Ji Ning and the others exchanged glances, their hearts quivering.
They had naturally never heard of this ‘Emperor Trisilk’ before, but even a fool could understand that he had to be an Eternal Emperor! And supposedly, he was the master of this black-robed Daolord and was the only person in this entire alternate universe who could plant Prismatic Kiloleaf Flowers. Clearly, he was not just an Eternal Emperor, he was an incredible one.
The five of us just wanted to journey through the Archaeus region. How the hell did we manage to run afoul of an Eternal Emperor?
When the black-robed Daolord saw how the faces of Ning and the others all turned pale, he couldn’t help but laugh. “It seems you now understand.”
“So what if he is an Eternal Emperor? My master slays Eternal Emperors as easily as turning over his hand,” Prince Greatjoy said coldly. “You had best let us go. Otherwise… given my master’s abilities, he’ll definitely be able to find out who killed us, even if it ends up being a bit troublesome for him! It won’t just be you who will be doomed; Emperor Trisilk himself won’t be able to withstand Master’s wrath!”
“No need to threaten me.” The black-robed Daolord smiled. “The five of you are at the World level, but talented enough to match Daolords of the Second Step. Not even my master himself has five such talented disciples under his tutelage. I find it highly likely that one of the sixteen Starkings of the Church of Annihilation stands behind the five of you. Am I right?”
Ning and the others were stunned.
They knew a bit about the Church of Annihilation. The most exalted member of the Church of Annihilation was, without a doubt, its legendary leader! Their leader was the person who unified this entire alternate universe, and he was unspeakably powerful to the point of being virtually omnipotent. Most likely, not even the almighty Hegemon would be a match for him.
Second to the leader were the sixteen Starkings.
Below the Starkings were the mighty Paladins.
The ‘Nine Godstars sect’ which Ning’s group had originally encountered upon entering this alternate universe only had a single Paladin in their organization! Generally speaking, ordinary Verge-level Daolords were not qualified to be given the rank of ‘Paladin’. Only breathtakingly powerful Daolords, along with Eternal Emperors, were qualified to be called ‘Paladins’!
“As I said a while ago, not even my master would wish to offend the person who stands behind the five of you. Alas… it was your own fault for barging into the Sacred Immortal Realm. It no longer matters how powerful the person who stands behind you is.” The black-robed Daolord laughed. “In order to prevent your school and master from tracking you down… as soon as you entered my estate, I sent my subordinates to destroy the spacetime transfer arrays linking the ‘Mortal Realm’ with this ‘Sacred Immortal Realm’.”
“Ah?!” Ning and the others were stunned.
“From this day forth, that ‘Mortal Realm’ will no longer be connected to this world of ours.” The black-robed Daolord sighed. “Because of the five of you, I had to sacrifice a large continent. Alas, I had to ensure that there would be no way for your school to trace you to this place and attack me here. I decided to remove all traces of your passing right away.”
If the spacetime transfer array between the Mortal Realm and the Sacred Immortal Realm was destroyed, then even if a major power managed to track Ning’s group to the Mortal Realm, there would be no way for him to find out where the Sacred Immortal Realm was located.
“In the outside world, the only person who even knows this ‘Sacred Immortal Realm’ exists is my master.” The black-robed Daolord smiled coldly. “As for myself, I’ve been permanently assigned to this place. Without Master’s permission, even I shall never be permitted to leave. As for the formation which surrounds this realm, my master was the one who personally set it up. It ensures that this realm is completely separated from the rest of the world. Even if you have other clones outside, there will be no way you can sense where this realm is.”
“Thus… no one knows that you are here, and no one will be able to find you. As for fighting back? Hmph. My master personally set up this formation, and I’m the only person who can fully unleash its power. Not even a Verge-level Daolord who stumbles into this place would be a match for me.” The black-robed Daolord swept the five with his gaze. “However… I have decided to give you a way to survive.”
“A way to survive?” Ning and the others stared at the black-robed Daolord. They had guessed long ago that the Daolord had ulterior motives, which was why he had spoken to them for so long. If he truly wanted to kill them, he would’ve done so long ago. Why would he first let them view the Prismatic Kiloleaf Flower and ensure they felt despair at knowing they had transgressed against Emperor Trisilk?
If they truly were geniuses who belonged to this universe, they probably would’ve felt despair upon hearing Emperor Trisilk’s name.
Emperor Trisilk was a true demon who had committed towering sins, and it was his idea to use enormous amounts of hatred to nourish Prismatic Kiloleaf Flowers. Just imagine how skilled he was in sin and how steeped he was in hate, for him to be able to manipulate it so effectively? As a man who had committed many sins, he had offended many major powers over the course of his life… and yet, he was still alive. Although he was merely a Paladin of the Church of Annihilation, he truly was skilled in staying alive.
Most importantly of all… Emperor Trisilk’s true specialty lay in torture. He could torture even Daolords to the brink of insanity, causing them to choose to commit suicide or to submit to him. All of his disciples were skilled in torture as well.
“Yes, a way to survive. If you are willing to swear lifeblood oaths to serve me forever and to obey my orders as my slaves, I’ll spare you.” The black-robed Daolord stared at Ning’s group, his eyes gleaming. The five of them were all monstrously talented cultivators who could become Daolords whenever they chose. Once they became Daolords, their future potential would be limitless. It was entirely possible that all five of them would become more powerful than the black-robed Daolord himself. And, if he had them work for him as miners after they became Daolords, they would definitely be far more effective than the shieldbearer golem.
His master had given him strict orders, true… but that was to prevent any secrets from being released. If these five swore lifeblood oaths to become his slaves, then there was naturally no chance of anything going astray. Even better, with these extra subordinates helping him mine this place he would be able to finish his task much faster and thus no longer need to remain here.
“Become slaves?” The faces of all five tightened.
“Impossible,” Solewind roared angrily.
“Nothing is impossible.” The black-robed Daolord laughed. “In the face of death… everything becomes possible.”
“Change your conditions,” Solewind growled. “We would die before becoming your slaves. We can carry out tasks for you and swear to divulge no information about this place to the outside world, but there’s absolutely no way we will become your slaves.”
The smile disappeared from the black-robed Daolord’s face, only to be replaced by an icy coldness. “You only have one choice – become slaves and live, or die!”
“Let us think it over.” Solewind gritted his teeth.
The black-robed Daolord stared coldly at the five of them. “Make it fast.” As he spoke, a savage-looking serpent began to appear in the air around him. The giant serpent coiled around the black-robed Daolord as it stared coldly at Ning’s group with its emotionless reptilian eyes. Ning and the others couldn’t help but shiver when they saw this. They knew that it could probably wipe them out in a single blow.
“What should we do?” Solewind, Ning, Greatjoy, Skyfire, and Firesurge traded glances.
“The power of this formation truly is incredible. He was telling the truth. Here in the Sacred Immortal Realm, not even Verge-level Daolords would be able to defeat him.” Prince Greatjoy sent mentally, “What should we do? I have a few trump cards, but they would at most be able to deal with Daolords of the Third Step. They wouldn’t even be enough to deal with that shieldbearer golem we just fought, much less this Daolord.”
“Right.” Firesurge had an ugly look on his face as well. As for Skyfire, he didn’t say a word. He really didn’t have any trump cards at all.
The black-robed Daolord sat there leisurely next to the Prismatic Kiloleaf Flower, the enormous black serpent continuing to coil around him. He said softly, “Tell me your choice. Do you choose life… or death?”
“LIFE!” A voice suddenly rang out.
The black-robed Daolord cracked a smile as he looked at the speaker.
As for Ning, him and three others also stared at the speaker in astonishment.
It was Heartlord Solewind.
Heartlord Solewind had just crushed an odd-looking jade pendant in his hands, causing an arcane surge of terrifying power to descend.
It was formless. Colorless. Shapeless.
Ning and the others couldn’t see it or sense it at all; all they could sense was that something utterly terrifying had just appeared as a wave of something washed over them. The black-robed Daolord’s smile turned stiff, and a look of utter terror appeared in his eyes. He opened his mouth as though he was about to say something… but then, all traces of life fled from his body.
The only thing left was his seated corpse, and it no longer had any trace of life in it at all. As for the terrifying serpent that hd been created by the power of the formation? It completely dissipated into nothingness.
“He died?” Ning and the other three were boggled as they stared at Heartlord Solewind.
“Ugh. Just like that, I was forced to use up the life-saving Dao-seal the Heartforce Palace bestowed up on me.” Heartlord Solewind sighed softly. “Dao-seals like that aren’t available for sale anywhere. The power of each seal is incredibly great, equivalent to the Palace Lord himself striking with 30% of his maximum power. It could easily kill even a Verge-level Daolord.”
Ning and the others were speechless.
Good heavens. A Dao-seal comparable to a 30% maximum power strike from the Palace Lord of the Palace of the Heart? The Heartforce Palace truly had very few Daolords, but it was one of the most terrifying palaces of the Twelve Palaces precisely because each of them truly were incredibly powerful. As for the Palace Lord, if he was to personally intervene even Eternal Emperors would turn pale with fright and scamper off.
A strike which contained 30% of his full power… such a blow would threaten even Eternal Emperors to a certain extent, much less ordinary Daolords.
“That Dao-seal is… a bit ridiculous.” Prince Greatjoy was stunned.
“Are you sure you are the Imperial, not him?” Firesurge glanced at Skykfire Brightshore.
“That’s just…” Skyfire Brightshore mumbled…
“Our Heartforce Palace is different from your palaces. We have very vew members, and so we truly treat every member as we would family. I naturally was given a few protective measures for this adventure.” Heartlord Solewind smiled. “A pity. I only was given two Dao-seals of this level of power.”
“You have another one?!” All four of the others were starting to grow jealous. It seemed as though the old saying, ‘less is more’, really was true. The Heartforce Palace had very few members, which was why it was incredibly kind to those few members it had.
Prince Greatjoy glanced sideways at the seated, lifeless corpse of the black-robed Daolord. The black-robed Daolord had a look of utter terror on his face, and his mouth was open. Clearly, death had descended upon him with incredible speed. He had died while still gripped by astonishment.