The Nirvana Cauldron was destroyed with one strike from the sword. The spiritual energy from the outside world rushed into it and shattered the self-contained world in the cauldron.
All the evil spirits dissipated and the sky vessel saw the sky again. After escaping the catastrophe, everyone still had lingering fears.
Under the sun, a Daoist in dark robes stood with a sword.
The newcomer was none other than Qin Yanzhi. He was summoned by the sect earlier. On the way back to Central region, however, he received the emergency notification from Lin-zhenjun. At that time, he happened to be in the area, but the Buried Star Ocean was vast. Although he consumed many Earth Traversing Talismans, he was still a step too late.
When he arrived, the other demonic cultivators had already escaped. Qin Yanzhi searched for a long time and finally sensed a bit of vitality permeating from the depths of the sea. Thus, he dived into the ocean in search of vital energy and found the Nirvana Cauldron, slashed it with his sword, and saved everyone in the sky vessel.
Jing Yue came to a sudden realization. He was still wondering how Qin Yanzhi discovered them.
It must be known that once the Nirvana Cauldron took in some fresh souls and started the smelting process, it would hide all traces of its existence. If not for the Vitality array and the vital energy that leaked out from it, even if Qin Yanzhi arrived, it would be difficult for him to find them.
Everyone thanked Qin Yanzhi and the latter said, “Let’s get out of this place first.”
To conserve spiritual energy, the sky vessel did not fly to the sky but chose the sea route instead.
In a certain cabin, Wu Dao-zhenren lied on the bed, the breathing movements of his chest weak, obviously still in a coma after being seriously injured.
Lin-zhenjun sat next to him and briefly recounted what had happened before. Qin Yanzhi listened quietly and finally said, “There are also some records in the inheritance of Sword Inscription Sect. By reference, the cauldron just now is indeed the Nirvana Cauldron of Asura Tower.”
He said solemnly, “Taoxian-laozu is correct in his prediction. The Heavenly Dao will be chaotic. I’m afraid the demonic Dao will be making some big movements.”
Lin-zhenjun was shocked. “The Heavenly Dao will be in chaos? Why do you say this?”
Qin Yanzhi, “The sect summoned me back this time because Taoxian-laozu had a glimpse of the heavenly secrets. He learned that the aura of the Heavenly Dao has changed and the demonic Dao has been unusually active in recent years. Maybe they already knew something.”
He turned around and looked at Jing Yue, who sat leaning against the wall. His face was pale, his eyelids were half drooping, and he was very weak. At that moment, he inexplicably recalled the time more than a year ago, when Jing Yue first entered the academy, he was in his arms covered in blood. But soon, the picture was blown away like a puff of smoke.
“Jing-laozu, Frostcloud Sect is in charge of the Jadecloud Bell that can detect the secrets of heaven. Did it sense anything?”
Jing Yue didn't want to speak. He just hugged blue phoenix that was sleeping in his arms and nodded.
Lin-zhenjun was anxious. “What should we do then?”
Qin Yanzhi, “Don’t worry too much for the time being. For thousands of years, luck has been with the righteous Dao. Although there are signs of chaos in the heavenly Dao today, there is still vitality within the chaos.”
Lin-zhenjun was confused. “What do you mean?”
Qin Yanzhi paused and thought of a scene not long ago.
“What does Laozu mean?” The young man in dark robes looked at Taoxian-laozu in confusion.
The latter had a benevolent face. “This is a heavenly secret, not something we can explore further.” Then, he said, “Now that you are tasked as the rotating mountain leader and teach swordplay on behalf of Yan-zhenren, do you need another disciple from the sect to go to Nine Heaven Academy to make up for Yan-zhenren’s absence?”
The dark-robed youth, “No.”
Taoxian-laozu was slightly startled and wondered, “Do you have a favorable disciple?”
The young man in dark robes smiled faintly. “In his capacity, this disciple dare not accept him into the sect, but he is indeed someone worthy of being groomed.”
Recalling the previous conversation with the sect’s Laozu, Qin Yanzhi shook his head and said to Lin-zhenjun, “Our priority is to understand the current situation.”
Although Lin-zhenjun was full of doubts, he knew that there was something more important at hand, so he said, “Please go ahead, Mountain Leader.”
Qin Yanzhi, “According to your recount, one Heavenly Grotto and two Amethyst Abode demonic cultivators attacked you. And judging from the route they made the ambush and the timing of their attacks, this is not done on a whim, but rather, after a good preparation. After all, so many demonic cultivators sneaked into the Buried Star Ocean without being noticed. This shows that they have spent a lot of effort.”
Lin-zhenjun, “That’s right.”
Qin Yanzhi, “In that case, I suspect that other cultivators taking different routes are also ambushed to varying degrees. After all, the objective of the demonic cultivators is to wipe out a generation of talents.”
Lin-zhenjun was unsettled, “Don’t we have to rescue them then? Or else, the righteous Dao will suffer a great loss!”
Qin Yanzhi glanced at him and said stoically, “They might not succeed with the larger sects and forces, while they won’t waste their energy with rogue cultivators who are alone. The ones in danger are the smaller schools. It’s too late for us to rush for help at this time. Besides, we can’t even protect ourselves.”
Lin-zhenjun, “What do you mean? Haven't we escaped interception? That’s right, we’re still in Buried Star Ocean. Do you think they will send more people after us?”
Qin Yanzhi, “I destroyed the Nirvana Cauldron. The owner should have noticed it and probably guessed that you are out of danger, so they may return. You should know that as long as they destroy all of you, they’d achieve the greatest goal.”
Lin-zhenjun’s brows were deeply furrowed. He couldn't help coughing a few times and panting, “What should we do? The protective enchantment won’t last long.”
But he changed his mind quickly. With Qin Yanzhi around, even if two or three more Amethyst Abode demonic cultivators came, they wouldn’t be afraid.
Qin Yanzhi read his mind and said, “If someone comes again, they’d definitely be stronger.”
Lin-zhenjun took a deep breath. “Can there be a Heavenly Grotto cultivator?”
Qin Yanzhi shook his head. “Not necessarily just a Heavenly Grotto.”
“What? Could there be… a Return to Void?!”
Lin-zhenjun’s expression was incredulous. Using a Return to Void against a group of Foundation Establishment, was that really necessary?
But Jing Yue thought Qin Yanzhi’s words were reasonable. This was a good opportunity to get rid of the righteous way in one fell swoop. The demonic way would definitely not be stingy with combat power.
He said, “Everyone on the sky vessel, including me, should send a warning to our respective sects. If the demonic cultivators come again, they can only seize this moment. To make it quick, those people will…”
Jing Yue paused abruptly and Qin Yanzhi immediately stood up. Although the ocean waves were as calm as a mirror, they smelled a dangerous aura.
Lin-zhenjun was already rendered a mortal at this time and could only guess a little from the actions of the two. He nervously said, “Are they… here?”
As soon as the words were spoken, an overbearing pressure that contained a fierce killing intent fell. Leaning against the wall, Jing Yue clenched his fists, his whole body stretched taut, and his bones seemed to be crushed painfully. He choked and a few drops of red blood fell on his outer robe.
But soon, another cold yet gentle pressure surrounded him and shielded him from the killing intent. Jing Yue raised his eyes weakly and saw Qin Yanzhi standing upright sideways away from him, seeming unaffected, but a drop of sweat rolled off his forehead.
The coercion of the newcomer was only aimed at cultivators, so Lin-zhenjun, who had become a mortal, didn't realize it, and looked at them anxiously.
When the pressure weakened slightly, Jing Yue immediately took blue phoenix into his arms and leaned on the wall to stand up.
As soon as he steadied himself, the sky vessel suddenly shook violently, and an arm stretched out to support him.
Jing Yue, “Thank you.”
Qin Yanzhi, “Do you want to go out?”
Jing Yue nodded without hesitation.
Lin-zhenjun, “Jing-laozu, the current situation is too dangerous and you have expended too much, perhaps…”
Halfway through the sentence, Qin Yanzhi shook his head slightly at him.
Lin-zhenjun opened his lips and finally sighed.
The two left the cabin one after the other and saw that the previously calm sea was already surging and turbulent. The sky vessel was like a leaf floating on the water that could be sunk by the huge waves at any time.
The wind howled, the sky flashed and thundered, and farther away, ten-foot-high waves rushed towards them like a moving brick wall filled with shocking force, as if they could tear down and destroy everything.
Above the turbulent waves, a man with red eyebrows hovering over the water could be seen. Qin Yanzhi whispered, “It’s Old Ghost Chimei!”
Jing Yue was shocked. This person was a stalwart of the demonic way, a Return to Void indeed!
In the blink of an eye, Qin Yanzhi had already urged his spiritual energy to send the sky vessel to the sky, while he flew up to confront him.
“Hahaha, I wasted no effort to get this at all!” Old Ghost Chimei laughed wildly. “I didn’t expect Qin-shanzhang to be here. Say, if I kill you right now, it’s the same as ending the life of a seedling in the righteous way that is bound to invoke tribulation. How heartbroken will they be?”
Qin Yanzhi didn’t bother talking nonsense with him and directly urged Daoyi sword to attack old ghost Chimei!
“Brat, how bold!”
Old ghost Chimei wanted to insult Qin Yanzhi and deliberately fought with only one hand. In a blink of an eye, the surrounding sea blazed with flames. He was a Return to Void cultivator with a single fire spiritual root. Even in the water, he controlled the fire as he pleased, so he attacked rampantly.
Qin Yanzhi had no magic weapon other than his ordinary sword. Although he knew that he had no chance of winning, even knowing that old ghost Chimei didn’t use his full strength, he wasn’t afraid at all, and his moves still stable and undisturbed.
The two went farther the more they fought. Old ghost Chimei failed to see Qin Yanzhi's panicked expression as he anticipated and was worried that the sky vessel had other means to escape, so he gradually lost patience.
He formed a hand seal and the surging waves stirred frantically. Two huge waves that formed from east to west and north to south crossed and collided, producing a loud thunderous noise. A vortex was created at the center of the intersection and grew larger and larger. Instantly, a flame that shaped like a blooming peony exploded and engulfed the entire horizon of the sea!
Fire and water were incompatible elements but the sight before the eyes contained a thrilling and evil beauty.
A bolt of lightning fell on the flaming peony, instantly igniting fire waves as high as a small peak, and the violent wind rushed higher and higher with the tongues of fire, and even the dim sky was reflected like scarlet rouge.
Qin Yanzhi only felt the rapid loss of water from his body. Even his blood was about to be evaporated, but he didn’t use any spiritual power to protect himself. Instead, he poured all his spiritual energy into his dantian and merged it into the Amethyst Core.
He could feel cracks appearing in his muscles and bones, his organs shrinking, and his flesh was in pain like it was being shredded, but his movements never stopped. Under the impact of his spiritual energy, the Amethyst Core rapidly rotated, becoming rounder and fuller, just like a colored glaze!
At this moment, Qin Yanzhi's spiritual energy surged in an instant, and all the vigorous spiritual energy was channeled into his hands. He held the hilt of the sword and slashed it down!
Daoyi sword shrilled softly, pierced into the heart of the flaming peony at the speed of lightning, and was quickly consumed by the tongues of fire.
But almost instantly, a gold glow rose from the heart of the flower, and the sword glow turned into the shape of a giant sword, spreading outwards in circles. The flaming peony was ripped to pieces and the scattered sparks looked like thousands of maple leaves drifting in the wind.
In the domain controlled by the sword light, even the raging wind was cut, forming wind vortices one after another.
Despite being a Return to Void cultivator, old ghost Chimei was still accidentally injured by a wind vortex close to him. He glanced at a small piece of rotten flesh on his elbow and raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Oh, have you achieved the absolute level of Amethyst Abode stage already?”
Then he smiled contemptuously, “But what can you do to me?”
Old ghost Chimei clenched his fists and the flames mixed with the seawater gushed straight up into the thunderclouds, before turning into a giant palm in midair and fell from the sky, aiming straight for Qin Yanzhi, who was already devoid of spiritual energy, and slamming him into the sea!
He seemed unsatisfied and continued to spread a net of fire that shrouded the sea for ten miles and sunk it into the water. Old ghost Chimei wanted to be a fisherman, catching Qin Yanzhi the little fish, get him up, and continue to torment him!
Qin Yanzhi, who was swallowed by the sea, knew that he was on the brink of life and death. He summoned Daoyi sword with his last strength and said hoarsely, “Cut me!”
The spirit of Daoyi sword was in a panic. Even though it didn’t want to do this, it had never disobeyed its master.
In a blink of an eye, there was not a part on Qin Yanzhi’s body that was still intact. Even the Amethyst Core that was drained of all spiritual energy was full of cobweb-like cracks. His entire person was wrapped in a mist of blood, a bit of blue silk could be seen vaguely floating in the water, gradually stained with frosty white.
At the most critical juncture of his life, Qin Yanzhi held Daoyi again. Perhaps this was the last time he held Daoyi.
Then, he slashed with all his might!