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Book 36, Daolord of the Fourth Step, Chapter 18 – Naked Extortion

“Daoist Bluestone has far more treasures than the rest of us.” Emperor Goldface smiled when he saw the offer Daoist Bluestone had made. “But… the [Omega Sword Dao] technique is just a technique; showing it off to a few more people won’t cause you to incur any losses, Daolord Darknorth. We naturally will make sure you are properly compensated for it, and you can always use a few more treasures, right? As a Daolord, you haven’t trained for all that long. You probably don’t have many treasures yet, eh?”

Ji Ning frowned. Why was this Emperor Goldface so irritating? “It’s not for you to lecture me on who I should teach my [Omega Sword Dao] to, Emperor Goldface!” Ning’s voice was ice-cold, devoid of his earlier humility.

Emperor Goldface’s face tightened “You…”

“I imagine that the three Hegemons, Emperor Goldisle, and Emperor Blackcloud all know what I want the most.” Ning didn’t even look at Emperor Goldface, instead turning to glance at the other major powers. “The greatest desire I have had ever since my earliest days of cultivating has been reviving my Dao-companion! However… only an Autarch can do it. Thus, if someone can give me enough treasure to ask an Autarch to intervene on my behalf, I’m willing to fully record every aspect of my Omega Sword Dao for him to view.”

“Ask an Autarch to intervene?” The three Hegemons traded a glance while the five Emperors fell silent. Ning watched carefully, only to see that all of the major powers were completely silent.

A while later, the distant Daoist Bluestone finally spoke out: “Fellow Daoist Darknorth, asking an Autarch to help out is no easy task. If all three Hegemons pooled all of their treasures together… they might have just barely enough to get an Autarch to intervene. Although I was fortunate enough to acquire some Sithe treasures, it probably isn’t enough to get an Autarch to intervene. The materials to create a Black Emperor, I already used up. The remaining treasures won’t be enough. Brightshore, Windrain, Netherlily… would you three Hegemons be willing to work with me to come up with the sum needed to approach an Autarch? Darknorth, would that work for you?”

“That’s fine.” Ning pondered for a moment and nodded. “I’m fine with allowing Daoist Bluestone and the three Hegemons to view it together.” For the sake of reviving Yu Wei, anything would be worth it.

“I can probably provide thirty to forty percent of the value needed to ask an Autarch to intervene.” Daoist Bluestone looked towards the other three Hegemons. “Can you three jointly come up with the sixty or so percent needed?”

“That’s too much.” Hegemon Netherlily shook her head.

“That’s a lot to ask. Invite an Autarch to help out? I’ve never even seen an Autarch!” Hegemon Windrain shook his head as well. “The price is too high. I think we’ll pass.”

“Yes, we’ll pass.” Hegemon Brightshore shook his head as well.

Daoist Bluestone was startled for a moment, then nodded his head in understanding. “I’m so embarrassed. I forgot that although this [Omega Sword Dao] is extremely enticing to me, due to my efforts to step into the Hegemon level, it is of much more limited use to the three of you.”

Ning understood what was going on. Daoist Bluestone, Emperor Goldface, Empress Jade Phoenix, Emperor Blackcloud, and Emperor Goldisle all deeply desired to train to the Hegemon level. But the three Hegemons?

Their Daos would need to advance by an absolutely huge amount before they could reach the inconceivably powerful level of Autarchy. This ‘step’ was as vast as the gap between heaven and earth. Although the [Omega Sword Dao] was an extremely profound Dao, Ning had thus far only developed it to the fourth-step Daolord level. A mere Daolord-level [Omega Sword Dao] would be of limited assistance to Hegemons. It was virtually impossible for them to use Ning’s insights to reach Autarchy.

It must be remembered that not even the combined treasures of all three Hegemons would necessarily be enough to invite an Autarch to help out. To have the three of them jointly come up with sixty percent of the necessary funds represented them essentially bankrupting themselves. For them to sacrifice the majority of their treasures simply to view the [Omega Sword Dao]… the three Hegemons weren’t willing to do such a thing.

“How embarrassing.” Daoist Bluestone looked towards Ning. “Fellow Daoist Darknorth, I’ve already offered as much as I can! To ask an Autarch to help out is just far too difficult. Perhaps the only person belonging to the Flamedragon Realmverse qualified to do such a thing is Emperor Waveshift, but he’s always been roaming the outside world. There’s no way to even locate him… and even if you somehow found him, he probably wouldn’t be willing to give you that much treasure. He might be weaker than Hegemons in actual combat, but he has definitely reached the Hegemon level in the Dao of Numerancy. Your [Omega Sword Dao] would be of limited use to him.”

Ning understood. His [Omega Sword Dao] was of limited interest to the Hegemons; it was of far more interest to the Emperors who were trapped at a bottleneck and who sought to break through it to reach Hegemony.

“Well, you know my offer. I’m willing to give you the vast majority of my treasures, and I’ll even be willing to do anything you ask me to do.” Daoist Bluestone smiled. “If you decide to accept, you can come seek me out whenever you wish.”

The Dao which Daoist Bluestone had chosen was the Dao of Black and White. Black and white… they encompassed all things, including both evil and good, darkness and light. They were all-embracing. His mindset was quite calm and even – acquire what he could, but not to force what he could not.

As a cultivator, his behavior had to match up to his Dao.

Ning could sense Daoist Bluestone’s sincerity. In fact, Daoist Bluestone hadn’t tried to threaten him or give him the slightest bit of pressure. He was someone who even the three Hegemons were wary of, but he didn’t try to threaten Ning at all. Ning couldn’t help but admire him for this… causing him to change his mind! Reviving Yu Wei via reversing the flows of spacetime would be incredibly expensive, and it would be very hard to accumulate all the treasures needed at once.

Since that wasn’t possible… he would slowly accumulate the amount needed. Given that he already had the verdant azuresoul and the mutated omnigeddon bloodfruit tree, if he added in Daoist Bluestone’s treasures… some more time and adventuring would give him a chance at acquiring what he needed.

“Brother Bluestone,” Ning suddenly sent mentally to Daoist Bluestone. Daoist Bluestone’s heart trembled, but he kept his face expressionless to ensure that no one could tell.

“After this conference concludes… let us discuss the Omega Sword Dao in private,” Ning sent mentally.

“Very well. I, Bluestone, won’t forget the kindness you have shown me,” Daoist Bluestone sent back. He was extremely excited. Daoist Bluestone had already reached the maximum level he could reach in secret arts, divine abilities, or treasures. Although he had many treasures, none of them were really useful in increasing his level of power. To further refine and perfect his Dao was just far too difficult, which was why this inconceivable ‘Omega Sword Dao’ had truly stirred his interest.

Ji Ning was merely a Daolord of the Fourth Step, but the power of his Dao was already comparable to that of Daoist Bluestone’s. Daoist Bluestone felt certain that this inconceivably profound Sword Dao would help open up a new path and new horizons for him.

The two spoke mentally in private, agreeing to chat after the conference but not revealing any hint of the decision outwardly. There were far too many who were interested in the [Omega Sword Dao], after all; even if Ning was to agree, he wouldn’t agree publicly.

“Hmph.” Emperor Goldface let out an angry snort as he rose to his feet. He pointed at Ning and yelled, “Fellow Daoist Bluestone has shown you great sincerity, but still you refuse? Where does a mere Daolord like yourself get the gall to act so arrogantly before the three Hegemons and we five Emperors? Hmph. Everyone says that you are powerful, but I haven’t had the chance to witness it myself. I really don’t believe it. Why don’t you show me if you really have the power to back up your arrogance.”

Right after speaking, Emperor Goldface flew off his throne. His entire body began to glow with golden light that swept towards Ning like a crushing wave.

“What, you want to try and take it from me by force?” Ning smiled coldly.

“And what if I do? Let’s see if you are strong enough to keep it for yourself!” Emperor Goldface had always been an extremely overbearing Emperor, far more so than Bluestone or Jade Phoenix. This was why even Ning had heard of him, despite so many aeons having gone past since those early days; he had caused quite a stir!

Jade Phoenix and the strongest of the three, Daoist Bluestone, were both very low-key to the point where Ning had never heard of them.

“Brother Darknorth?” Daoist Bluestone sent mentally to Ning.

“No need to intervene,” Ning sent back. “This Goldface character was already starting to piss me off. I’m going to teach him a lesson.”

“Haha, good! I quite dislike Goldface as well. Help me teach him a good lesson,” Daoist Bluestone sent mentally.

Although Ning had defeated Bloodcloud and Silksnow, the battle had concluded far too quickly. He had defeated all the enemies in an extremely short period of time, and so the only ones to witness it in person had been Hegemon Brightshore and Emperor Goldisle. Even Hegemon Netherlily and Hegemon Windrain had been just a step too slow, much less the other Emperors. None of them had personally witnessed how Ning had defeated Silksnow’s group, they had only watched as he had uprooted Silksnow Fiend Palace.

“Puny Daolord, I’ll teach you a lesson and let you know that there’s a time for arrogance and a time for humility.” Emperor Goldface’s entire body glowed with golden light, but his gaze was as cold as ice. “When I’m around, you’d best show some humility.”

He was Emperor Goldface. Only the three Hegemons and Daoist Bluestone were truly superior to him. He held others in no regard at all.

“Soon, you’ll learn what humility actually means.” Ning rose to his feet as well. His body blurred as he activated [Three Heads, Six Arms] and all six Northbow swords flew into his hands.

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