Ji Ning nodded, then suddenly asked, “Fellow Daoist Thunderheat, might I ask if my retainers can enter as well?”
Daolord Thunderheat let out a pained laugh. “Fellow Daoist Darknorth, the Void Pathway is the most important treasure of the entire Eastroad Sect. You have vowed to save our entire sect, and the debt we owe you is endless! Your retainers and your closest friends can all make the attempt as well, but I ask that you not divulge anything about it at all.”
Ning was briefly startled, then nodded. “I swear on my very life itself that aside from my retainers, I will not speak of the Void Pathway to anyone else.” His voice echoed within the void and within his very own soul. This was a lifeblood oath.
“That wasn’t necessary. The Eastroad Sect trusts you fully, fellow Daoist Darknorth,” Daolord Thunderheat said hurriedly. In reality, however, he couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief. He did want Ning to swear a lifeblood oath, but he was also begging Ning to prevent his entire sect from being wiped out, which was why he had never proactively mentioned any oaths.
“It was only proper,” Ning said casually. He could tell what the man was thinking. Still, he really wasn’t all that concerned about this opportunity. The cultivators of the Three Realms had their own opportunities to exploit.
“Those three retainers of mine will never spread this information either. I’ll have them swear oaths as well,” Ning said.
“Um…” Daolord Thunderheat chuckled. “Then I won’t bother you any further. Whenever you wish to leave, fellow Daoist, you only need to turn back and you’ll be able to depart.”
“Understood.” Ning nodded, and Daolord Thunderheat departed. Ning chuckled and shook his head. The fewer treasures one had, the more one would value them! Ning had acquired all of Daolord Kongsan’s treasures, and had the Sword Hegemon’s Dao-seal. Although this Void Pathway was a unique treasure, it wasn’t enough to make Ning feel the slightest bit greedy. Ning also knew that the more powerful he became, the more treasures he would have in the future. In the future, this Void Pathway would be even less meaningful than it was right now.
“But let me take a look and see what’s so special about this thing.” Ning stepped forwards, moving tens of thousands of kilometers in an instant.
An enormous globe of golden light suddenly appeared high in the void above the golden region. The globe of light unleashed two streaks of golden light which shot into the bodies of the two armored warriors directly in front of Ning. Golden light immediately began to shine out of the armored soldiers eyes.
Boom! Boom! The two armored soldiers hoisted their weapons as they transformed into streaks of light, charging towards Ning. “Die!” One of them stabbed out with a longspear, sending it piercing through the skies.
“Kill!” The other armored soldier lashed out with a long whip which moved like a long, agile serpent. These two armored soldiers worked in concert, one charging forward valiantly while the other moved with crafty agility. They moved in perfect harmony, as though they were part of a greater whole.
Ning revealed a smile. “Interesting. No wonder Thunderheat said that these soldiers fight in a very unique manner; they actually have employ a battle-formation Dao, and are able to work together wonderfully…”
Boom! With but a thought, Ning caused his sword-intent to manifest. His sword-intent swept out in an overwhelming wave, smashing against the two soldiers and sweeping them off their feet, then sending them flying.
The difference in power was simply far too greater. These two soldiers were just barely comparable to ordinary Daolords of the Second Step.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Ning blew through the soldiers like rotting wood, continuing to advance through the pathway. Only after defeating 18,000 soldiers did he finally begin to slow down.
“What a strange feeling.” Ning was surrounded and being attacked by eight soldiers. These eight soldiers used different weapons and different attack styles. Hard, soft, insidious, straightforwards… every single soldier was extremely dedicated to one type of combat style. And yet, they were able to work together through their battle-formation. Ning felt as though he was fighting a major power who was a mastery of many different types of weapons. This was quite a taxing fight.
“The Dao of Wind? The Dao of Lightning? The Dao of Water?” Ning was growing increasingly excited by this battle. As for the globe of light, it continued to hang there in the void. Each time Ning defeated a soldier, it would shoot out even more golden light and activate even more powerful soldiers.
“That light globe should serve as the core of the entire Void Pathway.” Ning lifted his head up to glance at the light globe. All of the soldiers were unliving and inaminate things, but once the light shone down upon them they were given incredible amounts of power.
“The items that can be found in the Terror Starsea truly are marvelous.” Ning was feeling increasingly curious about the Terror Starsea, but it was simply too dangerous a place; not even the three mighty Hegemons dared to go too deep into that place. It was so terrifying that even they stood a chance of dying if they went too far in.
Time flew on. Ten thousand years went past in the blink of an eye. To cultivators, ten thousand years was actually a very short period of time. The entire Eastroad Sect remained in a state of disarray and fear of the Ninedust Sect’s arrival.
During the past ten thousand years, Pillsaint had focused intently on training in the Dao of Alchemy. As a result, he had finally broken through to become a Daolord of the Second Step. With the first six chapters of the [Seven Leafpill Chapters] serving to guide him, he knew exactly how to progress in his Dao and so made incredibly rapid improvements.
The main hall of the Eastroad Sect.
“What will be, will be.” Daolord Thunderheat’s face turned solemn after he heard his disciple’s reports. A group of disciples had already been gathered here within the hall.
“The Ninedust Sect has finally arrived.” The disciples all felt nervousness in their hearts.
“Lead him in,” Daolord Thunderheat instructed.
“Yes.” The disciple who was responsible for bringing word from outside immediately departed. As he did, Daolord Thunderheat’s avatar appeared in front of the sculpture of a mountain, pushed the ‘door’ open, and entered the Void Pathway.
There was a battle going on in the empty void of space directly above the actually pathway. It was Daolord Naia and Flamefairy Su Youji battling each other! There was a thatched cottage at one end of the area, and Ning was seated in the lotus position within it as he meditated silently. Ning had spent almost the entirety of the past ten thousand years within the Void Pathway. He would often go out to engage in battle, then use his spacetime cottage to train and reflect on his insights.
“Fellow Daoist Darknorth.” Daolord Thunderheat’s avatar walked over, then called out to to Ning. Within the cottage, Ning opened his eyes and smiled. “What is it, Daolord Thunderheat?”
“An envoy from the Ninedust Sect has arrived,” Daolord Thunderheat said.
“The Ninedust Sect? They’ve finally come.” A cold glint flashed through Ning’s eyes. He rose to his feet, walked out of the cottage, then waved his hand and put it away.
“The two of you can keep training here. I’ll go take a look,” Ning said loudly.
“Yes, Master.” Su Youji and Daolord Naia both called back loudly.
“Let’s go.” Ning immediately accompanied Daolord Thunderheat in leaving.
One of the side halls of the Eastroad Sect had been set up to welcome the Ninedust Sect’s envoy. A large number of Eastroad Sect disciples had already gathered here. As for Ning, he was brought in through a side door. He quietly sat down in the back row and watched silently.
“Envoy of the Ninedust Sect, why have you come to the Eastroad Sect?” Daolord Thunderheat spoke out from his position atop the high seat.
“Simple.” The fiery-armored figure standing before him said coldly, “We’re here giving you a chance to stay alive. If you immediately evacuate the Eastroad Territory, all of you will be able to stay alive! But if you fight back, you will be wiped out.”
Instantly, the disciples within the hall all began to roar and shout with fury. They hadn’t imagined that the Ninedust Sect would act in such a brash manner.
“It was the Sectlord who personally told me to convey this message. Either you get the hell out of the Eastroad Sect or you die.” The fiery-armored man said coldly, “I’ve delivered my message. It is up to you what choice you will make. Ten years from now, if the Eastroad Sect is still present in this region, then you can simply wait for death.” Message delivered, he turned and left.
“He wants to leave, just like that?”
“Stop right th-…” An enraged disciple of the Eastroad Sect moved to block his path.
“Let him leave,” Daolord Thunderheat said coldly. The Eastroad disciples had no choice but to swallow their rage.
“Hmph. I train in a cloning technique. Even if you killed me, it would be meaningless.” The fiery-armored man let out a cold laugh, then left with a swagger.
Daolord Thunderheat just watched him leave silently. He wasn’t going to get angry with a World-level cultivator; it was the Ninedust Sectlord he was angry with!
“Fellow Daoist Darknorth.” Daolord Thunderheat looked at the seated Ning.
“I saw everything.” Ning nodded and smiled. “Let them come. I’ve been waiting over ten thousand years here for the Ninedust Sect to come.”
Daolord Thunderheat relaxed slightly. “Your words put me at ease, fellow Daoist.”