“Thanks, Darknorth.” Skyfire Brightshore and Waterlord Firesurge both looked towards Ji Ning gratefully. Just now, had Ning been just one moment too slow, the two of them would’ve perished. Of the five, the two of them were undoubtedly the weakest.
“Brother Darknorth, just now I saw a dark figure appear, capture the golem, then say something about only helping you once?” Prince Greatjoy frantically asked, “We’ve disposed of the golem, but it was probably just equivalent to a Daolord of the Third Step. There’s no way its master was the Daolord we slew earlier… which means that it is highly likely that a second Daolord resides within the estate. If we can’t even deal with his golem… we’re probably going to be in grave danger once that Daolord attacks.”
The others all understood this point as well. They had disposed of the golem and managed to stay alive, buying themselves some extra breathing time, but the danger was still there! Still… there was nothing that could be done! If there truly was an even more powerful Daolord here, there was nothing they could do except face him. This was the Daolord’s estate, after all. They were on enemy grounds.
“Yes, he can only help me once.” Ning nodded. “My master once said I can’t rely on him to deal with every danger I encounter, which is why I’ll only be assisted a single time.”
Greatjoy, Solewind, and the others all nodded. They understood this principle.
Ning didn’t reveal the fact that he had three more golems. It was best for him to be able to leave a few more trump cards up his sleeve.
“Skyfire, you are a member of the Imperials. Don’t you have any trump cards of your own? If Darknorth had been just one second slower, you would’ve been finished.” Greatjoy glanced at Skyfire. The five had completely severed this local region of spacetime from the rest of the estate, and Solewind’s heartworld projection was keeping a close watch as well. There was no way any form of godsense or heartforce would be able to spy on them.
Skyfire laughed awkwardly. “So what if I’m a Brightshore Imperial? Shortly after I joined the kingdom, I was dragged off by the Hegemon and sent here to the Archaeus region. Since the entire point of this adventure is for me to learn and grow, he naturally refused to give me any protective treasures at all. Once you have too many trump cards, an excursion like this would no longer be an ‘adventure’, it would be ‘tourism’. So… I really don’t have any trump cards at all.”
Ning and the others were truly surprised to hear this.
It was very hard for cultivators like them to acquire particularly powerful trump cards they could use. Ning himself had to become the personal disciple of Emperor Mirrorsnow before he learned that he would have four golems who could each assist him once. Most likely, the other disciples of Emperor Mirrorsnow wouldn’t divulge this fact either.
The more powerful a golem was, the more valuable it would be. A golem that was comparable to a Verge-level Daolord would be an utterly priceless treasure. Even the Sword Palace itself had only been able to acquire a few such golems over the course of countless chaos cycles! Daolord Allgod was an incredible grandmaster of artificing, but even he was only able to create a single such golem in his lifetime, one which he would never even think about selling. After all, there was simply no way one could possibly find another such golem of tremendous power and unswerving loyalty!
Emperor Mirrorsnow similarly had just a single golem of such power. In the end, he had traded it for forty golems that were comparable to apex Daolords of the Third Step which he left behind to his personal disciples.
Thus… it truly was quite rare and difficult for one to acquire truly powerful golems! Weaker golems, those which were comparable to Daolords of the First Step or Second Step, were much more common. Every single one of the twelve Daolord Cloudworlds of the Twelve Palaces had an enormous number of these golems.
As Ning and the others saw it, the person in their group who was most likely to have a truly, ridiculously powerful trump card had to be Skyfire Brightshore! After all, his backer was the almighty Hegemon, someone who could truly be described as standing at the absolute apex of the Endless Territories! Even the most casual of trump cards bestowed by the almighty Hegemon would be terrifyingly powerful. Alas… Skyfire’s response disappointed all four of them.
“Ugh. This is going to be tricky. That shieldbearer golem was roughly comparable to a Daolord of the Third Step. Those golems are very expensive. His master might very well be a Verge-level Daolord.” Prince Greatjoy was rather worried.
Ning sent a divine power clone to descend upon the estate-world of the Mirrorsnow Painting.
“Gentlemen.” Ning looked at the assassin, the fisherman, the golden-robed emperor, and the swordsman.
“Can you help me bind this golem?” Ning glanced at the captured shieldbearer golem. Although it was much weaker than the golems which Emperor Mirrorsnow had left behind, it still had the power of a Daolord of the Third Step and was capable of dominating Ning’s group and even killing them in a short period of time.
Alas, Ning had ‘cheated’ by releasing an even more terrifying golem… the assassin.
“Even if we helped you tie it down, you wouldn’t be able to bind it.” The golden-robed emperor shook his head. “All we can do is keep it trapped here and make sure it can’t fight back. In the end, it is still an extraordinary golem, while your Immortal energy remains at the World level. If you wish to forcibly send your energy into the golem’s body and wipe out its master’s seal… there’s no way you can do it.”
Ning nodded. He had simply hoped that the four golems might have some special tricks.
A mighty golem comparable to a Daolord of the Third Step was right in front of him, helpless and bound, but there was no way for him to bind it. It was a pity that his azureflower mist energy was unable to leave his body. Otherwise, he might’ve been able to use it to bind the golem instead.
“I have a question for you.” Ning shifted his gaze to the golem.
“Hmph.” The towering golem let out a cold snort. “Stop struggling, brat. The five of you are all going to die. You have no idea who you just pissed off.”
“Oh? And who did we just piss off?” Ning smirked.
“Hmph.” The towering golem swept the area with his gaze, his eyes blazing with fire. He let out a snicker. “There are some things which I cannot speak about… but although these golems of yours are a bit stronger than me, they aren’t that much stronger. Even if all of them helped you out, you still would have no chance at all of surviving this encounter. You won’t even be able to fight back.”
Ning laughed coldly. “Oh, so you were talking about the Daolord behind you?”
“You’ll know soon enough.” The towering golem shut his mouth, saying nothing further. There were some secrets which even he didn’t dare to divulge. He had received strict orders long ago regarding these matters, and as a golem he would never violate the orders he was given.
Ning couldn’t help but begin to worry even more. Judging from the golem’s behavior, the golem seemed to feel supremely confident in the outcome of this fight. Why? What gave it such confidence?
Were the five of them really going to die here?
Ning wasn’t that afraid, as he had a clone in the outside world which would allow him to rebuild his body. Although he would’ve lost six Eternal weapons, four powerful golems, and the seven streaks of Dao water and Dao lightning in his body… he would still be alive. The price he paid for dying here would be a heavy one, but so long as he remained alive there would always be more possibilities in the future.
But Ning had no idea as to whether or not Greatjoy, Solewind, Skyfire Brightshore, and Firesurge had clones in the outside world. There were some secrets which you simply didn’t ask or tell others.
Within the pavilion.
Although the five of them knew that the situation was dangerous, they had no way out. They had to face it.
“Break!” The five of them joined forces once more to slam open the stone doors on the other side of the pavilion.
Rumble… the stone doors began to slowly swing open.
“This…” Ning and the others all took deep breaths. The aura of hatred and resentment here had to be a thousand times greater than the aura had been in the air above the great prison. The hatred was so intense, it had liquefied into a deep green pool that was swirling in a vortex of more than a hundred ‘streams’ of hatred that circled an absolutely beautiful, enormous flower.
This flower had many black leaves. Ning counted exactly a thousand of those black leaves, and they were layered atop each other in a strange, evil, yet beautiful way.
Atop the leaves there were the soul-stirringly beautiful petals. The flower petals were multicolored and emanated an aura of intoxicating fragrance. They were truly dazzling in their beauty, and they emanated faint streams of rainbow light.
“Was all that hatred meant to nourish this flower?” Ning and the others felt their hearts tremble when they saw this sight.
The deep green streams of hatred all centered around this pool, condensing into an actual liquid form which then split off in a hundred streams which were used to nourish the flower in an extremely detail-oriented manner.
“A Prismatic Kiloleaf Flower?” Heartlord Solewind murmured these words softly.
“Aren’t those flowers supposed to be impossible to cultivate? I thought they could only grow naturally in certain environments.” Prince Greatjoy was shocked as well. Ning and the others all had heard of the awe-inspiringly famous ‘Prismatic Kiloleaf Flowers’, which were known throughout the Endless Territories. It was one of several precious ingredients that were needed to refine some truly powerful magic treasures, and it was incredibly precious. A single flower would be worth roughly a million cubes of chaos nectar.
However, based on what Ning and the others knew, these flowers could only grow in natural environments. But now, it seemed as though there was a major power who was capable of actually growing them.
“Yes. This is a Prismatic Kiloleaf Flower.” A voice suddenly rang out.
Ning and the others simultaneously turned their heads to look. They saw a streak of dark light slowly manifest in the skies, revealing an ethereal figure which slowly began to materialize into a black-robed Daolord.
The black-robed Daolord landed, staring at the Prismatic Kiloleaf Flower with a distant look in his eyes. He then turned to sweep the five of them with his gaze. “The five of you are able to match Daolords of the Second Step, despite merely being at the World level. I imagine you all have incredible backgrounds! Not even my master himself would be willing to offend the major power who undoubtedly stands behind you.”
Ning and the others all felt their hearts turned cold. The more casually this Daolord spoke, the more nervous they became. Only someone who possessed an absolutely overwhelming advantage in power would act so casually.
“If that’s the case, then why don’t you let us leave, senior? We can immediately swear oaths to never divulge any information regarding the Sacred Immortal realm to anyone,” Solewind said.
“Haven’t you noticed? Ever since you entered the Sacred Immortal Realm, all your connections to the outside world have been completely cut off.” The black-robed Daolord looked curiously at them. “The reason we set up the formation which separated this realm from the rest of the universe was to prevent anyone from leaking information about it. And now that you’ve seen the Prismatic Kiloleaf Flower… don’t you know who you’ve just offended?”
Ning and the others blinked. They really had no idea, because they weren’t from this universe.
“Given how monstrously talented you are, the sect behind you has to be an incredibly powerful one. I imagine that your sect would’ve told you about the most powerful members of the Church of Annihilation.” The black-robed Daolord was puzzled. “The only person in the entire universe who can grow these Prismatic Kiloleaf Flowers is my master, Emperor Trisilk? Don’t you know anything?”