Chapter 20 – Half-Step Daofather

The demon king wielded a long black staff in his hands. Surrounding him were the ten dark-red demon commanders! They simply watched from afar, allowing the many demons under their commands to surround and assault the ten Empyrean Gods.

Ji Ning and the others knew that each time, the leaders of the demon army would allow the ordinary demons to attack first for a time. Only later would the demon commanders and demon king attack. Thus, the initial period of time when only the ordinary demon soldiers were attacking was extremely critical; they had to seize that period of time to wipe out as many of the ordinary demons as they could.

It was a wild, berserk battle.

Boom! Every so often, Ning would ram forwards, relying on his tough divine body to smash into the demons and knock them asunder. At other times, he would use a sword-art that would transform his swords into a black hole, guiding the demons off to one side. In short, he used every method he could think of to ensure that the demons would not be able to completely surround and restrain him.

“Intriguing.” The demon king pointed towards the distant Ning with a slender, knife-like claw. “Look at that new Empyrean God. His sword-arts are quite powerful, and he’s killing the fastest.”

“This divine body is quite tough. Our children’s weapons and attacks are negligible to him.”

“His sword-arts are quite odd.”

The demon king and the dark-red demon commanders chatted amongst themselves.

“According to what Purgatory said, this new Empyrean God is named Darknorth.” The demon king chuckled. “Number three, go and play with him a bit.”

“Alright.” Instantly, a muscular demon commander who was wielding a shield in each of his two hands charged forward towards Ning. The ordinary demons all parted before this demon commander, clearing a path for him. Soon, he closed in on Ji Ning.

“Ji Ning, be careful.”

“Brother Darknoth, be careful.”

“It’s the twinshield commander!”

The other nine Empyrean Gods hurriedly sent mental messages over to Ning. Ning felt a sense of shock in his heart as well. Because Feiyou and the other Empyrean Gods had experienced multiple battles against the demon king and his commanders, they had naturally memorized the appearances of quite a few of them. Each of the commanders had their own unique traits, and this one, the ‘twinshield commander’, possessed enormous strength and was extremely skilled in defense.

“Of the demon king’s commanders, the twinshield commander is probably the best counter to me.” This thought flashed through Ning’s mind as the dark-red twinshield commander came charging towards him.

“Die!” Twin shields in hand, the demon commander rammed towards Ning. These two shields protected almost every single inch of his body. No matter how formidable Ning’s sword-arts were, there was no way for him to touch this foe.

“Heavenbreaker stance!” Ning charged forward as well, his twin swords becoming as heavy as mountains. He sent them smashing downwards with an aura of power like Pangu cleaving apart Heaven and Earth.

BOOM!

The two swords smote down upon the shields, but the demon commander was still able to maintain his charge towards Ning with shields raised. Clearly, Ning didn’t have any advantages in terms of strength. The many ordinary demons around him also joined in the fight, wildly assaulting Ning and causing his movements to turn chaotic. Now, he truly understood why the demons he had so easily killed were said to be truly deadly.

While Ning was forced to concentrate on the demon commander, the ordinary demons continued to launch stabbing strikes against him, making his life miserable.

“Three heads, six arms!” Ning’s body momentarily blurred as he executed the [Three Heads, Six Arms] divine ability. Instantly, six streaks of sword-light began to fly about, sweeping the area around him clear of lesser demons while completely stalemating the twin bucklers.

“Number four, you go as well,” the distant demon king instructed.

“Yes.”

The dark-red demon commander referred to as ‘number four’ also had six arms. Each of his six arms held a whip, and he let out a howl as he charged towards Ning. His arrival instantly put Ning into an even more dangerous situation.

If Ning was just fighting against this ‘number four’ by himself, he would be able to easily defend against him. In fact, he would even hold the advantage. But right now, the twin shields were the primary threat, while the six whips of ‘number four’ coiled about his swords, making it difficult for Ning to execute his sword-arts. At the same time, the lesser demons continuously charged forward, trying to trap and constrict Ning.

“ARUUUUUUU!” The two demon commanders and many lesser demon furiously assaulted Ning like a wave that was about to drown him.

“Not good.”

“I’ll go!”

The person nearest to Ning was the most muscular of the ten Empyrean Gods, Empyrean God Zhenbu. Letting out a mighty roar, he slaughtered a path through his opponents and charged straight towards the twinshield demon commander. The twinshield commander had been in the middle of launching an attack against Ning, and so was only able to use a single shield to defend against the valiant Zhenbu.

“F*ck off!” Zhenbu’s longspear pierced out, and a mighty whirlpool appeared at the tip of it. It latched onto the bottom of the shield, tugging it straight into the heart of the whirlpool. Zhenbu then gave the spear a mighty tug.

This attack contained a strange force that was both upwards and downwards. Even the twinshield commander was unable to withstand it, and he was sent flying into the air.

“Perfect.”

Sword-light flashed.

[Starseizing Hand]!
Swordforce

Heartforce!

[Brightmoon] sword-art, Blood Drop stance!
This was Ning’s fastest sword of all. As the twinshield commander flew into the air, an opening was revealed in his defenses. Ning saw it and immediately stabbed his sword into the demon commander’s chest. “Arghh!” The twinshield commander glared furiously at Ning, then vanished into thin air. Even his shield vanished with him.

“Well struck!”

“Excellent!”

“One down.”

The other nine Empyrean Gods instantly celebrated. They had never imagined that Ning, forced into such dire straits, would actually be able to slay the twinshield commander.

In truth, as soon as he been forced into that dire situation, Ning had immediately prepared to unleash his full power. However, in a situation like that, he would at most be able to force the enemy back a bit. Fortunately, Zhenbu had also charged over, forcing the twinshield commander to reveal a flaw in his defenses and giving Ning the chance to launch a full-strength attack to kill him.

“Beautiful.” Zhenbu looked towards Ning, laughing loudly, “Even if I didn’t intervene, a puny demon like that wouldn’t have been able to do anything to you, brother Darknorth.”

Ning, however, felt a complicated feeling in his heart.

In truth, ever since he had arrived at Myriad Mountains Island, Ning had felt lumps in his throat whenever he looked at these nine Empyrean Gods, especially Zhenbu and Autumnwing, who belonged to the Seamless Gate. This was because he knew very well that their two alliances had already entered a deadly war in the outside world! But here in Undermoon Lake, none of the Empyrean Gods knew of the war. These nine Empyrean Gods in particular had undergone many calamities together; they had long ago begun to view each other as brothers for life.

“It doesn’t matter. They might be of the Seamless Gate, but they are both my brothers,” Ning mused to himself as he stared at the heroic Zhenbu, who had been so concerned about him.

After the twinshield commander was slain, the six-armed demon commander hurriedly retreated.

The distant demon king frowned upon seeing this happen.

“Hm?” The demon king ordered with a frown, “Attack.”

The eight demon commanders instantly grew excited. The demon king gently stroked the golden gourd by his waist, then hoisted his black longstaff with a cold smile and strode towards Ning. “The rest of you can deal with the other nine. Leave this Empyrean God Darknorth to me.”

“Understood.”

“Empyrean God Darknorth is doomed.”

“Doomed.”

The demon commanders all charged towards their respective targets. Aside from Ning, whom they weren’t familiar with, they knew the Empyrean Gods quite well. They were able to choose whichever target suited them the most, but the Empyrean Gods didn’t have that luxury; they were being surrounded and attacked by too many demons! They were also far slower than the demon commanders in movement speed.

“Careful. They are all coming.” Feiyou let out a loud roar. This was the critical moment; when the demon commanders all attacked in unison, the Empyrean Gods would easily be at risk of death or injury!

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The demon commanders battled furiously against their respective Empyrean God opponents, with crowds of lesser demons assisting them!

As for Ning, however…he was under the attack of the most terrifying demon of them all. The demon king.

“You actually killed number three.” The demon king wielded the long black staff in his hands, filled with an overpowering aura that caused even Ning to feel pressure. The demon king strode forward with wide steps, causing the earth to shake. “I want to see exactly how strong you are. All of you, step aside.”

Whoosh. The surrounding demons all gave way.

The demon king suddenly leapt into the air, soaring straight towards Ning with both hands around his staff, delivering a mighty, smashing blow towards Ning’s head.

Clang. The three-headed, six-armed Ning sent all six of his swords into an upwards block.

BOOOOOOM!!

A deep hole appeared in the ground, with Ning having been smashed straight underground.

As for the demon king, he held the long black staff in a single-handed grip as he charged towards that hole with an aura of astonishing power!

Boom! A streak of sword-light flew out from the ground, with Ning ensconced within it.

“What an incredible aura.” Ning’s heart was shaking. This demon king was far too powerful, much stronger than Ning himself. Ning had used all six swords in order to block a single strike from the enemy, and one of the swords had been reinforced by heartforce. But it was useless! He had still been smashed underground. Clearly, the difference in power between them was enormous.

The demon king leapt high into the sky, soaring through the air as he chased after the fleeing Ning. In terms of power or speed, the demon king was definitely superior to Ning.

Boom!

Bang!

Ning was knocked everywhere; high, low, left, right…but thanks to the [Eight-Nine Arcane Art] protecting him, the demon king remained unable to harm Ning. What Ning had to do was to use every tool available to him to ensure that his foe wouldn’t be able to trap or bind him. Ning’s sword-arts were still quite formidable, and thanks to his six arms the lesser demons were unable to even move close to him. This made it so that the demon king didn’t have a chance to use the golden gourd to absorb Ning.

“Being dominated and trampled like this pisses me off. This demon king is way too strong.” Suddenly, Ning’s face changed.

“Attack.”

“Shit!”

Faced with attacks from nine demon commanders and many lesser demons, Feiyou, Zhenbu, and the rest of the nine were trapped in a quagmire. Even Ning, when facing off against two demon commanders and many lesser demons, had been in a dangerous situation. Although the demon king seemed powerful, he was simply very fast and very strong; as long as one was able to withstand his attacks, one would only be knocked flying; there was no risk of dying to him.

During the last calamity, it had been Feiyou who had withstood the demon king’s attacks. In terms of defensive techniques, he was actually far superior to Ning, and so he was able to withstand even the demon king.

During this calamity…the demon king had sought out Ning. Clearly, he didn’t want to deal with the troublesome Empyrean God Feiyou, whose defenses were airtight.

As time passed, the positions of the other nine Empyrean Gods grew increasingly dire. Being at a constant disadvantage would, sooner or later, lead to catastrophe. Based on their past experiences, only after one of the Empyrean Gods died would these demons relax a bit with their attacks.

The ten Empyrean Gods each had their own abilities.

Empyrean God Cloudscar had amazing agility techniques that vastly surpassed the techniques of Ning and the rest of the other nine. Surrounded by an army of demons, he was still like an unpredictable cloud that manifested and dissipated at will. He moved about constantly, continuously launching attacks.

Empyrean God Feiyou’s forte was defense. Not even the demon king was able to do anything to him, and he was naturally in quite a stable position right now as well. However, his attacks were weak. When surrounded and trapped, it was difficult for him to assist the others.

After battling for a long period of time…Empyrean Gods Eastvoid and Zhenbu fell into danger! Although the other Empyrean Gods had helped them out two or three times, there was no way they could be there every time.

“Shit!” Zhenbu let out a furious roar.

“These damned demons.” Eastvoid was growing frantic as well. Both of them specialized in attacking, and so they were in similar, incredibly dire straits right now. Many scars had already appeared on both of their bodies.

“Eastvoid and Zhenbu are almost done for,” Feiyou said through a frantic mental roar as he did his best to charge towards them.

“Feiyou? Don’t even think about going over there.” A demon commander who wielded clanking chains let out a bizarre laugh as he sent his chains lashing outwards, forcibly preventing Feiyou from moving past him.

“Darknorth!” Oddwitch sent out a frantic mental shout as well.

Boom!

The demon king sent out yet another smashing staff blow, knocking Ning aside. Ning grew frantic as well. “There’s no way for me to move close to them.” He was barely able to keep himself safe from the demon king as it was.

Slash! A blade scraped past Eastvoid’s waist. A gaping wound instantly appeared, and fresh blood came spurting out from it. Moments later, a wave of divine power flowed over the wound and quickly healed it.

“My divine power is almost depleted,” Eastvoid sent mentally. Each time his body was injured, a large amount of divine power would be used up to heal it.

“Eastvoid.”

“Brother Eastvoid.”

The other Empyrean Gods were all frantic. Once his divine power was used up…no one would be able to help him.

……

Within the quiet Still Room.

Down below, there was a golden light formation of three hundred meters.

Up above, there was a black light formation of three hundred meters.

Ning was seated in the meditative position between the two. Spheres of Ninefire Lava and Iceheart Pith were floating in front of him, and a large amount of the essence of the two was flowing into the two diagrams. The two spheres had already shrank significantly.

“I’ll have to halt for now.”

Ning willed it, and both great formations slowly vanished into thin air. As for the two spheres of Ninefire Lava and Iceheart Pith, they flew back into their respective jade bottles.

As for Ning, he landed on the ground.

“Although my Pure Yang Jindan still needs upgrading…I have no choice but to halt for now. After the battle, I’ll continue the upgrade process.” Ning took a look inside his body. The gleaming, spinning golden pellet Jindan within his body had an aura that was already tens of times more powerful than it had been previously. The Jindan region inside his body had also dramatically expanded, and a torrent of powerful and pristine Pure Yang energy was flowing through it.

The Icefire Jindan Smelting technique was a process that was extremely slow and extremely gentle. As the Pure Yang Jindan absorbed more and more of the icefire essence, it would constantly improve and evolve. But of course, it could be halted at any time as this was a very gentle, slow type of transformation.

The difference between a Daofather’s Jindan and a True Immortal’s Jindan was like the difference between Heaven and Earth!

A Daofather’s Jindan was on the same level as one of Pangaea’s first-tier True Immortal’s Jindan. If Ning was able to upgrade to a second-tier Jindan, he would be half a step into the Daofather level of power. After having worked on it for more than twenty days, he was actually quite close to completing the upgrade process; it could already be considered a second-tier Jindan. But of course, only after a few more days of refining would it truly reach its maximum potential.

“Let’s take a look and see how powerful this second-tier Jindan is.” Ning willed it, and he instantly vanished from the Immortal estate, appearing within Myriad Mountains Island in the world outside.

……

Myriad Mountains Island.

The battle between the Empyrean Gods and the demons had reached a fevered state. Ning had just been knocked flying away…and suddenly, a second Ning appeared out of nowhere. The sudden appearance of a second Ning caused all of the Empyrean Gods present, as well as the many Empyrean Gods watching from far away, to gawk in amazement.

“Two Empyrean God Darknorths?!”

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