Book 28, Archaeus Region, Chapter 41 – Rapid Improvements
“Go,” the Paragon of Pills instructed.
The golden-robed elder and Ji Ning both bowed respectfully, then departed.
As for the Paragon, she simply sat there in the lotus position, head lowered as she stared at the ancient armor. She murmured softly to herself, “Big brother…”
Long, long ago, the Paragon of Pills had personally fashioned this suit of armor, then given it to the person whom she loved the most, her ‘big brother’. The Hegemon had worn it his entire life. Now, as she gently caressed the armor, she felt as though she could sense his presence.
The Paragon shut her eyes, then casually lay down on the ground and nestled her head against the ancient armor. Just like that… she fell asleep.
She was the only person in that entire ancient estate. It was deathly silent here. Without her permission, not even her retainers would dare to enter this place. Long, long ago, she had lived here alongside the Hegemon. Back then, their second brother and third brother had often teased the two of them for being such a pair of lovebird Dao-companions.
And now… she was the only one left.
After departing from the Paragon’s estate, Ning was led away by Yuhong and the two teleported to an estate that was at the top of a mountain.
“This is my own residence.” Daolord Yuhong smiled. “There are quite a few empty manors around here. Choose whichever one you like, Darknorth. Those three over there, the five over there, and also those two over there… all of them are empty.”
Ning swept the area with his gaze, then pointed at a distant manor which was located halfway up a mountain. “That one.”
“I’ll arrange for some servants to go there. Just let me know if there’s anything you need.” Daolord Yuhong smiled. “I’m quite familiar with the Trileaf Realm.”
“Dare I ask…” Ning suddenly asked something which had been puzzling him. “Who was that lady who brought me here to this place?”
“You don’t even know what my master is named?” Daolord Yuhong was quite shocked. His master was an incredibly exalted figure. For her to personally bring a World-level cultivator like Darknorth to her residence meant that she viewed him in a very special way. How was it that this kid didn’t even know what her name was?
“No idea. I didn’t dare ask,” Ning said.
“If you stay here in the Trileaf Realm long enough, you’ll find out. It’s not really a secret. Master was the one who created the entire Trileaf Realm,” Daolord Yuhong said. “My master is one of the three Primordial Starkings of the Church of Annihilation, the Paragon of Pills.”
Ning’s eyes instantly bulged out. “P-P-Paragon of Pills?”
When the deceased Hegemon had transmitted his legacy to Ning, he had said: “My disciple… if in the future you succeed in the Daomerge and gain eternity, it is my wish that you repay the grace I shall show you today you unto the Paragon of Pills.”
So the mysterious, powerful woman was actually the Paragon of Pills!
“No wonder she treated me in such a special manner,” Ning mused. “The dead Hegemon and the Paragon of Pills clearly had a very special relationship! Both he and the other thirty-five Eternal Emperors all perished in the Prime Reaches of the Genesis Lands… I imagine the Paragon of Pills knows all the secrets behind their deaths.”
“My master is extremely skilled in alchemy. In the Dao of Alchemy, she is the undisputed number one expert of our entire universe. The second-ranked figure has perhaps a tenth of Master’s skills in alchemy. The ten most dazzlingly famous pills and medicines in this entire universe were all forged by Master,” Daolord Yuhong said smugly. “You can imagine for yourself how incredibly talented my master is in the Dao of Alchemy.”
“And that’s not her only skill. Although she hasn’t spent as much effort in artificing and golem-making, she still ranks as one of the top three experts in this universe.” Daolord Yuhong suddenly added smugly, “Her retainer, ‘Emperor Gonflame,’ once studied the art of artificing under her. He has now surpassed her in this regard, and is considered the number one expert in artificing within our universe. When Master told you to go explore the Trileaf Realm, I’m sure that her true goal was for you to go pay a visit to Emperor Gonflame. Cultivators need to be able to acquire suitable weapons, after all. The weapons of others will never be a perfect fit for you; only a custom-forged weapon that was made for you personally will be an ideal fit.”
Ning was secretly speechless. Clearly, the Trileaf Realm had a truly transcendent status within this universe.
The Paragon of Pills was this universe’s foremost expert in alchemy. Her retainer, Emperor Gonflame, was its foremost expert in artificing.
But of course, although it had a transcendent status, what really mattered in the world of major powers was power itself! The lord of the Church of Annihilation had been able to unify his universe thanks to his overwhelmingly great power. Emperor Gonflame might be the number one artificer and weaponsmith, but he was still just a retainer. The reason why he and the other four Eternal Emperors were all willing to be retainers to the Paragon was because of her incredible strength! Similarly, the reason why Emperor Maniseal had gifted Ning a Dao-seal via the Paragon in order to befriend her was because of how strong she was.
“Where does Emperor Gonflame live?” Ning asked.
“Take a look over there.” Daolord Yuhong pointed towards a distant inferno that towered through the heavens. The skies themselves were bathed a fiery red color. “That right there is Emperor Gonflame’s residence. Go pay a visit when you have some free time.”
Ning nodded. “Then I’ll go back to my own residence for now.”
“Come find me if there’s anything you need.” Daolord Yuhong smiled warmly. He certainly wouldn’t dare to treat Ning in a negligent manner.
Ning immediately transformed into a streak of light as he flew towards his own estate.
The estate already had a number of servants within it. When they saw Ning descend from the skies, they all bowed respectfully. “Greetings, Master.”
Ning nodded and smiled at them. “Carry on with your normal tasks. Do not disturb me unless I call for you.”
“Yes, Master,” they all acknowledged.
Ning immediately entered the estate. As he had descended, he had instantly sent out a stream of Immortal energy and bound the estate to him. Cultivators would only feel at ease if they were in complete control of the estate they were residing in! But of course, when Ning left he would naturally disperse the binding seal he had laid upon the estate.
Ning strode forwards through his estate.
Rumble… a stone door within the estate swung open.
Ning entered the room. Past the stone door was a circular stone disc that was covered with many divine runes. Ning immediately walked forwards, then sat down in the lotus position atop the stone disc. He could sense ripples of power emanate out from the disc to cover him and his heart, causing him to completely calm down. Moments later, the giant stone door swung shut once more.
This was the estate’s meditation room.
“Let’s take another look.” Ning closed his eyes as he once more began to mentally read through the contents of the [Seven Leafpill Chapters]. He spent five full days in the careful reading process.
The [Seven Leafpill Chapters] provided a slow, systemized guide to the art of alchemy. However, Ning didn’t need to actually concoct pills, as he mainly needed to learn certain alchemical methods to help him work on his [Novessence Thunder]. Althrough the alchemical techniques in the first three chapters were fairly formidable, they were nothing compared to what the final four chapters held! This was especially true for the alchemical techniques held within the seventh chapter. Those were truly incredible, and were most likely the techniques which the Paragon of Pills herself used.
Now that Ning had been able to develop five Supreme Daos and then join them together, he was able to learn technical skills like these quite quickly. Still, he was far from being at the level which the Paragon was at. He had to spend another five full days before he was able to just barely learn and understand the alchemy techniques contained within the seventh chapter.
“Although I’ve only learned half of it, if I used it to actually concoct pills I would be far more effective than if I used all the techniques of the first three chapters.” Ning was in an excellent mood.
“Time to test out the [Novessence Thunder] and the [Novessence Water], I suppose.” Ning could sense that he now had much more control over his lightning and water. The alchemical techniques which the Paragon of Pills had given him had improved his finesse more a thousand times over. No wonder the Paragon had said that if he spent some time and effort on it, it would be easy for him to surpass the creator of the [Novessence Thunder] in alchemical skill. This alchemical system, the [Seven Leafpill Chapters], truly was the most supremely sacred sutra of the Dao of Alchemy.
Ning shut his eyes and began to visualize his body.
Within his Jindan chaos region.
A towering Dao-tree that was 108,000 meters high was here. This tree symbolized Ning’s insights into the Dao of the Sword. In truth, he could break through to the Daolord level whenever he wanted, allowing his Dao-tree to surpass that limit! Ning had actually already reached the World level in many different Daos, such as wind, fire, lightning, and space, but he hadn’t been able to cause new Dao-trees to form for them within his Jindan chaos region.
The region was filled with flickering lightning essences and gushing water essences that bubbled with power.
“Arise.” The azureflower mist energy spread out, easily taking control over two streaks of Dao lightning. These were the two easiest types of Dao lightning to control; Watersmoke Lightning and Firecloud Lightning.
“The [Seven Leafpill Chapters]…” Ning immediately began to use the Leafpill techniques. Slender threads of slender golden light began to appear, each thread filled with countless divine runes. The threads slowly manifested into a pair of enormous golden hands that gently grasped the two types of Dao lightning, then began to almost pinch them together with ease, continuously harmonizing them.
Slowly, the two streaks of Dao lightning began to transform. The fire and the water merged together, producing a single stream of deep azure lightning.
He had succeeded in merging two types of Dao lightning!
“Too easy.” Ning himself was shocked at how easy it had felt. It had been as easy as breathing.
“I’ll go straight to three types.” Ning was brimming with confidence. Logically speaking, he should’ve first left behind a ‘seed’ for the dual-essence thunder, but he was so confident that he couldn’t even be bothered to do so. He went straight to a tri-essence thunder.
One of the giant golden hands was gripping the bi-essence thunder, while the other golden hand picked up a strand of Earthfiend Lightning. The two quickly began to merge together…
Completing the tri-essence thunder was more than ten times as difficult as completing the bi-essence thunder.
Still… step by step, Ning managed to use the [Novessence Thunder] technique to finalize his tri-essence thunder! The tri-essence thunder was a streak of deep yellow lightning. When the lightning spread out, it contained so much power that it was clearly significantly stronger than the seven types of Dao lightning and Dao water added together.