Chapter 96: Imminent Danger
In the valley, as lines of trenches were ignited into fiery dragons, the Eight Extreme Trigram Fire Formation slowly took shape.
At this moment, all of the stone pillars in the valley’s outer circle burned red-hot as they emitted lines of fire. Connecting with the firelight formed by Sunshine Stones within the trenches, they weaved into an enormous fire net and sealed off even the valley’s skies.
The high temperature within the valley was almost unbearably scorching, and everyone’s sweat fell like rain.
Thankfully, the location that Xie Jingxuan chose seemed to be precisely at the eye of the Eight Extreme Trigram Fire Formation. None of those turbulent flames or weaved fire had passed through this area.
Qin Lie and the others stood there. Without any fire assaulting them from their sides, what they endured was merely the high temperature within the valley.
Above their heads, those enormous balls of malicious souls seemed to let out miserable screams after being slowly scorched within the flames, seeming to not be able to bear the scorching heat.
Attentively observing, Qin Lie found that the small flame that was sealed within the gem in Xie Jingxuan hand seemed to be a drop of crimson colored blood.
That drop took the form of a small bird, and every time a ball of flame flew out from the instigation of her spirit energy, that drop of blood in the miniaturized shape of a bird would shrink down in size a little.
“Blood of the Vermillion Bird, it ought to be a drop of blood on a Vermillion Bird!” Gao Yu spoke all of a sudden.
Qin Lie was astounded, “You know about it?”
Gao Yu’s complexion was dark as he slightly nodded. “The moment when Vermillion Birds are born, they will already be a Rank Seven spirit beast. As they grow older and their strength increases, Vermillion Birds can still continue to make breakthroughs. The Vermillion Bird is the most terrifying fire type spirit beast. Its blood is also the most concentrated and ardent of all fire sources and is able to incite the scorching heat of any fire attributed crystals.”
Seeing that Qin Lie’s expression changed, Gao Yu continued, “A drop of a Vermillion Bird’s blood can evaporate an entire pond if it completely combusts. It is also extremely valuable and to martial practitioners who cultivate flame type spirit arts, can be said to be the most valuable treasure that can only be found with extreme luck. Such legendary spirit beasts like Vermillion Birds are very difficult to find for ordinary people and may not even exist in this continent we are on…”
“How do you know so much?” Qin Lie was astounded.
Tapping the Ogre-faced Rings on his hands, Gao Yu said in a quiet voice, “It told me. From the time I started cultivating Nine Hell Wandering Soul Record, I’ve discovered that there were some scattered memory fragments within. When I was cultivating with its help, sometimes I was able to absorb some of the fragments and obtained a lot of information that I couldn’t fathom.”
“So that’s why.” Amazed, Qin Lie looked at the rings, then turned his head around to look at Xie Jingxuan’s gem and the Vermillion Bird’s blood within it. “No wonder why she wanted to concentrate all the energy to induce the flames within the gem and use the flame inside to ignite Sunshine Stones. A spirit beast that starts out at Rank Seven from birth, a Vermillion Bird comparable to one of the Nirvana Realm, its blood… just thinking about it is dreadful.”
A vile soul crashed into the purple colored light barrier. For the first time, Ban Hong’s body swayed as a hint of paleness emerged on his face.
“Lord Ban Hong!”
“Lord! Are you okay?”
The other generals of Dark Asura Hall instantly noticed Ban Hong’s abnormality and hastily shouted.
A touch of blood flowed out from the corner of Ban Hong’s mouth. He wiped it away without trouble, shook his head, and said with a heavy voice, “I’m fine, but I can no longer protect this area on my own. I may not be able to handle the next attacks of the vile souls. All of you, get ready and prepare to take care of anything I miss.”
“Yes!” everyone shouted at the same time.
Qin Lie raised his head as the expression in his eyes changed. “The vile souls are merging together again!”
At first, there were a few dozen vile souls in the air above them. Those vile souls assaulted the light barrier non-stop, continuously exhausting the strength of Liang Zhong, Ban Hong, and the others.
At this moment, of the several dozen vile souls, a portion of them stopped attacking and assembled together, as though they wanted to fuse into an even larger vile soul.
Everyone looked up to see; then, all of their expressions became solemn, realizing that the next wave of attacks would be even more terrifying.
On the other side, Liang Zhong, who appeared extremely tiny in comparison to the Soul Devouring Beast’s main body, was also controlling Azure Moon while waging a fierce battle with it.
The Soul Devouring Beast was like a small sized mountain of flesh. It was not very agile, especially after the valley’s flame trenches connected and ignited; the space left for it to move about dwindled further and further.
As the inferno raged on, a layer of strange grease flowed out from the crinkles in outer layer of Soul Devouring Beast’s skin. That grease was like membrane, protecting its body.
As Azure Moon spun, it brought up beams of azure colored swords of light; every single one of the swords were extremely sharp and fierce.
However, when they stabbed into the Soul Devouring Beast’s body, they were blocked by that grease-like membrane; those sharp and terrifying swords actually had more than half of their power cancelled out.
After gruesomely battling for a long time, not even a wound could be seen on the Soul Devouring Beast. Instead, Liang Zhong’s shoulder was doused by the green poison fluid and was already rotting away and becoming numb.
If not for the soaring flames within the valley stifling the Soul Devouring Beast, perhaps Liang Zhong would be even more miserable.
The party’s situation within the valley was not very promising.
Outside of the valley in the region where the unicorn resided, the youths of Crimson Flame Association, Water Moon Sect, Nebula Pavilion, and Shattered Ice Manor gathered together, all looking at the activity within the valley in amazement.
“Young Master, that Qin Lie… seemed to have gotten acquainted with Dark Asura Hall’s Department of Internal Affairs.” In Shattered Ice Manor’s direction, one of the martial practitioners of Shattered Ice Manor had on a cold and stern expression. “Could it be that we really aren’t going to do it anymore?”
Yan Ziqian’s left arm was thickly wrapped in gauze, and bloodstains even seeped through it. His resentful and malicious eyes focused onto Qin Lie. “Qin Lie must die no matter what!”
“Judging from the situation right now, it’s not certain that the people of the Department of Internal Affairs can kill this heretical beast. If an unexpected problem arises, what should we do?” Feng Kai inquired as he lowered his voice. His face was also dark, for he hated Qin Lie to the bone.
“He needs to die, so we kill!” Yan Ziqian lowered his voice, “Once we discover that those from Internal Affairs can’t last any longer and find a chance, we will do it in secret!”
“Young Master, should we not worry about Internal Affairs looking into this later on?” another person asked in a whisper.
“Our Shattered Ice Manor’s supporter in the shadows… has grievances with Internal Affairs anyway. If those at the top find out that we were able to spoil the Department of Internal Affairs’ mission, they perhaps will even commemorate us.” In order to calm everyone down, he spoke clearly about the internal disputes that were best to be kept secret. “The Department of Internal Affairs are Grand Hall Master’s people, and our backstage support, is the most powerful candidate for the next term’s Grand Hall Master.”
The moment these words were spoken, the eyes of Shattered Ice Manor’s martial practitioners, including Feng Kai, all brightened. As they looked at the Department of Internal Affairs again, there seemed to no longer be any expressions of reverence and dread.
“Are you guys alright?” On the other end, Tu Ze approached Na Nuo and others of the Water Moon Sect. Looking at that girl who was softly weeping, he sighed lightly and said, “I apologize, I did not intend to remind you of your loss. It was only for the brothers inside to feel at ease, sorry.”
“It’s not your problem.” Knitting her brows, Na Nuo glared at that lightly weeping girl and shouted, “Cry, cry, cry, all you know is how to cry! What use is there in crying? Will she come back if you cry? Do you see what kind of situation we’re in? You still have the energy to cry! When you return to Water Moon City alive, you can cry as much as you want. Right now, however, all of you, get it together!”
Being yelled at by her, that girl hastily stopped her weeping; she timidly stood there, not daring to speak.
“Three of our sisters were ripped to shreds by spirit beasts.” Na Nuo’s brows were deeply creased. Looking at the movements inside the valley, she spoke calmly, “Hopefully our battle with spirit beasts of the Arctic Mountain Range can die down sooner rather than later. Otherwise, our casualties will continue to increase, and there will be more companions who’ll perish.”
When they came, Na Nuo and those girls were all still in high spirits, like birds who were released from their cages.
Earlier, on the outer layer of the stone forest, they had always had the initiative, and it was always them who were killing the spirit beasts without ever incurring any casualties themselves, so they totally did not come to realize that there would come a day that they would die, too…
Now, because their friends who they had grown up with had been shredded and eaten right before their very eyes, they gained a whole new understanding regarding the battle with spirit beasts, as their outlook and views also changed greatly.
“It shouldn’t last too long, after all… the casualties of spirit beasts are also very great.” Tu Ze sighed.
“You had two from Nebula Pavilion who struck the fancy of Dark Asura Hall’s Internal Affairs. Mn, I congratulate you,” Na Nuo suddenly spoke as she looked toward Qin Lie and Gao Yu who were within the valley.
“That isn’t necessarily a good thing.” Tu Ze smiled bitterly.
Just as his words fell, on the valley’s side, Ban Hong vomited blood and said as his complexion abruptly changed, “My light shield has shattered, you guys hold on! Qin Lie, Gao Yu! If you two have any means, then immediately use them right now and help milady persist for three more minutes! Just three more minutes is all we need!”
During the latter part of his speech, Ban Hong’s entire body trembled as blood spilled out from both his mouth and nose.
That new being congealed from more than ten vile spirits roared. It had the head of a demon and the body of a vicious dragon.
Currently, it was crazily assaulting the light shield, causing the purple light shield formed from purple spirit snakes to crumble and scatter into bits of purple light, completely losing its defensive capabilities.
Below the purple light shield, the other few layers of the barrier were also nearing collapse under its assault.
The rest of Dark Asura Hall’s generals sat down cross legged at this time as light soared to the skies from their entire bodies. Several of them even had their skin burst open, with beads of blood seeping out.
Their appearance was extremely miserable.
“Qin Lie! Do you have any way to draw down heavenly lightning from the Ninth Heaven?” Liang Zhong suddenly shouted from under, “Thunder and lightning are the bane of vile souls and can damage them much more than flames! If you can incite a bolt of heavenly lightning to fall down like you did before on the stone bridge, then you can immediately injure that vile soul and stifle its ferocity!”
“Qin Lie! If you have a way, then be quick! We won’t last for too long!” Ban Hong roared.
“Spurt!” A Dark Asura Hall general suddenly sprayed out blood violently from his mouth. The vigor in his eyes quickly dissipated as he slacked down to the ground and died.
“Lord! I can’t hold on!” another screamed. As though inciting the hidden potential of his life, ice-blue light surged up like clouds from his entire body and melded into the light barrier above his head.
As the last petal of ice colored light flew out from his body, there was no longer any hint of life on him as he fell down with eyes wide open.
“Two minutes! Just two more minutes is all we need! Keep holding on, keep it up for two more minutes!” Ban Hong hysterically roared in a frantic manner. Tiny wisps of light were being assembled by him with great effort, attempting to congeal into a purple spirit snake once again. Unfortunately, even though he exerted all his leftover strength, he still couldn’t cause that spirit snake to fully form.
He was already on his last legs.
“Qin Lie! No matter if it’ll work or not, you still need to at least try!” Liang Zhong exclaimed furiously.
Qin Lie abruptly jolted as he suddenly closed his eyes and immediately sat down.
He began to channel Heavenly Thunder Eradication with all his might.