Book 28, Archaeus Region, Chapter 28 – Death Approaches
Ji Ning charged through one level after another, easily battling his way all the way down to the twelfth level. Thus far, he hadn’t even needed to draw his sword; his Yin-Yang Sword Domain was enough to sweep through all obstacles.
Ning stood atop a hill and was staring off into the distance.
The twelfth level of the Abyss of Fiends was a world of dark-red earth and dark-red mountains. Even the rivers were dark-red in color. The only thing that was different was a pitch-black whirlpool that could be seen off in the distance. The whirlpool was enormous in size and emanated powerful spatial ripples.
“Is that a teleportation tunnel?” Ning recognized it right away. This was a spatial corridor that would allow the user to safely pass through it and leave this place. However… was he supposed to leave before he even encountered any fortunes or opportunities? Ning certainly wasn’t willing to resign himself to such a thing!
Ning knew very well that someone making it to the twelfth level meant nothing to those three grandmasters of the sword. Forget about Ji Ning; even some of the local World-level cultivators were able to make it to this level! As Ning had travelled downwards, he had discovered quite a few magic treasures left behind by the locals who had challenged this place.
“This is the twelfth level. There should be a fiendlord here. Supposedly, large groups of fiendlords roam the deeper depths of the Abyss of Fiends, and every chaos cycle there will be a fiendlord who will lead the devils out of the Abyss to assault the world outside. However… since they are often defeated, I imagine that the so-called fiendlords aren’t that powerful either.” Ning revealed a smile. He really didn’t hold these fiendlords in any regard. He spread out his godsense once more, using it to instantly encompass the entire twelfth level.
Once his godsense spread out, it immediately startled awake the devils on this level as well as an extremely powerful devil… the so-called fiendlord.
A short period of time passed, enough for a kettle of tea to be boiled.
Boom! Ning’s sword stabbed through the dark-red skin of a gigantic devil. Previously, the devils all had grayish-black skins. This particular devil was much larger and had dark-red skin; it was a fiendlord!
“Graa… graa…” The fiendlord’s throat had been pierced through, but it continued to make those strange yelping sounds as it swiped its sharp claws towards Ning, seeking to dismember him.
Swish! Swish! Swish!
The divine sword in Ning’s hands sliced out out in a series of bizarre arcs of sword-light, splitting the fiendlord with three strikes. However, the fiendlord’s body then quickly reformed and healed and it let out a furious roar as it once more charged towards Ning. Every single punch and kick it unleashed was filled with incredible power that caused its own body to tremble. Clearly, it didn’t have extremely fine, minute control over its power.
Ning, for example, was capable of easily crushing and annihilating the power contained within entire chaosworlds. He was completely surrounded by his sword-light, and none of the power was able to escape at all.
Slash! Sword-light flashed out, resulting in the fiendlord being bisected at the waist once more.
And so, just like that…
Ning first used his Yin-Yang Sword Domain, then his Blood Drop stance, then the Shadowless stance, then his other techniques to repeatedly dominate and clobber the fiendlord for nearly a full hour. Although this was a creature which was born for battle, it had been dominated so effortlessly and rurthlessly that after a full hour, it finally knew fear and chose to flee.
It wasn’t too hard to kill a fiendlord, but to frighten it so much that it would flee for its life? This wasn’t easy!
“Mm. This fiendlord’s body is fairly tough, probably comparable to that of a Daolord of the Second Step.” Ning nodded slightly. “However… it has an incredibly low level of insight into the Dao. Any random World-level cultivator would be far superior to him in this regard.”
After testing out the fiendlord several times, Ning realized that although a single fiendlord would pose no threat to other monstrously talented World-level cultivators like Prince Greatjoy, in sufficient numbers they would still be dangerous. This was because they had bodies comparable to Daolords of the Second Step, which meant their attack power was dangerously high. Their weakness lay in the fact that their attacks were a bit clumsy and easy to dodge, but with enough attacks they could bury you in a storm of strikes which would be very difficult to deal with.
Still, since Ning had his Yin-Yang Sword Domain as well as seven types of Dao lightning and Dao water, it would be much easier for him to deal with massed fiendlords.
“Time to go.” Bathed in sword-light, Ning began to fly downwards.
He easily traversed the ground beneath him, passing through yet another world-membrane and reaching the thirteenth level of the Abyss of Fiends. This was a blood-red world which emanated an endless stench of blood and an alluring aura which sought to guide the hearts of any cultivators here in descending into madness.
Ning’s godsense quickly spread out to cover this world. This world only had eight living creatures, all of which were fiendlords.
The eight fiendlords were all located in separate regions of this world, but they all now flew straight towards Ning. In his previous battle against a single fiendlord, Ning had thoroughly dominated it for nearly a full hour before it chose to flee. This was a testament to how ferocious and savage these creatures truly were.
“How weak.” Ning held them in no regard at all, easily defeating one of the nearest fiendlords as he flew down towards the fourteenth level.
He continued to fly down one level at a time. His Yin-Yang Sword Domain ensured that these fiendlords were unable to pose any threat to him whatsoever.
Soon, Ning reached the nineteenth level.
Ning had thought that he would go through this level quite easily as well, but when he noticed that this level had an Eternal weapon within it, he immediately knew that things wouldn’t be that easy.
“The first thirteen levels held quite a few treasures left behind by deceased cultivators, but those cultivators were probably all locals. At best, their weapons were mostly Dao weapons. From the fourteenth level to the eighteenth level, I saw no treasures at all.” Ning had a solemn look on his face. “But the nineteenth level actually has an Eternal weapon.”
There was no way these locals could possibly forge an Eternal weapon.
Ning scanned the level warily with his godsense. This level merely had nineteen of this fiendlords. It didn’t seem to be all that different from the seventeenth level.
Suddenly, an aura of power burst forth from deep within the ground, so powerful as to cause even Ning to be slightly shaken.
He saw the ground split apart, far off in the distance, as a figure suddenly sprang out. This figure was dressed in azure armor and had a mask on, with only his cold eyes being visible behind them. On his back, he was carrying a total of nine blood-colored swords.
“You…” Ning’s face turned pale.
He had seen those three grandmasters of the sword in the outside world. The strongest had been comparable to the almighty Hegemon, the towering man who had been wielding that deep-blue greatsword. The other two had been his friends or retainers, and one of them looked exactly identical to the man who had just appeared, except the ‘original’ version had plunged those nine blood-colored swords into the ground.
“If you can slay me, you will win the nine treasures which Master left behind. Those nine swords accompanied Master for countless years and possess such extraordinary power that they are incredibly close to Universe treasures in power. Even if you do not wish to use them and choose to sell them off… every single sword will fetch you at least fifty million cubes of chaos nectar. If you sell them off as a set, they will be of incalculable value,” the azure-armored figure said coldly.
Those nine swords were indeed incredibly valuable… but Ning didn’t feel the slightest bit of avarice at all. The entire time, he stared unblinkingly at the azure-armored figure in an incredibly serious manner.
Although the figure spoke of his ‘Master’, the terrifying aura of the sword-intent residing within his body was absolutely identical to that of the deceased grandmaster outside! Their auras were auras of murder and slaughter, but exalted to a level that surpassed Ning’s current level by unfathomable amounts. In fact… Ning felt certain that this was what the sword-intent of a true Eternal Emperor would feel like!
“I’m just at the World level. To be able to beat the fiendlords is one thing, but this guy seems to have a terrifyingly high level of insight into the Dao.” Ning had already manifested his [Three Heads, Six Arms], and he gripped his six Eternal swords as he waited solemnly.
“Do not be afraid. These nine swords on my back are not the actual swords which Master used; they are nothing more than nine Dao weapons which Master casually forged before his death.” The azure-armored figure walked towards Ning, every step echoing with his killing intent. His every movement felt like the crash of armies and chariots, filled with murder and such despair that even Ning felt breathless.
Ning understood how deadly this would be. Anyone capable of passing the primessence chains and entering the Prime Reaches would be a genius amongst geniuses… but judging from the nineteen Eternal weapons and various storage treasures, more than one person had perished here! And no wonder… this opponent was absolutely terrifying.
“If you slay me, you’ll earn those nine swords which Master used,” the azure-armored figure urged.
Ning’s eyes grew colder and colder. When he had arrived in this world, he had seen that those nine blood-colored swords had been plunged deep into the ground. No one was able to take those swords away! In other words… there had never been any World-level cultivator capable of killing this azure-armored figure!
Ning’s eyes were like ice. Ignoring all else, he instantly unleashed his dazzling Dao lightning and Dao water, transforming them into enormous swords that furiously swept out, instantly turning a region of ten thousand kilometers around him into a terrifying, desolate wasteland of the Dao of the Sword.
As for the azure-armored figures, he didn’t seem to see or hear any of this at all as he continued to walk towards Ning’s direction, towards that wasteland filled with nothing but swords.