Book 20, Chapter 31 - The Fifth Island

Desolate Era

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In the past, Ji Ning always believed the Heavenly Daos to be the rules by which the Three Realms operated. To surpass the Heavenly Daos would therefore mean breaking through of the control and functioning of the Three Realms!

But now, upon making the actual breakthrough and fully comprehending the [Five Treasures], Ning truly understand what it really meant to surpass the limits of the Heavenly Daos.

The Heavenly Daos…

They weren’t just the Heavenly Daos of the Three Realms. They were the Heavenly Daos that existed in all places!

The Pangu Chaosworld and the Seamless Chaosworld all had Heavenly Daos that belonged to them. Every single chaosworld had Heavenly Daos that differed from each other! Even within the endless primordial chaos itself, the Heavenly Dao of Primordial Chaos was omnipresent, including places such as Undermoon Lake, Prisonworld 17, or the Void.

An invisible layer of laws permeated and covered the primordial chaos and everything within it.

These laws laid out many restrictions; for example, the fastest speed possible was the speed of light! Time could only go forward, not backwards! The so-called ‘temporal inveresion’ spell was nothing more than a way to view the past; it didn’t actually cause time itself to reverse! There were also restrictions on how powerful thunder, fire, wind, water, and other things could be.

These were laws. They were shackles that had been placed on every single creature and being. It was thanks to these shackles that the various chaosworlds could function in a stable, coherent manner. Without them, the likes of the Pangu Chaosworld and the Seamless Chaosworld may well have exploded and been destroyed long before colliding into each other.

But of course…

There were countless living creatures in the universe, and some of the most dazzling figures were capable of shattering these shackles and reaching a higher level.

Now…Ji Ning’s sword had broken through the shackle on speed.

“Invisible laws. Invisible shackles. They exist everywhere.” When Ning flicked out with his finger, it actually moved faster than the speed of light, resulting in an interaction with those invisible shackles of law. If he hadn’t truly broken through, he wouldn’t even be able to sense those shackles at all.

“Even the major powers are under the control of the Heavenly Daos of the Three Realms. Only people like Mother Nuwa have truly ascended beyond the Heavenly Daos.” Ning sighed to himself.

Chaos Immortals and World Gods had all used raw, overwhelming power to burst through those shackles and ascend to a new level.

Ning was very far from that level for now; he was only able to transcend in terms of the speed of his sword.

“In terms of sword speed…I stand at the pinnacle of the entire Three Realms!” Ning mused to himself, “And in sword-arts…I should be ranked amongst the top three.”

Who was the number one Sword Immortal of the Three Realms?

This was a matter that had always been under contention.

Daofather Fuju had been publicly acknowledged by everyone in the Three Realms as the number one Sword Immortal, but he had died. Right now, many venerated Daofather Holyflame. Daofather Holyflame was actually just like Ning; he had only reached the fourth stage of swordforce, but had mastered the [Five Treasures]!

There were still a few other major powers in the Three Realms who had reached the fifth stage of swordforce. However, although fifth-stage swordforce was capable of unleashing astonishing power and dazzling skill, it was still constrained in speed by the Heavenly Daos to be merely as fast as the speed of light.

If the difference in speed was too great, all the technique in the world would be useless.

Daofather Holyflame clearly had ‘just’ fourth-stage swordforce, but there were still many experts who believed him to be the number one Sword Immortal of the Three Realms. It was simply that there were some who would still dispute it. As for the likes of incredibly powerful figures such as Swordfather Darklight of the Three Realms, they had reached the fifth level of swordforce, but none would say that he was the number one Sword Immortal of the Three Realms.

The essence of the sword lay in the word ‘speed’, after all.

Take the simplest possible motion; a direct stab. If it was launched faster than the speed of light, its power would become ridiculously great. Enemies would find it hard to even block such attack. Speed was where the true essence of the sword lay!

Lu Dongbin had felt that Ning was a born Sword Immortal, while Patriarch Subhuti viewed Ning with tremendous favor, but neither of the two would have ever imagined that in just three hundred short years, Ning’s sword-arts would rise to such a level.

The reason why Ning could advance so rapidly was primarily due to the tempering effect of being within Undermoon Lake. Ning’s other clones in the Three Realms were also working on the [Five Treasures], but they were incredibly far off from being able to master it! Clearly, this special environment and these life-and-death challenges brought results that were completely different from one quietly training on one’s own. In the Three Realms, there were no sword-arts like [Mourning] or [Seversoul] to help guide the way.

“If I can reach the fifth stage of swordforce, I would become the undisputed number one Sword Immortal of the Three Realms.” Ning’s heart was filled with excitement, but he also knew that reaching the fifth stage of swordforce would probably not be much easier than reaching the fifth stage of heartforce.

The tenth guardian stared at Ji Ning making a gesture with his finger. His face couldn’t help but change as he murmured softly to himself, “…Surpassed the limits of the Heavenly Daos?”

“Sorry to keep you waiting.” Ning smiled as he walked over. He was in an excellent mood.

He had increased in power dramatically, which meant that he would be able to better steer his own destiny within this great storm. In addition, he would be bringing out more than two hundred Empyrean Gods with him, and Ning knew exactly how badly they all wanted to leave this place.

“Let’s see how powerful you’ve become.” With a swoosh, the tenth guardian transformed into a streak of light and attacked Ning.

Ning continued to amble forward slowly, seeming to feel that he had matters under perfect control. No matter how marvelous his foe’s sword-art was, its speed was still constrained by the Heavenly Daos. When the enemy’s streak of sword-light closed in on him, Ning simply reached out with his right sword, sending it forward in a viperous strike. This was an extremely simple but incredibly fast stab.

[Brightmoon] sword-art, Blood Drop stance!

The tenth guardian attempted to block, but Ning’s sword-light still managed to scrape past the defending sword and stab the tenth guardian’s forehead. The tenth guardian’s head was pushed backwards as he was knocked into the air before stabilizing himself and once more landing on the ground. A very complicated look was on the tenth guardian’s face, and he mumbled to himself, “He surpassed the limits. He has indeed surpassed the limits. A sword as fast as this…how are you supposed to block it? There’s no way to block it at all.”

Once one’s swordforce reached the fifth stage, one’s sword-arts would also become incredibly marvelous…and yet, compared to fourth-stage swordforce combined with the [Five Treasures], it was still inferior.

This was due to a single word: Speed!

This word was enough to cause countless experts to feel despair, enough to cause even major powers to be willing to abandon all their other Daos to train in the [Five Treasures].

“You’ve won.” The tenth guardian looked at Ning, a hint of anticipation in his dead eyes. “This sword-art…is it the [Five Treasures] of your Three Realms?”

“You’ve heard of the [Five Treasures] as well?” Ning was surprised.

“Those Empyrean Gods in Undermoon Lake often spoke of it.” The tenth guardian looked at Ning.

“Yes, it’s the [Five Treasures].” Ning nodded.

The tenth guardian had a very complicated look on his face. Sighing, he said, “I guard the Path of Blades and am a master of many sword-arts, spear-arts, saber-arts, and other combat arts. But not one of them has surpassed the limits of the Heavenly Daos. To lose to you…I willingly acknowledge my defeat.”

“You are the guardian for all of the weapons?” Ning was surprised.

“Of course. The other nine guardians you encountered were actually all me as well.” The tenth guardian laughed. “However, each time I’ll only use a single type of sword-art. Enough…you’ve won. You can now go to the fifth island. Once you go there, you’ll be allowed to leave Undermoon Lake.”

“Go.” The tenth guardian smiled, then disappeared without a trace.

The surrounding darkness vanished as well, allowing the bright moon to once more appear in the skies.

As for Ning, he transformed into a streak of light and advanced forward.

After flying for roughly an hour, he was vaguely able to make out an enormous, beautiful island up ahead. This island was studded with miniature lakes that were dazzling to behold. Some of the lakes seemed to be formed from flames, some were filled with golden light, some were filled with red light, and some were jade-green.

All sorts of lights sparkled and flashed, making it truly look like an Immortal realm.

At the end of the wooden bridge stood a gray-robed, silver-haired man who was smiling at Ning.

“Eh?” Upon seeing the distant silver-haired man, Ning was quite puzzled. “He…doesn’t seem to be a living creature.”

“This is the final lake in Undermoon Lake, ‘Moonfall’.” The silver-haired man smiled as he looked at Ning. “Empyrean God Darknorth, you are the second Empyrean God to overcome the Path of Blades and reach this location…and your power is even greater than Jueming’s was. But enough of that…come, follow me. I’ll take you to the treasures. This will be the last place where you can choose a treasure.”

Ning nodded. He was allowed to choose three items from each of the final three islands.

Just a short while later, he finished making his choice.

Ning had already searched the memories of the prisoners of Pangaea, and he knew the value of the treasures before him. He knew which treasures the major powers of the Three Realms would drool over. Ning had no need of them, but he would be able to give them to allied major powers.

“Hand over the treasures of Empyrean Gods Sin and Sealthroat,” the silver-haired man said.

“Here, take.” Ning had already prepared them. He handed them over, then said in a puzzled manner, “Is there no need to hand over the treasures of Empyrean Gods Greatdream and Ninedawn?”

Greatdream had killed Ninedawn, while Ning himself had killed Greatdream. All the treasures were thus in his hands.

“The treasures of those you killed belong to you, of course.” The silver-haired man continued, “Follow me to a place. Afterwards, you’ll be able to leave Undermoon Lake.”

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