Book 42, The Five Truncheon Chapters, Chapter 19 - Descent
"He's solved the spacetime maze?" Iyerre hesitated slightly, then said in a calm voice, "I'll send an Apocalypse-class servitor over. Remember, you must not reveal any traces of my existence."
A hidden weapon was only effective when it remained hidden. Once his presence was revealed, the cultivators would be on their guard against him, which would drastically weaken the impact he might have. During the previous Dawn War, Iyerre could tell that the situation was unfavorable for them. Even if he led his forces in a final attack, they would at most be able to cause the cultivators to suffer heavy losses. Victory would still elude them… and so he instead chose to hide, waiting for a better opportunity.
He was a very patient man! There was no way he would be willing to risk exposing himself merely to kill Daolord Darknorth.
"I understand," Bowenya said respectfully. Sharp light flickered in his eyes. He had sacrificed too much in his efforts to kill this damnable Daolord Darknorth.
"An Apocalypse-class servitor… hmph. Those are some of the most powerful servants under almighty Iyerre's control." Bowenya was filled with eagerness. "This time, we'll definitely be able to kill you, even if we have to simply attrition you to death."
He had previously used an 'Apocalypse-class' castle and formation against Ning. In truth, Apocalypse-class simply represented an overall level of power. Apocalypse-class servitors, however, were actual living beings. Every single attack they launched was comparable to the power of an Apocalypse-class treasure, making them far more deadly than the treasures themselves.
Deep within the spacetime maze. Ning stood there at the center of the maze, his Sword Dao Domain continuing to furiously expand as he 'popped' the various spacetime continuums and destroyed them. Each continuum was only able to last a single second in the face of Ning's might, and just a short while later his Sword Dao Domain had already stretched out to encompass a hundred million kilometers.
"I really can't accept this."
"Who would've thought that after surviving the last great war in this Chaosverse, we'd end up dying here?" The true Sithe Hegemons were filled with despair as the Sword Dao Domain reached out to encompass them. They were captured without being able to fight back at all.
Ning continued to furiously expand his Sword Dao Domain as he moved closer and closer towards the center of the Daoguard Tower. Suddenly…
"Daolord Darknorth, I'm truly impressed. You were actually able to solve my spacetime maze. Not even my Daoguard Tower can suppress you! Heh. Still… since I know that I've lost this battle, I'm not going to stay here any longer. Before leaving, I'm going to give you one final gift." Bowenya's voice rang out from afar.
"Exalt, take us with you!"
"Exalt, save us!" Instantly, some Hegemons and Emperors began to beg for rescue. This hidden dimension was able to capture enemies from afar; naturally, it was also able to allow Exalt Bowenya free passage in escaping.
"As far as Bowenya is concerned, his life is the only life that matters. He won't care about whether the rest of you survive or not, much less whether this dimension will survive," Ning said coldly as he continued to furiously break apart the various spacetime continuums. However, it would still take him hundreds of seconds to reach the core of this tower. He simply didn't have enough time to stop Exalt Bowenya from leaving.
"My final gift to you is the most terrifying of the many creatures which have been kept suppressed within this hidden dimension. If you can survive it, you'll be able to leave this place. I, however, won't be staying to watch," Bowenya called out.
Rumble… a deep thrumming sound pervaded the entire Daoguard Tower as dimensional ripples spread out.
"He left?" Ning was quickly able to ascertain that Exalt Bowenya had indeed fled.
"Bowenya, why couldn't you take us with you?" Many Hegemons and Emperors were cursing at him.
Within the core of the Daoguard Tower. An enormous hand tore through space, ripping open a dark dimensional tunnel that led straight to the core. A giant tree suddenly came flying out from that dimensional tunnel! This giant tree was covered with countless branches and leaves, and the main trunk had a single giant eye on it. When it flew out of the black passageway, it gave Bowenya a cold glance.
Bowenya said, "I'll leave the rest up to you." He quickly fled into the dimensional tunnel.
Although this Exalt-class Daoguard Tower did indeed hold other creatures within it, those were all insane prisoners. How could he possibly have an Apocalypse-class servitor with him? These powerful beings always followed by Iyerre's side.
"Mm." The giant tree grunted, watching as Bowenya disappeared within the darkness of the tunnel. The tree was now in charge of protecting the core of this entire Daoguard Tower, and it quickly took control of it as the tunnel behind it vanished.
Whoooosh. Its countless branches all stretched out, extending out of the central room and towards the outside world as its countless branches grew longer and thicker. It must be understood that this creature had lived in the Infinite Void prior to being captured and tamed by Iyerre. Its true form was as vast as any celestial object! Its current form was just a miniaturized version of itself.
The spacetime maze was quite enormous. Ning had only dealt with a small portion of it. The branches quickly extended outside the Daoguard Tower, then began to twist themselves around it. As soon as they exited the Daoguard Tower, the branches began to rapidly expand in size, with each branch coiling around the tower like a titanic python. The entire Daoguard Tower was almost instantly surrounded by a cocoon of countless leafy branches. The branches covered every single inch of the Daoguard Tower in a tight embrace.
Next, the branches began to extend in every other direction, including both the Sacred Mountains, the skies, and the depths of the earth. They continued to furiously expand in size, snaking out longer and longer. After just ten seconds, the branches had filled every inch of the entire Sacred Realm, completely covering every inch of it.
Within the Doaguard Tower. As soon as the giant tree completely covered the Daoguard Hall, it began to attack Ning as well.
"Eh?" Ning turned pale. He could subconsciously sense that something incredibly dangerous was happening. Moments later, a series of enormous black branches shot through the air and entered the range of his Sword Dao Domain.
"Illusion Sword Dao!" Ning kept his illusory realm active, hiding the location of his true body.
"Daolord Darknorth, mm? Do you think you can hide from me?" A sonorous voice boomed out as a large number of twisting veins appeared on the surface of every single branch. The countless branches began to sweep through every inch of the Sword Dao Domain. There were simply too many of them, while Ning's domain was merely a hundred million kilometers in size. There was nowhere for him to hide.
"Break!" The Northbow sword in Ning's hand suddenly flashed with light. Crack! Twelve branches were instantly severed by this blow. It seemed as though this creature was actually more fragile than the other creatures Ning had encountered.
Still, Ning's face remained quite somber. There were simply too many of these branching tendrils, and the ones he severed began to quickly regrow.
Whoosh. Whoosh. The branches quickly managed to locate where Ning was, then began to lash out at him with abandon. Each strike was just as powerful as the strikes from the first beast Ning had encountered.
What he didn't know was that while this Apocalypse-class creature's attacks weren't all that strong, it was extremely difficult to actually get rid of and defeat. Iyerre had sent this servant because it was a perfect counter for Ning, whose truesoul was already crumbling away. The goal was to kill him through attrition.
"There are too many branches. I can't get rid of them." Ning was forced to strike eight times in a row, seeking to carve an escape path for himself, but each time new branches would spring up to cover the ones he had destroyed. Worse, Ning had the vague feeling that there were even more branches waiting for their turn!
"How could this Daoguard Tower have such an irritating creature within it?" Ning's face was grim. If he was an Autarch, he could continue to attack with abandon, unleashing thousands of full-strength blows in an extremely short period of time. But he didn't have much time or energy left. At most, he only had a few dozen strikes left in him. There was no way he could escape at all.
Boom! Boom! The branches continued to furiously rain blows upon Ning, who was forced to use the Spacetime Sword Dao to create a tiny miniature spacetime continuum which served as a form of armor which covered him. This was his most powerful defensive technique thus far.
Focusing on defense allowed him to conserve more energy. Attacking consumed it far too quickly.
"Die! DIE!" The countless branches lashed at him like a thousand whips, furiously slamming against the spacetime armor covering Ning. They attacked at such high speed that they were like countless leafy blurs, and each strike was slightly stronger than a blow from the Blazesun Ruler! Ning continued to fly about and dodge while letting his armor absorb the blows, but just one second later he was forced to once more use his sword-arts to recreate the armor.
His divine power and Immortal energy was depleting at a fast pace, and the cracks in his truesoul were growing larger and larger as the crumbling process accelerated.
"Autarch Mogg, hurry up and deconstruct this hidden dimension!" Ning felt extremely anxious. "I'm not going to be able to hang on for much longer."
He had been just one step away from success. If he died here, that meant the Paragon of Pills would die here as well! Ning truly couldn't accept this outcome.