Li Yiming firmly wrapped his fingers around the miniature shadow figure..
“No…!” One last shriek of terror was heard before the shadow vanished as Li Yiming clenched his fist.
While Li Yiming’s body trembled, an iridescent ray of light gleamed from the clouds. The golden light in his eyes was gone, and so was the aura around his hands.
‘Level six…’ Li Yiming could feel his body become stronger, and his Heavenly vein transformed into something more resilient. Even his talent rune, which had remained elusive for so long, had one of its corners light up. However, it was still unresponsive when Li Yiming tried to activate it.
Stargaze coughed out another mouthful of blood, and Li Yiming caught her before she fell to the ground.
“Thank you!” Li Yiming knew that he owed her an immense favor.
“Don’t disappoint me…” Stargaze held onto Li Yiming’s hand. She had paid a high price for cleansing Li Yiming of his inner demon. It would undoubtedly take a long while before she recovered completely. She had been injured even before arriving to Tianshan, and if it were not for the unique alignment of the stars above Lianyun City, she would never have dared such an attempt.
“Don’t mention it. You should go find your friends.” Stargaze could no longer maintain control of her own Boundary, causing it to become unstable.
* * *
Right outside of the Eastern Gate, two men walked out of thin air. One was standing with his spear on his back, while the other knelt down with one knee.
“Li Huaibei… If it weren’t for your injury, I don’t even know if I would have the final laugh. Ma Dafang can rest in peace…” Yun Yiyuan slid his finger across his spear until reaching the part that had been chipped away during his duel with Li Yiming.
Li Huaibei had his left hand on his chest, trying to stop the profuse bleeding from the deep wound he suffered. The hilt of his sword rested on the ground, with its blade ruined.
“Oh?” Yun Yiyuan’s attention was suddenly caught by a monstrous silhouette in the distance who was encircled by several smaller silhouettes. ‘That’s…’
He suddenly noticed that out of the hundreds of guardians who had entered the domain, barely a hundred were still alive.
“Die, you monster!” Yu Yiyuan roared in anger and dashed toward the monster. A trail of bright light followed his spear.
Sai Gao burned with rage as the screams of terror reached his ears, telling him that the residents of Lianyun were being slaughtered one after another. After receiving Teng She’s gift, his body had grown to about fifteen meters in size, and his golden scale had blackened. A new left arm had grown out, and Sai Gao regained his ability to fly. However, the combined forces of hundreds of guardians were still too much for him to handle. Roaring in desperation, he consumed the essence of his soul to extract some more power.
Sai Gao dove time and time again into the crowd of guardians. He did not know how much longer he would last, but he had hoped that at least he would be able to finish off the guardians in front of him, so some of the people in Lianyun City could live on.
However, the guardians who had been strong enough to survive until now all had more than a few tricks up their sleeves, and Sai Gao gradually weakened as his life force was slowly depleting.
Suddenly, a ray of light pierced the clouds and flew toward him. As Sai Gao moved his claws to parry the attack as he did many times before, he realized that its power was not something that he could rival. The beam pierced through his chest and nailed his battered body to the cold stone of the Southern Gate.
Sai Gao could finally see the projectile now. He recognized it as being the silver spear that Yu Yiyuan carried with him. Despair befell him as he realized Li Huaibei had lost his fight.
Sai Gao moved his claws with difficulty and tried to extricate the spear. Twice he tried and twice he failed, until he gave up and slowly closed his eyes. ‘I’ve done everything I could…’
Just as Sai Gao’s arm dropped down, lifeless, the ground beneath Lianyun City trembled violently. A muffled roar was heard
A crack in the earth appeared and widened as a deafening noise was heard. The imposing gate of the city suddenly crumbled, and the walls around it collapsed; the Black Turtle had lost its war against the earthquake, unable to even save its own soul.
As the tremors raged on, the guardians all flew into the sky.
Li Yiming emerged from the Eastern Gate with Stargaze just as the earthquake started.
“What?” The scene that unfolded before Li Yiming shocked him. Instead of the orderly streets he remembered, all he could see were ruins of buildings and widening fissures in the ground.
“Yiming!” Bai Ze landed right next to Li Yiming. She immediately felt Li Yiming’s recovery and brought Liu Meng and Big Beard with her.
“Bring her out of here.” Boiling with rage, Li Yiming looked at the guardians who flew across the sky to escape the tremors. It was a relief to find Liu Meng unharmed, but to witness the scenes of cruelty which unraveled in front of his very eyes almost made him lose his sanity.
‘The 73 921 people here… They’ll die because of you!’ Li Huaibei’s words would forever be etched into Li Yiming’s mind.
After putting Stargaze on Bai Ze’s back, Li Yiming vanished with a flash of purple light.
As one house crumbled after another, an old man hid in a corner, waiting for his life to end. Despair had superseded terror in the hearts of the people of Lianyun City, and they could finally appreciate their own insignificance against the wrath of the Heavens.
Li Yiming appeared in front of the old man, punched away a falling wall and picked up the old man’s frail body. It was a start, but there were countless people who were in the same situation.
“Give him to me!” Li Yiming saw Bai Ze dive from the clouds while Stargaze and Liu Meng sat on Big Beard’s mecha.
Li Yiming threw the old man into the air for Bai Ze to catch him and carefully put him down on Big Beard’s mecha. Li Yiming did not question Bai Ze’s decision to stay instead of leaving with Liu Meng. His only thought was to save as many lives as he could.
“That’s all I can handle…” Big Beard said. Although he tried his best to fly as slowly and as low as possible, there was limited space on his mecha due to all the weaponry, even with Liu Meng who was flying by herself to make some more room.
‘Thirty-seven…’ Li Yiming clenched his fist he looked at a man and his wife that he had just rescued.
“You go first!” Li Yiming disappeared with a blink of light and dove into the ruins of the city once more. By now, the city walls had completely crumbled, and there was barely any building still standing within the city.
“Go!” Bai Ze caught the last person Li Yiming threw over and flapped her wings toward the outskirts of the city.
Li Yiming dove beneath a segment of broken wall and found a child with a distorted leg. The child had stopped crying by now, and only
Another loud crack was heard. Two giant fissures, both respectively originating from the northern and the southern sides of the city, had finally joined in at its center. The city collapsed onto itself, and giant hole that looked like a gateway to hell appeared, swallowing most of the city before closing back, turning most of Lianyun City into history.
On the slopes of a small hill right outside of the city, Liu Meng was mending wounds while Big Beard was puffing a smoke quietly. Stargaze, with frowned eyebrows, spent most of her time observing Liu Meng and exchanged a glance from time to time with Big Beard.
“How many people do we have here?” Li Yiming asked when he arrived.
“With him, forty one people…” Liu Meng answered. “There was someone who…” Liu Meng pointed at the lifeless body of a woman nearby. She had been hit by a stone, and when Li Yiming found her, she was already on the verge of dying.
Li Yiming put down the little boy he found and walked to a corner.
“Li Yiming! You better give me a good explanation for this.” Qing Linglong’s voice came from behind.
Li Yiming turned back, happily surprised, only to find Qing Linglong with Xu Yurong on her back and Eyeglasses carrying You Fang. Qing Qiaoqiao had Lirong between her arms, while Lin Lu and Shen Jianming helped each other limp forward. Chen Quan trailed the group with a newborn in his hands.
“You guys are okay?” Li Yiming was beyond relieved.
“Big Brother Yiming!” Lirong struggled to get out of Qing Qiaoqiao’s hold and rushed into Li Yiming’s arms.
Li Yiming could not give the explanation Qing Linglong had wanted. Instead, they all silently stared at the ruins of the city in the distance. The forty or so survivors from Lianyun City, instead of crying about their misfortune or being happy of having escaped death, were too shocked and desperate to say anything.
“It’s over…” Li Yiming said with a hoarse voice.
“Over? Far from it.” Stargaze, who had stayed silent until now, suddenly interjected.
Li Yiming turned toward here. He suddenly noticed that all the other members of his team had a stern look, as if an even an even harsher challenge was ahead.
Rays of light lit up the sky around them; dozens of guardians were flying in their direction. They soon landed near the hill, surrounding Li Yiming and his friends.
Li Yiming heartbeat fastened as he remembered the will of Heaven’s Laws. ‘Total annihilation…’
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