These two palms were like worlds unto themselves, and they angered Godfiend Witherfiend so much that he ground his teeth. “So he really was preparing to deliver one final blow to me before dying.”
Lord Tathagata the Buddha was a True God. Although he was able to unleash the power of an Elder God, in terms of raw power he was indeed a bit inferior to Godfiend Witherspike. However, the intricacies of his palm-arts far surpassed Witherspike’s techniques. There was no way Godfiend Witherspike could avoid this final desperation attack; his only choice was to face it head-on.
The two attacks collided.
Lord Tathagata borrowed from the force of the collision to fly backwards.
“Outsider!” Ji Ning let out a loud roar, transforming into a black lightning serpent as he charged towards Godfiend Witherspike.
“Damn.” After exchanging blows with Tathagata, Godfiend Witherspike was sent staggering backwards as well. By the time he recovered, Ji Ning was already attacking. Godfiend Witherspike could only cast a hateful, resentful glance towards Lord Tathagata as the latter flew far away. “I spent all that effort and paid such a heavy price, but I actually wasn’t able to kill even one of these ‘overlord’ level bumpkins. I really don’t want to accept this.”
Ning’s sword-light descended!
It was dazzling to behold, and it seemed to contain enough power to split the skies apart.
Whap! Godfiend Witherspike’s tail lashed out, transforming into a similarly dazzling streak of light that collided against the sword-light.
Godfiend Witherspike was knocked flying backwards. He gave Ning a cold look, watching as Ning transformed into a black streak of lightning that flew next to Lord Tathagata. With a wave of his hand, he pulled Lord Tathagata into his own estate-treasure.
“Master!” The distant one-armed man sent a mental message to him.
“Let’s leave!” Godfiend Witherspike said angrily.
This word, ‘leave’, came from his lips with the utmost of reluctance. Godfiend Witherspike waved his hand, causing those six stone pillars to disappear. Although the ‘Endless Road’ had been somewhat damaged by Ning’s escape, a skilled formations expert would still be able to repair it. The price of repairing it would be much lower than the price of buying a new one.
“Leave.” The one-armed man waved his hand, collecting the alien True Gods as well as the three Waterians, the red-bearded elder, and the skinny elder. He then immediately flew over to Godfiend Witherspike’s side.
“Count yourself lucky.” Godfiend Witherspike smiled coldly towards Ning and the others. “The Primordial Ruinworld is a large place. We’ll take things slowly.”
Godfiend Witherspike and the one-armed man disappeared, a dark-golden castle appearing where they were. The dark-golden castle immediately flew away and departed.
Within the castle.
Godfiend Witherspike was once more seated on his throne. Below him were his six retainers.
“Master, Sword Immortal Darknorth was trapped inside the the Endless Road formation. How did he end up emerging from it so quickly?” The red-bearded elder couldn’t help but ask this question. “It was too fast. He was only trapped inside for a brief period of time.”
“It was quite brief.” The one-armed man frowned as well. “These locals…they are fairly ignorant and ill-informed. They shouldn’t have been able to recognize the formation as an Endless Road formation. Someone who has never seen this formation…upon being trapped inside it, he should’ve spent a long period of time trying to figure out what to do. The formation is so vast that flying out would take a good long while.”
“Agreed.” Godfiend Witherspike’s eyes flashed with cold light as he nodded slowly.
They were right. Someone trapped in a formation he had never seen before would generally spend some time carefully testing it out. It would usually take them quite some time before emerging from the Endless Road formation. Ji Ning, however, had come out a short period of time after being trapped inside.
“There’s only one explanation. As soon as he was trapped inside the formation, he immediately knew what it was and how to escape.” Godfiend Witherspike said coldly, “He immediately used his [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent] technique to fly out of it at top speed. That sounds about right.”
“How could he possibly have immediately recognized the formation?” The one-armed man frowned. “Can it be that he’s seen it before?”
“The Three Realms have encountered figures like ‘All Things’ before,” Godfiend Witherspike said. “Sword Immortal Darknorth must have acquired some records pertaining to the ‘Endless Road’ formation from some alien Outsider who wandered into this place. Hmph. He can count himself lucky.”
“Master, if you truly wished to kill Tathagata…I feel that you could have accomplished it.” The one-armed man looked towards Godfiend Witherspike.
There were differences in power amongst Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals. Ordinary Elder Gods, those who were born at that level of power, were close in strength to Three Purities, Fuxi, Tathagata, and the others.
The Lord of All Things and Godfiend Witherspike could be described as elite Elder Gods. The Lord of All Things reached that level of power thanks to his mastery over golems and bugbeasts, while Godfiend Witherspike rose to power thanks to extremely bloody and violent techniques. This was why he was known as a ‘Godfiend’.
In the endless Primordial Chaos, people titled ‘Godfiend’ were generally people who possessed and used exceptionally bloody and terrifying techniques. But even if he didn’t use those secret techniques, Godfiend Witherspike would still be considered an elite Elder God, albeit just barely.
The only reason why Ji Ning was able to battle Witherspike to a standstill was because he had terrifying sword-arts and a half-step Elder God body, which allowed him to reach the power level of an ordinary Elder God. With the addition of Violetjewel, he could also be considered to have just barely reached the level of an elite Elder God!
“Right.” Godfiend Witherspike slowly shook his head. “Ever since I mastered that secret art, I’ve only used it a total of three times. Each time I use it…I will suffer severe repercussions, and it’ll be another ten thousand years before I can use it again. The Endwar will be arriving soon, in a few more centuries at most. We can’t be hasty! We’ve killed two of Tathagata’s dharma-bodies, and I’ve sacrificed both the Four Thearchs as well as my Endless Road formation. We’ve done enough. The rest is up to the Seamless Gate. Their ‘Lord of All Fiends’ is extraordinarily powerful; the only person in the Three Realms who worries me is him.”
“Agreed.” The one-armed man nodded. “For an Elder God to be able to escape from the clutches of a World God and flee so quickly that the World God can’t even catch up…this is unheard of. I’ve voyaged through the endless primordial chaos for quite a long period of time and have met over ten thousand Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals, but I’ve never met such a formidable figure. Such figures only exist in legends. I never would’ve thought that an Elder God located in such a backwater chaosworld would be so powerful.”
“Right…but we’ve only just begun to play,” Godfiend Witherspike said softly. “These two alliances haven’t really begun the final fight to the death yet. We would be a laughingstock if we revealed all of our cards now.”
“That Darknorth fellow…” Godfiend Witherspike suddenly frowned. “He has six swords. When he strikes with the blood-colored one, he is actually able to just barely reach the level of an elite Elder God in power. Is it due to the sword? Or is it because he is already an Elder God?”
Ji Ning was standing alongside Fuxi. Behind him was Kuafu, Daoist Jade Cauldron, and the other members of their group.
They watched as the dark-golden castle quickly disappeared into the distance. Only then did Ning let Tathagata emerge once more.
“What a terrifying group of alien Outsiders,” Fuxi murmured softly.
“Thankfully, Ji Ning was with us.” Tathagata smiled as he looked at Ning.
Fuxi looked at Tathagata, then let out a sigh. “It’s all my fault. I was too weak.”
“No, those alien Outsiders were simply too strong.” Tathagata shook his head.
Fuxi couldn’t help but nod. He said solemnly, “Yes. They were too powerful, especially that one with a tail. Those two alien Outsiders…they should have the power of elite Elder Gods. Fortunately, Ji Ning was able to stop him.” Fuxi then turned to look towards Ning, his eyes filled with surprise. “Darknorth, you were actually able to stop them…”
“They still had the upper hand when we fought,” Ning said. “I was only able to fight on par thanks to this sword.” When he had used the blood-colored Violetjewel, his blows had become noticeably more powerful. The alien Outsider had seen it, as had Fuxi and the others. They probably had already guessed the truth for themselves.
In terms of raw power…no one in the Three Realms, those two alien Outsiders included, would dare claim that they were certain of defeating Ji Ning in a fight! Given how strong he was, there really was nothing for Ji Ning to fear any longer. Still, he couldn’t tell everyone that he had only unlocked a fraction of Violetjewel’s true power. Fully repairing Violetjewel…that would be a task for the distant future.
“No wonder. It seems that you’ve had quite a few fortuitous encounters, Ji Ning.” Fuxi smiled and nodded. “Ji Ning, you might not fully understand what an ‘elite Elder God’ is! Myself, Nuwa, Zhurong, the Ancestor Dragon…we were all born as Elder Gods, which means we were born at that level of power. Three Purities, Tathagata, Shennong…they are True Gods and Daofathers, but thanks to their tremendously profound insights into the Dao they too are comparable to ordinary Elder Gods. In the Three Realms, we describe this level of power as that of the ‘overlords’.”
“An Elder God who has sufficient insights into the Dao, such as having mastered the Five Elements of the Heavenly Daos, will be described as an ‘elite Elder God’. Mother Nuwa, for example; even before the war that ended the Primordial Era, she had mastered the Heavenly Daos of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, Earth, Yin, Yang, and Life. Eight Heavenly Daos! She was so powerful that she was even superior to so-called ‘elite Elder Gods’. She was far more powerful than the two alien Outsiders we encountered today. Only Demonheart, the lord of the Seamless Chaosworld, was comparable to her.”
Ning nodded. Nuwa truly was a monster. She was an Elder God who had mastered eight of the Heavenly Daos…and then, in the final battle, she had broken through to master the Heavenly Dao of Primordial Chaos and become a World God!