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Chapter 256.3: Ice and Fire Destroy the Poisonous Miasma

    Huo Yuhao didn't conserve his stationary soul cannon shells, and fired another two more, one after another without hesitation. More frightening explosions rippled through the air.

    The first explosion had already cleared away a large amount of the toxic clouds, and the second explosion detonated at a position slightly below the first one. Their vision immediately became clearer when the second explosion went off.

    "Let's go." Huo Yuhao swiftly stored his stationary soul cannon before reaching back with his right hand and grabbing Wang Qiu'er's arm, and they plunged towards the ground.

    The stationary soul cannon had opened a path, but it couldn't be maintained for too long. Once the high temperature dissipated, the thick miasma in the surroundings would immediately start to condense once more. Four Class 5 stationary soul cannon shells had opened this path, and Huo Yuhao couldn't waste such a great opportunity.

    Their bodies plummeted rapidly, and they quickly dove toward the thick miasma. Huo Yuhao and Wang Qiu'er could clearly see that the surrounding miasma was starting to close up at an alarming speed. The miasma was just too thick and dense, to the point where it seemed to materialize in the sky as it collapsed in on the hole.

    The vegetation beneath them was conspicuously different from the plants in the Setting Sun Forest's outer regions. Many of these plants were dotted with colors, but this spectacle didn't represent anything good at all. Colorful plants often meant acute venom; this was common knowledge they had learned at Shrek Academy.

    Huo Yuhao was extremely calm at this moment. He pushed his Spiritual Detection to its largest possible range and meticulously monitored everything that was happening around him. It was clear that there was no way out once he and Wang Qiu'er submerged themselves in the toxic cloud, and they could only move forward. They only had this one chance. If they backed out, they would no longer have the ability to delve into this mysterious miasmic world a second time.

    They barreled through several hundred meters in the blink of an eye. They were just about to hit the ground when Wang Qiu'er went ahead and punched downward. Golden light erupted amidst a deep dragon roar as fearsome strength compressed the air around them until it began to crackle shrilly. Wang Qiu'er created a deep crater in the ground as explosions continued to ring out, and the colorful plants on the ground, and the liquids within them, were sent flying in all directions.

    They landed stably on the ground, and Huo Yuhao activated his Class 6 protective soul barrier immediately, enveloping them both, and swiftly began to survey his surroundings.

    The world around them was so colorful that everything felt like rainbows. The multicolored plants on the ground covered every single piece of ground, and not a single inch of soil could be seen. There were hardly any trees or woods in this area, which was probably because of the corrosive power of the plants' toxins.

    Wang Qiu'er was a little surprised as she observed, "Strange... the miasma on the ground isn't as dense as it is in the sky..."

    This was true. They were in the miasma's core regions, and the miasmic clouds here were tinged with the colors of the rainbow. However, it was only present as a faint mist here, and even though it hindered their vision to a certain extent, it wasn't enough to block their line of sight completely. The miasma was undoubtedly a lot thinner than the thick and toxic clouds in the sky above them.

    Huo Yuhao explained, "Clouds and mist always permeate and drift away upward. I already noticed this, as even though the miasma is dense in these parts, it's obvious that it's drifting upward, so the miasma on the ground probably isn't as toxic as it is above us. However, these multicolored miasmic clouds are still extremely dangerous. I can already feel the miasma corroding my protective barrier, even though it's energy-based."

    Huo Yuhao had already determined the right direction when they were in the sky. He pulled Wang Qiu'er and immediately proceeded towards their destination.

    They were very careful as they pushed forward. Cold energy condensed beneath Huo Yuhao's feet, and a layer of frost appeared on the ground with every step that he took so that he could block off the plants they were walking on.

    The soul protective barrier could clear away the plants in front of them, but it couldn't do anything against the plants beneath their feet, so Huo Yuhao had to resort to this clumsy method. There was no doubt that this consumed soul power, but it was safer than otherwise. He was not about to let himself come into contact with any of these venomous plants or the multicolored miasma, as he had no idea how toxic these things could be. It would be almost impossible to retreat if something happened to him right here, or if a hole opened in his protective barrier.

    They began to see some things that made their skin crawl as they pushed forward. Enormous bones and skeletons would appear on the ground from time to time, and those bones were also as multicolored the miasma around them. Clearly, these weren't plants, but the remains of soul beasts that had perished from the poison.

    Crack! A sound could be heard from not too far away, which startled them both. They concentrated their soul power at almost the same time as they gazed in the direction the sound came from.

    A large skeleton began to lean sideways. The bones beneath it had clearly become fragile and brittle from the corrosion, and the skeleton crashed to the ground with a loud boom in the next moment, exploding into a million broken pieces. The brilliant colors above them became even denser than before.

    Huo Yuhao and Wang Qiu'er both drew cold breaths as they looked on. They could see that the venom was so toxic that it could corrode bones, to the point where these bones became fragile, and eventually disintegrated. It was not hard to imagine the number of soul beasts that were buried underneath these multicolored plants.

    A soul beast's skeleton was the toughest part of its body, and some were even used by humans as special materials. One of the items that best represented this was undoubtedly the Golden Dragon Spear in Wang Qiu'er's hands. It felt as if everything in this miasmic world was being corroded. This toxic cloud was just too overwhelmingly poisonous!

    Wang Qiu'er muttered, "These remains have become nutrients for the toxic miasma. The miasma continuously murders other living beings, and even the birds flying through the skies above have become victims. This cycle has made the miasma stronger and stronger. Perhaps, after millennia, the entire Setting Sun Forest will become a toxic and miasmic forest. That's just... too horrifying."

    Huo Yuhao's eyebrows were tightly knit together as he began to pick up the pace. He had realized that the colors outside his soul protective barrier were becoming denser as the multicolored miasma began to stick to his barrier. He could withdraw his protective barrier to shake off the toxic miasma, but that would mean he and Wang Qiu'er would be exposed to it.

    The toxic miasma was exceedingly corrosive, and Huo Yuhao could clearly feel that his soul power was being consumed at an alarming speed. This was definitely not something that he wanted to see, so he had no choice but to push forward more quickly than before. When they reached a point where both he and Wang Qiu'er couldn't take it anymore, he would use an explosive incendiary bomb to open a path like before, and they would then use their flying-type soul tools to escape from this toxic world. It was the only way to stay alive.

    The world around them was full of brilliant colors as they continued forward. The map wasn't useful anymore at this point. Huo Yuhao could still use the map to roughly determine their location before they came in, but he could only rely on luck and continual Spiritual Detection to find his destination once they were inside.

    Huo Yuhao would activate Spiritual Detection to sweep in a single direction every few minutes. This method was a little clumsy, but it was still effective. In addition to his exemplary memory, it made sure they were not walking around in circles.

    An hour quickly passed. Huo Yuhao had already expended his first Milk Bottle. However, Wang Qiu'er was the one that actually used the Milk Bottle, as he had to focus his energy on his Spiritual Detection. Their soul power was connected, so replenishing Wang Qiu'er's soul power meant Huo Yuhao was also replenishing his own.

    Huo Yuhao began to narrow down his destination after the hour of exploration. However, the miasmic clouds outside were starting to put more and more pressure on him, to the point where the multicolored miasma completely blocked off his vision outside the protective barrier. He also had to strengthen his protective barrier continuously to maintain its integrity.

    "Wait," Huo Yuhao whispered as he immediately pulled on Wang Qiu'er. She was already in his embrace before she could even react.

    Wang Qiu'er was still carefully perceiving everything around her, and this sudden change startled her. A dense masculine aura smacked her in the face, and she even felt a little dizzy, as if she had been struck by the toxic miasma outside.

    An incredibly cold aura emanated from Huo Yuhao's body in the next moment, and this aura crossed over Wang Qiu'er's body and permeated outside.

    "I've done it!" Huo Yuhao's delighted voice could be heard, and Wang Qiu'er was shocked awake as Huo Yuhao released her from his embrace at the same time.

    Wang Qiu'er turned to look, and saw that the multicolored radiance had been replaced by icy-blue colors in a five-meter radius around them. Voluminous rainbow-colored particles had been blown into the air, and the dense miasmic particles that were originally plastered on the soul protective barrier vanished at the same time.

    This is...

    The Domain of Perpetual Ice. Huo Yuhao had used his Domain of Perpetual Ice to freeze the water vapor within the toxic miasma, and he controlled these frozen particles to push outward so that his barrier was a little cleaner.

    This method was a little dubious, and it felt as if he was drinking poison to quench his thirst. In the end, the Domain of Perpetual Ice consumed a lot of soul power, and Huo Yuhao wouldn't have decided on this method if not for the fact that his protective barrier was reaching the end of its life.

    Huo Yuhao withdrew his barrier at this moment and released it against immediately afterwards. His soul power consumption was instantly restored to the optimal level. Huo Yuhao also took this opportunity to take a breather.

    Wang Qiu'er forcibly suppressed her palpitating heartbeat as she suggested calmly, "Why don't you use your third eye to probe around? We may consume a lot more soul power if we continue going around in circles."

    She didn't need Huo Yuhao's explanation to understand that the embrace happened because he didn't want her to get hurt because of his soul skill. Bringing their bodies into close contact meant that Huo Yuhao could use their martial soul fusion to unleash his soul skill beyond her body, and it was clearly the best choice at the moment. But... but this guy still hugged me in the end!
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