Even if the a.s.sets of the three invading forces had specific roles to play in the battle, all of them had joined the fray and had fought against suitable opponents. However, when the inscriptions on the mountain chain lit up, the Elders of the Council stepped forward to activate a battle formation.
The battle formation resembled a dance of some sort, nothing like the forms that Noah had seen when he fought against the disciples of the Charming Demon sect. The Elders in the fifth rank moved above those in the fourth rank in a synchronized ball that formed golden platforms under each cultivator involved in that technique.
Golden lines then came out of the platforms and gave birth to a tall s.h.i.+eld that clashed with the blue light coming out from the inscriptions on the mountain chain. It seemed that the protection had managed to stop the creation of the blue pillar by blocking the spreading of its light.
The s.h.i.+eld eventually shattered, and the formations on the mountains went dark, signaling the failed activation of the first defensive method of that territory.
Loud cheers followed that scene, and both armies didn't hesitate to resume their battles now that the situation was safe. Noah and Countless Wings started their cycle of attacks and chase again, but the cultivator from the Empire noticed how her opponent had blood on the corners of his mouth.
Noah had used that short break to eat a few pieces of a rank 5 magical beast to refill some of the energy inside his body. That meal didn't do much since he had only suffered minor injuries during the previous exchanges, but every slight advantage mattered in a fight between rank 5 cultivators.
On the other hand, Countless Wings had to use her consciousness to stop her wounds from bleeding. After all, her missing arm and foot weren't an issue in the short-term, but they could influence the outcome of the fight since she was aiming to exhaust Noah.
The chase resumed, and Noah didn't hesitate to use all his power to push his opponent's reaction speed to its limits. He only needed to hit a vital spot once, and the battle would be over!
Countless Wings did her best to be one step ahead of Noah always. She even started to overestimate him just to fight in the safest way possible. However, there was a limit to how effective the same tactic could be, especially against someone that owned the Divine Deduction technique.
Noah had begun to feel the consequences of using so many spells at the same time before the pause caused by the defensive measure. He wasn't tired yet, but his thoughts had started to feel sluggish.
That was only a natural consequence of how fast he was depleting his mental energy, but his sea of consciousness was still fine. It had yet to reach the point where it started to affect his battle prowess.
Nevertheless, that sluggishness made Noah consider the possibility that Countless Wings could win if they kept fighting like that.
Noah intended to pressure her until she committed a mistake. After all, it had already happened three times, and he had managed to exploit those opportunities. However, she was being too careful now and didn't reveal any opening, which forced Noah in a pointless chase.
As he watched his attacks missing every time, Noah calmly accepted that his opponent wouldn't commit any other mistake.
'I expected nothing less from an old monster,' Noah thought as his determination surged.
That realization forced Noah to decide between two options. The first one was to retreat and pick an opponent that wasn't so prepared to fight him. The second one was to use even more mental energy to find a flaw in that battle style.
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Of course, Noah decided to follow the second approach. Changing opponents now would only create more problems since he would have to spend some time learning their abilities. Also, Noah wanted to prevail. He couldn't accept that Countless Wings could defeat him just because her strategy was troublesome to handle.
Noah jumped through the explosion and prepared the attack that he had launched more than fifty times in that battle, but he didn't unite all his arms at that time. Instead, he decided to use a weaker version of his second form, but that was capable of releasing two powerful slashes aimed in the directions where Countless Wings was most likely to dodge.
When Countless Wings noticed that Noah had changed his approach, it was too late for her to do anything about it.
Countless Wings saw the s.p.a.ce on her right vanis.h.i.+ng when one of Noah's attacks reached her position, but she showed a confused expression when she sensed its power. Yet, pain suddenly spread from her back and forced her to focus on the state of her body.
The only problem was that most of her body was missing.
Countless Wings' eyes widened when she saw that the left part of her body had disappeared. It wasn't only her back. Even her left leg was nowhere to be found.
It was needless to say that she couldn't maintain her speed anymore with that injury. Noah had cut her in half, and she was managing to remain conscious just because her head and heart were still attached to that wreckage of a body.
Countless Wings dived toward the ground at that point. She knew that she could still preserve her life if she managed to reach a safe position.
However, a black sword suddenly appeared in her vision, and her world became dark.
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