Book 28, Archaeus Region, Chapter 27 – The Abyss of Fiends
At the same time as Ji Ning was entering the trial-world left behind by the three grandmasters of the Dao of the Sword, something else was happening in the outer reaches of the Genesis Lands.
This was region of complete darkness. Only a single source of light could be seen – a solitary figure who stood there, emanating an aura of golden light. This was Prince Greatjoy.
A series of ripples emanated outwards from him, causing spacetime to continuously fluctuate. Even though he had yet to strike, it was evident that the aura of power surrounding him was significantly greater than it had been in the past. He had reached a brand new level.
“True freedom and free will. From this day forth… I, Greatjoy, have truly reached the peak. I am no longer any weaker than Bertulu or Eastcult.” Prince Greatjoy revealed a smile.
When he had journeyed with the others to the primessence chains, Ji Ning and Solewind had managed to pass while he had failed.
Prince Greatjoy was an incredibly proud figure. He accepted his loss with seemingly good grace, but in reality a seed of resentment had been buried deep within his heart that day. Now, he had finally managed to perfectly merge his offensive Dao and his defensive Dao together, resulting in him growing more powerful yet again.
Prior to this, only two members of the World-level cultivators of the Twelve Palaces of the Brightshore Kingdom had been able to reach this level – Bertulu and Eastcult. Now, Greatjoy had joined their ranks!
“The level I have reached is the true apex of power for any World-level cultivator.” Prince Greatjoy nodded slowly. “Now, it no longer matters what mysteries or marvels the Prime Reaches contain. There is nothing that can result in me improving much more. However, I still want to pay a visit to that place. Perhaps I might acquire a few special treasures that will be of use to me once I become a Daolord in the future.”
If he was back home in the Brightshore Kingdom, he probably would’ve made some simple preparations then immediately broke through to become a Daolord. However, if he did so here in the alternate universe, he would never be able to go back home again.
Prince Greatjoy had two Supreme Daos. He had now merged them together in a perfect fashion, resulting in him reaching the apex of power.
Heartlord Solewind continued to experience many life-and-death trials within the trial-world left behind by the Heartforce Cultivator leader.
As for Ji Ning? He had just entered the trial-world of those three grandmasters of the Dao of the Sword.
Ning could sense an invisible surge of power spread out and cover him, instantly warping him away.
“Eh?” When he could once again make out his surroundings, he was rather startled.
The area around him was filled with living creatures, as far as the eye could see. He could even make out a giant citadel off in the distance, a citadel that emanated an aura of utterly breathtaking power. Although it didn’t affect Ning too much, normal World-level cultivators wouldn’t be able to resist the aura at all.
“What’s this?” Ning’s gaze suddenly fell upon a seemingly-ordinary rock nearby.
This rock was a very ordinary one… but all of a sudden, a series of golden characters began to fly out from within it, as well as a map.
“The Abyss of Fiends has a thirty-six layered world. It was created as a trial ground by three grandmasters of the Dao of the Sword. The twelfth layer, the twenty-fourth layer, and the thirty-sixth layer all have exit tunnels. These are the only ways out, the only ways by which you can leave and return to the Genesis Lands.
“Remember this. Only the strong will win what they desire.”
The golden words and the map levitated there in the air for a moment, then quickly disappeared.
Ning turned his gaze while sweeping out with his godsense to scan the area for a billion kilometers around him. The only building in this area was that towering citadel, and the citadel was filled with ten million cultivators, with the three strongest being a trio of World-level cultivators. Those three World-level cultivators were bold, heroic figures, but when they sensed Ning’s godsense lock onto them they were horribly frightened.
What powerful godsense!
It must be understood that many years ago, when Ning had visited the Eastsmoke branch of the Bluegrace Sect, he had been able to use his godsense to simultaneously crush the godsenses of more than three hundred other World-level cultivators.
“The three grandmasters died countless years ago, but there are still so many living creatures here within the world they left behind to test their would-be heirs,” Ning mused. The reason why he had scanned the area was because he could tell that the restrictive spells covering the citadel didn’t seem to be all that powerful.
Whoosh. Ning took a step forward, then completely disappeared.
“Who did that godsense belong to?! It was ridiculously strong. This world is a trillion kilometers in size, but there aren’t many with godsense on that level.” A golden-robed elder was seated in the lotus position, a frown on his face.
A white-robed youth suddenly appeared out of nowhere on the seat located next to him. The youth sat there calmly as he stared at the golden-robed expert.
“You…” The golden-robed elder was horrified as he stared at the white-robed youth. “Y-you…”
He was a World-level cultivator! He was someone who stood at the very peak of power within this world. And yet, this youth was powerful enough to appear next to him without him even noticing?
“I have a few questions,” Ning said..
“Please ask them, senior.” The golden-robed elder’s heart was quivering in fear.
“I hope you will not try to lie to me. If you lie… you should be able to guess what will happen,” Ning said.
The golden-robed elder hurriedly smiled. “Senior, if you wished to kil me you could probably do so with a flick of your fingers. This junior would never dare to deceive you or hide anything from you.”
Ning nodded. “I ask you this – have you heard of the Abyss of Fiends?”
“The Abyss of Fiends? I have, of course I have.” The golden-robed elder gave Ning a curious look. Logically speaking, every top-level expert in this world should know about the Abyss of Fiends.
Ning’s gaze hardened.
The golden-robed elder said hurriedly, “This world of ours is a trillion kilometers in size, and powerful experts are as common as the clouds. Many experts have been born over the course of countless years, but the most powerful figures have always been the terrifying devils of the Abyss of Fiends. According to the stories, there are a total of thirty-six levels to the Abyss of Fiends. Countless devils live in that place, and some of them are so incredibly strong that they are honored with the tile of ‘fiendlord’.”
“Every single chaos cycle, a large number of devils will charge forth from the Abyss of Fiends under the guidance of a fiendlord and sweep through this world. When this happens, all of the experts within this world must join together if they wish to withstand the assault. But of course, sometimes we will fail. In any case, the devils will have to retreat back into the Abyss of Fiends after a brief period of time.”
Ning frowned. “fiendlord?”
Know thy enemy and know thyself; only then would you be the victor in every battle. The reason why Ning had come to interrogate this local expert was because he wanted to learn more regarding this Abyss of Fiends. This was at trial-world established by three Eternal Emperors, after all, and one of them was on the same level of power as the almighty Hegemon himself. There was no such thing as being too cautious.
“According to the legends, the first twelve layers of the Abyss only hold a single fiendlord. Starting from the thirteenth level, each level shall have many fiendlords within them. The fiendlords are extremely powerful, and it is easy for them to kill us.” The golden-robed elder sighed. “As for what the final twelve levels hold… that is a mystery to us all.”
Ning nodded slowly, as if enlightened.
This world was merely a trillion kilometers in size. After some detailed questioning, Ning came to understand that the strongest experts here were merely are the World level. Those who reached the Daolord level would all vanish without a trace.
“The Abyss of Fiends?” Ning stood at the peak of a mountain, staring off into the distance towards the great black abyss, a circular hole in the earth that was a million kilometers in circumference. The abyss was so deep that there was no way one could see to its bottom. The only thing one could sense was that terrifyingly baleful aura emanating from it.
“So this is the trial which the grandmasters left behind?” Ning revealed a hint of a smile. These so-called ‘trials’ were actually processes of elimination. Major powers were all incredibly proud figures, and thus ordinary cultivators were not qualified to even attempt to peek at their treasures. It must be understood that any of the treasures left behind by Hegemon-level figures would assuredly be valuable beyond price.
“I wonder if I, Ji Ning, will be found worth by the three grandmasters.” Ning transformed into as treak of sword-light, then flew out while using a hint of the Blood Drop sword-intent. The streak of sword-light instantly charged into the Abyss of Fiends.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
A black mist wafted outwards from this place, carrying strange spatial ripples with it.
“Eh?” Ning soon arrived at the first level of the Abyss of Fiends. This first level was a world of volcanos, lava, and endless amounts of blazing light.
Ning swept out with his godsense but wasn’t too worried. The first twelve levels only held a single fiendlord, after all. Even the local World-level cultivators would often come adventuring through the first level.
“This leve is roughly ten billion kilometers in size and constitutes a world unto itself. It has more than three hundred devils, each of which has the aura of an ordinary World-level cultivator.” Ning’s hands tightened around his sword, Violetjewel.
“Someone has come from the World Above!”
“He actually dares to intrude into our world, the Abyss of Fiends?!”
When Ning stretched out with his godsense it instantly attracted the attention of some of the nearby devils, causing them to charge towards Ning. These fiends all belonged to the same race, a race with grayish-black skin, veiny wings, and a pair of sharp claws that glimmered with metallic light. These devils were able to easily surpass the limits of the Heavenly Daos when flying, and the invisible aura of power surrounding them was quite great.
Ning swept the area with his gaze… and his gaze transformed into swords!
A series of sword-intents burst forth, transforming into an enormous Yin-Yang Sword Domain that was like a terrifying grindstone that easily ground away all of the attacking devils. The attacking devils were utterly terrified – this foe was actually able to kill them with just his sword-intent alone?!
Ning, however, was quite calm. These little devils weren’t even worthy of him using his Dao lightning or Dao water. Using his intent alone to form the Yin-Yang Sword Domain resulted in a domain which had perhaps only 10%-20% of his full power, but it was enough to effortlessly wipe through these opponents.
The terrifying sword-intent washed out wantonly, easily annihilating all invading devils.
Ning continued to fly downwards, passing through the ground and another layer of black mist before arriving at the second level of the Abyss of Fiends.