Book 43, Chapter 18 - The First Clash RWX's Thoughts

Desolate Era

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“I got here first! One of them is mine,” the towering creature with fiery scales said as it stared at Ji Ning and Mogg.

“You only got here a half-second before we did, and you’ve already attacked them. Clearly, however, these two cultivator leaders are completely unharmed. Why the hell should you get a second chance?” the cyclopean creature argued shrilly.

“Are you trying to start a fight, One Eye?” The flames surrounding the fiery-scaled creature suddenly rose higher. Clearly, it was quite offended by this.

“Do you think I’m afraid of you?” the cyclopean creature laughed.

“Heh, you two are already squabbling before the battle has even begun! So far, only two of the local cultivator leaders have arrived. Let’s just kill them first! I bet the cultivators will then send more, at which point we can get rid of a third one, right?” The dragon turtle roared, “Let’s attack and kill these two!”

The three Autarch-class lifeforms spoke in thunderous voices, not disguising their intentions in the slightest. Ning and Mogg exchanged a glance upon hearing all of this.

“It sounds as though they have to kill a total of three cultivators,” Ning sent.

“Autarch-class void dwellers aren’t easily managed. The Sithe probably reached some sort of a deal with them,” Autarch Mogg sent back. “They can be considered the true rulers of the vast Infinite Void which lies beyond our Chaosverse, and they undoubtedly had to slaughter a path through their fellows in order to reach their current heights. They hardly understand the Dao at all, but they have such incredibly powerful bodies that they are very difficult to deal with. Killing three of them will be very hard!”

“I understand.” Ning nodded. All void dwellers possessed bodies that were far stronger than even the bodies of Chaos Primordials… and the Autarch-class ones were even more insanely powerful! What made them truly dangerous was that they had so little understanding of the Dao that the ‘rejection’ they suffered upon entering this Chaosverse was almost meaningless to them, as they could hardly use the Dao to begin with! They still remained terrifying forces to be reckoned with.

“We previously managed to kill two of these Autarch-class void dwellers, but that was when we surrounded and outnumbered them,” Autarch Mogg sent mentally. “There are only two of us right now. This is going to be very difficult.”

“Let’s chat with them first and see if there is a way we can avoid fighting.” Ning could also sense the threat which these three Autarch-class creatures posed.

“Gentlemen!” Ning chuckled. “Why must we fight to the death? This war is a war between us and the Sithe. Why don’t the three of you just leave our Chaosverse and go back to your Infinite Void? Stay far away from the war. I imagine it is unlikely the Sithe would be able to capture you a second time. In fact, I’m surprised they captured you at all!”

“Hmph. We let our guards down,” the cyclopean creature said coldly.

“If we escaped, the Sithe can forget about capturing us again.” The fiery-scaled creature gritted its teeth, then howled furiously, “But what’s the point of saying all this? Do you really think you have a way to let us leave?”

The dragon turtle stared intently at Ning as well.

It was true that the three held no grudges against the local cultivators at all. If they could return home safely, they would be more than willing to do so. They might’ve been captured by the Sithe and forced to accept some tasks, but they weren’t bound by lifeblood oaths! Or, to be precise, there was no way for them to swear lifeblood oaths at all. They were completely different from both the cultivators and the Sithe!

For both the cultivators and the Sithe, both the Dao and the Dao-heart were extremely important. All of them trained from young as cultivators, slowly rising in power thanks to the Dao. These void dwellers, however, were evil, chaotic, and berserk creatures by nature. They didn’t even have Dao-hearts per se; the only law they understood was the law of survival. They would fight to the death, and the strong would live while the weak would die! They followed only the most brutish and barbaric of ‘laws’, the law of strength.

It was much like how weak mortals were completely incapable of swearing ‘lifeblood oaths’ without the help of something like an oathstone. They could swear until they were blue in the face, but they would never have to face the fear of their truesouls being destroyed. The same was true for these void dwellers! It was impossible for them to swear lifeblood oaths.

Thus, the Sithe generally had two options when dealing with the void dwellers they captured. They could either torture them into insanity, or they could slowly manage to tame them! However, it was virtually impossible to tame an Autarch-class void dweller, and so the only real choice was to either torture them or to negotiate with them as equals and come to an agreement.

“Why don’t the three of you just leave this hive?” Ning probed. “After that, you can just leave our Chaosverse. I don’t think anyone would or could stop you.”

“Leave the hive?” The cyclopean creature let out a cold laugh. “This is a place which can only be entered, not exited! The only way to leave is for the Sithe to voluntarily let you leave. If you don’t believe me, try for yourselves! Let’s see if the two of you can leave or not.”

“There’s no way out?” Ning was startled. Neither he nor Mogg had encountered any impediments at all as they flew into the deep abyss.

“Coming in is easy, but leaving is impossible,” the cyclopean creature said. “The three of us have tried to leave countless times, but there is no way out!”

Ning had the feeling that the creature wasn’t lying. There wasn’t a need to lie over something like this.

“Well, that’s easily solved,” Ning said. “Once we destroy this thing from the inside, we’ll be able to leave.”

“Destroy it? You two?” the titanic fiery-scaled creature boomed mockingly.

“You should at least let us give it a try. Maybe we’d succeed,” Ning said. “Just stand there and watch! You can always attack us later, if we really aren’t able to destroy it.”

Ning’s goal was simple. He wanted for these three Autarch-class void dwellers to not cause him any trouble as he tested out methods for destroying this behemoth hive. It must be remembered that these creatures had tremendous brutish force, but they couldn’t compare to the cultivators when it came to understanding the Dao. There was no way they could unlock the mysteries behind such an intricately designed weapon, but that didn’t mean Ning and Mogg couldn’t do so either.


“No way.” The other two Autarch-class void dwellers instantly rejected Ning’s suggestion.

“Cultivator leaders, let me speak plainly with you,” the dragon turtle said coldly. “Long ago, we came to an agreement with the Sithe after our capture. We made them certain promises. The first promise was that we had to each kill at least one of the ‘leaders of the cultivators’, while the second was that we had to protect this place for a full chaos cycle. Once we complete both objectives, we’ll be released and granted freedom.”

“We have to protect this place for a chaos cycle, so there’s no way we’ll let you try and destroy it. If we stand back, we’ll have instantly voided the agreement and the Sithe would never let us leave,” the cyclopean creature said.

“A full chaos cycle?” Ning and Mogg both grew anxious. That was unacceptable. Given how fast this thing was devouring energy, the Chaosverse probably would’ve been reduced to a husk of itself by then! The Sithe would’ve long ago taken control over the Chaosverse after a chaos cycle.

“There are two paths available to us,” the dragon turtle continued. “The first is for us to stand by the side of the Sithe. The second is for us to stand by your side… but if we do so, we’ll have made an irreversible choice! The three of us know just how terrifying this hive is, and we have no reason to believe that you two will be able to deal with it. We can’t just entrust our very lives to the two of you, unless you can somehow prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that you can destroy this hive.”

Ning and Mogg were both speechless. Prove beyond the shadow of a doubt? They didn’t even know how the thing operated yet. How were they supposed to do that?

“Hmph.” The dragon turtle snorted. “And here I thought you cultivators had something really impressive up your sleeves.”

“You disappoint us. KILL THEM!” The cyclopean creature was the first to attack. Whoosh! Its body blurred as it transformed into a strange ripple that instantly appeared before Ning and Mogg. It was so fast that even Ning was rendered speechless! Even when Ning used the Storm Sword Dao, he was still considerably slower than this creature.

“Leave this one to me!” Autarch Mogg held a long saber in each of his six arms, and he similarly transformed into a spatial ripple to fight back. As the master of the Space Daobirth Essence, Autarch Mogg was more or less able to stave off this cyclopean creature.

Slash! Dimensional tears began to appear and disappear in the space around the two. The cyclopean void dweller’s attacks were completely suppressing Autarch Mogg in both speed and ferocity, but the Autarch’s incredibly high level of insight ensured that his six long sabers formed a completely airtight defense. He would probably be able to hold on for quite some time.

“These Autarch-class void dwellers all became kings of their kind through constant slaughter. None of them are easy to deal with.” Ning knew all along that killing these things in sole combat would be extremely difficult; in the past, the Autarchs had only accomplished it through strength in numbers. Still… Ning was confident in his abilities. Six million chaos cycles of training had been completely transformative for him.

“Leave this one to me, you old bastard?” the fiery-scaled void dweller said.

“Fine.” The dragon turtle was very patient and elected to silently watch from afar.

“Hey, One-Eye! Let’s see who kills our opponent first!” The fiery-scaled creature let out a roaring laugh, filled with such power that when it blasted into Ning’s ears, Ning felt as though it was trying to tear his head apart. Next, the vast creature exploded into motion, transforming into a streak of fiery light that rammed straight towards Ning.

“I haven’t had a chance to really have a good fight since mastering the Eternal Omega Sword Dao and spending six million chaos cycles in training.” Ning could feel his blood pumping with excitement. It had been a long time since he got into a really good battle. Previously, it was because his truesoul was collapsing and he didn’t dare to fight with abandon. These days, it was because it was almost impossible for him to find a good opponent.

“I wonder how long it’ll take me to beat him? Will ten seconds be enough, or shall I need as much time as is needed to boil a kettle of tea?” Ning manifested three heads and six arms, his six Northmoon swords at the ready.

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Taking bets!  My bet is on ten seconds.  No sneak peeking ;)