A great emperor represented the highest level of power in the human domain. But even a peak great emperor would be hard pressed to one-shot an initial stage one.
Yet, the Eternal Celestial Capital's intermediate great emperor was as powerless as a newborn learning how to walk. No matter how he struggled, the thick fingers crushed him tightly in place like five mountains.
"Big Stone, these people have strayed into the path of demons. There's no need for mercy, " Jiang Chen sent.
Stone golems were ever faithful war machines. With the young lord's injunction, the two brothers no longer held back. A slight squeeze of the hand popped the great emperor like a cherry.
The scene left the crowd dumbstruck. Among them, the man had been second only to Cloudbillow, yet he'd been exterminated with a casual grab.
Thankfully, the Empyrean River Palace's great emperor realized the danger and shouted, "Brothers, run! These two creatures are too frightening!"
Powerhouses had a keen sense of danger. Perceiving the golem's extraordinary aura from a couple of exchanges, the crowd understood that the stone giants were simply on another level. This was a one-sided massacre rather than a fight. Blanching, they ran for the hills.
The golems would have crushed them all even at thirty percent strength. But the golems had awoken not long ago. They were rusty and their bodies and souls still weak, giving the demon servants a chance to escape.
Even so, only half of the thirty experts narrowly escaped from their slaughter.
Who would dare stay behind? These hapless fellows bolted back inside the palace.
The entire scene left the demon lord shaken to the core, in spite of his vast experience. He'd witnessed the entire process of his servants' crushing defeat.
"Aren't they the statues outside? How the hell could they come to life? What kind of damned place is the Primosanct Sect?"
He was a noble celestial demon, an invader from a mighty plane. The measly creatures on the Divine Abyss Continent should have been beneath his contempt. So how could he not be shocked? Could statues be given life? What kind of shenanigans were these?
In other circumstances, he would have raged at his slaves for crumbling at the first blow. He might even have put them all to death for the shame. But at this moment, he was simply glad some had come back alive rather than all dying in vain.
He'd painstakingly lured these humans to him. He didn't want to see his efforts vanish in a puff of smoke.
"My lord, we've betrayed your trust…"
"My lord, we tried to kill the brat, but the two giants came out of nowhere. They're so strong we can't even get close. We've suffered massive losses at the first onset. We await your punishment."
"My lord, none of us can withstand them." Returning hastily, the defeated experts knelt in tears, admitting their failure with heads hanging. They shivered in apprehension. Their first mission for their new master had failed so miserably.
The demon lord stayed silent for a long while before sighing. "You're not to be blamed. I observed your battle. The two strange giants are at least empyrean realm."
The humans sighed collectively in relief. The demon lord seems rather reasonable.
"Where's Cloudbillow?" the demon asked.
"He lured the Vermillion Bird away. We're not sure where he is now."
Unwilling to tax his already depleted consciousness, the demon nodded. "No need to panic. You're absolutely safe inside my domain. If they dare enter, they'll have to deal with me!"
His heart pounded despite his brave front. With his experience, how could he fail to notice the giants' power? They would be tough opponents even for his former self.
It was even more frightening that there were eight statues in total. What if they all came to life? Eight of those terrifying giants? He couldn't help but shiver at the prospect.
All of a sudden, Cloudbillow's dark figure shot back inside. He panted, his face wan, but paused when he noticed the crestfallen mood. "You're back already? Did you kill the kid?"
The embarrassed crowd fell silent. A bad premonition arose in his heart. On closer inspection, some people seemed to be missing. The Eternal Celestial Capital's expert in particular was nowhere to be seen.
"You…" he gasped.
"Daoist Cloudbillow, things took a turn for the worse." The fellow from the Empyrean River Palace heaved a sigh, detailing what had transpired.
The stunned Cloudbillow stayed speechless for a long while.
What the hell was going on? Statues coming back to life as giants with unparalleled valor? Of course he remembered them from the entrance. It was difficult to miss their looming figures as tall as ten men.
Baffled, he couldn't help asking, "My lord, is there such a strange thing in this world? What on earth are they?"
Equally perplexed, the demon didn't answer. Instead, he shot back, "What do you make of the Vermillion Bird's condition after luring it away?"
"My lord, it's as you've said. The divine bird is a shadow of its former self. I can match it with the help of the Celestial Demon Goldscale Talisman. Near the end of the chase, it showed clear signs of exhaustion. I can probably even kill it if I was empyrean realm." His confidence had soared greatly after a bout against the divine bird.
"Kill it?" The demon chuckled. "Don't be overly optimistic. When near death, an ancient bird can surge with power hard to imagine. In any case, I've misread the situation. We've lost many men, so let's be patient. I've waited for more than a hundred thousand years, what's a few more days?"
Indeed, he wasn't stubborn when facing adverse circumstances.
Outside the palace, Jiang Chen was equally shocked by the golem brothers' prowess. They were already this frighteningly strong when barely awake, after barely managing to recover thirty percent of their original prowess!
After witnessing Big Stone in action, he finally took in the full measure of a golem's power. If he could obtain their wholehearted loyalty, how fearsome a force would that be? Jiang Chen clenched his fists in excitement.
As Veluriyam's young lord, he'd been a little frustrated in his grand ambitions. What wouldn't he give for a reliable fighting force! The golems would be a heaven-sent assistance. They'd help him settle many issues in the human domain, such as the demon lord, for one.
If the golems could return to their peak condition, the demon had little hope of leaving the premises alive after escaping its prison.
"Big Stone, Second Stone, well done!" He gave the two brothers a big thumbs up.
The golems scratched their cheeks, a little embarrassed. They actually blamed themselves for letting more than half of the cultivators escape.
"Savior, we haven't fought in a long while, so we're a little rusty. No one will slip away next time!" Big Stone pledged.
Brimming with regret, Second Stone nodded in agreement.
The golems seemed simple-minded indeed. The apology over such a trivial matter offered the young lord a better glimpse into their natures.
"Haha, don't blame yourselves. You've done more than enough. Focus on restoring your strength and don't let anyone sneak up on and disturb me while I revive your brothers."
Big Stone clenched his huge fist. "This fist will crush dead anyone who dares come!"
The eight brothers were very close to each other, hence revival of all was dearest to his heart.
The Vermillion Bird returned just then. Judging by its dismay, its failure to kill Cloudbillow just now had struck a huge blow to its pride. It'd also realized even more keenly how little time it had left.
Jiang Chen could roughly guess what had happened, but didn't know how to comfort it.