Creeeeak. The wooden door swung open, with Ji Ning and Autarch Ekong walking out side-by-side. Autarch Titanos, Autarch Skyfeeder, Autarch Bolin, and Autarch Stonerule remained inside the cottage, but they rose to their feet to send the two off. As for the eight Domain Rulers, they hurriedly and respectfully parted before the two.
“Master.” The Flamewing God was being exceptionally obedient today. The five Autarchs had given it a rare sense of enormous pressure.
“Let’s go,” Ning said with a smile.
“Done already?” Flamewing blurted out. It was common for major powers to spend a million years gathered together and chatting about the Dao.
“How long did you think it would take?” Ning smiled as he glanced at the eight Domain Rulers. “Shall you come with us?”
“We’re in no rush to leave.”
“Please go right on ahead, Daolord.” It was quite rare that the eight Domain Rulers had a good excuse to come visit one of the Autarchs; how could they simply return like this? They naturally wanted to get some tips or pointers out of Autarch Skyfeeder first.
“Darknorth, just notify us if there is anything you need at all,” Autarch Titanos said.
“If there’s anything we can do, we’ll put all our effort into carrying it out,” Autarch Stonerule agreed.
And so, watched by four Autarchs and eight Domain Rulers, the two departed. Autarch Ekong released a field of power which covered both Ning and Flamewing, then began to advance through the sea of prime essences at high speed. Whoosh! They almost instantly vanished off into the horizon.
“This has been my first meeting with Daolord Darknorth, but it is also most likely a final farewell,” Autarch Bolin sighed. Ning didn’t have much time left. Given how strong he was, he probably wouldn’t need to trouble them for anything he needed. It was naturally quite unlikely that they would ever meet again.
“Although we’ve only met him this once, he’s done something truly incredible for all of civilization,” Autarch Stonerule said.
“Ensure that his homeland is protected. That’s all we can do for him now.”
The Autarchs felt many mixed emotions. In their eyes, Daolord Darknorth was like a dazzling meteor who shone as radiantly as any Autarch, but it was destined for him to fall. And yet… the light of this meteor would illuminate a brand new path for all cultivators to walk! All they could do was take care of Daolord Darknorth as best they could… but at his level, there really were very few things he needed help with.
For Ning, seizing an otherverse from someone else would be incredibly easy. At most it would cost him a bit of extra time.
Autarch Ekong continued to flare his force field around Ning and Flamewing, allowing them to travel through the sea of prime essences at incredible speeds. In truth, Ning would’ve been able to do the same, but his truesoul probably would’ve fully disintegrated from the exertion before they had even made it out of the Quintessence. Autarch Ekong didn’t have this concern and so was able to move at maximum speed.
Soon, they left the Quintessence. After travelling a great distance, they reappeared within the Blazesun Domain. Here, within an empty region of space, there was a realmship with Nuwa, Su Youji, Patriarch Treewind, Azurefiend, Hegemon Goodsong, Imperator Jade Rainbow, and a number of others inside it. They were all relaxing and discussing the Dao while waiting for Ning to return.
“Master’s back!” Azurefiend, who was in control of the realmship, was the first to notice the three figures who had appeared outside.
Whoosh! Those three figures instantly appeared inside of the realmship. When Nuwa and the others saw the muscular, horned man dressed in green robes who was by Ning’s side, they immediately fell silent.
Ning smiled: “This is Autarch Ekong.”
“The Autarch of Annihilation?” Patriarch Treewind turned slightly pale.
“Respectful greetings, Autarch Annihilation.” Patriarch Treewind and Imperator Jade Rainbow were the first to speak out, quickly followed by the others. Ning was able to refer to the man by his name, ‘Ekong’, but most cultivators would respectfully address and refer to him as ‘Autarch Annihilation’. The Autarch of Annihilation was extremely famous, especially since he had arisen after the Dawn War. All learned figures like Patriarch Treewind knew of his name and title.
Autarch Ekong said calmly, “No need to stand on ceremony. I’ll be coming with you for a time, so you can all relax.” But of course, no one present could possibly relax save for Ning himself. Even Flamewing was shifting from side to side.
“Autarch Ekong, let’s go find that otherverse first,” Ning said.
“Very well, let’s go.” Autarch Ekong sent out his will, generating a massive wave of power that scooped up the realmship and then sent it tearing through spacetime. Just a heartbeat later, they were out of the Blazesun Domain and within a region of darkness. A second spacetime warp, and they had arrived in an empty region within another one of the Eight Domains, the Roaring Elephant Domain.
They moved so fast that Patriarch Treewind, Nuwa, and the others were all speechless. The many complicated spacetime obstacles within the Eight Domains were nothing to the Autarchs!
“Is that an otherverse? An ownerless otherverse?” Patriarch Treewind, Hegemon Azurefiend, and the others all called out in surprise. They were able to clearly see an enormous globe off in the distance that looked as though it was merely a hundred billion kilometers in diameter. This globe was covered with a layer of light that distorted time, and it emanated ripples of unfathomable profundity.
Otherverses were incredibly vast inside and were comparable to a realmverse… but from the outside, they weren’t necessarily all that large! When the Autarchs first created them, they were merely palm-sized. If no one was in control of them, they would grow to become a hundred billion kilometers in diameter, and their aura would be clearly visible for any to see. But once someone bound an otherverse, things would be completely different.
“We should be celebrating the fact that we discovered this otherverse. Why do we have to fight to the death? If this battle continues, both of you would probably die before winning this thing. How about this? Why don’t you let me take control over this otherverse. I promise I’ll give you the next one! I’m also willing to give you almost all of my treasures. Why must you be so stubborn?” Five figures were engaged in a furious battle off in the distance.
“You are completely shameless! Give me the next one? Who knows when that will be! We’ve all been cultivating for countless ages before encountering something like this! How can I possibly just let you take it? Either give me the otherverse or give me a comparable amount of treasures. Compared to the otherverse, the treasures you offered are a joke!”
It was quite a furious battle, but the two sides were fairly evenly matched. In a situation like this, it would be difficult for either side to truly defeat or kill the other. This was why neither side was willing to give up. Generally speaking, the battle would only come to an end once one side had completely depleted their reserves of divine power and Immortal energy. In fact, for Hegemons to end up perishing was quite ordinary as well.
“Flamewing, make them stop,” Ning said with a laugh. It would be rather excessive to ask Autarch Ekong to handle this, while the other experts probably wouldn’t be frightening enough to bring an immediate halt.
“Yes, Master.” Flamewing immediately assented to the order, then turned towards the battling experts. “HEY! YOU FIVE! STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!” A thunderous roar swept through spacetime as a giant winged bear who was bathed in flames suddenly appeared. Flamewing glowered down towards the five with unbridled arrogance, causing all of them to instantly turn pale with terror. “A Chaos Primordial?!”
If a Chaos Primordial wanted to kill a Hegemon, it would be simplicity itself.
Whoosh! Moments later, an entire host of cultivators came flying out of the realmship, with Ning and Autarch Ekong in the lead. Behind them were Nuwa, Patriarch Treewind, Imperator Jade Rainbow, Hegemon Goodsong, and the others.
“Isn’t that Patriarch Treewind?”
The Eight Domains were all located quite close to the Quintessence of the Chaosverse, and so these five Hegemons instantly recognized the incredibly famous Patriarch Treewind and equally famous Imperator Jade Rainbow. Both of them were Otherverse Lords! As for Hegemon Goodsong, they were able to immediately see that he was a Golden Emperor, which meant he also had the combat power of an Otherverse Lord. Any of the three would be able to slay them with ease, as could Flamewing.
The scary thing was, none of these four were the leaders of this group. The two leaders… one was a white-robed youth with a black sheath on his back whose truesoul was disintegrating. A Daolord who had failed the Daomerge, then? The other was a horned, muscular, green-robed man whose aura, even when restrained, was enough to cause them to quiver in their boots. They had never felt terror like this before.
“An Autarch!” Although they had never met an Autarch before, they instantly understood that it had to be an Autarch. Only an Autarch could bring them such a sense of utter terror.
“A Daolord who failed the Daomerge but can stand alongside an Autarch… that has to be the legendary Daolord Darknorth.”
The five Hegemons stood there, shaking with terror. They no longer even thought about fighting over the otherverse! They were stunned by this utterly terrifying squad that had appeared before them.
Ning couldn’t help but secretly sigh. Each Autarch had a different way of dealing with things. Autarch Titanos would generally completely hide his aura, while Autarch Ekong clearly was more dominating and imperious in his actions.
“Bah, Skyfeeder... the ownerless otherverse she picked out for us had actually been discovered by other cultivators already.” Autarch Ekong frowned and shook his head. Given his pride, he really didn’t want to earn a reputation for taking otherverses away from Hegemons. He immediately said, “Darknorth, have your friend go and bind that otherverse, I suppose.”
“Go ahead, Nuwa,” Ning said.
“Alright.” Nuwa didn’t hesitate, immediately flying towards that otherverse.
“As for the five of you.” Autarch Ekong frowned. “This otherverse was never meant for you, so you can forget about it. However… since you managed to discover it, we are bound together by karma. I’ll give each of you some good fortune. You can go now.” He waved his hand, causing a surge of power to grab all five Hegemons and send them through a spacetime tunnel that led to a treasure cache which Autarch Ekong knew of.