A gigantic beast came running past, stomping Meow Meow deeper into the muddy puddle. However, it seemed to not have noticed it and merely rolled around in its sleep.
The warriors of the Dark Astral Battalion were able to survive the spirit hazards of the formation. With Tianming in their midst and Lan Huang acting as the vanguard, they pierced straight through to Dongyang Yun's camp, tearing open a rather large gap.
Lan Huang's ability, Terra Swamp, swept the ground ahead of them, turning it into a muddy swamp that trapped many a foe within. With Tianming's current powers, none of the earth saints ahead of them could resist Lan Huang's charge. Despite having many lifebound beasts unleashing their abilities at the same time, they were scarcely able to sway the eighty-four-star Lan Huang. It was basically a tank and steamroller at the same time as it mowed through the dense crowd.
Tianming and Ying Huo's strands of Invincible Sword Ki were the most chaotic spirit hazards as he used the Grand-Orient Sword to directly open up a path. Now, they weren’t fighting one-on-one among geniuses. This was a matter of life and death, so he no longer had the luxury to avoid bloodshed. If he showed mercy, he would no doubt be killed.
His Grand-Orient Sword tore through bodies of man and beast alike. None of them were able to resist his strike. With only Ten-Demise Sword, normal earth saints of the Theocrat troops could already do nothing about it but fall. Ying Huo's Infernal Blaze clones were all over the place, sending Infernal Blaze down like rain, inducing many screams of abject horror.
The Dark Astral Battalion numbered ten thousand and had charged their way into the midst of the enemy camp without allowing their formation to scatter. This proved to be a rather taxing affair, as they not only had to defeat enemy combatants, but also had to evade and block spirit hazards coming from the formation.
While Tianming was still not a sky saint yet, he could zip around through the air at high speeds using Celestial Wings. His aerial superiority not only ensured his survival, but also allowed him to kill his enemies at the same time.
"Ling'er, did your Temporal Field's range grow?" Tianming asked, surprised.
"Yeah, by four or five times. At its widest, it can envelop five thousand people around us. I can also use fifty Spatial Walls now," she said. Currently, she was using Spatial Walls to help the battalion defend against the Origin Heavytoxin spirit hazard.
"Amazing. It looks like the acquired godchild physique is impressive indeed."
"That's right!" While she was attached to Tianming, she didn't need to mind her own location and could easily focus on the bigger picture.
"Let's continue with the killing!"
Many people began to notice it was him.
"See that? That's Li Tianming!"
"He’s the one who killed the crown prince!"
"If we take his head we'll be made nobles, right?"
"Obviously! We'll live without want for anything. Even our descendants will get to enjoy it!"
"Quick, let's report to our superiors!"
The chaos Tianming unleashed when he was discovered spread throughout the battlefield. Half the combatants there were Theocrats. They glared at him with furious fervor, filled with killing intent.
"This kid actually dares to mess with us Theocrats. We'll show him his rightful place!"
"He actually dared to step on the battlefield? He's dead for sure!"
"Let's surround him first. Everyone, come with me to kill Li Tianming!"
Tianming had become the star of the show. The situation on the battlefield had drastically changed. Many people gave up on the people they were fighting and charged toward Tianming instead.
"Protect him!" Chen Fang yelled, calling his comrades to his aid.
"There's no need." Tianming snickered, holding the Grand-Orient Swords in hand. With a shake of his Celestial Wings, he flew over the Theocrats and unleashed his Invincible Sword Ki. He now had around three thousand strands of them. Each time he struck, hundreds of strands of sword ki blasted outward. Even sky saints were unable to stop the sword ki from piercing them.
The black and gold swords danced around the battlefield, gracefully firing beams of sword light all over the place that pierced through countless bodies. Tianming left a wake of corpses in his path, men and beasts alike falling dead with but a single strike.
"They're dead!""They're all dead! Don't approach! He's too strong!"
"Is this really a twenty-year-old? Has there ever been a monster like this in the history of the Theocracy?"
The Theocrats paled as the shock hit them. What was more terrifying was that there was a three-headed, six-armed, fanged monster crawling amidst the corpses, sucking souls in the form of white smoke into its stomach like it was feeding. They could hear the desperate cries of the souls before their demise.
"We can't hold on! Ugh—"
They knew that this was a soulfiend, the very same one Ye Lingfeng had brought out of the Tomb of the Ancients. Who wouldn't fear a soul-eating monster?
The soulfiend felt like it was in paradise. It didn't even have to work hard to be able to get free food, all it could possibly eat. It would digest the souls and make them its own power.
"Feng, is it growing stronger?" Tianming asked.
"That's right. It's now much stronger than before, but it's almost full. All of this will take it some time to digest," Ye Lingfeng said.
"Alright. Make sure to not lose control of it."
As the soulfiend's growth also meant Ye Lingfeng's growth, it was a matter to be happy about. They continued onward with their bout of slaughter and fought for survival.
The whole battlefield was messy beyond all measure, with blood and corpses strewn all over. The three battalions were now in the climax of their battle. Tianming's Dark Astral Battalion had Feiling's Spatial Wall and Temporal Field as support, allowing them to achieve magnificent results. Even though the members of the Ancient Qilin Clan slaughtered away rampantly—even suicidally—their ten thousand men didn't manage to kill nearly as many as Tianming’s battalion did.
Tianming's eyes were bloodshot. Countless souls had fallen to his sword. Having undergone the baptism of bloody battle, there were many insights for him to ponder. He would have to find himself as he continued progressing.
At that moment, a group of people suddenly came charging from his flank. Based on their attire, they were Dongyang Clan members, not Jiang Imperials, nor those of the Saint Martial Manor or the Theocrats' army.
They wore long black and gold robes, symbolizing their grandness and pride, and had come with the resolve to kill. Their group numbered only a dozen or so, and were all sky saints. They homed in on Tianming's location by relying on Three-Thousand Starfield's flashy trails.
"Anyone who kills Li Tianming will be awarded five million saint crystals and an empyrean manna! Their lifebound beast will be able to evolve into an empyrean beast!"
That cry caused their blood to boil before they charged towards him like raving madmen. Thankfully, the battalion was still holding their formation.
"Switch to defense!" Tianming calmly ordered. Given that they far outnumbered the approaching group, going defensive would render their charge useless unless they came from above. Even if earth saints had lifebound beasts that could fly, they wouldn't dare approach from the air and risk being shot down to certain death. Sky saints, however, could fly, allowing them to attack and retreat at their leisure. They all zeroed in on Tianming with a blind, murderous urge.
"Sir, the two leading them are the fourth and fifth imperial princes. They’re called Dongyang Liu and Dongyang Feng, respectively. They’ve served in the Shenwu Legion and have been following Marshall Shenwu since their childhood in the campaign to conquer the northwestern barbarians. They have rich battle experience," Chen Fang said.
"How powerful are they?"
"They’re in their fifties and should be on Jiang Liuting's level," Liu Yuyi said.
"Good. We'll start with those two, then. We'll pave our way by taking their heads!"
The two princes that were even older than Li Wudi came flying in with Tianming in their sights and a dozen other sky saints accompanying them.
"You, block the rest! Leave those two to me!" Tianming said, rallying the twenty or so sky saints in his battalion.
"Sir, do you need us to take one more for you?" Chen Fang asked worryingly.
"No need. Work with Feng and kill the rest as quickly as you can before more reinforcements show up."
With Tianming leading them, the twenty or so sky saints flew into the skies with their lifebound beasts to clash with the approaching group. Tianming's targets were the two princes, but he didn't need to worry about them not coming for him. They even fought each other to be the first to kill Tianming for credit.
They were both twin beastmasters whose lifebound beasts had seven heads, just like Dongyang Zhuo's. While this level of talent wasn't the utmost best the Theocrats had to offer, they were older, and far more experienced. Killing was second nature to them. The two of them, and their four lifebound beasts, were far stronger than a single Jiang Liuting.
Dongyang Liu's lifebound beasts were Goldmont Aegis Hydras. Both were seventh-order lifebound beasts with seventy-nine stars. Now matured, their bodies were incredibly huge and seemed to be covered in metallic gold armor, making them look like two mountains of gold. Their seven unique heads could bind together to form a huge golden shield.
Hydras were ferocious lifebound beasts, and the Divine Capital was their home turf. The two beasts came slamming downward at Tianming, but before they landed, Lan Huang charged in with its huge draconic body to intercept them. It unleashed Primordial Soundwave and slashed with its Annihilation Godsword. The battle was nothing but a display of brute force.
The fifth prince, Dongyang Feng, sent out his two lifebound beasts to attack from another direction. They both had seventy-seven stars and were covered in black spikes, looking a little like Dongyang Fengchen's lifebound beasts. However, they weren't fire or lightning-type beasts, but were pure poison type. They were called Ebonic Toxicspike Hydras.
While these two hydras were considered to be of inferior bloodline, compared to Nethersea Regalfiend Hydras, they were much older and larger, so they were unquestionably more powerful. Each of them would be able to easily defeat Dongyang Fengchen's lifebound beasts.
"Where's Meow Meow?" Tianming asked.
"Asleep somewhere, I bet," said Ying Huo.
"Then let's ignore it. Ying Huo, take on the two of them yourself."
"That's beyond me man! What if I get hurt?"
Tianming shoved him toward the black hydras. The next instant, the two princes were right in front of Tianming, both fervently desiring his life.Previous Chapter Next Chapter