The explosion was devastatingly massive, causing a maelstrom of violent, whipping, and torrential wind currents to manifest. The audience was buffeted by these intense winds in the manner of seconds. Caught up in those intense winds, they were sent flying and into a chaotic mess!
Despite staying at least three kilometers away, they were still affected!
Xue Yu was directly blown off his mount, and smashed against other mounts. His entourage and guards wailed as they tried to catch him, failing in doing so. Fortunately, his astral-tier robes contained defensive formations that automatically activated, shielding him in a temporarily conjured astral ward. Those that he collided with became a mess of blood, feathers, and bones, but he was safe as he fluttered wildly in the sky, treated like a loose-leaf.
He wasn ’t the only one, as numerous individuals were sent away and met their maker in the form of the solid ground.
The old man cursed Duke Zhao for his recklessness. He hurriedly acted, using his astral force and creating numerous strings that attached and stabilized the falling, flung, and spinning figures of mounts and cultivators alike. It took him a few seconds before he stabilized the situation, keeping Xue Yifei protected by an astral ward.
He cursed once more as he lifted them all and flew away with them in tow. It was like a small mouse carrying trees and leaves. Fortunately, this small mouse had enough power to devastate half a continent, or at least secure their lives. It was quite surprising when he had to save a First Stage Astral Core Realm expert.
It was An Ge, and he was protectively wrapping his two granddaughters in his ward. But his astral ward was cracking just from the sheer resulting shockwave. The old man shook his head and brought them away.
While he acted like a saint, protecting numerous lives, Duke Zhao shouted in shock. ”Who?! ” His aura was seething, but his eyes effused vigilance. Just before his astral force manifested fist smashed against Wei Wuyin, crushing the life out of him, a silver light arrived and blocked his attack. It was this action that caused its explosive response.
Chen Xiaowei was sitting on her plump butt, her eyes widened as she couldn ’t help but hold her hand over her racing chest. She saw death for a moment. She saw the difference between the first stage and second stage! How massive was this?! She felt useless.
In truth, it wasn ’t her fault. Her foundation was severely lacking compared to Duke Zhao. For example, Duke Zhao didn ’t focus on elemental or a specific type of power. Instead, he devoted his time to increasing his Mortal State of his Natal Soul. This gave him ample time to raise his Mortal State to the 7th Level.
As for her? She was simply a 4th Mortal State cultivator, barely qualified to reach the Astral Core Realm. This coupled with his cultivation base being one stage above her was sufficiently massive. Furthermore, his lack of specific cultivation direction and requirements allowed him to refine and focus on his foundation entirely.
He could be considered a Pure Cultivator. His Heart of Qi became a Spirit of Qi. Chen Xiaowei cultivated a Heart of Wind Qi, so she required far more resources to cultivate her wind energies and Qi Essence.
Wei Wuyin knew this deeply; the stronger your Natal Soul independently, the harder it was to progress. When he first consumed an Astral Dipper Fountain Pill, he realized this stark difference immediately. King required the least amount of resources, but Kratos, Eden, and Ori required more, with Kratos requiring the most. Even Ori required double the amount of resources than King.
”Fuck. ” A voice finally spoke, causing Duke Zhao ’s pupils to constrict. A figure, tall, barefooted, and radiating a slightly feral aura appeared before him. A pair of scarlet eyes lifted themselves lazily towards him, but after it locked onto him, it became abnormally sharp and intense.
His heart unintentionally raced as he clenched his fist, circulating his astral force.
”Master, are you alright? ” The loosely-dressed figure that bared his chest to all turned that gaze that instilled a sense of violence and murder away. Those scarlet eyes revealed calm and respect as he turned to Wei Wuyin.
Wei Wuyin noticeably nodded. After that, the Shadow-Blight Hawk seemed to become invigorated and acted even without Chen Xiaowei ’s orders. It shot away, fleeing into the distance carrying its master and Wei Wuyin.
Zuhei stared at Wei Wuyin leaving for a moment before turning away.
’Master? ’Duke Zhao was startled. This beastman was the alchemist ’s subordinate? His droopy eyebrows furrowed as he clenched his fists, raging astral force surged outwards causing the sky to roil and the earth below to tremble. A dense degree of killing intent seemed to solidify as he didn ’t hold back.
「Astral Art: Grand Fist」
He once more launched his astral art with pure, unattributed astral force. It was incredibly powerful as the fist seemed capable of overturning the earth, sky, and heaven as it smashed towards Zuhei.
Zuhei breathed lightly. His hands became claws as they swiped towards the first image. His claws were like five swords, emitting sharp, bloodthirsty light. Those lights shot out, expanded until they were each a full hundred meters in length, and they sliced into the fist image.
There was no explosion as the five sharp lights sliced into the fist causing it to dissipate. Duke Zhao ’s expression changed as he executed a movement art.
「Astral Art: Sky Stepping Stride」
He strode across the skies like he was skating, and retreated instantly. His hands, however, weren ’t idle and neither were the five sharp lights. As he formed a series of handseals, the sharp lights were like homing swords of death as they pierced through the void and seemed intent to dismember his body.
「Astral Art: Wave of Obliteration」
He inhaled deeply before erupting with an explosive exhale. The resulting shockwave caused the earth and sky for ten kilometers to be blown away, and the earth became a crater in moments. All living existences below were annihilated without being able to wail in grievance or hatred. They didn ’t even know their killer, be it beast, demon, elf, or human.
The shockwave impacted the five lights and turned them into glittering bits of slaughter force.
Duke Zhao felt relief as he neutralized the attack. However, just as he was about to once more launch an assault, the bits of slaughter force condensed into a single sharp light that took the form of a claw, five times larger than the other lights, and pierced towards him with deadly force.
His eyes became a needle. Executing his Sky Stridding Steps, he attempted to retreat but the claw was faster than he could imagine. In moments, it was directly before him.
He clenched his fist, a vicious expression on his face as he roared. He punched out. Then, he punched again. And again, and again!
「Astral Art: Myriad Grand Fist」
He launched a total of nine fist strikes and conjured nine fist images that combined, and with relentless momentum, it clashed with the claw.
The moment the two collided, the world experienced numerous and major upheavals and nearly a hundred kilometers of distance from them was immediately ravaged by varying degrees of damage. Countless protective arrays and formations were triggered in response as numerous cities and areas were impacted by the shockwaves!
This was the damage two Sky Rulers could achieve! They fought in the skies, clashing again and again without end, yet the earth was devastated, the sky was torn asunder, and lives afar were ruined without knowing why. Entire environments changed on a whim or a flick.
The claw of slaughter force was obliterated by the overlapping fist art, and even its bits of astral force was grounded down until it became nothingness.
Duke Zhao ’s heart was rampaging with fear. Each clash with this beastman was like fighting an immortal existence, he had to expend enough astral force in each attack and defense to obliterate his slaughter force or it regathers and attacks at full force!
It had achieved permanence!
This beastman had achieved the legendary Zenith Mortal State, allowing his Astral Force to perfectly adhere to the world ’s mana! With that, it would remain within his control even if it was shattered and scattered into millions of bits. Unless destroyed completely, one would constantly be forced to face the same attack over and over while their opponent expended little energy.
Wei Wuyin had expended enormous resources to modify Zuhei ’s Mortal State post-Astral Core Realm. Fortunately, in those three years of non-stop cultivation, he had rebuilt his foundation and even reached an unprecedented level! Only in this state could he truly act as Wei Wuyin ’s claws and fangs, slaughtering everyone in his path.
Duke Zhao bit his lips, already formulating ways for a stable retreat. However, just as he was planning to do so, he received several transmitted messages from other Astral Core Realm experts questioning his actions. He was currently striking with full force, devastating countless lives, and causing mass environmental damage.
They wanted to know why!
He was about to respond, but Zuhei arrived before him like a shadow. His eyes shrunk into needlepoints! He realized his body was constricted by a sky pressure that contained Intents! His Astral Soul was impacted, causing his battle power to drop. He tried to muster his spiritual force to fight against the influence, but Zuhei had already clawed towards his fist.
He lifted his arms in defense, conjuring a flimsy astral ward, but it lasted not even a single millisecond before it was shredded. A rain of blood and flesh flew everywhere!
”Ahhh! ” Duke Zhao screamed as he shot into the sky, his sleeves shredded and missing appendages. Now armless and handless, he sought to seek the protection of the guardian. He immediately realized Zuhei hadn ’t taken him seriously since their first exchange.
He specialized in close-combat! Furthermore, he comprehended two Intents, both of which could amplify his strength and suppress his opponent. He was a monster!
He sent out a wide-range spiritual force message through the skies in hopes of contacting the guardian placed here by the Myriad Monarch Sect. He was terrified that Zuhei would strike him while running, ending his life then and there, but when he turned back, he was shocked to see Zuhei casually stand on the ground, picking his left ear and yawning.
His scarlet eyes were looking at him as if he was looking at a dead man. This look gave him horrific chills, but then he lost feeling. He lost feeling in everything.
”Gargh! ” He spat out a wad of refined blood, spewing rivers as his vision seemed to split apart and descended into darkness.
His body ripped apart into spaghetti strings, erupting in a storm of blood as his body parts were separated and fell lifelessly to the ground.
Not too far away, Wei Wuyin looked at this and slightly nodded in his heart. He turned his head towards the distance and quietly murmured in his heart, ”Your move. ”
In the distance, two figures were rapidly flying towards them with purpose.
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