Whoos.h.!.+ Iyerre warped through s.p.a.cetime, arriving at a giant floating boulder which was many kilometers long. His facial expressions grew markedly more respectful. A small wooden courtyard had been built atop the stone boulder, and in the center was a log cabin. Through the seams in the log cabin, he was able to vaguely make out a skinny, azure-robed form seated in the lotus position within.
The wood cabin and courtyard looked fragile, as though it could be destroyed with the flick of a finger. Iyerre, however, would never dare to offend. Instead he stood outside the courtyard and said respectfully, "Master."
Inside was his master, a truly legendary figure. He was amongst the first Sithe who rose to power, and he quickly outstripped all others by a wide margin. Countless Sithe venerated his very existence, and he eventually came to control his entire Chaosverse.
Iyerre had been the very second Omega Autarch in his homeland, but he still felt that his master far surpa.s.sed in many regards.
"You failed?" The voice was gentle and warm.
"I failed. Completely failed." Iyerre's mood was rather downcast. "The subordinates I brought with me were either killed or captured. It was a completely and total defeat. I'm the only one who managed to escape."
"A pity about those three Sourcewalkers. It wasn't easy for them to reach their level," the person instead sighed. "Each of them was formed from the concentrated essence of my Chaosverse. Reviving them won't be easy."
Iyerre didn't dare to say a word. Long ago, he and his master had come to an agreement. His master had carved out a large chunk of their entire Chaosverse and gave it to Iyerre to rule as he saw fit! All of the Sithe who rose to power within that part of the Chaosverse would be under his control, and he would be permitted to use them to invade other Chaosverses! However, there were two exceptions to this - Sourcewalker Autarchs and Omega Emperors.
An Omega Emperor had the potential to become an Omega Autarch. His master would take all such figures away! Thus, not a single Omega Emperor had joined the war against Ji Ning's Chaosverse.
Sourcewalkers were the treasured darlings of the Chaosverses. The amount of energy they contained in their bodies vastly surpa.s.sed all their peers, and after reaching Autarchy they grew to be far more powerful! They completely surpa.s.sed all the other Exalts. The silver-robed woman and the other two had been Sourcewalker Autarchs. Iyerre felt that he needed to strengthen his forces, and so he had summoned his courage and asked for his master to transfer them to his command.
Even though Sourcewalker Autarchs were unable to summon the power of the Dao in Ning's Chaosverse, they were still on par with t.i.tanos and Mogg in power! This was why they were able to truly make use of the power of the black warbeasts.
Now, all of them were dead. Even their truesouls had been devoured. His master, as the Lord of Chaos, had access to unbelievable abilities and would still be able to devour them, but this process would consume the energies of the prime essences! Their deaths had already caused the prime essences of the Sithe Chaosverse to weaken; to bring them back would weaken the prime essences a second time.
"It was all due to my uselessness." Iyerre lowered his head.
"How did you lose?" the gentle, warm voice asked.
"It was because of an Omega Emperor named Emperor Darknorth," Iyerre explained immediately. "I was at the verge of victory. I could see it right in front of me! But at that critical moment between life and death… perhaps because all of his civilization rested on his shoulders… Emperor Darknorth went completely berserk and actually managed to upgrade his Omega Sword Dao to become the Oblivion Sword Dao."
"He probably reached the threshold long ago, but needed a little extra push. The pressure of his entire civilization about to collapse drove him across that final barrier, allowing him to take one step into Omega Autarchy." The warm voice was rather surprised. "You can't be blamed for your defeat. Now that he has taken this step, becoming an Omega Autarch is nothing more than a matter of time. He'll eventually realize that 'Oblivion' is just one face of his Autarch Omega Sword Dao. He'll come to understand what the other face is and then act accordingly. Haha… finally, a second Chaoslord has arisen within the nine Chaosverses."
"Master, am I really supposed to just give up?" Iyerre said desperately, "There are only eight Chaosverses aside from our own. Emperor Darknorth's was the weakest of the eight, and I know more about it than any of the others. If I have to give up on it, I'll have no chance at all."
There were nine Chaosverses in total. The Sithe had given birth to one Lord of Chaos, but the other eight Chaosverses had not. Iyerre had chosen Ning's Chaosverse as his target because it was weak. The other seven were all stronger, and over the course of years they had only grown even more powerful.
"Yes, all of them are very powerful," that gentle voice said. "The seven remaining Chaosverses… even the weakest has at least twelve Autarchs, while the strongest has thirty-nine Autarchs and five Omega Emperors."
"Although Emperor Darknorth has taken one step into Omega Autarchy, it'll take some time for him to take the final step," Iyerre said hurriedly. "If he doesn't realize that there's another side to Oblivion, he'll be stuck there for even longer! I need to seize every moment and press the counter-attack. His homeland only has two Autarchs left, aside from Emperor Darknorth. Emperor Darknorth is the only impediment. Once we destroy him, we'll have won." Iyerre's gaze was filled with desperation.
"Win?" The voice turned cold. "And how do you think you will win?"
"That's why I've come to ask you for help, Master." Iyerre said hurriedly, "If you concur, we'll still be able to win thanks to your many Exalts, your Omega Emperors, and your treasures." He didn't dare to even ask for his master to risk invading Ning's Chaosverse in person. No Lord of Chaos could possibly be foolish enough to risk his own life in another Chaosverse.
"Hmph!" The voice inside turned rather angry. "Iyerre, I gave you nearly 30% of my entire Chaosverse to administer, but you still failed. Now, you even wish for the children under my rule to risk their lives for you?"
"I'll bring them back to life after they die," Iyerre said hurriedly.
"Back to life? How will you make up for that enormous loss of energy? There's no way I will permit my Chaosverse to be weakened that much. Iyerre, you need to know when to stop!" His master truly was becoming angry. Now that Ning had mastered the Oblivion Sword Dao, the truesouls of the Sithe he killed would be unable to return to the Sithe Chaosverse. As a result, the Sithe Chaosverse was being steadily weakened.
Send more Exalts over to Ning's Chaosverse? It was entirely possible that if their Chaosverse was weakened to a certain extent, Emperor Darknorth would lead an invasion after he became a Lord of Chaos!
If two Chaosverses were fairly close to each other power, neither would be able to do anything to the other. But if one side was much weaker than the other? It was possible for a Chaosverse to be defeated!
"And that place remains Emperor Darknorth's home. You have probably already lost the Gra.s.sland World and the Annihilation Hive. Without them, sending in more Exalts would be pointless. They would simply die," Iyerre's master said.
Iyerre fell silent.
"If you are truly determined to the point of risking death… there may be hope," his master said suddenly.
"Risking death?" Iyerre's eyes lit up.
"I have one treasure, a protective treasure which I created after countless aeons of hard work. It will allow you to ignite the majority of your truesoul and pour it inside to unleash a supremely powerful skill. With this treasure, you stand a chance at gaining victory," his master said. "But this treasure does have a flaw. When you use it, you'll suffer from an enormous backlash. If you win the battle, you'll be able to slowly recover… but if you lose, you'll probably be killed by Emperor Darknorth on the spot."
"Are you willing?" his master asked.
"I am willing! I'm willing to die in my attempts to take that final step and reach the true apex of cultivation. What's the point of living without hope?" Iyerre gritted his teeth.
"One more thing. If you fail, remember to destroy this treasure instead of letting it fall into Darknorth's hand," his master said. "I imagine you lost the warbeasts I gave you?"
"I lost them. Don't worry, Master. If I fail, I won't let Emperor Darknorth acquire this protective treasure," Iyerre said calmly. If it fell into Ning's hands, Ning would be able to learn from it.
Suddenly, a strange medallion flew over to Iyerre, who caught it. This medallion was palm-sized and very heavy. Even Iyerre felt some pressure from its weight, as though it was actually an entire world he was holding. The medallion's surface was covered with black and white diagrams, with the two sides being black and the center being white. It was like there were two tall black mountains parted by a white gorge or a white river. It seemed almost sentient, and Iyerre immediately bound it to him.
"Incredible." As soon as he bound it, he understood just how formidable and valuable this treasure was. In terms of preciousness, it was actually superior to both the Annihilation Hive and the Gra.s.sland World. It lived up to its reputation as a treasure which his master had personally kept for protection.
His master was now truly invincible, while he hismelf had been driven to utter despair. This was the only reason why his master had been willing to gift him even a protective treasure of such value. It represented the crystallized essence of his master's boundless wisdom, which was why his master had instructed him to destroy it if he failed the battle.
"Thank you, Master," Iyerre said excitedly. He couldn't help but ask, "What is it called?"
The voice inside fell silent for a moment, then said slowly, "It is called the Stele of Mountains and Rivers."
"The Stele of Mountains and Rivers?" Iyerre stared at the tablet in his palm, then nodded slowly.
"Be off, then. Shoo."
Iyerre immediately bowed respectfully and gratefully once more, then turned to leave. He needed to seize every moment. Although he felt that it was likely that Ning wouldn't be able to quickly understand the opposite side of Oblivion and thus would be stuck there for a long period of time, he wanted to give himself the best chance possible and launch his counter-attack quickly.
After spending two more months in travel, he reached Ning's Chaosverse once more. After entering it, he began to warp through s.p.a.cetime to the location of the Gra.s.sland World, which is where they had fought earlier.
"He's going to die, and I'm going to win." Iyerre hurried forth.
The only thing left in the Gra.s.sland World was that black metallic tower. The white-robed Ning sat by himself next to that black tower, the flow of time around him markedly different from that of the outside world.
Ning's mind was filled with the secrets of the Dao of the Sword, which continued to transform and multiply. It was the opposite of what Iyerre had expected. As soon as Ning had mastered the Oblivion Sword Dao, he had immediately realized that there was another face to destruction and knew what path he had to take.
His mind was filled with the boundless power of the Oblivion Sword Dao, and the new life which it nurtured. As time flowed on, the vital energy birthed by his Oblivion Sword Dao grew more and more powerful.
Boom! One day, the boundless vitality at the core of his Oblivion Sword Dao reached such a level where it finally exploded! The darkness of oblivion instantly vanished, leaving behind nothing save for a dazzling, pure pulse of vital energy. Boundless amounts of vital energy swept out in every direction, resulting in s.p.a.ce and time being born, things dividing into Yin and Yang, the Five Elements arising, and finally karma emerging to link them all together. Even the boundless vital energy was affected by karma, and so karma tied it together. The Five Elements came together while Yin and Yang tangled around each other, and all of them combined with that vital energy to give birth to one new creature after another.
The stars were born. The emptiness of s.p.a.ce was born. Planets were born with verdant life, flowers, and bugs. With but a thought, entire worlds were created.
"In the end, all Daos come together to form the singularity known as Omega, which I express through my Omega Sword Dao." Now that he fully understood the other face of Oblivion, Ning's second foot stepped past the threshold of Omega Autarchy as well.
Whoosh. The dazzling Flower of Eternity at the very peak of the towering Dao-tree within Ning's Jindan chaos region gradually began to wither… but as it did so, a fruit was growing from within it. As the fruit grew, it began to a.s.sume a humanoid shape. It was filled with boundless sword-intent that only grew denser and denser… until finally, the fruit took full form.
This fruit was humanoid in shape and looked exactly like Ning himself. It was seated in the lotus position, a smile on its face.
The entire Gra.s.sland World begin to stir and shudder as a boundless amount of energy began to converge upon it. Ning's body was beginning to transform, while his consciousness expanded dramatically. It now filled every single inch of the entire Chaosverse, resonating with the prime essences of the Chaosverse. He could sense that the prime essences were crying out in joy and celebration. His will naturally became one with every part of the Quintessence, not facing anyu resistance at all. He was now able to biund it whenever he chose.
"So this is the true nature and appearance of the prime essences?" Ning was intoxicated by it all.
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