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In Jianghan City, there was a luxurious villa. The exterior didn’t differ from other villas, but ten meters underground inside, there was a tremendous space. The ceiling and floor were all spread using white marble, shimmering with gentle radiance. It was unknown what was used to to set them. The facilities inside the room were rather simple. There was only an ancient wooden table and ten chairs. In addition, there was an enormous map of China behind the wooden table.
At this moment, all ten chairs were seated by people. Some were drooping old men, some were old women with chicken-like skin and crane-like hair, and some were middle-aged men with tiger-like gazes. Furthermore, in this fifty-meter-sized space, there were solemn-faced men dressed in suits and leather shoes who were standing at each two-meter interval.
“Nalan Yanran’s image was sent.” A bald old man dressed in a changpao was at the leading chair. His old face was covered in spots, but his mind was incredibly hale and hearty. He clasped his teacup, casually set aside tea powder, and said dimly: “The Xingtian Legion’s Commander is very cautious. He didn’t see anything.”
“It’s outside our forecast but within reason.” An old woman at the side looked at the jade walking stick in her hand, somewhat lost thought. “If the foundation of a cultivator able to leave Danxia Temple was explored by us so quickly, This Palace would’ve suspected whether or not he came out due to dogshit luck.”
“The Linghu Clan’s alliance letter has arrived…” The bald old man’s expression was motionless, and he set down his teacup. From his sleeve, he drew out a black paper crane and played with it as he pondered and said: “Longsu Province isn’t large… and Nanzhou City is even smaller. But ‘four minor clans’, the closest among first-rate clans approaching the apex clan level, will converge in this small region. Humanity’s Lou Clan of Shuangqing and Nanhuai Province’s Zhao Clan of Jingling… all of them have gathered. This time… Nanzhou can be said to be surging like a gathering storm…”
“It’s not that the fierce dragons can’t cross the river.” The next was a scholarly middle-aged man who lightly sipped his tea: “In fifty years, China will only look to Longsu. In fifty years, Longsu will only look to Nanzhou. Clan Elder…”
The man said meaningfully: “It’s four great clans and then some.”
The old man smiled. “Have you taken a look at the map?”
“No… I’m talking about an even more detailed map.” The old man narrowed his eyes: “You know, the Featherwood Guard’s Longsu Province branch at the side of the heavenbound door?”
“Oh?” An old woman laughed dryly. A gorgeous multicolored spider crept onto her finger, crawling back and forth. She laughed coldly: “Won’t that be the cemetery of our Danxia hero?”
“Clan Elder, I’m saying why does there have to be so much trouble! Slap that kid to his death and be done with everything!” A burly man said in annoyance: “Our Foundation Establishment cultivators are keeping watch in place. How about letting Yanran and the children charge through the enemy lines? How much strength is that going to waste?”
“Silly.” The old man laughed as he brushed over the man with an eye. “Indeed, it’s no question that we can send anyone to go slap the Featherwood Guard branch. But haven’t you thought about Ancestor Ancientpine’s level of respect? He could say the word if he wanted to right now and demand this place. The branch was originally there; who dares to speak against him?”
“His Honor hasn’t but has instead placed Xu Yangyi there, the man of the hour as of late. This is a suggestion to us that we can fight, but this is just his measuring pole. If it surpasses the Qi Condensation realm, and we go and slap this Danxia hero, we’ll be welcoming the fiery wrath and the overturning seas of the palace in the sky… or are you saying that you’ve already advanced to Core Formation, Old Seven, and dare to speak to the Ancestor?”
The old man said faintly: “This hand of Ancestor Ancientpine’s can already be considered the utmost benevolence. To make even greater demands, could it be that you truly believe that a Core Formation ancestor’s might is a boast? Which one of them doesn’t have hundreds of lives at their command?”
“Ancestor, why is this?” An old woman mumbled: “To have his youngest disciple come to struggle for a territory and not make an explicit statement regarding his life or death… Could it be that His Honor really thinks we dare not kill this boy?”
“Kill.” The old man’s expression finally turned grave, cold like icy frost: “We must kill him.”
“This time, anyone who dares to block us, except for Core Formation ancestors, must be slain!”
It was silent for a period of time, and he followed up and said: “This is a rearing of Gu.”
“Ancestor Ancientpine favors this disciple a lot… If he can truly defend this territory, This Throne dares to bet that on the day of his Foundation Establishment, this place will become his fiefdom. Everyone…” He stood up, his gaze appearing to look down at a crowd below. “I have no wish to say more. There’s no use at all in me saying more about the word ‘heavenly paradise’. This matter is related to the clan’s hundred-year foundation. We cannot lower our guard!”
“Those who block the path, kill! Those who obstruct, kill! Those who fear battle, kill! Those who retreat, kill!”
“The Nalan Clan’s flag HAS to be inserted below the heavenbound door! Where Longsu Province’s Featherwood Guard branch is located!” His gaze had already turned somewhat crimson. As he began to speak about the clan’s grand stratagem, his murderous aura exploded without the slightest concealment. “Six months from now… two demon clans, two human clans, and the reckless Featherwood Guard… even if Longsu Province’s ground is dyed red, the Nalan Clan’s banner still must wave there! Nalan Rong!”
A middle-aged woman stood up and clasped her hands. “Please give me instruction, Clan Elder.”
“You… go together with Nalan Yanran.” The old man grinded his teeth and took a deep breath: “This time, there’s a chance of instability. I want you to personally supervise and direct the war… If anyone retreats, kill them. No mercy. No matter who it is that doesn’t obey command, don’t hesitate to kill them. I’ll take responsibility for you.”
“You…” The old man mumbled to himself for a few seconds: “bring the Nalan Clan’s Heavenly Net Legion…”
“Clan Elder, are we really mobilizing them?”
“Clan Elder, don’t tell me that the clan grounds won’t be defended?”
“If we mobilize the Heavenly Net Legion, the front door of the clan grounds will be completely open!”
“Shut up.” The old man sneered: “A lion fighting a rabbit still uses all of its strength. Do you all really think that if the Featherwood Guard dares to place Branchmaster Xu here, he’s a bone so easily chewed?”
“I…” His eyes narrowed. “want to exterminate him right away… He… is the best pillar for the Nalan Clan to establish its power! We’ll use his head to plainly tell the world that the Nalan Clan is determined to win the soon-to-form heavenly paradise!”
The burly man furrowed his brows: “The Nalan Clan’s 500-plus Dao defenders are already stationed in Xichuan. Although the Nalan Clan only has fifteen people, they’re all the Nalan Clan’s true elite. Any single one of them have the absolute certainty to advance to Foundation Establishment. Isn’t using them to kill an insignificant Qi Condensation too much work for a little problem?”
“You’re wrong.” The old man uttered: “It’s absolutely not just our clan who wants to use him to establish power. Even the human clans want to take his head to do so. The Heavenly Net Legion is to intercept the other clans. To be capable of leaving Danxia Temple, this Commander Xu is definitely familiar with single combat and small-scale conflicts. But…”
His gaze chilled. “This time… I want to give him a real war of thousands of people! I want to see if this attack by hundreds of cultivators can compare to a strike from Danxia Temple’s giant demon! If it can decapitate him!”
“Even if he is a Core Formation disciple, whoever obstructs us will die for the Nalan Clan to rise to an apex clan!”
“Ugh…” At the same time, far away in the Capital, an extremely pained groan came from Xu Yangyi’s mouth.
His entire body was shaking. The blue talismans that covered the entire room absorbed endless heat. At the moment, it could be said to be cool and refreshing, but he was still covered in cold sweat!
The Burning Flame had already transformed into fox form. In the wake of Gao Muya’s and Cultivator Di’s ceaseless hand seals, the nine-tailed fox’s tails extended several meters in length. Like hands, the tails roasted his left arm bone.
Yes, these tails weren’t touching his body, and this strange Burning Flame’s temperature hadn’t spread, but the horrific heat scorching his arm bone caused all his blood to boil! Inside his body a furnace-cauldron seemed to activate, vapor desperately rising into the air. Sweat fell like rain, but these droplets didn’t hit the ground. They completely evaporated.
“Hold on.” Gao Muya was expressionless. Presently, it was extremely challenging for him to even say a word. Cultivator Di was even more terribly solemn. The duo’s hand seals even brought forth mirages. With perfect command as an arm moving a finger, Gao Muya commanded the nine tails to separate into nine places and burn the arm bone.
And yet these nine places were distinguished by nine remnant pieces of the Heavenmend Stone. Half a month had already passed. In these ten-odd days, the trio hadn’t rested. All the time was spent melting the Heavenmend Stone through day and night.
At this point, the Heavenmend Stone had already become nine gelatinous pieces. At any time, there was a chance that they would all melt and pour into Xu Yangyi’s arm.
Xu Yangyi’s eyes were somewhat red, and he bit his lip and drew blood. Nonetheless, he didn’t scream because he understood very well that in the moment the Heavenmend Stone melted, that horrific temperature would spread to his internal organs from his arm in a flash! He was mobilizing his scant spiritual force to guard against the arrival of that moment with his utmost might!
If he made a mistake, he was doomed to suffer grievous and immediate injury. A serious injury didn’t matter, but following the Danxia Temple journey… the Xingtian Legion could no longer tolerate the slightest disadvantage.
“Teacher!” At this time, Cultivator Di shouted in excitement. He only saw that the Heavenmend Stone on the shoulder section of the arm finally congeal into a multicolored droplet!
“Stand your ground, kid!” Gao Muya roared furiously. Immediately, the gorgeously colored droplet precisely covered Xu Yangyi’s shoulder with a clanking sound!
“URRAGGHH!!!” At this moment, Xu Yangyi drew his head back and snarled madly! It wasn’t pain. Perhaps it could be said what caused him to rave in fury was pain, but not truly the primary factor. On the contrary… it was the instantaneous combustion within his body! Wild and violent steam rushed out from his seven apertures, rendering him incapable of shutting his mouth any longer!
Following his scream, a fierce white column of gas suddenly gushed out of his mouth! This was the manifestation of a terribly high temperature, over 20,000 °C, directly spreading to his internal organs! Even if Cultivator Di’s qi membrane withstood a majority of it, the remainder was still enough to bless him with a life worse than death!
“FUCK!” His mind was a scarlet expanse. It was like his brain was boiling. In an instant, his complexion had become flushed red. Because of the high temperature, even his spiritual sense was somewhat chaotic. Following the sudden clenching of his teeth, he used his hand, long since powerless, to wave with all his strength. A meter-sized jade toad appeared in the room!
“Am… ber… gris…” His voice was somewhat raspy. Gao Muya immediately understood and a flame flew into the toad’s mouth with a wave of his hand. Three seconds later, a mild yet distant fragrance quietly pervaded the air.
“Huff…” Xu Yangyi bit his lip and wiped away at his cold sweat. Under this fragrance, he soon felt his mind become relaxed. The pain within his body still existed, but he was able to cling onto his mind with a trace of sobriety. He was unlikely to lose consciousness.
However, not waiting for him to become clear-headed, an even more terrible heat wave attacked in the next second!
This time… the sixth remnant of the Heavenmend Stone… had melted!
Total dissolution! In the white fireball formed by the Burning Flame’s sixth tail, it wasn’t a droplet but rather a strand… a prismatic aqua, bearing a heart-shaking high temperature, completely poured into Xu Yangyi’s left arm!
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