Chapter 1235 1229: Radiant Star, Sword’s Rise
"Shameless!" The Boundless Martial High King spat, his eyes slightly grim. However, there wasn't any sign of shock or concern in his eyes when he watched the events unfold. No one here beside him was truly aware of Jiang Jingshi's real strength and skill, so their surprise was to be expected, but he and Jiang Jingshi had fought side-by-side as they swept across and dominated the darkest era, bringing order to the chaos.
"He's sending two more!" The Sky Monarch beside Empress Xiaocheng exclaimed. He was already deeply shaken by the terrifyingly mighty spear throw that sent Jiang Jingshi across stellar regions, and this only poured oil to the fire that was his turbulent emotions. Battles between Earthly Saints were thrilling and rare; in truth, he was enjoying himself!
"..." Empress Xiaocheng didn't respond to the Sky Monarch's words—she had eyes, so how could she not see that? However, her beautiful eyes would surreptitiously drift toward the flag-wielding mortal from time to time while the light of contemplation flared within.
"Isn't this too much? Is he truly planning to kill Jiang Jingshi?" Tian Lingyu asked while immersed in her shock. Her heart was pounding fiercely already from witnessing such an intense battle. It was an extremely rare occurrence for Earthly Saints to fight against each other. The only times this happened publicly were the battle in the Everlore Domain and the Golden Life Pavilion's challenge for the Pavilion Master seat. However, Wu Yu and Ma Zheng almost instantly defeated their respective opponents, and the fight between Yang Chaoyue and Faye Liying was a pure competition of power that disturbed the viewing experience.
Tian Muyang grimly muttered, "The Lone Sword High King hasn't drawn his sword yet."
"...!" Tian Lingyu was taken aback by Tian Muyang's statement, and then she realized that he was right! From beginning to end, Jiang Jingshi had only used two fingers and then his hand at the last moment. While the bodies of Earthly Saints were powerful, with their Mystic Physiques refined to an extreme point, a Swordmaster's true strength could only be revealed when he wielded a sword in hand!
"Jiang Jingshi…long ago, he was only a 4th Runic Ascendant. While that was tens of thousands of years ago, he was at the apex among those of his cultivation. He had…reached a draw with his Majesty in the past, and they had struck a friendship amidst that battle," Tian Muyang darkly stated.
"What? Wasn't that an unverified rumor? I thought his Majesty recruited him at a young age?" Tian Lingyu questioned. The origins and history of the One Sword, One Fist, and One Crown had many different versions, and few could be genuinely verified, while most were embellishments or outright misinformation. Since no one dared to seek out a Heavenly Seer to peer into the Divine Emperor's past after 'that' incident, it was difficult to say since they barely spoke of that time.
Tian Muyang shook his head, "It's not. Moreover, they were at the same cultivation—the Soul of Mysticism Phase—at the time." As a relative of Tian Taizong, the Divine Emperor, he had closely followed his uproarious journey from his birth to now. Tian Lingyu was too young, only experiencing the good of this era, not the horror and chaos of the past.
"He's strong," Ma Zheng calmly stated. At the side, Huoyan Liulan had been observing her grandfather's kneeling position in a daze, and while the battle had attracted her attention, she still couldn't fathom that he would submit to Wei Wuyin. Eventually, she sighed. It wasn't time to probe.
She looked at the streaking lights in the distance, "Strong?" She had seen Jiang Jingshi get sent across stellar regions by a single spear from a mere soldier. "I wonder how high-ranking that soldier is in Wei Wuyin's hidden army."f𝚛e𝚎𝙬𝑒𝚋𝚗𝚘ѵ𝐞𝒍. c𝐨𝙢
Ma Zheng glanced at her and then realized she had misunderstood. "Not the soldier—Jiang Jingshi," he clarified.
"But he's losing, and from what I can see, he's about to be besieged by numbers." Huoyan Liulan wasn't ignorant of fights between Earthly Saints, having fought against Trueborn's Earthly Saint, and knew that the soldier had an advantage throughout the exchange while Jiang Jingshi had taken a heavy strike. Now that three of them were doggedly pursuing him, wasn't this the end?
"..." Ma Zheng quietly turned his gaze toward Wei Wuyin. There was a confident smile on his lips, but Ma Zheng was concerned that Jiang Jingshi would be underestimated and he'd suffer losses as a result. He wanted to strongly urge Wei Wuyin to send the Armored Saint alongside the others. However, he held back and decided to trust Wei Wuyin's decision.
However, what none of them knew was that while some of the soldiers' individual might only be average by the World Beyond the Fold's standards, they grew stronger as a unit!
It was fortunate that most of the Sealed Region were abandoned and uninhibited, the Grand Cyclic Stellar Region's Aeternal Sky Star being the centralized flag to gather the strongest forces, with almost all the true experts clustering around the Aeternal Sky Star! If not, Jiang Jingshi's body might have crashed into or heavily disturbed entire planets. The casualties would've been unimaginable!
Jiang Jingshi's stance grew upright, his bearing of a swordmaster was ignited, and his hand was firmly holding his hilt. All his sharpness receded as he seemed like a sage overlooking the world, observing, studying, and absorbing it all. His breath was steady, his aura calm and his eyes' light dimmed slightly.
The three Soldiers of War—One Spear, One Bow, and One Shield—were in a triangular formation, with the shield acting as the tip, rushing toward Jiang Jingshi with startling speed. The shield-wielding Spirit of War's body was bulkier, taller, and more muscular than the typical Spirit of War, and her body distorted fixed space. She wielded a circular targe, and at its center was a thick needle that exuded a piercing intent!
The archer was to her right, cruising through the Dark Void with their bow at the ready.
At her left, the spear-wielding Spirit of War was accumulating a seething storm of Spear Power, clearly meant for an attack. As these three coordinated Earthly Saints approached, most of the audience was shaken, unable to believe that Wei Wuyin had obtained three 'high-level' 5th Runic Ascendant Earthly Saints. Whoever was truly behind this figure must be a force equal to Trueborn! No wonder he didn't fear them.
Many started to believe that the true top forces of the world—Trueborn, the Imperial Clan, and Wei Wuyin's unknown backing—were far more terrifying than they had ever predicted. In their eyes, after Trueborn revealed thirty Earthly Saints, many concluded that the Imperial Clan likely had an equal or greater amount hidden away as a secret force. They feared the possibility of the Divine Emperor and the Imperial Clan losing their restraints more so than ever before, but they also felt confident of the Imperial Clan's might.
Considering how fearless the Empress acted against eighty-one Earthly Saints, this only strengthened their beliefs!
Their fear and reverence for those true top-tier forces aside, everyone was watching with ample anticipation!
"..." Legion Commander Zhan Zheng quietly observed his soldiers. After some deliberation, he said, "I don't think you should've sent her."
Wei Wuyin's eyebrow lifted, "Oh?"
Zhan Zheng didn't hold back after speaking, "We could've used this one to train the others more, rotate them out. This one is a barely decent whetstone." If the other Earthly Saints of the Grand Cyclic Stellar Region knew what he was saying, they might think the Legion Commander was insane! Whetstone! Barely decent, no less!
Wei Wuyin didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He had sent Zhan Dun, the Battalion Commander of the Legion's Charging Infantry Unit, out alongside two others. The base of the Talisman of War was strict in potential and power, their spirits perfectly curated with these limits for a form of stability, but most importantly, so that those who wielded it could improve themselves by accumulating greater talents via the Spoils of War law.
The lowest-ranking soldier could, at most, be average. They all had a uniform limit of 5th Runic Ascendant level comprehension and Mystic Power, and while this could be temporarily exceeded by exhausting their Forged Soul Energy, that was exceptional and costly. They had started at the Mystic Star Phase level.
The Squad Leaders were limited to the 6th Runic Ascendant level, Company Leaders were at the 7th Runic Ascendant, and Battalion Commanders were at the 8th Runic Ascendant. While Zhan Zheng, the Legion Commander, was firmly at the 9th Runic Ascendant level. Moreover, he was the only one with knowledge of all fields of specialty, to a certain extent.
Shockingly, the Heavenly War Spirit had once said that he simply needed to absorb a Mystic World Stone to form a World Rune. However, doing so would trigger the Sealed Region's Sealing Array, and the Legion Commander would be subjected to severe limitations that could harm his quintessence. Regardless of his incredible power, he wasn't a true cultivator, so he would suffer limitations of a much greater level than the others.
This was also why Wei Wuyin hadn't fully converted Zhan You, formerly known as Xu You, because he would automatically have a World Rune and reach the 'perceived' level of a Worldly Saint to the Sealed Regions. They didn't undergo tribulations, so by default, upon forming a World Rune, they would be Worldly Saints!
"Well," Wei Wuyin glanced at the Empress and then at the Dark Void, saying softly: "We shouldn't lack whetstones in the future."
While it took a while to travel across stellar regions, the battle resumed!
Jiang Jingshi's hand tightly gripped his hilt. An imposing air stirred the world, and his World Heart Intent began to seep further into the world. Faint manifestations of tiny swords of energy formed for a million miles in diameter! He was bringing out his full strength!
Zhan Dun placed her shield before her, and her momentum explosively increased as she shot toward Jiang Jingshi! Her feet pressed against space, and she kicked off with an unstoppable charge!
The archer and spear-wielder readied themselves, trailing behind, murderous intent flared, and their Mystic Power charged!
The exchange was quick.
In the blink of a literal eye.
The first to attack was Jiang Jingshi. He unsheathed his sword in a single, smooth motion and summoned forth a condensed form of sword light carrying his strength, the strength of the world, and the strength of his will!
Zhan Dun's shield was miraculous. It glowed with a golden light of Metal Power, and a vortex formed, drawing in the sword light as if it had attracted aggro! The sword light crashed into the shield as she kept charging forth!
The archer unleashed an arrow. A single arrow. It vanished within fixed space, and by the time Jiang Jingshi noticed, moving his sword to deflect, he found himself at the threat of a spear. The spear-wielder had matched the arrow's absurdly fast speed and stabbed at his head with violent, palpable killing intent.
Jiang Jingshi was cornered!
However, he didn't panic as he calmly swung his sword at the arrow while using his free hand to tank the spear blow! The spear pierced into his arm's flesh and reached the bone, a splash of blood erupted, and the sword collided with the arrow. He intended to use the arrow to generate a backward momentum, gaining space, a move he had done countless times while fighting multiple coordinated foes.
Sword met arrow.
His pupils constricted!
The arrow had no force within it, and when it hit, it dispersed into a burst of spiritual light that shook his Sea of Consciousness and Mystic Soul, and while this was only for the briefest of moments, he instantly found himself in a deadly crisis. By the time he broke out of his stupor, his head ringing painfully like a thousand bells, the spear had already stabbed its way into his left cheek!
When he strugglingly looked down, he saw a shield with a long needle pierced into his chest, stabbing into his heart.
"You-" He wanted to say something, but the shield began to return the sword light it had absorbed, sending it coursing through his body from the needle. His eyes widened as he felt his insides get ravaged by his very own power, unable to believe that he had been caught off-guard!
That arrow was definitely not a spiritual arrow!
These were his last vestiges of conscious thoughts as an arrow, physical and real, pierced into his neck and through, passing the spear-wielding Spirit of War's face by only an inch, before shooting off into the Dark Void.
The arrow nearly severed Jiang Jingshi's head clean off, and it was held in place only by the Spirit of War's spear that was stabbed into his cheek. Of course, as an Earthly Saint, this wasn't enough to kill him.
Zhan Dun then unleashed a bright spiritual radiance from her shield that blocked the senses and a soft grunt.
At that time, Wei Wuyin faintly smiled as all attention was on the battle. He pointed a finger to his right; a tiny, almost pocket-sized Void Gate formed an inch from it, and then a ray of saber light zipped right in.
When the light faded, Jiang Jingshi's severed head was held by the spear-wielding Spirit of War. The world could only gawk in silence. Tian Muyang, Ma Zheng, and several others subconsciously felt as if their cheeks were a little redder.
Today, the One Sword had fallen.
Tomorrow, Zhan Jingshi will rise.
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