The Desolate Era - Book 9, Chapter 17 - The Third Stance of the [Three-Foot Sword]
The underwater estate. The Stellar Hall.
A wild gale howled within the skies of the Stellar Hall. Occasionally, flames would fill the skies, and occasionally, sheets of rain would fall. And Ning…he was the master of the wind and the storm, as though everything was under his command.
“A true genius.” The giant yellow bear stood within the thatched cottage, staring off into the distance. He couldn’t help but sigh, “In four short years, he’s managed to improve this much.”
“He is formidable.” The old black bull’s pair of ox-eyes were completely round as he stared. “As long as this kid doesn’t screw up on his path and die somewhere, he will definitely be able to reach Immortal Juhua’s level with ease.”
The giant yellow bear gave a sidelong glance to the old black bull. “Stop praising your master. Your master, as an Earth Immortal, wasn’t able to overcome the seventh level of the Wargod Hall…despite the assistance of the underwater estate, in the end, he still became a Loose Immortal. How can his talent be compared to Ji Ning’s? Ji Ning, in terms of comprehension or temperament, is significantly superior to your master.”
The old black bull let out an awkward laugh. “Look,” he said hurriedly, “Ji Ning is now beginning to gain insights into the Dao of the Sword.” The giant yellow bear turned to look over…
Ning stood there, amidst the strewn rocks. The wild gale, the torrential rain, the blazing inferno…it had all vanished. In the area around him, one surge of sword-ki after another began to emerge, visible to the naked eye. They began to wantonly swing through the area near Ning, and each stroke of sword-ki contained the profoundities of the Dao of the Sword, as they continuously put on display the insights Ning was gaining.
As for Ning himself, he remained staring at the star-studded skies, focusing on one star in particular. This was the star that contained the complete Grand Dao of the Sword.
Previously, when Ning was comprehending the Dao, he had been like a blind man trying to build a mental image of an elephant by using his hands to feel it. He had advanced at a very slow pace, one step at a time…but now, within the Stellar Hall, which contained an entire, complete Dao-Path, it was as though a lamp had been lit within the darkness, allowing Ning to see where he was going. The accumulated experiences Ning had gained into the Dao of the Sword were beginning to burst forth…
“His ability to comprehend the Dao of the Sword is quite high,” the old black bull breathed in surprise. “Ji Ning’s ability to comprehend the Dao of the Sword has long surpassed the level of ‘comprehending one’s sword-heart’.”
“Right. A bit a higher than I predicted.” The giant yellow bear laughed, then said in praise, “It seems as though Master will finally have a true successor.”
Time passed, one minute at a time. The sword-ki around Ning became increasingly intricate and profound, and increasingly pure as well. The old black bull and the giant yellow bear, these two magic treasure spirits who had lived for unfathomably many years, watched leisurely as Ning continued to gain insights into the Dao. They watched for more than half a month.
“It truly is unfathomably profound.” Ning suddenly let out a surprised sigh, and the sword-ki around him instantly, completely vanished.
“Finished?” The old black bull called to him. Ning turned to look, only to see the old black bull and the giant yellow bear within the thatched hut. He immediately nodded and sighed in amazement, “To be able to easily view and analyze the complete Dao of the Sword is the dream of any Sword Immortal. This time, when I viewed the entirety of the Grand Dao of the Sword, I finally understood…that even our Black-White College’s Immortal Northwalker’s [Three-Foot Sword] only contained a small portion of the complete Grand Dao of the Sword. The path of Immortal cultivators truly is a long, winding one.
“Ji Ning.” The giant yellow bear had a hint of a smile on his face. “What level has your swordplay reached? Show it to me.”
“Please provide me with some guidance.” Ning manifested a longsword of elemental ki in his hands. Calmly, he struck out with the sword, almost as though he were painting something. The sword danced in his hands, just like the brush of a master painter on a canvas; it was a very natural, relaxed movement of the sword.
“Swish!” The sword of elemental ki flashed outwards, and a faint sword tip suddenly appeared, leaving behind a sword-scar in the skies that could be seen with the visible eye, as though a painter’s brush had left behind visible markings.
The third stance of the [Three-Foot Sword] – Sudden Sword Light!
“What a reserved sword. What a shocking sword.” The giant yellow bear’s eyes lit up, and he couldn’t help but saying in praise, “The person who was able to develop this sword technique was truly a genius, most likely superior to even Juhua.”
The old black bull instantly said, angry, “Big Brother, how can you say that he’s superior to Juhua? My master was an extremely powerful Loose Immortal whose fame was well known throughout the lands under the control of the Grand Xia Dynasty.”
Ning explained, “This sword technique is known as the [Three-Foot Sword], and it has a total of nine stances. Just now, I displayed the third stance, ‘Sudden Sword Light’, the most powerful sword technique I am currently capable of using. This sword technique was developed by the most powerful Sword Immortal in the history of the Black-White College, ‘Immortal Northwalker’. He was a Loose Immortal who lived for more than a million years…but of course, in terms of longevity, he couldn’t compare to senior Juhua.”
“More than a million years?” The giant yellow bear stared at the old black bull. “Black bull, this Immortal Northwalker was merely an Immortal of Stillwater Commandery, but he still became so accomplished. I wasn’t wrong in saying that he was more talented than Juhua, was I?”
“Hmph. Maybe he had even more monstrous luck than Juhua did,” the old black bull snorted. The giant yellow bear stared at him. “You black bull…you are going to be pig-headed with me? So I have to lock you up for a few thousand years before you shape up?”
“Big Brother, we’re just debating with words, not violence!” The old black bull hurriedly took two steps back. Ning, seeing this, couldn’t help but secretly laugh. These two…
One was the spirit of Immortal Juhua’s Immortal-ranked magic treasure, while the other was the spirit of the estate which Daoist Threelives had forged. The two were both magic treasure spirits, and yet they could actually end up bickering like this?
“Big Brother, let’s not make a fool out of ourselves in front of Ji Ning. Am I right?” The old black bull hung its head. The giant yellow bear couldn’t even be bothered to look at the old black bull. He said directly to Ning, “Ji Ning, you have finished comprehending the Dao in the Stellar Hall…even if you spend more time here, it will be useless. You will need more normal, everyday experiences in the real world before you can gain more insights here! What do you plan to do next?”
“Senior,” Ning said. “If I were to go challenge the third level of the Stellar Hall, how are my chances now?”
“Now?” The giant yellow bear hesitated. “Your insights into the Dao of the Sword truly are at a higher level than I had anticipated. That that sword technique of yours, that…what was it…the ‘[Three-Foot Sword]’? It is quite formidable! Mm, and given that you have my master’s most powerful divine ability…you should have a 30% chance of overcoming the third level of the Wargod Hall.”
“Thirty percent?” Ning was secretly startled. The Dao of Rainwater, the Dao of the Inferno, the Dao of the Gale…he had improved significantly in all three Daos. He had also made significant gains in the Dao of the Sword, and had comprehended the third stance of the [Three-Foot Sword]! Ning could sense that his power had increased dramatically! But he still only had a thirty percent chance?
“Are you going to challenge it?” The giant yellow bear asked. “Yes!” Ning nodded, not hesitating at all. “Eh?” The giant yellow bear was puzzled. “Why’ve you decided to challenge it? Aren’t you going to wait until you are a bit stronger and have a better shot?”
Ning shook his head. “I can sense that I will soon break through to the tenth stage of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens]. Once I make the breakthrough, I will be at the Wanxiang level as a Fiendgod Body Refiner. By then, I’ll have two new chances to challenge the Wargod Hall, and the previous chance will have been wasted.”
As a Xiantian-level Fiendgod Body Refiner, Ning had two chances. He used the first to pass the first level of the Wargod Hall, and the second in a failed attempt at the second level.
As a Zifu-level Fiendgod Body Refiner, Ning had gained two additional options. He had only used one, to pass the second level of the Wargod Hall. If he didn’t use this second option…he would soon break through to the Wanxiang level, at which point it would be wasted.
“Let’s go,” the giant yellow bear said. “Follow me to the Wargod Hall.”
As they exited the Stellar Hall, they moved through the winding corridor, soon arriving in front of the Wargod Hall. Ning pressed hand directly against the giant bronze door that was covered with a layer of bloody light . With a whoosh, that layer of bloody light devoured Ning, teleporting him away.
He was in a vast, endless world. The ground here seemed to be stained red with blood, and in the distance, a massive, towering edifice could be seen.
“Senior.” Ning saw that the giant yellow bear had appeared out of nowhere, next to him. “The third level?” The giant yellow bear looked towards Ning. “Yes.” Ning nodded.
“Go, then!” The giant yellow bear pointed towards the distant tower. “Go in through the gates to that tower. You’ll be transported directly to the third level. Remember; if you realize that you have no hopes of winning, immediately use the talisman to teleport out. Your opponent won’t show any mercy; if you aren’t careful, you might die. That really wouldn’t be worth it.”
Ning nodded. Swoosh! Moving like a flash, he crossed the three hundred meters and arrived at the gates to the tower, glowing with a hazy white light. He took a step inside…and space twisted.
“The third level?” Ning stared at his surroundings. This was a blurry white room that was three thousand meters high and many thousands of meters in circumference. “What’s the trial here on the third floor?” The Darknorth swords materialized into Ning’s hands as he carefully stared around.
A ray of golden light shot out. It began to coalesce, quickly shaping into a golden-armored general. This golden-armored general had a cold, cruel look on his face, but his armor was incomparably beautiful. He had a pair of warhammers in his hands.
“Eh?” The golden-armored general looked around, then a hint of delight appeared on his face. Soon, his gaze fell upon Ning. Ning…felt his heart tremble.
His subconscious was frantically warning him that the golden-armored warrior in front of him was extremely terrifying. His soul had never been wrong before, and Ning instantly grew extremely cautious. “Didn’t the spirit of the estate say that I have a 30% chance of winning? 30% isn’t that bad…why is it that this golden-armored warrior gives me such a terrifying sense of danger? Even ordinary Primal Daoists don’t have such a terrifying presence.”
“Little kid, you seem quite weak. The aura of your Fiendgod body isn’t that strong.” The golden-armored warrior looked weighingly at Ning. “Although I’m nothing more than an avatar created by a strand of divine power…beating you will be far too easy.”
Ning new that Fiendgod Body Refiners had special powers at special levels. At the Zifu level, one would be capable of the Blood-Drop Rebirth ability. At the Wanxiang level, one would be able to change one’s appearances and features. At the Primal level, one could separate part of their flesh and blood and form it into a clone, but the so-called ‘clones’ a Primal could create were not capable of independent movement; they had to move alongside the main body, and weren’t independent.
In order to create an avatar through a strand of divine power, and one that was able to move about at that…this was definitely something only an extremely powerful Fiendgod was capable of!
“A Fiendgod?” Ning held his breath. “It must be a Fiendgod who is at least at the Void level. How could the avatar of a Fiendgod have been teleported here by the Wargod Hall?”
“What other secrets does this underwater estate hold? In the past, Immortal Juhua was capable of binding the estate and carrying it with him, but the old black bull said…that Immortal Juhua always had the feeling that there were other secrets hidden within it.” Ning cursed inwardly, “Given that the avatar of a Fiendgod has appeared in the Wargod Hall, even an idiot would be able to guess that there are other secrets within the underwater estate.”