ObligatoryTLNote: And so it begins…
Translators: tbc, Void & MeTaL MaX.
Editors: Cheesy McBreezy, Nahtaivel
Sun Youcai trembled as he rapidly fled underground. His intense fear made him feel like he was suffocating. Suddenly, the earth before him began to emit vast amounts of heat, and he cursed inwardly. This Earth Escaping Technique would have been quite easy to use for escape in any other place, but in Huo Fen Country there were volcanoes of all sizes everywhere. They greatly restricted his Earth Escaping Technique.
If he accidentally ran into lava, it could only be considered bad luck.
In his past escapes, Sun Youcai had always turned back immediately upon encountering hot earth. But he was now being chased by a Spirit Forming master. In his panic, he chose the wrong path: afraid of being captured, he strove to move upwards.
With a bang, his body directly penetrated a muddy layer and emerged within a volcanic cave. A wave of heat immediately singed his hair and eyebrows, warping them.
Sun Youcai cried out in surprise and quickly threw out his flying sword as his body swayed on a raised stone. After but a moment, his entire body began to show signs of cracking, and his fluttering clothes turned into charcoal.
Even the flying sword beneath his feet started glowing red as the temperature continued to rise.
Sun Youcai’s sweat immediately turned into traces of white gas. His body was now engulfed in white smoke. Although he was naked, he still had some form of immortal qi about him.
A giant pool of lava bubbled beneath him. As each huge bubble burst, a trace of black qi rose.
Sun Youcai was bracing himself to flee from the opposite side of the cave when his body suddenly trembled. As he looked blankly at the lava below, his face showed nothing but fear.
By this time, Wang Lin had finally caught up. Even though he did not know the Earth Escaping Technique, his soul was locked onto Sun Youcai, so it was impossible for him to escape. Suddenly, Wang Lin became aware that Sun Youcai had stopped. He immediately pointed at the iron sheet, and it hit the ground with a bang, spinning to form a passageway. Wang Lin followed it directly to the cave where Sun Youcai stood.
The moment he entered the fiery cave, Wang Lin looked downward at Sun Youcai and noticed his panic-stricken face.
Glancing further down, Wang Lin saw a pair of triangular eyes in the middle of the lava pool. Breathing deeply, he returned to the entrance of the passageway and stared attentively at the lava.
According to Ma Liang’s memories growing up in Huo Fen Country, there were no living creatures in Huo Fen Country’s volcanoes. If there had been any, they would have definitely been discovered by a cultivator over the years. It was common knowledge that the Ancestors of the four major sects placed seals on the volcanoes of Huo Fen Country every few years to ensure continued safety.
Meanwhile, Sun Youcai looked on and stared into those eyes as if possessed. Dazed, he put away the flying sword and began walking barefoot on the scorching earth. The smell of burning flesh was immediately emitted by the soles of his feet.
After just three steps forward, his feet had already turned pitch black. In some areas, the flesh gave way to reveal bones that were roasted black as well, but Sun Youcai’s face did not show even the slightest hint of pain. Standing on the edge of the rock, he jumped down without hesitation.
As Sun Youcai fell towards the magma, Wang Lin’s eyes flashed. Using his Gravity Technique to form a giant hand, he grasped the storage bag on Sun Youcai’s waist and then quickly retreated.
Suddenly a roar erupted from behind him, and the temperature began to rise rapidly. As Wang Lin flew upward, his surroundings began turning red. If someone had looked down from the sky, they would have seen countless black vapors of all sizes rising up, especially from a relatively large volcano. In the surrounding areas, red ripples began to spread out, flooding the area and painting everything red.
With a gloomy look on his face, Wang Lin rapidly raced away along the passageway. Suddenly he stopped, as countless flames quickly gathered before him to form a beast with a pair of triangularly-shaped eyes and a flame-emitting body. It stared at Wang Lin, revealing its killing intent.
Without any hesitation, Wang Lin immediately attacked it with his Ji Realm Divine Consciousness. A bolt of red lightning emerged from Wang Lin’s eyes and shot out to drill into the fire beast. The creature’s gaze flickered. Its flames weakened a bit but then immediately returned to normal. A vertical crack emerged from between its eyes, and as it spread, a roar emerged from the beast as it came towards Wang Lin to swallow him.
Wang Lin’s face darkened as he turned to retreat, but then his pupils narrowed. To his surprise, there was another fire beast behind him.
At this moment there were two fire beasts within this narrow passageway. Wang Lin clenched his teeth as the iron sheet began spinning once more to dig another passageway.
But then all of a sudden, the two fire beasts roared in unison. The surrounding soil suddenly started turning red, and Wang Lin’s heart thumped as the soil rapidly wrapped around him and hardened, forming a spherical cage.
The cage continued to tighten up, and with a bang it was completely sealed.
At this moment, layer after layer of earth appeared to rise and crack aboveground. The layers gradually collapsed from the inside, quickly forming a very large basin with a black-colored earthen sphere in the middle.
Eight fire beasts with triangular eyes surrounded the earthen sphere, spraying it continuously with fiery liquid. The ball slowly shrank, becoming smaller and smaller. When a diameter of only a half meter remained, the fire beasts stopped spraying the fiery liquid.
One of the fire beasts picked up the earthen sphere and quickly drilled underground, followed by the rest of the fire beasts. They burrowed through the ground incredibly rapidly, reaching the inside of the volcanic cave in the blink of an eye.
The fire beast that had been holding the earthen sphere tossed it down and jumped immediately after it. Caught in the magma, the ball disappeared into the lava pool along with the beasts. A few bubbles appeared on the surface of lava pool as it slowly returned to its previous calm state.
The black mist surrounding the volcano slowly dissipated, and the cracks on the ground gradually resumed their normal appearance. Apart from the huge basin above ground, no evidence remained that the fire beasts had ever appeared.
In fact, this type of basin was very common in Huo Fen Country. Almost all the volcanoes in the region had similar basins of varying sizes around them.
Wang Lin held himself, resisting the bursts of high temperature. As he wrapped his entire body with the Ji Realm Consciousness, his divine sense slowly disintegrated the earthen sphere.
He could clearly feel himself sinking. After a long time, the earthen sphere shook as his divine sense finally broke through the last restrictive layer. He could finally see everything around him.
Seemingly limitless amounts of magma flowed like countless rivers through numerous channels, each fusing harmoniously with the others.
The earthen sphere that he was in was floating on the magma. Seven or eight other earthen spheres of approximately the same size were scattered beside him. Atop each sphere lay a fire beast.
In the surrounding magma, countless densely packed pairs of triangular eyes appeared. A fire beast leapt out from the magma onto Wang Lin’s earthen sphere. It did not notice Wang Lin’s Divine Consciousness as it slowly lay down.
As time wore on, several more fire beasts appeared from the passageways above, each without exception carrying an earthen sphere.
Suddenly, the magma shook, and one by one the fire beasts began to spread out in the magma. In the resulting empty space, an enormous fire beast emerged from the magma. Wang Lin quickly retracted his divine consciousness, cautiously opting to watch and wait.
Ordinary fire beasts were only three feet tall, but this fire beast’s head alone was taller than five feet. As its appearance was slowly revealed, an intense pressure emerged, and all of the surrounding fire beasts stood still.
Wang Lin was startled. This fire beast’s strength was in no way inferior to the YuanYing stage and was likely even stronger. In the end Wang Lin could not judge its true strength, since he had never seen Spirit Forming cultivators in action.
As the huge fire beast’s eyes swept around, he casually swam to the left, and another fire beast of the same size emerged. More appeared one after the other, until a total of sixteen had appeared.
These sixteen fire beasts began swimming in a circle. Within the circle, a translucent ring of fire slowly emerged from the magma, from which shone seven coloured lights.
Wang Lin concentrated on that sight. Under the ring of fire, an illusory figure slowly took shape and formed a fireball the size of a fist.
Faint red threads radiated outwards, connecting the ring of fire to the fireball.
As soon as the fireball appeared, the sixteen huge fire beasts roared. One by one, each of them leapt out and bent down on one knee. At the same time, the other fire beasts standing about all growled as well. Jumping up, they too bent down on one knee in the magma.
As Wang Lin watched, he suddenly felt a startling sensation in his brain. The Heaven Revolting Bead in his body had drilled up to his eyebrows on its own for the first time. Had Wang Lin not stopped it in time, the Heaven Revolting Bead would have emerged completely.
At this moment, a fire beast grabbed an earthen sphere and threw it in the air. It suddenly stopped in mid-air, and the fireball drilled into it. In the silent cave, a sucking sound could be heard quite clearly.
A bleak cry suddenly emerged from the sphere. The sound continued but gradually grew quieter and quieter until it finally stopped. Soon a trace of bloody mist wafted out from the earthen sphere, as the fireball drilled its way out.
As the earthen sphere fell from above and sank into the magma, Wang Lin’s heart sank with it. He now understood that he was not the only one alive in these earthen spheres. Even without the Ji Realm Divine Consciousness to protect them, those inside the earthen spheres presumably had not died, and had instead entered a deep sleep from which they were unable to wake up.
After the first, four more earthen spheres were thrown into the air. One by one the fire ball drilled into them. The sound of screams lasted for nearly half an hour before the fifth earthen sphere sank into the magma. Finally, Wang Lin’s earthen sphere was thrown upwards.
Suddenly, the Heaven Revolting Bead present in his eyebrows shook violently, and with unprecedented momentum broke free from Wang Lin’s restrictions. At this moment, the fireball had just drilled into Wang Lin’s earthen sphere.