Wielding a Darknorth sword in each hand, Ji Ning headed straight towards the center of this ancient corridor.
Suddenly, a thousand or so meters in front of him, several blackish-blue seeds appeared at the same time, four ahead of him, five behind him. These seeds appeared at the same time as nine sets of battle armor. The battle armors were all completely black, and the weapons were identical as well; long staffs that were seemingly made of stone.
Nine seeds. Nine sets of battle gear.
“Hua…” The blackish-blue seeds suddenly transformed into a liquid, flowing into the armors, then transforming into massive men with blackish-blue skin. These massive men were several meters tall and had two horns in their foreheads. Their faces were ugly, and they had sharp fangs in their mouths. They donned the armor, while simultaneously picking up those three-meter long stone staffs next to them.
The nine ugly giants all glanced at each other, their eyes filled with savagery and excitement.
“It’s been so long. We’re finally out again!”
“This time, the person we have to deal with is this human youth. Such a tender-fleshed human. I can squeeze him to death by myself. The nine of us combined, and with these godly weapons and armor, haha…this is going to be too easy.”
“Set up the formation first.”
The nine ugly giants all began to chant the words to some foreign tongue which Ning couldn’t understand, but his face quickly changed, because he understood that these ugly giants which had sprouted from those seeds were intelligent, and even capable of conversation!
The two ends of the halls once again became filled with dense fog.
“Human, prepare for death.” The nine ugly giants all released furious roars. The ancient armor on their bodies immediately began to emit dazzling black light. The black light, emitting the stench of blood, quickly connected with each other, forming an enormous spiderweb in mid-air.
Ning was shocked. “Dao Battle-Armor?”
Dao Soldiers were a type of seed-soldier often used by the Grand Xia Dynasty. The Ji clan’s most powerful seed-soldier, the ‘Scarlet Guardians’, were the lowest-level type of Dao Soldiers. Every single Dao Soldier’s armor contained a large number of rune inscriptions, and the Dao Soldiers were capable of combining their energy together to attack the opponent together. They were also capable of combining their defense.
Dao Battle-Armor like that of the Scarlet Guardians of the Ji clan were at most capable of allowing nine of the Scarlet Guardians to combine forces. Once they joined together, nine Scarlet Guardians were even capable of giving an early Xiantian expert a good fight.
What’s more, the Ji clan had five hundred thousand of these powerful seed-soldiers, the Scarlet Guards!
This was the true backbone of the Ji clan.
Normally, missions were carried out by black armored guards. Each time the Scarlet Guardians were sent out, it was only after the Ji clan’s Five Prefectures all agreed to send them out, and it would have to involve a major event of the Ji clan.
“Dao Battle-Armor. Aren’t they all used for Houtian experts? And they should be covered with a large number of runes that can be seen at a glance.” Ning stared at them. “But these nine strange giants have armor that don’t have any runes on top of them, and each of them have power that is not weaker than that of a Xiantian.”
“This is going to be trouble.” Ning held his breath.
Dao Battle-Armor which Xiantian experts could use was something which the six hegemons of Swallow Mountain simply did not have. Ning hadn’t even heard of such a thing. Most likely, only the armies of the Grand Xia Dynasty had them!
“Kill!” The nine ugly giants raised their large, thick staffs, charging towards Ning from both directions with angry roars, that enormous illusory spider web still connecting them from up above.
Ning immediately transformed into a ray of smoke, quickly pouncing towards the direction which only had four of those strange ugly giants, who were maintaining a distance of several meters from each other as they wielded their massive stone staffs and charged forward wildly with long steps.
“Kill!” One of the ugly giants raised his enormous stone staff up high, then smashed downwards.
“Come on.” Ning let his strength explode as well. His Fiendgod-like power completely filled his Darknorth swords, and he took this blow head on. He wanted to get a clear understanding of the strength of these ugly fellows.
The stone staff was as thick as a man’s thigh and over three meters long. It slashed through the air, smashing down on Ning’s Darknorth swords. Immediately afterwards, with a ‘Swoosh!’ Ning’s entire body was sent flying backwards, while the strange giant only took a single step back, garbling in his racial tongue, “This human has great strength. However, he still cannot compare to me, much less the nine of us combined.”
Although Ning had only fought one of them head on, because of the Dao Battle-Armor…in reality, that staff blow had contained the combined strength of those nine strange giants.
Flying backwards through the air, Ning felt his entire body was numb. His hand was damaged, and even the Darknorth sword in that hand flew out.
“Can’t take it head on!” In mid-air, Ning flipped over, his Fiendgod body quickly healing. Still in mid-air, he stepped onto the sides of the corridor walls, then like a giant Roc, scurried out, quickly leaping past the oncoming charge of those nine strange ugly giants.
“What sort of talent is fleeing?”
“Humans only know how to run.”
The nine strange giants opened their fanged mouths, howling angrily. They discovered that this human was even faster than them.
Ning pointed from a distance. “Waterflame Lotuses!”
Every single Waterflame Lotus was formed from a fire lotus petal and a water lotus petal. Six sets of Waterflame Lotuses appeared out of nowhere, completely surrounding those nine ugly giants within. Every single lotus petal was slowly swiveling in opposite directions, forming a terrifying grinding, killing force.
“What a powerful human.” The nine ugly giants came to a halt and looked at each other. “Without this godly armor, we probably would’ve been injured long ago.”
Ning saw that the nine giants had come to a halt, and were even conversing in their strange tongue.
But his ever-successful Waterflame Lotuses were completely unable to harm them.
“No use.” Ning was surprised. Last time, when fighting against Ironwood Zhan, Zhan had relied on his formation and his Diamond Seal to hold on for a long time, which let Ning understand that his Waterflame Lotuses couldn’t actually break through everything. “My Waterflame Lotuses were developed just recently, and were originally meant to protect me. Thus there are some deficiencies when using them to attack.
Wielding their stone staffs, the nine strange giants once more charged forward en masse.
“Lotus Protection.” In the area around Ning, three fire lotus petals and three water lotus petals appeared, surrounding him. When the nine strange giants charged over and collided with the swiveling Waterflame Lotus, they were all impacted and were no longer able to attack Ning together.
Ning, wielding his Darknorth swords, chose one of them to attack!
His sword flashed like fire, moving at astonishing speed as he displayed the killing technique of the [Thunderflame Sword], the ‘Thunderflash Flint’.
Hua! Hua! Hua!
Rays of sword light shot towards the giant, who howled with valiant fury as he brandished his stone staff. The stone staff was incomparably heavy. Last time, when Ning had struck it, his entire body had gone numb. No longer daring to take it head on at all, Ning completely relied upon his marvelous sword techniques to deal with the giant in front of him.
The battle armor was only capable of protecting part of the body. The head and some other areas were still exposed.
Ning’s sword blows were all aimed at this giant’s head!
Only, each blow was hampered by that dense black light. After just barely breaking through the obstruction, it was only capable of leaving some wounds on the giant’s face, which immediately would heal, leaving the giant unwounded.
“Kill, kill, kill.” Ning was going all out.
“I want to live! So I have to kill you all!” Ning used all his strength, even filling the Darknorth swords with his Xiantian ki as well. All he could do, however, was to leave some flesh wounds on these strange giants. The giants were capable of completely ignoring the negligible drop to their strength from these wounds.
They fought for the amount of time it would take to brew a pot of tea.
Because he had been controlling the Waterflame Lotus this entire time, and also fighting all out, his divine power was being used up at a fast rate.
“Their power isn’t dropping at all. I’m not even able to badly injure them.” Ning could sense that he had less than half his divine power remaining. He didn’t dare to keep fighting them head on like this. He hurriedly flashed through their encirclement.
Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh!
Ning utilized the Windwing Evasion, scurrying first in this direction, then in that direction, dodging the pursuit and attacks of these strange giants.
“Human, don’t run.”
“You won’t be able to run.”
“Humans are only able to run.” These nine ugly giants roared angrily as they ran forward majestically, continuing their attacks. Ning didn’t take them head on at all, relying on his Windwing Evasion to throw them off time and time again.
In his heart, Ning was sighing.
He had trained in swordplay for so long, but in the end, it was still the Windwing Evasion technique which allowed him to stay alive!
Another long period of time passed.
“What should I do?” While fleeing, Ning was thinking frantically. Staring at the nine furiously roaring giants, who didn’t seem to grow tired at all, he thought, “They have been chasing me for half a day now, but they still aren’t getting tired. My divine power, however, is down to 20%.”
The Windwing Evasion technique required him to use his Crimsonbright divine power as well! Although it used it up at a rate that was far slower than the rate it was used up in battle, running around for half a day would consume a great amount as well.
“My full-strength sword attacks are only capable of giving them some light flesh wounds.” Ning said to himself. “But the nine of them are actually those nine transformed seeds, just like those eighty one golden armored soldiers I fought earlier. When I shattered their army, they immediately reformed.”
Ning understood very well…
Even if he were to pierce through their heads, they still probably wouldn’t die.
More importantly, his full strength attacks were only capable of leaving behind some flesh wounds.
“What should I do?”
“What exactly should I do?” Ning constantly pondered.
He had no options.
“In the long-ago distant past, those Fiendgod Body Refiners of the Xiantian level who were transported probably watched, just like me, in despair as their divine power was used up, and then were killed.” Ning now understood his weakness. His weakness was that his [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens] was only at the fourth stage.
This corridor was meant for Fiendgod Body Refiners of the Xiantian level to go through.
When Immortal Juhua had accepted disciples, most likely the majority of those who had attempted these trials were at the peak Xiantian level as Fiendgod Body Refiners! But Ji Ning? Only when reaching the sixth stage of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens] would he be a peak Xiantian. He was currently only at the fourth stage! In terms of the purity or the depth of his divine power, he was still at an incomparable distance from the limits of the Xiantian level.
It was only natural that he wouldn’t be able to complete these three trials.
“Compared to those Xiantian experts who wanted to become the disciple of Immortal Juhua and came here to attempt these trials, my divine power is very shallow.” Ning understood. “Fortunately, I gained a hint of understanding in the true meaning of the Dao, and then developed the ‘Waterflame Lotus’ technique, which is why I was lucky enough to complete the first trial! Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t even have been able to complete the first one.”
“But…there are three trials.”
“Forget about the third trial. This second trial…” Ning could sense that he already had dropped to less than 10% of his Crimsonbright divine power left. Deep in his heart, he felt both panic and despair.