Book 23, Chapter 33 - Curtain Call

“A sword?” When Old Man Yuan saw Ji Ning pull out a sword, he gritted his teeth. “My black lotus is incredibly tough and durable. It’s perfect against swords and sabers.”

Boom!

The white-robed Ji Ning took a step forward, his body rapidly expanding in size to become thirty thousand kilometers in height, comparable to the size of the black lotuses. He then lifted up the similarly enormous Violetjewel.

“You shall break for me!” Ning raised Violetjewel up high, filling it with a savage torrent of divine power that passed through the sword’s quintessence and made it even more powerful. The towering Ning held Violetjewel high in the air, then furiously chopped down towards the protective black lotus in front of him. The anger infused into this chop made it even more savage than any of his previous strikes.

“He wasn’t even able to breach my defenses when using all six arms. Now, with just a single sword…” Old Man Yuan smiled coldly as he took firm control over his Blacklotus Guard…but then, his cold smile turned stiff.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

It was like the Heavens had collapsed.

In the instant that the blow connected with the black lotus flowers, the flowers completely folded under its power. Countless lotus petals were instantly torn apart, causing the entire black lotus to begin to break apart.

“A Dao weapon.” Old Man Yuan stared as Ning struck out with Violetjewel. “Is that a Dao weapon? It has to be a Dao weapon. Otherwise, there’s no way it could be so powerful.”

There were many grades of magic weapons. Above Chaos weapons was the realm of Dao weapons.

Generally speaking, Dao weapons were exclusively used by World Gods and Chaos Immortals. It was almost impossibly rare for an Elder God or an Ancestral Immortal to be lucky enough to acquire one! A weakling simply wouldn’t be able to keep his hands on a Dao weapon for long, and in truth Ji Ning wasn’t strong enough either. Previously, when he filled it with his True God power, it had still been so weak that his strikes weren’t particularly impressive. Not even experienced figures like Witherspike or Old Man Yuan had suspected that his weapon was a Dao weapon.

Now that his divine power had become dramatically stronger, the power of his weapon also became much more apparent.

The Triult Swords or the Immortal Slaying Swords, for example, could be said to have just barely surpassed Chaos weapons in might; they could be considered to have nearly reached the level of Dao weapons. However, they were only comparable to the weakest of Dao weapons; there was still a noticeable difference between them and true Dao weapons. Now that Ning had become a half-step World God, his divine power was capable of truly linking to and activating the core quintessence of the sword, allowing it to reveal its true might.

Generally speaking, only the most supreme of Elder Gods and Ancestral Immortals would be qualified to even dream of possessing a Dao weapon. They would furiously battle for the right to wield such a weapon, and only the most powerful of them would ever be able to do so.

Without a Dao weapon, Ning would at most be considered a supreme Elder God and be just slightly more powerful than Lord Demonheart. They would still, however, belong to the same general level of power.

With this Dao weapon, he had truly reached the World God threshold.

“Die.” After Ning broke apart the black lotuses, he returned to his normal shape and size as he transformed into a black lightning serpent that streaked towards Old Man Yuan.

“After I kill you, your Dao weapon shall be mine.” A look of greed was in Old Man Yuan’s eyes. “Time to go all out. I have no way out anyhow. My only option is to use my heartforce in a last-ditch attack.”

During the Endwar, he hadn’t tried to use his heartforce to attack Ning at all.

This was because he had discovered during his previous ambush attempt that Ji Ning’s soul protection technique was extremely formidable. He simply didn’t feel confident in using heartforce against Ji Ning…but now, he had no other options. Use divine power? He had almost run out, and thanks to the Dao weapon Ji Ning had just barely reached the World God threshold of power. Old Man Yuan’s only shot, his final shot, was to use heartforce in one last attack.

“Die.” Ning charged towards him, Violetjewel in hand.

Old Man Yuan sat there in the lotus position, striking out with his six arms to block Ning.

“Hmph.” Ning chopped out with his sword once more.

Boom!

Old Man Yuan was knocked flying backwards, his hands aching and starting to split apart. He couldn’t help but feel shocked by this. “With this Dao weapon in hand…in offensive power, at least, Ji Ning is as powerful as a World God. My body is comparable to a top-grade Protocosmic treasure, but it is at the verge of breaking down.”

A true World God would be able to effortless smash apart any top-grade Protocosmic spirit-treasure…and Ji Ning was already strong enough to cause damage to such treasures!

Clang! Clang! Clang! Old Man Yuan used his palms to block Ning’s repeated attacks. Although he was sent flying backwards each time, his defenses remained utterly airtight.

“Eh?”

Ning stared at Old Man Yuan as the latter struck out repeatedly, six arms moving like a blur. He felt a greater desire to kill this man than he had ever felt before, and the future of all living creatures of the Three Realms was riding on his shoulders. Ning felt calmer and more zen-like than he ever had before.

In recent years, he had mastered the ninety-eight stone sword-steles which World God Northrest had left behind, but he had never been able to gain proficiency in the [Nameless] sword-art. However, as he stared at Old Man Yuan’s six illusory arms, a light suddenly flashed in Ning’s head.

It was a very strange feeling…

It was as though the surrounding Void had become part of his own demesnes, as though the Void itself had become brimming with sword-intent. It was as though countless swords were resonating with him and were calling out with joy!

“This…this is my world.”

He felt a sense of total and utter control. In this moment, Ning suddenly understood the true meaning of the first stance of the [Nameless] sword-art, the ‘Heartsword’ stance.

The ‘Heartsword’ stance…

It wasn’t meant to make his sword stronger! It wasn’t meant to make his sword faster! On the surface, it seemed as though it wouldn’t make Ning’s sword attacks better in any measurable way, but in reality…the true meaning of the ‘Heartsword’ stance lay in truly understanding how to use and control the sword. It taught the wielder how to become the true master of his sword, allowing him to truly unleash the appropriate amount of power with every single strike. It taught one to be agile when necessary, strike with full force when necessary, block when necessary…

It was a sense of control that one would only possess when one reached a truly profound level of insight into the sword.

“Heartsword Realm.”

Ning looked at Old Man Yuan’s six illusory palms, then strode forward through the Void and struck out with his sword.

Slash! The sword knocked one palm aside, causing an opening to appear in the movements of the other five palms. In the past, Ning would have never been able to notice such a minute flaw…but he now had a sort of absolute control over the Void around him, making it almost impossible for any flaw to escape his notice.

Swish! Swish! Swish!

He struck out with three consecutive sword-strikes.

Old Man Yuan didn’t even have a chance to react before Ning’s sword-light pierced through his six blocking arms, stabbing straight towards his body.

“How can this…” Old Man Yuan was in disbelief.

Even an ordinary Elder God who had mastered the first stance of the [Nameless] sword-art, the ‘Heartsword’ stance, would become comparable to a supreme Elder God in battle. This stance represented a certain level of mastery over the sword!

“Go.”

Faced with impending doom, Old Man Yuan didn’t attempt to block the sword-strike. In truth, there was no way for him to block it, even if he wanted to…and so all he did was stare into Ji Ning’s eyes.

Whoosh.

A ripple of power instantly surged towards Ning and attacked him.

It was as if a gray seed suddenly burrowed itself into Ning’s body, attempting to penetrate his very soul. This gray mental seed caused Ning to feel a dim sense of danger.

Boom!

Heartforce soul-lock!

After he became a half-step World God, he had hurriedly strengthened his soul and once more protected it with the heartforce soul-lock technique which World God Northrest had transmitted to him. It was as though an incomparably thick steel plate had appeared before the gray seed. The gray seed did its best to burrow through it, but it actually began to shatter after repeatedly ramming into the steel plate.

Stab!

Ning’s sword-light didn’t slow down in the slightest as it pierced straight through Old Man Yuan’s forehead.

[Brightmoon] sword-art, Blood Drop stance!

This was Ning’s fastest and most penetrating attack. Old Man Yuan’s protective divine ability was unable to block this strike. His forehead was pierced straight through…and he finally ran out of divine power. As Violetjewel unleashed its power, Old Man Yuan’s truesoul was completely ground apart and destroyed.

Old Man Yuan…had died!

The Void was completely silent.

Old Man Yuan’s body continued to sit there in the lotus position, with Ji Ning standing in front of him, holding a sword that had been driven through his forehead. Old Man Yuan’s life aura had completely dissipated…but on his face was a look of resentment and unwillingness to accept this outcome.

Clearly, his final attempt at a heartforce attack had also been easily blocked by Ning. This made him feel quite resentful.

Tears appeared in the eyes of the Lord of All Fiends as he beheld this sight. He murmured softly to himself, “Everwood, we won. The Three Realms won.”

On the Nuwa Alliance’s side, Patriarch Subhuti, Buddha Maitreya, Sun Wukong, Jade Cauldron, Kuafu, and the other major powers stared hard as well, afraid that they were seeing things.

“Dead. Old Man Yuan is finally dead.” Daoist Jade Cauldron mumbled to himself, “Master, the Three Realms has been saved. It’s saved. We won.”

“We won.” Sun Wukong murmured softly, “My senior apprentice-brothers and junior apprentice-brothers…we won. Do you know? We won!”

A number of major powers couldn’t help but begin to shed tears.

They had won.

The Three Realms had won.

Even the distant incarnation Godfiend Witherspike found itself breathless. When he saw Ji Ning pierce through Old Man Yuan’s forehead with his sword, he waited for Old Man Yuan’s life aura to completely vanish before he mumbled to himself, “I never would’ve thought that the Mindlord of the Nine Divine Generals would end up dying in the hands of a local bumpkin from this chaosworld. These yokels actually won. This is unbelievable. Truly unbelievable.”




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