The tens of thousands of copies of Realmsoul Polo began to disappear from the skies above the Waveshift Realm.
“Let’s go to Crimsonwave Temple.”
“The realmsoul has already made it clear that only supreme Daolords are capable of surviving Crimsonwave Temple. We’re not on that level of power yet. If we go, we’ll die.”
“I won’t be satisfied if we don’t even go take a look! Plus, there’s always a chance, no matter how slim. We might be able to seize that chance.”
“Even if we don’t go inside, we can wait around outside the palace. We still might have a chance.”
Although the realmsoul had made the situation perfectly clear, there were still many Daolords who elected to head towards the Crimsonwave Temple. And of course, none of the supreme Daolords hesitated at all.
“Shall we head to Crimsonwave Temple together?” Winesage asked.
“Let’s. We’re quite a ways away from Crimsonwave Temple, and there will be many dangers along the path. If we join forces, we’ll move faster,” Palace Lord Dawnstar agreed.
“I’m fine with that. Badlands, what say you?” Ning looked at Daolord Badlands, who smiled and nodded: “This is just an avatar. I’ve been prepared for death this entire time. I might as well go to check out the Crimsonwave Temple first.”
“Let’s move.” Winesage smiled slightly. He had naturally heard of Daolord Badlands long ago; the presence of Badlands’ would naturally be of help.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Winesage and Dawnstar simply flew, while Ning road aboard his flying vessel as he wished to have a private conversation with Emperor Solesky. At present, the only ones within that vessel were Ning, Badlands, and Emperor Solesky.
Within the flying vessel. Badlands had long ago moved to the front deck to stare off into the distance, allowing Ning and Emperor Solesky to stand at the other end of the vessel.
“Big brother Solesky.” Ning spoke up. “When you were fortunate enough to acquire the Voidsea Jadeseal, we agreed that although Ninedust and I would do our best to protect you, if we were unable to do so you would immediately hand the seal over. That way, we’d be able to avoid a true disaster befalling us.”
“Yes.” Emperor Solesky had a hint of embarrassment on his face.
“But in reality? Both Ninedust and I were at the brink of death, but you entered secluded meditation and surrounded yourself with many layers of wards and barriers, refusing to allow anyone to disturb you at all.” Ning looked at Emperor Solesky. “Tell me. Why?”
Although Solesky was now an Eternal Emperor, Ning still viewed him as a brother. He needed an explanation.
“Ugh…” Emperor Solesky shook his head. “I admit, I’m at fault for what happened! We did indeed agree that I would hide inside the estate while you and Ninedust would flee while defending against the attackers! To tell you the truth, when I saw the Voidsea Jadeseal I did indeed feel a strong, selfish desire to keep it for myself and never give it up to anyone else. There are no Verge-level Daolords who would be completely immune to its allure.”
Ning simply listened. He acknowledged this point; otherwise, why would so many incredible Daolords have lost their lives here? Even the likes of King Gorsch, Sectlord Timedream, and the Kingfreak had died due to this struggle.
“I made a certain decision. I chose to immediately use the Voidsea Jadeseal,” Emperor Solesky said in a low voice. “This was my plan. I was going to use the Voidsea Jadeseal to simulate a Daomerge! Since it was a mere simulation and not an actual Daomerge, I could stop it at any moment. I didn’t go into true seclusion!”
“My original plan was to finish using it up, then immediately notifying the two of you. I would then be able to swear a lifeblood oath to the others that I had already used up the Voidsea Jadeseal,” Emperor Solesky said. “Once those pursuing Daolords were certain that I had already used it up… although they wouldn’t be happy about it, they wouldn’t continue the pursuit.”
Ning nodded. “What you say makes sense.” If the seal was used up, then Ning, Ninedust, Badlands, and Solesky could’ve all sworn lifeblood oaths and informed Daolord Shaka, Daolord Snowjoy, and the others that the seal had been consumed. Their opponents would’ve been forced to give up, as further battle would’ve been pointless; the seal would’ve already been gone.
“After I came to that decision, I began to use the Voidsea Jadeseal within a temporal acceleration estate,” Emperor Solesky said. “Roughly a month later, it was used up.”
“A month?” Ning’s face tightened. “Then why didn’t you tell me and Ninedust about it?” Back then, he and Ninedust had yet to fall into danger! If they had publicized the fact that the Voidsea Jadeseal had been used up, the ensuing battles would not have occurred.
“I really was planning to make it public…” Emperor Solesky had an ashamed look on his face. “But as I completed a full Daomerge simulation with the Voidsea Jadeseal, the insights I gained were identical to the insights I would’ve gained from the real Daomerge. Certain insights I had spent countless years working on in the Dao of Water began to deepen, and towards the end I entered a very special prajna-type meditation state.”
“I… really did not wish for that state to come to an end. Once the state ended, the flow of insights would’ve ended as well,” Emperor Solesky said. “Thus, I immediately separated myself from the outside world and began the actual Daomerge, allowing myself to engage in the Daomerge while in that prajna meditative state. In the end… I succeeded at one go with my Daomerge and gained eternity.”
Ning was silent.
“Ji Ning, I admit that I was at fault,” Emperor Solesky said in an embarrassed manner. “I was planning to listen to your call and hand it over as soon as you told me to, or immediately publicize the usage of the Voidsea Jadeseal if I was able to use it up, but… do you know how rare it is for one to enter a prajna-state like that? I could sense that I had a chance at succeeding in the Daomerge! I figured, since you had been able to hold on for a full month, you’d probably be able to hold on for another month…”
“Well. I’ve given you a lot of excuses, but in the end I was just selfish and excited. I saw a chance at the Daomerge and so I risked everything to achieve it,” Emperor Solesky said with shame.
Ning turned to stare towards the outside of the vessel, where Winesage and Palace Lord Dawnstar were flying at high speed. His feelings were very complicated right now.
Should he be angry? He simply wasn’t able to get worked up. The Voidsea Jadeseal had belonged to big brother Solesky to begin with; there was nothing wrong with him using it up! The Daomerge simulation could indeed be disrupted, and Solesky hadn’t fully secluded himself; Ning simply had to message him in order to have him come out! But he ended up in that prajna-state, a state which was incredibly rare. Most likely, no one who was about to attempt the Daomerge would choose to voluntarily end a prajna-state upon entering it. Who knew when the next chance would be?
“Ji Ning.” Solesky looked at Ning.
“No one is completely unselfish,” Ning murmured softly. “And the Daomerge is the ultimate tribulation for all Samsara Daolords. I can’t blame you for not wishing to halt a prajna-state upon entering the simulated Daomerge!”
“In the end, I still went against my promise.” Emperor Solesky remained ashamed. “I caused you and Ninedust to fall into a perilous situation.”
“You don’t owe me.” Ning shook his head. “You do owe Ninedust. He was poisoned by Sectlord Timedream’s redscatter venom.”
“Redscatter?” This name caused Emperor Solesky to feel puzzled.
“It is a terrifying poison meant for dealing with Eternal Emperors. Ninedust is suffering endless torment right now, and was in such pain that he screamed for me to kill him,” Ning said slowly.
“What?!” Emperor Solesky’s face turned pale. Ninedust was a supreme Daolord. How much pain did he have to be in, for him to ask for death?
“You were in that prajna-state of yours and refused to end it, choosing to continue with your Daomerge. I can’t blame you for that.” Ning looked at Solesky. “But big brother… you owe him.”
“I owe him, and I owe you,” Emperor Solesky said. “I won’t forget either debts.”
“I suppose the silver lining for me is that I managed to make a breakthrough,” Ning said. “And I didn’t really lose anything.” Ning spoke in a casual manner… but in truth, he had lost quit a bit. He had been forced to use up his final Sword Hegemon’s Dao-seal, after all. Not even the likes of Sectlord Timedream or Daolord Shaka had Dao-seals like that! That dominatingly offensive Hegemon Dao-seal was far more rare and difficult to make than the more stable defensive-type Hegemon Dao-seals.
And in truth, Ning had long ago reached the final bottleneck and was about to make a breakthrough at any moment. Even without this near-disaster, he would’ve soon broken through. To go from the second step to the third step wasn’t all that hard, after all.
“Alright. Now I know the situation.” Ning nodded. “Realmsoul Polo won’t let you stay here forever. You should leave.”
“Alright.” Solesky nodded. He really didn’t know what else he could say.
“Oh, right. Big brother, I haven’t congratulated you yet.” Ning smiled. “Congratulations on succeeding in your Daomerge! Countless Daolords have fallen to this great tribulation, and its rare for even a single powerful Eternal Emperor to emerge in each generation of Daolords. Big brother, you are now strong enough to truly wander the universe without fear for all eternity.”
Solesky revealed a slight smile as well. In his heart, he also felt quite excited… but the guilt he felt towards Ning and the others prevented him from displaying any of it. “I’ll leave now. I’ll wait for you outside the Waveshift Realm,” Emperor Solesky said.
“Alright.” Ning nodded.
Whoosh. Emperor Solesky immediately flew out of the flying vessel and towards the outside world. A rainbow tunnel soon appeared above him; clearly, Realmsoul Polo had opened it up just for him. Emperor Solesky immediately flew into the rainbow tunnel and flew out of the Waveshift Realm.