“Yes, Master.” Ji Ning’s command was perfectly suited to the Flamewing God’s temperament. It immediately unleashed an earth-shaking howl as it flapped its wings, leaving behind a jagged scar in the air as it soared towards the limits of this astral world.
The black-robed Sourcewalker simply watched calmly: “The forceful response, eh?”
BOOM! The ‘membranes’ of this astral world rumbled as the charging Flamewing’s giant fleshy claws slammed into them, with the explosion filling the entire starry realm. However, this astral world remained quite stable; it didn’t even budge in the slightest. Instead, it was Flamewing who was knocked flying backwards by tens of thousands of kilometers.
“Sithe war machines truly are impressive,” Ning sent mentally. “This black-robed Sourcewalker may be far more powerful than most Hegemons, but there’s no way it can possess limitless power like you, Flamewing. Ignore all else and just launch repeated attacks. A hundred attacks, a thousand attacks, ten thousand attacks… I want to see how long the Sourcewalker can resist you!”
“Fine.” Flamewing’s confidence was soaring thanks to its master’s words, and it once more sent itself slamming into the edges of the realm.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Flamewing used all of its power to slam into the edges of the realm, moving in a fairly rhythmic manner. Seeing this, the black-robed Sourcewalker slowly shook his head.
Whoosh. The Sourcewalker willed it, and the strange energy that had covered this area of a trillion kilometers instantly dissipated, flying back into the globe in front of the Sourcewalker. The world around them once more reverted to the normal icy world.
“He gave up.” Ning felt a sense of delight.
“Don’t misunderstand. I’m not afraid of you.” The black-robed Sourcewalker’s voice boomed out, echoing through the skies: “The dimension formed by this Sithe war machine is incredibly stable and is not easily breached. I, Daoist Towerdawn, have wandered the Chaosverse for countless years and have many tricks up my sleeve. Even if I cannot kill you, it would be very easy for me to keep you trapped here! If you wish to leave this place, you must go through the tempest region. Even if no one is bothering you, it will take you a hundred million years to fly through it! If I chose to interfere, you might be able to stay alive but you’ll never be able to escape.”
Ning’s heart sank. Indeed, the only way out was to slowly fly out rather than warp through spacetime. The black-robed Sourcewalker was probably telling the truth. However, thanks to Flamewing’s power it wouldn’t be that easy for him to trap them either.
Whoosh. The realmship appeared next to the Flamewing, with Ning, Azurefiend, and Whitethaw inside of it. They didn’t dare to leave it, for fear of being ambushed.
“You talk a big game,” Azurefiend called out. “Why did you put away that Sithe weapon, then?”
“Haha…” Daoist Towerdawn actually let out a rare laugh. This caused the armored Sourcewalker to stare at him in astonishment. His big brother almost always had an icy look on his face, and he rarely laughed.
“You were able to defeat my formation with ease. I refuse to believe this Chaos Primordial learned the art of formations! That means one of you two has to be a formations expert.” Daoist Towerdawn’s gaze was cold and calm as he stared at Ning’s realmship. “That’s why I feel that there’s no need for us to fight.”
“All you want is a Daomerge Firecloud Flower, right? Those things are of no use to us at all. I want your help in breaching a formation. If my guess is correct, you need the flower for the white-robed Daolord inside the realmship, yes? So long as you help me breach that formation, I’ll gift the flower to you! Not just that; I’ll give you other Daomerge treasures as well, like the Spirit Incense-Fruit. I’ll give them all to you!”
“But big brother! The Spirit Incense-Fruit is delicious!” the armored Sourcewalker couldn’t help but interrupt. Daoist Towerdawn cast him a cold gaze, causing him to instantly shut his mouth and fall silent.
“Breach a formation?” Ning and Azurefiend were both intrigued as they considered this from within the realmship. If they could avoid a fight, they would prefer to do so. Clearly, this Sourcewalker wasn’t easy to deal with! Azurefiend sent mentally, “Darknorth, the Daomerge Firecloud Flower and the Spirit Incense-Fruit are only useful to Daolords; they aren’t all that valuable to Sourcewalkers or Eternal Emperors! He probably won’t try to cheat you.”
“This works for me. However, you must swear a lifeblood oath on this,” Ning said.
“Very well. However, I do want to let you know something; the entire Icewind Sea only holds a single Daomerge Firecloud Flower, and it is still growing. I estimate that it’ll take tens of thousands of chaos cycles before it ripens! Even if you accelerate time, you’ll only be able to accelerate it by a ratio of 1000x; otherwise, you’ll impact its growth cycle. In other words, you’ll have to wait a minimum of a few dozen chaos cycles before you can actually obtain it.”
“That’s fine.” Ning had suspected this would be possible, as Daomerge Firecloud Flowers had to be used within a thousand years of ripening. Thus, any ones he encountered were likely to be unripe. These marvelous flowers needed extremely long periods of time to grow. A few dozen chaos cycles… this was a fairly long period of time, but he needed to make other preparations for his Daomerge as well. Once the flower bloomed, he would need to immediately begin the Daomerge.
“Very well. I need you to unlock the restrictive seals covering this shield.” Daoist Towerdawn waved his hand, causing a bronze shield which was roughly nine meters long to immediately appear before him. This shield had the enormous face of a beast as its motif, and it emanated a mysterious yet dominating aura.
“This is something I came across by accident when I was wandering the borders of the Sithelands, but I’ve been unable to defeat the formations sealing it,” Daoist Towerdawn said.
“The Sithelands?” Ning and Azurefiend were both surprised.
“Yes, the homeland of the entire Sithe race,” Daoist Towerdawn said. “Don’t ask any more questions; the only task before you is for you to unlock these seals.”
Ning and Daoist Towerdawn both swore lifeblood oaths. Only then did Ning exit his realmship.
Whoosh. Daoist Towerdawn rapidly shrank in size from 540,000 meters to a height equivalent to Ning’s. He glanced at the armored Sourcewalker, who obediently shrank down as well.
Ning, Azurefiend, Whitethaw, and Flamewing all walked over as well.
“What cowards,” the armored Sourcewalker mumbled.
“They are simply being cautious,” Daoist Towerdawn said, then glanced at Ning and the other two. “If you can breach the restrictions covering this shield, it shall be as I swore. If not, you can forget about acquiring those treasures.”
Ning walked straight over to the shield as he said, “Don’t worry, if I can’t break it we can just keep fighting if that is what you wish. There’ll be plenty of time for that.”
“Grr…” Flamewing let out a low growl towards the two Sourcewalkers.
“Hah! You really do have a Sithe treasure here.” Ning nodded. “It is actually covered with seven layers of restrictive seals. This has to be an extremely important treasure.”
“Early on, one of my friends guessed that since it is shaped like a shield, it is probably meant for defense,” Daoist Towerdawn said. There were many types of Sithe war machines. Some were strong, some were weaker. The chains which Ning had acquired had suppressive effects and could absorb energy, while the one Daoist Towerdawn had just used was able to create a dimension of its own. Realmslord Windgrace’s ‘Blacksun’ was capable of allowing instantaneous teleportation across great distances and also had incredibly powerful attacks. The Realmslord’s single war machine was so powerful that it could influence entire sectors, making it incredibly precious.
Ning nodded, then lowered his head to carefully inspect the shield. He smiled. “Interesting. The person who set down this formation can be considered an expert, I suppose.”
The formations over the shield served to suppress and seal its power, making it quite similar to the chains which had imprisoned the Flamewing God. However, it was clearly much less complicated. The Flamewing God had been incredibly important to the Sithe; they had sent three Sithe Exalts to capture it, then had fashioned the chains which kept it imprisoned. There was no way this buckler was equivalent to a Chaos Primordial in value, and the person who created the seals over it hadn’t been at the Sithe Exalt level.
The seals over the chains that had been around the Flamewing God? Now those had been complex! If it hadn’t been for the fact that Ning had a detailed library of many Sithe formations, there was no way he would’ve been able to solve them.
He had been at a very high level of insight into the Dao of Formations, and also had many detailed guides. Despite that, he still had to spend hundreds of chaos cycles analyzing the chains before managing to succeed.
In comparison, the formations before him were far simpler. Ning had reached a high level of mastery over Sithe-style formations, and the formation before him was actually something which was written down within that library of Sithe techniques.
“No need to rush things. Let’s take it slow. So long as you can finish before the Daomerge Firecloud Flower ripens, it’ll be fine. You have dozens of chaos cycles,” Daoist Towerdawn said.
“Dozens of chaos cycles? I’m gonna take a nap, big brother. Wake me when it’s over.” The armored Sourcewalker turned, preparing to go take a nap.
“No need for all that trouble.” Ning simply reached out and gently tapped the surface of the buckler. Instantly, a unique type of Immortal energy flowed out from Ning’s finger and began to silently break through the layers of formations covering the shield. In just the blink of an eye, all seven layers of formations were instantly breached. The azure shield immediately began to emanate with a terrifying aura that seemed to have the weight of mountains. Ning himself felt as though he could use all his power but still be completely unable to budge the shield at all.
“…big brother, didn’t you say that the formations were really tough?” The armored Sourcewalker stared in shock.
Daoist Towerdawn was rather surprised as well. Moments later, an overjoyed smile appeared on his face, and he actually slapped Ning on the shoulders in a very friendly manner. This caused Ning to feel rather surprised himself.
Daoist Towerdawn said with a joyful laugh, “You aren’t bad, you little Daolord tyke! I thought it was the skinny old man standing behind you who was the one skilled in formations. When I saw that it was you, I actually lost hope. I never would’ve imagined you’d break it almost instantly! You really are incredible. Feel free to take the Daomerge Firecloud Flower and the Incense Spirit-Fruit! Haha. Oh, right. I have a few other Incense Spirit-Fruits here in my estate-treasure. I was planning to serve them to any friends who came calling, but I’ll just give them to you instead.”