A terrifying cacophony of growls and shrieks, as well as the clatter of chains dragging on the ground, traveled from the unexplored abyss of hell. The three coffins hovered in the air, radiating light of three different colors to suppress the rioting depths, where a pair of stark-white eyes gazed back silently upon them.
Lu Yun’s nine Envoys of Samsara stood in midair, hellfire burning around them to form a protective circle around the netherworld’s civilization. Xing Chen had returned to the netherworld as well, his eyes fixed on the unknown abyss. He could sense the pale eyes boring holes into himself.
Chains and black shackles abruptly snaked out from the void, followed by humanoid beings dressed in tattered clothes that were marked with the character zu for ‘pawn’. A pungent smell of decay wafted about them.
“Grr!” one of the humanoid beings snarled, unleashing the power of an origin dao immortal as it charged into the known space of hell.
The three coffins trembled as a phoenix croon, qilin screech, and turtle roar echoed through hell. Powerful soundwaves reverberated off of each other, crushing the terrible beings into pieces.
However, there were too many of them. The endless horde of monstrous prisoners threatened to overwhelm hell. They even assembled into strange formations to offset the power of the coffins.
Chains and shackles rattling in their hands, the humanoid beings gradually advanced through the perimeter set up by the coffins and encroached upon the sole spot of light inside hell.
The coffins were incredibly powerful. A slight shift from the Nine-Phoenix Casket was enough to crush all of the charging prisoners. Not to be outdone, the Enneaqilin Coffinbiers and Ninefooted Turtle Cist barrelled straight into the darkness.
“Kekeke—” Grating laughter rang out as the void around the pale eyes crumbled away, revealing a ghastly white figure. “Bold of you little matchsticks to stand in my way.”
It wasn’t a skeleton, but a being of flesh and blood. Bizarrely enough, its flesh and blood were as white as bones and covered in strange patterns.
It sent the Nine-Phoenix Casket flying with a single move, then lifted its leg to stomp down onto the Ninefooted Turtle Cist. While its fellows were under attack, the Enneaqilin Coffinbiers slammed straight into its chest.
The impact of the collision threw the coffin clattering back to the ground, its nine qilins shattered, prone, and unmoving.
Crack crack crack!!
Applying greater force, the white figure flattened the Ninefooted Turtle Cist into the earth beneath its feet. Blood seeped out from the resulting cracks.
The figure stalked out of the darkness.
“Last time, I was restrained and so suffered an injury from your sword. Let’s see what you can do this time.” Its eyes burned with white flames.
Xing Chen could tell that it was Hadal Bonefire, but one several times more powerful than that of Jiangchen Xie’s. They might as well be completely different flames.
Back when Lu Yun had experimented with his sword techniques in hell, he’d invented his fourth technique, Endless Cosmic Ocean, and injured a powerful being within the void. That must be the white figure they were facing now.
With a wave of Xing Chen’s hand, starlight showered down from the sky and transformed into boundless sword energy. He’d conjured a hundred and eight thousand sword atlases with the power of the Cosmic Sea, each of which contained ten thousand rays of cosmic sword light.
A total of a billion and eight hundred million strands of sword energy circled around Xing Chen.
Amplified by the power of hell, the great might of the heavenly lungs and heart enabled him to tap into the full power of the Cosmic Sea.
“I was able to injure you last time, so I’ll be able to kill you this time.” Xing Chen waved a hand and coalesced the sword energy into real flying swords, their vibrations weaving a humming symphony.
The white being stared at Xing Chen, its expression unnatural. It didn’t expect him to be capable of such great strength.
“How is this possible?! Even if you’ve gained control over what’s left of hell, you shouldn’t be able to tap into its power. Why would hell recognize you as its master?!” The white figure staggered back.
“Nothing is impossible,” Xing Chen grinned wolfishly.
All billion and eighty million flying swords swung at the same time, unleashing a wave of blinding cosmic light.
Hell itself seemed to split beneath the attack. The sweep disintegrated the pawn-ranked prisoners before they could even make a sound. Silver starlight flooded all parts of the netherworld, blinding white overwhelming everything. Even Lu Yun’s Envoys of Samsara temporarily lost their vision.
After an unknown period of time, the light dissipated and everyone regained their sight.
Crackle crackle crackle.
There seemed to be something breaking apart.
“My Hadal Bone Mountain remained intact even in the battle of Emperors Fall, but you shattered it with a single blow.” The white figure sounded incredibly weak. It had both arms extended, like it’d been holding something, and a thick pile of bone powder was gathered at its feet.
Xing Chen’s face was pale. The power of hell flooded into his body to replenish his strength, but the mental toll the attack had taken couldn’t be recovered so easily.
“Die!!” The white being took a step forward and threw a punch with enough power to destroy heaven and earth, seemingly trapping Xing Chen in a small world. He hadn’t just isolated space, but had thrown his quarry into another world entirely! The white being had created an entire world with a single punch!
“Sir!!” Lu Yun’s nine Envoys of Samsara sprang into action. Hellfire surged from their bodies and formed a protective barrier, facing the punch with the power of hell.
All nine of them died and returned to the Tome of Life and Death. Together, they had failed to withstand even a single punch!
“Die!!” The fist continued advancing even after destroying the nine envoys, bearing down on Xing Chen’s body.
Lu Yun realized to his horror that the attack was aimed at not only Xing Chen, but also himself—a causal power had connected him to his replica. If the punch landed, he would be killed along with Xing Chen!
Before he could think of a response, the punch came.
Great destructive power rippled in all directions, but it concentrated and violently converged into a minor world before it could spread, amplifying the power of the punch.
A second explosion rang out as the white being shook and flew backward off its feet. A scrawny-looking figure stood hunched over before Xing Chen, his fist extended after throwing a punch.