Book 37, Flamewing God, Chapter 20 – Ji Ning Battles Hegemon Azurefiend
Hegemon Azurefiend was slightly startled when he saw Ji Ning head straight inside the void cage. His lips parted into a strange smile: “Daolord Darknorth, I originally had rather looked down upon you; you merely caught me thanks to these traps, but you dared to request for me to serve you as your retainer! Now, however, I feel a hint of admiration towards you. At least you have the courage to head straight into this void cage!”
“Thank you for your praise,” Ning said with a laugh. “Soon, Azurefiend, you’ll know that I have power to go with my courage.”
“You might have courage, but it is foolish courage.” Hegemon Azurefiend’s face turned icy once more as he said solemnly, “Kid, are you ready? Once you are prepared, I’m going to make my move.” Given his pride, Hegemon Azurefiend felt absolute confidence in his own superiority. There was no way he would lower himself to launch a sneak attack; he was going to crush Daolord Darknorth with overwhelming, straightforward power.
The void cage wasn’t all that large, just three hundred meters or so in diameter. Ning and Azurefiend stood within it, staring at each other in midair.
“You can make your move whenever you please.” Ning’s body flickered as he manifested three heads and six arms, all six Northbow swords flying into his hands.
“Before we begin, we need to make the stakes clear,” Hegemon Azurefiend said. “You have to rely on your own strength to battle against me. If I cannot beat you in ten breaths, I lose. If I lose, I’ll be your retainer and follow you for a thousand chaos cycles! But if I win…”
“If you win, I’ll be dead. Once I die, this mechanism will dissipate,” Ning said.
Hegemon Azurefiend blinked, then smirked. “Good.” At first, he had an extremely poor impression of Ning, but now it began to improve. At least the kid was straightforward!
“Use your most powerful attacks against me. Go ahead. If I attacked first, you probably wouldn’t have a chance to show your abilities off.” Hegemon Azurefiend stood there, his posture stately and his aura reserved.
“Very well.” Ning stared at his opponent. Hegemon Azurefiend was covered with azure scales. He looked like a skinny old man, and his body seemed wizened and weak, but he was in truth a breathtakingly savage Chaos Godbeast who had reached Hegemony! He was probably close to even Hegemon Brightshore in power and was ranked highly even amongst his Hegemonic peers.
Ning stared fixedly at his opponent, while Hegemon Azurefiend kept a close watch on Ning’s movements as well. Although Hegemon Azurefiend was supremely confident in his skills, he couldn’t afford to lose this battle! Thus, he was going to use all his power and not slacken off in the slightest.
Suddenly… whoosh! Ning disappeared without a trace.
“Where’d he go?!” Hegemon Azurefiend’s face changed. He swept the entire void cage with his godsense, but it was as though Daolord Darknorth had completely disappeared. Not even godsense could locate him.
Although stupefied, Hegemon Azurefiend’s pride kept him from immediately attacking. He continued to stand there confidently without moving… because he had already promised to let Ning launch the first attack!
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
The calm region of three hundred meters within the void cage was suddenly filled with explosions. Six Northbow swords appeared out of nowhere, as did Ning. The six swords instantly unleashed an utterly shocking amount of power, transforming into sword-tsunamis that simultaneously slammed against Hegemon Azurefiend. One struck him on the head, two struck him on the back of his knees, one struck him on his chest, one struck him on his neck, and one struck him on his face.
Omega Sword Dao – Heavenbreaker!
“How arrogant. My Omega Sword Dao – Heavenbreaker is my most powerful attack, and its power is close to the Hegemonic level. I might not be able to crumble top-grade Eternal treasures into dust with this attack, but I’d at least be able to crack them apart. He dares to use his body alone to endure this attack without even trying to block it? He is being far too overconfident.” Ning was rather irritated and offended by his opponent’s arrogance.
The explosions rang out, followed by a stunned look on Hegemon Azurefiend’s face. He couldn’t help but be sent flying backwards by the attack, smashing into the void cage wall behind him and coming to a halt in midair. His body, however, was completely unharmed. Even his face, which had been hit head-on, didn’t have the slightest scratch on it.
“A Daolord like yourself is actually capable of such power?” Hegemon Azurefiend was born a Chaos Godbeast and thus held tremendous advantages in terms of defensive strength. In this regard, he was actually comparable to an Otherverse Lord. He could stand there without moving and allow other Hegemons to attack him without suffering any injuries at all! His body had long ago been crystalized and refined to the extreme, and his innate abilities gave it a perfect blend of toughness and suppleness. To injure him was extremely, extremely difficult.
However, Hegemon Azurefiend didn’t feel the slightest bit smug. All he felt was shock, shock at the power of Ning’s sword-stances.
“But… it is now my turn!” With a furious bellow, Hegemon Azurefiend exploded forth as well.
Boom! Rings of dimensional power rippled out from around him, spreading out like waves of water that generated tremendously strong ‘pushes’ that swept out in every direction. This was Hegemon Azurefiend’s secret art, a truly powerful Hegemonic secret art known as the ‘Azurefiend Fiefdom’. He had spent countless aeons slowly creating and perfecting this secret art.
The dimensional rings spread out, seeking to encompass the entire void cage.
“Break!” Ning immediately executed his own secret arts. A pair of golden wings appeared in the air, ensconced by countless arcs of sword-light. Together, they formed the Omega Sword Dao – Yin Yang, and they swept towards the enemy secret art with incomparable sharpness.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Faced with those strange dimensional ripples, the golden wings and the countless arcs of sword-light began to crumble and break apart.
“Heartworld, descend!” Ning executed his heartworld projection as well, but he still wasn’t able to prevent his secret arts from crumbling. Ning’s secret art/heartworld projection combination was fairly strong amongst Emperors, but compared to the fully-mastered secret arts of a Hegemon like Azurefiend, he still wasn’t able to keep up.
“A heartworld projection?” Hegemon Azurefiend glanced at the illusory world which had manifested around him. He was beginning to gain a higher opinion of this ‘Daolord Darknorth’ kid.
“Die!” Hegemon Azurefiend waved his right arm, reaching out with his five fingers. They stretched out like a giant sun-blotting hand, tearing through all opposition and causing space itself to bend and compress before them. Entire world seemed to be born and then instantly destroyed within those fields of compress space. This was a killer technique which Hegemon Azurefiend often favored, the ‘End of Days’.
He had no time to waste and thus immediately chose to use his killer attacks. Ten breaths was an extremely long period of time, but Hegemon Azurefiend had to use all his power to maximize his chances of victory.
“How terrifying.” Ning’s face completely paled when he saw this giant hand reach for him. He was unable to dodge, nor was there anywhere he could dodge to! Faced with such a dazzling strike, he had only one option – face it head-on!
This was the very first time he actually engaged a Hegemon in a life-and-death battle. Hegemon Azurefiend, based on the reports Ning had acquired, was most likely stronger than even Hegemon Windrain or Hegemon Netherlily. Only when actually battling a Hegemon, however, would one fully understand how terrifying they were.
All six of Ning’s swords moved simultaneously. The sword-tsunamis of water began to spin, transforming into whirlpools of water that then became a black spinning vortices of darkness. Ning himself seemed to have transformed into a terrifying black hole that was devouring everything in the surrounding area. Hegemon Azurefiend himself couldn’t help but secretly sigh at how profound Daolord Darknorth’s insight into the Dao was. How was it that a Daolord had reached such heights? Was this why he dared to battle Hegemons in solo combat?
Slash! The giant hand struck straight against the black hole, and an extremely soft sound could be heard. It sounded much like a bubble being popped.
The black hole broke asunder, while the three-headed, six-armed Ning was sent flying backwards. He smashed against the walls of the void cage, which trembled slightly and dissipated the force of the attack. However, the counter-force from the collision was enough to cause Ning to stumble a few steps more.
“Eh?” Hegemon Azurefiend looked at Ning in astonishment. “He actually blocked it. He wasn’t even injured?”
Ning, however, felt as though his blood was in a state of disarray. His entire body felt numb.
“Die for me!” Hegemon Azurefiend exploded with fury. There was no way he was going to admit defeat. Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! One giant claw after another struck out toward Ning, creating illusions that they then destroyed with incredible power and speed.
Ning had no choice but to defend. In just a single breath’s worth of time, Hegemon Azurefiend had unleashed hundreds of claw-attacks, each of which was filled with his maximum power.
“Ugh!” Blood finally sprayed out of Ning’s mouth, and even his skin was beginning to turn red. He had been defending furiously against the barrage of attacks, but even just one of them had been enough to throw his internals into a state of disarray. Several hundred in a row was just getting to be too much.
“What?! His divine body still hasn’t broken apart?” Hegemon Azurefiend began to grow impatient. Whoosh! His body suddenly transformed. He previously had looked like a skinny, azure-scaled old man, but he now transformed into a great beast. This was a hooved beast with four legs which was completely covered in azure scales. His head was triangular-shaped, while his body was sleek and long. The azure scales even covered his long tail, which swayed behind him like a metal whip.
This… this was Hegemon Azurefiend’s true form! He was a Chaos Godbeast. Only when he reverted to his true form would he be able to unleash his true, maximum power.