Ji Ning quickly fought his way to the thirty-first floor of the Abyss of Fiends.
“Eh?” Thus far, the Abyss had been a place filled with baleful auras and negative energy. Ning couldn’t help but feel somewhat flabbergasted upon suddenly encountering a level that was filled with flowers and birds, a level which was almost like an otherworldly paradise.
A white-robed man drifted towards Ning from afar, bearing three swords on his back; one violet-hilted, one gold-hilted, and one white-hilted. He emanated an ephemeral, drifting aura which was similar to that of the clouds in the sky.
A serious look immediately appeared on Ning’s face. Him?
Three grandmasters of the Dao of the Sword had perished outside. The muscular man who wielded that deep blue greatsword was the leader, while the other two Eternal Emperors were his retainers. One was dressed in azure armor, while the other looked just like this white-robed man before Ning.
Appearance, bearing, sword-aura… everything was identical.
“Darknorth?” The white-robed man said.
“Greetings, senior.” Ning bowed.
The white-robed man had a warm look in his eyes as he carefully scrutinized Ning, then smiled. “For you to be able to make it past my second brother means that you are probably quite strong. Unfortunately for you, I’m not my second brother.”
As he spoke, he drew forth the violet sword and the golden sword from his back. As for the white sword, it automatically unsheathed itself and transformed into a streak of white light that floated next to him.
“Be careful, senior.” Ning’s body blurred as he manifested his [Three Heads, Six Arms], then drew his six Violetjewels.
A fierce light flashed through Ning’s eyes as his Dao lightning and Dao water immediately burst forth, roaring through the skies and covering an area of ten thousand kilometers around them. The white-robed man was standing fairly close to Ning and was naturally wrapped up within this as well. The lightning-water Yin-Yang Sword Domain possessed truly remarkable amounts of power, and it constantly launched attacks against that white-robed man.
The white-robed man just stood there, not moving at all. And yet, the blurry sword-light emanating from around his body was like a cloud or a mist that easily absorbed and repelled all oncoming attacks.
“Eh? Not good.” Ning’s heart sank. “The azure-armored man had needed to use those physical nine swords to form a barrier of sword-light to protect him from my domain, but this white-robed man… the light from his sword-intent alone is enough for him to easily defend against me. Clearly, his defensive prowess is far superior to the azure-armored man’s.”
Ning’s guess was correct!
The azure-armored man’s specialty lay in attack, in slaughter! Ning had two Supreme Daos of defense, the Yin-Yang Sword Domain and Soleheart sword-intent, and only by combining them was he able to withstand the onslaught. This was a testament to how ferocious the azure-armored man’s attacks were.
By contrast, the white-robed man seemed much calmer and gentler.
“The Emperor Sword.” The white-robed man instantly transformed into a streak of light as he chopped out towards Ning with the violet sword.
This was an ephemeral, unpredictable chop, but it was so fast that it caused Ning’s heart to be gripped in ice. It was simply too fast. His opponent wasn’t even as strong as an ordinary World God was, but his sword was simply incredibly fast.
Ning hurriedly executed his Soleheart sword-intent, manifesting a black hole which had flickers of sword-light swiveling inside of it. He used this stance to defend against the opponent’s chop. It was a good decision. The power contained within the black hole was simply too enormous, allowing it to block the opponent’s lethal attack head-on.
“The Killsword.” The white-robed man spoke out once more.
Whoosh. This time, he struck out with the golden sword which he wielded in his left hands. The sword carried an aura of incredible sharpness as it pierced straight towards Ning!
This stab was actually somewhat similar to Ning’s own Blood Drop stance. However, it was a strike formed from the sword-intent of an Eternal Emperor. When the golden sword struck out, it carried an aura of such terrifying sharpness and destructive power that Ning couldn’t help but shudder. However, Ning knew that although the sword-intent itself caused him to uncontrollably shake in fear, the person using it was so incredibly weak that he probably wasn’t even at the World level in strength. This enormous disparity in physical power was enough to let Ning make a fight out of it.
Whoosh. He once more used the Soleheart stance to form that black hole. Sword-light once more swiveled and circled within that black hole, allowing him to once more forcibly block his opponent’s terrifying attack.
“Your defensive techniques truly are incredible.” The white-robed man shook his head and smiled. “As I expected… for you to be able to withstand my third brother means that my own attacks stand even less of a chance.”
Although he was superior to his third brother in overall power, his third brother was still stronger in raw attack power.
“If you are able to defeat my third sword, I won’t try to stop you,” the white-robed man said. The violet sword and golden sword in his hands began to move at the same time… and as for the most important sword of all, that streak of white light that had been hovering around him? It instantly vanished without a trace.
The violet sword and the golden sword emanated dazzling amounts of light, putting the sun in the skies to shame with their omnipresent radiance. It was like an enormous gauzy cloak of light had covered the entire world, completely covering Ji Ning within its perimeter.
“Break!” The Dao lightning and Dao water continued to rage around Ning, but himself disappeared without a trace as well. He had just used the Shadowless stance. When he next appeared, he was directly in front of that violet-golden gauze of light, and he furiously struck out with his six Violetjewels against the gauze.
Six streaks of white light suddenly appeared out of nowhere in front of the gauze, easily blocking Ning’s attacks.
“Eh?” Ning felt as though he had just chopped down upon a cloud or a layer of mist. There was nothing for him to exert his power against.
“I refuse to believe it.” Ning once more struck out with his Shadowless stance, launching another silent sneak-attack at another area. Alas, as soon as his attack was about to collide against the violet-golden canopy, streaks of white light once again appeared from the surface of the gauze. The white light was ethereal and ephemeral, giving Ning no way to exert his full force upon it, causing his attacks to fail repeatedly.
Ning was completely covered by that gauze canopy of violet-gold light, and the streaks of white light hidden within the canopy rendered Ning’s attacks completely fruitless.
“Haha, well done, second brother! You were able to easily trap that young fellow.” The azure-armored figure appeared off in the distance.
“If Master knew that I was using his most powerful killing technique, the Void Sword Realm to simply trap a foe… he’d probably be so insulted that he’d wipe me out.” The white-robed man’s figure appeared within the violet-golden canopy. When he used this technique, he completely merged himself into the canopy of light itself.
This was the Void Sword Realm, an extremely terrifying sword technique. It was definitely on par with Emperor Mirrorsnow’s most powerful strike, the Heartseal stance. Alas, the white-robed figure was merely using it with Elder God level power, making it much weaker. It was just barely capable of trapping a genius like Ning, who was comparable to a Daolord of the Second Step! If an Eternal Emperor used this technique, the entire violet-gold canopy would become completely ethereal, and it would be simplicity itself to use this technique to cover an entire territory!
Suddenly, an incomparably sharp streak of sword-light pierced out from within the violet-gold canopy.
“What?!” A hint of shock could be heard in the white-robed man’s voice. “How could he be able to pierce through my Void Sword Realm?! Third brother, why does he have such a terrifyingly strong sword-art?” The white-robed man roared.
“Ah?! He does have an extremely strong sword-art that carries tremendous destructive, penetrative power,” the azure-armored man said hurriedly. “Even I have to face that attack head-on in order to block it.”
“Damn!” The white-robed man grew furious and frantic.
The Void Sword Realm created an ethereal world which was unmoved by raw power. It could completely absorb even the most savage of strikes! Although the Shadowless stance of Ning’s [Brightmoon] sword-arts was rather strange, it simply wasn’t strong enough to overcome the world’s defenses. As for the Soleheart stance or the Yin-Yang Sword Domain, they were defensive techniques. But the Blood Drop stance… this was Ning’s most penetrating attack of all.
Even if Ning did come up with a Heavenbreaker sword-intent in the future, his Blood Drop stance would still have the greatest penetrative power.
It was an attack which destroyed everything in its path, which pierced through all things which sought to bar its way!
The Void Sword Realm wasn’t truly perfect and flawless. Perhaps only someone on the level of a Hegemon would be able to make it truly perfect… and its one weakness was to attacks that had tremendous penetrative power.
After Ning discovered that his Blood Drop stance was the perfect counter to the violet-gold gauze before him, he struck out three times in a row. His stabs blasted a hole through the canopy before him, and he immediately transformed into a streak of light and flew out of that hole.
The enormous violet-gold canopy instantly disappeared, transforming back into that white-robed man. The three swords the man had been using all flew back into the sheaths he was carrying on his back.
The white-robed man stared at Ning, a complicated look in his gaze.
The Blood Drop stance truly was the perfect counter to the Void Sword Realm. But of course, at present Ning’s Blood Drop stance was still rather raw and unpolished; the only reason it had succeeded was because the white-robed man’s level of power was limited to the Elder God level. Still, if Ning ever reached the Eternal Emperor level and was able to upgrade his Blood Drop stance to that level as well, he would be able to use it to defeat the Void Sword Realm as used by the Eternal Emperor who had created it.
“There is a counter and a complement for every sword-art.” The white-robed man sighed. “You were actually able to come up with a sword-art that perfectly countered mine. I truly don’t know if this was a blessing or a curse for you.”
“Darknorth.” The distant azure-armored figure spoke out as well. “Both my second brother and I wish for you to stop here. You truly are quite talented. We really don’t want to see you throwing your life away on the thirty-sixth floor.”
“Throwing my life away?” Ning frowned.
The azure-armored man said, “Just listen to me. My sword-arts and my second brother’s sword-arts all come from our respective masters. Although our masters were Eternal Emperors, they weren’t at the Hegemon level. Master’s sword-arts were never truly perfected, but the Hegemon’s… his sword-arts were truly perfect and without flaw.”
“You are skilled in defense, making it so that I can do nothing against you.
“Your sword-arts possess tremendous penetrative power, allowing you to defeat the Void Sword Realm.
“But if you were to go to the thirty-sixth level, you will realize that your sword-arts are all completely useless.” The azure-armored man shook his head. “You’ll die in despair! Over the course of countless ages, there have been quite a few monstrously talented World-level geniuses who were able to make it past myself and my second brother, but all of them died on the thirty-sixth floor.”
Ning was stunned. What?! There had been multiple individuals who had made it past the azure-armored man and the white-robed man, only to die on the thirty-sixth level?
“I urge you to give up,” the white-robed man said. “If you go back now, you can return to the exit tunnel on the twenty-fourth floor. I’ll give you one of my own master’s treasures as well! I’ll also transmit my master’s sword-arts legacy to you.”