With loud roars, four fearsome lifebound beasts appeared around Yama. His body seemed tiny, in comparison to their huge builds, and each of them looked like their natural habitats were seas of corpses. Tianming didn't understand Yama's background, but he did know something about those lifebound beasts.
Each of them were fifth-order tribulation beasts with more than five hundred stars. Someone like Yama would definitely be able to overpower Xuanyuan Yucheng, the former top disciple of the Heaven Branch, and his four lifebound beasts were a good match for him too.
It was said that the reason Yama had been abandoned in childhood had something to do with those beasts. When they were born with him, they weren't nearly as powerful and were also considered bad omens. They were all of different species, much like Tianming's.
The first was a dreamless ghostfowl, a grey avian creature with spikes instead of feathers, making it look like a porcupine with a bird's build. Most terrifying was its nine heads, each of which had glowing red eyes.
The second beast was a twinhead darkvoid taotie. Tianming had seen taoties before, and there were many varieties. This one was dark all over, covered entirely in black scales. It had two heads and four strong limbs that were adorned with sharp claws. Its heads had bloody mouths with rows of densely-packed serrated teeth that were able to easily grind any of its prey into mincemeat.
The third was a darkstar ghosteyes qiongqi, a beast that resembled a cow with red hair all over its body, two draconic horns on its head, and a pair of wings on its back that allowed it to fly. Its two eyes were so dark that they were like hypnotic vortexes.
The last beast was an eight-armed yellow-spring taowu. It had a humanoid face and a tiger-like body that was covered in long, dark-yellow fur. On its face were boar tusks and many teeth. It also had a whip-like tail. It looked like a rolling ball of filth and had the smell to match.
All of them had ravager bloodlines. Whenever Yama lost his reason, so would the four beasts. They glared at Tianming and his beasts with their mouths open—they didn't want to kill them, but eat them! Throughout Yama's battles, many of his opponents had been consumed, and not only by his beasts. When he lost himself, he would sometimes partake in his enemies' flesh and blood as well, only to wake up vomiting it out. That was the fate of someone with the ravager bloodline, and he couldn't resist it. He had to endure it in order to grow strong.
Yama wielded a sword and a blade, both of which had eight tribulation patterns. The blade was as broad as a door and dark like the night forest. It was known as Hellgate and was said to have been made specifically for beheading.
As for the sword in his left hand, it was called Yellowspring Darkriver. Like its name suggested, it was colored a dark twilight yellow and looked like a flowing river. Countless patterns depicting skeletons and souls were carved on it, causing it to emanate an unparalleled aura of doom. Both of Yama’s weapons were symbols of the hellish afterlife. With them in hand, he was like the ruler of hell himself, coming to the human realm with his four fiendish familiars to harvest souls.
"I’m going to send you off to the afterlife." The fact that he was able to say that meant that some trace of his reason remained, but that would swiftly vanish when the fight started for real.
The two of them weren't talkative to begin with. In almost an instant, the forces of life and death clashed in the blizzard. Both of them were quad beastmasters with beasts of different species. However, Tianming had Xian Xian supporting him, so he chose a different fighting style than usual. Against a forceful opponent like Yama that attacked relentlessly, he opted for a defensive approach.
"Since he’s given up his reason for power, I must make use of my reason rather than getting swallowed up in his crazed fervor." He knew that this was a most risky fight for him, so care was all the more paramount. "Xian Xian!"
First, he had Xian Xian take root and control the battlefield with its black roots. The white and red flowers bloomed in the blizzard as its vines and leaves stretched up high.
"Unleash!" Tianming's Grand-Orient Sword shook as the Imperealm Sword Formation covered the entire battlefield, sending black and gold sword ki all over it. He forged his own terrain with his portable formation.
"Ling'er, let’s see if your abilities have improved!"
"I got them ready long ago."
Tianming wasn't going against fate alone; Feiling was with him this time. She had nothing better to do in Soulburn Hall the entire time they had been in the sect. Though she was a girl with no interest nor talent in combat, she had given all her effort toward her cultivation. Unlike Yama's offensive lifebound beasts, Tianming had many more methods he could use to direct the flow of battle. With Feiling accompanying him, he would have even more options.
The sword formation encompassed the entire battlefield in tandem with the Radix World Tree. Imperial sword ki and realm sword ki shot toward the ferocious beasts alongside Xian Xian's vines, though Yama was like a beast himself. Oddly enough, his eight-armed yellow-spring taowu was armed with tribulation weapons with six or seven patterns.
Roars echoed throughout the entire battlefield, with the dreamless ghostfowl's nine heads letting out even more ear-piercing shrieks. It shot out countless black spikes when it flew in front of Yama. Those spikes looked like Xian Xian's Bloodrain Swords, and although they weren't as numerous, they were far sharper. It looked like thousands of arrows were raining down along with the blizzard.
Xian Xian's Radiant Vines bunched together and formed shields for its allies. While they were soft, they were flexible and managed to absorb most of the force of the ghostfowl's Dreamless Soulspike ability. As the name suggested, there was a soul component in the attack. Fortunately, Xian Xian's spiritform existed separate from its main body and was hiding within Tianming's lifebound space, completely unreachable by the attack.
In an instant, the battle shifted to the next phase as Yama and his beasts charged into the tree's area of control. All of a sudden, Xian Xian sent countless leaves, vines and roots bursting out of the ground, prompting the taotie and taowu to quickly run. Their legs tugged hard and broke the roots that wrapped around them, but they were still tripped and fell into the snowy ground.
"Come on!" Lan Huang charged in when it saw them fall. The four enemy lifebound beasts were incredibly huge already, but Lan Huang was larger than the taotie and taowu combined. It used its Primordial Wheel, rolling up snow as it progressed and becoming a rolling snowball. The nine kui mountains on his back and the Annihilation Godsword on its tail sawed repeatedly against the two beasts' bodies, sending chunks of flesh flying. Meanwhile, more and more roots came burrowing out of the ground to tie the enemies down while more Radiant vines came down from the top. Even if they were able to tear some of the vines off, it would still be a huge nuisance to them.
"After he broke through to the fifth-level death phase, his lifebound beasts also grew stronger. Feiling boosts my strength, but not my beasts! I must take on a bigger burden for their sake!"
Thankfully, the five of them had Lifesbane increasing the size of their samsara rings, or they would be having an even much harder time. Lan Huang felt that the two enemy beasts were much tougher than the eight-armed rakshasa, and they didn't fear death one bit. Even as their flesh was ground away, they roared ferociously and continued fighting.
The taotie opened its two large mouths and spat out an inky-green mist that spread all throughout the battlefield. It was a poison mist that stuck to any flesh it found its way to, and it turned the entire battlefield into a murky hell. While the blizzard was cold enough already, the mist somehow seemed to be even colder, so cold that not even a samsaran would be able to resist it. The ability was called Darkvoid Hell.
Beside it, the taowu also used its ability. It didn't have as many teeth as the taotie's two heads, but each of its arms carried tribulation weapons. It hacked them toward Lan Huang nonstop with terrifying might, even without using any battle art. The long hair on its body continuously secreted water as it swung its arms. Eventually, there was enough of the yellow water to form a river, the water from which seemed able to pierce through Lan Huang's Mountainsea World. Even the Infinite Stardragon Diagram didn't seem able to stop it when the droplets touched Lan Huang's scales, causing them to rot and lots of bloody cold burns to form.
However, Lan Huang bravely took the damage and continued putting pressure on the two enemies with Xian Xian's support. Suffer as it may, the two enemy beasts weren't faring any better. They had been counting on approaching Xian Xian and uprooting it, but Lan Huang prevented that from happening.
Just then, Tianming intercepted Yama with Archfiend using the Eight Desolation Fienddragon Whip, the chain wrapping around the taotie's mouth and piercing its tongue before emerging from the bottom of its jaw.Previous Chapter Next Chapter