Book 43, Chapter 24 - Gaining Entry

Desolate Era

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The reverse-vortex formation was unspeakably complicated and profound. Ji Ning’s true body in the Three Realms had to spend quite a bit of accelerated time in meditation before truly understanding it.

“Marvelous. Absolutely marvelous!” Ning couldn’t stop praising it.

“Haha!” The white-robed Titanos let out a proud laugh. “I wouldn’t dare boast about other things, but I’m quite confident in myself when it comes to artifacts. Darknorth, are you now able to set the formation up?”

“I am indeed.” Ning nodded.

Mogg’s avatar just chuckled to himself. He had also tried to learn it, but had made very little headway.

The white-robed Titanos said, “Then hurry up and use it!”

“Alright.” Ning immediately flew over, warping through space to appear in the ‘skies’ above the vortex of astral clouds.

“Arise!” Ning’s face was solemn, and an endless wave of mana energy began to flow out from his body. He was using mana to guide the power of the Dao into creating those formations! Waves of energy rippled through the area above the astral vortex as countless streams of sword-light manifested. It was like a vast world of the sword had appeared, and it quickly began to spread outwards to encompass and cover the entire astral vortex.

The white-robed Titanos and Mogg both watched nervously.

“Now what are they up to?” The dragon turtle raised its head, staring puzzledly from its position on the fiftieth level.

“What are these cultivator Autarchs playing at now? Hmph. Do they think saturating the area with an attack will be enough to disrupt my vortex? How laughable! The Annihilation Hive is almighty Iyerre’s proudest creation, and it took him untold years to create it.” The black-white haired Exalt Anitya was responsible for watching over the entire hive from the dark room he was in. He muttered confidently to himself, but he still continued to watch intently.


The vast world of sword-light covered the entire astral vortex, with Ning using an enormous amount of mana to keep it under control.

“Time for the reverse-vortex formation!” Ning immediately willed the countless streaks of sword-light to become grains of ‘sand’ that began to revolve around him. They first took shape at the outer perimeter, then began to spin inwards! The power of the astral vortex was weakest at the outside, and it was also easiest for the grains of sword-light to infiltrate the outer perimeter. As the enormous vortex of sword-light continued to spin, more grains of sword-light began to take form and seep inwards.

They reached the tenth level… the twentieth level… the thirtieth level…

“Right. That’s the way to do it, to just seep straight through it.” A smile was playing at the corner of Ning’s lips. The reverse-vortex formation didn’t try to overpower the astral vortex; rather, it was overwriting it and disrupting it!

The spokes of a wheel in motion possessed tremendous power, but if you threw a bunch of rubbish into the axel you could gum up the works. The astral vortex seemed to be formless and thus hard to disrupt, but the reverse-vortex formation was similarly formless and simply focused on disruption.

“Success.” Autarch Mogg watched from afar. He could sense how the awesome suctioning power around him was beginning to slowly weaken, and he couldn’t help but smile: “We succeeded.”

“It’s too early to celebrate just yet!” The white-robed Autarch Titanos smiled. “Thus far, the influence is negligible. The behemoth hive is continuing to swallow energy away from our Chaosverse.”

Meanwhile, the dragon turtle stared in amazement at the sight above it. “What in the world?” The vortex of sword-light was continuously expanding in size, spreading out in concentric circles that continuously overlapped the astral clouds. By now, they had nearly penetrated all the way to the fiftieth level.


The sword-light continued to gently reach deeper and deeper into the astral clouds, moving past the sixtieth level… the seventieth level…

The grains of sword-light were incorporeal. The power of the astral clouds continually ground away at them and destroyed them, but the reverse-vortex formation created even more! Ning’s mana energy was truly boundless, and he continued to pour it all into the formation. As more and more grains of sword-light poured into the vortex, it caused the power of the vortex to grow weaker and weaker.


The outside world. The countless tunnels dotting the surface of the realmverse-sized hive were continuing to suck in the energy of the Chaosverse. The prime essences were doing their best to halt the process, but they were unable to do so. This was why that enormous vortex of silver ‘light’ had appeared in the area around it.

But gradually, the sucking power of the hive began to weaken. The weakening continued until it reached the point where the prime essences of the Chaosverse were finally able to completely halt the process.

The silver vortex outside the hive immediately began to dissipate. Everything went back to normal. The Annihilation Hive’s countless tunnels continued to strenuously ‘pull’ at the surrounding world, but it wasn’t able to swallow so much as a single scrap of energy no matter how hard it tried.


Within the hive. Ning was continuing to maintain the reverse-vortex formation.

Whoosh. Whoosh. The avatars of Titanos and Mogg flew to the area above the astral vortex, moving close to Ning.

“Darknorth, the devouring process outside has come to a complete halt.” The white-robed Titanos was all smiles. “Although the astral vortex still has 60% of its full power, that’s not enough to overpower the prime essences of the Chaosverse. It isn’t able to take any more energy away.”

“Haha…” Ning started to laugh. “After I’ve finished infiltrating the entire astral vortex, it’ll become even weaker.”

Just a short while later, the reverse-vortex formation finally finished seeping through the final layer of the astral vortex. In fact, the grains of sword-light even brushed against the giant black tower. The entire astral vortex was still spinning, but it was now being heavily disrupted and had at most 50% of its original power. This wasn’t nearly enough power for it to continue absorbing energy from the outside world.

Swoosh! Ning, Mogg, and Titanos all quickly flew downwards. Now that the power of the vortex had been so dramatically weakened, passage was much easier as well.

“You actually solved the vortex.” The dragon turtle continued to wait on the fiftieth level, its booming voice filled with disbelief.

“That’s the power of the Dao,” the white-robed Titanos said. “You do not train in the Dao. You would never understand.”

Ning chuckled. “We’ve already solved this vortex, which means the sucking power of the entire hive has just been dramatically weakened. I imagine it is no longer powerful enough to prevent you from leaving! I strongly recommend that you leave right away. We’ll send you outside our Chaosverse, at which point you can flee and find a hiding place far away from here. Don’t let yourself be caught by the Sithe again, and stay away from our war!”

“Leave?” The dragon turtle was startled.

Freedom? Release? Emancipation? It was filled with such joy that it was rather dazed. “Alright!” The dragon turtle finally let out yet another rumble: “And what of my two friends?”

“They’ll stay with us for now. We’ll release them once this war is over,” Ning said. It was unlikely that these Autarch-class void dwellers would be caught a second time, but it wasn’t completely out of the question! The only reason why Ning was willing to let the dragon turtle leave their Chaosverse was because he really had no way of killing it. He wanted to reduce the number of variables which could affect the war.

“Fair enough.” The dragon turtle made no further objections. In the end, gaining freedom for itself was already a blessing.

“Once you leave, one of our fellows will come and guide you out,” Ning said.

“Then I’m off.” The dragon turtle shot off eagerly. Now that the astral vortex was nearly 50% weaker than before its remaining amount of power, while still incredible, it was unable to steal more energy away from the Chaosverse. As for the dragon turtle, this time it was able to fight past the sucking power and continue to fly outwards.

“I see it! I see it! That’s the exit!” The dragon turtle flew out of the exit, absolutely delighted. It then turned to look at the enormous hive which it had just exited, as well as the mighty cultivator leader who stood far away from it – Autarch Titanos.

“Follow me. I’ll send you outside our Chaosverse,” Autarch Titanos said. Now that the vortex had been dealt with, the Annihilation Hive was no longer a threat and there was no need for him to continue watching over it.

The dragon turtle followed him obediently, and the two quickly warped away.


Ning, Mogg, and the white-robed Titanos continued to fly downwards, moving closer and closer to the heart of the astral vortex. The astral clouds had been dramatically weakened, but progress was still quite difficult.

“You two stay here. I’ll try it out alone,” Ning said. “The astral vortex is still active, which means I need to keep the reverse-vortex formation active as well. If brought to a halt, the hive will once more begin to swallow energy away from our Chaosverse. In other words, my avatar needs to stay here until we can come up with a way to destroy that energy wellspring permanently. Only then can we destroy the hive, at which point I’ll be free to go.”

“Agreed.” Mogg and Titanos halted their advance. Titanos was here in the form of a newly-created avatar, while Mogg was significantly weaker than Ning.

“Break!” Ning continued to advance while following a path formed by the sword-light generated by his reverse-vortex formation. Although the destructive power of the astral vortex was great, the broken bits of sword-light continuously reformed around Ning, making passage for him slightly easier.

He continued to advance in three-headed, six-armed form, striking out with all six swords to help carve a path outwards. The deeper he went, the harder it became. In the end, Ning had to use all his power while following the path of sword-light in order to reach the black tower at the very center of the vortex.

Riiiip! The terrifying crushing power here continuously destroyed the surrounding sword-light, but more grains of sword-light rose in their stead. As for Ning, he also maintained his three-headed, six-armed form to fight back.

“This is the energy wellspring of the entire hive.” Ning stared at the countless runes covering the black tower. The runes were profound beyond all imagination. After analyzing them for a while, Ning suddenly leapt forward to ram against the black tower. Right as he hit the tower, he used a blinking technique and followed his senses to teleport inside the tower.

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