Book 40, The Five Autarchs, Chapter 9 – The Autarchs
When Ji Ning smelled the aroma of the wine, he couldn’t help but pour himself a cup and taste it first. He then nodded and sighed happily, “What fine wine. My soul itself is uplifted by it; in fact, I can sense that even the disintegration of my truesoul slowed down for a brief instant.”
“Unfortunately, the disintegration of the truesoul is irreversible.” Autarch Skyfeeder slowly poured herself a cup, her voice tinged with regret. “Otherwise, our civilization would have given birth to a truly incredible figure. To tell you the truth, your rise is far more more important to our civilization than the rise of a new Autarch. You are, after all, the very first who truly mastered an Eternal Omega Dao. Sadly…”
“I can only blame myself for not having trained well enough,” Ning said with a laugh. “Perhaps if I was just a bit better, I would’ve succeeded in the Daomerge.”
“The path is always the most perilous for the first trailblazer,” Autarch Skyfeeder said. “There has never been anyone who has mastered an Eternal Omega Dao before you, and so there were no guideposts or experiences you could draw upon. If you did, you probably would’ve succeeded in the Daomerge.”
Ning was startled. Indeed. He had been so very, very close. If he had just a few extra months worth of time, he probably would’ve been able to find the flaws during his Daomerge and he would’ve been able to discover the true Eternal Omega Sword Dao before it ended. Alas, he had wasted three entire years on perfecting his sword-heart.
Ning let out a chuckle. “Well, there always has to be a trailblazer. To serve as the trailblazer for the Eternal Omega Daos isn’t a bad destiny to have.”
Autarch Skyfeeder smiled and nodded. “I just heard about you a short while ago. When I found out you were in the Blazesun Domain, I immediately sent the eight Domain Rulers out to search for you. I have something important to discuss with you, something which involves the very existence of all cultivator civilizations in the Chaosverse. We need your help.”
“Something involving the very existence of the cultivator civilizations?” Ning was startled. This sounded serious. “Is there something which is capable of threatening us?” Ning couldn’t help but ask.
“There is indeed.” Autarch Skyfeeder nodded. “Just now, I informed the other Autarchs of your arrival. They are all hastening here as fast as they can. When the others arrive, we’ll discuss this matter. It is a blessing that the cultivator civilizations have finally given birth to someone who has mastered an Eternal Omega Dao. Unfortunately, you failed the Daomerge. If you had succeeded, we would be even more overjoyed.”
“The other Autarchs?” Ning was rather shocked.
“The cultivator civilizations currently have a total of six surviving Autarchs. One of them is permanently stationed in front of the Sithelands and won’t be able to make it. The other four will all be coming,” Autarch Skyfeeder said.
Ning nodded slowly. Six Autarchs in total, with five of them coming to meet him. This was indeed a weighty affair they wished to discuss.
Autarch Titanos’ residence.
Autarch Titanos was almost always secluded away within his private chambers, analyzing the marvelous parts and artifacts which floated in the center. “Huh?” Suddenly, Autarch Titanos’ face turned pale.
“WHAT?!?!” The two fleshy antennae on top of Autarch Titanos’ head suddenly stood up straight, and his golden eyes bulged out. “An Eternal Omega Dao? Someone from our civilization has finally mastered an Eternal Omega Dao?!” Autarch Titanos was truly stunned. “And his name is… eh? Darknorth? Wasn’t that kid I saw a while ago also named Darknorth? Back then, he had merely improved his Omega Dao to the level of a Daolord of the Fourth Step. He actually mastered an Eternal Omega Dao?”
“This is huge! How did it happen that the old biddy Skyfeeder actually ended up being the one to find out and notify me?!” Autarch Titanos completely ignored the Sithe artifacts floating around in his room. He immediately charged outside in a fine rage, slamming open the door with a boom.
“Master.” The azure-robed youth immediately moved to welcome him.
“XIAN!” Autarch Titanos said furiously, “Have you heard about the Daomerge of that kid who once asked me for help? Daolord Darknorth?”
“Heard? Of course I heard.” The azure-robed youth nodded repeatedly. “This was major news which quickly spread everywhere! He failed his Daomerge, but he still managed to master an Eternal Omega Dao. Even the Lonely King of the Icepeak Army was killed by a single slash of his sword. He went out searching for Nuwa, and Realmslord Windgrace did everything in his power to help spread the word. He even asked us to help out! I told quite a number of my friends about this. By now, I imagine the major powers in most of the realmverses and otherverses all know about him.”
“BUT I DIDN’T KNOW!” Autarch Titanos stared at him, eyes bulging. “Why the hell didn’t you tell MEEEE!!!”
“B-but…” A baffled and miserable look was on the azure-robed youth’s face. “Master, didn’t you forbid me from disturbing you while you were analyzing those Sithe weapons unless something really big happened?”
“This IS big! This is literally BIGGER THAN ANYTHING ELSE!” Autarch Titanos exploded.
“Daolord Darknorth failed his Daomerge. He’ll probably die soon, leaving behind nothing more than a legend. Why would this be ‘big news’ to you, Master?” The azure-robed youth was completely puzzled. To him and the other Hegemons, this was a stunning piece of gossip, but in the end it was nothing more than that – gossip. He didn’t feel there was a need to bother the Autarch over it.
“For the love of…” Autarch Titanos felt helpless.
There were six Autarchs in total. One was permanently stationed in front of the Sithelands and thus didn’t know of Ning. The other four were almost impossible for Hegemons to find, which was why they didn’t know of Ning even though Ning’s legend had long ago spread far and wide amongst the Hegemons and Emperors.
The only Autarch who was in fairly constant contact with the Hegemons and Emperors was Autarch Titanos, but he had been researching in seclusion and his subordinates didn’t dare to disturb him. As a result, he didn’t find out either. It wasn’t until just a short while ago that the Autarchs found out about Ning, with Autarch Skyfeeder who was located within the Quintessence being the first to find out. She had notified the other Autarchs, and only then did they realize what had happened.
“…forget it.” Autarch Titanos shook his head. “I’ve really embarrassed myself this time. I am usually the first to find out about things, but this time I was the last.” As he spoke, he waved his hand and immediately warped through spacetime and departed.
He couldn’t help but feel angry. The Autarchs had agreed long ago to a division of labor, and Autarch Titanos had agreed to be the one responsible for maintaining contact with the Hegemons and Emperors; he was to serve as a the bridge linking the Autarchs to the rest of civilization. If anything major happened amongst the Hegemons and Emperors, news of it would quickly make its way over to him, and he would then notify the others.
This time, the news involved the rise of someone who controlled the Eternal Omega Sword Dao. This was news of incredible importance… but he ended up being the notified party rather than the notifying party. Of course he felt humiliated by this!
An empty, barren region. The stars and chaosworlds here seemed to have sunken into the silence of death. This entire region, which was the size of dozens of territories, was completely and utterly still. No life could rise here, nor would anyone dare to draw near here! If Hegemons did dare to draw near this place, they would sense the terrifying power of death seep into their bodies… and if they came any closer, they would die.
And so, this region was in a perpetual state of death and silence.
There was an enormous planet here that was roughly a hundred billion kilometers in diameter. This entire planet was a dark gray color, and an incredibly dense aura of death surrounded the entire planet. This planet was the source of the deathly energy which pervaded this entire region, and even the stones here had been completely broken apart into countless grains of dark gray sand.
Rumble… the earth began to tremble, and the endless aura of death began to change. The ground slowly began to turn fertile and full of life. Soon, countless blades of green grass began to appear on the surface of the earth as the power of life began to emanate from this planet, and the aura of death that surrounded this region slowly began to dissipate.
Rain began to fall from the skies, resulting in rivers, lakes, and seas appearing. The earth began to change, with mountains and valleys taking shape. Vegetation began to grow rapidly, with prairies and forests appearing.
This transformation from utter death to brimming life happened in just a single breath’s worth of time! In this single instant, time itself seemed to have somehow twisted. An incredibly long period of time seemed to have gone past, more than enough time to allow this place to become brimming with life.
Whoosh. A figure suddenly appeared on the surface of this planet. A sorrowful look was in his eyes, and he slowly shook his head. “I trained for very long this time. Why is it so difficult to gain insight into a Daobirth Essence from the line that separates life from death? If I mastered an additional Daobirth Essence, there would probably be a new transformation. Ugh. I failed yet again. Perhaps cultivators are only capable of mastering a single Daobirth Essence? Perhaps all the efforts of myself, Bolin, are for naught?”
“However… Skyfeeder just sent some good news. It seems our civilization has finally given birth to someone in control of an Eternal Omega Dao. His name is Daolord Darknorth, eh? A pity, truly a pity… how wonderful would it be if he had succeeded in his Daomerge? Still, no matter what, at least he has mastered an Eternal Omega Dao.” He took a single step forwards, causing space to ripple around him, then vanished without a trace.