Coiling Dragon ranked last among Veluriyam's great emperors, but on Sacred Peafowl Mountain, he was the most well-regarded one. "Young madam, could he have some hidden agenda?"
"If this supreme lord is as strong as he pretends to be, he should be more than willing to duke it out in the open. Why use small tricks to lure Jiang Chen away, then come here and strut around? That's the mindset of the weak. Allow me to be blunt. He's simply scared of the young lord!"
The great emperors nodded after some reflection. Would this supreme lord fear taking the young lord head-on if he possessed overwhelming strength?
Before Coiling Dragon could reply, Ji San had already charged outside the mountain's gates. There, he sneered. "Supreme Lord of the Order, why are you acting like a thief and hiding from our young lord? The entire world knows you're afraid of him. Who are you trying to impress here?
"Why do you hide in a cloak and conceal your face if not for a guilty conscience? Are you ashamed of yourself?"
His taunts and barely repressed snickers triggered a sea of jeers from Veluriyam's cultivators. Collective boos and hisses halted the supreme lord's momentum.
The supreme lord clenched his teeth in anger. "Who's willing to lead the charge and capture this mealy-mouthed kid in my stead?"
"Your subordinate will!" For Devourcloud, the brat was an easy prey. His talent wasn't bad, but his cultivation was still lacking due to his young age.
"Very well. Devourcould, you go," the supreme lord responded quietly. "Scourcloud, back him up."
"At your orders."
Devourcloud snickered as both of them set off. "Daoist Scourcloud, please bring up the rear and be mindful of ambushes."
"Don't worry, you're safe with me around," Peerless replied calmly.
With a cackle, Devourcloud turned into a blue blur and shot at Ji San like a bolt of lightning.
Laughing mischievously, Ji San took a few steps back, returning to the protective formation covering the young lord residence, fearless in the face of Devourcloud's fearsome rush.
"Kid, resign yourself to death!" Devourcloud had never failed when it came to crushing the weak. He was an absolute expert in that regard. With the gap in strength, the kid couldn't escape his clutches.
However, the Nine Sparks Petalstorm formation suddenly came alive when he approached its boundaries. An invisible ball of air, a blinding, rainbow light crashed into the great emperor and hammered him back!
His speed was too great to stop in time and the formation's power too stunning. Caught off-guard, he lost balance and suffered the full brunt of the backlash. He could only groan helplessly as he bounced backwards.
The supreme lord's face darkened at the scene. He swore quietly, "Trash!"
How could a protector king be so easily thwarted? The man was far too lacking in battle awareness. Even a child could have spotted such an obvious barrier. But fine, even if he'd missed it, how could he have been so defenseless?
Such a level of fighting prowess was sorely disappointing.
At that moment, Peerless' figure blurred and shot towards Devourcloud, presumably to rescue his companion.
The supreme lord thought little of it. Even Devourcloud himself believed Scourcloud was trying to slow him down and lessen the impact. But when the man reached him, a cold light swept across his neck before he could react, accompanied by an explosion of murderous intent.
Everything happened in the blink of an eye. Apart from the supreme lord, no one else could see clearly what had transpired.
In the next moment, Devourcloud's massive head flew in the air, separated from the rest of his body. His eyes remained open in death, full of shock and grievance.
His killer was naturally Emperor Peerless.
After dispatching the protector king in one blow, Peerless' figure fell towards Sacred Peafowl Mountain.
The scene struck everyone speechless. Even the supreme lord was stupefied. He fixed Peerless with a glare, murderous rage overflowing from his eyes.
"Scourcloud, you! How dare you betray me?!" To think such a scene would occur right before the start of hostilities!
He'd made a show of strength to boost his army's morale, but Peerless' move immediately reversed the tide. His vanguard had been killed or turned traitor. Wasn't this rolling up to his enemy and slapping his own face for their amusement?
Peerless tore off his mask, revealing his true, sinister-looking visage.
"Betray?" He smiled coldly. "I am Sacred Peafowl Mountain's venerated guest elder Mo Wushuang, and proud of it! I never surrendered to you in the first place, so how could I be a traitor?"
The sudden turn of events struck Sacred Peafowl Mountain with shock, especially his dao partner, Madame Yun. Trembling at the familiar voice, she recklessly charged down the mountain and threw herself in his arms.
"Brother Mo, you're back. You finally came back!" She patently suffered quite a lot during these years.
"Yu'er, I've made you suffer all these years." Peerless sighed softly. "Do you blame me for doing this?"
She gently stroked his wounded face, crying with joy. "Brother Mo, I'm simply happy to have you back. Even if you turn into the devil, I'd follow you to the deepest abyss of hell. What are little wounds like these?"
Despite his endless scheming, the supreme lord was too young to have ever imagined the scene before his eyes.
"Mo Wushuang, Scourcloud... Good, very good! I'll remember you! Once your city falls, I'll teach you what it means to betray me. Is that your woman? You better pray I don't get my hands on her."
He gnashed his teeth, fuming at the loss of two right-hand men. Just then, two bloodcurdling shrieks rose from his camp.
Two Celestial Stars clad fell from the clouds without forewarning, closely followed by two figures that shot towards Sacred Peafowl Mountain at alarming speed.
These two were naturally the Jiao brothers.
They'd been angsty for their share of the action after seeing Peerless switch sides. They'd mounted a sneak attack on the Order's ranks, killing two elders before slipping away.
Thankfully for the supreme lord, his face was concealed beneath his cloak. Otherwise, his expression would've surely been spectacular at the humiliation of this one-two punch.
"Finally! It was long in the making, but I've finally vented some!" Back on Sacred Peafowl Mountain, Jiao Yun removed his mask and revealed his true identity.
"Apologies, Supreme Lord of the Order, us brothers won't be keeping you company any further. Hahaha, remember, our moniker is the Jiao Brothers of Mt. Huai!"
"Haha, bring it if you want revenge. Too bad you won't have that opportunity to!" Jiao Feng gave free rein to his taunts.
The supreme seethed. "Fools! Two bit players! Do you think your loss and betrayal means anything to me?! Revenge? With the Exultation Pill's poison coursing in your veins, you'll be begging for a swift death in three months at most!"
Peerless remarked indifferently, "Three months? Even If I had only three days to live, I wouldn't spend them as your subordinate."
The supreme lord shouted, "Idiot! Am I any worse than a trivial young lord from Veluriyam?"
"Of course you are. Take a good look in the mirror. In what aspect can you rival the young lord?" Jiao Yun also steeled his heart and disregarded the threat of the Exultation Pill.
"Let's see how you talk big once I raid your city and capture the brat alive." The supreme lord's anger abruptly morphed into cold resolve. He'd finally come back to his senses. Bickering with these men was beneath his noble self.
"Men, by my command, no one is allowed inside or outside Veluriyam from now on. Kill anyone who tries!"
"Yes, my lord!"
"Mo Wushuang, do you think the mountain's restriction can keep you safe? For me, this formation is completely useless! Today, I'll have you realize how base and weak you people are!" The supreme lord's anger had driven him to unleash his power.
The atmosphere became oppressive as the aura of an empyrean master suddenly flared. Like the calm before the storm, air currents around him grew restless as the very air seemed to boil, shrouding the entire world in his aura.
But at this time, a fiery shadow suddenly shot in the sky above Peafowl Mountain like a blazing meteor, soaring to the heavens. It was the Vermillion Bird!
Its body twisted and warped, growing larger and larger, soon covering the sky in radiant glory. Its divine aura clashed with the supreme lord's presence, both crazily vying for control of the heavens and earth as they ignited the very air!