Newly reformed, the lightning dragon was more than thirty percent stronger than its original incarnation.
Dongfang Hao didn’t relax his guard from beginning to end, but even so, he hadn’t expected such a turn of events. Smoldering from the lightning dragon’s heavy blow, he flew backward in the air, black smoke trailing after his figure.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Soon after, a second beast, a third, a fourth… more giant lightning creatures fell from the sky and assailed Dongfang Hao. As if possessing a consciousness of their own, the beasts unleashed combat arts unique to them as soon as they landed.
Overwhelmed by the combination of lighting and combat arts, Dongfang Hao was soon run ragged. This Navy Thunder of World Extinction was proving to be even more daunting than a Diabolical Tribulation of World Refinement!
For their part, the lightning rods had not only lost their use, but were even reinforcing the tribulation, amplifying its intensity by more than thirty percent. By this point, how could Dongfang Hao fail to understand that this was anything but Lu Yun’s ploy? The Dusk governor had used a method that the divine didn’t comprehend, and even fooled the Sword of Chaos’ perception to manipulate these lightning rods!
“Bastard!!” Sword Divine burst into a storm of curses.
Even so, he was the inheritor of the Sword of Chaos. An ethereal blue sword curtain blossomed from the weapon and tore the giant lightning beasts apart. Nevertheless, he’d also suffered heavy backlash, given the blood pouring out of his mouth.
“Do you need my help?” a soft, gentle voice reverberated inside his mind. “I can weaken the tribulation by eighty percent for you.”
“No need!” Dongfang Hao spat out with a ferocious expression. Sword curtains rippled out of the Sword of Chaos and tore the giant beasts apart in a maddened frenzy, but he was now drenched in blood from the heavy wounds he’d suffered.
“Your wounds haven’t healed yet. Focus on recovery… and be ready to deal with the one called Lu Yun!”
Eighty-one illusory swords suddenly appeared by Dongfang Hao’s side. They rose in the air, made a sharp turn, and shot back down, destroying all of the lightning rods stuck in the ground.
The tribulation’s intensity instantly waned and returned to normal. Even so, a tribulation of this magnitude was no laughing matter. As violent waves surged across the West Sea, each strike of the tribulation lightning vaporized an enormous volume of seawater; an area ten thousand kilometers across had already become a land of lightning beasts.
An endless stream of beasts born of lightning roiled in the sky, snarling as they threw themselves at Dongfang Hao in a frenzy.
“He’s already reached his limits. I wonder what kind of trump cards he has?” Lu Yun stared unblinkingly at the figure of Dongfang Hao adrift the lightning.
By now, Lu Yun’s replica Xing Chen could also use death arts, just like his primary self. From hell, his nascent spirit controlled Xing Chen, so there was no longer any difference between Lu Yun’s primary body and his peak golden immortal replica.
Alas, since this replica had been refined from the Nine Yin Soul-Parting Wood, the soul-severing power of the material made it impossible for the replica to become Lu Yun’s primary body.
Even so, each of the two could interchangeably utilize the other’s combat arts through his nascent spirit.
In any case, he was aware that Dongfang Hao knew of his presence, but Lu Yun wasn’t planning on interfering at all. If his age-old rival wanted to do things the hard way, who was he to stop the man? It wasn’t like Lu Yun would be the one dying in the end.
The many layers of killing formations that Dongfang Hao had set up came into view, the breathtaking menace they exuded constantly warning off the hidden Lu Yun. But the governor hadn’t planned on attacking to begin with, so he was content to observe in silence.
A giant illusory sword fell from the vault of the sky and tore through the tribulation clouds—a bigger version of the Sword of Chaos had arrived!
Dongfang Hao slowly recovered his calm. This newly-arrived Sword of Chaos was very different from the one in his possession. While they were identical in appearance, the concepts they expressed were poles apart.
His Sword of Chaos represented a legacy, a civilization… while the giant sword fallen from the sky was haunted by the desire to slaughter.
Sageliness within, kingliness without!
The tribulation clouds reformed themselves and once again sent snarling beasts in a furious assault on the giant Sword of Chaos.
“It’s unfortunate that I still don’t have the sword heart… I can’t perfectly deploy the Sword of Slaughter.” There was a tinge of regret in Dongfang Hao’s expression. The Sword of Slaughter was one of his strongest assets. Once unsheathed, it could slaughter the sky, slaughter the land, and slaughter all things living!
There was nothing alive that couldn’t be killed.
He’d always been reluctant to call upon it, but he had no other choice at this critical stage in his tribulation.
So dreadful but a moment ago, the lightning was relentlessly obliterated by the aura of massacre emanating from the Sword of Slaughter. And no matter how brutal, the lightning beasts couldn’t find a way to approach their target.
“Is that his ace?” Lu Yun blinked. “It must be. This is the ancient divines’ Sword of Slaughter, and its power is the purest dao of slaughter in the world.”
A solemn expression flashed through Ashu’s eyes. “Fortunately, he doesn’t have the heart of the Sword of Chaos, so he can’t truly control the Sword of Slaughter… Otherwise, he’d be able to cleave this tribulation in twain with a single sword slash.”
“Cleave a tribulation in twain… with a single sword slash?” Lu Yun shivered.
“The Sword of Slaughter is a forbidden treasure that represents the opposite side of the Sword of Chaos… I’m glad the Sword of Chaos wasn’t complete in the past, or the divines might still be ruling the world to this day!” Ashu took a deep breath. “For now, he can only use the Sword of Slaughter in extremely limited ways, so keep the lass Zhao Wushuang safe at all costs. No matter what happens, you can’t let her lose the sword heart, or else the consequences will be dire beyond imagination!”
The Sword of Chaos was one entity with two different facets. One dealt with inheritance, the legacy of divine civilization, while the other the essence of massacre, salvation through killing. To truly master both of them, the sword heart was required.
The sword heart had been the first part to be forged. It’d long been lost even before the fall of the ancient divines, and it happened to be in Zhao Wushuang’s custody at the moment.
If Dongfang Hao were to get his hands on it, he would immediately gain mastery over both the Sword of Inheritance and Sword of Slaughter. By then, he’d most likely be able to re-establish the ancient divine dynasty.
But while he could use the treasured sword to weather his tribulation for now, he wasn’t truly its master yet. The will of slaughter inside was so strong that he might very well be overcome and become the sword’s slave.
Unless as a last resort, Dongfang Hao would never summon this sword.
“I see.” With a nod, Lu Yun crooked a finger at Dongfang Hao’s tribulation.
Under Ashu’s dumbstruck gaze… boundless dark-blue lightning fell into Lu Yun’s palm without even transforming into lightning beasts. Was Dongfang Hao’s tribulation… ending just like this?
“What in the heavens just happened?” Dongfang Hao stood beneath the Sword of Slaughter, looking in stupefaction at the dissipating tribulation, unable to recollect himself. This scene was strikingly similar to what had happened during Zhao Wushuang’s tribulation!
Hadn’t it been Lu Yun who’d helped her through her lightning tribulation? Perhaps there was another special reason, one that’d now helped him? Had it been Lu Yun, there’d be no reason for him to help Dongfang Hao.