwater Star, staring into the endless primordial chaos.
“God Emperor Blacklotus established his Blacklotus chaos-kingdom and has five World Gods supporting him. He controls a total of fifty-three chaosworlds.” Ning pondered for a moment on some of the ancient information which the Three Realms had collected in the past. “God Emperor Blacklotus is a local hegemon. He has a few neighbors who he is on poor terms, including the Starlord of Fogstone and Sovereign Eastvictor.”
“The Starlord of Fogstone has eight World-level experts serving him and commands ninety-six chaosworlds.”
“Sovereign Eastvictor has six World-level experts serving him and commands sixty-one chaosworlds.”
“Should I join the Starlord of Fogstone? Or should I join Sovereign Eastvictor?”
Ning was pondering on this question.
He had never entertained the foolish thought of going straight for the Mindlord all by himself. He had to verify whether or not the Mindlord really was Old Man Yuan! In addition, not even World Gods would rashly charge into the headquarters of an enemy force. That was just suicide.
“The Starlord of Fogstone and Sovereign Eastvictor are on hostile terms with God Emperor Blacklotus. If I join one of these two sides, I’ll seek out an opportunity to kill the Mindlord when they engage in battle.”
“I’ll also be able to rely on their power to strengthen myself.”
Vastheaven Palace was too far away!
World God Northrest was an extremely exalted figure, yet had hadn’t even heard of the Badlands Territory. This meant that the distance between the Vastheaven Territory and the Badlands Territory was so vast that World Gods would almost never travel between these two locales. If Ning remained a mere Elder God, he’d probably die while attempting to find Vastheaven Palace.
It was best if he became a World God first, then embarked on the journey.
He had a full chaos cycle. Just a tenth of a chaos cycle would be more than enough time for him to grow strong.
“The Starlord of Fogstone and Sovereign Eastvictor…the intelligence I acquired about them is all quite old. Perhaps there have been changes within their respective organizations. Mm…Fogstone is closer by, I’ll go visit it first. I’ll take a good look then make up my mind.” Ning immediately commanded his Moatship to begin flying through space in that direction.
Six months later.
The Moatship had arrived before a distant, beautiful planet.
“That’s the planet of Fogstone.” Ning stared at the beautiful planet. According to his intelligence reports, a total of nine World-level experts resided on this planet, along with thousands of Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals. From this planet, they ruled over and governed a total of ninety-six chaosworlds.
Ning quickly flew towards the planet.
More than half of Fogstone was perpetually covered with blurry shadows. Clearly, it was protected by some sort of formation. The other half, however, was not covered by any formations.
“Right there.” Ning immediately saw a series of islands within the seas of Fogstone. He immediately flew straight towards it.
As Ning drew closer to those islands, a figure suddenly flew out from one of them. It was an azure-armored man whose aura was that of a True God’s.
“Greetings, senior.” The azure-armored man said respectfully, “Senior, this should be your first visit to Fogstone. Do you need me to guide you around?”
“Very well.” Ning nodded and smiled. “Are you in charge of welcoming Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals? Do many come to Fogstone?”
“Fogstone rarely has visits from unaffiliated Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals.” The azure-armored man smiled. “This junior was ordered to guide the path for any who do come. During the past thousand years, I’ve only welcomed around a hundred.”
“Ah.” Ning nodded.
This was in keeping with what Ning knew.
A core planet that was responsible for governing a chaos-kingdom would generally have certain areas that were meant for trade and business. Cultivators needed to purchase treasures, divine abilities, spells, secret arts, golems, and other things. Thus, there was always a need for trading posts. Empyrean Gods, Celestial Immortals, True Gods, and True Immortals rarely had good treasures. Thus, there generally wouldn’t be any people responsible for receiving them.
As for the Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals who served Fogstone, there was no need to guide them around either; they knew the place well enough.
Only first-time visitors like Ji Ning who were at least Elder Gods or Ancestral Immortals would merit a guide! If a World God was to arrive, the entire world of Fogstone would be put on high alert. Most likely, a World God of Fogstone would be assigned to welcome and greet such a visitor.
The two of them descended upon a spacious cloud street.
This street was completely formed from clouds. It led from the vast seas to the various islands.
“Do you need any servants, senior?” The azure-armored man pointed towards a distant, enormous island. “That’s the slave island. Many slaves are imprisoned there, ranging from Celestial Immortals and Empyrean Gods to Ancestral Immortals and Elder Gods! So long as you are willing to pay the price, you can purchase as many slaves as you wish.”
Ning nodded. Imprisoned Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals would often be sold off as slaves. Generally speaking, they were enemies who had been captured during conflicts against other organizations.
“I don’t need any for now,” Ning said.
The two walked forward through the cloud path. There were many other cultivators on this path, but almost all of them were below the Elder God level of power. This was why they all hurriedly parted before Ning when they saw him. In this world, the difference in status between the strong and the weak was very obvious.
“This place specializes in selling formations. Yes, that island over there! We also have shops that specialize in selling Ki Refining techniques, divine abilities, secret arts, sword-arts, lightning arts…” The azure-armored man warmly pointed at one island after another.
“Sword-arts?” Ning’s eyes lit up..
“Right.” The azure-armored man said hurriedly, “That island is known as the Sword Pavilion! The Sword Pavilion has many sword-arts within it, at least ten thousand! Some are weak, some are strong. Even the [Skystar Sword] which our Starlord of Fogstone made famous throughout the Badlands Territory is available for sale, so long as you are willing to pay the price.”
“The [Skystar Sword]?” Ning was surprised.
“This is one of the most awe-inspiringly famous sword-arts of the entire Badlands Territory. Once you master it, you might even be able to become a World God through the Dao of the Sword.” The azure-armored man let out a sigh. “That really would be incredible.”