Azuresoul Sword Mountain looked like a sword that pierced through the clouds above. The Azuresky Myriadsword Formation was its scabbard, radiating boundless power around the mountain. Even though the place was quiet and calm, it was dyed almost entirely red with blood, causing a bloody stench to waft around the area and even staining the fiery clouds above red.
The ground shook as the mountain seemed to break apart. Cries of beasts and people intermingled into a droning hum. Even though the people on the continent thought that the bloodshed would end after the matter with the Azurecloud Divine Tree was settled, that had only marked the start of wars across the sun.
After the battle of the Myriaddragon Mountains ended, the fourth-rate factions started falling at the hands of the celestial orderians. The ones coming from the north were cruel and burning savages. They had lost tens of millions of their comrades during the grand battle, suffering a loss like never before. When news of that spread, countless celestial orderian households seemed to cry bloody tears and were filled with endless rage. Invaders were usually the ones who forgot what caused the wars to begin with. Thinking themselves as righteous, all they would remember was that they were the ones who were offended and suffered losses.
With nothing but vengeance in mind, the celestial orderians began crossing borders, striking down countless beastmasters whose only sin was being weak. Those that resisted were treated the same as those that didn't: they were killed without question. As such, the hard-fought peace that had only lasted two years on the Azurecloud Continent quickly evaporated. The fresh blood spilled on the ground was absorbed by the Azurecloud Divine Tree once more, causing its leaves to turn red and its bark to wither and crack open, revealing bloody, bubbling growths within.
The old legends spoke of an angered divine tree that would teach the invaders a lesson, yet that day never arrived. The denizens of the tree were humiliated and massacred, yet all the tree did was turn blood red, as if it had been submerged in a sea of suffering that encompassed the entire continent. When people looked up at the tree, they no longer felt warmth, only cold cruelty. Sometimes, the leaves of the tree that spanned much of the continent would rain blood. The people cried when they realized that the blood of their fallen loved ones flowed within the tree.
The helpless people of the continent couldn't resist the massacre at all, but they wouldn't forget the grudge. Everyone was waiting for the day when they would exact revenge against the invaders. The remaining cultivators swore to fight to the death. Both those from the Supracloud Sanctuary and Azuresoul Palace refused to stand down as they defended their home and dignity. They weren't waiting for some miracle that would bail them out of all this; instead, all they knew was that they couldn't stop fighting before the invaders. They couldn't bear to bring shame to their loved ones in the afterlife.
Far too many lives had been lost—some lost their family, and others their lifebound beasts. There were also those that lost their cultivation and everything else. The celestial orderians no longer needed a reason to conquer cities and cull their population. There was nothing in their people except the rampant urge to destroy everything like the flame. The soul of their race had turned into a bloody wraith of slaughter.
Long Wanying was a person who had lost much, having seen Yang Ce fall at the start of the war. Yun Tianque had also failed to protect his home when the celestial orderians raided it, losing countless family and friends. When he had escaped to the Azuresoul Palace, his eyes were bloodshot with rage. Now, he stood at Celestial Welcome Hall, but he wasn't welcoming friends. Rather, he was welcoming an army of three million elite celestial orderian troops, the sum of all the troops they had deployed at the Azurecloud Continent. Yesterday, they started their assault on the Azuresky Myriadsword Formation.
The weakest of the three million troops were fourth-level constelliers. All the legionnaires that had a thousand troops at their command were at least solarians. They were one of the most capable armies in all of the sun, boasting rigid discipline, regulations, and good arms and supplies. Most importantly, they were there for revenge and didn't fear death. Being organized in a proper army, they had a huge advantage over the disparate cultivators on the other side. Every move they made emphasized efficiency and tactics.
The local cultivators, on the other hand, had been forced into a corner with no recourse aside from fighting to their deaths. The last hope of the continent was now concentrated on the Azuresoul Sword Mountain. From the start, the many weaker factions had been retreating toward it. After the Supracloud Sanctuary's fall, Gujian Qingshuang had also made preparations to evacuate Yun Tianque and the rest. They used to be mortal enemies, but now they were allies relying on one another in a time of need. The core members of the Supracloud Sanctuary had fled to Azuresoul Sword Mountain to avoid true extermination.
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That one mountain now contained seventy percent of the total fighting force of the continent, but that also meant that if it fell, it would result in the loss of countless legacies of the continent. The millions of years of effort of those of times past would be wiped out in one go. That was why they were willing to fight until their last drop of blood was lost to defend everyone and everything they cared about, sparing them the fate of being swallowed up in totem flames.
Everyone gathered on the mountain fueled the defensive formation through its formation spirit threads. The million cultivators from the Supracloud Sanctuary and their lifebound beasts joined the swordpupils of the Azuresoul Palace in facing off against the three million invaders. Blades flew and blood fell all across the area. Countless corpses had already piled up on the ground, creating rivers of blood. There was no longer any fear of death. Many people even weren't aware of where their dead lifebound beasts were as they fought. The flaming totems kept swarming them like tidal waves of magma.
"Stop resisting. It's pointless. Be honored that you’ll be the first continent that we swallow up! It’ll be a historic moment."
"Once all of you are exterminated, the Azurecloud Continent will become our territory!"
"All beastmasters on this continent will be our slaves! None of your descendants will live with their heads held high! You’ll be nothing but dogs that grovel behind us!"
"It's all your fault for daring to resist us at Myriaddragon Mountains! We’ll pay you back a thousand times for those you killed!"
Even though the celestial orderians knew that further provocation would only drive the beastmasters into an even crazier frenzy, they still couldn't help indulging in such a delightful urge. They watched as their enemies continued helplessly struggling to kill them.
"In a real fight, you'll understand that the Myriad Solar Sects are useless against us celestial orderians. You don't have enough history, foundation, or legacies to compare to us! You're nothing but slave material!"
The tens of millions of dead celestial orderians had triggered a notion across all the totemancers on the sun, giving birth to a grudge that would never end. After the two years since their humiliating loss, they had come back to prove themselves once more, desperate to convince themselves that the lost battle of Myriaddragon Mountains was just a fluke and that they were still the absolute rulers of the sun.
Nobody could stand up to them, not even Gujian Qingshuang, Yun Tianque, Long Wanying, and the other elite leaders that were fighting in the field. More and more celestial orderians kept flooding back in even after many before them had been turned into corpses. Even constelliers dared to fight Long Wanying, thanks to a bounty system. The more important the people they killed were, the better the rewards would be, which were enough to last them a lifetime. However, that was just icing on the cake that was their pride as celestial orderians.