Book 1, The Ji Clan of Swallow Mountain, Chapter 15 – Cage Battle
Three days later, at dawn, Ning and his father came to Dragon Castle.
Dragon Castle was three hundred meters wide, a thousand meters long, and was divided into two parts; the Cage, and the tunnels for the monstrous beasts. The Cage was where the life-and-death battles would be carried out, while the beast tunnels were where the monstrous beasts were imprisoned. Because Dragon Castle held many monstrous beasts inside, it was extremely dangerous, which is why it had been built outside of the city.
Dragon Castle. Within the Cage.
Ning entered the Cage and looked around. This was an empty area that was two or three hundred meters in diameter. The four walls were all made from some sort of black metal, and up above him was black metallic chains that formed a metal web, preventing anyone from fleeing.
“This place is completely sealed.” Yichuan, who faintly emanated a cold aura, said, “The walls are formed with blackwater iron. Although blackwater iron isn’t a particularly precious material, most early stage Xiantian will find it very difficult to damage such a thick blackwater iron wall. As for the thick chains above, those are also made from blackwater iron. Given your strength…if you are to use the power within the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens] and use your full strength, you should be able to break apart the chains. But a web like this formed from many chains…you will probably need the span of ten breaths before you are able to break enough chains to escape.”
“Look.” Yichuan pointed towards the air above the net of chains. There was a viewing platform beyond it.
“Your mother and I, as well as your Uncle White, will be there watching you.” Yichuan said coldly.
“Be careful.” Snow encouraged her son.
“Roar!” The snow white dog also looked at Ning, his eyes filled with encouragement and anticipation. This snow white dog was his father Yichuan’s lifelong friend, and was also his own Uncle White. In total, his father had tamed two Diremonsters; one was that massive black python, the so-called Uncle Black! The other was a snow white dog, his Uncle White.
Beasts, upon gaining a level of intelligence, could begin to absorb natural energy and transform into monstrous beasts!
Monstrous beasts, after managing the difficult art of transformation, would enter the Xiantian level and become Xiantian lifeforms. Only then would they be considered Diremonsters. Generally speaking, Diremonsters were capable of transforming into humans, such as Uncle Black. But amongst monstrous beasts, there was a very unique type of creature: the Godbeasts.
Godbeasts were magical beasts that contained some of the bloodline of those ancient Fiendgods of the past. They were born intelligence, and possessed powerful natural gifts. Their strength was far greater than that of ordinary monstrous beasts. They also found it extremely hard to transform into human forms, and for different Godbeasts, the level of difficulty was different as well.
Some needed to reach the ‘Zifu’ level before they could take human form. Some needed to reach the ‘Wanxiang’ level. Some, even higher…
Uncle White was a Godbeast of the ‘Whitewater Hound’ type, and he had to reach the Zifu level before he could take human form and speak in the human tongue.
However, Ning and the Whitewater Hound were extremely close to each other, because after having been taught archery by his teacher, Blindfish, Ning would spend every morning with the Whitewater Hound at the forests outside the West Prefecture training in archery. Yichuan hadn’t been able to rest easy with his son going out by himself, which is why he asked the Xiantian lifeform, the ‘Whitewater Hound’, to help protect him.
The power of a Xiantian level Godbeast was terrifying indeed! The Whitewater Hound was one of the reasons why Yichuan had such a high position and reputation in the Ji clan of the Western Prefecture.
“Just watch.” Ning’s lips twisted into a smile.
“Growl.” The Whitewater Hound let out a growl as well, then followed Yichuan and Snow to the narrow walkway. Soon, they arrived at the viewing platform.
Ning let out a soft breath, calming himself down as he looked around him.
“Why do I feel like I’m in the Coliseum?” Ning secretly murmured. “There’s a place for battle, and there’s a viewing platform.” He knew that generally speaking, only the important disciples of the clan would be permitted to engage in battle against monstrous beasts here, which is why the elders and family members of the clan would often come watch.
The sound of chains clanking against each other could be heard from a distant tunnel. Ning couldn’t help but turn to look, and within that pitch black tunnel…he could faintly make out a low, angry growling sound, a sound which actually shook the entire cage. Even the massive chain net above the cage was quivering with the noise.
A massive, silver furred head slowly appeared from within the distant tunnel.
“What is that?” Ning looked carefully.
“Ning.” Yichuan said coldly from the viewing platform above the cage, “You train in the number one Fiendgod Body Refining, so I specially selected an extremely powerful monstrous beast for you, one with the lineage of the Fiendgods: A Howling Moonwolf.”
Ning’s eyes widened as he stared above at his father, a look of shock on his face.
A beast that possessed the lineage of the Fiendgods?
Then that would be a Godbeast, right? But it made sense; Godbeasts were a type of monstrous beast. In the vast world, there were still a good number of Houtian level Godbeasts that roamed about, such as the Armored Wurm, the Earthquake Rhino, the Howling Moonwolf, the Redclawed Goldenraven, the Thundersea Owl, or the Whitewater Hound. Generally speaking, out of every thousand Houtian level Godbeast, only one would be able to break through to the Xiantian lifeform level.
“Hua…” The metal clanking sound continued.
Ning didn’t lose his focus. He stared at the giant tunnel in the wall. He knew that they were probably removing the chains on the other side. Once the chains were removed, the Howling Moonwolf would be released.
“Pengcheng!” The sound of metal chains hitting the floor.
“Hoooooowl!” Instantly, a carefree wolf’s howl rang out. In the air above, Yichuan, his wife, and the Whitewater Hound stared carefully down below.
Ning held his breath.
From the distant tunnel, a massive creature slowly made its way out. Its entire body was covered with beautiful silver fur. It was over two meters tall, and its steps were graceful. It stared at the tiny little pipsqueak standing in the distance; a human male. As one of the special types of monstrous beasts, a Godbeast, the creature’s intelligence wasn’t lower than that of humans.
It knew that there were only two possible outcomes after entering this cage. The first was to kill this human and continue to live. The other was to be killed by this human youth.
“He picked a Godbeast for me the first time here.” Ning stretched out his right hand, and a sword appeared in it out of nowhere, gleaming with cold light. “Then let’s kill it.”
The Howling Moonwolf’s massive body weighed nearly ten thousand pounds, but its four legs moved with great agility as it closed the distance. Its long, narrow eyes inspected this human youth.
Ning walked forward, one step at a time, with longsword in hand.
The distance between the two quickly drew near.
“Shua!” The Howling Moonwolf’s movements suddenly changed from being graceful to being savage, and it suddenly transformed into a blur as it pounced at Ning, and its previously soft paws suddenly had sharp claws emerge from it as well.
At the critical moment, Ning suddenly moved, as graceful as the wind as he dodged the Howling Moonwolf’s pounce, and then stabbed out with the sharp sword in his hand! The stab was extremely forceful and straight, and it was also fast as lightning. If it managed to land on the Howling Moonwolf’s body, it would be able to borrow the charging force of the Moonwolf and tear its body open!
“Huh?” As he stabbed, Ning’s face suddenly changed. The sword tip had met with a powerful blocking force. The Howling Moonwolf’s fur had blocked the tip of the sword, preventing it from penetrating through.
At the same time, the Howling Moonwolf suddenly sent its tail whisking towards Ning. Unable to dodge in time, Ning quickly used his sword to block.
The Moonwolf’s tail landed against the blade like a heavy iron whip, and the powerful force knocked Ning flying away, his body slamming against the distant blackwater iron wall with a boom. Bang! The thick wall trembled violently.
“Roar!” The Howling Moonwolf immediately followed up with another pounce as it slashed at Ning with its claws.
Ning quickly dodged with a flying leap.
Chi! Chi! Chi! Several deep claw marks appeared on the blackwater iron wall. The Moonwolf landed on the ground, then stared at the distant human youth. Its tail attack was its killing weapon. Its tail had sent the human youth slamming into the wall, but the human youth had actually been able to quickly dodge far away. It understood that this human youth truly was very powerful, powerful enough to give him a good fight.
“An ordinary Ninefang Warrior, upon meeting with that tail, would probably have their organs split open.” Ning frowned as he stared at the Howling Moonwolf. “It seems I’ll have to rely on the power of the Fiendgod Body Refining.”
These years, he had also engaged in Ki Refining and had reached mastery of the Houtian level.
But his attacks with Houtian level Ki Refining techniques couldn’t even break through the fur. How could he use it to fight?
Ning let out a deep growl, and from his nostrils came forth two streams of energy that were visible to the naked eye. The streams of energy were causing the air itself to shake. At that moment, the hidden, terrifying potential strength that was lying dormant in his body suddenly exploded forth, and the hidden Solar Strength and Lunar Strength exploded as well, and his entire body began to turn faintly red.
With a slight movement of the sword in his hands, Ning shattered the air before him and carved a huge ditch into the thick earth.
The distant Howling Moonwolf let out a low growl, staring fixedly at this youth.
“The child has finally begun to use the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens].” Snow laughed. “Before this, he was still trying to avoid doing so.”
Yichuan nodded. “The Howling Moonwolves have the lineage of the Fiendgods. Their fur is incomparably tough, and ordinary Houtian experts aren’t able to break through it. I chose this creature on purpose…to force Ning to use all of his strength, and see how much of it he can use in a real, life-and-death battle.”
“What do you think about the look on Ning’s face?” Yuchi Snow asked.
“Average.” Ji Yichuan stared down. “He’s fairly calm.”
Spinning the sword in his hand, Ning slowly walked towards the Howling Moonwolf, circling around it.
The Moonwolf stared at Ning as well, choosing not to rashly attack. This was because once it attacked…it would expose its own flaws as well. That would the moment which determined life or death.
“Hrmph.” Not hesitating at all, Ning suddenly charged forward after the Moonwolf, his body becoming a blur.
With a howl, the Howling Moonwolf immediately pounced over as well, opening its massive maw and revealing its sharp fangs. Its sharp claws tore at Ning as well.
A flash of the sword!
The shadow of a sword slashed through the air, striking in a short range while changing trajectories nine times. Its speed was terrifyingly fast, so fast that it was as though even the void was being chopped apart with it. Chi chi chi chi chi. The flashing sword chopped at the Moonwolf’s chest, carving out a massive wound, and fresh blood instantly spurted out.
“Block.” Just after Ning chopped out with one sword, he immediately turned his sword back and blocked the Howling Moonwolf’s claw, while simultaneously borrowing the clashing force to fly backwards and retreat.
The Howling Moonwolf stared furiously at Ning. The massive wound on its chest was shrinking, and the flow of blood began to slow, but it still continued to drip blood. Clearly, that wound had simply been too massive.
The Howling Moonwolf was now truly sensing the impending arrival of death!
“The [Thunderflame Sword]’s technique, ‘Thunderflash Flint’, really is extraordinary. Ning sighed softly.