Book 38, Daomerge, Chapter 25 – The Dao of Karma
“Let’s go.” Ji Ning rose to his feet, departing the teahouse with Azurefiend, Whitethaw, and Flamewing by his side. As they walked, their forms gradually dissipated into nothingness. None of the ordinary mortals in the teahouse noticed a thing at all. They continued to live their ordinary lives.
Whoosh. Ning and the other three appeared out of nowhere in the void outside this chaosworld.
“So it’s all over? You don’t need to train any further?” Azurefiend asked.
“Yes.” Ning nodded. “I’ve already succeeded in training in the Dao of Karma. Everything has been completed, and at my current level of mastery of the Dao of Karma I can subconsciously sense that even if I trained in other Daos, it would be of no use in attempting the Daomerge for my Omega Dao.”
Ning had trained for nearly 38 chaos cycles after acquiring the Stonefire Pearl. Given that his Primaltwin had constantly been under 100x temporal acceleration, he had actually spent over 3000 chaos cycles training.
The Dao of Wind had been completed incredibly fast, while the Dao of Time had cost him over 300 chaos cycles. The rest of the 3000-plus chaos cycles had all been spent on the Dao of Karma.
The Dao of Karma was legendary for its complexity. Generally speaking, Eternal Emperors would at most learn how to follow karma lines to slay all of an enemy’s clones and avatars. Their mastery of karma would be limited to simply that. Of all the Hegemons and Emperors which Ning had met, Emperor Waveshift had reached the highest level of insight into ‘karma’. Emperor Waveshift had organized all of the karma lines surrounding him in a very neat and orderly way, ensuring that he was no longer bound by it and instead was in control of it and able to make use of it. However, Emperor Waveshift had actually merely reached the Archon level of mastery in the Dao of Karma.
Ning had the Autarch’s stone dais and the Stonefire Pearl, as well as incredible powers of comprehension, but it had still taken him nearly 3000 chaos cycles in order to reach the Archon level. This was a testament to how difficult this Dao was.
Once one mastered the Dao of Karma, one would surpass even Hegemons in understanding how all living things were connected to each other.
“Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, Earth… the Five Elements. They are supported by the Storm of wind and thunder, while Spacetime envelopes them all. Formations and Illusions merge them into one whole, while Karma serves as the heart.” Ning nodded. Nine represented the apex of numbers, while ten represented perfection. After mastering the Dao of Karma, Ning understood this concept. Now that he had reached the apex in these ten paths, he had already reached the level of full perfection.
He could train more in other Daos, such as the Dao of the Saber, Dao of Snow, or the Dao of Ice, but it would be of no use. They wouldn’t allow Ning to gain any more fragmentary insights into the Omega Sword Dao at all.
“Karma.” Ning stood there in the void outside the chaosworld, gazing at everything around him. He had just mastered the Dao of Karma, and he was attuning to the many new insights into the universe it was bringing him. He was gaining many new ideas into the Omega Sword Dao. Although they weren’t systemized, they would be of use to him when the Daomerge came.
Ning turned to scan the surrounding area. Spacetime could no longer bar his gaze, and he saw countless distant chaosworlds, planets, and even everworlds. He was able to see through over a hundred territories around them.
He saw the grass emerge from the dirt of a distant world…
He saw how a mortal lived for a hundred years, then returned to the embrace of the earth…
He saw a mortal embark upon the path of cultivation, completely focused on becoming an Immortal…
He saw monsters struggling in terror, fearing that they would be found and slain by cultivators…
He saw Diremonsters claim hegemony over a region, devouring and massacring countless humans within it…
He saw aliens propagate to become legion in number, becoming the rulers of a land…
These were all things which Ning had personally experienced and witnessed at close range during the past twenty chaos cycles.
He had seen many powerful Fiendgods and Immortals wander the lands unimpeded. He had seen ‘mighty’ World-level cultivators who rose to dominate their respective chaosworlds and become the undisputed overlords of them. He also saw them battle against other World-level cultivators for supremacy, with some dying in those battles.
He saw World-level cultivators focus on their cultivation. He saw Samsara Daolords experience all sorts of tempering experiences. Some fearlessly went out adventuring and finally attempted the Daomerge. Even though they all perished, they continued to charge towards the Daomerge like moths towards the flame. Every so often, a few would succeed and gain Eternity for themselves, but perhaps 99,999 out of every 100,000 would fail the Daomerge and perish.
“Everyone from ordinary mortals to Samsara Daolords have their own paths,” Ning murmured softly. “This is the nature of the cultivator civilizations.”
“How wonderful.” This was how Ning summarized it all. He liked how the cultivator civilizations worked. Thank goodness they had won the Dawn War! Otherwise, all living beings would’ve been enslaved by the Sithe.
“All living beings within the cultivator civilizations should feel gratitude towards the Autarchs.” When Ning thought of this, he could immediately but subconsciously sense that all living beings were connected to the Autarchs by karma. They all owed the Autarchs. However, the Autarchs were so overwhelmingly powerful that karma had no power over them any longer.
“I hope the cultivator civilizations will be able to survive and thrive unto eternity. I hope we won’t be destroyed by the Sithe or other similarly terrifying groups.” Ning then smiled. “Not really for me to worry about, though. I’m not even as strong as Flamewing right now.”
Ning put this out of his mind and began to make the karma lines around him more orderly. He hadn’t been alive for too long, and so although the karma lines around him seemed complicated he was able to realign them and smooth them out in short order.
“Eh? Two knots?” Ning frowned upon realizing that there were two ‘knots’ in his karma. If he didn’t solve these knots, he would definitely fail his Daomerge!
The first knot was the lifeblood oath he had once sworn. Prior to attempting his Daomerge, he had to accept ten honorary disciples on behalf of Emperor Mirrorsnow. This was something he was bound to do by his lifeblood oath, and Ning knew of it.
The second knot was what truly surprised Ning. It was his promise to slay Emperor Melobo.
When Ning had first left the Three Realms and was merely an Elder God, he had visited the Allgod Estate. He had been bestowed with the [Novessence Thunder] technique by the formation-spirit, which was one of the nine novessence arts. As the formation-spirit had put it, it was ‘sowing the seeds of good karma’ with Ning. It had said to Ning: “I won’t force you to do it; I merely hope that you can help,” and had also said that “I’m just planting seeds to sprout in the future. I don’t expect all of them to blossom.”
Back then, the formation-spirit would never have dared to imagine that one of its many seeds would blossom in such a manner. It only hoped that if Ning did become powerful in the future, that he would slay Emperor Melobo.
Ning had felt this to be an impossible and impossibly distant task, but he had still been rewarded the [Novessence Thunder] technique.
“I’ve now reached the Hegemonic level of power; killing Emperor Melobo would be extremely simple,” Ning mused. “Indeed, now that I think back to it, I do owe both the formation-spirit and Daolord Allgod! During my Daomerge, even the slightest of karmic debts can cause me to be negatively impacted. An Omega Daomerge cannot accept even the slightest of such impacts. It would definitely cause me to fail.”
“Right. I absolutely must complete these two tasks before the Daomerge.” Ning nodded. “It’ll take time for me to track down Emperor Melobo, and it’ll also take time for me to accept ten honorary disciples,” Ning mused. “I’ll go visit Realmslord Windgrace first, then take care of these two matters.”
“Sorry for the trouble, Hegemon Brightshore.” Ning had come to ask Hegemon Brightshore to assist him in tracking down Emperor Melobo. Hegemon Brightshore was the number one Hegemon of the Flamedragon Realmverse, after all, and he was skilled in the Dao of Spacetime. He also had a strong web of relationships. It would be easy for him to locate Melobo.
“A minor matter,” Hegemon Brightshore replied casually.
“Please keep this secret. Don’t let Melobo find out and then flee the realmverse,” Ning said.
“Don’t worry. I’ll handle this matter personally and will ensure that no mistakes happen. If you don’t mind, I can help you kill him,” Hegemon Brightshore said.
“It would be best if I did it personally,” Ning said.
“Mm, very well. Go ahead and visit Realmslord Windgrace. By the time you are back, I’ll have handled everything.” Hegemon Brightshore was quite confident. He knew that Emperor Melobo was definitely within the Flamedragon Realmverse. Where, exactly? He didn’t know, as it was difficult to find where an Emperor was hiding… but if Hegemon Brightshore personally investigated this matter, he would definitely be able to find Melobo within a hundred thousand years.
After having asked Hegemon Brightshore for help, Ning, Flamewing, Azurefiend, and Whitethaw rode the realmship out of the Flamedragon Realmverse and towards the Hiddenfiend Realmverse.
These two realmverses were fairly far away from each other. The realmship needed to engage in extremely long-distance spacetime teleports, and it needed as much time as was needed to boil a kettle of tea in order to build up energy between each teleport.
Sixty thousand years later. Whoosh. A realmship suddenly appeared from a spatial tear within the void outside the Hiddenfiend Realmverse.
“And here we are.” Ning stared at the world outside the realmship, his eyes lighting up. This was his first time visiting another realmverse. In contrast, Whitethaw, Azurefiend, and Flamewing were all quite calm. They had all visited many places; Ning was the only inexperienced one present.
“Mm. This place is fairly close to the Blacksun. A single teleport will take us there.” Ning had already acquired a star map of the Hiddenfiend Realmverse prior to arriving.
One more spacetime teleport later, Ning found himself staring at a beautiful and distant star. To be precise, it was an absolutely enormous war machine that was riddled with channels and canals that made up complicated rune-paths. The Blacksun was a terrifying war machine that was capable of changing the destiny of entire realmverse sectors. Just by looking at it, Ning felt an ancient aura of power sweep across him, pressing down upon him like an invisible threat.
“Fellow Daoist Darknorth.” A voice rang out, followed by a chubby youth appearing on the Blacksun who stared in Ning’s direction. Although they were over a hundred billion kilometers away, the two were able to see each other with ease.
“Hegemon Wuye.” Ning put away his realmship.