Book 40, The Five Autarchs, Chapter 19 – Three Thousand Chaos Cycles
Next to Ning was the elderly white-haired spirit of the Azureflower Estate. The old man watched rather eagerly. “Daolord Darknorth may have failed the Daomerge, but he gained control over the Eternal Omega Sword Dao and reached a higher level of insight. There is some time left before he dies and his Dao vanishes. Perhaps this time will be enough for him to accomplish Master’s final wishes?”
The black-robed Ji Ning stared at the Heart of Eternity floating in front of him and the seals covering them. Each time he broke through one level of seals, he was able to see the next level and get to work on it, and each time Ning gained a few new insights.
This was because each layer of seals represented much of the wisdom Autarch Awakener had gained over the process of devising the Nine Chaos Seals. Ning’s insights were not on Autarch Awakener’s levels, but he had such a high level of comprehension that when he put some effort into it, his talent combined with the Autarch’s stone dais and the Stonefire Pearl ensured that he could resolve the simpler seals with ease.
Seventy-five. Eighty. Eighty-five. Ninety…
Ning was taking more and more time to solve each layer of seals. Each layer of seals now gave him many new insights, making it increasingly difficult for him to solve them.
“There’s nothing else I can do.” Ning finally came to a halt. He had merely spent a bit over five thousand years in solving the first ninety-two seals, but he had then spent over a hundred thousand years without improving even slightly. The boost given to him by his Eternal Omega Sword Dao had done everything it could; he had blown through the earlier levels with ease, but now he would need to slowly accumulate new insights once more.
“Ninety-two levels… a total of ninety-nine.” Ning revealed a smile. “It seems I have a chance at solving it before I die after all. I really do want to see what Autarch Awakener hid in the Heart of Eternity, for him to have put so much effort into setting up these levels of seals. According to what the spirit of the estate said, the treasure inside is just as valuable as the Stonefire Pearl!”
Ning had analyzed many Sithe techniques and also mastered the Eternal Omega Sword Dao. These two different paths had allowed him to reach a very high level of insight, and they would be of use to him in breaking through the Heart of Eternity. He had only reached the ninety-second level, but he had more than ten thousand chaos cycles left to him. He still stood a chance.
After leaving the Flamedragon Realmverse, Ning and his family spent a total of over 1.2 billion years touring through the Chaosverse before finally reaching their first ‘target’, the Flamesea Thunderfalls.
Countless bolts of lightning came crashing down from the skies, so dense that it looked like a vast waterfall of electricity. Below the lightning was a layer of twisted spacetime, and when the waterfall of lightning came crashing down upon the twisted spacetime, the resulting collisions resulted in an enormous sea of fire having formed below. This ‘sea’ just lay there in the void, utterly dazzling to behold. As for the giant waterfall of lightning, it was over a hundred million kilometers thick and looked almost like a vertical pool of lightning.
This truly was a stunning and beautiful sight, but it was also a deadly one. The power of this place was so great that even the laws of the Chaosverse were bent and twisted. This place was perhaps a bit weaker than the Wellspring Sea of the Blazefire Domain, but it was mighty enough to heavily injure Hegemons and obliterate Archon-level Emperors.
Suddenly, a tiny little flying ship appeared in the void directly above the flaming sea of the Flamesea Thunderfalls.
“So this is the Flamesea Thunderfalls?” Brightmoon’s eyes widened as she stared at the vast sea of fire in front of her and the endless ‘waterfall’ of lightning above her.
“The Chaosverse truly is filled with endless marvels,” Subhuti sighed in amazement. “The tiniest amount of power from that thing would obliterate me instantly.”
“Come, let’s go inside and take a look,” Ning said. Boom! For the first time in their journey, Ning unleashed his Sword Dao domain, causing it to surround the realmship as they continued to fly forwards. Brightmoon, Yuchi Snow, and Ji Yichuan were all stunned as they watched themselves charge deep into the lightning waterfall.
Ning’s Sword Dao domain stretched out to a distance of three thousand meters, creating a true void which neither the lightning nor the fire could penetrate.
Whoosh. Ning sent the realmship sinking downwards, plunging through the lightning until it reached the point where the lightning clashed against the sea of fire. This was the place where the waterfall of lightning collided against the distorted spacetime at such an incredibly frenetic rate that the flaming sea was formed, something which was just as powerful as the lightning!
The natural power of the ‘Thunderfalls’ came from the primordial chaos and was truly limitless, and the same was true for the Flamesea. However, there was a limit to how far the power of the Flamesea Thunderfalls could extend. At a certain point, the power would dissipate and turn back into primordial chaos.
“This is the place where the Thunderfalls and the Flamesea meet, where the lightning transforms and gives birth to flame. Brightmoon, focus on your meditations. This place will benefit you greatly,” Ning said. “While you are training here, you must remain within my domain. You are not permitted to go beyond it.”
“Understood,” Brightmoon said obediently. Ning nodded.
In truth, he had long ago ensured that this domain of three thousand meters was completely separated from the outside world. There was no way anything outside could come inside, but it was also impossible for anyone inside to exit! He had given his daughter this stern warning simply because he wanted to rein her in a bit.
His daughter’s path was that of the Dao of Fire, and so Ning was planning to stay here for an extended period of time. His daughter was merely at the World level; his concern was that she wouldn’t be patient enough to stay in any one place for an extended period of time.
Ning sat down by himself in the void, assuming the lotus position and beginning to meditate silently. Yichuan and Snow relaxed within the realmship too, sharing some fine food and wine while enjoying the beautiful view in front of them. When they felt bored, they would enter the estate-worlds they carried within them to have some fun.
Su Youji and Ji Brightmoon both trained in the Dao of Fire, and so both of them went into meditation. Subhuti did the same, as he couldn’t help but be filled with questions when he stared at the twisted region of spacetime which actually produced fire when the water of lightning slammed into it. He meditated attentively, and as he did he gained many new insights.
The more you saw and the more of the Chaosverse you experienced, the better you would understand how the Dao functioned in its many myriad ways.
Ning trained the fastest of all. It took him just two years of carefully studying the Flamesea Thunderfalls for him to upgrade his Dao of Lightning to the Hegemonic level. The reason why it hadn’t been quite as fast as the Dao of Water was because Ning hadn’t previously accumulated quite as many insights in Lightning as he had in Water. However, his overwhelmingly high level of insight into his Eternal Omega Dao made it quite easy for him to reach Hegemony in any and all Daos.
After another twelve years, Ning upgraded his Dao of Fire to the Hegemonic level as well. Ning then turned his attention to the region of twisted spacetime and began to ruminate on the Dao of Space. However, the mysteries of space here were insufficiently incomplete, and so Ning didn’t spend much time on it. There really wasn’t a need; their next destination was the perfect place for them to meditate on the Dao of Space.
However, simply understanding these Daos was easy. To fully absorb them into his Eternal Omega Dao… now that would be the hard part.
Time flowed on. Ning and his family spent a total of ninety-six chaos cycles in the Flamesea Thunderfalls. Only when everyone felt that there were no further insights they could gain did they depart from this place and head towards their next destination. During the past ninety-six chaos cycles, most of them had improved dramatically. Ning had managed to successfully infuse his Dao of Lightning and his Dao of Fire into his Eternal Omega Sword Dao.
They continued their long excursion, going to many dangerous places where they would spend extended periods of time in meditation. They merely spent twenty or thirty chaos cycles in some places, while they spent over a hundred chaos cycles in others.
These places were all quite different. Some were truly dangerous, while others were simply rather unique. In the blink of an eye, more than three thousand chaos cycles had passed since they had departed from the Flamedragon Realmverse.
During this period of time, Daolords Su Youji, Subhuti, and Windfiend had all improved dramatically. Su Youji could sense that she could attempt the Daomerge whenever she wanted… but of course, she wasn’t certain as to whether or not she would succeed.
Subhuti and Windfiend both were Daolords of the Fourth Step. Visiting all these places had been of tremendous benefit to them, as was the guidance on the Dao they had received from Ning and Hegemon Azurefiend.
And of course… there was Brightmoon! She had now visited many places which not even Otherverse Lords would have a chance to visit, places which fully displayed the mysteries of how the Dao worked in keeping the Chaosverse operating. Frankly speaking, Brightmoon had been given far more opportunities than Ning ever had… but alas, she simply hadn’t suffered enough setbacks or danger, and her talent was inferior to Ning’s as well. She was just barely able to master a single Supreme Dao, at which point Ning stopped trying to force things.
Next… Brightmoon used her Supreme Dao of Fire to become a Samsara Daolord, and became a Daolord of the Third Step after a fairly brief period of time! It was fairly easy for Daolords to break through in the early stages, after all.
“Y’know, if Master put this much effort into training any of the true geniuses of the Flamedragon Realmverse, I guarantee that they would probably all reach the level of fusing multiple Supreme Daos together,” Hegemon Azurefiend whispered to Su Youji. “Our little lady’s just not that talented. Even if she succeeds in the Daomerge, she won’t be able to become a Hegemon. Her father’s comparable to the Autarchs!”
“She’s his daughter. Of course he’s going to pour all of his effort into training her. Is he supposed to do the same for strangers?” Su Youji said.
Ning truly did put as much effort as he could into training his daughter. He was also extremely studious in guiding his master Subhuti, Windfiend, Su Youji, and his personal disciples. He also provided some tips to Hegemon Azurefiend from time to time.
As for others?
They might be incredibly talented and have had incredible experiences… but what the hell did any of that have to do with Ning? Ning couldn’t be bothered with them, much like how none of the Autarchs had popped up to guide Ning in the past, even though he was clearly an incredible talent. Cultivators were self-interested at times, after all.