Book 31, Starflow River, Chapter 5 – The Dreamdust Runes
Ji Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord were aboard the black vessel, seeking to flee out of the bluestone road. Their secret arts and the heartworld projection had crushed to death quite a few of the weaker beasts, causing the enraged beast leader to open his third eye in his forehead. When he did so, it seemed as though that eye had become the hegemon and ruler of this entire region of space.
A strange alien script appeared directly above that eye, formed by multiple divine runes. Seventy-two of those runes came together to form a single character.
“What type of script is this?” Ning was shocked upon seeing it. “I’ve never seen this script before.” But although it was his first time seeing it, Ning was still able to sense the unfathomable, limitless power which this script contained within it. It seemed as though the only thing comparable to this ancient script was the azureflower seal that was formed by the Nine Chaos Seals.
The entire vast bluestone road suddenly lit up with dazzling azure light that stretched up ten thousand meters, illuminating the entire region.
The nine secret arts, the Ripplewater secret art, and Ning’s heartworld projection were all suppressed by the power of the azure light. It also reached out to grip the fleeing black vessel, causing it to drop down from a hundred times the speed of light to merely sixty-two.
“The beast leader is going all out. It has activated the Dreamdust Eye!” The Ninedust Sectlord was shocked. “Darknorth, the Dreamdust Eye contains an extremely powerful illusory component. If you can’t withstand it, you need to tell me right away.”
“I can handle it.” Ning gritted his teeth, sending out his heartforce in ringed layers to defend against the invisible attack. While doing so, he carefully scrutinized the strange character which had appeared above the beast leader’s third eye.
He had the feeling that this character contained an absolutely terrifying level of power in the realm of illusions. It must be remembered that Heartforce Cultivators were incredibly strong in resisting illusions, far stronger than the majority of Eternal Emperors! For even Ning to find this Dreamdust Eye to be so hard to defend against meant that other Daolords, even ones as powerful as Palace Lord Dawnstar, wouldn’t be able to fight it head-on. They would have to rely on special treasures in order to stay alive and have a chance to escape.
Eternal Emperors would die here as well if they weren’t careful! Thankfully, Ning was a Heartforce Cultivator. This was why he dared to fight the attack head-on. One could imagine how terrifying this Dreamdust Eye attack was!
“I can sense that strange character is filled with boundless mysteries and illusions,” Ning mused silently to himself. “If I could fully master it, I would be able to reach an even higher level of mastery over illusions.”
Daolord Featherdress’ greatest strength lay in those three mighty secret arts. Ning had only reached a high level of skill in one of them, the [Heartforce Eradicator]. Compared to other Heartforce Cultivators, he was fairly weak in illusions.
“Kill!” As the beast leader opened the Dreamdust Eye, it also transformed into a streak of light that charged straight towards them. Whoosh! It instantly moved at a hundred times the speed of light, while the black vessel was merely moving at sixty-two times the speed of light.
“It’s chasing after us!” The Ninedust Sectlord was startled.
“At least its by itself.” Only the beast leader was able to move at a hundred times the speed of light, with the twenty-seven meter beasts merely able to move at fifty times the speed of light.
Ning stood there at the prow of the ship, Northbow swords in hand. When he stabbed out with his sword, his right arm suddenly expanded to become a million kilometers in size as it pierced through the void. As for the Northbow sword, it expanded to become nearly ten million kilometers long, carrying an aura of overwhelming power as it stabbed towards the attacking beast leader. Ning’s sword was very strange; it seemed to carry an aura of overwhelming power, but it also contained some of the mysteries of the Shadowless stance, making it difficult for the opponent to grasp and predict it.
Boom! The beast leader let out a savage bellow as it lashed out with its sharp claws, sending them directly against the edge of the Northbow sword. A terrifying burst of power was sent through the Northbow sword towards Ning. Although Ning’s marvelous sword-arts allowed him to divert a great deal of the power, the power remaining was still enough to cause his right arm to go numb. He couldn’t help but stumble three steps backwards.
“How’d it go?” the Ninedust Sectlord asked, worried.
“It is too powerful. This thing is far stronger than me in close combat.” Ning shook his head. If it hadn’t been for the Hegemon armor, he probably would’ve been heavily injured just now. “It seems we’ll be forced to use up one of our treasures.”
As he spoke, Ning suddenly produced a golden medallion with his right hand. Daolord Kongsan had left behind a number of protective, life-preserving treasures when he died. Right now, Ning only had two remaining. This golden medallion had been crafted by an unknown Eternal Emperor. One crushed, it would form an enormous golden illusory mountain which would crash down upon the opponent. Ning felt certain that this should be enough to slow down the beast leader and ensure that they could flee.
“No need to waste a Dao-seal just yet,” the Ninedust Sectlord said hurriedly. “We only have so many of them. We need to save them up as best we can.”
“Do you have any better ideas?” Ning looked at him. It was indeed true that these Dao-seals were very rare and difficult to acquire. Daolord Kongsan had only gotten them over the course of countless years.
Right now, Ning had four life-preserving items left: Kongsan’s two items, the Sword Hegemon’s Dao-seal, and the spacetime disc the Brightshore Hegemon had given him. That was it.
“Yes. I think I have a decent shot at this.” The Ninedust Sectlord stared intently off into the distance. “Once it gets a bit closer, I’ll make my move.”
“Oh?” Ning nodded and watched off to the side.
The black vessel was surrounded by the nine novessence arts, the Ripplewater secret art, and the heartworld projection. All three combined were able to just barely ablate the pressuring power of the azure light, allowing the vessel to continue to advance at a speed of sixty-two speeds of light. As for the beast leader, it continued to chase after them and draw closer and closer at a hundred times the speed of light.
“All of you shall die,” the beast leader bellowed as it closed in. It truly was a terrifyingly strong creature with stunningly fearsome illusions. The Dreamdust Domain it had just summoned was a full level higher and more profound that Ning’s novessence arts, and it was incredibly strong in close combat. It wouldn’t be easy at all for them to rely on their own power to survive this trip through Dreamdust Way. Most would have to rely on Dao-seals or other such treasures.
Whoosh. Whoosh. The distance between the two continued to narrow.
“This is the right moment!” The Ninedust Sectlord’s eyes lit up as he stretched out his right hand, a strange formation-diagram appearing in his palm.
BOOM! The formation-diagram within his palm instantly flew out and expanded dramatically, sweeping out towards the beast leader like the nets of heaven. The beast leader bellowed furiously, but was still completely enveloped by this enormous formation-diagram. The enormous formation-diagram was round inside but square outside, and it was composed of thousands of layers of strange formations that continuously merged into each other.
The beast leader was trapped within the formation. It let out continuous bellows as it furiously assaulted the formation, causing the entire formation-diagram to tremble and layers of formations to break apart, but new layers were quickly born out.
“It can’t break free.” The Ninedust Sectlord revealed a smug look. “If it wants to break through with raw power, it has to be able to destroy 3500 layers of formations at one go! Otherwise, the formations will be continuously regrown. Only when the energy within the formation is used up will it be able to escape.”
“How long will the formation-diagram last?” Ning asked.
“Probably for a short while.” The Ninedust Sectlord hesitated slightly. “This is my first time using it as well.”
Upon hearing this, Ning immediately sent the black vessel fleeing at full speed.
The beast leader trapped within the formation let out furious roars as the two cultivators fled. The distance between them quickly began to grow greater and greater.
“We should’ve shaken him off by now.” Ning relaxed just slightly after flying for more than two hours. They had been flying at a hundred times the speed of light this entire time; there should be no way their foe could catch up.
“Ninedust, you said this was your first time using that formation-diagram?” Ning asked, “What made you so confident in its power? You also told me not to use my Dao-seals; didn’t the power come from a Dao-seal?”
“No, it came from a very special formation-diagram treasure.” The Ninedust Sectlord smiled as he waved his hand, producing a medallion above his palm that looked like a circle within a square. The medallion was covered with countless dense clusters of formations. “This formation-diagram treasure was bestowed upon me by the ancestor. All I need to do to fully charge it is to fill it with the energy of ten million cubes of chaos jewels, which allows me to use it one time. When I activate it, even Eternal Emperors will be trapped for quite some time.”
Ning’s eyes immediately lit up when he heard this. “What a fine treasure! So you can activate it repeatedly?”
It could be used for the low cost of just ten million cubes of chaos jewels? Sure, that might sound like a lot, but the formation-diagrams it created could be used to trap Eternal Emperors!
“A Hegemon would be able to use it just relying on his own Immortal energy,” the Ninedust Sectlord said. “Mine isn’t pure enough, so I have to rely on chaos jewels to make up the difference. It’ll take three days in order for those ten million cubes of chaos jewels to recharge the treasure. During the Dawn War, this treasure was considered an average one.”
Ning was secretly speechless. The Dawn War truly had been a terrifying one, and all the treasures that came from that time were truly wondrous. Dreamdust Way had been nothing more than an unremarkable relic-site during the Dawn War, but the beasts that it produced, especially the three-eyed leader which manifested that strange script, truly stunned and bedazzled Ning. No wonder so many generations of Daolords had dared to venture into this place to seek their fortunes, with even Eternal Emperors delving deep within.
“That script…” Ning had long ago fully memorized the strange character that had manifested above the third eye of the beast leader. He began to turn his attention to analyzing its mysteries.
Whoosh. The black vessel continued to fly at high speed. Three days later, it finally emerged from Dreamdust Way.