The Flamedragon Realmverse. Vastheaven Territory. Within the Vastheaven Everworld.
Whoooosh. An enormous tear in space appeared, with three towering onyx humanoids emerging from within it. Each of them radiated auras of tremendous power that showed them to be at the Hegemon level.
“That is Vastheaven Palace,” one of the onyx humanoids said.
“Thankfully, Hegemon Winterflame has long ago spread word regarding Daolord Darknorth. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to acquire such detailed information regarding him with such ease,” the skinny onyx humanoid said with a laugh.
“I hear that Hegemon Winterflame remains trapped within the Jadefire Realm.”
“That’s why he hates Daolord Darknorth so much. However… the Jadefire Realm truly is a terrifying place. Not even the three of us would dare to barge into it; only the general himself would dare to do such a thing! However, I trust Daolord Darknorth will be wise enough not to fight us head-on.” The three onyx humanoids flew through the skies towards Vastheaven Palace.
Within Vastheaven Palace.
Daolord Pillsaint was working on his alchemy, while Su Youji, Ji Ning, and Solesky were both watching.
“I can smell the fragrance of the pill,” Su Youji said eagerly.
Crack. Sizzle. Pop. The flames continued to sizzle away at the alchemy pot as Pillsaint focused all of his efforts on controlling the fire.
“Not bad.” The nearby Ning nodded. “Pillsaint is getting to be increasingly impressive in the Dao of Alchemy. He can now be considered a legendary grandmaster in alchemy in the Endless Territories. I have to admit, I’m far from being a match for him.”
“Master, that’s because you didn’t put any effort into alchemy,” Su Youji immediately rebutted. In her mind, Ning was the most talented in every aspect.
In truth, Ning was at such a high level of enlightenment with regards to the Dao that he had reached incredible heights in both the Dao of Formations and the Dao of Fire. In truth, he was better at controlling the alchemical flame than Pillsaint, but he lacked experience with regards to understanding how the medicinal properties of the various materials were mixed together. This required countless trials and experience.
Boom! Suddenly, a terrifying wave of power swept across the area. Bang! Startled by this, Pillsaint lost control over the fire, causing the alchemy pot to explode and the pill within to be destroyed.
“What’s going on?” Su Youji and Emperor Solesky both stared towards the outside, stunned.
“Such power… a Hegemon’s aura? Since when did Hegemons become this commonplace?” Ning frowned. Hegemons were extremely rare; they were supreme within their realmverses. For Hegemon Winterflame to attack was one thing; it had only been a few dozen chaos cycles, but yet another Hegemon had come. Judging from the way the Hegemon had flared his aura, he clearly had come with bad intentions.
“Let’s go take a look.” Ning remained quite calm. With a swoosh, he flew into the skies with Emperor Solesky flying right behind him.
The two flew into the air of Vastheaven Palace and stared outside. Ning’s face immediately turned solemn. There were three towering figures standing in the air… and their bodies were not of cultivators but the onyx humanoids he had encountered in the past. There were three of them! However, they were different from the Sithe onyx humanoids which Ning had encountered in the past. These three onyx humanoids were all covered with silver diagrams and emanated an aura of endless cold.
“Black Emperors of the Sithe?” Ning was shocked. “Three of them?” Black Emperors were terrifyingly strong. Their bodies were much tougher than the bodies of most Hegemons, which was why they had an advantage in combat. In the cave which Ning and Ninedust had visited all those years ago, they had found a Black Emperor who had perished in battle while taking two Hegemons with it.
“You are Darknorth?” the skinny onyx humanoid said.
“Yes I am,” Ning said. “Dare I ask why the three of you have come to Vastheaven Palace?”
“Haha, we’ve come to visit you on business, of course. Why else would we come all the way here to the Flamedragon Realmverse?” the muscular onyx humanoid said with a snicker.
“Darknorth, I hear you have a realmship,” the skinny onyx humanoid said.
Ning’s heart trembled. As he had suspected, this was about his realmship. Realmships were simply of tremendous interest to Hegemons, but he never would’ve expected them to attract three Black Emperors. Still… he hadn’t feared even an entire host of Hegemons from the Sixteen Realmverses Alliance. Why would he fear these three onyx humanoids?
“So what if I do? So what if I don’t?” Ning asked.
“You dare act with such arrogance to our face? Quite bold.” A cold light flashed through the skinny onyx humanoid’s eyes. “Hmph. If you do have it, hand it over and we’ll spare your life. If you don’t have it… then you are useless to us and shall die right now.”
“Hand over the realmship,” the cyclopean onyx humanoid commanded coldly.
“If you don’t hand it over, everyone connected to you will perish.”
Riiiiip. A tear in space appeared off in the distance. The three onyx humanoids all turned to look, only to see an ancient realmship fly out of the tear.
“The realmship.” They immediately revealed looks of delight.
“Haha, the kid’s pretty straightforward.”
“Not bad, not bad. You are a smart boy. Hand over the realmship and you can all survive.”
“Give us the realmship.” The three onyx humanoids nodded approvingly at this. They had acquired quite a bit of intelligence regarding Ning and knew that he wasn’t easy to deal with. If Daolord Darknorth had chosen to remain hidden within the Jadefire Realm, there would’ve been nothing they could do; their only option would’ve been to ask their general, Lord Wulf, to intervene. But if they did that, they wouldn’t have rendered any real merits to the organization.
Given that this Daolord had Hegemon Azurefiend by his side, if he wanted to flee and hide there really wouldn’t have been much they could do to him. If Ning was willing to hand it over, though, they would be so magnanimous as to spare his life.
Whoosh. A white-robed youth, an honest-looking white-furred golem, and a shriveled-up old man emerged from the realmship.
Ning’s avatar and Emperor Solesky’s avatar both retreated for now.
“And who are the three of you?” Ning asked. “Why have you immediately demanded my realmship?”
“The three of us are soldiers from the Icepeak Army,” the skinnier black humanoid said calmly. “While wandering through the various realmverses, we heard word of you and so came here as quickly as possible. We wish to take your realmship and offer it to our general, ‘Lord Wulf’. Kid, as a Daolord you will only live a short period of time. You probably haven’t even finished exploring the Flamedragon Realmverse. This realmship will be of little use to you. Hand it over to us, and you’ll have avoided calamity.”
“The Icepeak Army?” Ning frowned.
“It really is the Icepeak Army.” Hegemon Azurefiend’s face tightened slightly.
“Azurefiend, you’ve heard of the Icepeak Army before?” Ning sent mentally.
“Darknorth, as you might know, when we defeated the Sithe during the Dawn War the Sithe left behind many treasures which ended up falling into our hands,” Hegemon Azurefiend sent mentally. Ning just continued to listen.
“Some of the most powerful Sithe weapons of war, such as the ‘Blacksun’, ended up in the hands of people like Realmslord Windgrace. That is why Realmslord Windgrace is so famous and has such a higher status than other Otherverse Lords. Not even the Icepeak Army would go cause problems for him.”
“The leader of the Icepeak Army is generally referred to respectfully as the ‘Lonely King’. He was born an Ancient cultivator and has an eccentric personality. He always has a cold look on his face, and he delights in slaughter! It is said that he only ever smiles when he kills. The Lonely King once acquired a Sithe treasury which was filled with Sithe war machines and weapons. He is personally in control of the most powerful war machines, but he also acquired four ‘Golden Emperors’ and sixty-nine ‘Black Emperors’. He used one of them to undergo the Ritual Sacrificium to become a Golden Emperor, while allowing three Hegemons who joined him to do the same! Over the course of countless years, he allowed some of his Eternal Emperors to be transformed into Black Emperors. As a result, he now has a terrifyingly powerful army under his control, with him at the lead. This army is named the Icepeak Army.”
“Although the name sounds rather ordinary, it is legendary for its savagery. It will battle to the death anyone who offends the Lonely King! They’ve caused many great wars and have even destroyed an otherverse, causing three Otherverse Lords to die by their hands. But of course, they suffered certain losses during those wars as well. Supposedly, they now only have sixty-one Black Emperors left.”
Ning was stunned upon hearing this. Even three Otherverse Lords had died by their hands? “Aren’t Otherverse Lords able to hide within their alternate universes?” Ning couldn’t help but ask, “Doesn’t that mean they had to destroy the entire alternate universe?”
“There are two supremely powerful war machines publicly acknowledged to be under the Lonely King’s control. One of them can be instantly activated, which was why two of the Otherverse Lords were slain before they even had a chance to run,” Azurefiend sent mentally. “The third managed to hide within his otherverse, but the enraged Lonely King continued his pursuit into the otherverse. No one knows what exactly happened inside it, but the end result was that the otherverse was completely destroyed and the Otherverse Lord died. It was that battle which truly allowed the Lonely King to rise to fame and for the Icepeak Army to become known as one of the most terrifyingly powerful organizations in the Chaosverse.”