Book 29, Daolord, Chapter 20 – The Hegemon’s Armor
A terrifying vortex-world of lightning and water filled the skies, emanating an aura of absolute annihilation as it swirled around Patriarch Clearwind.
“How could his secret arts be this strong? He’s merely a Daolord of the Second Step. What type of unearthly, shocking legacy did he manage to uncover?” Patriarch Clearwind was truly stunned. His divine body began to turn blurry as gusts of wind began to swirl around him, striving to ablate the crushing power of the septessence thunder and septessence water.
“Kill!” Ning transformed into a streak of light as he once more charged towards Patriarch Clearwind.
“Hmph. You think a minor secret art like that is enough to deal with me?” Patriarch Clearwind let out an angry roar. Although he was being suppressed by the water-lightning domain, the furious winds surrounding him made it so that the lightning and water found it difficult to actually strike against him.
Given Patriarch Clearwind’s power, most likely only the full novessence thunder and novessence water would be enough to injure him. But of course, Ning had never planned on using his sword-intent domain alone to injure his foe. What he wanted to do was to use it to suppress and bind his foe, making his foe slower and allowing himself to further maximize his advantage in speed.
“Die.” Ning stood there within the awesome domain of lightning and water… then suddenly vanished without a trace.
One streak after another of terrifying sword-light began to appear and attack Patriarch Clearwind. Some of the sword-light possessed terrifying penetrative powers, some were unfathomable and mysterious. Given that Ning already had an absolute advantage in terms of speed, for a time Patriarch Clearwind found himself stifled quite miserably. All he could do was rely on his six arms to defend as best as he could.
“You young brat!” Patriarch Clearwind’s eyes suddenly shone with azure light, and the power of the howling gale surrounding him instantly increased, making it so that the lightning and the water were completely unable to penetrate his defenses.
“Not good.” Daolord Battlemaster, watching from within the distant Vastheaven Palace, couldn’t help but narrow his eyes.
“The madman’s starting to use his killer attacks.” Daolord Solesky had a solemn look on his face as well. “Brother Ji Ning was able to force this madman into using this attack far sooner than I had expected. Still… brother Ji Ning is incredibly fast. If he chooses to retreat, there’s nothing which Clearwind can do to him. Clearwind can’t maintain his berserk state forever; it uses up far too much divine power.”
“Master isn’t retreating?!” Su Youji was panicking.
“Ah?!” Daolord Brightfish and Daolord Battlemaster began to panic as well.
“That jade slip I gave him contained detailed information on Clearwind’s killer attack. He should’ve been able to recognize it right away!” Daolord Solesky was frantic as well. The battle in the heavens between these two mighty figures was absolutely terrifying; his avatar alone would not be able to make it there in time to help out, nor did it have the strength to.
“Die.” Patriarch Clearwind’s eyes were ice cold, and all six slender swords in his hands simultaneously chopped out in a deceivingly simple stance. Once this strike was unleashed, it seemed as though the world itself was falling apart.
The wind howled furiously as countless gales buffeted Ning, completely smashing through the lightning-water domain of sword-intent, which was incapable of stopping them in the slightest. The difference in power was glaring and overwhelming.
It was this killer technique which allowed Patriarch Clearwind to be famous throughout the Endless Territories. Without it, he was just a fairly strong Daolord of the Fourth Step. With it, he was capable of threatening the lives of the vast majority of other Daolords of the Fourth Step! The reason why Daolord Battlemaster did not take part in this battle was precisely because he was worried about being killed by this attack.
Ning was entirely capable of retreating from it at high speeds! Battlemaster, however, didn’t have Ning’s speed.
This sort of killer technique was actually a type of forbidden art which used up an absolutely shocking amount of divine power.
“He isn’t fleeing from it?” Patriarch Clearwind’s eyes grew even colder.
Ning valiantly struck out with all six swords in a defensive posture, using the mysteries of the Soleheart stance of his Omega Sword Dao to form a domain of absolute darkness around him.
The terrifying winds blew through his defenses as though they were paper, destroying all in their path. They slammed straight into and through the dark domain around Ning, instantly shattering this abyssal domain apart and then smashing directly against the true body of Ning behind the domain.
“No!” Back in Vastheaven Palace, Su Youji revealed a look of panic in her eyes.
“What?! Why?!” Solesky couldn’t believe it. He refused to believe that Ning would act in such a suicidal fashion. He knew how deadly this killer attack was. Why didn’t he dodge it?
The terrifying blow landed directly against Ning, but the ancient cuirass of armor Ning was wearing was covered in many layers of countless divine runes. When the concussive power of the blow slammed into the armor, much of it was immediately absorbed and ablated, with some of the power actually being transformed into energy that was then thrust back against the blow, weakening it even further. The actual process would be quite complicated to describe, but by the time the power of the blow made it through this suit of armor, it had less than one thousandth of its original power. That remaining amount of power was spread evenly throughout Ning’s entire body, and it caused him a negligible amount of damage.
“This suit of Hegemon armor truly is extraordinary.” Ning was filled with joy. The deceased Hegemon of the Dao of the Sword was naturally an expert in close combat. His most important treasure was naturally that dark blue greatsword, but his second most important treasure was that suit of armor.
The Paragon of Pills had poured all of her blood, sweat, and tears in crafting this suit of armor for the man she loved. It had no special properties at all. It must be understood that most powerful armors had various special properties, such as reflecting damage onto attackers or even containing powerful secret arts. The Hegemon’s armor, however, was very simple. It had only one property – defense!
Virtually all attacks would be reduced to a thousandth of their original power. Perhaps a Hegemon’s attack would do better, but even then it would only have a hundredth of its normal power.
Thanks to this suit of armor, the Sword Hegemon’s body had been completely undamaged!
Ning had chosen to forcibly endure that killing blow precisely because he felt confident in the armor. But of course, even if he didn’t have it he still wouldn’t have been afraid, as he had already trained in the Hegemon’s protective divine ability, the [Sword Dao Body], for over a thousand years. His body was already comparable to a low-grade Eternal weapon. If he wanted to keep training, he’d need to use certain treasures.
To go from being a top-grade Dao weapon to being a low-grade Eternal weapon seemed like a minor improvement, but there was a qualitative difference between Eternal weapons and Dao weapons. For example, Patriarch Clearwind was able to destroy top-grade Dao weapons, but he wasn’t able to cause any damage to low-grade Eternal weapons.
He had the Hegemon’s armor protecting him on the outside, and a mighty protective divine ability on the inside! How could Patriarch Clearwind possibly injure him?
Boom! When the attack landed against him, he couldn’t help but be knocked flying back. It was only thanks to the power of his lightning-water domain of sword-intent that he was able to stabilize himself and come to a halt.
“Pretty strong.” Ning revealed a smile and a praising nod.
“Y-you…” Patriarch Clearwind’s smirk suddenly froze as he stared at Ning in disbelief. “How are you…”
Even if Darknorth didn’t die, he should’ve at least been heavily injured.
“Your killer technique’s not strong enough. You don’t have nearly the power you would need if you want to kill me.” Ning shook his head. Even without the Hegemon’s armor, his divine body’s toughness vastly surpassed that of most Daolords of the Fourth Step. Ning had already paid a steep price to fully master the [Golden Idol] technique, making his body comparable to top-grade Dao weapons. To learn another divine ability that could further upgrade his body and make it comparable to an Eternal weapon, even a low-grade one, was quite difficult. The cost of such an ability would be staggeringly high, making it so that not even the vast majority of Daolords of the Fourth Step would be able to learn any such technique.
Upon mastering the [Sword Dao Body], your body would become comparable to a supreme Eternal weapon!
This was the Hegemon’s own divine ability, after all. The only reason he had been so selfless as to give it to others was because he was dead! Someone still alive like Emperor Mirrorsnow or the almighty Brightshore Hegemon would always keep a few trump cards hidden for their own private usage when transmitting legacies to others.
“I-I… I’m impressed.” Patriarch Clearwind suddenly waved his hand, causing the distant shrine to suddenly fly towards him. He then flew straight into the shrine.
“Eh?” Ning was startled. The battle was over, just like that?
Still, there was nothing Ning could do. He could leave if he wanted, but since Patriarch Clearwind was actually stronger than him, Clearwind was similarly able to leave as he pleased.
“What, you are planning to leave?” The midair Ning asked.
“Not just yet. I think it’s time for us to have a good chat,” Patriarch Clearwind said from within his shrine. He had been thoroughly intimidated by Ning’s absolutely overwhelming speed. If he stayed hidden with his shrine and relied on its formations, there would be nothing Ning could do to him.
“Solesky! Battlemaster!” Patriarch Clearwind called out loudly, his voice echoing within the skies. “We can have a chat now.”
The furious gray storm had long ago vanished. Ning dispelled his lightning-water domain of sword-intent as well, and the skies became calm and sunny once more.
“Haha, you madman! So you are finally willing to talk?” Two streaks of light flew out from Vastheaven Palace. They were Daolord Solesky and Daolord Battlemaster. Daolord Solesky snickered, “Didn’t you say you were going to besiege Vastheaven Palace for one or ten chaos cycles? Why do you want to talk now? What makes you think I want to talk to you? You really are overestimating your own importance.”
“That was all my fault,” Patriarch Clearwind said. “Solesky, my friend, please don’t take offense.”
Daolord Solesky’s eyes bulged out, and Daolord Battlemaster was stunned as well. Even Ning was dazed.
The man was voluntarily admitting fault? He was even addressing Solesky as ‘my friend’?
“Ahaha! It’s rare for you to bow your head to anyone, you madman. But the two of us have been tussling for so long… for you to suddenly address me as ‘my friend’ sends chills up my spine.” Daolord Solesky glanced mockingly at Patriarch Clearwind. “You can’t kill my brother Ji Ning, but he can’t do anything to you either. Are you lowering your head in order to ransom back that Daolord of the Third Step of yours?”
“Ransoming him back is part of it,” Patriarch Clearwind said from within his shrine. “More importantly, I wish for our two sides to reconcile. Let us wipe away all our old grievances with a single handshake and never be enemies again. If you wish to attach any conditions, my friend, you can just go ahead and name them.”
Patriarch Clearwind knew exactly what he was doing.
He didn’t fear Battlemaster. He didn’t fear Solesky. He did, however, fear this Darknorth fellow! Darknorth was already incredibly powerful as a Daolord of the Second Step; there was nothing Clearwind could do to him. Once Darknorth reached the third step or the fourth step… given the feud between the two sides, that would probably be the day when Clearwind Temple would be wiped out. The best decision was for him to immediately resolve this feud, no matter what price had to be paid.