“Ineffable.” When this sword-stance struck out, an invisible current of heartforce would naturally merge into it; there was no need to ‘force’ it or do it on purpose.
A layer of thin, invisible, mist-like heartforce appeared on the surface of the sword, causing the power of the attack to immediately increase and even speed up.
“What a strange feeling.” Ji Ning’s six Northbow swords howled forth, knocking down all of the warriors before him. Some were sent flying backwards, others were bowled over. “This is the first time I’ve felt something like this. When I use this sword-art, I feel as though I’ve transformed into a sword. What a wonderful, enjoyable feeling. I feel as though the power of my sword-arts has risen by 20%.”
Mastering the seventh stance, ‘Cosmic Heart’, merely represented gaining a basic grasp of the [Heartsword]; it was of negligible benefit to him. The eighth stance, ‘Ineffable’, already allowed him to increase the power of his sword-arts by 20%! It must be remembered that Ning trained in the Omega Sword Dao; improving upon the power of his sword-arts was extremely difficult.
“Darknorth, you found a way to enhance the strength of your swords?” Ninedust had been working alongside Ning, and he immediately sensed Ning’s transformation.
“Haha, you’ve found ways to improve yourself. Why can’t I?” Ning was in a delightful mood. After just five years of researching the [Heartsword] art, he had become proficient in the eighth stance. This was actually much faster than he had predicted. According to the records he had reviewed, the [Heartsword] was supposed to be extremely difficult to train in.
Ning had forgotten, however, that his sword-arts were derived from the third-stage Omega Sword Dao, while his heartforce made him the strongest Heartforce Cultivator in all the Endless Territories.
“After entering Crimsonwave Temple, I’ve developed two consummate techniques,” Ninedust said smugly. “I’ve grown much more than you have.”
“You won’t be smug for much longer.” Ning began to work on the ninth stance, the ‘Blissheart’ stance.
“This feeling truly is absolutely marvelous.” Ning actually closed his eyes as he continued to execute his sword-arts, but he maintained in complete control of himself and his surroundings. “I understand. This sword-art really can throw the wielder into a state of utter contentment and bliss.”
He immersed himself in this feeling. Just six short months later…
“Blissheart.” Ning’s sword-light transformed once more. In the past, every strike had been covered with a mist-like layer of heartforce. Now, the mist was clearly much denser than before, and with each strike it was like a fog drifted in alongside it.
Whoooosh. No sword-shadows could be seen around Ning; the only thing visible was a series of mist-streaks.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Ning’s power increased dramatically, allowing him to blow through the warriors like rotted wood. The warriors, however, gathered themselves and continued their furious attacks.
“Darknorth, y-you… you grew stronger yet again?” Ninedust was flabbergasted.
“Haha…” Ning laughed loudly. “I told you a while ago that you won’t be smug for much longer. Now do you know how badass I am?” He had mastered the ‘Blissheart’ stance, and his sword-arts increased 50% in power!
“What’s going on?”
“How can they be advancing this quickly?”
Daolord Tigrone, Daolord Dreamlore, and Daolord Skyshatter were in the same dimensional walkway, and they were also fighting the endless hordes of warriors. They were stunned by what they saw. Given that the three of them were working together, they technically should’ve held the upper hand over Ning and Ninedust! A while ago, they had been slowly but steadily narrowing the gap between them and Ning’s team. Their initial calculations had indicated that they would be able to catch up in five or six years.
Ning’s mastery of the ‘Ineffable’ stance didn’t have too much of an impact on their calculations… but now that Ning had mastered the ninth stance, ‘Blissheart’, the difference was apparent!
“Daolord Darknorth is already incredibly strong. How could he have grown even stronger?” Daolord Skyshatter frowned.
“Daolord Darknorth has been training for less than a full chaos cycle, but he’s already become a supreme Daolord.” Daolord Dreamlore said coldly, “He naturally has plenty of room to improve. I imagine he’s come up with a new supreme technique for himself.”
The Radiant King, Palace Lord Dawnstar, and the others had all slowly developed their supreme techniques after becoming Daolords of the Fourth Step. The same was currently true of Ninedust as well. As Dreamlore saw it, Ning was most likely searching for the ultimate attack which would fit himself the most.
“Daolord Darknorth truly is difficult to deal with,” Daolord Tigrone growled. “To beat the two of them and seize the Voidsea Jadeseal won’t be easy.”
“There’s only two of them but three of us,” Daolord Dreamlore said coldly. “We aren’t idiots like Kingfreak and Timedream.”
“Right. When we work together, only Winesage is a threat to us.” Daolord Skyshatter felt quite confident as well.
Tigrone felt certain he possessed the strongest defensive abilities of all the supreme Daolords.
Dreamlore felt certain he possessed the strongest attacks of all the supreme Daolords; he had actually beaten the Radiant King in a head-on fight!
Daolord Skyshatter was equal to the other two in might.
The deceased Timedream and Kingfreak were ranked well below the top ten in close combat power, while Timedream’s heartforce techniques were useless against Ning. The Tigrone-Skyshatter-Dreamlore alliance was completely different! The only one they worried about was Winesage; they didn’t care about any other Daolords at all!
“Winesage has a Universe treasure, but I have to admit that Darknorth is a truly dazzling figure,” Daolord Dreamlore said coldly. “We have to fight with all our power. Otherwise, we’ll probably be defeated by the two of them.”
“Right.” Tigrone and Skyshatter both nodded. Upon seeing how quickly Ning’s team was advancing, not even Dreamlore dared to underestimate them.
The dimensional walkway of the first world. Ning’s group was currently battling against a final group of warriors. This time, there were thirty-nine warriors surrounding and attacking them. This meant they had to deal with thirty-nine second-tier Daolords at the same time!
If Ning was fighting by himself, he would’ve been beaten long ago.
Rumble… Ninedust transformed into a vast wave that swept across all thirty-nine warriors, his upper body still visible and wielding that longstaff as he furiously assaulted those around him. The warriors, however, were assembled into a war-formation and were valiantly charging towards the two.
“Break!” Ning was fighting the armored warriors head-on. Streaks of mist flew out with his swords, and the warriors were knocked aside each time the mist connected with them. Even the slightest scrape would cause them to be sent flying backwards. Unfortunately, there were still thirty-nine of them; when some were pushed back, others would immediately charge forwards and take up their positions, allowing the ones who had been pushed back to regroup and then charge as well.
They had to find a chance to create an opening!
Ning and Ninedust had to battle furiously for more than a month before they were finally able to knock the thirty-nine warriors out of the dimensional walkway.
“Aaaaaaaah.” Ninedust stared at the black throne, then lifted his head up and let loose a loud howl. “We finally beat’m!”
“Whew.” Ning smiled as well, but he felt a bit of regret in his heart. He had spent neary ten years battling within the first world, but he still had yet to master the tenth stance of the [Heartsword], the ‘Killheart’ stance.
“Keep having fun back there, the three of you.” Ninedust turned back to glance at Daolord Skyshatter, Daolord Dreamlore, and Daolord Tigrone. The three of them were surrounded by thirty-six armored warriors.
“They’ve made it to the second world.”
“These warriors are too tough to deal with, and any Dao-seals we use are actually cancelled out.” Daolord Skyshatter and the other two were starting to grow anxious. They went so far as to use Dao-seals, but the dazzling golden light radiated by the golden globe above them quickly suppressed and wiped out all the effects of the Dao-seals they used. The Sithe used this place to temper their Daolords; no cheating would be permitted here.
Ning gave the three a long, final glance. If he hadn’t been able to master the ninth stance, ‘Blissheart’, it probably would’ve taken him another ten years to traverse the dimensional walkway. The three probably would’ve caught up to him.
“Those three cannot be underestimated,” Ning mused.
“Let’s go, Darknorth,” Ninedust said.
“Let’s go.” Ning nodded.
Ning and Ninedust both walked straight towards the black throne. Instantly, the golden globe above them shot down a streak of dense light which covered the black throne and an area of thirty meters around it. Boom! Both the sword-wielding, white-robed Ning and the staff-wielding, silver-robed Ninedust disappeared without a trace.
“Faster, faster, faster! Fight harder! We need to make it to the second world as soon as we can!” Daolord Skyshatter and the other two were going crazy.
The world twisted and changed around them before reality reset itself around Ning and Ninedust.
“Eh?” Ning glanced at what was up ahead. In front of them was an enormous palace that was held up by a series of black pillars. The pillars were covered by many carvings and diagrams, including sword-arts diagrams, saber-arts diagrams, flame diagrams, wave diagrams, golden light diagrams, flaming chariot diagrams, animal diagrams… all sorts of diagrams were here, and they all emanated auras of mystery and power.
“Hmph.” Six golden-armored warriors were standing in front of them, with three more crimson-armored warriors standing shoulder-to-shoulder off in the distance. Very far away, a black-armored general was seated on a distant throne. The general was playing around with a palm-sized chunk of jade.
“The Voidsea Jadeseal.” Ning and Ninedust both stared at the palm-sized chunk of jade in the hands of the black-armored general who was seated on the distant throne. They had both seen a Voidsea Jadeseal before and thus recognized it right away.
“Daolord Darknorth. Daolord Ninedust.” Rainbow light gathered next to them, coalescing into a white-robed figure. It was Realmsoul Polo. The realmsoul smiled and said, “Congratulations on making it to the second world… but you two need to hurry it up. Winesage was able to make it to the second world after just a single year in the first world.”