The black-robed Ji Ning stretched out a finger. A rainbow-colored sword materialized out of nowhere, which he then began to use to execute sword-arts.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
His sword-shadows flowed through the air, as illusory as dreams. It was as though rainwater had appeared throughout the area, with an occasional hint of sharpness appearing.
At first, Ning had a puzzled look on his face as he began training. However, a look of delight slowly began to appear on his face. In fact, he began to let out cries of delight and amazed sighs.
The sword-light flashed one final time before disappearing into the void.
“What a fine [Hidden Edge] technique.” Ning came to a halt, unable to disguise the excitement in his eyes. “World God Northrest truly went all out in his efforts to guide me forward on my path. Each of these ninety-eight stone steles have led me forward, step by step, to gain more and more insights into the sword. I am becoming an increasingly suitable candidate for training in the [Nameless] sword-art.”
“Both of these stone steles focused on hiding one’s sharpness. I’ve now thoroughly mastered them.”
“The ninety-eight stone steles…I’ve mastered them all!”
Ning waved his hand, and the jade shrine instantly appeared next to him. He entered the jade shrine, and as he did he looked at the countless sword-diagrams that were drawn onto the walls of the shrine. These diagrams recorded the most important technique which World God Northrest had ever possessed…the [Nameless] sword-art. Even someone like World God Northrest had only been capable of merely memorizing all of the techniques; he was only able to actually master a portion of them.
Being able to memorize something didn’t mean that you could truly understand and master it.
Daoist Three Purities, for example, had been able to memorize all nine of the Nine Chaos Seals. However, when he fashioned the Immortal Slaying Swords, he had only been able to understand seven of them!
“This [Nameless] sword-art is completely focused on the true essence of the sword,” Ning said softly. “According to what World God Northrest said…someone who masters this technique has a chance of mastering the sixth stage of swordforce.”
The sixth stage of swordforce was the ‘Sword World’ stage. This was a stage of true perfection.
If a Fiendgod could truly reach this stage of power, then one could use the ‘Sword World’ to serve as the core of the body and remake it to become a World God!
If a Ki Refiner was to reach this stage of power, the ‘Sword World’ could be used as the nucleus for causing the Jindan region inside the body to be remade into primordial chaos anew, allowing him to step into the Chaos Immortal level!
The ‘Sword World’ realm was a level of mastery that was on the same level as the Heavenly Dao of Primordial Chaos!
The Heavenly Dao of Primordial Chaos was one of the most commonly seen Heavenly Daos. According to what World God Northrest said, more than 99% of World Gods and Chaos Immortals had reached that level through mastering the Heavenly Dao of Primordial Chaos! This was because the primordial chaos itself existed in all things. It didn’t matter what Heavenly Dao you meditated on; once you started training in any Heavenly Dao, such as the Heavenly Dao of Water you would also be able to begin training in the Heavenly Dao of Primordial Chaos.
The primordial chaos could be divided into the duality of Yin and Yang. It could also be divided into the essence of life and the essence of destruction, or the Five Elements of metal, wood, water, fire, earth.
If you trained in any of the other nine Heavenly Daos you trained it, you were also training in the Heavenly Dao of Primordial Chaos! This was why only Daofathers were able to draw upon the energy of primordial chaos and able to train in that Dao. As a result, World Gods and Chaos Immortals who reached that level through understanding the Heavenly Dao of Primordial Chaos were extremely, extremely common.
As for reaching that level through understanding the true essence of the Sword and reaching the ‘Sword World’ stage? Very, very few World Gods and Chaos Immortals had ever done so.
However, every single World God and Chaos Immortal who had reached that level through mastery of the ‘Sword World’ stage was an incredibly powerful figure with shocking offensive capabilities! Ordinary Chaos Immortals and World Gods simply couldn’t compete with them.
Each stage of swordforce was a hundred times more difficult to master than the last.
To advance from the first stage to the second stage was fairly easy, and to reach the third stage wasn’t that hard either. The fourth stage, however, was extremely difficult.
As for reaching the fifth stage of ‘Sword God’, the number of people in the Three Realms who had ever succeeded in doing so could be counted on one hand. More people had become ‘overlords’ than reach the Sword God stage!
As for advancing to the sixth stage of ‘Sword World’…this would be even more difficult, far more so than ‘merely’ becoming a World God or Chaos Immortal!
“The [Nameless] sword-art, however, is a technique that guides me straight to the essence of the sword itself, a peerless sword-art that can allow the user to reach the ‘Sword World’ stage.” Ning stared at the sword-stances recorded on the walls of the jade shrine.
The [Nameless] sword-art as recorded before him had a total of seven stances! This was, of course, just part of the real technique; it was so incomplete that World God Northrest himself didn’t even know the actual name of this sword-art.
World God Northrest himself had only mastered five stances! However, so long as one could master the third stance, one would be able to reach the ‘Sword World’ stage.
“Forget about three stances. This first stance alone…if I can master it, my chances in the Endwar will become much greater.” Ning stared at the walls of the shrine.
If Ning could master even just the first stance, then in terms of pure sword-arts it would be almost impossible for him to find an equal who was not a World God or Chaos Immortal. Far less than one in ten thousand Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals would possess an equal level of skill in the sword.
The black-robed Ning carefully inspected the jade shrine, meditating on the first stance.
Those ninety-eight stone sword-steles existed for the purpose of molding him to become a good candidate for training in the first stance. Without those ninety-eight sword-arts, just glancing at the first stance would probably result in Ning suffering injuries and vomiting up blood. However, now that he had mastered the ninety-eight sword-arts, Ning…still found it incredibly hard to understand the first stance of the [Nameless] sword-art.
“The Heartsword stance…b-but…how can the very first stance of the [Nameless] sword-art be so ephemeral, arcane, and unfathomably profound?” Ning simply couldn’t understand the countless sword-stances that had been engraved on the walls of the shrine, and in truth they were just samples for Ning to inspect.
The Heartsword stance…
It had no stances. It was a sword of the heart.
In all his years of training, Ning had always used the sword in his hand to do battle! The [Brightmoon] sword-art’s ‘Soleheart’ stance, ‘Blood Drop’ stance, ‘Heavenbreaker’ stance, ‘Shadowless’ stance, and ‘Yin-Yang’ stance were all stances that could be seen with the naked eye. The ‘Heartsword’ stance of the [Nameless] sword-art, however, didn’t have any actual stances to it at all. This made it incredibly hard for Ning to comprehend it.
He could catch vague glimpses of the nature of this sword-art, but actually training in it remained incredibly hard.
Still…he could sense that one he mastered it, he would have reached a completely different realm of using the sword.
After training in it for roughly five years, Ning came to a halt and instead once more turned to mastering the Heavenly Dao of Water.
Training in the sword. Meditating on the Dao.
He alternated between the two. Although the flames of the Endwar were growing increasingly visible, Ning remained calm as he trained in solitude.
The Three Realms was in a state of complete chaos now. Both sides had finished their preparations and were ready for the Endwar.
Buddha Jueming and others like him who had been hiding their true power had finished their preparations as well.
The Allfiend world.
“The Realmwar going on in the Shennong world went on for nine years. In the end, we still lost.” The seated Daofather Ink Bamboo’s voice was filled with worry. “Fiendlord, didn’t you say that we have a grand army of bugbeasts? Why is it that our bugbeast army never made an appearance during the Shennong Realmwar?”
The Lord of All Fiends was seated in the highest position. He smiled as he looked at Daofather Ink Bamboo. “Ink Bamboo, no need to be impatient. We need to keep our eye on the bigger picture. If we lost, we lost. It doesn’t matter. We’ve still been able to preserve the bulk of our forces, ensuring that our losses weren’t too heavy. As for the bugbeast army…of course we still have it. However, we can have it make its appearance during the very end of the war for karmic luck.”
“Windfiend, do we actually have a bugbeast army?” The nearby Daomother Devilhand immediately asked.
“We do.” The Lord of All Fiends nodded.
“Why is it that none of us have ever heard about it? You’ve only mentioned it a short while ago.” Daomother Devilhand was quite dubious.
“I was just keeping it a secret from everyone.” The Lord of All Fiends swept the group with his gaze. “Today, a major power of the Seamless Gate has returned to us. Just wait a short while and you will understand.”
“A major power has returned?” Everyone present was puzzled.
“Aren’t all of our major powers already here in the Three Realms?” The black-robed Godking was the most puzzled of them all. All of their formidable Elder Gods had perished during the war that ended the Primordial Era; the powerful figures who survived, such as Daomother Devilhand or Keeper Everwood, were all in the Three Realms. How could a major power have ‘made a return’?”
“You’ll know shortly.” The Lord of All Fiends had a smile on his face. Although they had been defeated in the Shennong Realmwar, he was still in quite a good mood.
The other ten-plus major powers present had no choice but to wait.
Roughly an hour later, a figure suddenly appeared before the palace then stepped inside it. This man was half bald, and his eyes seemed naturally and perpetually filled with malice and viciousness. As he walked in, he immediately and excitedly knelt down with respect. “Your disciple greets you, Master.”
“No need for this.” The Lord of All Fiends reached out with his hand, sending out a surge of divine power and pressing upwards at the man’s knee, making him rise. “Disciple, you’ve had to toil away all by yourself for so many years. Master should be the one expressing gratitude to you. In addition, you are now as strong as an Elder God yourself. There’s no need for you to kneel.”
“Without you, Master, I would’ve died long ago when I was an ordinary mortal.” The savage balding man said respectfully, “No matter what happens, you shall always be my master.”
The Lord of All Fiends smiled.
This was his favorite disciple, and the disciple he trusted the most.
“Stoneswan!?!” The black-robed Godking rose to his feet, staring at the man in disbelief. “Y-you…didn’t die?!”
“You haven’t died either, Clothred. How could I?” The man laughed coldly.
“Windfiend, did you just say that Bloodswan has become comparable to an Elder God? He’s an overlord?” Daomother Devilhand was astonished.
The Lord of All Fiends nodded. “Yes.”
“Hahaha…” Keeper Everwood began to laugh. “When you saved us all, Windfiend, you journeyed by yourself through the endless primordial chaos for a long time, only releasing us when you returned to the Three Realms. You told us that your disciple, Daofather Bloodswan, ended up dying in the primordial chaos. So that was just a lie you told us.”