Chapter 29, Strongman

This gray, blurry space had nothing within it, but as Ji Ning stepped on and walked through the gray, misty space, it was as though he was stepping on solid ground.

“Where is the test of the Divine Abilities Hall?” Ning swept his gaze across the area. Suddenly, with a ‘whoosh’ sound, an enormous, pitch-black tablet landed on the ground before him, covered with a dense cluster of more than a hundred Fiendgod characters.

“Use your strength as a Fiendgod! Choose freely from the weapons next to you. Go forth and battle! Divine abilities are consummate skills meant for slaughter. The more strongmen you kill, the more powerful a divine ability you will require. If you kill too few, you might not even receive the seventh divine ability. The seven great divine abilities…they are right there. Kill as wildly as you can. In the instant when you collapse and your body is smashed, the test of the Divine Abilities Hall will conclude.”

He looked at the Fiendgod characters carved atop the giant tablet. Not too far away from the pitch-black tablet, an enormous table suddenly appeared, covered with a large number of weapons. There were hundreds of swords, hundreds of sabers, hundreds of spears, staffs…countless weapons lay densely clustered atop the table.

“So I really can choose as I please.” Ning was surprised by the number of weapons that had appeared. He didn’t dare hesitate at all.

Swish! Swish! He hurriedly picked up two longswords that were comparable to his Darknorth swords.

“Eh?” Ning hesitated slightly. “Just using swordplay and the Rainwater Sword Domain won’t use up too much of my concentration.” Instantly, a large number of small, thin longswords flew up from the table. In total, nine flying swords flew out. The giant yellow bear had only said that for this trial, the participant was not permitted to use any Ki Refiner techniques. As for his divine will…this was the divine will that he had gained through possessing an incredibly powerful soul. Naturally, it couldn’t be considered a Ki Refiner technique.

“If I use my divine will to control these nine swords, although the power will be a bit weak, it will still serve in supporting me.” Ning mused to himself.

This battle…he had to exert all of his strength within it, so as to acquire a more powerful divine ability. If he only received the sixth or seventh divine ability, even with it, he still probably would find it difficult to kill Adept Xu. The worst part of it was, neither the giant yellow bear nor the pitch-black tablet had informed him as to how many he had to kill to acquire the third divine ability or first divine ability.

……

Immediately after Ning selected his swords, the gray mist in the void around him rapidly began to condense, forming one human-shaped figure after another.

“This is!” Ning’s heart clenched. These human-shaped figures were all extremely muscular. They each had three savage eyes in their heads, and their entire bodies were virtually completely naked. The only thing they wore was something akin to a loincloth at their waists. All of their bodies bunched with muscles, and they held various weapons in their hands, such as axes, staffs, and warhammers.

Their breaths rang out like thunder, and their steps caused the earth to shake. Their bodies were filled with a sky-shaking, savage aura. And in an instant, the area around Ning became completely filled with hundreds of these human-shaped freaks.

“These are the ‘strongmen’ which the tablet spoke of?” Ning was startled. He had seen many books, and according to some of the legends recorded in the books, some of the great powers had ‘strongmen’ under their command. The so-called ‘strongmen’ were used to work as coolies to do physical labor. There were many different kinds of them, such as gateguard strongmen, cauldron-bearing strongmen, mountain-guarding strongmen, or even mountain-bearing strongmen and seastriding strongmen…

They had different missions, different names, and naturally different levels of power as well.

Strongmen, according to the legends, generally weren’t living creatures. They were servants with simple intelligences that were created by some of the great powers. But of course, there were some powerful experts who would serve some of the great powers, and willingly take on the title of ‘strongman’; this occurred as well. However, ordinary and extremely numerous strongmen such as these weren’t actual living creatures.

“Kill!” “Kill!” The hundreds of savage, weapon-bearing strongmen rushed forward like the wind, charging towards Ning while running across the foggy ‘ground’. They roared the Fiendgod word for ‘kill’, and their savage triple eyes were locked on Ning. They moved so quickly that in the blink of an eye, they arrived next to Ning, who was three hundred meters away.

“Die!” Rainwater slowly began to fall, encompassing an area of hundreds of square meters.

The rainwater instantly became as sharp as knives. Instantly, it was as though thousands of knives fell down and chopped towards those strongmen. The rainwater, carrying the profoundness of the Dao within them, contained astonishing power. The strongmen all let out savage howls, but were chopped into pieces, and then transformed into fog which once more dissipated into the heavens.

From far away, many strongmen continued to materialize, in even greater numbers than before.

“Kill!” Ning didn’t hesitate at all. Controlling his rainwater, he began to attack those strongmen. The Rainwater Sword Domain was a Dao Domain, and was based off the insights he had gained into the Dao. As for the rainwater, it was formed from the energy of the world itself. These, too, could not be considered Ki Refiner techniques.

“Eh?” Ning’s face changed slightly. “The strongmen are growing more powerful and becoming faster. Their bodies are growing sturdy as well. Even their axe and hammer techniques are increasing in power.” It was clearly becoming a bit harder for him to kill them through his Rainwater Sword Domain.

…….

This region of dreary gray space was producing strongmen nonstop. Ning, by relying on his Rainwater Sword Domain, was able to massacre them on a large scale, and so he was able to kill them quite quickly. In just the amount of time needed for five breaths, Ning was able to execute more than ten rounds of thousands of strongmen.

“Slashslashslash…”

The rainwater continued to chop down, leaving scars on the muscular bodies of the strongmen, but were unable to kill them now. “It’s no longer enough to rely on the Rainwater Sword Domain.” A fierce light flashed through Ning’s eyes. First, he condensed the nearby rainwater into swiveling petals of Waterflame Lotuses, and using this enormous petals of fire and water, he began to wildly crush and grind down the strongmen. The strongmen relied on their weapons to block and to dodge, but in the end, some still perished.

Swish! Swish! Swish! Nine sword flashed pierced through the skies. These were the nine swords which Ning controlled through his divine will. Under Ning’s control, they all unleashed Ning’s most powerful sword attack…Rain Line! The reason why Ning had previously selected just nine swords was because he wanted to unleash his most powerful sword attacks. Ning’s divine will wasn’t able to control too many of them in doing so.

“Cutcutcut…” It was like chopping vegetables. The divine will controlled the swords at merely the early Zifu Adept stage of power, but under the power of the Rainwater Sword Domain…the strength of the blows was absolutely astonishing. Sword light flew everywhere, and many warriors were chopped into two halves and dissipated into mist.

By relying on his Rainwater Sword Domain, Waterflame Lotuses, and swords controlled by divine will…Ning was able to slaughter the strongmen at an astonishing speed. The amount of time Ning had spent after using the Traceless Talisman to teleport to Serpentwing Lake, then entering the underwater estate was actually quite low. The only place he spent a little extra time was in conversation with the giant yellow bear, but that was far from even being as much time as it took to boil a kettle of tea.

As Ning was engaging in a wild battle against the strongmen in the Divine Abilities Hall…

Oxhorn Mountain. Halfway up the mountain.

“Yichuan. You must be careful in this mission.” Ji Ninefire looked at Ji Yichuan. “Delay as much as you can. There are only five of us left, but we need to try to delay for nearly two days. Although you are ill, delay them as long as you can.”

“I understand.” Yichuan nodded. He looked at the Whitewater Hound by his side, who used its head to gently nudge Yichuan, clearly unwilling to part from him. “Little White.” Yichuan gently stroked the Whitewater Hound’s head.

Yichuan’s parents had died long ago. In his heart, the three who held the most paramount positions were his wife, his son, and his lifelong brother, ‘Little White’. The amount of time Little White had been by his side far surpassed the amount of time his wife and his son had been by his side. Only Little White had always accompanied him. They had adventured together…and even though death was in front of them, neither would retreat in the slightest.

“I’m going now.” Yichuan lowered his head and gently kissed the Whitewater Hound on the forehead. The Whitewater Hound’s eyes became moist. As for Yichuan, he turned his head and charged into a corridor that had just opened within the nether fog. The Whitewater Hound escorted Yichuan into the fog…he truly wished to accompany Yichuan, but as soon as Yichuan used his forbidden techniques, his power would immediately rise. In addition, with the support of the Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation, his power would become truly astonishing. As for the Whitewater Hound, as he was merely a peak Xiantian spirit-beast, he would be nothing more than a burden.

He knew very well that he would only be a burden. That it would be dangerous. He still wanted to go…because he knew that his most beloved, important elder brother, ‘Ji Yichuan’, was probably going to die. How could he not go?

“Whitewater Hound.” Ninefire spoke out. The Whitewater Hound turned to look at Patriarch Ninefire. “My Ji clan has only five members remaining here; we will only just be able to maintain the Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation.” Ninefire said. “After Yichuan dies, only four will remain, and the Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation will no longer be at peak power. I have here a portion of ‘liquefied elemental essence’ that you can use to try and make a breakthrough. If you are able to break through to become a Zifu-level Diremonster, after Yichuan dies, you can take his place.”

Because none of them would be able to escape from the grand sealing formation…even if they died, they had to make their deaths more spectacular.

“Woof.” The Whitewater Hound nodded gently, then opened his mouth and accepted the jade flask. Originally, Ning had used up a third of the liquefied elemental essence, breaking through to the Zifu Disciple and establishing his Zifu as an early-stage Disciple! Ning didn’t waste the remaining amount of liquefied elemental essence, leaving it behind for the Patriarch.

The Whitewater Hound’s eyes were filled with hope. He wanted to breakthrough and help his master once again. Help his elder brother. The person he was closest to in the entire world.

…….

The underwater estate. Outside the Divine Abilities Hall. The old black bull and the giant yellow bear were present. “Alas!” The giant yellow bear sighed. “Big Brother, what is it?” The old black bull said hurriedly.

“It is as I expected.” The giant yellow bear sighed. “I have waited here for countless years. This Ji Ning is the only person I have encountered who truly has a chance at acquiring the divine ability which Master left behind. His soul is so powerful that he is capable of using his divine will, and his understanding of the Dao is quite deep as well, at the Dao Domain realm. By relying on his Rainwater Sword Domain and using divine will…he has been slaughtering and massacring countless strongmen. But now that the strongmen are growing more and more powerful, he is finding it more and more difficult. Even though he himself is also using two swords to battle, he still finds it quite difficult.”

“If he were to wait five more years…his [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens] would probably reach the eighth or ninth stage. Given how quickly he gains insight into the Dao, in five years, he will have made astonishing improvements in this regard as well.”

“His divine body will be stronger, and his insights into the Dao greater. By then, he absolutely would be capable of acquiring the divine ability which Master left behind. What a pity, what a pity.” The giant yellow bear sighed.

“Then he…?” The old black bull said, worried. “His killing speed is quite fast. In the time it takes to brew tea, he killed tens of thousands of strongmen. But I can tell from his strength that it would be hard for him to obtain even the third divine ability.” The giant yellow bear shook his head. “As for the first divine ability, that’s unfathomably far away. What a pity, what a pity. If he waited five more years…”

“Yes…but he wasn’t willing to wait five more years.” The old black bull sighed as well.

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