With a malicious smile on his face, Sikong Wuwei swung his arms and hurled his hammer out again. That was the reason Gu Sanzheng had called for help so anxiously.
Miao Yi was just watching the show from the sidelines. Even though he wanted to join in the fray as well, the enemy had long been wary of his Mystic Yin Mirror and kept themselves at a safe distance. The Yin aura from the Mystic Yin Mirror could only extend up to a few hundred meters. A distance just barely short of a thousand meters was completely out of its range. As such, Miao Yi couldn't do anything to help. He wasn't bold enough to charge over there either.
All one hundred and one Thunderclap Flying Swords swiftly shot out and struck the Mountain Suppressing Hammer in the same way it did before.
Meanwhile, out of the sixteen shields protecting Tan Lao, eight separated from the group and quickly flew over to Gu Sanzheng to protect him.
"We can't keep dragging it out like this," said Ye Xin.
Gu Sanzheng commanded, "Dong Quan. I will throw them off balance in a single stroke. Take eight hundred of our forces, charge over there, and surround them from both sides! Don't let them escape!"
"Ah!" shrieked Dong Quan, as he frantically swung his spear against the projections of the Spirit Illusion Greatsword. He added, "Alliance Master, we can't get close to them at all. Miao Yi has the Mystic Yin Mirror."
Ye Xin turned to him and yelled, "You dare disobey a direct order?!"
"..." Dong Quan fell silent. All he could do was grit his teeth and charge out with around four hundred troops in tow to strike at the enemy from the sides. It was the same for Yu Baixing and the others as well.
"This is bad!" Miao Yi could tell the situation was dangerous the moment he saw the enemy forces splitting off to the sides.
Having been knocked to the side again, the Mountain Suppressing Hammer quickly flew back. As soon as it did, the hundred-and-one Thunderclap Flying Swords flew off as well, hot on its tail.
Zhao Fei immediately invoked his arts, causing the ten thousand greatsword projections to focus their assault on Gu Sanzheng alone. Gu Sanzheng hastily called back his Thunderclap Flying Swords, forming a web of swords around him to protect himself. At the same time, he had to split off a portion of the Thunderclap Flying Swords to deal with the constant attacks of the Mountain Suppressing Hammer.
Both sides were exhausting each other's strength.
"Tan Lao, cover me!" Ye Xin shouted.
The eight shields flying around Gu Sanzheng swiftly shot over to Ye Xin. Ye Xin retracted her thorny whip, which then immediately dived underground like a snake. A crack appeared on the surface of the earth and quickly extended towards Miao Yi and the others.
"Our transcendent artifacts are only capable of offense and not defense. All we can do is hold them back temporarily. Once they become accustomed to our attacks and manage to find an opportunity to strike back, we won't be able to withstand it! We need to retreat now!" shouted Zhao Fei, glancing at the forces approaching them from the sides.
"Retreat!" Miao Yi commanded decisively.
However, right when they turned their dragon steeds around, the ground beneath them suddenly erupted. Then, a black shadow shot over and viciously swept under the bellies of all three dragon steeds.
"Harrumph…" Both Zhao Fei and Sikong Wuwei's dragon steeds neighed in agony and crashed to the ground, their intestines spilling out into the open. Zhao Fei and Sikong Wuwei were both startled by this sudden turn of events.
On the other hand, Charcoal was fine because he was wearing armor. However, the thorny, snake-like object had caught one of his legs. He tried hard to leap up, but he was unable to move even a single inch forward.
Zhao Fei and Sikong Wuwei were feeling anxious from their predicament, but they didn't dare to slow down their attacks.
Sikong Wuwei had no choice but to continue hurling his hammer out. Otherwise, if those terrifying Thunderclap Flying Swords were to obtain the chance to strike back, none of them would be able to defend against it.
Zhao Fei was also in a similar situation. He needed to use the Spirit Illusion Greatsword to put a damper on the enemy's assault. Once he stopped, the enemy's counterattack would immediately rain upon them like a violent storm. That was not something they could withstand at all.
It was because their transcendent artifacts were not as flexible as their enemy's. Unfortunately for them, all their artifacts were only capable of attacking. To make matters worse, Miao Yi couldn't use his Mystic Yin Mirror at all at the moment. All he could do was use it to intimidate the forces of the Red Scarves Alliance and deter them from coming too close.
Ye Xin flicked her whip and immediately wrapped it around the body of the Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast below her. Then, she urged her mount to turn around.
"Grahh!" The Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast ferociously bellowed, charging forward on its four-clawed hooves as it pulled Ye Xin's whip along with it.
On the other end of the whip, Charcoal was constantly rearing back and had almost fallen over several times from being dragged by the Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast. His eyes widened as he exerted more force on his legs. It seemed even he was highly anxious as well.
Miao Yi immediately struck his spear at the whip coiled around Charcoal's leg. However, it was useless. He couldn't break it apart at all.
"Charcoal! You useless buffoon. If we don't leave sometime soon, all of us are going to die here!" Miao Yi bellowed.
"Harrumph…" Feeling Miao Yi's intense rage, Charcoal suddenly lifted his head and neighed. It was as though he was venting out all his frustration. Then, his eyes widened and started glowing in a demonic crimson color. The whip had almost completely pulled back his leg, but like a wrathful demon, Charcoal's eyes turned blood-red, and his leg muscles abruptly expanded, before shrinking back just as quickly.
Bang! The ground beneath Charcoal erupted, and a mighty crevice appeared across the battlefield, suddenly forcing the whip hiding underground to burst up to the surface along with the rubble.
A whip almost a thousand meters long had suddenly burst out of the ground. One end was coiled around Charcoal's hind leg, while the other had wrapped itself around the body of the Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast. The whip was completely stretched taut from being pulled by the two spiritual beasts.
Miao Yi was ecstatic as he could feel the unrelenting force of will within Charcoal's eyes. His body was bursting with a sudden onset of power.
"Get up here!" Miao Yi turned over to Zhao Fei and Sikong Wuwei and shouted.
"Can he handle all three of us?" Sikong Wuwei anxiously asked, then added, "His leg is trapped. Will he be able to run?"
"Stop wasting your breath! If I say he can, he can! If you two aren't going to come along anytime soon, I'll leave you behind!" Miao Yi shouted.
Right now, they could only try whatever was possible. Zhao Fei leaped and sat backward on Charcoal, while Sikong Wuwei stood between him and Miao Yi. Sikong Wuwei had no choice. Neither he nor Zhao Fei could afford to cease their attacks. In addition, he couldn't wield that giant hammer of his unless he was standing up. Otherwise, he would end up smashing the heads of the two beside him.
"This is bad. They're trying to escape!" Gu Sanzheng turned to Ye Xin and shouted, "Ye Xin, hold them back. They can't keep this up much longer!"
Ye Xin kept kicking the sides of her Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast, urging it to push the enemy over. She didn't believe that the Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast, which was better than a dragon steed in all aspects, could ever lose to Charcoal.
"Charcoal! What are you waiting for? Let's move!" Miao Yi was also urging Charcoal on as if his life depended on it.
Charcoal slowly moved forward, one step at a time. Behind him, the thorny whip started emitting cracking sounds, causing others to wonder if it would suddenly just snap. Every time Charcoal stepped forward, the Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast on the other end would fall a step backward.
Gu Sanzheng, Tan Lao, and Ye Xin were completely dumbstruck as they watched the dragon steed slowly drag the Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast backward. How was this possible? How could a Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast lose to a dragon steed in terms of strength?!
As the Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast began to lose its footing, Charcoal finally found a point to force his way through. He suddenly exerted force into his legs, which were embedded deeply into the ground, and jumped up in a single stroke. Then, he started kicking his hooves in full force.
"Good boy!" Sikong Wuwei was bursting with joy by the sudden turn of events and praised Charcoal.
Zhao Fei was similarly taken aback by what just happened.
Their enemies immediately lost their bearings as the Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast crashed to the ground. Charcoal dragged the beast along as he galloped away, kicking up clouds of dust in the process. Fortunately, Ye Xin responded in time and jumped off her mount. Otherwise, Charcoal would have dragged her along as well.
Then, Charcoal started picking up speed, and the Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast began to crash into one rock after another as it struggled. Evidently frantic, it growled incessantly. However, it couldn't regain its footing at all. Every time it almost managed to stand up, it ended up being dragged to the ground. In such a situation, how could it ever find the opportunity to regain its footing again?
It was an unbearable sight. The Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast, which was supposed to be on an entirely different level compared to a dragon steed, was now suffering immense torment at the hands of a dragon steed.
Ye Xin was dumbfounded. She felt like she had gone for wool but had come home shorn instead. Not only did she fail to stop the enemy's mount, but her own mount was also being dragged away by the enemy.
Tan Lao shouted, "Ye Xin, stop daydreaming. Hurry up and retract your Ruyi Whip. Do you want it to end up dragged to death?!"
Snapping to her senses, Ye Xin hastily invoked her arts and loosened the whip's grip on Charcoal's leg.
After being dragged all over the place, the Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast finally managed to stand back up, albeit pitifully. It howled towards the sky, as though it had suffered a terrible humiliation.
The distance between both sides had widened. Given their cultivations, neither side was able to attack the other as they were both out of each other's range.
When he saw how miserable that Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast looked, Sikong Wuwei lightly stomped on Charcoal in approval and laughed aloud, "How amusing! Even a Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast is barely a match!"
"Stop them!" Gu Sanzheng bellowed, then charged on his Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast along with Tan Lao to chase after the enemy.
Ye Xin rode with Gu Sanzheng for a short distance, then leaped off and quickly tucked away her Ruyi Whip. She couldn't be bothered by how dirty her own mount was at the moment. She simply jumped onto its back and quickly gave chase.
As a beautiful woman, to be so humiliated in front of so many people, Ye Xin was unbelievably furious. She wanted to catch Miao Yi and that mount of his right away and skin them alive.
Fortunately, Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beasts were born with an incredibly tough carapace. Otherwise, it would have either suffered heavy injuries or ended up dead after being tossed around like that.
"Those who stop me shall die!" shouted Miao Yi, with one hand wielding the Inversed-Scale Spear, and the other holding the Mystic Yin Mirror.
However, he didn't need to move at all. Zhao Fei randomly bombarded the enemy with thousands of greatsword projections cast by the Spirit Illusion Greatsword, while Sikong Wuwei incessantly hurled out his giant hammer. Screams of agony resounded throughout the battlefield from their massacre. Who would dare to stop these three?
The three of them rode on a single mount and carved a path of blood out of the enemy encirclement. In mere moments, they broke past the enemy's formation and escaped. It was unfortunate that they didn't have the time to gather their spoils.
Gu Sanzheng and Tan Lao's Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beasts were not for show after all. They quickly pulled away from the fellow disciples behind them. Even Ye Xin, who was the last to get on her mount, was quickly overtaking her fellow disciples on her Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beast.
"You useless idiots!" Gu Sanzheng barked at the Red Scarves Alliance members as he swiftly passed by the opening that Miao Yi and the others had broken past from.
When he saw the enemy was catching up to them, Zhao Fei turned to Sikong Wuwei, who was laughing cheekily as he held the giant hammer over his shoulder, and shouted, "Your giant hammer is affecting our speed! Hurry up and tuck it away!"
Sikong Wuwei coughed. It wouldn't be wise to continue showing off. He hastily shrunk the hammer down in his hand, then sat himself down between the other two.
It wasn't because the hammer was so heavy that it was difficult for Charcoal to endure the weight. No such thing at all, as Sikong Wuwei had already taken up its entire bulk when he invoked his arts to wield the hammer. Therefore, the weight wouldn't fall onto Charcoal's body at all. However, it was easy to imagine the degree of wind resistance with such a massive hammer sitting atop Charcoal like a mountain. Even Sikong Wuwei could feel that the wind resistance was immense, so naturally, it affected Charcoal's speed as well.
As soon as Sikong Wuwei stored the hammer away, Charcoal's speed immediately increased by leaps and bounds.
With the sound of rushing wind by his ears, Sikong Wuwei clicked his tongue and said, "Miao Yi. Who exactly refined your mount's transcendent artifact? This acceleration effect is really incredible."
He believed that Charcoal was only able to run this fast because his armor artifact had an acceleration effect.
"Can you still afford to be concerned about this issue right now?" Miao Yi changed the subject and avoided the question. It wouldn't be wise for him to answer it either way.
Chasing after them from behind, Gu Sanzheng and the rest grew more astonished by the second as they continued their pursuit. The dragon steed before them was actually able to contend on equal grounds with their Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beasts, which were known for their speed. Nay, it was a little inappropriate to say they were contending on equal grounds. Because that dragon steed was carrying three people on its back, while their Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beasts were only carrying one person each. Yet they were still unable to catch up?