Chapter 3 – Stone Titan

“I never would’ve thought that the first World-level expert would actually be located outside of the estate.” Ji Ning hopped over the wall, then walked up the mountain. The golden-robed figure seated within the distant pavilion looked as though he was alive. He had a long beard, a peaceful face, and emanated faint ripples of a Chaos Immortal’s energy. However, no signs of actual life could be seen.

“The sword energy emanating from this island doesn’t come from him.” Ning turned to glance backwards at the Immortal estate. The sword energy was emanating from deep within the immortal estate itself. Ning had spent some time wandering it, but had been careful to stay in the outer regions of the estate. He hadn’t gone deeper inside of it yet.

If even someone like Daolord Solesky described this place as being ‘filled with danger’, how could Ning possibly dare to take it lightly?

“Senior.” Ning walked to the pavilion, then clasped his hands as he stood outside of it. “I’ll take the treasures you left behind, but I’ll also give you a proper burial to ensure that you won’t be disturbed again.”

Just as his words finished…

Rumble. An aura of power suddenly burst forth.

Ning’s face changed. He hurriedly retreated at high speed, then turned to stare at the place where the aura was coming from. There were many boulders on this mountain, and an enormous boulder was located right next to the pavilion. Ning hadn’t paid it too much attention, but this boulder was now emanating an aura of power that vastly outstripped Ning himself. In fact, Ning had the feeling that it was even more powerful than most World-level experts.

Whoosh. The boulder melted into liquid, then reformed anew, transforming to an enormous stone titan. The stone titan had dark yellow eyes and his entire body was formed from stone, and he was staring straight at Ning.

“A golem?” Ning carefully reached out with his senses. Although this stone titan had an aura of tremendous power, it didn’t have an aura of life; all it had was an aura of energy. It was a construct or a magic treasure of some sort.

“An Elder God?” The stone titan’s voice rumbled. “Puny Elder God. It is good that you chose to show respect to your seniors. If you dared to desecrate my master’s corpse, I would’ve smashed you into a thousand pieces already.”

Ning immediately understood. This stone titan had to be some sort of construct which the deceased Chaos Immortal had created long ago. The Chaos Immortal hadn’t chosen to destroy the golem; instead, he had allowed the golem to stay by his corpse’s side and guard him for all these years.

“So this senior was your master?” Ning said with curiosity, “I imagine you must’ve been trapped on this island for a long, long time. Don’t you want to leave?”

“What do you care?” The stone titan looked at Ning. “You wish to bamboozle me into accepting you as my new master?”

Ning smiled, but in his heart he felt rather embarrassed. This golem wasn’t created through a grafted soul and instead had an artificial golem spirit, but it was quite intelligent.

Generally speaking, intelligent beings who were by themselves for a long period of time would want to leave a place like this. For example, the treasure-spirit of the Eternal-level tower which Ning had encountered in the house by the lake wished to leave the Ruins. Ning could tell that this powerful golem, which had an aura that was mightier than that of most World-level experts, was extremely tough to deal with. Wouldn’t it be nice if Ning could convince the golem to join him and accept him as its new master?

But alas, Ning was mistaken.

This golem was fashioned from a type of marvelous ore, and the golem spirit that had emerged from it had a stony personality as well. The golem enjoyed peace and quiet and was perfectly happy with staying in one place without moving for countless years on end. He had taken the shape of a giant boulder and guarded its master’s corpse for countless years without fail. If Ning hadn’t come, he would’ve continued to remain in that form.

“Yes, I wish you to accept me as your master.” Ning nodded and smiled. “You should be a World-level golem. To leave you here is a complete waste of your power.”

“You were quite respectful to my master, so I’ll give you a chance.” The stone titan nodded. “Since you are just a puny little Elder God, I won’t make it too hard for you. If you can withstand three of my palm-strikes, I’ll accept you as my new master.”

The stone titan still remembered the final words of his master.

His master had known that death was nigh. Before dying, he had said, “After I die, if there are any outsiders who come and act with great respect and propriety, you may follow him after testing him and verifying that he is strong. But if any would act to defile my corpse, slay them! If you cannot slay them, dive into the lake. If they dare to follow you into the lake, they shall surely perish.”

There were some cultivators who would ransack and defile the corpses of deceased seniors. Any of those who came here would be in trouble!

“Understood.” Ning nodded.

“These three palms of mine won’t be too powerful, but there aren’t many Elder Gods who can withstand them. Weak Elder Gods aren’t qualified to be my master. Be careful!” The stone titan looked at Ning. Ning was an Elder God, which was why the stone titan was only going to strike three times. If Ning was a World-level expert, the golem would be fighting with full power.

“Come.” Ning nodded.

Whoosh.

The stone titan suddenly struck out with his enormous, pillar-like arms. His arms stretched out to become many dozens of meters long as his giant palms came crashing down towards Ning!

“Fast!” Ning was secretly startled. He unleashed his flexible sword, causing it to transform into a black hole that immediately entangled the stone palm.

Boom!

Ning took one step backwards.

Actually, Ning was doing this on purpose. With the azureflower mist energy strengthening him, his body was as tough as any World God’s body. He easily could’ve stood there without needing to take a step back at all. However, Ning was afraid that this might rouse the golem’s fighting spirit, resulting in the next two palms becoming much more powerful. Taming this golem was what really mattered right now; after he became the golem’s master, there would be plenty of time for the two of them to spar. A World-level golem was far more valuable than most Dao weapons; if any danger appeared, Ning could allow the golem to stand in front and protect him.

“So you have a bit of power.” The stone titan let out a growl. “Try out my second palm!”

Whoosh!

The stone palm easily broke past the speed of light as it instantly appeared before Ning. It was clearly much faster than the previous blow, and as the giant stone palm appeared Ning felt as though the entire world was growing dark.

Boom!! Yet another massive explosion rang out from the collision.

This time, Ning took three steps backwards.

“Eh?” The stone titan frowned at this, and a ‘frown’ appearing on a giant stone face was actually quite an amusing sight. The stone titan had thought that this palm of his would smash the Elder God and send him flying all the way back to the walls of the Immortal palace…but instead, the Elder God had only taken three steps back. Clearly, the man was holding back some of his true power.

“Final palm!” The stone titan let out a growl, sending his palm down towards Ning in an even more brutal strike. This palm-strike was so fierce that space itself was being crushed in on itself and came slamming towards Ning as well.

“Let’s do this!” This time, Ning used his Eternal weapon Violetjewel. He unleashed his most powerful strike!

Boom! It was time for the ‘Heavenbreaker’ stance. Ning lifted Violetjewel up high, transforming it to become three hundred meters long, then chopped down furiously towards the stone titan. It was already the third palm, and so Ning felt that it was time to show the stone titan his real power. He wanted to show the stone titan that he was not a ‘puny Elder God’!

“Eh!?” The stone titan was caught off-guard. The power of the blow which Ning had just unleashed caused him to feel shocked. His palm had been crashing downwards towards Ning, but now he hurriedly angled it upwards to block Ning’s attack instead.

BOOM!!!

A head-on, frontal collision.

The sword-light smashed directly downwards against the giant stone palm, causing the stone titan to sink downwards into the ground. Even the mountain itself trembled slightly. However, this island had been constructed by Daolord Windsource; World-level experts would often spar in these islands but were unable to truly damage it in the slightest.

As for Ning, he was driven quite a few steps backwards by the shockwave generated through this exchange of blows.

“What tremendous power. I caught him off-guard and he only used one hand to block, but he was still able to knock me backwards. In raw strength alone, he vastly surpasses me,” Ning mused to himself.

“I’ve received all three of your palm-strikes,” Ning said.

The stone titan stared at Ning. Puzzled, he asked, “You…you ARE an Elder God, right?”

“Can’t you tell from the aura?” Ning grinned.

“But your power…I feel as though you are comparable to some of the World Gods I’ve met in the past.” The stone titan stared at Ning, feeling quite curious. “There are legends of some Elder Gods who can defeat World Gods. I think you should be able to defeat some of the weakest World Gods…but don’t get smug. I treated you as an Elder God and so I didn’t strike with full force. Otherwise, I would’ve smacked you flying with a single hit. I was afraid if I hit you too hard, I’d send you flying off the island and get you killed by the formations.”

Ning laughed.

He had noticed earlier that the attacks of the stone titan had all come from the same direction. From this direction, even if Ning had been sent flying, he would’ve merely smashed against the Immortal palace. But of course, if he was hit too hard, it was still possible that he would’ve bounced off the Immortal palace and been knocked off the island regardless.

“Do you remember what you promised just now?” Ning said.

“My previous master was a master of formations.” The stone titan glanced at the golden-robed figure within the pavilion. “I didn’t expect that my new master would be an Elder God with the power of a World God.” He opened his mouth, causing a fist-sized globe that was covered with countless divine runes to fly towards Ning, coming to a halt before him.

Ning immediately recognized it. This was the life-core of a golem which contained its formation-diagram. This was the core of the entire golem; upon binding it, he would become capable of controlling it.

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