Tianming was just joking. What needed dealing with was Sun Xingyu. Staring blankly, Sun Xingyu stumbled three steps backward, his savage smile solidified on his face. There was despair in his eyes.
"You hid yourself well. For so many years, no one realized that you work for Dongyang Yun.” Tianming's gaze turned cold.
"How could you still be alive?!” Sun Xingyu's eyes widened.
"Sorry to disappoint you. Get out of the way, I’m going to kill!” shouted Tianming.
The Dark Astral Battalion soldiers quickly dispersed.
"Tianming, shouldn’t you let the palace lord handle this? How’s your injury?" asked Bai Zijin.
"I'm fine.” Turning to Bai Zijin, Tianming's stern eyes softened into a smile. Then he walked toward Sun Xingyu.
"Just make sure he’s alive for questioning,” said Bai Zijin.
Tianming pulled out Meow Meow, who had returned to sleep in his lifebound space.
"Damn, were you disfigured? You’re so ugly!” cried Meow Meow.
Having just closed its eyes, the first thing Meow Meow saw was such a thrilling scene. Throwing it on the ground, Tianming looked at Sun Xingyu, eyes blazing, then turned to the men of the Dark Astral Battalion.
"I know that some of you are risking your lives for Dongyang Yun, just like this man! But it doesn't matter, Dongyang Yun will die sooner or later, and I’ll weed you out, one by one. Sun Xingyu is the first. We’ll see what happens next.”
With that, he drew out the Grand-Orient Sword and attacked with his three lifebound beasts.
On the other end, Ye Lingfeng and the Soulfiend had already slaughtered a Burning Starfiend Ape before Tianming could even speak. The heads of the Soulfiend divided the soul of the Burning Starfiend Ape into three parts, swallowed them, then roared contentedly.
"There’s one more here!” Man and beast attacked at once.
Not even Dongyang Fengchen could stop his attack, let alone Sun Xingyu. After three consecutive moves, Sun Xingyu was defeated once again.
"How daring of the dao palace to collude with the enemy and commit treason. It will definitely be destroyed! Li Tianming, you must die!” roared Sun Xingyu.
Just as the words fell from his lips, Tianming's sword pierced his mouth.
"Agh!” Sun Xingyu's eyes widened at the moment of his death.
"Will you shut up?”
When Tianming withdrew the Grand-Orient Sword, Sun Xingyu’s limp body fell softly to the ground. Tianming gave the corpse a kick.
The Soulfiend immediately caught it. Since it didn’t feed on flesh and blood, it picked out the soul, devoured it in one bite, then threw the corpse aside.
"Dongyang Yun murdered the previous Autarch. He’s a treasonous rebel! The ninth prince, Jiang Ling—whom the Dao Palace supports—is the true Primeval Autarch. If you insist on being Dongyang Yun’s spy, you can forget about keeping your soul! ”
Tianming swept his gaze across his battalion. This was merely temporary; their goal was the entire Theocracy.
"The General is mighty!!" they shouted passionately.
This was a true display of might that penetrated the hearts of the masses. These seniors had truly been convinced. The Dark Astral Battalion stood united.
"Ying Huo, thanks for that earlier!” shouted Tianming.
In a moment of desperation, its first reaction was to stand in front of Tianming, an act that was worth a thousand words.
"You weakling. Did that move you? What's the matter, want to devote yourself to me?” Ying Huo smiled.
"I'm afraid you wouldn’t be able to handle it,” laughed Tianming.
"Damn... you guys have no restraint!” Ying Huo remained at a respectful distance.
Although it had been an unexpected incident, the threat wasn’t too great. For the time being, they cut a sorry figure, but fortunately, they had the Prime Tower so recovery would be quick.
The remaining Burning Starfiend Ape was bound with Tianming’s Three-Thousand Starfield. The dao palace could investigate from this point and conduct an internal cleanup. Soon after, Weisheng Yunxi, Ye Yi, Bai Mo, and Bai Zijun all came.
"Are you alright?” asked Weisheng Yunxi.
"How coincidental. The Dark Astral Battalion I arranged for you had one of Dongyang Yun’s sacrificial soldiers. Fortunately, you’re alright,” sighed Weisheng Yunxi.
"Are there many of them?”
"There’s quite a few of them, but their origins are rather vague so they don’t usually make it to Astral General. Due to that, Sun Xingyu was stuck in the position of deputy general for several years. The dao palace can only take in talents from all over, so it’s hard to avoid this kind of thing,” said Weisheng Yunxi.
"That's not a problem, as long as our own men are the Astral Generals,” said Tianming.
Weisheng Yunxi nodded.
"Since Sun Xingyu dared to take action, Autarch Yun must’ve given the order to avenge Dongyang Fengchen. Based on that alone, we can send troops to support Jiang Ling,” said Bai Mo.
"Well, let’s inform Jiang Ling so he’s ready. On the first day of the next month, when the Sun-Moon Imperial Formation is exhausted, the dao palace will attack the Imperial City with him!” Weisheng Yunxi declared.
Bai Mo nodded. He was in charge of contacting Jiang Ling and left immediately.
We’re going to war on the first day of the next month? That’s not very far off, Tianming thought.
He knew that the Sun-Moon Imperial Formation in the Imperial City was a six star heavenly pattern formation, one level above the Bloodbane Formation and second only to the seven star Infernal Soul Formation. It was a very terrifying defensive formation that had been reinforced by generations of Theocrat martyrs and passed down to this day.
On the day of the fireworks festival, Jiang Ling’s goal was to seize the formation, but he had ultimately failed. After that, the Sun-Moon Imperial Formation remained active. The dao palace wanted to attack by surprise, but there were too many spies on both sides. Any movement in the Divine Capital was no secret. Most of the time, they could only confront each other head-on.
The Sun-Moon Imperial Formation absorbed the power of the sun during the day, and the power of the moon at night. The power of the sun was very stable, while the power of the moon was strongest during the full moon on the fifteenth of each month, and weakest at the beginning of each month. On that night, when the Sun-Moon Imperial Formation was at its weakest, it would drop to a five star formation.
"Tianming, we must be careful on the road between life and death. In war, there’s no trusting those who aren’t wholehearted. We must guard against them. After all, we checked for heavenly pattern tomes before you entered the tomb, yet you faced deadly battles," said Weisheng Yunxi.
"Palace Lord, I understand.” Tianming paused, then asked, "Palace Lord, can we overcome the Sun-Moon Imperial Formation and completely destroy Autarch Yun's descendants when we go to battle next month?”
"Perhaps, perhaps not. Although the dao palace will participate in the war, we need to limit the number of casualties. We can’t sacrifice too much. It’s best to slowly grind our opponents to death. Although Dongyang Yun has lost hundreds of thousands of troops since the internal strife began, he still has eight hundred thousand people with him, including the Saint Martial Manor, Dazzling Pavilion, and the Jiang clan. Defeating them won’t be easy. After all, the battlefield isn’t a duel of the martial dao. Sometimes, there’s safety in numbers,” said Weisheng Yunxi.
"What about Jiang Ling?”
"He’s supported by some members of the Jiang clan, the ancient clans, and the nine major sects. He has around six hundred thousand elite troops,” Weisheng Yunxi replied.
"Even after their internal strife, they still have so many powerhouses. The Theocrats can really give birth,” sighed Tianming.
The Decimo Dao Palace had a million-strong army in the Dark Hall. If their opponent wasn’t fighting internally and split into two major factions, they would also have more than a million troops. In contrast, the Dark Hall seemed lacking.
"A lean camel is bigger than a horse. It’ll take some time to defeat the brothers. Many will be sacrificed, but... there’s no other way,” said Weisheng Yunxi.
"Yes!” said Tianming.
"Without the Cyclic Mirror, the Theocrats have recently exercised a little restraint. You’ve never seen them use the Cyclic Mirror to absorb the cultivation and souls of mortals."
"Retribution is coming,” said Tianming.
Before the Decimo Dao Palace went to war, the battle in the Divine Capital grew more intense. There was even a dark undercurrent surging within the dao palace.
After taking control of the Dark Astral Battalion, Tianming transferred everything in Courtyard One to the Astral General’s official residence. Before leaving, he had to say goodbye to Zhou Yuanyuan.
"How unpredictable the world is. Who would’ve thought that the Romance River would be affected by the fires of war before I could even take you there? Those wonderful pavilions are now in ruins, and many beauties have died. What a pity! I can’t take it, I really can’t! The Divine Capital is currently in ruins. If this continues, even the ruins will be gone, leaving only scorched earth behind," Zhou Yuanyuan sighed.
"Don’t worry. You’ll see the day when the Divine Capital is rebuilt,” said Tianming.
"I hope Jiang Ling wins the war. After all, the dao palace supports him,” said Zhou Yuanyuan.
"I hope so.” Patting him on the shoulder, Tianming left.
The Dark Astral Battalion, the Astral General’s official residence.
Tianming, Feiling, Ye Lingfeng, and Li Qingyu had all moved here. Lan Huang and the Soulfiend had completely let themselves go on the broad grounds, fighting every day and shaking the earth. Lan Huang's “innocent” laughter alone was ear-splitting.
In front of the mirror—
"It’s all good now," Feiling said, looking at the white-haired man in the mirror.
"With the Prime Tower, my hair grows fast." Tianming ran his fingers through his hair.
"Big Brother, will the Dark Astral Battalion participate in the attack of the Imperial City next month?" Feiling asked, slightly worried.
"I don't know. We’ll do as we’re ordered. Hall Master Ye Yi says everything will be carried out according to plan—I’m no special case,” said Tianming.
"How about I leave the innate godchild here? When the time comes, I'll attach my spirit to you. You’re now an eighth-level earth saint who’s able to defeat a fourth-level sky saint. With Spiritual Attachment, it’ll be easier for you to deal with a fourth-level sky saint, perhaps even a fifth-level one. Would a fifth-level sky saint be considered one of the top experts in the Divine Capital?" she asked.
"Fifth-level Sky Saints are considered strong. Those stronger than that—for example Astral King Bai Zijun and Hall King Bai Zifeng—are sixth-level Sky Saints. Aside from them, Autarch Yun's eldest son, Dongyang Fen, as well as Exalted Jingyue and Exalted Lingxing of the Ancient Qilin Clan, are also at the sixth level. They’re considered top powerhouses of the Divine Capital.”
Tianming had inquired about their strength.
"Anyone else? What about powerhouses at seventh, eighth, and ninth-level Sky Saint?" asked Feiling.
For the Sky Saint powerhouses, there was a big gap in strength between every level, and every breakthrough might take them a decade or more. Those seniors had basically reached their cultivation limits. It was almost impossible to progress after the age of a hundred. At that age, just maintaining their cultivation level was considered good.
"The original Hall Kings of the Dao Palace are basically at seventh-level Sky Saint or higher. For example, Jiang Xiao, Jiang Jianying, and Wei Ji, the three Hall Kings Life Hall, the South Hall, and the Sky Hall, as well as the Grand Sky General, Zhao Shenhong, and the exalted Chongyang of the Ancient Qilin Clan. The Death Hall King, Jiang An, the Grand Divine Marshal, Huang Chonghuan, and Autarch Yun are slightly stronger and already eighth-level Sky Saints.”
"Then what about Bai Mo and Ye Yi?" Feiling asked curiously.
"They’re the pillars of the dao palace, both of them ninth-level Sky Saint powerhouses, comparable to Dongyang Yun and Jiang Ling. Senior Bai Mo and Jiang Ling have just reached ninth-level Sky Saint, while Dongyang Yun and Senior Ye Yi are the strongest under Empyrean Saint,” said Tianming.
"They’re so powerful!" Feiling was a little surprised.
"That’s right. After all, Hall King is just a position, and doesn’t necessarily represent their strength. Hall King Bai Mo is now the master of the school.”
The newly appointed Hall Kings were only sixth-level Sky Saints, which was a far cry from Bai Mo.
"Big Brother, you haven't answered my question yet. Can I follow you into the battlefield?" asked Feiling.
"Alright. If I say no, you’re going to be all naggy again.”
"I’m worried about you.”
"Just as long as your innate godchild physique doesn’t stink!”
"How’s your progress so far? ”
"I’m at eighth-level Unity, but my progress has slowed down. Cultivation is really difficult, " she sighed.
"You mustn’t ease up.”
"I got it.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter