Chapter 471 - Annihilation
Tang Wulin hissed. His body shuddered without end, limbs tense and joints locked, teeth chattering. Chaos. His blood essence thrashed in chaos. A searing heat engulfed his mind, and if he were any less in pain, any more lucid, he would have wondered if it was actually set ablaze. The Phosphor Fire Soul Refinement was undoubtedly one of the world's most vile torture methods. He screamed, the pain sharp and unforgiving, all-encompassing. He screamed, begging for it to end.
At the sound of Tang Wulin's miserable cries, the ashen-robed man broke into a grin full of sharp teeth. The greater his victim's spiritual power, the greater their spirit's resentment after refinement. And the larger his revitalization.
Tang Wulin couldn't bear it. He lost consciousness as the green flame encroached on his spiritual world. But just as he was about to succumb to it, his forehead shone with a mysterious golden mark, the light bright enough to coax tears. In a flash, his spiritual world was rid of the flame.
When the man laid eyes on the golden mark, his eyes dyed the same gold, superego and ego snapping momentarily. Then he let out a miserable shriek, retracting his bone spikes from Tang Wulin and retreating as if he had just encountered a monster.
Tang Wulin's blood sprayed from his open wounds, but he didn't collapse. He stood there, motionlessly. His eyes still shut.
"You bastard! What was that? What the hell did you do to my fire?" the man howled.
The phosphor fire was the source of power for his martial soul. Every bit of it added to his strength. He had spent decades torturing and refining people's souls to increase the hungry flames, to coax them brighter and brighter. But to his shock, a tenth of it had just disappeared.
"I'll kill you!" The man soared into the air. The bone spikes on his finger transformed into large claws and he slashed down at Tang Wulin.
Suddenly, Tang Wulin's eyes shot open.
A wave of dizziness struck the man when he looked into Tang Wulin's eyes, his movements slowing to a crawl. Those eyes! What are they?
No longer their original obsidian, Tang Wulin's eyes had bled into a brilliant gold. A tinge of blue danced at the outer perimeter. Gone was youthful innocence, in its place an aura of omniscience.
His body jerked, tilting backward until it was almost parallel to the ground. And then it bounced back like a coiled spring. His limbs twitched, his muscles spasmed, the crackle of joints echoing throughout the carriage. He brought his right hand over the gaping holes in his chest. Waved it once. The wounds hissed and sewed themselves back together, the leaking of blood obstructed in the process. Then the golden mark appeared on his forehead again.
The man had felt his soul power freeze the moment he laid eyes on it. A golden three-pronged trident.
The person before him was not the brave young boy who had dashed head-first into danger for the ones he loved. No, this was someone different. Someone else entirely.
He raised his right hand, but didn't bring out his dragon claw. Instead, golden light converged within his palm, manifesting as three-meter-long double-headed spear.
Tang Wulin's figure flickered, reappearing right in front of the man's nose, his spear in a thrust.
The man howled. His prey had become the predator. His instincts screamed doom as the spear closed in. He urged his body to the side, desperate to avoid the impending stab. But no matter how much he yelled at his body, it refused to move.
The spear impaled him.
What? But he was just over there a second ago! The man groaned, disbelief in his eyes at the spear protruding from his chest. His soul power would not circulate despite his desperate attempts. Then a chilling cold seeped into his body, the spear greedily sapping his soul power and life force away. Out from his body and into Tang Wulin.
The ashen-robed man shuddered. He could feel himself rapidly aging, skin sagging and bones thinning by the second. W-what's happening to me? How is taking my life force?
Not only was he a Soul Emperor who had slayed Soul Sages in the past, he was also a one-word battle armor master! He was utterly shocked to be powerless before Tang Wulin's spear.
Those with the least regard for life feared death the most, and this man was no exception. Organs failing, body shriveling up, and life force flowing away, he could only stay still and watch as the spear grew brighter and brighter until it was a dazzling gold. He let out a silent scream at the thought of his inevitable, impending death. He screwed his eyes tight. When he opened his eyes again, he found himself surrounded in suffocating green. Mournful wails filled the air, countless flaming green wraiths in tow. They flocked to him. Embraced him. They swallowed him whole in their flames.
"Evil leads to destruction!" Tang Wulin said in a faint but clear voice. Far from his usual brand of boyish determination. He touched his face with his left hand, feeling the features, then smiled warmly.
He let out a sigh. Tang Wulin lifted his spear with the man still dangling from its end, flicked it to rid the spear of the shrivelled up husk of a body.
A second sigh slipped from his lips. The spear disintegrated into specks of light. They flowed back into his hand, disappearing among his skin. He lowered himself to the ground and lay still as the golden mark on his forehead dimmed and vanished.
A minute later, a red glow spread through the skies. But it disappeared as quick as it had come. In its wake, a person clad in scarlet armor descended to Tang Wlin's side.
The armor had flames engraved onto it, each and every one unique, each and every one a powerful circuit core. The flames were numerous, as if intent on devouring the world. A scarlet visor obscured the user's identity. Large bat-like wings sprouted from the person's back, enabling flight, and with a single flap of the wings the flames flared to life.
"There's someone over there!" someone shouted from a distance.
A whistle pierced the air somewhere off in the distance. Moments later, the silhouettes of a dozen mechas approached, most of them sporting purple models.. They were led by a single black mecha with three pairs of wings, flames spewing from its propulsion jets. As the black mecha neared the person in the scarlet armor, it unfurled all six of its wings. It slowed to a halt a hundred meters away.
"Hello, Your Eminence. I am Captain Liu An of Heaven Dou City's 1st Mecha Regiment." His voice rang loud from the speakers. "May I ask you to identify yourself?"