Book 30, Ancient Cultivator, Chapter 8 – Sharpened
The two sides stared at each other from afar. This clash of Daos alone let the three vice sectlords know that in terms of insights into the Dao, this mere Daolord of the Second Step was already on par with Daolord Clevermind and superior to the other two vice sectlords! This caused their ardor to cool down. However, they remained full of confidence. There would be an enormous difference in amount of divine power and Immortal energy, after all; one was a Daolord of the Second Step, the others were Daolords of the Fourth Step!
“Attack,” Daolord Clevermind shouted mentally to the other two.
“GRWAAAWR!” Daolord Bruteflame raised his head and let out a bellow as his stony body suddenly expanded. He transformed into an enormous stone titan that was ten million kilometers tall, and his two giant stone legs slammed into the ground like the pillars of heaven themselves, causing the earth to tremble. His two arms seemed to contain the power to annihilate the heavens as he sent them smashing towards Ning.
“Interesting.” One of the Northbow swords flew out from Ji Ning’s back, falling into his hands. He transformed into the [Three Heads, Six Arms] form, all six of his arms clenched around the hilt of this sword. His sword suddenly expanded to become massive as well, and his six arms swung it outwards in a furious chop.
Omega Sword Dao –!
Ning had made breakthroughs in all five of his Supreme Daos. Although he hadn’t been able to merge them together into a higher-level Omega Sword Dao, his total combat power had still improved by a bit. He was now on par with Patriarch Clearwind in every respect, be it in using quick sword-arts, fierce sword-arts, or unpredictable sword-arts. In fact, his perfection in every area was such that his sword-arts would be enough to force Patriarch Clearwind to flee.
BOOM! The massive streak of sword-light slammed into those two enormous, heaven-overturning arms which brimmed with flames. An enormous explosion blasted out, and Ning couldn’t help but take two steps back. As for the giant stone titan, Daolord Bruteflame, he stumbled one step back as well.
“Daolord Bruteflame lives up to his reputation as an Aberrant special lifeform. The star maps of the Brightshore Kingdom described him as an Aberrant famous for his strength. However, he’s weak in terms of speed and technique,” Ning amused.
“What? A Daolord of the Second Step was actually able to fight Bruteflame head on?” Daolord Graceful was astonished.
“Not good.” Daolord Clevermind’s face paled. He knew very well that even if he struck at full power, he would still be at a disadvantage when fighting Daolord Bruteflame head-on.
“It’ll be up to you, Daolord Clevermind,” Daolord Graceful sent mentally. An incredibly dense black mist suddenly arose that instantly covered the surrounding area which could not be dispersed by the aura of Ning’s Dao. Something seemed to be swimming within that dark mist that almost instantly shot out towards the opponent.
“Oh, a competition in using soft, Yin principles?” Ning’s six Northbow swords all shot out of the sheath, and he wielded one in each of his six arms, sending sword-light flowing outwards and easily defending against the technique.
“Die, then.” The most powerful of the three, Daolord Clevermind, charged straight towards Ning with six warhammers in his hands.
Ning’s face tightened. Although Daolord Clevermind’s name implied trickery, his combat style was absolutely savage and dominating, but in a different way from how Daolord Bruteflame merely used brute force. Daolord Clevermind didn’t seem to have any obvious flaws at all.
“Excellent. The Ninedust Sect is giving me just what I want. I was hoping to have a chance to tussle a bit against comparable foes and see if I can’t perhaps evolve my Omega Sword Dao.” Ning revealed a smile. “Who would’ve thought they’d choose to send their three vice sectlords out to spar?” Three of them at the same time would give even Ning some pressure.
“Let’s do this!” Ning charged forwards.
“Kill!” Daolord Clevermind shot straight towards Ning.
“Hmph.” The distant Daolord Graceful controlled his magic treasures from afar, sending long-range attacks against Ning. He was a Ki Refiner and so wasn’t all that skilled in close combat. As for Daolord Bruteflame, he sent his giant fists smashing towards Ning time and time again, each strike comparable to Ning’s Omega Heavenbreaker attack. Ning had to be wary of him as well.
For a time, the scene outside the Eastroad Sect was a scene of complete chaos. Black mist swirled everywhere, and an enormous titan was launching frenzied attacks in every direction. At the center of the action was the battle between the number one vice sectlord of the Ninedust Sect, Daolord Clevermind… and a white-robed youth. Thunder and lightning crackled through the air as the giant warhammers linked together into a cage of lightning around Ning, whose six swords struck out with unfathomable, mysterious power. Sometimes, they were as unfathomable as swimming dragons; at other times, they were as explosive as volcanos. In every aspect, he was as strong as Daolord Clevermind.
However, Daolord Graceful and Daolord Bruteflame continued to launch attacks from the sidelines, causing Ning to be distracted and making it so that he seemed to be consistently at a disadvantage.
“This white-robed Daolord really is powerful. He’s actually able to fight the three vice sectlords of the Ninedust Sect to a standstill!”
“Impressive. For a Daolord of the Second Step to possess such power means that he is definitely one of the most freakishly powerful of Daolords around. I’ve heard of such monsters in the past, but I’ve never seen any of them. I’ve really seen something special today.”
“Hm. It seems it won’t be that easy for the Ninedust Sect to take over the Eastroad Sect.”
The distant spectator cultivators, especially the spies from other organizations, all murmured silently to each other. With this white-robed Daolord present, conquering the Eastroad Sect would be no easy feat.
“This will be trouble.” The Ninedust Sectlord frowned as he watched from afar. Taking over the Eastroad Sect really wouldn’t be that easy. This kid was clearly just a Daolord of the Second Step, but he was already on par with Daolord Clevermind in power. In the outside world, the Ninedust Sectlord wouldn’t care about him at all, but there was no way this white-robed Daolord would be so foolish as to engage the Ninedust Sectlord in close combat. No Daolord of such power could possibly be as foolish as that! Once the Ninedust Sectlord got involved, the white-robed Daolord would probably retreat into the protective embrace of the Eastroad Sect’s formations.
Once he was being reinforced by the formations personally left behind by Patriarch Eastroad, things would be completely different. The Ninedust Sectlord wasn’t confident in being able to slay that white-robed Daolord inside the Eastroad Sect.
Generally speaking, only when the difference in power between two sects was absolutely enormous would one be able to take over the other. Usually, the protective formations covering each set would be enough to offset any difference in power.
“Daolord Darknorth truly is powerful.”
“He’s actually able to fight three at once and stop all three of their vice sectlords! With power like this… if he’s reinforced by our formations, he’ll probably be able to stop the Ninedust Sectlord.” The disciples within the Ninedust Sect were all rather excited. Although it looked as though Daolord Darknorth was at a disadvantage in this fight, for him to be able to resist all three at once was a testament to his strength.
Daolord Thunderheat had a look of joy on his face, but he then suddenly frowned. “Wait. I remember Daolord Darknorth saying that he was able to defeat Daolord Naia in a single blow, thanks to his secret arts. Why haven’t I seen him use any secret arts yet?” Ning had mentioned previously that his greatest power lay in his secret arts.
“If he’s already this powerful in close combat, how much stronger will he be once he uses those secret arts?” Daolord Thunderheat didn’t even dare imagine it.
“Wonderful. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Again!” Ning was battling to his heart’s content. He could’ve used the nine novessence arts to end this long ago, but that would be boring. If all he wanted to do was to turtle up, he could’ve stayed inside the sect. The reason he came out was because he wanted to fight, to temper himself, to sharpen his skills and enhance his Omega Sword Dao! This battle against the three vice sectlords was doing just that, and Daolord Clevermind in particular was giving him a great deal of pressure. He naturally was gaining a few insights into sword-arts as the battle continued.
“Hahaha! Wonderful. Just wonderful!” Daolord Clevermind was enjoying the fight as well, battling with incomparable valor. He was a practitioner of the Dao of Lightning, and was skilled in high-speed explosive attacks. “Kid, you might be able to maintain your current level of power thanks to whatever divine ability you are using, but I want to see how long you’ll be able to hold it!”
“Once more time passes, he won’t be able to hold on.” Daolord Bruteflame and Daolord Graceful were filled with confidence as well. They all felt certain that this white-roed Daolord had to be relying on some sort of divine ability which allowed him to release an explosive amount of power… but the more monstrously powerful a divine ability was, the faster it depleted one’s divine power. Generally speaking, this sort of battle strategy could not be used for a long period of time. They had no idea that in a contest of endurance, Ning was superior to all three of them combined because his azureflower mist energy was only used up at an extremely slow rate… and he had an enormous amount of it.
In the blink of an eye, nearly an hour had gone by without the battle slowing down in the slightest. An hour was a very short period of time for cultivators, and the watching spectators were all quite excited by the spectacle. However, the three vice sectlords and the Ninedust Sectlor knew the truth of the matter, and they all felt something was off.
“How could he last for this long?”
“Why has his divine power been able to last this long?”
The Ninedust Sectlord and the three vice sectlords all had a bad feeling. But right at this moment…
“I’m still not quite there.” Ning secretly shook his head. “Although I’ve gained many new ideas regarding my sword-arts, to merge my five Supreme Daos of the ‘second step’ level into a new Omega Sword Dao is still not possible. It seems these three vice sectlords simply aren’t giving me enough pressure.”
Ning didn’t want to continue the fight against the three of them any longer, because they had already put all of their techniques on full display. It was no longer of any use to Ning.
“Let it end!” Ning willed it, and nine absolutely terrifying ‘dragons’ of destructive energy began to fly out from his body…