Book 44, Chapter 12 - A Murderous Voice

Desolate Era

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Oftentimes, the simpler something was the fewer flaws it had. One of the simplest measures was to just construct a dimensional cage to imprison someone, one which was so stable and tough that there was no way to break through it.

However, simplicity carried its own stringent requirements. Ji Ning and the Autarchs were so overwhelmingly powerful and had such limitless reserves of energy that no mere dimensional cage could possibly withstand their assaults! The eight revolutions formation went about it in another way. It generated multiple worlds, each of which Ning was able to break through fairly quickly… but the worlds continued to be generated one after another!

“All of these worlds are extremely stable. Maintaining this sort of world can’t be easy,” Ning mused. “And there can’t really be an endless amount of worlds!”

“Break!” Ning once more rose to his feet in three-headed, six-armed form. He transformed into a dazzling streak of sword-light which slammed against the dimensional membrane. After the time needed to boil a kettle of tea the dimensional membrane was hacked open, revealing a freezing world of ice. Ice filled the entire world, making up its continents, mountains, and valleys.

Ning stepped through the dimensional rift and into this frozen world.

“It doesn’t really matter which direction the tear is created in; the end result will still be a new world. Given how stable these worlds are, there can’t be that many of them… and yet they continue to loop in on themselves in an endless cycle. The only way this is possible is if these eight worlds are actually moving to line up in front of me! That way, no matter where I go I’ll see an endless procession of worlds before me.”

By now, Ning had a rough idea as to how this eight cycles formation had to work. It consisted of several dozen or several hundred worlds that were perhaps arranged into a spherical shape! Ning was located at the very center of this sphere, so no matter where he went he would enter a new world. Once he did so, the other worlds would relocate themselves to keep him at their center.

No matter where he went, he would remain trapped in the ‘center’ of the formation. He’d never be able to make it out!

This was his current theory. Perhaps it wasn’t perfect, but he felt confident that this was more-or-less how it worked. However, this theory just made Ning feel even more worried, precisely because of how simple it was. The simpler something was, the fewer flaws it would have.

“Its only real flaw is that these worlds have to constantly move and shift around as I do. If they didn’t, then I would eventually be able to advance beyond the scope of the formation. This moving process has to take time. It takes me the time needed to boil a kettle of tea in order to break through a world, and that’s more than enough for them to readjust themselves,” Ning mused. “If I could break through the worlds over ten times faster… perhaps it wouldn’t be enough time for the worlds to relocate themselves perfectly, resulting in some openings that I can exploit.”

Based on his current level of understanding, he knew that using force to breach this formation was completely hopeless. The eight formations formation would continuously rearrange its internal configuration with each world he escaped. Power wouldn’t work… what he needed was speed! He needed to move fast enough that the formation wouldn’t be able to reconfigure in time, resulting in flaws being revealed.

“This is my only option.” Ning could come up with no ideas save for this one. “But how am I supposed to break through these worlds faster?”

Two options came to mind. The first was to somehow make himself become more powerful. For example, if he managed to reach a greater level of understanding with regards to the Dao of Spacetime, he would be able to quickly and more easily breach those dimensional walls. Alternately, if he managed to create the Oblivion Sword Dao then he could use its all-encompassing destructive force to devour everything in his path. Ning had the feeling that once he created it, he would become much more powerful, and he could use that power to more quickly breach those dimensional barriers.

However, improving his personal strength was an extremely difficult goal. He had already devised the Spacetime Sword Dao. Ning had no idea how he was supposed to upgrade it any further.

The concept of ‘Oblivion’, he had only gained after scrying the secrets of the sphere of annihilation. This was a form of power that was capable of destroying an entire Chaosverse. Iyerre had found this mysterious item from within the Infinite Void, and in all his countless aeons of existence he had never found a second such item. Ning’s avatar remained trapped within the Annihilation Hive, and it had never stopped analyzing this technique.

The second option was to find flaws in the dimensional membranes before him. If he could find some flaws, he would be able to break through them much faster with much less effort.

“I’ve been constantly training in the Oblivion Sword Dao. There’s no way to rush it.” Ning inspected the area around him. “My only choice is to find flaws within these dimensional constructs.”

Whoosh. Whoosh. His sword-light became watery, flowing across the dimensional membrane and causing it to first shudder, then crack.

Ning stared at the cracks, watching them quickly heal. “These dimensions were created based on the secrets of spacetime. Every single part of the dimensional membrane seems to be identical. There don’t seem to be any flaws.”


As Ning remained trapped within the eight revolutions formation, the war outside began to pick up the pace. Autarch Skyfeeder’s avatar ended up being tricked while hunting down Sithe and was trapped within a temple, as was Autarch Bolin’s avatar.

Autarch Stonerule’s avatar was more formidable. He was a wary man and a mastery of illusions. When the Sithe temple appeared, they discovered that they had trapped nothing more than a mere projection… and now that the temple had revealed itself, Autarch Stonerule immediately set down a grand formation around the temple, securely sealing it away and ensuring that it was unable to escape.

For now the clashes remained fairly low-level, as Autarchs could replace lost avatars with slightly weaker ones. In the end, the real focus of the war remained on Emperor Darknorth.

If Emperor Darknorth died, the Annihilation Hive would no longer be checked. It would continue to furiously devour the energies of the Chaosverse. The only other person who understood how the reverse-vortex formation worked was Autarch Titanos, whose avatar had already been destroyed. His new avatar wasn’t strong enough to keep the Annihilation Hive in check. Titanos would have to go in person if he wanted to stop the thing!

Darknorth was the strongest member of the seven cultivator leaders, while Titanos was the second-strongest. If the former was slain while the latter was tied down, they would have all-but lost the war.

“If we can kill Darknorth, we’ll have won.” Iyerre viewed killing Ning as a mission of critical importance. As far as he was concerned, Ning was a greater risk than all six of the other Autarchs combined.


On the sixty-ninth day of Ning’s capture.

In recent days Ning would only occasionally break through to a new world, then spend most of his time strolling about before beginning to meditate.

“Ah. So is that how it works?” Ning opened his eyes, his gaze as deep and fathomless as the starry skies themselves. Countless stars seemed to be swimming through his eyes. This was a sign that he had reached a truly incredible level in the Dao of Numerancy.

Suddenly, Ning’s body rapidly increased in size. Boom! He transformed into a towering three-headed, six-armed giant who wielded all six of the Northbow swords. He strode across the land, his six swords also increasing in size as he used them to deliver repeated chops of sword-light against the dimensional membrane all around him.

When Ning’s swords moved, multiple sword-shadows appeared around them. There were chops, stabs, thwacks… all sorts of attacks filled the area around him.

“What’s going on?”

“Something’s wrong with that world. It’s destabilizing!” The Sithe Exalts responsible for maintaining the eight revolutions formation were quickly shocked. They had only grown more confident in their formation as they had watched Ning fail to make any progress. They had allowed themselves to relax… but now, all of them were shocked! This was because the world Ning was in had begin to shudder, almost as though the entire world was unable to remain stable and was at the verge of collapse.

“I can’t send in additional energy!” the black-haired Sithe Exalt called out in shock. “We’re blocked from sending our energy into any part of the dimensional membrane of that world. Something’s disrupting the conduits! The lack of energy is causing the dimensional membrane to be unable to repair itself. He’s going to break through much faster than before!”

“How is this possible? How did he do this?!” The Sithe Exalts were frantic. Previously, Ning needed the amount of time for boiling a kettle of tea in order to break through a dimensional membrane. This was because each time he assaulted the dimensional membrane, the formation would quickly send in more energy to reinforce it. This was why even after he did manage to tear a rift open, the rift would quickly close after just three seconds.

But now, the dimensional membrane was no longer being resupplied with energy. That made the destruction process much faster.

It didn’t make sense. The energy transfer was an invisible, formless process which saw energy be directed straight into the membrane itself. By all rights, there should be no way to stop such a thing. However, to a person who had reached a sufficiently high level of insights all things were possible, be it creation or destruction. Ning had spent many days in accelerated meditation, figuring out a way to accomplish this by joining together his Numerancy Sword Dao, Spacetime Sword Dao, Light Sword Dao, and Dark Sword Dao.

Boom! Three gaping holes appeared in different parts of the world Ning was trapped in. Ning glanced through the holes, only to see three completely different worlds. He smiled.

“Dimensions, revolve!” a strange, murderous voice suddenly rang out.

Suddenly, Ning saw the three different worlds outside the rifts begin to spin away. The world he was in became completely detached from them… and slowly, Ning began to see the fourth and fifth worlds which were revolving around him.

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