To prevent any trickery, Shuo Yue returned to Qingyu's lifebound space. At the entrance of the Ninedragon Imperial Tomb, Tianming, Lingfeng, and Weisheng Moran closely watched the voidheart worm. Tianming's eyes were filled with his divine hazard sword ki strands, ready to shoot out at any moment.
The tension in the air rose to a peak. By then, a slight frost from the Sanctvoid Guard Formation touched the entrance of the Ninedragon Imperial Tomb, slowly seeping toward them. The inside of the ship was already coated in frost, including those within it.
"Let her go and I'll release you!" Tianming demanded. There were nearly a hundred million specter troops that had just returned to Skywolf Frost, catching up to the ship and keeping a close eye on it. While they seemed wary and fearful, they were still itching for blood. The longer the voidheart worm delayed things, the worse it would become for Tianming.
"Don't hurry. Let's do this properly..." said the voidheart worm, its contorted face making an eerie smile.
Tianming immediately felt severe danger. The fact that they were already there, but the voidheart worm hadn’t immediately run, showed that it was waiting for something. It was behaving with wit and a mental capacity that were completely unlike those it had inside the Sky Palace Formation! It felt like someone was guiding it. The moment that thought occurred to Tianming, he felt danger coming! The first thing he did was to close the entrance of the ship.
The silver dragon head that was the entrance hurriedly pulled back, right before a sudden force rocked the entire ship! The ship swayed wildly in the sea of frost from the unseen force, spinning out of control. As the ship could only be piloted using the wheel formation, Tianming had to focus on it to control it. But right now, his attention was fully occupied by the voidheart worm. The ship immediately flipped over from another heavy shock before tumbling straight into the Sanctvoid Guard Formation.
Tianming could clearly see black ropes of varying thickness appear within the sea of frost, the finest of which had diameters similar to human thighs, while the thicker ones were up to ten meters thick! Not only were there a lot of them, they were also incredibly long and had come from all directions. The frosty waves around them had helped obscure them from sight.
It turned out that the ship had actually been shaken around by these very black ropes. Tens of millions more of them shot toward the ship, tightly binding it! Tianming had only just gripped the wheel formation, but before he could exert any force, the ship was being dragged deeper into the sea of frost at a terrifying speed. It seemed to be filled with endless ice and bones, the depths of which couldn't be fathomed. They were plunging toward the main camp of the enemy! It was as if the gigantic divine astralship was being swallowed up by the mouth of the planet, displacing so much frost that a gigantic wave of a thousand meters was displaced on the surface of the star.
The sound of splashing waves drowned out everything else, and the ship still hadn't managed to properly close its entrance, resulting in even more frost seeping into it. It didn't take long before the inside of the ship turned into an ice cave!
Tianming had been completely played by the voidheart worm. It had never planned to just escape with its life! While this kind of plan wouldn't seem out of place if Sovereign Sanctquility was the one to carry it out, the voidheart worm didn't seem nearly cunning enough for it. Either way, as long as it had Qingyu, it would hold the initiative and make the threats.
"What in the world are those?!" From the force the black ropes seemed to be able to exert, they were obviously extraordinary. They seemed to possess more force than Sovereign Sanctquility and her ship combined.
On the other hand, the voidheart worm had fled with Qingyu in hand as the ship was spinning out of control; it never intended to let her go. Tianming had focused his attention on the voidheart worm the entire time and missed the threat of another monster deep within the sea of death.
He did, however, leave a few Yin Chens on Qingyu's body. It informed him that one of the black ropes had bound the voidheart worm and Qingyu before pulling them down. Soon, they would leave the Sanctvoid Guard Formation and emerge on the inner side of Skywolf Frost.
Fortunately, Lingfeng didn't have to pilot the ship and could afford to chase down the worm with the Soulfiend. He was still following close behind with Yin Chen guiding the way, but he was in trouble nevertheless, having been identified as a foreign threat by the formation. He immediately came under the attack of the frost and slammed into a huge wave!
His eyes turned bloodshot as he glared at the cold abyss. The girl that had been drawn deep into it was the most important person in his life, though, and he howled before charging straight into the frost, going deeper.
Countless blades of frost came slashing from within the storm. The Soulfiend roared and blocked them for Lingfeng, feeling them cut into its flesh. It was covered in blood soon enough, yet it didn't escape. It roared even more furiously and blocked more of the blades with its arms, covering Lingfeng along the way.
All Lingfeng could see was a single hand. Qingyu had been drawn deep into the storm and desperately stretched her hand out to him, but the frost was so strong that her fingers were turning red. But even so, she reached as far as she could like a drowning person, still struggling to survive.
"Save me...." Yin Chen relayed her words to him. It sounded metallic and completely unlike her real voice, but he had heard her nonetheless. The reach of his soul spanned much farther than his senses, allowing him to sense her breathing and heartbeat. He could tell that she still believed he would save her.
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"Qingyu!" Though he had never shed a tear before, this time around, he cried tears of blood. As if he had turned into a beast, he howled and unleashed the demonic aura from his body. His Primordial Gate spun faster and faster to speeds he had never before reached, turning his body into a vortex of darkness. The suction from his chest allowed him to go through the storm even faster! All that was left was his heavy breathing and her terrified cries. He could see her hand, still struggling. Tianming wanted to give chase, too, but both he and the ship were unable to move.
"These are the webs of a voidheart worm!" Tianming finally recognized what they were, but the ship was already mostly bound. Deeper within the mist was a cosmic wildbeast of unbelievable proportions. The pitch-black body that was visible was merely the top of the iceberg! Its silhouette suggested that it was even bigger than the Ninedragon Imperial Tomb, at least ten or twenty times the size of the voidheart worm that was within the Sky Palace Formation! The beast stalked around the frost like an apex predator, its black webs visible all throughout. It had made its lair in the formation!
"It's another voidheart worm!" More accurately, it was a tool of colonization bred by the mysterians for Skywolf to use. It was the beast that had maintained communication with the voidheart worm while it infiltrated the Sky Palace Formation, allowing Skywolf to pinpoint the sun for another invasion.
Tianming had never heard of it before. If he had suspected anything, he would have thought that it would be situated on Skywolf Blaze, the stronger of the twin stars. Additionally, he didn't think it would be so much larger and stronger than the previous one! There was no way he could have learned about this to prepare for it. Skywolf had invaded right after their arrival, leaving him no time to gather any intelligence.
At the end of the day, the voidheart worms were what Skywolf Frost was using to turn the tables after Tianming had killed Sovereign Sanctquility. The larger one made the Sanctvoid Guard Formation its hunting ground, completely binding the Ninedragon Imperial Tomb, while the smaller one took Qingyu back to their lair. While Tianming didn't know what they planned to do with her, he knew that the larger voidheart worm definitely intended to kill him.
His troubles were only just beginning.