Book 28, Archaeus Region, Chapter 35 – A Clash
“I’m not finished talking!” The muscular man was rather irritated.
The azure-armored man and the white-robed man exchanged a glance, then the azure-armored man said, “Big brother, what are you saying? I thought you didn’t care about this Darknorth kid. Are you seriously going to fight with us over him?”
“Big brother, I’ve memorized every single word you said just now,” the white-robed man said.
It had been far too long. They had been waiting here per the orders of their respective masters for far, far too long. Ji Ning was the first one to truly drive them wild with excitement. Although there had been one person who had perfectly joined an offensive Supreme Dao with a defensive one, that was just two Daos. Moreover, that man’s path wasn’t really a good fit for the path their masters had chosen.
Ji Ning’s Dao of the Sword, however, was a path which literally included everything. It included techniques meant for slaughter, such as the techniques of the azure-armored man’s master. It included ephemeral and inscrutable techniques, such as those of the white-robed man’s master. And it even included straightforward attacks of overwhelming power, such as the ones used by the muscular man’s master, the greatsword-wielding Hegemon. Ning’s Dao included everything and joined it all together perfectly! He was able to study any of their Daos!
“All I said was, don’t be overly infatuated with him.” The muscular man said coldly, “In addition, I’m not the one who will decide whether or not he’ll be allowed to become my master’s personal disciple. In the end, it will be up to the greatsword as to whether or not it accepts him as its master.”
The azure-armored man and the white-robed man were both stunned. The greatsword… it held truly incalculable amounts of might within it. It was a Universe treasure! Even Eternal Emperors dreamed of acquiring such treasures, but alas, Universe treasures chose their wielders, not the other way around. If the treasure refused to acknowledge you, there was no way for you to bind it by force whatsoever.
“The only decision I can make is whether or not he qualifies to become my master’s honorary disciple,” the muscular man said. “The decision of who qualifies to become a personal disciple is up to the greatsword.”
“What? You are planning to let him become an honorary disciple?” The azure-armored man and the white-robed man both ground their teeth in frustration.
“Big brother, weren’t you saying how unworthy he…” The azure-armored man couldn’t help but start muttering under his breath.
“Whether or not he can become an honorary disciple will depend on if he can survive my sword or not.” As soon as the muscular man spoke these words… BOOM! He manifested a total of six arms, all six of which assumed a tightened grip over that single deep blue greatsword! But of course, this greatsword wasn’t actually a Universe treasure, just a Dao weapon facsimile.
The muscular man transformed into a streak of sword-light that tore through the skies, moving at an incredible pace of nearly five times the speed of light. It must be understood that normally speaking, only Daolords of the Fourth Step were able to attain such incredible speeds. But of course, different people with different Daos would have different areas of specialty. Ning’s Blood Drop sword-art also allowed him to move at incredible speeds by using himself as a sword while using the Blood Drop sword-intent. This was the so-called Blood Drop evasion skill.
The Blood Drop evasion skill was Ning’s fastest evasion skill. The Shadowless evasion skill was more unpredictable, but it was slightly slower. Ever since Ning had perfectly joined together his five Supreme Daos, his Blood Drop evasion skill had undergone a fundamental transformation, making it even faster and more explosive. In the past, he was roughly able to move at three times the speed of light. Now, he would be able to force his speed to a new limit of four times the speed of light.
“The five sword-intents of my Dao of the Sword have been joined together in a perfect manner, but my evasion skill is still inferior to his?” Ning had been utterly dominating those three volcano titans, but when he saw the muscular man fly towards him from afar he no longer dared to act complacently. He immediately used rope-type magic treasures to separately tie up all three volcano titans, ensuring that they wouldn’t be able to disturb him.
“Receive a blow from my sword!” The muscular man’s voice thundered through the skies, as did his distant sword-light. It transformed into a straight line that chopped downwards towards Ning with furious power. The entire world seemed to turn dark, leaving behind only that single terrifying sword-strike as it chopped downwards. Ning was actually completely unable to dodge this attack. His only choice was to defend against it.
A black hole of sword-light spun out like a lotus flower in the darkness. It swiveled outwards and unleashed layers of power. For an instant, its swiveling movements became as explosively powerful as the Heavenbreaker stance; in the next instant, it would become as soft and ephemeral as the Shadowless stance.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! The deep blue greatsword chopped straight down upon the black hole of sword-light, and the layers of swiveling ‘petals’ sought to transform into other sword-arts while furiously ablating the power of the oncoming attack.
“What a formidable defensive technique.” The muscular man could sense that the offensive power of his deep blue greatsword was being slowly ablated, ground away, and deflected. It was as though it had been trapped within the cycle of Samsara, never to escape again.
“Break! Break! Break!” The muscular man remained quite calm. He held absolute faith in his master’s Dao of the Sword.
No matter how tough you are, I’ll break through with overwhelming power!
This was a Dao of overwhelming force!
Ning was knocked flying backwards. Even when he landed, he had to stumble five steps back before recovering his footing. He stared rather cautiously at the distant, muscular man.
“He blocked it! Ahaha! Just like that, he blocked our big brother’s attack in a head-on collision. Absolutely incredible! That other poor bastard… he might’ve had a perfect fusion of his two Supreme Daos, but our big brother’s sword smashed him straight into the ground.” The distant azure-armored man couldn’t help but sigh in amazement when he saw this.
The white-robed man said, “Darknorth has mastered five Supreme Daos, and he’s joined them together in a Samsara-like cycle. His sword-arts have absolutely no flaws at all, and he’s reached an incredibly high level in all five of his Supreme Daos. In terms of tenacity and toughness, Darknorth’s Sword Dao is definitely the most tenacious and toughest Sword Dao there is.”
“There are other geniuses whose Sword Daos involve the perfect fusions of Supreme Daos, but they all have flaws. Darknorth, however, is skilled in every area. If he was to battle against one of them, he would be able to attack their weaknesses.” The azure-armored man sighed in approval. “Incredibly, absolutely incredible. He actually came up with five Supreme Sword Daos! If in the future he can become a Verge-level Daolord, he’ll definitely stand a good chance of becoming the most powerful Daolord there is.”
There was actually a ranking of monstrously powerful Daolords. In the Endless Territories, Palace Lord Dawnstar of the Twelve Palaces was one such Daolord. The major powers of the Brightshore Kingdom all believed that if Bertulu became a Verge-level Daolord, he would probably be comparable to Lord Dawnstar in power. Lord Dawnstar had once slain an Eternal Emperor with just three strikes of his saber… but despite that, he was only ranked as the second most powerful Daolord of the Endless Territories.
All of the most monstrously powerful Daolords had fused Supreme Daos together… but despite that, there were still differences in power amongst them!
“Mm.” The white-robed man let out an approving sigh. “Very true. Unfortunately, we won’t live to see that day.”
The azure-armored man suddenly fell silent as well.
Strictly speaking, they weren’t really living creatures. They also had to stay here perpetually for the sake of choosing suitable disciples for their masters. Although they were very willing to do this, they couldn’t help but feel at least a little bit of yearning towards the vast world outside.
The muscular man’s six hands were clenched around the hilt of that single greatsword. When he attacked, his savagery filled the skies. When he defended, he was as unshakable as a mountain.
Facing him in battle was like facing an enormous boulder that was crashing towards you. As it rolled down towards you, it would only increase in power. If you wanted to survive, you’d have to disrupt and shatter the terrifying momentum of his attacks! Fortunately, Ning had many varied techniques, and his ghostly, inscrutable Shadowless stance was able to repeatedly tie down the muscular man’s movements.
“Enough.” The muscular man suddenly came to a halt. Startled, Ning did the same thing.
This lengthy battle had been quite beneficial for him. The terrifying amount of pressure the muscular man had placed upon Ning had helped him learn how to use his sword-arts in a more effective and natural manner. The muscular man eclipsed Ning in both speed and strength. Although Ning’s Dao of the Sword had many different techniques hidden within it, he was only just barely able to fight the man to a standstill.
“When my master was at the World level, he was probably slightly weaker than you are right now.” The muscular man looked at Ning, then nodded slightly. “You are qualified to become my master’s honorary disciple.”
“SHUT YOUR MOUTH!”
Two furious howls rent the air.
The explosive howl of ‘shut your mouth’ had come from the azure-armored figure, while the one who had called out ‘big brother’ had come from the graceful, refined-looking white-robed man. The two immediately transformed into streaks of light that flew towards Ning. They had been keeping a close watch on this fight and had kept themselves carefully attuned to every little ripple. As soon as they heard their big brother speak to Ning, they became instantly enraged.
“Big brother, you go too far!” The white-robed man was a bit faster and as such was the first to arrive. After descending, he said angrily, “Didn’t you say you weren’t interested in Darknorth?”
“Darknorth.” When the azure-armored figure landed, he stared intently at Ning. “Don’t go be someone else’s ‘honorary’ disciple. What’s the point of being an ‘honorary’ disciple? The nine swords which my master left behind are all incredibly powerful. When they join together, they are all but invincible. Aside from the nine swords, I also have many other treasures which my master left behind for his personal disciple. As I see it, you are perfectly suited for becoming my master’s personal disciple.”
“Oh yeah? In terms of treasures, my master has even more treasures than yours!” The white-robed man said, “Darknorth, why don’t you become my master’s personal disciple instead? Our respective masters loved each other as brothers. The reason my master was ranked as the second brother was because he was second only to the Hegemon in power.”
“YOU…!” The azure-armored figure was infuriated. Who would’ve thought that at a critical moment like this, when they were supposed to be working together against their elder brother, the white-robed man would’ve suddenly ‘backstabbed’ him?
“Don’t blame me. I’ve waited far, far too long to help my master find a suitable disciple,” the white-robed man said in an innocent, ‘helpless’ manner.
“Shut your faces!” The muscular man had an icy look on his face as he finally snapped out at them, unable to keep silent any longer. He then turned to look at Ning. “It’ll be Darknorth’s decision as to who he chooses.”
To become the Hegemon’s honorary disciple, or to become the personal disciple of one of the other two Eternal Emperors of the Sword? Who should he choose?