It was extremely obvious that this cave had been dug out artificially. It had been dug out in an extremely methodical manner, and various markings that looked like fish scales could be seen on the walls. There were also some diagrams and some writing that had been left behind on the cave walls, and the cave itself emanated a strange intent that felt like flowing water. Ji Ning couldn’t help but be affected by the cave’s aura, and his heart became quite calm as well.
Ning was in no rush to read the words or look at the pictures. Instead, he first carefully inspected the scale-like patterns and marks on the walls.
“If someone slowly dug the cave out, there’s no way it could all be so neat and tiny.” Ning stared at the tiny markings. “I feel as though someone must’ve used a divine ability to instantly scoop out the rock and make the cave.”
Ning couldn’t help but feel shocked by this possibility.
When he had grabbed onto that stone pillar a short while ago, the powerful tearing force from the tornado had only been able to cause a few cracks to it. He had tested out using his hands to ‘dig’ a handhold into the walls, but had been completely unable to succeed whatsoever. This was why Ning had chosen to find pre-existing crevices instead.
“The stone here has been nourished by the local formations and baptized by the gray wind, giving it extraordinary properties. Most likely, not even World-level experts would be able to so easily dig out a cave of such size,” Ning mused to himself. He reached out with his hand, gently stroking it against the fish-scale patterns.
As he did, he suddenly could sense a strange, unique intent pouring towards him from the patterns.
“As calm…as water…”
Ning carefully inspected the cave in detail for a while longer, then turned his attention towards the writing and the diagrams on the cave walls. As Ning viewed it, those diagrams wouldn’t exactly be running away. If he wasn’t careful and missed something or activated a trap by accident, that would be truly disastrous.
The ‘Hundred Streams of the Windsource’ in these ruins are quite marvelous indeed. A pity…I would’ve loved to have had the chance to sit down and discuss the Dao with the fellow Daoist who created this estate. That fellow Daoist died countless years ago. In the future, when I reach the end of my own life, I shall also leave behind my Dao and allow the cultivators who come after me to get a good look at it…
I have spent more than a hundred thousand years here and have gained certain insights. Although I’ve only inspected a few of the streams, I can tell that there is a great difference between them and the path which I have chosen, and so it doesn’t matter if I look at the rest of the Hundred Streams or not…
Here are the insights I have gained from a hundred thousand years of viewing these streams. I’ve recorded all of them down here. If a cultivator has the chance to come here in the future and see them, consider this a bit of karma between us.
These are the words of Waterwind!
Every single character emanated a relaxed, carefree aura.
When Ning looked at these words, he felt as though he could see that ancient power writing them down all those years ago.
“Waterwind?” Ning murmured softly to himself, “Who is that? Judging from what he wrote, he should be someone who was on the same level of power as the creator of the Windsource Ruins.”
The Badlands Territory…as far as Ning knew, it didn’t hold anyone by the name of ‘Waterwind’.
Ning had long ago acquired intelligence reports regarding the many World-level experts. The most powerful figure in the entire Badlands was the creator of the Badlands Court, Daolord Badlands! Daolord Badlands was still alive and was unfathomably powerful; he wasn’t a person who someone of Ning’s level could hope to approach.
Daolord Badlands had established the Badlands Court. World-level experts were like toddlers before him.
“The Badlands Court holds a number of very famous figure, but none of them go by the moniker of ‘Waterwind’,” Ning mused to himself. “No, I’ve never heard this name before. Could it be…someone from another territory?”
Still, in the end it didn’t really matter.
Waterwind talked a big game. If he was telling the truth, then he was most likely someone above the World-level of power! Even if he was ‘merely’ a World-level expert, he most assuredly stood at the very peak of power amongst them.
“Waterwind…Waterwind…” Ning quietly memorized this name, then turned his attention to the ‘insights’ which Waterwind had left behind on the cave walls.
The cave walls were covered with both writing and diagrams.
The writing consisted of the words Ning had read just now.
As for the diagrams, they contained the insights which Waterwind had gained.
The diagram was of fishes swimming in the sea. Ning saw more than ten fishes, each of which was in a different pose. Around them could be seen several ordinary-looking lines which seemed to represent the ripples of the water.
There were a total of sixteen fish and ninety-seven water ripples.
“These diagrams…?” Ning felt that these diagrams were rather odd. He gave them a closer look, carefully inspecting the water ripples and the fish for any peculiarities.
Slowly, without Ning even noticing it, a surge of will and intent began to slowly seep outwards from the diagrams and towards Ning.
A vast river that was three thousand meters wide was flowing past Ning, and in the river was a fish of gigantic proportions. The river was merely three thousand meters wide, but this fish was over three hundred meters long. The fish swam with the waves, continuing to advance forward with an indomitable, unstoppable attitude.
“What the hell?” Ning stared blankly at his surroundings.
Directly him was a river that was three thousand meters wide. There were several other rivers next to it, each of which was three thousand meters wide and which flowed with tremendous speed. Off in the distance, Ning could see even more rivers, but he wasn’t able to get a clear glimpse of them.
Although Ning wasn’t able to see those rivers clearly, he could vaguely sense that there was a total of a hundred river streams.
A hundred rivers. A hundred fish.
The rivers flowed in one direction. The fish swam in the same direction.
At the very end of the rivers, there was a place where all of them came together, a place of unstoppable power which saw the hundred streams become one.
Every single river gave Ning a different feeling, as did the fish within it.
Some of the rivers felt like the pretty girls next door.
Some of the rivers felt like scorchingly attractive vixens.
Some of the rivers felt like icy cold fairy maidens.
They all had completely different auras and intents, but they were able to perfectly join together off in the distance.
“The Hundred Streams merge together to form the Dao…but alas, if you are unable to do so, you shall die. A pity, a pity…” A sigh suddenly echoed forth from this world…and then, everything vanished.
Ning was once more within the cave, staring at the ordinary-looking pictures of fish and water ripples.
“What just happened?” Ning was puzzled. “Was that an illusion I saw just now? No…I should’ve been able to tell if that was all an illusion. It was no illusion. It was….something else…”
“After ‘Waterwind’ looked at the ‘Hundred Streams of the Windsource’, he left behind these diagrams containing his insights.” Ning raised his head to give the diagrams another look, but then he suddenly froze.
This was because when he did so, the scene he had just seen instantly began to replay in his mind.
The hundred surging rivers, the hundred swimming fish, even that final sigh…all of it appeared once more within his memories.
“It has an inexplicable feeling to it. Almost like…sadness.”
Ning silently pondered on this. The reason why Ning felt that sense of sorrow was due to that final sigh.
“But this so-called ‘hundred streams merging together to form the Dao…’” Ning had the feeling that those words contained an incredibly profound meaning to it. The more he tried to understand it, the more confused he became. However, Ning was in no rush. He sat down in the lotus position and began to slowly meditate on what he had just seen. He was so absorbed by this that he actually forgot ot enter the Heavengazer Tower, as he was completely focused on the scene of the hundred streams that he had just seen.
One day after another went past.
Ning continued to sit there, as unmoving as a statue. Dust began to collect and accumulate on his body, and soon Ning looked like an actual statue.
Six years later.
Ning had been completely covered with dust…but finally, on this day, he opened his eyes, revealing a look of surprise and delight in his gleaming, crystalline gaze.
“The Hundred Streams merge together to form the Dao…the Nine Seals join together to become One…so this is how the Nine Chaos Seals actually work,” Ning murmured softly to himself.
The meaning of the phrase ‘the Hundred Streams merge together to form the Dao’ was simply too profound; he was able to just barely glean a few insights from it. However, while doing so he was able to see many similarities between it and his Nine Chaos Seals, resulting in him gaining many more insights into the ninth seal.
Before leaving the Three Realms, Ning had already mastered the eighth chaos seal. Only one was left.
A series of complicated divine runes began to appear within Ning’s eyes. All nine of the Nine Chaos Seals began to manifest within his eyes, changing and transforming in an endless pattern. In the past, it seemed as though there would never be an end to the changing runes of the Nine Chaos Seals…but once Ning mastered them, the transformations came to an end. Finally, they came together to form the image of what looked like a flower.
This image appeared on Ning’s soul itself, as well as his very truesoul.
It was an azure flower.
It was sacred, holy, natural.
The seal imprint of an azure flower began to naturally manifest itself on Ning’s forehead as well. After appearing briefly, it then quickly faded away and hid itself.
“When the Nine Chaos Seals join together to become one, they become absolutely marvelous. Mother Nuwa must have reached this level as well.” Ning could sense the seal imprint of an azure flower that had appeared on his forehead, an azure flower that was gently swaying.