“Everything has been verified?” The golden Oddbat spoke verbally, its shrill voice reverberating in a strange manner that caused ripples to appear in the already-chaotic space around it.
“Everything has been verified, your Highness. That flying vessel is indeed crewed by World-level cultivators, and there are ninety-nine of them in total.” A silver Oddbat responded respectfully to the query.
Oddbats were extremely dumb creatures, with the black ones only capable of calling out for blood and mayhem. It was difficult for them to even form complete sentences. However, once they evolved to become silver Oddbats they would gain a much longer lifespan and a dramatically increased level of intelligence. Silver Oddbats were at least comparable to ordinary mortals in intelligence.
“Ninety-nine World-level cultivators?” The golden Oddbat stared coldly towards the distant vessel. “They actually managed to mass such a large number of cultivators? That probably means they don’t have any Samsara Daolords amongst their ranks. Samsara Daolords wouldn’t bother with waiting so long, they’d just go through by themselves. Mm… since that’s the case, ehehe…”
Oddbats had a strange fetish; they delighted in eating the flesh of cultivators. They could even devour the incredibly tough bodies of most World Gods! So long as those divine bodies had not reached the Dao weapon level, the golden Oddbats would be able to crunch through them like candy. To the golden Oddbats, cultivators were the finest delicacies in existence.
This was exacerbated by the fact that Oddbats generally tended to be massacred in vast numbers by travelers. Even their kings, the golden Oddbats, would often find themselves killed by Samsara Daolords if they were careless. Thus, the race of Oddbats harbored tremendous hatred for cultivators in general.
“What luck. The Sea of Darkness is such a vast place, but I actually managed to run into a vessel of cultivators. Kill them, my children!” The golden Oddbat let out a shrill shriek as it ordered, “Wipe out all the cultivators on that vessel! Kill them all!”
“Yes.” The nine silver Oddbats assented respectfully in unison.
“Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!” The many black Oddbats all cried out in a raucous chorus.
Swish! Swish! Swish! Swish! Swish!
The dense cluster of Oddbats all quickly passed through the spatial waves and flew towards the distant flying vessel. The Oddbats were born from within the Sea of Darkness and thus were born with the innate ability to conceal themselves within the violent spatial tempests within the Sea. This was the reason why they were able to fly close to the vessel without being detected.
The Sea of Darkness was incredibly vast, but it had very few golden Oddbats within it. Even though the vessel Ning’s group was in was incredibly fast, it would still need more than six centuries to pass through the Sea. One could imagine how utterly vast it was! This was why it was extremely rare for a group to be unlucky enough to encounter a golden Oddbat. In fact, dozens of squads would often pass through the Sea without a single squad encountering one.
“Master, before we entered the Sea of Darkness you frightened me half to death with the stories about how dangerous this place is. Well? Look at how relaxed we all are!” Su Youji was seated next to Ji Ning in a corner of the vessel. The two were engaged in conversation.
“That’s because you have more than ninety other cultivators fighting alongside you, helping you deal with those Oddbats. If the two us had to deal with them all by ourselves, what do you think would happen?” Ning gave her a sideways glance.
Su Youji blinked.
What would happen?
Although Ji Ning was strong, he was still just one person. He’d only be able to deal with a portion of the Oddbats at any given point in time. Su Youji would have to rely on her golem and the bugbeasts to fight against them, but she’d still be in grave danger.
But of course, now that they had ninety-nine cultivators and a supportive formation, things were completely different.
“If I have to blame someone, I’m going to blame you for not having sufficiently detailed information,” Su Youji mumbled. “The awe-inspiringly, inconceivably famous Daolord Nihilate failed in his Daomerge and is now searching for a disciple. How is it that your intelligence reports made no mention of such earth-shaking news?”
Ning couldn’t help but let out an involuntarily snort.
The Sea of Darkness was an incredibly dangerous place. Although it was located next to the Qianyun Territory, in normal times it was extremely rare for cultivators to pass through the Sea, and they would only do so if they had an extremely special reason for it. It would take a very long period of time for ninety-nine World-level cultivators to be gathered. In contrast, this time they had managed to reach this figure in a very short period of time.
This was because of something which had happened on the other end of the Sea of Darkness, within the Jadesea Territory. A Samsara Daolord known as Daolord Nihilate had failed in his Daomerge, then had publicly proclaimed that he wished to take on a disciple!
Daolord Nihilate was an incredibly famous figure, especially in the surrounding territories. However, he was a solitary figure with no sect and no disciples to his name.
Now that he had failed in his Daomerge, he had suddenly realized that he didn’t have any heirs at all. This was why he had chosen to accept a disciple. Daolords who had failed in the Daomerge were all at least Verge-class Daolords who were just as powerful as Daolord Solesky! If such a powerful Daolord wished to take on a disciple, almost every World-level cultivator would be willing to sacrifice almost anything in order to become that disciple!
Although this master would undoubtedly die in the future, it was a fact that even a World God like Northrest was able to survive for a full chaos cycle before his truesoul faded away. So long as Daolord Nihilate didn’t go crazy and engaged in repeated, frenzied battles, he would be able to stay alive for an extremely long period of time. By the time he passed away, his guidance probably would’ve resulted in his student becoming a Samsara Daolord as well.
More importantly… who would dare to antagonize you if you had a master who had just failed his Daomerge? It could be said that prior to your master dying, you could do whatever you wished and be completely unchallenged. More than 80% of the people on Ning’s vessel were heading to the Jadesea Territory to try and take on Daolord Nihilate as their master.
“While travelling to this place from the Badlands Territory, I heard quite a few legends and stories about things that had happened in the ancient past. I heard many stories about truly powerful Daolords who failed their Daomerge, their Daos vanishing and their lives ending…” Ning shook his head and sighed. “I really have heard of very few Daolords who succeeded in their Daomerge.”
Ning was worried about Daolord Solesky. Although they hadn’t had many interactions with each other, Daolord Solesky truly had treated Ning as he would a brother. In the Windsource Ruins, Daolord Solesky had suffered severe injuries but elected to go all-out in attempting to locate Ning before even treating his own wounds. Only after he had located Ning had he calmed down and started to heal himself. Ning had felt tremendously moved by him when Ning saw this.
A sudden, shocking, high-pitched Oddbat shriek suddenly rang out. The cultivators who had been chatting calmly amongst each other instantly took control of their respective treasures and weapons, then started to attack.
Slash! Sword-light flashed in Ning’s hands as he slew a black Oddbat. The creature’s head went flying off, then the rest of its body dissipated into nothingness.
“What?!” Ning’s face suddenly fell dramatically.
A tight, dense cluster of black Oddbats had appeared in the area around the vessel. There were far more Oddbats this time than there had ever been in the past, at least ten times more than the previous record! There had to be thousands of the things. They all circled around the vessel, causing it to slow down and eventually come to a full stop, unable to move any further.
“Transform.’ Ning’s body blurred as he manifested three heads and six arms. He now wielded six Violetjewels in his arms.
“There are nine of those silver Oddbats.”
The situation instantly turned extremely grim as all the cultivators began to grow nervous. It must be understood that every single silver Oddbat was comparable to a transcendent World God in power. Even though the cultivators were all supported by the power of their formation, they had to have originally possessed the power of a supreme World God if they wished to be able to give the silver Oddbats a good fight.
Whoosh. Ning’s sword-light spun out in a beautiful arc, causing eight of the black Oddbats around him to be annihilated.
“Youji, bind this bugnest.” Ning immediately tossed a jade green globe to Su Youji. As soon as she bound it, she would be in control of the fifty-one bugbeasts stored within it. Given how ugly the situation was looking and how many Oddbats were attacking, Ning was worried that he wouldn’t be able to protect her.
“Alright.” Su Youji nodded. She wouldn’t decline or be polite at a time like this, and she immediately bound the treasure.
“There’s too many of these Oddbats!”
“Why are there so many?”
“Block that silver Oddbat!”
A wild battle was occurring atop the flying vessel. Magic treasures flew everywhere while World Gods charged to and fro.
“Let me deal with this silver Oddbat.”
“I’ll handle that one!”
The cultivators on the vessel had never experienced a truly dangerous situation during this trip. Quite a few of them had therefore been hiding their true power. Now, however, they had to reveal everything. There were actually more than ten cultivators who had the power of supreme World Gods! It made sense. If you wanted to become a disciple of Daolord Nihilate, you had to have enough power to back up that goal.
Ning had transformed into a ghostly blur, his swords becoming even more ephemeral and unpredictable than before. They struck out lightning fast, causing Oddbats to perish wherever they went. The Oddbats were completely unable to defend against Ning’s terrifying sword-art.
During the past three hundred-plus years, Ning had often sent incarnations of divine power into the estate-worlds of the Mirrorsnow Paintings to challenge the guardians. His sword-arts were now much more powerful than they had been back in the Badlands Territory.
“Wipe out any Oddbats that get near me.” Su Youji summoned her bugbeasts, calling out a total of thirty of them to surround her and slay any Oddbats that dared to draw near her.
The black Oddbats were all quite weak, after all. These bugbeasts all had the power of master-class World Gods; plenty strong enough to deal with Oddbats.
Cultivators were engaged in fierce battles throughout the entire vessel. As a result, they were able to just barely hold their own against this assault by the nine silver Oddbats and thousands of black Oddbats.