The Desolate Era - Book 11, Chapter 3 - Mastering the First Dao-Path
The downpour steadily grew, and it poured down into this world. Ji Ning didn’t move to avoid it, nor did he use his elemental ki to block it; he allowed the rain to cascade onto his body. He felt closer to the raindrops than he ever had before, so close that he felt intoxicated by them.
A nameless aura began to envelope Ning. This was the aura of the Dao! Ning’s entire body seemed to have become the Dao itself.
“The Dao of Rainwater?” The giant yellow bear and the old black bull were both completely stunned.
“He’s actually mastered it. Although Ning has made major improvements in the ten years he spent at Serpentwing Lake, and had an extremely deep grasp regarding the Dao of Rainwater, he was still some distance away from mastering it. Generally speaking, when comprehending the Dao, the farther along the path you go, the more difficult it will become. What in the world has Ji Ning experienced? Whatever it was, it seems to have baptized him, allowing him to break through and completely understand the Dao of Rainwater at one go.” The giant yellow bear sighed in amazement.
The old black bull nodded as well. . “Whatever it was he experienced, it had a tremendous impact on him.”
The rainwater vanished. Ning stared at the stars in the sky. He had advanced in the Dao of the Inferno, the Dao of the Gale, and the Dao of the Sword as well. His understanding of the Dao of the Sword in particular, which had reached the Grand Dao Domain, had further stabilized after this period of time in the Stellar Hall.
Finally, he came to a halt and rested.
“How much time did I spend in meditation?” Ning spoke out.
“Not too long, just an hour.” The giant yellow bear laughed, “But in this hour, you improved quite a bit; you surged forward tremendously in one breath.”
Ning felt more peaceful than he ever had before. He revealed a hint of a smile. “I can sense my improvement as well. I have thoroughly comprehended the Dao of Rainwater, and in fact, I have gained a certain degree of insight into all ‘water’-type Daos.”
“This is called resonance,” the giant yellow bear said. “You have now mastered the Dao-Path of Rainwater; naturally, you will continue to advance in the element of water. For the other, similar Daos to resonate is quite normal. Unfortunately, although you advanced a bit in the Dao of the Inferno and the Dao of the Gale, you are still a little ways off from completely mastering these Dao-Paths.”
Of his three Daos, he had gained insights into the Dao of Rainwater the earliest, and his level of comprehension with regards to this Dao was the highest. His insights into the Dao of the Inferno was secondary only to the Dao of Rainwater, and was actually quite close; however, he still had yet to completely master it. As for the Dao of the Gale, it was weaker than both the other two.
“I didn’t expect that you’d actually be able to master a Grand Dao Domain.” The giant yellow bear looked at Ning. “Sword Immortals are all skilled at offense; it’s clear that your strength has risen significantly after you reached the Grand Dao Domain. Now that you’ve also mastered the Dao-Path of Rainwater, you will be absolutely capable of fusing your Dao of Rainwater into your Dao of the Sword.”
The Dao of the Sword was a mechanistic Dao. One could infuse one’s insights in other areas into the Dao of the Sword and display it through the sword!
“Let me try.” Ning laughed, then struck out with a finger into a sword-stance.
Suddenly, rainwater appeared in the surrounding area. The rainwater sprinkled everywhere, but each drop of water carried an incomparably amazing amount of power. The entire world seemed to have been frozen into place. An ordinary Wanxiang Adept probably wouldn’t even be able to move right now. After completely mastering a Dao-Path, one would be able to summon the awesome presence of the Dao itself, causing the entire surrounding area to be under one’s own control.
“This technique is called ‘My Own World’. Activate.” Ning suddenly flicked his finger. Swish! A streak of watery sword-light sliced through the skies, leaving behind a scar in the air that lingered for quite some time without vanishing.
“A good technique; truly, a good sword technique,” the giant yellow bear praised.
“It’s not just good; even Loose Immortals are generally only at this level, and many aren’t as good as you, Ji Ning,” the old black bull called out in surprise.
Ning laughed. Generally speaking, Primal Daoists were at the Dao Domain level, while Loose Immortals were generally capable of mastering a complete Dao-Path.
Ning had not only mastered a complete Dao-Path, he had also reached the Grand Dao Domain level in the Dao of the Sword. It was even harder to reach the Grand Dao Domain level than mastering a complete Dao-Path. With the two amplifying each other… indeed, many Loose Immortals were inferior to Ning. However, that only referred to ‘ordinary’ Loose Immortals, not ones like the Loose Immortals of the Black-White College.
“I am now in control of a complete Dao-Path. According to the rules of the College, I can make my breakthrough to the Primal Daoist level,” Ning said. “In addition, after having killed a young master of a major tribe, I’ve reaped quite a few rewards; I imagine I should now have enough liquefied elemental essence to make that breakthrough. Only, I’m still hesitating; should I make that breakthrough or not? I’d like to ask you two seniors to please advise me on what I should do next.”
The old black bull had accompanied Immortal Juhua for a million years, and had a great deal of experience. Naturally, his vision would be very broad as well.
As for the giant yellow bear, he had followed Daoist Threelives and had unfathomable experiences.
Ning felt that he truly should ask the advice of these two.
“Speak,” The giant yellow bear said.
“What’s this? You killed a young master of a major clan? Tell, tell,” the old black bull said with great eagerness.
Ning nodded. “I was originally training in Brightheart Island on Serpentwing Lake, but a few days ago, a large warship suddenly appeared in the skies above it…” Ning began to describe his experience in detail, from start to finish. He even explained the backgrounds of Youngflame Nong and Ninelotus, so as to give these two old figures sufficient background information for pondering.
He even told them about Yu Wei’s advice and the upcoming Conclave of Immortal Destiny.
“The Youngflame clan is going to pursue me. What should I do?” Ning looked at the old black bull and the giant yellow bear.
“A major tribe that can rank amongst the top ten clans of one of the three thousand major worlds… this sort of tribe definitely has Celestial Immortals,” the giant yellow bear said. “In addition, they should have more than just one. A force like this… for the current you, they are indeed far too powerful. Fortunately, in the Grand Xia Dynasty, there are strict laws, which is why you still have a chance to resist them.”
“The Youngflame clan? I know this clan,” the old black bull said hurriedly. “In the past, Immortal Juhua had a bit of a relationship with the clan. The Youngflame clan does indeed rank towards the front amongst the clans of the Grand Xia Dynasty. However, although the imperial clan of the Grand Xia did indeed need these clans when it was unifying the world, after doing so, these clans became a threat to them.”
Ning was startled.
“In truth, the imperial clan of the Grand Xia has been working all this time to try and weaken the power of the clans,” the old black bull said quickly. “They first built the commandery cities, spreading them throughout the world so as to increase their sphere of control, and then formed the Raindragon Guard and spread them throughout the world as well! In addition, they secretly forment internal struggles between these clans, tribes, and sects.”
“Can it be that the other tribes are idiots? They’ll just stupidly fight amongst each other like that?” Ning was curious.
“This is what you don’t understand. This isn’t a hidden scheme; it’s an open scheme. There is only so much land in this major world, and only so many treasures. And yet, there are so many tribes. What to do about it? The imperial clan of the Grand Xia will take their share, then leave the other major powers to fight over what’s left. If you aren’t willing to fight for your share, then your clan will end up with no treasures. Thus, they are forced to struggle against each other, and as they do, they naturally end up forming grudges.”
“However, the imperial clan of the Grand Xia wouldn’t dare to act directly against its marquises. That’s because if they were to act against one marquis, all of the other marquises would feel threatened; in fact, some actually might join forces to revolt!” The old black bull continued, “This is why the imperial clan of the Grand Xia has set down some laws, some public laws.”
“So long as you do not disobey the laws, the imperial clan absolutely won’t touch you.”
“But if you were to violate those laws? The imperial clan of the Grand Xia would be like sharks that smelled the scent of blood; they will eat you alive,” the old black bull laughed. “So long as you hide within a commandery city, the Celestial Immortals of the Youngflame clan definitely won’t dare to act against you, because once they do, then the imperial clan of the Grand Xia, which has always wanted to whittle away at the power of the marquises, will have an ironclad reason to act against them. They would quickly send out a squad to annihilate that Celestial Immortal!”
“Now, do you understand some of the hidden undercurrents of this world of the Grand Xia Dynasty’s?” The old black bull looked at Ning.
The imperial clan of the Grand Xia, and the many marquises.
Many of the marquises held grudges against each other; no wonder Yu Wei had advised him to join a different marquisdom.
“That senior apprentice-sister Yu Wei of yours told you to go participate in the Conclave of Immortal Destiny. Her words are quite correct,” the giant yellow bear said. “You are going to become a Celestial Immortal, and in fact, an Empyrean God…”
“Senior, what is an ‘Empyrean God’?” Ning immediately asked. Ning had never quite understood what Empyrean Gods were.
“When Earth Immortals, who are at the ‘Void’ level, overcome the Celestial Tribulation, they will naturally become carefree Celstial Immortals.”
“Void-level Fiendgods, however, when overcoming the Celestial Tribulation will become Empyrean Gods!” The giant yellow bear said, “To become an Empyrean God is tens of times, perhaps a hundred times, as difficult as becoming a Celestial Immortal.”
Ning was speechless. “A hundred times harder?”
It was rare for there to be even a single Celestial Immortal for every ten thousand Earth Immortals; to become an Empyrean God was even harder?!
“That’s because they have completely different levels of power,” the giant yellow bear explained. “Earlier, you said you encountered a Fiendgod, a Hydraga. He was only at the Primal level, but already comparable to a peak Loose Immortal.”
“Right.’ Ning nodded.
“A Void-level Fiendgod is already comparable to a Celestial Immortal. And an Empyrean God… they are absolutely comparable to True Immortals!” The giant yellow bear looked at Ning. “Now do you understand? Once you become an Empyrean God… you would become a true major power of the Three Realms. In fact, even if you were to go to the Deva realm and express a desire to join the Celestial Court, the Celestial Emperor would warmly welcome you and even let you command hundreds of thousands of celestial soldiers or generals.”
Ning blinked. The Celestial Emperor of the Celestial Court would personally welcome him? Let him command hundreds of thousands of celestial soldiers?
“Master said that only after I become an Empyrean God would I truly be considered his apprentice.” Ning couldn’t help but say, “This requirement is a bit high for me.”
“Think about what Master’s status was. He emerged from the world alongside Pangu and Nuwa… he was one of the most supreme powers of the entire Three Realms. Only after reaching the Empyrean God level could it be said that you are not an embarrassment to him,” the giant yellow bear said. “But don’t change the subject. As I was saying earlier, the advice from your senior apprentice-sister, Yu Wei, to go to the Conclave of Immortal Destiny was very good advice. This is because, as the saying goes, it is better to travel ten thousand kilometers than to read ten thousand books… and it is better to make a single journey on the border between life and death than to travel ten thousand kilometers.”
“The Conclave of Immortal Destiny will have all the geniuses of this entire major world present; in fact, some of the geniuses of other major worlds might come in secret as well, so as to take part.”
“This is just like the cultivation of Gu-bugs. Put ten thousand venomous bugs in one place and have them fight against each other and devour each other. In the end, the venomous bugs that you have left will be incomparably powerful. The principle is the same; the ones to survive the Conclave of Immortal Destiny shall be truly extraordinary. This is an excellent chance for you to temper yourself, a chance which is quite rare and hard to find.”
The giant yellow bear continued, “Right, you said you killed Youngflame Nong; didn’t you acquire a great deal of treasure from him? Take it out, take it all out and let me take a look and see which would be of use to you.”
Ning waved his hand. “He had many treasures. I just bound the storage-type magic treasure not long ago.” He had been hiding some of the treasures within his Zifu, while he had stored the others in his own storage-type magic treasure.
Instantly, a small hill appeared on the ground, completely formed from precious items and magic treasures.
“These are the treasures and precious items of Youngflame Nong.” Ning pointed at them.