Xing Kai's aura wavered as his body seemed to arch. His god of war battle form crumbled, being destroyed by one thrust of the halberd. His arm was shaking slightly. It was not a reaction from fear, but from the fact that he had lost the fight.
His Mudra of God of War and his god of war battle form had both been destroyed by Ye Futian. He was unable to accept that he, a Saint of True Self, had actually lost to Ye Futian.
The Heaven Punishing Fighting Will was capable of bringing out one's spiritual will in extreme fighting conditions, enabling one to burst with combat prowess far exceeding one's natural abilities. All of his attacks were imbued with extremely terrifying attacking powers, the Mudra of God of War even more so.
Despite possessing such formidable powers and his plane being much higher than Ye Futian's, he had nonetheless lost and was unable to understand why.
Xing Kai was a descendant of Emperor Zhan. He was destined to become a Renhuang himself. He was born being able to wield Heaven Punishing Fighting Will.
"How could I have lost? How could I even lose?"
A stifled noise was heard, shaking the space around them. Mighty crimson flames howled and pinned him down.
Xing Kai looked up and saw Ye Futian moving forward. His aura continued to grow in intensity. Dazzling light circled all around him. It was as if he was clad in all the stars of the cosmos. He looked imposing with the halberd in his hand. His eyes were filled with contempt as he looked down at Xing Kai.
He was preparing to kill Xing Kai.
The shores of the Crimson River were silent as the spectators watched the battlefield. Was Xing Kai even able to fight anymore?
The Ninth Servant was present as well. His expression was calm. That young man from Emperor Xia's Realm had been able to overwhelm Xing Kai both in actual powers and talents. This was undeniable.
However, Ye Futian was not able to kill Xing Kai just yet. Things had yet to turn that dire. Xing Kai was about to defend his life and honor.
The Ninth Servant was hoping that Xing Kai would turn a new leaf after the battle. Even if he were to pay a hefty price to do so, it would be a new start for Xing Kai so long as he was able to win.
If he were able to make it past that stage, Xing Kai would grow even more powerful than he had been before. His state of mind would become even more resilient. It would pave the way to reaching the third plane of sainthood—Unblemished Saint.
Any price would be worthwhile.
That was a battle that Xing Kai would have to fight one day. Ye Futian, an extremely dazzling genius like no other, was a gift from the heavens to Xing Kai.
Boom. Another stifled rumble was heard. Ye Futian lifted his arm. He was probably able to end Xing Kai's life at any given moment.
Voom. A lightning bolt streaked by and Ye Futian disappeared from where he stood. He thrust the halberd, emitting a light so blinding that no one could look at it.
Would Xing Kai be able to take this hit?
Boom. Countless pairs of eyes locked onto the scene. When the spectators made clear of what was happening above the Crimson River, their hearts raced.
Many saw Ye Futian's halberd lashing out straight at Xing Kai. The stars in the sky merged into a single entity. The extremely overwhelming attacks blasted at Xing Kai.
However, Xing Kai continued to stand tall and proud.
His Life Spirit seemed to be burning. That tall, imposing shadow of a god of war burned with golden divine flames. Beams of extremely dazzling light glittered over Xing Kai's body. A tremendously terrifying protector god appeared around Xing Kai.
The Heaven Punishing Fighting Will continued to burn, engulfing the powers of the great path of the world around them. The Flames of the Way all over the crimson sky were bring devoured by his body, which then shrouded him entirely.
Xing Kai's body expanded exponentially. Cracking sounds erupted as his face twisted. He howled at the sky, roaring in anger.
Extremely raging currents swept forward and sent Ye Futian flying. His pupils constricted somewhat, looking at Xing Kai, whose body continued to expand.
Cracking noises continued to be heard. The bones in Xing Kai's body expanded. His Life Spirit burned. The blood within his body and every bit of his Heaven Punishing Fighting Will burned up as well.
It was as if Xing Kai was burning his life away in that fight. Xing Kai's gigantic form appeared above the Crimson River. The spectators at the shores were shaking furiously. Not even the cultivators of the Regional Palace had ever seen Xing Kai use such powers before.
"He's forcibly breaking the limits of his body by burning his Life Spirit and the Heaven Punishing Fighting Will, making himself the embodiment of the Heaven Punishing Battle Form," Pei Min mumbled to himself. "Xing Kai is effectively cornered now and he is fighting with his life. What he needs to pay back is something difficult to measure. He's probably going to pay dearly."
"A descendant of Emperor Zhan shouldn't be underestimated. However, even if he can win, it won't have been a glorious victory. It will take no less than a year for him to return to his previous state," someone in the crowd said. "But then again, it's Ye Futian who's in trouble now."
Many listening stayed silent. It was undeniable that Xing Kai was very terrifying in this state. With him going on a full burn to bring out all of his potential, the fight from here on out would be disastrous for Ye Futian.
A rumble was heard as Xing Kai stepped into the air. He then ran into the sky, which was quite a surprise. Every step he took caused his surroundings to shake. The Crimson River below continued to howl in a frenzy. The water of the Crimson River burst like a tidal wave, flooding the sky with massive, towering waves.
The hearts of the spectators raced. Xing Kai, who had taken the form of a god of war, was able to move with speed and agility that were entirely comparable to his usual self. His body expanded to massive sizes and both his power and defense were brought to new heights. Many wondered just how terrifying Xing Kai could become.
A rumble was heard as Xing Kai lifted his arm and headed for Ye Futian. The sky was blocked as his palm print became the Mudra of God of War itself, tearing through everything and suppressing the space around him.
Dazzling light burst over Ye Futian. He lashed out with his halberd, clashing with the palm print in the air. The terrifying, massive force was sensed and the halberd crumbled. However, Ye Futian used the resulting force to propel himself through space, distancing himself from Xing Kai.
"How do you suppose you can kill me now?" Xing Kai looked at Ye Futian from afar. His voice sounded like it belonged to something from hell.
Ye Futian had forced Xing Kai's hand so badly that the latter needed to burn himself in order to fight. After the battle, it would probably take a year or two for him to be able to return to his previous state. He might have even damaged the foundations of his great path training, causing his progress to backslide. Such abilities to forcibly enhance one's powers came with terrifying side effects after all.
However, there was no way he could escape using it.
That battle at the Crimson River was a fight to the death. Not even the Ninth Servant would be able to cover him any more. If he refused to use such powers, he would only end up dead.
Ye Futian continued to look unfazed as he listened to Xing Kai talk. He glanced at the tall, mighty form and said plainly, "A general of a losing army is all air and no substance. Burn yourself all you want. You'll end up dead today all the same."
The World Tree within his Life Palace swayed as beams of dazzling light coursed over his body, casting holy light all over the place.
His World Tree resonated with the powers of the Deed of Thorough Comprehension, glowing with a ring of light that was even more brilliant. The beam of light shot to the peak of the river.
The great path of the world around them seemed to meld with the beam, transmuting into a single will of the great path. His body was akin to a furnace of the great path, incorporating the great paths of everything in the world.
The vast space around him turned into a world of stars. Countless stars circled and orbited around him as all the lights flowed onto Ye Futian's body. Under the light of the Deed of Thorough Comprehension, his body transformed into its Starry Battle Form.
A tall, mighty form appeared in their surroundings. It seemed to have engulfed the great path of the world around them. The phenomenon was a result of the Deed of Thorough Comprehension and the light of stars of the great path.
"This is the Starry Battle Form."
Some of the elders felt their hearts racing. They recognized it to be a power belonging to the Star Plucking Saint.
The old man who'd snuck into the crowd expressed his approval, astonished that he'd learned how to use something like that in such a short time. Furthermore, the old man also saw that the young man had been able to incorporate his powers into it, expressing the form perfectly.
"Your talents are catching up to mine," he mumbled. However, everyone around him was simply too focused on the battle to hear what he'd said.
Ye Futian extended his hand, conjuring an extremely huge staff of the stars using the boundless starry powers around him. The staff gleamed with the dazzling light of the stars.
Terrifying beams of starlight shot through the clouds. His might did not seem to be inferior to Xing Kai's.
The two massive figures walked forward at the same time, charging at each other. Massive waves crashed in the Crimson River beneath them, causing the sky above to shake.
Xing Kai threw a palm attack out while Ye Futian, who had transformed into the Starry Battle Form, lifted his staff and brought it down. It seemed like stars were being brought down, destroying everything below.
Deafening rumbles were heard as a devastating ring of light swept out. Raging tornados swept all over the place. The spectators at the shores all unleashed their powers to withstand the aftershock.
Both men seemed to have backed away at almost the same time, yet Ye Futian continued to lift his staff and move forward. His staff swooped around in the air as he brought it down yet again.
One strike after another from the staff brought the world around them to the verge of collapse. Xing Kai roared furiously. He then lifted his arm and threw countless palm attacks, engulfing the sky before him.
However, Ye Futian, who was moving forward, swung his staff around and struck again. The stars around him fell and merged with the staff. The palm attack of the great path crumbled in a frenzy. He brought down the starry staff with great force.
Boom, boom, boom...
Earth-shattering rumbles were heard as Xing Kai's arm gradually shattered. His body was sent flying away under the relentless attacks of the staff. He then spat a great amount of blood.
However, Ye Futian had no intention of stopping. He stepped out yet again, lashing out with his staff and bringing it down hard on Xing Kai's chest.
Yet another rumble was heard. Xing Kai's massive body continued to break and crumble. His bones were broken and his meridians crumbled. Xing Kai had paid an extremely great price by taking the Heaven Punishing Battle Form. That, coupled with the extent of the damage being suffered at the moment, made it so that his injuries were irreversible. Even if he were to survive the battle, he would undoubtedly be disabled.
"What the hell..." The hearts of the spectators continued to race. This fight was utterly crazy.
Xing Kai had taken the Heaven Punishing Battle Form, yet he'd lost all the same.
Ye Futian lifted the staff again. If the next strike hit its intended target, Xing Kai would be finished right there and then.
"Stop." A stifled voice was heard, shaking their surroundings and causing even Ye Futian to slow down.
"If he dies, Qianye City will be no more." A threateningly cold voice was heard.
While the Ninth Servant had not interfered right away, he now took to threatening Ye Futian using Qianye City.
"Think you could do so?" a cold voice responded. The staff was then brought down right onto Xing Kai's head.
Everyone eyed that scene, watching the weapon being brought down without the slightest hint of hesitation.
It was as if time had slowed down.
The starry staff came down. A low rumble was heard.
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