Book 31, Starflow River, Chapter 2 – Travelling
Those two enormous whirlpools continued to slowly spin in the darkness of space, continuously absorbing and devouring all things around them.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Even the empty void of space around them was being continuously shattered and devoured as the power of chaos and all other prime essence ripples were drawn into the Yin-Yang Samsara Wheels.
“Nothing can stop them at all?” Ji Ning stared at them, murmuring softly to himself.
“Yes. Nothing can stop them.” The Ninedust Sectlord shook his head.
As Ning’s true body was staring, stunned, at the Yin-Yang Samsara Wheels, his avatar in the incredibly distant Vastheaven Palace of the Endless Territories was off to visit Daolord Solesky.
Within a private courtyard. Daolord Solesky’s avatar was relaxing with some wine while staring at the darkened horizons.
“Big brother Solesky,” the golden-robed Ning called out.
“Ji Ning.” Solesky turned to look at him, then suddenly started to laugh. “This is rather diverting.”
“Why are you laughing, big brother?” The golden-robed Ning was rather surprised.
Solesky smiled. “I’m laughing because both of us are avatars! Two avatars are holding a meeting with each other… haha…”
The golden-robed Ning was briefly startled before letting out a chuckle as well. Both of their true bodies were outside, adventuring. Avatars were much weaker, but they’d be strong enough to stand guard over a school or clan.
“Ever since you created an avatar, you’ve been spending your time strengthening it. Aside from the Kongsan matter, you haven’t come to see me at all.” Daolord Solesky asked, “Why is it that you’ve suddenly come to seek me out?”
“There is indeed something I need help with.” The golden-robed Ning nodded. “I’m currently trapped in the Terror Starsea.”
“Trapped in the Terror Starsea?” Daolord Solesky leapt to his feet, no longer relaxed in the slightest. He said solemnly, “Where in the Terror Starsea?”
“Close to the Yin-Yang Samsara Wheels,” Ning said.
Daolord Solesky’s face immediately turned ugly to behold. “W-why the hell did you go there? Even I have only heard of that thing from an old friend of mine. Supposedly, they are the most terrifying things within the Terror Starsea. Even the almighty Hegemons are helpless against them; if they tried to charge into those wheels, they would instantly be obliterated by them! They are still continuing to slowly grow larger. Supposedly, in the distant future they might even sweep over the entire Terror Starsea, then devour all of the Endless Territories and wipe it out completely.”
Ning nodded. “I have heard the same.”
“But that’s something that should only happen a long, long time for now. We probably won’t live long enough to see that.” Daolord Solesky said seriously, “The Yin-Yang Samsara Wheels are extremely deep within the Terror Starsea. Not even the most overwhelmingly powerful Daolords would dare to venture that deep. Why did you go there?”
“It wasn’t my choice.” Ning shook his head. “I had an unexpected encounter, resulting in me being transferred there.”
“Transferred?” Daolord Solesky shook his head and sighed.
“Big brother Solesky, do you have a map of the Terror Starsea?” Ning asked.
“I do.” Daolord Solesky nodded. “I reached the Verge long ago, and so I sought out every opportunity possible for succeeding in my Daomerge. As a result, I prepared star maps of the Terror Starsea for myself, and they include the location of the Yin-Yang Samsara Wheels. However, they are too far away. If you wish to exit the Terror Starsea, you’ll have to traverse a distance equivalent to more than half of the Endless Territories.”
“Wait a moment. I’ll prepare a copy for you.” Daolord Solesky waved his hand, sending his Immortal energy out and forming an enormous star map in the air. This star map was filled with many markings and pathways.
It took roughly the amount of time needed to prepare a kettle of tea before Daolord Solesky finished drawing the complete star map. By then, Ning had silently memorized it all.
“This star map of mine came from the Dao Alliance,” Daolord Solesky said. “It won’t be easy to find a more detailed one.”
“This will be enough.” Ning nodded, his heart heavy.
“Be careful.” Daolord Solesky truly was worried. As he saw, Ning’s chances of surviving this were quite slim.
Deep within the Terror Starsea, close to the titanic Yin-Yang Samsara Wheels. Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the darkness of space, staring at the enormous representation of annihilation in front of them.
“I have a star map now,” Ning said.
“My avatar has gone out to beg a meeting with Patriarch Vulturas. I trust I shall acquire a map of my own soon,” the Ninedust Sectlord said. “Have you looked at that star map of yours yet? What do you think?”
“This is going to be very hard.” Ning shook his head. “I’ve already taken a look at things. The ‘safest’ route will still require us to go through sixty-two dangerous zones. Given our current power, our chances of surviving will be less than ten percent.”
“Sixty-two?” The Ninedust Sectlord frowned. “Darknorth, your sword-arts transcend space itself. We should be able to avoid many of those dangerous regions, no?”
“I’ve already factored that into my considerations.” Ning said helplessly, “Without it, we would have to go through more than five hundred danger zones! That would be certain eath.”
“Damn.” The Ninedust Sectlord stared at his surroundings. “How the hell did we end up this deep inside?”
Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord really did feel rather aggrieved. They had been teleported all the way from the Eastroad Sect, only to find themselves incredibly deep inside the Terror Starsea.
“Ninedust, perhaps Emperor Vulturas will have a better path than the one I found,” Ning said. “My star map isn’t all that detailed.”
“Right. Wait for now. My avatar is now meeting with Patriarch Vulturas,” the Ninedust Sectlord said expectantly.
Ning waited as instructed. A short while later…
“Haha, I have the star map.” The Ninedust Sectlord suddenly began to chuckle merrily.
“And?” Ning looked at him.
“There’s hope after all.” The Ninedust Sectlord was extremely excited. He waved a finger, sending out his Immortal energy to form an enormous star map in the void of space. “This is the star map which Patriarch Vulturas bestowed upon me. He once exited the same cave we did, and he also came out in this general area. He was much more powerful than us, and so he was able to return home with ease. However, he made repeated trips back to hear in search of the cave again, and so he is actually very familiar with this region and this route.”
“The safest route for us to take is this one.” The Ninedust Sectlord pointed towards a newly created route on the map. “Other powerful Daolords would find this route a difficult one, but your power over space will allow us to take it.”
Ning stared at the star map of energy hanging in the air, an excited look on his face.
“There are four danger zones in total. We must first pass through Dreamdust Way, then enter the Starflow Realm. After passing through the entire Starflow Realm, we’ll exit from this point. We will then traverse two fairly short danger zones… and then we’ll be out safely.” The Ninedust Sectlord said excitedly, “There are four danger zones in total. For three of them, we should be able to traverse them safely if we use the protective resources we have at our disposal. The only tougher part will be the Starflow Realm.”
Ning nodded. Both of them had multiple life-preserving resources. They might not have enough Dao-seals for traversing several dozen or several hundred danger zones, but three? Both felt quite confident in their chances.
“The Starflow Realm?” Ning said, worried, “We have to pass through the entire thing?”
“Yes.” The Ninedust Sectlord nodded. “That’s the only real obstacle before us. Based on my calculations, we’ll have to spend at least thirty thousand years traversing it. The other places, all combined, will only require perhaps ten years. Most of our time will be spent going through the entire Starflow Realm.”
The Starflow Realm was an enormous area that was like an enormous river of stars flowing through the darkness of the void. To traverse it would take a very long period of time.
To them it wouldn’t be too dangerous, and both stood a good chance of making it out alive. However, they’d still be in there for quite some time. The more time passed, the more variables might appear and the more danger might arise. The entire Terror Starsea was the battlefield for the Dawn War, after all, and the Starflow Realm was part of it. It wouldn’t be that easy.
“For us, this truly is the safest route we can try.” Ning nodded. “The route I suggested earlier gave us less than a ten percent chance of surviving. This one, I’d say our chances are fifty-fifty.”
“Agreed.” The Ninedust Sectlord nodded.
Fifty-fifty wasn’t bad at all. Given Ning’s ability to transcend space and the incredibly detailed map and route which Patriarch Vulturas had given them, they now stood a very good chance of surviving.
“Thank goodness Patriarch Vulturas has been here many times. Otherwise, there’s no way we could’ve possibly found such a safe route.” The Ninedust Sectlord nodded. “Time to go, Darknorth.”
“Let’s go. I hope both of us will make it back to the Endless Territories alive.” Ning looked at the Ninedust Sectlord.
“We’ll definitely make it back alive, together!” The Ninedust Sectlord added, “I just received the ancestor’s legacy. There’s no way I’m going to die before making it back.”
Ning and Ninedust shared a smile. Both of them understood that this would be a dangerous, life-and-death journey. “Let’s go.”
Ning and Ninedust both stood at the prow of the black vessel. Northbow sword in hand, Ning tore a black passageway with his sword-arts through the darkness of space. Swoosh! The vessel flew into the passageway, which shut behind them.
The two of them, homeward bound, had just embarked on an incredible journey.