Book 29, Daolord, Chapter 17 – Leaving Seclusion
The secluded room was completely silent. Ji Ning simply sat there, visualizing the insides of his body.
His reserves of Immortal energy and divine power were as deep as those of a Daolord of the Second Step. Ning’s focus, however, was on the azureflower region within his body.
“The azureflower mist energy.” This was what Ning was looking at. The azureflower region was a mist of haze. Droplets of golden water were slowly rolling together as the area emanated an aura of fog and mist. There was a total of 1111 of those golden drops! Every single drop contained far more energy than Ning’s divine power and Immortal energy combined.
“It actually evolved once again. My azureflower mist energy is far stronger than my own divine power or Immortal energy. How could it be this much stronger? This should be the power of a Daolord of the Fourth Step!” Ning was truly stunned.
The Nine Chaos Seals seemed like a very ordinary technique, but it was actually inconceivably strong.
For it to be able to convert the energy of Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals was one thing. Even the conversion of World-level energy… fine. But it was actually able to convert even Daolord-level energy?! To this very day, Ning still wasn’t able to grasp some of the mysteries behind the conversion process.
“Who? Who created this technique, this ridiculously powerful technique? The deceased Hegemon bestowed numerous techniques, divine abilities, and secret arts upon me as well, but none of them can compare to it!” Ning was secretly stunned. Aside from his Hegemon-level sword-arts, the deceased Sword Hegemon also had numerous divine abilities and secret arts which he had passed on to Ning, and some of them were even stronger than the [Novessence Thunder]. And yet… they were all vastly inferior compared to the Nine Chaos Seals.
“The legends say that the most powerful bodies are those of the Brightshore Imperials, certain top-tier Aberrants, Ancient cultivators, and cultivators who trained in the [Thousand Bodies Sutra],” Ning mused. “But my Nine Chaos Seals allows me to be on par with them.”
Brightshore Imperials, Ancient cultivators, elite Aberrants, and practitioners of the [Thousand Bodies Sutra] were all incredibly talented figures; even at the World level, their bodies were comparable to the bodies of Daolords. Once they broke through to become Daolords of the First Step, their bodies would be comparable to those of Daolords of the Third Step!
Most importantly of all, they were able to execute divine abilities and unleash utterly ruinous amounts of force that were probably stronger than even Ning’s azureflower mist energy. There was no way for Ning to use his azureflower mist energy to use any divine abilities at all.
The problem was there were pitifully few Brightshore Imperials. This was why they needed the Twelve Palaces to protect them!
Ancient cultivators, top-tier Aberrants, practitioners of the [Thousand Bodies Sutra]… all of them were pitifully few in number.
Daolord Solesky, Daolord Battlemaster, Daolord Brightfish, Pillsaint, Su Youji… when they were at the first step, they would have auras of Daolords of the First Step. Once they took their second step, they would have auras of Daolords of the Second Step. This was normal! People like Ning, who had an Omega Sword Dao and eighteen clones, were incredibly rare even amongst Daolords.
“Ancient cultivators and Brightshore Imperials who are Daolords of the First Step might be able to surpass me in power when they fully unleash all of their abilities, but I’m capable of lasting much longer in combat. In addition, the higher a level you reach, the more important the strength of the Dao you have created is.” Ning nodded slowly.
For Samsara Daolords, their Dao was their foundation. It mattered most of all.
Ning, for example, was in control of an Omega Sword Dao. Even without using any divine abilities or techniques, his sword-intent alone would be enough to easily suppress Daolords of the third Step. Thanks to this Omega Dao, he would be able to move ten times the speed of light. His Omega Dao allowed him to enter higher dimensions and move through them at truly astonishing speeds.
This was the nature of the Dao.
If you simply relied on brute force and strength, the end result would be that you would be trampled. This was why certain incredibly powerful Daolords were able to easily slay Brightshore Imperials, Ancient cultivators, and even Eternal Emperors, even though they were nothing more than ‘ordinary’ cultivators without any particularly special bodies!
“The Dao of the Sword…”
Ning was using his Omega Sword Dao to serve as the template for remaking his divine body. Once his Dao-tree stabilized, he was immediately able to vaguely visualize the upcoming path for his Omega Sword Dao.
The higher you stood, the farther you would be able to see.
Many different Sword Daos filled his mind, as did his Heavenbreaker sword-intent, his Soleheart sword-intent, his Yin-Yang sword-intent, his Blood Drop sword-intent, and his Shadowless sword-intent. Ning was beginning to get some insights and ideas into the mysteries they would hold in the future.
“No wonder they all say that going from the first step to the second step as a Daolord is the easiest step.” Ning revealed a smile. “If I was merely in control a single Supreme Dao, I’d probably break through to become a Daolord of the Second Step in just a few hundred years.”
It was very quick for Daolords to go from the first step to the second step. Even the absolute slowest of Daolords would at most take a few chaos cycles, and this would already be considered an incredibly long period of time. According to the stories, there were some who would be able to much move faster, breaking through within a thousand years. However, the later steps would be much more difficult and breaking through would be much slower.
“However, I need to first make further breakthroughs in my five Supreme Daos. Only then will I be able to develop an even more profound Omega Sword Dao.” Ning understood that his path would be a more difficult one. Others, however, would have no idea.
“I’ll stay in seclusion for ten years. Ten years from now I’ll say that I broke through to become a Daolord of the Second Step,” Ning mused.
Ten years. Under temporal acceleration, this would translate into over a thousand years. Given Ning’s level of talent, for him to break through to become a Daolord of the Second Step in roughly a thousand years wouldn’t be that surprising to others.
As a Daolord of the Second Step, for him to possess a Dao on the level of his Omega Sword Dao would make sense. If others knew that a Daolord of the First Step possessed such a terrifyingly powerful Sword Dao, news would quickly spread throughout the Endless Territories. Ning truly didn’t want to see this happen.
“In the next ten years, I need to finish mastering the [Novessence Thunder] and the [Novessence Water], as well as the protective divine ability the deceased Hegemon gave me, the [Sword Dao Body].” Ning came to his decision. Of the various divine abilities and secret arts which the deceased Hegemon had given him, the only one he could use for now was the protective divine ability.
This was because Ning had already reached the apex of power in the [Golden Idol] technique, and his body was comparable to a supreme Dao weapon. That was the highest limit possible for World-level cultivators. Only now, after becoming a Daolord, was he able to use the deceased Hegemon’s [Sword Dao Body]. When trained to the apex, it would make his divine body comparable to a supreme Eternal treasure.
Given his life would be a life surrounded by battle, if he wished to live a long life he had to be able to take a beating!
The primordial chaos was filled with all types of dangers, and one’s enemies were capable of all sorts of insidious attacks. If your divine body was able to take a beating, your chances of staying alive would improve dramatically. All Daolords of the Fourth Step had extremely powerful and unfathomable techniques. These were terrifying powers gained after your personal Dao had reached an extremely high level.
Time continued to flow on, and twelve years passed in the blink of an eye.
The Darknorth Estate. Although Pillsaint and Su Youji continued to train with their main bodies, both left incarnations there to await Ning’s return.
“It’s been quite some time since Master became a Daolord. Why hasn’t he come out?” Pillsaint was quite puzzled. “It’s been twelve years. Even Daolord Solesky has come to ask about this, but all the two of us can do is wait here like fools. Twelve years!”
“Twelve years is nothing. Your true body is using the temporal acceleration treasure inside the estate to train, right?” Su Youji said, “Even if it takes a thousand years or ten thousand years, you have no choice but to wait.”
“I know, I know. I’m just mumbling to myself,” Pillsaint said hurriedly. “Generally speaking, people will quickly emerge from secluded meditation after becoming Daolords. Our master has been in seclusion for far too long.”
“True.” Su Youji nodded. “It has been quite a while.”
An utterly terrifying Sword Dao aura suddenly surged outwards. However, the restrictive spells surrounding the Darknorth Estate prevented it from leaving the estate, making it impossible for anyone outside to notice what was going on. This Sword Dao aura was so lofty, exalted, and fierce, both Su Youji and Pillsaint couldn’t help but quiver upon sensing it. Faced with this aura, they couldn’t even think about resisting it; the only thing they felt was fear.
“This Sword Dao… this Sword Dao…” Both of them were completely shocked.
A period of time went past, but they remained unable to calm down. Rumble… the doors to the room swung open, and a white-robed youth who carried a black sword scabbard on his back emerged from within.
“Master.” Both immediately rose to their feet.
“Master, you…” Su Youji stared at Ning and the aura around him. It seemed rather different from that of most Daolords of the First Step.
“After I became a Daolord, I suddenly gained many new insights and so I chose to train for a period of time. Who would’ve thought that I’d break through and become a Daolord of the Second Step?” Ning said.
“A Daolord of the Second Step?” Both Su Youji and Pillsaint were quite astonished.
Ning, however, felt a bit ashamed. Since he chose to hide his true power, he had to hide it from everyone; only then would he be secure. Ning’s subconscious had whispered to him repeatedly that pretending to be a Daolord of the Second Step was the best choice; only then would his path of cultivation be a safe one.
“Master… I’ve heard many say that advancing from the first step to the second step is quite fast, with some succeeding in just a thousand years, but I didn’t imagine you would be that fast as well.” Su Youji said excitedly, “Master, you truly are incredible.”
“Alright. No need to tell others about this,” Ning said. He then raised his head to stare towards the skies. With but a thought, he dispelled the formation spells surrounding the Darknorth Estate. As soon as he did so, both Daolord Solesky and Daolord Battlemaster sensed it right away.
“Ah, Ji Ning! Congratulations on making your breakthrough.” A wave of godsense swept towards him, bringing a mental chuckle with it. “Oho, this aura of yours… have you become a Daolord of the Second Step?”