Burn it all down!
A gargantuan, grand, gorgeous array of fire, form, and ferocity occupied twenty-two thousand meters of space. Bai Lin ’s fire phoenix form transformed her into an embodiment of scarlet-golden nirvanic flames! Her previously recognizable features weren ’t distinct, there wasn ’t an ounce of white, just an existence of fire and light. The only thing that retained herself, expanded alongside her, was her golden-colored radiant eyes that torched the world with every glance.
She stared with unmasked violence and rage at the black sphere surrounded by concentrically-designed castle walls and towers. The violet runes on the surface tinted by a sanguine color were affected by her internal rampage, causing most to dim and some to be erased after a burning flicker, vanishing outright.
From the giant hole she had burst out from, still spewing geysering flames, were two comets of light, one black and one grey that broke out. They escaped the limits of its burning heat and put vast distance, almost a hundred miles of distance between them and the pillar of fire.
The two lights hovered in the Dark Void. The lights around those existences started to rapidly fade, conserving their strength while safe.
”What the hell is that beast? Its like an entity of fire! ” A gloomy, hostile voice resounded. It belonged to a female, and her grey light revealed her figure. She was of slim build, roughly five feet four inches, dressed in a conservative white and grey-colored attire carrying strong resemblance to religious nuns of some mortal monasteries. Her eyes, however, were as dark-red as congealed blood.
”How the fuck am I supposed to know? ” An icy, indifferent voice resounded. Despite the vulgar language, the tone of the voice lacked all forms of passion, almost emotionless if not for the chills it could induce. It belonged to a male, garbed in loose black robes, his face covered by a half-mask like the others.
”… ” The woman snorted, executing a few hand-seals. The violet-colored runes lit for a moment before dimming even greater than before, and some had been stressed to the point that they shattered, exploding and taking bits of the black sphere with it. From those holes, pillars of flames were forcefully expelled.
Her expression darkened considerably. She announced in gloom: ”The Infernal Star-End Array is heavily damaged. I can ’t activate most of it. ”
The black-robed man ’s eyes narrowed to the point it had become slits. There was a dangerous glint hidden within. His spiritual sense was affixed to the twenty-two thousand meter embodiment of fire just hovering there, seemingly observing them. Despite the rippling waves of anger flowing from it, it didn ’t attack them immediately.
”A bird that ’s made of fire? Could it be a phoenix? ” The woman asked. She kept performing hand-seals, her hands becoming shadows as she executed thousands in the matter of mere seconds. She wasn ’t holding back. The power emitted from her body caused fixed space to tremble ceaselessly.
”Can you repair the array? ” The black-robed man coldly asked, ignoring the woman ’s question. The Infernal Star-End Array was an extremely high-level Array that maintained the offensive, defensive, and supplementary formations. If used adeptly, with a cultivator of sufficient cultivation level, it could directly repel Demi-Mortal Lord Phase experts, even briefly resist an Earthly Saint.
”I ’m trying, ” She curtly responded. Adding with a heavy breath, ”the fire within the Shadow Egg is causing interference. I can ’t expel it quickly—I need time. ”
The Shadow Egg was the black sphere, a forged construct of epic proportions, rivaling a tiny-sized planet. It was made with Shadow-Terror Ore, a mystic-graded material. It was only at low-grade Mystic-Earth, but its value and uses couldn ’t be underestimated.
It was infused with shadow essence, making it extremely difficult to perceive by spiritual senses of both mortal and Ascended alike, and capable of effective camouflage, hiding from visual and mental senses. Its cost and design was both unfathomably high and incredibly intricate.
”… ” The black-robed man remained silent for a long, long moment. After a while, when he noticed that the fluctuations from Bai Lin were continuous and inconsistent, his eyes opened with a snapping ferocity. ”Its manipulating the fire from afar! Its deliberately eroding the formations from the inside! ”
The woman ’s expression drastically changed. She executed a few special hand-seals, forming flickering mystical runes around her until they numbered far beyond ten thousand. With a push of both hands, the runes flew towards the black sphere like miniature suns. When it touched black sphere, they adhered to its surface, the geysering fire started to abate in intensity.
”You ’re right! But how?! ”
The two were sent into shock. When have beasts been so adept at dealing with formations? When have beasts ever reached this level of power? It was targeting the formations with unerring accuracy! If this continues, the Shadow Egg will be ruined.
Bai Lin ’s clarion cry shook the world. With a flap of her flaming wings, she blitzed towards the two as a streak of fire. She was extraordinarily fast.
However, the two were experts at the Soul of Mysticism Phase, genuine Ascended! They didn ’t engage, but directly retreated backwards in an almost unified step. As they did, they shot towards a specific direction while facing Bai Lin. The woman refused to stop forming hand-seals, the space around her still fluctuating without end. She was focused on repairing the array.
The black-robed man was trailing her, slightly in front of the woman. Clearly, he was determined to protect the woman and buy her what she needed: time! If the array was repaired, even somewhat slightly, Bai Lin ’s fate was to be suppressed. There would be no escape. At least, in their minds.
Bai Lin chased.
They soared through the Dark Void, circling the Shadow Egg, one chasing, two retreating. Neither side executed long-range attacks, both with their own reservations. The two couldn ’t escape the Shadow Eggs orbit without abandoning it, and Bai Lin couldn ’t unleash her full strength without endangering Wei Wuyin.
As she chased for nearly ten seconds, three lights exited from the Shadow Egg, two blue and one gold. They formed three men, all of which had half-masks protecting their identities. With their black robes, even their figures were concealed.
They were three Soul of Mysticism Phase experts, all at the Second Stage of the Mystic Ascendant Realm. Their auras were robust. They all weren ’t inferior to the likes of Venerable Kun Yiming and Venerable Bluecloud, two experienced and aged Ascended.
”Is that a freaking fire phoenix? ” The man covered by a faint golden glow ludicrously asked.
”Impossible! They ’re legends! How could it be? ” While the Golden Phoenix Fruit existed, that was only awakening the bloodline potential of certain avian species, capable of allowing their strength to elevate and develop certain unique abilities, but that was fundamentally different than seeing a live phoenix!
This was similar to how some dragons had the bloodline of a True Dragon hidden within, but wasn ’t actually one themselves. Until they stepped onto their Ancestral Path to their origins, becoming genuine Genesis Beasts, they were merely awakening a tiny portion of their true potential.
”… ” The last Ascended remained silent. But his aura started to fluctuate wildly, excitement betrayed by the shimmering light he emitted. His thoughts were as clear as the stars in the Dark Void!
The other two noticed this. There was no need to speak any words between them. They were cultivators who plundered with abandon, reaching their levels and strength with vicious means. How could they not want to capture, enslave, or just extract the essence of a genuine phoenix?!
The three lights exploded outwards, chasing after Bai Lin with incredible speeds. They zipped and zoomed through the Dark Void. In mere moments, they were already on Bai Lin ’s tail. When they felt the power of Bai Lin ’s flames, their expressions changed, but after reinforcing their own protections, they flew forward with dark glints in their eyes.
The black-robed man traveling alongside the woman observed this development, a smirk surfaced on his lips. It was effusing rambunctious greed.
Two being chased; three tailing behind; Bai Lin in the middle as they traversed in circles. There was a strange, almost agreed upon stalemate formed. The three men behind didn ’t launch attacks, also reluctant to unintentionally damage the Shadow Egg, while the two in front merely used their greatest movement arts to buy time.
Bai Lin was still enraged, but she restrained herself. She feared what they feared. Yet two different groups were entirely unaware of the others ’ intentions.
”… ” However, this balance started to cause the smirk on the black-robed man ’s face to become a neutral expression. There was something amiss. Is this fire beast unable to launch long-range attacks? He was prepared to defend and redirect these attacks, but none came.
Then, that neutral expression became a downward arc filled with an anxious feeling. This feeling became more uncomfortable the longer time passed. Something wasn ’t right. When he saw the three lights behind the phoenix, his head tilted slightly to the side, seeing the Shadow Egg.
His pupils constricted violently!
”No! The heat its emitting isn ’t right! ” He fearfully shouted, causing the woman to turn to him, confused by his words. She kept her duties well, infusing her power into the array to repair the formations that comprised it while simultaneously isolating the fire raging within the Shadow Egg to prevent it from influencing the formations.
Without hesitation, the black-robed man diverted his path of retreat. He directly left!
”… ” The four Ascended froze as they watched the black robed man turn into a comet of black light, then vanishing into the distance in a flash. He had used his spatial powers to move a vast distance!
Speechless, the four were unable to react properly. While they thought about leaving too, it was too late!
An explosive burst of power erupted from far, far into the distance. The aura was quite distinct, but also weak. It felt as if it belonged to a Gravity Emission Phase expert, unleashing their aura out wildly!
The others gave the area a brief glance, but they were unable to sense anything in particular. It was strange. But then they heard something sizzling.
”AHHHHHH! ” A shriek of horror brought the three men ’s attention back to their target, and what they saw shook their entire hearts!
”HELP ME! AHHHH! GAAAHH!! HE-HELP!!! ” In bursts of screams, cries for help rung out in their senses. Their eyes all shrunk into needlepoints. At the moment, they witnessed the sight of a large fire phoenix engulfing the woman entirely, as if she was eaten whole. She was trapped within the confines of its body, unable to escape as she formed continuous wards around herself.
She raged and raged, releasing everything she had, but those wards were burning, sizzling as if being cooked. Her skin that was soft, pristine, was bubbling as if roasted in an oven. Her defenses were useless! The harsh heat ravaged her body, her clothes, and her life.
In moments, her mystic-graded attire was incinerated into nothing, combusting into flames! It caused the woman to become a flaming person, and no one could enjoy her nude body as she shrieked out in pain and panic! Even if one wanted to look, they would only find burnt flesh and melting bones.
The three felt their scalps tingle.
It was only then that they realized that the fire phoenix ’s heat was pulsating, distorting fixed space until it seemed as if it was quaking like a mirage in the distance. The sides of the Shadow Egg in close proximity were melting with a bright redness!
The words of the black-robed man that escaped resounded in their heads. The heat wasn ’t right…
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