Book 40, The Five Autarchs, Chapter 2 – Crazed
The realmship continued to fly towards the prison. Ji Ning could see that within the fiery field of ten billion kilometers, there were actually a series of other figures who were either seated in the lotus position or located within small buildings. These cultivators were scattered in the region around the Sithe Exalt, with even the closest maintaining a minimum distance of ten million kilometers.
“Daolord Darknorth,” Patriarch Treewind immediately explained, “The Earthfire Continent is extremely famous. Quite a few cultivators come here to visit, and every so often the imprisoned Sithe Exalt will provide them with some guidance.”
“Guidance?” Ning was surprised. “The Sithe are our mortal enemies. Why would it be so kind-hearted as to provide us with some guidance.”
“Can it perhaps be a trick?” Nuwa guessed.
Imperator Jade Rainbow laughed. “The Sithe Exalt has been imprisoned here for countless years. It is possible that to him, the occasional interaction with cultivators is a form of temporary release. How can there be any ‘tricks’ when pointing out the flaws in their Daos? If they were wrong in their Dao, they were wrong. Quite a few cultivators have already perfected their Daos thanks to this Exalt’s guidance.”
“Oh?” This was the first time that Ning, Su Youji, Nuwa, and many of the others within the realmship had heard such a thing. All of them felt that this really didn’t make much sense.
“Master,” Hegemon Azurefiend said, “There are other cultivators here. I’m afraid that they’ll immediately recognize you once you appear, and then word will probably spread out quite quickly. Is it possible that the Blazesun Ruler would head over here?”
Ning said, “Don’t worry; I wager that the Blazesun Ruler wouldn’t dare to come here on his own! It would take him time to summon four or five of the other Domain Rulers and then make it all the way over to the Earthfire Continent. All I wish to do is visit the Sithe Exalt; half a day will be more than enough! By the time the Blazesun Ruler arrives, we’ll have left long ago.”
Whoosh. Watched by many cultivators, the realmship finally descended upon this great continent. This entire region was covered by fiery light, but the pressure wasn’t all that great; the centermost region where the Sithe Exalt resided suffered the vast majority of the pressure.
“Which major power has just arrived?”
“He actually descended upon the Earthfire Continent via realmship. It seems an extraordinary figure has just appeared in our midst.” The scattered cultivators all stared towards the descending realmship. They watched as a large number of people flew out from within the realmship, with the leader being a white-robed youth who bore a black sheath on his back. Next to him stood the dazzlingly beautiful Su Youji as well as the honest-looking Protector Whitethaw. Nuwa, Hegemon Azurefiend, Hegemon Goodsong, the Flamewing God, Patriarch Treewind, Imperator Jade Rainbow, and the others all appeared next to them as well.
“That’s Patriarch Treewind!”
“It’s actually Patriarch Treewind and Imperator Jade Rainbow? I heard that they left this place alongside Daolord Darknorth. I even heard that the Blazesun Ruler had gone to Houwu City to hunt them down.”
“That white-robed Daolord at their head… his truesoul is slowly crumbling away. That should be the legendary Daolord Darknorth, right?”
“A white-robed youth who bears a black sheath on his back and who failed the Daomerge… Hegemon Goodsong is by his side, as is a dazzlingly beautiful red-robed woman… yes, that has to be Daolord Darknorth.”
“That almost certainly has to be Daolord Darknorth.”
The formerly-calm cultivators suddenly all grew excited. A violet-robed elder who was an old friend of Patriarch Treewind’s actually reached out to him mentally: “Brother Treewind, is that the legendary Daolord Darknorth?”
“It is indeed,” Patriarch Treewind said proudly.
“Respectful greetings to you, Daolord Darknorth,” the violet-robed elder hurriedly rose to his feet and bowed as he said these words.
The other Hegemons and Emperors present emerged as well and all bowed respectfully towards Ning: “Respectful greetings to you, Daolord Darknorth.”
Although Ning wasn’t the type to stand on formal ceremony, all of the cultivators he had encountered recently had spoken to him in this very respectful manner, and so Ning no longer tried to dissuade them. In fact, if he was excessively courteous to them, many of them would actually begin to feel nervous!
“Carry on, gentlemen. I’ve merely come to take a look at the Sithe Exalt,” Ning said.
“Understood,” the cultivators all assented.
The cultivators had all come out to greet Ning respectfully. Some of the other creatures residing here quickly noticed this behavior. This was an important place where the Sithe Exalt was imprisoned, after all; the Blazesun Ruler had naturally arranged for some of his subordinates to be permanently stationed here and watch over it.
“Daolord Darknorth?” Multiple creatures emerged. Some popped their heads up from beneath the earth while some manifested out of bonfires. All of them stared at the distant white-robed youth in astonishment.
“The Domain Ruler has been searching for Daolord Darknorth this entire time… who would’ve thought that he’d suddenly appear in the Earthfire Continent?”
“Notify the Domain Ruler right away.”
“Hurry up and notify the Domain Ruler!” None of the creatures dared to approach Ning, but since they were responsible for keeping a watch over the trapped Sithe Exalt, they naturally had ways to send information up the chain of command. They all sent word in almost the same instant.
As Ning arrived, he didn’t just attract interest from the cultivators and the other creatures; he also attracted the attention of the Sithe Exalt.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Explosions continued to blast away at his body. All of the power of the fiery light was concentrated here and continuously hammered away at him. These attacks all seemed quite ferocious, but in truth they were all quite different.
Some were like countless needles that stabbed into his body, piercing into his very soul and truesoul. They caused truly soul-tearing agony! Others were like knives that continuously cut away at his skin; they didn’t cause any real injuries at all, but the pain was excruciating! Still others carried illusory effects. In short, all of these attacks served to torment it to the extreme! Although the Sithe Exalt was dressed in gray armor, the exposed parts of his arm, neck, and face were all covered by strange formation-diagrams.
Beneath his feet, there was an enormous formation-diagram that was ten thousand kilometers in size which was identical to the ones covering him. The formation-diagram was imprinted on every part of his body, ensuring that he was perpetually trapped, suppressed, and tormented.
“Ahhhh!” He let out a screeching roar. He had three curved horns growing out of his head, and a pair of azure eyes that stared intently at the distant Ning. “DIE! EVERYONE SHOULD DIE!” He continuously raved, repeating these words over and over again.
He had been trapped here for far too long. He had been imprisoned here since their defeat in the Dawn War. The Autarchs had used their full power to set up this sealing formation-diagram, then established the most tortuous methods available to them to force him to suffer perpetual torment. The suppressive effects of the formation-diagram made it impossible for him to even commit suicide! There was nothing save endless torture, unless he was willing to lower his head and choose a humiliating path…
“Everyone should die…” he mumbled. He had repeated these words far, far too many times.
“All of them are craven and afraid to move too close to me.” He stared off into the distance, his azure eyes filled with malice. He truly did wish to squish these bugs and kill them all! Alas, the little bugs were all quite cautious. After having been sealed away, his attack distance had become limited to a mere million kilometers. After he had successfully killed a few of those ants, the rest had grown cautious and stayed at least ten million kilometers away from him.
“Respectful greetings to you, Daolord Darknorth!” The distant cultivators all bowed towards Ning with tremendous respect.
“Eh?” The Exalt’s attention was drawn to this. It had been a long, long time since he had seen these cultivators treated someone else so respectfully; the last time had been when the Blazesun Ruler had come to this place. Yes, the Autarchs also received this sort of reception when they came, but there was no way any other cultivators would. This was because the cultivators here consisted of Hegemons and Otherverse Lords; it was extremely hard for someone else to convince them to display such respect!
“Daolord Darknorth? Huh? He’s a Daolord of their civilization?” He was puzzled. “Daolords should be weaker than Emperors in their system, right? Why are so many of them being so respectful?”
Although word that Ning had mastered the Eternal Omega Sword Dao had spread like wildfire across the cultivator civilizations, the imprisoned Sithe Exalt had not been informed.
“That feeling he gives me… wait. Something’s wrong. That’s no ordinary Daolord.” He focused his gaze on Ning. “And… he’s failed his Daomerge? In their civilization, the Daolords who fail the Daomerge shall face certain death. This Daolord has failed the Daomerge, but they are all so respectful to him… and he gives me a strange feeling, almost as though he is a match for me…”
Suddenly, his eyes widened as an enormous suspicion swept through his heart like a tidal wave. “Can it… is he… yes. There’s no mistaking it. That’s the only possibility!”
“A Daolord who can inspire such respect from even Otherverse Lords and who is a match for even myself… there’s only one possibility!” His azure eyes suddenly blazed with incredible luminosity. “Can it be that their civilization has finally given birth to someone who is in control of an Eternal Omega Dao? Thankfully, he’s a Daolord who has failed the Daomerge. He doesn’t have much time left; otherwise, he’d be a major problem.”
“A Daolord who has mastered an Eternal Omega Dao, eh?” The Sithe Exalt quickly came to this conclusion solely based off the scene appearing before him. It was an easy guess to make. The only way a Daolord who failed the Daomerge could be so powerful as to eclipse even Otherverse Lords was if that Daolord was in control of an Eternal Omega Dao. There were no other possibilities!
“Haha… if they’ve given birth to one, they’ll probably give birth to a second, a third, a fourth. Haha… are we finally going to lose? I hope we do. Let’s lose and end it all! Everyone should die. Everyone should die!” he mumbled, his eyes turning even more crazed than before.