Chapter 20: Collapse

Chapter Twenty: Collapse

Upon hearing Nie Qian's orders, Nie Tian quickly took out the animal bone and put it on top of a protruding flamecloud gem.

A flickering spark of fire immediately shot out from the animal bone.

Nie Tian focused with rapt attention, his face lit up with joy. "The animal bone has started absorbing the power of the flame!"

"Brilliant!" Nie Qian said, equally elated.

That meant that the animal bone, as they had expected, was absorbing the flame power.

Obviously, whichever unmined flamecloud gems the animal bone came into contact with, would darken rapidly.

Within a very short time, a half-embedded flamecloud gem splintered and turned into ordinary gray stones after its flame power was drained.

"There!" Nie Qian barked, pointing to a larger flamecloud gem. "Be quick about it!"

Following her instruction without any hesitation, Nie Tian affixed the animal bone to a larger flamecloud gem formation.

Nie Qian continued to exuberantly locate new targets, even before the flame power was drained by the animal bone. "There! Over there! An even bigger piece! "

CRACK! CRACK!

The flamecloud gems cracked, one after another.

The animal bone had already absorbed a huge amount of flame power, and soon became red and translucent, releasing an odd, flame-like luster.

Sparks appeared on the animal bone. In the dark, they were like stars, shining brightly.

FIZZ!

Nie Tian came to notice that those sparks were converging, in great number, on a single point.

"Here! " Nie Qian said, pointing to a conspicuously large flamecloud gem.

Nie Tian placed the animal bone on the gem, face joyful. "The flames are condensing once again! "

POP!

A red flame flared up in the center of the animal bone.

Nie Tian probed the active flame with his spiritual awareness, and found that it was the very drop of blood in the middle of condensing.

Then, he felt an unusual attraction generated by the drop of blood.

CRACK! CRACK!

It seemed all the flamecloud gems in Mine #73 were starting to crack, and they altogether let out a horrifying sound.

At the same time, sparks that looked like millions of fireflies suddenly flew out of the flamecloud gems and into the animal bone.

RUUUUMBLE!

Even more horribly, the rumbling could also be heard in other mines on the hillside.

Along with the rumbling, the sparks that splashed out from the millions of flamecloud gems flew towards Mine #73, where Nie Tian was located, as if they were attracted by a unique magnet.

The extended members of the Nie clan and the other laborers, who were in the middle of their mining efforts in the various mines, all began to shout in alarm.

"What’s going on?"

"What’s happening?"

"The mine is collapsing! We have to get out of here!"

"Everybody get out of the mine, now!"

"A catastrophe is upon us! "

"…"

People ran wildly from their workplaces and bolted in horror towards the exit of the various mines one after another.

Nie Qian also panicked. "Gosh, Little Tian! This animal bone is much too frightening. It absorbs the flame power too fast! This mine is crumbling!"

However, Nie Tian still held that piece of animal bone in his hand, as if he did not hear a single word of her cry.

It seemed that his spiritual sense was completely wrapped up in the animal bone. His sparkling pupils were replete with arcane profundity.

BOOM!

In the blink of an eye, the entrance to Mine #73 was completed blocked by fallen rubble.

Intending to dissuade Nie Tian from channeling the flame power into the animal bone and take him out of the mine, Nie Qian suddenly realized that they had no chance of getting out through the entrance.

Nevertheless, an array of sparks infiltrated the rubble in the blocked mine and converged at the animal bone in Nie Tian's hand.

The animal bone continued to greedily absorb the flame power within the entire mountain and showed no sign of cessation!

In the meantime, Nie Tian's awareness and spirit had already drifted into the burning drop of blood, and he entered the mysterious world of fire.

In the unknown dimension, he saw the whole sky ablaze with ever-changing lights and balls of scorching flame converging into a giant flaming dragon.

WHOOSH!

Outside of the mine, the rich spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth surrounding Cloudsoaring Mountain also quietly wafted to the unimpressive peak, although no one could tell why.

The white spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth seeped through the entrance and into Mine #73.

The anxious Nie Qian suddenly felt that every breath she took contained an abundance of spiritual Qi.

Considering how concentrated it was, she found that the amount of spiritual Qi around Nie Tian was staggering. It seemed that the dense spiritual Qi in the mine was being infused into his body through his pores.

Her wide eyes were fixed on Nie Tian, gleaming with ecstasy, perplexity, and astonishment.

She was overwhelmed by the changes in the mine, floundering over what she should do, and how she could help Nie Tian.

Though the entrance had been sealed up by the fallen rubble, an ocean of flame energy streamed through the gaps among the rubble and converged into the animal bone.

She knew that she could not get out of the mine for now, and had to accept everything in front of her eyes.

At the same time...

Behind Cloudsoaring Peak was another mountain, the height of which was second only to Cloudsoaring Peak, allowing it to look out over all the other mountains. Inside of it, a skinny old man wearing sackcloth was refining a spirit tool in a stone chamber. Suddenly, he dropped the spiritual tool and muttered, "Strange. Why is the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth abruptly undergoing such tremendous changes?" He instantly assumed the lotus position, and gradually closed his eyes.

A blurry shadow drifted out of the top of his skull and flew away from the stone chamber like a ghost.

The vague shadow flickered in the air as if it were a reflected image on the water. Unreal as it looked, it made its way to the mountain of the Nie clan by following the flow of the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth.

The vague shadow flew deep along the stone tunnel of the mine.

Soon after, it arrived at the bottom of Mine #73, where Nie Tian was, and snuck in by flowing through the gaps among the rocks.

After entering, the vague shadow became more transparent, making it even harder to be seen by the naked eye.

Staying in the shadows in the corner, the vague shadow looked around and then shifted all of his attention onto Nie Tian and the animal bone in his hand.

“What?!”

Nie Qian, who was standing by Nie Tian, was obliviously unaware of its existence.

RUUUMBLE!

It seemed that the entire mountain was shaking. As a result, huge rocks hanging overhead shattered and rolled down from the top of the mine where Nie Tian and Nie Qian were positioned.

The vague shadow hiding in the dark lifted its head and flicked the falling rocks out of its way.

Seeing the falling rocks approaching them, Nie Qian was horrified and wailed inwardly in despair.

To her surprise though, the huge rocks, which were clearly on their way to crush Nie Tian and Nie Qian, were pushed off their original trajectory by some unknown force, and fell to the other the side of the mine.

Nie Qian, who should have been crushed, was still standing next to Nie Tian, safe and sound, as if they were safeguarded by the Heavens.

After a long time...

Flame power stopped converging from all directions, as if the flame power of the flamecloud gems in the entire mountain had been dried up by the animal bone.

Still holding the animal bone in his hand, Nie Tian, unaware of the tremendous changes in the mine, was still in a dream state.

The long-lasting vibration in the mine ground to a halt while the fallen rocks were piled up high around the two of them.

In contrast, the place where they stood was void of even a single piece of gravel. Nie Qian found it incredible and inwardly extended her gratitude to the ancestors of the Nie clan for their protection.

It took a long time for the animal bone in Nie Tian's hand to return to a dark-brown color.

In the meantime, Nie Tian gradually awoke from his reverie. When he opened his eyes, the first words he uttered were, "The drop of blood in the animal bone has at long last fully congealed!"

Hearing these words, the blurry shadow fluttered slightly, like ripples on water, its mind completely shaken.

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