First, a hand appeared, then a whole arm, a torso, and then a whole body. He was a bald man in a white robe with a slender figure and long fingers. His whole body seemed covered in jade-like skin that was without a single blemish. His pearl-like eyes seemed like the purest thing in the universe. It wouldn't be an understatement to say that he was beautiful beyond compare.
Tianming found it really hard to relate someone that looked as 'pure' as him to the sheer weight of the sin he bore. He had so much sin it was ten times the weight of the worst Tianming had so far come across and killed. Yet he looked so young, and even pure, as pure as the holiest of deities. Did he forge his perfect body using a sea of corpses? All Tianming could think of now was that he had stayed in the eternally snowy Taiji Peak Lake for far too long and didn't know how crazy and unreasonable the outside world could be.
Someone so young and powerful could only come from Nonahall. One look and Tianming knew that Gu Yunge, Xia Ziluan, and even Long Yichen couldn't even compare to him. A gold monkey came out of the pale youth's lifebound space and hung around his neck, baring its fangs at Tianming. Right afterward, around thirty tribulation elders of various ages appeared near the black hole star, all crossing their arms and coldly looking at him. As far as they were concerned, they had just given Tianming a death sentence.
Fortunately, Tianming had managed to see the sin of the bald youth in advance and didn't allow himself to be surrounded. Otherwise, it would've ended horrendously. Immediately, the enemies spread out all over the place.
"Impressive. You managed to spot me immediately," Ye Bodhi said with some surprise. With a pinch of his fingers, the tribulation artifact Tianming had thrown to him snapped cleanly in two.
However, there was something that confused them. Why didn't Tianming immediately run if he had detected them? Instead, he had allowed himself to be surrounded. It was as if his advantage of detecting them didn't matter at all. Instead, he stayed there motionlessly and looked at Ye Bodhi as if he was seeing something for the first time in his life.
"Did you eat hearts to grow?" Tianming asked.
Ye Bodhi's eyes widened as he retracted his smile and looked at Tianming for a long time. He didn't answer the question; it was a secret between him and his parents. There were probably fewer than twenty people who knew of it, so how would Tianming know to ask such a question?
"Why would you say that?" Ye Bodhi asked in a calm voice. He was no longer in a rush, for Tianming had already lost the opportunity to escape. Thirty second-origin tribulation elders and their sixty-odd lifebound beasts had spread out and surrounded him completely, ready to attack at Ye Bodhi's order.
"The heavens tell me that someone like you must be punished!"
Those words seemed to stun Ye Bodhi. A moment later, he shook his head with a helpless smile. "Even though I find it rather curious, I'm not too curious about how you managed it. Let it be another curiosity life has thrown my way. Everyone, don't bother taking him alive. We'll take his head to Uncle Xue Yi." He looked Tianming in the eyes and said, "You actually didn't run, even though you knew we were waiting. Looks like your talent is just the heavens' way of making up for your malformed reasoning faculties."
After he said that, the elders began their attack. This wasn't a fight for treasure, so there was no rush. They were all coordinated in their sole goal: killing that annoying fly! It wasn't that Tianming didn't know the danger he was in, but he couldn't help his curiosity after seeing Ye Bodhi.
He was dreaming about killing him, and the thought of the sheer amount of good karma he would receive made him smile unconsciously. Naturally, that didn't mean he wished there were more vile crooks in the world to feed his insatiable appetite for good karma. However, that also didn't mean he would refuse a delicious meal when it was served to him, no matter how much blood and tears had to be shed to prepare the dish.
Even now, he could see the aggrieved souls lamenting their lost hearts and begging Tianming to give them a sweet release. They were struggling and shaking with hate and grievance, lingering by the side of their unmaker. Ye Bodhi probably hadn’t done it for fun or pleasure; it was definitely some kind of cultivation technique.
Tianming had never felt more savage and agitated in his whole life. Faced with such dire circumstances, his eyes were affixed on one person alone: Ye Bodhi, though he didn't know his name at this point.
Right before the tribulation elders made their move, Tianming took out the Grand-Orient Sword and summoned his Dragonhide, entering his peak fighting state before charging toward Ye Bodhi. He was using the same routine he used on Gu Yunge. As long as he was fast enough, the tribulation elders wouldn't be able to reach him in time. Then he used his most powerful and savage move for the judgment strike: Animacorpus Eradication. His power was beyond what everyone else could've imagined.
"Wasn't he only as powerful as a seventh-level life-phase samsaran?!"
Tianming evaded countless strikes in that short moment and appeared right before Ye Bodhi and Long Yichen. As the tribulation elders were afraid of harming those two, they held their attacks back, giving Tianming an even bigger opportunity.
"You're looking down on me, huh?" Ye Bodhi mused.
Usually, finding the perfect opening to break out of encirclement was the textbook tactic to use in a group fight. But not only did Tianming not charge outward, he went straight for the most terrifying person in the group, though it wouldn't make much of a difference. All the others gradually closed in and applied pressure. Right as Tianming's sword was about to swallow Ye Bodhi up, Long Yichen came charging with his deep-blue halberd, sending a dragon flying with the sheer force of his strike to take Tianming's sword strike.
With a loud boom, Long Yichen was sent flying, but Ye Bodhi was completely unscathed. Tianming turned to look at the poor sod; he knew how powerful he was, given that he had spent quite a long time running away from him. However, he noticed a significant improvement in his strength during this clash compared to the previous one.
In actuality, the second-origin tribulation elders were by no means weak. Tianming knew that he wouldn't stand much of a chance killing Ye Bodhi here, nor would he be able to leave with Long Yichen helping out. Though he had missed his best chance to escape when he was shocked by Ye Bodhi's foul aura, running away wasn't something he would have done anyway. There were too many people behind him now, so retreating would only expose him to more danger.
Calmly, he charged straight past Ye Bodhi after the previous clash and toward the black hole star. The tribulation elders behind them could only helplessly follow along.
On Tianming's shoulder, a black cat and a fiery phoenix appeared. They used their abilities to rain down a cacophony of fire and lightning on those behind them.
Though they wanted to stop Tianming from leaving, they had once more underestimated his abilities. Despite their numbers, they weren't able to force him to stop at all. When the abilities their lifebound beasts launched exploded, Tianming used the force of the attacks to propel himself toward the black hole star even faster.
"Li Tianming," a calm voice from behind him said.
He didn't turn back, but used his third eye to look back instead. Ye Bodhi was charging toward him, his white robes fluttering as he punched out. Then, a gigantic manifestation of a fist appeared with so much force that space itself seemed to contort and shift. His power was already nearing the limit.
Tianming used the Grand-Orient Sword to shatter the ethereal fist, but the blowback felt like he was rammed in the back by thousands of gigantic beasts. That was the amount of power Ye Bodhi's body possessed. The sheer force knocked Tianming flying off uncontrollably, but fortunately he was still cruising in his desired direction, even faster this time. They never would've expected him to be so brave to even try charging past them to reach the black hole star.
"You won't be able to escape!"
A feral shriek rang throughout the battlefield as the little gold monkey hanging on Ye Bodhi's body turned into a beast of titanic proportions. Tianming saw eight hundred stars in its eyes, even more than Fang Taiqing's beast! Apart from Tianming's ultimate tribulation manna, the one Ye Bodhi had used to evolve his six-eared monkey was no doubt the highest grade manna one could obtain on the Flameyellow Continent.
"You won't be able to run either," Tianming said. The next moment, he could feel the suction from the dark vortex accelerating him even faster. In almost an instant, he was sucked into its depths. His pursuers, Ye Bodhi included, immediately stopped in their tracks at the very edge of the range of the suction force. Tianming had actually managed to escape from under their noses without even breaking a sweat just like that. The ones who had been left behind looked at each other helplessly.
"He ran away," Long Yichen groaned. This was the exact same way he had lost Tianming the last time. "He's stronger than he used to be. That sword of his could kill a seventh-level death samsaran," he added.
"Agreed," Ye Bodhi said. Even with him personally taking action, they weren’t able to do anything to stop Tianming.
"What level is he at, anyway? I'm so confused! Is there anyone that can still stop him?" said a frustrated tribulation elder.
"It can't be helped. Setting an ambush near a black hole star always presents the risk of letting him escape through them. The problem is, he actually has a method to detect us before we can see him. Had he approached the black hole without noticing our presence, he wouldn't be able to do anything if he's caught off guard by our instant surprise attack, no matter how strong he is."
"What's the point in saying that now? Damn it all. He even managed to mess with me."
"Ye Bodhi, we failed. Should we have the sect send more eighth-level death samsarans here?"
Everyone turned to him, eager to hear his decision.Previous Chapter Next Chapter