Book 31, Starflow River, Chapter 8 – The Thundersouth Guardian
Ji Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord both let out impressed sighs. The Starflow race truly was crafty; they had actually set up barrier wards to make it impossible for others to locate Thundersouth Palace. However, the two of them both understood this decision; any race or organization would choose to hide such a valuable resource.
Daolord Laya stood at the prow of the vessel. His Immortal energy flooded outwards, condensing into one mysterious rune after another. Soon, a total of nine runes had taken shape. They hung there in the void, emanating waves of blurry white light.
“Open.” Daolord Laya’s voice was cold and sharp. Whoosh! The nine ancient runes all flew towards the void in front of them, and a series of ripples appeared. A void door appeared in the center of the ripples, and through the door one could clearly make out an enormous space palace on the other side.
“Come, let us go in. This void door won’t stay open for long,” Daolord Laya said hurriedly.
“Let’s go.” The three of them transformed into streaks of light that flew towards the void door.
After passing through the void door, the three were able to clearly see the enormous golden palace which hung in the empty space before them. The golden palace was extremely beautiful, and it was coverd with innumerable sculptures and diagrams which made it look quite bewitching.
The palace had an an aura of strength, power, and nobility. Above the front gates hung two giant words – THUNDER SOUTH. These two words crackled with streaks of electricity, and the calligraphy was filled with a lofty spirit. The entire palace emanated an invisible aura of presence and might which was strong enough to cause Ning’s heart to shudder.
They hadn’t even entered yet. Just by staring at it from afar, they already felt a sense of danger. This was ac lear warning which the previous master of the Thundersouth Palace had left for future guests!
Daolord Laya smiled. “No need to worry, gentlemen.”
Ning shook his head. “Just by looking at those two characters, I can tell that this should have been a Hegemon’s palace. Even the weakest of traps left behind by someone on that level would be enough to wipe me out a million times over.”
“So long as you avoid being too greedy, you won’t encounter any mortal danger here,” Daolord Laya said.
“Too greedy?” Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord exchanged a glance.
“Are you saying we aren’t allowed to touch any of the treasures we see in there?” Ninedust frowned.
Daolord Laya explained, “Before I left our racial headquarters, the Eternal Emperors told me that there are two major dangers which would be awaiting me here. They told me that if I wasn’t careful, I might die, but if I was able to survive them then even if I did encounter a few other problems, those problems definitely wouldn’t be life-threatening. This is why I only know detailed information regarding the first two dangers, as the Emperors did not speak of the later dangers in detail. The main thing they said to me was that I would be fine, so long as I didn’t get too greedy. I was puzzled by this as well; the entire point of me coming to this place was to find valuable treasures for myself. What would be the point if I couldn’t take anything? But the Emperors simply said that I’d understand everything once I actually entered.”
“So we’ll understand everything once we enter?” Ning laughed. “Hah. Fine, then. If we knew everything before going in, then it wouldn’t prove to be much of a challenge or at empering experience.”
“Agreed.” Ninedust nodded as well. “Come, let us go inside.”
Both of them trusted Daolord Laya completely… or to be precise, they trusted the lifeblood oath all three had sworn. Since they were all bound by oaths, there was no way for Daolord Laya to lie or deceive to them regarding this place.
The palace gates were enormous. The three stepped through the gates, and as they did Ning couldn’t help but raise his head to look up once more at the two words that hung above it, ‘THUNDER SOUTH’. He could vaguely sense that it contained certain mysteries within it, but his path was that of the Sword Dao and not that of the Dao of Lightning.
The enormous palace held many rooms, hallways, and even gardens. It truly was graceful and refined… but every single part of it was brimming with that deep azure lightning. Countless tendrils of lightning crackled everywhere, and they were actually quite beautiful to behold.
After they stepped through the gates, they stared somberly towards the front. All of them could sense the power held within those flickers of lightning.
“That is Eternal lightning,” Ning blurted out. Ning had encountered many different types of Dao lightning in his quest to master the [Novessence Thunder], but none of them gave him the sense of power and danger which the lightning tendrils before him did.
“There’s actually Eternal lightning within this palace?” The Ninedust Sectlord blurted out, “Eternal lightning… I’ve never heard of it being naturally birthed from the primordial chaos.”
“Supposedly, only an Eternal Emperor who has reached incredible heights in the Dao of Lightning is capable of creating a streak of Eternal lightning,” Ning said seriously.
“Yes… and this is the first great danger.” Daolord Laya said solemnly, “The lightning fills virtually every inch of this palace, and it is both sentient and intelligent.”
“Sentient and intelligent?” Ning exclaimed with surprise, “Isn’t Eternal lightning sentient to begin with?”
“Just watch for yourself.” Daolord Laya grinned. Just a heartbeat later, the countless streams of lightning in front of them began to wriggle about and gather together, transforming into an enormous lightning humanoid. Its entire body was composed of electricity, and it had a pair of deep azure eyes that stared down upon the three from their lofty heights.
It was Eternal lightning, filled with endless vitality and life energy.
“Greetings, milord Guardian,” Daolord Laya said respectfully.
“Master left me in charge of protecting this palace,” the lightning guardian said calmly. “I will strike you with three palms. If you juniors can survive all three palms, you’ll be granted entry. If you feel confident in your personal power, you can choose to accept my strikes individually.”
Within the palace. Both Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord had their weapons at the ready. Daolord Laya said hurriedly, “According to what the Emperors of my race said, the lightning guardian is reinforced by the power of the entire Thundersouth Palace and is incredibly powerful! Each of his three palms is more powerful than the last. If you can’t take them, come hide behind me.”
“No need for that.” The Ninedust Sectlord hefted his longstaff.
“Let’s see just how tough the lightning guardian is.” Ning had two Northbow swords at the ready. He was a very proud man; how could he choose to hide behind another?
The lightning guardian said coldly, “Here comes the first palm.” His right arm swept out, transforming to become a mountain in size as it crashed down towards the three of them.
Ning, the Ninedust Sectlord, and Daolord Laya simultaneously brandished their own weapons. Ning used swords, the Ninedust Sectlord used his longstaff, and Daolord Laya used a greataxe. All three sent their weapons straight towards the lightning guardian’s enormous palm.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
The two forces collided with an enormous collision. The three of them had managed to endure this blow head on, but their bodies couldn’t help but tremble from the force of the collision. They quickly managed to stabilize themselves. The Ninedust Sectlord’s face was ashen, while Daolord Laya’s face had a solemn look on it. Only Ning was still fairly relaxed, as his Hegemon armor was able to whittle away the power of any blow until it had only 0.1% of its original force. In terms of defense prowess, Ning was more skilled than Ninedust and Laya to begin with. Although his body trembled from the collision, the shockwave was very little to him and caused his divine body little harm.
“Even if it went up a full level in power, it would be useless against me.” Ning felt quite confident. The Hegemon armor truly was powerful. However, Ning also understood that this was also partially because he himself had become much stronger than before. When he had first entered the azureflower estate, he had nearly been knocked unconscious by as ingle blow. Back then, he was at a disadvantage even when battling against the likes of Patriarch Clearwind.
As for now? Ning was currently stronger than even Kongsan!
“An impressive fellow. Fast and furious.” The Ninedust Sectlord let out a growl. “Darknorth, use your secret arts.” As he spoke, waves of rippling water began to emanate from his body.
“Agreed.” Ning nodded. Although he was able to take these hits head-on, the Ninedust Sectlord didn’t have a suit of Hegemon armor, making it rather tough for him. The nine novessence arts flew out of Ning’s body in the form of nine energy dragons.
The Ripplewater art and the nine novessence arts merged together, spreading out throughout the palace.
The lightning guardian’s mouth crooked upwards slightly, almost as though he was laughing. “Interesting. Your secret arts aren’t bad at all… but I’ll use the power of the entire Thundersouth Palace in my third strike. I hope you can survive it.”
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! The hallways, gardens, rooms, and surface of the entire palace began to light up with runic script. The runes all seemed to flow and congregate around the lightning guardian. “Get ready for the third palm!”
Whoosh! The lightning guardian’s palm struck out like the firmament of heaven itself, enveloping the entire palace within it as he attacked the three. There was nowhere to run or hide from this strike.
“Can’t take it head on. Hide behind me!” Daolord Laya barked mentally as he produced a golden bone in his hands.
“I only have one treasure left.” The Ninedust Sectlord immediately dodged behind Daolord Laya. Clearly, he would’ve been forced to use his treasures if he wanted to take this attack head on. If Daolord Laya was going to use his, there was no point in Ninedust wasting one of his own treasures out of sheer pride.