Long Wanying's reasoning was superficial at best. If Tianming were to be attacked by a group of people, he definitely wouldn't start by killing the weakest. With him at his strongest state, he would kill the strongest enemies to scare the weaker ones away. As long as the leader was still fighting, the minions would be more daring, after all.
In contrast, the sun emperor had tried that very same method when he attempted to have the Veildragon Palace take over the Xuanyuan Dragon Sect, but that ended up failing. Thus, he turned to exterminating the weaker sects before going for the first-rate sect leaders. After all that, he switched back to the tactic of dealing with the toughest enemies first at the Myriaddragon Mountains. Not to mention, it was practically guaranteed that Tianming wouldn't run and abandon them. If the Myriaddragon Mountains fell, it would be a huge blow to the Empyrean Sword Sect and other sects. They would be isolated and receive no help, making it only a matter of time before they fell.
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In a war like this, the tens of billions of gods at the Myriaddragon Mountains were both a benefit and a burden. With enough people, they could fuel their defensive formation better, but once the formation was broken they would be sheep waiting to be slaughtered. It would be really hard to evacuate that many people at once. Even though ten billion gods sounded like a lot, they were only as powerful as thirty million Ninedragon Army troops at best, as their average cultivation level was around the eighth level of the Ascension stage. The Ninedragon Army's average level was the eighth level of the Constellation stage, a whole twelve levels higher. Any single soldier of the Ninedragon Army could take on a hundred normal gods. As such, the large number of gods would only be useful for the formation, leaving only around a hundred and thirty million troops of the alliance who could fight on the battlefield. While their morale was high, their organization couldn't compare to the celestial orderians. It would only be a day at most before the battle started, so there was nothing left to do but to prepare.
"Tianming, have Yin Chen monitor the movements of all the elites on the sun. I'll take a million solarians from the Empyrean Sword Sect with me to defend the Myriaddragon Mountains. Wanying is right. If we lose there, there's no point in fighting anymore. Win or lose, we stand together," the Northdipper Swordsage said. A million solarians didn't sound like much, but that was all the solarians they had in their fifty-million-strong army. Among them, three hundred thousand were actually from their sect, while the rest were elites from other refugee sects. They were far more mobile than normal troops and had decent fighting strength; they could hold off around ten million constellier troops. They were all top class among their ranks.
That was a sign of the Northdipper Swordsage's commitment. As for the rest of the troops in the Empyrean Sword Sect, they couldn't leave, as their mobility was low. They wouldn't make it to the Myriaddragon Mountains before the celestial orderians arrived. Additionally, there was a chance that the sun emperor would send troops to attack them by surprise, so they couldn't leave the sect entirely undefended. There were a billion normal gods in the sect, after all.
"I’ll also bring all the solarians of my dynasty. There's around eight hundred thousand of them," the Ninesun Martial Lord said. The Myriaddragon Mountains were the core of their plan. They weren't just fighting for the alliance, but also themselves.
"We of the Frostsoul Imperium don't have nearly as many people. Including the reinforcements we sent last time, we only have around two hundred thousand solarians. I’ll come over as well," the Frostsoul Empress said.
As for the Group of Celestial Maiden Halls, they had mounted a full evacuation as the rapidly changing situation at the Voidword Shrine and the dreamless celestial nation could pose a danger to them. Fortunately, they weren't situated far away from the Myriaddragon Mountains, so the Saintdragon Emperor had sent some people to help with the evacuation. The Fushen Clan had also fully evacuated to the Myriaddragon Mountains. In other words, the full fighting force of the alliance would be assembled by the end of the day, encompassing nearly all the solarians in the alliance.
The various leaders were ready to fight to the death. Only Tianming, the Saintdragon Emperor, and Long Wanying remained in the great hall at Great Saintdragon Peak. Tianming cast his gaze at the north-facing window. He saw three hundred million flaming troops marching their way, the strongest fighting force of the celestial orderians. As the second-rate sects had given up on their defensive formations when they evacuated, the enemy hadn’t suffered any casualties. The incoming hardship they had to face was unprecedented.
"There's nothing funny about fighting a final battle to settle things. The only thing that stands out is why he would choose to do it when Skywolf is at our door," he said, furrowing his brow as he shook his head.
"The sun emperor, you mean?"
"Yeah. He should know that he’ll suffer casualties even though his numbers are double ours when we're united in resisting him. Even if he takes our territory, he probably wouldn't have more than two-thirds of his troops remaining. What's the point of taking it, then? The Sky Palace Formation will still be there and the voidheart worm is still something to be concerned about. The astralguard formation will remain deactivated. He won't be able to change anything about Skywolf's impending invasion."
"Yeah, that's the troubling part of all this." The stakes of everyone else in this battle were clear, save for the sun emperor's. However, there was no other response the alliance could muster other than going to battle.
"Let's get to battle positions," Tianming said.
The Saintdragon Emperor operated the Aeonic Infinidragon Formation while Long Wanying deployed their troops. They were running out of time. But thankfully, Tianming's defeat of the dreamless celestial emperor had given them confidence and raised their morale despite having to face off against three hundred million troops. This was the only chance they would have to deal a heavy blow against the celestial orderians.
"As long as we can repeat the battle that took place here the last time, we'll emerge victorious in the end!"
The former battle of the Myriaddragon Mountains was only on a scale of tens of millions of troops, while hundreds of millions would be fighting today. Not to mention, it involved tens of billions of normal gods fueling the formation. The incoming storm had been brewing above the mountain range for quite some time.
The solar storms were rather powerful that day, causing the flaming clouds to rapidly shift about. Flaming embers rained down on the activated Aeonic Infinidragon Formation, scattering into many fine sparks.
When Tianming stepped out of the great hall, he saw Weisheng Moran waiting for him beneath a tree with her forty-nine sisters. They looked almost identical and were a stunning sight to behold everywhere they went. However, he had other things to worry about, so he couldn't quite enjoy the sight. They also seemed to feel the tension in the air and sat there without bothering him.
"Little fish?" Tianming slightly relaxed the moment he noticed her. "Have you been waiting for me?"