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Chapter 158: Earth fire

    Chapter 158: Earth fire

    Translator: CKtalon  Editor: CKtalon

    With a flip of his hand, the dark purple flying sword was concealed in his sleeve.

    A wisp of Golden Core Outer core Dharmic powers infused the flying sword and information transmitted from the flying sword into his brain. Qin Yun learned that the flying sword's name was Heavy Sand Sword, a product of Divine Artisan Lane. Some powerful flying swords were the Intrinsic Flying Swords of sword immortals but there were others that were smithed by master blacksmiths. The Heavy Sand Sword was one such an example.

    The Heavy Sand Sword was refined from the material, Meteorite Heavy Sand. Each grain was five kilograms and eight hundred grains weighed four thousand kilograms. The Heavy Sand Sword's true weight was 4950 kilograms and the smithing and refinement process took a decade. Once the Heavy Sand Sword was used, its strength would be tremendous due to its great weight.

    With a thought, Qin Yun shaped the flying sword to become long and soft. He wrapped it around his arm as a circular band. With the Golden Core Outer core, he could even control first-grade Dharma treasures.

    "My Intrinsic Flying Sword is able to produce strength at the second-grade Dharma treasure. Although it's very fast, its strength is still somewhat lacking. The Heavy Sand Sword is completely the opposite," thought Qin Yun. "The two can complement each other."

    "By using this flying sword together with my Intrinsic Flying Sword, my strength would greatly increase."

    Qin Yun was secretly delighted.

    How could ordinary flying swords be compared to the Heavy Sand Sword? They were far weaker!

    ...

    Ji Lie and Sixteenth Prince were the last to walk out of the white fog.

    "Despite searching all over, we failed to find the Golden Core Outer Pills." Ji Lie frowned as he walked out the fog. From afar, he saw Qin Yun, Bai Junyue, Eighth Zhu, Fang Yu, and company binding Dharma treasures, trying their best to crack the array formations to obtain them. "How can Immortal Scenic Yang not leave behind the most impressive Immortal Pills that he refined his entire life? Could it be that one of them had obtained it?"

    "Elder Lie, there are many Dharma treasures." Sixteenth Prince urged.

    "Hmph!"

    Ji Lie shot him a glance and said with a sneer. "The three most famous first-grade Dharma treasures, White Dew, Ice Talisman Amulet, and Tuṣita Divine Fire Talisman Amulet have all been taken away. Don't be caught up with the numerous Dharma treasures. Perhaps the best is only a second-grade Dharma treasure. Quickly think of a way to find the Golden Core Cauldron and the Tuṣita Divine Fire Talisman Amulet. All of these added up can't even be compared to those two items."

    "Alright." Sixteenth Prince nodded.

    The two of them immediately began the search within the hall.

    Despite probing everywhere, every spot was sealed shut in the hall other than the way towards the white fog.

    Qin Yun and company were cracking the array formations for treasure. And from the way they cracked the array formations, Hong Lingtong and Eighth Zhu were equal! Ranked next was Fang Yu, then Bai Junyu and Yi Fenggu.

    "I won't touch the second-grade Dharma treasures." Fang Yu was afraid. "For such a powerful Dharma treasure, the most vicious people among those present are Bai Junyue and Ji Lie. Bai Junyue is famous for being cold and heartless while Ji Lie is highly overbearing. I have to keep a low profile."

    Deacon Yuan had escaped after obtaining the first-grade flying sword, White Dew.

    Fang Yu was trembling with fright. Despite being great at cracking arrays, he did not dare make an attempt to obtain the second-grade Dharma treasures.

    "Fang Yu, you are best at array formations in the Yue Prefecture, right?" Ji Lie walked over and looked at him.

    "Greetings, Daoist Ji." Fang Yu remained extremely humble. "My skill in array formations is inferior to Daoist Hong and company. Being best in the Yue Prefecture is just a result of empty praises."

    Ji Lie said coldly, "Go crack the array formations and I'll retrieve the treasures. Thirty percent will be given to you."

    Fang Yu was astounded secretly but he showed a look of delight. He said immediately, "I'll follow Daoist Ji's instructions."

    "Elder Lie," said Sixteenth Prince with a voice transmission. "Don't you know array formations too?"

    Ji Lie had been cultivating for three centuries and for him to reach the intent domain realm, he naturally knew array formations.

    "My skill in array formations is only on par with Yi Fenggu and the rest. This Fang Yu has been concealing his abilities. However, the imperial government has already gathered detailed intelligence. His skill in array formation is far better than Hong Lingtong and Eighth Zhu." Ji Lie said with a voice transmission. "With him helping us, it will be a lot easier."

    "Oh." Sixteenth Prince was enlightened as he looked at Fang Yu carefully.

    Fang Yu, who had been keeping a low profile, was actually the best at array formations?

    With Ji Lie as his backer and also under Ji Lie's coercion, Fang Yu could only do his best to crack the arrays.

    Fang Yu, who was openly acknowledged as being best at array formations in the Yue Prefecture, was indeed better than Hong Lingtong and Eighth Zhu.

    ...

    Over time, the treasures at the top of the black dome were retrieved one after another. With each array formation cracked, the entire array turned deficient, making it easier to crack it.

    Qin Yun's party obtained eleven Dharma treasures, with two of them being second-grade Dharma treasures! They had obtained the most number of items since they were the earliest.

    After dozens of treasures were taken away, the entire black roof dome collapsed with a boom. Light began to emanate as the entire hall began to tremble.

    "Rumble!" The hall was rumbling as a wall slowly descended. Qin Yun and company turned to focus their gazes on it.

    After the massive wall descended, there was a heat wave that surged toward them.

    The entire hall's temperature rose rapidly. If an egg was placed in the hall, it would be quickly cooked! The air distorted and thankfully, even the weakest cultivator present had the strength equal to that of the Connate True Core realm. They were easily able to withstand the high temperatures by simply releasing their Dharmic powers to insulate themselves.

    "That is..." Everyone's heart raced as they stared into the distance.

    After the wall descended, it revealed a gigantic space.

    In the middle was a ten-foot-tall alchemical cauldron. There were no flames for tens of feet around the cauldron but beneath the cauldron was billowing flames. Further beyond the cauldron, there were monstrous cauldron flames everywhere. They took up ninety-nine percent of the area and only the cauldron's region was isolated because of a hidden array formation.

    "Could it be an alchemy lab?" Eighth Zhu whispered. "By directing Earth fire here, the Earth fire will circle around, leaving only the middle isolated from the Earth fire?"

    "Golden Core Cauldron." Bai Junyue and Bai Junyu stared at the huge alchemical cauldron.

    "Transcendent-grade Dharma treasure." Qin Yun and Hong Lingtong also felt stifled.

    "This Earth fire is too powerful." Yi Fenggu's expression changed slightly. When he looked at Ji Lie, Bai Junyue, and company's eyes, he knew that it was time for everyone to do something drastic.

    The transcendent-grade Golden Core Cauldron was more valuable than all the previous treasures combined together.

    Typically, Dharma treasures at the same grade had different valuations. For example, the Minor Stellar Heavenly Cycle set was a lot more valuable than typical first-grade Dharma treasures. Also, if the flying swords, White Dew and Azure Water were to fuse as one, they would reach the transcendent-grade Dharma treasure level, making them more valuable than the Minor Stellar Heavenly Cycle.

    As for transcendent-grade Dharma treasures, they also had their differences.

    The weak ones were about the level of the Minor Stellar Heavenly Cycle.

    The strong ones were infinitely close to a Numinous treasure!

    The Golden Core Cauldron was considered average. It was equivalent to about two or three sets of Minor Stellar Heavenly Cycle.

    "Earth fire?" Ji Lie frowned as he was the first to extend his palm.

    Phew.

    His arm expanded as he reached his palm to the side of the flaring Earth fire. The Dharma treasure, Fiend Annihilation Hand, was hidden beneath his skin as his gigantic fingers gently touched the Earth fire that suffused black light.

    Ji Lie cultivated in a divine power known as Power Arms. His entire arm could match that of a Dharma treasure but even so, the skin on his fingers was quickly turning yellow from the burning flames.

    "What?" Ji Lie's expression changed as his arm shrunk and withdrew. He looked at his burnt fingers. "I cultivate in Power Arms, making my arms extremely formidable. Now, my fingers are injured by the Earth fire. If my body were to enter, I'll probably be burnt to a crisp."

    He gritted his teeth.

    "I'll give it another try." Ji Lie immediately powered his Dharma treasure as the Fiend Annihilation Hand appeared on the surface of his palm. Even his entire arm was covered with a black metallic layer.

    "Go."

    His arm, completely covered by a black metallic sheen, expanded to hundreds of feet long and entered the roaring Earth fire. But when his arm reached a distance about fifty or sixty feet away from the Golden Core Cauldron, his arm could no longer extend any further.

    "I really can't reach it." Ji Lie's gigantic arms waved around and with the Fiend Annihilation Hand protecting him, his arm could withstand the Earth fire but it was insufficient to reach the Golden Core Cauldron.

    "If only my Power Arms were cultivated to a stronger state." thought an anxious Ji Lie.

    Qin Yun, Bai Junyue, and company were watching from the side. Their hearts had tightened when they saw Ji Lie's arm expand to grab at the cauldron but when they saw that no matter how much he flailed his massive arm to no avail, they found it amusing.

    "It's not long enough." Bai Junyue sent out sixteen of the thirty-six stars that were revolving around her. They rapidly flew to the Golden Core Cauldron after entering the roaring Earth fire.

    "Clang! Clang! Clang!"

    The stars attempted to pull the Golden Core Cauldron out by clinging to various parts of it.

    Buzz--

    However, there was an array formation around the Golden Core Cauldron. Not only did it isolate the Earth fire, it also protected the Golden Core Cauldron. No matter how much strength she used, she was unable to lift the Golden Core Cauldron out.

    "It can't be lifted out." Eighth Zhu grinned and shook his head. "Cauldrons are usually fixed in place with an array formation. It is meant to prevent the cauldron from shaking when the Earth fire bursts out during the alchemical process. In order to bring it out, one has to crack the array."

    "We are so far from it and with the burning Earth fire blocking us, there's no way to see the array formation. How are we to crack it?" Hong Lingtong shook his head as well.

    Ji Lie looked at Fang Yu beside him.

    Fang Yu said immediately as well, "There's no other way around it. In order to crack an array, one has to be able to see the array formation first! With the Earth fire blocking it, it's only possible for me to think of a way to crack the array formation unless I'm sent to a spot beside the cauldron to study it carefully."

    "Send someone in?" Ji Lie frowned. Although his palm could become big, it was impossible to perfectly ward off the Earth fire while holding a person and sending him in. The might of the Earth fire was something no one present could resist with their bodies.

    "Whew! Whew!"

    Qin Yun also released two flying swords. They shot through the blazing Earth fire and held up the Golden Core Cauldron, but similarly, they were unable to lift it at all.

    "It's no use. One has to enter to crack the array." Hong Lingtong shook his head. "And to enter requires one to ward off the Earth fire."

    Bai Junyue also walked to the Earth fire's side.

    This made everyone look at her. Thirty-six stars that revolved around her formed a Heavenly Cycle barrier of light. As the barrier withstood the engulfment of the Earth Fire, it collapsed almost instantly after a few grinding sounds were produced.

    "I can't withstand it." Bai Junyue knitted her brows together.

    "Among your Bai family's current generation of Connate Golden Cores, none of you have gained insights into the Heavenly Cycle concept." Ji Lie scoffed. "If you had insights into the Heavenly Cycle concepts and controlled the Minor Stellar Heavenly Cycle, you would definitely be able to withstand the Earth fire perfectly. But now, by only using the Minor Stellar Heavenly Cycle's might... it's still slightly lacking."

    "It's as if you can enter it?" Bai Junyue retorted.

    Ji Lie was immediately rendered at a loss for words.

    "Hmph." Ji Lie snorted coldly and did not say another word.

    "Since Senior Ji Lie and Fairy Bai are unable to withstand the Earth fire, I guess we should think of other ways around it," said Eighth Zhu with a smile. "Those without the strength will not be able to bring the powerful treasures away."

    Qin Yun had been observing the Earth fire carefully and at that moment, he walked forward.

    He wanted to attempt to withstand the Earth fire with his Cyclic Sword Flash!
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