Book 29, Daolord, Chapter 18 – The Power to Roam the Endless Territories
Just a short while later, Daolords Solesky, Battlemaster, and Brightfish all arrived at the Darknorth Estate. They stared at Ji Ning in astonishment.
“What’s with the looks on your faces?” Ning immediately asked.
“To advance from being a Daolord of the First Step to a Daolord of the Second Step within a thousand years… we’ve only heard of such things in legends.” Daolord Solesky beamed merrily as he looked at Ning. “But today, I’ve witnessed it myself. See that, Brightfish? That’s what a true ‘genius’ is.”
Daolord Brightfish looked at Ning, then nodded and grunted in assent.
Ning raised his head staring at the dark gray wind which was blotting out the skies above them. “Big brother Solesky, what are Patriarch Clearwind’s strengths and weaknesses? You’ve been feuding against him for ages; you should know better than anyone else. Please tell me everything you know.”
“His strengths and weaknesses?” Daolord Solesky looked at Ning, puzzled. “What are you planning to do?”
Ning’s copy of the Brightshore Kingdom’s star map had information regarding the Daolords in each territory, and it also had fairly detailed information on Patriarch Clearwind. Based on that information, Ning felt confident that he could give Patriarch Clearwind a run for his money! However, Daolord Solesky had been battling Patriarch Clearwind for so long that he probably had far more information than the star map did.
This was going to be a big battle. He had to prepare for it as best as he could.
“You…” The nearby Daolord Battlemaster first frowned, then stared towards Ning in shock. “You are preparing to give Patriarch Clearwind a fight?”
“What?!” Brightfish, Solesky, and even Pillsaint and Su Youji were both shocked as well.
Ning gave Daolord Battlemaster a surprised glance, then nodded. “Big brother Battlemaster’s Numerancy skills truly are formidable. Indeed. I’ve become much more powerful and wish to test myself against Patriarch Clearwind.”
“B-but you are just a new Daolord of the Second Step.” Daolord Solesky grew nervous. “How could you be so rash as to challenge Clearwind? He’s every bit a match for me. Even though Battlemaster is also at the fourth step, he’s still a level weaker than Patriarch Clearwind. Do you think you are invincible, now that you have broken through from the World level to become a Daolord of the Second Step? Ji Ning, I don’t want to criticize you, but you have to be cautious when roaming the Endless Territories. If you act this rashly, you will probably die.”
Daolord Solesky really was panicking. Had his brother gone mad?
“Big brother.” Ning didn’t try to argue with him. “Receive a blow from me.”
“Eh?” Daolord Solesky looked at Ning, then nodded. “Very well. Strike with your full power. I want to see how strong you are.”
Whoosh. Ning suddenly disappeared into thin air. Daolord Solesky had been quite calm, but now his face turned pale.
Swish! Swish! Swish! Swish! Swish! Swish! Sword-shadows formed from finger-strikes suddenly appeared everywhere and stabbed towards Daolord Solesky, every single one of them moving with incomprehensible speed.
“Fast. Too fast! H-how…” Daolord Solesky’s hands instantly transformed into two streams of water that swirled around each other, completely covering the area around him as they strove to defend against Ning’s sword-shadows. Despite that, Daolord Solesky was rendered completely off-balance and forced to take on the attacks head-on, causing waves and splashes of water to explode around him. This caused the nearby Daolord Battlemaster and Daolord Brightfish to both feel tremendous shock.
Ning’s form appeared once more standing off in the distance.
“How was it, big brother?” Ning looked at Daolord Solesky.
“Well done, my brother!” Daolord Solesky revealed a look of delight, his eyes radiating excitement as he stared at Ning. He roared with laughter, “Well done, my brother! With this stance alone, you have the power to roam the Endless Territories unimpeded. How could you be this fast? In fact, you seem to be even faster in battle!”
“It is due to the Dao which I comprehended,” Ning said.
Ning was able to move at ten times the speed of light. Other Daolords who used flying treasures or rode on lightning or light would also be able to move at ten times the speed of light, but there was a critical difference; for them, that speed could only be obtained when they were fleeing at high speed! The speed at which they could move and dodge in confined spaces in close quarters combat was much slower. Ning, however, had launched more than sixty thousand frenzied attacks within this region in that brief moment… and he was actually able to move and dodge at the incredible speed of ten times the speed of light in battle!
This wasn’t a speed one could reach thanks to treasures or external resources. It depended on the Dao you had comprehended.
Some who trained in the Dao of Lightning, the Dao of Wind, or the Dao of Light would be able to move dozens of times faster than the speed of light once they became Daolords of the Fourth Step! This was what made them so incredibly formidable in battle. But of course, people like them were incredibly rare; less than one in a hundred Daolords of the Fourth Step would have such skills. But of course, the other Daolords might be skilled in other areas.
“Formidable.” Daolord Solesky was extremely impressed.
“Our big brother is right. By relying on this Sword Dao, Darknorth, you do indeed have the power to roam the Endless Territories.” Daolord Battlemaster nodded in praise as well.
“Incredible.” Daolord Brightfish sighed in amazement.
Solesky immediately asked, “Right, Ji Ning. When you were in the Sword Palace of the Brightshore Kingdom, you should’ve been given the title of ‘Swordlord’, right?”
“Yes.” Ning nodded.
“My master became a Swordlord shortly after he entered the Sword Palace. He was one of the top-ranking ones in the Twelve Palaces, at that.” Pillsaint immediately spoke up proudly.
“Hah! The Brightshore Kingdom is one of the six major powers. You’ve only been training for a short period of time, yet you managed to rank amongst the top World-level cultivators of the Brightshore Kingdom? No wonder you are such a monster despite having just reached the second step.” Daolord Solesky nodded. “You might be a bit weaker than Patriarch Clearwind, but your speed alone guarantees that he won’t be able to take you down.”
As he spoke, he produced a jade slip and immediately sent it towards Ning. “Clearwind and I have battling for ages, and I know the ins and outs of virtually all his techniques. I’ve recorded them all down within this jade slip. Take a look!”
Ning accepted it, then immediately began to read through it carefully.
Right. This information was indeed more detailed than the information included within the Brightshore Kingdom’s star map. Patriarch Clearwind truly was formidable.
“What do you think?” Daolord Solesky looked at Ning. “Still want to fight him?”
“Of course I’m going to fight him.” Ning nodded. “We can’t just let him continue to blockade the entrance of our Vastheaven Palace, right?”
“Good!” Daolord Solesky smiled. “Now that you are a Daolord, you are the fourth Palace Lord of Vastheaven Palace. This here is one of the central control mechanisms for our barriers and restrictive spells. If you aren’t able to overcome your foe, you can retreat within the palace.”
As he spoke, he handed over a black-gold sawtoothed disc which was covered in complicated divine runes. This thing was part of the core controls of the entire Vastheaven Palace!”
“These core controls can only be bound a single time,” Daolord Solesky said. “After you bind them, they can never be bound by others again.” This was for security reasons. If one of the Palace Lords of Vastheaven Palace died and their opponent managed to take over and bind the core controls… unacceptable! This place had been the headquarters for Vastheaven Palace for countless ages, after all.
After binding the disc, Ning could sense the many complicated and powerful formations covering all of Vastheaven Palace. Their power was indeed astonishing.
“Then I’ll head off.” Ning glanced at the others, then transformed into a streak of light that flew away.
“Be careful!” Solesky called out from behind.
Daolords Brightfish, Battlemaster, Pillsaint, and Su Youji all watched nervously.
“Big brother Battlemaster, Darknorth won’t be in any danger, will he?” Daolord Brightfish asked nervously.
“Overall, he probably isn’t a match for Clearwind. But he’s a sword cultivator! They are very skilled in battle…” Battlemaster paused.
“He might not be able to beat Clearwind, but he’ll definitely be able to keep himself safe. Let him have his fight,” Solesky said with a smile.
“Will he be able to win?” Su Youji couldn’t help but ask this question.
“It’ll be hard. Actually, there’s almost no chance of him winning.” Solesky shook his head.
The fierce gray tempest continued to blot out the skies and the sun, causing the entire Vastheaven Palace to be cast in stifling darkness. A streak of light, however, rose up from within Vastheaven Palace. It flew out of the barrier spells, then came to a halt in midair. It was a white-robed youth who was carrying a black sheath on his back.
“Clearwind!” Ning barked out, his voice echoing and reverberating in the air, causing innumerable sword-shadows to appear.
The trillions of sword-shadows all simultaneously shot out towards the distant shrine. When the sword-shadows collided against the blurry gray storm, a series of eruptions could be heard. The blurry gray wind began to splinter and break apart, as did many of the sword-shadows. However, more and more of the sword-shadows were born as they continued to press the attack.
As for the blurry gray wind, it also continued to be remade and surge out as well. The wind was an external manifestation of Patriarch Clearwind’s Dao, while Ning’s sword-shadows were external manifestations of his own Omega Sword Dao.
The two Daos began to clash against each other, harder and harder.
“Eh?” This entire time, the man dressed in handsome black robes had been seated within the shrine, his eyes closed. He suddenly rose to his feet and then walked to the entrance of the shrine, where he stared downwards at the white-robed figure in midair, ensconced by those countless sword-shadows.
“So you are Darknorth?” Patriarch Clearwind immediately recognized the man.
“I am,” Ning replied.
Patriarch Clearwind said, “A Daolord of the Second Step already? Or were you just pretending to be at the World level earlier? Hmph. I will admit that your Sword Dao is extraordinary, and it’s impressive that a weak Daolord of the Second Step like you could have such an incredible Sword Dao. If you choose to pit yourself against me, however… then you truly are overestimating your capabilities.”
“Let’s cut the crap. Eat my sword!” The distant Ning let out a furious bellow. Clang! A Northbow sword immediately flew out from the black scabbard on his back.