DEWGHegeDuel

Book 37, Flamewing God, Chapter 20 – Ji Ning Battles Hegemon Azurefiend

Hegemon Azurefiend was slightly startled when he saw Ji Ning head straight inside the void cage. His lips parted into a strange smile: “Daolord Darknorth, I originally had rather looked down upon you; you merely caught me thanks to these traps, but you dared to request for me to serve you as your retainer! Now, however, I feel a hint of admiration towards you. At least you have the courage to head straight into this void cage!”

“Thank you for your praise,” Ning said with a laugh. “Soon, Azurefiend, you’ll know that I have power to go with my courage.”

“You might have courage, but it is foolish courage.” Hegemon Azurefiend’s face turned icy once more as he said solemnly, “Kid, are you ready? Once you are prepared, I’m going to make my move.” Given his pride, Hegemon Azurefiend felt absolute confidence in his own superiority. There was no way he would lower himself to launch a sneak attack; he was going to crush Daolord Darknorth with overwhelming, straightforward power.

The void cage wasn’t all that large, just three hundred meters or so in diameter. Ning and Azurefiend stood within it, staring at each other in midair.

“You can make your move whenever you please.” Ning’s body flickered as he manifested three heads and six arms, all six Northbow swords flying into his hands.

“Before we begin, we need to make the stakes clear,” Hegemon Azurefiend said. “You have to rely on your own strength to battle against me. If I cannot beat you in ten breaths, I lose. If I lose, I’ll be your retainer and follow you for a thousand chaos cycles! But if I win…”

“If you win, I’ll be dead. Once I die, this mechanism will dissipate,” Ning said.

Hegemon Azurefiend blinked, then smirked. “Good.” At first, he had an extremely poor impression of Ning, but now it began to improve. At least the kid was straightforward!

“Use your most powerful attacks against me. Go ahead. If I attacked first, you probably wouldn’t have a chance to show your abilities off.” Hegemon Azurefiend stood there, his posture stately and his aura reserved.

“Very well.” Ning stared at his opponent. Hegemon Azurefiend was covered with azure scales. He looked like a skinny old man, and his body seemed wizened and weak, but he was in truth a breathtakingly savage Chaos Godbeast who had reached Hegemony! He was probably close to even Hegemon Brightshore in power and was ranked highly even amongst his Hegemonic peers.

Ning stared fixedly at his opponent, while Hegemon Azurefiend kept a close watch on Ning’s movements as well. Although Hegemon Azurefiend was supremely confident in his skills, he couldn’t afford to lose this battle! Thus, he was going to use all his power and not slacken off in the slightest.

Suddenly… whoosh! Ning disappeared without a trace.

“Where’d he go?!” Hegemon Azurefiend’s face changed. He swept the entire void cage with his godsense, but it was as though Daolord Darknorth had completely disappeared. Not even godsense could locate him.

Although stupefied, Hegemon Azurefiend’s pride kept him from immediately attacking. He continued to stand there confidently without moving… because he had already promised to let Ning launch the first attack!

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The calm region of three hundred meters within the void cage was suddenly filled with explosions. Six Northbow swords appeared out of nowhere, as did Ning. The six swords instantly unleashed an utterly shocking amount of power, transforming into sword-tsunamis that simultaneously slammed against Hegemon Azurefiend. One struck him on the head, two struck him on the back of his knees, one struck him on his chest, one struck him on his neck, and one struck him on his face.

Omega Sword Dao – Heavenbreaker!

“How arrogant. My Omega Sword Dao – Heavenbreaker is my most powerful attack, and its power is close to the Hegemonic level. I might not be able to crumble top-grade Eternal treasures into dust with this attack, but I’d at least be able to crack them apart. He dares to use his body alone to endure this attack without even trying to block it? He is being far too overconfident.” Ning was rather irritated and offended by his opponent’s arrogance.

The explosions rang out, followed by a stunned look on Hegemon Azurefiend’s face. He couldn’t help but be sent flying backwards by the attack, smashing into the void cage wall behind him and coming to a halt in midair. His body, however, was completely unharmed. Even his face, which had been hit head-on, didn’t have the slightest scratch on it.

“A Daolord like yourself is actually capable of such power?” Hegemon Azurefiend was born a Chaos Godbeast and thus held tremendous advantages in terms of defensive strength. In this regard, he was actually comparable to an Otherverse Lord. He could stand there without moving and allow other Hegemons to attack him without suffering any injuries at all! His body had long ago been crystalized and refined to the extreme, and his innate abilities gave it a perfect blend of toughness and suppleness. To injure him was extremely, extremely difficult.

However, Hegemon Azurefiend didn’t feel the slightest bit smug. All he felt was shock, shock at the power of Ning’s sword-stances.

“But… it is now my turn!” With a furious bellow, Hegemon Azurefiend exploded forth as well.

Boom! Rings of dimensional power rippled out from around him, spreading out like waves of water that generated tremendously strong ‘pushes’ that swept out in every direction. This was Hegemon Azurefiend’s secret art, a truly powerful Hegemonic secret art known as the ‘Azurefiend Fiefdom’. He had spent countless aeons slowly creating and perfecting this secret art.

The dimensional rings spread out, seeking to encompass the entire void cage.

“Break!” Ning immediately executed his own secret arts. A pair of golden wings appeared in the air, ensconced by countless arcs of sword-light. Together, they formed the Omega Sword Dao – Yin Yang, and they swept towards the enemy secret art with incomparable sharpness.

Bang! Bang! Bang! Faced with those strange dimensional ripples, the golden wings and the countless arcs of sword-light began to crumble and break apart.

“Heartworld, descend!” Ning executed his heartworld projection as well, but he still wasn’t able to prevent his secret arts from crumbling. Ning’s secret art/heartworld projection combination was fairly strong amongst Emperors, but compared to the fully-mastered secret arts of a Hegemon like Azurefiend, he still wasn’t able to keep up.

“A heartworld projection?” Hegemon Azurefiend glanced at the illusory world which had manifested around him. He was beginning to gain a higher opinion of this ‘Daolord Darknorth’ kid.

“Die!” Hegemon Azurefiend waved his right arm, reaching out with his five fingers. They stretched out like a giant sun-blotting hand, tearing through all opposition and causing space itself to bend and compress before them. Entire world seemed to be born and then instantly destroyed within those fields of compress space. This was a killer technique which Hegemon Azurefiend often favored, the ‘End of Days’.

He had no time to waste and thus immediately chose to use his killer attacks. Ten breaths was an extremely long period of time, but Hegemon Azurefiend had to use all his power to maximize his chances of victory.

“How terrifying.” Ning’s face completely paled when he saw this giant hand reach for him. He was unable to dodge, nor was there anywhere he could dodge to! Faced with such a dazzling strike, he had only one option – face it head-on!

This was the very first time he actually engaged a Hegemon in a life-and-death battle. Hegemon Azurefiend, based on the reports Ning had acquired, was most likely stronger than even Hegemon Windrain or Hegemon Netherlily. Only when actually battling a Hegemon, however, would one fully understand how terrifying they were.

All six of Ning’s swords moved simultaneously. The sword-tsunamis of water began to spin, transforming into whirlpools of water that then became a black spinning vortices of darkness. Ning himself seemed to have transformed into a terrifying black hole that was devouring everything in the surrounding area. Hegemon Azurefiend himself couldn’t help but secretly sigh at how profound Daolord Darknorth’s insight into the Dao was. How was it that a Daolord had reached such heights? Was this why he dared to battle Hegemons in solo combat?

Slash! The giant hand struck straight against the black hole, and an extremely soft sound could be heard. It sounded much like a bubble being popped.

The black hole broke asunder, while the three-headed, six-armed Ning was sent flying backwards. He smashed against the walls of the void cage, which trembled slightly and dissipated the force of the attack. However, the counter-force from the collision was enough to cause Ning to stumble a few steps more.

“Eh?” Hegemon Azurefiend looked at Ning in astonishment. “He actually blocked it. He wasn’t even injured?”

Ning, however, felt as though his blood was in a state of disarray. His entire body felt numb.

“Die for me!” Hegemon Azurefiend exploded with fury. There was no way he was going to admit defeat. Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! One giant claw after another struck out toward Ning, creating illusions that they then destroyed with incredible power and speed.

Ning had no choice but to defend. In just a single breath’s worth of time, Hegemon Azurefiend had unleashed hundreds of claw-attacks, each of which was filled with his maximum power.

“Ugh!” Blood finally sprayed out of Ning’s mouth, and even his skin was beginning to turn red. He had been defending furiously against the barrage of attacks, but even just one of them had been enough to throw his internals into a state of disarray. Several hundred in a row was just getting to be too much.

“What?! His divine body still hasn’t broken apart?” Hegemon Azurefiend began to grow impatient. Whoosh! His body suddenly transformed. He previously had looked like a skinny, azure-scaled old man, but he now transformed into a great beast. This was a hooved beast with four legs which was completely covered in azure scales. His head was triangular-shaped, while his body was sleek and long. The azure scales even covered his long tail, which swayed behind him like a metal whip.

This… this was Hegemon Azurefiend’s true form! He was a Chaos Godbeast. Only when he reverted to his true form would he be able to unleash his true, maximum power.


Book 37, Flamewing God, Chapter 21 – Retainer

“Die.” Hegemon Azurefiend’s entire body glowed with black light as a terrifying aura of destruction swept out from him. His eyes were cold and unforgiving. This was a terrifyingly deadly Hegemon! This was the true face of the mercurial-tempered Hegemon Azurefiend. Hegemon Azurefiend had no intentions of losing, which was why he revealed his true form and unleashed his most powerful, desperation attack.

Whoosh. The beast suddenly flew forwards, pouncing towards Ji Ning with claws outstretched. Ning couldn’t help but feel a sense of innate terror when faced with this terrifying pair of claw-strikes. These claws seemed to contain the power to annihilate all things before them, as if they were the source of destruction itself. They were the source, the very essence of space and matter!

This was the most powerful strike Hegemon Azurefiend had at his disposal, the trump card he had infused all the insights he had gained while wandering the countless realmverses! Even when he battled other Hegemons, he rarely displayed this ultimate attack. In battles between Hegemons, it was rare for fights to end up being to the death, which meant there was no need to go all-out like this. This time, however, was different.

This was his most powerful attack, an attack which had fused the Dao of Space and the Dao of Destruction together in a supremely terrifying attack… ‘Genesis Annihilation’! It was an attack executed with his true body!

Clang! Although Ning was unable to completely suppress the innate fear which snaked out from his heart, his Dao-heart remained calm and he was able to face this strike with all of his power. First, he used his illusory arts. Only then did he use his defensive sword-arts!

Hegemon Azurefiend’s soul and truesoul were both incomparably strong, as was his Dao-heart. Ning’s illusions were completely incapable of shaking him.

Boom! A massive explosion rang out. As Ning blocked the attack, he could sense the terrifying force behind the strike and he instantly understood the principles behind it. The power pervaded countless different spatial continuums, seeping through karma itself. Faced with such a strike, even clones and Primaltwins would perish. There was no way to hide or avoid an attack like this.

“I can’t block it!” Ning instantly exploded into countless streams of liquid water. Invulnerable form… Shadowless form!

Since he was unable to attack this attack head-on, he would deflect its power instead! As the saying goes, if you cut water with a blade the water will continue to flow. The same was true for an invulnerable body, which was constantly changing and mercurial in shape and nature. This was what allowed it to almost perfectly deflect any force applied to it. Archon Silksnow was able to perfectly deflect the power of even Hegemon Brightshore with his invulnerable form. Only an absolutely overwhelming disparity in power would be enough to breach someone’s invulnerable form.

Hegemon Azurefiend was indeed much stronger than Ning, but he clearly wasn’t strong enough to wreck Ning’s ‘invulnerable form’.

Whoosh. Ning transformed into countless streams of water that reformed into a humanoid shape off in the distance. The three-headed, six-armed Ning looked cautiously at his opponent.

“An invulnerable form?” Hegemon Azurefiend, still in his true form, stared blankly from afar. He just stood there, completely unmoving and not pressing the attack.

Ning continued to nervously inspect Hegemon Azurefiend. Upon seeing that his foe wasn’t moving, he couldn’t help but call out, “Azurefiend?”

The two battled at extreme speeds. Thus far, they had yet to finish the ten breaths of battle.

“I lost.” Hegemon Azurefiend’s voice suddenly seemed much older than it had been just a while ago, and a rather dispirited look appeared on his formerly ferocious triangular face. He returned to his skinny, elderly human form, a slightly forlorn look on his face as he said softly, “I didn’t expect that my full-power strike would only be enough to force you to reveal an invulnerable form. Based on what I know, you’ve only trained for an extremely short period of time and have focused exclusively on the Dao of the Sword. I never would’ve thought that a Daolord who focused on the Dao of the Sword would be able to acquire an invulnerable form. I lost. I have nothing more to say.”

As soon as Ning had revealed his invulnerable form, Hegemon Azurefiend had realized that it would be impossible for him to slay Ning. Ning had already reached a level of power which was on par with that of the supreme Emperors who were just barely weaker than the Hegemons themselves! Aside from the twelve Hegemons, there had been fourteen supreme Emperors who had come to the Jadefire Realm. Most of them were on the levels of Emperor Goldisle and the other leaders of the Dao Alliance. They might not be able to defeat Hegemons, but Hegemons were not capable of killing them.

When Hegemon Azurefiend had first seen Ning’s power, he hadn’t been dispirited. This was because he felt that Ning must’ve focused on the Dao of the Sword; given how briefly he had trained for, Ning shouldn’t have an invulnerable form.

Now, however, Ning had actually revealed an invulnerable form! That meant that there was no chance that he, Hegemon Azurefiend, would be able to actually kill Ning.

“Can you tell me how it is that you, a Daolord, have reached such power? You clearly train in the Dao of the Sword; why is it that you have an invulnerable form?” Hegemon Azurefiend looked at Ning. “AT least let me understand why I lost.”

“I am indeed just a Daolord, but my Dao is that of the Omega Sword Dao,” Ning explained.

“Omega Sword Dao?” Hegemon Azurefiend was puzzled. He didn’t understand.

“There are differences amongst Daos. Some Daolords have chosen the most common of Daos…” Ning didn’t hide anything, telling Azurefiend about the truth of the Omega Dao. In truth, Ning wasn’t the only person in the vast Chaosverse who had developed an Omega Dao. Despite that, there were very, very few who had reached such heights. Although on occasion a Daolord would be able to accomplish this, they would quickly fail their Daomerges and die. Their lifespans were all extremely short, and so very few even knew about them.

The vast majority of Hegemons had never even heard of ‘Omega Daos’.

“So that’s how it is. Everyone knows that there are differences amongst Daos, but I never would’ve imagined that the highest-level Dao is that of the ‘Omega Dao’. All this time, I’ve been puzzled as to why a Daolord of the Fourth Step like yourself would have reached such heights in the Dao of the Sword. You might not be at the Hegemon-level, but you are just half a step beneath that level. Now, I finally understand. So it is because of your superior Dao, your Omega Sword Dao.” Hegemon Azurefiend laughed, and his laughter caused Ning to feel shocked.

“Something wrong?” Hegemon Azurefiend looked at Ning.

“You look a lot nicer when you laugh. Why do you usually keep such an icy look on your face?” Ning asked.

“Hmph.” Hegemon Azurefiend’s face instantly turned icy once more. “Don’t get cocky with me, boy. Your Omega Sword Dao isn’t bad, and you are pretty strong. Per our wager, I’ll be your retainer… but only for a thousand chaos cycles!”

“I’ll have to trouble you to help me out in the future, brother Azurefiend.” Ning smiled.

“Hmph.” Hegemon Azurefiend let out a cold snort, then said: “Oh, right. I forgot to tell you. When you trapped me in the void cage and yammered about making me your retainer, I was so pissed off that I immediately told everyone about how you caught me. All of the Hegemons and Emperors from the Sixteen Realmverses Alliance are probably aware that you are in control of the flaming passageways by now! Hmph. That means you won’t be able to use this trap a second time.”

Ning chuckled. “That actually went without saying. A short while ago, all of the Hegemons and Emperors inside the flaming passageways stopped moving and no longer dared to enter other ones. I immediately knew that you probably had spread the word to them! But it is of no consequence. For you to become my retainer, brother Azurefiend, means that it was all worth it.”

Hegemon Azurefiend was instantly irritated again. He couldn’t even gain a verbal advantage over Darknorth. This Daolord really was a pain in the ass. Still, Hegemon Azurefiend couldn’t help but secretly chuckle as well. He was no longer feeling quite as upset and stifled as he was earlier. Previously, he had felt enraged primarily because he felt as though he was being insulted. Now that Ning had revealed his true power, Hegemon Azurefiend had lost his wager. There was nothing more for him to complain about. Finding out that Ning walked the path of the Omega Sword Dao had actually resulted in him feeling some admiration towards Ning.

He had lost his bet, and so he would temporarily become the retainer to a Daolord who walked the path of an Omega Dao. This wasn’t so bad. Dazzling Daolords like on this caliber were even rarer than Hegemons, after all.

“Go ahead and give me an oath to swear,” Hegemon Azurefiend said. “Hurry up and set up an oath. After swearing it, I’ll be your retainer for the next thousand chaos cycles.”

“Very well.” Ning felt a surge of joy in his heart.

……

“What? Daolord Darknorth is actually in control of the mechanisms and traps inside the flaming passageways of the Jadefire Realm? Hegemon Azurefiend fell into one of them?” Hegemon Dawnruler, Hegemon Everworry, Hegemon Oldgem, Hegemon Blackwood, Hegemon Winterflame… all of the Hegemons and the many Emperors were all scared silly by this.

“No wonder we weren’t able to capture him despite spending so much time here.”

“He’s actually secretly in control of the flaming passageways?”

“Is this information real? Is it perhaps a deception?”

The Hegemons and Emperors all had their own responses to this information. The Sixteen Realmverses Alliance, however, was in a state of absolute bedlam. An entire host of Hegemons and Emperors had charged into the Jadefire Realm to capture Daolord Darknorth. Everyone felt certain that he was nothing more than a fish for the fisherman to catch! Who would’ve thought that he was actually a sea monster in disguise? Now that he revealed his fangs and his claws, he stunned all sixteen of the realmverses.

If he was in control of the flaming passageways, didn’t that mean that the Hegemons and Emperors inside the flaming passageways were in serious trouble?

“I know what type of person Hegemon Azurefiend is. Although he’s temperamental, he’s extremely proud. There’s no way he’d make up a lie like this.”

“Be careful, everyone. Stay right where you are and don’t move. So long as we don’t move around, Daolord Darknorth won’t be able to use those mechanisms against us.”

“Are we supposed to just sit here forever without moving?”

The major powers were all connected to the Sixteen Realmverses Alliance in their own ways. They were naturally able to send messages to each other as well.

Suddenly…

“Greetings, Hegemons and Emperors…” a booming voice suddenly rang out through every single one of the countless flaming passageways. Ning’s divine power clone had sent its Immortal energy into the formation-diagram, causing his voice to echo through every part of every passageway.

The faces of the Hegemons and Emperors inside the flaming passageway all tightened when they heard this voice.

“I’m Daolord Darknorth, the person all of you have come here to kill.” Ning’s voice echoed sonorously through every inch of the flaming passageways. “In the past, no feuds or grudges existed between us, and I never wished to be your enemies. However… all of you have travelled all the way here from your respective realmverses, delving into the Jadefire Realm to kill me and seize my treasures. Am I suppose to just let this slide, gentlemen? Everyone in the outside world would say that I, Daolord Darknorth, am a spineless pushover. Gentlemen… what do you view as being the best solution to this?”