Book 36, Daolord of the Fourth Step, Chapter 5 – Ji Ning Appears
Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. Arcs of sword-light flew around Ji Ning in an orderly process while growing increasingly powerful.
The Jindan chaos region inside of Ning’s body was currently making use of various treasures to establish a ‘sea of diffracted light’. This sea would in turn birth and hold the energy needed for the [Grand Diffraction Sword]. Like the nine novessence arts, this was a type of outside power! However, to train this technique was extremely difficult, requiring an extremely high level of insight into the Dao. Ning was finding it quite laborious and taxing to establish this diffraction sea.
The deeper the sea became, the more powerful his [Grand Diffraction Sword] would become! If he could truly master this Hegemonic secret art, he would be able to beat Archons senseless with casual strikes from it.
Fortunately, Ning’s mastery of the Dao of the Sword had no weaknesses. Although this secret art had high requirements in many different aspects of the Dao of the Sword, Ning was able to slowly master it. After spending over a thousand years, Ning finally finished establishing his diffraction sea. This sea of diffracted light was now more than thirty thousand kilometers wide, signifying that he had mastered the first two stages of the [Grand Diffraction Sword]. The very first stage of this technique was already comparable to the nine novessence arts. The second stage was much more powerful.
Ning rose to his feet, dispelling the mist which had surrounded the mountain for so long, then stared at the world about him. “Now that my secret arts are mastered, it is time to go back.”
“Focus.” Ning pointed from afar. Instantly, part of his will containing his sword-arts legacy shot out of his finger. Although this wasn’t the Omega Sword Dao, it was still something which would allow someone to establish the most stable foundation possible in the Dao of the Sword. It would allow cultivators to walk the path most suitable for them… and in this realm, where the highest skilled cultivators were merely Celestial Immortals, it would allow practitioners to become invincible with ease.
“I, Darknorth, meditated on the Dao in this place and became a Daolord of the Fourth Step here. It can be said that karma binds us together, and so I have left a fragment of my will. The one who passes my trials and acquires this fragment of my will shall gain my legacy and become my personal disciple, the fourth disciple under my tutelage.” Ning had already set up a number of trials within the mountain with ease. Anyone who came would have to first follow Ning’s trials as he set them up.
If someone wished to breach the trials through raw force? Even supreme Daolords could well die unless they had incredible life-preserving abilities!
Whoosh. Ning took a single step forwards, disappearing from the mountain.
Although Ning had spent over a hundred million years in seclusion, in truth all of those years had been spent within the Vastheaven Everworld.
Within Vastheaven Palace. As soon as Ning returned to his own residence, Emperor Solesky hurried over to meet him.
“Master.” Just as Su Youji called out in delight, she saw Emperor Solesky fly towards them. She hurriedly bowed: “Greetings, Emperor.”
“Step back for now,” Emperor Solesky instructed.
“Alright.” Although Su Youji was a bit puzzled, she immediately retreated.
After Su Youji left, Emperor Solesky said hurriedly, “Darknorth, why have you come back? I told you to go into hiding and not reveal yourself! Although no one in Vastheaven Palace would leak this information, we still need to be careful. There might be Eternal Emperors scrying on us from outside. If they see that your true body has returned, we’re going to be in serious trouble.”
“No need to worry that much, big brother,” Ning said.
“The situation is extremely grim,” Emperor Solesky explained. “I already told you last time… Archon Silksnow has arranged for many different organizations to track your whereabouts. Some of my friends, however, have told me that someone else just as powerful as Archon Silksnow is also trying to trace your whereabouts. For now, I haven’t been able to find out just who it is, but judging from the amount of manpower he’s been able to move, there’s no question that he’s at least as strong as Archon Silksnow.”
“It is the Aeonians,” Ning explained.
“The Aeonian race?!” Emperor Solesky was shocked.
“They aren’t just searching for me in the Dao Alliance, they are also searching for me in the Brightshore Kingdom,” Ning explained. “Hegemon Brightshore has warned me long ago.”
“Archon Silksnow is famous for being a savage madman. It is ‘normal’ for him to behave in such a frenzied manner… but why are the Aeonians searching for you?” Emperor Solesky was puzzled.
Ning smiled calmly. “Because of a treasure.”
“You aren’t worried at all?” Emperor Solesky was rather flabbergasted.
“Worried? Why should I be worried? They should be the ones to worry.” Ning smiled. He was at a different level of power now, and so he was also in a different state of mind.
He had been weaker than them in the past, and he didn’t have an invulnerable form, nor did he have any powerful protective treasures. He was constantly at risk of dying! Even his Lifeblood Dao-seal had been used up. Of course he had to be in hiding.
Now, he was much stronger and more confident in himself. Why would he fear Archon Silksnow or the Aeonians?
“You…?” Emperor Solesky was rather puzzled.
“Big brother Solesky, I’m planning to pay a visit to the Brightshore Kingdom. After that… I’m planning to attack the Sacred City of Silksnow and kill Archon Silksnow.” A murderous look flashed through Ning’s eyes. “It’s going to cause a bit of a stir, so I wanted to give you advance notice. No need to worry.”
“You are going to attack the Sacred City of Silksnow and kill Archon Silksnow?!” Emperor Solesky was stunned.
“Well. I might not be able to kill him, but I’ll uproot him and everything he’s ever established.” Ning’s eyes flickered icily. He was going to ‘kill a chicken to frighten off the monkeys’, warning any others that he was not to be messed with. Archon Silksnow was nothing more than a chicken for him to use in this plan!
In the coming days, there would be cases where he would occasionally reveal his strength. This would definitely surprise and puzzle many. Previously, for him to be able to rely on the [Heartsword] art and other art to just barely reach the Archon level was already a freakish display of strength in talent… but it was still within the realm of believability! But when he now revealed an even more terrifying level of power, it would truly stun everyone.
How could a Daolord reach such a level of power? This was completely illogical. It made no sense at all! And yet, it had happened. How? Perhaps the Hegemons and the other ancient cultivators would try to capture Ning and force him to hand over his secrets.
For the sake of personal power, anything and everything was possible. Ning didn’t want to go through all that trouble… and so he was going to go out of his way to show everyone just how hard he could hit! He was going to dominate Archon Silksnow in a display of absolute power! That way, no one would dare to plot against him. Even if they did want to learn some of Ning’s secrets, they wouldn’t make an enemy out of him without a good reason. No one in the Endless Territories, after all, would want to offend someone who could dominate Archon Silksnow!
“Archon Silksnow… you’ve searched for me again and again, unwilling to give up on your plans. Then… I’ll force you to give up, and I’ll make an example out of you in the process!”
“Darknorth, you… you plan to uproot his foundation?” Emperor Solesky could hardly believe it. “He’s one of the eight lords of the Sacred Cities! He’s so legendary for his savagery that he has numerous bloodthirsty Emperors serving as his retainers. All of the Emperors under his command are powerful, and it is said that he has other ancient Archon-level figures who are supporting him from behind. If you are going to act against him, that means you are going to have to fight all of those Emperors!”
“That’s what makes it fun.” Ning smiled. Archon Silksnow was no threat to him at all. He wanted to uproot Archon Silksnow’s entire foundation; that was what would truly stun everyone around.
“Darknorth, you are still just a Daolord!” Emperor Solesky’s anxiety was beginning to transform into rage. “Those Emperors have been around for an unfathomably long period of time, and Archon Silksnow stands at their very peak. He’s not going to be that easy for you to deal with!”
“Big brother.” Ning frowned.
“I know what type of temper you have, and I know that I can’t stop you. Fine. I’ll go with you,” Emperor Solesky said. “I might not be able to kill Archon Silksnow, but I’m skilled in staying alive. I should stand a good chance at fleeing with you in tow.”
Ning shook his head, then stretched his hand and waved a finger. Whoosh. A streak of sword-light appeared in the air, arcing out and brushing past Emperor Solesky. This caused Emperor Solesky’s face to turn pale, and he couldn’t help but tremble.
“B-but…” Emperor Solesky could hardly believe it. Wasn’t his brother just a Daolord? How could he be this powerful?
“Big brother, just wait for the news.” Ning turned and left.
The Brightshore Kingdom. The Palace of the Sword. A white-robed youth appeared right in front of its main doors and walked towards it.
“That’s Palace Lord Darknorth.”
“Isn’t that Palace Lord Darknorth?” The World-level cultivators and black-armored Daolords in front of the Sword Palace all stared in amazement at the white-robed youth who appeared before them. Ever since Ning had shocked everyone with his performance in the Waveshift Realm, he had become acknowledged as the Palace Lord of the Palace of the Sword.
“Greetings, Palace Lord.”
“Palace Lord.” They all bowed respectfully as he walked past, but the black-armored Daolords began to secretly spread the word. Archon Silksnow and the Aeonians were still searching for him, after all.
Soon, word was sent from the Brightshore Kingdom and began to spread out throughout the Endless Territories. Daolord Darknorth had appeared within the Palace of the Sword in the Brightshore Kingdom!
“He’s finally come out. Hegemon Brightshore was willing to help you out once, but I refuse to believe he’ll help you out a second, third, or fourth time. How could an exalted Hegemon lower himself to helping out a Daolord that many times?” Archon Silksnow immediately grew excited upon hearing this information, and his oily green eyes were filled with murderous malice. “This time… as soon as you leave the Brightshore Kingdom, I’m going to claim your life.”
“You’ve hidden yourself for quite some time, but now you’ve finally shown yourself. The only thing that little thief is capable of is running around and hiding. If we can find him, we’ll crush him with ease.” Within the Aeonian Kingdom, Emperors Anchen, Islehide, and Duug were filled with the desire to kill as well. They didn’t believe Ning would pose any risk to them at all.