The Desolate Era - Book 10, Chapter 25 - Grand Dao Domain
Everyone close to Ji Ning, such as Mu Northson and Ninelotus, all knew that Ning’s mother was named Yuchi Snow. However, they all wanted to try and buy him some time; at the very least, they wanted to make sure that could leave this major world alive. Later on, the Dongyan clan and the Black-White College could use some methods at their disposal to ensure that Ning could be sent and escape to other lesser worlds, or perhaps even a different major world.
Xue Hongyi had thoroughly investigated Ning long ago, and had even purchased a set of intelligence reports regarding Ning from the Heavenly Treasures Mountain. Naturally, he knew who Ning’s parents were.
“Youngflame Nong!” Ninelotus was enraged.
“Hold!” Yu Wei’s forehead suddenly began to glow with white light. Her aura quickly became terrifying as she, too, roared with fury.
Adept Vastriver and Mu Northson all called out in anger as well.
Xiangliu Fang only stretched out a single hand, which instantly expanded to a tremendous size. At the same time, his five fingers transformed into five giant serpents, each more than three hundred meters long. They stretched out towards Ninelotus, Yu Wei, Northson, and Adept Vastriver. Every single serpent emanated a terrifyingly powerful aura, causing the faces of Ninelotus and the others to become unsightly.
“Ninelotus, I won’t kill you.” Youngflame Nong pointed towards Ninelotus. “But those three fellow disciples of yours… Uncle Fang, if they dare interfere, just kill them.”
Although he felt lust towards Yu Wei… women, to Youngflame Nong, were nothing more than playthings. Playthings, in the end, were still playthings; they could be killed at a moment’s notice.
Ninelotus, Northson, Yu Wei, and Adept Vastriver all stared towards him with hatred, but they knew exactly how strong Xiangliu Fang was; he was absolutely capable of crushing them. Although they had some protective items on them, those items would at most allow them to stay alive for a short period of time. To completely change the situation… was impossible.
“Senior apprentice-brother, senior apprentice-sister, junior apprentice-brother… Ninelotus.” Ning looked towards Youngflame Nong, seated at the front of the hall, then said calmly, “There’s no need for you to intervene. This is a matter between myself and Youngflame Nong.”
“Ji Ning.” Ninelotus called out frantically towards him.
Ning looked towards Ninelotus. “Don’t worry.”
“YOUNGFLAME NONG!!!” Ninelotus was absolutely livid. “You are provoking my Dongyan clan!”
“If it was the Forefather of the Dongyan clan who said these words to me, then I might truly be forced to reconsider. But you?” Youngflame Nong laughed, then shook his head.
Ninelotus suddenly produced a black lotus petal in her hand, a petal with an aura that inspired terror. The black lotus petal quickly expanded, causing Xiangliu Fang to call out icily, “Are you looking to die!?” His giant python-finger instantly smashed headlong against the black lotus flower, which trembled, then began to crack. This cracked black lotus flower continued to fly straight towards the giant serpent.
The giant serpent quickly froze into a statue of ice, then shattered apart. In fact, Xiangliu Fang’s entire hand became frozen, all the way to his elbow, then began to splinter across. However, Xiangliu Fang’s arm then once more grew out. WHAP. His fingers once more transformed into serpents, striking heavily against Ninelotus and causing her to be knocked flying, vomiting blood from her mouth.
“Not bad. Unfortunately, you were only capable of injuring Uncle Fang.” Youngflame Nong shook his head. “Even I am unable to produce treasures capable of killing Uncle Fang. You?”
Xiangliu Fang was of the ancient Fiendgod ‘Hydraga’ race; his lifeforce was incredibly powerful, and his combat ability was comparable to a peak Loose Immortal’s. To kill Xiangliu Fang? This was an incredibly hard task.
“Xue Hongyi, I’ll give you a chance to render merits for yourself.” Youngflame Nong looked towards Xue Hongyi. “Go and kill Ji Ning.”
“Me? Kill Ji Ning?” Xue Hongyi was stunned.
“Are you going to kill him or not?” Youngflame Nong’s eyes flashed with a cold light.
Xue Hongyi mentally cursed nonstop. He had been flattering Youngflame Nong this entire time, and had even told him that Ning’s mother was named Yuchi Snow. He had done all of this in the hopes of making Youngflame Nong like him… but who would’ve imagined that Youngflame Nong would be this vicious? Youngflame Nong had actually ordered him to go kill Ji Ning… he had no confidence in being able to do so at all!
“Kill, yes, kill.” Xue Hongyi nodded frantically, but in his heart, he thought to himself, “I’m not going to be able to kill Ji Ning, but I should be able to stay alive at least.”
“Ji Ning, prepare to die,” Xue Hongyi called out with anger, then instantly shot out a series of flying needles towards Ning.
Youngflame Nong and Xiangliu Fang stood there at the front of the hall, watching this happen. A look of anticipation was in Youngflame Nong’s eyes. “Xue Hongyi’s strength should be a bit weaker than Ji Ning’s; if Ji Ning really was to go all-out against him, he should be able to kill Xue Hongyi… and after Xue Hongyi dies, his Immortal-ranked magic treasure will be mine.”
“Uncle Fang, after Xue Hongyi dies, you attack and kill Ji Ning,” Youngflame Nong sent. “The Immortal-ranked magic treasure will be mine then.”
“Yes, young master,” Xiangliu Fang said.
Upon hearing Youngflame Nong say, the words, “Ji Ning shall die” and “anyone who attempts to block the path of the Youngflame clan in doing so will be killed,” Ning had already made up his mind to kill Youngflame Nong!
Xiangliu Fang was far too powerful; Ning didn’t feel any confidence in his ability to defeat him, but he had no choice now.
“Die.” Xue Hongyi charged forward.
“First you. Then Youngflame Nong.” Ning wielded his Darknorth swords in his hands. At this point, he couldn’t be bothered to use wings to hide his technique.
A series of flying needles filled the skies, shooting towards him.
“KILL!” Ning let out an enraged bellow. In this moment, Ning’s sword-heart was more steadfast and firm than it had ever been before.
He understood now.
In this moment, he had embarked on a brand new path. If he didn’t kill Youngflame Nong, then due to being physically located within this Immortal estate, he wouldn’t be able to escape. He would die! But if he did kill Youngflame Nong, someone who had the highest chances to become the next Godplume Duke… the Youngflame clan would definitely pursue him with full power. This was a clan that was even more terrifyingly powerful than the Northmont clan of Stillwater!
Two roads lay ahead of him.
One was the road to death.
The other was the road of being pursued by the Youngflame clan.
After having been pressured to this extent… Ning actually became incomparably resolved.
His soul became completely pure and transparent in this moment, more than it ever had been before. Ning suddenly felt as though time itself slowed down. Something that he had been struggling with this entire time to reach, and yet had never been able to… finally, he truly had reached it, and embarked on a new journey through his Grand Dao. This was… the Grand Dao of the Sword! A vast, awe-inspiring Grand Dao! In this moment, Ning felt as though he had transformed into a sword that was swimming through the entirety of the Grand Dao.
In this moment… Ning had completely reached the Grand Dao Domain level.
Generally speaking, Immortal cultivators who trained in a Dao all had the chance to reach the ‘Dao Domain’ level, but that was generally only true for an ordinary Dao. The Dao of the Sword, however, was one of the Grand Daos; to reach the Grand Dao Domain was far more difficult than even completely mastering an entire Dao-Path. Although Ning had reached the fifth stance of the [Three-Foot Sword] long ago, if he hadn’t been placed under such enormous pressure this time, causing his heart to suddenly and completely comprehend and allow him to pass through the final barriers, it would have remained very difficult for him to reach this new level.
Within his sea of consciousness.
Ning’s soul suddenly transformed into a sword, an incomparably dazzling sword. This was the sword-soul, which only a Sword Immortal who had truly reached the Grand Dao Domain level would possess. This was a fundamental change, an evolution of the soul.
The sword suddenly transformed into Ji Ning’s appearance… but the spirit-Ning faintly emanated with the light of a sword.
“What is the purpose of a life lived?”
“All I ask for is to be joyful.”
“Kill, kill, kill.”
“Exterminate all injustices!”
“Exterminate all those who deserve killing!”
“Only then will I be exultant.”
“As Loose Immortals, there is no path to immortality.”
“Better to live passionately for a day, than to live a century while stifled.”
“My sword is the joyous sword, the sword of passion, the sword which exterminates all injustices. The name of this sword technique is the [Three-Foot Sword].”
While battling against Xue Hongyi, Ning suddenly began to laugh. Laugh loudly, and with joy. “Kill, kill, kill; exterminate all injustices, and exterminate all those who need killing! Better to live passionately for a day, than to live a century while stifled.” As Ning laughed loudly, the Darknorth swords in his hands suddenly became incomparably brilliant and incomparably awe-inspiring.
An unfathomably terrifying sword-aura instantly filled the entire hall. A dazzling streak of sword-light lashed out, tearing through the flying needles as though they were made of rotting wood, then sliced across Xue Hongyi’s body.
“I, I, I…” Xue Hongyi’s eyes were completely round. He had never imagined that he would end up like this. Filled to the brim with terror, even his soul began to crack and shatter under the terrifying sword-aura filling the hall.
And then… his body fell into two parts on the ground.
The sixth stance of the [Three-Foot Sword]… the Grand Dao Domain!
The [Three-Foot Sword], as the highest level sword art of the Black-White College, had six stances that were available to the public. The final three stances, however, were limited to direct, Epochal Transmission for Sword Immortals.
The first stance – Lustrous Sword-Heart
The second stance – Manifold Thistlethorns
The third stance – Sudden Sword-Light
The fourth stance – Sun in the Sky
The fifth stance – Moonlight Hiding the Sword
The sixth stance – Grand Dao Domain.
These sword stances weren’t completely set in stone; for example, the first stance, Lustrous Sword-Heart, was different for each person, depending on how they comprehended it. The [Three-Foot Sword] primarily served as a guide. It guided Sword Immortals towards techniques that suited them best. Every single practitioner of the [Three-Foot Sword] was capable of executing the [Three-Foot Sword] in a way which suited them the most.
In dire straits, Ning’s heart had completely merged into the Grand Dao, allowing him to reach the Grand Dao Domain level. The power of this sixth stance he had comprehended was truly incomparably frightening.
“Is this a Grand Dao Domain?” Youngflame Nong watched as a terrifying sword-aura washed over the entire hall, causing even his own soul to shudder. Youngflame Nong’s face completely changed from its previous, calm and smug look. He stared at Ji Ning, this young man from a backwater clan, who seemed to have gone berserk and who had just killed Xue Hongyi with one blow. “How old is he? He actually… actually has already reached the Grand Dao Domain level? And in the Dao of the Sword, the most offensive of Daos?!”
Youngflame Nong suddenly felt jealousy in his heart; why couldn’t he be this talented? Why did this sort of talent have to fall onto a rustic youth like this one?
“Grand Dao Domain?”
“This Dao of the Sword…”
Yu Wei, Adept Vastriver, and Ninelotus were in a state of shock. The sword-aura that filled the hall… all of them could feel the resoluteness, the sharpness, the indomitableness emanating from it.
The sword was a sharp weapon. The heart of a Sword Immortal… only one whose heart was truly as sharp, resolute, and indomitable as a sword would be capable of truly comprehending the exquisiteness of the Dao of the Sword.
When the sword emerged, there was no room for regret.
When the sword emerged, it could not be blocked.
This was what it meant to be a Sword Immortal!
“KILL!” Ning wielded his twin swords in his hands. His body suddenly increased dramatically as he transformed into a thirty meter tall giant as he simultaneously executed his divine ability, [Starseizing Hand] as well. In this moment, the sword-light in Ning’s hands had reached an awe-inspiringly powerful level. But Xiangliu Fang just let out a furious growl, smashing out with his palm, which swept forward like a dark stormcloud as the giant serpents that were his fingers ravenously bit down.
An explosive sound rang out. The flesh on Xiangliu Fang’s serpent-hand split open, and fresh blood sprayed everywhere as divine power lashed everywhere.
Ning was sent flying back as well, blood spewing out from his mouth. In this moment, Ning understood… that although his power had increased dramatically, compared with Xiangliu Fang, who possessed the power of a peak Loose Immortal, the difference in power was simply too great. The opponent was able to defeat him with just one hand.
Northson, Yu Wei, and Ninelotus all called out in alarm.
While being knocked backwards, Ning’s eyes became filled with madness. That black loop, which had been tucked into his bracer the entire time, suddenly appeared in his palm. This was the treasure which Daoist Threelives had personally forged; of Ning’s two important life-saving treasures, it was the only one capable of an active attack.
Ning had no other choices left to him.
“GO!” Ning waved his hand, sending the black loop flying out.