Book 38, Daomerge, Chapter 29 – Sword Shack
Within a private room inside Vastheaven Palace. The white-robed Ji Ning was seated alone. Waving his hand, he caused ten stones to fly towards him and then hang there in the air before him.
Crackle, crackle, crackle. Ning waved his finger gently, causing flames to appear around the ten levitating stones and blaze away against them. The stones slowly began to melt, with runic patterns beginning to gradually appear on their surfaces. Everything was as Ning willed it, and so the runic patterns joined together into a complex runic formation that caused the ten stones to transform into ten black loops. Ning then picked out a few other precious materials and infused them into the loops.
Ning had reached incredible heights in both the Dao of Fire and the Dao of Formations. As a result, creating simple Eternal treasures like these was incredibly easy for him. As for the materials he used, they were valuable enough to drive many Eternal Emperors mad with greed… but to Ning, he had literal mountains of them.
“Success.” Ning smiled. All ten bracelets glimmered with golden, silver, and violet lines that emanated strange ripples of power.
“Top-grade Eternal treasures. Given the ingredients I put into them, only Hegemons should be able to destroy them.” Ning then took control over the ten loops, sending his godsense into one of them.
Whoosh. A space that was ten thousand kilometers in size appeared before him. These loops were all estate-type treasures! However, they were limited in size to ‘just’ ten thousand kilometers because they were exceptionally stable.
“Let the earth form.” A vast earth began to emerge from the bottom of the space, quickly covering up all ten thousand kilometers of the estate-treasure.
“Let the mountains arise!” Soon, a vast mountain range thundered up from the earth, stretching upwards for nearly ten thousand kilometers.
In accordance with Ning’s will, this ten thousand kilometer world became primarily filled with mountain ranges as well as a few rivers.
“The Sword Shack.” Ning’s godsense incarnation waved a finger, causing an ordinary looking thatched cottage to appear within the largest mountain valley.
Another hour went past. By now, Ning’s true body had created a prayer mat which he put within the Sword Shack. The most valuable item in this entire estate-treasure was this prayer mat, something which even many Eternal Emperors would pine for as they cultivated. Cultivators would find that their hearts and minds would grow very calm as they sat there, and they would be able to train and meditate much more quickly than normally. Ning had emulated the Autarch’s stone dais in his creation of this prayer mat.
Although he wasn’t even close to the Autarch’s level of insight, his prayer mats still had roughly 5% of the effectiveness of the Stone Censor of Reunion; thus, they could be considered rare and valuable treasures.
“This world shall be a world of the Dao of the Sword.” Ning’s godsense incarnation swept the world with his gaze. Rumble… every single part of this world, including the mountains and the deep crevices, all became filled with sword-arts. There were many of them, all of them varied and complex.
These were the various sword-arts which could be discovered once one researched and dissected Emperor Mirrorsnow’s [Heartseal] sword-art. By now, Ning had reached a higher level of insight into the Dao of the Sword than Emperor Mirrorsnow ever had. He had first dissected all of the many sword-arts which were the underpinnings of the [Heartseal] sword-art, and then used the [Heartseal] sword-art as the basis for formulating eight even more profound sword-arts that were focused in different areas. Ning had now reached a high level of mastery over karma, giving him even greater powers of deductive reasoning. Given that he already had the Omega Sword Dao as his foundation, it was quite simple for him to formulate multiple Archon-class sword-arts.
If Ning merely wished to attempt the Daomerge via a single Supreme Dao, he would probably find the Daomerge to be much easier. However, his path was already set. Once it was set, there was no way to go back, no room for regret.
Besides… all things were relative. Ning’s path was that of the Omega Sword Dao. He had seen and experienced many things, and had also created multiple Archon-class techniques for the Daos of Space, Formations, Time, Karma, and more. This was why he was able to create so many Archon-class sword-arts with ease. If he had chosen to embark upon a simpler path, he would’ve been much more limited in his abilities and would never have reached his current heights.
“The Sword Shack is perfect for meditation, allowing one to train quite quickly.” Ning nodded. “Within the world of the Sword Shack, those who wish to acquire rare and exceptional sword-arts must first pass a few tests.”
“Alright. The Sword Shack will be more than enough to guide them on their paths.” Ning revealed a smile. Since he had chosen to accept disciples on behalf of his teacher, he naturally had to give these ‘fellow disciples’ some treasures.
It was guaranteed that he wouldn’t have much time to personally teach them, which was why he had put all this effort into creating the Sword Shack. This was a treasure that was far more valuable than the godsense legacy which Emperor Mirrorsnow had provided him when Mirrorsnow had taken him on as a disciple. Ning had a higher level of insight into the Dao of the Sword, after all, which meant that he also had better ways of teaching. He truly did hope that these ten ‘junior apprentice-brothers’ or ‘junior apprentice-sisters’ would be able to surpass what he was able to offer them.
It took Ning half a day to create these ten Sword Shack worlds, then another eighty-plus years creating five more Silver Sword Shacks. Thanks to his mastery of the Dao of Karma, Ning had the vague feeling that he would at most take on a maximum of nine disciples.
He had previously already taken on Bluecliff Xiaoyu, ‘Green Bamboo’ Yang Quding, and young master Skywind; three disciples in total! If he factored in the legacy he had left behind after becoming a Daolord of the Fourth Step, it was guaranteed that he would have a fourth disciple as well.
Ning had the feeling that he would at most take on five more disciples. This time, he would see if there was anyone who interested and intrigued him enough so that he would take them on as a personal disciple instead of an honorary disciple on behalf of his master. He wouldn’t try to force things; it would all be left up to luck and fate. If he found someone interesting, he would accept them.
These five Silver Sword Shacks were meant for his personal disciples. Thus, Ning spent much more effort on them. They were quite similar to the other sword shacks, but Ning used even more precious ingredients on the prayer mats, and also put much more effort into the creation of the formations. Every single one of the prayer mats was almost 20% as effective as the Stone Censer of Reunion! More importantly, the Silver Sword Shacks were not centered around Emperor Mirrorsnow’s [Heartseal] sword-art; rather, they were centered around Ning’s own [Omega Sword Dao].
But of course, he couldn’t simply transmit his Dao to them. Rather, he used many different sword-techniques to serve as guides, and also left behind imprints of the sword-intent of the five stances of his Omega Sword Dao.
“I’ll have given them all I can give. Even the ten ordinary Sword Shacks have been filled with all the foundations they need; with those foundations, they have enough to develop the Omega Sword Dao on their own if they have the talent.” Ning nodded. He himself had slowly gained bits and pieces of insights which he had gradually used to make up for the deficiencies in his foundations, then finally been tempered into developing his Omega Sword Dao.
After finishing the creation of his gifts, Ning waited for another nine million years before the grand event which spanned the entire Flamedragon Realmverse began! Everyone was filled with excitement.
“It’s said that many powerful Daolords of the Fourth Step have come to watch the competitions. Even if we cannot end up being apprenticed to Daolord Darknorth, we might be able to become apprenticed to other powerful Daolords.”
“There are even some legendary Eternal Emperors and other ancient figures who have come to watch. They might take the opportunity to accept a disciple as well.”
“That’s nothing! All three of the almighty Hegemons have come alongside Daolord Darknorth! To be apprenticed to one of the three Hegemons or Daolord Darknorth would be truly incredible.”
This event was simply on far too vast of a scale. The six major organizations in the Flamedragon Realmverse were normally in a state of balance, and so it was impossible for anyone save Ning to cause the entire realmverse to be thrown into such a state of upheaval. This sort of tournament and selection process was far grander than the ones which the Brightshore Kingdom utilized! But of course, there were many major powers and Emperors who were watching intently, wanting to take advantage of Ning’s event to perhaps choose a few genius disciples for themselves.
The nine major regions were each governed by Archon-class major powers as well as their subordinate Emperors. There was an orderly process that had been implemented.
However, the number of independent cultivators who came was simply enormous. Thus, the first year was just the pre-selection competition, where all those who didn’t reach a certain minimum level of power were washed out. Ning was naturally the one who set the ‘minimum threshold’, which was simply the ‘supreme World God’ level. This alone washed out 99% of the cultivators.
Next, he teleported the remaining elites into the Vastheaven Everworld, to a place Ning had personally created… the Stairway to Heaven! The next trial would be the process of ascending the Stairway to Heaven.
The Stairway to Heaven was unfathomably high. If you wished to advance farther along the Stairway to Heaven, you would have to go through one contest after another. One side had to be killed or surrender before the other side could advance.
The Emperors, Hegemons, and Ning all watched intently as the battles in the Stairway to Heaven proceeded.
“This kid isn’t bad. I want him.” One of the Eternal Emperors in the Dao Alliance laughed, then waved a finger gently as he caused a strand of Eternal power to reach out and evelope the World-level cultivator who had nearly died just now.
Ning and the three Hegemons sat upon the highest thrones, watching from afar. They didn’t move to interfere. Only Emperors were qualified to select disciples from those who were on the Stairway to Heaven… but even then, they could only choose those who had failed! Only Ning and the three Hegemons were permitted to choose successful competitors.
“Interesting.” Ning’s gaze pierced through the void, coming to a rest atop of two figures who were walking side-by-side through the titanic Stairway to Heaven.
“Darknorth, have you taken an interest in those two kids?” Hegemon Brightshore asked.
“I want to watch for a bit longer and see how they perform. I do quite like the two of them, though.” Ning revealed a smile, causing Hegemon Brightshore, Hegemon Netherlily, and Hegemon Windrain to all laugh. It must be remembered that there were several peerless geniuses on the Stairway to Heaven who had fused multiple Supreme Daos together. The two Ning were staring at had each mastered just a single Supreme Dao.