The Skypiercing Diablos Feathers and Imperial Radiance combined hadn’t fully blocked Xue Yi’s blow. After the strike connected, Ying Huo looked down and saw that one of its wings had been partly severed, with the cut off part flying off and stabbing into one of Xian Xian's branches. At first, all Ying Huo felt was numbness, but unimaginable pain soon caught up with its senses and its face contorted from the sheer pain.
"Go!" It didn't have time to even suffer the full extent of the pain, as Xue Yi was charging up to it again. Ying Huo backed off and protected Meow Meow, who just snapped back into consciousness. For now, their rampaging abilities still managed to force back the ghoul king and allowed them to just barely survive.
"Chicken Bro, your wing...." Meow Meow was so shocked that tears were about to form as its mouth shook.
"What are you crying about? You're a male feline! Don't be so sentimental!" Ying Huo said with its chest puffed out despite the pain it was still feeling.
"No, I was just thinking that your wings aren't symmetrical anymore. It's actually bothering me quite a bit."
"Damn you!" It stretched its injured wing up, only to notice something that drove it even wilder. "Dammit, I can't even touch my head with this! How can I style my hair now?! I'll mess you up, you slit-mouthed monster! Aaaaaagh!"
If they were able to survive, there was still a chance for its wing to be reconnected. However, recovery might take a long time. Ying Huo had truly paid a huge price to save Meow Meow, so much so that Meow Meow was tearing up over it. Ying Huo was the earliest brother to come to Tianming and had grown alongside him the longest, and it had taken care of Meow Meow like its own little brother ever since the cat was born. Saving Meow Meow was a given.
"Chicken Bro, you sacrificed a wing to save my life. From now on, I'll definitely work hard to earn more nap time," Meow Meow promised with a hint of sadness. However, whether it would remember that oath in the event of their survival was a wholly different story.
For now, the two of them unrelentingly struggled against Xue Yi's attacks! Even though they might lose even more, perhaps even their very lives, there was still hope.
"Tianming, if I really end up dying today, you must treat them even better. Don't be too sad." Ying Huo received the slashes from Xue Yi's swords as its body glowed brightly with Imperial Radiance. The little flaming bird looked like a sun as it intercepted the ghoul king.
"I'm here too!" Meow Meow crackled with lightning, its head bleeding and hurting. However, it didn't back off even the slightest. Fighting was its core instinct, and it had learned much about responsibilities and protecting its siblings in the time it had spent with Tianming. There was also the spirit of never giving up and fighting to the bitter end. All of that made Tianming and his lifebound beasts different from everyone else!
While Tianming couldn't see what they were experiencing right now, their lives were intertwined. The bond between beastmaster and lifebound beasts wasn't simply that of cultivation partners. Instead, they were more like different lifeforms that shared the same body and mind. They were born into the world together, and fought by each other's side until the end of their lives. In other words, they were a part of Tianming's life! Their pains, their joys, even their feelings of love and hate were everything to him. He could feel their intense determination to struggle in the face of death.
"Ying Huo... Meow Meow...."
He often doubted whether he was a good leader. In fact, he didn't think he was a leader at all. He had learned as much from them as they had from him, even though he was born some ten plus years earlier than them.
"You must hold on! Not a single one of the five of us can be lost!" Tianming had already suffered the loss of a lifebound beast once. During those three grueling years, he suffered from nightmares every night, always seeing the sight of Midas crying in pain and grief as it died by his feet. He never wanted to be reminded of that again.
He let out a harrowing howl as his tears flowed. Now, he was completely charred and covered in countless wounds, but he truly felt like a murderous demon more than ever.
"Newfound courage can often be found in despair. It can often manifest into the biggest threat the world has faced! Perhaps fighting with one's life on the line is the true essence of the Ninesky Beastsoul Formation!"
The will to defy the fate decreed by the heavens was something nobody could impede. It had never occurred to him before this, but he was always at his most savage and murderous when it came to defending his own family. That was the defining drive behind his Ninesky Beastsoul Formation!
When his will and sword intent fused into one, it allowed him to unleash a slash that was beyond the limits of the Kilostar Domain. The sword formation went wild as it attacked the heartscourge fiend, gouging out one part after another and triggering a bloody slaughterfest. Countless holes were made in the body of the heartscourge fiend, out of which torrents of blood flowed. The beast let out a blood-curling cry with hints of the Soulhide Curse. The whale-like song almost seemed like an accompaniment for a bloody waterworks show.
The huge insect shook rampantly in the air. There were so many wounds on it that not even the countless heartscourge worms were able to help heal them. Its blood was rapidly being drained out by Tianming’s attacks. Though it was still alive, it would only continue shrinking as Tianming continued attacking it. It was just a matter of time until it expired for good.
Not to mention, Xian Xian had grown rather big. The pollen from its Evernight Curse had completely seeped into the heartscourge worms before they were consumed by Xian Xian. Without its little minions, the heartscourge fiend fared even worse.
Now, Xian Xian had come to Lan Huang's aid and was fighting against the skyscorch bloodfiend. It was two-on-one, which balanced the scales of the battle. In fact, the scales seemed to be tipping in Tianming's favor.
Xue Yi was naturally aware of how both his beasts were being suppressed. But it had all happened too quickly right after he had almost managed to kill Meow Meow and managed to wound Ying Huo. It was so unbelievable that he was a little taken aback. How could the third-ranked ghoul king, a figure that towered over countless people in the Nonahall Divine Realm, be afraid of some little brat? Just because of some sealing formation? He smirked coldly, almost in defiance. Since his first killing blow had been blocked by Ying Huo, he had been making preparations to kill those two beasts. Almost at the same moment Tianming began ravaging his heartscourge fiend, he made his move.
"Very well. I'll let you have a taste of Nonahall's forbidden art. It is a little embarrassing for me to be forced to use a move like this before my two good friends, the Hexapath Swordfiend and Dugu Jin." Though he said that, he didn't feel the slightest bit of shame as he pressed his hands against his abdomen.
Suddenly, a bloody aura surged from his body as his abdomen began rapidly bloating, making him look like a bloody toad, and his mouth seemed to enlarge considerably. Then he opened his huge mouth, revealing the complex structures within. There was no tongue; instead, the whole mouth looked just like the insides of the heartscourge fiend's mouth, sporting rows and rows of teeth that seemed to spiral infinitely inwards.
"Witness my forbidden art, Vampire Whale! Let's have some fun!"
His abdomen suddenly expanded, causing an incredibly strong suction to form near his mouth, which he aimed at Ying Huo and Meow Meow. Countless bloody tentacles sprouted from his open mouth and wrapped around the two of them. They weren't real flesh, but rather ethereal structures formed from energy, so they wouldn't snap easily. Additionally, they covered the entire area much like Xian Xian's black roots, making them almost impossible to evade!
For now, his heartscourge fiend could still hold on for a short time. As long as it had blood, it could recover from any injury, so Xue Yi wasn't too concerned about it.
"I'll kill this little cat and chicken and free myself up to take care of Li Tianming!" he exclaimed as Vampire Whale activated with full force. Ying Huo and Meow Meow began to realize that their blood was being sucked out by the formless tentacles and promptly struggled with all their might. But no matter how far they ran, the tentacles stuck to their bodies unrelentingly. In fact, some even got onto Lan Huang and Xian Xian's bodies. The only thing that surprised Xue Yi was how it had no effect on Xian Xian at all, but it mattered not. The moment he finished sucking out the other three's blood, they would be dead for good.
"Enjoy. The only reason this was classified as a forbidden art is its cruel nature. However, the results of using this move are always interesting to behold."
Xue Yi snickered coldly, his laughter sounding like a nightmarish requiem to Tianming. That forbidden art seemed to turn the tables for Xue Yi once again. Now that Lan Huang was entangled by those tentacles, it wasn't able to put as much pressure on the skyscorch bloodfiend. Even with Xian Xian's help, it wasn't able to stop the bloodfiend from starting to overwhelm it.
The three seemed to be struggling in futility against the forbidden art, and the desperate situation caused Xian Xian to cry from anxiety once again. It had only been born less than six months ago, yet it had to face off against odds like these. The enemy it was facing was far beyond its means.
"Save us!" Tianming’s brothers’ and sister’s voices pleaded weakly through their telepathic link.
"Everyone...." That was the situation Tianming had found himself in right as he was about to completely crush the heartscourge fiend.Previous Chapter Next Chapter