“Here are five hundred and sixty of the golden sandsifter fruit.” The Grovekeeper delivered one gleaming golden fruit after another to Ji Ning, who waved his hand and accepted them.
“Darknorth, give me a hand!” Winesage’s voice rang out within Ning’s mind.
“Eh?” Ning frowned as he turned to look at the furious battle raging off in the distance. There were more than twenty Daolords encircling and attacking Winesage, but Winesage was so incredibly strong that he was able to ensure his enemies weren’t able truly work together flawlessly. Each time, Winesage ‘only’ had to deal with ten of them at most.
“What’s wrong, Darknorth?” Ninedust asked.
“It’s Winesage. He asked me for assistance.” Ning smiled. “He’s just barely hanging on right now, but with so many Daolords attacking him he’s unable to remain within the teleportation diagram for ten seconds. There’s no way for him to leave the third world, much less Crimsonwave Temple.”
Ninedust laughed. “It’s his own fault for hogging two of the Voidsea Jadeseals, and not even rushing off to use them! He was too self-confident.”
“Agreed.” Ning nodded. In truth, using the seals in the Waveshift Realm was indeed a bit wasteful. Daolords would generally make plentiful preparations before using up the Voidsea Jadeseal, but for safety’s sake Ninedust had used his up long ago. That way, he could ensure that he wouldn’t be attacked by everyone else.
“Darknorth, give me a hand! Just tell me what you want!” Winesage sent frantically.
“Why should I help you?” Ning and Ninedust stood off in the distance, watching relaxedly from afar. Ning sent back placidly, “You are being assaulted by numerous Daolords, and you aren’t able to escape them. You are locked into combat. Before you die, you’ll probably be able to kill a few of them. I could simply go in then and mop up the rest.”
“Before I die? I’m not going to commit suicide for the sake of these seals,” Winesage sent back. “If the situation truly turns dire, I’d rather offer one of them up and ensure that I stay safe.”
“Then go ahead and hand me one of the Voidsea Jadeseals, both of your command talismans, and some of your other treasures. If you do, I’ll help out,” Ning sent mentally.
“That’s a bit much, isn’t it?” Winesage replied mentally, “All I need to do is hand a Voidsea Jadeseal over to King Paleos! If I do that, King Paleos and his group of eight Daolords will be willing to swear lifeblood oaths not to attack me and even help me out! With the eight of them helping me instead of attacking me, I’ll be able to escape with ease.”
Ning couldn’t help but nod when he heard this. Right. The attacking Daolords weren’t all on the same page either; they were divided up into multiple ‘factions’. The Daolords under King Paleos constituted one faction, the Radiant King led a second faction, Daolord Dreamlore’s four-man team made up a third faction, while Palace Lord Dawnstar’s five-man squad made up a fourth faction.
Any of the four factions could be bribed using a Voidsea Jadeseal! So long as one of the four joined Winesage, Winesage would be able to break this stalemate.
“It seems I won’t have a shot at winning the Voidsea Jadeseal,” Ning mused to himself. In truth, he didn’t even really want it that much; he had intentionally started off with a very high ask. “Well, give me all the treasures you own, aside from the Voidsea Jadeseals and your weapons. Do that and I’ll help you,” Ning sent back.
“All my treasures? Those two talismans are enough!” Winesage was growing rather angry. “Darknorth, I’ve been alive for more than a hundred thousand chaos cycles and have experienced countless dangers. Am I supposed to just give you all of my treasures? Don’t you feel that you are asking for a bit much?”
“Not at all. Compared to the Voidsea Jadeseals, those things are worthless.” Ning shook his head.
“Two command talismans. That’s it.” Winesage ground his teeth. “There’s no way I’ll give you anything else! I need to at least be able to keep myself safe. There’s no way I can just give you all of my treasures. Those treasures are enough for me to bribe a few of those Daolords into joining me.”
“Hmph.” A cold light flashed through Ning’s eyes. “True, you need to stay alive. Fine! I can agree to let you keep two life-preserving treasures. Aside from those two treasures, the Voidsea Jadeseals, and your weapons, everything else you own now belongs to me! If you agree, I’ll immediately come over and help out. If you refuse… then I’m going to join in and attack you as well!”
“You…!” Winesage’s face turned gray. Ning was going to attack as well? Ning was a tremendous threat to him. When Ning had defeated the black-armored general in the second world, Winesage had immediately understood that Ning had grown much more powerful and was now close to him in might! Once Ning intervened, the situation would immediately turn even grimmer.
“You can keep the Voidsea Jadeseals, your weapons, and two life-preserving treasures. I’ll wager that you only have a few valuable ones anyhow,” Ning sent back. “Letting you choose and keep two of them isn’t a bad offer.”
Winesage ground his teeth. What a nasty piece of work this Darknorth was, kicking him when he was down! However… Winesage belonged to the Dark Kingdom, while Darknorth belonged to the Dao Alliance and the Brightshore Kingdom. They belonged to enemy organizations to begin with, and Winesage had even attacked Ning previously! Everyone was doing this for the sake of the treasures they wanted. Personal feelings had nothing to do with it.
“Fine.” Winesage gritted his teeth and accepted Ning’s offer, but his heart was bleeding.
He was the number one Daolord of the Endless Territories and had braved many dangerous areas, earning even a Universe treasure for himself. He had naturally accumulated an enormous number of treasures! Now, he had to hand nearly ninety percent of them over to Ning… how could he NOT feel heartache at the prospect?
Still… his lifespan was coming to an end. The Daomerge was what truly mattered!
“Good.” Ning revealed a smile. “Shall we swear a lifeblood oath?”
“Of course we have to swear a lifeblood oath!” Winesage said frantically.
Ning knew that acquiring a Voidsea Jadeseal was rather unlikely. In truth, he was different from the other Daolords; he never really wanted one of the seals that much to begin with. He was perfectly happy earning two of the command talismans. For him to earn the many other treasures which Winesage had accumulated over the years made him even happier.
“Ninedust, I just negotiated a little something with Winesage.” Ning quickly explained what had happened to Ninedust.
“Ah?!” Ninedust revealed a delighted look. “Hah! Savage! Too bad, though, that you weren’t able to get one of those Voidsea Jadeseals. Still, if he was willing to part with one of them he wouldn’t hand over all these other treasures.”
“The two of us will split those treasures once we get them,” Ning sent.
“Split them?” Ninedust was startled. “No way. No way! You go help him out. I won’t be of much use.”
“Both of the command talismans are mine, but we’ll split all the other treasures. I’ve already taken the lion’s share,” Ning said with a calm smile. Winesage certainly had many treasures, but all of them combined probably weren’t worth as much as the fruits! Even Hegemons and the Dao Alliance had gone crazy over those fruits! Winesage had ‘only’ been alive for a hundred thousand chaos cycles; compared to the mighty Hegemons, that was nothing. The Hegemons certainly had far more treasures by far! Thus, his treasures were probably worth just a fraction of what the fruits were worth.
Ninedust had already given Ning three command talismans. How could Ning not give him some treasure in compensation?
In addition, it was likely that they would acquire a number of life-preserving treasures from Winesage. As good friends, splitting them was nothing. Even Sectlord Timedream had given quite a few treasures to the Kingfreak! In addition, at Ning’s level these treasures were generally of very little use to him. What he needed was truly stunning treasures such as the Crimsonwave Temple fruits, treasures which would drive even Hegemons wild with lust.
“Let’s go. Follow me.” Ning transformed into a streak of light.
“Time to attack?” Ninedust immediately grew excited. Thanks to his invulnerable aquaform, he was even better at staying alive than Ning was. He naturally felt eager to take part in this fight!
“I don’t think that’ll even be necessary,” Ning said.
Boom! Ning transformed into a streak of light that charged over from afar. His heartworld projection came crashing down, as did his nine novessence arts. Ning was like an enormous comet blazing through the skies towards the battlefield, while the Ninedust Sectlord roared with laughter by his side. “Daoloooooords! I’m coming for you all!” He transformed into a vast wave of water that swept through the world like a tidal wave towards the enemy Daolords.
“Is that Darknorth?”
“That’s Daolord Darknorth!”
The faces of the many Daolords assaulting Winesage all tightened, with Dawnstar, Cloudwalker, and Ninestone in particular frowning unhappily. These three were of the Brightshore Kingdom and thus weren’t worried about Ning attacking them, but they wouldn’t be able to attack Ning either.
“Daolord Darknorth, we didn’t go to cause you any trouble. Why are you getting involved?!” King Paleos roared angrily.
“Darknorth, we don’t want your command talismans. Don’t interfere!” Daolord Dreamlore snapped.
All of them were furious. Darknorth had already acquired quite a few command talismans, attracting their envy. They all knew just how valuable those things were! However, for the sake of the Voidsea Jadeseal, they didn’t want to get into a lengthy altercation with him.
“So what if I DO interfere?” A thunderous voice rang out from the heavens as the vast comet of heartforce and energy came crashing down into the battlefield. The Yin-Yang Chaos Domain began to merge together with Winesage’s secret arts as the two joined forces, striking out at their foes.
Swish! Ning disappeared into thin air. He had just used his Shadowless evasion art to move within range of Winesage’s secret arts! Winesage and him were in the same region now. Although Winesage knew that Ning had entered that region, he didn’t force Ning to reveal himself; instead, he aided Ning as best he could.
“Darknorth just vanished. Be careful!”
The other Daolords all had ugly looks on their faces.