Book 29, Daolord, Chapter 7 – Blame Your Own Poor Luck
“Master, what should we do? Should we charge into Vastheaven Territory?” The two World-level disciples both looked towards the silver-robed Daolord.
The silver-robed Daolord smiled coldly. “I have two ideas. Listen to them and tell me which one you would choose. The first is for us to enter the Vastheaven Territory, then wait for them at the spacetime transfer array at the Vastheaven Everworld! That way, it doesn’t matter which territory Eastherd and Darknorth travel from; in the end, they still have to go through the array to go to the Vastheaven Everworld.”
The Vastheaven Everworld was Vastheaven Palace’s base.
“If we just wait for them by that spacetime transfer array, we are guaranteed to catch them,” the silver-robed Daolord said. “Vastheaven Palace is some distance away from the spacetime transfer array. Even if we were to be discovered, we’d be able to flee in time.”
The faces of the two World-level disciples turned pale. They were essentially going to enter the enemy base? That was suicide!
“But of course, Daolord Battlemaster of Vastheaven Palace is skilled in Numerancy. If and when he discovers that we are within the Vastheaven Everworld, he’ll begin to plot against us. His plots are quite terrifying.” The silver-robed Daolord continued, “Even if we escape, he’d probably catch us.”
“R-r-right. If Daolord Battlemaster plots against us, we might not be able to escape.”
“Master, entering the Vastheaven Everworld is too risky.” Both of the World-level disciples urged him to reconsider.
“The second method.” The silver-robed Daolord waved his hand, causing a furled star map to appear by his side in the air. The star map slowly opened up, and the silver-robed Daolord stared at it. “No matter what path they take, they still have to return to the Vastheaven Everworld. Although there are four possible routes back to the Vastheaven Everworld, there’s two main nodes which they have to travel past.”
“One node is right here, at the dimensional storms which we went past. The other is over here, through this vortex tunnel. If they wish to return to the Vastheaven Everworld, they’ll either have to go through either the dimensional storms or pass through this vortex,” the silver-robed Daolord said.
His two disciples both nodded. This was how travel through the vast territories worked. There were many areas you could avoid, but some critical junctures were unavoidable. Your only option was to slowly fly through them or possibly teleport through them.
“But there are two possible places. There’s no way we can stop them.” The two disciples looked at their master.
“So choose one,” the silver-robed Daolord said. “The rest is up to luck.” He chuckled. “If they are lucky and chose the other route, there’s nothing we can do. If they just so happen to choose the place which we are guarding, then we’ll be in a position to block their path. Both of these places are fairly far away from Vastheaven Palace. We’ll be in a position of much greater security.”
The silver-robed Daolord looked at his two disciples. “Shall we go to the Vastheaven Everworld, or shall we go to one of the two nodes on the star map?”
“Let’s choose the nodes.”
Both of his disciples immediately chose the nodes.
Even an idiot would know that if they chose the Vastheaven Everworld, they would most likely be forced to wait at the spacetime transfer array for quite some time! Given their master’s power as a Daolord of the Third Step, he’d be able to immediately capture Eastherd and Darknorth once they emerged within the formation, then immediately flee. This solution had a high chance of success, true… but it was simply too dangerous to spend that much time at Vastheaven Palace’s base.
“Then we’ll choose…” The silver-robed Daolord gently tapped at a point on the unfurled star map. “This place.”
The two disciples immediately looked at where he pointed. Their master’s finger was tapping against the vortex tunnel.
Ji Ning’s group had taken a very roundabout path, making a journey of half a year become a journey of nearly two years.
“Up ahead is the vortex tunnel.” Eastherd was standing at the ship’s prow, staring at the emptiness of space before them. He pointed at an enormous, pitch-black vortex off in the distance. “Once we go through the vortex, we’ll be able to reach Vastheaven Palace in roughly half a month.”
“Almost there.” Ning revealed a smile. Vastheaven Palace! He had waited far too long for this day.
On the vessel, Sparrow and his Dao-companion had been behaving in a very low-key manner. There were four others on this flying vessel, after all. One was Sparrow’s master, the second was his uncle-master, and the other two were Daolords!
“Disciple.” Eastherd looked at Sparrow as he spoke. “There are no generational hierarchies in Vastheaven Palace. We are all brothers, which is why we are very cautious when accepting new brothers into our fold! Formal members are only given a single talisman of welcome, and mine was given to my first disciple long ago. For now, just stay with me within Vastheaven Palace. This can be considered a new, tempering experience for you.”
“Yes,” Sparrow and his Dao-companion immediately said.
“But of course, the two of you could also beg brother Darknorth for a chance,” Eastherd said with a laugh. “Your uncle-master Darknorth is probably going to become a Daolord soon! Once he does, he’ll be the fourth Palace Lord of Vastheaven Palace. Our Palace Lords have much more authority than the rest of us; they have the authority to directly welcome new cultivators into our ranks.”
Sparrow and his Dao-companion both immediately looked at Ning.
Ning chuckled. Once he became a Palace Lord, he’d have a bit more authority, true… but he still couldn’t just randomly accept in new members. They had to be cautious with every new recruit. Otherwise, Vastheaven Palace might end up like some other organizations which were filled with problems and strife. That would be terrible.
“Uncle-master Darknorth…” Sparrow couldn’t help but call out to him.
“This disciple of mind has a kind disp-…” Eastherd spoke out as well.
“I know what type of a person he is.” Ning nodded. Sparrow was indeed a person who deeply valued his relationships. He was willing to risk his own life in order to save his Dao-companion, something which Ning rather admired. Ning nodded. “I’ll handle Sparrow’s entry into Vastheaven Palace.”
“Thank you, uncle-master!” Sparrow immediately expressed his gratitude.
As for his Dao-companion, Eastherd didn’t say anything on her behalf. Recruiting people to join Vastheaven Palace wasn’t something to be done casually.
In truth, Ning was only willing to help out because he approved of Sparrow’s disposition. As for his Dao-companion? For now, Ning didn’t know what she was like. He naturally wouldn’t promise anything rashly.
The flying vessel flew straight into the howling vortex tunnel.
Within the vortex, space flowed like streams of water which the flying vessel advanced through at high speeds. Ning couldn’t help but sigh. The vortex tunnel linking the Three Realms to the Badlands Territory was riddled with dimensional cracks and tears that would appear at random. It was an incredibly unstable vortex tunnel. Even World-level cultivators, if they were unlucky, might be trapped within one of the dimensional tears and be teleported to a completely unknown location.
This vortex tunnel, however, was an extremely stable one! The vast territories held both stable and unstable vortexes; generally speaking, only the stable ones would be used by cultivators.
“The exit is up ahead.”
The flying vessel spent three days flying through the vortex tunnel. Ning stood at the prow of the vessel, and he was dimly able to see a chaos planet up ahead in the void of space beyond the exit.
The flying vessel surged out from the vortex tunnel. But right at this moment… boom! It was like it had rammed into some sort of barrier which crackled with dim light.
“Not good.” Ning was in control of the vessel, and his face instantly turned pale.
“Freeze!” A sonorous voice rang out, instantly filling the entire region and causing space itself to be frozen.
A silver flying shuttle flew out from a distant pocket of chaotic space. Ning was able to clearly make out that there was a silver-robed man standing within that silver shuttle. He had a grand, imposing aura and was staring straight at Ning with cold eyes.
“That’s Daolord Blesswind of Clearwind Temple!” Eastherd was shocked.
“Daolord Blesswind?” Pillsaint and Su Youji’s faces tightened a bit as well. The two of them had learned quite a bit about Clearwind Temple on this journey, and they knew Daolord Blesswind to be one of the temple’s Daolords of the Third Step.
“At least it isn’t Patriarch Clearwind.” Ning wasn’t worried at all. The only member of Clearwind Temple who could pose a threat to him was Patriarch Clearwind. But of course, if he appeared Ning would simply have to use up one of his precious Dao-seals to wipe the man out. As for this Daolord Blesswind? No need to use one of the seals at all.
“Darknorth of Vastheaven Palace and Eastherd of Vastheaven Palace, I believe?” A silver-robed man emerged from the distant flying shuttle. He slowly strode through the primordial chaos, his manner grand and imposing. “Darknorth of Vastheaven. You actually have two Daolords of the First Step serving you. Impressive, impressive. But since you’ve chosen to make an enemy out of Clearwind Temple, I’ll have to do what I have to do. I do want to confirm with you, though… are you truly a member of Vastheaven Palace?”
According to Clearwind Temple’s information, there was no one named ‘Darknorth’ amongst the fairly few formal members of Vastheaven Palace. Given that Darknorth had two Daolords of the First Step serving as his retainers, and given that his sword-intent alone was enough to capture five powerful World-level cultivators, he definitely was far too strong to be a irrelevant and nameless figure. Logically speaking, if he was an actual member of Vastheaven Palace, Clearwind Temple would’ve found out about him long ago.
“This is our first time meeting each other. It can be said that we were brought together by karma.” The white-robed Ning just stood there at the prow of his flying vessel, his black scabbard on his back. “I, Darknorth, am indeed a member of Vastheaven Palace. In the future, Clearwind Temple will remember my name well.”
“In the future? I’m afraid you won’t have a future.” The silver-robed Daolord shook his head and sighed. “I just randomly chose a place to wait for you. Who would’ve thought I’d end up actually catching a genius such as yourself? If you have to blame anything, blame your own bad luck.”
“No, no. You are the one with bad luck.” Ning smiled, but his smile was as cold as ice.
Ning’s flying vessel instantly charged towards the silver-robed Daolord at high speeds.