Book 44, Chapter 8 - The Vast Temple

Desolate Era

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What’s the situation, Ekong? How strong is that Sithe temple?” Ji Ning and the others were all worried about Autarch Ekong. Given how long the Sithe Exalts had been biding their time, they definitely had been preparing something truly extraordinary to use against the Autarchs. The worst part of it was, Autarch Ekong’s true body was in the trap!

If it had been his avatar which fell into the trap, Ning and the others wouldn’t feel all that worried. If his avatar died, he would merely need a few more years to rebuild a new one. In truth, given the benefits of temporal acceleration just half a month would be needed to create an avatar, albeit it would have at most 50% of his full power.

In a war against the Sithe, that extra 20% of power made a great deal of difference… but if his true body died, then his avatar would die along with it. That was a far greater loss, an irrecoverable one.

“I can’t see anything at all!” Autarch Ekong sent back hurriedly. “Moments ago, I saw that those Sithe Exalts were seated within seven small temples surrounding a big one. They suddenly activated the power of the main temple, causing my surroundings to transform. I’ve now been trapped inside a giant formation in the form of a massive hallway. No matter where I go, I’m unable to escape this hallway. I can’t see through any of the mysteries behind this formation at all!”

“A formation?” Ning, Titanos, Skyfeeder, Mogg, Stonerule, and Bolin were all shocked. Not even an Autarch could make heads or tails out of this formation… how powerful did it have to be?! If Autarch Ekong was unable to escape it, all he could do was wait and endure terrifying attacks from the Sithe Exalts.

“Darknorth and I have some skill in formations. I’m closer to you than he is. Ekong, take care of yourself. My avatar is headed straight towards you and should get there in twelve days!” Autarch Titanos sent. Avatars were just as effective as true bodies when it came to understanding and disassembling formations.

“Alright. Hurry up! Trapped inside this formation, I can’t even find my foes.” Autarch Ekong was rather anxious.

This hallway was merely thirty meters wide, but he could see no end to it. No matter how long he walked, he wasn’t able to walk out of it!

As for the walls? Autarch Ekong had already tried to break through them with force, but clearly there was no way for him to tear through a formation which seven Sithe Exalts had set up with the help of this temple.

“Trapping me here was probably just the first step. Their actual killer attacks will be coming soon.” Autarch Ekong manifested six arms, with three of them holding shields and the other three holding a saber, a sword, and a shuttle. As the Autarch of Annihilation, he was naturally skilled in many different weapons. It was rare, however, that he was forced to use shields to defend himself.

“Twelve days. I have to last for at least twelve days.” Autarch Ekong’s eyes were very tranquil, but he was on high alert.

Ning was very worried about Autarch Ekong, but for now sending Autarch Titanos’ avatar was the best option they had! Ning himself had devised the Sword Formation Dao, but Autarch Titanos had spent countless years analyzing Sithe artifacts and researching Sithe formations. He was just as skilled in the Dao of Formations as Ning was, but he had far more experience in dealing with Sithe techniques.

Last time, Autarch Titanos hadn’t even needed to enter the Annihilation hive before devising the reverse-vortex formation. All he had needed was the information Ning and Mogg had provided!

Although the various Autarchs were most skilled in their own Daobirth Essences, they had other specialties as well. For example, Autarch Bolin had been unable to create the Samsara Daobirth Essence, but he still far eclipsed the Hegemon level when it came to understanding life and death. Not even Ning was a match for him in this regard.

As for Autarch Titanos, he was not only the master of the Karma Daobirth Essence, he was also tremendously skilled in creating and deconstructing powerful artifacts and formations.


Five days after Autarch Ekong had first been trapped.

“Whew. That was close. Gentlemen, I nearly died just now,” Autarch Ekong sent to Ning and the others. “Thankfully, combat is my forte. I was forced to use my invulnerable form to endure those repeated attacks and actually used up over half of my energy. I came so close to dying, haha! But I managed to make it.”

Ning and the others all had nervous looks on their faces. This was just day five; Autarch Titanos needed twelve days! How terrifyingly powerful were those attacks, for them to exhaust half of an Autarch’s energy reserves in just a few days? Autarchs had nigh-limitless amounts of energy because of how quickly they replenished their energy stores.

“Be careful. You have to hold,” Autarch Skyfeeder sent frantically.

“Haha, we’re lucky that I’m the one stuck inside. If it was you here, Skyfeeder, you probably wouldn’t have been able to withstand those terrifyingly powerful attacks. You’d be dust by now,” Autarch Ekong teased. “Don’t worry. I’ve already taken the worst they could dish out. I’m an Autarch, you know! I’ve already replenished my energy stores.”

“What did they use to attack you? How are these attacks so powerful?” Ning sent.

“The attacks are powerful but quite clumsy. Anywhere else, I’d be able to dodge or redirect those attacks with ease. The problem is, I’m trapped in this hallway and have nowhere to go. The attack comes in the form of a faint azure seal which is completely linked to the hallway and seems to be part of it. It just comes smashing at me, giving me nowhere to dodge at all. My only choice is to meet it head-on!

“This grand seal is marvelously made and it can launch a total of 352 explosive attacks before the energy in it is used up, followed by the seal itself dissipating. In the end, I was forced to transform into my invulnerable form in order to endure the terrifying destructive power of the seal’s attacks. Otherwise, I would’ve been crushed to dust and my truesoul annihilated.”

Ning frowned when he heard this. So it was just a giant seal which came smashing at you? But the problem was that when you were trapped in the hallway, there was nowhere to run at all. You had to take those attacks head-on. Autarch Ekong was being treated as a punching bag!

“If I was attacked by three or four of these things in a row, I’d definitely be doomed,” Autarch Ekong said.

“Don’t worry too much,” Autarch Ekong said. “The Sithe are different from us. They are foreigners to our Chaosverse. We can endlessly replenish our energies from our Chaosverse, but they cannot; if they try to take power from the outside world by force, the process will be incredibly slow. They must have prepared many different energy-generating treasures, and each time they use such a powerful attack it will cost them greatly. Most likely, a single giant seal is their absolute limit. There’s no way they can just generate four of them in a row without resting. If they could, they would’ve done so long ago.”

“Hah! Killing an Autarch won’t be that easy,” Autarch Ekong laughed.

As more time passed, the Sithe used many different techniques in an effort to kill Autarch Ekong. They first started with grand seals, then switched to insidious and strange techniques. However, the only ones which truly brought him to the brink of death had been that grand seal and a strange tentacle-attack.

On the twelfth day, Autarch Titanos’ avatar finally arrived. He was unable to breach the formations from outside, and so he had no choice but to charge into the temple.


“Immediately report to our superiors that we’ve already tied down two Autarch-class combatants. One of them is Autarch Ekong, and it appears to be his true body! If we can kill them, it’ll be the equivalent of reducing three Autarch-class combatants from the ranks of the native cultivators. Our temple is mainly meant for trapping foes, which means its attacks aren’t quite strong enough. Hurry up and tell our superiors to send us more forces to wipe the two of them out.” The seven Exalts within the vast temple were all extremely excited.


Ning and the others continued to stand guard over their respective zones, catching and wiping out Sithe Hegemons and Emperors. The overall situation in the Chaosverse had taken a turn for the better, with the native Hegemons now being under much less pressure. However, there were still a number of formidable Sithe warships roaming about.

Five days after Autarch Titanos’ avatar joined Autarch Ekong inside that formation.

“Die!” Ning had just discovered a vast black warship which was suppressing spacetime in the surrounding region. However, Ning transformed into a storm of wind and thunder as he shot towards the warship, intending to blink inside and slaughter the Sithe within.

“Not good! That’s an Autarch!”

“Flee, quick!” The Sithe Hegemons and Emperors in this warship were members of an elite squad. They had survived the first waves of the war and had achieved many accomplishments, destroying a total of three cultivator battlefronts.

Swoosh! After blinking into the warship, Ning showed no mercy at all to these ‘successful’ Sithe warriors. Their ‘accomplishments’ came from murdering local Hegemons.

“All of you can die.” A vast wave of heartforce instantly swept out, causing the many Sithe to perish.

Suddenly, Ning’s face turned grim and he immediately blinked outside the warship. There, he discovered that the outside world had just changed. He was now within a vast grayish-white temple complex, and there were a total of eight stone pillars surrounding the temple at its margins. A figure was seated in the lotus position atop each of the stone pillars. Although their mighty auras were inferior to Ning’s, Ning knew without a shadow of a doubt that these were all Sithe Exalts. There were eight of them!

“Judging from how you Autarchs have been sweeping through our Emperors, it would seem that you have a total of thirteen Autarch-class combatants! If we factor in the one within the Annihilation Hive, that means you have fourteen in total.” A tall, thin Sithe Exalt who was seated atop one of the stone pillars stared at Ning with glowing eyes. “If each of you has one true body and one avatar… that means you have a total of seven Autarchs! Six we already know about. Now… who is the seventh? Is it a newly promoted Autarch, or is it an Emperor Darknorth who had used a ‘Truesoul Everlasting’ technique?”

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