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“Charge up!” There wasn’t a shred of time to hesitate. Xu Yangyi said ruthlessly, “If we don’t rush now and instead head back to drive out the Screaming Wind Legion, we’ll still end up facing a slow death! I can’t say for sure… but next up is the Nalan Clan’s assisting army! Don’t forget, the Linghu Clan can’t withdraw their assisting forces right now. However, the Nalan Clan’s situation is very, very good. They got a huge dragon in their hands. Once they find out that we can’t even fight back against a Reincarnation Puppet, there’s no way they won’t mind secretly withdrawing a couple dozen of their normal soldiers to join with the Reincarnation Puppet and take us down!”
“Therefore… we have to charge! We have to beat this thing back and hit it where it hurts! We have to completely destroy it!” He inhaled deeply and waved his hand. Falling Moon appeared, wreathed in black flame that filled the sky. “Just like in our stand-off against the Screaming Wind Legion’s standard army, we left them in pain. Only then did they give up their greeting for us.”
“The weak do not have the qualifications for equal dialogue.”
“And then afterwards?!” Lord Zhao said worriedly.
Xu Yangyi glanced below. “Trust in our comrades.”
“This Screaming Wind Legion isn’t the complete standing army. Their mounts are different. And our people… have already fought a battle against the standard legion; furthermore, they’re veterans who’ve won! Last time, we were fighting on level ground. This time, we’re defending a strong fort. I refuse to believe that they’ll be wiped out.”
His voice yet to fall, he had already shot towards the sea of Spirit Parasites like an arrow!
Presently, they were scrambling over time! Before the Linghu Clan’s legion broke through the branch, the Reincarnation Puppet had to be slain! They had to snatch this critical half-hour… Even twenty minutes would grant them a chance!
It wasn’t that Xu Yangyi hadn’t thought of activating the grand mountain-protector array, but… while great danger was imminent, he still sensed that the moment from true life or death was a hint off.
“Hiss…” Noiselessly creeping forth, the Reincarnation Puppet’s two heads emerged with endless tendrils from its orifices. Unexpectedly, a giant several-hundred-meter-sized net spread wide in midair! On the net, there were strange eyes, and small mouths full of blade-sharp teeth made hissing noises akin to the grinding of rusty iron, causing one’s hair to stand on edge!
“Ten Cardinals Red Lotus!” Xu Yangyi didn’t fall back a step, and Falling Moon danced with a black tide. In the night, a deeper blackness emerged, dark flames burning in the air. Following his shout, a roaring dragon of black fire rumbled forth from his hand. This time, however, the dragon didn’t thunder and advance, instead suddenly dividing into scores of small fire-dragons. They roared as they charged ahead at the immense, seemingly alien net!
He had said so. If he did not retreat, then no one was to fall back! Thus, he HAD to serve as an example!
“SCREECH!!!” In the wake of a piercing cry, endless mouths actually pressed on, neither evading nor fleeing. One mouth chomped down on the small fire-dragons, engulfing them bite after bite!
“Careful!” Qin Xueluan’s startled cry was heard. “A Spirit Parasite’s characteristics are extremely odd! The Spirit Parasites inside this kind of giant puppet are definitely selected very carefully; they’re in perfect accordance with each other!”
Swoosh! Xu Yangyi’s Falling Moon violently flourished, and the dozens of tendrils rushing him ahead were chopped through. Green ichor spilled out and drenched the sky. He said chillingly, “Are they plants or animals?”
“Can’t say for sure!” Qin Xueluan gritted her teeth and formed seals. Besides her, a colony of black ants came into view and surprisingly matched bite after bite with the Spirit Parasites, swallowing. “Might be plants, might be animals. They could also be microorganisms! Or purely an assembly of souls!”
“In that case…” Xu Yangyi gnashed his teeth and looked above at the giant puppet’s head. “If these Spirit Parasites are killed, can we kill this thing?”
“Difficult!” Qin Xueluan waved a hand, and another swath of black ants gushed forth like a wave. They forced back the legion of tendrils behind her into retreat. “That’s not to say that you can’t kill it, though! Rather, it’s unknown where the central body is hiding! It’s not a cultivator! It doesn’t have a qi sea! But, there’s definitely something commanding its ‘brain’! The puppet’s so gigantic; how are you going to find it?!”
Finished speaking, she fell into a daze, and her head whirled to face Xu Yangyi. Her mouth stretched wide open, she looked at him. “Y-You want to directly kill the Spirit Parasite inside this thing’s body?! T-That’s impossible!”
“Take a look! This puppet is different from others! It doesn’t have qi! However, its moves do! What does this mean? This means that its skin and flesh might all be covered by a qi flow! You…” She didn’t continue speaking. Half a second later, she clenched her teeth. “You’re not planning to go into its body, right?”
“Continue.” Xu Yangyi said dimly.
Qin Xueluan’s teeth locked together. “Unless… something might be able to see the qi flow in a state of perfect isolation. Like so, it’ll have arteries and veins. If you keep following this system, you just might find the Spirit Parasite’s core! I think that past cultivators were unable to kill it from inside because of this step! In the cultivation world, a treasure capable of finding qi in a state of isolated qi is extraordinarily rare!”
“But once it dies… I dare guarantee that the Reincarnation Puppet will be nothing more than a moving target without an undying body! And…” A wisp of killing intent flashed through her eyes. “I buried a contingency earlier. Fellow Daoist Xu, if you risk going in, I can immediately rouse it after half an hour and assist the power of your arm.”
Xu Yangyi’s figure had already vanished away into a flicker as he finished listening to these words. At this moment, tentacles with mouths, fangs, and eyes almost pervaded the whole sky! The Reincarnation Puppet was like a sea anemone, recklessly waving its infinite tendrils! It was simply unimaginable what kind of organism was inside its body!
“Shadowlumen Armor!” Gliding under a sky that was as terrible as a demon-god’s descent, Xu Yangyi swiftly weaved seals. A burst of black light glimmered, and the Shadowlumen Armor covered his entire body. Occasionally, tentacles flickered past, and hard teeth were met, but all that was heard was the sound of clanging. Not even a white mark was left behind on the armor.
In his heart, Xu Yangyi had firmed his thoughts. This thread of spiritual force, several meters thick, seemed tranquil, yet it was extremely likely that it was the Nalan Clan’s trap!
Who wouldn’t realize such a striking weakness? He dared to bet… that an unexpected killing move was absolutely waiting for him at the top of the puppet’s head! But even if there wasn’t, the back of the spiritual light thread was linked to the Nalan Clan’s Bluedawn Winding Corridor! Presently, only seven threads were hanging down from the massive aerial fortress. Was there someone behind these threads? Two people? Or perhaps a hundred or two hundred? Maybe… a half-step Foundation Establishment, a cultivator only a foot shy from the next realm, was waiting for him?
The countershock and killing moves passed on via spiritual force from any of these things was enough to leave him nursing a grudge!
Just as he felt something was amiss, these thoughts were carefully polished and refined in his mind afterwards. If the puppet detected them rushing towards its head, why hadn’t it defended earlier? Was there a defense only after another fifty meters?! Granted that the Reincarnation Puppet was running on instinct, shouldn’t it still have instinctually known to defend its weak point? Xu Yangyi pondered carefully. Trying to hide something only made things worse. This lure was to instead entice the enemy to sever the spiritual light and disconnect the puppet’s connection to the Bluedawn Winding Corridor.
“This is a double-layered trap…” The demon slayer gritted his teeth, and his wings flickered. He glided over to a hawk-puppet at the side and grabbed on with a hand, performing a flip to land on it.
“If someone has the mentality of ‘immediately succeeding’ at that moment—and they recklessly run up to the head and cut that thread of spiritual light—perhaps they would be immediately defeated. No wonder… No wonder that it only started to counterattack once we were only fifty meters away from its head. It’s to create the psychological enticement that ‘I’m only a thread away from succeeding’... If it weren’t for this puppet having no consciousness, maybe I would've fell for its trick!”
Life was like a drama. Everything relied on acting skills. And acting skills were tempered through wisdom. No matter what accurate procedures the mindless puppet had set up, a gap was still bound to appear in its performance.
“Its true weak point isn’t outside… but the Spirit Parasite that makes it immortal!” Climbing onto the puppet’s back, he subconsciously looked down. Dozens of the Screaming Wind riders were already gathering a thousand meters away from the branch!
They were merely waiting for the battle to reach that burning-white moment… the instant the dagger was plunged in!
An inch of time was an inch of gold!
Both of his feet tapped down and sped towards a nearby puppet. Several seconds later, he was at Lord Zhao’s side. Without a second word, he grabbed onto the jade chest containing Zhao Ziqi. “I’m borrowing this.”
Afterwards, he secured the jade chest inside the Shadowlumen Armor. Without another scrap of hesitation, he dashed up with all of his power!
His hands were already flying at great speed, forming seals. He roared out at the same time, “Break up its attention! Make it so it won’t be able to focus its awareness!!!”
There was no why. Chu Zhaonan was the first to answer, raising both of his pistols and firing out two shots above. One was like fire, bringing forth a string of glaring flame! Even the smell of burning carbon spread through the air! The other was like ice, leaving behind extremely cold white smoke in all places it passed through the sky.
BOOM!!! A bullet impacted against the sky of interweaving tentacles, and a throat-rending hiss suddenly resounded through the air! A tiny bullet had actually brought forth a hundred meters of great fiery tides! Furthermore, these flames were different from Xu Yangyi’s. They didn’t burn themselves out or extinguish until everything was incinerated, instead exploding in a flash! Their temperature was even greater than the Ten Cardinals Red Lotus! However, it lasted for an extremely short moment, barely several seconds, and died away in midair!
And yet… extreme cold arrived immediately!
Crack crack crack… Sheets of ice spread through the cloud sea of tentacles. Having just suffered the inferno of hell, the Spirit Parasite was met with the cold ice of the nether in the blink of an eye. Although the time was extremely short, the wall of Spirit Parasites in front of Xu Yangyi had actually been completely scorched black in a matter of seconds! Nonetheless, there was oddly no smell of roasted flesh. On the contrary…
It was flowers…
A field of endless, uninterrupted flowers!
In all colors and hues, gorgeously colored. Yet it was in no way formed of qi!
“My god!” Below, Zhao Wuye cried out in surprise. Everyone was dumbfounded. At his side, Zhao Fenglai looked at the sky in shock, finding the sight too hard to believe.
“W-What the fuck is this thing?”
No one could’ve imagined that the Spirit Parasites, so ugly and growing with mouths, sharp teeth, and eyes all over, would surprisingly bring fields of unending flower buds after being scorched!
“Nobody knows… Nobody possibly knows…” Qin Xueluan looked at the oceans of flowers in the sky with a somewhat feverish gaze. In passing, she studied the squirming sea of tentacles with not as much disgust. “Beauty and ugliness, just between a thought… Just like a caterpillar, who can know if a butterfly comes afterwards?!”
“That’s not to further mention… that its usually hard to find. Spirit Parasites have no clear usage...”
Whoosh! A shadow flashed forward. Xu Yangyi’s figure was already crashing through the fields of flowers and pitch-black gaps, lightning fast. He honed in straight to the Reincarnation Puppet’s head!
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