Beastmaster of the Ages - Chapter 1257
With around a hundred skyward eyes in the area, there were no blind spots in the arena. The two specters had never been featured before, so they incited quite a bit of curiosity.
Suddenly, sand blasted across the area as the both of the combatants rapidly approached each other. It was a clash of black and white as they locked on to one another. Lingfeng saw that while his opponent was small in stature, he had the signature property of a specter: a supremely tough physical body. The body in question loudly snapped as bones and muscle moved. He looked like a gigantic stampeding beast, each step causing the mountains beside him to shake.
“What’s that?” Lingfeng noticed some movement underneath Kong’s robes. Having a third regal soul, he had sharp senses. Suddenly, he stopped charging and thrust his staff deep into the ground. Then he deployed the Evil Suppression Formation, causing a black domain to spread out. A mist surrounded Kong, but he continued advancing. Lingfeng was now a third-level constellier, but his physical body and astralforce capacity still couldn’t compete with his opponent’s. However, his vita was far more advanced. The legacy he had gained from the Primordial Demonlord was also a huge asset of his. He was a rather unique specter in his own right, having no special physical body enhancements. Even if he had consumed quite a number of wildbeasts, it didn’t seem to have had much effect. All in all, he looked more like a human, unlike Jiang Wuxin, Bodhi, or Kong.
Now, the Evil Suppression Formation kept Kong away. Lingfeng fought calmly, refusing to directly engage his foe before he made sure of what was under his robes.
“How could there be a living thing without a soul?” The dragon golems were the only such examples of soulless ‘living beings’ that he had encountered, and he had a rather hard time against them as his advantage was useless against them. He swung his staff vertically. While the Evil Suppression Pillar wasn’t that wide, it turned from a staff into a huge pillar that blocked off a considerable part of the sky as it swung down toward Kong’s head.
With a loud boom, dust covered the entire area. Finally, the thing underneath Kong’s robes was revealed. A dark figure had emerged from Kong’s sleeves.
“What in the world is that?” many cultivators wondered. Through the skyward eyes, they managed to get a good look at the thing that had emerged.
“That’s a lifebound beast!”
“It can’t be. Specters have no lifebound beasts!”
However, Lingfeng had a much better view of it, being as near as he was. It was a nine-headed black dragon that was incredibly similar to the one from the Blackdragon Palace, but it looked to be much smaller, being only a meter or so in length. Its heads were fierce and lively and there were large numbers of divine celestial patterns on its body, which revealed that it moved with the power of formations. However, Lingfeng could easily tell that this was no dragon golem. After all, they were made from mineral and metal ores but this dragon looked to be flesh and blood; yet it didn’t have a soul. Without one, it couldn’t be considered a true lifeform.
“It’s made of flesh. What’s going on?”
Countless people had seen the creature through the skyward eyes. The nine-headed dragon was covered in black scales and its eyes were an oily green. It radiated a threatening aura as it clawed toward Lingfeng, all the while expanding in size. It didn’t take long before it had become even larger than the dragon golem of Blackdragon Palace. The scent of rotting corpses that came from it as it expanded was proof of one fact.
“The Ninedragon Imperial Tomb was sealed for too long. No living creature could possibly survive inside for that long.”
“That’s right. Looks like this is the treasure that Kong obtained from the Fienddragon Palace.”
“What in the world is it?”
Soon, someone had the answer to that question.
“I heard it’s a divine corpse puppet.”
“A divine corpse puppet? What’s that?”
“It’s as its name suggests. A puppet made from corpses of wildbeasts or even lifebound beasts and special formation techniques. They can be used in combat. The success rate of this technique is rather low and it’s mainly used to preserve the astral body of the dead by restructuring it. It’s a really complicated secret art that few have mastered.
“The main difference between corpse puppets and dragon golems is that the golems need to absorb fundamental cosmic forces to remain active, whereas corpse puppets need to be awakened through blood. It can also only absorb the astralforce of the owner. Before engaging in combat, both of them have to charge up. Once they run out of power, they become useless, but they’re still rather useful for protecting much weaker juniors.” For instance, the dragon golem of Fienddragon Palace had had a large amount of fundamental cosmic force stored. Had Tianming not breached its formation, Zhan Yuance would never have had such an easy time dealing with it.
I remember now. This corpse puppet was probably one of the most powerful wildbeasts in the history of Orderia. It was known as the nine-headed fienddragon, and at its strongest, it was even more powerful than a mature eight-star divine beast. All those years ago, when it showed up, it was said to have been killed by the Ninedragon Emperor. Who knew that he’d made it into a corpse puppet?”
“To think that the Ninedragon Emperor knew how to make corpse puppets on top of those dragon golems… what an all-rounded genius.”
“That’s right! He was the strongest of everyone back in his prime. Even though he’s long dead, his body has been sealed this entire time and has remained completely unmolested. Even with the formations he devised only being able to exert a tenth of their original power, they’re still stronger than the formations of our sect, right? He must’ve been the absolute strongest of his time.”
They wondered if Kong would be able to surpass the other seniors by relying on the corpse puppet. Either way, they really envied him for having such a precious treasure.
“Still, a corpse puppet relies on the power of its master to control its body and replenish its energy reserves. Kong is a junior, like the others, so he should only be able to utilize a small part of its power. I’m guessing it’ll only be as good as a body double at best.”
Though the corpse puppet would only be able to be used to its full potential as he grew stronger, it was still a good position to be in. Once that corpse puppet was in the hands of someone truly powerful, it would no doubt be able to wreak endless havoc.
“I wonder how the Azuresoul Palace’s Feng will deal with this corpse puppet….”
As they had guessed, the creature of flesh and formations was completely soulless, so Lingfeng was having just as hard a time dealing with it as he had the dragon golems. Amidst the cloud of sand in the air, the corpse puppet agilely moved about and roared toward Lingfeng.
“That black dragon uses Kong’s power. Isn’t it a little similar to the link I have with the Soulfiend?” Lingfeng didn’t know much about corpse puppets, but he had more or less guessed its underlying principles. The relationship between Tianming and his lifebound beasts was symbiotic; however, he and the Soulfiend had somewhat of a parasitic relationship. The Soulfiend had to rely on Lingfeng to exist, usually siphoning away his astralforce and soul energy. The stronger he grew, the more powerful the Soulfiend would be. In some ways, it was a storage device that could fight on its own, and it had its own unique tricks up its sleeves.
But just like corpse puppets, it also had a weakness: once it had expended all the energy from Lingfeng, it would be completely powerless. The Soulfiend was the servant of the Primordial Demonlord and had an undoubtedly high status. But now, how strong it was depended on Lingfeng. So it was a little like Lingfeng’s body double, but with feelings and a will of its own. Though its ability to fight in a continuous capacity was limited, it was still a huge help during crucial moments, especially after having stored so much of Lingfeng’s energy when it wasn’t fighting.
Little did the two of them know that each others’ ‘partners’ had really similar ways of drawing fighting power from them. The corpse puppet and its master also had a parasitic relationship. During the clash of these two specters, both had gigantic beasts accompanying them. It was almost like it was a clash between beastmasters, but although it was interesting, the two of them felt nothing but fierce animosity toward each other.
The nine-headed dragon’s powerful body swirled about on the ground, the thick black mist wafting from its body causing a stench stored for hundreds of millennia to spread. Its flesh still remembered its proud form of the king of wildbeasts. Kong’s energy was like a candle that had lit up a torch; it was burning with passion from within, its nine pairs of oily-green eyes all trained on LIngfeng.
The Soulfiend roared with dissatisfaction at being ignored. Somehow, it looked like it was materializing and dematerializing from time to time. Though the Soulfiend looked savage on the outside, like a beast that excelled in close combat fights, it was actually proficient at dealing soul damage. Each of its six arms had large, thick black claws that alternated between ethereal and corporeal. It almost looked like it couldn’t tear flesh and blood apart, but rather souls. It went without saying that corpse puppets were horrible matches for it.
Right after letting the nine-headed dragon corpse puppet out, Kong instantly stomped on the ground, charging toward Lingfeng. His body snapped as flesh swirled around to increase the size of his build.
“Isn’t this Bodhi’s Fiendgodmorphize technique?” Tianming wondered from his place outside the arena. Kong was now five meters tall and covered in snow-white fur. His large head had turned into that of a wolf, and claws had sprouted from his fingers. There was an oppressive glare in his gaze. Judging by looks alone, he was no doubt a full-blown specter.