“Come, let’s go to the Grove of Monoliths.” Ji Ning laughed as he began to walk towards the Grove.
“Are we really going there, Master?” Su Youji was rather worried. She had started to grow a bit nervous as soon as she had heard Ning ask the formation-spirit girl to teleport them straight to the Fog Sea. The Grove was one of the truly dangerous parts of the Fog Sea, and even supreme World Gods would only have a decent chance at best to escape from that place alive. It truly was a deadly place to venture into.
“Yes.” Ning glanced at Su Youji, then smiled. “But you won’t be needed for this battle. Just go into the estate-world when the battle begins. If you stay by my side, I’ll be distracted because I would need to protect you.”
Ning’s words were quite simply and ordinary, but Su Youji could sense the absolute self-confidence and the absolute dominance inherent in those words.
Her master had just broken through to become a World God, yet already possessed such incredible faith in himself?
Su Youji nodded slowly. “Alright. I’ll listen to you, Master. I still hope that you’ll be careful in your journey through the Grove.” She stared very carefully at Ning as she spoke, trying to find some clues from his aura regarding his current level of strength. Ning’s aura was that of a World God’s, but it didn’t seem as though there had been any other major changes.
Oh. One change was that Ning seemed calmer than before. Even though he was in a dangerous place, he seemed completely calm and unflappable.
“Master, why are you carrying that sword on your back?” Su Youji suddenly noticed the biggest difference. In the past, Ning would instantly materialize his sword when entering combat. He never kept it on his back before.
“I’m training,” Ning said.
“Training?” Su Youji was puzzled. How could carrying a sword on your back be considered training? Still, she didn’t ask any more questions.
Ning was carrying the Eternal weapon ‘Violetjewel’ on his back. By staying in contact with it at all times, he was able to better familiarize himself and attune himself to the quintessence sword-intent hidden within the sword’s core at all times. He was attuned to it every day and every night
It must be understood that if a mortal carried a blade with him at all times to the point of holding it when sleeping, that mortal would also be able to develop an extremely terrifying saber-art.
Habits such as this were quite important. Ning wanted to be attuned to the quintessence sword-intent at all times, as this would allow him to comprehend it more quickly.
Right now, Violetjewel was the strongest weapon which Ning had!
The fourth stance of the [Nameless] sword-art, ‘Horizon’s Edge’, was on the same level as the second stance of the [Quintessence Sword-Intent], the ‘Allgod’ stance. If Ning used a different sword to execute these two stances, they would be on par with each other in power. However, because the Allgod stance was developed based on the quintessence sword-intent within Violetjewel, it would be much stronger when Ning actually used Violetjewel and its quintessence core. When Ning used Violetjewel to execute the two stances the difference was actually quite great, with the Allgod stance capable of unleashing several times as much power.
“You have to be able to protect yourself on your path of cultivation. Otherwise, you’ll die an early death. I’ve now gained insight into both the [Nameless] sword-art and the [Quintessence Sword-Intent]. For now, I should favor the [Quintessence Sword-Intent]. It will let me unleash greater power in battle for now.” Although Ning was able to estimate how strong he had become, he didn’t know exactly how strong that was.
Only through battle would he be able to truly ascertain how strong he had grown.
“The Grove of Monoliths…” Ning stared towards a distant, fog-shrouded monolith that had been planted into the ground.
“Stay prepared. Have Blacksun and Wilddog do the same. All three of you should be ready to be summoned by me at a moment’s notice,” Ning said.
“Yes, Master. Be careful, Master.” Su Youji had a worried look on her face.
Ning chuckled, then waved his hand and collected her into his estate-world. He then turned and headed off by himself towards the Grove of Monoliths, a small smile playing on his lips.
Enormous monoliths were planted throughout the Grove of Monoliths, with tens thousand of them having been planted in total. Quite a few of them had powerful bugbeasts coiling atop them.
As for Ning, he strolled into the Grove as though he was entering his own private garden.
An avian beast with bright red claws was currently coiled around the top of a giant monolith that was a few hundred kilometers away from Ning. The creature’s eyes were shut in slumber, and every so often a few streams of fire would flick out from its nostrils as it exhaled, with the streams of fire swirling around an area of a hundred meters. As Ning moved towards the creature, he could sense it open its eyes. Its two eyes were filled with a cold, murderous look in them as it stared at the human cultivator who had trespassed on its territory.
“An Outsider…” The flying beast let out a low growl. “Die.”
Its black wings suddenly spread out as it shot forth like a dazzling streak of electric light, moving far faster than the limits of the Heavenly Daos. This avian creature was actually quite formidable, far more so than the crocodilian creature Ning had fought and pursued for the sword-ki painting. This creature had the power of an elite World God, giving it tremendous confidence in its abilities to deal with most Outsiders.
Even if it encountered someone stronger than it, it felt that it would at most be slightly suppressed. Once the battle went on for an extended period of time, other bugbeasts would soon begin to arrive. By then, the Outsider cultivator would have to choose between fleeing or dying.
“KREE.” An ugly screeching sound rang out from the winged creature’s mouth as its enormous bright red claws ripped towards Ning. As for its black wings, it swept them towards Ning’s head.
Ning continued to walk forward in a very calm manner. Why wouldn’t he be calm? Even when he was an Elder God, he wouldn’t have feared a bugbeast like this, much less now.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Spatial ripples spread out from those giant claws as they tore through the air and struck with power comparable to that of Rocky’s.
Finally, Ning moved.
Ning’s arms suddenly stretched out to become many dozens of meters long, and his fingers chopped out like the edges of a sharp blade. He used his hand to stab directly into the avian creature’s brain, then pulled his hand back. A huge hole had appeared in the avian beast’s head, with the insides of its skull completely destroyed. Life fled from its eyes and it died on the spot.
Although bugbeasts were born and bred for combat and possessed incredibly powerful bodies, they had their own weak spots as well.
A dull look of amazement could still be seen in the creature’s now-lifeless eyes as its corpse fell from the skies, kicking up a storm of dust as it slammed into the ground.
Ning gave it a glance.
“Horizon’s Edge. This truly is a formidable technique created by an ancient power. It really is formidable!” Ning couldn’t help but mentally praise the technique. Just now, he had used his fingers to simulate the strikes of a sword. Because of his Seventh Cycle of the [Starseizing Hand], his two hands were now comparable to Dao weapons. Bugbeasts like these weren’t worthy of him drawing his true weapons.
The Horizon’s Edge technique could be summarized in one word – fast!
As soon as the sword struck, it would instantly be able to reach the very edges of the horizon! This is what was meant by the name, ‘Horizon’s Edge’. Ji Ning had simply struck out with his right hand, but the avian beast was given no chance to dodge or block whatsoever. The azureflower mist energy had given Ning incredible speed and power to begin with, and when he matched it with the Horizon’s Edge technique, he was able to strike even faster. Even bugbeasts with incredibly powerful bodies such as the avian creature would be unable to dodge it in time.
“KILL THE INVADER!”
“KILL THE OUTSIDER!”
The ripples generated by this sudden battle quickly spread out to cover the entire ten thousand kilometers of the Grove of Monoliths, causing the bugbeasts all began to furiously converge upon this location. This was the most terrifying aspect of the Grove! Formidable World-level cultivators could deal with these bugbeasts one or two at a time, but when they surrounded you and converged upon you in such a manner, you would have no choice but to flee even if you had the power of a supreme World God.
“Interesting. I’ll use you all to test myself out and see how powerful I have become.” Ning continued to stroll forwards, moving towards the direction of the crocodilian beast.
More and more bugbeasts began to appear within his field of vision. Some had enormous scaled wings, some crawled through the ground like centipedes, some were plant-type creatures with green leaves, while some looked almost humanoid and jogged across the land. All of them had auras of incredible power, but none of them were in a rush to immediately charge towards Ning. Instead, they continued to gather in number in the area around him. Ten of them. Twenty of them. Thirty of them…
They circled around Ning but didn’t attack.
“How crafty. Even though bugbeasts are stupid creatures, the ones who can survive to reach the World level are all quite crafty.” Ning chuckled as he glanced at the thirty-plus bugbeasts who had already arrived. All of these powerful creatures were staring intently at Ning, who remained as placid as a calm pool of water.
Finally, they moved. A total of thirty-nine bugbeasts had arrived by now, and one of them was a towering humanoid bugbeast whose entire body was covered with sharp spikes. As it let out a furious howl, the other thirty-eight bugbeasts instantly began to charge straight for Ning.
Ning just stood there without moving, allowing these thirty-nine bugbeasts to attack him en masse.
Suddenly, Ning stretched his hand out. His palms transformed in size, looking almost like utterly enormous palm-leaf fans that were filled with enough power to easily crush any chaosworld to bits. When he struck out with these titanic palms, the very skies themselves seemed to grow dim. At Ning’s current level of mastery, every single strike was filled with inconceivably profound mysteries and insights. He sent a palm smashing towards the head of the first creature to arrive, a fast-moving four-legged unicorn-like beast. BOOM! The four-legged unicorn’s head caved in so deep that it was pressed down through the neck into its chest. It died on the spot.