The two dragons exchanged glances, stunned.
"Tortoise Bro, run!" Ying Huo laughed and entered the lake along with Lan Huang.
The proud dragons in the air were fuming from being splattered in urine and immediately charged into the lake. They chased Lan Huang and roared with all their might at the bottom of the lake, having completely fallen for the bait.
Ying Huo had no choice but to resort to something like this, as Dugu Jin was a dastardly person who wanted Tianming to fight to the death with Di Zang. This was the only way to get Dugu Jin himself involved in the battle instead of sitting it out.
The lake was Lan Huang's turf. It was ten times faster in the water, and with its Kilofold Rings and the Greenspark Tower, it managed to counterattack even while being pursued. It rammed into the two blood dragons with absolute force. At the same time, an agile wisp of flame lay in ambush beside Lan Huang, constantly watching for a chance to deliver a fatal blow to the two dragons.
They had already started a little late, for the battle at the other part of the battlefield was already reaching its climax. Tianming had engaged both Di Zang and Dugu Jin. As he had proclaimed, he would kill both of them. Meow Meow changed into its Regal Chaosfiend form and fought the hell soulbeast with Xian Xian; the battle between the Radix World Tree and the hell soulbeast had been going for quite some time and had turned rather savage.
Meow Meow used its lightning abilities to blast open a path of blood and prevent being hit by the tentacles or abilities of the hell soulbeast. It then dove into the water with Ninefold Chaos Thunderscape, tearing the hell soulbeast apart by allowing the lightning to flow through the water. When it finally got on the body of the hell soulbeast, it began tearing away at its body using its enhanced claws and fangs. No matter how huge its opponent was, it would always be able to cause them to shed tons of blood.
Xian Xian's Bloodrain Swords also embedded themselves in the body of the hell soulbeast, causing countless explosions across the bloodied surface of the beast's body. Even though the hell soulbeast was managing to put up quite a fight against those two, the wounds it had inflicted weren't fatal at all and were rapidly recovered thanks to the Greenspark Tower. The Primordial Chaos Beasts were even more terrifying with it.
More importantly, the hell soulbeast wasn't as powerful as they had imagined. It was even a little weaker than an ancient bloodvoid dragon, which was a sign that it wasn't Di Zang's true lifebound beast. The fact that it had been able to grow to this level of power meant that it had used some secret technique of the specters. For instance, Po Suo's beast had been killed by Ouyang Jianwang with a single strike.
"It isn't strong, so it's the weakest link. I'll kill it first, then Meow Meow can come help me. As for Xian Xian, go help Ying Huo and Lan Huang!" That was Tianming's plan. Currently, he was only feigning holding the alleged allies, Di Zang and Dugu Jin. He wanted to stall for a little before he took out tens of tribulation pattern tomes at the moment he flew past the hell soulbeast. While they weren't third-origin tribulation pattern tomes, they were second-origin and in the highest damage class. Tianming had kept them precisely for situations like these. Even if they couldn't compare to the chaosblitz tome, their numbers made them easier to use.
"Xian Xian!" Tianming immediately marked those tomes with blood and slammed them down, causing the combined power of some ten of them to erupt at the same time. This was a huge advantage, especially considering how rare tomes like them were on the Flameyellow Continent. While their elements were different, namely fire, ice, lightning, wind, seal, and weaken, they posed a fatal threat when used together like that.
Meow Meow and Xian Xian had already seen it coming. Xian Xian forcefully raised the body of the hell soulbeast toward Tianming and let it take the blow. The great explosion was followed by a rain of blood and flesh, accompanied by agonized cries. The huge body of the hell soulbeast just made it an easier target to hit. Even if it didn't die from that huge blow, it would definitely be badly injured.
Next, Xian Xian and Meow Meow would team up to deal with it. What Tianming lacked the most now was time, but he realized that both Dugu Jin and Di Zang seemed rather unmoved by the massive damage the hell soulbeast had just suffered. Instead, they kept looking toward Soulburn Hall, seemingly still trying to stall. The battle was definitely shifting toward there.
Tianming had summoned the Dragonhide and was wielding the two Grand-Orient Swords. Above him, his soul servant was helping control the Prime Tower. Even so, the one he relied on the most in the one-on-two fight was Feiling. Her spatial-temporal powers could help him partition the battlefield effectively. When he took on Dugu Jin, many of Di Zang's attacks would be stopped by the Millennium Fortress and he would even get hit by Temporal Lock from time to time. Tianming felt that she was getting better and better in those aspects.
"Big Brother, Xiaoxiao won't be able to hold on for long. She got so powerful because of the Archaionfiend in the first place, so it definitely has a way to deal with her," she said as she observed Soulburn Hall.
They were definitely running out of time. Even though Tianming wanted to kill these two, that didn't seem realistic. Fortunately, he had reinforcements. After tipping the balance with tribulation pattern tomes, the hell soulbeast finally fell. Its gigantic body was fully torn apart from Meow Meow and Xian Xian's unending bombardment, the chunks of which spread all over Xuanyuan Lake. The final cry of the hell soulbest didn't sound agonized, but tragic.
"Di Zang, thank you for giving me this life! I pray that you specters will one day return. Don't forget to erect a gravestone for me!" Its voice began subsiding. Despite its power, it was rather weak in actuality. That kind of power wasn't something it had in the first place.
After it died, Di Zang took a deep breath and said, "Farewell, old friend! Once I complete my mission, I'll go to the Yellow Springs to find you so that we may spend our next life together!"
He didn't feel sad about the beast's passing at all. He already didn't have long left to live, so he only had to focus on completing his mission. With the Archaionfiend beginning to suppress Lin Xiaoxiao, the specters had finally taken the initiative.
Di Zang turned back and glared at Tianming. Meow Meow had reverted from its Regal Chaosfiend form into a small cat and returned to Tianming's side. Meanwhile, Xian Xian sank into Xuanyuan Lake and made its way toward the blood dragons to help Ying Huo and Lan Huang. With Ying Huo around, they managed to hold their ground against the dragons, and Xian Xian's arrival only made things even harder for them.
"Die!" Tianming and his four beasts were on a killing frenzy. Now that the hell soulbeast was dead, they were searching for their next target. When Tianming's gaze fell on Di Zang, the disguised specter started laughing instead.
"Li Tianming, I really have to thank you for removing the chains that bound me. Now, I can return to being myself! I wasn't able to kill my own cherished friend myself, after all. Since you look down on me so much, I’ll show you the true power of the first ghoul king! Specters are so powerful we don't even need lifebound beasts. One could say we're beastmaster and beast in one!"
As he laughed, his body began transforming like Po Suo's, rapidly contorting and expanding. His bones grew to match his new stature and he even grew black scales. In a flash, he seemed more than four meters tall and had two more arms, both of which were huge and ended in sharp claws. His face was no longer human-like at all; instead, he had green skin and tusks. Four new eyes opened above his former eyes, giving him six in total. All six of them were focused on Tianming.
His aura was far more terrifying than before, and there were nine hundred and ninety-nine stars in his eyes. This was Di Zang's true form, and unsurprisingly, he was slightly stronger than his old self and the hell soulbeast combined, though not by too much or he would have sacrificed the hell soulbeast long ago. Now that the beast was dead, its power was transferred back to him.
Tianming's foes were stronger than ever before. Di Zang now had four arms and six eyes. All four arms held peak-level tribulation artifacts of the blade and spear variety. The stars in his eyes also meant he could use abilities.
Smirking, Di Zang said, "Let me introduce myself again. I’m from the Six-eyed Specter Clan. We submit only to the royal family in the Ninefold Hell, nobody else!"
Beside him, Dugu Jin wielded Godbane and looked down at his blood dragons, who were in deep trouble, then back at Tianming, still wary and filled with killing intent. It was obvious that this youth was the one who would ruin all his plans.
"So, even you look down on me, eh?" Di Zang said.
It appeared that Dugu Jin thought Tianming to be a more pressing threat than Di Zang and wanted to kill him first.
"As long as that brat lives, I'm dead for sure! And if I die, the specters will return! What does that have to do with me at all?" Dugu Jin fought for nobody's benefit but his own! So he no longer hesitated and made his decision. It was almost laughable how his wariness for Tianming was more than he held for Di Zang, Jiang Wuxin, and the Archaionfiend combined.