Ji Ning was transported into the blurry region of light.
“Eh?” Ning stared in surprise. In front of him were a series of walls of light that protected the light globe above the coffin. There were nine walls of light in total, and each of them were covered with flowing, fiery-red runes.
“Pass through all nine restrictive spells and you shall acquire the treasure.” A booming voice rang out by Ning’s ears.
Ning was puzzled.
Where did that voice come from? Was it the voice of Daolord Allgod, or was it the voice of a treasure spirit?
“Who cares.” It didn’t really matter. All Ning needed to know was that he had to be on his best behavior in a place which had been established by a Daolord of such incredible power.
“Pass through all nine restrictive spells? How?”
Ning stared at the first light barrier and the fiery red runes flowing atop it.
“Doesn’t seem that hard.” Ning quickly came to understand how the barrier worked. He pressed his palm onto the light barrier, filling it with his Immortal energy. Because Ning had already comprehended its mysteries, he was easily able to master it and take control over it.
“Disperse.” Ning willed the light barrier to disperse. Whoosh. The first light barrier completely vanished, leaving eight more behind.
Ning once more advanced forward. The second barrier was also one covered by divine runes pertaining to the Dao of Fire, but they were clearly much more complicated. Ning just stood there, blinking several times as he stared at those runes.
“I had no idea the difference between me and Su Youji was this huge,” Ning mumbled to himself. He was both an Elder God and an Ancestral Immortal, and so he was given the exact same trial as the one Su Youji had been given. She had said that she was ‘very close’ to succeeding, which meant that she had probably made it to the final light barrier and was very close to solving it.”
“I…can’t even understand the runes on this eighth barrier.” Ning shook his head. “I really am weak in the Dao of Fire.”
Despite this setback, Ning wasn’t too disappointed.
Cultivation was a path filled with choices! If you chose to focus your efforts in areas you were skilled in, you would be able to advance much more quickly and even find it easier to break through certain bottlenecks. Ning was best suited to the Dao of the Sword. Even Lu Dongbin and Patriarch Subhuti had seen this in him all those years ago. Although Ning had made fairly quick breakthroughs in heartforce as well, heartforce remained a matter of the heart. Even after experiencing the great war that had shaken the Three Realms, Ning’s heartforce was merely at the fourth stage. His Dao of the Sword, however, had advanced quite rapidly. He was now just one step away from sixth-stage swordforce, the ‘Sword World’ level. He had even invented a first stance for his [Quintessence Sword-Intent], the ‘Blackmist’ stance, and this stance was nearly as powerful as the third stance of the [Nameless] sword-art, the ‘Great Firmament’ stance.
The power of this technique was so great that it was superior to some weaker Sword Worlds!
All Sword Immortals trained in the Dao of the Sword, but no two Sword Worlds were the same. Some were dominating, others were insidious. Even two cultivators who trained in the exact same technique would end up with their own different insights into it. As for the ‘Great Firmament’ stance, it would result in one of the most powerful types of Sword World.
“The Dao of the Sword is my true Dao. Fire?” Ning shook his head and laughed.
“Uh…” Ning’s face suddenly went blank.
“That voice said that I had to ‘pass through all nine restrictive spells’.” Ning glanced at the eight light barriers remaining. “It just said ‘pass through’. It didn’t say how I had to pass through.”
“When I bind and take control over the restrictive spells, I can disperse them and pass through them.” A strange light flickered in Ning’s eyes. “But…if I forcibly break through them, I would also be able to pass through.”
There were two ways of dealing with any formation.
The first method was to understand the formation and then break it down on a technical level. This was what Ning had done with the initial light barrier, and it was the most common solution.
The second method was just to overpower it with raw force!
It didn’t matter how profound a formation was if an enemy could rip it apart using raw, overwhelming power!
“Would I be able to breach a formation left behind by Daolord Allgod?” Ning mused to himself.
He pondered for a moment, then he bowed respectfully and called out, “Revered Daolord, this junior is not capable of passing through these nine barriers through mastering and dispersing them. However, this junior would like to be so bold as to attempt breaking through using raw power.”
After speaking, Ning turned his gaze towards the eight light barriers.
“Break!” Ning thrust out his palm, forming a streak of light at the tip of his fingers. The streak of light had the vague form of a sword, and it was filled with Ning’s azureflower mist energy. Ning even activated the Seventh Cycle of the [Starseizing Hand] in his two hands, making his fingers comparable to Dao weapons.
As Ning struck out, the second barrier of light trembled then shattered apart.
“It broke?” Ning was overjoyed. However, he wasn’t in a hurry to press the attack, instead pausing for a brief moment to see if there were any repercussions.
“It seems as though using raw power to break through the formation isn’t considered a violation of the Daolord’s decree.”
“Let me continue.” Ning took another step forward, his right hand quickly executing the savage ‘Blood Drop’ stance as he sent it stabbing towards a light barrier. Whoosh! It struck out like a sharp sword, stabbing into the light barrier. The light barrier trembled twice, then shattered apart.
His power was nothing to joke about. With the azureflower mist energy reinforcing him, he was every bit as strong as a World God! The power of this blow was as strong as a blow from an actual World God…but of course, this was merely the seventh barrier.
“I still wonder where this ‘azureflower region’ formed by the merging of the Nine Chaos Seals came from.” Ning felt increasingly amazed by how unearthly powerful this technique was. Without it, he would at most have the body of a half-step World God. Even with Violetjewel, he would be just barely comparable to a normal World God at best. He wouldn’t even be a match for an elite World God! Now that the azureflower mist energy was reinforcing his body, he was definitely as physically strong as a World God. With Violetjewel in hand, he was able to give master-class World Gods a run for their money.
“I wonder how powerful I will be when I become a World God.” Ning fantasized about it for a moment, then returned to the matter at hand.
“Time to continue.” Ning once more struck out, attacking the sixth barrier. However, this one was clearly much harder to penetrate. Ning wasn’t able to breach it with his first strike and needed to hack at it multiple times before succeeding.
“I’ll use my sword, I guess.” Ning waved his hand, producing Violetjewel.
“Break!” He stabbed out with his sword, activating a hint of its quintessence core as he did so.
The sword easily stabbed straight into that barrier of light.
Ning stepped forward one step at a time. With Violetjewel in hand, his strikes were now much more powerful. This was a formation meant to test Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals. Ning naturally found it quite easy to penetrate. Even without using the Blackmist stance, he was still able to breach the seven of the nine barriers.
“The eighth barrier?” Ning once more stabbed out with his sword. This time, however, he failed.
“Hmph.” Ning solemnly held Violetjewel in his hands…then suddenly lashed out, transforming it into a bloody shadow of sword-light. Violetjewel left a streak of terrifying, bloody red light in its wake as it pierced forward. This was the power of its quintessence core! Violetjewel itself was covered in bloody light that radiated an aura of astonishing might.
[Quintessence Sword-Intent], first stance – Blackmist stance.
The bloody sword-light stabbed straight through the eighth barrier, causing it to crumble.
“Just one left.” Ning didn’t hesitate at all, once more striking out with his ultimate attack. The azureflower mist energy made Ning’s sword far faster than the limits of the Heavenly Daos, while the quintessence core of the sword made this Eternal weapon irresistibly sharp! It was very sharp, very powerful, and incomparably fast. This blow would’ve been able to easily shatter a chaosworld apart. Even if the Solar Star or the Lunar Star were in front of Ning, they would have been pierced through by this blow.
When the tip of the sword slammed against the ninth barrier, the barrier began to tremble violently. Ripples shuddered over its surface as though a rock had fallen into a pool of water…and yet, it did not break.
“I’m still a bit too weak?” Ning was stunned.
His blows were now incredibly powerful thanks to his own great strength and the fact that he had an Eternal weapon.
“I told you to break!” Ning once more struck out with his most powerful killing blow. Although the ninth barrier shuddered violently, it was clear that Ning’s blows were just a bit too weak to break it.
“Eh?!” Ning frowned. This was already the most powerful sword-strike he was capable of mustering.
“I guess I’ll have to find a way to strengthen the power of that blow.” Ning immediately stepped back, moving to stand just within the three hundred meter radius of the blurry light region.
Whoosh. A pair of azure wings appeared behind Ning’s back, crackling with electric light. These were the ‘Thunderlight Wings’ which Ning had purchased during the treasure auction. The wings used lightning as their energy source and sword-light to tear through all obstructions, allowing the user to move at incredible speeds.
The wings trembled, instantly sending Ning hurtling through the torn layers of space and allowing him to move at tremendous speed as he moved towards the ninth light barrier like a streak of light himself.
Cultivators needed a bit of distance to build up speed as well. Long-distance flying speed and short-distance dodging speed were two completely different things. It was extremely difficult for one to instantly unleash all of his power and speed! Three hundred meters simply wasn’t enough. Ning had to use the Thunderlight Wings to build up enough speed to surpass the limits of the Heavenly Daos. Without it, Ning would perhaps only be able to move at 60% of his normal speed.
“Break!” As Ning charged out, he once more struck forward with his Eternal weapon!
A sword’s attack speed was extremely important.
Even a pebble that moved at the speed of light could cause tremendous damage. By the same principle, a sword that moved 30% faster than it previously did could easily cause more than double the amount of damage! If Ning just struck out from point-blank distance, there was no way for him to increase the speed of his sword. Thus, he was forced to resort to the most primitive of options…fly forward at high speed and borrow from his own speed to deliver a full-force blow. This instantly allowed his sword to move 20% or 30% faster than before.
BOOM!!! Ning’s terrifyingly sharp Eternal weapon struck out like a bloody blur. Although it paused momentarily, in the end it still pierced straight through the light barrier.
BANG!!!! The final light barrier disintegrated.
The light globe above the stone coffin was now within arm’s reach!