Boundless faith power infused the Grand-Orient Sword. There seemed to be an illusory manifestation of rulership within.
"Carrying the will and intent of all, this sword shall exterminate all evils! The ruler lives up to his subjects' expectations, and the subjects reciprocate the favor!" This time around, Tianming had played his role as the ruler, so it would be up to the subjects now. As it turned out, when he did the complete opposite of what they expected and got a surge of faith, countless people followed his countercurrent path. As the force congregated in his sword, he began to have an epiphany. While he couldn't immediately grow stronger as a result, it was significant for his future growth.
"A ruler!" Tianming roared as he looked at the figure. His lifebound beasts, totems, divine wonders, and Grand-Orient Sword were ready, all of them at full power. The sun emperor's gigantic crimson and gold coffin appeared in response, seemingly about to crush Tianming's head with the weight of the whole world.
Yet another ultimate clash was about to happen. Nobody would have expected that Tianming, who had been on the brink of death, would be able to reappear much stronger than before. Lightning, fire, totems, and drowning sounds were unleashed once more. The Grand-Orient Sword seemed transformed, having taken on the ancient power of the Primordial God-Emperor as it slashed against the coffin. Every ounce of his and his lifebound beasts' power was used to resist that gigantic coffin. They were quite unhappy about having lost against it the last time! Even so, the humongous pressure on Tianming could not be understated.
"Move aside!" He flicked his sword as his totems, beasts, divine wonders, and Omnisentient Will gave their all to send the gigantic coffin flying. Tianming suddenly landed on the ground. Though he was heavily shaken, he was still standing, whereas the coffin slammed into the sun emperor and pushed him back.
The sight shocked the entire battlefield into stunned silence. What followed were endless cheers. The rabid celestial orderians suddenly began angrily backing off, while the despairing defenders mustered their courage to a whole new peak.
Everyone wondered what had happened to Tianming after he slammed into the ground, but the mere sight of him sending the gigantic coffin flying seemed to completely wipe away his defeat from before. It showed that even against a crazy artifact of the sun emperor, he could still resist it to some extent! The defenders were once more dragged up from rock bottom. In fact, they were in even higher spirits than before.
The scary thing wasn't Tianming's strength, but rather his incredible, almost transformative adaptability. When he finally managed to resist the coffin and nail his landing, even the sun emperor furrowed his brow, speechless. He immediately controlled the coffin again, a sign that he was now wary of Tianming. Nobody wanted to kill the young scourge before him more than he did. Once more, the coffin came falling down, but the defenders weren't the slightest bit nervous this time. They watched their ruler, mentally willing their energy to be of help to him.
"Ruler...." Tianming looked up once more. He had more than ten billion Omnisentient Threads, marking the birth of a new miracle. Everyone in the Myriaddragon Mountains, without exception, had accepted him as their ruler. They now walked with him on the same path. Once his influence spanned half the sun, the normal mortals that lived within the factions' territories began seeing him as the true ruler of the sun.
The sheer amount of energy made him forget his injuries. In fact, there was far more than he could have imagined. His Imperial Will was able to absorb even more energy than formation spirit threads could! Each person seemed able to provide up to ten times more energy than they did before as long as they were on the same path as he was, effectively multiplying the Omnisentient Threads' effectiveness by a few times, hence how he was able to resist the coffin.
The sun emperor remained silent, while the celestial orderians were at a loss as to what was happening. How could their foes that had been on the brink of collapse come back fighting just like that? The battle once more entered a stalemate.
"The sun emperor is panicking!"
"He isn't able to kill Li Tianming!"
Even with the fall of the Aeonic Infinidragon Formation, the faith of the defenders was stronger than before. The Saintdragon Emperor quickly organized a regroup and started evacuating the Myriaddragon Mountains.
Yet another slam came from the coffin, but Tianming survived it and remained standing, further strengthening the faith of his believers. They all watched with bloodshot eyes as the youth stood up against the sun emperor, infusing power into his albi.
"Looks like quantity is only one factor. Their power and the depth of their faith also affect my strength!" Tianming was growing to be more and more like the Primordial God-Emperor, seeming like an even more fit ruler than the sun emperor. The only shame was that he had awoken a little too late, after the Xuanyuan Dragon Sect's formation was lost.
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"You really are stubborn. This isn’t the first time you stunned me speechless," the sun emperor said. He had used his coffin three times, but failed to kill Tianming each time. The look he shot Tianming was quite weird.
"Since you already know, you’d better take your men and leave," Tianming said. For the first time, he was putting up actual resistance against the sun emperor, seemingly standing on equal ground, which awed the celestial orderians even more. However, Tianming knew that it would be impossible for him to kill the sun emperor. The best he could do now was survive, so he hoped that they would retreat.
"You want me to leave? You can't be thinking that you've won, right?" The sun emperor broke into a laugh. As he laughed, the Divine Sun Palace loomed behind him. It was still charging up thanks to the other 'sun emperor' within. "Foolish child, just because the Flameyellow Coffin and I can't deal with you doesn't mean you’re invincible."
With the defensive formation breached, the other sun emperor within the palace no longer had to operate it. In other words, Tianming would be facing off against two sun emperors! Those were even worse odds!