Book 40, The Five Autarchs, Chapter 20 – Greatland Planet
Ji Ning was definitely going to do absolutely everything within his power, acquiring treasures like the Daomerge Firecloud Flower, to give his daughter Brightmoon the best possible chance at the Daomerge. If she succeeded, before he died Ning would even ask an Autarch to help find an otherverse for his daughter, letting Brightmoon become an Otherverse Lord! This wasn’t completely unheard of; the lord of the Church of Annihilation, for example, wasn’t a Hegemon.
In this matter, Ning didn’t feel the slightest hint of shame at all. Of course he had to look after his daughter’s interests!
In the indescribably distant Wildsky Realmverse, there was a marvelous place known as the Greatland Planet. Ning was training atop this planet, while Brightmoon, Ji Yichuan, Yuchi Snow, Su Youji, the Flamewing God, Subhuti, and Windfiend had all temporarily left to go exploring the area around it.
The reason why the others didn’t stay here was because this place, the Greatland Planet, was quite special. This was a vast planet that was over a hundred trillion kilometers in size. This was the largest planet in all the Chaosverse, and it was formed by an incredibly dense wave of Earth-element energy! The amount of power contained within this single planet was actually comparable to that of the entire Wildsky Realmverse! It was vast, dense, and teeming with life, all thanks to the almighty power of Earth which flowed through it…
Ordinary cultivators would find it impossible to train here, as they would find their mind and body disturbed by the overwhelming power of the place!
This planet was also surrounded by a layer of deep yellow clouds which were so thick and dense, one had to at least be a Hegemon in order to bypass! Thus, there were virtually no cultivators here at all. Although this vast world had given birth to countless living beings, including many humanoids. These humanoids were quite talented, strong, and attuned to the power of the earth, and many were even born with the ability to control the earth.
However… there was no way for them to actually cultivate! This was because all other Daos had to give this place a wide birth. Even the Dao of Earth itself was hidden deep within the recesses of the world. Even Hegemons would find it very hard to train in the Dao of Earth here. Only someone who was at as high a level of enlightenment as Ning would be able to scry the many secrets hidden deep underground. How could the ordinary mortals here possibly embark upon the path of cultivation?
“I’ve completed the Dao of Earth as well.” A white-robed youth was seated on a patch of grass in front of a thatched cottage within a mountain gorge. A smile was on his face as he reached out with both hands. Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Swords began to appear out of nowhere, numbering five in total.
The first sword was covered with a layer of flowing, watery light. The second gleamed a faint metallic color, appearing to be indescribably sharp. The third emanated a green aura of life and vitality. The fourth was surrounded by tendrils of flame which gave it utterly explosive power. As for the fifth and final sword, it was covered with a layer of deep yellow light and it seemed weighty beyond measure.
“The Water Sword Dao, the Metal Sword Dao, the Wood Sword Dao, the Fire Sword Dao, the Earth Sword Dao.” Ning nodded. “The Five Elements are now complete. As I thought, it has been somewhat beneficial to my truesoul.” However, Ning also noticed that his improvements in the Dao were suffering from diminishing returns when it came to nourishing his truesoul. This was particularly true now that he had many truesoul treasures; to further slow down the rate of crumbling was becoming increasingly difficult.
“I’ve infused the Dao of Lightning and the Five Elements into my Eternal Omega Sword Dao, making for six in total. The Dao of Space should be finished soon as well.” Ning felt a sense of pressure, because infusing the Dao of Space had been noticeably more difficult. He had long ago reached Hegemony in the Dao of Space, but infusing it was extremely difficult. As for the Dao of Time and the Dao of Karma, those would be even more difficult and would definitely require more time.
“Great Immortal, please save my grandson!”
“Great Immortal, I beg of you, save my grandson! So long as you save him, I’ll do anything you want.”
A faint sound could be heard coming from afar. Ning frowned, glancing past the material obstruction of the mountain to see an elderly white-haired man who was on his knees in front of a cliff.
There were no cultivators in the entire Greatland Planet, and so Ning didn’t see the need to set up any complicated wards to surround his training canyon. He had merely set up something to prevent people from coming in.
“Is he that kid’s great-grandson?” When Ning saw the white-haired elder, he immediately remembered something from two hundred years ago. Back then, there had been a kid who had accidentally fallen down from the cliff and into the gorge where Ning had been training. Ning’s wards were quite benign, but for an ordinary child to fall from that height spelled almost certain doom. Ning had moved to save that little child, who had immediately kowtowed and offered thanks to the ‘Great Immortal’ who had rescued him.
Ever since the child had grown up, he had often come to the mountain to offer sacrifices and pay his respects to the ‘Great Immortal’. Ning really didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry, especially when the kid ended up bringing his own children and grandchildren to do the same!
Ning was able to immediately recognize this white-haired elder as the great-grandson of the original child.
“Ordinary mortals only live for a mere century. Multiple generations of your family have knelt down towards me… and today, I just so happened to finish some of my training. I suppose it can be said that there are karmic ties between us.” Ning took a single step forwards and appeared at the top of the cliff.
The white-haired elder was still on his knees, calling out for mercy. Suddenly, he froze and stared in amazement as a white-robed youth appeared in front of him. The youth was ephemerally graceful and was clearly no ordinary mortal.
“Great Immortal!” The white-haired elder was incredibly excited. “I beg of you, save my grandson!”
“Kid, your hair’s gone all white.” Ning chuckled. “Your grandson, eh? Is that him over there?” Ning was able to see the karmic ties swirling around the elder and was thus immediately able to locate his grandson.
Ning waved a single finger, causing the white mist surrounding the cliff to suddenly condense into an image of a swarthy, muscular youth dressed in tattered clothes within a mine. He was carrying a load of minerals on his back; clearly, he had been working as a miner. The area around him was surrounded with ore, and an overseer was next to him with a whip in hand.
“That’s Rocky! That’s my grandson Rocky!” the white-haired elder said excitedly. “That’s the Mine of Doom! No one who goes in there ever survives to come back. Great Immortal, please save my grandson!”
“No one who goes in can survive?” Ning stared at the images in the mist, then chuckled: “You underestimate your grandson.”
Ning was able to see the youth’s future. If Ning didn’t interfere, the youth would slowly rise to power within the mines and become a powerful expert. He would be extremely hard-working and devoted to his training, and would reach the apex of what little ‘cultivation’ was possible within this planet. In the end, he would die a lonely death.
Although it was impossible for the beings in this planet to engage in true cultivation, there were many who were born with natural power over the earth and who would thus be capable of some simple cultivation techniques… but even at the apex of power, they wouldn’t be even close to the Earth Immortal level of power.
“I daresay your grandson has the unyielding heart of a true cultivator,” Ning chuckled. “A pity that it’ll all go to waste in a place like the Greatland Planet.”
As Ning continued to view the youth’s past and future, he began to take a liking to the kid. In fact, Ning started to consider taking him on as an apprentice… and just a short while later, Ning settled on making the kid his eighth apprentice.
“But there’s no rush. I should let him experience some more difficulties in life first. In the future, his Dao-heart only became decent after he became lonely in his invincibility,” Ning mused.
“Go back and live your life. Don’t worry, I promise your grandson will come back alive and perfectly well. You’ll be able to see him one last time roughly ten years from now,” Ning said. The beings in this world were at most able to live a bit over a hundred years. Ning wasn’t going to make any alterations, but the old man was still going to live a long life.
“Y-y-yes, Great Immortal!” After witnessing the incredible abilities of the ‘Great Immortal’ and hearing his promise, the white-haired elder became hopeful and energetic. He returned to his own home and began to wait for his grandson to return.
Ning began to watch from afar as this ‘disciple’ continued to grow and develop. Finally, the day came.
“I’ve wandered the four corners of the earth and have visited many countries, defeating all who sought to challenge me. Is this truly it?” A swarthy man dressed in hemp clothes was standing at the peak of a mountain, staring at the vast world below him. He had a thick saber on his back, and a look of loneliness was in his eyes.
After becoming truly invincible, he felt a sense of extremely uncomfortable loneliness. He truly did wish to find a good opponent, but he had been unable to do so.
“Perhaps I should find a good place to bring my life to an end.” The swarthy man shook his head.
“Haha…” A loud laugh rang out, followed by a white-robed youth appearing from nowhere.
The swarthy man stared in shock. Given his control over the earth and his current level of power, how was it that someone could appear next to him without him even noticing?
“You…” The swarthy man stared at the white-robed youth. He suddenly thought of a painting his grandfather had once owned and forced him to kowtow towards. Supposedly, the person in the painting was the legendary ‘Great Immortal’ their clan often spoke of.
“Great Immortal?” the swarthy man said hesitantly, not quite believing it. He then drew his saber with a clanging sound as he stared at Ning: “Senior, you might be more powerful than me… but I’d still like you to give me a few pointers in combat.” After speaking, he delivered a furious saber-chop towards Ning, confident that his control over the saber was enough to ensure that he could bring it to an instant halt without harming the person in front of him.
Ning simply chuckled.
The swarthy man suddenly flew backwards, almost as though time had just gone backwards. Even his saber flew back into his sheath, and he even said in reverse: “Em naht lufrewop erom eb thgim uoy…”
This bizarre scene caused him to be truly stupefied and dazed.
“Are you willing to be my apprentice?” Ning asked.
The swarthy man was indescribably excited. He immediately fell to his knees: “Stonepool kowtows to you, Master.”
Ning nodded. “From this day forth, you shall be the eighth disciple under the tutelage of myself, ‘Darknorth’. If there are any affairs in the mortal world you wish to wrap up, hurry up and take care of it. After doing so, you shall accompany me in departing from this planet… and you shall have the chance to face the true world of cultivation.”
And so, Daolord Darknoth’s eighth disciple, ‘Stonepool’, formally entered his tutelage.
“It is time for me to leave.” Ning raised his head to stare into the skies. He had the vague feeling that something just happened, and that he would no longer be able to continue this relaxed life.