Book 30, Ancient Cultivator, Chapter 16 – Everything Has Its Bane
“An ancestral site of the Ancient cultivators?” Ji Ning was slightly startled for a moment, then smiled. “No wonder you insisted on attacking the Eastroad Sect, and were able to discover the Void Pathway right away.”
“Eh?” The Ninedust Sectlord glanced at Ning with surprise. “You don’t seem to be frightened at all. Since this place was left behind by my ancestors, any treasures or legacies here will probably fall into my hands. As for you? You might even die here.”
“What’s the point of being afraid?” Ning said casually. Since they had already come here and were unable to flee, the only choice they had was to face everything head-on.
“Besides. It’s too early to speculate as to which one of us will be the one to die. You were the one getting your rear kicked by those flaming beasts.” Ning looked quite relaxed.
The Ninedust Sectlord really was rather amazed at Ning’s calm aplomb. He hadn’t revealed the truth previously, but now that both sides had sworn a binding oath to enter into an alliance and to not attack each other or plot against each other, the Ninedust Sectlord was finally willing to divulge the secret of this being an ancestral site for him. As he saw it, towards the end Ning would still find out, so long as he survived.
“Right. Ninedust, did you just say that you Ancient cultivators were the most perfect creatures in the universe? But based on what I’ve heard, the top-tier Aberrant lifeforms like the Brightshore Imperials are on par with you Ancient cultivators,” Ning said.
“Hmph.” The Ninedust Sectlord let out a snort. “Aberrants? They are nothing more than a random, motley collection of freaks which were born out of the primordial chaos. There’s far too many breeds of them, which is why they are just collectively known as the Aberrants. How could that motley collection of freaks be compared to us Ancient cultivators? Just mentioning us in the same breath is an insult to us! As for the Brightshore Imperials, they are a race of Chaos Godbeasts that have been around just as long as we have. I suppose they could just barely be considered our peers… but if we really were to compare our two races, they are still significantly inferior to us.”
“Chaos Godbeasts?” Ning was startled. Although he was a member of the Brightshore Kingdom, he knew very little regarding the Brightshore Imperials.
“It seems that you are unaware of many secrets, most likely because you haven’t been a Daolord for long.” The Ninedust Sectlord chuckled. “The Brightshore Imperials consider this information to be a source of humiliation; there’s naturally no way they would’ve told you about this. I, however, will.”
“Humiliation?” Ning was quite curious.
“Long, long ago, there were no such things as ‘cultivators’, and the various Aberrant lifeforms had yet to learn how to cultivate either! Back then, the endless primordial chaos gave birth to two types of perfect lifeforms. The first type was humanoid in shape and was truly flawless. They were born with transcendant talent and tremendous comprehension abilities… and they became known as the Ancients. As for the second type, they were shaped like beasts and so became known as Chaos Godbeasts.”
“The Ancients were the first to discover and invent cultivation techniques! As a result, we became incredibly powerful and ended up unifying the endless primordial chaos and becoming its master… and this is why we are known as the Ancient cultivators.” A look of pride was on the Ninedust Sectlord’s face.
Ning was quite startled. So the Ancient cultivators were actually the first ones to create cultivation techniques?
The Ninedust Sectlord said smugly, “As for those Aberrant lifeforms, we held no interest in them whatsoever. The Chaos Godbeasts, however, made for decent servants. We enslaved them and used them as our mounts, ordering them about as we pleased.”
“What?!” Ning could hardly believe it. The Brightshore Imperials used to be the slaves of the Ancient cultivators?
“Back then, we Ancient cultivators roamed the universe without equal.” The Ninedust Sectlord let out a soft sigh. “Every single member of our race is born with incredible intelligence and comprehension abilities, and so we created one new technique after another. Do you know how many Brightshore Imperials have managed to become Eternal Emperors? Just one! The Brightshore Hegemon himself! But many Ancient cultivators have ended up gaining eternity. This is all thanks to our comprehension abilities! Humanoid lifeforms, by nature, are more intelligent than animal lifeforms. If the Chaos Godbeasts hadn’t managed to produce a Hegemon, they would never have reached their current heights.”
“A pity, though. That time ended long ago. Now, it is the era of you normal cultivators.” The Ninedust Sectlord shook his head. “You normal cultivators aren’t nearly as perfect as us, and some of you actually started off as ordinary mortals and slowly crawled up the ranks of power. Unfortunately, there are simply far, far too many of you. Even if you only produce one genius every trillion years, you will eventually accumulate a ridiculous number of powerful experts. Faced with such an overwhelming number of normal cultivators, we had no choice but to retreat.”
The Ninedust Sectlord looked at Ning. “Darknorth, we Ancients do accept ordinary cultivators into our ranks as well. So long as you are just an ordinary member of the Dao Alliance and not a member of the Brightshore Kingdom, the Aeonian Kingdom, or the Dark Kingdom, we’d be willing to recruit you. Join us! If you are as talented as I think you are, you’ll be given the best of resources.”
Ning pursed his lips. They recruited ordinary cultivators? It seemed like everyone was doing this. The Brightshore Kingdom, the Aeonians… they were all recruiting as well, with quite a few ordinary World-level cultivators having been taken on by the Aeonians in particular to serve as their lackeys. The World-level cultivators Ning had encountered in the Allgod Estate were mostly ‘ordinary’ cultivators; most of them didn’t have any Aeonian blood in them at all. Who would’ve imagined that the Ancient cultivators were also recruiting?
But it made sense. The Brightshore Imperials, the Aeonians, and the Ancients all had the same problem – they were too few in number!
“What do you think?” The Ninedust Sectlord looked at Ning eagerly. “Most likely, only the Dao Alliance has as deep a foundation as us Ancients.”
“Forget it. Let me think it over first,” Ning said. He had already joined the Brightshore Kingdom; how could he join their enemies? Still, it was best to keep the fact that he was a member of the Brightshore Kingdom secret, in order to avoid any unnecessary trouble.
“No rush, no rush at all. Here in the ancestral lands, I trust you’ll soon come to realize just how incredible we Ancient cultivators are.” The Ninedust Sectlord smiled. “Later on, I’ll make the introductions for you.” He was a peerless genius who had mastered and perfectly joined together two Supreme Daos; even amongst the Ancient cultivators, he was considered one of the elite chosen of his generation.
Long ago, a major power of the Ancient cultivators had engaged in some divination for him, letting him know where he should go adventuring and where his destiny lay. However… in the end, the future would remain unknown. Numerancy divination could only allow you to see a few scraps and glimpses of the future.
Time flowed on. Having officially joined forces together, Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord continued to carefully travel through this mysterious region, going from one stone passageway to the next. There really seemed to be no end of them.
The two of them spent another three full months trapped in this place. Thankfully, Ning had sold the Ninedust Sectlord a large number of spirit-pills; otherwise, the latter might not have been able to survive.
On the final day of the third month.
“Kill them and eat them!”
A large group of the flaming creatures were in hot pursuit of a flying black vessel which was fleeing from them at incredible speeds while nine awesome secret arts billowed around it, preventing anyone from drawing near.
Whoosh. The black vessel flew into a different stone passageway.
“Eh?” Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord were both startled. Moments later, a look of delight appeared in their eyes. Up ahead was an extremely large and empty area that was at least a hundred billion kilometers in size. At the very center of this region was a planet that glowed with light and emanated an aura of endless might. There were no flames at all in this entire empty region!
It must be remembered that thus far, every single place the two of them had passed through had been filled with those terrifying, omnipresent flames. This region, however, didn’t have a single flame within it!
“Have we reached our destination?” Ning murmured silently.
“This place may well be the place which the ancestors wished us to reach.” The Ninedust Sectlord looked at the planet in front of him rather excitedly.
During the past three months, all they had seen were stone passageways and endless flames! They had never encountered such a vast, empty region. A hundred billion kilometers, and a planet in the center of it! The aura of power emanating off of this planet was so great that Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord both felt rather breathless. This place could very well be the endpoint.
“Kill!” A group of flaming beasts burst out of the stone passageway, seeking to chase down the two of them. However, they suddenly began to slow down as they looked rather hesitantly at the distant planet in the center. The flames covering the bodies of the various creatures all seemed to die down slightly.
“Hurry up and kill them.”
“Don’t let them escape!”
The flaming creatures once more picked up the pace.
Swoosh! The black vessel didn’t hesitate at all as it flew straight towards the planet. The flaming creatures continued their furious chase, but the closer they moved towards the planet the more they seemed to be suppressed. The flames disappeared from their body, revealing the fiery armor, hair, and body which lay underneath! The closer they moved to the star, the more their aura weakened.
“Everything has its bane.” Ning couldn’t help but sigh with amazement when he saw this. “These flaming creatures were completely unkillable, but as soon as they started to move towards this planet they began to weaken dramatically.”
“That planet doesn’t seem to have any effect on us at all.” The Ninedust Sectlord glanced at the planet warily as they moved closer and closer to it. “But its aura of power is tremendous. It might hold certain dangers within it.
Ning looked at him. “What of it? Do you want us to go back into the stone passageways?”
“I’d have to be mad to do that,” the Ninedust Sectlord snorted. Clearly, after spending roughly three months in the stone passageways, he had more than had his fill of them.
“In the end, we definitely have to go take a look at this place. Let’s just be careful,” the Ninedust Sectlord said.
“Alright.” Ning stared at the planet as well.
The black vessel flew closer and closer to it, with the flaming creatures still in hot pursuit but growing weaker by the moment. Finally, they all came to a halt and let out angry, resentful growls. They had no choice but to simply watch as the black vessel flew ever-closer to the planet.