“Omnipresent?” Surrounded and exhausted by the endless attacks from these many golems, the light of inspiration suddenly flickered in Ji Ning’s mind.
“Right. Their attacks are omnipresent. Some cast spells from afar, others close in on me and attack in melee using claws and palms. I only have six arms after using [Three Heads, Six Arms]; how can I possibly withstand so many attacks?” Ning was mumbling to himself as many different sword-arts went through his mind, with many insights regarding the Yin-Yang stance in particular coming to the forefront.
It was as though a thread was linking many small beads together, forming a true collective whole.
“The true Yin-Yang stance shouldn’t result in me defending in such an exhausting manner. So what if I have six arms? Even if I had ten or eighteen arms, so what? There’s still a limit to what I can do!” Ning was beginning to awaken to the truth. “The true Yin-Yang stance should allow me to defend against all oncoming attacks, which means it needs to be omnipresent as well. It should envelope everything in its path, and any attacks that come forth should be blocked by it.
“That means… for the Yin-Yang stance to be truly powerful, it should be a domain! I need to transform this stance into a domain!”
Every single cultivator had a path that was most suited to them. Over the course of countless years, many major powers had chosen many different paths. At their level, there was no way they could imitate others any longer. If they did, it would actually have a negative influence on their own future insights. If you wished to draw a painting, it was best to start with a fresh, blank scroll of paper. The path of cultivation was best expressed through following one’s own heart, through slowly understanding and upgrading one’s insights to the point of fundamentally transforming them.
“Let my seven Dao lightnings and my seven Dao waters be my sword,” Ning murmured softly.
The Dao water and Dao lightning that had been in the surrounding area constricting the foes suddenly began to rumble. Although they were elemental lightning and water by nature, true experts of the Dao of the Sword could use anything as a sword. Flower petals, water drops, a single water drop… they could all be used as a sword. Now, Ning was using Dao water and Dao lightning as his blade.
“Dao lightning and Dao water, form my Yin-Yang stance and create my Yin-Yang Sword Domain.”
In recent years, Ning’s greatest achievements lay in the field of defense. All of his insights into the Yin-Yang stance, including some which he had previously felt to be rather unimportant, all came together in this stance as he generated a domain of sword-intent. He infused it with all of his insights, causing the power of this stance to instantly transform.
Every single streak of Dao lightning transformed into a sword! The ‘insides’ of the swords were made of lightning, but on the outside they had already been shaped and condensed into the form of a sword! The powerful sword-intent controlling the lightning was naturally giving birth to swordforce.
Every single stream of Dao water had also transformed into the shape of a sword.
They began to circle around Ning like an enormous whirlpool, but if one looked closely one would see that some of the streaks were swirling clockwise while others were swirling counter-clockwise. The mighty sword-intent controlling this technique caused parts of it to flow forwards and parts of it to flow backwards, creating an incredibly powerful tearing force!
What made white stand out? Only when the rest of a piece of parchment was completely covered in black ink would a spot of blank whiteness in the center be dazzling to behold.
Ning’s sword-intent was strong to begin with. Now that he had formed this technique with forward and reverse flows, the ripping, tearing power of his domain grew exponentially greater.
The concept of Yin and Yang was reinforcing this technique as well! The Yang-attribute Dao lightning and the Yin-attribute Dao water mutually reinforced each other, resulting in both being strengthened. Every so often, compatible streaks of lightning or water would brush against each other, resulting in even more terrifying force.
Both forwards and backwards, both gentle and violent.
An enormous domain had formed around Ning, covering an area of ten thousand kilometers. This domain was formed of sword-shaped lightning and water, but what made it truly terrifying was the sword-intent which Ning’s Yin-Yang stance had manifested.
The sword-intent of the Yin-Yang stance had already undergone a fundamental transformation. Lightning and water flowed together, sometimes calm and sometimes explosive as it blasted at any foes which dared trespass!
“From this day forth, my Yin-Yang stance shall be the Yin-Yang Sword Domain.” Ning smiled. Finally, one of his five stances of [Brightmoon] had truly transformed. In this moment, Ning clearly understood that the Yin-Yang Sword Domain was a path he would absolutely have to take in the region of defense as he became a Samsara Daolord.
These golems were sentient. Once Ning formed that enormous Yin-Yang Sword Domain, the golems who were fighting within the reach of that domain instantly sensed multiple layers of force appear in the area. Sometimes, the force simply followed their movements; other times, the force exploded against them with great violence. There was even the occasional sensation of being brutally ripped apart by layers of power!
The entire domain was filled with countless attacks that alternated between Yin and Yang. The attacks constantly changed and transformed, making it harder and harder for them to defend. The golems had to use roughly 90% of their power in defending against the Yin-Yang Sword Domain.
Boom! Ning charged forwards, sweeping out with his sword-light and sending a golem flying. The golems were so focused on defending against the domain that they were now extremely vulnerable to Ning. He was able to defeat them all with one strike.
Ning continued to advance.
603. 604. 605…
Ning slowly advanced, wielding six swords while keeping [Three Heads, Six Arms] active. His enormous Yin-Yang Sword Domain covered an area of ten thousand kilometers around him, but in truth its size was variable. He could easily expand it to make it a hundred million kilometers in size, but the ten thousand kilometer range was the range at which he could maintain peak levels of power. Beyond that range, the power of the domain would slowly begin to decay.
The Yin-Yang Sword Domain could also be used through flying swords and other magic treasures, or even Dao fire. Anything could be used to generate it. However, Ning had access to incredibly powerful Dao lightning and Dao water, which was why he used them to generate the domain.
A simple tree branch controlled by Ning’s mighty sword-intent was now able to slay a Daolord of the First Step. The Dao lightning and Dao water were extraordinary elemental powers, and when they were used by the Yin-Yang Sword Domain they were able to produce truly enormous amounts of power.
The imperial palace. The almighty Hegemon and the twelve golden-armored powers were seated on their thirteen thrones, staring at this sight.
After Ning’s Yin-Yang stance transformed into the Yin-Yang Sword Domain, Ning was able to easily advance through the upcoming stages. However, none of the golden-armored powers cared about the fact that the almighty Hegemon’s evaluation had been wrong! Instead, they simply watched in astonishment as Ning unleashed his sword-intent domain because they knew what this portended.
“He… has finally taken that first step,” the almighty Hegemon said softly.
“Swordlord Darknorth is guaranteed to become one of the most supreme members of our Twelve Palaces.” Daolord Thousand Waves nodded.
“For someone like him to end up in the Sword Palace instead of mine… what a pity, what a pity!” Daolord Yinwind shook his head.
Daolord Woodflower glanced sideways at him, then began to laugh in a very contented manner.
“Although Swordlord Darknorth’s sword-intent domain is defensive in nature, every part of it is infused with terrifyingly strong attacks. If any enemies enter his domain, they will suffer attacks nonstop. Even the most powerful of foes will eventually be whittled down, making it so that they will be greatly weakened before even drawing close to him. A domain like this is guaranteed to be a terrifying thing to face. If he can become a Daolord of the Fourth Step… this sword-intent domain is powerful enough to allow him to suppress Eternal Emperors.” A golden-armored power whose eyes were like two black vortices of darkness let out a soft sigh.
The almighty Hegemon nodded. “He’ll be able to suppress ordinary Eternal Emperors! For Swordlord Darknorth to take this step forward means that he has already discovered an Supreme Dao of defense for himself!”
“It is guaranteed that he will be a monster of a Daolord.” Everyone present nodded.
There were differences in personal Daos. Some Samsara Daolords walked a path of simple Daos and would be very weak. As Daolords of the First Step, they would merely have ordinary levels of power.
Emperor Mirrorsnow’s Dao and his seventh stance, the Reincarnation stance, would have been enough for him to be acknowledged by the ancient pagodas. He used this path to become a Samsara Daolord, and his Dao was fairly formidable. As a Daolord of the First Step, he could match Daolords of the Second Step. However, a Dao like this just barely cleared the threshold of the ancient pagodas.
Prince Greatjoy, Heartlord Solewind, Ji Ning… their Daos were on a higher level! Ning had just created his Yin-Yang Sword Domain, but it was a level of power above the Reincarnation stance and much more profound.
“An Supreme Dao of defense.” Daolord Thousand Waves let out a sigh. “The Sword Palace really hasn’t had many individuals who have ever been able to come up with an Supreme Dao.”
“Absolutely true.” Lord Woodflower nodded. Every single major power would have an individual Dao that was best suited to them. Ning was able to develop his Yin-Yang Sword Domain, but others might come up with similarly strong sword-arts. So long as they were at the same general level, they would all be classified as an ‘Ultimate’-class defensive Dao.
“If he follows this Dao to its conclusion, he definitely will be able to trample over Eternal Emperors once he becomes a Daolord of the Fourth Step.” Daolord Thousand Waves laughed.
“He’s still a bit lacking compared to Palace Lord Dawnstar,” Daolord Yinwind said. “Lord Dawnstar, at the World level, developed three Supreme Daos and then merged them together perfectly! After he became a Daolord of the Fourth Step, he was able to slay an Eternal Emperor with just three strokes of his blade. Although Swordlord Darknorth is impressive, he will only be able to suppress Eternal Emperors. Killing them will be a matter of luck.”
“True.” Everyone present agreed.
“But Bertulu and Eastcult do have a chance of reaching Lord Dawnstar’s level.” The almighty Hegemon agreed with this assessment as well. “Still… given that Darknorth has come up with an Ultimate-class defensive Dao, he’ll still be able to withstand them in an actual battle. He should be classified as someone on the same level as them.”
Eastcult had come up with Supreme Daos for both offense and defense, and had been able to merge them perfectly. This was why he was a match for Bertulu.
“True. Him having taken this step means he is guaranteed to be a monster of a Daolord.” Lord Woodflower was in a splendid mood.
Previously, these golden-armored figures had all referred to Ji Ning as ‘this kid’. Now that Ning had taken this step, they all referred to him as ‘Darknorth’ or ‘Swordlord Darknorth’, because in their hearts they viewed Ning as someone who would be a true equal!
“However… Supreme Daos are also the most difficult Daos for gaining eternity.” The almighty Hegemon let out a soft sigh.
“They are indeed hard, but to choose this path means he will definitely be an extraordinary figure,” Daolord Thousand Waves said.
Daolord Allgod, Daolord Featherdress, Palace Lord Dawnstar… they had all chosen the path of an Ultimate-class Dao. As a result, becoming an Eternal Empero would be incredibly difficult. Still… while they were alive, they were amongst the most illustrious, distinguished figures of all the Endless Territories.
The almighty Hegemon and the others were sighing in amazement over Ning’s prowess, but they had no idea that this was merely the evolution of the Yin-Yang stance, one of five stances in Ning’s [Brightmoon] sword-art. Ning’s plan was to reach the apex with his other four stances as well! He was going to find suitable Daos for his other four stances, then infuse all of their mysteries into his own sword-arts. This was Ning’s true goal.
Right now, he had developed an Supreme Dao of defense, the Yin-Yang Sword Domain… but this was just the beginning!
“Six hundred sixty. Six hundred seventy. Six hundred eighty…” Daolord Woodflower watched as Ning continuously advanced up the steps of the altar, and the smile on his face continued to widen.