A constricting force immediately enveloped Yao Jun as he stood up, the pale pink eyes of Lucia, the Heavenly Deity from the Merged Heaven clan narrowing as she looked at him. The constricting force enveloping Yao Jun was a result of the greatest trump card that all Heavenly Deities had, nearly complete control over their surrounding Qi.
An Earthly Deity could alter the surrounding Qi and have it turn into the same element that they cultivated, but that was akin to guiding the Qi into taking on the wished shape. A Heavenly Deity, on the other hand, would have all the surrounding Qi fall fully under their command, it would be as if the Qi was nothing more than an extension of their body that they could control as they wished.
When a Heavenly Deity took control over the Qi within an area, not even a late-stage Earthly Deity would be able to alter the element of the Qi. The Heavenly Deity could then just have the Qi around the person form a prison they couldn't break since they were unable to alter it, turning them into what was essentially fish in a barrel. This was how most Heavenly Deities fought against those lower-ranked than them, it couldn't even be called a battle.
Of course, that was only how things normally went, the logical conclusion to an encounter between an Earthly Deity and a Heavenly Deity. But if there was one thing Yao Jun was good at, that would be overturning the natural order that people relied on and trusted. A sound similar to glass shattering rang out around Yao Jun's body as he raised his right arm and subsequently tore apart the constricting force that Lucia had set up around him. His finger pointed out and his voice softly decreed the fates of the groups around him.
"Yong Bo, southern section. Zhuyin, eastern section. Zhuanxu, western section."
Three lights flashed out from his chest and rushed at the groups from the Heaven's Gate sect, the Endless Abyss clan, and the Final Fire clan. Space around the three groups started to waver just as the lights reached them, all of them forcibly teleported away to their respective battlefields. Yong Bo and the others wouldn't be much help in dealing with a Heavenly Deity like Lucia, but they were just right for eating up the other groups that had come.
And just like that, the only ones that remained in the area were Lucia and her late-stage Earthly Deity companion, Yao Jun, and the group of 60 people who had come here in hopes of collecting the bounty that was placed on Yao Jun's head. The expressions of Lucia and her companion were grave, only they who had some more experience knew just what it meant when Yao Jun tore apart her prison. Yao Jun didn't lower his outstretched right arm, moving it sideways so that it was pointing at the group of 60 unaffiliated people.
The earth beneath the 60 people burst open as hundreds of thorny vines raced towards the sky and snatched up the group of people. They were then swiftly covered completely as the vines started to coil around each other, gathering together to form a massive blood-red rose that had a stem filled entirely with thorns. Early-stage Earthly Deities no longer posed any threat to Yao Jun previously, much less now that he had entered his strongest state. Once the flower of Yama fully bloomed, Yao Jun's hand moved once more, finally pointing straight at Lucia's head.
He opened his right hand, a black light flashing in his palm as his sword appeared in his grasp. He still wore his faint and confident smile, but he knew his own state better than anyone else. Three minutes, that was all the time he had in this state, his body was unable to handle any longer and the rampant energy would then cause his body to explode into a bloody mess. So he couldn't afford to drag out the battle, he had to act fast and fierce.
He took a step forward and instantly arrived in front of Lucia, space not even unleashing a single ripple. He pulled back his right arm and gathered energy in his sword, cracks starting to extend into the space around the blade. His eyes flashed with deeply azure flames, a scorching orb shooting out from his lowered left hand.
But space around Lucia flickered just as the orb was about to hit her, the orb teleporting past her and appearing in the air high above her, the attack completely missing. But the orb didn't vanish, it remained hanging in the sky like a small and dazzling sun that caused the three remaining people to cast long shadows. Lucia's left hand stretched out at the same time as the orb was teleported past her, a crushing pressure that released the soft sound of shattering glass coating her hand.
Lucia had clearly been picked as the one to kill Yao Jun after giving it some thought. Using elemental laws was risky due to how many elements Yao Jun could use, he was highly likely to have one of her weaknesses within his arsenal. She also needed the law of space, time, or teleportation to be able to keep up with him, otherwise, she might just get dragged along by him.
Her Earthly Deity companion also moved at the same time, unleashing all his might into a single blow to attack Yao Jun from the side to either wound him or disturb his focus. Brass knuckles appeared on both his hands as he punched out with his right fist, space around it collapsing and forming tiny black holes due to the highly condensed gravity he had gathered up.
Lucia's hand touched Yao Jun's abdomen and the Earthly Deity's fist reached his waist, Yao Jun instantly spurting up a mouthful of blood as his abdomen and waist sank in so much that the two people were almost touching his spine. But his smile remained in place, and just as the Earthly Deity started to unleash all the might gathered in his fist, Yao Jun made his move.
He vanished into his own shadow and appeared at the side of the Earthly Deity, popping out from the shadow that he now cast thanks to the blazing orb hanging above them. His right arm was still slashing out with the blade, the attack that the two had thought was aimed at Lucia was now coming right at him, it was so close that he didn't even have the time to think about dodging. And since he had gathered all his might into his fist to disrupt Yao Jun as he stood in front of Lucia, he could only put up a very faint layer of defensive energy.
This was the scenario Yao Jun had been working to set up since he first made the proclamation that Lucia was his next target, even going so far as to suffer both attacks. It was all to leave this late-stage Earthly Deity with no way of escape or defense, all so that he could suffer the full brunt of one of Yao Jun's strongest attacks.
The edge of Yao Jun's blade made contact with the defensive layer of energy that surrounded the man and then unleashed all the energy gathered into it. A horrible screeching sound rang across the entire planet, the world within the man's vision suddenly tilting and sliding as if it had been cut apart.
But to his surprise, he saw that even Lucia looked shocked at the scene, could it be that it wasn't just him that was seeing it? His guess was correct, a neat divide had appeared in the world around him, even extending so far that the distant moon suffered the same fate. With one slash of his blade, Yao Jun had cut a portion of the world in half, with the late-stage Earthly Deity suffering the worst of it.
The attack could be considered an alteration of Yao Jun's previous Void attack, utilizing the laws of space, wind, and the reflection he got from one of the two fragments from the Supreme Law of Defense. It was a simple and neat cut that caused the space, Qi, and even the laws in the area to reflect away from each other, tearing them apart to form the neat cut.
Yao Jun's left hand shot forward while the man was still in a daze from getting cut in half along with his surroundings. His left hand pierced into the man's body and grabbed onto his heart, his law of space flooding forth and switching the placement of the man's heart and brain. All life left his body as his heart and brain changed places, his body lifeless falling to the ground, he had perfectly fallen victim to Yao Jun's surprise attacks.
A new vine stretched out from the massive rose that still stood tall, dragging the corpse of the Earthly Deity into its fold. At the same time as it drew him in, the petals of the rose started to release a faint light, red leaf-like patterns momentarily flashing on Yao Jun's face before vanishing. The wounds to his abdomen started to rapidly heal after the patterns flashed, an exuberant life force radiating from his body.
Yama was a Devil Vine that had the ability to absorb the lifeforce and energy of other living beings, an ability that was of course also extended to Yao Jun. With 60 people and this late-stage Earthly Deity cradled within the grasp of Yama, it was no problem for Yao Jun to gather up enough lifeforce to heal these wounds.
Yao Jun's head turned sideways, the split in space all around them remaining where it was, causing everything to look somewhat tilted and disarrayed. He didn't utter any words, he simply raised his sword and pointed it at Lucia, gathering his energy within the blade once again. One enemy was down, only one last one to go.