John read the title, and got an ominous feeling from it. As soon as Hunter took it out, a dark and malevolent aura emanated from it. Ethereal spirit forms could be seen attempting to leave the banner, as if it was trapping them inside.
Hunter had personally killed the owners of these souls and harvested their souls in the banner, turning them into vengeful spirits. Although he didn't know how the banner truly worked, he knew it was an immensely powerful ancient item. Not even his master knew he had this banner, and he kept it as his ultimate trump card.
"I found this item a few years ago in a mysterious place that I stumbled upon, as well as a cultivation technique in which I can absorb your Lightning Attribute Body to raise the talent of my own. You're one of the first to see me use it." Hunter stated as he stared at John with vicious eyes. "I can only use less than one percent of this banner's full power, but its more than enough to deal with you."
As soon as he finished speaking, Hunter activated his Soul Stealing Banner. Hundreds of malevolent spirits instantly dashed out of the banner, piercing straight towards John. John slashed out his scythe to destroy them, but the spirits pierced straight through his body, and into his soul space, as they were incorporeal soul forms.
The moment they arrived, John felt his soul cry out in pain as it surged out in power to defend against it. It felt as if a thousand needles were stabbing into his soul. John grit his teeth as he flared his soul power out fully, defending against the malevolent spirits with all his might.
His soul was much stronger than the average cultivator, but when compared to his essence power and body power, it was still the weakest aspect of his cultivation.
The malevolent spirits constantly collided with his soul defenses, slowly whittling it down. If they managed to break through his soul defenses and pierce his soul space, John would instantly die. John's face remained struggling as he fought against them.
The banner, being an ancient weapon of untold power, was so powerful that most cultivators would be overwhelmed by it, even those from the Divine Soul Sect. Only the strongest of soul cultivators would be able to resist it.
John could feel the banner tug on his soul as the vengeful spirits weakened his defenses. Clearly it was looking to absorb his soul and add it to its collection. While struggling against the spirits, he looked to see if Hunter was taking any additional actions. However, Hunter's face was red and full of exertion, clearly struggling to utilize the banner.
Primordial Extermination Lightning!
John had no idea if the vengeful spirits could be harmed by lightning, but he tried it anyway. Lightning flared from within his body to his soul space, rampage about. It struck onto the soul form of the first vengeful spirit, which caused the spirit to screech out in pain.
John's eyes lit up as he realized his lightning was effective against the spirits. He immediately sent out more lightning, which pierced through several of the malevolent spirits. However, as many as he killed, that many would come out of the banner once more, replenishing their numbers.
It became a stalemate between who would run out of energy first, John's soul power, or Hunter's essence Qi powering the banner.
Hunter's exerted face turned into one of frustration and anger as he watched John struggle against the malevolent spirits. He had expected the power of the spirits to overwhelm John quickly, but he was resisting them completely at the moment, revealing the shocking strength of his soul.
"What the fuck. How does he have such a strong soul?" Hunter grunted out through gritted teeth as he sent more of his essence Qi into the banner. The number of malevolent spirits he had inside the banner was limited, as he had to kill and harvest a soul from a cultivator to form a malevolent spirit.
The more spirits that died, the weaker his banner would become, and the more work he would have to put in to raise its power once more.
'With how strong my soul is, I should be able to outlast his essence Qi expenditure, as I'm sure that banner uses a lot of it. But I'd rather not go down that route.'
Through the incredible soul pain John felt, his eyes brightened, and he suddenly raised his scythe and sent out a scythe Qi attack towards Hunter.
"Hmph," Hunter scoffed at such an attack. While it would injure him if it landed, it was trivial to dodge, even in his current state.
The scythe attack sliced right past Hunter, sailing off into the far distance.
"Haha, that's right. Struggle for me," Hunter barked out as he raised the power of the Soul Stealing Banner once more, seeking to end John once and for all.
"Idiot," John replied, as a small smile suddenly appeared on his face.
The smile sent off bells in Hunter's head, however.
"Eat shit, asshole!"
An item suddenly collided against Hunter's back, sending him flying into a nearby building and knocking him out of the sky. Hunter's body rebounded off the building, and fell to the ground below.
Dirt and dust kicked up from his violent landing on the earth below. John quickly eradicated the remaining malevolent spirits due to Hunter no longer controlling the banner, before he quickly dashed over to where Hunter was.
After a brief period of recovery, Hunter quickly jumped onto his feet, his face full of rage. He had no idea what had hit him, but it was strong enough to knock him out of the sky.
"Die!" Hunter yelled out at the top of his lungs, full of rage.
"Soul Stealing Bann- What?"
Confusion filled Hunter's face as he raised his Soul Sealing Banner to utilize it on both John and the one who had just struck him. Instead of his Qi going into the Soul Stealing Banner, it was leaving his body out of his back, shocking him greatly....
"What the fuck is going on?" Hunter yelled out in confusion. Without being able to use Qi, he was useless.
John's fist struck into Hunter's ribcage, using the moment of his confusion against him. The sounds of cracking bones rang out as Hunter violently flew back like a broken kite, once again slamming into a nearby ancient building.
Hunter cried out in pain from John's punch, as well as slamming into the building, before he collapsed on the ground.
John turned from looking at Hunter to the one who had surprised attacked him.
"Not bad, what did you do?" John asked as he stared at the approaching Adam.
While he still believed he would have won the fight in the end without help, John was not upset to see Adam lend a helping hand.
Adam approached John with a large, proud smile on his face. His chest was puffed out, and each stride was as if he was a king walking on an undeserving ground.
"Not bad? That was the most amazing attack you've ever seen in your life," Adam rebuked as he reached John.
He looked over to Hunter, who was struggling to stand up from the ground. His prideful face became even more prideful.
"That was my new ultimate move, the Fuck You Formation," Adam replied. The name caused John's face to turn into one of disbelief, as he asked Adam to repeat himself.
"Uhhh, what did you say?"
Adam smoothed back his hair, as he once again assumed his prideful stance.
"I've decided, from here on out, my ultimate formation will always be called the Fuck You Formation. And I just used that formation on Hunter," Adam replied with a serious voice.
John stood there in disbelief, not sure whether Adam was joking with him or being serious.
"And...why is it called that?" John couldn't help but ask.
"Because...if I'm using my ultimate formation against someone, then clearly I have a grudge against them...so...fuck them," Adam replied without a hint of shame.
After a moment of stunned silence, John suddenly broke out in laughter. His laughter continued on for quite some time, and his stomach began to slightly hurt from it. He knew Adam was a unique character, but this was too much.
After composing himself, John patted Adam on the back in an approving manner.
'Whatever you call it, it worked quite well. Does this formation use the disk I gave you?" John asked curiously.
Even after all this time, Hunter was struggling against it, showing just how potent it was.
"Mhm," Adam replied. "Using the formation disk as the core, I've created a formation that attaches to one's body and forcefully drains their Qi. It's not perfected yet, but it was enough for this fight. Hunter was completely distracted by you, and so I had no problem landing a clean blow with it."
John was both surprised that Adam had figured out the ancient formation disk this quick, as well as a way to utilize it. While it was quite a rough method of use, its potency was undeniable.
"The only weakness to this formation is it's hard to get attached to someone. However, Hunter was completely occupied by you, so it was quite easy," Adam clarified once more.
John nodded his head and gave Adam one last pat on the shoulders. His eyes looked back towards Hunter, who was still struggling to remove the formation. However, it clung to him like glue, frustrating him greatly. Without removing the disk, Hunter's Qi output for his attacks would be halved, and if not removed quick enough, his Qi would be drained fully eventually.
John began to stride towards Hunter with Adam in tow. He stopped several yards from him, and peered down with cold and merciless eyes.
"Do you have any last words?" John asked in a cold tone.
Hunter looked back up to John, his face full of rage. He had been so confident in obtaining John's corpse and with it, upgrading his own body. But nothing had gone according to plan.
"This isn't over yet. Once you return to the sect, I'll make sure you die," Hunter replied in a cold tone as he suddenly took out his spatial talisman.
John was ready for such a thing, and instantly sent out a Lightning Ruin to pierce the talisman, destroying it completely. However, to both John and Adam's complete surprise, John's Lightning Ruin stopped halfway to Hunter, freezing in the air.
Hunter didn't know what happened, but he utilized this opportunity to crush the talisman. His body was wrapped in spatial fluctuations, and disappeared completely from sight.
John's confusion soon turned to anger as he suddenly looked upwards, peering up into the sky above. A girl was floating there, her hand slightly raised as she looked down at John at Adam.