Book 29, Daolord, Chapter 34 – Secret Arts Mastered
Ji Ning began to frown as he stared at the jade slip. What a formidable figure. He was so strong that he was most likely ranked amongst the second tier of Verge-level Daolords.
Based on what Ning knew, the first-tier Verge-level Daolords included the likes of Palace Lord Dawnstar, Daolord Allgod, and other similar figures. Palace Lord Dawnstar had once slain an Eternal Emperor with three chops of his saber, while Daolord Allgod had sent Emperor Melobo fleeing in terror.
It must be remembered that Emperor Melobo was not only an Eternal Emperor, he was also an Awakened member of the Aeonian race who was still alive today. Ordinary Eternal Emperors simply couldn’t compare to him in power… and yet, in the face of Daolord Allgod, he was only able to flee. In a true duel, Daolord Allgod was a bit inferior to Palace Lord Dawnstar in ferocity of attacks, but he was actually superior in tenacity and endurance. The Dao of the Sword and the Dao of the Saber were offensive Daos, after all!
“Daolord Kongsan is a bit weaker than Palace Lord Dawnstar, but not even Palace Lord Dawnstar would be able to slay him.” Ning frowned. “He’s skilled in the Dao of Darkness and can transform into darkness itself. He’s virtually unkillable. His ability to transform into darkness means that he has incredible control over space! When fleeing, he’s able to move at thirty-six times the speed of light. The darkness, by nature, is inscrutable and mysterious. This Dao can be used to affect the soul, but its particularly dangerous in close combat.”
“He’s an untamable, unruly figure with no clan and no sects. He is also an extremely selfish person, and at least sixteen Daolords of the Fourth Step have died to him. He’s currently living in an estate within Skywood City.” The more Ning read, the bigger his headache became.
Daolords who were skilled in combat weren’t terrifying. Daolords who were skilled in staying alive were! Kongsan was one such person. His ability to dissolve into darkness made him virtually unkillable, and he was incredibly fast and skilled in spatial teleportation. He could flee whenever he wished, but was also dangerous in close combat. He had no obvious weaknesses!
“Master?” Su Youji called out softly.
“Master, is Kongsan a tough nut to crack?” Pillsaint asked.
Ning put away the jade slip, then nodded. “A very tough nut indeed. He’s one of the toughest Daolords to deal with. Not even Palace Lord Dawnstar would be able to kill him.”
“He’s that powerful?” Both Su Youji and Pillsaint were shocked. Palace Lord Dawnstar was the most powerful Daolord of the Brightshore Kingdom.
“No, he’s just very skilled in staying alive. His attacks are nowhere near Palace Lord Dawnstar’s level.” Ning had already come to a decision on what to do. “Pillsaint, Youji, I need to train for a while. Help stand guard over me, and don’t let anyone in Plumesoar Hall disturb me.”
“Understood,” Pillsaint and Su Youji both said in unison. Ning then waved his hand, causing a stooped, thatched cottage to appear next to him.
Ning’s body flickered as he flew into the thatched cottage. This was actually a small temporal acceleration estate-world, and by using up a bit of Immortal energy Ning would be able to maintain a rate of a hundred times the normal flow of time.
Within the thatched cottage. Ning was seated here in the lotus position. With a wave of the hand, he caused a series of black gourds to appear. Each black gourd contained Dao lightning, Dao fire, and other similar materials that he needed to train in the nine novessence arts.
Pop! Pop! The stoppers popped out of two of the gourds. Instantly, two streaks of Dao lightning flew out towards Ning. One was a streak of gray lightning that was filled with endless destructive power, while the other was a streak of white lightning that seemed to emanate an endless aura of hope. These two streaks of Dao lightning instantly surged into Ning’s body and were easily absorbed into their respective lightning bases.
“I now have all nine lightning bases I need. Time to give it a try. If my prediction is correct, I should stand a good chance of mastering the full novessence thunder.” Ning immediately began to try it out.
Crack! Bang! Boom!
It was a scene of utter chaos.
Bang! Boom! Crack!
Explosions rang out unabated.
However, Ning was able to remain very calm. Everything was under his control. The alchemical techniques he had learned from the [Seven Leafpill Chapters] were extremely profound! Lightning was by nature an unruly type of energy, and he was dealing with nine different types of it! The hardest part was perfectly joining the octessence thunder together with the Felworld lightning. The octessence lightning was already incredibly hard to control and was capable of easily wiping out Daolords of the Third Step. As for the Felworld lightning, it was easily the most berserk of the nine types of Dao lightning.
You couldn’t force things when trying to control them; you had to find and follow the flow, then slowly nudge them together, making it so that although they seemed to remain as wild and unruly as ever, they were acting in accordance with the will of an incredibly sly hunter and were drawn into one ‘trap’ after another. Ning spent a full two months guiding and nudging the octessence thunder and the Felworld lightning, and during this period of time he could not slack of in the slightest.
“BOOM!!!” In the end, a sudden explosion blasted out as the novessence thunder was formed! This was a streak of beautiful black lightning, and its black surface was covered with tiny silk strands that were like a layer of fur. The novessence thunder was like a living creature, like a dragon that happily swam through Ning’s Jindan chaos region with ease.
Ning let out a sigh of relief. He opened his eyes, then stretched out his right hand. Whoosh! A stream of soft black divine lightning appeared within the palm of his hands. It looked like a streak of gentle and reserved black lightning, but it actually held an incomprehensible amount of power inside.
“This streak of lightning is able to slay Daolords of the Fourth Step by itself?” Ning couldn’t help but sigh. Daolords of the Fourth Step generally possessed incredible divine bodies and were garbed in Dao armor, but the novessence thunder was capable of slaying them! Of course, it could only slay ‘ordinary’ Daolords of the Fourth Step, but that did not detract from how terrifying it was.
“The novessence water is easier to master than the novessence thunder. Time to train in it.” Ning gave himself one day of rest, then continued in his training. This time, he focused on mastering the [Novessence Water] technique.”
It had taken him two months to master the [Novessence Thunder], but only half a month to master the [Novessence Water]. He took over a month to master the [Novessence Fire], as Ning wasn’t nearly as talented in fire as he was in thunder and water. The [Novessence Earth] took more than two months, while the [Novessence Metal] took more than three months.
Ning mastered one secret art after another, spending the most time on the [Novessence Light] technique, as he knew very little regarding the Dao of Light. This took him nearly two years before he was able to master it. The [Novessence Void], the most powerful and thus the (theoretically) most difficult of the novessence arts, Ning was actually able to master in just eight months.
“I’ve actually mastered all nine of the secret arts?” After finishing the [Novessence Void], Ning himself felt a bit amazed at what he had accomplished. He would’ve been satisfied if he had been able to master the [Novessence Water], which was fairly weak and which he was quite familiar with. He never would’ve imagined that after a bit of effort, he would master all nine of the novessence arts!
Daolord Allgod had used these arts to roam the Endless Territories. They really were a killer combination! And he, Ji Ning, had actually mastered them?
“Thank goodness I had the azureflower mist energy, the Omega Sword Dao, and most importantly of all the [Seven Leafpill Chapters].” Ning quickly understood why he had been able to master this technique.
Daolord Allgod had originally claimed that one would have to first become a Daolord of the Fourth Step, then become extremely skilled in alchemy, lightning, light, water, etc. before one would be able to master this technique! As for Ji Ning?
He had the azureflower mist energy, making him comparable to a Daolord of the Fourth Step in terms of Immortal energy. As far as alchemical techniques went, Ning had spent millions of years by the side of the Paragon of Pills. He hadn’t advanced too much in sword-arts during that period of time, and almost all of his spare time had been spent on the [Seven Leafpill Chapters] and the alchemical techniques included within its most profound seventh chapter. His alchemical technique was superior to even Daolord Allgod’s.
As for the Dao…
He wasn’t exactly skilled in the Dao of Metal, the Dao of Wind, the Dao of Wood, and many of the other Daos. However, the fifth stance of the [Brightmoon] sword-art, the Shadowless sword-intent, required him to be able to merge himself into all of his surroundings. Thus, when he had been in the inner reaches of the Genesis Lands of the alternate universe, Ning had personally visited all of the corpses of the many deceased Eternal Emperors and had meditated on the auras of their Daos.
He was very familiar with the auras of all types of Daos, and he had learned how to merge himself into them. This was part of the reason why his Shadowless sword-intent allowed him to merge into all things. Thus, although Ning wasn’t skilled in the Dao of Metal or the Dao of Wood, he was at least familiar with them. This familiarity with them, their strengths, their weaknesses… it was all a prerequisite for Ning to be able to merge into them and disappear within them.
This was exactly what the nine novessence arts required, for the user to be very familiar with the various elemental properties. One had to follow their flow and go with the grain in mixing them together like alchemical ingredients in a pill.
On this day, within a nondescript private room inside the Plumesoar Hall of Skywood City, one of the eight Sacred Cities of the Dao Alliance, Ji Ning silently and soundlessly mastered all nine of the novessence arts, arts which would cause countless Daolords to blaunch with fear!
“This was rather unexpected. Still… since I’ve mastered all nine of the secret arts…” Ning pondered for a moment. “I might not need to waste the Hegemon’s Dao-seal after all.”
“Right now, those nine mighty novessence arts are my greatest trump card. I need to find a way to make them unleash the maximum amount of power possible,” Ning pondered. The Hegemon’s two Dao-seal were trump cards that could only be used one time each, while the nine novessence arts were his own arts that could be used as many times as he chose. He naturally had to enhance them as much as he could. If he just used them for their raw power, they would still be quite strong, yes, but this wasn’t their full potential. If he could use those nine novessence arts as nine swords and then use his Omega Sword Dao’s Yin-Yang Sword Domain, the power of the novessence arts would be vastly greater.
“My Omega Sword Dao’s Blood Drop sword-intent has made a breakthrough, but the Yin-Yang sword-intent has not. I hope I will be to make some breakthroughs soon. That way, my nine novessence arts will be able to unleash even greater power. Daolord Allgod was a grandmaster in the art of formations, which was why he was able to use those nine secret arts to form a terrifying formation to attack his foes. This was what allowed him to crush Emperor Melobo.”
Clearly, Ning wished to upgrade the power of his nine novessence arts as best he could.
“However, I’ve just finished mastering these nine arts. I need to rest a bit first.” Whoosh. Ning’s body flickered and emerged from the thatched cottage. He waved his hand, putting it away.
“Master.” “Master.” Pillsaint and Su Youji were seated outside the private room, and they immediately turned to stare towards Ning.
“What is it?” Ning laughed.
“The treasure auction has already begun. It’s gone on for several days,” Pillsaint said, then added worriedly, “Master, how do you plan to deal with Daolord Kongsan?”
“No need to worry.” Ning walked out of the private room, then stared downwards through a window. A this very moment, a loud and exciting treasure auction was occurring below them.
Ning sat down relaxedly, then picked up a nearby cup of wine. He sipped at it as he watched the treasure auction.