Chapter 11 – Sword Peacock

If you were lucky, you might end up rearing a bugbeast that was even more powerful than you!

Bugbeasts possessed low levels of intelligence, and they were far inferior to cultivators in terms of their insights into the Dao. However, this was precisely why it was fairly easy to upgrade them. Their most powerful weapons were their massive, powerful bodies.

“Grwaaaaar!” The nine bugbeasts were attacking from nine different directions. They were tens of thousands of kilometers away from Ji Ning, and they all shrieked, roared, and screeched as they stared at him.

Ning stood atop the island. He swept them with his gaze, then chuckled loudly. “I wonder which ‘major power’ is so terrified that he doesn’t dare to come in person and instead sends a few bugs over.”

Thearch Darkstill, whose mind and soul was riding with these nine bugbeasts, became rather angry upon hearing this.

“My children are more than enough to kill you.” The bugbeast shaped like a stone giant roared angrily. Deep under the cracked parts of its stony exterior, flesh and blood could be seen.

“Oh? Is that so?” Ning made his move.

Swish! A black lightning serpent flashed through the skies. A distance of just ten or twenty thousand kilometers was no distance at all to Ning; for him, travelling such a distance was as easy as taking a single step was for an ordinary mortal. He immediately appeared before the stone giant, and as he arrived an icy-cold streak of sword-light descended as well.

“Damn you.” The stone giant brandished his enormous club-like hands, smashing at Ning with them and completely ignoring Ning’s attack.

“Attack!” The other eight bugbeasts flew towards him as well. But suddenly…

Snick. Snick. Snick.

The sword-light flashed back to Ning’s side. Ning stood there calmly in front of the stone giant. The stone giant’s fists were just about to land upon Ning, but suddenly it froze. It stood there blankly for a moment, and then…its neck, chest, and flank all split apart. Its body was chopped apart into four evenly sized pieces, and the four pieces all began to fall downwards. Ning’s sword-light had completely snuffed out the stone giant’s life. In fact, Ning didn’t even use the rainbow-colored swordforce; against a foe of this level, there was no need to use it at all.

“What? He’s this powerful, even without using any swordforce at all? This sword-art definitely is something that only an expert who has mastered fifth-stage swordforce can come up with. There’s no mistaking it.” Thearch Darkstill instantly became certain of this. Ji Ning hadn’t used rainbow-colored swordforce, but this was precisely why he was terrifying.

“Flee.” The eight bugbeasts that had been charging towards Ning hurriedly began to scatter every which way.

“You want to run?” Ning’s gaze turned cold. Although he possessed the [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent] technique, these eight bugbeasts were all fleeing in a different direction, and they would soon disappear into a field of chaotic spacetime.

“Arise.” Ning pointed a finger up towards the skies.

Rumble….

The skies suddenly turned dark. Streaks of of rainbow-colored sword-light began to manifest in the area, and in just an instant the entire region seemed to have transformed into a world of rainbow-colored swordlight. This was a world of the sword.

The eight bugbeasts stared as the heavens and the earth around them suddenly transformed into a world of rainbow-colored sword-light. All of them were terrified. Thearch Darkstill, whose spirit was riding with them, immediately urged them to flee! Thearch Darkstill had already guessed that Ji Ning had reached the fifth stage of swordforce, which was why he wasn’t surprised at all. “Hmph. So what if he can manifest a world of the sword? This is a large-scale technique, yes, but that means that the technique will be fairly weak. Every single streak of sword-light is quite feeble; there’s no way it will be able to harm my children.”

“Sword Peacock!” Ning murmured these words softly, but his voice was like the voice of Heaven and Earth. When he spoke, his words resonated throughout this region as though an edict had just been proclaimed.

The brilliant rainbow-colored swordlight filling the area instantly began to merge together, forming a sight that looked like flower buds blooming or like a peacock displaying its feathers.

Whooooooosh.

The sword-light radiated an arcane intent as it swept forward, and the countless streaks of rainbow sword-light solidified into a total of 1001 peacock feathers, so dazzling and beautiful that one couldn’t help but feel intoxicated by them.

The eight fleeing bugbeasts didn’t have any chance to escape at all. The terrifying sword-light passed right through them…and then their bodies completely crumbled apart, all life extinguished.

All nine of the bugbeasts had been slain!

“The seven sword-stances of [Sword-Heaven-Earth] truly are extraordinarily powerful.” Ning nodded slightly.

This technique was not a technique he had created himself.

His own original creation was the [Brightmoon] sword-art, a sword-art which was meant for battling against foes in close combat. All of its techniques, including ‘Heavenbreaker’, ‘Blood Drop’, and ‘Shadowless’ were meant for dueling.

The seven sword-stances of [Sword-Heaven-Earth], however, were techniques that were meant for massacring weaker foes on a vast scale. They involved using a large amount of swordforce in order to massacre the enemies! This sort of technique was extremely effective against numerous weaker foes, but it was much less effective against someone who was comparable in strength to you. For that situation, the [Brightmoon] sword-art was still better.

Sometimes, sufficiently large quantities of cannon fodder could have an impact on the overall flow of a battle. Using a sword-art like [Sword-Heaven-Earth] against them could be quite effective. Ning had no desire to come up with such a butcher’s technique on his own, but he had discovered [Sword-Heaven-Earth] amongst the ninety-eight sword techniques inscribed on those stone steles left behind by World God Northrest.

Just now, Ning used the second stance of [Sword-Heaven-Earth], ‘Sword Peacock’.

“Daofather-level bugbeasts like them…” Ning shook his head, then took a single step forward and flew into the skies. He once more disappeared into space, advancing forward in the hopes of joining together with the other squads.

……

The ancestral grounds of the Darkstill world.

“What a terrifying sword-art.” Thearch Darkstill was still engrossed in pondering the dazzling sword-art he had just seen, the one which had looked like a peacock spreading its feathers. He was an elite Daofather, after all, and so he was able to see exactly how terrifying that beautiful sword-art was.

It must be understood that even when Daofathers used magic treasures, they had to send those magic treasures flying off into the distance to assault their foes. This sword-art, however, used rainbow-colored swordforce as its underlying power source. With a thought, the wielder was able to fill an extremely wide swathe of land with the swordforce while maintaining a terrifying level of power.

“Dazzling.”

“Arcane.

“Shockingly sharp.”

Thearch Darkstill was completely stunned. “When I followed the Lord of All Things, I went to quite a few places within the primordial chaos…but this is the first time I’ve ever seen such a dazzling, beautiful sword-art. This sword-art alone is profound enough to be proclaimed the number one sword-art of the Three Realms. Terrifying. This sword-art is utterly terrifying.”

Of course, he had no idea that this was something which World God Northrest, someone who stood at the very peak of power amongst World Gods, had come up with after meditating on the nameless sword-art he had acquired. Even other World Gods would be amazed by this technique, to say nothing of a mere True God such as Thearch Darkstill.

“It won’t be easy to deceive an expert like this. To lure him into the Forest of Dreams will be far too difficult. In addition…the Forest might not be able to hold him.” Thearch Darkstill had personally witnessed that last sword-art, after all. He now had a much higher opinion of Ji Ning than before. In his heart, Ji Ning was now considered an even more terrifying figure than Daoist Jade Cauldron.

“How could he have come up with a sword-art like this?” Thearch Darkstill couldn’t help but ask himself this question. “Well…I need to go see Godfiend Witherspike right away.”

……

Deep within the Primordial Ruinworld. Within the dark golden castle.

Witherspike remained seated atop his throne, relaxing as he stared at four different scenes that were playing out in the air before him. These scenes were of Kuafu, Daoist Jade Cauldron, Tathagata, and Fuxi as they fought in combat.

“The Nuwa Alliance really is powerful…and this should just be part of their total strength.” He couldn’t help but let out a sigh.

“The bulk of their forces remain in the Three Realm, unwilling to leave their headquarters. If they did, our Seamless Gate would absolutely wreck their worlds and their headquarters.” Celestial Immortal Blackheaven let out a chuckle.

“Anyone who is skilled in formations is a monster as far as I am concerned. This Fuxi fellow, and that Keeper Everwood of your Seamless Gate…ugh. I really don’t understand. How did they end up developing such troublesome and complicated formations?” The alien Outsider couldn’t help but let out another sigh. “I don’t have any interest in developing formations myself. Personal power is what matters the most, as far as I am concerned.”

“Almighty Master.” A voice rang out from outside.

The alien Outsider was startled, but Celestial Immortal Blackheaven let out a laugh. “Thearch Darkstill has arrived. It seems we are going to hear some good news.”

“Darkstill is quite reliable when taking on missions.” The alien Outsider glanced calmly towards the outside. Soon, Thearch Darkstill arrived before him, hurriedly falling to his knees with respect. “Master, as you ordered I did my best to either slay Ji Ning or lure him into the Forest of Dreams. However…Ji Ning is simply far too powerful. Your subordinate is truly incapable of this.”

“Too powerful?” The nearby Celestial Immortal Blackheaven frowned. “He’s a young fellow who has trained for less than a thousand years. How powerful could he possibly be?”

“Your subordinate sent the ‘Eight-Armed Warfiend Formation’ to deal with Ji Ning, but all 199 Empyrean Gods of the formation perished in battle without even being able to send any information back,” Thearch Darkstill said. “Ji Ning is extremely cautious. There’s no way for any of my minions to get close to him or to lure him anywhere.”

The seated alien Outsider frowned. “Has he reached the fifth stage of swordforce?”

“Master, your subordinate sent nine bugbeasts to deal with Ji Ning. Would you like to see the results of that battle?” Thearch Darkstill asked.

“Yes.” The alien Outsider nodded.

Thearch Darkstill immediately pointed towards the empty air next to him. Scenes of the battle instantly appeared and began to play in empty air. This was what Thearch Darkstill had personally witnessed just now.

The entire hall was completely silent. Everyone was focused on the battle.

The nine bugbeasts appeared. Ji Ning rose to his feet and drew his sword.

His sword struck out, and a bugbeast was split apart into four pieces. The alien Outsider nodded and pronounced his judgment. “This sword-art is indeed proof that he has reached the fifth stage of swordforce.”

The eight bugbeasts began to flee in different directions. Ji Ning pointed towards the heavens, causing a boundless amount of swordforce to descend and forming an entire world of swordforce. Then, he used a horrifying sword-art to massacre the bugbeasts…‘Sword Peacock’!

It was like a peacock spreading its feathers. It was a dazzlingly beautiful scene, and one which caused all the powerful figures in the hall to turn completely silent.

Only a long moment later did the seated alien Outsider let out a soft sigh. “How beautiful. What a beautiful sword. It has been a long time since I’ve seen such a beautiful sword-art. The last time I did see such a sword-art was when I was at the city of Hillfall, where I saw distant Chaos Immortals battling in the sky. That was the only time I’ve ever seen such beautiful sword-arts. He truly is the number one Sword Immortal of your Three Realms. This reputation…it is completely deserved!”

All the figures present nodded. This sword-art was a technique for committing butchery, but it was also an intoxicatingly beautiful technique.

“How could it be this powerful? How did he become even more powerful than he was back when he was in the Deerchaser world?” Celestial Immortal Blackheaven found this all quite hard to accept. “Back then, he still had to rely on the Envoy. Now, all by himself and when using just a single sword, he is able to unleash such tremendous power.”

“Master, I have something to report.” Thearch Darkstill’s face suddenly changed.

“What is it?” The alien Outsider frowned. He had been entranced by the beauty of that sword-art; naturally, he was quite unhappy to be roused from his reverie.

Thearch Darkstill said hurriedly, “After Ji Ning slew my nine bugbeasts, he continued to advance. He’s now sensed ripples emanating from a battle which Kuafu’s squad is engaged in. He’s moving towards Kuafu’s squad at high speed and is going to join with them soon.”

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