Book 41, The Daoguard Tower, Chapter 26 – Daoguard Tower
Although Ji Ning very much wanted to bring the Paragon of Pills out alive, he knew that there was a high chance that he would die on this trip to the Sacred Realm.
“Before going there, I need to first take a look at the cultivation methods these Sithe descendants used.” Ning had always been curious as to how the Sithe had trained their progeny! Their descendants were born and bred within Ning’s Chaosverse, making it impossible for them to train in true Sithe techniques. How, then, did the Sithe teach them? Did they just hand over normal cultivator techniques, or did they use other retrofitted techniques?
Whoosh. Ning willed his Sword Dao Domain to expand outwards, preventing anyone from scrying him. At the same time, he caused a dazed-looking blood-robed Emperor to appear next to him. This was one of the several Emperors and Hegemons Ning had captured.
“Greetings, Daolord,” the blood-robed Emperor said hurriedly with respect.
“Mm. I’m going to ask you a few questions. Be a good boy and answer them for me,” Ning said.
“Go ahead, Daolord. I’ll tell you everything I can,” the blood-robed Emperor replied obediently. Moments later, his gaze turned rather muddled as an illusion took hold of him. He didn’t even try to resist it, and even if he did Ning had reached a far higher level in the Dao of Illusions. The tiny strand of sword-intent which Ning had sent into his consciousness was enough to completely suppress his mind, ensuring that the following illusions worked without fail.
It was much like how ordinary mortals might find themselves going totally blank when they saw something that left them absolutely awestruck. They would briefly lose all capability of rational thought.
Autarchs who didn’t specialize in the Dao of Illusions were still able to take advantage of their overall overwhelming superiority to ensure that Hegemons would be unable to resist them. Trapping Hegemons within illusions was extremely simple… but of course, the stronger one’s Dao-heart was, the less effective this mind-suppressive technique would be.
“The Sithe truly are vicious.” Ning continued to flip through this Emperor’s memories. “They actually have forced all of their descendants to swear lifeblood oaths to obey all orders the Exalt gives them. That way, it’ll be extremely difficult for the descendants to break free from the Sithe, even if they wanted to.”
“Huh. They actually train in the exact same types of techniques that we cultivators use.” Ning shook his head. “Even the teaching methods are the same.”
He flipped through some of the memories he cared about the most, but didn’t find any pleasant surprises. Ning then began to review the many memories of the life which this Emperor had lived. This Emperor had been alive for so long and had so many memories that even Ning would need quite a bit of time to process them all. Ning primarily kept his focus on finding hints which would give him a better chance to develop a perfect cultivation path like the one the Sithe used. He wanted to find something that could let him continue to live.
If he could live, why should he seek death? Hope was reserved for the living alone, and so Ning had never given up hope.
He spent a total of three days flipping through this Emperor’s memories at high speed. Suddenly, a look of delighted shock appeared on Ning’s face. “So this is…”
Long, long ago, the Sithe had transmitted certain special cultivation techniques for their progeny to try out! However, many Sithe descendants encountered problems during the testing process. Some self-detonated and died, while others saw their truesouls destroyed. The Sithe tested out a total of nine different types of techniques, but all of them ended up in failure. Even though the ninth and final technique allowed one to become a Daolord of the First Step, upon actually becoming a Samsara Daolord the cultivator’s body would crumble and their truesoul would shatter apart.
From that day forth, the Sithe gave up their research into those nine unique techniques and started to pass down cultivator techniques to their children instead. Much like Ning, they trained in divine power and Immortal energy.
“Nine unique techniques?” A look of delight was on Ning’s face. “The ninth one in particular… it actually allows divine power, Immortal energy, and all other types of energy to join together, strengthening both body and soul. Only, it would fail once the practitioner actually became a Samsara Daolord.”
“Only the most supreme of Sithe could’ve created something like this. I wager it came from their Lord of Chaos, who repeatedly attempted to create a perfect cultivation technique suited for our Chaosverse.” Ning felt rather excited.
“Nine techniques in total, with each cultivator swearing an oath not to pass it down to anyone else? I have to find them.”
Ning felt a sense of excitement and desire for these techniques. The Sithe had failed in their nine special techniques, because they couldn’t truly and directly connect to the Dao of this Chaosverse. Ning, however, could! He might not be at the same level as the Lord of Chaos, but if he acquired those nine Sithe techniques… maybe, just maybe, there would be a chance.
He knew that the chance was extremely low, but he still wanted to give it a shot.
The Hegemons and Emperors who Ning had captured had all been alive for an extremely long period of time. They all knew of the nine secret techniques, but they had all painstakingly followed the normal route to becoming Emperors. Most of them hadn’t even been taught those special techniques! Three of them did know the techniques, but they had sworn oaths not to transmit them; if they attempted to do so, their truesouls would shatter and they would die.
Outside the hidden dimension.
The black-robed Ning was alongside the avatars of Autarch Titanos and Autarch Mogg. They had been searching for many years for a way to break into the hidden dimension. During this period of time, all the other Autarchs had also come over to give it a try, but none of them were able to lock onto the exact location of that hidden dimension.
“Autarch Titanos. Autarch Mogg.” Ning asked hurriedly, “Autarchs, have you heard of nine special techniques which the Sithe once bestowed upon their progeny?”
“We know of this, yes.” Autarch Titanos nodded slowly. “During the Dawn War, we actually fought against a number of Sithe descendants during our war against the Sithe. All of them were completely loyal to the Sithe and they fought like rabid dogs. Most of us were filled with bloodlust at the time and showed them no mercy at all. The only one who actually held back and captured a few of them was Autarch Skyfeeder. When she reviewed their memories, she came to learn that the Sithe had once transmitted nine special techniques to them, but all of those techniques were failures.”
The nearby Autarch Mogg nodded. “Most likely, the Sithe wanted to mass-produce a large number of Hegemons or perhaps even Autarchs! They could have their descendants swear lifeblood oaths to never rebel against them, after all. If they succeeded, they would be able to draw power from our Chaosverse… at which point, they could murder those descendants and steal their power, weakening our Chaosverse.”
“But they failed. As for those nine techniques, we wanted to find them to see if there was anything which might inspire us,” Autarch Titanos said, “But after the Dawn War concluded, we were unable to find any traces of Sithe descendants, and so we had nowhere to start.”
“What about the ones Autarch Skyfeeder captured?” Ning asked.
“All of them swore lifeblood oaths to never transmit those techniques. When we tried to forcibly rip the techniques out of their memories, their truesouls crumbled apart.” Autarch Titanos shook his head. “Given that we were unable to find any more Sithe progeny after this, we let the matter rest.”
Ning quickly understood. Sithe progeny were quite rare, and it was also fairly hard to recognize them at a glance. They looked just like ordinary cultivators, after all! The Autarchs couldn’t just spend their time wandering the cosmos and flipping through the memories of cultivators at random, right?
“The Sithe descendants.” Ning knew that many of the weaker Sithe descendants in the hidden dimension had never even heard of those nine techniques, much less studied them! The only ones who might truly know those techniques were the high-status Sithe who had been along for a long period of time. Those were generally at the Emperor level.
“I have to spend some time searching this hidden dimension and do my best to find those nine techniques,” Ning mused.
The Sacred Realm. The Elder Hall.
The blue-haired Exalt remained seated upon his throne, with a large number of Emperors and Hegemons gathered before him. Some of them were true Sithe, while some had been raised and trained over the course of countless years within this enormous hidden region. The Sithe had put quite a bit of effort into rearing these descendants, and their success rates were significantly higher than what the native cultivators were used to.
“Ever since the Dawn War ended… I, Exalt Bowenya, have been stationed in this dimension. I have been here for a very, very long time.” The blue-haired Exalt stared downwards, then continued slowly, “I feel a sense of deep attachment to this dimension, and I truly do not wish for trouble to occur here. In fact, I don’t even wish for a second war to begin against the cultivators.”
“However… that isn’t a choice I can make! Nor is that a choice any of you can make!” The blue-haired youth stared downwards at them. “A terrifying Daolord has arisen amongst the cultivators, and we have only one choice available to us… kill him!”
“If we can kill him, even sacrificing this entire dimension would be worth it.” The blue-haired youth let out a sigh. “I know that this place is home for many of you Hegemons… and I view it as home as well. I’ve spent the majority of my long life here. Life here has been peaceful and gentle. I don’t want to give it up.”
“But once this Daolord came here, our peaceful life came to an end.” The blue-haired youth’s voice rang out within the Elder Hall, and all of the silent Hegemons and Emperors began to emanate a murderous aura.
Some wanted to kill the Daolord for the great rewards they would be given… but most hated the fact that he had come here and embroiled them in war once more! They didn’t want to fight… but not even Exalts would dare to violate the standing orders of the most supreme Sithe!”