Book 34, The Stone Hellephant Wall, Chapter 10 – Tigerhill
The two flew forwards together into the entrance passage. The silvery-white passageway’s walls were lined with mysterious runes. Ninedust glanced at them and said, “Those should be barrier formation runes.”
“An invisible field of energy is protecting the core of the Stone Hellephant Wall,” Ji Ning said solemnly. “I can sense an invisible, omnipresent form of pressure. Even my godsense is affected by it and rendered inoperable.”
“Same.” Ninedust grew even more cautious as well. Both moved forward with great care, ready to unleash their power at a moment’s notice.
After following this passageway for roughly three kilometers, they reached a fork in the road.
“Let’s choose this one,” Ninedust said.
“Alright. No matter what, the two of us need to stick together. Don’t give them any chance to pick us off separately.” Ning’s expression grew increasingly solemn. When he saw those runes on the walls, he understood that these barriers definitely possessed incredible power.
“Look over there!” A short while later, Ninedust called out excitedly from a corner up ahead as he pointed towards something in front of him. Ning hurriedly charged over, only to see a gaping ‘wound’ in the silvery-white walls that emanated an aura of terrifying power.
“What in the world?” Ning and Ninedust both moved closer to inspect it carefully.
“Wow.” Ninedust stared.
“How is this possible? The entire passageway is formed from this silvery-white substance. I can’t even scratch it with a full-force blow. Could it have been completely torn open like this?” Ning stared at the jagged, gaping wounds in the walls of the passageway up ahead. There were five of the tears in total, and all of the runes within the passageway had been completely wrecked.
Every single tear was over three hundred meters long and more than thirty meters deep, thoroughly destroying the formations and script which had covered the passageway walls. In fact, there was some silvery-white debris littering the walls as well.
“Those five tears… they look like they were made by someone using his hand.” Ninedust had a look of disbelief on his face.
“His hand?” Ning couldn’t help but say, “Let me try again. Perhaps the silvery-white substance here is weaker than elsewhere.” As Ning spoke, he set up a barrier to block out any trembles generated in this area, then put away five of his Northbow swords. He gripped the single remaining Northbow sword with all six hands, then struck out with his Omega Sword Dao – Heavenbreaker, sending it directly against a palm-sized silvery-white fragment on the ground.
BOOM! A boundlessly savage blast of power smashed out along with his sword against the silvery-white debris, sending it flying off the ground and smashing directly into the nearby walls.
“Hm.” Ning waved his hand, catching the ricocheting piece of rubble. “Completely undamaged?” Ning stared at the slick piece of debris. The only damage visible was the damage at the very edges, which had been generated when it had been originally torn off the walls by that unknown major power.
“The eight lords of the Sacred Cities might be a bit stronger than me, but this is on a completely different level.” Ning carefully scrutinized the piece of rubble. “It seems someone who was at least as strong as a Hegemon caused the damage here.”
“Right.” Ninedust agreed with this assessment.
Hegemons were far more powerful than them. Their Eternal divine power and their Daos were all far superior… and they generally had Universe treasures at their disposal!
“The runes and barriers in this tunnel have all been wrecked. Come, let’s keep searching,” Ning said.
“Can’t let the rubble go to waste. They might be useful.” Ninedust waved his hand, collecting the bits of silvery-white rubble laying on the ground.
They continued to advance through the passageway. Ning and Ninedust soon saw another hall that had a strange sacrificial altar within it, but the terrifying claw-marks appeared atop the altar as well. The entire altar had been torn asunder.
They also saw a round, fiery-red pillar that was also covered with countless runes. Clearly, these had been part of a powerful and mysterious formation… but alas, the pillar had also been clawed open as well.
“There clearly was a battle here,” Ninedust said while walking. “An unknown major power caused all of this destruction, wrecking many of the formations here. The person in charge of the Stone Hellephant Wall was completely unable to fight back… but why is it that we don’t see any corpses at all?”
“Look up ahead.” Ning pointed towards the path up in front of them. A completely empty void was there.
“Have we reached the end?” Ning and Ninedust quickly reached the opening, then stared into the void. The vast void was filled with a faint, light blue mist that covered an area of over a hundred billion kilometers. At the very center of this vast void was a dazzling planet that was billions of kilometers in diameter.
“Ninedust, are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Ning asked.
“Ah, so you are thinking about that as well?” Ninedust laughed.
“Right.” Ning nodded. “This style… it should be the Sithe race’s style.” When they had been in that giant humanoid’s body, they had seen that it was filled with countless stone passageways as well as vast planets. Ning had acquired his third disciple in one of those planets, the young man named ‘Skywind’. That giant humanoid had been Sithe, and it had slain one Hegemon outright while injuring a second one so gravely that the second Hegemon, a member of the Ancient race, had passed away from his wounds.
“The creator of the Stone Hellephant Wall was able to manipulate both deepfire blackstone as well as this unknown silvery-white material in its creation. This really does seem like something the Sithe might do,” Ning said.
“Yes, the Sithe greatly surpassed us cultivators in many areas,” Ninedust agreed. Although the Sithe had been wiped out, their power was undisputable. It was precisely of how powerful they were that the Autarchs had been forced to lead all cultivator civilizations to war against them. The flames of war had filled countless places, causing the Flamedragon Realmverse to lose all of the Hegemons it had at that time. One could only imagine how miserable that war had been!
“Given how it was floating through the Great Dark, my guess is that the Stone Hellephant Wall was left behind from the Dawn War,” Ninedust said. “It shouldn’t hold too much danger.”
“But it’s completely filled with that invisible aura of power… and I have the feeling that it is even more dangerous than that humanoid creature we were in,” Ning said. “Although it logically shouldn’t be dangerous, even the slightest bit of remaining power might be enough to wipe us both out.”
“Right.” Ninedust narrowed his eyes. “Screw it. Let’s give it a try. We might just find a huge treasure trove inside.”
“Alright, let’s fly over.” Ning was the first to fly towards the planet.
The treasures the Sithe left behind often represented a vast fortune. Crimsonwave Temple was but a single relic, but it was more valuable than the combined networths of all three Hegemons of the Flamedragon Realmverse! Perhaps the Stone Hellephant Wall had something inside that was comparable to Crimsonwave Temple in value. How could Ning possibly shrink back from it?
“There might be living beings inside this planet,” Ninedust said while flying next to Ning. “Last time we entered the homeland of your disciple, Skywind, we were almost immediately discovered by those locals. Should we perhaps mask our auras this time?”
“Yes, yes we should. Let us pretend to be Daolords of the Second Step,” Ning said.
“Agreed.” Ninedust agreed with this idea.
“Change.” “Change.” Ninedust and Ning immediately changed their auras through the [Vitalis] art. This was the most formidable masking technique they knew, capable of changing even their truesoul’s aura. Ning was simulating the aura which Daolord Pillsaint had back when he was a Daolord of the Second Step, while Ninedust did the same for a different Daolord he knew. The simulation was only effective when used to emulate you actually knew. After masking their auras, the two quickly reached the region outside the planet.
“That invisible aura of power is growing stronger.” Ning and Ninedust exchanged a glance. Swoosh. Swoosh. The two carefully flew towards the planet.
The planet was surrounded by a thick layer of clouds and mist. They flew through the multiple layers of clouds, slowly beginning to see the world beneath them.
This was a vast world filled with many mountains, and it was teeming with countless living creatures.
“There’s life here. They look humanoid.” Ning’s vision was frighteningly sharp, allowing him to see them with clarity. “Judging from their auras, the living beings here are all quite strong. There are many Empyrean Gods and Celestial Immortals, and I can even see Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals.”
Boom! They could sense faint, violent ripples of power emanating from off in the distance. “There’s a fight over there.” Ninedust stared towards the direction of the battle. “Let’s go take a look.”
The two immediately flew over. From their midair position, they were quickly able to see the great battle which was occurring off in the distance. The forces of both sides were fighting furiously against each other.
“All World-level cultivators,” Ninedust said casually. To them, World-level cultivators truly were nothing more than ants. “Nearly sixty of them battling, divided up into two sides.”
“Someone capable of commanding so many World-level cultivators should be fairly strong,” Ninedust said. “We should be able to learn quite a bit regarding this planet from them, and thus more quickly divine the mysteries of this Stone Hellephant Wall.”
“Right.” Ninedust nodded. Both of them remained extremely cautious; just a fraction of the power originally held within the relic sites left behind by the Sithe was enough to claim their lives. How could they NOT be careful?
Ning and Ninedust immediately flew towards the group of battling World-level cultivators.