Book 38, Daomerge, Chapter 1 – First Autarch Meeting
Ever since the Jadefire Realm affair had concluded, the disciples of Vastheaven Palace had returned to their headquarters. Vastheaven Palace was now even more bustling than it had been in the past.
“Ji Ning.” Emperor Solesky called out as he hurried towards Ning’s residence. Emperor Solesky’s true body was now within the Dao Alliance’s Palace of Immortals as one of their members, and he was on quite good terms with Emperor Goldisle and Emperor Blackcloud.
“Big brother Solesky, what has you in such a rush?” The golden-robed Ning was fishing relaxedly by himself.
“Something big just happened!” Emperor Solesky’s eyes were huge and round as he whispered, “The Dao Alliance just received word and told me to inform you about this right away. Autarch Titanos has already left his estate and is heading towards the Flamedragon Realmverse. He could be arriving any moment now!”
“WHAT?!” Ning’s entire body trembled for a moment before he came back to his senses. He tossed down the fishing rod, jumped to his feet, then said frantically: “When is Autarch Titanos arriving and where?”
“We can’t be sure. His estate is extremely far away from us, but as an Autarch he moves incredibly fast. No one knows how long it would take him to get here!” Emperor Solesky continued, “He might appear in the next instant, but if he takes a few detours on the way it might take him a few chaos cycles.”
Ning felt his entire body tense up. Even though his Dao-heart was tremendously resilient, he still felt extremely nervous. “He’s finally coming.” Ning let out a long breath, his eyes filled with excitement. “I’ve waited so long and fought so hard. Finally, this day has come.”
Not even the Daomerge would’ve inspired such excitement in Ning. He truly was eager to be able to bring Yu Wei back to life and reunite with her. With his wife by his side, he would be more than satisfied with living a life of a hundred thousand chaos cycles. This would be far better than an endless life of loneliness.
“Right, right! The realmship.” Ning suddenly came back to his senses. “I need to go bring the realmship back and be ready for him at any moment.” Autarch Titanos needed Ning to give him the realmship in exchange for his help. It would be extremely awkward if Ning didn’t have the realmship on him!
The Terror Starsea. The Jadefire Realm. The Flamewing God remained trapped within the second hidden room, while Ning, Azurefiend, and Whitethaw were by its side.
“Flamewing,” Ning called out.
“Master,” Flamewing responded obediently. After spending five chaos cycles with Ning, it had grown accustomed to addressing Ning as ‘master’.
“I need to go out and handle some business. It shouldn’t take too long,” Ning said.
“You are going to come back, right?” Flamewing felt a strong sense of attachment towards Ning.
Ning couldn’t help but feel a bit of a headache. The legendary Chaos Primordial was like a child! All Ning could do was to say, “Don’t worry, I’ll definitely come back. Just take a quick nap. I’ll be back by the time you wake up. The next time I see you, it’ll be time for me to deal with those chains of yours.”
“Alright.” Flamewing nodded repeatedly.
“We’re off.” Ning immediately turned and left through the giant, ancient copper gate, with Azurefiend and Whitethaw flying out by his side.
Flamewing watched as Ning left. Once the great gate swung shut, it finally sat back down once again. However, it had long ago grown accustomed to loneliness, and so it quickly shut its eyes and entered a state of slumber once more.
A short while later, Ning, Azurefiend, and Whitethaw reached the other hidden room within the Jadefire Realm.
“So this is the Jadefire Realm’s formation-diagram?” Hegemon Azurefiend stared at the enormous flower-like formation-diagram on the altar.
“Yes. What, are you capable of understanding and mastering it?” Ning laughed.
“I don’t understand it at all. This formation seems very odd; it’s completely different from the other formations I’ve analyzed.” Hegemon Azurefiend shook his head.
Ning smiled. The Sithe had indeed embarked upon a unique path with regards to the art of formations, a path that was very different from the ones which cultivators walked. Without knowing the proper techniques, it truly would be extremely difficult to even understand how these formations worked.
Whoosh. Ning waved his hand, causing a stream of fire to instantly descend from him and form into the body of an Emperor-class golem. This was one of the many golems which Ning had acquired from the Sithe ruins in the Stone Hellephant Wall.
“This is the control technique which governs the flaming passageways and the outermost areas in the Jadefire Realm.” Ning tossed a jade slip over. “Hurry up and master it. Once you do, take control over the Jadefire Realm for me.”
“Yes,” the flaming Emperor-class golem said respectfully. Ning had only given it the most basic of control techniques. Now that Ning fully understood how the technique worked, it was easy for him to develop a new control techniques of his own. However, this technique could only be used to control the outer perimeter and the flaming passageways. The techniques governinig the prison regions were all quite complex. For now, not even Ning was able to tell them apart.
“Remember, there is a Hegemon within the flaming passageways.” Ning pointed at a tiny little dot located in one of the countless passageways. “Keep a close watch on him! Once he starts to run around, immediately activate some of the most powerful mechanisms and kill him, or at least trap him and send him into the prison regions.”
“Understood,” the Emperor-class golem responded.
“But of course, he’s so terrified of dying that I expect he won’t move around.” After making the necessary arrangements, Ning relaxed slightly. “This place is now in your hands. Azurefiend, Whitethaw, let’s go.”
Ning didn’t feel the need to hold things back from Azurefiend, as the lifeblood oaths binding a retainer were quite strong. He had to go back to the Flamedragon Realmverse, which meant he couldn’t continue to use a divine power clone to maintain the formation-diagram. As a result, his only option was to rely on his golems. Emperor-class golems were extremely intelligent, and it wouldn’t be hard for them to control some basic formations. It must be remembered that when major powers died, they’d often use formation-spirits, treasure-spirits, or powerful golems to control their legacy sites and await their successors.
Golems had infinite lifespans and would never betray their master unless they were forcibly bound. Thus, both the Sithe and the cultivators delighted in using golems.
After having finished with his other arrangements, Ning led the two in flying in the realmship and departing from the flaming passageways. The Jadefire Realm simply had far too many of those flaming passageways, and they were all extremely long. Even though the realmship had been repaired and was able to fly quite quickly, it still took them two days to pass through the flaming passageways.
“There’s the exit.” Ning was quite familiar with the formation-diagram and thus knew where the breaches in the Jadefire Realm were. It had been thoroughly wrecked, after all. Ning was able to easily exit while following the breaches.
Swoosh. The realmship charged through the flames, quickly discovering a giant, cavernous gap which it was able to exit through. After flying for roughly an hour and repeatedly changing directions, they managed to leave the Jadefire Realm.
“We need to get back to the Flamedragon Realmverse as soon as possible. Autarch Titanos could come at any moment.” Ning was so excited that his eyes were slightly bloodshot. This was the most important goal in his path of cultivation, after all.
“Hey kid! Calm down, there’s no rush.” A voice suddenly rang out by his ears.
Ning had just flown out of the Jadefire Realm. He couldn’t help but turn his head, startled, only to see a bald black-robed elder standing in the void in front of him. This bald old man had a pair of golden eyes and two fleshy antennae growing out of his head. The antennae waved at him in an amused fashion, while the old man had a smile on his face as well. Anyone who saw him would feel the urge to laugh.
Whoosh. The bald old man suddenly vanished into thin air.
“Eh?” Ning was startled. “Where did he go?”
“I’m right here,” the bald old man said merrily.
Ning turned his head, only to realize that the bald old man was standing right next to him. Ning couldn’t help but feel speechless. The old man had been able to enter the realmship without him even realizing it… this was a level of ability that vastly outstripped Ning’s imagination. It must be remembered that he was the master of the realmship, and that he was in complete control of it… and yet, this person had suddenly appeared right before him inside of it.
“Darknorth greets you, Autarch.” Ning hurriedly bowed respectfully.
“Azurefiend greets you, Autarch,” Hegemon Azurefiend said respectfully as well.
Whitethaw stood right next to Ning. He bowed respectfully as well, but he didn’t say a word.
Both Ning and Azurefiend were major powers of extraordinary power ability. They had seen far more than most, and they naturally saw right away how terrifying this bald old man was. For example… they couldn’t see any lines of karma binding this bald old man at all. It must be remembered that any cultivator who was alive would be linked to others by karma, but they weren’t able to sense any karma lines at all on the old man. This was absolutely inconceivable.
“Quite clever.” The bald old man chortled as he turned his gaze towards the Jadefire Realm. “The Seven Flaming Hells. Truly impressive. The Sithe truly were formidable, to be able to capture a Chaos Primordial and use it as their energy source for this facility and then absorb its power with such ease. Judging from that Chaos Primordial’s truesoul… it should already have a master. Is it you, kid?” The bald old man looked at Ning.
Ning was stunned. He had always heard of how incredible Autarchs were, but he never would’ve imagined that an Autarch would be able to simply glance at the Jadefire Realm and immediately know that there was a Chaos Primordial there, AND know that Ning was its master. No wonder even the mighty Sithe had ended up falling before the Autarchs and the cultivator civilizations. The Autarchs were simply incredible. They had all reached utterly inconceivable levels of power.
To Autarchs, even Chaos Primordials were nothing. They were capable of slaying the creatures with ease.
“Yes, I am its master,” Ning said.