The waters of the river gurgled gently. Both sides of the riverbank were verdant green and filled with flowers of all colors.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Two figures descended from the skies. Ji Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord stood there amongst the wild flowers and shrubbery. The Ninedust Sectlord sighed in amazement, “I never would’ve imagined that the Waveshift Realm would hold such beautiful scenery within it. Everyone speaks of how dangerous the realm is. Can such beauty truly hold danger within it?”
“Emperor Waveshift was a truly extraordinary Emperor,” Ning immediately said. “The dangers within the Waveshift Realm are hidden and invisible. Don’t be fooled by how beautiful the flowers are; if you dare to run around recklessly, you’ll end up trapped in some truly dangerous places.”
“Really?!” The Ninedust Sectlord was startled.
Seeing this, Ning chuckled. “Haha. Don’t worry, we’re in the outermost perimeter of the Waveshift Realm right now. Even if there is any danger here, we should be able to endure it with ease. Come, let us follow this river and move into the core regions of the Waveshift Realm as soon as possible.” As he spoke, he began to walk towards the banks of the river.
“Are we going to follow the river?” The Ninedust Sectlord followed behind Ning, feeling quite puzzled.
“Yes, we’re going to follow it. It’ll be safer this way.” Ning didn’t explain further, because this was something he had learned from big brother Solesky. Clearly, Daolord Badlands had been able to use Numerancy to divine certain secrets here.
“The Waveshift Realm has ten layers to it; seven outer layers and three inner layers.” Ning continued to explain as they advanced. “The three inner layers can be considered the ‘core’ region, and that is where the Voidsea Jadeseals should be. We should move to the core regions as quickly as possible, but we’ll encounter quite a few dangers along the way. Both of us need to be careful and maintain a vigilant watch at all times.”
“Right.” The Ninedust Sectlord nodded.
Ning released his heartworld projection, using it to cover an area of ten thousand kilometers around him. However, he controlled it to ensure that it didn’t launch any attacks, keeping it in sensory mode. The heartworld projection was much more effective as a scanning method than heartforce or godsense.
The Waveshift Realm was simply enormous. In the blink of an eye, the two ended up spending more than two hundred years walking through it without reaching the three innermost regions.
“Daolord Darknorth?” A voice rang out from afar.
They were at the peak of a snowy white mountain. The two were crossing the mountain peak when they suddenly saw six figures appear off in the distance, with the leader being a dazzling beauty dressed in faint pink Daoist robes.
“Oh? Daolord Qianfei?” Ning said.
“What a coincidence. I didn’t expect to run into you here, Daolord Darknorth. Have you seen Daolord Solesky?” Daolord Qianfei asked from afar. She glanced sideways at the nearby Ninedust, but didn’t pay him much attention. Ninedust was not nearly as well-known as Ning. Perhaps many people knew the previous Ninedust Sectlord, but very, very few knew the new one.
“Big brother Solesky? If I did, I’d probably be travelling with him,” Ning said.
As the two spoke, they slowly moved closer and closer to each other. Swoosh. The two sides crossed paths then moved past each other, both sides continuing to stare intently and prepared to attack at a moment’s notice.
Ning knew just how tough to deal with this squad of six Daolords would be. Daolord Qianfei looked like a woman but was actually male. S/he was a special lifeform that was skilled in the usage of poison! As for the five other Daolords by her side, all of them were on par with her. All six of them were second-tier Daolords! Six second-tier Daolords… when they joined forces, they were definitely a powerful force to be reckoned with who could give even the most elite of Daolords a good fight.
“Don’t underestimate this Darknorth fellow. His companion probably is also quite strong.” Daolord Qianfei didn’t wish to fight the two of them either. Soon, the two sides moved far away from each other as they continued their respective journeys.
“Whew.” Ning let out a relieved sigh.
“What’s there to be afraid of? If we really ended up in a fight, I’d wipe them out by myself,” the Ninedust Sectlord boasted confidently.
“Really?” Ning glanced sideways at him.
Ninedust chortled awkwardly. “Honestly, if I ran into them in the outside world I really would want to give them a good fight. But as for right now, well… we’re in the seventh layer of the Waveshift Realm. If we can avoid a fight, that’d be for the best.”
Ning glanced at the snowy mountains up ahead of them. He couldn’t help but sigh. Just a short while ago, they had been careless and ended up falling into a trap. They had wasted three years before being able to escape.
The Waveshift Realm was divided up into ten layers; seven outer layers, three core layers. The seventh layer was already quite close to the core region.
“None of the Daolords who run into each other dare to launch rash attacks. All of us are nervous and jumpy. This really is exhausting.” The Ninedust Sectlord pursed his lips. “Running the math through my head, we had to have run into over a hundred squads of Daolords in the Waveshift Realm by now. Some were strong, some were weak, but none of them were willing to get into a real fight.”
“Just wait and see what happens when the Voidsea Jadeseals actually show up. You’ll see for yourself if anyone holds back when that happens,” Ning said. “Everyone’s just biding their time, that’s all.”
Suddenly, Ning’s face turned pale.
“Darknorth! Darknorth! Rendezvous with me as soon as possible. Quickly, quickly!”
Daolord Solesky’s avatar within Vastheaven Palace was begging Ning to save him, going so far as to give a detailed description of his surroundings.
“Let’s move!” Ning barked.
“What’s wrong?” The Ninedust Sectlord was startled.
“My big brother Solesky is in serious danger. We need to move there right away. This is the first time he’s asked me for aid since we’ve entered the Waveshift Realm!” Ning said.
“Ahahaha! So that big brother Solesky of yours has finally agreed to meet up with us?” Ninedust laughed. Although Solesky treated Ning as he would a brother, everyone was here for the sake of acquiring a Voidsea Jadeseal! If the two joined together but then ran into one of them, who would it end up belonging to? Ning would want it, Solesky would want it, and the Ninedust Sectlord would also want it! Of the three, Ninedust was easily the most powerful! This was why Daolord Solesky had been in no rush to join forces with them.
“This isn’t the time for jokes,” Ning said seriously. “Let’s move as fast as we can. If we move too slowly, we might not make it in time.”
“Don’t panic. If you panic, you might be careless and fall into a dangerous zone and be trapped there for a century. If that happens, you really won’t make it in time,” Ninedust warned.
“I know.” The two of them hurriedly pressed onwards.
The eighth layer of the Waveshift Realm. There was a sandy beach here, and a ragged-looking old man was standing on the beach with an ugly look on his face. Next to him was the azure-robed Daolord Badlands.
“The two of you won’t be able to escape.” Standing far off in the distance was a group of three, with the leader being a willowy woman dressed in loose black robes. Her skin was green while her eyes were crimson, and she had a pair of curved green horns on her head. She was the seventh ranked Daolord of the Endless Territories, Fiendqueen Dustrain. The two partners next to her were slightly weaker, but both were second-tier Daolords. They were Daolord Incense Dragon and Daolord Feiting.
“Solesky, be a good boy and tell me everything you know.” Fiendqueen Dustrain’s voice was cold and clear. “Otherwise, I’ll capture you and torture you until you die.”
“Dustrain? The two of us really do run into each other quite often.” Daolord Badlands’ avatar smiled coldly. “Last time, you threatened me in front of my Badlands Court. I didn’t expect I’d run into you again here in the Waveshift Realm. Catch us if you can!”
“Come. Let’s see what you have.” Solesky ground his teeth as well.
The two stood there atop the beach, which seemed quite ordinary, but in truth they were surrounded by thirteen ancient linked formations. This was an incredibly dangerous place they had discovered some time ago but had been afraid to enter! Alas, when they ran into Fiendqueen Dustrain they had no choice but to flee into the formations as soon as possible. Now that they were trapped inside, escape would be quite difficult! Still, hiding within the formation was still better than being caught by the Fiendqueen.
“Hmph.” A murderous look flickered through the Fiendqueen’s eyes. “Damn those two. Incense Dragon, do you have any ideas on how to get inside?” the Fiendqueen sent mentally.
“They seem to be inside thirteen looped formations that are constantly changing. The only reason they were able to make it safely inside was because of how skilled Daolord Badlands is in divination.” Daolord Incense Dragon shook his head. “It’ll be very hard for us to enter. Although I’m skilled in formations, I’m not capable of defeating this one.”
“So there’s nothing you can do?” The Fiendqueen was angered by this.
“There’s nothing I can do.” Daolord Incense Dragon shook his head again.
The Fiendqueen’s crimson eyes were filled with a crazed look. She barked coldly, “Solesky, I’ll give you one last chance. Hand over everything you know about the Waveshift Realm! If you dare to refuse me again, I vow that you will regret it!” But neither Solesky nor Badlands budged in the slightest.
“Fine. Fine!” The Fiendqueen’s body began to faintly emanate a black mist as an aura of power and majesty swept out from her, causing all of the Daolords present to tremble.
“Although Emperor Waveshift was skilled in Numerancy, he was not a Hegemon. Even if was in front of me right now and attacked me, he still wouldn’t be that much stronger than me. I refuse to believe his formations can be all that powerful! I’ll break through them with raw power. BREAK!!!” The Fiendqueen’s voice was filled with madness as her two crystalline hands suddenly expanded in size, crashing down towards Solesky and Badlands like a pair of giant mountains.
BOOM! Instantly, streams of light appeared atop the sandy beach as the ancient formations showed themselves, blocking the dominating power of these two hands.