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Book 42, The Five Truncheon Chapters, Chapter 20 - The Autarchs Arrive

The outside world.

There were three figures located in the dark void outside this hidden dimension. They were the black-robed Ji Ning, the bald, red-robed avatar of Autarch Titanos, and the skinny, black-robed avatar of Autarch Mogg.

Boom! As Bowenya departed from this dimension and the tree-creature arrived, a dimensional ripple suddenly spread outwards.

"A spatial ripple!" Autarch Titanos revealed a look of delight, as did the black-robed Ning. Both of them turned to look at Autarch Mogg.

The black-robed Ning said, "Bowenya probably fled out of the hidden dimension."

Autarch Mogg's azure eyes narrowed intently as he stared at the dimensional ripples before him. He said softly, "Yes, I can sense a dimensional tunnel… but it was opened in an extremely careful and intricate way. The ripples are very minute." The dimensional tunnel had not actually opened up from within the hidden dimension itself. If it had, the ripples would be far greater. This was a passageway created from afar by Iyerre, and the ripples were very subdued as a result.

"I'm being attacked by some sort of strange lifeform. It is incredibly powerful, and I won't be able to hold on for much longer," Ning blurted out.

"I'm moving as fast as I can," Autarch Mogg said.

Fifteen seconds went by. "Found it!" Autarch Mogg's eyes lit up. Those ripples were minute, but he was still able to use them to lock onto the location of that hidden dimension. Autarch Mogg was the Autarch of the Space Daobirth Essence, after all, and he was in his own Chaosverse. He had every factor on his side, and as a result he was naturally able to locate that dimension.

"Hurry up and open a path into it!" Autarch Titanos urged.

"Alright." Autarch Mogg drew an extremely slender saber with his right hand, then gave it a wave. Slash! The space before him was torn open as easily as paper, producing a neat 'wound' in space. This slash tore through multiple layers of different dimensional continuums, reaching all the way towards the hidden dimension which Autarch Mogg and located.

Riiiiip! The slash clashed against the tenacious exterior membrane protecting the hidden continuum.

"There it is." Autarch Mogg blinked in surprise. "The membrane is quite tough. BREAK!" Autarch Mogg instantly manifested a total of six arms. Each of them was grasping an extremely long and slender blade, and he leapt forwards to soar towards the membrane. Thousands of beautiful flowers seemed to bloom before him, with each snowy-white flower being formed from a slash of dimensional saber-light. Autarch Mogg was definitely the paramount expert in chopping apart dimensional membranes, and it took him just a single second to tear through it.

"Impressive." Ning couldn't help but sigh in amazement. He might have his Space Sword Dao, but its power was still fundamentally that of the Dao of the Sword; the Dao of Space was just a supporting Dao. There was no way it could compare to Autarch Mogg's 'Space Daobirth Essence'. Without question, Autarch Mogg's mastery over space was superior to all others within this Chaosverse.

If Autarch Titanos had to assault the dimensional membrane, he would've been forced to tear through it by hammering it repeatedly through brute-force attacks. Autarch Mogg was able to accomplish it much more easily.

"Let's go inside!" Autarch Mogg led Ning into the hidden dimension. As soon as the two avatars and the black-robed Ning entered it, they saw the countless leafy tendrils which completely filled this entire world. There were many places which were completely surrounded by those countless branches! This sight caused even Autarch Mogg and Autarch Titanos to reveal looks of surprise.

"DIE!" When the great tree saw that outsiders had arrived, it instantly sent countless tendrils sweeping towards them.

"My true body is right in the center of the Daoguard Tower," Ning said hurriedly.

"Titanos, you take care of Darknorth's Primaltwin. I'll go to the Daoguard Tower," Mogg said.

"Better that we go together. Darknorth's true body isn't going to be able to hold on much longer. Darknorth, go inside my estate-world for a short while." Autarch Titanos waved his hand, sending the black-robed Ning into his estate-world. Ning didn't try to resist it.

"Attack!" The avatars of Autarch Mogg and Autarch Titanos drew their weapons and began to fight. Thanks to their mastery over space and karma, they were able to accurately sense the location of the Daoguard Tower, and the two worked together to charge closer and closer towards it.

Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Autarch Mogg's six slender sabers chopped through everything within their path. His weapons were like dimensional blades that could chop through all matter, and his strikes actually extended out on a multidimensional level to continue cutting through space itself. His attack speed was absolutely incredible.

"Die." Autarch Titanos was wearing a set of inky black gloves on all six of his hands, and each glove unleashed boundless mystical power as he struck out towards the opponent. Although his movements seemed much more relaxed, each strike caused countless branches to decay and rot away. In terms of raw damage, he vastly surpassed Autarch mogg.

"This creature has incredible vitality. Most of these creatures are unable to take more than three palms from me." Autarch Titanos frowned as he realized how strong this creature's vital force was.

The two continued to advance at high speed, with black gloves annihilating countless branches on one side and slender sabers chopping through everything on the other. The tree was suffering more and more injuries. It didn't really care too much about Autarch Mogg's chops, because it could regrow the parts that had been severed; Autarch Mogg's attacks weren't causing too much real damage. Autarch Titanos' karmic strikes, however, were assaulting its very essence and causing it much more damage.

"I have to kill him." The tree was under orders, and it began to fight in an even more frenzied manner. It didn't have much time left; it had to kill Ning as soon as possible.

Within the Daoguard Tower.

Countless tough tendrils and branches were continuing to furiously rain blows upon Ning, whose truesoul was crumbling at an extremely fast pace. In order to conserve as much energy as possible, he didn't launch any counter-attacks and instead focused completely on defense.

Ning's body was covered by a miniature spacetime cocoon which accompanied him as he fled, dodged, and was occasionally knocked flying. Each time he was struck, he didn't try to resist the momentum, instead borrowing from it to conserve as much of his own power as possible.

Time continued to flow on. Ning repeatedly used his sword-arts to defend, but each time it resulted in his truesoul crumbling faster and faster.

"Hurry up… hurry up! I can't hold on much longer." Ning grew increasingly desperate. "I have nothing left!"

BOOM! An enormous explosion rang out. The countless branches within the Daoguard Tower began to tremble as two figures charged inside the tower.

"No. No! I have to kill this Daolord!" The great tree was already heavily wounded, but it still had a considerable amount of power left. It continued to rain attacks down against Ning while sending many tendrils out to block the two intruders.

Whoosh! Boom! Saber-light flashed while black gloves struck out as Autarch Mogg and Autarch Titanos unleashed the power of their Daos. In the face of their attacks, these branches seemed unspeakably weak and were destroyed on a large scale.

A snowy-white streak of saber-light suddenly flashed out, severing all the branches and leaves within its path. Some of the branches which were furiously assaulting Ning were severed as well, and Ning could sense that the attacks against him had suddenly lessened. The saber-light was followed by two consecutive strikes from the black gloves, causing the surrounding branches to wither away and rot into nothingness.

Ning finally allowed himself to relax. He landed atop one of the undamaged spacetime bubbles, then sat down and took a deep breath. "Whew." Ning smiled as he looked at Autarch Mogg and Autarch Titanos. "You finally made it." Ning laughed, and his laughter was very joyful.

They had finally succeeded.

Autarch Titanos' terrifying black gloves finally demolished the great tree's remaining life force. The Daoguard Tower was now completely empty, with just a few remnants of the spacetime maze left behind as well as some terrified Sithe. The great tree had not gone out of its way to slay these Hegemons and Emperors.

"Darknorth." Autarch Titanos and Autarch Mogg both looked at Ning. They quickly turned pale.

Ning's truesoul was crumbling at an incredibly fast rate. It was now so badly cracked that the truesoul itself was shuddering violently, as though it was going to break apart at any moment. If Ning absolutely had to, he might be able to unleash four or five strikes at most… but even if he didn't, the truesoul was still going to completely crumble apart soon.

"As soon as my true body became trapped in here, I knew that my chances of surviving would be slim. I'm happy that I was able to survive as long as I did… and to tell the truth, I benefited greatly from my experiences here," Ning said with a smile.

"You…" Autarch Titanos could sense that Ning's truesoul suddenly began to crumble many times faster than before. Clearly, it was about to completely break apart.

"Oh. Don't be in a rush to kill these Hegemons and Emperors. Many of them are Sithe descendants. They are quite pitiable," Ning said hurriedly.

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