Book 27, Chapter 2 - A Holy Place for Sword Cultivators

Desolate Era

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Ji Ning led Su Youji forwards alongside him as Daolord Fudan continued to introduce the people and places within the Sword Palace.


The red-haired man sent his opponent flying with a single sword-strike. His gaze then fell upon Ji Ning, and his eyes instantly lit up. He laughed loudly, “Is this a new junior apprentice-brother of ours?”

“I am Darknorth. Greetings, senior apprentice-brother Wildfire,” Ning said.

“That explains it. I’ve sparred with and recognize everyone in our Sword Palace.” The red-haired man let out a loud, clear laugh. “Junior apprentice-brother Darknorth, since you are a new arrival I won’t disturb you, but in two days I’m going to go find you and have a little competition with you. I trust you won’t decline?”

“I’d be delighted to accept,” Ning said modestly.

“Mm. Go, go. We can chat later,” the red-haired man said.

Ning nodded.

As they moved past the red-haired man, Daolord Fudan said in a low voice, “Of the six exalted Swordlords, senior apprentice-brother Wildfire is the most heroic and straightforward. He loves to duel other cultivators and won’t look down upon weak ones. He’s a person who is easy to make friends with, and is much more approachable than many of the other World-level cultivators of the Sword Palace.”

Ning laughed. He could sense how friendly and relaxed this senior apprentice-brother Wildfire was.

A sword cultivator who was capable of breaking through to become a Samsara Daolord at any time would have a clear understanding of his own nature, be it good or bad, honorable or dishonorable. Wildfire clearly was an extremely friendly and straightforward man, and his sword was similarly a sword that crushed all before it in an open and aboveboard manner.

“We are going to go to the Ancient Library next. It is right up ahead.” Daolord Fudan pointed towards a large, ancient-looking hall that was made of wood that was beginning to turn yellow with age. The entire ancient hall took up many kilometers, and just by looking at it Ning could sense the power of its aura.

“The Ancient Library was built alongside the Sword Palace itself. It has been around for an extremely, extremely long period of time,” Daolord Fudan explained.

“Eh?” Ning stared at it in amazement.

The Ancient Library had quite a few black-armored Daolords around it. Some were seated in the lotus position on the ground, some were relaxing and drinking wine, some were training with their swords. There were over a hundred of the present.

“Senior apprentice-brother Fudan.” Ning was puzzled. “On the way over, I saw quite a few black-armored Daolords. If we include in the ones before us, I’ve seen more than two hundred. But you told me that the entire Sword Palace only has a hundred Samsara Daolords…”

Daolord Fudan paused, a mixed look appearing on his face. “Let me explain.” He let out a sigh. “In the Sword Palace, all cultivators are like brothers. There’s not much of a difference in terms of status between us. World-level cultivators who run into Verge-level Daolords will simply address them as ‘senior apprentice-brother’.”

Ning nodded.

The Sword Palace was a place where elite sword cultivators gathered. Everyone treated everyone else in a fairly equal manner.

“But there’s still some differences, despite the overall equality,” Daolord Fudan said. “The cultivators in the Sword Palace are generally divided into two different types.”

“The first type consists of those who relied on themselves and their own insights to become Samsara Daolords! The six Swordlords are categorized along with them, even though they aren’t actually Samsara Daolords, because they can break through whenever they wish and possess tremendous potential. Once they break through, they will be far stronger than most Daolords of the First Step. This is why even Samsara Daolords treat these Swordlords as equals.

“The second type consists of the other World-level cultivators as well as black-armored Daolords like us.

“In the end, World-level cultivators are still just cultivators who have a chance of breaking through to become Daolords. They naturally have a somewhat lower status. As for us black-armored Daolords, all of us reached this level through using Pseudo Samsara Pills. We will forever remain at the First Step and have no hope of improving any further. There are even some freakishly strong World-level cultivators who are even stronger than us.” Daolord Fudan shook his head. “Some Samsara Daolords view us as the lowest of the low. They’d rather show kindness to World-level cultivators with potential than show us any real respect.”

Ning was silent. He could sense the sadness emanating from Daolord Fudan.

“In the Sword Palace, there are actually a total of more than 2300 black-armored Daolords,” Daolord Fudan said softly. “There are many more of them than there are World-level cultivators. There were quite a few people in the Brightshore Kingdom who become Daolords through using those pills, after all, and the almighty Hegemon has ordered that all Daolords must join the Twelve Palaces. This is why the Twelve Palaces has so many black-armored Daolords.”

Ning finally understood. The Sword Palace had more than two thousand black-armored Daolords, but just two hundred World-level cultivators and around a hundred ‘real’ Samsara Daolords. Given that they were fairly weak and had no prospects for future advancement, it wasn’t surprising that they had low statuses.

“Most of the black-armored Daolords are outside the Sword Palace, with just over five hundred staying inside of it,” Daolord Fudan said. “Although they are treated with some disdain, they still choose to remain within the Sword Palace because there, we will have a better chance to improve than we would anywhere else. Power depends on more factors than just enlightenment. Different sword-arts can also result in different levels of power, as do divine abilities and secret arts.”

Ning nodded. The [Novessence Thunder] was a great example of a very powerful secret art.

“They have a chance of earning those things in the Sword Palace, which is why so many remain within it,” Daolord Fudan said. “Come. I’ll take you to the Ancient Library for a look.”

They arrived at the Ancient Library.

“Is this a newcomer? You can come in. The one behind you cannot.” The two black-armored Daolords standing guard in front of the library looked at Ning.

Ning turned to glance at Su Youji, who was following him from behind.

“Youji, wait for me here,” Ning said.

“Alright.” Although Su Youji was quite curious, she didn’t really care because the Sword Palace was for those who walked the Dao of the Sword. For now, her path was the path of Feixian the Exalted. She was focusing on the path of charm and control, a completely different path from the Dao of the Sword.

Although the wooden floor and walls were protected by powerful formations, the unfeeling power of time had left its mark on them as well.

The ancient hall was incredibly large, and it was completely filled with bookshelves as far as the eye could see. Every single bookshelf was filled with many jade slips and scrolls.

“Eh?” Ning casually picked up a jade slip and sent his godsense into it. He immediately realized that it was filled with a large amount of information, and he accepted the information as it flowed into him.

“What a powerful sword-art.” Ning was rather shocked. This was a sword-art of tremendous power. In fact, it was just as strong as the [Nameless] sword-art. Alas, it was fragmentary and incomplete.

Ning couldn’t help but spend a bit of time reading through it before finally putting it back down.

“Don’t be impatient, junior apprentice-brother.” Only now did Daolord Fudan speak. “These sword-arts have been passed down since the most ancient of times. Some were left here by the almighty Hegemon while some were accumulated or created by the Sword Palace’s members over the course of countless years. In fact, when the other eleven palaces acquire new sword-arts they will often send them to us. We have tens of millions of sword-arts placed here, all of which are at least at the Daolord level.”

“Tens of millions of scrolls?” Ning was speechless.

“The problem is, 99% of them are fragmentary and incomplete,” Daolord Fudan said. “The ones on these bookshelves here are all fragmentary. The ones placed on the tables at the very front are all complete, with teachings that will guide you from the early stages to the late stages. That way, you can slowly train in them step by step. The tables have over five hundred thousand techniques.”

Tens of millions of incomplete techniques?

More than five hundred thousand complete techniques?

“Some of these sword-arts are strong, some are weak. Some were left behind by Eternal Emperors, while some were acquired by the almighty Hegemon by happenstance and possess incalculable power.” Daolord Fudan smiled.

“Are there any limitations or restrictions on learning these sword-arts?” Ning was worried.

“None.” Daolord Fudan sighed with emotion. “Any member of the Sword Palace is permitted to freely study any of the scrolls and slips here.”

Ning sighed in amazement as well.

As he walked through the Ancient Library and saw the many jade slips that had been placed here for countless chaos cycles, he couldn’t help but occasionally reach out to grab a scroll to take a look. Even the fragmentary ones were incredibly profound. If he was to give them to the Fogstone Dominion, they would be treated as supreme techniques.

Any technique placed within the Ancient Library of the Sword Palace had to be at least at the Daolord level.

“Simply incredible.” Ning sighed with amazement. He even saw a silver-armored Daolord seated in the lotus position, silently meditating on a sword-art.

“There are simply too many sword-arts here,” Daolord Fudan said. “Some of them, especially profound ones such as the ones left behind by Eternal Emperors, will take countless years to learn. There are so many sword-arts here that no one can truly learn them all. They will at most flip through some and try to gain some experience.”

Ning was incredibly excited. His Dao of the Sword required him to understand the true essence of the sword by analyzing and dissecting many different sword-arts. This place was an absolute treasure trove for him.

“The Ancient Library is actually considered a fairly ‘ordinary’ place here in the Sword Palace.” Daolord Fudan let out a secretive smile. “It doesn’t even rank as one of the top three places here in the Sword Palace.”

“Ah?!” Ning was stunned.

As Ning saw it, the Ancient Library was already sacred grounds for those who trained in the sword. And yet, it didn’t even rank as one of the top three places in the Sword Palace?

“Come. I’ll take you to another place,” Daolord Fudan said. “You’ll understand once you get there.”

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