Book 19, Empyrean God, Chapter 41 – Initial Successes in the Sword
The green-haired man let out a snort, then shut his eyes. He just sat there at the mountain top, not moving at all, as though he couldn’t even be bothered to pay any attention to Ji Ning.
“If that’s the case…I have no choice but to attack.” Ning shook his head, then waved his hand. A streak of sword-light instantly slashed across the skies, leaving behind an enduring scar in the heavens. This sword-strike looked simple, but Ning had filled it with his fourth-stage heartforce.
It instantly traversed hundreds of kilometers and stabbed directly against the green-haired man.
It was as though it had stabbed into a magic treasure. A ringing sound could be heard, but the green-haired man didn’t even budge. He opened his eyes, glancing sideways at Ning, then smirked. “Is that all you have? I can just sit here, and you won’t be able to harm me at all. Hurry up and beat it.”
“Oh?” Ning shook his head and laughed. “Although the power of that sword-attack wasn’t great, if you didn’t resist its power at all, you would’ve been knocked flying. Don’t tell me you didn’t use up any of your divine power at all in order to ensure that you were able to sit there without budging an inch.”
He knew exactly how powerful his sword-attack had been. A minor world like Earth probably would’ve been smashed into dust by it! Even if his enemy’s body was as tough and unbreakable as a magic treasure, once a blow of such power landed it should’ve been knocked flying, just as a magic treasure would have been.
“Hmph. I have the body of a True God. You can’t possibly damage it at all,” the green-haired man said calmly. “I simply care about my image and my face. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t use up any divine power at all, no matter how you strike me.”
“None? What a joke! Any expert, no matter how formidable, has to use up divine power or Immortal energy to stay alive.” Ning smirked. “Ki Refiners use up their ki energy, while you need to use up your divine power. Why are you so emaciated? Isn’t it precisely because you are trying to conserve your divine power? Even if I don’t act against you…in a few chaos cycles, your divine power will be used up and you’ll still die.”
The green-haired man’s face turned ugly.
All living creatures had to use up energy to stay alive! The reason why Gods and Immortals could stay alive was because they were able to absorb the natural energy of Heaven and Earth. If, for example, they were trapped in primordial chaos without being able to draw upon either the energy of chaos or natural energy, they would die after their Immortal pills were all used up!
“If you want to stay alive, you have to continue to use up your divine power. Every attack I launch against you will speed that process up. Let’s see how long you can hang on for.” Ning stretched out his right hand. A lotus flower appeared within it, and then the eight petals of the flower quickly flew into the air above the mountain peak. They transformed to become three thousand meters in size, then began to swivel facing the ground. The petals bloomed open, releasing streaks of flame that roared downwards like divine dragons, completely covering the area where the green-haired man was.
The eight streams of truefire blazed around the green-haired man, but he was able to easily resist their power.
“Stop wasting your time and effort,” the green-haired man growled. “These flames can’t hurt me.”
“No rush. I have plenty of time.” Ning responded coldly, “Your divine power will be consumed quite quickly by my Eight Fires Qiankun World.”
The green-haired man had an ugly look on his face. His divine body was comparable to a Pure Yang artifact; in hardness, it was comparable to Ning’s own body, after he had mastered the complete [Eight-Nine Arcane Art]. Although this True God had access to an even better protective ability, that divine ability required even greater resources, and so he hadn’t been able to master it yet. Thus, his body was like a magic treasure, but even untouched magic treasures would eventually decay and break apart after the passage of multiple chaos cycles. This was why many of the Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals here had damaged-looking clothes. They only needed to use up a little bit of energy to repair them, but they weren’t willing to do so.
Nothing could truly exist perpetually. Even chaosworlds would eventually decay and perish.
When Ning battled, he allowed people to strike his body with impunity, and it could be described as ‘not using up divine power’. But in truth, everything used up energy and power. Even speaking used up power! However, the amount of power consumed was very tiny. At Ning’s level, the enormous amount of energy he could draw from the natural world with a single breath was more than enough to render irrelevant the amount which he had lost!
“Shit. Shit!” The green-haired man’s face was ugly. He had been imprisoned here for a long time. He had slowed down the rate at which he used up his divine power, allowing him to stay alive for a long period of time. However, the Eight Fires Qiankun World was capable of burning Empyrean Gods to death. Although True Gods wouldn’t die, the amount of divine power they would be forced to consume to defend against it was very significant! By comparison, he was now using using up his divine power at an explosively greater speed than before.
If he was in the outside world, he would be able to replenish his lost energy tenfold with but a single breath. But alas…here, there was no source of energy at all.
“Submit to me and you’ll have a chance to leave this place in the future,” Ning said calmly. “Continue to resist…hmph. Your only exit will be death.”
“Damn. This treasure with fire inside it…” The green-haired man was both frustrated and nervous. “This Overseer can rely on these eight types of fire to attack me while using up very little energy, and he can go to the outside world whenever he needs to in order to replenish his power. I, however, am stuck here. Who the hell came up with this treasure, anyhow? These eight types of fire are clearly quite weak, but when they are combined they actually become as powerful as this.”
Seeing that the green-haired man wasn’t responding to him, Ning fell silent as well.
This was yet another who ‘wouldn’t shed tears until he saw his coffin’!
“Hurry up and submit!”
Yet another clone of Ji Ning, in another part of the prisonworld, was standing in midair, surrounded by a bottle, a gourd, a bracelet, and three other types of magic treasures. These six magic treasures were releasing truefire, godwind, truewater, and other types of attacks. The world was filled with fire and water, and a dark wind howled forth. All of the attacks were aimed at a female True Immortal who was hiding behind the protection of a magic treasure.
“True Immortal Winterpeak has already surrendered. If you continue to waste my time like this…don’t blame me for being merciless!” Ning barked.
The woman just gave Ning a cold glare.
As for Ning, he could only sigh to himself. He had two clones here; one was controlling the Eight Fires Qiankun World, while the other was carrying many other types of magic treasures. Clearly, the second clone’s treasures couldn’t compare to the Eight Fires Qiankun World, which was indeed a perfect treasure to use against these prisoners. It primarily relied on the truefire it contained, after all; there was very little need for Ning to use his own energy.
This process of sweeping through the people in the prisonworld was guaranteed to be a slow one. These True Gods and True Immortals were all comparable to the Daofathers of the Three Realms. Ning would have to use up an enormous amount of effort to deal with each and every one of them.
Still, dealing with these prisoners didn’t use up too much of his mental energy, and so his clones were all mainly focused on meditating on sword-arts.
The thirty-second year of Ning roaming the Three Realms.
“Be careful, senior!” A Primal-level Fiendgod was wielding two massive warhammers in his hands. He bound through a forested region as he charged towards Ning, the trees around him all blasted apart and knocked down by his might. In fact, some were immediately reduced into dust!
The white-robed youth, Ji Ning, held two swords in his hand, and he moved at the speed of a Zifu-level Fiendgod. His sword-light was like a black hole, drawing a warhammer aside. And then, with another flash, the sword-light stabbed towards the Fiendgod.
Clang! A warhammer was able to block in time.
“That was close!” The Fiendgod was badly terrified. “This senior clearly isn’t using much power, and his blows seem weak. But that sword just now…why was it so bizarrely fast? I was almost unable to block in time.”
Ning, however, frowned. He then continued to battle against the Fiendgod.
Every so often, he’d launch that stab once more.
Ning’s stabbing attack had far, far exceeded the mysteries that were contained in an ordinary mastery of the Dao of the Sword. This was a sword-art that contained some of the mysteries of the [Five Treasures] sword-art, which itself had exceeded the Heavenly Daos. Even when using Zifu-level strength, the power of the stab was enough to cause the Primal-level Fiendgod to feel uneasy and nervous.
Finally, a terrifyingly fast sword managed to lash out with enough speed that it stabbed straight through the forehead of the Fiendgod.
The terrifyingly fast speed brought a shocking penetrative power with it as well.
“Right. That’s the feeling!” Ning revealed a hint of a smile.
“Senior!” The Primal-level Fiendgod was completely stupefied. “This junior admits to being vastly inferior. Senior, your sword-arts are simply inconceivable. This junior has never even heard of such powerful sword-arts before.”
“Continue,” Ning instructed.
Slash! Slash! Slash!
Poor Fiendgod. He was repeatedly lacerated and stabbed over and over!
“This sword-stance…of the five stances, it looks the simplest, but it is the fastest and most direct sword-stance. It is the second stance to take form.” Ning nodded. “This sword-stance…let me be known as ‘Blood Drop’.”
The Blood Drop stance…the fastest, most savage, most penetrating sword-stance of the five.
The thirty-sixth year of Ning training in the sword. Within a minor world.
“Go! Go! Go!” A violet-robed maiden was controlling a pair of azure and violet flying swords from afar, sending them streaking towards Ning as streaks of light.
Ning had two swords in each hand. These two swords were both shockingly heavy. When Ning wielded it, he felt as though he was striking out with a hammer or a mace. When his two swords collided against the flying swords, two deep booming sounds could be heard as he smashed the flying swords back, knocking them far away.
“How can this be?! This senior clearly isn’t that strong; his power is merely at the Zifu-level. I’m a Primal Daoist. How could he have smashed back my flying swords with raw force?” The violet-robed maiden was completely stunned.
“This third sword has finally taken form as well.” Ning revealed a smile. “This sword-stance shall be the ‘Heavenbreaker’ stance of my five stances.”
All magic treasures could change in weight. Even the most ordinary of Mortal-ranked or Earth-ranked treasures could, through the usage of certain seals, transform to weight ten thousand kilograms or become as light as a feather. As for Protocosmic spirit-treasures like the Goldstar Beads of the Heavens…they could be as heavy as a small star or as light as a bubble.
Of course, not even Ji Ning would be able to control the 3600 beads if he made all of them weigh as much as a small star. Thus, a weight that was a good fit would be the ‘best’ weight.
The Heavenbreaker stance involved changing the sword to make it heavier, then using that weight to strike! If a sword was ridiculously heavy, it would become very slow…but if a sword was too light, there would be limits on how fast it could be. To reach the fastest speed possible, one had to find the perfect weight for a particular cultivator, based on his or her actual strength.
The Heavenbreaker stance was very fast, but it also contained tremendous force. It was capable of splitting apart Heaven and Earth.
The forty-third year of Ning training in the sword.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Countless divine needles, more than ten thousand in total, had completely surrounded Ning.
Ning was holding those two twin swords in his hands.
Two streaks of sword-light lit up. Instantly, two vortexes of water that were spinning in completely opposite directions appeared in midair. When the ten thousand-plus needles struck, they were completely blocked by these two curtains of water that were spinning in opposite directions.
“This stance shall be called Yin-Yang.” Ning nodded.
Yin-Yang stance…a defensive sword-stance to be used when faced with countless simultaneous attacks.
The fifty-first year of Ning training in the sword.
“…What’s up with this senior? His strength and speed are both quite low, merely at the Zifu-level, but he’s able to simultaneously fight with us thirteen brothers at the same time.”
“He really is odd.”
“But he’s quite formidable. In close combat or in ranged combat, we are completely unable to harm him.”
Thirteen Primal Diremonsters had joined forces against Ning, each of them Fiendgod Body Refiners.
Ning still held those two swords in his hands.
Occasionally, the swords would transform into black holes; at other times, they would transform into vortexes of water that surrounded him. All attacks were blocked, and at the same time he continued to battle against the three Primal-level Diremonsters closest to him.
This attack went on for a full day and two full nights.
“Still not quite there yet.”
“No, that’s not it.”
Ning could sense that he was close to the critical component, and so he hadn’t stopped.
Three strange sword-flashes suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
All three of the nearby Diremonsters had their heads severed apart. Although those heads quickly flew back and reconnected to their bodies, the thirteen Diremonsters were completely stunned. They had surrounded and attacked this man, but he was still able to sever the heads of three of them, all Primal-level Diremonsters?
“Mmm. Finally. That’s more like it.” Ning grinned. “This sword-stance…let it be known as Shadowless.”
Shadowless stance…the strangest stance, and a very fast one. Its speed was second only to the Blood Drop stance, and it completely surpassed the speed of the other three. The Blood Drop stance, by comparison, was honorable and open, whereas this Shadowless stance was strange and unpredictable.
A wooden boat was drifting about within a river.
Ning was seated within the boat, meditating. His old bald servant, Empyrean God Ninefangs, was quietly standing guard next to him.
“I’ve been training for fifty-one years with the sword. I used the [Five Treasures] as the foundation, coming up with five stances of my own, based on my insights into the Dao of the Sword. Finally, these five stances have all taken form.” Ning felt a joyful feeling in his heart. Years ago, a vast, broad world of the sword had opened up before him. Only today had he finally managed to truly separate that world into five major parts.
All sword-arts could be divided up as belonging to one of his five stances.
The [Five Treasures] sword-art had been infused by Ning into these five stances as well. As a result, all five of these sword-stances were incredibly fast!
“The five sword-stances of the [Brightmoon] sword-art…Soleheart, Yin-Yang, Blood Drop, Heavenbreaker, Shadowless.” Ning had a feeling that any of the five sword-stances, when trained to the utmost limit, would far surpass all other types of sword-art that existed in the Three Realms.
But of course, that would only happen if he was able to continuously improve upon them and perfect them. They were nothing more than rough outlines, right now.
“Disciple.” A spatial vortex suddenly appeared within the wooden boat, with Patriarch Subhuti emerging from within it.
Ning hurriedly rose to his feet. “Master.”
“Patriarch.” Empyrean God Ninefangs was shocked as well, and he immediately bowed with respect.
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