Chapter 3 – Unschooled in the Dao of the Sword

Ji Ning looked at the crystal globe in his hands, then asked, “So… what can I do with this Eternal blood?”

“This drop of Eternal blood isn’t that valuable to the Dao Alliance. At most, they would use it to refine certain pills or rear certain unique bugbeasts,” the maiden said. “However, it is incredibly, incredibly important to the Aeonians. This drop of Eternal blood is enough to allow any member of their race to skyrocket in power! It represents nearly half the vital essence of Emperor Melobo, after all. Almost half of his blood and flesh was used in the refining of this drop of divine blood.”

“Any member of the Aeonians who knows that you are in possession of this blood will try to hunt you down and kill you,” the maiden said.

Ning frowned. So it wasn’t of use to him, but the Aeonian Kingdom would do anything to get it?

“Still, don’t worry. The Badlands Territory is one of the fairly central regions of the Dao Alliance. The Aeonians would never dare to encroach upon this territory! At most, they would send some of their World-level pawns.” The maiden continued, “To tell you the truth, both of us suspect that Fukai and Arroyo are most likely pawns of the Aeonians.”

“Right. They want the Eternal blood too much, far too much. It doesn’t make sense.” The Goldeye Golem agreed. “The Allgod Estate has many rare treasures within it, but the only thing they care about is the Eternal blood. In addition, both of them led squads of ten World-level servants, have many treasures, and have Eternal weapons.”

The Goldeye Golem shook his head. “They have so many treasures and such an extraordinary background, yet they are completely fixated on the Eternal blood and are willing to sacrifice anything to get it. This is more than enough to make us suspect that they are the running dogs of the Aeonians.”

Ning nodded. Right. They had to be lackeys at the most, as true members of the Aeonians were incredibly rare and were all at least at the Samsara Daolord level.

“But of course, I have nothing more than my suspicions,” the Goldeye Golem said. “In the end, they followed all of Master’s rules as they made it through many dangerous regions to come to the gates of the Castrum Divinitus, then survived the trial of the Samsara Grinders. If it wasn’t for you, I would’ve been forced to give this drop of Eternal blood to Arroyo.”

“Right.” Ning nodded.

“This drop of Eternal blood won’t be of much use to you. Once you leave this place, hurry over to the Badlands Court,” the Goldeye Golem said. “Tell Daolord Badlands that you acquired a drop of Eternal blood and that you wish to sell it to the Dao Alliance.”

The nearby maiden nodded in agreement. “Daolord Badlands is extraordinarily powerful. Although he has yet to reach the Verge of the Daomerge, he is an impressively powerful Daolord of the Endless Territories. In Numerancy, at least, he can rank as one of the top three Daolords in all the Endless Territories. If he can advance by just one more step and reach the Verge, he’ll most likely be every bit as strong as Master once was.”

“As strong as Daolord Allgod was?” Ning was secretly shocked.

Daolord Badlands truly was an incredible figure. If he reached the Verge, he would be comparable to Daolord Allgod? No wonder even Daolord Solesky was so courteous to him.

“You needn’t worry that a power such as Daolord Badlands would lust after your drop of Eternal blood.” The maiden laughed. “Handing it over to him is the safest solution. If you mention it to the other Samsara Daolords of the Dao Alliance, nine out of ten would choose to simply kill you and seize it for themselves. Although this drop of Eternal blood isn’t that valuable to the Dao Alliance, they’d still be willing to pay a price of roughly two million cubes of chaos nectar to purchase it.”

“Two MILLION cubes?” Ning was rather stunned. This was like manna falling from the heavens!

Still, wealth and treasures didn’t matter that much. In the end, they were all outside sources of strength. Personal strength was what mattered the most!

“The Aeonian Kingdom would probably be willing to pay ten million cubes.” The maiden chuckled. “But there is no way the Dao Alliance would ever sell it to them. It would only result in an Aeonian expert becoming even more powerful and dangerous.”

“Two million? Ten million?” This was a simply staggering amount of wealth for Ning. Suddenly, Ning remembered his big brother Daolord Solesky telling him that he had given Daolord Badlands enough treasures to create two perfect avatars. This was all for the sake of convincing Daolord Badlands to assist him.

Ning immediately asked, “How much wealth would be needed in order for a Samsara Daolord to create a perfect avatar?”

“A perfect one?” The maiden grinned as she looked at Ning. “Most Samsara Daolords generally create simple and rather crude avatars. With each step they take, they tread the line between life and death, after all. Only after reaching an inconceivable level of power would they dare to go and create an avatar which could be described as ‘perfect’. Thus, you would probably need at least ten million cubes worth of treasure in order to create a perfect avatar! Even for Samsara Daolords who are at the Verge, this is is a sum that represents all the wealth and treasures they possess.”

Finally, Ning understood. His big brother Daolord Solesky must have sold off nearly all of his possessions in order to acquire enough wealth to convince Daolord Badlands to help him. Daolord Solesky was a Palace Lord of Vastheaven Palace and had lived for countless years. This time, for the sake of his Daomerge, he had been willing to bring out almost everything he had.

“Ten million cubes is normally a sum which only Samsara Daolords at the Verge can produce,” the maiden said. “Normal, weaker Samsara Daolords generally have a networth of just a few hundred thousand cubes of chaos nectar. In other words, this drop of Eternal blood is worth as much as all the combined treasures of multiple ‘ordinary’ Daolords.”

The Goldeye Golem said solemnly, “The endless primordial chaos is filled with countless hidden treasures. A single mysterious leaf might be worth millions of cubes of chaos nectar. For example, a single drop of Mirrorheart Water is worth enough to drive mad even a Samsara Daolord who is at the Verge. They’d be willing to spend ten million cubes of chaos nectar to buy such a treasure, but they wouldn’t find anyone willing to sell to them. However, all these things are illusory. Treasures are nothing more than outside sources of strength. In the end, success in cultivation requires you to rely on yourself.”

Ning nodded.

When Daolord Solesky had gone to the Waveshift World, he had been searching for a special treasure. For the sake of finding that treasure, Daolord Solesky had first risked his life in the Windsource Ruins to acquire that ‘Talisman of Eternity’, then paid an utterly enormous price to convince Daolord Badlands to help him out. They had then delved deep into the Waveshift World. From this, one could see that there were indeed some treasures that would drive even the most powerful of Daolords mad with desire.

“True. In the end, all treasures are nothing more than outside sources of help.” The maiden sighed. “For the sake of his Daomerge, my master risked his life to find certain useful treasures and also invited many of his friends to help him out. He did everything he possibly could to prepare for his Daomerge, but in the end he still failed. However, there are legends of ancient powers who made no preparations at all. They naturally completed their Daomerge while sleeping and dreaming, winning eternity for themselves.”

“In the end, cultivation is what matters the most.” The maiden sighed.

Ning nodded. He had come to understand this point long ago. Honestly, everyone did, including Daolord Allgod and Daolord Solesky. However, they had reached the end of their cultivation path and were unable to advance any further. They had reached the Verge of the Daomerge but weren’t confident in succeeding in it. It was only natural that they would go try and find treasures that might help them out and increase their odds of succeeding in their Daomerge.

“You now know how you should dispose of this drop of Eternal blood.” The maiden pointed at the statues surrounding them. The great hall was a hundred kilometers in diameter, and its four walls were filled with thousands of statues. “Master personally carved all of these statues.”

“Alchemy, artificing, formations… Master was skilled in many, many things. This is why he titled himself ‘Allgod’,” the maiden said. “Master even tried to train in the Dao of the Sword. For the sake of his cultivation, Master inspected the skills and sword-arts of more than five thousand World-level experts who walked the path of the Dao of the Sword. All of these World-level experts had completely different sword-arts.”

The maiden continued, “After Master viewed their sword-arts, he carved these five thousand-plus statues.”

“Every single statue is different and represents a different World-level cultivator’s sword-arts,” the maiden said. “After visualizing and mastering all of these different sword-arts and spending all this effort in carving these statues, Master’s skill in the Dao of the Sword had reached the level of a new Samsara Daolord who specialized in sword-arts.”

Ning was speechless upon hearing this. This sort of cultivation method was simply…

Viewing the sword-arts of more than five thousand World-level experts who trained in the Dao of the Sword? The entire Badlands Territory probably didn’t hold so many experts of the sword!

After finishing his carvings, he had reached the level of a new Samsara Daolord who had ascended through the Dao of the Sword?

“Afterwards, Master gave it up. As he put it, he simply didn’t have any talent for the Dao of the Sword,” the maiden said. “Master actually spent a total of multiple chaos cycles in order to first master the sword-arts of all of those World-level experts, then carve these thousands of statues.”

Ning had indeed heard from the formation-spirit of the Ten Thousand Mountains that Daolord Allgod “wasn’t that skilled in the Dao of the Sword.” However, that was only in comparison to his other Daos. Daolord Allgod had been so incredibly skilled in other areas that he before dying, he had been able to set up a formation that frightened even Eternal Emperors. The golem he had made, the Goldeye Golem, was comparable to major powers who had reached the Verge of the Daomerge.

As for the Dao of the Sword? He was merely comparable to new Samsara Daolords who specialized in this Dao. By comparison, he truly “wasn’t that skilled in the Dao of the Sword.”

“Spend some time meditating on these statues. These five thousand-plus statues represent more than five thousand different types of sword-arts. Master often said that all Daos are linked. As a result, from these many sword-arts he ended up discovering a path that would allow someone to break through to become a Samsara Daolord,” the maiden said.

“Right.” Ning nodded, then walked over to stare at the statues. Suddenly, he turned his head and asked, “How much time do I have?”

“As much time as you want!” The maiden laughed. “You can spend one or two chaos cycles here if you wish. I trust that Fukai and Arroyo won’t wait outside the Allgod Estate for such a long period of time.”

“They are waiting outside?” Ning was slightly startled. He had already anticipated this possibility, but for it to actually occur still made him feel uneasy.

“Yes. The two of them did not wish to be given any blessings or treasures. Both of them chose to leave the Allgod Estate right away. If my prediction is correct, both are definitely waiting for you outside,” the maiden said.

Ning nodded, then laughed.

Who cared about them?

These statues represented more than five thousand different sword-arts. This was plenty to keep Ning occupied for a very, very long period of time. He would spend his time cultivating here. As for Fukai and Arroyo? They could just wait outside.

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