The Seven Astral Legions of the Dark Hall had all shown up, demonstrating their determination to assist Jiang Ling to the throne. The Decimo Dao Palace was protected by the Evil Suppression Formation, which meant defense wasn’t an issue.
Under the curtain of rain, a million-strong army and more than a million lifebound beasts charged past the empty Divine Capital, which had been destroyed beyond recognition. Most of the citizens had fled, while those remaining had nowhere to go. They could only cower and hope the war wouldn’t affect them.
One by one, the gigantic beasts stomped through the ruins. Tianming stood on Lan Huang's back. Arguably the largest beast in the Dark Astral Battalion, it was very conspicuous. It opened up the road in front, and wherever it went, the ground rumbled and the dust flew. Ying Huo and Meow Meow lay atop Lan Huang’s two dragon heads. Meow Meow was still napping, making use of every second to catch up on his sleep. It could even sleep peacefully despite the racket caused by Lan Huang’s movement.
Tianming looked up. In the dark night, a six-hundred-thousand-strong army and more than six hundred thousand lifebound beasts had gathered outside the Grand Sky Gate. They gathered together, majestic and imposing as they waited for the arrival of the dao palace’s Seven Astral Legions!
Through the smoke and dust, the Seven Astral Legions charged forth, the impact causing the ground beneath Jiang Ling’s army to tremble and making their lifebound beasts very uneasy.
"Stop!” At Ye Yi's order, the Seven Astral Legions stopped before the Grand Sky Gate.
With a wave of Tianming’s hand, all ten thousand of the Dark Astral Battalion behind him came to a stop without so much as a word, demonstrating strict discipline.
The two armies faced each other head-on.
"Even though they’re an allied army and Jiang Ling is the master, he’s actually weaker than the Dao Palace. The side with the initiative is actually very important, since it affects morale,” said Tianming.
"It makes sense. Although the dao palace is here to help, they’re not necessarily inferior. With a higher number, the entire army is able to advance and retreat freely, and won’t be suppressed by the majesty of the Theocrats,” said Deputy General Chen Fang.
Looking toward the Imperial City, Tianming could vaguely make out the Sun-Moon Imperial Formation. It was rather dim; under the curtain of rain, the six-star formation couldn’t exert its true power.
Night had just fallen. With the increase in rainfall, the world would grow darker. Coupled with lightning and thunder, the power of the Sun-Moon Imperial Formation would be even weaker in an hour. That was when the two armies would launch their attack. Before that, there might be some contest between the Seven Astral Legions and Jiang Ling’s army.
Both Tianming and Ye Yi knew how daring the dao palace’s real goal was. Jiang Ling was their prey. Due to that, any fight between the Seven Astral Legions and Jiang Ling seemed real. The dao palace was the strongest faction, now. There was no way they would cower before Jiang Ling.
This was the reason why the dao palace’s million-strong army had charged straight for Jiang Ling’s troops and had them breaking out in cold sweat as if they were faced with a majestic enemy.
"Greetings, Ninth Prince. I am the Dark Hall Master of the Dao Palace, Ye Yi, who leads the Dark Hall warriors in your support to defeat the traitor Dongyang Yun!” Ye Yi's voice shook the sky and earth, even overshadowing the thunder. He sat on the Evernight Eagle, flying through the air. After speaking, he descended to the ground.
“It’s admirable that the dao palace understands righteousness and considers for the common people. I’m grateful for the Dao Palace’s support. Once we remove the traitor, Dongyang Yun, who murdered the previous Autarch, the world will be peaceful once more. All beings shall remember the contribution of the Decimo Dao Palace.”
The speaker wore a golden robe, his black hair bundled on his back. He had a short beard, handsome features, and a slender body. With one hand behind him and a faint smile on his face, he appeared very elegant. However, there was no lack of an imperial aura in those fiery, deep eyes.
He was Jiang Ling, the Ninth Prince. His temperament was completely different from Dongyang Yun, who was domineering, strong, impatient, and irritable. Contrary to that, Jiang Ling was upright. At first glance, he had the demeanor of a benevolent ruler that was consistent with everyone’s expectations.
Such a man was truly unfathomable.
Beside Jiang Ling were many that were familiar to Tianming. Among the ancient clans, Patriarch Wei Ji of the Ancient Greedwolf Clan had originally been the West Hall King of the Dao Palace. There were also the seven exalted ones of the Ancient Qilin Clan—Chong Yang, Jing Yue, Xiao Xing, Mo Yu, and the rest.
The Ancient Qilin Clan had sent at least a hundred thousand descendants that could fight, like the Qilin King of the Ink Qilin Branch, Qin Dingtian. Tianming hadn’t forgotten how he had pulled his hair.
There were more than a dozen ancient clans in total, but the Greedwolves, Taotie, Bifang, and Qilin were the largest ancient clans. The Ancient Qilin Clan was once the number one ancient clan, but now ranked fourth.
On the side of the Decimo Dao Palace, Tianming joined the ranks of the experts—the seven Astral Kings and a hundred Astral Generals headed by Ye Yi.
"Ye Yi, we originally decided to start an hour from now. But judging by the current weather conditions, we plan to begin half an hour earlier,” said Jiang Ling after a bout of pleasantries.
"That's not possible. Let's follow the original plan. Our people have just arrived and we still need some time to observe the Sun-Moon Imperial Formation,” countered Ye Yi.
Jiang Ling wanted to show his authority in this joint attack. But obviously, the dao palace wouldn’t give him the honor.
"There are so many people who would take a mile when you give them an inch. If we compromise on this matter, they’ll make other demands. For example, getting the dao palace to take the lead and send ourselves to death’s door. Obviously, this is another contest between the Dao Palace and Jiang Ling," Tianming said.
"I think Jiang Ling has his guard up against the Dao Palace. Looks like we’ll be scheming against each other. However, the dao palace does have an advantage, and that’s our overall strength. Additionally, the palace lord has a card up her sleeve," said Feiling.
Their conjectures were right, after all. Jiang Ling didn’t argue after Ye Yi’s refusal. It was the people under him who had ugly expressions on their faces. After all, on the surface, members of the dao palace were subjects of the imperial family and required to show respect.
"Father, the dao palace has their noses in the sky. Perhaps they’ll always be this arrogant and bold, even after you remove Dongyang Yun and become autarch.”
The speaker was Jiang Ling’s seventh child, Jiang Liuting. Dressed in red, she was magnificent, as beautiful as a peony, with noble features. Under that red dress, her figure was divine. Her enchanting curves and every move attracted the eyes of many men. However, due to her dignified status and imposing aura, none dared to approach her.
"We have to face reality. And the reality is that the Dao Palace is strong. For a period of time in the future, they may continue showing such arrogance before the imperial family. But it doesn't matter. After this storm, our family will grow stronger. The day will come when they bow their heads to us once again," whispered Jiang Ling.
"Will they decide to deal with us once Dongyang Yun is gone?” asked Jiang Liuting.
"This isn’t a question you should ask.” Jiang Ling glared at her.
"I understand. You must have your own plans, Father,” said Jiang Liuting.
An hour was very short, but at that moment, it seemed very long. With the lifebound beasts of both armies roaring at each other, tensions escalated.
At that moment, people from the Ancient Qilin Clan laid eyes on Tianming, who stood amid the forces of the Dao Palace. Exalted Chong Yang walked up to Jiang Ling and whispered into his ears, and the latter nodded.
"Li Tianming?” Jiang Liuting heard the name.
"So many Theocrats have died at his hands. Although they were all descendants of Dongyang Yun, we all know what he said on the Decimo Dao Battlefield. Moreover, he’s Li Muyang’s son. The dao palace clearly has little respect for us, to actually take him in,” sneered Jiang Liuting.
"What I’m curious about is the fact that they’ve sent him to the battlefield. Aren’t they afraid that he’ll die?” Jiang Ling frowned.
"I heard that he killed Dongyang Fengchen some time ago, defeating a fourth-level sky saint. He’s supposedly the number one genius in a hundred thousand years. How arrogant. If he dies on the battlefield today, it’d be the biggest joke in a hundred thousand years,” said Jiang Liuting.
"How careless of the dao palace. On the battlefield of life and death, even an Astral King may perish, let alone a young man that carries with him numerous treasures and has provoked the hatred of the imperial family," said Jiang Ling.
"Father, the people of the dao palace are just too much! Should I take the opportunity to suppress them? That way, we can restrain them on the battlefield,” said Jiang Liuting.
"Do these people really think the imperial family is at a dead end?”
Jiang Ling’s other children were unhappy.
"We brought Li Tianming to the Divine Capital.”
"When he first arrived, he was merely at eighth or ninth-level Heavenly Will. But now he can defeat a fourth-level sky saint. His progress is simply heaven-defying.”
"God knows when he managed to catch up with us elders,” several exalted ones of the Ancient Qilin Clan said helplessly.
"The dao palace actually has such a strong disciple. We must kill him if the opportunity arises. Perhaps tonight will be our chance,” said Jiang Liuting.
"Not tonight. There must be people protecting him while he practices. But if the scene goes out of control, we may have a chance,” said Wei Ji, patriarch of the Ancient Greedwolf Clan.
"It sounds so mysterious. I don't believe it. How strong can a twenty-year-old be?” Jiang Liuting curled her lips.
Folding her arms, she stared at Tianming with a hint of tyranny.
"Sister, would you like to give it a try now? Didn’t you just say you’d like to suppress the dao palace? Since they hold Li Tianming up high, all you have to do is beat him and figure out his weaknesses on behalf of Dongyang Yun’s men. When he enters the Sun-Moon Imperial Formation, it’ll be easy to target him. Even if it fails, it’s tantamount to slapping the dao palace in the face. We can’t allow a talent like him to continue growing," said Jiang Cheng, Jiang Ling’s eldest son.
"That’s exactly what I want.” Jiang Liuting turned to Jiang Ling.
"Do as you please,” said Jiang Ling.
Jiang Liuting's eyes lit up.
Since Jiang Ling had spoken, she could act.Previous Chapter Next Chapter