Still sluggish from his long imprisonment, the demon lord’s physical abilities and reaction speed were still far too lacking for him to dodge the lightning-fast arrows. Fear finally dawned in his eyes.
Whoosh whoosh whoosh!
Like golden rays piercing the air, the arrows embedded themselves in his flesh.
“Ah!” Despite the pain, the imminence of death made him react faster than ever. A black light containing his consciousness shot out of his body, and not a second too soon. In the next moment, his once tall and imposing figure shattered into pieces, the demonic power within scattering into black wisps of air.
Without special methods, leaving one’s flesh left the soul very fragile. The scorching sunlight in particular robbed him of almost all his fighting ability. In that instant, his soul turned into black fog and swooped towards Zhong Liyan.
Struggling to no avail inside the black vortex, the latter could only watch on helplessly. He twitched as the fog crashed into him.
Like a turtledove stealing a magpie’s nest, the demon instantly erased his victim’s will, destroyed his soul and took over his body!
Everything had happened in the space of a breath, so fast that even Thunderroar and Redcloud couldn’t react in time.
“Zhong Liyan’s” shrieked strangely. “Humans! You just wait, I’ll destroy you sooner or later!”
He turned around and stormed away, not daring tarry a second longer. Zhong Liyan’s flesh was clearly struggling to house his formidable consciousness, an incompatibility usually fraught with danger. So though the possession had been a success, if he’d stayed, even Redcloud and Thunderroar could have threatened him, to say nothing of the divine bow.
Fortunately, his hurried retreat was in the opposite direction of the human domain.
Without demur, Jiang Chen called the eight golems and the Vermillion Bird. “Give chase!”
But the ancient bird shook its head. “It’s no use.”
Thanks to a secret demonic art, no one could match the fleeing demon lord’s speed.
Jiang Chen fully spread out his consciousness, but he’d already lost his target’s trail.
The divine bow dimmed, losing some of its star-like brilliance after shooting forth the three arrows. The three missiles came back on their own, as if possessing a consciousness and still exuding a bone-chilling, murderous aura.
“Jiang Chen, what are you hesitating for? Bind it to you!” the ancient bird couldn’t help shouting.
Composing himself, Jiang Chen dripped his blood on the treasure while mentally communicating with it.
This ancient bow stored the vast inheritance of the sect and possessed its own awareness. It and the arrows had been specially sealed under the mountain as a trump card for the demon lord, primed to aim at the greatest threat the moment the spiritual veins were destroyed.
Hence, they’d avoided the Southern Celestial invaders, firing at the celestial demon instead.
Redcloud and Thunderroar finally freed themselves from their vortexes. Trembling like leaves, their haggard figures seemed closer to stray dogs than empyrean powerhouses. They glanced around, searching for their companion, but alas, the real Zhong Liyan was no longer of this world.
Jiang Chen completed the blood binding at the same time. He nocked an arrow and aimed at the two men from afar.
The Vermillion Bird called out, “Jiang Chen, come up.”
The human immediately jumped on the bird’s back. The ancient beast turned into a red streak as it shot at the palace.
Seeing the young lord fly their way, bow at the ready, the two Southern Flame men jumped in fright and ran for their lives, making a beeline for their territory. With their cultivation, they vanished from sight in the blink of an eye, leaving Jiang Chen dumbstruck. To think that grand empyrean masters would cower in front of the bow!
The Vermillion Bird sighed with relief. The bow might have recognized the human as its master, but Jiang Chen’s cultivation was too lacking yet to make use of its full power.
Thankfully, he’d cut too intimidating a figure for the Thunderroar and Redcloud to think of anything but flight. Nowhere did they have the capacity to consider whether or not Jiang Chen could actually make use of the bow.
For them, this bitter experience was a nightmare. They wanted nothing but to leave this damned place and erase it from their memories.
Landing at the palace, the young lord saw Cloudbillow and the others hunched in a corner below, ready to run at the first opportunity. The sight of these fellows roused his anger. Just then, the eight golems caught up to him.
Jiang Chen immediately ordered, “Big Stone, these guys are demon lackeys now, so spare no one!”
Cloudbillow and the others gasped in terror. Many even prostrated themselves, wailing and begging.
“Young lord Jiang Chen, we were duped! Please have mercy! If you spare us, we’ll work for you like horses. Nonono, like dogs!”
“Young lord, we’ve seen the light! Veluriyam’s obviously the only reliable faction. We’ll be your most faithful watchdogs!”
Such pitiful behavior from the cream of mankind made Jiang Chen grunt in disgust. His cold gaze fell on Cloudbillow and his companions. Their desire to live was also plain to see, but they didn’t beg him on their knees, aware that such gestures would be useless. Their only hope was to disperse and run! At least some of them would make it out alive.
With a ferocious stare, Cloudbillow shouted, “Why are you begging? This brat is heartless, the more you plead the less likely you are to live. It’s better to run and leave our fate to the heavens!”
“Indeed, as long as our lord isn’t dead, we may live to fight another day!”
“Let’s go!” The group swarmed for escape.
With a cold laugh, Jiang Chen aimed his bow at Cloudbillow.
The ancient bow had already demonstrated its might when it had destroyed the demon’s body. Jiang Chen couldn’t deploy it to those limits yet, but even one percent of its power was a frightening prospect.
“Cloudbillow, you’re self-righteous enough for a demon dog. This is where I say goodbye!”
Sunpiercer and the Dayu Bow had all been weapons that Jiang Chen had used in the past. He was no stranger to bows. In fact, he was surprisingly talented with them.
He let the arrow loose, the golden tip glinting in the air.
Cloudbillow might have survived if he’d faced the young man head-on instead of fleeing frantically. Only, he’d lost his demon master and was now hounded by golems. Terror had wrapped around his heart. How was escape possible?
The arrow struck true, piercing the back of his head and exploding his consciousness, leaving it no opportunity to slip away.
The kill made Jiang Chen’s blood boil. Once upon a time, he had to exert his all to withstand a great emperor. But now, he’d felled one in one shot.
With newfound heroism, he fired the remaining two arrows, hitting the great emperors from the Empyrean River Palace and the Sublime Chord Temple without fail, destroying them body and soul in a golden flash.
Without their three leaders, the rest of the pack ran like headless chickens. The eight golems whaled on them, leaving no one alive.
Anguished howls soon gave way to silence. All those branded by the celestial demon had been slain. Yet, Jiang Chen couldn’t rejoice in the slightest.