Chapter 3 – A Single Sword

Within the mountain gorge.

A silver-haired man was standing amidst a garden of flowers. He gently plucked a flower, lowering his head to smell its fragrance. His face, however, remained a bit gloomy and downcast.

“Overseer…” The silver-haired man murmured these words to himself. “Is it him?”

The earlier turbulence in the primordial chaos…True God Shiyu had also come to the conclusion that it had most likely been someone breaking through to become a True God or perhaps Elder God! The prisoners, however, had been trapped in the prisonworld for far too long; if they had any breakthroughs to make, they would’ve made them long ago. The chances for one of the prisoners to make a breakthrough was far, far too low. Thus, the most likely answer was that it was the alien Overseer who had been lucky enough to stumble across the prisonworld who had made the breakthrough.

“That alien is extraordinarily powerful. If he really did make a breakthrough…things will be rather troublesome.” The silver-haired man’s face was troubled. “He’s the Overseer, after all; he surely has many treasures on him. Although my defensive skills are formidable, I won’t be able to outlast him in a battle of stamina.”

His only option was to slowly draw energy from the primordial chaos inside the prisonworld. The prisonworld had an enormous formation in it that was monopolizing the vast majority of the primordial chaos, distilling it into chaos nectar. Thus, the amount which he could make use of was quite miniscule. The Overseer, however, was able to replenish his strength from the outside world. This alone guaranteed that he wouldn’t be able to match the Overseer in a battle of stamina.

“Eh?” True God Shiyu suddenly turned his head.

A black lightning serpent had appeared in the distance. With a flash, it appeared in the air above the gorge. It was that white-robed youth, and he was wielding a black sword in his hand. The white-robed youth descended from the skies, landing on the ground. His aura was extremely ordinary, almost like that of a mortal’s, but True God Shiyu’s face turned solemn as he looked at the youth. True God Shiyu then let out a cold laugh. “It hasn’t been that long since our last fight, but you’ve come again. It seems that it really was you who made the breakthrough just now.”

“It was.” Ning walked towards him, Darknorth sword in hand.

“So what if you did? Last time, I was able to easily defend against you without using any divine abilities at all. Even if an Elder God or Ancestral Immortal came, I’d still be able to hold out, much less against you.” True God Shiyu stared coldly at Ning. He remained quite prideful. Back when he had lived in the chaos-kingdom of Pangaea, he had been able to survive multiple fights against Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals and escape unscathed.

“You being strong…that’s what makes it fun.” Ning smiled as he stepped forward, a single sword in hand.

True God Shiyu manifested a cudgel in each of his two hands, staring solemnly at Ning as he approached. Suddenly, Ning transformed into a streak of light, his aura increasing by an explosive amount. When he struck out with his sword, it was as though he was Pangu cleaving apart Heaven and Earth. His massive black sword seemed to cause the world itself to begin to crumble as it went smashing towards True God Shiyu with irresistible power.

“Hmph.” True God Shiyu’s twin cudgels spun in two distinct lines, coming together to vaguely form a gigantic Taiji diagram which he used to defend against that terrifying sword-blow.

BOOM!!!!

Ning’s sword was like Pangu’s axe, chopping down against the two crossed cudgels. True God Shiyu was immediately smashed flying backwards, and even the ground beneath his feet was shattered. A massive gouge appeared in the ground, and the nearby flowers were all instantly crushed into dust by the shockwave. Even the distant mountains began to tremble and crack apart.

[Brightmoon] sword-art, Heavenbreaker stance!
“Your sword-art has improved, compared to last time.” True God Shiyu stood within that massive crater, looking back at Ning. “It’s only been a short while, but not only has your divine body become far more powerful, even your sword-arts have improved.”

What he didn’t know was that Ning had spent six hundred years training in Undermoon Lake, engaged in multiple life-and-death battles in the outside world, then even more battles in the prisonworld. These battles had been like a whetstone that had continuously served to polish and sharpen Ji Ning’s skills. It was only natural that his sword-arts continued to improve at a dramatic rate.

“And your cudgel-arts remain as mysterious and profound as ever.” Ning stood in front of him, still wielding just a single sword. With a flicker, he charged towards True God Shiyu once more, causing a dazzling crescent moon of sword-light to suddenly flash.

Faced with this beautiful crescent of sword-light, True God Shiyu’s face turned even more solemn. Twin cudgels in his hands, he hurriedly strove to block against this dazzling strike.

Thud!

In the end, the sword-strike was dodged. True God Shiyu, however, didn’t dare to relax in the slightest, because Ning’s next sword-strike was now arriving. Sword-light flashed again, and it was as though the dazzling sun in the skies had suddenly been covered by dark stormclouds, casting the world in shadow. True God Shiyu felt as though this terrifying strike had cast him into a nightmarish world.

Slash! Slash! Slash!

Every single attack Ning now used was the ‘Shadowless’ stance of the [Brightmoon] sword-art. It had always been unpredictable and fast, but now that it was being unleashed by someone who was a half-step Elder God, it became even faster and even more astonishingly powerful. It was already a sword-art that surpassed the limits of the Heavenly Daos. Thus now, although it was just slightly faster than before, it instantly became much more difficult to block than it had been in the past.

“I hate this type of sword-art the most.” True God Shiyu hurriedly blocked three sword-strikes before he was forced to use a divine ability to manifest four more arms. Each of his six arms now held a cudgel as he hurriedly strove to block.

Ning continued to merely use a single sword. This single sword, however, was incredibly taxing for True God Shiyu to defend against! “Where the hell did he learn a sword-art like this that surpasses the Heavenly Daos?” True God Shiyu ground his teeth. “He has such a powerful body, and his sword-arts are absolutely marvelous. How the hell did he luck out into learning something that surpasses the Heavenly Daos?!” If this sword-art hadn’t surpassed the limits of the Heavenly Daos, it would have been much easier for True God Shiyu to defend against them. Instead, True God Shiyu now found it hard to defend against Ning’s single sword, even when he was using six cudgels to fight back.

The Shadowless stance…it was ephemeral and unpredictable, and it moved faster than lightning.

In terms of raw, overwhelming power, the most formidable strike was the ‘Heavenbreaker’ stance.

In terms of an assassin’s strike that focused on instant, sudden speed, the most formidable strike was the ‘Blood Drop’ stance.

Ning’s sword-arts continuously fluctuated between forms, with his Shadowless stance continuing to shock and unnerve True God Shiyu, putting him in a bad position. His sword-art were simply far too unpredictable and strange. The ‘Heavenbreaker’ stance relied on raw power, and each time Ning used it he was able to send True God Shiyu flying away. The Blood Drop stance was an assassin’s strike that was the most penetrative attack of all; each time Ning unleashed it, True God Shiyu could feel his entire body turning cold.

Last time, it had been fairly easy for him to defend against the Blood Drop stance, since it was a straightforward attack with few transformations to it; it focused mostly on speed. Now, however, Ning’s speed had become so incredibly fast that even though it was straightforward, it was still so hard to block as to cause True God Shiyu’s heart to tremble. If it was just a hair faster, he probably wouldn’t be able to block at all; the sword would go straight through his head and kill him.

“I admit defeat.” Suddenly, a voice rang out.

Ning was stunned.

True God Shiyu retreated backwards by a considerable distance. He stared at Ning, a look of helplessness and resentment in his eyes.

“Admit defeat?” Ning was a bit speechless. Although his main goal was to acquire the Heavengazer Tower of Radiance, True God Shiyu was an excellently skilled foe. Such a foe was not easy to find! He had actually been able to resist more than ten sword-strikes from Ning, who had been using the three main attacking stances of [Brightmoon]. This was truly incredible, as even Ning believed himself to have reached the overlord level of power.

Ning truly treasured the chance to fight against such a formidable foe. After all, at present Ning didn’t have any plans to fight against Elder Gods or Ancestral Immortals.

The entire prisonworld only had a total of sixteen imprisoned Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals! All sixteen of them had foundations that were superior to his, and they surely had far greater insights into the Dao as well. The True Gods and True Immortals here couldn’t be compared to them. Most likely, Ning wouldn’t necessarily be a match for them even when simply comparing offensive attacks.

For example, although Ning had fifth-stage swordforce and attack speed that surpassed the Heavenly Daos, True God Shiyu had mastered and merged fifth-stage taiji-force and infiniforce. Although True God Shiyu’s body was a bit weaker, he was still able to hold out against Ning for quite a long period of time.

The Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals would most likely have an even higher level of attainment in the Dao.

They had a stronger foundation and more insights into the Dao. The only advantage Ning had was Violetjewel, which gave him some degree of confidence in being able to retreat safely. However, it was also quite possible that the Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals had some special tricks up their sleeves as well. Their bodies and Jindans were all equivalent to that of the Lord of All Fiends, after all! Individuals at this level of power couldn’t be judged according to common standards. Even in the chaos-kingdom of Pangaea, they were second only to those three World Gods.

The techniques of Pangaea were somewhat more advanced than the techniques of the Three Realms as well. What abilities did these sixteen Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals had? Nint wasn’t sure, and he wasn’t confident in fighting them. If his true body was killed in battle, rebuilding it would be no easy task. This was because Ning’s ‘spare’ clone had also become a True God as well.

When one clone advanced to a new stage, all other clones would make the same breakthrough. This was one of the hidden laws which governed the world. When the breakthrough was made, the primordial chaos would be agitated as it voluntarily sent its power into the bodies of the clones. Thus, the ‘spare’ clone was also filled with the power of primordial chaos, and also became a True God.

To remake seventeen True God bodies would require an exceedingly long period of time.

“Yes. I admit defeat. Last time, I was easily able to defend against you, even when you were in your three-headed, six-armed form.” True God Shiyu shook his head. “Now, I’m using six arms of my own, but you are able to push me back so easily with just a single sword. I’m exhausted. I can sense that if you send a few more sword-strikes my way, I will definitely lose. You’ve improved your sword-arts so quickly, and its speed surpasses the limits of the Heavenly Daos. I’m thoroughly convinced by my defeat and of your superiority. I can give you my three Chaos treasures…but I hope in the future you will give me my freedom when you have the power to do so.”

“Alright.” Ning nodded.

In the future, he would have to follow his lifeblood oath and leave the Three Realms, as Mother Nuwa had done before him. He would enter the primordial chaos and search for Vastheaven Palace. If he had the power to release the prisoners of the prisonworld by then, he would do so.

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