In the Profound Stream Mountains, the spell formation protecting the city was gradually being worn down. Every time it was damaged, it would repair itself, but was clearly teetering on the verge of complete destruction. The newly returned Profound Stream Sect cultivators, as well as the Pill Stream Sect cultivators who had surrendered and were now bound by restrictive spells, were constantly feeding spiritual power into the formation to keep it operational.
Despite that, most of the Profound Stream Sect cultivators had sunk into reticent silence, wrapped up in numerous thoughts.
Although they were still capable of fighting, and were confident in being able to drag the war out a bit longer, they were all wrapped up in uncertainty regarding the future.
If they did drag things out, what good would it do...?
In the front, they faced the combined forces of the Spirit and Blood Stream Sects, and from the rear, they were being attacked by the remnants of the Pill Stream Sect. The Profound Stream Sect cultivators knew that, in truth, there was no hope for them.
The only thing that kept them going now was either loyalty to their sect, or fear of what would happen if they were defeated....
The patriarchs of the Profound Stream Sect were all seriously injured. It was with great bitterness that they realized that their opponents would never give up in the fight.
“Even if we made a huge sacrifice to somehow kill Bai Xiaochun, we still wouldn’t be able to recover.”
“They can't wipe us out like this. The Spirit and Blood Stream Sects... might be working together for now, but that won’t last forever. We just need to hold out for a little bit longer.... Either their alliance will fall apart, or the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect will lose patience, and forbid them from trying to take on the Sky River Court.... The hope for all of that rests in killing Bai Xiaochun!”
The patriarchs of the Profound Stream Sect were not all in unison. Because of how the war had played out, they had different ideas about what exactly should be done. One of the patriarchs was an old man with a ruddy face and flowing red hair. Suddenly, he gave a cold harrumph and said, “What’s the point of arguing about things now? Even if we surrender in the end, we can hurt the Spirit and Blood Stream Sects in the process, and even break their alliance. The vital intelligence that Thousand-Faces sent to us before he died is something we can’t let go to waste!”
No one dared to speak up in opposition to him. This old man was the most powerful patriarch in the current generation of the Profound Stream Sect, Patriarch Crimsonsoul!
Cold light flickered in Patriarch Crimsonsoul’s eyes, and before anyone could say anything else, he pointed outside of the city and said, “Release the precious treasure. Prepare the Heaven Bow!”
In response, the lands outside the city began to quake, and crevices opened up. Wider and wider they grew, until they were fully 300 meters wide.
The land almost looked like oceanwater, undulated wildly, much to the shock of the countless cultivators of the Spirit and Blood Stream Sects, who scrambled to get to safety. Then, a shocking roar issued forth from beneath the ground.
The roar was so astonishing that everyone who heard it couldn’t prevent shock from filling their faces, and they even staggered backward. Some began to bleed out of their eyes, ears, noses, and mouths. A few people who were closest to the origin of the roar simply couldn’t withstand the sound, and their heads exploded.
Because of that roar, brightly colored light flashed in heaven and earth!
Even the Gold Core cultivators and the patriarchs were astonished, and looked over in the direction of what sounded like explosive thunder from the heavens.
The lands collapsed, sending dirt and rocks exploding up into the air. An area of land hundreds of meters wide completely caved in, and everyone nearby staggered in place as another roar echoed out.
Then, something burst out from under the surface. It was an enormous black star beetle, with a carapace that resembled powerful armor, and long antennae with sharp pincers at the ends. It also emanated a shocking black glow. [1. In Chinese, this bug is literally a “heavenly ox.” It's also known as a long-horned beetle.]
As soon as it appeared, the black-armored star beetle charged into the battle lines, causing numerous Spirit and Blood Stream Sect cultivators to scream as they were crushed. Shockingly, this bug had battle prowess equivalent to a Nascent Soul patriarch!
In fact, in some ways, it was even more powerful than that. Furthermore, black mist roiled off of its body that dissolved everything it touched.
Bai Xiaochun was shocked by the sight of the enormous black beetle. He had seen all sorts of gigantic wild beasts, but this was his first time seeing a bug this large.
Cries of shock rang out from the Gold Core cultivators among the Spirit and Blood Stream Sects as they recognized what it was.
“A black-armored star beetle!!”
“One of the Profound Stream Sect’s two precious treasures. They’ve finally unleashed their black-armored star beetle!”
The Spirit Stream Sect’s founding patriarch snorted coldly and performed an incantation gesture with his right hand. Waving his finger toward the sky, he said, “I summon the Spirit Stream Sect’s... Heavenhorn Sword!”
Suddenly, the sky began to tremble, and a screaming sound echoed out. It sounded, not like the screaming of a person, but rather, the screaming caused by something ripping through the air at incredible speed!
In the blink of an eye, dazzling silver light shone out from above as a black sword appeared!!
It looked like an ordinary sword, except that it was slightly curved. It had been forged from the shed horn of an inkdragon, and despite its relatively humble appearance, it was anything but ordinary. Visible on its surface were ten shocking silver designs!!
That indicated that this sword had benefited from a tenfold spirit enhancement! Even a piece of scrap iron that had received a tenfold spirit enhancement would be called a rare and powerful weapon. But the Heavenhorn Sword was much more than that. With a spirit enhancement the likes of which it had received, it could be considered something above a precious treasure. It was halfway to being a spirit treasure!
When it came to magical devices, they were usually referred to in terms of three levels; magical treasures, precious treasures, and spirit treasures. In terms of quality, each level was broken up using the descriptions of mortal, earth, and heaven. For example, only heaven-tier precious treasures would be the kind that could protect an entire sect!
In terms of spirit treasures, even the most inferior type, the mortal-tier, would still be enough to be used as a reserve power for an entire sect. Furthermore, they would never be unleashed lightly. Only if the sect faced imminent destruction would they be called upon.
The Heavenhorn Sword’s arrival caused a great commotion among all of the Spirit Stream Sect cultivators on the battlefield. They immediately began to cheer loudly.
“That's our sect’s Heavenhorn Sword!! Hahaha! When the Heavenhorn Sword appears, it can slash forests and destroy moons!!”
“The Heavenhorn Sword is so powerful it can shake mountains and dry up rivers!!”
“It has a tenfold spirit enhancement. Nothing can compare to that!!” As their cries rolled out, it wasn't just the Profound Stream Sect cultivators whose faces darkened. Even the Blood Stream Sect disciples had unsightly expressions on their faces; they weren’t exactly happy to see the Spirit Stream Sect stealing the spotlight.
Among the patriarchs of the Blood Stream Sect, only light snorts could be heard. Even they were shocked by the sight of the Heavenhorn Sword and its ten shocking silver designs. They had done much research into the precious treasures of the Spirit Stream Sect, but had never been able to uncover what incredible luck the sect had encountered to be able to perform a tenfold spirit enhancement without destroying the sword in the process.
The arch-patriarch sighed. “That’s probably the only item in all of the eastern Lower Reaches that has a tenfold spirit enhancement.”
Bai Xiaochun looked up excitedly at the Heavenhorn Sword, and especially at the ten silver designs on it. Those designs instantly reminded him of his turtle-wok.
Although he didn't use the wok all the time, he knew that it was his most important secret. To this day, he still dreamed about using it to produce a magical item with a hundredfold spirit enhancement. He couldn’t help but get excited about how shocked everyone would be if he succeeded at that.
“I'm definitely going to do that one day!” Even as Bai Xiaochun’s heart stirred with excitement, Bruiser was on another part of the battlefield. He had just been prepared to make another offensive charge when a tremor ran through him, and he looked up, not at the Heavenhorn Sword, but at the black beetle. Within his eyes gleamed a flicker of desire, and he had to suppress the urge to try to eat the beetle immediately. After all, he was aware of the vast difference in power between the two of them.
After looking up in thought for a moment, he began to creep across the battlefield toward the black beetle.
Meanwhile, the Heavenhorn Sword descended in flickering light, like a black lightning bolt filled with silver. It sliced through the power of beetle’s roar like a hot knife through butter, a dazzling arc of light, a waterfall hundreds of meters tall, a silver rainbow!
Trembling, the black-armored star beetle looked up, and then roared as though it knew it was facing a powerful opponent. Black mist erupted from its body, forming into an even larger figure!
It was fully 3,000 meters tall, and although it wasn’t fully solid, it was rapidly taking shape. The energy that erupted off of it left everyone gasping. Roaring, the black-armored star beetle shot directly toward the Heavenhorn Sword!
Rumbling sounds shook the whole world. The blinding light shining off of the Heavenhorn Sword became the most dazzling thing on the battlefield.
However, the Heavenhorn Sword simply tapped the beetle. When it did, the silver lines on its surface pulsed, and the black-armored star beetle let out a bloodcurdling scream. The outer layer of its body collapsed, and its true form was revealed. The expression on its face was one of terror, and it was about to flee, but to the utter shock of everyone observing, it was sliced into two pieces!
Blood exploded out from the two pieces of the corpse, revealing that the beetle itself was something like a puppet, within the middle of which was a bizarre, black crystal!
What delivered the killing blow wasn’t the sword itself, it was the power of the tenfold spirit enhancement designs!Previous Chapter Next Chapter