Xuan Yi was only relieved when he heard Su Zimo’s remark.
After pondering for a moment, Su Zimo said again, “However, I’ve got to return because I’ve still got something on. Peak masters, please return to the sect first. Don’t wait for me.”
Su Zimo had to get his hands on the 10,000 Year Vermilion Fruit.
However, what was even more important to him was the connate spirit fire that was hidden in the depths of the underground palace!
Utmost treasures of the universe as such were often sentient, rare and way too difficult to create.
Since he came across it, there was no way Su Zimo would miss it.
He was not only going to reforge a new set of 27 supreme-grade flying swords, he even wanted to make use of the connate spirit fire in the cave to try and repair the Mystic Gold Silk Armor and five Black Gold Arrows in his storage bag.
If he managed to succeed, he would be in possession of a connate defensive spirit weapon.
Even just at early-stage Golden Core, Su Zimo was confident that he would not be defeated!
As for the connate-grade Black Gold Arrows, coupled with his Moon Concealment Bow, the killing power released by them would be even more terrifying!
If someone of a similar combat strength as himself was using the Moon Concealment Bow and fired the Black Gold Arrows, Su Zimo would not dare guarantee that he could escape unscathed.
Xuan Yi frowned slightly but did not continue.
He knew that Su Zimo had a decisive character – it was hard for outsiders to change a decision made by him.
After a moment of hesitation, Xuan Yi instructed, “Be careful. Don’t push beyond your limits.”
Su Zimo nodded.
Xuan Yi and the other two had many spirit herbs tucked in their storage bags and they were injured. Fearful that circumstances might change the longer they delayed, they did not dare to linger on.
Summoning a spirit vessel, the three of them leaped on it and waved farewell to Su Zimo before turning into a streak of light that gradually vanished by the horizons.
Taking a deep breath of air, Su Zimo turned and headed towards the palace.
He was not worried that someone else might have gotten their hands on or destroyed the Vermilion Fruit during this period of time.
Now that the Vermilion Fruit was about to ripen, this was the most dangerous period of time!
Any living being that approached the Vermilion Fruit would have their life essences drained.
Along the way, Su Zimo noticed that there were many cultivators speeding away from the ruins.
To be precise, they seemed like they were scared out of their wits and were scurrying off!
“This is bad! It’s bad!”
A cultivator panted in a pathetic manner. “Everyone, run! The Vermilion Fruit’s eating people!”
Some cultivators had disheveled hair and were only left with one arm – the flesh on their other arm had disintegrated, leaving a hanging white bone as they fled for their lives.
Su Zimo sneered internally.
There were still ignorant and greedy cultivators that tried to pluck the Vermilion Fruit, resulting in their life essences drained and their fleshes taken in as a nutrient for the Vermilion Fruit!
Before long, Su Zimo reentered the underground palace.
After walking for a while, he paused in his tracks and looked at the medicinal field.
After Su Zimo and the other three collected the spirit herbs, it became bare and barren, leaving a single stalk of Vermilion Fruit that was extremely striking.
And now, fresh white bones were scattered in the vicinity of the Vermilion Fruit!
Every single set of skeleton on the ground had a hand that was reaching forward, as though it was trying to pluck the Vermilion Fruit.
A rough calculation showed that there were around a hundred corpses around the Vermilion Fruit!
The Vermilion Fruit seemed to have gotten even more vibrant.
Sparkling, translucent and bright red, it emitted an intoxicating fragrance that attracted nearby living beings!
All living beings possessed spirit.
Humans had the innate capability to kill other living beings; demon beasts had the innate capability of hunting and certain spirit herbs had the innate capability to lure and kill other living beings too!
The life essence draining radius of the Vermilion Fruit was expanding rapidly!
Initially, it was only around the vicinity of the medicinal field.
But now, it was extending outwards wildly!
The Vermilion Fruit swayed and a scarlet mist spread, shrouding in all directions. Ten, twenty, a hundred feet…
There were only a few people left in the underground palace.
The few cultivators had wary expressions and were hidden far away, shifting their gazes between the 10,000 Year Vermilion Fruit and Su Zimo, only retreating after ensuring that no one could pluck the Vermilion Fruit in advance.
Before long, Su Zimo was the only one left in the underground palace.
Of course, that was only for the time being.
He was certain that the Great Qian Ruins would definitely not be peaceful in the coming month!
The closer it was to the ripening of the Vermilion Fruit, the more cultivators would be gathered in the underground palace and the atmosphere would turn even tenser and chaotic!
The draining radius of the Vermilion Fruit expanded continuously and its mist surged, sealing any exit paths.
If Su Zimo wanted to reenter the underground cave, he would have to pass through the mist!
Although he was confident in the strength of his body and regeneration capabilities, he did not dare to take the risk to fight against this universal spirit fruit.
Looking at the advancing mist, Su Zimo pondered for a moment and suddenly extended his left fingertip. Slowly, he touched the edge of the mist carefully.
The moment his fingertip made contact with the mist, Su Zimo’s expression changed starkly.
The flesh on his finger was disappearing at a speed visible to the naked eye, devoured by the scarlet mist!
What a domineering Vermilion Fruit!
The veins of the fingers were connected to one’s heart.
A wrenching sharp pain almost caused Su Zimo to yell.
Shuddering, he retracted his palm and looked at his left hand with a sense of trepidation.
That momentary contact already caused the flesh on his finger to vanish, revealing stark-white bones beneath.
Su Zimo’s gaze shimmered and extended his right hand, touching the fog in an experimenting manner.
It was perfectly fine!
He could clearly sense a mysterious energy trying to drain the life essence of his right hand, but retreated in shock as though it was met with something fearful!
Although the Vermilion Fruit was strong and its mist was domineering, it could not do anything to the divine phoenix bone.
Unfortunately, only Su Zimo’s right hand had the divine phoenix bone.
He could not make it through the scarlet mist still.
Su Zimo frowned.
If he was stuck at the corner, unable to enter the cave, he would have to wait an entire month for the Vermilion Fruit to ripen and the fog to dissipate before he could refine his flying swords and repair the connate spirit weapons.
However, there would be many additional factors by then!
No, I’ve got to think of a way.
Su Zimo paced around the underground palace and contemplated deeply.
After a moment of silence, he paused in his tracks and slapped his storage bag, withdrawing a battered bronze square tripod that was filled with cracks.
Since this bronze square tripod was able to withstand the corrosion of the Scarlet Armored Gigantic Crocodile, it should have no issues dealing with the mist.
Su Zimo placed the bronze square tripod into the mist.
The scarlet mist shrouded around the bronze square tripod but was unable to penetrate it.
Smiling gently, Su Zimo leaped into the bronze square tripod and became one with it, traveling through the scarlet mist until he arrived beside the spirit spring.
After exiting the bronze square tripod, Su Zimo turned to look at the mist that was turning thicker and thought to himself, ‘Actually, it’s not a bad thing that the mist is around. At the very least, it would ensure that no one would cross it for a month and discover the secret of the cave!’
Surveying his surroundings for a while and twitching his ears to ensure that no one was hidden here, Su Zimo pressed the switch on the wall of the pool.
The stone slab beneath his feet slid to both sides silently, revealing a pitch-black passage way.
Leaping down, Su Zimo’s figure disappeared.
The underground palace went silent once more.