Skywolf Frost had lost its protective sea of frost. Even though the icy fog still existed as a layer above the star, it had lost all of its defensive capabilities, leaving the entire world exposed. Strong, cold winds rampaged across the world, ceaselessly howling.
Across the vast ocean, large piles of undamaged specter corpses could be seen. All of them had their eyes wide open, having died in a most peculiar manner. Many of them were looking up to the sky at a gigantic black vortex. Within it was the three-headed, six-armed figure of darkness with more than a hundred and thirty million baleful souls surrounding him. Even those on the ground level could hear their cries, and nobody was capable of stopping him.
"Didn't our worlds come all this way to hunt? How could something like this be allowed to happen?" Doubts began surfacing as more and more saw the raving shadow.
"It's said that Skywolf Blaze is mounting a full-scale attack while we’re taking the brunt of the enemy's main force. We just have to hold on," someone said in self-consolation.
"But what in the world is that monster? A soul-eating creature?!"
Shock, awe, and bewilderment dampened their initial excited mood. What they didn't know was that even the precentennial sovereign from their holy land was looking at that monster. To remain undiscovered, his cohort hadn't come on divine astralships. A group of faceless people with bodies like jade remained hidden within the sea of frost. Though they didn't have eyes, they could still see clearly. It was clear to them that the soul power of that creature was immense, which was why they kept their distance. Despite the lack of facial features, they appeared rather shocked.
"Emperor Qiang...." Many of them turned to the youth in their midst, hoping for an answer.
"If my guess is right, that fellow is consuming dead souls to fuel himself in combat! I didn't think a monster like that could exist in the astralscape..." Qiang muttered.
Lingfeng was rather reputable within the Astraldome, but otherwise he remained within the Ninedragon Imperial Tomb for most of the time. Since Qiang didn't know about that ship, he didn't know that this fiendish creature was actually Lingfeng. After all, it hadn’t taken long for Lingfeng to turn to this form after arriving at Skywolf Frost. By the same reasoning, the mysterians also hadn't seen Tianming at all, since he had remained within the ship for the most part. Even when he’d killed Sovereign Sanctquility, he had remained deep within the Flameyellow Guard Formation. The spectators didn't go that far in to avoid the defense mechanisms.
"That divine astralship itself isn't much. It’s stronger than the average divine astralship from a heliacal-class world, but it's not too impressive. This soul-eating monster, on the other hand, is a miracle in a way." Qiang turned to another faceless specter and asked, "Have you reported this in the wondersky realm?"
"It’s done. The elders are interested in this monster and ordered us to observe it to collect information about who, or what, it is."
Qiang nodded and turned to the sun in the distance. "Honestly, that astralguard formation is rather peculiar. If it weren’t for that, I could simply infiltrate it to learn all about that monster." As astralguard formations were sensitive to the presence of aliens, the faceless specters could only observe from a distance. As for Qiang, he was only interested in the monster.
"Perhaps someone in Skywolf Frost would know about it," one subordinate suggested.
"Send a few to investigate. We'll keep watch here," Qiang said.
"Emperor Qiang, Skywolf Frost is suffering quite a lot of casualties at the hands of this monster. They’re our allies—should we give them aid? They even lost the voidheart worms," said another subordinate.
"Our allies? They’re the dogs of the Whitejade line and have nothing to do with us, not to mention we won't be getting any credit from this. We can't get held back here. We still have to fetch Li Tianming from Violetglory. That's our main priority." They were lofty gods who wouldn't deign to enter a mortal realm like the Flameyellow Continent. Had they done so, they would have learned that it was Tianming's actual home.
"Wouldn't this monster continue eating more and more souls until it becomes something that can wipe out the universe? There's still a lot of souls for him to harvest."
Crimsonjade Qiang gave it some thought. He wanted to control it, but he knew that he wasn't a match for the monster in its current state. Dying was an actual possibility. "Let’s wait for now. He must have a limit. Once he reaches it, we might have a chance." He wasn't the least bit hurried. Looking up from the sea of frost, he saw the burning sun hanging above him.
"Huh?!" All of the faceless specters were stunned at the sight.
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"What in the world is that?!" The heliacal-class world had actually grown sharp spikes that stretched toward Skywolf Frost! They could feel a numbing pressure coming from them.
Qiang quickly reacted, his featureless face contorting. "Run!"
In a panic, their minds went blank. Even people of their caliber felt like they were scrambling to survive. Not even Qiang was aware of how a heliacal-class world could turn into a spiked ball like that. Their heartbeats hastened from the bad omen they felt, and they weren’t alone in that feeling. Tianming, Lingfeng, and Qingyu also felt that something was amiss, while the many troops from the Sanctvoid Army were absolutely stupefied, with many nervously swallowing. The world itself seemed to have fallen silent.
"What the hell? A sun urchin? It looks so ugly...." Someone wanted to lighten the mood with a joke, but nobody joined in his awkward laughter. There was only pin-drop silence.
"Gotta evade!" Tianming groaned. He piloted the ship away to avoid being sandwiched by the two stars. Right as he left, the entire sun shook as it absorbed nova source like a divine astralship.
"This can't be...." Ying Huo and the others looked wide-eyed at what was happening. The sun itself seemed to have become the sun emperor—destructive, short-tempered, and furious, but most importantly, unpredictable! The gigantic solar lances rumbled, emanating a terrifying aura as boundless flames swirled around them. The noise of the rumbling blended together with everyone's anxious heartbeats.
Tianming had the best vantage point for the changes happening with the sun. It seemed to start propelling itself, as he had expected, and there was no stopping it. Even sovereigns were nothing but ants compared to the surface of nova source worlds. What he didn't expect was how fast and fierce the acceleration would be. It was like a pike formation charging toward the enemy as fast as it could!
Skywolf Frost had eyed the sun as a hungry predator would its prey, but now it was the one that was panicking! Tianming could no longer hear himself over all the rumbling; all he could do was watch the dreamlike scene before him unfold. The gigantic star crashed into Skywolf Frost like a cannonball! The damage incurred was easily far higher than the moonfall that had almost occurred back then, not to mention the sun had only taken a few moments to accelerate and collide.
Like an angered rhinoceros, the spiked ball of flame slammed deeper into the icy star, their polar opposite energies clashing, the aftereffects of which engulfed the Ninedragon Imperial Tomb. Tianming stabilized the ship before turning back; the impossible had finally happened.
The burning sun left a trail of flame behind it after the crash.
He couldn't find the words to describe what he felt. Even his mind and understanding of the universe seemed to fail him. This was the true nature of the terrifying universe! From the moment the sun had revealed its fangs, this ending was inevitable. The gold and crimson flames pierced through the grayish white frost to deal even more damage.
Like a madman, Tianming charged back through the cloud of clashing elements toward the two stars and noticed that the Flameyellow Divine Pillars near the south pole of the sun had pierced more than halfway into Skywolf Frost. Needless to say, its fusion formation had been penetrated. Frosty nova source began flooding out of the wound, and even the slightest bit of leakage could be disastrous!