Book 29, Daolord, Chapter 15 – The Clone’s Return
The Vastheaven Everworld.
A fur-clad youth was flying through the skies of this place. He stared at the distant gray storm that was blotting out the sun in the distance. That was the direction of Vastheaven Palace.
“I’ve finally made it,” Ji Ning mused to himself.
The fur-clad youth was Ning’s clone, which had travelled all the way here from the Badlands Territory. Now that he knew that Patriarch Clearwind was besieging Vastheaven Palace, he changed his appearance.
“Even though Patriarch Clearwind has never seen me, he probably knows what I look like,” Ning mused.
Swoosh! The fur-clad Ning flew towards Vastheaven Palace at high speeds.
“Fellow Daoist. Fellow Daoist!” A black-robed figure suddenly appeared in the distant skies, and he used his Immortal energy to transmit his voice to Ning from afar. “The Daolords of Clearwind Temple have already surrounded Vastheaven Palace for thirty years. From the looks of things, they’ll probably be here for a very long period of time. You must not travel any further, fellow Daoist. Ugh… I personally witnessed a weak little Elder God who was instantly slain once he moved in that direction.”
“Even Elder Gods are slain?” Ning frowned.
“Anyone who dares to travel there will be slain. Not even animals or birds are permitted to enter that region.” The Chaos Immortal shook his head. “Be careful, fellow Daoist.” After speaking, he flew away.
The fur-clad Ji Ning considered this matter, then immediately began to charge downwards. As soon as he touched the ground, he instantly disappeared into thin air.
Using the Shadowless evasion skill, he began to move towards Vastheaven Palace at high speeds. For the sake of hiding his true abilities, Ning merely moved stealthily at just two times the normal speed of light.
Within Vastheaven Palace.
Ji Ning, Daolord Solesky, and Daolord Battlemaster were standing before their barrier formations, staring off into the distance.
“Big brother, that clone of mine is about to arrive,” Ning said.
“In order to break through to the Daolord level, you have to merge all of your clones together to form a complete body.” Daolord Solesky shook his head and sighed. “But that madman Patriarch Clearwind has surrounded our palace. It’ll be extremely difficult for your clone to make it inside. As I see it, you should just give up that body. You’ll still be able to become a Daolord, and your strength will only be minimally impacted.”
Ning shook his head. That clone was one of the eighteen clones that had been created thanks to his [Taowu Eighteen Fiendgods]. His ‘main body’ was actually created from the merging of seventeen of those clones! If it died, his spare clone would be able to recreate the main body by remaking the other seventeen clones.
If the spare clone died, there was no way his main body would be able to rebuild it. Still… once the spare clone died, the main body would become independent and ‘complete’, but it would have an eighteenth less divine power than its maximum potential. It was true that this wouldn’t have a significant impact.
“Just wait a bit, big brother,” Ning said.
“Alright.” Daolord Solesky laughed. “I’ll eagerly await your display of power, Ji Ning.”
Ning was flying low, very close to the ground. The sky-blotting tempest of gray wind blanketed all of Vastheaven Palace, with the shrine having descended upon the peak of a nearby mountain. Patriarch Clearwind’s Immortal energy filled the entire region, with the area around Vastheaven Palace under his complete control. Any cultivator who wished to enter or exit Vastheaven Palace would not be able to escape his detection.
“Eh?” Patriarch Clearwind opened his eyes. His gaze pierced through the walls of the shrine as he stared towards a distant region. He let out a cold smile. “Ah, a young World-level cultivator. He thinks to evade my surveillance through using an evasion skill?”
“You may perish.”
Patriarch Clearwind coldly waved a single finger.
A terrifying amount of natural energy instantly began to manifest, transforming into a blurry gray hand that was three million kilometers in size and which clawed downwards towards the cultivator.
Whooooosh. The swiping motion of that giant gray blurry hand caused the entire area beneath it to be reduced to dust as an enormous gouge was torn into the earth.
Swish! Ning, however, continued to skirt across the surface of the ground. His speed had suddenly increased to four times the speed of light.
“Eh?” Patriarch Clearwind’s face tightened. “How can a World-level cultivator have such a fast evasion skill? He’s comparable to a Daolord of the Third Step.” When he had swiped out at the ground, Ning had suddenly sped up from twice the speed of light to four times the speed of light, avoiding his blow.
“Hmph.” Patriarch Clearwind had a dark look on his face as he once more launched an attack, a second claw.
That giant blurry gray hand carried even more power than before, and it also moved even faster as it swept out towards the ground. The earth trembled as mud and dirt was reduced to dust as an even larger gouge appeared within the ground.
And yet… Ning’s speed skyrocketed yet again. He now was able to move at six times the speed of light, and as a result he dodged even this second attack. By now, he was very close to Vastheaven Palace.
Swish! Patriarch Clearwind didn’t even have a chance to unleash a third strike. Ning almost instantly charged within the protective perimeter of Vastheaven Palace.
“What?!” Patriarch Clearwind shot to his feet, causing his seven World-level cultivators under his command to all be shocked. None of them even knew that a World-level cultivator was using an evasion skill; all they knew was that their Patriarch Clearwind had just clawed twice at the ground.
“He actually escaped, and that final burst of speed brought him to move at six times the speed of light? That’s faster than many Verge-level Daolords!” Patriarch Clearwind had a look of disbelief on his face. “How could a World-level cultivator be that fast? What sort of special encounters has he had!?”
If Ning was riding Chaos lightning , he would be able to move at ten times the speed of light. There were actually quite a few similar evasion skills, but they were all extremely difficult to train in. Many Verge-level Daolords didn’t have access to such evasion skills.
“Given his speed… could that have been the Darknorth fellow which Blesswind spoke of?” Patriarch Clearwind mused to himself, “But logically speaking, that World God named Darknorth should’ve reached Vastheaven Palace long ago. Could it be that Vastheaven Palace has a second World-level cultivator who moves at those speeds?”
Patriarch Clearwind was truly mystified.
Vastheaven Palace, however, was a hubbub of celebration.
The fur-clad Ning charged past the barriers of Vastheaven Palace; in doing so, he had reached a position of perfect safety. He flew straight towards the white-robed Ning, returning to his usual appearance while doing so.
“Impressive, impressive.” Daolord Solesky let out an amazed sigh. “Patriarch Clearwind struck out twice but still wasn’t able to halt your clone. That evasion skill you used at the very end… it let you move at six times the limits of the Heavenly Daos, right?”
“He was overconfident. He didn’t know about my true abilities.” Ning chuckled. He had actually been quite relaxed this entire time, and he had only been forced to move at six times the speed of light. His current limit was actually ten! However, he only needed to move as fast as was necessary to escape and safely enter Vastheaven Palace. There was no need for him to let the enemy know everything.
“If you move that fast, it won’t be an easy thing for him to kill you,” Daolord Battlemaster said.
Ning immediately said, “Big brother Solesky, big brother Battlemaster, now that my clone’s arrived I’m going to merge my clone with my main body and break through to become a Daolord.”
“Right.” Solesky and Battlemaster both turned solemn.
“You must be careful,” Solesky instructed. “Breaking through to become a Daolord of the First Step might be easy for you, but given how formidable your sword-intent is you’ll definitely become at least a Daolord of the Fourth Step. That makes it even more important for you to solidify your foundation. The Dao you develop must be sufficiently solid and stable.”
Daolords. With each step they took, they trod the line between life and death.
It was like building a tall building. Becoming a Daolord of the First Step was establishing the foundation for that building! Daolords of the second, third, and fourth steps were like adding more and more floors to that building. If the foundation wasn’t stable, the entire building might collapse! The same was true for Samsara Daolords. Each step they took they risked their lives, and quite a few Daolords ended up dying upon taking their third step. Not every Daolord would be able to reach the fourth step.
In order to build a tall tower, the most important thing of all was to have a sturdy base. As for gaining eternity? Not even the slightest error was permissible. Even the smallest of flaws would ensure that you would never be able to gain eternity!
If your foundation was small, you’d only be able to build a small wooden cabin, which was to say you would become an ordinary Daolord. Each step they took would be easier, and it would be easier for them to become Eternal Emperors. However, they would be weak.
If you had an incredibly deep foundation, you would be ready to build a massive palace atop it. Every floor would be quite difficult to construct, and to gain eternity would be even harder. However, if you succeeded you would be unfathomably stronger than your peers. This was true for Bertulu, Eastcult, Greatjoy, and the others. As for Ning, his foundation was the deepest of them all.
“Don’t worry at all, big brother.” Ning smiled, then both he and his clone both transformed into streaks of light that flew towards his distant estate as Daolord Battlemaster and Daolord Solesky both watched from behind.
“Brother Ji Ning truly has improved by an astonishing amount.” Daolord Solesky sighed. “When I first met him… I thought he was quite talented, but I never would’ve imagined that he would become as powerful as he is today. The evasion skill he used just now was very fast, but it didn’t seem to include any of his lightning or water. I have no idea what evasion skill he used, but just by relying on his sword-intent he was able to capture five World-level cultivators.”
Daolord Battlemaster nodded as well. “I tried to use Numerancy to divine his future, but I wasn’t able to divine anything at all. He’s too monstrously talented, even more talented than Brightfish. Calculating his future is far too difficult.”
Forget about him; even the Paragon of Pills was only able to use Numerancy to get the vaguest of ideas as to how long it would be before they met again.