Book 42, The Five Truncheon Chapters, Chapter 8 – Battle to the Death
“Different?” The Empress fell silent. As an Eternal Empress, she was no fool; she had realized long ago that there were some differences between the Sithe descendants and the true Sithe! Over the course of many years, the Hegemons and Emperors within this hidden dimension had slowly diverged into two main camps. The first was led by the true Sithe, while the second was led by the Sithe descendants. There were indeed some true Sithe who held their descendants in contempt. Exalt Bowenya ensured that they didn’t go too far and that conflict didn’t erupt, but everyone could sense the tension.
Still other Sithe managed to hide their contempt, but the more powerful descendants could still sense it. This infuriated them all the more, which was why they ended up following Hawkfang and setting up their own camp.
“We train in divine power and Immortal energy, but they train in a completely different type of energy,” the Empress said softly. “We might both be ‘Hegemons’, but our side completely surpasses them in power. When we strike, the mighty power of the Dao flows through us… but they are dramatically weakened and don’t have the power of the Dao behind them.”
“We descendants know all these things, and we have many suspicions, but… but without a doubt, they are our ancestors.” An anxious look appeared in the Empress’ eyes. “Hawkfang, for example. His father was one of the Exalts. We might have some quarrels with them, but we are definitely their children and grandchildren. There’s no question about this at all… and so without a doubt, we are Sithe.”
“Wrong.” Ning shook his head. “The power of the Dao comes from the power of the primordial chaos, which is omnipresent. They have been rejected by it, which is why they are unable to summon the power of the Dao… and only the true Sithe will be rejected!”
“You, however, are part of our Chaosverse. You are completely different types of lifeforms from them. In this battle… ugh. I have to admit, you Sithe progeny are placed in a rather awkward situation.” Ning shook his head. “You’ll only be truly free once this war comes to an end.”
The female Empress had the vague feeling that Daolord Darknorth was not lying to her. “I understand.” This was her only response. She said nothing further.
“Go then.” Ning waved his hand, sending her back into his estate-world.
Ning continued to rifle through the memories of the Hegemons and Emperors. None of the true Sithe attempted to self-detonate, because they all knew the truth! This was an invasion, while they were the invaders and had lost. They did, however, feel some degree of resentment towards Ning. They were unhappy that Ning had come here and disturbed their tranquil lives, embroiling them into a deadly war once more.
As for the Sithe progeny? Nearly 10% of them attempted to self-detonate or launch some other type of attack! They were willing to sacrifice anything for their homes. As a result, Ning immediately captured them with his illusions when he summoned them, then rifled through their memories to know what they were intending. That way, they didn’t have a chance to attack Ning.
“Poor bastards. They’ll be in a rather awkward position until the day that this war ends.” Even if they wanted to join the cultivators… could the cultivators trust them? Of course not! The mighty cultivator civilizations didn’t need a few extra Hegemons or Emperors. They would probably first put them in internment camps somewhere else, not letting them take part in the war to come!
“Once our Chaosverse gains a controller, there will be no more invaders. Only then would our Chaosverse be strong and confident enough to welcome the Sithe descendants without needing to worry about them.” Although Ning felt mixed emotions about them, his decisions would not be impacted by those emotions. He knew that this was just one of many sad stories that came as a result of this clash of civilizations.
If they lost this war, all cultivator civilizations in this Chaosverse would be brought to an end. That would be a true apocalypse! Thus, Ning wouldn’t show any mercy at all to the true Sithe. He killed almost all of them after flipping through their memories, sparingly only those few who Ning felt were quite benevolent in nature and had been forced to take part in this war against their will.
Ten years later. On this day, Ning finally finished reviewing the memories of the 2800+ Hegemons and Emperors he had captured.
“Nothing!” Ning frowned. He had expected this result, but he still felt quite disappointed. Everyone who had ever learned the nine special techniques had been forced to swear lifeblood oaths not to transmit them to any others. There was no way to review the techniques at all.
“Exalt Bowenya, perhaps?” Ning rose to his feet, staring at the three glowing Daoguard Towers off in the distance. “Judging from the memories I reviewed, he should be the one in control of this entire hidden dimension! He seems to have some sort of connection to the Sithe heartlands, as the orders to the Sithe are sent via him.”
“But the heart of the Sithelands have been sealed off long ago. How is it that they are still connected to the outside world?” Ning frowned.
During the Dawn War, the Autarchs had commanded countless cultivators to assault and defeat the Sithe. They had occupied the outer perimeter of the Sithelands, then completely sealed away the heartland regions! But this hidden dimension… not only had the Autarchs been unable to discover it, it was even in contact with the Sithe heartlands.
“I wonder if the experts within the Sithe heartlands have a way to escape or not.” Ning was beginning to feel a bit of worry. Being in contact was one thing, but if the Sithe army was somehow able to slip out without anyone noticing… that would be a serious problem!
“Time to go to war.” Ning rose to his feet, then turned and stared at the three distant Daoguard Towers. He took a single step forwards, quickly soaring into the skies towards the Daoguard Towers. His Sword Dao Domain continuously expanded, while he maintained the illusion of his truesoul crumbling at incredible speeds. He looked just like a Daolord who was on the verge of death.
“He’s coming.” Exalt Bowenya and the incarnations of Hawkfang and Jonnbech were gathered together. The other Hegemons and Emperors had retreated; it was now up to the three of them to carry out this battle.
“Bowenya!” Ning’s voice echoed throughout the heavens as he flew towards the Daoguard Tower located at the very rear.
“He’s actually headed straight for my Daoguard tower?” Exalt Bowenya frowned.
“Exalt, what should we do?” Hawkfang and Jonnbech were both rather anxious. Previously, they had been hoping that that Ning would attack their Elder Halls first. The Elder Halls were all Exalt-class Daoguard Towers, and each was filled with countless dangers. They had clung onto the hope that Ning would actually charge inside their Daoguard Towers… but Ning had completely ignored them!
This was because Ning could vaguely sense that the central control mechanisms for this entire hidden dimension were located within the rear Elder Hall.
“If he’s heading straight for me,” Exalt Bowenya said coldly, “Then just go ahead and give him a proper greeting. Hawkfang, you go first. If you fail, Jonnbech will follow you.”
“Understood,” Hawkfang said respectfully.
“Don’t worry. Although I suspect Daolord Darknorth might be feigning weakness, as a Daolord he probably hasn’t been training long enough to reach such a ridiculously high level in the Dao of Illusions! If his injuries are real, then he should be at the verge of death. It’ll be easy for you to kill him,” Exalt Bowenya said.
By now, Ning was already very close to the Daoguard Tower in the back. Suddenly, a rumbling sound could be heard. The three towering Daoguard Towers were located on the peaks of three separate mountains. The sound of explosions suddenly emanated from one of them, causing the earth to shake as it began to separate from the mountains beneath it.
“What?!” Ning turned to glance at the distant Daoguard Tower, watching in shock as it slowly separated from the mountain beneath it. “Daoguard Towers are incredibly hard to establish. They were actually willing to discard the foundation for that tower?”
Daoguard Towers were extremely stable after being constructed. Daoguard Towers were extremely powerful, partially because of the treasures they held, but also because of the extremely complicated formations governing their foundations. These formations allowed them to draw large amounts of energy through the earth, ensuring that the Daoguard Tower could function indefinitely!
The complex formations also allowed them to maintain control over an extremely wide region, making that region part of their territory. The technique they had used to trap Ning within that sealed spacetime continuum during the previous battle was just one example of that control. Now, however, the three Daoguard Towers had already exhausted all of their long-range attacks. Their only option was to use the towers themselves to fight.
When the situation was truly dire, or when a tower’s owner was determined to battle to the death, some truly berserk actions could be taken. For example, when Ning had rescued the Paragon of Pills, the controller of that tower had actually allowed the tower itself to crumble in order to release the terrifying being trapped beneath it.
Every single Daoguard Tower was the home base for a powerful Sithe expert. If they were truly driven to the brink, they could separate the Daoguard Tower from the foundation, choosing to either flee or battle with the foe to the end.