Book 34, The Stone Hellephant Wall, Chapter 17 – The Silver Men
The three silver men all had very distinct auras. They weren’t like actual living beings; rather, they seemed almost like golems. Their entire bodies were composed of silver, and Ji Ning couldn’t help but feel as though he was looking at that onyx humanoid creature he had encountered in that cave within the Terror Starsea! That onyx humanoid had been 540,000 meters tall and pitch-black in color, and it had a giant hole in its chest which Ning and Ninedust had flown out of.
“These three silver men make me think of that onyx humanoid we encountered previously,” Ning mused. “However, there’s an enormous difference in the aura of power. The onyx humanoid had been able to slay a Hegemon on the spot and critically injure a second one, causing the second one to die later on. It was far, far more powerful than these silver men.”
“Darknorth.” The nearby Ninedust had a solemn look on his face as well as he sent mentally, “Those three silver men remind me of that black creature we found in the cave.”
“Yes, they are quite similar,” Ning sent back. “It seems these three clans truly do have a deep connection to the Sithe.”
“They should be significantly more powerful than us. What should we do?” Ninedust asked.
“Let’s follow the first plan for now,” Ning said.
Boom! His awesome heartforce projection came crashing down, bringing with it its illusory mountains, rivers, and the dazzling sword mountain in the center! The giant heartworld projection pressed down furiously against the three silver men and the eight Emperor-class golems, causing the eight golems to instantly slow down. The three silver men, however, were still able to move at a hundred times the speed of light.
“The three of them weren’t slowed down at all by the pressure of my heartworld projection?” Ning was secretly shocked. “Then take this as well!” Ning willed nine energy dragons to come thundering out of his body, coiling around each other.
In truth, Ninedust’s Ripplewater art was incredibly powerful as well, especially now that Ninedust had reached an even higher level of expertise. Given his mastery of the Dao of Water, his Ripplewater art was on the same level as Ning’s nine novessence arts. However, there was no way for him to ‘fold’ it over Ning’s arts; if they tried, they would interfere with each other.
Boom! The nine energy dragons swept outwards. The three silver men could feel the pressure, but they were still able to maintain a speed of a hundred times the speed of light. The eight Emperor-class golems behind them, however, slowed down dramatically. They were now able to move at less than fifty times the speed of light; just flying through the skies was quite difficult for them.
“The eight of you should join forces,” the silver man who was the leader of the Fumo clan said.
“Acknowledged.” The eight Emperor-class golems were looking rather bedraggled, but they immediately transformed into streaks of energy that formed a five-colored rope and a tri-colored rope! For five Emperor-class golems to work together perfectly was the apex of coordination possible for them. The five-colored rope was extremely powerful in particular. Still, with the heartworld projection and the nine novessence arts weighing down on the two ropes, they still flew quite slowly. They held back the entire squad as a result.
“Are the three of you sure that you wish to take on such a dangerous task? I don’t want you to be taken away right after I spent all that effort binding you,” Ning sent mentally to the three Emperor-class golems behind him.
“Don’t worry, Master. We can hold on,” the swordsman golem said.
“Ninedust, if the situation looks grim you should immediately take the three away. Emperor-class golems aren’t easily acquired, after all,” Ning said.
“Leave it to me.” Ninedust nodded.
Ning immediately manifested three heads and six arms. Six Northbow swords in hand, he immediately disappeared without a trace.
The three silver men flying through the skies were shocked by this.
“He suddenly vanished?”
“Daolord Darknorth just vanished.” The three of them discovered, to their amazement, that they couldn’t find any trace of Ning at all.
Ning was able to use his Shadowless evasion art to its full potential within the domain of his heartworld projection and his nine novessence arts.
“Careful. This Daolord Darknorth is even more powerful than we expected. He didn’t use this strange evasion art earlier,” the muscular silver man sent mentally in a serious voice. The other two clan leaders grew cautious as well. Although they remained extremely confident in their abilities, the fact that they couldn’t find any trace of Ning caused them to feel a headache oncoming.
“Hurry over here. Let’s force him to reveal himself,” the silver-haired man sent mentally to the eight Emperor-class golems.
“Acknowledged.” Whoosh! Instantly, the five-colored rope began to expand dramatically in size. Much like how Ninedust was able to transform into a sea-sized wave, the five-colored rope was able to transform into a five-colored ocean. With expanded size came lessened power, but only by covering enough of the surrounding area would they be able to force Daolord Darknorth to reveal himself.
Rumble… the five-colored sea furiously spread outwards to cover a million, ten million, a hundred million kilometers. It continuously expanded, quickly covering the area around the three silver men.
“Hmph.” A cold snort rang out as a white-robed youth showed himself. He had three heads, six arms, and wielded six Northbow swords in his hands. His figure looked like a sword as he used the Blood Drop evasion art, tearing through the five-colored ocean as he shot towards the nearest silver man, the skinny one.
“Right on cue.” The silver man revealed an excited look as he readied the silver spikes in his two hands.
Swish! Swish! The spikes released ear-piercing screeches as they stabbed towards Ning in an almost dreamlike manner.
“Sithe, eh?” Ning was filled with the intent to do battle. His six Northbow swords transformed into six streaks of mist-formed sword energy as he began to launch a furious assault against the silver men.
Clank! The mist-formed sword clashed directly against the sharp spike, the terrifying collision generating rippling shockwaves that could be seen with the naked eye and which spread out in every direction. A giant crater was blasted into the land beneath it, while the few remaining parts of the Cranesoar Mountains were smashed into dust by the shockwave.
As for the distant Tianello and Maji, they and the other cultivators who were watching were completely stunned.
“This is t-t-terrif… is this the true power of the three great clans? So they had forces even more powerful than those Emperor-class golems!”
“Is this the power of the one named Daolord Darknorth?”
All of them felt stunned. They had already been amazed by how Ning had been able to defeat the six Emperor-class golems by himself, but that extended battle had only resulted in the partial destruction of the Cranesoar Mountains. In this battle between Ning and the three clan leaders, however, the very first exchange of blows had already completely destroyed what remained of the mountains. Even the ground around the mountain had begun to crack into a spiderweb of crevices!
This show of force was enough to terrify anyone. Even Daolords of the Fourth Step who dared to move in closer would be instantly annihilated.
In truth, others on this world aside from Tianello and Maji were paying attention to this battle! Ning’s direct challenge to the three great clans had drawn quite a bit of attention, especially after he had defeated the first six Emperor-class golems that had been sent against him. This had stunned every clan in the world, causing all of them to hasten to the mountains and watch what would happen next.
“So this is the true power of the three great clans!” The other six ‘great clans’ and the weaker clans were all stunned as they watched from afar. They felt completely breathless. There was no way at all for them to fight back against the overwhelming power of the three great clans.
In their heart of hearts, many of they had dreamed of one day defeating the three great clans and becoming the rulers of this world… but now, they felt a sense of complete powerlessness. The difference in power was simply too vast!
“That Daolord Darknorth is ridiculously strong as well.” They were amazed by the power of the three great clans, but they were also stunned by the strength of Daolord Darknorth. Daolord Darknorth was so strong that he was able to easily annihilate any of the clans in this world, aside from the three principal clans.
Ning and the skinny silver man began to furiously battle against each other, and the terrifying shockwaves generated by their blows blasted out in every direction.
“What incredible power… but what a low level of insight!” Ning and the skinny silver man exchanged over a hundred blows in that brief instant but only fought to a standstill.
In strength alone, Ning’s opponent was actually quite a bit stronger than him; Ning was only able to match him through usage of the Heavenbreaker stance. In terms of speed, the silver man moved at a hundred times the speed of light! Even with Ning’s nine novessence arts and heartworld projection active, the silver man was still able to maintain this speed. This was because the man was simply too powerful; he was completely capable of resisting the pressure and maintaining this level of speed.
However… the silver man’s level of insight into the Dao was just too low! Ning felt that it was perhaps weaker than that of many second-tier Daolords. It was perhaps just barely on par with the likes of Patriarch Clearwind!
It must be understood that for cultivators who made it into the higher ranks, their power generally stemmed from their mastery of the Dao. Ning had an incredibly high level of insight into the Dao, the [Heartsword] art, and the Northbow swords… that was why he possessed such power! The silver men had a much lower level of insight into the Dao, but they were much like golems; their speed and strength were incredible, allowing them to fight Ning to a standstill.
“He has an overwhelming amount of power but is only able to put a fraction of it to good use. If I had such speed and strength, I’d be able to take down ten of them.” Ning couldn’t help but sigh. “No wonder those three Emperor-class golems we just bound said that so long as Ninedust helps them out while they are working together, they won’t be captured.