Miao Yi's group watched as the other group closed in on them. There was no way they could escape even if they wanted to as only Qi Xiuhong had a mount. It was probably pointless running off to join Gu Sanzheng's group as well.
"Based on what Tan Lao said just now, they should be the group sent over by Yao Sage Ji Huan. It's easy to see that we're no match for them." Zhao Fei asked, "What should we do now?"
Miao Yi was out of ideas. He shot a look at the troops approaching them and saw Hei Langjun. He had to give it a shot with him. However, he was unsure whether his plan would work given that the other party had seen them together with Gu Sanzheng's group earlier on.
Miao Yi quickly instructed, "Pi Junzi, Tao Ruchun, we've saved Hei Langjun before. Just go and tell them that we're allies…"
Tao Ruchun didn't mind because he was Hei Langjun's subordinate to begin with. He had only stayed with Miao Yi for the time being to protect himself. After seeing Hei Langjun's glorious return, Tao Ruchun was ecstatic. Obviously, he wanted to go back to being his subordinate. Then he wouldn't have to stay with Miao Yi any longer and feel restless all the time.
On the other hand, Pi Junzi couldn't refuse because Miao Yi had dirt on him. The two of them quickly ran towards Hei Langjun's group.
The group of people approaching them was none other than Bai Ziliang's, the representative of the Realm of Ten Thousand Demons. Seated upon the Tempest Beast with his aides closely following by his side, the sight of him was truly awe-inspiring.
When he saw two Yao cultivators approaching and Gu Sanzheng's group in the midst of a battle with the Yao cultivators on the other side, Bai Ziliang raised his hand and called for everyone to halt.
"Alliance Master!" Tao Ruchun and Pi Junzi rushed over and bowed to Hei Langjun.
Beside Hei Langjun, Lan Susu turned to ask, "These are your subordinates?"
Hei Langjun replied, "Just two traitors. You still have the gall to face me?!"
Tao Ruchun and Pi Junzi were a little confused. Carefully approaching from the back, Miao Yi and the others also came to a stop when they heard him. What was going on?
Before they could understand what was happening, Hei Langjun pointed at Gu Sanzheng, who was already in battle and said, "Young Master. That man is Gu Sanzheng. Since these people were beside him just now, what are they, if not traitors?"
Sikong Wuwei immediately exclaimed, "Brother Hei! Don't tell me you don't recognize us anymore? We saved your life before!"
Hei Langjun cupped his fists and said, "Young Master. This lowly one does not know what their intentions are. This lowly one does not know who they are at all."
The reason he was turning against them was obvious. Since there was no way he could obtain the accomplishment for killing or capturing Gu Sanzheng, he wanted to keep the merit of revealing the identity of the culprit solely to himself. However, strictly speaking, the one who achieved this task was Pi Junzi. If Pi Junzi were to reveal the truth, Hei Langjun felt worried that he would no longer have anything to do with the matter and the reward would go to Pi Junzi. At the same time, he worried that Bai Ziliang would discover that he didn't tell him the whole truth.
It was also simple to figure out why he pretended not to recognize them. It wasn't easy for him to acquaint himself with Bai Ziliang, who was definitely a powerful backer in this expedition in the Subjugation Crusade. How could he let such a strong protector slip through his fingers? If he said he knew Miao Yi's group, they might reveal how he miserably fled after pushing his two women out to take the attack for him. He would definitely suffer terribly if this were to leave a bad impression on Bai Ziliang.
Why were narrow-minded people described as such? It was because they were afraid of even the tiniest possibility of retribution as a result of their actions. These people always acted in their own interests and were incapable of tolerating others. As the saying goes, it is better to offend a nobleman than a petty man, because the moment you offended a petty man, you might not even know how you incited their wrath before tragedy fell upon you.
Hei Langjun was such a petty man, and Miao Yi and the others were the innocent victims who unknowingly incited his wrath.
"You son of a bitch! I'll rip your eyes out, you unfaithful dog! You don't recognize me, eh? Are you familiar with my hammer then?!" Sikong Wuwei bellowed furiously. He never expected that the person he saved would be a disloyal piece of scum. With a flip of his hands, he brandished the Mountain Suppressing Hammer. It abruptly expanded as he held it over his shoulder.
However, even though he was far away and in the midst of battle, Gu Sanzheng was someone to be reckoned with. He had long since assumed that Miao Yi's group was in cahoots with Hei Langjun. When he noticed Hei Langjun among the crowd and saw Miao Yi and the others talking to him, Gu Sanzheng immediately invoked his arts and shouted, "Brother Miao! You and I have already formed an alliance, so why are you still not dealing with those demons yet?"
How could he possibly allow Miao Yi's group to escape on their own now that they had come this far? He obviously had to think of a way to force Miao Yi and the others to keep the strong enemies at bay.
Miao Yi's face slightly twitched as he cursed to himself, 'Gu Sanzheng you son of a bitch. You're intentionally setting me up.'
Naturally, Hei Langjun pointed towards Miao Yi's group and shouted, "Young Master! They are together indeed."
Although there were a few doubtful points in the conversation, Lan Susu couldn't bear to wait any longer. They had finally caught up to their target. She didn't want Niu Youde to fall into anyone else's hands. Tired of the bickering, she waved her hand and shouted, "Let's seize them for now!"
The expressions on Miao Yi and the others' faces twisted in shock.
One of Bai Ziliang's aides immediately tossed out a black bell. It flashed with a blue radiance and abruptly expanded in mid-air as it hovered towards Miao Yi's group.
Sikong Wuwei cursed, "Damn it!" There was no other option. The Mountain Suppressing Hammer immediately grew to its maximum size, and he flung it out with a bang.
Bang! A thundering boom rang out as the giant hammer collided with the giant bell. The impact was so loud that it seemed to echo across the realm. Everyone could feel their eardrums turn numb from the sound.
When it came to transcendent artifacts at that level of power, there were few which could compete with the Mountain Suppressing Hammer in terms of raw strength. God knows which artisan could have produced such crude creations.
The light on the giant bell dimmed and it instantly shrunk back down as it was sent flying away. It was on the verge of crumbling from the impact.
Its wielder was a little stupefied. He never thought his transcendent artifact would meet its match right from the start. It was immediately knocked back into its original form and sent flying back to him.
Gu Sanzheng shot a glance from the other side, while Tan Lao gasped in astonishment, "That hammer is powerful indeed!"
Now that things had escalated thus far, there was no choice but to fight. With a flip of his hand, Miao Yi readied the Mystic Yin Mirror. The cold Yin aura abruptly gushed forth like a whip as he swept it across the battlefield.
Against the Yin aura rushing towards him, Bai Ziliang remained unperturbed as he sat on the Tempest Beast. He didn't consider this level of attack a threat at all.
Beside him, Lan Susu casually tossed out a silver handkerchief. It shone with a blue radiance, and the enlarged handkerchief immediately hovered before their group, effectively blocking the attack of the Mystic Yin Mirror.
Alas, with Miao Yi's transcendence energy levels, he couldn't use the Mystic Yin Mirror for too long. When he saw that the other party had something that could nullify his attack, he quickly recalled the cold Yin aura back into the Mystic Yin Mirror, as it was difficult for him to sustain it for long anyway.
Lan Susu made a claw with her hand, and the handkerchief reverted back to its original form as it flew back into her grasp.
Then, Zhao Fei activated his Spirit Illusion Greatsword. It instantly formed ten million other projections of itself and rained down on the enemy.
The opponents were immediately in disarray from the attack. They soon found that most of them were simply illusions, but there was no way to discern which one was the real artifact. In the face of the onslaught from both the real artifact and its projections, they were a little unsure of how to guard themselves.
Taking advantage of the momentum, Sikong Wuwei hurled the Mountain Suppressing Hammer out once more, and the sonorous boom echoed forth with fury.
Finally, Bai Ziliang made his move. He pulled out the black gourd by his waist and took off the cap. A dense, demonic aura instantly gushed forth from the opening. Like a tornado, the gray mist shot straight towards the Mountain Suppressing Hammer.
Enveloping the Mountain Suppressing Hammer within, the gray mist then quickly shrank back into the gourd. Oddly enough, the Mountain Suppressing Hammer also disappeared along with it. It seemed as though it was also sucked into the gourd together with that demonic mist.
Sikong Wuwei exclaimed, "My Mountain Suppressing Hammer!" He was feeling incredibly pained.
A glint flashed by Zhao Fei's eyes, and the Spirit Illusion Greatsword immediately focused its attacks on Bai Ziliang. Once again, the demonic mist burst forth from the gourd in Bai Ziliang's hands. The tornado then quickly expanded to envelop all the projections of the Spirit Illusion Greatsword hovering about the air.
A sharp, ringing sound rang out from within the demonic mist. However, Bai Ziliang coldly scoffed, and the ringing sound immediately died down.
Zhao Fei exclaimed, "This is bad!" He could feel that some unknown force had caught the true Spirit Illusion Greatsword.
The demonic mist shrunk back into the gourd once more, and along with it, the myriad of Spirit Illusion Greatsword projections in the sky as well.
Even though they were far away and in the midst of battle, Gu Sanzheng's group was utterly shocked by the sight, whereas Miao Yi and the others were already breaking out in a cold sweat. What sort of transcendent artifact was that gourd? How could it be so powerful?
Bai Ziliang then turned the opening of his gourd to face Miao Yi and the others.
Miao Yi shouted, "This is bad! Run!" Even though they had no mounts at the moment, they still turned around and tried their best to escape.
Whoosh! As dense as a tornado, the demonic mist shot out from the inside of the gourd and enveloped Miao Yi and the others in an instant. They soon realized that this demonic mist was not as simple as it seemed. There were countless iron chains inside it, dancing about like tentacles.
Before they were able to put up any resistance, the iron chains had already coiled around their wrists, legs, waists, and necks, and dragged them away.
The demonic mist then shrunk back into the gourd, and all of them were gone. Miao Yi, Zhao Fei, Sikong Wuwei, Qi Xiuhong, Pi Junzi, and Tao Ruchun. They disappeared without a trace alongside that demonic mist.
Using their short break to glance over to this side, Gu Sanzheng and the others were in complete disbelief. What sort of transcendent artifact was this? How was it able to absorb everything?
The three of them could only lament deep down that this was a strength expected of someone from the Realm of Ten Thousand Demons. This was not someone they could fight against at all.
Gu Sanzheng shouted, "Retreat!" This was no longer a battle they could win. Retreating was the wiser choice.
They immediately gave up on killing the remaining enemies and rushed to shore. They leaped up, stored their mounts in mid-air, then landed on the surface of the sea and made a hasty retreat.
Bai Ziliang plugged his gourd and with a wave of his hand, shouted, "After them!" He then quickly led his group after Gu Sanzheng.
Upon the ocean, as Gu Sanzheng and the other two were frantically trying to escape, Tan Lao voiced out, "We can't run like this. The Tempest Beast is capable of treading clouds and mist. Needless to say, it can run on water too. We won't be able to outrun it."
Ye Xin cursed, "They banned the use of flying mounts in the Subjugation Crusade. The representatives of the Six Sages don't even follow their own rules. This is utterly preposterous!"
Gu Sanzheng asked, "Tan Lao, regarding the art you used when you controlled those birds with your flute, was it your School of Imperial Beasts''Great Art: Mystical Voice of Myriad Beasts'?"
Tan Lao shook his head and replied, "I know what you're trying to say. I've only cultivated that great art to the second stage. It is possible for me to control small animals, but even dragon steeds are beyond me, much less the Tempest Beast."
Gu Sanzheng shot a glance at their pursuers, and said hurriedly, "There's no time to think about all that right now. Whatever the method, we have to give it a try."
Tan Lao smiled bitterly. There was no choice but to try out all possible avenues now. He took out his bronze-colored flute, placed it by the side of his lips, and started blowing on it. The melody reverberated across the surface of the ocean, gentle and soothing at certain times, and sharp and ear-piercing at others.
The Tempest Beast was true to its fame indeed; its speed was not something dragon steeds could match. Bai Ziliang had already left his subordinates far behind. The Tempest Beast continued to gallop across the waves as it rushed towards its target. Regardless of whether it was on land or on water, its speed did not diminish in the slightest.
The distance between both sides slowly decreased, when suddenly a peculiar flute melody resounded from the front. Bai Ziliang felt astonished as he discovered the speed of his Tempest Beast evidently dropping. However, soon it became highly agitated. It then charged away from the enemy and ran wildly about the ocean. It would also occasionally raise its head and roar furiously, as though trying to escape something that was binding it.