Right after Yu Tong and Feng Luo left, an old woman with a wrinkled face slowly approached, supporting herself with a serpent staff. “Where is Little Tong?”
Upon seeing her, numerous experts from the Blood sect all greeted her with a humble attitude, one after another. “Grandma Shen.”
Her name was Shen Xiu, and her status in the Blood sect was only second to the sectmaster. She was also Yu Tong’s master.
The scarlet blood strings that had emerged from underground were from the Earth Web spell that she had cast. The reason why she had hurried to this place was that she was worried that Yu Tong would act rashly.
Yang Yuan answered without thinking, “Yu Tong went after the juniors from the Cloudsoaring sect. Grandma Shen, it seems that the Earth Web… wasn’t fully formed, was it?”
Considering Shen Xiu’s cultivation base, if the Earth Web had been completely formed, every Qi warrior in the valley would experience disorder in their blood for at least a quarter of an hour.
Given so much time, the experts from Blood sects could have started a massacre and gained an overwhelming advantage.
However, Yang Yuan had noticed that the scarlet blood strings that emerged from the ground hadn’t actually bound their opponents down for very long. Furthermore, they failed to extend outside of the valley to pursue Nie Tian and his group who had escaped.
“There is flaming magma and earth flame running deep below the ground of the Scarlet Flame Mountain Range, so down there the activities of the Earth Web are quite limited.” With a brief frown, Shen Xiu continued, “What’s more, the grand Heaven Burning Earth Flame formation seems to have reached deeply into the ground. There were even networks of it within the boiling magma.
“Never underestimate their grand Heaven Burning Earth Flame formation. From what I see, this enormous spell doesn’t only cover the valley where the Spiritual Treasure sect resides.
“The whole Scarlet Flame Mountain Range, including the extinct volcanoes on its perimeter, seems to also be within its coverage.
“As soon as my Earth Web reached deep towards the earth's core, it was immediately influenced by the network of the grand formation and couldn’t fully condense.”
With these words, Shen Xiu suddenly looked down beneath her feet and said, “For some reason, I have a feeling that there is something odd deep below the ground of the Scarlet Flame Mountain Range. I can’t say for sure what it is, but I keep having the feeling that the spell formation doesn’t just exist to protect the Spiritual Treasure sect.
“I could also sense an aura… of suppression and sealing from the network of the flames.”
Before she could finish her words, the master of the Spiritual school, Hou Zhengchen, suddenly appeared in the distance and dashed towards her. “Shen Xiu!”
There seemed to be a trace of anxiety and worry in Hou Zhengchen’s eyes. He seemed... to not want Shen Xiu to say too much.
The serpent staff in Shen Xiu’s hands abruptly gave off an immense amount of bright, bloody light rays as she charged towards Hou Zhengchen.
Below a short, sparsely-vegetated mountain in the Scarlet Flame Mountain Range...
“We should have a rest.” Pan Tao stopped. As the night gradually lifted, he looked at the bright and clear morning sky and said, “We’ve spent the entire night marching at full speed. Plus, everyone spent a large amount of spiritual power earlier dealing with the scarlet blood strings that emerged from the ground. If we keep hastening on blindly and don’t stop to recover strength, we won't be able to deal with any unexpected crises that pop up.”
Nie Tian subconsciously unleashed his psychic awareness to scan his surroundings. Luckily, he didn’t detect any sign of life fluctuations.
He nodded and agreed, “He’s right, we do need some rest.”
He glanced around and saw lots of caves of unequal sizes on the side of the sparsely vegetated mountain, which seemed dark and deep, their insides hard to see clearly.
An Shiyi noticed his sweeping glance, and explained to him in a soft voice, “We are still within the Scarlet Flame Mountain Range. There are a large number of extinct volcanoes in this area. It’s said that there are still many high-ranked fire-attribute spirit stones hidden deep under them.
“Disciples from the Spiritual Treasure sect would often try out their luck in these extinct volcanoes and see if they could find some high-ranked fire-attribute spirit stones.
“That’s also why they drilled open a large number of caves inside these mountains.
“Every single cave is connected to the belly of the mountain peak or even to the deepest part of the earth. Those people all dreamed of getting lucky and obtaining some high-ranked fire-attribute spirit stones. No matter whether they used them to refine spiritual tools or advance their own cultivation, they’ll benefit a great deal from them.”
Pan Tao added, “Within the entire Scarlet Flame Mountain Range, the only active volcanoes that can still channel raging flames from the earth's core are the three volcanoes surrounding the Spiritual Treasure sect’s valley. The seniors in the sect have been using the grand Heaven Burning Earth Flame formation to restrain the three of them from erupting, as well as to take advantage of the raging flames from the earth’s core to refine spiritual tools.
“After many explorations, the other volcanoes are determined to have long since grown inactive. However every one of them used to be active and violent ten thousand years ago.
“As long as lava had once filled the belly of a mountain peak, its interior part might possibly produce fire-attributed spiritual materials. The majority of the spiritual materials have long since been mined, leaving behind only a very little portion in the deepest parts. It would require a lot of work as well as good luck in order for one to obtain some of the remaining pieces.”
Pan Tao led everyone into a cave for a short rest while explaining.
An Shiyi raised her voice and said, “We can rest here for two hours at most. In two hours, no matter how much strength we’ve recovered, we’ll have to head out again.”
With Liu Yan, Shi Yi, and Luo Xin gone, she was the person with the highest cultivation base among everyone.
Naturally, she became the leader of the group of juniors.
Soon, everyone had picked a cave and hidden themselves within, using spirit stones to recover their strength.
The caves were very close to each other. So long as one person spoke, others would be able to hear them.
The group, bent on leaving the Scarlet Flame Mountain Range as soon as possible, wasn’t in the mood to explore the seemingly bottomless caves. The fire-attributed spiritual materials that could possibly still be remaining in the caves didn’t interest them in the slightest. Instead, all of them concentrated on regaining strength.
Nie Tian felt the same.
After finding a cave and hiding himself within, he took out a spirit stone and was about to restore the spiritual power in his spiritual sea.
Just as he was about to operate the Qi Refining Incantation, his expression suddenly flickered, as an idea struck him. Instantly, he took out the dragon bone and the Flame Dragon Armor out of his bracelet of holding and placed them on the ground next to him.
Only until then did he calm himself and begin to absorb energy from the spirit stone.
In the middle of practicing, he once again felt the extreme heat that the dragon bone had emanated. At the same time, he also noticed the energy within his flesh and blood secretly flowing into the Flame Dragon Armor.
The incomparably heavy Flame Dragon Armor gradually started to radiate a dark-red luster, as if it were being nourished by his flesh power.
After a while, he realized that the animal bone was becoming increasingly hot, and also started to give off a bright fiery light.
Slightly surprised, he sent out a thread of his psychic power to examine it, and immediately found that there were numerous fiery threads wriggling and twisting inside the dragon bone, gathering towards the blood drop in the center.
The drop of blood had shrunk significantly because it had previously exhausted a huge amount of energy teleporting him in and out of the mysterious land.
However, at that moment, as the fiery threads swam inside the animal bone, he could keenly feel a strange gravitational force gradually generating.
Before long, he sensed that a growing number of fiery threads were filling up the inside of his cave.
He closed his eyes to trace the origin of the fiery threads with his psychic awareness. He noticed that they appeared to be coming from the dark stone tunnel behind him, which seemed to be leading to the deepest part of the short mountain.
As an increasingly large amount of fiery threads continuously gathered towards the mouth of the cave, and gradually flowed into the animal bone, he noticed that the blood drop within the dragon bone was growing.
After observing for a while, Nie Tian snapped open his eyes, and suddenly remembered the strange incident that had occurred in Nie clan mine. “Could it be that…”
Back when he was in the Nie clan mine, he had placed the dragon bone on top of a Flamecloud gem, and it surprisingly drained all of the flame power of every last Flamecloud gem in the entire mine.
The fiery threads that were converging to this place from deep part of the stone tunnel clearly also contained abundant flame power.
Furthermore, the flame power seemed to be even purer.
Just as he was astonished by his new findings, the dragon bone suddenly flew up and embedded itself into the perfectly matching hole on the chest of the Flame Dragon Armor.
All of a sudden, the Flame Dragon Armor released surging flames, as if it had suddenly transformed into a burning sun, and pulsed with frightening flame fluctuations.
Before Nie Tian could react, the Flame Dragon Armor rose up by itself and flew towards the depths of the gloomy and endless stone tunnel.
Nie Tian opened his eyes wide. He didn’t understand what had just happened, and could only stand up and quickly yell to inform An Shiyi, who was in the cave next to his, “I have to take care of some urgent matter! When the time comes, you guys don’t have to wait for me, just leave!”
“Nie Tian! What the hell are you doing?” An Shiyi shouted.
Other members of the group, who were still recovering, were also awakened. One after another they opened their eyes and recovered from their practicing state.
Five seconds later, everyone gathered in Nie Tian’s cave, only to find that he was already gone.
Nie Tian’s distant voice echoed out from the deep part of the stone tunnel. “I’m serious! Forget about me! You guys just leave!”
Zheng Bin and Han Xin, who were from the Black Mist Palace, both had unpleasant expressions on their faces while looking into the gloomy and bottomless stone tunnel.
Han Xin couldn’t hold it down in any longer and complained, “This guy, he always manages to get in all sorts of trouble! Throughout our whole journey, he has been wasting everyone's time! If not for him, perhaps we would have already passed through the cave that was guarded by Gan Kang and left the Spiritual Treasure sect, even before the flaming gates were lifted.
“If not for him, perhaps Dowager Weng wouldn’t have been trapped in such a dangerous situation!”
Han Xin had repressed her emotions for a long time. Now that she saw Nie Tian causing trouble again at a crucial moment, she finally decided to say angrily, “Whoever wants to wait for him, be my guest. I sure as hell won’t stay here and wait for his return!”
Zheng Bin’s expression was also grim. “No matter how much he desires those fire-attributed spirit stones, he shouldn’t try out his luck at such a crucial moment. Much less when the fire-attributed spirit stones here were probably long since mined by disciples of the Spiritual Treasure sect. Even if there are any left behind somewhere, he won’t be able to find them any time soon.”
Aside from trying to find fire-attributed spirit stones, he couldn’t think of any other reason that would make Nie Tian leave the group so determinedly.
He became deeply disappointed in Nie Tian and he didn’t want to waste any more of his own time. “Sorry everyone, but we have to leave now.” With these words, both he and Han Xin took the initiative and left the group. They rushed out of the cave and headed in the direction of the Mystic Mist sect.
Only the An sisters, Pan Tao, Jiang Lingzhu, and Ye Gumo were left standing in the cave, staring blankly at each other.
“We’ll stay and wait for him.” An Shiyi sat down on the ground and with a calm tone, she said, “His unruliness is the reason that my sister and I are still alive. If it weren’t for his unruliness, elder Wu Xing would have ignored us, and we probably have already been murdered by the Blood sect experts. Therefore, no matter how long it takes, we’ll wait.”
An Ying also sat down without saying a word.
Pan Tao gave a bitter smile as he shook his head and also sat down silently.
Jiang Lingzhu and Ye Gumo exchanged a glance. She said, “That little punk is our little martial uncle, so according to the seniority in the clan, we have to listen to him.”
Inwardly, Jiang Lingzhu hated Nie Tian to the point where she wanted to grit her teeth. But instead of demanding to leave, she chose to sit down and wait, while cursing him in a low voice. Each and every sentence she uttered was to grumble about Nie Tian’s recklessness, bad timing, and deadly greed.
“Aihh...” Ye Gumo let out a deep sigh as he too could only sit down and wait with the others.Previous Chapter Next Chapter