The many bugbeasts began to swarm around Ji Ning. Some blasted streaks of energy from their mouths, while the bugbeast that was covered with green leaves suddenly sprouted many branches as it charged into close combat range.
It must be understood that during the trial of the Samsara Grinders, only master-class World Gods were capable of successfully fighting those many weak (but berserk) World-level golden warriors to a standstill. These bugbeasts, however, were far stronger than those golden warriors had been, with a small number actually being comparable to master-class World Gods themselves. One bad strike could knock you to the ground, and you would instantly be entangled by vines, branches, tails, and other flexible weapons. After that happened, you would be dead.
A cruel shadow suddenly streaked out. Ning’s fingers had pierced straight through the skull of a centipede-like bugbeast! The strike was simply too fast. As soon as Ning’s fingers had moved, they had gone straight through the enemy’s defenses.
Ning’s palms suddenly expanded to become enormous in size, and he furiously chopped down with the edge of his palm like a hatchet! The power of his blow smashed an airborne winged bugbeast directly into the ground, its body shattering apart into countless pieces.
Ning’s hands looked almost crystalline as they transformed into streaks of blade-light that lashed out, chopping straight through the head of the savage, humanoid-shaped creature that was completely covered with spikes.
It was a massacre. Ning’s two hands were weapons of mass destruction, and the more he killed the more excited he became. He suddenly manifested the [Three Heads, Six Arms] technique and began to slaughter any bugbeasts who dared to move close to him.
“I’ve been having a wonderful nap for the past chaos cycle. Why has it taken all of you so long to deal with this invader? Why is he still not dead?” A turtle-shaped bugbeast slowly flew towards Ning from afar, but moments later it came to a sudden halt as its beady little eyes widened. It could see that there were now more than eighty bugbeasts gathered in the area.
The area was littered with shattered corpses. Normally, bugbeasts loved to devour the corpses of other bugbeasts, but right now no one was even thinking of doing such a thing.
All of them had been terrified by the slaughter.
More than fifty bugbeasts had been slain, and that white-robed sword-bearing youth continued to hold the complete upper hand in the battle as he continued to slay even more.
Finally, the first bugbeast broke ranks and began to flee. Instantly, the teetering morale of the remaining bugbeasts shattered. They had only dared to continue the fight because of so many others being present, but they now lost all their courage and began to flee in every which way.
“He’s freaking terrifying. He killed more than half of them!” The turtle was so frightened that he immediately turned tail and fled.
“Ahahaha…” Ning suddenly transformed into a shadowy blur, his speed reaching incredible heights as his six arms savagely struck out in every direction. In the blink of an eye, more than ten more bugbeasts fell to the ground, dead. In the end, only eight of the bugbeasts that had surrounded Ning were lucky enough to escape with their lives.
Ning let out a laugh.
That had felt good.
He had utterly dominated them and massacred them, in the process getting a better understanding of his current level of power. During the trial of the Samsara Grinders, he had been able to easily defeat those golden-armored warriors, and he was now able to slaughter these bugbeasts with a similar degree of ease, including those master-class ones. They were like infants before him, easily slain by a casual blow.
This level of power completely and vastly surpassed that of a ‘supreme’ World God’s. Even if God Emperor Blacklotus came back to life, Ning would be able to easily defeat and slay him without even using Violetjewel.
“Everyone kept on talking about how strong those bugbeasts are, but I’m much stronger than them. Even if I completely rely on raw brute force alone, I’ve reached the Samsara Daolord threshold of power. My sword-arts, however, can allow me to better unleash my true power.” The reason why Ning was able to butcher these bugbeasts so easily was because he had the azureflower mist energy strengthening him as well as a terrifyingly strong divine body.
“Arroyo made certain breakthroughs on the Samsara Grinder and is now a transcendent World God. He probably has just barely reached the Samsara Daolord threshold of power as well. However, he can only reach that level when he unleashes his complete, full power in his strikes. Any random blow I unleash when using [Three Heads, Six Arms] is probably somewhat stronger than his full-force blows. If I was to use my Eternal weapon, Violetjewel… I think the power of my strikes would be enough to threaten even actual Samsara Daolords,” Ning mused.
However, he would only be able to threaten a Samsara Daolord who had just recently made his breakthrough. True Samsara Daolords who had been Fiendgod Body Refiners would have divine bodies that were just as strong as Ning’s, and they would generally have both Eternal weapons and more profound insights into the Dao! Given that they had other secret arts and divine abilities of their own… Ning was still some distance away from being able to battle them.
However, it was an indisputable fact that if Ning struck out with his sword, even Samsara Daolords would have to take his strike seriously.
The remaining bugbeasts in the Grove began to disperse and flee.
As for Ning, he could sense where the crocodilian creature was and the direction it was fleeing towards. Ning quickly advanced towards its direction, and on the way he was able to see quite a few magic treasures and weapons scattered throughout the grove. These were the spoils of war which the bugbeasts had taken from cultivators they had slain! Ning went ahead and collected them as he advanced through the Grove.
“That crocodile is still fleeing?” Ning’s speed suddenly skyrocketed.
His speed instantly reached a terrifying new level as he blasted through the skies above the Grove. He almost instantly caught up with the blindly fleeing crocodilian bugbeast, which had been fleeing at its own top speed. “Who the hell was that invader, and why is he so strong? Everyone else is fleeing, so I guess I should flee as well. Right, right.” The crocodilian bugbeast hadn’t taken part in the fight, but it had began to flee when the other creatures had fled.
Swoosh! Ning suddenly appeared directly in front of the crocodile.
The crocodile came to a halt, shocked. It stared in utter terror at the white-robed youth who had just appeared in front of him. It recognized this youth! Years ago, this youth had pursued him so tightly that he had nowhere else to flee but the Grove. However, back then the youth’s aura had been fairly weak; he had merely been an Elder God at that time. His aura was now much more powerful.
“He chased me through the Grove. Is he the one who wrecked it?” The crocodilian bugbeast was utterly terrified. Bugbeasts were sentient creatures and thus were capable of fear. Even in the Grove, it had merely been one of the weaker creatures present. How could it dare to battle against Ning now?
“Spare me, spare me!” As soon as Ning appeared before the creature, it hurriedly called out for mercy.
Ning blinked. He wasn’t in a hurry to attack. “It knows to ask for mercy at a time like this? Interesting.”
This was the first time that Ning had encountered a bugbeast which begged for mercy.
“Hand over your treasures,” Ning instructed. “If you hold back so much as a single item… don’t blame me for not having given you a chance.”
“Y-y-yes!” The crocodile’s entire body transformed into a stream of gray mist, and one treasure after another began to fly out of that misty region. Dao weapons, strange claws, scales, a scroll, Chaos treasures… a small pile of treasures appeared next to it.
“Everything I have is right here. I didn’t hold anything back.” The crocodile reformed and hurriedly spoke to Ning in an ingratiating manner.
Ning’s eyes lit up. The claws and those scales were the spoils of war the crocodilian creature had acquired from defeating other bugbeasts. Ning didn’t really care about them. However, that scroll emanated an aura of sword-ki that was particularly striking, and the fact that it was resonating with his own Mirrorsnow Painting told Ning that it had to be the item he was looking for.
Ning waved his hand, pulling the scroll over towards himself. He opened up the scroll to take a look. It was the painting of a palace.
“Man, these paintings really are ugly,” Ning muttered to himself, but he had a smile on his face. He put the painting away.
“Four paintings in each set. I now have the first and the third paintings in this set.” Ning turned away and flew back towards the Grove of Monoliths. The crocodilian creature nervously watched as Ning left before it frantically turned to flee once more, its four stubby legs moving furiously as it once more transformed into a streak of mist.
Ning had slain most of the bugbeasts in the Grove of Monoliths, and quite a few of them were in possession of valuable treasures they had acquired as spoils of war. Ning naturally was planning to collect it all.
Six days later, Ning emerged from the Fog Sea and returned to the Ten Thousand Mountains.
“It is time to leave.” Ning turned back to glance at the fog, sighing mentally.
He still remembered quite clearly the scene of him entering Undermoon Lake for the first time. Back then, Ning had merely been an Empyrean God and had viewed World God Northrest as a figure of utterly overwhelming power. Now, Ning was at an even higher level of power than World God Northrest had ever reached. There were very, very few individuals below the Samsara Daolord level of power who were a match for Ning.
“But I’m still far from being strong enough to reverse the flow of spacetime and bring her back to life.” Ning shook his head, then walked out of the mountains.
The outside world.
Clouds were drifting high up in the skies. The blood-robed Arroyo, the gold-robed Fukai, and World God Boneplate were silently seated atop the clouds, continuously scanning this entire chaosworld with their godsense. They had completely suppressed their auras, and they looked like three hungry wolves who were preparing to pounce upon their prey. For now, their claws and their fangs remained hidden as they continued to quietly wait.
They were waiting for Ji Ning to emerge!
Suddenly, there was a spatial ripple.
Arroyo, Fukai, and Boneplate simultaneously turned to look towards a direction off in the distance. Even though they were millions of kilometers away, they were capable of seeing with great clarity a white-robed youth who had a sword on his back materialize in the air above the Allgod Estate. It was that freak of an Elder God whom they had been awaiting for so long.
“Eh?” Ning could sense their godsense and so he spread his own godsense out as well. As he did so, he also turned to look in their direction, and he immediately saw those three distant figures seated in the lotus position above the clouds.
In that moment, their gazes intersected in midair!