Book 36, Daolord of the Fourth Step, Chapter 4 – Omega Sword Dao, Stage Four
Millions of years went by after Ji Ning transformed into that boulder atop the mountain peak. One day, a thick mist suddenly arose around the great mountain. The mist was so thick as to block out the skies and the sun. It covered an area of tens of thousands of kilometers, including every single part of the great mountain.
“What a massive fog.”
“What’s going on? Why am I walking in circles? I keep on ending up here.”
Some of the ordinary mortals who passed through this place quickly discovered how bizarre the mist was. Word quickly spread and some experts began to arrive and explore the mist. Alas, anyone who entered the mist, no matter how powerful, would quickly end up walking out of the mist just a short while later. At first, everyone was quite startled, but after more time passed everyone grew accustomed to it.
Within the thick mist. Thousands of streams of sword-light were roving about in the air above the boulder at the peak of the mountain, fluctuating and vanishing in an unpredictable manner while being as dominating and exalted as the heavens themselves. At other times, the sword-light transformed into endlessly vast black holes which ground through everything nearby.
The boulder suddenly transformed into human form. A white-robed youth appeared at the peak of the mountain. He raised his head to look into the skies.
“My Dao has been completed.” Ning said in a soft voice.
BOOM! The towering Dao-tree within his body began to grow, rumbling and trembling as its branches and trunk stretched outwards. The branches coiled like the bodies of sinuous dragons, while the trunk grew even thicker. The countless leaves on the tree were all trembling. This towering Dao-tree was unfathomably stronger than the Dao-trees of ordinary Daolords of the Fourth Step. Clearly, Ning’s foundation was far, far more stable than theirs.
The Dao-tree continued to grow taller as well before finally topping out at 540,000 meters. The Dao-tree had finally reached its true, absolute limit in size! The next step would be the Daomerge, which would result in the Dao-tree giving birth to a flower of eternity.
Rumble… the giant pile of chaos jewels continued to crumble apart and shatter as a veritable ocean of energy surged into Ning. His divine body and Immortal energy began to transform and evolve, while his heartworld began its final expansion…
The reason why he completely separated this place off from the rest of the world and elected to absorb energy from chaos jewels rather than from the primordial chaos of the outside world was to prevent anything unexpected from happening! The disturbance which would be caused by Ning drawing upon chaos energy from the outside world in making his breakthrough to the fourth step would definitely shock everyone. News would quickly spread! Moreover, absorbing chaos energy from the primordial chaos was extremely slow. Archon Silksnow or the Aeonians might be able to make it here and attack Ning before he finished his breakthrough!
Archon Silksnow and the Aeonians had been searching for Ning this entire time. At first, Archon Silksnow wasn’t sure if Ning was dead or not, but he quickly received word that Ning was actually alive! In truth, this was quite easy to discern; Ning’s heartlamp within the Sword Palace of the Twelve Palaces of Brightshore remained lit. This meant that Ning wasn’t dead yet! Given how strong Archon Silksnow was, it was very easy for him to befriend a few Daolords of the Brightshore Kingdom and have them help him examine Ning’s heartlamp.
Although the Daolords of the Brightshore Kingdom were forbidden from engaging in fratricide, something as minor as inspecting a heartlamp was nothing more than sending a bit of information forward. It didn’t count.
“Whew.” Ning stood at the peak of a mountain, a smile on his face. It had only been a short period of time, but the chaos jewels had allowed his divine power and Immortal energy to complete their transformations. He now truly was a Daolord of the Fourth Step in every way, shape, and form! He was now simply accumulating energy from the chaos jewels in order to generate more of the azureflower mist energy and expand his heartworld.
“A short while from now, I’ll have completely transformed. Archon Silksnow and the Aeonians will no longer pose any threat to me.” Ning could sense how his body had changed. With his Omega Sword Dao having reached the fourth stage, his Dao had broken through to a brand new level. Ning himself had been catapaulted into a higher level of power.
Ning glanced downwards, his gaze piercing through the mist as he stared at the vast land beneath him. The land was filled with countless ordinary mortals, and Ning was able to see the tiny threads of fate which connected those ordinary mortals together.
“Karma?” Ning nodded slowly. Although he had never trained specifically in the Dao of Karma, anyone who reached a sufficiently high level of insight in any Dao would be able to engage in karmic scrying. Given Ning’s current level of enlightenment, there were now many ‘hidden’ places in the vast universe which could no longer hide from his gaze! If he wished to slay a foe, he could use his sword to follow the threads of karma to slay all of his his foe’s clones and Primaltwin!
In truth Archon Silksnow was able to do this as well, but the problem was that he wasn’t able to rely on his own power to kill Ning; he had to rely on a powerful treasure he had acquired in the Terror Starsea. The power of the treasure was tremendous… but since it didn’t truly belong to him, he could at most control the direction in which the power was released. There was no way he could control it to follow Ning’s karmic threads and kill Ning’s other bodies.
Whoosh. Ning’s body began to move. Whoooooosh. Countless Nings appeared above the mountain peak. He was moving at such an incomprehensible level of speed that ordinary matter wasn’t able to impede him in the slightest; in fact, not even spacetime was able to impede him! In terms of speed, Ning was definitely superior to the likes of Archon Silksnow by now. He truly had reached an incomprehensible level.
Boom! Ning’s body suddenly blasted apart, dissolving into countless motes of light. The light then reformed into a glowing humanoid figure. The glowing humanoid figure then blasted apart, transforming into an endless black fog which drifted away… then suddenly transformed into a stream of water. A while later, the stream of water vanished and a towering inferno replaced it.
“I am the world. The world is me.” In the end, the inferno transformed into countless specks of flying sand which reformed into Ning’s figure. Ning murmured softly to himself, “Shadowless and traceless, I manifest and disappear as I please. So when the Omega Sword Dao – Shadowless reaches the fourth stage, it can actually produce a terrifying invulnerable form…”
Ning had always envied the other cultivators for their various invulnerable forms. Upon gaining an invulnerable form, it would be difficult for foes to slay you unless the gap in power between you and them was ridiculously large.
For example, Archon Silksnow’s invulnerable form made it so that even Hegemon Brightshore would find him difficult to kill. But of course, ‘difficult’ didn’t mean ‘impossible’; if Hegemon Brightshore was willing to pay any price, he would still be able to accomplish it. The price, however, would be huge.
“My invulnerable form should be even more perfect than Archon Silksnow’s.” Ning laughed. His Omega Sword Dao was truly perfect and without flaw. In the past, he didn’t have an invulnerable form primarily because he hadn’t reached the proper stage of cultivation yet. Not that he had, it was naturally unlocked for him.
Archon Silksnow’s Dao of the Saber was offense oriented, and so there was no way he could use his Saber Dao to generate an invulnerable form for himself. This was why he had spent so much time and energy training in the Dao of Snow. The Dao of Snow, the Dao of Light, and other similar Daos were Daos which could be used to generate invulnerable forms with (relative) ease. Archon Silksnow had used this method to cover up this particular flaw, lowering his overall weaknesses.
Boom! Ning’s heartworld finally expanded to a completely new level as well, causing his massive reserve of heartforce to become even more powerful.
Ning smiled slightly. When his Omega Sword Dao had been at the third stage, his insights into the Dao were already comparable to the insights of ‘ordinary’ supreme Daolords. The difference was, he was extremely well-rounded and flawless in every aspect, which was why he ranked at the very top of the supreme Daolord ranking.
Now, his Omega Sword Dao had broken through to the fourth stage. In terms of insight, he was at the Archon level… and a highly ranked one at that! This was especially true now that his [Heartsword] art had reached the twelfth stance, which meant that Ning’s sword-arts were now six times stronger when using the [Heartsword] art! During his fight against Archon Silksnow, he had only mastered the eleventh stance, but since the eleventh and twelfth stances belonged to the same ‘stage’, it was very easy to break through from the former to the latter. Ning had already spent 130 million years wandering this mortal world; he naturally was able to break through to a new level during this period of time.
“Given my current Omega Sword Dao and my twelfth stance of the [Heartsword] art… there might be Archons capable of defeating me, but they can probably be counted on one hand.” Ning smiled. “Even the three mighty Hegemons… they are worthy of my respect, but I no longer need to live in terror of them.”
Ning’s protective abilities were far superior to Archon Silksnow’s. He had already mastered his own invulnerable form, the Shadowless form. It allowed him to become one with the world and for the world to become one with him. Injuring him would be very, very difficult.
“With this level of power… I now have a chance at acquiring treasures which are valuable enough to persuade an Autarch to help me out.” Ning was in high spirits. After countless years of cultivation, he had finally reached this new height.
After becoming a Daolord of the Fourth Step, Ning continued to sit by himself at the peak of the mountain, calmly and quietly training in the secret art known as the [Grand Diffraction Sword]. This was a secret art left behind by the Sword Hegemon, and was a Hegemon-level secret art! Even the current Ning was merely able to master two of the three stages of this art, as he was still at a somewhat lower level of insight than that of a Hegemon. For now, he was unable to master the third stage… and in truth, the third stage required so many treasures that not even a Hegemon would necessarily be able to scrounge up all the items necessary.
Hegemon Welkin, for the sake of training in a Hegemonic secret art, had wandered many realmverses and otherverses in search of the materials he needed… but to this very day, he was still lacking a few items. As a result, Hegemon Welkin had only mastered part of his Hegemonic secret arts!
Truly mastering Hegemonic secret arts was just too difficult. If Ning could master just two of those three stages, he would have reached the same level of power in secret arts as Hegemon Welkin had reached.