Book 38, Chapter 23 - Difference

“Senior,” Ji Ning asked, “Might I ask what other external treasures exist in the Chaosverse which are of major benefit to someone attempting the Daomerge?”

Success in the Daomerge was a combination of two factors; internal and external. Internal referred to one’s self and one’s insights! Only if one reached a sufficiently high level of comprehension would one’s chances increase.

External factors referred to special treasures which would improve one’s chances, such as the Autarch’s stone dais or the Stonefire Pearl.

What Ning was attempting was something which had never been successfully carried out… a Daomerge in an Omega Dao! No one in the history of the entire Chaosverse had ever successfully done such a thing, and so he naturally had to both perfect himself as well as acquire all external sources of help he could find. That way, his chances at the Daomerge would improve slightly.

“External treasures?” The white-haired elder glanced at Ning in surprise, then pointed at the Autarch’s stone dais beneath Ning. “This serves as the core for the estate, and Master spent countless amounts of effort in forging it. You’ve already acquired a Stonefire Pearl as well, which is the essence core of a creature which was comparable to an Autarch in might. These were treasures which my master himself used to assist him in cultivation. With them, what other external treasures could you possibly want?!”

“I understand,” Ning said hurriedly. “The Autarch’s stone dais and the Stonefire Pearl are both tremendously helpful in cultivation. They will provide me with sustained, long-term benefits while I am training. What I was referring to just now is another type of external treasure, something akin to the ‘Voidsea Jadeseal’ or the ‘Nine Orifices Void Pill’, treasures which can generate an astonishing effect for a brief period of time.”

“Ahh.” The white-haired elder nodded. Many talented Daolords would create magic altars and seek out special spirit-pills in preparation for their Daomerge. Those spirit-pills, when eaten, would cause the truesoul to be tremendously stimulated. As for the Voidsea Jadeseal, it actually allowed for a complete Daomerge simulation.

“You walk the path of the Omega Dao, and so there is no way to simulate your Daomerge,” the white-haired elder said. “As for special spirit-pills… they probably wouldn’t even be as useful as the state you are normally in when using the Autarch’s stone dais and the Stonefire Pearl.”

Ning immediately asked, “Isn’t there something particularly special which I could use?” Ning would go for anything and everything which was of use to him.

The white-haired old man pondered for a while, then said, “If you absolutely HAVE to have something… I do remember an incredible single-use Daomerge treasure which can instantly unleash a tremendous amount of power for an extremely brief period of time. Master once mentioned it briefly to me and described it as one of the top three treasures in its class!”

Ning’s eyes lit up upon hearing this.

“The number one treasure is known as the ‘Daomerge Firecloud Flower’. The second-ranked treasure is known as the ‘Incense Spirit-Fruit’. The third is known as the ‘Cloudworld Jade’.” The white-haired elder said resignedly, “But I’ve only heard of them because my master once chatted casually about them with other Autarchs. They didn’t speak in detail and so I know very little about them.”

“But Darknorth, these are all limited-time objects. Once you use them up, they are gone. They aren’t even close to being comparable to the stone dais or the Stonefire Pearl in value.” The white-haired elder shook his head. “And, I recall my master once saying that the Cloudworld Jade's effect only lasts for roughly three months or so, but the effect is merely as strong as the Stonefire Pearl’s constant effect.”

“It can only be used for three months, while the Stonefire Pearl is constant and can be used long-term.” The white-haired elder looked at Ning. “Finding the Cloudworld Jade would be enormously difficult. Why bother?”

Ning just silently memorized all of this information. There clearly was no reason to seek out the third-ranked treasure, the ‘Cloudworld Jade’. The other two, however, were worth searching for. Anything that might increase his chances at the Daomerge by even a smidgeon was worth hunting for.

“Senior, where should I go to find these things?” Ning asked.

“No idea.” The white-haired elder shook his head. “I never asked Master about them.”

“Oh.” Ning pondered for a moment. In the past, he had never even heard of ‘Incense Spirit-Fruit’ or ‘Daomerge Firecloud Flower’. It seemed as though only truly experienced and worldly figures would know of them. A pity that he hadn’t asked his big brother Waveshift about them! In all the Sixteen Realmverses Alliance, perhaps the most worldly figure outside of Emperor Waveshift was Realmslord Windgrace.

Realmslord Windgrace had served and been taught by more than one Autarch!

“Darknorth. I have to warn you,” the white-haired elder said solemnly, “Treasures of such rarity are all extremely hard to find. Not even the Autarchs know everything there is to know about the vast Chaosverse! The technology of the Sithe, the two slain Autarch-level creatures… they are all testament to the fact that the Chaosverse holds many terrifying secrets within it. You are still just a Daolord; so what if you are strong? There are some truly dangerous places which would cause even Hegemons to fall, to say nothing of you.”

“I understand.” Ning nodded. However, since he had the Flamewing God he felt that he was still able to give it a good shot. Chaos Primordials were famous for its virtually indestructible body, after all.

“The Flamedragon Realmverse is nothing more than a tiny part of the Chaosverse. It is best for you to harbor a healthy fear of the universe,” the white-haired elder said with a sigh. “I hope that you won’t overestimate yourself prior to completing your Daomerge. If you succeed in it, you’ll probably become far more powerful than even an Otherverse Lord. You can go and wander the Chaosverse them; only then will you be assured of staying alive.”

“Thank you, senior.” Ning could sense that the estate-spirit remained worried, and so he quickly explained, “Actually, I’ve already tamed a Chaos Primordial.”

The white-haired elder instantly turned speechless. “You… wha…? Ahem. Well, enough of that.” The white-haired elder didn’t seem to know what to say, and so he immediately began to vanish into thin air. His voice echoed for one final time within the second hall: “Remember, for you to solve the Heart of Eternity is the one final wish my Master had. It will be of tremendous benefit to all cultivator civilizations as well.”

“I understand.” Ning nodded.

……

The black-robed Ning was seated atop the Autarch’s stone dais, toying with the runed Heart of Eternity with his hands.

“Oh, Autarch Awakener...” Ning looked at the Heart of Eternity. “So this is your final wish, eh? But… my only wish is to complete the Daomerge and then become an Autarch in the future.” Ning’s heart was filled with mixed emotions.

His wish and Autarch Awakener’s wish… they involved heading down two different paths. Ever since they had gained victory in the Dawn War, the Autarchs had stood at the very apex of the universe and were without equal. As a result they were quite lonely, and they often searched for things to do. Autarch Bolin had created the Aeonians, while Autarch Awakener had spent his efforts on analyzing the Nine Chaos Seals and creating a type of cultivation technique similar to what the Sithe used.

The cultivation technique the Sithe used created something similar to the azureflower mist energy, but it was clearly even more profound. Alas, they were completely different types of living creatures than cultivators, and thus there was no way for cultivators to use their cultivation techniques.

Autarch Awakener put all of his efforts in creating something similar. If he truly succeeded, it would’ve benefited all cultivator civilizations. Alas, he was only able to at most create something which allowed for Daolords of the Fourth Step to convert their divine power and Immortal energy. There was no way to transform Emperor-class energy.

“Autarch Awakener, I’ll give it a try. If I turn out to have incredible talent for this, I might be able to help you.” Ning remained quite clear-minded. As a Daolord, his time was limited. There was no way he could spend all of it on researching the Nine Chaos Seals. But if it looked like he might somehow managed to succeed in a short period of time due to having an incredible affinity for it, he didn’t mind spending that time.

“Break.” Ning looked at the runes covering the sphere. Ning was able to break through the first layer of runes with ease.

“Break again.” Ning was at an incredibly high level of insight and had trained in the Nine Chaos Seals before. Thus, he found it quite simple to break the second layer of runes.

He broke through one layer after another, but the difficulty level began to gradually increase. Ning began to need more and more time for each layer. In the blink of an eye, over a hundred million years went by.

“Time to give it a rest.” Ning suddenly came to a halt. The Heart of Eternity had a total of ninety-nine layers, and solving all of them would represent having reached the same level of insight into the Nine Chaos Seals as Autarch Awakener had reached.

“I’ve only solved nineteen layers.” Ning felt a sense of misery in his heart; the difference between the two of them was simply too great. Things would only grow more difficult as he progressed, and for now nineteen layers was his limit. If he spent an extremely long period of time, he would at most be able to just barely solve the twentieth and twenty-first levels. Ninety-nine? Far too hard!

“Autarch Awakener, you created your stone dais and procured the Stonefire Pearl, yet still spent countless years to reach your final level of insight into the Nine Chaos Seals. How can I possibly compare?” Ning shook his head. “Even if I spent another hundred thousand chaos cycles on this, my chances of successfully breaking through all ninety-nine levels are still very low.”

“I need to complete the Daomerge. Even if I did manage to somehow create this technique, it would be of no use to me in the Daomerge.” Ning secretly sighed to himself. “I’m sorry, Autarch Awakener.”

He had no choice but to put aside this mission of solving the Heart of Eternity for now. To occasionally spend some time on solving the Heart of Eternity to balance out the time spent on other things, but if he focused all of his efforts on it it would make the already-difficult Daomerge completely impossible. The end result would most likely be what big brother Waveshift had divined… certain doom.

“Ninety-nine levels… nineteen levels…” Ning could only laugh at the difference between the two. He then waved his hand, putting the Heart of Eternity away.




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