The cold, piercing black mist rolled out like waves. The chill not only affected the body, but caused the soul to quiver as well. It was devastatingly powerful.
Seeing his attack was effective, Kuang Lianqiu burst out laughing. He waved the Mystic Yin Mirror in his hand at the troops charging towards him. Once he was done dealing with them, he would quickly eliminate the ones coming from the sides as well.
After being frozen, the sudden drop in momentum caused Sikong Wuwei and the others to immediately collapse together with their steeds. Of about two hundred men, not a single one escaped as they crashed to the ground and lay there frozen stiff. Both them and their mounts were covered in white frost, with black mist rising from their bodies as the frost slowly dissipated under the sun. It was a peculiar sight to behold.
However, there was one man who was not afraid of the devastating chill coming from the Yin aura. Both his body and his steed shone with a brilliant blue radiance as they continued charging towards Kuang Lianqiu.
This man was none other than Miao Yi. Having expected this, Miao Yi had activated his art source beforehand and shielded both Charcoal and himself with it.
Kuang Lianqiu was taken aback. He knew that Miao Yi could nullify the Yin aura, but he managed to freeze Miao Yi before. Why did it not have any effect this time?
The opponent instantly closed the distance. Kuang Lianqiu could no longer afford to be concerned about the large number of troops that had begun clashing with his fellow disciples beside him. The Yin aura gushed out from the Mystic Yin Mirror and billowed towards Miao Yi. Although it was the middle of the day, it still left a trail of frost on the ground.
As Miao Yi charged forward with his spear at the ready, he freed his other hand and released a succession of white lights. Ten First Grade Mountain Cleaving Talismans shot out randomly in quick succession.
'Boom boom boom …' a series of explosions could be heard.
Kuang Lianqiu attacked while keeping one hand on the Mystic Yin Mirror. Wielding his spear with the other, he deflected the explosions of white light. He withstood the brunt of the explosion from the First Grade Mountain Cleaving Talismans and shielded his body from damage with his strong cultivation. Such low-level talisman seals were not enough to harm him.
'BOOM!' Suddenly, a blue light erupted among the white ones. Kuang Lianqiu felt his ears ringing from the noise. Even the spear in his hand was almost knocked away by the shockwave.
A Second Grade Mountain Cleaving Talisman!
Kuang Lianqiu immediately realized he had been tricked. His enemy had intentionally thrown out a bunch of First Grade Mountain Cleaving Talismans to fool him. The real attack was from the Second Grade Mountain Cleaving Talisman that came after.
'No, wait! The real attack has yet to come!' After being shaken by the mighty explosion, Kuang Lianqiu had yet to steady himself when he was suddenly caught by surprise once again. Another blue light shot towards him and exploded right before his eyes. This time, the sound of the explosion was not as deafening as the first, nor was it as devastating. However, the figure of an ox shrouded in blue light instantly charged over and swiftly pinned him down.
A Second Grade Paralysis Talisman!
Kuang Lianqiu was utterly dumbstruck. It was his first time clashing with someone like this. The opponent didn't even know what his cultivation was, nor had they traded blows directly. Yet, he was casually tossing out so many talisman seals to suppress him. Did his opponent possess such a terrifying amount of talisman seals that he could afford to use it so wastefully?
Still caught in the binding of the blue ox silhouette, Kuang Lianqiu struggled with all his might to try and break free.
If he relied on his cultivation alone, it would have taken him some time to escape the shackles of a Second Grade Paralysis Talisman. However, the armor artifacts on his body started emitting a blue light. With the combined might of several Second Grade Transcendent Artifacts, he swiftly bent the blue ox silhouette restraining him out of shape.
'BANG!' The figure of the blue ox erupted and the effect of the paralysis was instantly lifted.
However, this was what Miao Yi had been waiting for all along. He didn't mind spending all those talisman seals in order to gain this bit of time.
One man, one steed, one spear. Miao Yi closed in on his opponent in an instant. As it wasn't likely he could break past his opponent's Second Grade Armor Artifact in such a direct confrontation, he targeted the small opening made by this slight delay. His spear swiftly streaked over like a shooting star, a dragon's roar erupting as he struck.
Having just escaped his bindings, Kuang Lianqiu was almost scared out of his skin and swung his spear to defend himself. However, the oncoming spear moved like black lightning as it scraped against the shaft of his spear. Then, he felt a sudden pain from his neck. Alarmed, he couldn't help thinking—'What terrifying spear art!'
When his spear struck Kuang Lianqiu's neck, Miao Yi freed one hand and unsheathed the sword artifact by his waist. It emitted a gray light as it chopped down on Kuang Lianqiu's arm. As he cut down, he didn't have time for extra movements and simply sucked the severed arm along with the Mystic Yin Mirror and his sword artifact into his storage ring.
He completed a series of movements with no hesitation or delay whatsoever.
This mirror artifact was too powerful. Miao Yi couldn't let it fall into the hands of the other Ghost Cultivators, otherwise his gamble on spending all those talisman seals in one go would have been for naught. The same methods may not work twice in a row.
The severed arm, Mystic Yin Mirror and his sword artifact was inside the storage ring now. And after flicking Kuang Lianqiu's head off, Miao Yi quickly placed both hands on his spear and launched a counterattack.
As soon as they saw Kuang Lianqiu defeated, a few of the Ghost Cultivators behind him attacked Miao Yi in a frenzy, anxious to take the Mystic Yin Mirror back.
As Charcoal charged forward, he almost collapsed, but quickly propped himself up and spun about to avoid confronting the enemy. Draconic roars echoed from Miao Yi's spear as he struck out anxiously. His spear danced like a dragon, blocking the joint attack of multiple opponents and mitigating the impact of their blows at the same time.
A flurry of clanging sounds rang out; Miao Yi's arms felt numb from the impact. If the Inversed-Scales Spear hadn't been able to mitigate twenty percent of the impact, it would already have been knocked away by his opponents already. He could feel that his opponents' cultivations were higher than his by more than a few levels.
If his opponents were not wielding Second Grade Transcendent Artifacts, Miao Yi would have been able to hold his ground. However, they were in fact, wielding them. And with their superior cultivations, the outcome of the fight was imaginable.
His arms were already completely numb and he no longer had any way of fighting back. It was difficult to even swing his spear, let alone make any significant counterattacks. All he could do was try his best to protect his vitals.
Within a few moments, he and Charcoal had received multiple spear strikes. The armor artifact protecting them had several frightening dents beaten into them, and they felt like their organs were being tossed around inside their bodies.
'PUU…' The mouthful of blood that Miao Yi wanted to keep from coughing out, ultimately made its way out. He had been holding it back, but under the onslaught of these heavy strikes, he couldn't help vomiting it out in the end.
'Harrumph!' Charcoal neighed in agony as well, then dashed with all his might, relying on his strong legs to escape the frenzied attacks as he carried Miao Yi away.
After suffering such heavy blows, Miao Yi was almost thrown off of Charcoal's back. The difference in strength between him and his opponents was too wide; his opponents could basically kill him with a single blow. Miao Yi had only managed to stay on Charcoal by holding onto the stirrups of Charcoal's armor for dear life, and using them to support himself.
Both him and Charcoal had to thank Yao Ruoxian for their armor sets. If it didn't have the effect of mitigating impact within itself, they might not have been able to escape their predicament. It was also fortunate that they were Second Grade Armor Artifacts. If they were First Grade Armor Artifacts instead, Miao Yi and Charcoal would have surely been crushed from the heavy strikes together with their armor artifacts.
This was the case back when Miao Yi had his First Grade Armor Artifact. His helmet had been promptly destroyed with a single strike from Zhang Decheng's flying sword, being crushed almost instantly.
Charcoal ran like the wind as the blue radiance of the Second Grade Armor Artifact on both him and Miao Yi swiftly dimmed from the attacks.
"Fret not Alliance Master!"
Realizing the situation was bad, Dong Quan and Wang Yuetian immediately rushed down with their steeds. They came up behind Miao Yi as he ran and blocked the frenzied assault of his pursuers.
The Red Scarves Alliance possessed the larger force in the first place, so the battle immediately favored one side. They didn't have any problem sending a few people over when they saw Miao Yi on the losing end. Yu Baixing immediately led another group of riders over and swiftly eliminated the Ghost Cultivators who were ganging up on Miao Yi.
After seeing Miao Yi safe from harm, they dived back into the surrounding battlefield. Without the support of Kuang Lianqiu and his Mystic Yin Mirror, the five-hundred-strong army dominated the group of one hundred as easily as slicing up vegetables.
It didn't take long before they vanquished all the Ghost Cultivators.
The others were cleaning up the battlefield while Wang Yuetian and the other leaders galloped towards a cliff in the distance. There, Miao Yi was quietly sitting alone on his dragon steed.
As they approached him, they could see the extensive damage on his armor and couldn't help feeling a little alarmed.
"Alliance Master. Are you alright?" A few of them asked.
'...pu!' Miao Yi originally wanted to say that he was fine, but with the damage he suffered, his body couldn't keep up and he spat out another mouthful of blood as soon as he opened his mouth.
The rest of them were startled. They jumped down of their dragon steeds to help him. However, Miao Yi raised a hand and stopped them.
After spitting out another mouthful of blood, Miao Yi felt much better and found it easier to breathe now. Even though his face was still pale, he said, "What a powerful transcendent artifact. Even I almost lost my life to it. Fortunately, after risking life and limb, and suffering such heavy wounds, I managed to kill the enemy in the end. Otherwise, it would have been dangerous for our Red Scarves Alliance."
There were times when one needed to defend one's honor, otherwise the consequences would be severe. He did not say that he was wounded so heavily because his cultivation was low, but explained that he had only failed to defend against his opponents because he was already injured by the transcendent artifact, and that he had risked his life to kill the enemy only because of the threat he posed to the Red Scarves Alliance.
If he could, he wanted to act like he was completely fine. However, his body couldn't keep up with his thoughts. He was unable to suppress the blood in his chest and ultimately couldn't help spitting it out.
No one doubted him at all. Even if Miao Yi hadn't explained himself, they wouldn't have questioned him at all.
It was because that transcendent artifact was truly too powerful. When they charged in from both sides for the ambush, they saw the catastrophic effects of Kuang Lianqiu's transcendent artifact and watched as Sikong Wuwei and the rest had fallen to the ground. To defeat almost two hundred cultivators in the blink of an eye…, they were all shocked by it.
It would be terrible if the fight had gone on that way. Regardless of how large a force they were, they wouldn't even have the slightest chance of victory. Fortunately in the crucial moment, the Alliance Master had withstood the dreadful might of that transcendent artifact and braved the dangerous situation, killing the artifact holder and stealing the artifact in one fell swoop. Thus, the predicament of the Red Scarves Alliance was resolved.
In the eyes of the group, they had only managed to turn this battle around because of Miao Yi.
Normal cultivators would not be able to resist such a powerful transcendent artifact. As cultivators who were equal in strength to them, Sikong Wuwei and the rest were living examples of that. To them, it was understandable for Miao Yi to suffer wounds. If he were completely fine instead, then that would make him too much of a monster.
What's more, to be able to escape even whilst suffering so many attacks was a clear sign of his cultivation to begin with. If his cultivation wasn't high, he would have been knocked off his steed a long time ago.
Of course, they did not know that this was mostly attributed to the armor artifacts refined by Yao Ruoxian. If the attacks had landed directly on Miao Yi's body, he definitely wouldn't have been able to endure them.
They couldn't help being more impressed by Miao Yi as they thought back to how he had massacred the disciples of the three major sects as easily as chopping up vegetables when they had just alighted. Then to earlier on, when Miao Yi had single-handedly turned the tides of the battle by killing the enemy and stealing that powerful artifact of his. They lauded the Alliance Master in their hearts; he was truly beyond impressive.
Only… the group turned to Sikong Wuwei and the rest, who were frozen on the ground. They couldn't help feeling a little depressed after losing so many in a single battle.
Miao Yi knew what they were thinking about. As he panted for air, he said, "Don't worry. It might be difficult to say what will happen once some time has passed, but I have already found a way to dispel the effects of that transcendent artifact when I fought against it earlier. I should be able to help Sikong Wuwei and the rest recover. Go and finish up what you all need to do. Let me rest for a bit first."
Since he put it that way, they all gave him the benefit of the doubt and took their leave.