A harrowing battle was taking place deep in space. The Yin Prince’s eight bearers and massive army of yin soldiers had all been massacred, leaving only Shentu and Yulei protecting their mistress against hordes of connate demon gods.
The Yin Prince’s face was unhealthily pale from a series of deep injuries; something had pierced her body through. If it wasn't for Shentu and Yulei desperately defending her and other parties in the fray, she would've perished a long time ago.
“Haotian!” Yulei snarled at a figure sparkling with golden radiance in a crowd of demon gods. “If you dare harm my mistress, I will rip a piece off you today even if I have to die for it!” 
Yulei wasn’t very strong as he was just an ordinary connate demon god. However, he showed no sign of backing down before the throngs of demon gods and celestial soldiers.
“Yulei, we can consider granting you mercy if you throw yourself under our banner. How does being the future king of the netherdark sound?” The indistinct figure throwing out aureate radiance boomed, “The Yin Prince goes against heaven’s will and is not a good mistress!”
“Your own mother would be ashamed of this bullshit!” Yulei cursed loudly. “Haotian, you’re nothing but a two-faced, shameless ferret! When the world struck back at you because you tried refining the bloodline in Pangu’s body, it was my mistress who saved you! You’d be nothing more than a lost ghost if it wasn’t for her, but you bite the hand that feeds you and ambush my mistress!”
“Harrumph!” Hidden within the blinding glow, Haotian’s expression darkened when he heard Yulei’s words.
He was a powerful connate demon god among the first batch born in the world, someone on par with Leize. In the year of Pangu’s demise, he’d tried to refine the bloodline in the great god’s body and nearly died to the backlash from the heavens. Thankfully, the Yin Prince had saved him in the nick of time.
Haotian disappeared from the world after that and joined Taiyi’s celestial court without great fanfare, working his way up the hierarchy and eventually becoming a critical member of its operations. He hailed himself as celestial emperor upon Taiyi’s death and inherited the court to become the ruler of the three realms.
Despite doing so, none of the connate demon gods in the great wilderness recognized him as the celestial emperor. After all, very few knew of his background apart from Houtu, Leize, Huaxu, and the others.
“And what’s more, I know that you’re the one who fans the flames for connate demon gods to distill Pangu’s bloodline out of the humans. You’re also the one who covertly instigated the attack on my mistress and Leize!” Yulei’s eyes shone brightly, seeming to see through all things in the world.
“Men, capture Yulei!” came Haotian’s low roar.
“Understood!” Countless celestial soldiers assembled into formation among the stars and surrounded the Yin Prince’s party of three.
Though formations originated from Fuxi’s hand, he’d passed them onto Taiyi, who’d used them to create the Great Formation of the Nineheavens Gates to steady the celestial court’s fortunes. Upon ascending to the throne, Haotian naturally came into possession of a few fragmented manuals regarding formations and was able to create his own from them.
However, the court lay in tattered pieces after the war with realm monsters; it was a far cry from its former glory. Thus, Haotian didn’t proclaim his new rule far and wide, instead opting to conserve energy and build up strength.
Over the past hundreds of thousands of years, he’d imitated Taiyi and traveled the great wilderness, recruiting countless numbers of connate demon gods and empyrean great masters. After accumulating his strength for all this time, while he may not have restored the court to its peak under Taiyi and commanded so many demon gods that they were as numerous as the stars, he wasn’t far off from that heyday.
“You say that it was Haotian behind the mob against Leize that year?” A frosty female voice suddenly echoed through the void before a white-haired woman wearing black robes walked barefoot out of space. Her glacial features promised pain and retribution.
This patch of space instantly quieted down and the soldiers about to charge the Yin Prince froze in place. They stared dumbly at the chilly woman with a remarkable bearing, not knowing what to do.
“Huaxu!” Haotian walked out of his golden haze when he saw the newcomer, appearing in the form of a middle-aged man. He appeared stately and dignified in a long dark-gold robe and exuded a poised air from his being.
His original plot had been to take down the Yin Prince and use her as bait to lure the Flame Emperor over.
The sword formation outside the planet of the great wilderness struck terrified awe into all of them; more than one connate demon god had already fallen to it. In Haotian’s eyes, though the Yellow Emperor was the ruler of all as acknowledged by the great dao, it was the Flame Emperor who was the real threat!
That sword formation not only exhibited the highest mastery of formations, but also displayed the dreadful might of sword dao!
Hence, Haotian once again laid plans to erase this mortal threat originating from the human race. However, the last thing he’d anticipated was that he’d attract Huaxu’s attention instead of the Flame Emperor!
Huaxu’s true form was that of a connate divine snake and Leize’s dao partner. She, too, was a terrifying connate great god.
Being the strongest demon god of the great wilderness, Leize conducted his affairs in an eccentric and unreasonable manner. But after the joint attack on him for protecting the human race, no one dared try anything else. It was a wary caution that held firm even with recent rumors of him being heavily injured.
The root cause of that was because Huaxu stood by his side.
“That cowardly Flame Emperor might not have come, but it’s all the same now that you’re here!” A ruthless light flashed through Haotian’s eyes. “Kill!” he commanded coolly, looking at Huaxu, but his men blinked with indecision when they heard the order.
Huaxu and Leize were publicly acclaimed as the strongest demon gods in existence. Thus, all of the soldiers and great masters among them hesitated to leap into action after coming face-to-face with Huaxu.
“Hmph, how will you become the greatest powerhouses in the realm if you don’t overcome the shackles of your heart!” Haotian snorted. “I dare call myself the celestial emperor, rule over all beings, and conquer the three realms because I am the master of inhibitions that hold me down! This emperor dares to touch even Pangu’s body!”
Demon god hearts wavered and trembled.
“Don’t all of you want to become creators? How dare you dream of being a creator if you can’t step over a mere Huaxu?!” Contempt danced across Haotian’s face. “KILL!!”
“Understood!” Golden flames ignited on the soldiers’ bodies as they roared into a magnificent formation. It was one never seen before!
The celestial court’s formations originated from Fuxi and rose from Taiyi, gradually evolving from Fuxi’s primitive formation dao and becoming their own system. However, only formations existed in the celestial court as it hadn’t received the heritage of feng shui.
Though it was only one side of the same coin, this formation that burned like the sun was still extraordinarily frightening.
Huaxu had sent only a replica, but if it died, the recoil would severely injure her all the same. Her true body sat at the highest peaks of the world of celestials, helping Hongjun suppress the realm monsters.
As formidable as her replica was, it was still inconsequential compared to a formation of all of the court’s members. A mammoth sun formed in the sky, enveloping Huaxu as well as the Yin Prince’s party. The grim heat wave almost combusted space itself.
Long peals from the Bell of Chaos rang through the cosmos at this time.