Thanks to the fact that the enemy lifebound beasts were fire phoenixes, Ying Huo had a huge advantage. It was facing off against the aether white phoenix, whose pure-white flames were void of any impurities. In terms of size, Ying Huo looked like a baby chick compared to the gigantic bird.
However, at the moment of the clash, Ying Huo unleashed its abilities in full to avoid losing the bet. Its Infernal Haze clones immediately used the Hexapath Samsara Sword with their wings against the phoenix while the real Ying Huo used the Ninesky Beastsoul Formation, something Tianming didn't find surprising at all. The little phoenix summoned nine grand beasts of terror and unleashed their full might against the white phoenix.
Enraged, the phoenix caused its feathers to glow white hot as it used its ability, Flashflare Blast. It was an attack with both light and fire elements. The moment it exploded, the entire area was covered in blinding light that spread with the flames.
The white phoenix's physical capabilities were also powerful, but it was too bad it could hardly hit Ying Huo, who charged into the area covered by the blinding-white flames. Thanks to its fire resistance and the Greenspark Tower, it wasn't afraid of that ability at all. As such, when it appeared before the white phoenix, it only suffered some minor scratches on the surface.
Subsequently, the nine beasts formed from sword ki bit down on the white phoenix and left bloody gashes behind. The ninth-level life-phase Ying Huo had become the first one to subdue its foe! Needless to say, it wouldn't be eating shit anytime soon.
Meanwhile, Meow Meow was facing off against the crimson arcana phoenix at a lower altitude. Their fire and lightning clashed with each other time and again. While Meow Meow wanted to engage using its Fiendish Venus-enhanced body, the phoenix didn't humor it at all. Most of the time, Meow Meow was suppressed by its foe's Illuminating Flare and Solar Supreme. Even so, Meow Meow wasn't at a disadvantage with the help of the Greenspark Tower.
On Lan Huang's side, one was fighting in the water and the other was in the air. All the clearflare chaos phoenix dared to do was rain down Azure Skyfire Rain on Lan Huang without daring to go down. Lan Huang didn't dare to go up to fight either. The only way it could take care of the phoenix was to wait for it to give up on its aerial superiority. As such, the one most likely to lose the bet was Lan Huang. Even so, it did a good enough job holding the phoenix back, so it couldn't disrupt the others.
All in all, Tianming's lifebound beasts were already performing far beyond expectations. After all, Fang Taiqing was a twelfth-level life phase samsaran, someone comparable to Feng Qingyu back when he had showed up at Tianming City. If anything, this was a stunning testament to Tianming's current abilities.
Between the fighting beasts were the beastmasters themselves, Tianming and Fang Taiqing. Tianming's white hair flared up after the first time he clashed with Fang Taiqing. Fang Taiqing's fearsome spear art was called Returning Phoenix. Despite his usual dignified appearance, he could be quite a savage fighter if he needed to be.
"Amazing, Li Tianming!" That clash alone was enough to verify Fang Taiqing's fears. Now, he had no choice but to be extremely careful.
"A dog like you has no right to praise me." Tianming deployed the Imperealm Sword Formation, causing countless strands of sword ki to run wild and help suppress the eight hundred thousand enemies. Not only that, using it didn't affect Tianming's own combat capabilities either, but even boosted his attack.
The more he looked at Fang Taiqing, the angrier he got. He lashed out with the Ninesky Beastsoul Formation, causing the heavenly beasts' power to descend. At the same time, he also used his Soulshaker Eye.
"Hehehe...." After being insulted so many times, Fang Taiqing not only grew more annoyed, his killing intent also soared to the roof. "There's nothing to fear about a naive, confused child like you!"
His lance danced as he wielded it, flaring bright with flames. He didn't seem to fear the Ninesky Beastsoul Formation at all. "Return to the skies!"
When his lance struck, hundreds of birds seemed to be rising into the sky and turning into a gigantic pillar of flame, piercing past the nine beasts as well as the Soulshaker Eye. A twelfth-level samsaran was no joke.
"Your improvement has truly been amazing. It's like you’re a monster forged by the heavenly dao. It's a shame that you aren’t good enough," Fang Taiqing said with a smirk as he easily deflected Tianming's attempts.
"Showed off enough yet?" Tianming let the power of the death phase surge through his body. His eyes glowed gold and black so brightly that the light even illuminated Fang Taiqing's face.
"Give up. You can't save Xuanyuan Xi alone, and she isn’t worth it anyway." Once more, Fang Taiqing's multi-colored hair brightly burned as his resolve to kill intensified. His Rainbow Phoenix Bloodline seemed to manifest as intense heat as his powers rose once more. While his flaming state was akin to drawing more power than he actually had, it was perfect for fatal moments like these. "An amazing genius like you should be exterminated by someone great like me!"
Fang Taiqing laughed out loud. His bloodline was achieving nirvana, reaching a fully blown-out state. "Today is the day the clan of the phoenix achieves nirvana! We shall be reborn, despite the odds! No longer will anyone remember the Sterling House of Fang of Archaion. From now on, we're the Phoenix Clan of the Sterling House of Fang!"
The phoenix was reborn in a blaze of glory. That lance thrust contained Fang Taiqing's will. It glowed ever so brightly and powerfully. It was a mark of pride for the powerful and the culmination of the will and desire of his clan. They would rise again with this power and earn the respect they deserved. Defeating someone who was considered to be the reincarnation of the founding ancestor was the perfect chance for that! Fang Taiqing flashed forward and thrust with all he had.
"Breeaaaaakk!" His roar contained his solemn oath and all the pent-up frustration within him. However, when he caught sight of Tianming, his lance-holding hand suddenly shook. "What in the world is that?!"
Tianming was hovering in the air with swords in both hands, both pointing towards the sky. Above the swords were two kilometer-tall fiendgods. They were asura fiendgods, one male and one female, corresponding to yin and yang. The male had nine heads, thousands of eyes, nine hundred and ninety arms, eight legs, and breathed fire. The female had three heads with dark green faces, six arms, shot water jets from its mouths, and looked shockingly seductive. The two fiendgods were formed by condensed sword ki from the sword formation. They looked at Fang Taiqing with gazes of dignity, domination, and wrath before they opened their mouths and spoke with booming voices.
"Fang Taiqing, you betrayed your own conscience and turned against your benefactors in your time of need. You deserve death!"
Was this the judgment of the fiendgods themselves? No, they were Tianming's own words, spoken through the mouths of the two asura fiendgods.
"Your whole life has been one of fence-sitting! Just as you have risen by going to one side of the fence, you shall fall by moving to the other side! Since you have chosen betrayal, don't fault me for being ruthless!"
If the words had come from Tianming's own mouth, Fang Taiqing wouldn't feel the least bit taken aback. However, these words were spoken by the fiendgods' booming and soul-crushing voices.
"Die!" Tianming struck out with both swords, each corresponding to one asura fiendgod. One was the sword of judgment, and the other was the sword of execution! This was the Asura Fiendgod Formation!
At that moment, Fang Taiqing's radiant phoenix lance strike crossed Tianming's sword formation. The radiant lance pierced through Tianming's chest, leaving Tianming's own two strikes completely untouched. Then, the two fiendgods applied insurmountable pressure on Fang Taiqing.
Boundless sword ki tore Fang Taiqing's phoenix robe apart, piercing through his pride and crushing his will. He opened his eyes wide; he had considered whether he should join the Flameyellow Imperial Sect countless times. He thought that nobody apart from Dugu Jin would be his match. If Dugu Jin didn't ascend to godhood, he would still have a chance for glory. Little did he know that the person that would truly bring his end would be the once-sky saint white-haired youth at Xuanyuan Lake! Perhaps this was destiny, or it could be karma! This was the fruit of his own decisions. Since he had picked his side, he had to face the consequences of his decision!
"Yuqing!" At the final moment, he thought of that woman and her objection to his decision. It was at that moment when he teared up. "I chose an unattainable path even though the person I cared for the most was right in front of me! That single choice doomed me for good! Aaaaaaaaagh!"
His howl was filled with deathly regret. It was such deep regret and hatred that it could scatter someone's soul. He regretted not cherishing the woman who had solemnly stood by his side for all that time. His greatest regret was being unable to tell her he was sorry.
"I was mistaken. It's too bad. I'm already done for."
Just like that, Tianming's explosive power from the Hexapath Samsara Sword swallowed Fang Taiqing up, killing him for good. The sword ki was so powerful that it ravaged the battlefield around them, drawing much attention to Tianming. When they witnessed the death of he who could be the second strongest among them all at their moment of desperation, their worship for the imperial son soared to new heights.
"The founding ancestor has really reincarnated!"
Their capabilities seemed to be boosted by sheer passion alone. In their eyes, Tianming was now akin to a god, and he didn't disappoint. Tianming looked down on the wound near his chest that had almost fully healed thanks to the Greenspark Tower, and turned to Fang Taiqing. He had many thoughts, but he didn't have the time to say them all. "You reaped what you sowed. Nobody can help you now."
Then he turned to look at the rest. Ying Huo had already dealt with its foe, while Meow Meow and Lan Huang were still fighting.
"Time to go!" He was going to seek out Dugu Jin. Everywhere he passed, the crowd cheered. His fame had reached new heights, while Fang Taiqing had fallen to the wayside for good.
In a dark corner, a four-irised youth glared at the glorious Tianming as he continued to sneak toward Xuanyuan Dao.
Near Soulburn Hall, blood-colored lightning struck and a beast appeared out of nowhere.Previous Chapter Next Chapter