A nauseating pungent smell as thick as paste filled the center of the battlefield.
Violent winds, blizzards, flesh, and dust formed a howling torrent. Corpses in the aetheric field were swallowed by the dark abyss spreading out on the ground like a quagmire. As countless forbidden incantations flashed purple, vein-like branches eked toward the center, flashing and extinguishing as if it were the pulsating heartbeat of some existence.
Those forbidden incantations were the greatest and most horrific sacrificial ritual that Wilde had ever set up.
Via this ritual, the corpses and souls of all the dead on this battlefield would become a part of his power, making him increasingly stronger.
Wilde took a deep breath, feeling the surging power gradually fill his body once more. The power was like a raging river roaring and yearning to wreak havoc, but his body as the vessel had fallen behind.
However, he couldn't abandon this body. His high-speed regenerative abilities prevented him from completely destroying himself and letting this power escape.
"Huu..." Wilde exhaled a scalding breath as he eyed his tattered black robe and suit. Wounds of all sizes were all over his body and he had a broken arm.
Fresh blood continuously flowed from the wound on his broken arm, where bits of squirming flesh had sprouted and was struggling against that acute sword aura engulfing the wound which was restricting regeneration.
Wilde cracked his head and glanced at the wound that would neither heal nor completely tear. After a brief moment of thought, his eyes flickered, then without flinching, reached out and pressed against his broken arm that was merely dangling and attached to a few muscle fibers.
The terrifying sound of muscle fibers and flesh being ripped rang out. Wilde had torn out his broken arm and threw it to the side for the ground to devour.
In the next moment, a dazzling white figure wielding a longsword that could tear through space descended from the sky, shooting downward like a burning meteor.
Raging flames enveloped the burly figure in armor. His piercing eyes were filled with anger as he glared straight at Wilde and shouted furiously, "I've found you, Wilde! You can't escape now!"
It was Joseph.
After fighting for quite some time, Wilde broke an arm and had taken the opportunity to retreat, resting beneath the cover of the chaotic aether field for a few seconds before Joseph caught up.
Wilde sneered as the swamp-like abyss beside him squirmed. In the next moment, a massive palm, followed by an arm, swatted at Joseph.
The massive palm formed from his dismembered arm clashed loudly with the flames around Joseph. A shock wave expanded out, swirling the sticky air all around them.
But unfortunately, with a loud shout from Joseph, the white flames enveloping his body blazed brilliantly as the edge of his sword cut through the palm with unstoppable momentum.
The sword tip hit the ground, and a huge sword gleam spanning hundreds of meters slashed, cutting through the air, splitting aether to the sides and destroying everything in its path. Even the massive palm was turned to ashes.
Joseph looked up after regaining his balance. Once again, Wilde was nowhere to be seen.
He raised his sword and pointed it in a certain direction, calling out icily, "It's useless, Wilde. Is running all that you know?!
"Two years have passed and you're no different from back then. Just a stray dog running away with your tail between your legs."
Several thousand meters away stood Wilde who had once again flashed over. His gaze was solemn as he pondered.
At this moment, both of them knew that there wasn't much difference in strength between them. Perception wasn't much contrasting either, and it was impossible to keep a distance from each other as they would immediately be detected by the other party.
But what they needed the most right now was time.
The first step to become Supreme-rank was a comprehension of Laws. Both of them had arrived at that stage at practically the same time, and it was difficult to determine who was superior.
As for the second step, that would be forming a domain.
This was the most crucial step for Supreme-ranks, and also the source of their power.
It could be said that whoever could form a domain first would win this battle. Both sides were in a race against time.
Joseph kept chasing and fighting Wilde, not letting Wilde have any time to think about how to form his domain but at the same time giving up his own.
In such a tense battle, it was difficult for any one side to have a breather.
Therefore, they were both waiting for an opportunity…
Wilde slowly revealed a sly smile.
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Three, two, one.
After a mental countdown, he shakily raised his ceremonial knife in his remaining hand and prepared to chant an incantation. As expected, he saw Joseph shooting over like a brilliant light flare. Blazing white flames made of aether were left in the wake of his straight trajectory, instantly evaporating the abyssal filth that Wilde had summoned from the ground.
An opportunity! thought Joseph when he saw Wilde who seemed to have stopped in place due to exhaustion.
He raised his sword, feinting as if he intended to block, but he actually rapidly condensed aether in his fist and struck Wilde's abdomen, sending the old black magician flying instantly. Along with the many white blazes produced by the aetheric explosion, most of Wilde's body was largely broken in many places!
The moment he was hit, Wilde's smile grew wider as the momentum sent him flying.
As the battlefield had already been razed to the ground, Wilde was sent tumbling through the air until he crashed into a pillar at the edge of the Dream Creator's barrier.
Joseph turned into a streak of light that followed closely behind. He didn't dare relax one bit when he saw Wilde fall limply to the ground like a dead body. Gripping the hilt of his sword tightly, he readied himself to deal the final blow to Wilde at any moment.
But at the same time, he couldn't help feeling some slight hesitation and unease because this had gone too smoothly...
Wilde's insidiousness and craft required Joseph's utmost to take him down back then. Now, two years later, his bitter adversary shouldn't have been defeated so easily.
In his hesitation, a guess had formed in Joseph's mind.
But suddenly, his senses tingled, interrupting his thoughts. It was as if something in the distance was unintentionally tugging at him. And unknowingly, he had already been attracted by the threads of fate.
Joseph's heart thumped wildly. He turned around and saw his beloved daughter headed toward the battlefield and approaching the Dream Creator's barrier!
He hadn't noticed that their battle had already reached the fringes of the dream barrier.
And barely a thousand meters away, the silhouette of Melissa and Winston were clearly visible. The two of them seemed to be having a disagreement as Winston pulled Melissa back and said something.
"Hehheh… Take a guess, Joseph. If I were to rush over now, what are the chances of me being able to kill your daughter?" Wilde's voice suddenly came alive, his tone indifferent but filled with malice and provocation.
Joseph's expression momentarily froze before it broke into a livid one.
By the time he returned to his senses, he had already smashed Wilde with all his might once more as explosive white flames engulfed his field of vision.
In the next second, he immediately realized that this was all Wilde's scheme to provoke him.
But this realization had come late!
Wilde's battered and broken body had flown far away once more. After coughing out a mouthful of blood, he laughed maniacally. "Hahahaha! Thank you, Joseph! If it weren't for your strength, I'm afraid I wouldn't have been able to break free from this rotten body and achieve a true Supreme-rank domain!"
Flames enveloping Wilde bit away at his body, completely suppressing his self-regenerating capabilities. His withered cells could no longer be reborn and turned into nothingness within the raging white blazes. Eventually, nothing remained.
However, there was indeed something different about the black magician.
Joseph's eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. It was only now did he realize that Wilde had used his own strike to completely comprehend his Law and formed his own domain!
The Radiant Knight wrapped his body in aether and charged after like a streak of light, trying to grab at Wilde!
But it was too late!
Before Joseph's hand could reach, Wilde's rapidly dissolving body, which was still laughing maniacally, burned away in the aether flames. At the same time, a new body was born from the destruction.
Wilde, who was close to becoming a god, was about to abandon his human body that restricted him.
Joseph willed himself and used all of his might to move quicker, hoping he could become even faster than time itself.
Wilde rapidly swelled up in the void. Beneath his robes no longer existed a human body but a ball of flesh with dozens of tentacles covered in lacquered red eyes.
The black magician's form was gone and was just like a huge piece of meat planted on the floor. Only a broken head still revealing that mocking grin remained atop the tentacled mass.
Every Supreme-rank existence had their own Laws which they ruled. At that moment, a new domain of Law was taking shape.
Every vein on Joseph's forehead and arms were bulging as he roared furiously, wanting to kill his opponent before the transformation became complete.
He raised the sword in his hand, its blade burning whatever it touched rapidly. The collision of aether ignited dazzling white flames that were capable of vaporizing any ordinary person that looked directly at it.
Behind him, a huge humanoid figure of condensed light, similar in size to the newly amalgamated black magician's body, shadowed his actions.
However, these two figures were completely different.
"Joseph, our battle is coming to an end. Fate has decided to write the outcome." The last of Wilde's old head was burned by the blazing white flames, his raspy voice, lingering through the battlefield like a rotten smell, announcing—
"I will become destruction.
"What I've always been pursuing is destruction, but I can't touch the end of destruction and the true meaning because I can't personally experience destruction.
"And now, thank you, Joseph. Death is the point closest to destruction.
"Everything has an ending, and that eventuality now lies in my hands.
"Joseph," Wilde spoke as if he was calling out to a comrade, just that his voice was scattered, sharp, and frightening. Just hearing it could make one lose their mind.
"You will lose everything, be defeated, and die a miserable death. This, I've already seen very clearly."