Book 43, Chapter 21 - Exalt Anitya

Desolate Era

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“No! This is just a formation. I can break it. I can break it!” The cyclopean creature could sense its doom impending, and the sensation was driving it mad. It brandished the shuttle, furiously striking at all directions with it. Slash! Slash! Space was churned apart into tiny little pieces by his blows, but the overall environment remained that of a fragrant world of grass and flowers. Ji Ning’s formation wouldn’t be so easily defeated!

“Break! Break!!!” the cyclopean creature yelled hoarsely.

In the past, it had never viewed formations as something to be afraid of. This was because it had long ago grown accustomed to bursting through formations with its overwhelming power. Formations which could successfully trap Autarch-class void dwellers were incredibly rare to begin with! This one in particular was ensuring that it was not able to put its speed to good effect at all.

“Poor bastard. He ended up running into you, Darknorth.” Autarch Mogg shook his head as he watched from afar, then sent mentally to Ning, “You can be described as the number one formations expert in all the cultivator civilizations.”

“That’s only because I infused the Dao of Formations into my Sword Dao,” Ning said with a smile. “Just a moment, please. I’m about to capture the creature.”

Swish! A streak of gloomy sword-light appeared in ghostly fashion, instantly piercing through the cyclopean creature’s skinny body. One of the creature’s legs went flying, with blood spewing everywhere. The cyclopean creature frantically retreated, not paying any attention to the heavy wound which was quickly beginning to heal. The severed leg was regrowing as well.

“You won’t be able to last. You Autarch-class creatures have very powerful bodies, but that also makes it extremely hard for you to truly heal.”

Sword-light flashed again. Ning’s attacks were coming from every single direction. This looked like an extremely beautiful prairie, but it was a death trap which could unleash sword-light from any and every part of it! There was no way to dodge, and each time the cyclopean creature would only detect the sword-light once the light was right in front of it. The creature’s tremendous speed was rendered useless here.

Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Just three seconds later, a total of over sixty attacks had appeared and then vanished without a trace. Finally, the cyclopean creature’s entire body crumbled apart. Its healing speed simply wasn’t able to keep up with the rate at which Ning was causing damage, and it was now completely incapable of fighting back at all.

Boom! The creature’s body imploded. Ning reached out with his sword-light to tug free a white and glossy pearl from the ‘corpse’, and it quickly flew over to Ning. The pearl held an image of the furry cyclopean creature within it, and it was begging Ning for its life: “Please spare me! Spare me! None of this was of my own free will!”

Ning waved his hand, grabbing the pearl and casting a seal over it.

So long as his seal prevented the pearl from absorbing energy from the outside world, the creature would be unable to revive! It could only reconstitute its body if given access to enough energy, but even without its body it would remain alive so long as its truesoul within its life-core remained unharmed. Only when the life-cores were destroyed would these Autarch-class void dwellers be truly ‘dead’! However, Ning didn’t feel much of an urge to actually kill them. He was going to simply imprison them for now.

And so… two of the three void dwellers had been captured by Ning.

“Congratulations, Darknorth.” Mogg flew over, his scaled face split by an amazed smile. “Thank goodness you came with me. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to deal with them so easily.”

“Autarch-class void dwellers are indeed very tough to deal with, due to their innate gifts. However, their obvious weakness is that they do not train in the Dao. They have a very low level of insight,” Ning said. “I’m only able to attack their weaknesses and defeat them with such ease because I’m fairly well-rounded.”

“Any void dwellers capable of reaching the Autarch level of power have very few weaknesses.” Autarch Mogg sighed. “These three were all very powerful, with that cyclopean creature possessing unparalleled speed. The only way to handle it is to do what you just did – trap it in a formation, an extremely profound formation which it cannot break through with raw power. However, such formations generally require detailed and intricate preparations as well as for formation-bases to be laid down in advance. Given how crafty the creature is, it would never just watch us set down those formations and then just step into them. Only you could’ve done what you did, Darknorth. You created a formation with but a thought, making it impossible for it to escape.”

“That scaled void dweller was even more difficult to deal with. It had virtually no weaknesses at all! Thankfully, your sword-arts were able to breach its armor of scales. I’m truly impressed that you were able to capture both of them! As for this last one… it seems to be completely invulnerable,” Autarch Mogg said.

Ning sighed. “I really don’t have any idea what I’m supposed to do with this last one.”

He was very well-rounded, true, but Autarch-class void dwellers were simply too difficult to handle. The cyclopean creature had an obvious weakness, which was why Ning was confident in his ability to deal with it! Ning hadn’t been sure if he could handle the other two, and so he had to probe them in battle first. He had discovered that his Cycle Sword Dao was capable of breaking the scaled creature’s armor, but there was nothing Ning could do which affected the dragon turtle.

Ning and Mogg both moved to the place where the dragon turtle was located, then stared at it. The dragon turtle simply sat there, silently inspecting its surroundings. It was trapped within an illusory formation, but it showed no signs of fear whatsoever.

“So what should we do?” Ning pondered.

“If we can’t kill it in a short period of time, we should just leave it there for now,” Autarch Mogg said. “Let’s go locate the core mechanisms controlling this behemoth hive first. We need to destroy this hive as soon as possible. If it comes to bother us again, use your formations to trap it. If need be, I’ll personally tie it down.”

“That’s all we can do.” Ning nodded. “Let’s go.”

“Let’s go.”

Ning quickly led Mogg in advancing to the critical point he had discovered earlier while analyzing the functionings of this behemoth hive. As they left, the illusory formation Ning had established quickly dissipated. There was no way to maintain it from afar! This was a formation which Ning had to use all his power to cast and maintain, a powerful Autarch-class formation which used up an enormous amount of energy. Ning had used his mana to guide the limitless power of the Sword Dao in setting up this formation. Now that Ning was gone, it would be very difficult to use mere formation-base type treasures to supply the necessary amount of energy.

It must be remembered that not even Sithe Apocalypse-class formations were as mighty as this one! Thus, it would take Ning an extremely long period of time and many precious materials to create a physical variant, far longer than Ning would need to simply use his Karma Sword Dao to attrition the dragon turtle to death.

“Two of my old friends are gone, just like that.” The dragon turtle sighed to itself. “These Autarchs who train in their ‘Dao’ really are hard to deal with. Ugh. It is our own fault for being caught by the Sithe. We really were given no choices at all. Who the hell would want to fight against these cultivators anyhow?”

“…eh?” The dragon turtle stared at its surroundings in surprise. The illusory realm around it had vanished, revealing ordinary spacetime

“They left?” The dragon turtle grew anxious. “They’re still heading for the core regions. I have to stop them!”

Swoosh! The dragon turtle immediately warped through spacetime in pursuit.


This ‘behemoth hive’ was in reality an intricately designed super weapon, and it was filled with many separate spacetime continuums. One of them was merely three hundred meters in size, and it held a man who was seated in the lotus position, his long unbound hair. This man’s hair was black on one side and white on the other. He looked quite strange and mysterious.

His eyes looked like a series of concentric circles, and his gaze was as deep as a bottomless abyss. He quietly stared at the images displayed in front of him. The images shown were of Ning and Autarch Mogg battling against those three Autarch-class void dwellers. However, the images were blurry and indistinct. He was able to scry some of what had happened due to the residue left behind by the various attacks, but wasn’t able to truly ‘watch’ the battle.

“There’s no way for me to truly scry any of these cultivator Autarchs,” the black-white haired man murmured softly. “However… judging from their auras, they should’ve only sent two people.”

Autarchs were incredibly powerful. In their own Chaosverse, they were able to summon nigh-limitless amounts of power, and it was almost impossible to view them if they didn’t want to be viewed. The Sithe would only sense energies blocking their scans; they wouldn’t actually be able to see the Autarchs at all.

“Eh?” The black-white haired man’s face suddenly turned pale. The battle had just come to an end and both Ning and Mogg had vanished, leaving behind just the dragon turtle.

“Only one of those three void dwellers are left?” The black-white haired man was stunned. Ignoring everything else, he immediately activated the formation-base he was seated on.

Rumble… the formation-base slowly began to swivel in place, and a ripple of power began to manifest and take form as a pillar of light. Slowly, the pillar of light resolved into a humanoid figure. It was a balding, barefoot, loose-robed man of great stature and size who had a kind, sympathetic smile on his face. His eyes were absolutely mesmerizing, and those who saw him would feel the unconscious desire to submit to him.

“Almighty Iyerre,” the black-white haired man bowed respectfully.

“How are things, Anitya?” Iyerre asked.

“The cultivators have entered our super weapon, the ‘Annihilation Hive’, but there are only two of them. Their auras are vast, preventing me from seeing them clearly. However, two of the three Autarch-class void dwellers we imprisoned within the Annihilation Hive have already died. Only the defensively impregnable ‘Howler’ beast we captured remains alive,” the black-white haired man said respectfully.

Iyerre frowned slightly. “Only two of them came?” The loss of two void dwellers was a minor matter, but he was very disappointed that only two of the cultivators had entered the Annihilation Hive. If five or six had come in, the Sithe could’ve seized this opportunity to immediately launch the final war!

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