Book 27, Chapter 10 - The Personal Disciple of an Eternal Emperor

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...


The world within the fourth painting.

Whooooosh. A cold wind howled through as snow drifted through the skies. This was a world of ice and snow.

Ji Ning appeared out of nowhere. He swept the area with his gaze, then began to walk towards a distant thatched hut. A white-haired, grim-looking man was seated in the lotus position within the thatched hut. In front of him was a flagon of wine that was surrounded by flames. Also on the table, next to the wine, was an ordinary sword.

“Mm?” Ning looked at the white-haired man.

“What, has Daolord Flylead gained yet another disciple in his Snowsword Sect?” The white-haired man looked at Ning.

“Daolord Flylead? I don’t know him.” Ning shook his head.

“Oh?” The white-haired man glanced at Ning in surprise. “In this chaos cycle, Daolord Flylead has sent more than ten World-level cultivators to duel with me in swordplay. Although he himself isn’t that strong, he’s still a Daolord of the Third Step. Are you actually strong enough to seize the fourth painting from him by force?”

Ning instantly understood. This painting had been in the hands of a Daolord, and one who often sent different disciples into this place to duel in swordplay. It made sense. The first Mirrorsnow Painting had been in the hands of Daolord Windsource, after all.

“I’m not currently capable of seizing treasures from a Daolord of the Third Step. I bought it,” Ning said. “I have already defeated the emperor, the fisherman, and the assassin. Now, the only one left is you.”

“You’ve already defeated the other three?” Light flashed through the eyes of the previously calm-looking man, and a desire to do battle began to radiate from him. He stretched his hand out, picking up the sword from the table as he rose to his feet. He slowly walked out of his thatched hut, his gaze focused on Ning. “You can address me as… swordsman!”

“Swordsman?” Ning was stunned. The man asked him to address him as ‘swordsman’. Ning had the sense that this person wasn’t going to be easy to deal with.

“I am the final trial for you.” The white-haired man stood there atop the snow, staring at Ning. “Draw your sword.”

“Alright.” With a flash, a Frostice sword appeared in Ning’s eyes.

The two were merely competing in swordplay, and so they would refrain from using divine abilities or special treasures.


Ning was the first to strike. His sword-light flashed, causing his power to condense so tightly that it didn’t even have any impact at all on the snowflakes falling around it. It wasn’t necessarily true that a loud commotion and grand display of might meant that a person was strong. Dao lightning was a good example of this. When its power was unchained and flailed out randomly, its power was somewhat weakened. Only by focusing it tightly and using it against a single opponent would it unleash its maximum power.

The same was true for sword-arts!

Clang! The white-haired man struck out as well.

The swords of both moved vastly faster than the limits of the Heavenly Daos, vastly faster than the speed of light. If ordinary mortals were watching… in fact, if Celestial Immortals or Empyrean Gods were watching… they would only see two blurs flickering. They wouldn’t even see any sword-light, because the swords were moving faster than they could see.

The two constantly flashed and flickered through the falling snow, their sword-light clashing repeatedly.

“What a powerful and pure sword-art.” Ning was secretly shocked. This white-haired man’s sword-arts definitely were strong enough for him to be addressed as ‘swordsman’, and he lived up to his reputation as the final trial. If the emperor, the fisherman, and the assassin all belonged to different schools of swordplay, then this swordsman’s sword-arts encompassed all schools.

His sword-arts could be explosive, could be ephemeral, but could also be cold and sharp…

Technically, his sword-arts were ‘merely’ on the same level of unpredictability as the assassin’s and the same level of ephemeralness as the fisherman’s. However, because he had reached such a high level in every aspect, his sword-arts became incredibly terrifying to deal with. When a person reached a level where he had no flaws at all, his attacks could easily transform into defensive movements, which could easily translate into deceptive openings, which could easily transform into such assassination strikes. All the changes and transformations were very fluid and natural.

It was like an endless cycle that had inexhaustible moves. Ning had reached a very high level of sword-arts. His sword-arts were significantly better than that of the emperor, the fisherman, and the assassin, making it easy for him to defeat them, but for a time he was completely unable to do anything to this ‘swordsman’.



Sword-light continued to clash repeatedly.

Ning was filled with a strong desire to win, causing him to constantly try new tactics for gaining victory. Slowly, the insights he had gained in the Forest of Sword Pagodas began to merge into his Unicorn’s Domain. In truth, Ning had been steadily improving in the Unicorn’s Domain during his years in the Sword Palace, as it represented a path in sword cultivation to begin with.

This was a path that could be continuously perfected. It would even allow him to become a Daolord of the First Step, a Daolord of the Second Step, or even a Daolord of the Third Step…

However, this path wasn’t the most difficult path. It was merely a path on par with the fisherman’s path, and it represented the sixth stance of the [Nameless] sword-art. The seventh stance of the [Nameless] sword-art represented a path that was even more difficult to take.

Without Ning even realizing it, the two ended up battling for more than six hours. As the fight progressed, Ning’s advantage became increasingly apparent.

It made sense. He had already been able to defeat the first three trials while he had been in the Astral Islands. Although he hadn’t spent too much time in the Sword Palace, two thousand years of accelerated time had resulted in him improving significantly.


An emphemeral streak of sword-light brushed past the white-haired man’s sword, then stabbed him in the throat.

Ning then withdrew his sword and stepped back.

“You won.” The white-haired man smiled.

Ning, however, had a rather distant look in his gaze. Victory in this battle had taught Ning what choosing a path truly meant.

The Unicorn’s Domain was a comparatively easier path. The white-haired man’s path was a path that perfectly fused together multiple different paths of the sword. This was a path that was more than ten times harder to traverse, but it was also more powerful.

But of course…

A Daolord of the Fourth Step could easily defeat the white-haired man’s sword-arts using the Unicorn’s Domain. Ji Ning had similarly reached an incredibly high level of expertise in the Unicorn’s Domain, and he could sense that he was just a hair away from becoming a Daolord. If he made some more breakthroughs, he would probably be able to reach the Daolord level whenever he wished… but that would mean that he would have become a Daolord through the Unicorn’s Domain.

“However… in the end, the Unicorn’s Domain is not my path. Nor is the white-haired man’s sword-art my path.”

Ning’s path was a path that would lead him to the very essence of the sword itself. He would infuse all of the essence of the sword and countless sword-arts into his own [Brightmoon] sword-art, which represented his truest path.

The white-haired man had merely fused a few different sword-arts in a perfect manner. It was more profound than the Unicorn’s Domain, but it couldn’t really be said to point to the true essence of the sword itself. The latter path was the purest and most difficult path to take… but this was what Ning wished to obtain from his sword cultivation. He had to take this path. Only by taking the path you wished to take would you be on the most suitable path.


Ning was seated in the lotus position within his Immortal estate. It had merely been a divine power clone which he had sent into the fourth world.

After defeating the overseer of the fourth painting, Ning called out with his will and summoned all four Mirrorsnow Paintings. The four paintings hung there in the air, slowly drawing closer to each other before they completely merged into one. After the four paintings completely merged together, they actually transformed into a single painting. This painting looked quite ordinary, and it didn’t have any sword-intent within it. It did, however, depict a man.

This man carried a sword on his back and was staring off into the distance. He looked extremely handsome and suave.

“Disciple, this is the painting of myself, your master. Kowtow three times first.” A voice rang out from within the painting.

Ning was badly startled by this. In the next moment, he felt completely speechless.

Jeeze, Emperor Mirrorsnow… why are you such a narcissist? After the four paintings merged together, they actually formed a self-portrait of yourself? And you actually drew yourself in such a perfect, flawless manner?

The other paintings were all quite terrible, but his portrait was quite well-done. The strange thing was, there was almost no sword-intent radiating from this image. Ning strongly suspected that this probably wasn’t actually drawn by Emperor Mirrorsnow himself.

There was no way the man could paint such a nice portrait.

“I wonder what this master of mine has left behind. I had best kowtow first.” Ning immediately knelt down, kowtowing three times to the levitating painting of Emperor Mirrorsnow.


As soon as he finished kowtowing, the painting emanated a blinding light that completely surrounded Ning. Ning didn’t resist, and with a swoosh he was drawn directly inside of it.

Within the Eternal Emperor’s painting.

This was an incredibly vast and ancient world. A man carrying a sword on his back was standing there atop the desolate earth, and there were four retainers who were standing by his side in a respectful manner. These four retainers were the emperor, the assassin, the fisherman, and the swordsman.


Ning appeared out of nowhere next to them.

“Disciple.” The man carrying the longsword on his back looked at Ning.

Ning immediately understood that this person was most likely Emperor Mirrorsnow. Still… it most likely wasn’t the Eternal Emperor’s true form. Actually, the Eternal Emperor really did look quite handsome. The painting apparently had been an accurate one, and the sword-intent which naturally radiated from his eyes caused Ning to feel a sense of alarm in his heart. Although this sword-intent seemed quite calm, it had a hidden sharpness that was far more terrifying than the sensation which Daolord Woodflower had emanated.

“Master,” Ning called out respectfully.

“This is a world which will only appear after all four paintings merge together.” The Eternal Emperor looked at Ning. “I’ve left a strand of my will in this place, all for the sake of waiting for you, my dear apprentice.”

Previous Chapter Next Chapter