Chapter 9 – All Slain in Battle

Celestial Blackheaven had many golem bodies that he could use. He was able to immediately send a message to the Lord of All Fiends, and the news was then quickly spread to Daomother Devilhand, the Godking, and the other high-level members of the Seamless Gate.

“What? He’s not dead?” The black-robed Godking was the most stunned of them all. He simply couldn’t accept this.

“Some sort of clone technique?” Keeper Everwood had been using a knife to whittle away at a piece of wood. When he heard the news, he frowned and began to mumble to himself.

……

Deep within the Primordial Ruinworld, inside that vast castle.

Celestial Immortal Blackheaven said respectfully, “My Master said that this Ji Ning is a scourge. He hopes that when you deal with Tathagata and Fuxi, great Godfiend Witherspike, you will also deal with this Ji Ning as well.

“Oh?” The alien Outsider chuckled. “But now, it seems, this Ji Ning has a special cloning technique.”

Blackheaven said hurriedly, “Even if he does, each time he restores his body he most assuredly has to pay an enormous price. Last time, when we destroyed his true body, Houyi ended up taking away his black lightning serpent as well as his other treasures. This time, if you can kill him, he’ll lose all of those things. Without them, he will be dramatically weakened even if he does manage to rebuild his body once more.”

“Why is it that I have the feeling that you particularly want Ji Ning to be killed?” The alien Outsider looked at Blackheaven, then let out a merry chuckle. “Blackheaven, how about this? If I kill him for you, why don’t you teach me the technique for creating Envoys?”

“My old master made me swear a lifeblood oath long ago to teach it to no others,” Blackheaven said.

He was a treasure-spirit, much like the giant yellow bear of the Starseizing Manor. He had long ago trained to the level of being able to live independently from the treasure which had housed him, and could be considered a true living creature now. Strictly speaking, he had actually learned the art of golems before the Lord of All Things did. The Lord of All Things had been lucky enough to acquire the Blackheaven Cauldron, which was why he also gained access to the ancient golem crafting arts contained within it. This caused his power to instantly skyrocket, resulting in him being an extremely famous figure even amongst Elder Gods. But alas, he had fallen during his campaign against the Pangu Chaosworld and the Seamless Chaosworld.

“Damn that man.” The alien Outsider said coldly, “Tell your current master that Ji Ning has quite possibly reached the fifth stage of swordforce.”

“The fifth stage of swordforce? How is that even possible? He’s only trained for a few centuries!” Blackheaven was visibly shocked.

Ning’s mastery of the [Five Treasures] could be ascribed to his peerless talent, but to reach the fifth stage of swordforce one had to have significant insights into the essence of the sword itself. This was something that required time, as well as many life-and-death battles against powerful experts. Only after seeing enough sword-arts and gaining enough experience would one even have a chance of reaching the fifth stage of swordforce.

“He’s attacked my Primordial Ruinworld, so I really should kill him. However, I’m also doing the Seamless Gate’s dirty work for them. We have borne all the casualties in the battles to date. We agreed on a price for me to deal with Tathagata and Fuxi, but if you want me to deal with Ji Ning…I’ll need twelve chaos jewels.”

“Twelve?” Celestial Immortal Blackheaven hesitated momentarily. The energy source for each Envoy consisted of five chaos jewels, which allowed them to be able to fight for a very long period of time. The other nine Envoys probably would consume less than a hundred chaos jewels during the entire Endwar.

“Master has responded. If Ji Ning truly has reached the fifth stage of swordforce, he will deliver twelve chaos jewels after you slay his true body,” Blackheaven said.

“Good. It’s always a pleasure doing business with Allfiend.”

The alien Outisder looked downwards at Thearch Darkstill. “Darkstill, send your surbordinates to try and kill Ji Ning. If they cannot, make sure they at least verify whether or not he has reached the fifth stage of swordforce. Then move to guide him into a danger zone.”

“Yes, almighty Master,” Thearch Darkstill said respectfully, then departed.

“Damn.” In private, Thearch Darkstill now had an ugly look on his face. He had once been an important general of the Lord of All Things. Later, he had become one of the four mighty Thearchs that dominated the Primordial Ruinworld. He had the power of an elite Daofather! He wasn’t one whit weaker than those six retainers of Godfiend Witherspike. The only one he felt respect and admiration for was the one-armed man. As for the other five? Thearch Darkstill didn’t fear them in the slightest.

But…

Those retainers had followed Godfiend Witherspike for a very long period of time, and he held more faith in them. He was much more ruthless and brutal in the way he treated the four Thearchs, who had only submitted to him relatively recently.

“Sword Immortal Darknorth. Ji Ning. He clearly has the power of a True God and Daofather, but I’m still supposed to go ‘verify’ if he has reached the fifth stage of swordforce or not.” Thearch Darkstill frowned. “If I want to force Ji Ning to reveal his swordforce, I’ll need to send some of my more powerful subordinates. Ugh. Whenever there is a dangerous mission, he always has the four of us send our subordinates.”

Still, Thearch Darkstill understood the reason why. When mighty Godfiend Witherspike had fled to this place, he had only arrived with those six retainers in tow. He had no other subordinates at all, and so whenever there was a need for cannon fodder to be sent out he would naturally choose to send out the original inhabitants of the Primordial Ruinworld.

……

The Darkstill world.

A large force of alien experts were flying through the air, each of whom had the power of an Empyrean God. There had to be nearly three hundred of the creatures flying forward.

“Elder brother, when your group goes to fight against Sword Immortal Darknorth, you have to be careful. The Thearch said that Ji Ning may very well have reached the fifth stage of swordforce.” The two leaders of this force looked fairly similar. Both were dressed in silver robes, and they were mentally chatting to each other.

“Although my team has been assigned to kill Ji Ning, if he really has reached the fifth stage of swordforce all we have to do is flee. We don’t have to force a fight against him. If he really has reached that stage of power…it’ll be up to your team to guide him into the Forest of Dreams,” the taller silver-robed man sent back.

The Forest of Dreams was an extremely bizarre part of the Darkstill world.

Once you entered it, you would be trapped in multiple layers of illusions. You would feel as though you were dreaming! The illusions would come endlessly, and even True Gods or Daofathers would find it hard to extricate themselves. They would often be eternally trapped within the Forest of Dreams until finally the illusions killed them.

The most terrifying thing was…not even the denizens of the Darkstill world could be certain as to exactly where the Forest of Dreams was located. This was because the Forest’s location was constantly changing. It was entirely possible that the seemingly ordinary-looking forest in front of you was actually the terrifying Forest of Dreams. However, since Thearch Darkstill was in command of this entire terrifying world, he naturally had his own ways of determining the exact location of the Forest.

……

“Fuxi. Tathagata. Where are they?”

Ning stood there in midair. Spacetime was so chaotic that even his sense of directions had become scrambled.

He could no longer find any traces of Tathagata’s passing, and in a place of such chaotic spacetime there was no way he could even use a temporal inversion spell.

“Master is telling me that Lord Buddha and the others should still be in the region of the Darkstill world. Screw it. I’ll just choose a random direction and just keep flying forward.” Ning immediately began to fly forwards, although he didn’t dare fly too fast for fear of running into an enemy trap.

Shortly after he had entered the Primordial Ruinworld, Ning came to understand that the hardest part of conquering this region wasn’t defeating the alien Outsiders here; rather, it lay in dealing with the terribly environment! No wonder all the aliens who lived here desired to invade the Three Realms. None of the aliens wanted to live in such terrifying, inhospitable environments.

“Eh?” Ning’s pulse picked up slightly. He could sense an aura approaching.

After becoming a half-step Elder God, his soul had become far more powerful! His soul heartforce technique had only made his senses even more acute. Even when Daofathers moved towards Ning he would be able to sense their approach, much less the approach of Empyrean Gods and True Immortals.

……

“Sword Immortal Darknorth should be somewhere in that region up ahead.” A towering, eight-armed Fiendgod was carefully flying forwards. This eight-armed Fiendgod was the culmination of 199 alien Empyrean Gods joining together in the ‘Eight-Armed Warfiend Formation’. It was one of the formations that had been left behind by the Lord of All Fiends. Truth be told, when Thearch Darkstill was forced to send out this many Empyrean God subordinates, he felt quite distressed.

This sort of formation was quite similar in nature to the Seven Planets God. However, the Seven Planets God only needed seven Empyrean Gods to execute, while this one was used by a total of 199 Empyrean Gods. It could unleash a degree of power close to that of an elite True God’s. This could be considered a ‘secret technique’, and the wielders who learned the core parts of the formation were all forced to swear lifeblood oaths not to teach it to any others. The person who was currently the ‘core’ of this particular formation was one of the warriors who had followed the Lord of All Things.

“I see him.” The eight-armed Fiendgod had been searching for Ning. Suddenly, he saw in the distance a white-robed youth who was calmly standing in the air.

“You’ve arrived.” The white-robed youth produced a sword in his hand. “Since you’ve come, there’s no need for you to leave.”

“Attack!” The eight-armed Fiendgod’s aura surged explosively.

Ning, however, just sauntered forward lazily as though he was taking a stroll through a courtyard.

……

“Thearch, all 199 of our warriors have died in battle.” A look of grief was on the face of a golden-robed elder.

“None of them escaped?” Thearch Darkstill was incredulous. He barked out, “Show me the scenes of the battle!”

“They weren’t able to send back any scenes in time,” the golden-robed elder said.

“What?!” The Thearch was truly stunned now. How fast had Ji Ning killed them all, for not a single one of them to be able to send back a scene of their death?

“However, one of them trained in a special clone technique. His other clone is currently on assignment in a different region. I suggest ordering him to return immediately so that he can tell us what happened when they fought against Ji Ning,” the yellow-robed elder said hurriedly. “We have to move quickly. If he somehow loses his clone as well, then we’ll have no way of finding any information about that battle.”

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