Book 26, Chapter 26 - The Choice

Desolate Era

Hey guys, after a month of really hard work, I'm excited that our new VIP system and in-house ebook system is now alive and functioning!  You can now purchase and permanently own full ebooks in PDF/Mobi/epub versions, as you please, and read them on whatever devices you like.  You can take a look at it right here to see all the details, or just click on the big 'VIP' button.  NOTE - For former sponsors of completed novels who qualify for free ebooks or discounts, you'll be seeing them in your 'my ebooks' library...


“Survive for a thousand years?” All of the cultivators and Aberrants atop the mountain peak were intrigued. All of them were at the World level and had been abducted to this place. To people like them, a thousand years was nothing. Ji Ning, for example, was going to spend more than six hundred years just traversing the Sea of Darkness.

If they merely had to spend a thousand years to become a citizen of the Brightshore Kingdom and be permitted to live in peace, everyone would be willing to do this.

However, that was assuming they were able to survive for a thousand years. From the sound of things, the third bugnest wasn’t a very nice place to be.

The silver-armored man had a hint of a cold smile on his face. “It might sound easy, but I have to warn you that the third bugnest is a place which our Brightshore Kingdom uses for rearing bugbeasts. In fact, it is our third most important nest! It has many powerful bugbeasts within it, some of which are comparable to Samsara Daolords.”

The silver-armored man continued, “Some of the bugbeasts there are weak, others are strong. There are even bugbeasts that are my equal in power, and all of them live within the third bugnest.”

The silver-armored man laughed. “If you choose this option, the fourth option, you’ll have to spend a thousand years living within the third bugnest! If you are lucky enough not to run into any powerful bugbeasts, you might be able to survive for a thousand years with ease! But if you are unlucky and end up encountering some of the stronger bugbeasts, you might die almost instantly. Based on what we’ve seen in the past, roughly one in ten cultivators will be able to survive option four.”

Just one out of ten? The cultivators and Aberrants atop the mountain peak all felt a sense of pressure.

Even the incredibly strong experts like Ji Ning and Gorho, as well as some of the mysterious lifeforms which possessed incredible power, immediately abandoned the notion of choosing this option.

This option required luck. They were World-level cultivators, and even the most monstrously talented of them were only capable of battling Daolords of the First Step! Bugnest three had many terrifying bugbeasts, and according to the silver-armored man some of the bugbeasts were just as strong as him! If they ran into those bugbeasts, they would most assuredly be doomed!

Truly powerful experts wouldn’t be willing to accept such a luck-based outcome.

“The fifth option.” A strange smile played around the silver-armored man’s lips.

“Let me explain the fifth option.” The silver-armored woman spoke out coldly, her voice sharp enough that it seemed to stab into the truesouls of every single cultivator and Aberrant present. “The fifth option is to go live on the Astral Islands. All you need to do is stay alive. The opponents you encounter on the Astral Islands will all be World-level cultivators. You need to battle against them, and in the end the most talented individuals will be allowed to survive and leave.”

“Dare I ask what we will need to do on the Astral Islands?” A white-robed, incredibly handsome man who wielded a wooden staff in his hands spoke out.

The silver-armored woman glanced sideways at him then said calmly, “Once you go to the Astral Islands, you’ll be told. Simply put, your opponents shall be other World-level cultivators who were similarly abducted from throughout the Endless Territories. Only the most talented cultivators shall survive the island and be allowed to leave it! Roughly one in a hundred will survive.”


“Only one in a hundred?”


“This is crazy.”

“Everyone there is at the World level?”

All of the cultivators and Aberrants, as well as the secret descendants of the Aeonians, were shocked upon hearing this.

In truth, Ning and the other extremely powerful figures were all leaning towards the fifth option, because in the fifth option their competition would consist solely of other World-level cultivators. They felt confident that they were far more powerful than the vast majority of their peers. They weren’t willing to risk their luck at the third bugnest… but on the other hand, it was true that the casualty rate for the fifth option was a bit too high.

Only one in a hundred would survive?

Even Ning was speechless.

Not even the Dao Alliance would dare to carry on such a competition. Every single World-level cultivator generally had masters or schools who supported them. The only reason the Brightshore Kingdom acted like this was because it had simply abducted outsiders from throughout the Endless Territories without caring about if they died or not. Only they would use such a brutal method to weed out the losers.

“Although I’m powerful, that’s just amongst my fellow cultivators. There are quite a few Aberrants who were abducted to this place as well.” Ning’s greatest worry was having to deal with the Aberrants. Some were weak, far weaker than cultivators even though they had some special techniques. Unfortunately, some were monstrously powerful.

Powerful Aberrants usually were blessed with certain innate abilities that allowed them to be incredibly skilled in certain areas. For example, there were certain Aberrants skilled in illusions who could possibly outmatch even World-level Heartforce Cultivators. It must be understood that Ning had yet to meet a single World-level Heartforce Cultivator to date!

“Just one in a hundred will survive. My opponents will consist of both the cultivators and the Aberrants. What should I do? What should I choose?” Ning began to ponder this question.

“Five options. The first three options are very safe.” The silver-armored man and the silver-armored woman exchanged a glance. The silver-armored man said casually, “Become a Samsara Daolord, receive the protection of a Samsara Daolord, or become an eternal slave to a Samsara Daolord! Of course, you can also choose to go mining. These are all options with no risk to them.”

Very few would choose the first three options.

Becoming a Samsara Daolord wasn’t something you could do just because you wanted it.

Receiving the protection of a Samsara Daolord wasn’t that likely.

Become a slave? No one was willing to do such a thing. Few to no World-level cultivators would voluntarily become the slave of another. They all knew that becoming a citizen of the Brightshore Kingdom would represent a tremendous blessing, but becoming a slave of the lowest caste meant that they probably would have no future prospects.

Mine for a thousand chaos cycles? That was way too long.

“The fourth option is to survive in the third bugnest for a thousand years. Roughly one in ten will survive.” The silver-armored man continued, “The fifth option is go to the Astral Islands and compete against your peers. One in a hundred will survive.”

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

The silver-armored man waved his hand, causing four streams of light to instantly appear and partition off the mountain peak.

“Those who choose the second option, enter the first region. Those who choose the third option, enter the second region. This region is for the fourth option. This region is for the fifth option.” The silver-armored man casually pointed to each of the partitions in turn, then swept his gaze across everyone present atop the mountain. “Choose your paths.”

Everyone atop the mountain peak began to move. Many were hesitating, but the silver-armored duo didn’t rush anyone. They just stood there and waited quietly.

Slowly, people began to make their choices.

A cultivator stepped into the second region. This represented a decision to go spent roughly a thousand chaos cycles in the mines. Only then would they have enough ore to become a citizen of the Brightshore Kingdom.”

“I’m too weak. My chances of surviving either the third bugnest or the Astral Islands are both too low.” The cultivator shook his head as he stood there.

After he made his choice, quite a few other cultivators began to make their choices as well. Most cultivators chose the third, fourth, or fifth options.

“Master, what should we do? What choice should we make?” Su Youji sent mentally.

“I’m choosing the fifth option,” Ning replied mentally. “You?”

This was the only choice Ning could make. There was no way he would choose the first three options, because he had to make it to Vastheaven Palace within a single chaos cycle! He’d only be allowed to leave after becoming a citizen of the Brightshore Kingdom. There was no way Ning could waste time mining, and there was obviously no way he would be willing to become another’s slave. He also didn’t have the ability to become a Samsara Daolord right away.

As for the bugnest, that was purely a matter of luck. Ning absolutely wouldn’t leave his own destiny up to luck. In the end, he was more confident in his own abilities.

“The fifth option?” Su Youji hesitated momentarily. “Then I will choose the fifth option as well.”

“No need to push yourself that hard. This is a life-altering decision. Choose whichever option suits you the most,” Ning said.

“I choose the fifth option.” Su Youji gritted her teeth. “I know that I’m fairly weak, but with those bugbeasts you loaned me I should be able to hold my own. I’m unwilling to choose any of the other options.”

Ning nodded. As he saw it, most likely many of the cultivators would elect to choose the fifth option. Most of them would rather battle against other cultivators of the same level than to waste countless years of their life, become an eternal slave, or put everything up to luck.

Ning suddenly produced a bracelet then handed it to Su Youji. “Youji, this holds those eighteen Hellwind Golems. They won’t be of much use to me, but if you use them and your fifty-one bugbeasts you should have at least some chance of surviving this Astral Islands. I’ve already ordered the Hellwind Golems to obey you in all things. You’ll easily be able to bind them.”

“Master, they will be of help to you.” Su Youji began to grow nervous. She knew exactly how dangerous the fifth option would be, given that only one in a hundred would survive. Even Aberrants would be taking part!

“Just take it,’ Ning repeated.

Su Youji stared at the white-robed youth. At first, she had only elected to become Ji Ning’s retainer because of how monstrously talented he was. However, after the two spent more time together she slowly began to understand what type of a person Ji Ning truly was. Ji Ning looked peaceful and relaxed, but he wouldn’t readily acknowledge others. Once he did, however, he truly would treat that person as a lifelong friend.

Su Youji had always sensed that something was perpetually weighing on Ji Ning’s mind. She had tried to explore this topic but had never been able to make any progress.

“Let’s go.” Ning placed the bracelet in Su Youji’s hands, then strode towards the fifth option’s region. Su Youji nodded, following by his side.

More than thirty thousand cultivators and thousands of Aberrants. Each made their own choices.

What truly surprised Ning was that twenty-three cultivators and two Aberrants actually chose the second option. It must be understood that this was everyone’s first visit to this place. No one knew any of the local Samsara Daolords, which meant choosing the second option represented choosing to become a slave.

“Anything really can happen, I suppose,” Ning mused.

There were benefits to becoming a slave as well. You would become a citizen of the Brightshore Kingdom, albeit one of the lowest-tier members, and would gain at least a modicum of access to the Brightshore Kingdom’s secrets.

The third option, mining. More than a thousand cultivators and a hundred Aberrants chose this option.

The fourth option, surviving the bugnest. More than five thousand cultivators and two hundred Aberrants chose this option.

The fifth option, surviving the Astral Islands. All the remaining individuals chose this option.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter