Changsun Xingyue was being pushed back horribly from the very start of the fight! He hurriedly summoned his superstar back and had it use its ability to circle around the tower to strike Tianming, but by then, Tianming had broken his blade. Both his weapons were now gone! "You...."
Even though he was a fifth-level life phase samsaran, he was performing pathetically against Tianming, who hadn't even summoned his beasts to join the fray. That was so aggravating that he was on the edge of going mad!
Tianming came in with another sword blow. "Die!"
The Grand-Orient Sword descended toward Changsun Xingyue's head. In a flash, it struck the ground and created a crevice thousands of meters in length and more than fifty meters in depth, splitting his body into two even halves. They fell apart on the ground and gushed blood nonstop, blooming into a flower of blood on the snowy ground. Changsun Xingyue was dead! It wasn't even a fight—it was a complete slaughter!
Tianming was sent flying by the starbeast, but he soon got back up and charged toward it with the combined might of the Grand-Orient Sword and Prime Tower.
Everyone expected the starbeast to be killed soon. Though the fight hadn't strictly concluded, the ones watching from the Archaion and Heptastar Divine Realms were hyped up to the high heavens. One side cheered for their imminent victory, while the other raged at their helpless plight.
It didn't take long before the starbeast was pierced through thousands of times. It exploded into chunks that scattered all across the snowy ground, dotting the arena with its blood. This was the fight that started the final phase, and it was a bloody omen of the battles that were to come.
Loud cheers from the Human Branch crying out Tianming's name could be heard. They seemed to begin deifying him as Omnisentient Will began forming, and that wasn't limited only to the disciples! All sentient lifeforms in Archaion contributed to the Omnisentient Will.
On the other hand, everyone in the Heptastar Divine Realm could only throw loud tantrums. Chaos was breaking out all over. The strongest disciples of Biritual, Quadform, Hexapath and Heptastar had been felled by Tianming, save for Jiang Wuxin, but as far as the others were concerned, he was as good as dead. Tianming steadied himself and walked away in the heavy snow.
The intense emotions coursing through the crowds still hadn't settled, as the final phase had just begun. Now all that mattered was the battle between the final four, so more than half of the participants surrendered without even fighting. For instance, Fang Yuewei got matched with Hei An and didn't even show, since the obvious result would be her death. This wasn't a friendly match where both sides could stand to learn from each other through fighting, after all.
The first rounds soon came to an end, leaving only sixteen participants remaining. The next round would be the same kind of elimination fights as before. With most disciples surrendering before the fights, the audience wondered when it would be Tianming's turn to fight the three minor ghoul kings. Everyone else was just a distraction.
Tianming's opponent in the second round was Fang Chenjing, from the same sect. The latter was a fourth-level death phase samsaran and didn't want to fight at all, surrendering and letting Tianming join the top eight. Eventually, the eight strongest disciples that made it were Tianming, Hei An, Bai Rao, Yama, Xuanyuan Yucheng, Dongfang Zichong, Zhao Tianxing, and Lin Xixi. While Xuanyuan Yucheng hadn't fully recovered yet, he was matched with weaker opponents and easily made the cut.
"If only the minor ghoul kings would be matched against each other."
"That's right. They should take each other out and only leave one to fight Tianming."
"Let's hope Tianming faces us in the next round so we can send him to the top four right away."
The four of them had decided they would surrender to Tianming if they were matched with him.
Soon, the third round of battles began. The first one to fight was Tianming. Among the seven others who were left, four were his allies, so his odds of easily entering the top four were better than fifty-fifty. The worst case scenario was that he would have to fight all three minor ghoul kings to take the title of number one.
Shockingly, that was exactly what happened. The second fighter to be chosen was Hei An, much to everyone's shock.
"That means Tianming has to defeat him to make it to the top four," Xuanyuan Yucheng said.
"As for the remaining six, it doesn't seem that there’s much of a chance for Bai Rao to be matched with Yama, so those two will join the top four as well. Even if Tianming wins this fight, he’ll still have to overcome two other minor ghoul kings. There's a good chance he'll have to fight three times consecutively," Lin Xixi said.
"Should we fight and drain his opponents as best we can? We can at least even the odds a little," Zhao Tianxing said.
"Please don't," Tianming said, "I’ll be fine. It's best to not risk your life for me."
"Alright, we trust you, Tianming."
Hearing that, Tianming was relieved. "Alright, I'll be going now."
"Don't lose, don't die!" the others said.
"I won't!" He resolutely stepped into the arena. The battle everyone had been waiting for was about to begin. Nonahall was the strongest of the nine sects on all fronts, while the Archaion Sect was like an old, decrepit beast. Nonahall would prove to be a formidable obstacle for them to overcome.
The Nonahall Ghost Sect was constructed at the Specter Mountains. From above, the mountain range almost seemed like a sleeping giant that had a head, a body, and four limbs. The dense spiritual energy there seemed to emanate from the giant's body, upon which nine clusters of buildings were constructed.
When Hei An stepped onto the battlefield, the disciples all across the Specter Mountains went wild with anticipation and roared angrily toward the skies. At the location near the giant's mouth was a large pillar, upon which countless names were carved. It was the Ghost Ranking of their sect, upon which the prowess of their disciples was ranked. Hei An's name was in the glorious third spot, and now he would be representing his sect in the fight.
Even though they thought it would be a breeze, they didn't think that a sole Tianming would be able to wipe out the strongest disciples from the other sects. The entirety of Nonahall already couldn't stand the sight of him.
The fervent disciples chanted Hei An's name nonstop.
"Nonahall is number one!"
"Conquering the world is our destiny!"
"To hell with the goddess' disciple!"
In Nonahall's viewing sector in the Dimensional Battlefield, a shadowy woman sat near the left corner. "How’d the refinement of those three treasures go?" she asked.
"It went perfectly," said a man in red.
"This shouldn't be a problem then."
"The Monorigin Sect really is naive, though. They don't know how much the world has changed and only defend their ancient traditions and treasures, leaving us to basically obtain all the new treasures that have come into existence over the past hundred thousand years. There's so much more beyond the Kilostar Domain."
"Even so, the Kilostar Domain is still really important. It's an opportunity that only comes once in a hundred thousand years."
"Then why did you suggest giving Feng Qingyu a copy of the starmap?"
"He's only one person. No matter how strong he is, there is a limit to what he can do. He won't even be able to rival the Monorigin Sect alone."
"What about Jiang Wuxin?"
"He seems rather promising. Once the children get the title of Number One and the key to the Kilostar Domain, we’ll spare some effort and resources to nurture him."
"Understood." The man turned his gaze to the arena below. Despite the rampant blizzard, people were too anxious to take notice of it. "That child Hei An might seem simple on the surface, but he's actually really ruthless. He was the only survivor among the hundred thousand children from Bloodslay Valley, right?"
"He's pretty lucky to be matched with the goddess' disciple. If he manages to defeat him, perhaps we can elevate his status even more."
"How? Bai Rao is that fellow's daughter. Do you think you can elevate him above her?" the shadow asked.
"Haha, I was just considering it."
Tianming observed the youth that seemed as black as coal standing before him. The killing intent he was giving off was shockingly dense; he seemed like a black hole that would absorb the souls the short staff in his hand claimed.
Gradually, the powerful aura grew stronger and stronger, even turning the snow around him black. The black snow spread throughout the entire battlefield like a shadow unfolding itself. "Li Tianming, you didn't dare fight me in the Nether Battlefield, and even ran a few times. This time, I'll show you what the Nonahall Ghost Sect is really like."
His voice made it sound like he was whispering right beside Tianming's ear. "Nonahall? Oh, you mean those poor souls that died by my blade?" he mocked.
The evil aura around Hei An spread all over, like a venomous poison in the air. It could seep into innards, especially hearts and lungs. "Do you know what they call me?" Hei An said with a smile.
"Do enlighten me."
"They call me the venomfiend."
"Everything on my body is poisonous. My parents died at my birth. My siblings and my entire family also died of poison. My touch poisons everything!"
"Why doesn't that include yourself?"
"Because I'm immune to all poisons. They say I'm a higher lifeform. Li Tianming, I wonder if you've noticed... but the toxin has entered your body even as we spoke!"
He snickered sinisterly as the snow continued falling around them.Previous Chapter Next Chapter