As the heavenly marquis pagoda collapsed, complete silence filled the area. Everyone in the clan felt like their minds were being struck by lightning from the heavens. To a heavenly marquis clan, their heavenly marquis pagoda was a symbol of how lofty and amazing their clan was!
It was the most important legacy in their clan, passed on to each successor as a means to defend the clan.
And right now, the Zhou Clan’s heavenly marquis pagoda… was collapsing into pieces!!
Although this was not the first such pagoda to be destroyed after the Arch-Emperor Dynasty relocated to the Wildlands… it was the only one to meet such a fate in the past thousand years! The significance of this event defied imagination!
If that was how the Zhou Clan reacted, then there was little need to wonder how everyone else in the audience was reacting. There were countless people observing events on behalf of other powerful groups, and also just random people interested in watching, and all of them were dumbstruck.
“The Zhou Clan’s heavenly marquis pagoda… is collapsing….”
“This Bai Hao actually dared to destroy a heavenly marquis pagoda!!”
Zhou Wudao emerged from within the collapsing pagoda, blood spraying out of his mouth, and looking visibly older than before. The instant he appeared in the open, he didn’t charge toward Bai Xiaochun in attack, but rather… turned and fled!
He had no other choice than to do so. Bai Xiaochun’s fist strike had been unimaginably shocking, so powerful that it actually destroyed a lofty and magnificent heavenly marquis pagoda!
To Zhou Wudao, it was almost inconceivable. Most people only knew a little bit about how heavenly marquis pagodas actually worked, but as a heavenly marquis, he had complete control over his own pagoda, and was thus deeply struck by what had just occurred.
He knew that the so-called heavenly marquis pagodas were not created by heavenly marquises. Instead… they had been built along with Arch-Emperor City itself! More specifically, they were shocking magical devices that could focus and release the power of an unseen spell formation!
After all, what was visible of Arch-Emperor City right now was actually only a part of the true extent of the city. There was more buried underground. And as for the heavenly marquis pagodas, they could enable a half-deva heavenly marquis to unleash battle prowess equivalent to a full deva.
And of course, the heavenly duke pagodas were even more impressive!
The power of the pagodas was limited to some extent. After all, they were expensive to fully power up, and that would not be permitted unless the Arch-Emperor Dynasty were under direct threat.
Even still… they were powerful enough that no ordinary person could possibly attack them successfully. In fact, the one which had been successfully destroyed a thousand years ago… had been during a battle of demigods!
Because of that, there was no way that Zhou Wudao could ever have guessed that his heavenly marquis pagoda would collapse. Although he wasn’t sure how it was happening, he had his suspicions, and they terrified him.
“If it isn’t his cultivation base, then it must be some special divine ability…. That fist strike is actually a magical technique! But what?” Zhou Wudao’s face was ashen as he realized that he had provoked someone he was most certainly not powerful enough to have provoked. Thus, it was without the slightest hesitation that he fled as quickly as possible.
An icy glint appeared in Bai Xiaochun’s eyes. He didn’t know much about heavenly marquis pagodas, and therefore, was a bit confused by Zhou Wudao’s reaction.
It was with lightning-like speed that he immediately gave chase, when suddenly… a shadowy blur appeared from within the rubble of a collapsing building at the edge of the Zhou Clan. The figure was partially translucent, and was moving directly toward the corpse troopers who had the area locked down.
Not only was the figure moving quickly, it was using some sort of divine ability that slowed the corpse troopers down. As a result, it seemed to be just on the verge of breaking through the blockade.
However, that was when Bai Xiaochun stopped, turned, and vanished. When he reappeared, he was right in front of the shadowy figure!
It was almost as if he had been waiting for this person to make a break for it!
“So, you finally show your face!” he said, his eyes radiating icy coldness and killing intent. Rumbling sounds echoed out as the air around him began to swirl like a vortex.
Unexpectedly, the intensity of his killing intent actually surpassed what had appeared when he had attacked Zhou Wudao!
“You!!” the shadowy figure blurted, suddenly backing up. At that point, it resolved into the image of an old man. He seemed alarmed; clearly, he had believed himself very clever for attempting to flee when the heavenly marquis pagoda fell, and Bai Xiaochun went chasing after Zhou Wudao.
By fleeing at that time, and using his special technique to slow the reactions of the corpse troopers, he had been very confident in being able to make his escape.
Never could he have imagined that Bai Xiaochun would be prepared for just something like this. The old man was caught completely unaware.
The truth was that as soon as Bai Xiaochun had arrived at the Zhou Clan and found that neither he nor his silver-armored corpse trooper could use their divine sense to find this old man, he had come up with his plan.
One of the reasons he had killed the heir apparent was to vent his anger, but the other was to prevent Zhou Wudao from buying time and getting help.
The whole point to his offensive had not been to kill anyone, but to give Miao Lin’er’s grandfather what he believed was a chance to escape. Only by pushing things to the very limit, and by making his opponent think that he was completely mad, would the man be confident enough to try to escape.
That was why he had attacked with such ruthless efficiency, and had immediately resorted to the Undying Emperor’s Fist. The whole time, his divine sense had been spread out through the clan, and especially focused on his corpse troopers!
He knew that the old necromancer would attempt to escape by breaking through the sealing blockade, and that was exactly what he had been waiting for!
Now that the old man was backing away from him, Bai Xiaochun stepped forward. At the same time, he sent a thought out to his corpse troopers, causing them to reinforce and shrink the perimeter. Meanwhile, the silver-armored corpse trooper unleashed the power of his deva cultivation base and headed toward the old necromancer!
It only took moments to lock down everything above and below. As of this point, it didn’t matter what special technique this old man had, he would not be escaping!
Zhou Wudao was also affected, and had to start backing away from the corpse troopers. There was simply no way he could break through that barrier.
Miao Lin’er’s grandfather could see that it was a critical moment. Eyes flickering with madness he suddenly looked over at Bai Xiaochun and shouted, “Let me go, Bai Hao! If you don’t, then a single thought from me will wipe your soul slave out of existence!”
Apparently worried that Bai Xiaochun might be convinced that his soul slave was dead, the old man performing an incantation gesture, causing a soul shadow to appear on his forehead.
That soul shadow was Bai Hao, who was trapped in the old man’s forehead, slowly being burned and clearly in critical danger.
Bai Xiaochun stopped in place, trembling inwardly as he looked at Bai Hao’s soul shadow. The corpse troopers also stopped, including the silver-armored one, although his deva fluctuations grew more intense.
“If you let me go,” the old man said nervously, “I’ll give you back your soul slave!” His eyes darted back and forth between Bai Xiaochun and the silver-armored corpse trooper with the deva cultivation base. The fact that Bai Xiaochun had stopped moving instantly boosted his confidence; he could clearly see how important this soul slave was to him. “Back down now! I’ll give you ten breaths of time!”
The old man’s eyes were glittering more brightly than ever, and off to the side, Zhou Wudao’s heart leaped with anticipation.
Bai Xiaochun looked away from Bai Hao’s soul shadow and into the eyes of the celestial necromancer. Although he was very nervous, he was feeling more merciless than ever. Voice cold, he said, “I’ll give you ten breaths of time to decide. Either you die, or every last member of the Miao Clan dies. The choice is yours!”
Waving his hand, he summoned a screen of light, within which was an image!
It depicted the Inspections Manor, within which were tens of thousands of soul cultivators. There were men and women of all types, and they were all trembling with fear. Miao Lin’er was there, her face pale and covered with dread.
They were surrounded by an army of corpse troopers who pulsed with murderous auras, their leader being none other than Zhou Yixing!
Miao Lin’er’s grandfather was clearly shocked by the image. Even more shocking was that the people in the image could see him. They quickly began to call out in anxious voices.
“Save us, Patriarch!!”
“Help me, grandfather!!”
“Patriarch, it’s me, Tan’er! Help me!!!”