Book 26, Chapter 4 - Ji Nings Path to the Dao of the Sword

Ji Ning said hurriedly, “Please assist me in something, seniors. Please tell my retainer, Su Youji, not to panic. She should simply wait for me patiently.”

“Sure, leave it to me.” The formation-spirit maiden laughed. “Spend as much time here as you wish. Whenever you wish to leave the Allgod Estate, just let me know and I’ll teleport both you and Su Youji together. Oh, right. World God Dragonbinder is a member of your group, right? If he leaves on his own, he’ll probably be ambushed and killed as well.”

“Right.” Ning nodded. “Please have World God Dragonbinder wait ten years after Su Youji and I leave. Only then should he leave.”

Ning wasn’t going to leave until he became a World-level expert. By then, even if World God Dragonbinder did join them he wouldn’t be of that much assistance.

After making his requests, Ning walked towards one of the walls of this enormous hall. The walls were all filled with enormous sculptures that bore the likenesses of many different cultivators.

“How marvelous.” Ning couldn’t help but sigh in amazement as he stared at the statues.

“His sculpting skills were simply inconceivable.” Every single sculpture had its own unique sword-aura. They were all completely different.

For example, the fiery idol which Ning had acquired earlier contained eight different types of Fire-attribute intent, as well as an incredibly powerful technique. As for these thousands of sculptures, every single sculpture contained a unique sword-intent. They didn’t actually contain any specific sword-arts, but for an expert of the Dao of the Sword such as Ning, every single engraving and carving on those enormous statues was a sword-art.

“Explosive and dominating.”

Ning stared at the sculpture before him. This sculpture had required more than ten thousand strokes of the sculptor blade in order to be created. Some of the strokes seemed rather crude and unsightly, but they slowly came together to form an increasingly marvelous whole. Clearly, as Daolord Allgod had watched this cultivator train, the Daolord had slowly gained an increasingly deeper understanding of the sword-arts involved.

“This one is ice-cold.”

“Ephemeral and carefree.”

“Strange and unpredictable.”

“Dark and shadowy.”

Ning stared at all of the surrounding sculptures, each one giving him a completely different feeling.

Ning was in no rush to meditate on them. He slowly strolled forward, carefully inspecting each statue.

This was a veritable sea of sword-arts!

Every single statue embodied a unique type of sword-art, and every single sword-art was incredibly profound. Ning was quite astute in judging these sword arts. He could tell that all of these sword-arts were at the level of a master-class World God’s sword-arts. The reason why it had taken Daolord Allgod so many chaos cycles on this project was because simply finding more than five thousand master-class World Gods of the Dao of the Sword was an incredibly time-consuming process. During this process, Daolord Allgod made a breakthrough in his Dao of the Sword, rising to the level of an new Samsara Daolord’s mastery of the sword. If he hadn’t made this breakthrough, he probably would’ve continued to hunt down more and more master-class World Gods.

Upon breaking through and finding his own path, he had understood the general direction which his own Dao of the Sword would follow.

……

Outside the Allgod Estate.

Three figures were seated in the lotus position atop the clouds, their senses spread out to cover this entire chaosworld. If so much as a bug tried to fly out, they would immediately detect it.

These three were the blood-robed Arroyo, the gold-robed Fukai, and World God Boneplate.

They had immediately left the Allgod Estate, then ran into each other in the outside world. Fukai had wanted to fight with Arroyo, but Arroyo immediately began to berate him and curse at him. “You imbecile, I left the Allgod Estate before you. Would I be sitting here waiting for you if I had the Eternal blood? I would’ve left long ago! I didn’t get the damn blood. If you don’t believe me, I’ll swear a lifeblood oath, alright?!”

Arroyo was willing to compromise because he wanted to make use of Fukai’s strength! “That freak of an Elder God was the one to obtain the Eternal blood. If he’s the cautious type, he’ll probably stay inside the Allgod Estate until he becomes a World-level expert himself. He was already comparable to a master-class World God. Once he breaks through, he’ll probably be as strong as I am. Fukai, the two of us will need to join forces if we want to be able to shut him down.”

Fukai glowered. “Don’t worry, Arroyo. If neither of us can get the Eternal blood, both of us will die. But you are overestimating that Elder God’s abilities. Even if he does become a World-level expert, his sword-arts are far inferior to yours. He might have some incredibly powerful divine abilities or secret arts, but I wager he’ll at most become a supreme World God.”

Arroyo shook his head. “Don’t underestimate him. We can’t afford to make any mistakes.”

“Agreed.” Fukai nodded.

And so, the three of them had sat down in the clouds, setting up a permanent vigil over the entire chaosworld with their godsense.

After becoming a World God, one’s soul and divine power would join together and be able to detect distant ripples of power through something known as ‘godsense’. Chaos Immortals had something similar called chaosense, but the two were essentially the same. However, if one’s heartforce was able to break through to the sixth level then one would truly have incredibly scanning abilities that could catch anyone offguard!

These three were all extremely formidable figures. It must be understood that even the Daofathers of the Three Realms were capable of scanning the entire Three Realms with their senses. These three mighty World Gods naturally found it quite easy to keep a constant vigil over an entire chaosworld. In fact, they were also capable of completely locking down the space around the chaosworld and making it so that no one would be able to teleport out of it.

“Once he comes out, he dies!” Arroyo’s eyes were filled with the crashing waves of a bloody sea.

“Kill him.” Fukai’s face was cold as well.

Either Ji Ning died or the two of them died! There were no other options!

Time passed on, day by day, but Ji Ning did not come out. As for the three World Gods, they waited like a trio of patient hunters, not growing restless at all.

……

Within the Castrum Divinitus. Inside the Hall of Swords.

Ning was still slowly strolling through the hall, staring at each and every sculpture.

More than five thousand sword-arts, with no two sword-arts alike!

Ning was completely spellbound by what he saw. He felt as though he was swimming within a sea of knowledge. It was all too stunning. Ning had never felt this stunned before, not even when he had seen the many sword-arts which World God Northrest had created.

All of those sword-arts had been the product of a single cultivator, after all. These sword-arts were created by more than five thousand different cultivators. This was a completely different situation!

Every single cultivator had their own special insights into the Dao. They might create many sword-arts, but in the end the sword-arts they created would belong within a single overarching system. However, these thousands of cultivators were all completely different individuals with completely different backgrounds, thoughts, insights, and sword-arts. This truly was an all-encompassing selection of sword-arts.

“Long, long ago… before the weapon known as the ‘sword’ even existed… a creature picked up a long, flat piece of metal and used it as a weapon. Slowly, certain mysteries and insights were developed for the application of this weapon, this ‘sword’. The first sword-arts began to be created, and over time it was qualified to be described as a Dao of its own, the Dao of the Sword…

“Countless years have gone past since then. The trillions of cultivators of the Endless Territories have passed down many generations of legacies, resulting in the Dao of the Sword becoming increasingly profound. Multiple Samsara Daolords have found their own paths within it, and deep within the primordial chaos there lies a place which holds the prime essence of the sword…

“But in the end… all of it stems from this single, seemingly simple weapon – the sword.”

Ever since that day long ago when Ning’s understanding of the sword had changed, the entire Dao of the Sword had changed in his eyes.

Through these thousands of sword-arts, Ning could see how all the different sword-arts advanced from simplicity to complexity and profundity. The carvings which Daolord Allgod had created represented himself and how he slowly learned more and more about the start. His earliest carvings were rather crude, but his later ones became quite marvelous. This made it even easier for Ning to understand and analyze them.

“So the tip of the sword can actually be used like this? That means ‘Blood Drop’ stance can be redefined in many new ways…

“So my ‘Shadowless’ stance isn’t sufficiently shadowless. This… this stance right here is what ‘shadowless’ truly means!”

Ning looked at one sword-art after another.

Everyone specialized in something different. Some sword-arts had truly reached the pinnacle in certain areas and exceeded Ning’s wildest imaginations. For example, Ning’s ‘Blood Drop’ stance could be described as a particularly ferocious and fast technique, but in this hall Ning saw at least a hundred different sword-arts that truly struck with the speed and strength of a celestial comet. These sword-arts were truly, incomparably dazzling.

This process of breaking down and comprehending the fundamental underpinnings of so many sword-arts resulted in Ning’s own insights rising at an incredible pace. Prior to this, Ning had reached a bottleneck in his attempts to master the third stance of the [Nameless] sword-art, the ‘Great Firmament’ stance. However, as Ning’s insights into the sword continued to rise, he slowly but naturally came to grasp and completely understand this stance. He broke through! He was now completely capable of advancing to the World level.

However… Ning did not!

He was completely intoxicated and mesmerized by this sea of swords. He didn’t want to let himself grow distracted.

He continued to mentally disassemble and inspect every single sword-art.

Slowly, a great tree began to take form within Ning’s mind. This great tree was the ‘true nature of the sword’, and it started off with more than five thousand branches, each branch symbolizing a specific type of sword-art.

As Ning’s insights continued to develop, some of the branches began to cluster together and grow into large boughs.

This was a truly priceless experience, an enormous bit of good fortune.

In fact, as far as Ning was concerned this experience was far more valuable to him than the Eternal blood. The Eternal blood was nothing more than a source of outside help, but these thousands of sculptures would help him grow more personally powerful. The unsightly markings left atop the sculptures were especially helpful, because Daolord Allgod had personally left those markings as he had studied the Dao of the Sword. Thus, the first ones were fairly simple and allowed Ning to dissect them in a fairly easy fashion. If everything was incredibly profound and abstruse, there would’ve been no way for Ning to analyze them.

The great tree in Ning’s mind which represent the Dao of the Sword began to grow larger and larger. More and more of the various branches began to congregate together and merge into large boughs. The branches began to grow fewer and fewer in number, from several thousand to several hundred, then to one hundred, then to a few dozen…”

Ning’s mastery of the sword was constantly rising without him even being aware of it.




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