Book 42, The Five Truncheon Chapters, Chapter 13 - Deathless
Hawkfang had created this technique in order to take revenge upon the Sithe. He wanted to take revenge for both his father's sake and his own sake, and for the sake of the countless deceived Sithe descendants! They were viewed as disposable cannon fodder by the true Sithe, while even his father had been forced to take part in the war.
"The two of us, father and son… we certainly share a sorry fate." These words continued to stab against Hawkfang's heart like knives. He would never be able to forget that look on his father's face. This was why he needed revenge.
He wanted to create this technique, then find a way to deliver it to the cultivators! He felt certain that the cultivators would be able to use it to dramatically increase in power, producing many new Hegemons and even new Autarchs. That way, the Sithe would be defeated.
But of course, if the Sithe found out that he was creating this technique, he would be doomed! Thus, he had carried out all of his experiments upon the beings who resided within his own estate-treasure. As a Hegemon, he had many estate-treasures which were filled with countless living beings. He had these beings test out his cultivation techniques, and many ended up dying due to errors in the technique. He had tested them time and time again, then remade them repeatedly.
His talent was put to full effect here. He quickly mastered the [Mortal Chapter] and the [Fiendgod Chapter]. The first was comparable to pre-Celestial Tribulation levels of the Three Realms, while the second included everything post-tribulation to the Elder God/Ancestral Immortal level.
Although it was different from the way in which the nine techniques operated, it was successful and had a similar effect to Ning's own azureflower seal technique.
The [World Chapter] covered World Gods and Chaos Immortals. It was clearly far more difficult, and it took him a great deal of time… but in the end, he succeeded once more.
The [Daolord Chapter], however, was even more difficult. It must be remembered that even the finest of the nine special techniques only allowed for cultivators to safely train to the World level. Once one became a Daolord of the First Step, the body would crumble apart and the truesoul would be destroyed.
Hawkfang spent untold aeons working on the [Daolord Chapter], and to this very day he was still working on it. Alas, he had only been able to successfully complete the parts for Daolords of the First Step and Daolords of the Second Step. He hadn't been able to succeed for the third or fourth steps!
Due to being stymied by the [Daolord Chapter], he had turned his attention to the [Deathless Chapter] instead. The [Deathless Chapter] was meant to allow Daolords who had failed in the Daomerge to halt and reverse the crumbling of the truesoul, allowing them to then attempt the Daomerge once more.
All nine of the Sithe techniques were also focused on recovering from a failed Daomerge.
"Mortal cultivators who reach a certain level can be reborn from a single drop of blood. Upon reaching the 'Fiendgod' level, they will not die so long as their truesoul remains unharmed. However… if there was a way which would allow a shattered truesoul, the very core of a person's being, to be repaired after already breaking apart? That would represent true deathlessness. The only thing which could end one's life would be when the invisible laws that govern everyone's maximum lifespan in a Chaosverse took effect." And so, Hawkfang had focused his efforts on the [Deathless Chapter].
He allowed the Daolords residing in his estate-treasures who had failed the Daomerge to test out this technique. He had gone so far as to recruit many disciples in the Sacred Realm. After those Daolord disciples failed the Daomerge, he would have them go into his estate-treasure and test out the [Deathless Chapter]… but of course, he would have them swear oaths not to divulge this to anyone else.
He had refined the [Deathless Chapter] over and over again, but to this very day, it remained a failure! Clearly, it was almost completely impossible to allow a Daolord who had failed the Daomerge to repair his crumbling truesoul.
Thus, only the first three chapters of the [Five Truncheon Chapters] were complete. The [Daolord Chapter] and the [Deathless Chapter] were both flawed and imperfect… but in truth, both were significantly superior to the nine unique techniques the Sithe had developed. It wasn't that Hawkfang was more talented than the Sithe Lord of Chaos; rather, it was that he was able to use those nine techniques as a reference, and was also able to sense the Dao of this Chaosverse.
If the Sithe Lord of Chaos was also able to sense the Dao of this Chaosverse, he probably would've been able to easily create a perfect technique which would allow someone to train all the way to the Autarch level.
Ning was extremely excited, especially after reviewing the [Deathless Chapter]. As Ning reviewed the technique, he couldn't help but get the feeling that there were certain similarities to the mysteries of the Nine Chaos Seals which Autarch Awakener had created.
It was like a brand new door had appeared in front of Ning, one which allowed limitless possibilities in a brand new world.
The Sithe Lord of Chaos was at such an extremely high level of insight that he was able to create these nine techniques just based on guesswork and prediction. He had overhauled them and repeatedly perfected them, but they remained flawed. This, however, was because his understanding of the nature of this Chaosverse's Dao was limited. If the Dao had operated in the manner he had believed it to operate, the nine techniques would've been perfect. Alas, the Dao was different and so the nine techniques were unusable. Hawkfang, however, had managed to use them to create his own [Deathless Chapter].
"I can see hope. There are many ways we can continue to improve the [Deathless Chapter]." Ning was different form Hawkfang. He was the master of the Eternal Omega Sword Dao, on par with Autarchs in terms of insight. He had reached an incredibly high level of understanding into the Dao, which was why he was able to reach Hegemony in so many Daos with such ease.
"But the path to perfecting it will be a long one. If I let Hawkfang do it, he probably wouldn't succeed even if he was given ten times as much time as he already had." Autarch Awakener had attempted to complete this path, but he had approached it from a different angle. He had been able to reach an extremely deep level of mastery in his approach, which was why Ning was certain that the [Deathless Chapter] held many flaws.
However… it was a different approach that would provide many new inspirations. In addition, he was able to see a complete 'structure' to the [Deathless Chapter].
"The experiences of Autarch Awakener, combined with the mysteries of the [Deathless Chapter]… if I fused them together and then worked hard on improving them, I might be able to create a perfect technique in my remaining years which would allow my crumbling truesoul to recover." Ning instantly grew excited. If he could heal his truesoul… then if he attempted the Daomerge again, he would instantly become an Eternal Emperor because he was already the master of the Eternal Omega Sword Dao!
But of course… he would first have to create a new technique which would allow the truesoul to become deathless and everlasting.
"I can definitely succeed. I will definitely succeed!" Ning was filled with anticipation.
Prior to acquiring the [Deathless Chapter], Ning had felt that his chances of creating such a 'Truesoul Everlasting' technique to be virtually negligible. Now, however? Hope blazed in front of him like a radiant sun. It was still a distant goal, but it was bright enough to illuminate the path in front of it.
Autarch Titanos and the others had felt that there was no hope because they didn't even know what path to begin embarking on! The [Deathless Chapter], however, was based off the nine special techniques and so it provided an overall framework and 'path', even though this path was filled with many pitfalls and dead ends. This was why the Sithe had forced anyone who ever learned the nine techniques to swear lifeblood oaths not to divulge it to anyone else.
They were afraid that the nine techniques would be disseminated to the cultivators, accelerating their research efforts into this same field.
"Hawkfang, I truly have to thank you." Ning stared at Hawkfang, who was still in a dazed and illusion-bound state in front of him, then smiled. After completely reviewing Hawkfang's memories, Ning felt that this trip to this hidden dimension had been completely worth it!
"Awaken," Ning murmured softly.
Hawkfang trembled slightly. Moments later, his eyes regained their usual clarity. He looked at Ning, blinked, and then smiled slightly. "Daolord Darknorth, was I in an illusion just now?"
"Yes." Ning nodded.
"You've already reviewed my memories?" Hawkfang asked.
Hawkfang continued, "I've always felt quite torn between the Sithe and the cultivators. The blood in my veins belongs to the Sithe and comes from my father! And yet, I am indeed a local cultivator myself. Life has been quite agonizing… but one thing is certain. I hate the Sithe! I hate them for forcing my father into war, and hate them for sending all of us, their children, to our deaths. Now you have my [Five Truncheon Chapters], a technique I poured my heart and soul into. In the end, I still wasn't able to truly complete them. However… after you cultivators acquire them, I'm certain that you'll be able to create a perfect technique."
"Thank you," Ning said. "The entire cultivator civilization owes you thanks, and I owe you more than anyone else."
"You?" Hawkfang blinked, then laughed. "Do you thank me because you have failed the Daomerge? But creating a 'Truesoul Everlasting' technique will be extremely difficult. This is the hardest part of the entire set, Daolord Darknorth! You are incredibly talented, but you don't have much time left, while perfecting the technique will be extremely difficult. The Autarchs weren't able to accomplish it, while I was only able to do what I did thanks to having studied those nine unique techniques. Even though you'll be able to learn from what I created… I'm afraid that it'll still take you a million or even tens of millions of chaos cycles before you are able to succeed."
"At least I can give it a shot before I die." Ning smiled. "If I succeed, I'll be able to keep living."
Hawkfang smiled as well.
"Is there anything you want from me?" Ning asked. "I'll do anything which is within my power."
"I don't need much. If you do win, take away all of the descendants from my homeland and give them a safe, remote location which will be far away from the terrifying clash of civilizations. I'll find a quiet place for myself and live out a peaceful life." Hawkfang smiled. "But of course, that's only if you win. If you lose, all of this talk will have been for nothing."