Zhao Lingtu had broken the illusion with a single throw of his hammer; the immense pressure was immediately gone. Even so, he was still a little dumbfounded. He had only thrown his hammer out to save his own life, but it actually managed to hit the true artifact hidden among the ten thousand illusions? Wasn't this a little too good to be true?
The crowd all heaved a sigh of relief, especially Yu Baixing and the rest behind Zhao Lingtu. They had almost broken out in cold sweat. Only now did they feel that they had simply been paranoid. Since Zhao Lingtu dared to step up to the battlefield with just these numbers, he surely had a way.
As the person controlling the Spirit Illusion Greatsword, Ba Wenjing's expression took a turn for the worse. 'What sort of transcendent artifact is he wielding? How could it pinpoint the true body of the Spirit Illusion Greatsword and strike it with such accuracy? This has never happened before!'
At the same time, he was awestruck by the incredible strength of the Mountain Suppressing Hammer. As the artifact wielder, Ba Wenjing had a psychic connection with the Spirit Illusion Greatsword and knew that it was already in a terrible state. It was severely damaged after being struck by the enemy, and a large portion of the energy stored within had been dispersed by the blunt force. Unless he could replenish its energy, there was no way he could use its ability again.
However, he was now on the battlefield. The enemy would never give him time to replenish the artifact's energy.
Ba Wenjing never expected the Spirit Illusion Greatsword that was undefeated throughout his journey in the Sea of Constellation would meet its match today. The enemy had overcome the Spirit Illusion Greatsword in a single stroke.
However, the Spirit Illusion Greatsword was a rather powerful artifact in and of itself. Even though it suffered extensive damage in the process, it still managed to block the attack of the Mountain Suppressing Hammer.
Afterwards, the Spirit Illusion Greatsword was knocked into the air, and the Mountain Suppressing Hammer swooped back to its wielder.
When he saw the dimming light on the opponent's transcendent artifact, Zhao Lingtu knew his chance had come. As the giant hammer landed back in his hands, he grasped onto the shaft tightly and hurled it back out.
Even though the size ratio between man and hammer seemed disproportionate, Zhao Lingtu hurled the hammer out with ease, as though he possessed a herculean strength.
Those with a discerning eye could see that this had nothing to do with how strong he was; it was the technique used to wield the Mountain Suppressing Hammer.
The giant Mountain Suppressing Hammer released another resounding boom as it arced through the air. It charged straight towards Ba Wenjing with unbelievable speed, swirling through the air with a vicious momentum.
In the blink of an eye, a giant shadow was falling from the sky, carrying with it the rumbling might of a vicious storm as though nothing could escape its fury. Before the hammer even landed, strong winds were already billowing and kicking up clouds of dust.
The Azure Sea Sect disciples quickly raised their heads, and caught sight of the giant hammer falling upon them. They were completely scared out of their wits, but it was simply too late for them to run. They all brandished their weapons and struck at the oncoming giant hammer in a last-ditch attempt to save themselves.
However, such an attempt did little to save the situation. It was easy to imagine how much force was being carried behind such a large hammer travelling at such great speeds.
'Bang bang bang!' The webbing of their hands ripped as their weapons were all knocked flying away. All they could do was stand and watch in utter horror as the giant hammer crashed down above their heads. The terror they felt was indescribable.
With both his arms broken, the bones visibly protruding and blood gushing out from the terrible wounds, Ba Wenjing had fallen into despair. It was his first time feeling his very soul quaking with fear and experiencing such horror; he realized now how arrogant and self-centered he had been. He finally understood how laughable his dream of standing at the apex of all existence had been, realizing how worthless his graceful attitude and elegance was in the face of death. There were many who did not wish to join the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade. What made him think he would be stronger than everyone else, that he ended up signing up of his own volition? There were countless experts across the realm. He just hadn't met any of them yet. This was why he had become so arrogant...
In the blink of an eye, the last vestiges of his despair and horror were enveloped by the massive hammer and smashed to a pulp as everything before him turned dark.
'BOOM!' The earth trembled and cracked. The screams of people and the neighs of the dragon steeds rang out for an instant before being silenced completely.
Streams of blood immediately splattered out from under the hammer as it crashed down and lodged itself deep into the ground. Everyone felt chills when they saw the webbed cracks on the ground.
Strong wind kicked up clouds of dust and almost blasted off the people around the hammer as they struggled to regain their balance.
It was hard to describe the amount of fear in the eyes of the remaining Azure Sea Sect disciples as they looked upon the sight of that mighty hammer. Who would still dare to fight? They immediately turned tail and ran.
With a vicious smile on his face, Zhao Lingtu spread his palm. Then, the giant hammer that had been lodged deep into the ground immediately rose up and flew back to him.
There were five bloody clumps of flesh within the hole formed in the ground. The flesh and blood of both humans and dragon steeds were mashed together. Even the armor artifacts had been crushed to dust. It was no longer possible to tell which of the bloody pancakes belonged to the elegant Ba Wenjing. One could only speculate based on their positions.
Miao Yi and the other onlookers higher up the mountain couldn't keep their faces from twisting as they watched on. The might of this hammer was a little too overwhelming. Why did it feel as though it was a little cruel to use this hammer to kill? What kind of psychopath refined such a transcendent artifact?
"Still trying to run!?" said Zhao Lingtu as he laughed aloud and gave chase along with his fellow disciples. Once more, he hurled the mighty hammer in his hand back out.
A deep boom erupted through the sky once more. The fleeing Azure Sea Sect disciples twisted their heads in fear, only to find a black shadow enveloping their entire line of sight. Then, several more screams were heard before being abruptly silenced yet again.
After flattening another pitiful group into bloody pancakes, the Mountain Suppressing Hammer rose back out from the ground and flew back into Zhao Lingtu's hands before being hurled back out the next instant as he charged forth on his dragon steed.
The giant hammer flew all about the sky, constantly crashing into the ground.
Hammering one at a time, the Mountain Suppressing Hammer would chase after its victims and pulverize them as though flattening dough. No one could withstand it for even a second. All who faced its might were pummeled into a bloody pulp without exception.
The crowd of onlookers felt chills run down their spine as the scene unfolded before them. Even though they were far away, they could feel the heavy tremors coming from the soles of their feet. They didn't dare imagine what it would be like if they went up against the Mountain Suppressing Hammer.
It took some time for everyone to calm their nerves. When they saw Zhao Lingtu and his fellow disciples returning, that giant hammer was gone and only the Spirit Illusion Greatsword rested on Zhao Lingtu's hands now as he flipped it back and forth to examine it. He was clearly in a good mood after obtaining a transcendent artifact.
Unfortunately, most of the energy within the Spirit Illusion Greatsword had been dispersed by his hammer. It would take more than a few Yao Cores to fully replenish the energy within a transcendent artifact like this. He would also have to spend some time figuring out how to wield it afterwards.
Everyone in the mountain came out of hiding, while Yu Baixing and the others who were at the foot of the mountain were asked to gather up the spoils of the battle.
As Zhao Lingtu brought his Junior Brothers up the mountain, everyone watched him with awe and admiration in their gazes. Holding onto the Spirit Illusion Greatsword, he walked up to Miao Yi with cupped fists and said, "Reporting to the Alliance Master. The enemies have all been vanquished. Zhao Lingtu has successfully completed his mission."
"Good work, Brother Zhao." Miao Yi couldn't help clicking his tongue as he praised, "It has truly been an eye-opening experience. Brother Zhao. You are virtually undefeatable as long as you have your hammer!"
Zhao Lingtu was different from the self-absorbed Ba Wenjing. He smiled bitterly and replied, "Alliance Master. You think too highly of me. I still don't know if I will be able to walk out of the Western Star Sea alive. I wouldn't dare think of myself as undefeatable."
"What sort of transcendent artifact is that hammer of yours, Brother Zhao? Its might is so overwhelming!" Miao Yi couldn't help asking.
Zhao Lingtu replied, "It is called the Mountain Suppressing Hammer. It was bestowed upon me by my sect prior to my departure. It is merely a Second Grade Transcendent Artifact. To say its might is overwhelming is a bit of a stretch. There are countless other transcendent artifacts in the realm which possess even more astonishing might than the Mountain Suppressing Hammer."
Miao Yi scanned the crowd and laughed, "All of us jumped in shock when we saw the ability of that Daoist's Spirit Illusion Greatsword. If it were us, we wouldn't be able to contend against it. However, with Brother Zhao's Mountain Suppressing Hammer, it was instantly forced back to its original form. This Mountain Suppressing Hammer is truly a great artifact!"
Everyone nodded in agreement with his words.
"Please, you are just flattering me!" said Zhao Lingtu, cupping his fists towards the crowd sheepishly.
Everyone simply thought that he was being humble. However, they wouldn't have thought that Zhao Lingtu was truly feeling embarrassed, because he knew better than anyone else that he had only won this battle out of pure luck.
One must know that it requires more than just brute force for a transcendent artifact to be unbeatable. There were many who won simply by pitting their strengths against their opponent's weaknesses. Zhao Lingtu's Mountain Suppressing Hammer was exactly one that was weak against Ba Wenjing's Spirit Illusion Greatsword.
When both parties revealed their transcendent artifacts, Zhao Lingtu knew he was going to lose this battle and almost completely despaired in fear. However, since he knew it would be difficult to escape from such a transcendent artifact, he had no choice but to make a last-ditch attempt at survival.
He never expected a miracle would happen when he hurled his hammer out and actually destroyed the illusion of the Spirit Illusion Greatsword. If he couldn't break the illusion, he wouldn't be able to locate the true body of the Spirit Illusion Greatsword hiding within even with his transcendence vision. If that happened, he would most definitely have lost. What's worse was that he might not even realize how he was defeated.
After all, the illusion cast by the Spirit Illusion Greatsword could fool one's sense of sight and sound as it billowed like a violent hurricane. The real attack was completely indiscernible from the illusions.
At first, even Zhao Lingtu himself couldn't understand how he had overcome the Spirit Illusion Greatsword. The onlookers all thought it was because his transcendent artifact was powerful enough to suppress the Spirit Illusion Greatsword. Only Zhao Lingtu himself knew that that wasn't the case at all. However, since he had been in the midst of battle, he couldn't spare time to think about the reason.
Only after he had won the battle and obtained the Spirit Illusion Greatsword, did Zhao Lingtu ponder over the matter and realized how he managed to win. The only reason why the Mountain Suppressing Hammer was able to defeat the Spirit Illusion Greatsword was because it had a large enough surface area and its attack was capable of extending over a potentially wide zone. Simply by throwing his hammer out, with the large area it covered, Zhao Lingtu just so happened to land a lucky strike exactly where the true body of the Spirit Illusion Greatsword was hiding in. It was a complete coincidence.
If his Mountain Suppressing Hammer had been any smaller, based on the situation earlier, he might not have had the fortune of landing a strike on the Spirit Illusion Greatsword's true body.
If the Spirit Illusion Greatsword's true body had not been hiding within that area at the time, the one lying dead on the ground right now could be Zhao Lingtu instead.
After he realized everything, Zhao Lingtu had felt a cold chill run down his spine. How was it possible that he actually managed to win that way? How fortunate was he? He had a little suspicion whether Ba Wenjing was such a terrible person that even the heavens found him annoying and used Zhao Lingtu's hand to vanquish him.
In the end, Zhao Lingtu had won this battle simply because he was more fortunate than his opponent was. It was pure luck.
Naturally, he didn't feel the need to explain the truth to everyone else. It was good enough to say a few modest words. His objective was to instill a certain degree of awe within the crowd after all.
"Alliance Master. What should we do with this Spirit Illusion Greatsword?" With his hand on the Spirit Illusion Greatsword, Zhao Lingtu suddenly adopted a respectful and sycophantic tone and asked for Miao Yi's advice.
Everyone's gazes instantly locked onto his hands. Who wouldn't want such a transcendent artifact?
Miao Yi was a little speechless, thinking, 'Would you even give it up if I ask you to? So why bother pretending?'
"There is but one of this transcendent artifact. Furthermore, Brother Zhao was the one who obtained it after defeating a strong enemy. Naturally, it should go to him."
Miao Yi had no choice but to reply in such a way. He had used the same logic to take the Mystic Yin Mirror for himself earlier on. He couldn't be so shameless that he would deny that same claim to another right now. The other party had clearly used this logic to his advantage as well. Not to mention, he possessed the Mountain Suppressing Hammer. Everyone had borne witness to its might—who would dare to steal this Spirit Illusion Greatsword away from him?
"Thank you, Alliance Master!" Zhao Lingtu very naturally tucked the Spirit Illusion Greatsword away.
His fellow disciples were equally proud and happy that their Senior Brother obtained another powerful transcendent artifact. This meant that they had a bigger chance of placing within the top one hundred. If they could successfully obtain the Mystic Yin Mirror in Miao Yi's hands after this, that would be even better...