Book 34, The Stone Hellephant Wall, Chapter 3 – Entering the Dao Alliance’s Palace of Immortals
“Purepeace fruit?” The three Hegemons and three Eternal Emperors exchanged glances. Although all nine of the types of fruit in Crimsonwave Temple were valuable, there were still differences between them.
The purepeace fruits, for example, ripened every 30,000 chaos cycles. There were 108,000 of them in each harvest. They were fairly numerous, and so the Flamedragon Realmverse’s six major powers were still able to acquire it through other channels. As a result, they weren’t all that desperate to acquire it. The coldflame cauldron fruits, however, only ripened once every 100,000 chaos cycles… and each time, only 300 were available during each harvest. As a result, people who acquired them would usually keep and use them for themselves! Very few were willing to trade them away, making them quite a hot commodity.
“For the materials you need? 80,000 of the purepeace fruits will do,” Emperor Goldisle said with a chuckle. “These things are still quite rare. They have their uses.”
The three Hegemons, Emperor Severfive, and Emperor Islehide were silent. Seeing this, Ji Ning understood that Emperor Goldisle had offered him quite a decent price.
“Alright.” Ning revealed a smile. “Then I’ll give 80,000 of the purepeace fruits to Emperor Goldisle. Seniors, there are other treasures I need as well.”
Another block of text appeared in midair. This list included the materials needed to train in the first two stages of the secret art which the Sword Hegemon had provided to Ning, the [Grand Diffraction Sword] technique. To Ning, although a protective divine ability was very important, a strong secret art was even more important. Ning had already pretty much squeezed as much power as he could out of the nine novessence arts; by the time he became a Daolord of the Fourth Step, they simply wouldn’t be able to keep up.
The [Grand Diffraction Sword] consisted of three stages. The cost to fully master it would place a heavy burden upon even Hegemons; Ning felt that he probably didn’t have enough fruit.
In addition, to master all three stage one had to have reached an extremely high level of skill in the Dao of the Sword. Most likely, one would have to reach a level comparable to that of the deceased Sword Hegemon first. Thus, the first two stages were more than enough for Ning for now.
The three Hegemons and three Emperors all hesitated.
“Give me all 300 of the coldflame cauldron fruits and I’ll help you collect them,” Emperor Islehide said in a low voice.
“Emperor Islehide is able to acquire all these items? Impressive!” Hegemon Netherlily laughed softly. “298 coldflame cauldron fruits, my young friend Darknorth, and I’ll help you collect them.”
“Seniors, I’m willing to use these types of fruit to trade for them instead.” As Ning spoke, he caused seven different types of fruit to appear before him. These were the fruits corresponding to the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh command talismans.
“What a clever boy.” The three Hegemons and the three Emperors all laughed. They could tell that Ning realized how enticing the coldflame cauldron fruits were to them and thus wasn’t in a rush to sell them off.
After extensive negotiations the Dao Alliance, the Brightshore Kingdom, the Aberrants, and the Aeonians jointly produced the materials necessary, taking away more than half of Ning’s fruits in recompense.
Now, all Ning had were:
300 of the coldflame cauldron fruits from the ninth talisman;
28,000 of the purepeace fruits from the first talisman;
230 of the golden sandsifter fruits from the seventh talisman;
310 of the darkheaven yin-fruits from the sixth talisman.
“Seniors, I’ve pretty much listed all the treasures I need,” Ning said. “I plan on paying a visit to the Palace of Immortals to see what they have in their treasury.”
“Haha, our treasury in the Palace of Immortals has everything within it. The Dao Alliance definitely has more treasures than anyone else,” Emperor Goldisle said with a smile.
“You aren’t going to trade anything else?”
“Darknorth, my young friend…”
The three Hegemons, Emperor Severfive, and Emperor Islehide were all startled. Ning was going to stop trading and instead go straight to the Palace of Immortals of the Dao Alliance? It must be remembered that thus far, he hadn’t produced a single one of the coldflame cauldron fruits, the most valuable of the nine fruits!
“Darknorth.” Hegemon Brightshore looked towards Ning.
Ning hurriedly explained, “Hegemon… seniors… my lifeblood weapons need to grow and to consume more materials, but I don’t know exactly what they need. That’s why I wish to go to the Palace of Immortals, so that I can test out the various materials! Once I’ve selected the materials I need, I’ll naturally notify all of you and allow the auction to proceed fairly.”
“Lifeblood weapons?” All of them now understood, as they had lifeblood weapons as well.
“No point wasting time. Come, let’s go to my Palace of Immortals right away,” Emperor Goldisle said with a smile. He then glanced at the others. “Hegemons, Emperors, you can come along with us… the Palace of Immortals will treat you with the utmost of courtesy.”
“We wouldn’t dare enter the Palace of Immortals.”
“We’ll wait outside of it.”
The various figures immediately began to depart.
“Darknorth, follow me.” Emperor Goldisle smiled as he sent a spatial bubble out to cover Ning, then tore through space and departed with Ning in tow.
The Palace of Immortals was an incomparably mysterious place. Ning had heard of it long ago, but he had never seen it.
“Here we are, Darknorth.” Emperor Goldisle’s voice rang out. Ning stared towards the front, stunned. In front of him was an absolutely enormous group of palaces that hung in the middle of space, radiating blinding light and a mighty aura. The radiance was so dazzling that Ning was truly dazed by it, while the power contained within the aura caused Ning’s heart to tremble.
Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. One figure after another appeared next to Ning. They were Hegemon Brightshore, Hegemon Windrain, Hegemon Netherlily, Emperor Severfive, and Emperor Islehide, as well as the subordinates they had brought with them. Ninedust and Winesage had been brought over as well.
“Darknorth.” Ninedust’s voice rang out within Ning’s ears.
“Ninedust.” Ning glanced at Ninedust.
“I’m embarrassed to say this, but…” Ninedust revealed an awkward look. “The Hegemon instructed me to ask you to at least sell some of the coldflame cauldron fruit to us Ancient cultivators.”
Ning revealed a smile as he sent mentally, “Got it. Don’t worry.” Ninedust was his brother; since he had made the request, Ning knew what to do.
“Darknorth.” Winesage sent a mental message as well, a similarly awkward look on his face. “Darknorth, our Dark Kingdom is constantly beset by dangers. Just staying alive is difficult. I’d like to ask you to sell some of those coldflame cauldron fruits to the Dark Kingdom.”
“So long as the Dark Kingdom has the items I need, that won’t be a problem,” Ning replied.
Hegemon Brightshore looked at Ning as well. “Darknorth.”
“Don’t worry, Hegemon. I know what to do,” Ning replied.
Favors and friendships were important, but being fair and even-handed as possible was just as important, as was growing more powerful.
“Let me lead you inside, Darknorth.” Emperor Goldisle guided Ning in, with Ning staring everywhere in curiosity as they flew into the Palace of Immortals.
None of the Hegemons or Emperors present were worried that the Dao Alliance would play a dirty trick like killing Ning to steal his treasures.
First of all, although these fruits were rare they weren’t so important as to cause Hegemons or the Dao Alliance to not care about face. Only something as valuable as Crimsonwave Temple itself could possibly do that.
Secondly, only Daolords could harvest the fruits that ripened every few tens of thousands of chaos cycles from Crimsonwave Temple! If the Hegemons or the Dao Alliance dared to murder Ning, which Daolords in the future would be willing to take on the risk of helping them go harvest fruit?
Lastly, these things were a gift from Emperor Waveshift to his homeland. It was also a way to help his homeland temper its Daolords! If the Hegemons or the Dao Alliance dared to act rashly and angered Emperor Waveshift through their actions, Emperor Waveshift could very well take the entire temple back and ensure they would gain nothing at all in the future.
For all of these reasons, everyone knew that everyone else would play by the rules.
The insides of the Palace of Immortals were absolutely lovely. The light of formations glimmered everywhere, while their aura was so mighty as to ensure that even Hegemons wouldn’t dare to trespass within.
“Treasures of the Flamedragon Realmverse aside, the treasury of the Palace of Immortals has collected many treasures from other realmverses as well,” Emperor Goldisle said with a smile. “It’s hard to even count how many treasures we have. Choose whatever you like, Darknorth. We’ll give you what you need for those fruits.”
“Understood.” Ning nodded.
“So this is Daolord Darknorth?” A deep voice boomed out from afar as a black-robed, black-haired old man walked towards them across the celestial pathways.
Emperor Goldisle made the introductions: “Darknorth, this is Emperor Blackcloud! The two of us jointly administer the Palace of Immortals for the Dao Alliance.”
Ning was secretly speechless. So it was these two Emperors who were in control of the Palace of Immortals? Perhaps they were a bit weaker than the Hegemons, but they were actually even more influential.
“Daolord Darknorth, you’ve only trained for such a short period of time but have reached such incredible heights in power. Impressive.” Emperor Blackcloud smiled. “Goldisle and I shall open the treasury for you to peruse as you please.”
“Sorry for the trouble, seniors,” Ning said modestly.
While chatting, these two leaders of the Dao Alliance led Ning to the location of the treasury.
“Open.” Emperor Blackcloud waved a finger.
The white stone door in front of him began to split apart, revealing a dark passageway inside.
“The treasury is an important place, and so this passageway is filled with many barriers and wards. Not even Hegemons would dare to trespass here,” Emperor Blackcloud said smugly.
“Come, Darknorth.” Emperor Goldisle led the way, with Ning following from behind. In truth, the reason why they dared to open up the treasury like this for Ning was because Ning was weak; if a Hegemon had actually come here, there was no way they would’ve dared to let the Hegemon actually enter the treasury.