“His greatest regret?” Ji Ning was rather puzzled. The Nine Chaos Seals were indeed quite marvelous. They were capable of transforming his heartforce, his divine power, his Immortal energy, and even the chaos energy of the outside world. It made the energy inside his body far more pure, and was extremely nourishing to the soul and truesoul. Wasn’t it perfect?
“Yes… his greatest regret. Master had always felt regret over this technique and was unhappy with it,” the white-haired elder said with a nod. “The ‘Ninespace’ technique has many inherent flaws. For example, one can only master it before reaching the World level! Otherwise, there will be no way to establish the ninespace region within the sea of consciousness. For another example, there’s no way the mist-energy can leave the body.”
Ning nodded. This was true, and the reason why in the past he had always relied on close combat. However, the more powerful one became, the more important one’s mastery over the Dao would be. By now, the additional strength granted to him by the azureflower mist energy was negligible.
“But these are all small flaws. If Master spent a bit more effort, he would be able to perfect them,” the white-haired elder said. “The fatal flaw to this technique… is that the ninespace region is at most able to convert the power of Samsara Daolords! The divine power, heartforce, and Immortal energy of Eternal Emperors cannot be converted at all.”
Ning was stunned. “Eternal-level energies cannot be converted?”
“Right. Thus, this technique is only useful to cultivators below the Eternal Emperor level.” The white-haired elder shook his head and sighed. “My master’s original plan was to create a total of twelve of those chaos seals! Not only would this technique be able to convert the energies of Eternal Emperors… it would even be able to convert the energies of Autarchs! Only then would this technique be considered perfect. If it could convert an Autarch’s energy, it would be of huge benefit to even the Autarchs!”
Ning could only nod. He didn’t really understand what Autarchs were truly capable of, but being able to convert their energies had to be quite helpful.
“The reason why my master created this technique was because the Sithe race relied upon a source of energy that was very pure and similar to this mist energy,” the white-haired elder said. “Every member of the Sithe race, from the weakest to the strongest, all used something akin to your mist-energy.”
“Ah?!” Ning was stunned. “They don’t use divine power or Immortal energy?”
“They do not.” The white-haired elder shook his head. “Their energy source can be used the same way as divine power or Immortal energy is used, but is even more powerful. Why would they need divine power or Immortal energy?”
Ning was truly stunned now. It seemed as though the Sithe truly were fundamentally different from cultivators; even their techniques were completely different! Perhaps there were justa few simple techniques like the [Daoheart] or the [Vitalis] arts which both sides could use. This was the reason why Emperor Waveshift had moved Crimsonwave Temple to his home without destroying the [Daoheart] or [Vitalis] techniques.
“To create an entirely new system of cultivation is unspeakably difficult. Master labored by himself for untold aeons to find a way to merge divine power, Immortal energy, heartforce, and all other types of energy into this mist energy,” the white-haired elder said. “This was Master’s greatest goal, and he poured all of his effort into it.”
“He scoured the cultivator civilizations for techniques, and even retrofitted countless Sithe techniques for us to use… but his true goal was still to create the Nine Chaos Seals.” The white-haired elder looked at Ning. “Master is dead now, and his dying regret was this technique. Thus, he hopes that his successors will be able to create a tenth chaos seal… and perhaps help him realize his hypothesized eleventh and twelfth chaos seals.”
Ning nodded slowly. He couldn’t help but ask, “If even the Autarch failed, how could we successors possibly succeed?”
“Do not underestimate any cultivator. Master was able to become an Autarch due to his talent, but also due to the countless strokes of good fortune he encountered. You juniors aren’t necessarily less talented than my master… and in fact, you yourself were able to develop an Omega Sword Dao at the Samsara Daolord level. When my master was a Samsara Daolord, he wasn’t even close to being a match for you,” the white-haired elder said. “There are some things which you can do which my master might not be able to.”
Ning was enlightened. Indeed, every single extremely talented cultivator had their own experiences and insights, and they would create techniques with those different thoughts in mind. Autarch Awakener had failed, but that didn’t mean that all cultivators would fail.
“Master once lived here for many years, coming up with all sorts of techniques.” The white-haired elder pointed at the stacks of jade scrolls. “These are the various cultivation techniques which Master collected. They include many techniques meant for mortals. These are meant for ‘Foundation’, ‘Golden Core’, and ‘Nascent Soul’ cultivators… those over there are meant for the ‘Yin God’, ‘Thunder Tribulation’, and ‘Yang God’ cultivators… and those are meant for ‘Core Formation’, ‘Nine Cycles’, and ‘Truth’ level cultivators. All sorts of cultivation techniques are here, and they represent different paths of cultivation. However, everything eventually points towards the path of divine power and Immortal energy.”
“Master’s original plan was to create a completely new system of cultivation from scratch, but it was simply too difficult. Thus, in the end he developed the Nine Chaos Seals instead. These jade scrolls include many of Master’s thoughts about creating new techniques as well as other avenues he had considered.”
Ning stared at the tens of thousands of jade scrolls on the bookshelves around him. He couldn’t help but imagine how Autarch Awakener had once sat on the stone dais, meditating on how to create better techniques.
He was an exalted Autarch… and his dying regret was this technique? Ning couldn’t help but sigh emotion. However, it made sense. As an Autarch, Awakener had been completely and truly invincible. He was able to create even alternate universes with ease. Autarch Bolin had created the Aeonian race! As for Autarch Awakener, he had poured his efforts into creating a technique that could convert Autarch-level energies. Alas, the Autarchs had to be incredibly lonely; to be invincible truly did mean to be lonely.
“As a Daolord who was able to pass the trials, you are a truly dazzling figure amongst your peers.” The white-haired elder looked at Ning. “I hope you can help my master accomplish his greatest dream.”
“I won’t ask much of you. If you can create a tenth chaos seal, that’ll be enough,” the white-haired elder said.
Ning nodded. Ning was in a state of constant epiphany thanks to being seated on the state dais, and countless insights were flashing through his mind. However, the more he thought about the Nine Chaos Seals, the more unfathomable and marvelous he found it to be. Ning couldn’t help but feel a sense of true veneration. Anyone capable of creating such a technique was truly inconceivable… how was he supposed to make a further improvement to it?
Ning pondered there for many hours, then finally spoke: “It’s too hard.”
“Haha, of course it is hard! Master spent countless hours working on it to no avail. How could it be so easily accomplished?” The white-haired elder continued, “That is why master left a treasure behind to help you.”
Ning listened attentively.
“However… prior to me givng it to you, you must create ten different techniques!” the white-haired elder said. “As you are a Daolord… the complexity and profundity of every single technique must reach the Archon level.”
“Ten different techniques, each of which must be at the Archon level?!” Ning was flabbergasted.
“Right!” The white-haired elder nodded. “As a Daolord, if you can create ten different Archon-level techniques, it will be considered proof that you are quite talented when it comes to creating new techniques. In that case, I can give you the other treasure which Master left behind, and it will be of great use to you.”
“I need to create ten techniques for just one treasure?” Ning felt as though Autarch Awakener’s requirements were far too high. “But creating a tenth chaos seal to add onto the original Nine Chaos Seals will be of no use to me.” Ning shook his head.
The tenth chaos seal would allow Eternal Emperors to convert their energies… but the greatest problem facing Ning right now was the Daomerge!
“This treasure is an extremely valuable one. It is of great use to cultivators, especially those facing the Daomerge like yourself.” The white-haired elder added mysteriously, “Even the Autarch was extremely reluctant to part with it, which is why he insisted that you create ten techniques to prove your worth. Only then will he give you the treasure. Otherwise, it would be wasted on you. My master isn’t going to waste his resources like that.”
“It is of great use to those facing the Daomerge?” Ning’s eyes lit up.
“Right.” The white-haired elder laughed. He knew that this was what intrigued Daolords the most. Every single Daolord was unable to resist the allure of something which would aid them in the Daomerge.
“It is ranked number one in the entire Chaosverse with regards to help cultivators cultivate… and that naturally extends to the Daomerge as well,” the white-haired elder said.
“It is ranked number one? What about the Voidsea Jadeseal?” Ning asked.
“I’ve heard of those things. They can only be created by Emperors who are extremely talented in the Dao of Numerancy, but they are of no use to cultivators like yourself, because you train in the Omega Sword Dao. Right?” The white-haired man continued, “No number of Voidsea Jadeseals would be of as much use to you as this treasure. However, you have to first prove yourself in terms of your skill in creating techniques before I’ll give it to you.”
“Ten techniques, all Archon-level?” Ning nodded. “Fine, then. I’ll create ten techniques.”
And so, Ning began to create new techniques all by his lonesome within the Azureflower Estate just outside the Three Realms.
He had already reached the fourth stage with his [Omega Sword Dao], and so it counted as his first Archon-level technique.
His [Heartforce Eradicator] technique was also extremely powerful and at the Archon level in might, but its underlying mysteries were based on the Omega Sword Dao and so it did not count. The [Dreamstar] art, however, was a type of illusory art which was merely at the supreme Daolord level. It was far too weak; it didn’t count.
Thus… at present Ning had only created a single Archon-level technique, the [Omega Sword Dao]. He needed to create nine more before he would be acknowledged as a gifted technique-creator by the spirit of the estate.
Luckily, Ning had been given the chance to see countless techniques which had been created by the cultivators as well as the Sithe, and was seated atop that stone dais. He was constantly in a prajna-state, and so he began to focus on his meditations. His first goal was to perfect his [Dreamstar] art, as it had already reached the supreme Daolord level. He only needed to upgrade it by one full level and it would be at the Archon level of power.