Yin Chen reported that not even the celestial orderians knew where the pillar formations had come from. The sun emperor had made sure to prevent information from leaking for his most important plans, knowing that Tianming had eyes almost everywhere.
"As long as we don't know what the formations are really used for, we'll only be able to passively react."
Perhaps they were a secret that fewer than three people knew about, or maybe only the sun emperor knew. There was no way to find out at the moment. Tianming could only tell Yin Chen to try its best to dig out information about the pillars. The Saintdragon Emperor also tasked people to look for people or records that had information about the phenomena. There should be at least a few people who knew about such things. But one thing was for sure: the sun emperor would be working to destroy the defensive formations of the top ten sects to allow all two hundred of those pillar formations to manifest. The Myriaddragon Mountains' fate was still unchanged.
"This is odd.... Our ancestors scoured these lands for generations, to the point that they almost reached the fusion formation below. How did they not discover these formations?" The Saintdragon Emperor seemed troubled by the same doubts as the Northdipper Swordsage and the rest. Eventually, the formation even appeared at Fushen Valley, something Fushen Gongyi was shocked to hear about.
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"Looks like having the second-rate sects retreat without resistance helped the sun emperor instead," Tianming said.
"There was nothing we could do. Even if we didn't give up on the formations, they would still eventually fall, but we'd only have casualties to show for it," Long Wanying said. At the end of the day, the core of the myriad sects were the people in them. "The dreamless celestial emperor believed that the sun emperor's knowledge had limits, right? Now, it seems that we, the dreamless celestial emperor, and even Skywolf and the voidheart worm also know very limited things about the sun emperor. While the dreamless celestial emperor knows more about the astralscape than the sun emperor, the sun emperor understands Orderia the best."
This was the battlefield of the celestial orderians. Back then, Tianming had believed that the sun emperor wasn't that threatening, especially when compared to Skywolf. But now he had a renewed respect for him. "He’s a terrifying opponent indeed."
Without any information about the formations, all the alliance could do was defend against the incoming onslaught. They could already hear the rumbling of the three hundred million troops, whose approach made the air around them heat up.
"We'll go to our defense posts as planned!"
The Saintdragon Emperor, Northdipper Swordsage, Ninesun Martial Lord, Fushen Gongyi, Frostsoul Empress, and Yan Lingxian were filled with fighting spirit. This would be the final battle for survival, a battle of unprecedented importance. This time around, they didn't have the Primodragon Cave to count on—the only way they would be able to save the Myriaddragon Mountains was to do it themselves.
Tianming had spread Yin Chens all throughout the battlefield, giving him a view of most areas. He also kept in touch with thousands of formation operators and commanding officers. They had prepared everything for this day.
He also took Lingfeng and Weisheng Moran with him. The three youths were among the strongest fighters of the alliance, and their mission was to stop the sun emperor, who could be coming to the battlefield himself. If it didn't turn out that way, Tianming's mission would be to do the same he had done at Fushen Valley by killing the enemy officers one after another with Yin Chen's help. The enemy army of three hundred million should have more than thirty leaders of Li Tianyi's level, all of whom would be celestial orderian elites above the tenth level of the Solar stage.
"Getting rid of them would no doubt cripple their army to some degree. However, their numbers are far too high, and their moral support is none other than the sun emperor. As long as the sun emperor lives, they won't crumble like they did back at Fushen Valley." Tianming knew that fact well. In a battle between hundreds of millions, the power of one single person would be exceedingly limited. Not even the sun emperor would be able to do much other than killing a few leaders if he entered the fray himself, rather than using the Divine Sun Palace.
The forces fighting on the ground were the key to victory. And the Ninedragon Imperial Tomb seemed to have limited use in that battle. Tianming and the other two flew to the front lines, which was the northernmost point of the Myriaddragon Mountains where the Ninedragon Army had set up camp. They would be fighting in the vanguard at the very front this time around.
"The celestial orderian troops seem to be coming straight at us without pause. The Ninedragon Army will be the first to meet them in battle." Tianming and the Saintdragon Emperor had arranged for it to be such, and the Ninedragon Army was all too willing. While it was true that the troops in front would suffer the most casualties, this was their home and the last bastion of the Myriad Solar Sects. The Ninedragon Army would never allow the refugees who had come for sanctuary to be used as cannon fodder. Such a strong soul was something that their ancestors had passed down. Not to mention, with them as shining examples, the troops of the alliance behind them would be more motivated.
Battlelust already began filling the air.
"The Northdipper Swordsage and the rest also brought their elites to join us here. There’s around three million of them."
In other words, the vanguard force would have the most penetrative power. The pre-battle tension rose to a climax. When Tianming appeared in the sky as the Imperialdragon Princeps and leader of the alliance, the countless beastmasters and their dragons bellowed. All the troops of the Ninedragon Army were connected to him by an Omnisentient Thread, through which he shared and resonated with their spirits and wills.
Most of the troops were beastmasters. They summoned their lifebound beasts and waited in the mountains. From a distance, one could see beasts filling the skies and carpeting the ground, many of which had more than a thousand stars. There were all kinds of beasts, ranging from avians, to insects, to mammalian beasts of all shapes, sizes, and colors.