Ji Ning stared at the twenty-three beasts off in the distance, his eyes narrowing slightly.
“Kill!” Ning didn’t hesitate at all. He immediately began to quietly approach those beasts. Any major power would’ve made the same decision as he was right now, because only a fool would give up the chance to acquire a treasure like deluxe hellgold without even giving it a shot! It must be understood that even the deceased Sword Hegemon had only left Ning with fifty million cubes of chaos nectar, which wasn’t that much more than the deluxe hellgold was worth!
This pearl of deluxe hellgold was far more valuable than even the Eternal blood had been!
Whoosh. Ning used the Shadowless evasion skill as he continued to stealthily advance. One million kilometers. Five hundred thousand kilometers. Three hundred thousand kilometers…
The physically largest member of the carapace beasts that were absorbing energy from the hellgold suddenly turned its head to stare in Ning’s direction, a look of rage appearing within its deep eyes. Moments later, it let out a furious roar. “RAAAAWR!” Its roar was ear-piercing and rent the skies, causing countless streaks of heaven-destroying energy to sweep straight towards Ning.
“Looks like I’ve been discovered. Attack!” Ning’s speed increased dramatically as he sped up to move at ten times the speed of light, and streaks of dark-gold lightning and icy-white water erupted from his body. An awesome vortex-world of water and lightning instantly appeared in front of him, encompassing all of the strange beasts within it.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
It sounded like stones cracking apart. Explosions appeared on the bodies of eleven of the smaller beasts as the carapace-like bodies burst open. Moments later, they disappeared as their bodies were transformed into dust. Nearly half of the twenty-three beasts had died from Ning’s first strike.
“Kill the invader!” The largest beast let out a frenzied howl as the other carapace beasts all charged furiously towards Ning as well.
Clang! Clang! Clang! Ning immediately activated [Three Heads, Six Arms]. He wielded his six Northbow swords in his hands as he blocked multiple strikes from the swarming beasts.
While blocking their attacks, Ning was able to sense several streams of strange, penetrating power be transmitted into his body. The power dug through the Hegemon armor and invaded deeper into his body, making him feel rather numb.
“What a strange attack. Even with the Hegemon armor protecting me, I still feel a bit numb. If I was an ordinary Daolord of the Fourth Step, I probably would actually end up dying here.” Ning relaxed slightly. Different beasts which lived in different environments would have different attacks. Some were born with terrifying illusory powers, while others were born with tremendous skill in formations. Still others were able to move so fast, they could attack at the speed of a hundred times the speed of light.
If Ning encountered a beast whose powers perfectly countered his, he would be in serious trouble. However, although the carapace beasts before him had very strange attacks, Ning feared creatures like them the least. He had a suit of Hegemon armor and a body equivalent to a low-grade Eternal weapon; to harm him through direct attacks was incredibly difficult.
“Kill!” Ning’s sword-arts were arcane and profound, far above the level of these carapace beasts.
Slash! Sword-light flashed, piercing through the head of one of the carapace beasts. Moments later, its head exploded as the internal organs inside of it were reduced to dust.
Slash! Slash! Slash! Ning’s sword was incredibly sharp, and the Blood Drop stance of his Omega Sword Dao contained tremendous penetrative power. The carapace beasts were able to endure Ning’s lightning-water vortex-world, but they weren’t able to withstand Ning’s sword! Soon, just three of the beasts were left in the air. These were the three largest beasts, and they had the toughest carapaces as well, so tough that not even Ning’s sword was able to pierce through them.
“Detestable invader.” The three strongest carapace beasts were completely enraged by the deaths of their fellows. They attacked even more ferociously than before, and each time Ning clashed against them he could sense that penetrative power seep into his body.
Ning suddenly put away five of his swords, leaving just one behind. His six hands all gripped that single sword as he raised it high into the air, then delivered a ferocious chop with it. The speed of this blow seemed both as slow as a falling leaf and as fast as a flash of lightning. An endless amount of power quickly became to accumulate, making it seem like a volcano that was about to explode.
BOOM! Ning’s sword seemed to strike out in a head-on blow, but it actually fluttered out in an unpredictable arc that skirted past the claws of the carapace beasts, then smashed one of them on its head.
Ning was taking advantage of the fact hat these beasts had low levels of comprehension and technique. If he was fighting against Daolords of the Fourth Step like Patriarch Clearwind, the latter would be able to block even a maximum-speed attack from Ning.
A low, rumbling explosion rang out and the carapace beast’s body trembled. Although its internal organs were very tough, in the end they couldn’t compare to those of a cultivator who had trained in a protective divine ability. For cultivators, the strength and endurance of every part of their body was identical. As for these carapace beasts, they had incredibly tough shells but somewhat more fragile internal organs.
Under Ning’s most powerful sword-strike, the creature’s organs were reduced to smithereens, and it died on the spot. Its body turned soft as it fell backwards, then simply hovered there in the air, its body twitching every so often as blood flowed out of its nostrils.
“Next.” It was as though Ning was riding on a sharp sword. With a swoosh, he moved at ten times the speed of light and appeared next to another one of the carapace beasts, and the beast bellowed in rage and fear as he approached.
BOOM! Yet another explosion rang out. The beast had tried to fight back, but so what? It was still struck on the head, and it too fell backwards as all signs of life disappeared from its corpse.
“And that leaves you.” Ning turned his gaze towards the largest carapace beast, the one who had been the first to discover Ning.
“Invader, you shall die for invading our racial lands.” The carapace beast let out a low growl. Its armored carapace was clearly thicker than those of the others, and it was noticeably stronger as well.
BOOM! Ning struck out with a furious chop, his six arms clenched around that single sword as he once more delivered a hammering blow to the skull of the beast. An explosion rang out, and even the space around them began to splinter. The carapace beast was knocked backwards by the force of the stunning blow, but it then raised its head calmly to give Ning a murderous glare.
“What?!” Ning’s face tightened. For it to possess unearthly defenses was one thing, but how was it that even a head-on kinetic strike was unable to kill it?!
Whoosh. The carapace beast once more charged forwards, its tail sweeping straight towards Ning. As for Ning, he once more wielded all six Northbow swords as he moved at his absolute maximum speed while using his lightning-water vortex-world to constrain his foe.
Slash! Clang! Boom!
Ear-piercing screeches, low growls, light pants. All sorts of sounds erupted as the space around them was repeatedly torn apart and regenerated as Ning engaged the largest carapace beast in a furious battle.
Whoosh! Two streaks of sword-light shot out almost like a pair of flexible ropes, quickly wrapping themselves around that carapace beast with multiple layers of ‘shackles’.
“No! NO!” The carapace beast had been completely bound. It immediately struggled to break free, only to no avail.
“Even I would laugh at myself if you were able to break free from this.” Ning revealed a smile. “It seems using ‘softer’ methods is more appropriate for dealing with crazed beasts like this.” Ning had indeed used a pair of Northbow swords to tie up this beast.
The Northbow swords had been forged for Ning by Emperor Gonflame himself, and they were lifeblood weapons that were well-suited towards all aspects of the Dao of the Sword. They could be ferocious, could be insidious, could be unpredictable… and they could be both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ in their fighting styles. They could be ‘hard’ in striking like a heavy sword, or they could be ‘soft’ in striking like a whip. This was the nature of the Northbow swords.
“Get in here.” Ning produced a gourd, then unplugged the stopper. Whoosh! Instantly, the roaring and struggling carapace beast was drawn flying into the gourd. Moments later, two streaks of sword-light flew out from the gourd and into the scabbard on Ning’s back. Ning then waved his hand again as he collected the corpses of the other carapace beasts as well. Clearly, their shells could be used as manufacturing components.
“That’s finally done.” Ning let out asigh of relief. It might’ve looked like a quick victory, but Ning had already used all the tools he had available to win this fight. “The deluxe hellgold.” Ning turned his gaze towards that pearl of deluxe hellgold. This was what he really wanted.
Ning stepped forward, reaching out with his right hand and clasping that pearl, then gave it a tug.
Clack clack clack! Countless strands of golden energy in the area around it began to tremble. It was as though invisible ropes were connected to the deluxe hellgold, preventing its removal.
“What’s going on?” Ning stared, then gave it another tug. Once again, the deluxe hellgold seemed to be rooted down and immovable. The golden mist for ten million kilometers around him once more began to shudder. Only when Ning stopped tugging did the golden mist go back to normal.
“It seems the golden mist is connected to the deluxe hellgold.” Now that Ning understood the connection, he tugged at it one final time with all his force.
BOOM! A massive explosion could be heard as the pearl of deluxe hellgold was torn away and entered Ning’s grasp. Ning immediately stored it away into his estate-world.
The endless amounts of golden mist instantly began to roil about as they furiously flooded towards a certain direction, becoming sparser and sparser until it completely disappeared. Soon, the area around Ning became completely pristine, with not a hint of golden mist remaining.
Ning stared at his surroundings in amazement. The golden mist had vanished up to a distance of ten billion kilometers around him. Only outside the ten billion kilometer range could more of the golden mist be seen.
Ning immediately turned to look towards the direction of the resonance with the azureflower seal. Tens of billions of kilometers away, within that golden mist, Ning was able to vaguely make out an enormous silhouette of something that looked like an estate.
“An estate?” Ning’s eyes lit up.
The surrounding area for ten billion kilometers was now completely clear of golden mist. Quite a few carapaced creatures stared at their surroundings in astonishment. Just a few seconds ago, they had been surrounded by golden mist. Why had it all completely vanished? Soon, their gazes turned towards the distant white-robed youth.
There were thousands of those carapace beasts within this region of ten billion kilometers, and they all glared at Ning as they let out furious roars and charged straight towards him.