Ji Ning was badly shocked. There were actually thousands of carapace beasts within ten billion kilometers of him? And several dozen were comparable in size to the leader he had fought a short while ago.
“KILL!” One particular carapace beast whose entire body was enormous and pitch-black let out a furious roar, its head upraised and its glaring eyes filled with murder.
Boom! Boom! Boom! The roars generated shockwaves that were visible to the naked eye that smashed through everything before them, reducing everything a hundred million meters ahead of the creature to be reduced into dust.
When Ning looked at the pitch-black carapace beast, a sense of tremendous danger arose within his heart. The sense of danger was far stronger than the feeling Patriarch Clearwind had given him a short while ago. He realized that if he actually engaged this creature in combat, he would probably lose his life here.
“Time to leave right away.” Ning immediately used the Shadowless evasion skill and disappeared without a trace.
The thousands of carapace beasts were all stunned. Due to the strange force permeating this area, even the prime essences of the universe were held at bay here, and Ning was unable to use his godsense to scan the place at all. This meant that the carapace beasts were similarly unable to scan Ning. Even the beast closest to Ning’s location was tens of millions of kilometers away from him; there was simply no way to lock onto Ning’s precise location from such a great distance.
Swoosh! Ning continued to stealthily flee at ten times the speed of light using the Shadowless evasion skill. He secretly celebrated, “Thank goodness there’s no way to scan this empty area. Otherwise, there’s no way I would’ve been able to escape.”
“GWRAAAAR!” After being unable to locate Ning, the pitch-black carapace beast lifted its head and let out a furious howl that completely shattered space in the area around it. Even carapace beasts which were located close to it all retreated from it in fear.
Ning began to use his evasion skill to flee towards the direction where the azureflower resonance was emanating from. Whoosh! He once more flew into a region of golden mist. Through it, he could vaguely make out the silhouette of that towering estate up ahead.
“Is that an estate?” Ning continued to fly forwards.
Sometimes, things look deceptively close. He was clearly able to make out that estate from far away, but he spent ten hours flying towards it. During that period of time, he encountered two more pearls of deluxe hellgold. Alas, each of those two pearls had over ten thousand carapace beasts surrounding it, as well as a pitch-black carapace beast.
Just staring at the thousands of carapace beasts surrounding the pearl of deluxe hellgold, Ning felt a sense of tremendous danger. He could sense that as soon as he attacked, he would be almost instantly swarmed and killed by the carapace beasts!
The ten thousand-plus carapace beasts had divine runes glowing above their shells. The runes were humming in unison, and the power emanating them caused even Ning’s heart to quail. Clearly, these beast had a way to join together into a formation. A joint attack from more than ten thousand carapace beasts would probably surpass even one of the most powerful of Daolords!
Previously, Ning had been able to slay those twenty-three carapace beasts because there simply weren’t enough of them around; they weren’t able to join together into a formation that would threaten him.
“It seems that my decision to take away one of those pearls of deluxe hellgold has put the other carapace beasts on high alert,” Ning mused. “Still… to be able to acquire one pearl is already quite lucky.”
Ning became more cautious as well. “What in the world is this place? Even the energy of the prime essences of the universe is forced to avoid this empty region, and the golden mist region holds treasures like deluxe hellgold within it. I’ve found three pearls, but there has to be far more than that.”
“And those carapace beasts! The strongest ones are definitely on par with Daolords of the Fourth Step. As for the ones with the pitch-black shells, they can crush the vast majority of Daolords. If all of them gather together, I suspect that even Eternal Emperors would find it hard to gain victory against them.” Ning was feeling rather nervous. He hadn’t even entered the estate yet, but the outside perimeter was already filled with terrors. What, then, would the estate itself hold?
Roughly ten hours after acquiring the deluxe hellgold, Ning finally reached the towering estate. The estate itself was emanating an endless aura of golden mist.
“What’s this?” Ning stared at the utterly enormous estate in front of him, and its walls were like mountain ranges. The powerful ripples emanating from the walls ensured that Ning didn’t even think about trying to scale over them.
“The main gates are over there.” Ning immediately flew towards the gates of the estate.
A short while later, Ning reached the main gates. Directly above the main gates there was an image of an azure flower that was slowly swiveling in midair. It radiated a sacred, natural aura which seemed to whisper that even if the universe itself changed or if time itself ended, this flower would remain here forever.
“What in the…” Ning raised his head to stare at the image of an azure flower. He trembled, a look of shock in his eyes. That azure flower? Only after he had managed to combined all of the Nine Chaos Seals had he been able to manifest the azureflower seal, then gain an azureflower region in his body. The azureflower seal looked absolutely identical to the azure flower image hovering above the gates to his estate.
“It seems as though there has to be some sort of connection between my Nine Chaos Seals and this estate,” Ning mused to himself. “I wonder how Daoist Three Purities ran into those seals in the past. Given the level of power he was at, there’s no way he could’ve travelled from the Three Realms to this place.”
This place was quite a distance away from the Three Realms, and back then Ning obviously hadn’t blazed a trail out from the Three Realms. In addition, even weaker Daolords would perish within the empty region and within the golden mist.
“The gates…?” Ning turned his gaze from the azure flower to the estate gates. The towering estate gates were covered with carvings that looked like tree roots. The carvings looked chaotic and complicated, but when Ning’s gaze towards them he could sense an invisible power surge out from the diagrams and sweep around Ning’s heart.
Ning continued to stand in front of the estate gates, but he closed his eyes. The deepest pains within his heart were once more dragged out from where he had hidden them.
“I wouldn’t dare beg that you send my senior apprentice-sister back to my side, Godking; all I hope is that she can live a simple, peaceful life. If you can do this, I will be endlessly grateful.” Ning fell to his knees before the Godking.
“You are the one who personally consigned her to endless torment within the Infinity Hells! It was you! You personally!!!” The Godking’s furious roars reverberated with Ning’s mind.
“Didn’t you say…that she’s already dead, and that you killed her? Haha…then, let me let her truly die.”
“Ahahaha…” The towering figure of the Rahu-Ning raised its head towards the heaven, his wild laughter echoing through the Three Realms’ battlefield.
“It was my fault. I was the one who consigned you to the Infinity Hells. I was the one who caused your soul to be destroyed.”
The most agonizing, wrenching memories in his heart were all pulled out and magnified, and the sense of self-recrimination which Ning felt was amplified ten thousand times over. Ning was completely absorbed in his pain and self-blame. He stood there in front of the estate, his entire body trembling. In this moment, his Hegemon armor, his lifeblood weapons, and his protective Dao-seals weren’t able to help him out at all.
Both his soul and his truesoul were trembling. The same wasn’t true for just him; even the black-robed Primaltwin Ning was shaking back in the Three Realms. As for his avatar in Vastheaven Palace, it was also in the same dazed state. It was as though they had fallen into an endless abyss and were sinking deeper and deeper into it.
“Go ahead and die. Once you die, you’ll be together with her once more.” This was what that invisible surge of energy was whispering to him.
Ning’s soul and truesoul were shaking so hard, they were about to splinter apart. If they really did shatter, his true body, his Primaltwin, and his avatar would all fall simultaneously. Not even his Lifeblood Dao-seal would be able to save him. This was a technique available to the truly major powers who stood at the apex of all life.
“I’ve already made my choice. Even if I had to choose again, I would choose the same thing. That was a war! A war which would determine the destiny of all the living creatures of the Three Realms!
“The war has concluded. Both my father and my mother have returned. I, Ji Ning, shall use all the years of my life and all the power that is available to me to find my wife and bring her back. For her sake, I would willingly sacrifice all that I have.
“Nothing and no one will bar my path!”
Still standing in front of the gates, Ning opened his eyes. His eyes shone with a terrifyingly sharp light that reflected the innermost depths of his heart. Nothing and no one would ever be able to stop him on his path, and he would continue on it until death itself came for him!
Boom! Boom! Boom! Ning’s heartforce was surging and growing increasingly powerful as it intersected more and more with his sea of consciousness. Once he experienced a few more things within this universe and accumulated a bit more power, he would be able to break through to the sixth stage of heartforce.
“Thank you, mighty creator of the Azureflower Estate.” The white-robed Ning stared at the gates in front of him. “Thank you for helping me to once more reaffirm my own Dao-heart.”
“This is my Dao, and this is my heart. I will continue on this path until the day I die.” Ning walked forwards.
The strange tree-root carvings atop the gates seemed to be able to sense Ning’s terrifyingly strong Dao-heart, a Dao-heart which no one could alter or shake. Only someone with a heart like this would have a chance of truly reaching the apex, would have a chance of standing above all other living beings. The most terrifying of major powers would also need terrifyingly strong Dao-hearts.
The gates to the estate automatically swung open with a rumbling sound. The Azureflower Estate, which had lain silent for countless years, had been opened once more.