Swoosh! Limitless black runes rushed over like a black curtain. Yet in the second they were about to touch the Xingtian Legion, they all surprisingly slowed down by over a fold!
The Dui trigram’s marsh seemed to possess infinite gravity. Even the “power” of spiritual force could be drawn in!
“Fuck!” Linghu Chaofeng violently pounded the ground and leaped up with a rumble, looking over to another part of the sky.
Over yonder… the White Tiger Hall was already fuming smoke all over! To say that it would fall in the next second was no exaggeration! However, the structure stood firm. He knew that the main clan was waiting! Waiting for report of victory here! All of the Linghu Clan’s treasures were staked on this gamble! Failure was not a possibility for him! He could not afford to lose!
Gritting his teeth, he opened his mouth and spat out a small seal. Shortly, a pure-white screen of light glimmered in the air. Less than a tenth of a second later, a world-shaking roar followed! A tremendous manifestation of a white tiger, no less than a thousand meters long, protected the entire Linghu Clan below it!
Qi rose up into the air from the tiger’s body. It seemed illusory, yet real, as if it was a divine spirit crouching lowly in the sky. Its golden eyes blasted out two golden rays!
Huuummm… Unexpectedly, the marsh on the ground evaporated little by little. The black talismans, no longer hindered, frantically attached themselves onto the Featherwood Guard’s grand array!
Crack crack crack! All of a sudden, the sound of tooth-aching chewing entered the ears of everyone inside. Lord Zhao fell into a daze, quickly jumped up, and gasped, “Artifact spirit… Seed artifact spirit… This is a seed artifact spirit!”
“A seed artifact spirit?”
“An aerial stronghold can only have one true artifact spirit.” Lord Zhao studied the fuzzy area that was isolated far away, focused on the giant manifestation of the white tiger in the sky. “But it can have several seed artifact spirits! These are artifact spirits that have all been defeated in a battle of artifact spirits! I really didn’t expect… that the Linghu Clan would actually be willing to bring something like this out!”
This was the foreknowledge of a centuries-old noble clan!
“Branch Master! Emergency system damaged by 2%!” At this time, a voice suddenly echoed from one of the side palaces. A heavily sweating cultivator rushed out and yelled, “These damn things are swallowing our grand array! W-What the heck are these things?!”
“Branch Master! Attack systems damaged by 1.7%!” At the same time, another cultivator hurried out from the other side palace. By chance, both cultivators nearly yelled out in chorus.
Xuan Chengzi fluttered over. He uttered not a word, the spiritual light of the longsword in his flashing, ready to chop down. Nonetheless, he was pulled back by a hand.
“Fellow Daoist Xu.” Xuan Chengzi turned his head back, his eyes revealing doubt as he looked at Xu Yangyi. The other, however, gently shook his head.
“Why?!” Chu Zhaonan and Lord Zhao almost asked at the same time.
At the side, Li Zongyuan was silent for a couple seconds. With his understanding of Xu Yangyi, the addition of the pair’s spiritual sense connection, and the words that Xu Yangyi had said to him previously… All of a sudden, the light of his eyes flickered, and his legs went soft on the ground!
“DON’T!!!” the toad-demon practically screamed himself hoarse, climbing back up yet not daring to. His two legs were weak, and he crawled close to Xu Yangyi’s side, pulling at the latter’s hand. “No!!! Master! Don’t do this! T-The risk is too great! There’s d-definitely still a better way!!!”
Everyone was even more astonished, and they looked at Li Zongyuan in confusion. Chu Zhaonan took two steps forward and pulled him up. Li Zongyuan’s body was quivering violently.
Before Chu Zhaonan even finished asking his question, Li Zongyuan ran over to Xu Yangyi as if he was insane. He wanted to shake his master’s shoulder, but he dared not. He pleaded with reddened eyes, “Master, don’t… you absolutely can’t!!! T-This is too dangerous!”
Xu Yangyi dimly brushed an eye over his familiar. His eyes were serene, yet Li Zongyuan, who knew him all too well, could see deeply hidden trace of madness at the bottom of his gaze!
“Master…” Li Zongyuan’s voice was crowing.
“Since you know I’m the master, then you must obey me.” Xu Yangyi forced down the boiling blood in his heart and said calmly, “Withdraw.”
“I said…” Xu Yangyi closed his eyes and took a deep breath. As he opened them, his eyes already carried a smidgen of unquestionability. “Withdraw.”
Li Zongyuan opened his mouth a few good times. Ultimately, he shivered and left. He knew that persuasion was useless… Perhaps since the beginning when Xu Yangyi had said these words to him, the other was planning this all along!
No… maybe… even earlier! Realizing everything that Xu Yangyi wanted to do, he then understood why… why the Xingtian Legion had revealed weakness to the enemy! If that was truly how the situation was… all that was left in his heart was strong reverence. The careful considerations of his master… were truly too dreadful… His master’s heart was also too great… Was this the bodhi seed’s might? Or his master’s original plan?
Making this distinction was unclear… and he didn’t he want to make it, either.
No one spoke. Xu Yangyi had obviously hidden something from everyone. Nonetheless, it was even more evident that the demon slayer wouldn’t say.
Xu Yangyi’s two hands left the Taiyi Everlasting Array. Yes… this was his game! Who said that the weakest party couldn’t be a chess player?
Are those of the aristocracy born with courage? 
In the event that this trap of his, which he had arranged since the start, went smoothly, the most dazzling fireworks would blossom here!
He was only waiting for one chance… All he needed was one opportunity!
His voice soft, he mumbled as he looked at the battlefield far away, “All of you brag that you’re high above… There’s no way you’d expect that I would have a move like this…”
“What move?” Lord Zhao questioned. At some unknown time, he had always been thinking that Xu Yangyi was very dangerous, just like a gambler betting his life in the greatest game of chance!
Xu Yangyi faced back and studied Lord Zhao deeply, erupting into sudden laughter. “To accomplish everything in one stroke.”
“This is our true declaration of war against the clans. It’s also the true meaning of our first battle. But…” he said and looked to the sky, “I want to bring the fight to a conclusion.”
“Look… the real climax is going to be coming soon.”
“ROAR!!!” Outside, the white tiger artifact spirit exploded with a thunderous roar. Immediately, it raised its front claw up by what seemed to be a little bit, yet it consumed all of its power to lunge at the Featherwood Guard!
There was no radiance, only sound, a sound that seemed to rend the sky into shreds! In the night, an unseen wind arrow zoomed towards the Xingtian Legion!
Boom! The Taiyi Everlasting Array trembled to a great extent, and Linghu Chaofeng’s gaze sparked violently! He was quick to make an order, “Qian’er! Assemble the massacre artifacts! Follow close on the seed artifact spirit’s attack!”
Needless of his command, six of the fifteen massacre artifacts facing ahead gathered black light in their mouths again, under Linghu Qian’s arts manipulation. Meanwhile, the golden slitted eyes of the white tiger manifestation in the air faintly glimmered. It seemed to be startled, this time raising both of its claws up.
Swoosh swoosh swoosh! Sounds of breaking wind erupted from in between the seed spirit artifact’s two claws!
Now, it was wilder than moments ago! Even if the bloodline of the white tiger, the master of metal, was thin in its descendant, the thread of a true spirit’s blood still existed. And metal… was counted as having the most outstanding attack power among the Five Phases!
Boom boom boom! The Taiyi Everlasting Array fiercely rocked back and forth! Even inside, it felt as if a minor earthquake was occurring! On the black light-screen, a hundred runes instantly died out!
Qin Xueluan and Jun Man yelled out, their expressions grave. Chu Zhaonan, Luo Sanfeng, and the others all looked towards Xu Yangyi as well.
Xu Yangyi silently shook his head.
It wasn’t time yet…
If the Linghu Clan wasn’t allowed to tear open the Taiyi Everlasting Array with all their power and effort, then all of this didn’t have the least bit meaning.
After he had used the Dui trigram, it had already darkened. Presently, it just happened to be recovering its brightness little by little, yet the shaking outside was becoming gradually fiercer! Without the trigrams’ protection, less than half of the talismans on the black screen would actually stop burning in merely seven or eight minutes!
“W-What’s going on?!” The present elites said nothing, but the ordinary cultivators inside the stronghold were anxious. A Zhao Clan cultivator looked to the sky in disbelief. From time to time, a rune on the black curtain of light that shrouded the horizon died out. He said in a shrill tone, “D-Don’t tell me we can’t defend?”
No one answered him, but everyone looked at the sky with deep worry.
Several thousands cultivators were outside!
A little while ago, the hand of thunder had left some of the Xingtian Legion’s cultivators whooping for joy. Now, though, their appearances had dramatically changed!
How many had the thunder hand killed?
Once the Featherwood Guard was broken through, was there still a path of survival for them?
“Ten minutes.” Xu Yangyi didn’t respond to anyone. His scheme was too insane. No one would vote in favor of him. Even Li Zongyuan had done his utmost to oppose it. However, he had already steeled his heart to go on!
His conduct was always without a moment’s hesitation , absent of restraint or shackle. Never fearing tail or head, never mired in the indecision of a mouse stuck at two ends.
High spirits approaching the firmament no not of worry, hope set on the Jade City’s twelfth story. Flourishing a sword to split clouds in the welcome of falling stars, hefting a gourd of wine and singing loudly to draw a phoenix to soar! 
The place where my heart dwells is where my Dao arrives.
“Kan.” His hand pressed down on the Taiji again, and black chains shook in unison. The Kan trigram flourished with golden light, the rays fluttering through the air!
“Ten minutes!” Outside, Linghu Qian’s eyes suddenly brightened. She sensed that under the allied attack of the seed spirit artifact and the massacre artifacts, the Featherwood Guard stronghold was barely holding on with nothing but sheer effort! It was then that another ripple of spiritual force spread. As for the time, ten minutes hadn’t passed!
“Ten minutes for a one-time loop… This isn’t too excessive of superior formation. If we get through this wave… the next wave will be when my Linghu Clan takes down the Featherwood Guard!”
“It won’t even take half an hour… twenty minutes, and I’ll have your head fall to the ground!”
“Resist!” she raised her head and shouted sternly at her surroundings!
Whoosh! This time, the Linghu Clan’s defense was even faster than before! Just as the qi wave was detected, an old woman propped on a cane began offering sacrifices to a horsetail whisk, her eyes already threatening to crack open in rage.
Endless white light glimmered from the horsetail whisk, and profound talismans rushed forth like a tide. They shrouded the Linghu Clan’s 3,000 soldiers all under a white cloak.
And yet… no divine ability came surging out whatsoever! Instead, a sky-blue curtain of water bubbled out from the black fog without the slightest omen and wrapped around the Featherwood Guard. The stronghold was like a sapphire in the black night!
Linghu Qian’s and Linghu Chaofeng’s eyes almost lit up at the same time! Separated away from each other by several hundred meters, they shared a glance, seemingly understanding what was on the other’s mind.
There was an extreme likelihood that this formation couldn’t attack and defend simultaneously!
They thought back to the beginning, and the stone caltrops on the ground and the massive hand of thunder afterwards. Two consecutive defenses followed next. The ground became a swamp, and this time spirit water had encapsulated the entire Featherwood Guard...
Linghu Chaofeng stuck up two fingers, and Linghu Qian softly nodded.
A binary loop… and after the two defenses and two attacks was a grace period lasting ten minutes! Only the Linghu Clan, a noble clan since ancient times, could realize the subtleties within these things.
“To entrust your hopes on an inadequate grand array…” Linghu Chaofeng shot a brief glance to a distant place again, his anxiety burning. Nonetheless, he forced down his worry and gritted out, “When the walls break, then will be the day of massacre!”
“All massacre artifacts… attack!!!”
1. This is a pretty old Chinese saying, dating back to 209 BCE of the Qin dynasty. It refers to the first major peasant uprising, which failed in the end. Eventually gained the meaning of “losing in the end, but still has meaning/meaning in failure”.
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