Book 34, The Stone Hellephant Wall, Chapter 19 – Darknorth Palace
“Haha, treasures? We brothers have plenty of’m!” Ninedust had transformed into a vast wave, but he now manifested his upper body and sent out one powerful treasure after another to appear in front of him. The Daolords of this world didn’t have that many treasures, but Ninedust and Ji Ning came from the Endless Territories. As a result, they had quite a few.
“What?!” The three silver men saw the many treasures hovering in front of the distant Ninedust and could sense the terrifying ripples of power emanating from them.
“Even the weaker Daolord has that many treasures on him?”
“Where the hell did they find so many treasures? Isn’t the secret location accessible to our three clans alone? We’ve completely searched through every corner of this entire world; the only place with many treasures secreted within it is that secret place. The other places shouldn’t have that many treasures. Where did these two Daolords find so many?”
The three silver men were extremely anxious. They exchanged glances at each other. “Fall back for now,” the muscular silver man commanded. Whoosh. Whoosh. The five-colored rope and the tri-colored rope began to retreat, moving towards the three silver men.
Ninedust and the three golems flew towards Ning. The two sides stared at each other from afar.
“If you want to fight, let’s fight,” Ninedust called out loudly. “What’s the point of just standing there blankly? It’s gonna be a war of attrition via treasures, right? Come on! You use one, I use one… let’s see who has more. I want to see if you end up dead or if we end up dead!”
“Damn.” The three silver men were absolutely enraged. They were exalted figures who were the absolute rulers over this world. They have never been challenged and mocked like this before! They were enraged, but after this battle they realized that there was nothing they could do in battle to this Daolord Darknorth. His defenses were incredibly tough and airtight, giving them no chance to win at all; if they wanted to win, they would have to use the treasures the Sithe had left behind. Unfortunately, they had extremely few of those treasures! Their treasures possessed great power… but it seemed as though these two Daolords also had quite a few treasures of similar power.
“If we really do compete against them in treasures, once we clean out their stockpile we might be able to kill… but what if we’re the ones who are cleaned out instead? What should we do?” the skinny silver man sent mentally.
“If we use up all the treasures, we won’t be able to pose any threat to Daolord Darknorth at all.” The silver-haired man sent back mentally, “By then, he’ll have nothing to fear at all and will become even more of a problem.”
The many treasures they had accumulated were the final cards they had to play. They weren’t willing to use them all up. If they did, they might win… but they might also lose! They weren’t willing to accept what losing would entail.
“Daolord Darknorth… let’s just wait and see who has the last laugh.” The muscular silver man let out a cold snort. “Let’s go.”
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! The three silver men led the eight Emperor-class golems soaring through the skies as they departed.
Ning watched from afar as they left, a hint of a smile playing around his lips.
“Darknorth, what should we do next?” Ninedust began to worry. “They are more powerful than us, after all. Your sword-arts are defensively strong enough to ensure they can’t do anything to us, but we can’t do anything to them either. If this stalemate continues, there’s no way we’ll be able to find the treasures hidden within this Stone Hellephant Wall.”
Ning nodded. The reason why they were fighting and risking their lives was to gain the treasures of the Sithe! Just from the Emperor-class golems and the three silver men alone, both Ning and Ninedust felt absolutely certain that there was definitely a Sithe treasure trove here!
“Let’s establish ourselves in this world first,” Ning said. “Then we’ll search for that secret place.”
“That’s our only choice.” Ninedust nodded.
“Arise.” Ning turned to glance at the land behind him. The Cranesoar Mountains had been leveled long ago, but with but a thought Ning caused his heartworld projection to descend, using it to take control over the local earth and stones to establish a new, towering mountain that was ten thousand kilometers tall. At the very peak of the mountain, a top-grade Eternal estate descended in the form of an Immortal’s palace. At the very top of the palace gates, two characters could be seen: ‘DARK’ ‘NORTH’!
“I, Daolord Darknorth, on this day do establish the Darknorth Palace here. I do not seek hegemony; I only seek to cultivate the Dao. Those who stand in the way of my Dao shall end up like the mountains and rivers around the three great clans… destroyed!” Ning flew towards the entrance of the Darknorth Palace, sending his voice out to fill every single inch of this entire world. At the same time, he enveloped the entire planet with his heartworld projection, sending it smashing downwards towards the three great clans.
The three great clans were protected by layers of formations and barriers, but the surrounding mountains and rivers were instantly annihilated by the tremendous force of Ning’s heartworld projection, strong enough to slay even Daolords of the Fourth Step with ease. The area around the three great clans was instantly obliterated and rendered incredibly unsightly.
Everyone in the world from ordinary mortals to the three great clans all heard his voice.
“H-he actually dares to trample over our…” the silver-haired silver man’s face was ugly to behold.
“Damn him. Damn him!” The skinny silver man was enraged as well.
Ning was trampling over the three great clan’s dignity, so as to establish his own power. This was a way for him to show that the Darknorth Palace didn’t give a damn about the three great clans at all!
“He claims that he doesn’t seek hegemony and only seeks to cultivate the Dao?” The muscular silver man sent puzzledly to the others, “If he only seeks to cultivate the Dao, why has he chosen to challenge our clans?”
“I think his true goal lies with that secret place of ours,” the skinny silver man said with a cold smile.
“Yes, that has to be it.” The silver-haired man’s voice was equally cold. The secret place was what the three great clans relied upon and was for their use only. There was no way any other cultivators would be permitted to so much as find it. As they saw it, given how Daolord Darknorth already stood at the very apex of power in this world and had nothing to fear, he definitely was coveting their secret place.
Ning’s voice echoed throughout this entire world, with even mortal children able to hear it clearly. Everyone knew that this ‘Daolord Darknorth’ was incredibly powerful and had established a place known as the Darknorth Palace. He didn’t even hold the three great clans in any regard at all.
“I can’t believe this was the end result of it all.”
“The three great clans are transcendent, supreme entities that have governed this world since time immemorial. The three clan leaders in particular are unfathomably powerful; supposedly, they are far more terrifying than even Emperor-class golems. They can cause hurricanes with a flick of their fingers that can annihilate even Daolords of the Fourth Step… but they actually weren’t able to do anything to this Daolord Darknorth.”
“He established Darknorth Palace… that means our world is no longer completely under the control of the three great clans.”
“The heavens themselves are changing before our very eyes!”
The many clans in this world all understood exactly what was happening… and just as they expected, the rise of Darknorth Palace really did symbolize that there were now two supreme powers within this world! This was now a bipolar world. On one side were the three great clans; on the other, Darknorth Palace.
The advantage of the three great clans lay in the fact that they had extremely deep resources and tremendous power. Darknorth Palace, however, had an advantage in that Ning’s heartworld projection was able to instantly encompass this entire planet… in other words, if he wanted to attack, he had the power to annihilate everything outside the headquarters of the three great clans!
This power of absolute, instantly annihilation caused quite a few clans to fear Darknorth Palace even more. Some particularly ambitious clans chose to make a rather risky bet… they chose to submit to the rule of Darknorth Palace. Ning didn’t refuse any comers.
“Haha, leave these matters to me. I used to command the Ninedust Sect; organizing and commanding these minor clans is simplicity itself.” Ninedust was quite eager to take on this task. “If we can’t find the secret place ourselves, we might be able to learn some information about it from these clans.”
Under Ninedust’s leadership and with more and more clans joining their ranks, Darknorth Palace began to grow in power at an exponential rate. This was quite a troubling matter for the three great clans.
“We have no choice but to bear it for now. Those weaker clans are nothing; if and when we choose to attack, we can wipe them out with ease. Our greatest foe remains Daolord Darknorth.” The three clan leaders forebore from taking action.
“From this day forth, once our clans enter the secret place we need to spare no expense in finding a treasure that can be used against Daolord Darknorth.”
Time flowed on. In the blink of an eye, two thousand years passed after Ning had established Darknorth Palace in this world. He had continuously searched for the secret place this entire time, while Ninedust had coordinated the many clans under the banner of Darknorth Palace to do the same.
Nightfall. A cold wind was howling through the skies. Ning was seated atop a dais within Darknorth Palace, staring at the vast world before him as he trained in the [Heartsword] art.
“Palace Lord, the Hallmaster of the First Southern Hall has something important to report,” an attendant said respectfully.
“Something important?” Ning opened his eyes.
In recent years, Ninedust had divided Darknorth Palace up into many different branches, with the First Southern Hall being one of them.
“Have him come see me,” Ning instructed.
“Yes, Palace Lord.” The attendant immediately left.
A short while later, a black-armored man walked in, then fell to his knees and said respectfully, “Your subordinate greets you, Palace Lord.”
“You may rise. Speak. What is it?” Ning asked.
The black-armored man rose to his feet, a hint of eagerness in his eyes as he looked at Ning. It was Palace Lord Darknorth who was able to ensure that the three great clans were helpless against them, after all.
“Your subordinate has come into possession of certain information… and I think there is at least an 80% chance that it has to do with that secret place,” the black-armored man said respectfully.