Book 41, The Daoguard Tower, Chapter 21 – Thirty-Six Stone Pillars
“Master, what should we do?”
“If we let things continue like this, the Hegemons and Emperors in Purgatory will be so terrified and ineffective that half of them will be massacred before they manage to join forces!” The two disciples next to the Exalt were all rather anxious.
The blue-haired youth calmed down again. He stared at the images within the illusory ‘painting’ and said in a cold voice, “You underestimate the exiles. They might be useless in all other respects, but one thing they are good at is staying alive. That white-robed Daolord will at most be able to wipe out 30% of the Hegemons and Emperors. By then, the rest will have banded together. I’ve bestowed two precious Apocalypse-class treasures to Purgatory. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Daolord died there.”
“Alright.” The two disciples next to him nodded in agreement. Apocalypse-class treasures were the most powerful treasures the hidden dimension had at its disposal, aside from Daoguard Towers. Previously, they had used four triangular Calamity-class treasures against Ning; those were a bit weaker, but they were also easier to control. Apocalypse-class treasures were much more complicated to control.
The skies were dark. Flames continued to blaze at the ends of Purgatory, and spacetime remained completely suppressed. Ning tore through spacetime, repeatedly blinking forwards and slaying the Hegemons and Emperors at high speed. However, this process took time. The Hegemons and Emperors who were not destroyed during Ning’s first wave of assaults were quickly fleeing towards each other and banding together.
A short while later.
“They fled quite fast.” The white-robed Ning stood at the peak of a tall mountain. He swept the land with his gaze. Although he wasn’t able to see the anything, he was able to rely on the wind to determine that the remaining Hegemons and Emperors had already banded together into two large squads. They had begun to activate the power of their Sithe weapons and had set up many traps as they awaited Ning’s arrival.
“These two groups will be a bit hard to deal with.” Ning could sense how dangerous these two groups would be, and so he chuckled: “Time to go pick up those treasures first.”
Whoosh. Ning leisurely warped through space, going to the places where he had previously slain Hegemons and Emperors, then picking up their fallen Sithe treasures.
“What’s that terrifying Daolord up to?”
“Has he come yet?”
“I found him!” The exiles all had their own special techniques, and some were actually able to monitor all of Ning’s actions thanks to aid from the Sacred Realm. “He’s… actually looting our treasures?”
The exiles were all rather speechless as they watched Ning leisurely saunter from place to place, picking up all of the treasures. He hadn’t done so earlier, as the battles had been very fast and he didn’t want to waste the time. The surviving exiles had all been focused on running for their lives, and they similarly didn’t stop to pick up treasures.
“Nineteen Sithe treasures, each with their own marvelous properties. All of them are quite strong, and some are really powerful.” Ning couldn’t help but grin. The Sithe had naturally prepared many powerful weapons to use against him.
After picking up all the weapons, Ning gracefully warped through space to arrive before the first squad of Hegemons and Emperors.
“Only two squads are left in all of Purgatory, but each squad has a large number of Hegemons and Emperors as well as special weapons. They are actually quite dangerous.” Ning stared towards the desolate wilderness before him, which held an enormous dark-red castle that looked almost like some sort of monstrosity.
The castle had a total of nine towers, and a total of thirty-six strange stone pillars were scattered around it within an area of roughly 1.8 billion kilometers. These stone pillars all had different weapons hovering above them.
“Come and die!” There were twenty-plus Hegemons and Emperors within the castle, and they all stared murder towards Ning.
This castle was an enormous fort that was meant for war. Thirty-six Emperors were needed to unleash its full power. Although there weren’t enough Emperors present, many had avatars who could help out, and so they were still able to make full use of this castle’s power.
“Hm. Now how should I deal with this castle…” Ning stared at the castle from afar, not daring to move too close to it. He could sense that if he moved within ten billion kilometers of the castle, he would suffer a terrifying attack.
“I wonder what type of attack this castle can unleash. Those thirty-six stone pillars seem to be quite dangerous as well,” Ning mused. He currently had no information at all regarding what type of attacks those castles could unleash; if he wanted to know, he’d have to go test it out. Once he did, however, he might fall to their fury.
“Ahahaha… you there! White-robed Daolord! Aren’t you supposed to be a real badass? Why aren’t you moving?” A loud, mocking, angry shout rang out from within the castle, spreading out tens of billions of kilometers and shaking the world beyond it.
“I’m thinking, I’m thinking! I’m trying to decide how I should deal with this castle of yours,” Ning replied with a laugh.
Ning continued to scrutinize the castle as he spoke. He could sense that an invisible field of energy was surrounding the castle up to a distance of ten billion kilometers. Spacetime was completely suppressed within this region, and those thirty-six stone pillars were rippling with power as well.
“You can stare at this castle for ten or a hundred chaos cycles, but you still won’t be able to see the mysteries which my castle contains,” the angry voice replied. “Just keep watching!”
Ning was neither irritated nor impatient by this response. As for the other squad of Hegemons and Emperors, they watched from afar without moving towards him.
Both Apocalypse-class treasures needed a large number of Hegemons and Emperors working together to control them. There was no real way for them to work together; it was better for them to fight against Ning individually.
Ning spent over half a month analyzing the castle and ruminating over the mysterious runes covering the stone pillars. He also carefully attuned himself to the various auras and ripples emanating from the castle. Finally, he was able to come to a simple, preliminary conclusion.
“This castle’s attacks should be of the area-attack variety, while the thirty-six stone pillars will all focus their attacks on me, trying to make it impossible for me to dodge.” Ning nodded to himself. “The Sithe have probably come to a rough estimation of my power and abilities. This castle might actually be a perfect counter for me.”
Ning was extremely fast, but the Sithe Exalt had specifically chosen this castle to counter Ning’s speed.
“Even so, I really don’t have any other choices. I have to advance and break through all obstacles.” For Ning to die was one thing, as his truesoul was already disintegrating. Dying here, however, meant that the Paragon of Pills wouldn’t be able to escape either. Ning was unwilling to see this.
Time to go all out and destroy everything in his path!
Whoosh. Ning suddenly moved, transforming into a streak of light that shot towards the distant castle. He soon entered the range of ten billion kilometers.
“Attack!” The Hegemon inside the ugly castle immediately issued the attack order, and the nine castle towers lit up simultaneously, shooting out nine semi-translucent beams of light that cut through space. The nine beams of light shot out at nine of the stone pillars, then turned and also shot through other stone pillars. The beams of light continued to pass through the various pillars, quickly forming an enormous spiderweb of light. As this happened, the weapons above the thirty-six stone pillars slowly began to build up power.
Ning watched silently as he approached the castle. Six billion kilometers. Five billion kilometers. Four billion kilometers. Three billion kilometers…
Right as Ning moved within three billion kilometers of the castle, some sort of mechanism seemed to be activated.
Hiss! The top of a stone pillar shot out a ray of deep azure light that transformed into an enormous azure serpent which was three hundred thousand meters long. The serpent immediately flew towards Ning.
Crackle! The top of a second stone pillar manifested a giant eyeball with a strange vertical pupil. The vertical pupil shot out a streak of blood-colored light towards Ning.
All sorts of attacks filled the air, including attacks of bone-chilling cold, a miasmatic black mist, a vast and evil palm, and layers of folded spacetime waves. These attacks shot out at Ning from every direction, clearly seeking to surround and submerge Ning, giving him no chance to escape as they sought to annihilate him.
Ning immediately understood what a deadly situation he had just stepped into.
Powerful Sithe weapons were able to attack at incredible speeds. When he was attacked by the Daoguard Tower which had trapped the Paragon of Pills, he had actually been forced to use his own energy to utilize evasion-arts to dodge! In terms of raw speed, these attacks were actually even faster than Ning’s own speed. Dodging just one of them would require energy. Dodging thirty-six attacks of incredible accuracy and which were all coordinated with each other? How hard would that be?
As for destroying the attacks with raw force? If he tried to do so, his own speed would be affected and he would suffer one attack after another. Ning wouldn’t dare to use his own body to resist all these attacks. He would have to rely on his sword-arts, which meant he would have to strike out dozens of times. If even the outer perimeter forced him to strike this many times… this single castle alone would be enough to exhaust him to death.
“Wind! Lightning!” Ning raised his two arms, pulling out a pair of Northbow swords from the sheath on his back. He now had a Northbow sword in each hand, and he sent out two streaks of sword-light at the same time, employing his Wind Sword Dao and his Lightning Sword Dao.
Boom! Boom! Ning’s speed suddenly skyrocketed while two streaks of light appeared behind him. The first streak of light crackled like lightning, while the second was as ghostly as the wind. They seemed to form a pair of wings, with one being of lightning and the second being of wind.
Ning had gained certain insights when he had mastered the Wind Sword Dao. The Five Elements were all able to work together as they were part of a set, and the Wind Sword Dao and the Lightning Sword Dao were also able to work together. The wind and the lightning worked in concert, propelling Ning to the maximum level of speed he was currently capable of.