There was a limit to how much longer he would live. He certainly wouldn’t be able to hold on until Skywind’s Daomerge.
The Lonely King had said that if Ji Ning was extremely careful, he’d be able to live a thousand chaos cycles… but in truth, Ning knew that his Eternal Omega Sword Dao was actually the same thing as the prime essence of the Dao of the Sword, one of the prime essences of the Chaosverse. This Dao had a nurturing effect on his soul, which meant that the truesoul’s crumbling speed would be fairly slow.
Different Daos would have different effects. For example, those who trained in the Dao of Water would have stronger protective abilities and invulnerable forms. In turn, the destructive Daos such as the Dao of the Sword were superior in offensive power.
Different Daos had different strengths. Although the Eternal Omega Sword Dao was quite incredible, it still represented the Dao of the Sword and thus it didn’t have an exaggeratedly massive effect on the soul. Still, there was something else that was special about Ning – the azureflower mist energy! This was a very unique type of energy which Autarch Awakener, the master of the Azureflower Estate, had devised based on the cultivation methods of the Sithe race. It was a technique that allowed for divine power, Immortal energy, and heartforce to all be transformed into azureflower mist energy. It had marvelous effects on the truesoul and made it much stronger.
“If I can avoid using up my energy, I can live a maximum of eight thousand chaos cycles,” Ning mused. “But if I have to use my energy, my lifespan will dramatically lessen to just three or four chaos cycles.”
Ning spent the rest of his time in Vastheaven Palace training his students and fellow disciples. Every so often, he’d go roaming through the Three Realms.
While he wandered through the many chaosworlds of the Three Realms, Ning ended up choosing a seventh disciple. His seventh disciple was an Ancestral Immortal who had been known as ‘Grand Immortal Almonder’, and who had been a plant-spirit who had trained to the point of understanding the Dao.
It must be remembered that after such a long period of development, the Three Realms now had so many chaosworlds and experts that a single Ancestral Immortal truly didn’t count for much. Grand Immortal Almonder had a very eccentric personality who rather reminded Ning of his old friend, Patriarch Lu Dongbin… because the man loved to play matchmaker!
He tweaked events to ensure that lovers met with each other, and when he encountered people he didn’t like he would play all sorts of tricks on each other. In fact, he would sometimes make people he truly disliked end up attached to each other.
While wandering the Three Realms, Ning stumbled upon this ‘Grand Immortal Almonder’. He followed Almonder in secret, watching for some time. Almonder seemed to be eccentric and rather lazy when it came to cultivation. It seemed obvious to many that he would have no future prospects, which was why none of the Daolords or World-level cultivators of the Three Realms had taken him on as a disciple or had taught him.
However, Ning had the feeling that this ‘Grand Immortal Almonder’ was an extraordinary figure. When Ning scried his future, Ning came to understand that Almonder truly was a piece of unpolished jade. Given that Ning had slowly grown fond of the young fellow, Ning chose to take him on as a seventh disciple.
News that Daolord Darknorth had taken on a seventh disciple, ‘Grand Immortal Almonder’, stunned the Three Realms and caused quite a few Immortals and Fiendgods to stare blankly in confusion.
Ning lived a relaxed life, waiting for news of Nuwa.
Roughly 69 million years after Ning’s Daomerge attempt. Within an alternate universe.
A giant boulder was levitating within an empty patch of space. Two major powers were seated in the lotus position atop this boulder, drinking wine and making merry. The empty area around them was displaying images of various things occurring within this otherverse.
“Isn’t Daolord Darknorth just incredible?” the muscular man with tousled golden hair said with a sigh.
“He really is. If you didn’t tell me about him, I wouldn’t even know about it. I really cannot imagine that someone was able to kill the legendary Lonely King of the Icepeak Army with just one blow of the sword. He truly is incredible.” The bald, red-robed Hegemon Goodsong nodded and sighed, “I was stunned when I heard this. I wish I was there to witness it all in person! Haha.”
“Haha, Daolord Darknorth is in the Flamedragon Realmverse. That place is way, way too far away from us. You’d have to travel through several incredibly vast stretches of the Great Dark to get there. I’m surprised the news even made it this far. I’m an Otherverse Lord with quite a few friends, which is why I heard about this,” the muscular man said.
“It really is far.” The bald, red-robed man nodded. Some realmverses were fairly close to each other; realmships could allow you to travel between them in just a few tens of thousands of years. Others were hundreds of times farther away, separated by that endless darkness with no realmverses inside which many cultivators referred to as the Great Dark. To Emperors who weren’t willing to pay for travel via realmship, traversing the Great Dark would simply take too much time; tens of millions of chaos cycles, or even longer! Most weren’t willing to travel too far.
“Oh, right! There’s something I forgot to tell you. Daolord Darknorth is searching for someone called Nuwa.” The muscular man laughed. “He said that he would owe a favor to anyone who does find Nuwa. He’d be willing to hand over a treasure, or even help carry out a task… including a task like killing major powers on the level of the Lonely King.”
“Nuwa? Who is Nuwa?” Hegemon Goodsong asked.
“A female cultivator who supposedly has only trained for a hundred chaos cycles. Daolord Darknorth says that she’s probably an incredibly talented Daolord or an Eternal Emperor,” the muscular man said.
“Oh.” Hegemon Goodsong began to feel excited.
One hour later, the red-robed Hegemon Goodsong left the otherverse and reached another realmverse which was connected to the former via a spacetime tunnel. By now, he was no longer able to suppress his excitement.
“Nuwa? A female cultivator who has only trained for a hundred chaos cycles?” Hegemon Goodsong narrowed his eyes. “Last time, when I met with Patriarch Treewind of the Bluesky Realmverse, he brought a female disciple named ‘Nuwa’. Back then, he praised her multiple times and described her as being incredibly talented. She was just a Daolord of the Third Step back then; I wonder how she is doing now.”
“I’ll go and take a look. She’s probably the person Daolord Darknorth of the Flamedragon Realmverse is searching for.” Hegemon Goodsong immediately went off to go hire a realmship.
Realmship owners generally charged the same for a hundred million year flight as they would a hundred thousand year flight. They were only hired every so often, after all; they had to make the most of it. Thus, this trip ‘merely’ cost Hegemon Goodsong roughly 30% of his networth. Although he felt sorrow over the cost, it was within the limits of what he could accept.
“Hegemon Goodsong, we just reached the Bluesky Realmverse.”
“Wait for me here as I go test out the information I heard.”
“Don’t worry. It only took me three million years to get here; I’ll fly you around until the hundred million years are up.” The Hegemon in command of the realmship was quite relaxed; to earn so much treasure in exchange for merely a hundred million years of his time was an absolute steal.
Hegemon Goodsong went off searching. Soon, he found Patriarch Treewind’s residence. A handsome young disciple was in front of Patriarch Treewind’s tree palace, and this disciple respectfully welcomed Hegemon Goodsong inside.
“Hegemon, the Patriach has gone off on a trip to the Blazesun Domain,” the disciple said respectfully. “His avatar has left this place to go meet with the avatars of his friends to ensure that they are in constant contact. Almost all of them have gone off to the Blazesun Domain.”
“The Blazesun Domain? Your Patriarch is quite bold. Where is that female disciple of his, ‘Nuwa’?” Hegemon Goodsong immediately asked.
“Senior apprentice-sister Nuwa?” The youth was startled. He immediately responded. “Don’t you know? Half a chaos cycle ago, she completed her Daomerge and became a Hegemon. It was her recommendation that they visit the Blazesun Domain. After the Patriarch and the other major powers agreed, they joined together to accompany her there.”
“She became a Hegemon?” Hegemon Goodsong’s eyes bulged out. “But she’s so young! She hasn’t been training for too long, has she?”
“Senior apprentice-sister Nuwa’s experiences have been extraordinary. Supposedly, the Patriarch discovered her in the Blazesun Domain and brought her back here,” the disciple said. “I’ve only known her for around a hundred chaos cycles.”
“A hundred chaos cycles?” Hegemon Goodsong felt a sense of excitement. He asked curiously, “You say that she was discovered in the Blazesun Domain?” This was new to him.
“Yes. Many people know this. For her to appear there means that she probably has an extraordinary background. She truly is a monstrously talented figure. She became a Hegemon in just a hundred chaos cycles! This is unbelievable even to me,” the disciple said.
The more Hegemon Goodsong heard, the more excited he became. This was right, this was definitely right. The legendary Daolord Darknorth said that Nuwa was either an incredible Daolord or had succeeded in the Daomerge. No wonder he had spoken with such certainty! Nuwa truly was incredible… but Daolord Darknorth was even more incredible. He had killed the Lonely King as if the latter was just a chicken, which meant that in the cultivator civilizations he was second only to the Autarchs.
“I was right. She’s the one. She’s an incredible figure, but Daolord Darknorth is even more incredible. There’s no way this could all be a coincidence. It has to be her!” Hegemon Goodsong mused silently, “And she actually came from the Blazesun Domain. It seems that she and Daolord Darknorth must know each other.”