A streak of sword-light was flying through the transversal conduit.
Ji Ning flew incredibly fast when using the Blood Drop evasion skill, but the transversal conduit was simply too long. It had taken their group over three years to fly from the Brightshore Kingdom to the alternate universe. Still, by now Ning flew twice as fast as he had in the past.
“Here I am.” When Ning saw the light up ahead, he couldn’t help but reveal a look of delight as he darted towards it.
In the instant that he flew through, Ning could sense… Su Youji! He could also sense his other true body clone! He could also sense the Primaltwin which was safeguarding the Three Realms.
“I’m back.” Ning laughed. He was home.
The Endless Territories. The Badlands Territory. An unremarkable chaos planet.
A figure suddenly appeared on the surface of this chaos planet. It was yet another white-robed Ji Ning.
“I’ve benefited tremendously from this trip to the alternate universe. I’ve now perfectly joined five Supreme Daos together! Although I can sense that this isn’t the true apex of the Dao of the Sword, I trust I’ll soon be able to break through to that level.” Ning had the feeling for some time now that he was very, very close to the true apex.
He had spent over six million accelerated years in the Trileaf Realm, and during that period of time this feeling had only grown stronger and stronger. It looked as though he hadn’t improved at all, but in reality he had been slowly accumulating experience in his Sword Dao. When it reached a certain level, it would burst forth!
“If I wish to become a Daolord, I must become one with my clone first. It is time for my clone to head off to Vastheaven Palace.” Ning smiled, then strode forwards. Whoosh! He instantly tore a hole in the space around him. By now, Ning’s sword-intent alone was completely capable of tearing a spatial tunnel open for him, allowing him to enter a different spatial continuum and move even faster through space.
His true body and its clone would reunite at Vastheaven Palace!
The Brightshore Kingdom. The Sword Palace of the Twelve Palaces. Within an estate located at the very peak of one of the many awe-inspiring mountains in the Sword Palace.
This estate belonged to Ji Ning. Because Ning had yet to return, the gates to the estate remained barred firmly shut. Next to the estate there was a wooden house, with Flamefairy Su Youji having taken up temporary residence here.
Ever since she had returned from the alternate universe she had lived here, waiting for Ning.
“Master!” Su Youji had been meditating in the lotus position, but she suddenly opened her eyes, revealing a look of joy with them.
She could sense that Ji Ning had returned!
The lofty peak of a mountain. This was the other end of the transversal conduit. When Ning exited the conduit, he appeared here. Moments later, a snow-robed old man with six horns and a white beard suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
“Hegemon.” Ning was in an extremely good mood due to having returned. When he saw the Hegemon suddenly appear, he couldn’t help but be badly startled and hurriedly bow.
“You are back.” The white-bearded elder had a smile on his face. “It is good that you are back. You were the last one to return from the alternate universe.”
Ning was stunned. So Greatjoy, Solewind, and the others both returned as well.
“First, return the Archaeus medallion to me,” the white-bearded elder said.
“Yes.” Ning hurriedly produced the Archaeus medallion. It was now of no use to him, but the almighty Hegemon would be able to use it to allow other World-level cultivators to venture through the alternate universe in the future.
“Greatjoy, Solewind, and the others have already narrated what happened in the alternate universe to me. You once saved their lives, which is no small thing. As I said long ago, the better you perform, the heavier I shall reward you.” The white-bearded man smiled. “And I heard that you even managed to enter the inner reaches of the Genesis Lands…”
“It was luck,” Ning said.
“It wasn’t luck. Solewind, you, and Greatjoy all managed to make it inside. In the future, I imagine that the three of you will be every bit the equal of Eastcult and Bertulu,” the white-bearded elder said.
Ning was secretly surprised. So Greatjoy had made it into the inner reaches as well?
“This is a spacetime disc I created myself.” The white-bearded elder produced a strange disc of mixed white and black colors. “Through using this spacetime disk, you can flee through spacetime in a dangerous situation. It contains the power of a secret art which I personally infused into it. However, it can only be used once. After you use it the energy within will be consumed, making it unusable.”
As he spoke, he sent the strange disc towards Ning.
Ning was rather excited. Before going to the alternate universe, the almighty Hegemon had indeed said that if he provided assistance to Skyfire Brightshore, he would be richly rewarded upon his return. Still, he hadn’t expected the reward to be so ample.
“Given my mastery over the Dao of Spacetime, there won’t be many who can chase after you once you activate this spacetime disc.” The almighty Hegemon was completely confident in his abilities. “Still, you have to be careful. Major powers have countless abilities at their disposal, and some are so strong that you won’t even have a chance to use the disc. Thus, you still have to be careful.”
“Understood,” Ning said respectfully. Given how much Emperor Maniseal had doted on his disciple, he had most certainly provided his disciple with life-saving treasures. And yet, his disciple had still died by the hands of Emperor Trisilk.
“Hegemon, I wish to leave the Brightshore Kingdom for a time, but…” Ning said. Per the rules of the Brightshore Kingdom, one was generally permitted to leave only upon becoming a Daolord.
“Permission granted. Just go speak with Woodflower of your Sword Palace.” The white-robed elder nodded. “Be careful when voyaging through the outside world. You can easily die, given how weak you still are. Enough. You can go now.”
“Acknowledged.” Ning bowed respectfully, then used the nearby spacetime tunnel to first travel back to the imperial palace, then head to the Sword Palace.
The white-bearded old man nodded slightly as he watched Ning leave. “These young fellows have all benefited quite a bit, and Darknorth has undergone a truly earthshaking transformation. Now, even I can only barely sense what his destiny will be like.”
The Brightshore Kingdom’s grand strategy lay in the production of elites! The Daolords of the Brightshore Kingdom were, on average, much stronger than those of the Dao Alliance. However, they were also much fewer in number! As for Ji Ning, Bertulu, Greatjoy, and the others, they were the elites of the elites, the cream of the crop! The Brightshore Kingdom would naturally protect them carefully.
Giving Ning a spacetime disc as a form of ‘thanks’ was just an excuse! Even if he didn’t have this excuse, the Hegemon would’ve come up with another excuse to give this monstrously talented kid a protective treasure.
Ning stood there at the front entrance to the Sword Palace, staring at the beautiful, fiery-robed woman who stood at the other side of the entrance.
“Youji.” Ning smiled.
“Master.” Su Youji’s eyes were brimming with tears. She had actually benefited greatly from her visit to the Genesis Lands, and she had improved significantly as well. She was at the point where she could become a Daolord whenever she wished. However, she was too worried about Ning. When she returned to the Sword Palace, she simply couldn’t calm down and so she didn’t make her breakthrough.
Now, at least, she saw Ji Ning once more.
“Look at yourself! Your master won’t die that easily, you know.” Ning grinned.
“I knew you had to believe. Firesurge and those other bastards said that you…” Su Youji revealed a brilliant smile.
Ning’s gaze suddenly turned to someone who stood behind Su Youji.
“Ah. It seems I’ve disturbed the two of you.” A figure emerged from behind Su Youji, a smile on his face.
“Senior apprentice-brother Woodflower,” Ning immediately called out. The newcomer was indeed Lord Woodflower.
Lord Woodflower smiled as he looked at Ning. “I just learned from the Hegemon that you’ve returned. Solewind, Greatjoy, and the others all returned some time ago. You were the only one left. You really gave me a bad scare.”
When Ning hadn’t returned with the others, Woodflower really had been worried for quite some time.
“I’m back now, right?” Ning laughed.
“I imagine this trip was quite fruitful for you,” Lord Woodflower said.
“Not bad.” Ning grinned.
As far as treasures went, the deceased Hegemon had bestowed upon him a pair of Dao-seals, a suit of armor, and chaos nectar. The most precious treasures, of course, were those six lifeblood swords which Emperor Gonflame had labored over. Still… weapons and treasures, upon being bound, could have their auras restrained, making it so that outsiders couldn’t tell how powerful they were. Not even the almighty Hegemon had noticed how extraordinary Ning’s six swords and suit of armor were.
“As long as you benefited from it. When are you planning to become a Daolord?” Lord Woodflower asked.
“Soon. I need to make some further preparations,” Ning said. “Right. Senior apprentice-brother, I’m planning to leave the Brightshore Kingdom on a trip.”
“No problem.” Lord Woodflower nodded. “If you are going to leave, follow me. We’ll go light a heartlamp first.”
“Alright.” Ning nodded.
Heartlamps were lit through one’s own truesoul. Generally speaking, one would be able to sense right away when its master perished. Once its master perished, the heartlamp would be extinguished as well. But of course, if you entered an alternate universe or some particularly dangerous ruins, it was possible that the connection to the heartlamp would be severed.
Still, heartlamps and truesoul towers were amongst the best of life-sensing equipment. The connection was almost as perfect as the connection between a true body and a clone. The more casually created items like life-tablets had a much smaller area of effectiveness.