“Hah! You were able to agree to three million cubes with such ease.” Daolord Solesky laughed. “As expected for someone capable of capturing a Daolord of the Third Step. Your resources truly are extraordinary, eh?”
“I just had better luck than most,” Ji Ning said.
“Big brother Solesky, all of our brothers have arrived and are waiting. Are you done chatting?” The Daolord Brightfish’s laughter could be heard from afar.
“Patience, my brother Brightfish! We’ll be there shortly.” Daolord Solesky looked at Ning. “Come, come! Let us make haste. The welcoming banquet is about to commence.”
The formal welcoming ceremony took place. After the ceremony ended, Ning was now considered a formal member of Vastheaven Palace. This caused Daolord Solesky, Daolord Battlemaster, and Daolord Brightfish to all feel slightly relieved. They could tell that Ning was guaranteed to be an extraordinary Daolord. Although he had a talisman of welcome, it was entirely permissible for him to change his mind prior to actually joining Vastheaven Palace.
Now that he had joined, he truly would be a lifelong friend and brother.
Within the darkness of space. A shrine which was emanating ripples of strange azure power was flying at high speeds. As the energy streams surged and flowed around it, it was able to hurtle through space at astonishing speeds.
An old man dressed in handsome black robes stood within the shrine, staring silently into space. His eyes were as calm as the depths of the sea. Beneath him stood seven respectful World-level cultivators.
“He managed to capture Blesswind. This young fellow named Darknorth really is quite daring.” The black-robed elder said calmly, “He’s even more daring than Solesky.”
One of the World-level disciples said immediately, “Patriarch, Darknorth must’ve acquired some special treasures thanks to a stroke of great luck. Daolord Blesswind said it himself, right? He was beaten by a golem which had the power of an apex Daolord of the Third Step, then captured due to a nasty trick they pulled on him. No matter what, this Darknorth is merely a World-level cultivator. He won’t be able to fight back against you at all, Patriarch.”
“Can’t be too complacent,” Patriarch Clearwind said calmly. “These strokes of great luck can sometimes involve truly earth-shattering treasures.”
He was a Daolord of the Fourth Step. Daolords of the Fourth Step were completely different from Daolords of the Third Step. To reach the fourth step meant reaching the Verge of the Daomerge, which meant that you had reached terrifying heights in a certain Dao.
The reason why he was able to feud against Daolord Solesky for so long was because he was at a similar level of power. Both Patriarch Clearwind and Daolord Solesky were extremely powerful, even amongst other Daolords of the Fourth Step. They had both experienced many dangers as well. They naturally were quite skilled in keeping themselves alive and would never underestimate any opponent.
When Heartlord Solewind had shattered that Dao-seal, he had been able to easily slay a Daolord of the Third Step. But if he had encountered Patriarch Clearwind? Forget about a Dao-seal; even if the Palace Lord of the Heart Palace struck out, if he wasn’t careful Patriarch Clearwind would probably be able to escape.
“Solesky. It’s been quite some time since I’ve sparred with him.” Azure light flickered through Patriarch Clearwind’s eyes.
Vastheaven Palace had two Daolords of the Fourth Step, while Clearwind Temple merely had one. However, these two organizations were equivalent in power. This was a testament to how formidable Patriarch Clearwind was.
The Three Realms. Brightheart Island.
Within Ning’s study. The study was filled with rolls of jade slips. Ning casually picked up a jade slip, then infused the set of sword-arts he had developed into the jade slip.
“For Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals, less abstruse sword-arts are more appropriate.” Ning’s left hand was casually demonstrating one sword-art after another. He had perfectly joined together five Supreme Daos; in terms of creating sword-art techniques for Elder Gods or World Gods, not even the Brightshore Hegemon would necessarily be a match for Ning.
“3600 low-level techniques, 108 decent techniques, and 5 high-level sword-arts; the Yin-Yang stance, the Soleheart stance, the Blood Drop stance, the Shadowless stance, and the Heavenbreaker stance. The coremost technique shall be the perfect junction of these five types of sword-intent.”
The sword-arts which Ning had created included all types of sword-arts, including sword-arts that were more suited for women, sword-arts that were meant to be used with just one arm, sword-arts that suited those who were a bit foolish… all types of sword-arts had been created, and the creation process was actually another way for Ning to analyze and better understand the nature of the Dao of the Sword.
Every so often, he’d raise his head and stare off into the distance. He was able to see to the distant lakeshore, where Ji Yichuan was training in sword-arts himself. Next to him watched Yuchi Snow, while their granddaughter Ji Brightmoon continuously called out words of advice and guidance. Brightmoon had indeed reached a much more impressive level of expertise in the Dao of the Sword than her grandfather Yichuan, and Yichuan actually enjoyed having his granddaughter teach him.
“Haha…” As Ning watched, he couldn’t help but grin. His father, his mother, and his daughter Brightmoon.
Everything was so wonderful.
Ning then turned his attention to his sword-arts, putting more sword-arts on display then recording them into jade slips.
“Eh?” Ning came to a sudden halt. Although his gaze was focused on the distant lakeshore, his heart felt like the rising sun that was appearing above the watery horizon.
“The Sword Dao. That’s all there is to it. The Sword Dao is simply the Sword Dao.” Ning started to laugh. “Why divide it up into so many different ‘types’? Yin-Yang sword-intent, Blood Drop sword-intent, Shadowless sword-intent, Soleheart sword-intent, Heavenbreaker sword-intent… what difference does it make? They all belong to the Sword Dao. So that’s how it is. The question which has puzzled me for millions of years…”
As the saying went, one who suddenly understood the Dao in the morning would be content even if he died in the evening. This was the sort of satisfaction Ning was feeling right now.
It was excitement. It was a sense of contentment. This question had bedeviled him for millions of years in the Trileaf Realm, when he first sensed that his Sword Dao had yet to reach the limit. Now, with his parents and his daughter by his side, he suddenly had a moment of epiphany as he collated all these different sword-arts.
A wave of strange power was surging forth, resonating with the innermost depths of Ning’s soul.
Ning raised his head and stared into the skies. He could trace the sensation back to its origins. He could immediately sense that it was coming from incredibly far off within the primordial chaos. This place was so unfathomably distant that it was many times farther away than the entire size of the Endless Territories or the alternate universe. This was the place where the true prime essences of this universe lay.
That place was the place where the prime essence of the Dao of the Sword, one of the prime essences of this universe, resided.
One of the prime essences responsible for stabilizing this entire universe, the prime essence of the Dao of the Sword, was resonating with Ji Ning!
Within the Three Realms.
Ning was still within his study, but a terrifying aura of the Dao of the Sword suddenly erupted from his body. He himself was like a terrifying sword, and his every movement and motion contained the aura of the Dao of the Sword.
“Am I now the master of the Dao of the Sword?” Ning could sense that the unfathomably distant prime essence of the Dao of the Sword was resonating in tune with him. In this instant, he finally understood that this was the truly ‘supreme’ Dao of the Sword, the true apex of the Sword Dao.
This ultimate Sword Dao, this… this Omega Dao of the Sword… it didn’t have ‘multiple’ versions of itself, such as Supreme Daos did.
The Dao of the Sword, in and of itself, was a complete Dao. It could simply transform into many different things, much like how the single supreme Taiji gave birth to the duality of Yin and Yang, which gave birth to the trigrams that then gave birth to all things.
The five perfectly joined Supreme Daos which Ning had previously developed were like the trigrams; although the three lines of the trigrams were joined together perfectly, they didn’t truly represent the ultimate expression of the Dao of the Sword. Only by truly understanding the ‘single’ source would you be able to truly, completely, and perfectly understand and master the Dao of the Sword!
“This Omega Sword Dao is the true ultimate Sword Dao! Only now can I be considered a master of the Dao of the Sword.” Ning felt as though he had just undergone a complete transformation. Finally, he understood why the difference in power between those who had joined two Supreme Daos, three Supreme Daos, or even five Supreme Daos was fairly small.
It didn’t really matter how many Supreme Daos you were able to come up with… because above them was the complete and full Dao of the Sword. All types of sword-arts and all of the so-called branches… they were nothing more than parts of this true and complete Sword Dao.
“Come forth.” Ning stepped forwards. Whoosh! He instantly transformed into a streak of light which then completely disappeared as he used the Shadowless evasion skill. In an instant, he appeared in the empty space above the Three Realms.
“The Solar Star.” Ning stood there in space, staring at the enormous and scorchingly hot Solar Star off in the distance. He looked very ordinary, with his Sword Dao aura completely restrained, but that was what made him so terrifying. He was now fundamentally different from how he had been before.
“How terrifying. I’m able to tear through space without causing any disturbances at all, and I’m actually able to move ten times faster than the speed of light. Most Verge-level Daolords can only move at five times the speed of light!” Even Ning was frightened by how strong he had become. Previously, his most powerful attack had been his quadressence thunder and quadressence water, but the power of his Sword Dao now completely eclipsed both of those quadressence attacks combined.
“Now that I have comprehended my Omega Sword Dao, it is time for me to break through to become a Daolord.” Ning’s eyes were filled with blazing eagerness.
He had once felt that his chances of reviving Yu Wei were miniscule; not even Emperor Maniseal, an Eternal Emperor who had reached incredible heights in the Dao of Seals, was able to accomplish such a thing. But in the instant that he discovered and comprehended his Omega Sword Dao, he knew that his chances had just increased dramatically!