Book 34, The Stone Hellephant Wall, Chapter 8 – Mining
Ji Ning glanced at the enormous Stone Hellephant Wall. “Senior, please let me first see if I can even absorb it.”
One of the Northbow swords flew out from the sheath on Ning’s back and stabbed straight towards the Stone Hellephant Wall. Crack! The Northbow sword didn’t damage the wall in the slightest, but as it hung there with the sword tip touching the wall, everyone present could see that a small ‘crater’ was slowly beginning to appear and expand at the point of contact.
“Master, this is deepfire blackstone. We can absorb it!” a child appeared on the surface of the Northbow sword and called out excitedly towards Ning.
Ning couldn’t help but reveal a smile. He turned his head to look at Hegemon Welkin. “Thank you, senior. Here are your hundred coldflame cauldron fruits.” Ning sent out a jade bottle with a hundred fruits within it.
Hegemon Welkin accepted it, scanned it with his godsense, then accepted it.
“You can just take your time absorbing the deepfire blackstone. I’m off.” Hegemon Welkin’s gaze turned towards the Northbow sword that had slowly plunged deep into the Stone Hellephant Wall; by now, quite a bit of the deepfire blackstone had disappeared from around it. “Even I am not able to take away this enormous chunk of deepfire blackstone, but your swords are able to absorb it… haha. Still, upgrading lifeblood weapons is an incredibly difficult process. Even if you can let them absorb an enormous amount of materials and upgrade them to their material limit, if you wish to transform them into Universe treasures then they will need quintessence cores that are at a similarly incredible level. I’ve reared lifeblood weapons of my own, but alas I haven’t been able to create any Universe treasures.”
Ning nodded upon hearing this. Creating a Universe treasure was no easy feat.
“To me, searching for an ownerless Universe treasure is a better use of my time,” Hegemon Welkin said. “There are still some who would be willing to acknowledge me as master.”
“That, senior, is because you are a Hegemon!” The nearby Ninedust interjected, “It is normall for Universe treasures to be willing to submit themselves to Hegemons. Daolords like us though? Unless we stumble into some truly incredible luck, it’s almost impossible for us to be able to make Universe treasures submit to us.”
Ninedust was a good example. He was an exalted member of the Ancients and was a master in staff-arts who had studied the legacy of that ancestor Hegemon of the Ancient race, but the ancestor’s Universe longstaff had refused to follow him.
“Universe treasures possess infinite lifespans, while Daolords only live for 108,000 chaos cycles.” Hegemon Welkin sighed. “If they follow a Daolord and that Daolord fails the Daomerge, they would have to bear the pain of eventually parting with him. This is why Universe treasures generally only choose Eternal Emperors, unless a particular Daolord is extremely intriguing to them.”
“Right.” Ning and Ninedust both nodded. Final farewells were indeed painful to make. The relationships between lifeblood weapons and their masters were almost familial in nature, and the same was true for the relationship between Universe treasures and their masters. This was why so many Universe treasures longed for their original deceased masters despite the passage of many, many chaos cycles. In fact, they would often choose to follow new masters based on similarities between their new master and the old one. They had to have similar personalities, characteristics, and even Daos!
“Alright. You two youngers should train hard. I hope that in the distant future I’ll be able to meet the two of you again,” Hegemon Welkin said with a laugh. He then waved his hand, causing that flying vessel to appear once more. He entered his vessel, then tore through spacetime and immediately disappeared.
Ning and Ninedust watched as Hegemon Welkin left with mixed feelings. They understood that the chances of them meeting him again were very, very low.
“Hegemon… I absolute must succeed in my Daomerge and become a Hegemon.” Ninedust ground his teeth.
“Succeed in the Daomerge!” Ning’s eyes were filled with resolution and desire as well.
Neither Ning nor Ninedust were confident in their chances at the Daomerge. Anyone who had mastered a fused Supreme Dao would become a Hegemon upon completing the Daomerge… but alas, this was simply too difficult. As for Ning? His Omega Sword Dao was far more difficult than even that!
Although they didn’t feel confident, they still felt desire and eagerness. The Daomerge was the ultimate goal for any and every Daolord. But of course, in Ning’s heart what mattered the most was still reviving his wife Yu Wei. His cultivation goals and the Daomerge were second to that.
Swish! Swish! Swish! Swish! Swish!
Ning stood there within the empty darkness. He waved a finger, causing the other five Northbow swords to fly out from the sheath on his back towards the great Stone Hellephant Wall in front of him. They joined with the first Northbow sword to form a circular pattern that was roughly a thousand kilometers in diameter.
“Children, do your best to ‘eat’ your way around this area and dig out thousand-kilometer spheres of deepfire blackstone,” Ning called out with a smile.
“Haha, our master is so clever! He wants us to help him dig out the deepfire blackstone ore!”
“Leave it to us.”
The children atop the six Northbow swords immediately let out excited calls.
Ninedust was standing next to Ning within the darkness. He said in amazement, “D-Darknorth, are you planning on…?”
“Since the Northbow swords are able to devour the deepfire blackstone, I’m going to use them to harvest as much of the Stone Hellephant Wall as I can,” Ning said. “Not even the Hegemon was able to move this massive thing in its entirety, but if I can segment them into smaller pieces I might be able to do so. If I can, it’ll be worth a quite a pretty sum.”
“True.” Ninedust revealed a look of delight. “All that deepfire blackstone… wow. That really would be a fortune! Haha, I think Hegemon Welkin never would’ve imagined that you could use the Northbow swords to segment the Stone Hellephant Wall. If he did, he wouldn’t have walked away like that.”
“It’s not as much as you think.” Ning shook his head. “Deepfire blackstone doesn’t have that many usages. The reason why it is sold for a fairly high price in the Dao Alliance is because it is fairly rare; the Endless Territories only have three thousand meters of it. Even if I do successfully harvest the entire million-kilometer Stone Hellephant Wall, who am I supposed to sell so much deepfire blackstone to?”
When supply was limited, prices would remain high. When the supply suddenly skyrocketed, the price would drastically crater. This was even more the case given how deepfire blackstone wasn’t very useful. If it was more useful, this wall would’ve been a true fortune! Hegemon Welkin probably would’ve paid any price necessary to invite other major powers to help him out and somehow take away the Stone Hellephant Wall.
“To Hegemons, it isn’t all that valuable. To us, though, this is still a nice sum,” Ning said with a laugh.
Crack, crack, crack. The six Northbow swords continuously devoured the deepfire blackstone ore, doing their best to carve out a sphere of ore from the Stone Hellephant Wall.
It must be remembered that the six Northbow swords needed to absorb roughly a three hundred thousand meter mountain of ore, an astonishing amount. For them to merely carve out a thousand-kilometer globe of deepfire blackstone meant that they were basically just ‘eating’ a surface portion. It actually wasn’t much at all.
A mere hour later.
“Master, we can’t harvest any more.”
“There’s no way to dig any deeper.” The children atop the six Northbow swords all started to call out towards Ning.
“No way to dig any deeper?” Ning was startled.
“Why can’t they dig any deeper?” The nearby Ninedust also said, “Is there something inside that isn’t deepfire blackstone?”
“It isn’t deepfire blackstone.”
“It’s something else. We can’t absorb it,” the six children called out in unison.
Ning and Ninedust traded a glance. They both had the feeling that the Stone Hellephant Wall perhaps held more secrets than they had expected. It must be remembered that it was over a million kilometers long but just a thousand kilometers wide, making it very ‘flat’. They had thought that it was completely composed of deepfire blackstone, but it seemed as though it held a core of something else.
“Then carve out as much as you can within the thousand-kilometer radius,” Nin ginstructed.
“Alright.” All six children called out in unison, working together to slowly move closer and closer to each other. A short while later, the children called out, “We’re finished!” “Master, we’re done carving!”
“Oh?” Ning sent out his will, using his six Northbow swords to apply a bit of power. Boom! The large round chunk of deepfire blackstone was actually knocked free from the rest of the Stone Hellephant Wall. This chunk of ore was spheroid in shape. It was a thousand kilometers long but only two hundred kilometers ‘deep’.
“Get in here.” Ning walked forwards and grabbed the large chunk of ore, trying to pull it into his estate-world. He immediately sensed how incredibly heavy it was, but he still gave it a try. Boom! The thousand-kilometer chunk of deepfire blackstone was pulled by Ning into his estate-world in its entirety.
“Deepfire blackstone is a valuable natural material. At my current level of power, I’m only able to draw in thousand-kilometer chunks,” Ning said with a laugh. Experts like him were able to gauge their own abilities with a certain type of foresight. The reason he had instructed the Northbow swords to carve out thousand-kilometer chunks was precisely because he could sense that this was a size that would suit him. The entire Stone Hellephant Wall was a thousand times longer than the chunk he had just carved out and much thicker, making it easily a million times more massive. It also had other materials in its core. This was why not even Hegemons could draw it in through force.
“Darknorth, look!” Ninedust had already flown over, and he immediately called out to Ning. Ning flew over as well. When he did, he was able to see that underneath the carved-out pit of deepfire blackstone was some sort of silvery-white material that was covered with many runes. These complicated runes seemed to be part of a single, utterly massive character.
“This script… it seems quite similar in style to the azureflower seal, the Dreamdust script, and those three characters I saw at Crimsonwave Temple.” Ning narrowed his eyes.
“Darknorth, this Stone Hellephant Wall seems to contain a great secret within it.” Ninedust was excited as well.