Book 36, Daolord of the Fourth Step, Chapter 24 – Another Daolord
“This ‘Omega Dao’,” Ji Ning began to say, but he was interrupted.
“Don’t ask any questions. If you pass the second trial, you’ll learn about it… and if you fail, you aren’t worth of learning about it.” The white-bearded elder remained as cold and distant as ever: “You are a Daolord. To pass the second trial, you need merely face and pass through ten of the weakest Emperors here. As long as you can make it to the palace gates up ahead, you’ll have passed. Also… your golem is not permitted to interfere. If it does, it’ll count as your loss.”
Ning nodded slowly. “Understood.”
The white-haired old man transformed into an illusory blur, flying across the entire plaza and landing in front of the gates of the palace. There, he watched what would unfold with calmness.
“So these are trials which an Autarch left behind for posterity, eh?” Ning was quite relaxed. It was much like the trials which he himself had set down for those who wished to acquire his legacy. Not just everyone was qualified to receive his techniques; they had to pass very stringent tests. The Autarch must’ve put quite a bit of effort into constructing this giant Azureflower Estate; it only made sense for him to put down a few trials as well.
Those who were too weak would die. Being able to survive and flee was also a form of strength… but only those who were able to truly pass the trials would earn the rewards which the master of the Azureflower Estate had left behind.
Whoosh. Ning stepped forward, moving up the stairs and towards the plaza with the muscular Whitethaw behind him. Ning instructed, “Whitethat, you are not to intervene unless directly ordered to.”
“Understood,” Whitethaw said respectfully.
“So it is a Daolord…” The hundred-plus Emperors in the plaza were clearly a bit disappointed when they saw the white-robed youth stride towards them.
“A mere Daolord. Only ten of us are allowed to fight, and the weakest ten at that.” An evil-looking Emperor who had azure eyebrows and emanated the strongest aura out of the group shook his head. “When will an Emperor come? That way, all of us would be allowed to have some fun.”
“We’ve been here forever, unable to leave this plaza.”
“How long will it be before we are granted our release?” The Emperors chatted casually amongst themselves. They had once been filled with rage and venom, as they had been restricted to this plaza for tens of millions of chaos cycles by now… and it was possible that they would be for all of eternity. This sort of loneliness would drive even Eternal Emperors insane. However… time dulls away all things. By now, they were quite relaxed and simply waited silently.
Besides… the master of the Azureflower Estate did arrange for certain conditions by which they could be released.
Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh! The other Emperors continued to chat while ten of their peers flew over at high speed, preventing Ning from advancing.
“Hey kid, don’t blame us if we end up killing you. Everything is as the master of the estate has ordained.” One of the Emperors was a skinny old man with cold eyes, and a deep green mist begin to emanate from him as he spoke.
“It has been a long, long time since I’ve seen a Daolord. Let’s not be hasty, gentlemen. Let’s take the fight against this kid slowly. If we move too fast, it’ll be boring. We’ll want to to enjoy killing him, slicing him apart one cut at a time. Oh my… I can hardly wait,” a youth with a ruddy face and long, blood-red hair said, his tongue forked like a snake’s.
“Let’s do it.”
“Don’t let him escape. Surround him.” The ten Emperors were all quite evil-looking, and they emanated murderous auras.
The white-robed Ning nodded slowly when he saw this. “Ah. I now understand why the master of the Azureflower Estate captured you and sentenced you here as punishment. If I was the master, I would’ve killed you long ago.”
“You? Kill us?”
“Such arrogance.” The ten Emperors were instantly enraged at being criticized by a Daolord in this fashion. They couldn’t help but feel both embarrassed and angered by his words.
“Spirit of the estate.” Ning glanced at the white-robed elder standing in front of the distant palace entrance, then called out: “Can I capture them?” If he was permitted to capture them, it would be up to him if he wanted to kill them or not.
The distant white-robed elder’s voice remained as cold as ever: “If you kill them, I’ll kill you!”
Ning blinked. Moments later, he understood. After the lord of the Azureflower Estate captured these Emperors, he had apparently ‘modified’ them in some way. They weren’t true cultivators any longer; they were more like golems! They had been placed here to test future trial-takers, and Ning was just one of them. If he captured the Emperors, how would those who came after him be tested?
“Haha… if that’s the case, I’ll just wrap it up quickly.” Ning stretched out his hands, causing two of the Darknorth swords to fly out of the sheath on his back and into them.
“Arrogant brat.” The ten Emperors instantly transformed into mist, light, flames, and other things as they started to surround Ning, wanting to ensure that he wouldn’t be able to escape.
Ning casually sauntered forwards, with Whitethaw behind him.
Boom. Boom. Boom. All sorts of various attacks filled the skies as they flew towards Ning. Ning could immediately tell that these ten Emperors were roughly at the supreme Daolord level! Ning couldn’t help but shake his head: “They really are the ten weakest Emperors.”
Ning’s twin swords began to move. Whap! Whap! Whap! Whap! Whap! Whap! The Northbow swords transformed into ferocious streams of water, striking backagainst the attacks like waves slapping against the shore. The streams of water struck straight upon the bodies of the Emperors, sending them flying backwards like swatted mosquitoes. Even though they had transformed into their invulnerable forms, Ning was able to beat them back into their original forms.
The difference in power was simply too great. Ning was able to crush even Archon Silksnow, who was in turn able to slaughter supreme Daolords with ease. One could imagine how puny these ten Emperors were compared to Ning.
“This Daolord… h-he…”
“Has he succeeded in his Daomerge? But he clearly doesn’t have that whiff of eternity about him.”
The many other Emperors who had been watching from afar were all stunned as well. A Daolord was able to crush ten Emperors like this? How?!
In truth, prior to the trip to Crimsonwave Temple, Ning would at most be able to fight them to a standstill. Now, however, Ning had made breakthroughs in his [Heartsword] art… but even more importantly, he had reached the fourth stage with his Omega Sword Dao. He truly was one of the most supreme powers of this realmverse, and was naturally able to dominate these common Emperors with ease.
The Emperors all stared, stupefied, at Ning as he casually strolled across the plaza and arrived at the entrance to the palace. As for Whitethaw, he continued to walk straight behind Ning with incomparable calmness.
Boom. The white-haired and elderly estate-spirit watched in shock as Ning stretched his hand out and pushed at the palace gates. With a deep booming sound, the giant palace gates swung open.
“You…?” The white-haired elder stared at Ning, rather puzzled.
“Estate-spirit.” Ning looked at the white-haired elder respectfully.
“A tri-force fusion technique?” the white-haired elder murmured softly.
Ning was startled for a moment before realizing that he was referring to the [Heartsword] art. “Precisely.” Ning nodded.
The [Heartsword] art was a technique which perfectly merged heartforce, divine power, and Immortal energy together. In truth, even if Ning hadn’t made a breakthrough with his Omega Sword Dao, his mastery of the twelfth stance of the [Heartsword] art would’ve still put him on par with Archon Silksnow. That by itself was enough to effortlessly sweep these Emperors aside. Now that he HAD broken through? He was probably invincible against anyone save for the Hegemons, and of course Daoist Bluestone.
“A tri-force fusion technique…” The white-robed elder’s gaze grew distant. “Heartforce is indeed incredible. Even though the technique which Master created is capable of transforming and merging all types of energy, heartforce is still special and unique. The legends say that if a heartworld can truly reach the apex of power, the treasures formed within it will become real and can be actually used. The heartworld shall become a real world that you can manipulate at will. If someone could reach that level, that person would become truly invincible.”
“The heartworld… a real world?” Ning deeply desired to reach that level, but he knew just how ridiculous and inconceivable it was. It meant that if he imagined a hundred realmships into existence within his heartworld, then a hundred real realmships would be formed. If he willed an army of Black Emperors into existence, all of them would be real as well.
The level of power that would represent…
Yes, from a theoretical standpoint once a heartworld reached the true apex of power, it was possible to manifest real objects within it… but no one had ever been able to accomplish such a thing. The cultivator civilizations had its Autarchs, but there had never been a Heartforce Autarch!
“For you to have mastered a tri-force fusion technique is a sign that you are quite talented.” The white-haired elder nodded slowly. “Since you have passed the second trial, take your second reward.” The old man tossed out a rolled-up jade scroll.
Ning immediately accepted it, then asked, “What is this?”
“You were asking about Omega Daos, yes?” The white-haired elder explained, “This jade scroll was left behind by a truly dazzling Daolord which my master once encountered. He was so unspeakably, monstrously talented that he was able to enhance his Dao of Fire to the absolute apex, and then train to become a Daolord of the Fourth Step with his Omega Fire Dao! Alas, the Daomerge for an Omega Dao is far, far too difficult, far more difficult than for those supreme Daolords who seek to become Hegemons.”
“In the end, that Daolord failed his Daomerge as well. After he failed his Daomerge but before he died, he ran into my master… and he passed down the secrets of his self-created Omega Fire Dao to my master,” the white-haired elder said.