"When he becomes so strong to the point even Ghoul King Xue Yi can’t deal with him, we'll be led around by the nose!"
"We'll see. I only know that more and more will die."
"Letting this monster into the Kilostar Domain set our failure in stone!"
"I have a feeling it's all the doing of Great Emperor Xuanyuan from two hundred thousand years ago! The sealing formation seems to have been made by him, and those treasures used to be his, too!"
In their eyes, Tianming represented something far greater than himself right now.
"I have a feeling that ganging up on him here was a foolish move. How could a group of rabbits attack and kill a lion, even a lone one? It isn’t a matter of numbers."
Most of the tribulation elders weren't even sealed by the formation. In other words, they were mere helpless rabbits before Tianming. Just as they were talking, Tianming launched into another rampage.
"Stop him!" Xue Yi roared.
The others had no choice but to meet their enemy. No matter how injured Tianming was, he would nevertheless end up with a kill count of tens of thousands. Nobody could do anything to stop him!
"Get Ying Zi to come faster!" Xue Yi shrieked with a shaky voice. If even someone like him could lose his cool over this battle, how could the normal tribulation elders be expected to remain calm?
"Ying Zi?" Tianming heard that and didn't immediately react. There were still quite a lot of people on his tail that could strike at him at any time. Every time he burst out of the star, more enemies than he could kill appeared.
"Whatever!" So far, he had killed around eight thousand enemies. That number would reach ten thousand soon. Coupled with the thousand he had taken out before, he’d claimed the lives of close to ten thousand peak tribulation elders of the five divine realms within the Kilostar Domain.
"If I really can't take it anymore, I should take a rest in the Prime Tower. But if I do that, they'll have more time to gather even more people to surround me! How troublesome!"
Being surrounded like this was much harder than he had anticipated. The feeling of killing so many, but barely making a dent in their numbers, was despairing to say the least.
"Long Cangyuan, the seven third-origin tribulation elders, and the slaughterfest I went on back then.... Coupling them together, it'll all be worth it even if I die!" The thought of that brought calm to his mind. "Whatever. No matter how many come, I'll just take as many of them down with me as I can. Let's hope their losses here will be enough to stifle Nonahall's ambitions and cause them to seek peace."
As for his own livelihood, he no longer cared too much about it. Wielding the Photondragon, he continued his killing streak. Corpses, blood, and human remains scattered all over the place, dying the world red. He fought desperately and haggardly, constantly on the run instead of engaging the enemy's peak fighters. Though it felt like the fight had lasted a long time, it was just an illusion that resulted from the tense periods when Tianming disappeared back into the star. In reality, only about thirty minutes had passed since the whole encounter started.
All of a sudden, Tianming seemed to notice that his pursuers had vanished from the fiery star. "Where did they go? Did they give up? Or did more reinforcements arrive?"
He knew that there was another group waiting at the ninth black hole star, including a few ghoul kings and possibly even Li Caiwei and Feng Qingyu. If he didn't escape now, it would only get harder and harder for him. The huge number of enemies were all decently competent and definitely committed to seeing him dead.
"Li Tianming, come out. Your old friend wants to see you," said a voice from above. It was Xue Yi. While he sounded calm on the surface, he was actually filled with rage and humiliation. Seeing Long Cangyuan get done in with one move still had him reeling even now. Fortunately, the 'reinforcements' he had been waiting for were finally here.
"Yi Xingyin, wake up. Let your imperial son see how pathetic you are now." Xue Yi could finally put all his grievances to rest. The moment Tianming was spotted, he had arranged for Yi Xingyin to be brought here. It was a shame that Long Cangyuan didn't last long enough for him to be brought here in time.
When Xue Yi uttered Yi Xingyin's name, it caused Tianming to lock up. "How shameless."
Now that they had a hostage, escaping would be far more complicated. "Looks like they’ve had him all along and just haven’t had a chance to use him to threaten me yet."
Tianming saw Yi Xingyin the moment he emerged from the star. Yi Xingyin was wrapped up in a black net that pierced through much of his body, seemingly threatening to cut it to pieces at a moment's notice. His face was completely pale and he hung limp as he was swung around by Xue Yi. His eyelids were shaking and couldn't even open fully. It looked like he was only just barely kept alive.
"Palace Lord...." Yi Xingyin had gone to survey Kilostar Domain for Tianming's safety, only to end up in this predicament. Tianming couldn’t imagine the suffering he had endured the whole time he was unaware of him. At that moment, Tianming's breathing intensified as rage surged within him. He knew that torture was Nonahall's staple interrogation method.
"Sometimes, dying is a kind of release. True despair comes when you have to continue suffering without being able to die." Yi Xingyin's powerless fingers, eyelids, and body as a whole were signs of how much suffering he had endured. Tianming recalled how well Yi Xingyin had looked after him back in the sect even before he had achieved any measure of prominence, which only served to add oil to his burning rage, rage he tried to channel through his glare at the ghoul king.
Xue Yi smirked and said, "Young man, let's negotiate for his survival, why don't we?"
"Out with it."
"You really are a sentimental one. I'll get straight to the point. Kill yourself here and now and I'll make sure he lives."
"Are you fucking kidding? How would I know if you really let him go if I'm dead?" Looking around, he noticed that the number of tribulation elders around him remained the same. It appeared that Xue Yi wanted to make sure he wouldn't be able to escape through the ninth black hole star no matter what. In other words, there were tens of thousands more over there. However, Changsun Shenqiong, the sect master of Heptastar, came to Xue Yi's aid.
"Since that's the case, I'll compromise. As long as you hand me the Kilostar Photondragon, I'll spare him."
Tianming fell silent.
"I won't give you too much time to consider. I have the upper hand, now. Do as I say, unless you want him to die." Xue Yi was able to tell that the young Tianming was quite bad at keeping his emotions hidden. As he expected, Tianming was indeed experiencing quite a huge turmoil.
"If you give it to him, he'll get stronger and you'll end up far weaker. Even if you do get Yi Xingyin back, he'll be a burden to you. How would you be able to escape then?" Ying Huo asked.
"He has the hostage. I don't have any leverage in the negotiation," Tianming said.
"He won't kill him. If he does, there'll be nothing to hold you back."
"But they can continue torturing him. They’re more than capable of making sure he suffers a fate worse than death."
"Then there isn't anything you can do! As long as you care about Yi Xingyin, you'll have to surrender."
"But if I stop caring, will I still be me? Even if we both end up dead, at least I’ll have tried to fight for it! We were already in dire straits to begin with, so this is just a little bit on top of all that. As long as we have the slightest bit of hope, we can't give up."
"Fine. The four of us will fight by your side to the very end. I don't want to live if it means coming to regret our choices."
"Am I making a dumb choice after all?" Tianming looked at the Photondragon.
"You were dumb to begin with. It's in your nature," Ying Huo said, rolling its eyes.
"Haha... then let's play the fool this time. Since I was fortunate enough to meet all of you in this life, I won't let this keep me down! Let's go!"
The others were still waiting on his decision, intently watching him as he opened his eyes.
"How can you ensure a successful exchange?" Tianming asked.
Their faces brightened up the moment they heard it. Tianming had agreed to save Yi Xingyin. Now, they all thought that no matter how terrifying he was, he was still a naive boy without any life experience who would do something suicidal for some pointless principle of his.
"Same old rules. You hand me the money, I hand you the goods," Xue Yi said.
"At least have your folks spread out a bit more. I need to see that I can at least take the goods from you before they charge in."
"Fine. Spread out."
Xue Yi looked intensely at the Photondragon, seeing it as the main factor behind Tianming’s ability to engage in all that slaughter. The tens of thousands of tribulation elders backed away a considerable distance.
"Sect Master Changsun, why are you sticking so close to Ghoul King Xue Yi's behind? Are you huffing something nice?" Tianming said, glaring at him.
"Hehe...." Changsun Shenqiong didn't get mad and backed off slightly too, leaving only Tianming, Xue Yi and Yi Xingyin in the vicinity. When all was in order, time seemed to slow down as the tension mounted.
"Come!" Xue Yi unrolled the black net in his hand. Yi Xingyin was now free, but he was still unconscious. Xue Yi pushed him lightly, making him slowly fall toward Tianming. "Now, it's your turn!"
Tianming casually flung the Kilostar Photondragon in Xue Yi's direction. If he didn't do that, they would still be able to pull Yi Xingyin back. That instant, each side zipped straight for their target.Previous Chapter Next Chapter