Chapter 924 - Fiend Disaster
Those standing guard in Soulburn Hall immediately spotted the huge black beast. It had a dragon-like head, but looked even more savage thanks to its spikes and long fangs. Its body was huge and powerful. It had a back covered fully in black spikes that stretched all the way to its spear-like tail, which looked like a scorpion's stinger. Apart from that, it had a pair of bat-like wings that would block out the sun when fully expanded. It was as if its body had been built for combat! Having shown up in the sect and at Tianming City before, almost wreaking absolute destruction, everyone recognized it.
"It's the Archaionfiend!" Soulburn Hall was in trouble now. They all seemed incredibly worried.
"Wasn't it blasted to smithereens at Tianming City?"
"How could it recover from those injuries? What kind of monster is it?!"
It wasn't just them, even Tianming didn't know what kind of creature it was. Though, even if they did know, there was nothing they could do about it. The sect was already incredibly short on defenders, especially taking Jiang Wuxin into account. Those in Soulburn Hall had no choice but to arm themselves and fight the Archaionfiend to the death.
"Ouyang, if the inner formation breaks, we’ll stay to fight with all we have! You have to run!" Jiang Yuanjun said.
"Nowhere is safe! Where am I to run to?" Ouyang Jianwang said. Soulburn Hall had the protection of the inner formation, so it was already the safest place available. If his luck was the slightest bit bad, he might well run into specters outside and end up worse off. He would easily be recognized, given his fame.
"We can just pray that it can’t break the inner formation, or we get reinforcements from outside," Xuanyuan Yu said.
"Fat chance. Dugu Jin and Di Zang are outside, not to mention Fang Taiqing. Xuanyuan Dao and the imperial son already have enough on their plate," Ouyang Jianwang said, drawing his sword and patting his canine beast's head. "Get up and fight. Let's hope Sect Master Xuanyuan endures."
Little did he know that Xuanyuan Dao had already lost his key, which the Archaionfiend now held. The moment the fiend appeared, countless bolts of blood lightning gathered in its mouth and blasted out, forming a pillar and descending onto the inner formation from the sky.
Blood lightning spread all over the surface of the formation. Using the caeli it had consumed, the Archaionfiend had grown in power alongside Lin Xiaoxiao to the twelfth-level life phase, unbeknownst to others. That was the difference of having memories; it was able to form its own heavenly will and easily retrain itself, for retraining was just a matter of gathering energy. However, that also had its own risks, as evidenced by how the Archaionfiend and Lin Xiaoxiao didn't get along at all. Had Ying Huo and the rest had all of their memories from the get-go, Tianming might have had a really hard time. The Archaionfiend's terrifying attacks caused the inner formation to shake rather profusely, and seams started forming around the formation's structure.
"Damn, it's at least at the twelfth-level life phase," Ouyang Jianwang said with worry.
"Listen up. Run once the formation collapses. We will hold it back!" Xuanyuan Xiao snapped.
"Forget it. It is three phases above me in power, and two phases above you, Sect Master Jiang. You won't be able to stop it," Ouyang Jianwang said.
"Are you going to submit?"
"No. It's better to let me try stopping it while the rest of you run. The only one who needs to die is me! Let's just hope Sect Master Xuanyuan can protect his key," Ouyang Jianwang said. Once more, they were in dire straits.
The Archaionfiend was snickering outside the formation. As the lightning bolts cracked down on the formation, it continued using its claws and tail to attack the inner formation. Despite the number of dragon patterns that showed up, they were constantly scattered by the powerful lightning.
"Stop making a fuss, everyone. Once I get in, none of you can run." The Archaionfiend made another charge, ramming into the formation and causing it to rumble again. "Relish in your despair! Swim in fear before you die! You’re the lucky ones…… lucky enough to be cowards without knowing your own cowardice! Before me, you’re nothing but insignificant specks of dust! A light breath from me will be enough to scatter your so-called dignity!" it mocked and taunted. That was its style. It had been suppressed for far too long, and needed an outlet for its frustrations.
"Die!" it roared as it came in for another ram. Despair once more filled their hearts. Ouyang Jianwang's eyes were bloodshot.
"If only we’d known it would come to this, we would've stayed at Heaven Cauldron and fought to our deaths!" the nether cloudsky dog said angrily.
"Don't say that, Dog Bro. This wasn't something we could've predicted," Ouyang Jianwang said. Between the Heaven Cauldron and Xuanyuan Lake, they could only make one choice.
Once more, the Archaionfiend used its ability, blasting even more blood lightning at the formation. "Break!"
Their demise finally came: the formation broke apart!
"Kill!" Those on the inside had already made their preparations. Right as the Archaionfiend was about to charge through the formation's broken shards, it suddenly slowed down as if it was being dragged from behind.
"What the?" They saw the Archaionfiend suddenly go wild with rage. It flapped its wings and turned back, glaring at its tail.
Ouyang Jianwang and the rest saw a small figure appear there, holding the sharp tip of the tail with her two hands. It was the black-robed girl!
"Lin Xiaoxiao, are you looking to die?!" the Archaionfiend snapped.
As it raged, a huge force coming from its tail actually pulled it hard and spun it around. The ground itself rumbled as the Archaionfiend was dragged along it.
"What in the world is going on?!"
"Who is that?!"
"Apparently she's a disciple called Lin Xiaoxiao. I think she’s related to Li Tianming in some capacity."
As they spoke, the Archaionfiend haggardly got back to its feet. The girl before it was bathed in blood lightning and covered in bloody marks from head to toe from the binding chains. The wounds she had seemed to fit her bloodshot gaze and purple lips; she looked incredibly savage and ruthless.
"Aren't you afraid of dying?! How were you able to escape after I bound you like that? How did you survive the Trisoul Boltchains? If your willpower was really that strong to begin with, you never would've fallen to such a degree if only you listened to me!"
Lin Xiaoxiao's sole response was drawing a long, black spear with fifteen tribulation patterns from her spatial ring.
"You're trying to take me on with the tribulation artifact I gave you?" The Archaionfiend chuckled.
"You really never shut up, do you?" Lin Xiaoxiao bit her lip and stood in front of Ouyang Jianwang and the rest.
"Move aside!" The Archaionfiend was about to lose its mind.
"You're the one who should move."
The beast flapped its wings, soaring into the sky and whipping up a cloud of dust. "Everything you know was taught by me. How dare you use it to fight back against me?! Are you worthy?!"
In another rampage, it rained down countless bolts of lightning. However, Lin Xiaoxiao moved quickly, avoiding them and making her way toward the beast, then clashed with it in an explosive flash. Lightning bolts randomly shot out all over the place. While the Archaionfiend was powerful and had many abilities, Lin Xiaoxiao was faster and more agile, and even knew how to use battle arts. She was actually able to hold back its rampage.
That was the reason the beast had wanted to keep her bound; it had discovered that it was having a harder and harder time controlling Lin Xiaoxiao as a result of the master role played by beastmasters in symbiotic cultivation. Even Di Zang's Trisoul Boltchains could be easily transferred to it. But as it didn't want to be bound to the chains, it resisted, and the more it did, the more it had helped Lin Xiaoxiao escape them.
The Archaionfiend had gone through a lot of trouble, thanks to symbiotic cultivation, and today Lin Xiaoxiao was here again to ruin his plans. Even though it had many tricks up its sleeve and knew all the cards in Lin Xiaoxiao's hands, they weren't able to outplay each other, thanks to the telepathic connection between beastmaster and beast, much to its fury.
"Lin Xiaoxiao, you’ve gotten on my bad side! Once I kill those pitiful wretches, I'll make sure you suffer the worst pain possible!"
"Odd. I thought you’d already done that." Her lips curved into her smile as she fought, still covered in blood and wounds, her black hair fluttering in the storm of blood lightning.
The beast continued howling. It had almost had victory within its grasp, yet Lin Xiaoxiao had come in at the last moment to stop it again. The feeling of dread it felt from before its stomach had blown up the last time was coming again.
"Die, die, die!" Its frustrated howls spread out from Soulburn Hall……
"The Archaionfiend?!" Tianming heard the commotion coming from Soulburn Hall. Thanks to the relatively flat terrain around Xuanyuan Lake, he was easily able to see far away with his Plundering Eye.
The Archaionfiend seemed to be engaged in combat, rather than trying to destroy the formation. Who in the world was it fighting against?