Chapter 744 - Raging Return

"While the Draconis House of Jian can't compare to your two houses, Archaion is our home now. Naturally, we’ll serve the sect until our death," Jian Wuyi said.

"Very well. Anyone can profess their loyalty. All I hope is for all of us to remain united on the day our sect reigns supreme once more," Xuanyuan Dao said.

Today was the day when the summit would end, but everything was only just beginning. The failed assassination attempt had ushered in weird changes in the sect. As for how the individual actors would make their moves in the future, Xuanyuan Dao didn't know.

......

When they entered the hall, Feiling quickly turned around and gave Tianming a deep hug. "Big Brother, I'm scared...." Her eyes were red as tears began flowing nonstop.

"I know, I know. I'm sorry, Ling'er...." He stroked her back lightly to comfort her.

"You're not at fault for this... those people are just too much. Everyone's involved in this huge mess, right?" she said helplessly. They couldn't even blame Dugu Jin, who was doing it for the sake of Archaion. If anyone really was to blame, it would be the five divine realms led by Nonahall. They were the ones who greedily wanted to take Archaion's territory for themselves.

"I don't know how much longer you'll need to continue putting up a brave front." Tianming grit his teeth as the flames of anger burned in him.

"It's fine. At least the traitors have shown themselves. What we need to worry about next will be war."

"Don't worry. No matter how many come, I’ll defend you," Tianming said.

"Okay!" She leaned in tight against him, suddenly looking a little pained. "Big Brother, is Dugu Jin right? If I die, will the other divine realms really give up on taking Archaion and slaughtering countless innocents?"

"Nonsense! Might makes right. If they're powerful enough, they don't need any justifications for whatever they do. The war will happen either way to fulfill their territorial and material ambitions. Even if you were gone, they’d only hold off for a short while until another justification arose. Archaion was just unlucky to have a grudge with Biritual and Hexapath."

"I get it. In the worst case, we can just give up on my innate godchild body and return to how we were before. I can still travel around with you," Feiling said.

"No way. If you give up on it, you won't be able to cultivate and your lifespan will be limited to a hundred years." Not to mention, Perpetia was inside her body!

"I know... I was just talking about the worst case scenario."

"Ling'er, you did really well today. Let's just see if Fang Taiqing's confidence will be inspired by your words. After all, it's really important for the sect to stay united for the war that’ll come after the Number One Summit."

"I was only faking my bravery throughout, and saying whatever came to my mind. Who knows if it'll work?" She pouted.

"Who's to say it won't? It's just like whether I can get the title of number one. The only reason Dugu Jin chose to make his move was that he feared that I actually could. The ultimate tribulation manna of the Kilostar Domain seems to be highly valued by the other sects, too."

"Are you going back to fight now?"

"Yes."

"Should I use Spiritual Attachment on you?"

"Come to think of it... you've already shown them the ability, so it's not a secret anymore. Perhaps it'll even make you seem even more mysterious."

"Then I'll invite them back in."

Soon after, Fang Qingli and Xuanyuan Dao entered.

Feiling said, "I’ll be going out with Tianming. With my help, he will be even more powerful. I need you to guard my divine body."

"Understood!" The two of them bowed deeply. As they watched, Feiling split in two and one of her bodies fused with Tianming.

"Your Eminence is actually able to directly boost Tianming's capabilities!" They were shocked to see it happen right before their eyes.

"It's but a small trick in my arsenal," she said.

"Will personal protection for Tianming be necessary?" Xuanyuan Dao asked.

"No. As long as my divine body lives, I will not perish."

Hearing that relieved Xuanyuan Dao. Even so, he still asked Xuanyuan Muxue's mother, one of the lords of the Nine Divine Halls, Xuanyuan Yu, to be Tianming's personal bodyguard. Xuanyuan Dao trusted her more than he did Ouyang Jianwang right now.

After Tianming bade them goodbye, he returned to the Heaven Branch's Dimensional Battlefield. Unlike before, he was burning with endless rage, thanks to the assassination attempt, and he was going to vent it on the source of all his woes: the Nonahall Ghost Sect. Dugu Jin wouldn't have been prompted to do something like that if it weren’t for them.

......

Now that Tianming had defeated Hei An, he was among the top four. The following battles were rather meaningless, with one side surrendering before they even began. The final four participants were Yama, Bai Rao, Lin Xixi, and Tianming, and they would be matched randomly once more. By now, Fang Taiqing and Jian Wuyi had returned there. Most people across the Flameyellow Continent weren't aware of the assassination attempt, as it wasn't broadcast through the Skyeye Formation.

"Heaven Branch Sect Master, who was the one that tried assassinating your goddess?" a charming voice asked from Biritual's corner. It was the Lunar Master Li Caiwei.

"It seems to be your first tribulation elder, Dugu Jin. This is interesting. I wonder why someone within your sect would attempt something like that?" the sect master of the Quadform Oceanic Sect, Long Cangyuan, asked.

"That's right. Nothing's even happened yet, yet one of your own already did something so crazy out of fear," said the sect master of the Heptastar Aerial Sect.

"Please hold on until the end. We haven't even said anything yet. If you kill your goddess so soon, you'll be a laughingstock. Don't you know how embarrassing that’d be?" said someone from Nonahall.

"Mind telling us if Xuanyuan Xi's dead?" Li Caiwei said.

Many of them burst out laughing. Such an embarrassing display of disunity happening during such a prestigious event was indeed rather laughable.

"I wonder if you're keeping a goddess or a pig.... It's like you can send her to the slaughterhouse whenever you want! We've come all this way to be your guests, and we haven't even caught a glimpse of her yet," Long Cangyuan mocked.

After suffering so badly during the Nether Battle, they felt all too willing to capitalize on this scandal. It was one thing if the assassin had been an outsider, but this time it was someone with such a high position. That hadn't only earned the mockery of the five enemy sects, but also caused the three allied sects to doubt Archaion's determination. If they could even kill their most respected goddess, how could other sects trust them to have their backs during the war? The three sects chose to keep quiet for now, putting an awkward pressure on Archion.

Everyone turned to look at Fang Taiqing. "That was the act of a suicidal clown. I didn't think all of you would be so easy to humor. You must be rather lacking in quality entertainment. Our goddess is sacred, and anyone that defies her shall be persecuted to the ends of the world. I hope you all got your fill of laughter today, because I doubt you'll be able to do the same once you see what we have in store for you."

It sounded like an obvious warning, and it didn't seem like an empty threat. For someone from the Sterling House of Fang, who’d had a rather bad streak lately, to say something like that meant that their house was still confident in the sect despite all their misfortunes. The sect could really have something that would turn the tables. 

The others didn't respond to him and merely snickered.

Just like that, the matter was pushed aside. However, it was still a fact that the Archaion Sect’s reputation had suffered a hit as a result of the inside hit job. Fang Taiqing's statement wouldn't be able to change everything, but the focus of the day was still the summit.

The lights of the formation began flashing once more. While Tianming wasn't there, the light still managed to reach him from far away as it rotated between the participants. Once Fang Taiqing gave his statement, the light settled on the first pick, Bai Rao, then alternated between Tianming, Yama, and Lin Xixi.

Eventually, Yama was picked to be the second match, much to many others' relief. Tianming wouldn’t have to fight three enemies in a row to become number one. Naturally, Nonahall, who wanted both Bai Rao and Yama to torture their enemy’s disciples, were more than displeased with that, but alas, it was just a matter of luck. The Number One Formation no longer had a purpose after this matchup. It was already decided that Lin Xixi would surrender to Tianming, so the final battle would be fought between him and one of the top two geniuses of Nonahall. However, Bai Rao didn't yield, nor did Yama. Two top geniuses from the same sect stepped onto the battlefield.

"Let's save the treasures we got in the past few days. The one who wins gets to kill Tianming and take the number one title," Yama said.

"Deal." Bai Rao nodded with a furious glare in her eyes. As the eternal runner-up, proving herself on this grand stage was really important to her.

......

When Tianming returned from Xuanyuan Lake, the battle was already over. Even before he did, he knew that the two Nonahall disciples were fighting each other, for Lin Xixi wouldn't be either of their match and would simply yield without a fight. The battlefield was now really messed up from the clash.

"How’d the battle go?" Tianming asked.

"Yama crushed Bai Rao completely. He suddenly broke through to the fifth-level death phase, a truly powerful level. It’s been at least a thousand years since someone’s managed to reach that level as a disciple." Xuanyuan Dao seemed a little shaken.

Since Tianming didn’t have to fight Lin Xixi, the final battle was about to begin. He would finally be able to vent his anger on Yama.

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