Book 31, Starflow River, Chapter 11 – The Stone Censer of Reunion
Ninedust chatted with Ji Ning as the two walked, while Daolord Laya just stared at Ning with a rather complex look on his face.
“What is it, Daolord Laya?” Ning suddenly became aware of Laya’s stares.
“Brother Darknorth, you probably do not yet understand what being given a chance to take at treasure away from Thundersouth Palace represents.” Daolord Laya hesitated a moment, a complex look on his face. “The Starflow race cares deeply about one particular treasure inside this place. If you were able to bring it out and then gift it to our race, we would be willing to pay you an enormous price for it.”
“The Starflow race would like to trade with me for it?” Ning was stunned. “Has no member of the Starflow Daolords been able to take any treasures away with them when they left?”
“There has.” Daolord Laya nodded. “Just one! Receiving the approval of the Eternal lightning is incredibly difficult. There were others in our history who were able to endure the three blows and also endure the illusions, but they still were not acknowledged.”
Only now did Ning understood that gaining the lightning giant’s approval was no simple task.
“Only a single member of our race was allowed to take a treasure away with him, and he chose a different one,” Daolord Laya said. “My race desperately desires a chance to acquire that particular treasure. If you are willing to garner it and trade it with us… don’t worry. I promise our race will pay almost any price. My avatar is in our headquarters right now, and I can complete the negotiations for you before you choose it and bring it out. You can choose where the trade will be transacted! Even if you wish to carry it out in the Endless Territories, we can make it happen.”
Ning was intrigued. It really did seem as though the Starflow race was in desperate desire of that treasure.
“What treasure is it?” Ning asked.
“The Stone Censer of Reunion,” Daolord Laya said.
“An incense burner?” Ning was rather puzzled.
“Can it be the legendary…” A stunned look was on the Ninedust Sectlord’s face.
Ning looked at the look on Ninedust’s face, then looked at the eager expression on Daolord Laya’s. He instantly started to grow curious about this Stone Censer of Reunion.
“Let me go take a look first. Before doing so… brother Laya, please do not tell your race about the fact that I have a chance to select a treasure.” Ning said calmy, “Once you do, it’s possible that one of your Eternal Emperors would suddenly charge to this place and lie in wait outside. That would be troublesome.”
“Don’t worry.” Daolord Laya nodded repeatedly.
“Mm.” Ning decided to first take a look and see just what made this Stone Censer of Reunion so special. If it was also extremely important to him, then he would probably immediately leave this place with it in tow.
It would take time for the Starflow race to travel here. There was no way to use spatial teleportation within the Starflow River; even Ning’s ability to transcend dimensions was unable to pierce through the local region, thanks to the omnipresent power of the Starflow River. It would take quite some time for any member of the Starflow race’s Eternal Emperors to get here.
The three of them quickly arrived at a beautiful, crystalline pavilion. The walls of the pavilion were like white jade and semi-translucent, allowing them to be able to see through to the insides.
“How beautiful.” The three of them walked shoulder-to-shoulder through the pavilion. There were five prayer mats located on the ground, with a palm-sized incense burner located at the very center of the pavilion. The incense burner was both white and black, and it faintly emanated an aura of white smoke that was visible to the naked eye. It wafted out to an area of roughly nine meters that perfectly covered the five prayer mats.
There were also a number of paintings hanging from the walls and unfurled on the tables. Other treasures were on the tables as well. There was a bracelet that was engraved with some sort of bird carving, a pair of scissors that gleamed with black light, a pearl the emanated a freezing aura, and more. In total, there were twelve treasures on the dais.
“So these paintings were made by the master of this palace?” Ning raised his head to look at the paintings. All of them were in the same style, and they naturally contained many of the mysteries of the Dao, primarily of the Dao of Lightning. And yet, they actually contained some elements of the Dao of the Sword as well. However, considering that Ning was the master of the Omega Sword Dao, he viewed this person’s Sword Dao as being rather ordinary, perhaps on par with Emperor Mirrorsnow’s.
There was also the Dao of Illusions, and the Dao of Painting infused into each artwork…
“Quite a few treasures here.” Ning’s attention had been focused on the incense burner in the center as soon as he had come in, but he was in no rush to inspect it. Instead, he first looked at the other twelve treasures on the table.
“An umbrella?” A strange golden metal umbrella lay in front of him. The tip of the umbrella was incredibly sharp. Ning reached out to touch it, filling it with his godsense to learn some of its secrets.
This magic treasure was known as the Golden Ambersky Umbrella. It could be used to attack, but when the umbrella was opened it could also serve as a defensive treasure. It also contained a world unto itself that would be unleashed once the umbrella was opened, making it a domain-type treasure as well. The Ambersky World would manifest in the surrounding area, suppressing the foe. The power of the Ambersky World alone was on par with NIng’s nine novessence arts.
It could be used for attack, defense, and suppression… and in suppression alone it was comparable to the nine novessence arts. It must be remembered that Ning was only able to master those nine arts due to a confluence of lucky factors, and in the end had succeeded only because he had learned an incredibly profound alchemy technique! And of course, given his Omega Sword Dao, once he reached the third step as a Daolord he would be able to unleash even greater power when using those nine novessence arts to execute his sword-arts. He would reach a level comparable to Daolord Allgod at that time.
Despite that… the value of the Golden Ambersky Umbrella was truly unfathomable. Ning was stunned by its worth. The twelve treasures of the Hegemon truly were extraordinary.
“And what’s this?” Ning reached out to touch the bracelet engraved with the carving of a flying beast. This was the Sparrow Formation Bracelet. It could be filled with Hegemon-level energy or chaos jewels, then activated to unleash a mighty Sparrow Formation that could trap foes. Hegemons might be able to burst through the formation through raw force, but any weaker foe would be trapped until the power of the formation was depleted. Ning’s eyes lit up. “This is quite similar to the formation-diagram Ninedust holds in the palm of his hands. It’s actually a multiple-usage formation treasure.”
Treasures like this were incredibly valuable. Even if you encountered the eight lords of the Sacred Cities or the likes of Patriarch Vulturas, you could use this treasure to trap them for a brief period of time, which you could then use to flee! Thus, treasures like this would virtually never be found for sale on the open market. Eternal Emperors cherished them very highly.
Only Hegemons would be willing to bequeath them to later generations. They truly were of incalculable value. “A fine treasure.” Ning was deeply intrigued, but he then looked at the next treasure, a black disc that glimmered with a spot of light that roved inside of it.
Every single treasure Ning saw interested him greatly. These treasures were of limited use to Hegemons, but incredibly valuable to most Eternal Emperors. As for Daolords? They were simply unimaginable. For now, Ning was still the most intrigued by the Sparrow Formation Bracelet.
“Now, let me take a look at the Stone Censer of Reunion.” Ning turned his head to look at the palm-sized incense burner located at the very center of the room. He walked over, then casually sat down on one of the prayer mats. Once he did, he sensed a surge of icy energy emanate from the prayer mats and into his entire body, causing his soul to calm down significantly.
Ning wasn’t too impressed by the effects of the prayer mat, as there were quite a few treasures with similar functions. But when the scent of the incense coming from the stone censer wafted into his nose…
The entire world turned silent. Ning’s mind and soul emptied out in an almost prajna-like state of epiphany, and many of his thoughts and questions pertaining to the Dao of the Sword quickly began to flash through his mind. More and more visualizations came to mind as he saw through one bottleneck after another…
After an undeterminable period of time, Ning opened his eyes. Only then did he realize that he had sat here for two days and a full night.
“I actually was able to fully master the third stage of the Soleheart sword-intent.” Ning was shocked. “I’ve almost even finished mastering the new Heavenbreaker sword-intent.”
He had spent three hundred thousand years drifting through the Starflow Realm. His Yin-Yang sword-intent, his Blood Drop sword-intent, and his Shadowless sword-intent had all broken through to the third stage. Now, after just sitting down for two days and a night, he had gained a terrifying number of new insights and breakthroughs.
“This is actually a meditation-type treasure?” Ning stared at the palm-sized incense burner in disbelief. “Although the state it allows you to into isn’t as incredible as the true prajna-state of epiphany, it’s fairly close. This treasure would allow me to enter a state of epiphany at all times?”
To cultivators, what mattered the most? Treasures were secondary; insight into the Dao was what truly mattered!
This was a treasure meant for meditating on the Dao. It was truly pricess. He’d never even heard of one of these things being available for sale. The only reason the Thundersouth Hegemon had left it behind was because he wasn’t sure if he would survive the Dawn War, and so he had left this treasure behind.
The Ninedust Sectlord and Daolord Laya had been in on rush to sit down. They had instead simply watched Ning.
Daolord Laya said quite urgently, “Brother Darknorth, are you willing to choose this incense burner and trade it to the Starflow race?”
“Darknorth, if you are willing to trade it to us Ancient cultivators, we would similarly be willing to pay an incredible price for it,” the Ninedust Sectlord said.