The white-robed man also viewed Ji Ning with great favor. Although there had been other geniuses who had been able to make their way deep into the Abyss of Fiends, he could count on one hand the number of geniuses who had been able to force their way path both himself and his third brother.
Both he and his third brother wished for Ji Ning to become honorary disciples of their two masters.
“A treasure? And just ‘honorary’ disciple?” Ning asked.
“Yes.” The white-robed man nodded. “According to master’s instructions… he will accept one personal disciple and six honorary disciples. Although I like you, you aren’t even close to meeting the standard necessary to become Master’s personal disciple.”
Ning felt rather disappointed. Still, he understood that because these three Eternal Emperors were already deceased, they would be extremely careful in selecting their legacy disciples. Emperor Mirrorsnow was still alive; even though he was taking on a total of ten personal disciples, every single disciple would only be given a set of four Daolord golems. These three Eternal Emperors, however, were giving all of their most important treasures to a single personal disciple.
“Can you at least tell me what the thirty-sixth level holds?” Ning asked.
“Our masters once followed and served our Hegemon,” the azure-armored figure growled. “Do you know what the exalted title of ‘Hegemon’ means? It means that they are able to rule over all other things.”
Ning nodded. Of course he knew. The Brightshore Kingdom had a Hegemon. His entire homeland of the Endless Territories only had three Hegemons in total!
“To inherit everything a Hegemon left behind… ahaha! I once encountered someone who was even more talented than you in the Dao of the Sword. He had perfectly merged his offenses and his defenses into a truly perfect whole.” The azure-armored figure sighed. “I was willing to let him become my master’s personal disciple, but he was too proud. He chose to go the thirty-sixth level instead.”
Ning was stunned. Apparently, that genius of the Dao of the Sword was on the same level as Bertulu and Eastcult.
“But he still died on that level.” The azure-armored figure shook his head.
“Give up.” The white-robed man looked at Ning.
Ning stood there silently.
Should he give up? Even those more talented tham him had perished on the thirty-sixth level.
“A Hegemon’s legacy lies there… the legacy of someone who was on the same level as the almighty Hegemon of the Brightshore Kingdom.” Ning’s eyes slowly began to blaze with resolve and a desire to fight. “Why have I left the Three Realms and braved the dangers of the Endless Territories? Why have I chosen to gon on so many deadly adventures? It is all for the sake of being able to bring her back to life! I dream of the day when the three of us… her, me, and Brightmoon… will once more be able to live together as a family.”
Ning’s deepest desire was to bring his entire family back again. It was this stubborn desire which kept him going, which made him strive so hard.
“To reverse the flows of spacetime and bring her back to life will be incredibly difficult. If I let myself be filled with fear, I probably won’t be able to make it to the apex of power and won’t be able to convince someone like the Hegemon to bring her back the life.”
“What’s more… even if I fail my attempt at the thirty-sixth level, I’ll merely lose one of my clones. I can rebuild it eventually.” All hesitation vanished from Ning’s gaze.
He was going to charge straight down his path. No one would be able to stop him!
“Darknorth?” The white-robed man and the azure-armored figure both looked at Ning, awaiting his decision.
“Forgive me, seniors.” Ning murmured softly, “I still wish to continue.”
“What if you die? You won’t regret it?” The white-robed man asked.
“No regrets,” Ning replied. He then transformed into a streak of light and tore through the ground, diving through to the next level.
The azure-armored man and the white-robed man both let out long sighs as they watched Ning leave.
“I knew he would choose this path. Every single person who has developed their own Supreme Dao is filled with terrifyingly strong resolve,” the white-robed man said.
In the end, fortuitous occurrences were external sources of power. When the strong rose to power, it was the stubborn will and resolve in their heart which drove them to continue forwards.
If you didn’t have an almost insanely stubborn desire to accomplish a certain something, it was virtually impossible for you to be able to stand at the apex of power in this vast universe. Even if you were incredibly talented and had many tremendous strokes of luck, if you didn’t have a terrifyingly amount of determination there was no way you’d be able to make it to the top.
All sorts of emotions could be transformed into a determined will.
“Ugh. He’ll probably die on this path he has chosen. But if he doesn’t die, he’ll definitely become one of the most dazzlingly talented figures in this vast universe, someone who countless other cultivators will willingly submit to,” the azure-armored figure said.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
Ning continued downwards through the various levels. These levels in the Abyss only contained fiendlords. In the end, Ning managed to make it all the way to the thirty-sixth level, the deepest level of the Abyss of Fiends.
Ning stood there gracefully in midair, staring at this bottommost level of the Abyss of Fiends.
This was a world of volcanos, and Ning was able to see three towering volcanos located in three different parts of this world. Each of the volcanos continuously belched out plumes of fire and lava which flowed out throughout this world. Due to the terrifying degree of heat, the bubbling lava would continue to bubble and hiss for a very long period of time before slowly solidifying into volcanic rock.
“Eh? Where’s the exit tunnel? Why isn’t there an exit tunnel on this level?” Ning was searching for the exit tunnel for this level, but was able to find nothing.
Suddenly, the earth began to tremble.
Ning immediately turned his gaze off into the distance. The vast earth, covered with flowing streams of lava, was shaking. Slowly, the earth began to split apart as an ancient, towering shrine began to gradually emerge from underground. The shrine was a deep blue color, and it was covered with strange diagrams. In front of the shrine stood a towering figure.
The towering figure stood there silently, hands clasped around a deep blue greatsword. He stared at Ning from afar, and his gaze alone made Ning feel as though an entire world was crashing down upon him. That stare alone made Ning feel as though this man was absolutely invincible.
“Him? His aura is absolutely identical to that Hegemon’s aura.” Ning remained very calm and composed.
“Another challenger has come?” The muscular man standing in front of the shrine glanced at Ning, his eyes extremely cold and calm. He said in a flat voice, “Kill him, children.”
“Kill him, children.” His deep voice boomed throughout every inch of this world, echoing again and again.
Ning was stunned upon hearing this. ‘Children’? But it didn’t seem as though the thirty-sixth level had any other living beings within it.
Three booming voices instantly burst forth from within the three towering volcanos.
Those massive volcanos actually began to move, and as they moved they quickly began to transform into similarly towering volcano titans! All three volcanos had transformed into three enormous volcano titans.
The three volcano titans had pitch-black forms, but Ning could sense the blazing, flaming power which filled their bodies. Their eyes were flowing pools of lava, and every single one of them seemed to possess the power of an enormous world. Just looking at them, Ning felt certain that they were far physically stronger than he was.
After the three volcano titans appeared, they first turned towards the distant, muscular, grim-faced man who stood in front of the shrine. All three went down to one knee.
The muscular man nodded.
“Kill!” Only then did the three volcano titans rise to their feet and charge towards Ning.
Their galloping paces caused the earth to tremble. They left enormous footsteps in the ground, and their glares made Ning feel rather startled.
“But so what if they are strong? From the looks of them, they are Aberrants that were formed from or out of volcanos,” Ning mused. “They are probably much weaker than me in terms of insights into the Dao.”
Ning manifested three heads and six arms, then drew his six Eternal swords.
The seven streams of Dao water and Dao lightning all surged forth, filling an area of ten thousand kilometers with sword-light formed from lightning and water.
Boom! The volcano titan closest to Ning charged into Ning’s Yin-Yang Sword Domain. Although sword-light repeatedly hacked down upon his volcanic form, the attacks were only able to leave behind a few white marks on its rocky skin. It barely paused at all, not slowed in the slightest as it continued to charge forwards with heavy steps.
Ning wanted to see exactly how physically strong these volcano titans were, and so he first chose to fight it in a head-on clash through using his most penetratively powerful attack, the Blood Drop stance.
Six streaks of sword-light shot out like an enormous meteor shower that shot out towards that terrifying stone hand.
Boom! The giant stone hand howled as it flew through the air. It crushed the six streaks of sword-light, then slammed directly onto Ning. This time, it was Ning who was knocked flying backwards like a meteor.
As Ning flew backwards, he forcibly twisted himself upright and landed on the ground. The earth shudder from the collision, caving in for an area of a million kilometers as an enormous basis suddenly appeared.
Ning rose to his feet, his face rather ashen.
“A single volcano titan is already this much stronger than me… and there are three? And these are just the ‘children’?” Ning finally could sense that death was approaching. Finally, he realized why no one had ever been able to survive the thirty-sixth level.