Book 32, Waveshift Realm, Chapter 12 – Fleeing
“Y-you…” The Ninedust Sectlord was speechless. He actually had harbored ulterior motives; he wanted to wait for Daolord Solesky to be killed by other Daolords, then counter-attack and take the seal for himself.
In truth, he really didn’t have much of a relationship with Solesky. However, him and Ji Ning and experienced life-and-death experiences for many years, and he really did view Ning as an extremely close friend. He was by nature an arrogant and solitary figure, willing and capable of doing anything and everything necessary to achieve his goals. If he didn’t like someone, he wouldn’t give a damn about them even if they were stronger than him… but once he did acknowledge a person, he would be willing to risk his life for the sake of that friend.
“Damnit. You drive me crazy. Fine, let’s escape together.” The Ninedust Sectlord gritted his teeth.
“You…” Ning was stunned.
“But I want to make my position clear – if I’m unable to hold them off any longer, we need to voluntarily hand the Voidsea Jadeseal over. I’m not gonna commit suicide for someone else.” The Ninedust Sectlord let out a cold snort. “For Daolord Solesky to have a brother like you who is willing to risk your life for him… he really has some bullshit luck. If it wasn’t for you, his chances of escaping with the seal would be virtually negligible.”
Ning was both overjoyed and moved by this. This escape would be an incredibly dangerous endeavor. King Gorsch had died just a while ago, and this time the Daolords would probably be even more frenzied in their attempts.
“Thanks, Ninedust.” Ning silently committed this display of friendship to memory. He knew that this would be a day he would never be able to forget.
“When we work together, it won’t be easy for anyone to stop us,” Ninedust sent mentally. “Alright, let’s cut the crap. Time to run.”
Although they had briefly bickered, given their level of power their mental conversations happened almost instantaneously. Less than a single second had passed since Ning had collected Daolord Solesky. It was now time to flee.
Splash! The flying black vessel suddenly burst through the surface of the river, with Ning, Ninedust, and Badland atop the vessel. Ning took control over the vessel, not hesitating at all in sending it back the way they had previously come. That way, they would be able to avoid all of the natural dangers within the Waveshift Realm.
“You can’t!” Daolord Badlands opened his eyes and suddenly let out a furious shout.
“What’s wrong?” Ning turned to look at Badlands.
“I engaged in some detailed Numerancy just now. If we go back the same way we came, I think we are destined to fail. I can’t divine any way to survive if we go back that way, and I can foretell that the battles we will encounter shall be far more terrible than the ones King Gorsch endured.” Daolord Badlands pointed towards the left instead. “All other directions will result in guaranteed failure. I can sense that our only chance will come from that direction.”
“Oh?” Ning and Ninedust exchanged a glance. They had all sworn lifeblood oaths when establishing the squad to tell each other the truth. There was no way Daolord Badlands was lying to them.
In truth, they themselves knew that due to everyone having chased after King Gorsch, all the various Daolord squads were now much closer to each other than before. As a result, there was a very high concentration of Daolords in the area around Ning. Their flight would be much more dangerous than King Gorsch’s failed attempt.
Daolord Badlands was now telling them that all other paths, including the path they had originally traversed to come here, would result in certain failure. This was a testament to how dangerous this would be.
“The heavens always leave a chance; they never seal off hope entirely. It seems our only hope lies in that direction.” Ning didn’t hesitate at all, immediately sending the vessel flying at high speeds towards the direction Daolord Badlands had just pointed.
“They aren’t going back the same way they came! They’re advancing towards an unexplored area.”
Sectlord Timedream, Winesage, and the other Heartforce Cultivators continued to mentally converse with each other. When they had pursued King Gorsch, they had paid close attention to the path King Gorsch was taking. While doing so, they had also mentally memorized the paths which the various squads of Daolords had taken, including Ji Ning’s. Daolords naturally had terrifyingly good memories, and they thus remembered exactly what route Ning had taken.
“I had thought they would go back the same way they came! I arranged for other Daolords to intercept and attack them, but they’re instead fleeing in a different direction. Quite crafty.”
“Hurry up and stop them.”
“Tie them down! The longer we can tie them down, the more Daolords will be able to make it there.”
Sectlord Timedream began to converse mentally with the various other Daolord squads, arranging them like chess pieces. And in truth, those Daolords were willing to serve as chess pieces for the chance of acquiring a Voidsea Jadeseal.
“Daolord Darknorth is a Heartforce Cultivator and has many unpredictable heartforce attacks we would be forced to take head-on. His avatar was capable of slaying Daolord Mistbearer, and his true body should be even stronger. My Dao-heart is lacking; I’m not going to take part in this ambush. Good luck, fellow Daoists.”
“Alas, it seems like I won’t have any chances this time.”
The weaker Daolords and the ones with flawed Dao-hearts began to slow down. They weren’t willing to face a Heartforce Cultivator head-on!
Although King Gorsch was formidable, they were at least able to see and defend against his attacks when they worked together. Heartforce attacks, however, were invisible and could only be taken head-on. If you were able to endure the attacks, you’d live; if you failed, you would die!
Whoooosh! Many other Daolords, however, continued to rush there at high speeds. Only a fairly small percentage were afraid of Ning! The most powerful second-tier Daolords didn’t really fear each other. As for the supreme first-tier Daolords, they felt no fear at all.
Swoosh. Ning continued to flee at high speeds aboard the black vessel. Previously, when he had his heartworld projection active, he had marked down the various paths which the other Daolord squads had taken. This now proved to be quite useful.
“There they are!” Ninedust bellowed.
“The first Daolord squad.” Ning waved his hand and put away Daolord Badlands, then stared intently towards the front. They had fled for roughly the time needed to boil a kettle of tea… and a squad of Daolords had appeared. This was the first one, and there were eight of them off in the distance.
Whooooosh. The sides drew closer and closer.
“Darknorth is nothing.”
The eight Daolords were filled with a murderous intent and had savage looks on their faces. As they saw it, King Gorsch was much stronger than this Daolord Darknorth ever could be.
“Vanish.” Six of the eight Daolords didn’t hesitate in immediately taking out rare treasures. These six were second-tier Daolords, while the other two were fairly weak and were just trying their luck out.
“Kill!” The Ninedust Sectlord was brimming with killing intent as well.
“Dreamstar!” Ning immediately executed his [Dreamstar] art. Given that these eight dared to attack him head-on, the [Heartforce Eradicator] probably wouldn’t be of much use against them! Thus, Ning chose to immediately use the [Dreamstar] instead.
Invisible waves of heartforce instantly surged out towards the eight Daolords.
Even the Junior Radiant King, Daolord Yanmi, had been briefly affected by Ning’s usage of the [Dreamstar] art… and Ning’s true body was even stronger! These Daolords were obviously not a match for the Junior Radiant King, and six of them were instantly driven into an spellbound state. Only two of the Daolords were able to maintain their clarity of mind.
Now that they had fallen into a state of stupor, they obviously wouldn’t be able to activate the power within their treasures. Ning himself would need a moment of time to take out and activate the Sword Hegemon’s Dao-seal! Its power would be unleashed in accordance with his guidance; without it, it would just burst out in a straight line that would be much more easily dodged.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Terrifying black light, awesome thunder, endless blades of icy light… without guidance from their masters, they began to randomly collide against each other. Even the two Daolords who were able to maintain their clarity of mind were disrupted.
“Fools like them think to stop us?” The Ninedust Sectlord let out a bellow, then struck out with his longstaff. His longstaff stretched out to become a million kilometers long, howling through the skies and splattering apart a dangerous streak of bloody light.
“He was able to shatter the power of that Dao-seal?”
“How is this possible?” The two clear-minded Daolords were shocked by what they saw. Only supreme first-tier Daolords would be able to unleash such power with a casual strike. That attack had more might within it than a powerful Dao-seal!
“Die!” The Ninedust Sectlord charged forwards valiantly.
“Die.” Ning continuously executed the [Dreamstar] while also sending out his nine novessence arts like nine energy dragons towards the eight.
Even though the Ripplewater art and the nine novessence arts were being suppressed Sectlord Timedream, they were still able to strike out across a great distance towards those Daolords!
“Run, quick!” By now, three of the six dazed Daolords had come back to their senses. They immediately screamed mentally to each other, “His illusions are too powerful. Flee!”
Alas, how could they possibly flee more quickly than the nine novessence arts or the Ripplewater art? They were instantly surrounded and bogged down. The three still-dazed Daolords were unable to resist at all, and two of them died on the spot! A heartbeat later, the Ninedust Sectlord’s staff came howling for them…
“He’s a supreme Daolord!”
“A supreme Daolord and a Heartforce Cultivator, working together! We aren’t a match for them!”
They had thought that this squad would be easy pickings, but it was even more terrifying than King Gorsch had been! If they were facing King Gorsch, the six items they had just tossed out would’ve been more than enough to put him in a tight spot. However, against the combined forces of Ning and Ninedust, it had been of no use! They made up for each other’s weaknesses. This was the reason why Daolord Soleman had joined forces with Daolord Skyaxe.
“Hahaha!” The Ninedust Sectlord flew back to the flying vessel. “I enjoyed the hell out of that battle. How absolutely wonderful! If we had enough time, we would’ve finished off those four as well. There’s no way they should’ve been able to escape.” In the end, four of the eight had died. The other four had managed to escape.
In the Waveshift Realm, it was generally fairly easy to kill second-tier Daolords, as normal dimensional/temporal escape methods were of no use. The only choice was to fly, which meant that many of the slower ones would easily lose their lives if they were unable to beat an opponent.
“Darknorth, when the two of us work together, we might just be able to fight our way out after all.” The Ninedust Sectlord chortled with laughter. “Hah! Our reputations are really gonna be spread throughout the Endless Territories.”
“There really aren’t many who can stop us when we work together.” Ning grinned as well. In his heart, he felt tremendous gratitude towards Ninedust.
His big brother Solesky had shown him great benevolence in the past; there was no way Ning would just abandon him, but the same hadn’t been true for Ninedust. Although both of them were in high spirits, they also knew that this would be a very dangerous escape attempt… and the dangers had just begun.