Book 29, Daolord, Chapter 9 – Within Vastheaven Palace
Whoosh. Ji Ning’s group soared through the void as they flew towards Vastheaven Palace.
“I’ve already sent a mental message to the other brothers of Vastheaven Palace,” Eastherd said.
“Alright.” Ning stared towards the direction of the distant palace. As for Pillsaint and Su Youji, both were quite curious as well. What was it like, this place which their master had been planning to go to for so long?
Sparrow and his wife were the most nervous. To them, Vastheaven Palace was absolutely a sacred place.
“Is that…” As they flew closer and closer, Ning realized that there were quite a few figures congregating around the palace gates of Vastheaven Palace. Three of the ones standing at the very front radiated Daolord-level auras.
“Big brother Solesky?” Ning immediately recognized Daolord Solesky, who stood at the very front of the group. “But the aura seems a bit different. Ah, this must be his avatar.”
“Ji Ning!” Daolord Solesky laughed heartily, his laughter echoing within the skies.
“Big brother Solesky.” Ning was filled with delight as he led Pillsaint and Su Youji to descend towards them.
“Long time no see. And you’ve already reached the World level!” Daolord Solesky nodded in a satisfied manner as he looked at Ning, then turned his gaze to Pillsaint and Su Youji. The two were standing behind Ning, but there was no way he could ignore their presence. The two were already Daolords, after all!
Daolord Solesky said, “Youji, it’s only been a short while since we last met. Who would’ve thought you’d train even faster than Ji Ning? You’ve already become a Daolord!”
Daolord Solesky and Su Youji were old friends by now. When he had taught Ning, he had also provided Su Youji with guidance on occasion.
“It was all thanks to Master’s aid that I reached this level,” Su Youji said. “And Master has always been stronger than me. Even though I am now a Daolord, I’m still inferior to Master.”
“Brother Darknorth truly is formidable,” the nearby Eastherd hastily interjected. “I didn’t have a chance to let you know, since I just returned, but I was beset upon by five World-level cultivators of Clearwind Temple. Thankfully, brother Darknorth intervened and helped me out, allowing me to escape that predicament. Just by using his sword-intent alone, he was able to easily capture the five of them.”
“Clearwind Temple?” A white-robed, blue-haired man standing next to Daolord Solesky suddenly frowned.
“Battlemaster, we can discuss these minor matters later,” Solesky interrupted. “The most important thing for us to do today is to formally welcome brother Ji Ning into our ranks.”
Ning felt quite moved. Although he hadn’t spent much time alongside Solesky, the latter truly had treated him in a sincere manner.
“Ji Ning, it wasn’t easy for you to travel all the way here from the Badlands Territory. Back then, Su Youji was an Elder God, but now even she has become a Daolord. I imagine you must have experienced many things,” Solesky said.
“Too true.” Ning shook his head, rather wistful. “Shortly after I found out that you were trapped in the Waveshift world, I elected to leave the Badlands Territory. Logically speaking, I should’ve reached Vastheaven Palace a long time ago, but midway through I was suddenly abducted by the almighty Hegemon of the Brightshore Kingdom and taken there.”
Ning didn’t hide anything. Given how strong he had become, there was no way to hide such information. Take Lord Dawnstar as an example. Anyone in the Endless Territories who was even slightly well-informed knew who he was. Who could possibly be unaware that he was the Palace Lord of the Saber Palace of the Twelve Palaces of Brightshore?
“The Brightshore Kingdom?” Daolord Solesky was completely shocked. The Brightshore Kingdom was one of the six major powers of the Endless Territories, and the almighty Brightshore Hegemon was publicly acknowledged as being the leader of the three Hegemons! For mighty figures such as Verge-level Daolords, the fact that the Brightshore Kingdom would occasionally abduct a few cultivators wasn’t exactly a secret.
“Being abducted by the Brightshore Kingdom can be incredibly dangerous, but… judging from the looks of things, it turned into quite a blessing for you, Ji Ning.” Solesky looked at him.
“Haha. It was indeed. I encountered Pillsaint in the Brightshore Kingdom.” Ning glanced at the nearby Pillsaint.
Pillsaint felt a bit embarrassed. He immediately said, “I, uh, was probably the first person to fight against Master in the Brightshore Kingdom. Unfortunately, he beat me with ease. To be honest, the Flamefairy and I only gained our freedom thanks to Master’s assistance.”
While Ning and Solesky were chatting, the other brothers of Vastheaven Palace were carefully inspecting this new brother of theirs. When they heard the two Daolords address him as ‘master’, they were quite stunned.
Monsters like this only existed in legends. Who would’ve thought that they’d encounter one in the flesh?
“Brother Ji Ning is incredibly talented, but he’s never had a good master.” Solesky chuckled. “In Brightshore Kingdom, you truly would’ve had the chance to soar into the heavens. Hahaha… I’ve been so busy chatting with you that I forgot to make the introductions. Come, come! This gentleman here is our Daolord Battlemaster, and he is also a Daolord of the Fourth Step.”
Ning turned to look at the long blue-haired man dressed in white robes. The man had a warm smile on his face and an extraordinary demeanor. Ning immediately bowed and said, “Darknorth greets you, big brother Battlemaster.”
A Daolord of the Fourth Step had essentially reached the apex of a certain Dao. After that was the Eternal Emperor level. Daolords of the Fourth Step were never easy to deal with.
“I once tried to use Numerancy to divine your future, brother Darknorth, only to find that everything was clouded and far beyond my abilities to see.” Daolord Battlemaster smiled. “Now that I see you have two Daolord retainers, I understand how truly extraordinary you are. If my calculations are correct, these two Daolords should have broken through naturally, rather than relying on Pseudo Samsara Pills.”
“They broke through on their own?” The other brothers of Vastheaven Palace were all rather speechless. When they had seen two Daolords of the First Step, they had assumed that both had relied on Pseudo Samsara Pills.
“The stronger Ji Ning is, the better. Vastheaven Palace has gained yet another powerful brother!” Solesky introduced the next person. “This gentleman next to me is our newly ascended Daolord, Daolord Brightfish. He is now a Daolord of the Second Step.”
“Darknorth.” Daolord Brightfish smiled at him.
Ning felt quite startled, but on the surface he responded in a very calm manner, “Big brother Brightfish.”
Brightfish was absolutely gorgeous! In terms of appearance, he was every bit the equal of Su Youji. It must be remembered that Su Youji trained in the techniques of Feixian the Exalted, and possessed such great charm that her smiles alone were incredibly alluring. Although Daolord Brightfish wasn’t that charming, he truly was shockingly handsome, and he was also had a willowy, elegant form. And yet… judging from his aura, Ning was certain that he was male!
His face and his body was comparable to that of a peerless beauty, but he was a man? No wonder Ning was so flabbergasted!
“This is Brightfish’s avatar,” Solesky said. “Brightfish himself is adventuring in the outside world. He’s far more talented than both myself and Battlemaster.”
“You praise me too much, big brother,” Daolord Brightfish hurriedly said.
Solesky laughed loudly. “Not at all, not at all. Ji Ning, as for our other brothers… I’ll introduce you to them later, over some drinks and conversation.”
Ning nodded but couldn’t help but ask, “What about the three Wujiao Godbeasts?”
Everyone fell silent.
Daolord Solesky let out a sigh. “Northrest… ugh. Those three Wujiao Godbeasts caused Northrest’s death. Vastheaven Palace would never let them off for that. Although they fled long ago, Battlemaster was able to use his Numerancy to divine their location. The three of them were wiped out by us long ago.”
And so a question that had plagued Ning for quite some time was answered.
Next was the welcoming banquet, where all the brothers of Vastheaven Palace gathered together.
They all drank wine and chatted happily. Vastheaven Palace had no hierarchies; every single member was a good brother to the others. Even Daolords would merely be respectfully addressed as ‘big brother’ due to their power. This was just the type of atmosphere Ning liked, and he could sense that everyone treated him with sincerity.
Over the course of the banquet, Ning got to know more than half of the brothers of Vastheaven Palace, as well as some who were still adventuring in the outside world.
After the banquet.
“Ji Ning, Vastheaven Palace is quite a large place. We have many residences within it, most of which are empty. This one, this one, that one, and that one… all of them are free for the choosing. Just pick whichever one you like.” After the banquet, Solesky personally guided Ning off.
“Then I’ll choose this one.” Ning made his choice.
“Right. When do you wish for us to hold the formal welcoming ceremony?” Solesky looked at Ning. Technically, Ning simply had the talisman of welcome; he hadn’t actually joined Vastheaven Palace.
“A month from now,” Ning said. Right now, the most important task before him was resurrecting his parents.
“Alright.” Solesky was in no rush. To cultivators, a month truly was nothing.
Vastheaven Palace. Within the Darknorth estate.
“Pillsaint, Youji, I need to go into secluded meditation for a period of time. If there’s nothing important, do not disturb me,” Ning instructed.
“Yes, Master.” Pillsaint and Su Youji both acknowledged the order.
Ning nodded, then entered his meditation chambers.
Rumble… the doors to the meditation chambers swung shut. Ning sat down in the lotus position, then closed his eyes. His mind was completely focused on the distant Three Realms.
The primordial chaos outside the Three Realms.
A black-robed Ji Ning was striding through the dimensions. He quickly emerged from his own estate and arrived in the void of the Three Realms.
The black-robed Ning stepped into yet another dimension as he stood there within the Three Realms, sensing the fluctuations rippling through it.
It had been far, far too long since he had entered the Three Realms and the area of influence its essences held sway over. For many years now, this had been a forbidden area for him. If he dared to take so much as a single step into it, he would’ve died and his Dao would’ve vanished.
“The Three Realms.” The black-robed Ning swept his gaze across the three thousand major worlds and the trillions of minor worlds. Even everything within the Celestial Realm and the Netherworld Kingdom was contained within his gaze.