"Woosh!" The phoenix's entire body was ablaze. This raging flame could incinerate everything in this world. This was the Samadhi Flame wishing to refine all living beings.
Everyone opened their heavenly gaze in order to see if it was a phoenix or not. However, they found this flame to be so real and didn't resemble an illusion at all.
"Screech." The bird soared around the sky, leaving a blazing trail in its path. The Samadhi Flame could even burn the void itself. Nothing could stop its terrorizing power.
"Is that really a phoenix?" Both the High Gods were perplexed, filled with uncertainties.
First, it was a golden dragon created from the spring. Now, it was a statue turning into a phoenix. This technique was even more devilish than turning rock into gold, no, even more unbelievable than summoning a phoenix or dragon. 
After reaching a certain level, it wasn't hard for a cultivator to turn rock into gold. Summoning a divine beast was much harder - virtually impossible - but there was still a chance.
For example, if an emperor had groomed or tamed a phoenix or dragon, then he could summon either one. Plus, this type of summoning is predicated on having the beasts beforehand. Otherwise, what non-existent beasts would they be calling out?
However, Li Qiye had nothing of that sorts. There could be an argument made for the golden dragon, that Li Qiye had one beforehand. However, everyone saw him rubbed the phoenix statue back to life.
This was the strangest part. Could he give birth out of nothing, granting life to this phoenix statue with a single touch?
This was impossible and outside the realm of living beings. Only the heaven and earth could bestow life! Even emperors couldn't do so because they were unable to create life.
Alas, a real, living phoenix was flying before their very eyes.
"No way!" Both the High Gods were in disbelief. If Li Qiye had the ability to create life, then he would be the high heaven, not a mortal.
The high heaven was one-and-only; this brat certainly wasn't it.
The only explanation was that they were mere illusions or that this brat had an extraordinary technique of turning illusion into a pseudo-reality, such as this phoenix.
Alas, this was far from the truth. The single-thought creation let Li Qiye use his intent to turn the statue into a full power phoenix. This was due to his powerful dao heart, capable of shouldering the creation of this phoenix. Otherwise, he would be the first victim to its Samadhi Flame.
"Screech." The phoenix jumped into the sky of the battlefield before plunging down for the sovereign and attacking with its flame.
"Rumble!" The sky was completely ravaged by the torrential Samadhi Flame, resulting in a spectacle of carnage. Anything drowned inside would be instantly turned to ashes. The ancestors on the steps were horrified because of this sight.
"Come get me!" The sovereign wasn't afraid at all and let out a battle cry.
"Buzz!" All of his chaos energy poured into the bow and made it resplendent. With some reverberating noises, an extremely sharp arrow appeared.
The string pulled back before the ultimate unleash. "Boom!"
This arrow made the world tremble with its imperial aura erupting and gathering at the tip.
There was no resisting this particular arrow. No one would doubt its capability to pierce through space and the sun!
Under the empowerment of 135,000,000 chaos units, the imperial arrow's destructive force was truly impressive. Even if it was much weaker than if an emperor himself were to fire, another opponent on the same level without an imperial weapon wouldn't be able to stop this arrow. They would instantly be pierced to death with one blow with no chance to resist.
"Poof!" The phoenix spread its wings in response and gathered all the flame in the sky. In the next second, the flame turned into a shiny, crystal door and protected the beast within.
"Bang!" This shocking arrow was completely stopped. Even the weapon of an emperor couldn't stop this defensive flame barrier.
"Impossible!" Both the High Gods got up from their seat while the other ancestors became agape.
"That's a real phoenix then?" People were shaken due to their expectation earlier being dispelled.
They thought it was only an illusion earlier but for something to stop an imperial arrow so easily using its own strength, this must be a real phoenix! An illusion had no chance of doing so without the aid of a different imperial weapon.
The two High Gods stood up and stared intensely at this phoenix. Everything became so muddled since this "illusion" was able to stop the arrow of an emperor.
Jilin Guanlu felt the same way with his mouth wide open. How could a fake phoenix stop an imperial arrow?
"Boom! Boom! Boom!" After the first arrow was stopped, the sovereign's body was covered in radiance since he channeled all of his power to unleash several dozen arrows in one breath.
This barrage of star-destroying arrows had a matchless level of destruction. They struck the flame barrier one after another, creating ripples on the surface. It seemed as if this continued, the sovereign could actually break through.
The spectators were completely immersed in this fight. If even this barrage couldn't break through this barrier, then they would need to question their initial speculation again.
The sovereign wanted to pave the way for his master so he tried especially hard to figure out Li Qiye's technique. He didn't mind wasting a great amount of chaos energy in order to unleash these arrows on the flame barriers, wishing to break it down in the shortest amount of time.
"Screech!" With a loud blast, the phoenix exuded even more Samadhi Flame like a tsunami rampaging through the sky.
This galaxy-destroying fiery wave came down the second time. Despite the relentless onslaught from the sovereign, he simply couldn't get through the barrier to get to the bird.
He was completely stunned from the counterattack because he had placed all of his focus on offense. There was no time to escape.
"Ah!" The tyrannical flame drowned him, leaving not even a speck of bone dust behind.
Everyone shuddered after seeing the swift death of a Dao Celestial with 135,000,000 chaos units. This was too much to take in. They finally believed that Li Qiye had crushed Southern Sun's will in the past.
Shen Qianjun's expression became as cold as the mist since he could only watch his disciple being burned to death. Since the guy wanted to fight Li Qiye, his participation would have been dishonorable.
"Crash!" The phoenix flew back to its original position and closed its wings. The Samadhi Flame disappeared; the oppressive bird earlier was now a statue again.
Everyone took a closer look. This was indeed only a stone phoenix carving, nothing out of the ordinary.
1. Rock into gold is a common idiom - remarkably improving something. I don't think it makes sense in English here with a literal translation because turning something into gold shouldn't be impressive in Xianxia. However, this particular usage here is fine in China because readers recognize that it's a literary idiom/vernacular phrase