A vast grassland. The Grand Elder was here, leading a group of Daolords and Skywind in bidding Ji Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord farewell.
“Master.” Skywind looked at Ning, truly unwilling to part with him. Ning had never asked anything of him and had whole-heartedly helped him this entire time. His father had given many costly gifts to convince Swordmaster Eastvoid to teach him, but the Swordmaster was nothing more than a World-level cultivator… and in the end, he hadn’t even accepted Skywind as a disciple. Compared to Ning, Swordmaster Eastvoid was absolutely nothing.
“Haha. Skywind, if destiny wills it, we shall meet again in the future,” Ning smiled.
“Right.” Skywind nodded heavily.
“Let’s go.” Ning glanced at the nearby Ninedust Sectlord, who pursed his lips into a smirk. “I didn’t take on any disciples. I can leave whenever.”
Swoosh! Swoosh! Skywind and the other Daolords watched as they instantly shot into the air, quickly charging into the gaseous barriers in the skies.
Skywind watched as Ning disappeared into the distance, tears appearing in his eyes. Would he ever have the chance to meet his master again?
“Your master Darknorth is very, very powerful.” The Grand Elder gently patted Skywind on the shoulders. “Skywind, you have to grow powerful as well if you want to catch up to him. Otherwise, how will you possibly become strong enough to venture into the outlands and search for him?”
“I understand.” Skywind nodded.
Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord passed through the nine gaseous barriers, finally returning to the empty region surrounding the entire planet.
“What a marvelous place.” The Ninedust Sectlord glanced downwards. “This single, tiny little planet has actually given birth to so many cultivators that each era holds twenty to thirty Daolords. This single planet holds a level of power comparable to quite a few territories combined. It lives up to its reputation as an ancestral site of my Ancient race.”
“This planet might not necessarily be connected to your ancestors.” Ning turned to glance towards the outside. “Pick a direction.”
The area around them was vast and empty. Beyond this empty region were countless stone passageways that led off in many different directions. These stone passageways brimmed with flames; one could only imagine how many of those flame demons were present.
“Every direction seems to be the same. We came from this direction over there, so let’s take the opposite route.” The Ninedust Sectlord pointed to the other side of the planet.
“You read my mind.” Ning grinned, then waved his hand and produced a black flying vessel. The two immediately boarded the vessel. Swoosh! It instantly accelerated to move at a hundred times the speed of light, departing the planet. This entire ancestral site, including the planet they had been in, was dimensionally locked, preventing any form of teleportation or blinking.
“Here we go.” Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord both stared towards the stone passageway as they moved closer and closer to it. Swish! The black vessel dove into one of the stone tunnels and into its roaring flames. When they saw a distant flame demon, both Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord instantly used their worldsplitter stones.
Swish! Swish! Their armor and their weaponry all glowed with black light, covered by the effects of the worldsplitter stone.
“Kill!” The distant flame demon bellowed as it charged at them while also sending out an invisible vibration. Soon, many more flame demons appeared in the distance and began to furiously charge towards the two.
“Darknorth, take a look at this secret art of mine,” the Ninedust Sectlord chuckled. His body instantly began to glow with a curtain of watery light that looked almost solid, as though waves had appeared in the area around him. The deep blue waves wildly smashed as the ripples spread beyond him, crashing into the attacking flame demons. The flame demons were all sent stumbling backwards as their speed dropped drastically.
The watery curtain of light surrounded Ning as well. Ning reached into the curtain to touch it with his hand, and as he did he could sense a surge of overwhelming power.
“What do you think?” the Ninedust Sectlord asked smugly.
“It is just as powerful as my secret art,” Ning said with a praising nod.
“Haha. This Ripplewater secret art of mine was created by an Eternal Emperor of my race. I am skilled in the Dao of Water, and so I started training in this secret art long ago. Only today have I finally mastered it.” The Ninedust Sectlord was in quite a good mood. “I’m currently a Daolord of the Third Step. Once I become a Daolord of the Fourth Step and reach an even higher level of understanding, my Ripplewater art will strengthen even further. Haha, when I fight against my peers, I’ll start off with this secret art to slow them down. Heh, heh, heh…”
“It seems you really took to heart the way I used my secret arts to suppress you,” Ning teased.
“Your secrets arts pissed me the hell off.” The Ninedust Sectlord had to chuckle as well. “Are you feeling jealous about my new breakthrough? Haha, even if I have to go back to the Endless Territories right now I would feel no regrets.”
As they chatted, more and more of the slowed-down flame demons began to gather around them and attack them. In the past, they would never have dared to let the flame demons congregate in such large numbers. Now that they had worldsplitter stones, they wanted to test the stones out for themselves and so they didn’t mind.
Even if they faced more than a hundred flame demons, they wouldn’t find it too hard to escape even if they didn’t have a worldsplitter stone.
“Die.” Ning transformed into his three-headed, six-armed form. Six Northbow swords were in his hands, and each one was covered with a layer of the worldsplitter stone’s power.
Swish! Sword-light howled through the air and chopped straight through the flame demons, cutting giant wounds into their bodies and stabbing gouging holes into them.
“Ahhh!” All of the flame demons who were stabbed through their armor let out miserable, powerless cries. Their eyes quickly turned dull and blank as their auras rapidly vanished. They were like snow melting in the heat of the summer sun. Some of the flame demons had clearly suffered just tiny wounds, but they vanished and their bodies were dispersed into flames, never to be reborn again.
“They die whenever they are so much as touched by the energy of the worldsplitter stones?” Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord were shocked by how powerful the stones were. It seemed as though this was a natural counter for the flame demons; so long as you were able to breach their armor and wound them, they would invariably perish.
“That’ll make things easier.”
“This’ll be a hundred times simpler than I thought.”
Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord were both delighted, and they quickly began to advance at high speeds.
Time passed on, day by day, as the two of them traversed one flaming stone tunnel after another. After finding nothing, they finally opted to enter one of the enormous stone corridors that were a million kilometers wide. In the past, these places were mortally dangerous to them. Now that they had worldsplitter stones, they could give them a try. These corridors had absolutely terrifying numbers of flame demons, with each group clustering in the thousands and some in the tens of thousands.
Even supported by both their secret arts and the worldsplitter stones, they found it incredibly hard to advance.
“These million kilometer tunnels are the main passageways.” Although they were surrounded by danger and often had to fight for their lives, they soon realized the good part of being in these massive tunnels. The smaller tunnels turned and twisted like spiderwebs, making it difficult to progress in any one direction. These main passageways, however, were all linked together in straight fashion, making it so that they didn’t have to twist and turn when trying to advance in a certain direction.
BOOM. Ning helped the Ninedust Sectlord block a chop but was sent flying as a result. As for the Ninedust Sectlord, he took out a Dao-seal. BANG! A wild wind suddenly erupted, blowing back countless flame demons who found that they were completely unable to control their bodies.
“Let’s move!” Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord hurriedly fled aboard their black vessel in a rather bedraggled fashion. Although the worldsplitter stones were banes to the flame demons, they had been surrounded and attacked by over a hundred thousand of the creatures, forcing both of them to go all-out and use some of their special treasures.
Bang! The flying vessel shot out of the enormous stone passageway.
“An empty region! Another empty region!” Both Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord were overjoyed. Although they had merely spent twelve hours in the super-wide passageways, they had nearly died on three occasions. Each time, they had only survived thanks to their Dao-seals. Ning had used one of the Dao-seals left behind by Daolord Kongsan, while Ninedust had used up two seals of similar power. This was primarily because Ninedust’s protective abilities weren’t as formidable as Ning’s suit of Hegemon armor.
“We’ve finally reached an empty region again.” The two stood on the prow of the black vessel and stared off into the distance as the charging flame demons behind them began to slow down, almost as though they were afraid of something up ahead.
Up ahead was a stream of rainbow light that snaked through an empty region that was over a hundred billion kilometers in size. At the very center of this region was the silhouette of a planet.
“Same as before?” Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord exchanged a glance. When they had been in Skywind’s homeland, they had seen something quite similar, a planet hidden within a massive, empty void.
Swoosh. They sent the vessel flying closer. The stream of light filled much of the void and thus covered the planet, making it hard for them to get a close look at it. By the time they were just a few hundred million kilometers away, they were able to see everything clearly. Within the rainbow light, they saw an utterly devastated planet that was covered with countless ‘wounds’. Next to it levitated two enormous fragments of another shattered planet.
“It’s been broken apart?” The two stared in disbelief at the devastated planet.