"Tianming, my son, come to my bed." Li Wudi beckoned.
"Are you going to pass on your last words?" Tianming asked.
"Father, don't just leave the inheritance to Big Brother alone. I want some too. Equal treatment for all genders," Qingyu said with a chuckle.
"What in the...." Li Wudi wanted to cry at how well they were ganging up on him. The fact that he had survived such a huge battle was definitely an occasion worth celebrating. Even though the threat still loomed over them, that didn't stop the family from spending quality time together.
After some messing around, Li Wudi said, "Tianming, I need you to tell Bai Mo and Ye Yi something for me."
"Alright. What is it?"
"Tell them I planted a Bloodfiend Bane on the autarch beast. That won't do much harm to it, but at least I'll be able to pinpoint its location at any time, which will probably be where the autarch is too."
"What's Bloodfiend Bane?"
"It's basically my blood. Thanks to the Bloodfiend Transformation, if I plant enough Bloodfiend Banes on someone, they’ll die. The cost of that is losing lots of blood. It's basically a double-edged sword, though it harms my enemy a little bit more than me," he said.
"So, poisonous blood? And you made it sound so impressive too," Tianming scoffed.
"Haha..." Li Wudi laughed to dissolve the awkwardness, only to pull on his wounds and wince in pain. He coughed a bit and continued, "Also, tell them there's a good chance that I'll be able to break through to the empyrean saint stage. They'll know the implications."
"You're saying you want them to hold the battle off as long as they can?"
"How long will you need?"
"I can't be sure. A day or two? Or maybe up to six years. It depends on the insights I've gained. Becoming an empyrean requires substantial heavenly will growth. It's much harder than it sounds."
"Son, the two of us will see whether we or the Theocrats have the last laugh. They did me really bad today. If I don't exterminate their whole clan, I’ll forever bear this hatred in my heart!"
"Alright, stop boasting and get some rest," Qingyu said.
"Whoa, my precious daughter is actually worried about me. I'm so touched I'll cry. It sure is comforting to be spoiled by a wonderful daughter...."
Qingyu rolled her eyes and said, "Sometimes, I wonder if I'm actually adopted."
"Hey, if anyone's adopted it's Tianming. You and I are definitely of the same stock."
After Li Wudi went back to rest, Tianming and the others went back out and closed the door.
"Big Brother, will you be fighting again?" Qingyu asked.
"That's right. I'll leave taking care of him to you."
"Alright, I'll be leaving now." He took Feiling's hand and was about to go.
"Big Brother, I had a few very similar dreams lately that I find rather weird," Qingyu said.
"What are they like?"
"I dreamed about seeing nine moons in the sky. There’s some people there that talked to me and asked me to go back."
"Go back to what?"
"I don't know. They didn't say anything else, but the moons looked really clear and bright."
"Nine moons?" Tianming suddenly came close. "Let me see your bane-rings."
Tianming lifted her arm, pulled her sleeve up, and saw five round moons that shimmered mysteriously.
"The other hand, please."
Qingyu obliged. Her left arm was entirely blank.
"How many times did you have that dream?"
"I see...." He stared hard and still wasn't able to notice anything.
"Do you think it’s weird?" Qingyu asked.
"It certainly is mysterious, but I don't know what to make of it. Let's ask Godfather when he wakes up. Do pay attention to see if anything changes."
"Will my bane-rings increase like Dad's? The way I overcame Lifesbane wasn't as intense as his was."
"The only thing we can be certain of about Lifesbane is its uncertainty. There’s always a chance for new banes to develop after you overcome one. If it really does come, it can only be a good thing. We should face our banes without fear, regardless of how we think it'll turn out."
"Alright, Big Brother. I won't disappoint you."
Tianming smiled and gave her shoulder a pat.
"That's the spirit. Fight, young one!" He rushed to the battlefield with Feiling.
"Astral General, Vice General Chen asked me to inform you that the Theocrats are attacking the Evil Suppression Formation."
The battles had been rather draining lately. To ensure he could fight at his most powerful, Feiling had to leave her innate godchild body at Tianming's residence as she fought with him.
Tianming returned to the battlefield rather quickly. The moment he stepped into the formation, he saw the autarch himself using the Cyclic Mirror to take on the attacks from the formation. Behind him stood the million-man army of the Theocrats.
"It seems that they haven't given up on us yet. They must be rather confident with Autarch Qian leading the way."
Tianming got into position with his Dark Astral Battalion. There was a series of explosions above them. When he looked up, he saw that all the Primitive Demon Ki seemed to have gathered together to form a gigantic soulfiend-like beast that was frantically attacking Autarch Qian. However, the autarch was taking the brunt of the formation's attacks for his troops.
"It seems like the Hall Kings are only focusing on the autarch. That's the right call, since he's the biggest threat. Since the Evil Suppression Formation isn't able to fully activate, this is the only choice. The other Nineshades Clan members aren't being attacked by the formation at all. That means our forces are fighting them on equal ground. Thankfully, our numbers are now about the same after we killed around two hundred thousand of them in their last attack."
That meant that Bai Mo, Ye Yi, and Ye Lingfeng couldn't afford to make any mistakes. The slightest opening they gave the enemy could allow them to shift the tides.
"The Astral Legions should be fine, so we're mainly counting on the formation."
During the time Tianming had spent sending Li Wudi to get treatment, Ye Yi had already deployed a new defensive formation. This time around, they didn't even have to rally the troops, for the prior triumph had incensed every one of their men to take the initiative to join the fight.
Tianming's gaze was dark and cold, but the chain in his hand shone blindingly. Standing on his left shoulder was Ying Huo, and on his right was Meow Meow, while he himself stood on the back of the mountain-sized Lan Huang. The Theocrat zealots had already charged toward him when he entered the battlefield.
"Long live Autarch Qian!" they were all chanting in an echoing chorus.
However, Lan Huang used Azure Oceanic Purgatory to sweep these earth saints and their lifebound beasts into water.
"Meow!" the black cat yelled, then vanished like a bolt of lightning. A second later, it leaped into the gigantic ocean, gathering up all the lightning bolts around the battlefield and turning them into more than eighty lightning snakes, which it blasted into the water.
Sparks flew as hundreds of earth saints foamed from their mouths as a result of the paralyzing shocks. The moment any of them got out of the water, they immediately came under fire from Tianming's Three-Thousand Starfield and Ying Huo's Invincible Sword Ki.
"Those who block me shall die!"
Lan Huang was exceptionally suited for battle on a large battlefield. His Azure Oceanic Purgatory had a wide range that could easily engulf many earth saints, creating one ocean after another across the whole battlefield.
Tianming then used Ninesilver Astral Art—Chaos Galaxy to claim many more lives.
"Even though Feng isn’t directly participating in the battle by operating the formation, he's still helping avenge his kin."
The unyielding fighting spirit of the dao palace, coupled with aces like Tianming, caused countless deaths among the Nineshades Clan. They had only a million hodgepodge troops remaining, but they weren't nearly as well trained or disciplined as the Seven Astral Legions. As such, the result of the entire battle rested on whether the Evil Suppression Formation was able to hold back Autarch Qian.
"Ye Yi, have three hundred thousand men withdraw to support the formation's core. We're at our limit!" Bai Mo said.
"Three hundred thousand? Alright! Let's do it!" Ye Yi immediately had the Shimmerglow and Grandsol Legions return to the dao palace to fuel the Evil Suppression Formation. In other words, Tianming and the other seven hundred thousand troops had to bear the brunt of the Theocrat army.
"Hold the line!"
"Don't die, brothers!"
Tianming knew the situation wasn't ideal when he saw the two legions retreating. He looked up and saw Autarch Qian gradually gaining ground against the Primitive Demon Ki. The autarch was certainly trying to breach the dao palace to kill the operators of the Evil Suppression Formation.
"Interesting! All of you are trying to gang up on an old man like me. I wonder how many more of you can you send to take me on?"
Autarch Qian forged ahead like an unstoppable monster with his mirror. However, the three hundred thousand troops that retreated quickly reached the Evil Suppression Dao Plaza, linked arms with each other and their lifebound beasts and started supercharging the formation.
All of a sudden, the black color of the Evil Suppression Formation intensified, causing even more Primitive Demon Ki to be produced. As Autarch Qian didn't have his beast beside him—probably thanks to it having two heads lopped off by Li Wudi—he was frantically trying to resist the new pressure. It was still uncertain whether he could properly stand up to it, but even if he could, he wouldn't end up in any better shape. No matter what, without the second-level empyrean saint autarch beast, Autarch Qian wasn't in top form.
The dense Primitive Demon Ki frantically pressed down on the autarch and once more stopped him in his tracks. It even seemed to be putting huge pressure on him. The Astral Legions finally saw some hope!
"Kill! Continue the advance!"
So what if they were outnumbered, as long as they could stop the autarch? At the very least, they had more aces than the enemy. There were few among the Nineshades Clan who could stop Tianming and the rest. Dongyang Yun hadn't even recovered from his injuries yet.
Tianming's Three-Thousand Starfield was a terrifying and efficient weapon of slaughter. The chain could lash out like a lightning bolt throughout the battlefield, tearing flesh and blood all over the place.
"To hell with all of you!" he shouted.Previous Chapter Next Chapter