Everyone in the city saw the gigantic black beast up in the skies that shot out millions of bolts of blood-colored lightning to control the warriors of Nonahall and their respective lifebound beasts as if they were puppets. It was plain to see that it was a far more adept technique than Si Ling's corpse puppetry.
"Kill! Massacre the ten million here! Give me a sumptuous meal! These descendants of specters have been winning time and again at Pentaphase and had everything under control, so I couldn't exactly butt in. But now that they're losing, it won't be a problem if I eat a little more, right?" The Archaionfiend showed itself before the millions of civilians of the city, appearing like a devil out of their worst nightmares.
"Well, well... I wonder where the formation core is." Abruptly, it descended and slammed into the ground, immediately turning some hundred thousand civilians into ash as the whole area around them collapsed. When the dust settled, it saw a grand underground complex protected by a kind of light shielding, within which were more than twenty thousand first-origin tribulation elders and Yi Xingyin, who were powering the formation.
"Archaionfiend? Didn't we ask you not to show up?" said a figure behind it.
"You were about to lose. Did you expect me to sit by the sidelines and watch?"
The figure was none other than Fu You. "How could we possibly lose?" he said with a chuckle.
"Just check the south side. Your three million troops there are nearly all dead, and so are the heartscourge fiend and skyscorch bloodfiend. Si Ling also lost a lifebound beast," it said.
"Impossible!" Fu You snapped with disbelief.
"I have no time to waste talking with you. Just go check. I found the formation core for you all. If you can break it in time, you might yet turn the tide of battle," it said, then flapped its wings and was airborne once more.
"Why are you leaving now? Weren't you going to help?"
"Me? I'm off to enjoy some delicacies."
It had endured for far too long. Today, it finally felt closer to being the true Archaionfiend it had once been. If it weren’t for experiencing that time of hardship firsthand, it never would have expected it could fall so far from grace. But now, it would surely let itself go wild to make up for lost time!
"Xiaoxiao, thank you. You've been really careful the whole time, but your sole mistake was taking me to the Specter Mountains! I bet you feel horrible after that thieving brat wanted to kill you for no reason, right? Hahahaha! Right now, all you can do is watch as I feast!"
It ignored the girl on its head, treating her like a decorative feather on its hat. Thanks to its Fiendblood Vigor, Nonahall's troops were starting to push back against the defenders and were about to start the massacre of the civilians in the city. The moment that happened, the power of the formation began to weaken. Eventually, nobody would be able to keep the four ghoul kings at bay!
At the same time, Fu You began attacking the formation core. Once it crumbled, the entire Sun-Moon-Star Formation would shatter. The formation was the only thing of strategic value in the city, and once it was done for, the city was as good as taken. The enemy would no longer have to worry about the meager number of troops Archaion had stationed there.
During this moment of crisis, Tianming led the two million troops from the reinforcement legions in a charge into the city! The distraught civilians who were being attacked immediately let out thunderous cheers when they saw him.
"The imperial son is here!"
"Don't be afraid! We have reinforcements!"
Thanks to the reinforcements led by Fang Shenyu and Jian Qingyuan, they were able to maintain peak resistance for the time being. However, it would be really hard to deal with the enemy that had mingled with the civilians and begun their slaughter. All of them were bathed in blood lightning and had lost all sense of reason, becoming automata that were driven by nothing but the urge to kill.
The sight of that sent Tianming into a fit of rage. He recognized the black beast in the sky as the Archaionfiend. There was another figure on top of it, but it was covered in the same blood lightning and impossible to recognize. Still, Tianming knew for sure that it was Lin Xiaoxiao.
"It's you!" Back then, Tianming knew that she and the Archaionfiend, and those who had anything to do with Li Muyang in particular, would one day pose a threat to his life. The sect had once attempted to hunt the Archaionfiend down, but they weren't able to find it anywhere. But now that it had reappeared, it had more than nine hundred stars in its eyes and was serving Nonahall; it was obvious that Nonahall had helped it grow. Tianming didn't know what method they used or how much power it had recovered, but it was definitely nothing to scoff at, considering how it could freely roam about the battlefield while controlling so many warriors with its abilities.
When he had a rising suspicion, he gave it a look with the Plundering Eye. "What’s that?"
Through the eye, he could see some white mist floating up to the sky from time to time. The appearance of the mist seemed to coincide with deaths and the Archaionfiend looked like it was consuming that mist somehow.
"Those look like caeli! Is it consuming human caelum?"
Tianming recalled that the soulfiend was able to devour souls, but he wasn't aware of the types of souls back then. But now he felt confident that the soulfiend only consumed vita, not caelum.
Using Fatesteal, I saw it and Jiang Wuxin as well as Ye Bodhi's eyes. Those were supposed to be the secrets of fate, yet I managed to steal them. That must mean that the Archaionfiend, Jiang Wuxin, and the eyes are the keys to the bigger picture. Today, I must take care of the Archaionfiend for good! Otherwise, the city is a goner! I gotta save them, quick!
Tianming immediately noted that Fu You was attacking the formation core while nobody else was paying attention to him. They were so close to the brink of utter collapse.
"Shameless thief, tell me, what does despair taste like?" the Archaionfiend taunted as it glared at Tianming. Their hate was mutual.
"Beast, you shall perish!" Tianming charged in, ignoring his fatigue. He had no other choice. "Vitasteal!"
Stretching his hands out, he caused millions of formless hands to manifest at the walls. Thanks to Bloodfiend Vigor, they were particularly easy for Tianming to track.
"Thief! You think this is your talent as a sky plunderer? Do you need me to tell you that you wouldn't be able to use Vitasteal without my spiritually-attuned eye?" The more it saw him use those techniques, the more frustrated it got.
However, Tianming ignored it and pulled on the million vitae. Despite being hypercharged by Bloodfiend Vigor, he was able to pull their vitae out.
"Kill them!" Tianming had to make sure they were dealt with as soon as possible, for they were currently attacking the civilians. Thanks to him, Fang Shenyu and Jian Qingyuan's men were able to join the crowd and quickly pick out the vitaless, stumbling enemies. It didn't take long before the Nonahall warriors and beasts had all been taken care of. It seemed that Vitasteal still worked well on them despite Bloodfiend Vigor's effects, which only irked the Archaionfiend even more, for it was a move made possible only by its eye to begin with.
"So you grow stronger by consuming caelum, eh? No wonder the sky plunderer race tried to take all your eyes. There's nothing wrong with poetic justice. Stealing your eyes away was doing the world a service!" After dealing with those enemies, Tianming was so tired that his eyelids were twitching. He had truly reached his limits, but Fu You was still attacking the formation core.
Even with the Archaionfiend right in front of him, he still had to deal with the ghoul king first. Currently, he was alone; without his lifebound beast, he was only about as powerful as Jian Wuyi at the eleventh-level life phase. Some two weeks ago, Tianming had relied on the sealing formation in the Kilostar Domain to take out Qing Ming, and now he was going straight for Fu You without the formation's help! Following him were Divine Marshals Fang Shenyu and Jian Qingyuan, both tenth-level death phase samsarans on par with Xuanyuan Xie and Yi Xingyin.
"All of you, hold the formation spirit threads!" Fang Shenyu ordered his troops. Now, they only needed the million warriors of the Arcana Sword Legion to take care of the stragglers that managed to make their way into the city. As for the rest, they were helping out wherever they could, and could even spare some men to fuel the formation. This was one of the signs that foretold of their victory. However, should they not be able to stop Fu You in time and allowed the formation to collapse, the ghoul kings would be unhindered. It would be hard to say who would prevail then.
Fu You kept smashing away at the underground complex using his gigantic hammer. Though Tianming and the rest had reacted as quickly as they could, they were still a little late. Tianming charged toward the ghoul king with his sword raised and beasts summoned, but completely worn out, and used the Ninesky Beastsoul Formation. Nine waves of sword ki blasted towards Fu You. "Leave!"
Fu You turned around and got entangled with Tianming, Jian Qingyuan, and Fang Shenyu. The dire situation was averted, if only for now. However, a lot of damage had already been done, as was evidenced by the cracks on the formation core. The cracks would continue spreading, and would eventually result in the total collapse of the formation.
Currently, while the Archaionfiend had left the heat of battle, it was looking in the formation core's direction from the sky. "I consumed at least five million caeli from the start, right? Since I haven't digested them yet, I'll use them to make a little surprise present. My ability, Bloodblitz Blast, will be able to scatter ten million vitae in an instant if I fuel it with five million caeli. Once they die, their caeli will rise into the sky and I'll get to eat again! Hahahahaha!"
Tianming and the rest were fully occupied with Fu You, giving the Archaionfiend free reign.Previous Chapter Next Chapter