Book 31, Starflow River, Chapter 20 – Daolord Darknorth’s Name
“Your Sword Dao is stronger than your heartforce?” Daolord Solesky stared at Ji Ning in astonishment. He couldn’t help but ask, “Ji Ning, what level have you reached, exactly?!”
“I might not be able to beat the most powerful Daolords, but escaping them should be no problem at all,” Ning said. In truth, Ning now stood at the very peak of power amongst second-tier Daolords. He was now much stronger than Kongsan had ever been.
Even if he fought against first-tier Daolords like King Gorsch, he might win if their Dao-hearts were weak! If their Dao-hearts were weak and they were trapped by his illusions, then he would have a chance of beating them as well. However, the vast majority of supreme Daolords had extremely powerful Dao-hearts, and so he would be unable to do anything to most of them.
Still, Ning had his Hegemon armor and was extremely skilled at staying alive. He also had his nine novessence arts, his heartworld projection, his ability to transcend space, and more. There really were few to no Daolords who could do anything to him.
“B-but…” Daolord Solesky was rather flabbergasted.
“Darknorth, how did you suddenly become a Heartforce Cultivator?” Daolord Battlemaster was quite curious.
“Early on as a cultivator, I actually improved even more quickly in heartforce than I did in the Dao of the Sword.” A reminiscent look was in Ning’s eyes. “Afterwards, some events cast a shadow over my heart, resulting in me being unable to improve my heartforce at all. This time, I had some lucky encounters and was able to break through in heartforce and establish a heartworld. As a result, my heartworld naturally began to expand and grow, allowing me to reach my current level of power.”
“A master of both the Sword Dao and heartforce. Impressive, truly impressive,” Daolord Brightfish said as he sighed in amazement.
Heartforce Cultivators were famous for their bizarre, nerve-wracking techniques. If a Heartforce Cultivator was also skilled in close combat, he’d become absolutely terrifying to deal with. This was just the type of person Ning was.
“Oh, right. Darknorth, why did you release Daolord Soletruth just now?” Daolord Brightfish quickly added, “I could vaguely sense that you only attacked a single time, and you didn’t use any illusions at all?”
“Right.” Ning nodded. “Since he was able to survive my [Heartforce Eradicator], I decided to spare his life. He’ll definitely go tell his Verge-level friends about what happened today and warn them, and those friends will in turn warn their own friends. Thus, word will quickly spread, ensuring that the vast majority of Verge-level Daolords will know better than to come here and cause trouble.”
“Ji Ning’s choice was correct. We can’t be forced to deal with one Daolord troublemaker after another,” Daolord Solesky said.
“Darknorth.” Battlemaster said worriedly, “The vast majority of Daolords might be too scared to come, but those who do dare to come will be tough to deal with.”
“Then I’ll simply kill them.” A murderous light flashed through Ning’s eyes. “We’ll see who is stronger.”
Ning still felt quite confident in his chances. His Daolord avatar was a Ki Refiner, a Fiendgod Refiner, and a Heartforce Cultivator! He was able to use divine abilities and secret arts. However, Ning realized that there was no way to duplicate his Nine Chaos Seals upon his avatar, and his avatar only contained an extremely small part of his soul. This was why his avatar was still significantly weaker than his true body.
Any living being’s core essence came from his soul and truesoul. If the soul or truesoul was extinguished, the cultivator would die. Generally speaking, if your soul and truesoul were weak, the amount of divine power, Immortal energy, and heartforce in your body would also be correspondingly weak. It would be very hard for you to remain in top condition! Thus, you needed to stay in contact with your true body’s soul and ensure that both souls were nurtured.
This was the reason why Daolords generally would at most maintain a single avatar at any point in time. It wasn’t easy keeping an avatar’s soul in peak condition, and it was quite time-consuming as well!
But of course, if you had a Primaltwin, you would be able to maintain a second avatar. Ning had both a true body and a Primaltwin, and his Primaltwin’s soul was just as strong as his true body’s. Both souls were inextricably linked. However, Ning chose to only maintain a single avatar, using both his true body and his Primaltwin’s souls to nurture it.
As a result, Ning’s avatar was comparatively more powerful than that of most Daolord avatars. If the Northbow swords were excluded from the equation, his avatar was roughly 70% as strong as his true body!
His avatar held other advantages as well. Avatars were created from magic treasures that were covered with formations, and they could be infused with prime essences just like lifeblood treasures. Ning’s avatar contained the essence of his Omega Sword Dao, and the special properties which all avatars had ensured that he was able to perfectly link up with the local formations and become part of them. When reinforced by those formations, his power was comparable to that of his true body!
This was the reason why many Daolords had their avatars stand guard over their homes.
Ning’s predictions were spot-on. After fleeing for his life, Daolord Soletruth did indeed warn his best friends, who in turn warned their best friends. Word quickly spread at a viral rate, and both Vastheaven Palace and the Badlands Court became centers of attention for the countless Daolords of the Endless Territories.
Daolord Badlands of the Badlands Court had gone into hiding with his wife. Nobody could find them. The only chance the comparatively weaker Daolords had lay in Vastheaven Palace.
“What?! A Heartforce Cultivator?!”
“He was able to slay Daolord Mistbearer from afar with but a thought? Daolord Soletruth was just barely able to stay alive?”
“His avatar alone is already that powerful?”
“What’s the name of this terrifying Heartforce Cultivator of Vastheaven Palace?”
“Darknorth! His name is Darknorth!”
Word quickly began to spread. When Ning had slain Kongsan, he hadn’t gone out of his way to reveal himself, and so there really were very few who knew that he was the killer. As a result, he had little to no reputation in the Endless Territories. However, the incredible results he had displayed with merely an avatar instantly shocked countless Daolords. He hadn’t even really fought! He had wiped out Daolord Mistbearer with but a casual look!
This battle brought him instant fame! Finally, Ning had become truly famous within the Endless Territories. Countless Daolords now knew of a terrifying Heartforce Cultivator known as Daolord Darknorth.
An ordinary chaosworld. An ordinary mortal city.
Daolord Badlands and his wife were living within a mountain villa inside this city, living a relaxed life.
“What’s that? Daolord Darknorth has become a Heartforce Cultivator? He wiped out Daolord Mistbearer with just his avatar?” Daolord Badlands had been sipping wine in a leisurely manner, but he suddenly revealed a shocked look on his face.
“What did you just say, husband? Daolord Darknorth?” His beautiful wife was shocked as well.
“Yes, Daolord Darknorth. Remember him? The Ji Ning kid who once stayed in our Badlands Court for a short period of time? As I recall, when he arrived in the Badlands Court he was merely an Elder God. Only after returning from the Allgod Estate did he become a World-level cultivator. It feels like it was just yesterday that he was at the World level! Now, he’s actually able to wipe out the likes of Daolord Mistbearer with a thought while just using his avatar? He’s definitely much more powerful than I am.” Daolord Badlands was quite stunned. He was skilled in Numerancy, but Numerancy didn’t confer omniscience upon him. The more talented and powerful a cultivator was, the harder it would be to divine his fate.
“If his avatar is already this powerful, how impressive must his true body be?” His wife was stunned as well. “He’s reached such incredible levels of power despite having trained for a very short period of time… in the future, he will most assuredly become one of the most supreme Daolords of all the Endless Territories.”
“Even today, there are no Daolords who would dare to underestimate him.” Daolord Badlands shook his head. “Because… he is a Heartforce Cultivator.”
The Brightshore Kingdom’s intelligence network was similarly quick,and word quickly spread to them as well. The Twelve Palaces of the Brightshore Kingdom were filled with commotion as well.
“Daolord Darknorth of the Sword Palace has ended up becoming a Heartforce Cultivator?”
“From what I’ve heard, his Sword Dao is incredibly powerful. How is it that he became so formidable in heartforce as well?”
“Daolord Solewind of the Heartforce Palace might be extremely talented, but I don’t think he’s strong enough to use his avatar to wipe out Daolord Mistbearer with a thought.”
“Darknorth has become a Heartforce Cultivator?” Prince Greatjoy had just returned to the Brightshore Kingdom when he heard this news. He revealed a hint of a smile on his face. “Interesting. I never would’ve thought that of the four of us who went to the alternate universe, Darknorth would end up taking the lead. It seems I need to work even harder…”
Beneath the leaves of a strange, fiery-red tree that was more than ten million kilometers tall sat a skinny bald youth. The youth had a smile on his face, but his eyes were closed as he trained there silently. His upper body was covered with fiery red divine runes which seemed linked to the enormous flaming tree behind him. The runes would sometimes spread out while at other times clustering together…
“Eh?” Solewind opened his eyes, then smiled. “Brother Darknorth has actually become a Heartforce Cultivator, and a powerful one at that? I had thought that I was doing fairly well for myself, after having created a secret art comparable to the [Featherdress Soulthrall Song]. I didn’t expect that brother Darknorth would not only become a Heartforce Cultivator but become even more powerful than me in this area.”
Solewind was actually incredibly talented in heartforce. When he had been at the World level, he had been on par with monstrously talented figures like Greatjoy and Ji Ning. After becoming a Daolord, he would be able to easily reach the Verge and become one of the most powerful of Heartforce Cultivators.
In the Genesis Lands, he had acquired a legacy left behind by a Heartforce Hegemon. He naturally had an extraordinary destiny ahead of him, and he had already created a secret art that was on par with the [Featherdress Soulthrall Song]. Although he had only created the early stages of it, his foundation was already quite solid.
The more solid your foundation was, the slower and steadier your training would be. At present, Solewind was also just a Daolord of the Second Step.
“No. No way. Impossible. How can he be this much more powerful than me?!” Firesurge was located within a tattered shrine, and he was bellowing with rage. “Impossible! I’ve been working so hard. Why is it that he’s pulling farther and farther away from me?!”
Of the four peerless geniuses who had visited the alternate universe, Firesurge had the weakest mind and Dao-heart. He had always felt certain that he would become the strongest, and had been working hard this entire time. He was now quite powerful… but Darknorth, a master of the Dao of the Sword, had somehow ended up becoming a Heartforce Cultivator, and reached incredibly terrifying heights in heartforce at that.
The news quickly spread throughout the universe, and everyone had a different reaction to it. Ning’s primary goal was achieved – the vast majority of Daolords shrank back. Very, very few had the courage and confidence needed to fight a Heartforce Cultivator.