Proud Heaven had reached the half-Annulled level, which put him on equal footing with the High Priestess. It was now impossible for her to crush him simply because her cultivation base was superior. Furthermore, he could now wield immense power from the Great Necropolis. Because of that, he was completely fearless.
Everyone was so shocked they didn’t know how to react. That was especially true of Hailan. ‘What do I do? What do I do?! How could Proud Heaven have reached this level? If he’s in the half-Annulled level, it means the High Priestess won’t be able to deal with him. How could things have turned around like this?’
She knew full well that, given the gains Proud Heaven had made, the High Priestess didn’t have any hope of beating him in a fight.
“Ten Universes!” Once again, Proud Heaven’s ten universes appeared, except they were vastly different than they had been before, and created a swirling vortex that shot toward the High Priestess with deadly force.
“God Art of Prayer!”
The High Priestess still wasn’t a weakling, so she launched a fist strike that caused the images of countless noble spirits of antiquity to rush forth and meet the attack of the Ten Universes.
In the blink of an eye, a major fight had broken out.
The High Priestess fought with enigmatic speed and ruthless violence. Her attacks crushed Proud Heaven’s Ten Universes over and over again.
And Proud Heaven couldn’t stop her special movement techniques, which allowed her to close in on him and unleash marvelous attacks.
“High Priestess, why don’t you take a look at what a real fist technique of the gods looks like?” Proud Heaven was clearly not at a disadvantage. He met the High Priestess blow for blow, causing heaven-rending, earth-crushing force to ripple out.
The battlefield was battered and cracked, but the destiny from the three dynasties continued to pour in and bolster it, filling in the cracks and repairing it. This fight was on par with the fight that had played out long ago between King Immortal-Slayer and the True Devil.
The two danced nimbly back and forth as they fought, exchanging thousands upon thousands of blows. As for Proud Heaven, the longer he fought, the stronger he became. At a certain point, he thrust his hand out, causing a tombstone to appear that rumbled unstoppably toward the High Priestess.
“High Priestess, you use the Deathless Monument, which is filled with countless noble spirits. But I use the God Tombstone Palms, a consummate art from the Great Necropolis. Let’s see which will come out on top. The God Tombstone Palms, or the Deathless Monument.” Proud Heaven was using the God Tombstone Palms, which was something Yang Qi often did.
However, this version was vastly superior to anything that had ever been seen before, as they were corporeal. In fact, the mere sight of it caused Yang Qi to nod inwardly as he gained new insight into the secrets of the technique.
Because Proud Heaven was a half-Annulled expert now, he could command the powers of the Great Necropolis in a way nobody else had in the past.
“Deathless Monument!” the High Priestess said, then she exhaled, causing countless monuments to spring up and meet the God Tombstone Palms. Instantly, the palms crumbled under the force of her attack.
“Your fist technique is amazing, Proud Heaven. Sadly, you reached the half-Annulled too late. You lack experience. Let me show you what a true half-Annulled master is capable of. Deathless Monument, Void Fusion!” The High Priestess suddenly vanished into thin air, along with her Deathless Monument.
Then, Proud Heaven was suddenly swept along as though by a riptide, causing him to tumble about letting out roars of rage. Apparently, he was being battered by invisible fluctuations of true energy.
The High Priestess had entered an annulled state, and was using it to launch attacks that Proud Heaven couldn’t see or even touch.
As Proud Heaven staggered, his Ten Universes collapsed. His God Tombstone Palms collapsed into rubble that swirled around him. Apparently, he just couldn’t deal with this attack from the High Priestess.
Unseeable chains were wrapping around him as the High Priestess upped her efforts.
Proud Heaven was like a fly caught in a spiderweb, incapable of moving or escaping.
After this continued for a while, the High Priestess suddenly appeared again above him, where she thrust her hand out, causing a huge stone monument to drop toward him.
“Great Necropolis!” Proud Heaven shouted, and blood sprayed out of his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth as a projection of the necropolis appeared around him. The necropolis rumbled upward, smashing the descending monument, and causing blood to spray out of the mouth of the High Priestess.
Proud Heaven retracted the Great Necropolis into his body, his face ashen as he stood there unsteadily. Meanwhile, the High Priestess had staggered backward and was staring hard at Proud Heaven, but wasn’t attacking.
“Just what exactly is going on here?” That’s what everyone was thinking. “Are they both injured?”
Suddenly, the High Priestess threw her head back and laughed loudly. “Quite the young hero, aren’t you, Proud Heaven? Not bad. Not bad at all. I can see now how amazing you are, and how inferior I am. I relinquish leadership of the three dynasties to you. I’ll be the imperial preceptor, instead of the empress. What do you say? Let’s let bygones be bygones, and start working together. We can revisit the topic after crushing the Sage Monarch Empire, if necessary.”
The truth was that not even Proud Heaven was sure what was happening. However, after the color returned to his face, a strange smile appeared on his face and he casually said, “Thank you for yielding. You truly live up to your reputation as someone from the senior generation. And since you’re so flexible, Senior, I can’t possibly be impolite. You’ll be the imperial preceptor, that’s already a given.”
It was almost as if their last clash had involved them reaching an agreement.
The fight was over.
Before, they had faced each other with swords drawn and arrows nocked, each seemingly unwilling to let the other live. But now they were being courteous and respectful in a way that defied imagination. However, to many of the old-timers, it seemed as though both parties had been hurt, and knew they couldn’t fully defeat the other, and had thus reached a compromise.
‘The essence of the god world interfered with the High Priestess,’ Yang Qi thought. He had sensed a stir in the essence of the god world, and was certain that was what had happened.
Otherwise, the High Priestess never would have given up so easily. However, Proud Heaven also had to compromise. For instance, he was referring to the High Priestess as “senior”, and had given her a high position, that of imperial preceptor. That position came with power that was inferior to the emperor, but was still incredibly influential.
“The younger generation should have their chance, Proud Heaven,” the High Priestess said. “And since the essence of the god world wants it, I’ll defer to you. When the three dynasties are combined into one empire, it won’t just be you and I that have a say in how it works. The essence of the god world will be part of it. Presumably, the rest of you are fine with that?”
When the people present heard her words, they were shaken.
Contrary to expectation, she had brought the essence of the god world into the mix.
As of now, they realized that Proud Heaven and the High Priestess should actually have been evenly matched, but given that he had the support of the essence, she had backed down.
It was no blow to the High Priestess’ dignity.
“What do we do?”
With the High Priestess and Proud Heaven working in unison, it was obvious to Yang Chiliocosm and the Dugu patriarchs that the ball had begun rolling. If they all stood united against the High Priestess, they might have been able to stop the unification of the dynasties from happening. But now, that wouldn’t be possible.
That wasn’t even to mention the fact that the essence of the god world had been thrown into the mix.
The battle arena collapsed.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Proud Heaven said, “the time has come to combine our three dynasties into one enormous empire. The new dynasty will have the support of the essence of the god world. We will eradicate the Sage Monarch Empire, after which we’ll receive immense blessings from the god world itself. What do you all think? I have the god world’s support to be emperor. The High Priestess is the imperial preceptor. The rest of you will be given important positions, and of course, the protection of the throne. What do you say?”
“This….” The Dugu elders knew they couldn’t fight what was happening. “We agree! However, we don’t have the right to enter any sort of agreement. We’re outranked by Patriarch Invincible, which means we need to supplicate his noble spirit to awaken and approve the decision.”
“The Invincible Dugu?” the High Priestess said, and her eyes flickered as she started forming plans. Then she nodded. “There isn’t a huge rush to combine the three dynasties, and we still need to have a separate meeting to discuss all the details. In ten days, we’ll meet in the Central God-Temple to discuss the particulars, hand out the titles, and do whatever else needs to be done.
“We need to appoint regent princes, grand princes, vice princes, grand ministers, generalissimos, and others.”
“That’ll be fine,” Proud Heaven said. “Ten days. That’s the time limit set by the essence of the god world. Everyone, make the necessary preparations!” From the wan expression on Proud Heaven’s face, it seemed he would actually need those ten days to recover.
1. Both the God Tombstone Palms and the Deathless Monument use a Chinese character that can be translated a variety of ways, including both tombstone and monument (depending on what other characters it’s paired with). So “comparing” them makes a lot of sense visually in Chinese.
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