Book 28, Chapter 21 - The Chains

The flying vessel flew towards one of the primessence chains. There were twelve World-level cultivators seated there in the lotus position. Clearly, they also wished to attempt to pass the primessence chains.

Whoosh. The flying vessel landed.

“Eight more have joined the fray.”

“Looks like we’re making new friends.” The other twelve World-level cultivators who were already present grinned as they got up and moved forward to welcome Ji Ning’s group.

“Fuzhou greets you, fellow Daoists.”

“Warpflame greets you, fellow Daoists.”

The World-level cultivators all came over to greet htem, and Ning’s group exchanged a few words of pleasantries with them.

It was quite common for people in the Genesis Lands to chat up unfamiliar faces, as all World-level cultivators who were able to make it into the Genesis Lands of this universe were extraordinary figures with limitless future prospects! In addition, all violence was forbidden here, making it so that they didn’t have to worry about ambushes or sneak attacks. This encouraged people to befriend each other, as perhaps one of these new friends might one day become an unearthly Daolord or perhaps even an Eternal Emperor.

Ning and his group all introduced themselves, making just slight alterations to their true story.

“Fellow Daoists, why haven’t you passed through these chains and entered the Prime Reaches?” Solewind laughed.

“You think we don’t want to? It’s that we aren’t able to.” A withered-looking World-level cultivator immediately shook his head. “The only way to enter the inner reaches from the outer reaches is by passing through one of those primessence chains. If you try to fly over, you’ll be swallowed up and devoured by the abyss. However, the chains themselves are also quite dangerous. There are special trials for World-level cultivators, and even more difficult trials for Samsara Daolords. Both trials are extremely dangerous, and the closer you get to the inner reaches the more dangerous it shall become.”

“Oh?” Ning and the other seven were quite curious.

“Ah, I forgot to tell you!” Daolord Owlbath was still seated next to them, drinking some wine. He let out a laugh and said, “When you step onto the primessence chains, there will be some wraiths that will begin to attack you. The farther along you go, the more powerful and numerous the wraiths shall be. Right… the primessence chains themselves are also capable of affecting your mind. If you aren’t careful, you might go crazy. If that happens, you’ll be dead for sure.”

“Just so. This senior speaks the truth. Thus… fellow Daoists, once you attempt to traverse the primessence chains, you need to immediately retreat as soon as you feel as though you’ve reached your limit. If you retreat, you’ll still alive. If you try to force your way through, you’ll probably encounter a sudden danger that you can’t handle which will knock you off the chains. The abyss will swallow you, and your truesoul will be wiped out. You’ll definitely die!”

“Better to retreat than to try and force things.”

The twelve all expressed similar sentiments, trying to dissuade the newcomers from rashness.

Daolord Owlbath nodded as well. “If you move slowly and carefully gauge your chances, you’ll have a shot of staying alive. If you try to force things, you’ll be doomed.”

“Thank you, everyone.”

“We understand.” Ning and the others all nodded.

Ning’s group exchanged a round of glances. It seemed they absolutely could not underestimate the deadliness of these primessence chains. Every World-level cultivator able to reach the Genesis Lands was a figure of extraordinary ability, but less than one in a hundred were able to enter the Prime Reaches. The difficulty of this trial spoke for itself. If you overestimated yourself, you would probably die.

“We’ll give it a shot first. The three of you should wait for now,” Solewind sent mentally. “Greatjoy, Darknorth, Firesurge, Skyfire… I recommend you let me be the first to give it at try. They said that these primessence chains can affect one’s mind, and I feel quite confident in my abilities in this area. As for those so-called wraiths… I’ll definitely move slowly and cautiously.”

“Mm.”

“Alright.” Ning, Greatjoy, and the others all nodded.

Less than one in a hundred World-level cultivators were able to succeed, but Heartlord Solewind was a Heartforce Cultivator who had been acknowledged by the ancient pagodas of the Palace of the Heart. He definitely stood far above the vast majority of cultivators with regards to the power of his mind and heart. Even proud figures like Ning and Greatjoy knew that they were significantly inferior to Solewind in this respect.

……

The twelve World-level cultivators, Daolord Owlbath, and the other seven all watched as Heartlord Solewind advanced onto the primessence chains.

The primessence chains were a thousand kilometers long and fifteen meters wide. Although they were described as ‘chains’, they were really more like bridges! Still, people like Ning could stably traverse even a minisculy thin steel wire without swaying in the slightest, to say nothing of a bridge.

“Eh?”

As Solewind advanced through the enormous steel chains, he couldn’t help but frown and say, “Everyone, these chains truly are rather bizarre. Make sure you don’t let your mind and heart be swayed by it.”

“GRAAAH!”

“GRAAAH!”

Two illusory figures suddenly swooped up from the infinitely deep abyss of darkness below the chains. The two moved incredibly fast, traversing a thousand kilometers in a single flicker as they charged towards Heartlord Solewind. One phantom was of a grim-faced man who wielded a warblade, while the other was of an ugly alien creature who wielded nine whips in its nine arms.

Solewind’s gaze grew cold as he saw those two phantoms strike towards him. A series of magic treasures that looked like fiery lotuses began to bloom behind him, and as they bloomed they immediately began to transform into blazing firebirds. There was a total of 391 firebirds in the skies, and they all radiated with blazing auras that easily dissipated the attacks coming from those two phantoms.

Ning and the others frowned upon seeing this. Were these the ‘wraiths’? Why did they seem like cultivators?

“Those are all cultivators who died long, long ago.” Daolord Owlbath explained, “After they died their truesouls were destroyed, but their power was transformed into these strange wraiths. Because you are at the World level, World-level wraiths shall be sent to attack you. If a Daolord attempted to pass… things would be far more frightening.”

Ning and the others nodded.

“Many of them failed while attempting to pass through the primessence chains, and some of them were truly dazzling figures of their time. Later on, these wraiths will group together and attack en masse.” Daolord Owlbath sighed. “To go through the primessence chains and reach the Prime Reaches. Oh, that’s gonna be tough, tough, tough.”

……

Heartlord Solewind continuously advanced while controlling his magic treasures, using it to break apart all impediments.

Boom! Boom! Boom! The primessence chains themselves were trembling slightly, sending out multiple strange ripples of power. Ning was able to physically see those ripples emanating out, each expanding to become thirty meters in size. Heartlord Solewind had to rely on the power of the chains to fight back against the devouring power of the abyss, but by doing so he ended up being restricted by the power as well.

“Hmph.”

Heartlord Solewind advanced with cool calmness, using his magic treasures to slaughter all of the attacking wraiths. As he continued to advance, more and more wraiths of increasingly greater power began to charge out of the abyss below the Prime Reaches.

As a Heartforce Cultivator, he was naturally quite skilled in controlling magic treasures from afar. These wraiths, as of right now, were not able to force him into close combat.

……

“Five hundred kilometers. He’s made it pretty far, pretty fast.” Daolord Owlbath stared in boggled amazement. “This young fellow is way too powerful, and he has an incredibly strong mind and heart.”

“He isn’t even swaying a bit?”

“He’s completely ignoring the effects of the primessence chains?”

The twelve World-level cultivators who had already tried and failed in the past also stared in amazement. The mental influence of the primessence chains would grow increasingly strong, and at five hundred kilometers the influence was now incredibly strong. Generally speaking, even those who were able to endure the mental attacks would feel quite miserable. Heartlord Solewind, however, had an extremely calm look on his face. He looked as though he was simply strolling through the streets. He made it look easy.

Ning and the others all revealed smiles.

“Only one in a hundred can succeed? Hmph. Let them compete with us,” Prince Greatjoy sent to Ning and the others in an extremely smug manner.

“Right.”

“Brother Solewind is making it look easy.”

Although Ning and the others weren’t the arrogant type, they agreed with what Greatjoy said. In terms of all-around ability, the five of them truly did surpass the vast majority of the other World-level cultivators in the Genesis Lands. These were the most elite geniuses of the geniuses of the Brightshore Kingdom, after all!

Heartlord Solewind continued to advance. Six hundred kilometers. Seven hundred. Eight. Nine…

Daolord Owlbath and the others watched with slack jaws as this happened. Howevere, towards the end Heartlord Solewind was also forced into close combat, and a look of seriousness appeared on his face for the first time as his movements noticeably slowed down. Still, he gritted his teeth and continued to advance.

Whoosh. Over a thousand wraiths were attacking him now. Heartlord Solewind fought his way through them, then reached the end of this primessence chain and entered the Prime Reaches.

“Ahahah!”

“Excellent.”

“Congratulations, brother Solewind.”

“We’ll join you in a bit, Solewind!”

Greatjoy, Ning, Skyfire, and Firesurge were in superb moods. For the first person from their side to challenge this trial and succeed naturally pleased them greatly.

“How is this possible?”

“He succeeded, just like that?”

Daolord Owlbath and the others couldn’t even believe it. Passing through the primessence chains was supposed to be incredibly difficult, right? But just now, that bald red-robed kid seemed to have breezed right through it.

“Darknorth, Greatjoy, Skyfire, Firesurge.” Solewind stood at the other end of the chains, staring at them from afar as he called out loudly, “The mental influence of the primessence chains is terrifingly strong, far more so than the attacks of the wraiths. You must be careful!”

“Understood!” Ning and the others grinned back at him in response.

“Which of the three of us shall be the next to give it a try?” Greatjoy turned his gaze towards Ning and Firesurge.




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