Book 40, The Five Autarchs, Chapter 4 – Completely Stunned
With but a thought, Ji Ning immediately summoned the awesome Sword Dao domain around him. Countless streams of sword-light descended upon this place, filling it with attacks that were all comparable to full-strength blows from Otherverse Lords. The sword-light quickly moved in a marvelous way to block the murderous palms that were crashing down towards Ning, doing their best to slow the palms down.
Each of the fingers on the twin palms began to slowly change, as they changed they caused spacetime to change with them. Boom! Boom! Boom! Every single finger completely suppressed the streaks of sword-light that they touched!
This was a truly ferocious attack from the Sithe Exalt. If Ning wished to merely rely on his Sword Dao domain to defend against it, he would have to use the principles of using ‘four grams of force to redirect a thousand kilograms of power’. However, his opponent was clearly at a far higher level of insight than the Blazesun Ruler was; thus, Ning’s attempted block didn’t truly succeed.
Riiiip! The twin palms appeared in front of Ning and then slammed straight through Ning’s body, tearing it apart into two pieces. Ning’s body gradually faded away into nothingness, followed by a white-robed Ning reappearing over a million kilometers away.
“He’s fast!” Exalt Dauber immediately halted his attacks, because Ning had already moved past his maximum attack range. Due to the suppressive effects of the formation-diagram, he was only able to launch attacks to this distance.
“The Eternal Omega Daos truly are impressive. I can’t help but envy his incredible speed. It would’ve been wonderful if I managed to master an Eternal Omega Dao.” Exalt Dauber couldn’t help but let out a sigh. “To be honest, I knew I wouldn’t be able to kill you. I just wanted to lessen your lifespan by a bit. Unfortunately, I wasn’t even able to force you to draw your sword.”
Ning stood a million kilometers away, a solemn look on his face. “I didn’t draw my sword, but I had to use up a bit of divine power in using that evasion-art.”
Eternal Omega Daos were as profound as the Daos of ordinary Autarchs. Thus, Ning actually had access to many truly incredible techniques, techniques which one would naturally gain access to upon reaching certain levels of insight. For example, when Ning had become a Daolord of the Fourth Step, he had reached such a high level of insight into the Dao of the Sword that he had gained natural mastery over the ‘Shadowless form’, an invulnerable form. His Dao of the Sword had gained the power to pierce through spacetime and sever karma, and he had reached incredible heights in many different areas.
Nowadays, Ning’s abilities were even more unbelievable than before. If he was truly willing to exhaust his life energy, he could increase his speed to truly unbelievable heights. For example, when Ning had killed the Lonely King, he had taken a single step to move an extremely great distance to slay the Lonely King without the latter even being able to react! This was a testament to Ning’s true speed. Similarly, he had been able to heavily injure the Blazesun Ruler with one strike, and the Blazesun Ruler hadn’t been able to block at all!
As far as warping through spacetime went, if Ning chose to use his sword to tear through spacetime, he would actually be able to travel a greater distance than even the Blacksun was capable of! The Autarchs were able to easily tear through spacetime and warp tremendous distances… but alas, these incredible techniques all consumed enormous amounts of energy. Ning had to be extremely stingy with his energy usage.
Every single scrap of energy and power represented his vital energy. Just now, he had simply used an evasion-art to dodge a single step backwards, ensuring that the Sithe Exalt wasn’t able to touch him. This didn’t take up too much of his divine power, but it still wasn’t nothing.
“The Sithe Exalt just attacked Daolord Darknorth!” The distant cultivators and the creatures serving the Blazesun Ruler all stared in astonishment.
The Sithe Exalt’s attack was as savage and overbearing as ever. It was strange. The Blazesun Ruler and the Sithe Exalt were clearly on the same level of power, but when they saw the Sithe Exalt attack, they felt a much greater sense of fear!
They had already witnessed the Sithe Exalt attack on numerous occasions, and several cultivators had died as a result. Daolord Darknorth, however, was naturally different. He took just a single step back and was able to dodge with ease.
“One side struck with full power, the other dodged with calm and unhurried grace. Daolord Darknorth truly is more powerful!”
“Incredible,” the cultivators murmured. As for Nuwa, Su Youji, and the others who were close to Ning? They only felt nervous. Given how fast Ning had just moved, it was obvious that he had been forced to use some of his own power.
“I was only able to force you to use an evasion-art. How much energy could that possibly consume? You’d probably have to use it to take ten steps back in order to match the amount of energy you would use up from a sword-strike,” Exalt Dauber said coldly.
Ning’s face remained as solemn as ever. He stared intently at the Sithe Exalt, as though he was trying to see through to some hidden truth. After staring for several long seconds, Ning finally said, “The claw-arts you just used…”
“Ahaha! So you noticed, eh?” The Sithe Exalt laughed madly. “Ahaha, it makes sense… you are someone who has mastered an Eternal Omega Dao. Of course you would be able to notice!”
“Tell me everything.” Ning stared at him.
“Haha… the only thing I’ll tell you is that you saw exactly what you thought you saw.” The Sithe Exalt, Dauber, continued to laugh with wild abandon. “I won’t tell you anything else, ahaha! I’ll let you worry away and wrack your brains trying to find an answer. Hah! I’m having fun just thinking about it. To be able to mystify the very first master of an Eternal Omega Dao in this Chaosverse… what a wonderful feeling!”
Ning frowned upon hearing this. The Sithe Exalt continued, “Unless… you were willing to kill me and grant me release. Only then would I tell you everything.” Exalt Dauber stared hungrily at Ning.
“Impossible.” Ning shook his head. After seeing the Sithe Exalt’s claw-arts, he felt increasingly certain that there was an enormous secret behind the Exalt’s imprisonment. The Autarchs had to have imprisoned them for an extremely important reason.
“Then you will NEVER know the answer,” Exalt Dauber said viciously.
“Tell me… do you think the Autarchs know the answer?” Ning suddenly smiled.
“You…!” The Sithe Exalt was stunned.
“I’ll go and ask the Autarchs. I was planning to visit them a final time before dying anyhow,” Ning said. He then turned and left.
Exalt Dauber gnashed his teeth as he watched Ning leave, but there was nothing he could do. Use an illusion? That terrifying Daolord had an incredibly powerful Dao-heart, one which was truly perfect. It was already quite incredible that the Sithe Exalt had been able to have even a slight effect on Ning earlier; there was no way he would actually be able to actually influence Ning’s actions. Other methods would be equally futile; there was no way such a major power as Ning would succumb to the likes of mere curiosity.
“I’m going to be imprisoned here forever… tortured forever…” Dauber raised his head, his azure eyes staring into the endless fiery light in the skies. His gaze was filled with hatred and regret… and then he mumbled with a hint of exhaustion, “When will it come to an end? I really don’t want to hold on any longer…”
Ning turned and left, returning to Nuwa, Patriarch Treewind and the others with a belly full of suspicions. The images of the Sithe Exalt using claw-arts to assault him continually replayed in his mind.
“How is it possible… how could that be? Is this the real reason why the Autarchs have imprisoned them?” Ning continually pondered this question.
Suddenly, Ning’s face turned slightly pale as he raised his head and stared towards the skies. Whoosh! A bolt of thunder suddenly appeared, tearing through the heavens and warping through spacetime, causing a stable but temporary passageway to form.
Right at this moment, eight towering figures appeared within the bolt of thunder, with one being the muscular black-armored Blazesun Ruler. The other seven all had different auras; one was as cold and remote as an endless sea of ice, a second seemed to represent the destruction of space itself… but all of them were of equal magnitude.
“The eight Domain Rulers!!!” Ning’s face turned completely pale. “Have they gone mad? The Blazesun Ruler must be insane!”
Ning had considered the possibility that the Blazesun Ruler might be able to recruit four or five of the others to work with him, but he never would’ve imagined that the legendary eight, the most powerful Sourcewalkers of the Eight Domains of the Chaosverse, would all appear en masse! All eight! Ning would probably exhaust himself and die without being able to do anything to the eight of them; there was simply no way he could fight at full-power for an extended period of time.
“The eight Domain Rulers?! B-but…” Patriarch Treewind, Nuwa, and the others were all shocked.
“That one over there is the Blazesun Ruler. Why is it that I have the feeling that the other seven are just as terrifying as him? Their auras seem to be of equal power.”
“The other seven are also Domain Rulers?”
“What?! The eight Domain Rulers are all here?!” Given that even Ning was shocked, the other cultivators present were all completely scared senseless. They had never even heard of all eight Domain Rulers appearing at the same time!
“They’ve gone mad! Stark raving mad! All eight have rushed over right away? I’m certainly not sticking around!” Ning took a single step forwards and reappeared in front of Patriarch Treewind, Nuwa, and the others. He pulled them into his estate-treasure with a wave of his hand.
Riiiip! Ning brandished the Darknorth sword a single time, generating a streak of sword-light that tore a rift through spacetime. Ning leaped into that spacetime rift, which quickly closed and healed behind him. By now, only the Autarchs could surpass Ning when it came to tearing through spacetime. There was no way the eight Domain Rulers could possibly stop him at all.
The eight Domain Rulers had just used a valuable treasure to instantly teleport here. They could do nothing but stare, stupefied, as Ning disappeared from right in front of them… and they could find no traces of where he had gone at all.