The maiden’s lips curved upwards slightly as she turned to gaze in that direction in an intrigued manner.
A figure suddenly appeared out of nowhere. It was the bald three-eyed man who was the First Guardian and Commander of the Castrum Divinitus – the Goldeye Golem.
“Eh?” Ning was slightly surprised when he saw the Goldeye Golem appear.
“Ji Ning, congratulations on having won the divine blood of the Eternal,” the Goldeye Golem said.
“You know my name?” Ning was rather surprised. During his conversations with World God Dragonbinder and the others atop the plaza in front of the Castrum Divinitus, Ning had never revealed his name. Any mention of his name would’ve occurred during their mental conversations, resulting in the likes of Fukai and Arroyo still having no idea as to exactly who Ning was.
“Nothing that occurs within the Allgod Estate can escape my eyes,” the nearby maiden said. “I heard about you from ‘Myriad Mountains’ quite some time ago. Enough. Go ahead and take a look. The Eternal blood is within that crystal globe.”
“Why is it going to me?” Ning was puzzled.
Although he was rather pleased, he was also quite calm. For most cultivators, what mattered the most was their insights into the Dao. This was what allowed them to reach higher levels of cultivation. As for treasures, they were of secondary importance! There was a limit to useful an outside source of help would be. Ning was already comparable to a master-class World God, but no amount of treasures would allow him to be comparable to a Samsara Daolord.
A Samsara Daolord who was skilled in illusions could instantly plunge Ning into an illusory world with a single glance. Ning wouldn’t be able to resist it, and he wouldn’t even have a chance to use any of his treasures. This was what happened when one was at a much lower level of cultivation!
“As I said,” the Goldeye Golem said, “After the trial of the Samsara Grinders comes to an end, the cultivator whose performance was the best will have a chance of acquiring the divine blood of the Eternal. You were the cultivator whose performance was the best.”
“Cultivator?” Ning blinked, then quickly understood.
“Ahaha, right! Cultivator! World-level cultivators are cultivators, but so too are Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals.” The Goldeye Golem roared with laughter. “Those two kids, Arroyo and Fukai? Hmph! How could I possibly let the Eternal blood go to them?”
“Eh?” Ning was puzzled. What was this all about.
“If it wasn’t for you, then based on the rules which Master set down all those years ago, I truly would’ve been forced to hand the Eternal blood over to Arroyo. But since you came, me giving the blood to you instead is still in keeping with Master’s rules.” The Goldeye Golem pointed towards the table. “Go open it up.”
“Alright.” Ning nodded, then walked over towards the table. He was quite curious as well. Both Arroyo and Fukai had an extremely large number of treasures, but they were desperate and willing to pay any price to acquire this Eternal blood. What sort of treasure was it, exactly?
The formation-spirit of the Castrum Divinitus and the Goldeye Golem exchanged glances as they watched Ning move towards the table. Both of them were smiling.
“Eternal blood.” Ning walked to the table, staring at the crystal ball that was glowing with hazy light. After carefully inspecting it, he was able to tell that it was actually composed of two separate parts, an upper part and a lower part. Ning reached out to grab the crystal ball, then applied a bit of pressure to it. Whoosh! The two parts began to swivel in opposite directions. After Ning gave it a slight tug, the two parts completely separated.
In that instant…
An utterly terrifying aura that was far beyond anything Ning could’ve imagined instantly blasted forth into his mind, striking against his soul and his truesoul.
Ning’s face was completely ashen as he took two heavy, stumbling steps backwards. His mind was completely blank, and the two halves of the crystal ball fell out of his hands and onto the ground with a crashing sound. However, the fist-sized globe of blood-streaked golden liquid that had been slowly flowing inside of the crystal ball continued to hover in midair. As it slowly spun and swiveled, it released an aura of utterly incomprehensible power.
Only after a long period of time passed did Ning manage to regain his faculties and recover from the sudden shock of that terrifying aura.
As soon as Ning regained his senses, he couldn’t help but furiously retreat several kilometers before he was able to feel slightly less nauseous.
“Is that the divine blood of the Eternal?” Ning stared at the fist-sized globule of blood that was hovering in the air. He had never imagined that a single drop of blood essence could brim with such incredible power. He had encountered other Eternal weapons and had attuned himself to the exalted sword-aura that was located within Violetjewel’s quintessence core, but this was the first time that he was completely shaking with terror.
It was his very soul that was shaking. He was utterly horrified! The aura from the blood alone had instantly caused his mind to go completely blank, rendering him completely incapable of thought.
“Right. This is the divine blood of the Eternal, the Eternal blood of Emperor Melobo,” the Goldeye Golem said. “Years ago, Master was able to heavily wound Emperor Melobo, hacking off a large amount of his flesh. Master took that large amount of flesh and blood, then distilled it into this single drop of Eternal blood. This essentially represents half of the entire lifeforce vitality of Emperor Melobo.”
“Oh.” Ning nodded slowly.
“Remember. After you bring the Eternal blood out of this place, you absolutely must not open the globe.” The Goldeye Golem waved his hand, causing the two fallen halves of the crystal globe to fly into his hand. He resealed the globule of Eternal blood into the crystal ball, then locked it tightly. That terrifying aura instantly vanished. He then tossed that crystal globe, sending it flying towards Ning like a streak of light.
Ning caught it. Puzzled, he asked, “I cannot open it?”
“The members of the Aeonian Kingdom are able to sense this Eternal blood, but so long as you remain here in the Castrum Divinitus they will not dare to come and take it.” The Goldeye Golem explained, “But if you were to open the crystal globe while outside the Allgod Estate, the terrifying experts of the Aeonians will immediately pursue you upon sensing it.”
Ning was stunned. He hurriedly asked, “What is this ‘Aeonian Kingdom’?”
“Something which you weren’t meant to know about. Generally speaking, it is rare for even World-level experts to have any interactions with them. Still, once you break through to become a World God you will be an extraordinary figure. You probably should get a better sense of them now,” the Goldeye Golem said.
“Let me explain to him,” the maiden suddenly interjected.
“Fine, you explain.” The Goldeye Golem had a hint of a smile on his face.
The maiden looked at Ning. “The Endless Territories are filled with countless cultivators. Do you know what the most powerful organization in the Endless Territories is?”
“The Dao Alliance!” Ning said, then chuckled. “Senior ‘Myriad Mountains’ mentioned them to me.”
“Right. The Dao Alliance, an alliance that comprises virtually all of the cultivators of the Endless Territories.” The maiden nodded. “Cultivators are by nature unrestrained figures that like to do as they please. Why, then would they join together to form an alliance? It is precisely because there exist certain creatures which are born enemies to all cultivators.”
“Born enemies?” Ning was puzzled.
“Right.” The maiden nodded.
“As you probably know, the endless primordial chaos is filled with countless mysteries and has given birth to many unique races,” the maiden said. “Ordinary cultivators who originally started off as mortals were generally born on a chaosworld and slowly grew up there. Even natural-born Fiendgods are born from the Worldheart of a chaosworld.”
“However, there are some special types of lifeforms that are different. They were brought into being within the primordial chaos due to certain special, unique circumstances, and they have certain special abilities.”
“Then again… most of those Aberrants are fairly rare. In fact, some races might have just one or two representatives in all the Endless Territories. There is no way they can compete against the Dao Alliance.”
“However, there is one organization that can. We don’t know where they came from, and although they are fairly rare they number in the hundreds. Every single member of this race possesses at least the power of a Samsara Daolord,” the maiden said. “They set up the ‘Aeonian Kingdom’ and call themselves the ‘Aeonians’. Much like us, they need to engage in cultivation, but there is a major difference! If they can kill and devour other Samsara Daolords, they can grow much more powerful.”
“Devour other Samsara Daolords?” Ning was shocked.
“Right!” The maiden nodded. “Devour them, just like cultivators might devour food or fine wine. To them, Samsara Daolords are delicacies to be feasted on!”
The maiden continued, “The countless cultivators of the Aeonian Kingdom wish to grow more powerful and walk farther on their paths. The Aeonians, however, seek to devour us. Thus, we are born enemies.” The maiden’s gaze turned cold. “My master’s Dao-companion was devoured by Emperor Melobo, which was why Master went so berserk in his efforts to slay him.”
Ning’s heart shivered.
How could such creatures even exist? Creatures that could actually devour Samsara Daolords?
“As a race, the Aeonians are fairly few in number. It takes a long time for a new Eternal to be born, but they’ve been in existence for an even longer period of time. Multiple Eternal Emperors stand guard over their Aeonian Kingdom, making it so that even the Dao Alliance is unable to break into it.” The maiden laughed. “In all honesty, they don’t really matter that much. The Aeonian Kingdom is actually much weaker than the Dao Alliance, as the Dao Alliance is an alliance of all the cultivators of the Endless Territories. It has countless experts within it! The Aeonian Kingdom’s advantage lies in the fact that its members are extremely unified, with all of their experts living together in the same place. Their Aeonian Kingdom is also protected by an utterly inconceivable treasure. If it wasn’t for that treasure, they would’ve been wiped out by the Dao Alliance a long time ago.”
“The endless primordial chaos has given birth to many different races of creatures. This race, the Aeonians, rely on devouring our Samsara Daolords to grow more powerful. As a result, they are one of our most hated enemies. In truth, there are actually many types of Aberrant lifeforms that are both more powerful and more numerous than the Aeonians. There are also types of Aberrants that both rarer and more individually powerful as well. They have existed for countless years and possess simply inconceivable amounts of power,” the maiden said. “However… the most powerful organization shall forever remain the Dao Alliance! The Dao Alliance has far more cultivators and its ranks are all but endless.”
Ning chuckled. It was true. The Badlands Territory was a perfect example. It was filled to the brim with cultivators; when did Ning ever see other types of lifeforms within it?