HSSB864: The sword of time
The faint water-light soundlessly appeared in the horizon before swiftly flooding over towards the Spirit Inheritance Region.
Soon, the sky above the entire Spirit Inheritance Region was enveloped by this blurry water-light.
Where the radiance passed, the flow of time amidst the heavens and earth seemed to fall still.
All things in the world lost their glow, all sounds inaudible as all had fallen silent throughout.
Above Broad Creed Mountain, streams of light surged as they instantly established a huge formation that obscured the heavens and concealed the sun. It was precisely the Grand Clear Grand Formation.
As the formation circulated, streams of clear qi extended into the distance, penetrating into space.
Between the heavens and the earth, numerous jet-black spheres of light and yellow spheres of earth could be seen as they were uncountable like the myriad stars of the sky.
As the radiance joined up in a line, the circulation of the Grand Clear Grand Formation became heavy as it seemed sturdy and impenetrable like the dense earth.
As the rippling light that resembled water enveloped the Grand Clear Grand Formation, the circulation of the formation began to slow.
However, the formation could still be sustained.
The clear qi rose unceasingly, merging together with the actual sky as it was like the sky itself had been pulled downwards, moving closer to Broad Creed Mountain.
The countless yellow and black spheres of light sunk together, resembling the great earth as they seemed to bring Broad Creed Mountain and the Spirit Inheritance Region beneath it a little higher.
The heavens and the earth seemed to have been brought closer to each other with the momentum of combining as one.
Beneath this majestic power, even that blurry water-light seemed to ripple.
An ancient voice resounded amidst the air, "Oh? A sect from the lower worlds that settled down in the World beyond Worlds just a couple of years ago seems to have a guardian grand formation that is even mightier than the North Sea Sword Pavilion's sword domain with its hundreds and thousands of years of accumulation?"
"Having been able to stir up so many things, you are indeed not incapable people."
While some puzzlement could be felt from these words, that tone remained indifferent like eternal time.
"Sadly, the one controlling the formation is too weak. Were you an Immortal Bridge Martial Saint, you might be able to withstand this old man for some time."
While that tone was still indifferent, it seemed to have sped up in the ears of Yan Zhaoge and the rest.
Accelerating alongside his tone beneath the water-light that enveloped the area was the flow of time between the heavens and the earth there!
Even the sky and the earth would change following the passing of time, the vast oceans and the boundless fields no longer as they had once been.
Aging and deterioration was something all things between the heavens and the earth had to experience.
Beneath the onrushing flow of time, the Grand Clear Grand Formation instantly destabilised.
Yuan Zhengfeng was currently controlling the grand formation. Dust and filth began appearing on his clothes as his skin began to turn mottled and wrinkled.
He seemed to be aging and deteriorating alongside the heavens and earth there.
Yan Zhaoge's Northern Ocean Clone emitted a clear roar, directly exiting the great hall.
A long metallic box that was completely jet-black in colour now appeared in front of him.
The Northern Ocean Clone clapped the Heaven Swallowing Earth Devouring Box, the lid of the box opening as black light appeared.
An ancient bronze sword shot out from within the sword box, landing in the hands of the Northern Ocean Clone as an aura that was greedy and tyrannical and ferocious to the extreme instantly shot into the skies.
Jet-black blood vessels appeared atop the surface of the Northern Ocean Clone's body that appeared savage and terrifying.
As the jet-black blood vessels intersected, on the back of the Northern Ocean Clone's sword-wielding right hand was formed a profound sigil.
The sigil flickered, the radiance shockingly condensing as a Taotie.
The cry of a Taotie which resembled the wailing of infants resounded as the Northern Ocean Clone waved his right hand, the jet-black sword-light transforming into a black hole which hovered in the air above Broad Creed Mountain.
That black hole emitted a terrifying suction force which devoured all in its surroundings.
Even space itself collapsed as numerous black crevices were ripped apart, caving inwards with the black hole as their centre.
A great amount of that sword-light which resembled water that enveloped the air above Broad Creed Mountain was sucked within that black hole as well.
While the sword-light was just as powerful as ever, the pressure on Yuan Zhengfeng who was controlling the Grand Clear Grand Formation immediately lessened.
Yuan Zhengfeng's expression was heavy and calm, "Zhaoge, how are things with your real body in the Vast Ocean World?"
The Northern Ocean Clone simply answered, "In death seclusion."
Yuan Zhengfeng answered, "Yan Di is in death seclusion too. There is still half a year from the time estimated by him before he can exit seclusion."
Yan Di had always had a good grasp of the time that he would need to spend in seclusion. If he said that he would be out in a year, he would be out in a year. He would almost definitely succeed, but he would probably not come out any earlier than that.
Yuan Zhengfeng said, "If we ask him to emerge now, he would have wasted all his earlier efforts if circumstances are kind. In the worst-case scenario, he would enter cultivation deviation, suffering grave injuries."
"The same applies for your real body as well. We had best not interrupt the two of you. We must strive to surpass this trial ourselves."
If this was not stopped in time, the other party's Time Flowing Sword would cause the remaining lifespans of everyone in Broad Creed Mountain to accelerate as they would hence die of old age.
Yan Zhaoge was not present at the moment while Yan Di still had to cultivate for another half year before he could emerge successfully from seclusion.
The other party's acceleration of time would not assist Yan Di as it would only accelerate the flow of time for his fleshly body. For Yan Di who was comprehending principles of the dao, it was still just an instant which would have passed.
If the situation truly could not otherwise be salvaged, at the final juncture of life or death, Yan Di would only be able to emerge from seclusion prematurely then.
However, the situation then would be hard to predict.
All his prior efforts having been for naught would be the mildest result.
The Northern Ocean Clone raised his head and gazed at the sky as he said, "Grand Master, we can make it through this."
A voice resounded amidst space, "Oh? What might you make it through this with?"
Amidst the blurry, seemingly illusory sword-light that resembled water, a human face now appeared.
At this moment, the entire sky had transformed into this face.
While the face was that of a youngster, the voice was incomparably ancient, "In this old man's eyes, you are no different at all from Copper Men Island and the North Sea Sword Pavilion."
The sword-light rippled within the sky, an object suddenly appearing from amongst it as it then fell.
It was a human head.
The head of the Chief of Copper Men Island, Gongsun Wu!
Yan Zhaoge, Yuan Zhengfeng and the others all narrowed their eyes slightly.
At the same time, another figure surfaced amidst the sword-light, eyes shut tightly and devoid of aura, his fate unknown.
The Pavilion Lord of the North Sea Sword Pavilion, Gu Hong!
The face in the sky said mildly, "To give Golden Court Mountain some face, this old man will leave him alive, and will also leave you, Yan Zhaoge, alive. Still, there is no need for the others to live on."
"As for you two, while you may be able to avoid death, your fate in life will not be a pleasant one."
As that person spoke, the sword-light in the sky instantly changed once more.
Broad Creed Mountain seemed to have been separated into countless different spaces, the flow of time being different in all of them!
At this moment, the heavens and the earth of the Spirit Inheritance Region was actually turned into a region of chaotic space by the other party!
All these spaces with differing flows of time ripped at one another, repelling, distorting, intersecting.
With that, a force was generated which virtually seemed set to rip the Grand Clear Grand Formation apart, shattering the black hole formed of the Evil Sword Taotie!
Seeing that Gu Hong had been captured alive by their foe, Yan Zhaoge could not help but frown.
Killing someone and capturing them alive were on two entirely different levels of difficulty altogether.
Back then, while Lin Hanhua of the eighth level of the Martial Saint realm and with a high-grade Sacred Artifact in hand had been absolutely certain of protecting Yan Zhaoge even as he slew Kang Ping who was at the seventh level of the Martial Saint realm, he would not still have been absolutely confident of capturing him alive.
While Kang Ping would have had no hope of escaping alive, he would still have been able to seek death if he so chose.
Currently, this opponent before them had actually captured Gu Hong, a seventh level Martial Saint, alive.
Granted, Gu Hong's strength was below Kang Ping's. Yet, he would have possessed the geographical advantage over at the Grinding Hut Region's sword domain. In the end, however, he had still been captured alive by his opponent.
As the sword-light in the sky pressured down unceasingly, numerous chaotic torrents of space surged.
The ancient voice remained ever indifferent, "All these years, I have let you be so that Golden Court Mountain can have a peace of mind. But in the end, you actually stirred up such matters?"
"Since that is so, there is no need to keep you alive any further. I will exterminate you all."