Their attacks were completely ineffective against this castle, and each time they attacked they had to temporarily create an opening in the membrane surrounding this field of spacetime. The fluctuations generated by these brief openings was enough to let Ji Ning analyze the composition of the formations. Alas, the fluctuations disappeared so very quickly that he couldn’t actually go close and take a look in person. His only option was to scry them and their secrets from afar.
“Damn.” The Sithe Exalt was watching everything from the Sacred Realm, and he was so angry that his teeth hurt. He never would’ve imagined that the castle he bestowed upon the first group would prove to be so troublesome now.
“He has to die!” The Sithe Exalt knew that they wouldn’t necessarily have another chance like this. He instantly sent down eight more attack-oriented treasures which were strong counters for this castle.
“Here is a diagram of the barriers surrounding the surface of the castle. There are a total of twenty-one critical points in total. If you attack eight of them at the same time, you’ll have a chance to destroy it,” the Sithe Exalt ordered. The reason why he handed out eight was because he only HAD eight of these dark corrosive treasures. These were the only treasures which were strong counters against this particular castle.
The exiles began to launch another wave of attacks, while Azurefiend, the Paragon of Pills, Lord Annihilation, Hegemon Tia, and Hegemon Flameleft used all of their power to fight back!
Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. Suddenly, a series of illusory black longspears shot into the area, slamming against the castle. This time, the barriers of the castle began to tremble and break apart, but thankfully the castle itself was so incredibly thick and sturdy that the attack only blasted out a small crater on its surface.
“Eh?” Ning’s face tightened slightly.
“Master, the barriers were breached!” Azurefiend’s avatar said rather nervously.
“It is fine,” Ning said calmly. “The Sithe created this castle. They know the weaknesses of the barriers, which is why they were able to breach them with ease. However, the castle’s outer layer remains incredibly thick. It won’t be easy for them to pierce through it.”
The strongest defensive strength of this castle lay in the materials it was made from. The Tigerhill, for example, was sheathed in a thick layer of deepfire blackstone! Breaking through via raw power would naturally be extremely difficult.
As for this castle? It was even more powerful than the Tigerhill. Its surface was created from a strange, dark-red metal that seemed to be alive. Ning didn’t really know how to describe it, but what he did know was that it was harder to damage than even deepfire blackstone! Those longspears had been filled with a strange type of corrosive energy, which was why they had managed to erode a small crater onto the surface of the castle. If it wasn’t for that, the castle probably wouldn’t have even been marked.
“Attack!” One longspear after another flew towards the castle, breaking through its barriers repeatedly and gouging out more and more craters on its surface.
Ning cast a sidelong glance at the black mist which clung to those craters. The corrosive black energy was continuing to slowly melt through the surface of the castle.
“Those offensive weapons are applying the Dao of Darkness to a truly incredible degree.” Ning couldn’t help but sigh at this. The Sithe truly had reached the apex in virtually every single Dao.
However, Ning didn’t really care. His attention was primarily focused on analyzing the ripples in spacetime which appeared with each attack.
Time continued to flow on. The Hegemons and Emperors attacked nonstop, using up a large amount of Immortal energy. Thankfully, they had prepared a large amount of spirit-pills to replenish their power.
They attacked nonstop for nearly an entire hour. By now, the entire castle was covered with a layer of incredibly dense and corrosive black mist. Everyone inside the castle looked quite nervous, because they all knew that this powerful castle was at the verge of collapse.
“Darknorth, we can’t hold on much longer. What should we do?” The Paragon of Pills felt both anxious and guilty. She blamed herself for this, because Ning had only fallen into this Sithe trap due to having come here to rescue her.
“Master, do you have any ideas?” Azurefiend’s avatar was worried about Ning as well.
“At least it bought me an hour,” Ning said. “Don’t worry about the rest.” As he spoke, he waved his hand and drew away the Paragon of Pills and the others. As they disappeared, a look of worry was visible in their eyes. Some were worried about Ning, while others were only worried about themselves! Once Ning died, all of them would die.
To be precise… the Paragon, Azurefiend, Flameleft, and Tia were not afraid of death. They were worried for Ning. Lord Annihilation, however, very much wanted to stay alive!
“Nothing for it. Life and death shall be determined by this!” Ning suddenly cracked a smile. Both his true body and his Primaltwin had spent this period of time analyzing the mysteries of this dimension, seeking a way to destroy it. His Primaltwin had even made use of 100x temporal acceleration! Alas, this sort of spacetime formation would not be easy to deconstruct; even if Ning had 10,000x more time, it still probably wouldn’t be enough.
“We broke through!” The Hegemons and Emperors outside were excited at their successes. BOOM! The dark-red castle’s outer shell was finally corroded through by that dark mist.
“DIE!” A dazzling streak of sword-light suddenly lit up. In the middle of that sword-light was a white-robed figure whose eyes radiated a towering desire to do battle. Ning had discarded all other thoughts save for one – stay alive! He had to make it out of this place alive! Only if he made it out would the Paragon of Pills and the others survive as well.
“Break! Break! BREAK!” Ning manifested three heads and six arms, simultaneously wielding all six Northbow swords for the first time since his Daomerge. He seemed to have gone completely berserk, and every single attack he used was that of the Space Sword Dao. The destructive yet ephemeral sword-light began to skyrocket in power as all six swords stabbed out at the same time.
Ning attacked using maximum power with each sword, and his swords were the Northbow Swords, the preeminent offensive swords in all the Chaosverse. Every single strike he unleashed had power comparable to those of the most powerful of Autarchs! It must be remembered that although Ning had fought for quite some time, he generally didn’t strike with full-force on his attacks, while very little energy was used up when he merely used evasion-arts. The amount of energy consumed when he went all-out was quite shocking!
Sword-light flashed again and again and again.
BOOM! Finally, a hole appeared in one corner of this dimension, revealing the dark world outside. Swoosh! Ning immediately charged outside.
As soon as Ning charged outside the formation, he instantly appeared in front of a palace within the palace complex. He blinked inside the palace, slaughtering all of the true Sithe within it! As for the Sithe progeny, he confiscated all of their treasures and then locked them up for later testing. If they were truly loyal to the Sithe, they would be put to death in the future.
“Whew.” Ning’s face was rather ashen after he finished mopping up everyone in the palace complex. “Now that sucked. I only have six hundred chaos cycles left,” Ning said with a self-mocking chuckle. He had been forced to use too much power, using maximum-force blows each time as he rained a total of eighteen consecutive blows upon the formation in order to escape it.
And this was after Ning had spent a full hour analyzing the dimension, discovering some of its critical points. Although he wasn’t even close to being able to solve it, by focusing his attacks on those critical points he was able to make his attacks ten times more effective than they otherwise would be. This was why he had chosen to take the risk of launching eighteen full-strength attacks with his Space Sword Dao.
An Autarch who was trapped in a similar situation would’ve been able to escape much more easily. He could’ve simply launched nonstop attacks! An Autarch would not run out of energy, and so after ten thousand attacks the formation would be unable to withstand it any longer and collapse.
“Six hundred chaos cycles,” Ning mused to himself. Based on his original estimates, he would probably die after another hundred full-force strikes… and based on his actual energy usage, the ten-plus full-strength blows he had launched had resulted in his lifespan being reduced from ten thousand chaos cycles down to six hundred!
This was because a Daolord’s crumbling truesoul was like a cracking dam! The more he attacked, the greater the cracks would become. When he first started to fight, the crack would double in size and the truesoul crumbling speed would double. As a result, his lifespan would shorten by half, from around 12,000 chaos cycles to just 6000 chaos cycles!
As he continued to attack, his lifespan would drop by yet another half. The second time, it would ‘merely’ drop from 6000 chaos cycles to 3000 chaos cycles.
After that, 1500 chaos cycles. After that, 750…
It only took four or five ‘rounds’ of attacks for his lifespan to drop from 12,000 chaos cycles to 600 chaos cycles, and it would continue to drop from there on. After another ten or so rounds, his lifespan would be reduced to just half a chaos cycle. Technically, however, those ten rounds would ‘only’ have consumed around 599 chaos cycles, whereas the first few rounds consumed over 10,000 chaos cycles.
Clearly, the more he fought the smaller the absolute value of the effect on his lifespan would be. Alas, once his truesoul crumbled to a certain degree it would completely fall apart! Much like a dam which was riddled with cracks would eventually collapse, Ning would die after roughly a hundred full-force strikes.
“Six hundred chaos cycles… it’ll be enough!” Ning revealed a smile. “At least I’m still alive. It was all thanks to that extra hour that I managed to survive and escape.”
His truesoul was now crumbling at a far, far faster rate than it had been in the past. Ning raised his head to stare towards the skies. “Next will be the Sacred Realm.”
Aside from Ning, Purgatory no longer held any other living beings at all.