The gray-robed elder departed.
“You actually chose to proactively hand out a Palace of Immortals medallion. It seems you have taken a liking to the kid?” The blue-haired elder said.
“He’s just a Daolord of the Second Step. Once he becomes a Daolord of the Fourth Step, he’ll be of some use to me. Only then would he truly be worth recruiting and befriending.” Emperor Skywood glanced at the blue-haired elder, then sighed. “Blueblaze, my old friend… you are my true helper, my right hand. We’ve experienced life-and-death battle on numerous occasions. Once again, I want to urge you to reconsider. Don’t go any further into the Terror Starsea! The region you’ve delved into is already quite terrifying. If the two of us go any deeper into unknown territories, we can die at any moment.”
“No.” The blue-haired elder let out a sigh. “Aberrants like us are different from members of the Dao Alliance like you. Your Dao Alliance has an incredibly deep and solid foundation; all five of the other organizations combined still couldn’t match you in this regard. That’s why you can relax. We Aberrants, however, have to fight for every scrap we can get.”
“The Hegemon is the cornerstone and the pillar of our race and kingdom; there’s no way he can go out adventuring. As for those other Daolords, most of them are far too weak. That’s why I was chosen to lead this squad deep into the Terror Starsea. This is the best option available to us. In addition… I’ve had enough of this eternal, endless life. If I’m lucky, I might find something within the Terror Starsea that will allow me to become much more powerful! Haha. By then, Skywood, you won’t be a match for me.”
Emperor Skywood was filled with mixed emotions. Compared to them, Daolords lived extremely short lives. Although they were able to dazzle others for a period of time, in the end they would still perish. Very few were able to become Eternal Emperors, and those who were able to become Eternal Emperors who were his equal and who he could view as friends were even fewer.
Although Emperor Blueblaze belonged to a different organization, they truly did treat each other as bosom friends.
“Blueblaze, your protective abilities are indeed quite powerful,” Emperor Skywood said softly, “But you still can’t be too rash. If things look bad, you should flee right away! As for those Daolords under your command? If they die, they die. There’s no need to concern yourself too much about them. Even if they don’t die while adventuring, virtually all of them will be dead 108,000 chaos cycles from now.”
“Haha! I came here to bid you farewell, old friend. I’ve said everything I need to say. It’s time for me to leave. Once I come back from the Terror Starsea, I’ll find you and drink with you again.” When Emperor Blueblaze saw that look on Emperor Skywood’s face, he couldn’t help but laugh. “Hah! Don’t worry. I won’t die that easily.”
While laughing, Emperor Blueblaze transformed into a single blue streak of fire that disappeared into the horizon.
Emperor Skywood stood there in midair. He was silent for a long moment.
“I want to help you, but I cannot decide for the Dao Alliance.” Emperor Skywood shook his head, then flew towards hiw own estate.
Within one of the many estates within Skywood City.
Some of the ancient Eternal Emperors living here had their own worries, but the Daolords were focused on the here and now. They did as they pleased with very few long-term concerns, by comparison.
“You, a Daolord of the Second Step, slew Kongsan! Not even I would be able to kill him. Darknorth, I feel confident that when you become a Daolord of the Fourth Step, you’ll be every bit my match. Come, let us drink!” Daolord Skyaxe was bare-chested, and his chest was covered with fur. He picked up an enormous black vessel of wine, and Ning did the same. Ning explained, “I relied on my treasures to win. Big brother Skyaxe, you are ranked in the top five in the Endless Territories. It won’t be easy for me to catch up to you.”
“Top five my ass. I’m simply number five.” Skyaxe laughed loudly. The Daolords continued to chat rather casually with each other. For the most part, Ning just listened and responded as Skyaxe and Soleman spoke. They had experienced far more than he did and had visited many places. Just listening to them, Ning’s horizons were broadened. He repeatedly let out amazed sighs. Although he had visited the Archaeus region of the alternate universe, it seemed as though some of the dangerous regions in the Endless Territories were even more mysterious.
“The more you experience, the more you will understand.” Soleman sighed. “However… although adventuring is a good thing, you still run the risk of losing your life. For example, three of us headed out on our latest journey, but only two returned. My old friend Eastroad lost his life. Ugh.”
“Daolord Eastroad died?” Ning was surprised.
“Yes. He died just a thousand years ago.” Soleman nodded.
“There was nothing the two of us could do. We were fleeing for our lives as well; we simply didn’t have the ability to help him out.” Skyaxe slowly shook his head. “Eastroad was just a bit slower than us, and so he was surrounded and killed there.”
Moments later, Skyaxe let out a hearty laugh. “But so what? Even if we don’t die while adventuring, almost all of us will die after failing our Daomerge. While adventuring through the outside world, we’ve visited many ancient sites in search for good fortune that might help us further perfect our Daos, so that our chances during our Daomerge will be better. And I have to say, the adventuring life really is stirring. Those memories are a joy to think back to.”
“The two of us were in the process of disposing of the treasures we acquired on this trip.” Soleman looked at Ning. “After we finish, we plan to visit Eastroad’s homeland and help him take care of it. We didn’t expect to run into you just as we were preparing to leave, junior apprentice-brother Darknorth. If you sent out your message just a short while later, we probably would’ve already left.”
“That means the two of us were destined to meet with brother Darknorth,” Skyaxe laughed.
“Senior apprentice-brother Soleman.” Ning immediately said, “Are you still planning to go to Daolord Eastroad’s homeland?”
“We are.” Daolord Soleman nodded. “When we were in that deadly trap, we each told the others what our greatest regrets and hopes were. We agreed that the survivor would ensure that the wishes of the deceased were carried out! The one thing Eastroad was worried about prior to dying was what would happen to his homeland.”
Ning nodded. “Senior apprentice-brother Soleman, I’m just journeying through the outside world, with no plans to go to any particularly dangerous areas for now. Leave it to me to take care of Daolord Eastroad’s homeland. I’ll make the arrangements for it.”
Soleman and Skyaxe had helped him out. Although they hadn’t been able to breach the formation and rescue him, for them to hurry over and try was already an act of kindness. Ning naturally wanted to help them out and repay them. As for Daolord Eastroad’s homeland, the ‘Eastroad Territory’, Ning knew about it.
“You?” Daolord Soleman and Daolord Skyaxe exchanged a glance.
“If you were an ordinary Daolord, I probably wouldn’t feel comfortable about it.” Daolord Soleman laughed. “We’re planning to send some of the treasures we acquired during our last expedition to his homeland, after all. Given that you killed Kongsan and acquired virtually all his treasures, I feel confident that you probably wouldn’t pilfer any of the treasures we’re planning to gift Eastroad’s homeland.”
Ning let out a resigned chuckle.
“Since you’ve made the offer… I’ll accept it. Thank you for helping out,” Daolord Soleman said.
“Don’t worry about it at all.” Ning smiled.
“I’ll have to trouble you to deliver these treasures. As to what you plan to do with them once you bring them to Eastroad’s homeland, that’ll be up to you to decide.” Daolord Soleman handed over a storage bracelet, which Ning accepted.
A short while later. “An emissary from the Skywood Sect has arrived.” Daolord Soleman turned his head to glance towards the outside region, only to see a gray-robed elder walk towards them.
The gray-robed elder looked towards Ning, then said, “Per the sectlord’s orders, I’ve come to deliver this Palace of Immortals medallion to Daolord Darknorth.” As he spoke, he sent a medallion flying towards Ning.
“What’s this?” Ning reached out to accept it. The medallion was pitch-black and cold. It was covered with many complex runes, but it had only a single word atop it – ‘Soldier’.
The gray-robed elder immediately turned and left. As for Ning, he was quite startled. This was rather abrupt.
“Congratulations, junior apprentice-brother Darknorth. This is a medallion of the Dao Alliance’s Palace of Immortals… but of course, it is only the most basic ‘soldier’ medallion.” Daolord Soleman chuckled. “Once you become a Daolord of the Fourth Step, you’ll earn a ‘commander’ medallion. By then, you’ll be allowed to pay a visit to the Palace of Immortals. It might be of benefit to you.”
“Oh? A ‘commander’ medallion?” Ning was curious.
“The Palace of Immortals is quite a special place. The lowest-ranking members all have ‘soldier’ medallions, but almost all of them are formidable Daolords of the Fourth Step. The most talented and powerful of Daolords will have a chance to earn a ‘commander’ medallion.” Daolord Soleman explained, “The Palace of Immortals is a very mysterious place… but for now, you are nothing more than a pawn. There’s no point in you visiting it. Only once you gain a ‘commander’ medallion would it be worth it.”
“Mm.” Ning nodded. All places were the same. The higher your status was, the more would be made available to you.
“Generally speaking, these medallions are only issued by the Palace of Immortals. It sounds as though the sectlord of the Skywood Sect, Emperor Skywood, personally gave you this one. He’s one of the highest-ranking members of the Dao Alliance and has the authority to do this. It seems as though he’s noticed you. This is a good thing for you, but it could also be a bad thing.” Daolord Soleman chuckled. “While you are still weak, you should avoid the internal squabbles of the Dao Alliance.”
“I understand.” Ning nodded.
Ning had come to Skywood City for the sake of the nine novessence arts. He had only spent another two years here due to Daolord Kongsan and all the other accompanying issues. Now that everything had concluded, he departed after spending another two days at Daolord Soleman’s place. He left Skywood City, heading towards the Eastroad Territory.