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Book 41, The Daoguard Tower, Chapter 9 – Sweeping the Loot

Ji Ning, the Paragon of Pills, and Azurefiend flew over together. All eight floors of the tower had already crumbled apart, with the shattered remnants of the tower forming a pile of rubble atop a foundation of dirt that hovered there in space.

“Darknorth, why is it that the Daoguard Tower crumbled without you even attacking it?” The Paragon of Pills was puzzled. “I distinctly remember that it collapsed on its own.”

“This Daoguard Tower wasn’t all that strong; I expect that its owner was just a Hegemon,” Ning said. “It would be too difficult for him to personally subdue a nagapede like that, and so he used the entire Daoguard Tower to keep it sealed and suppressed! So long as the tower was in good shape, the creature would be unable to break free… but once the tower began to crumble, the nagapede would appear and massacre everything around it.”

The Paragon of Pills nodded slowly.

“Now, if this was an Exalt’s Daoguard Tower, we really would’ve been in much more trouble.” Ning let out a sigh. “Still, we’re merely in the outer perimeter of the Sithelands. Almost all of the Daoguard Towers owned by Sithe Exalts are located in the heartland.”

“The Sithe heartland?” The Paragon said, “I’ve visited the Sithelands on many occasions. I could sense that spacetime was in a state of complete disorder and that there were many places that were unexplored.”

“Those places were never meant for cultivators to challenge,” Ning said. Very few knew the true details and secrets behind the Dawn War. The Paragon of Pills naturally didn’t know the secrets either. Yes, she had learned a few things thanks to her crazy, repeated adventures within the Sithelands, but the heartland was a place which not even the Autarchs would dare trespass lightly.

Rumble… as Ning flew towards the toppled tower, his Sword Dao Domain rippled outwards, brushing away the pieces of rubble as he closely inspected the remains of the tower.

“Now this is a fun little toy.” Ning removed a dark red globe which had been affixed to one of the top floor. This globe was the object which had unleashed that terrifying attack of light.

“Once it accumulates and stores enough energy, it can unleash an attack of incredible power.” Ning chuckled. “This is a decent Sithe weapon, Mistress. Azurefiend, help me search through the rubble. I want to sweep this place clean.”

“Heh heh, my pleasure! Master, perhaps you would be willing to bestow some of the treasures you are uninterested in upon me,” Azurefiend said, a look of utter shamelessness on his wizened old features.

“Depends on my mood.” Ning chuckled. He wasn’t just going to give this shameless old man what he wanted.

“I never encountered a Daoguard Tower before. In fact, I never even heard of it before you mentioned it.” The Paragon of Pills was filled with curiosity as well. The dangers she had experienced here, especially the terrifying nagapede, had all served to ensure that she understand that this site was very different from the other Sithe ruins she had visited in the past.

The previous ruins she had scoured had been unoccupied. This time, she ran into one with a controller. If it hadn’t been for Ning, she truly would’ve been doomed this time.

Boom! Bang! Rip! Ning, Azurefiend, and the Paragon of Pills happily dismantled the remainders of the Daoguard Tower, taking out all usable Sithe artifacts and even a few unusable ones.

Daoguard Towers were exclusively employed by extremely powerful Sithe, who placed many of their treasures inside the towers. Some of the weapons could even come together in incredibly powerful combinations.

During the previous battle, Ning hadn’t even entered the Daoguard tower. As a result, many of the powerful internal defenses hadn’t even been used! None of the external weapons were capable of killing Ning from a distance of a billion kilometers. At this distance, Ning was able to dodge with ease even the quickest of attacks. Otherverse Lords might not be able to dodge, but Ning was a different story.

“Not bad.”

“This one is decent.”

“Now this hammer is scary powerful.” Ning and the other two continued to loot the tower, with Azurefiend and the Paragon of Pills occasionally testing out the items they found.

The Paragon of Pills was fairly blasé, as she had adventured through the Sithelands many times and already owned multiple Sithe weapons. Azurefiend, however, didn’t own any Sithe weapons at all. Even the suppressive black chains were merely on loan from Ning, who had yet to actually ‘gift’ them.

After spending a full hour combing through the runes, the team completely looted the area clean. They even took many fragments which were completely unusable. They found a total of twenty-one usable Sithe weapons, and they all had different effects. Some were actually used to scry and scan.

“That is a lot of fine weapons,” Azurefiend said excitedly.

“We found so much treasure from this one site.” The Paragon of Pills was delighted as well.

Ning, however, was rather disappointed. “Is this it? This is much less than what I expected. We didn’t find a single major artifact at all.”

Realmslord Windgrace’s ‘Blacksun’, the castle that was used to defend the Three Realms, the city of Houwu in the Blazesun Domain, the Blazesun Ruler’s giant warship… all these counted as ‘major artifacts’. In contrast, the treasures which Ning had acquired after combing through the tower were all quite mediocre. There wasn’t even a single major artifact. All of the treasures combined were probably just barely on par with the Blacksun in value.

“This is already a good haul,” the Paragon of Pills said.

“No. According to the Autarchs’ records, even the most ordinary of Daoguard Towers would have more than this,” Ning said. “I suspected early on that the original owner of the Daoguard Tower had slipped away long ago. Now, I’m sure of it. The original owner must have taken the most valuable treasures out of the Daoguard Tower, leaving behind just the ones he was unable to physically remove from the tower itself.”

The Paragon of Pills cast a puzzled glance at the armor and items left behind by the deceased short creature. “Isn’t that dead Sithe the owner?”

“Probably not,” Ning said. “A mere roar from the nagapede was enough to transform him into dust. He probably wasn’t at the Hegemon level of power! Mistress, you might not know this, but amongst the Sithe only Hegemons can build Daoguard Towers. And, to be more precise, only an incredibly small fraction of Hegemons are qualified to do this.”

In the Sithe Chaosverse, weak Eternal Emperors were all permitted to build their own Daoguard towers… but here, they were invaders! They had invaded Ning’s Chaosverse, and their resources were extremely limited. Building Daoguard Towers was extremely difficult, and erecting a weak one was pointless. Thus, only the most supreme of Sithe Hegemons as well as the Sithe Exalts were permitted to build Daoguard Towers, which they used as focal points for massacring unsuspecting cultivators.

“Azurefiend, go and bind the estate-world that Sithe left behind. Let’s see if there are any interesting treasures inside of it,” Ning said.

“Right on.” Azurefiend excitedly flew over and began to bind the estate-world. Right now, he was on his absolute best behavior in front of Ning. This was partially due to Ning’s overwhelming power, partially to convince Ning to give him more pointers, and partially because he hoped that he might be lucky enough to receive a Sithe treasure reward from Ning.

“Whoah.” Azurefiend’s wizened old face suddenly twisted in shock, his eyes bulging out. “That is a LOT.”

“Wipe that freaky look off your face. What treasures does it hold?” Ning laughed.

“So all the treasures were hidden here! Master, take a look at all these treasures!” Azurefiend waved his hand, causing a series of treasures to appear and levitate in the air before them. Light shone from the Paragon of Pills’ eyes, and even the formerly-calm Ning revealed a look of shock.

Twenty… twenty-one… twenty-two… a total of twenty-nine treasures appeared before them. There were even TWO realmships in this cache!

“So all the good treasures were here.” The Paragon of Pills let out an amazed sigh, then turned to stare with shock at a gray spear that was covered with a fiery red floral pattern. “Isn’t that the Exterminatus Spear of the Almighty Seeker of Defeat?”

“The Exterminatus Spear?” Azurefiend was shocked as well. He stared intently at the spear, then said, “Paragon, are you sure? Is it possible that this is another, similar weapon?”

“There’s no way I’m wrong about this. When the Almighty Seeker of Defeat first acquired this spear, it didn’t have that red floral pattern on it. The Seeker added it later on. Supposedly, he put that fiery red floral pattern on every single weapon he used. The floral pattern probably had some sort of special meaning for him.” The Paragon of Pills shook her head. “He died long ago, and I heard he died in the Sithelands. I never would’ve thought that he actually died here.”

Ning nodded. “That explains it all. Most of these treasures were probably left behind by the cultivators who invaded this place over the course of many aeons. That short Sithe collected all of their treasures after killing them. I was wondering why there were TWO realmships in that estate-world. It seems that they came from slain cultivators.”

The Paragon of Pills let out a sigh.

“Mistress, take whatever you need,” Ning said with a laugh.

“To be honest, these are of no use to me.” The Paragon of Pills looked at Ning. “Darknorth, I think you know what I want above all else. As for these treasures? Even if I took all of them, they probably still wouldn’t be enough to convince an Autarch to help me out.”

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