Book 30, Chapter 33 - Within the Cave

Desolate Era

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“Nothing whatsoever?” Ji Ning was rather surprised by this. He then turned to glance at the white-robed form. “What about the white-robed Hegemon?”

“He was the Hegemon of the Dao Alliance,” the bald, black-robed youth said. “During that great war, he died in battle but managed to deliver a heavy wound to our enemy. My master managed to follow that up with a lethal blow, but the enemy managed to heavily wound my master before perishing. My master’s wounds were so heavy that he knew he wouldn’t be able to survive, and so he left behind his legacies and his will for future Ancients to inherit. As for the Dao Alliance’s Hegemon, he didn’t have the chance to leave behind any legacies.”

“As for his treasures… well, my master naturally took them all and arranged for them to be given to future Ancients who could pass his trials,” the youth said.

Ning blinked a few times. But those treasures were the treasures of an elder of the Dao Alliance. I’m a member of the Dao Alliance!

Still, Ning could do nothing but grumble mentally. In truth, he understood what the Hegemon must have been thinking. Once the Dawn War ended, the era of the Ancient cultivators would have come to an end as well, and the Dao Alliance would become the new rulers of the Endless Territories. He naturally had to make certain preparations for the Ancient race.

“This place we are in looks like a cave, but it is actually a sealed-off estate-world which Master once used to trap and slay his foes,” the youth said. “There’s no way for you to leave this place on your own. If you wish to leave, I can send you off.”

“No rush just yet,” Ning said. This was a place where two Hegemons had battled an enemy to the death. He naturally had to spend some time inspecting it.

“Oh, right. How long will it be before Ninedust’s trials conclude?” Ning asked.

The youth slowly shook his head. “I don’t know. If he is fast, perhaps a thousand years. If he takes a long time, even ten million years wouldn’t be out of the realm of question. Master truly did make meticulous preparations for his Ancient successors.”

“I have some retainers with me. Can I release them here and let them take a look?” Ning asked. The white-robed Hegemon’s corpse generated a powerful natural field of illusions; it might be of use to Su Youji.

“Yes.” The youth said calmly, “But if they are not Ancient cultivators, none of them will be able to gain any of my master’s legacies! Also, you are not permitted to cause any damage to the white-robed Hegemon’s corpse. He died for the sake of our homeland, and so Master set up spells in the area around him. If any of you try to cause damage to his corpse, you’ll suffer a counter-attack from Master’s spells.”

“Understood.” Ning nodded.

“A final reminder. This cave is filled with quite a few vestigial scars from the battle that was fought here, and they might be of use to you in meditating on the Dao. The others who came here in the past also allowed their servants to come out and inspect the battlefield scars. If and when you are ready to leave, just notify me.” The youth finished his words, then transformed into a stream of light that flew into the dark-red longstaff nearby.

The cave was completely silent once more. Ning scanned his surroundings. This was a place where two Hegemons had died. Ning still felt hopeful that there was perhaps some good fortune waiting for him here.


Ning was now all alone within the cave. Ninedust had gone off to test himself against the trials, and so Ning had no choice but to slowly search the area for himself and see if there was anything useful for him here.

“I wonder where this enemy came from?” Ning returned to the onyx humanoid corpse that was 540,000 meters tall. “It actually managed to kill two Hegemons. Its entire corpse is probably a priceless treasure,” Ning mused.

A small portion of the ‘golden sand’ from the shattered planet’s core had allowed Ning’s six Northbow swords to undergo an earthshaking transformation. Skywind’s home planet was similarly extraordinary. Ning surmised that the corpse probably held other unique things within it.

“Come here.” Ning waved a finger, attempting to drag the corpse into his estate-world. However, the onyx humanoid corpse just lay there slumped, not moving at all. Clearly, there was no way someone like Ning could possibly move it at all.

“Transform.” Ning’s body suddenly blurred as he expanded to become 540,000 meters tall as well. He was now the exact same size as the corpse. Ning reached out with his hands to grab the corpse by its elbows. Given that the target had died long ago, there was no way for it to resist him.

“Get over here!” Hands around the corpse’s elbows, Ning did his best to lift it upwards… but the corpse didn’t even budge in the slightest. Ning felt as though he was an ordinary man who was trying to lift up a massive mountain! There was no way to budge it in the slightest.

“Not even the corpse of a Hegemon should be this heavy. Still, it makes sense. I can’t even budge or shake the planets in its body. How can I possibly move the entire corpse?” Ning tried moving the corpse multiple times, but wasn’t able to so much as budge the thing. In the end, he had no choice but to give up. He couldn’t help but feel even more puzzled; how had this humanoid creature been created? Was it like a golem-type magic treasure, or the Hegemon of some sort of strange, unique race?

Ning spent quite some time pondering over the humanoid corpse. It obviously was an incredibly valuable treasure, but there was nothing he could do at all.

Should he go back inside? But even when he had been fighting alongside the Ninedust Sectlord, they had still been forced to use Dao-seals to escape the corpse. Ning really didn’t want to take on the risk of going back inside! In addition, he had the feeling that he probably wouldn’t be able to find much within the corpse. The golden sand had only come out of the shattered planet’s core because of the fatal strikes delivered by two Hegemons. Otherwise, how would Ning ever had a chance to get his hands on something so valuable?

As far as Ning could tell, the only wound on the onyx humanoid body was that wound across the chest. The other parts of its body seemed completely undamaged; it seemed unlikely that Ning would be able to gain much from it.

“What about the stone walls?” Just like the others, Ning ended up deciding to give up trying to move the humanoid corpse and instead began to inspect the walls. Might there be any treasures littered here?

None at all! Even if there had been any, the others probably would’ve swept them clean long ago.

Ning used his hand to gently trace some of the scars left behind on the walls. Although this cave was actually a top-grade Eternal treasure, it was covered with ancient scars from that long-ago battle. The emanations of the Dao radiating from those scars caused Ning to fall into a state of intoxication.

“These scars can be divided into representing three different types of ‘intent’. It seems they pertain to the two Hegemons and the humanoid corpse,” Ning mused.

One type of intent was an overwhelming, awe-inspiring, radiant intent.

The second intent was that of a furious, endless flood of water.

The third was that of a baleful metallic will. In terms of aura, the metallic one was actually slightly weaker than the other two intents.

“The intent of radiant light belonged to the white-robed Hegemon. The intent of water belonged to the Ancient ancestor.” Ning was able to quickly verify which belonged to which, as the two Hegemon corpses continued to emanate waves of power and presence as well. “Then that means the onyx humanoid corpse represented that metallic will. So it actually had a Dao of its own, and its own Dao was second to just that of the Hegemons.” Ning was rather amazed by all of these things.

Ning waved his hand, causing four figures to appear by his side. They were Su Youji, Pillsaint, Daolord Naia, and Daolord Bruteflame. After Ning had captured Daolord Bruteflame, the man had naturally submitted and chosen to serve Ning.

“Master.” All four of them hurriedly called out to Ning with respect as they looked curiously at their surroundings. They didn’t really pay much attention to the humanoid corpse, but the two distant Hegemon corpses caused all of them to feel stunned.

“Is that…” The four could scarcely believe it.

“Those are the corpses of a pair of Hegemons,” Ning confirmed. “Don’t just stand there like idiots. I came to this place alongside the Ninedust Sectlord, but I won’t be able to get any legacies from it. There are some battle-scars on the cave walls that you can examine which might be of assistance to you in comprehending the Dao. Youji, the closer you move to the white-robed Hegemon, the more powerful the field of illusions around it becomes. It might be of use to you.”

All four of them were completely stunned, but they quickly calmed down upon hearing Ning’s instructions. Ning trusted all four of them implicitly, because they had all sworn lifeblood oaths to him.

“Go,” Ning instructed.


“Scars of battle left behind by Hegemons?” They all began to explore the cave and inspect the walls. As for Ning, he lifted his head to gaze at the cave walls as well as he sought to better understand the Hegemon’s Dao. Although this wasn’t the Dao of the Sword, all Daos shared certain commonalities. Daolord Allgod, for example, delighted in training in all types of Daos. He had even trained in the Dao of the Sword! This was because all Daos had a chance to stimulate and enlighten you. There was no way Ning would allow himself to miss the chance to analyze the Dao of a Hegemon.

And so, Ning and his four retainers began to train and meditate within the cave. Su Youji trained in the Dao of Fire, while the white-robed Hegemon was a master of the Dao of Light, but both Daos were highly suited to illusions! Mastery over illusions was not exclusive to Heartforce Cultivators.

“Incredible. This is absolutely incredible. Radiance… free will… how can illusions reach such an incredible level?” Su Youji was completely stunned and dazed by what she found. She was the successor of Feixian the Exalted, and was a true master of the art of illusions and charm. However, she wasn’t even close to being a match for this Hegemon. The mere illusory ripples generated by the white-robed Hegemon’s corpse filled her with indescribable awe.

“Master, Master! Come over here, quickly!” After meditating for five months, Su Youji began to call out for Ning.

“Eh?” Ning had been seated in the lotus position, staring at the cave walls. He turned his head to look at Su Youji.

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