Chapter 1072: The Road that Buried Emperors
Xiao Chen could vaguely make out a large mountain with rivers in the seventh ring; it looked like the Fire Li Sect treasure mountain that he had seen in the Cloud Sea Domain.
He felt something underfoot; he had landed on a floating island in the seventh ring. Although his rate of descent was extremely fast, there was not much impact when he alighted.
When Xiao Chen looked around, he saw a scarlet road beneath the island, which led to somewhere unknown.
The ground was hot and dry from the many volcanoes in this lavfilled land continuously spewing flames towards the sky.
The fiery clouds resulting from the flames covered the sky. The horizon was not visible at a glance.
Ao Jiao softly introduced to Xiao Chen, This is the volcano ring, the very edge of the seven worlds of the heart of the sea. This place cannot even be considered the periphery. However, it generates all sorts of fire-attributed gems. Each of the volcanoes contains a palace you can search for treasure.
"How can I leave this place?" Rather than treasure hunting, Xiao Chen was more concerned about leaving this place.
Earlier, Xiao Chen had taken a rough survey of the structure of this place. Based on the silhouette he saw from the sky, this place was an incomparably large disk with the heart of the ocean at the center.
The seven annular landmasses nested one inside another, forming most of the disk.
The remaining area was pitch-dark space; there was simply no way out.
This is the first ring—the Flame Ring. If you keep walking on the big road under your feet, it will connect to the second ring—the Iceberg Ring. When you reach the gateway, you can keep going, or you can use the transportation formation there to leave.
In this Seven Ring Continent, each ring is even more dangerous than the one before it. However, the further you go, the better the things you will find. Since ancient times, this road leading to the heart of the ocean has killed many powerful Martial Emperors.
Ao Jiao explained, Those outstanding talents and quasi-Emperor loose cultivators will probably stop at the third ring. If they continue advancing, they will definitely die.
"They are chasing over already!"
Xiao Chen looked up and saw four black dots quickly descending. He did not remain here but promptly jumped down to the road in front of him and followed it—the road that buried Emperors.
The four people behind Xiao Chen chased very persistently, deterring him from searching for treasures. He only wanted to leave as soon as possible.
Otherwise, Xiao Chen would go off this large road under him and search around in this Flame Ring. Missing such an opportunity was truly unfortunate.
Xiao Chen quickly ran on the road. At first, he did not notice anything. However, after about five kilometers, he felt that something was wrong.
There was something wrong with the gravity of this place; it was at least a hundred times that of the outside world. Xiao Chen dashed wildly down this road. If this were the outside world, he would have already traveled over fifty kilometers. Even so, he would not have felt any pressure, remaining extremely relaxed.
However, even before traveling five kilometers in this place, Xiao Chen already felt somewhat tired, his forehead covered with sweat.
After trying a few times, Xiao Chen finally verified it. The gravity here was two hundred times the outside world's. If he wanted to fly here, the amount of Law Energy he would exhaust would be a thousand times more, verging on impossible.
No wonder when he first fell, there was no impact. It was all negated by the gravity.
[TL Note: There are two possibilities here: the author does not understand how gravity works, or in this alternate universe, gravity works differently.]
This was good as well. This meant that the four old men behind him would exhaust most of their energy. Xiao Chen held the advantage of his physical body. The four old men would have to work harder if they wanted to overtake him.
Many hurried footprints, as well as recently killed Profound Beasts, dotted the road. These Profound Beasts had been slain with one move shattering their bodies and bones.
There was no need to even guess; this was definitely the handiwork of those major characters.
"This darn place is extraordinarily hot!"
Xiao Chen stopped to wipe his sweat. Then, he pulled out a water pouch from his Universe Ring and took a huge gulp of water.
This was only the first ring, and yet the environment was already so harsh. It was difficult to imagine passing through the seven rings and reaching the most dangerous heart of the ocean.
Since ancient times, many powerful Emperors had ended up buried on this road.
Little Yellow Feather suddenly flew out from the Immortal Spirit Ring, chirping nonstop. It appeared very happy like it had come home.
"What's wrong with it?" Xiao Chen asked, filled with doubts.
Ao Jiao appeared confused as well. She said, "Little Yellow Feather says that it wants to look for food on its own. The Profound Cores that you gave it tasted too horrible."
Xiao Chen smiled helplessly. How picky. Those Profound Cores were of good quality; they would cost no less than Astral Cores.
"Call it back. It should not be flying around this place. Hey, where are you going!"
Before Xiao Chen could finish speaking, Little Yellow Feather became like a faint beam of fiery light. Flapping its wings, it left the road, heading towards the distant volcanoes.
Little Yellow Feather's tiny body did not seem to be affected by the gravity; it flew extremely fast.
So far, the place appeared very calm.
However, that was because the major characters had killed all the Profound Beasts on the road. If one left the road, it would be dangerous.
Xiao Chen's expression changed as he quickly chased after Little Yellow Feather, keeping his eyes on it. It hatched only a month ago; just a few Inferior Grade Profound Beasts would be able to kill it.
However, Little Yellow Feather was no slower than Xiao Chen in the first place. With the effects of this place, he had no way to catch up with the chick. Soon, he lost sight of Little Yellow Feather.
"Xiao Chen, I'm going ahead to take a look first!"
Ao Jiao felt anxious and flew after Little Yellow Feather. The gravity affected her less since she was a spiritual being, so she was much faster than Xiao Chen.
With her setting out in pursuit, Xiao Chen relaxed somewhat. She was equal to a quasi-Emperor, enough to deal with most of the Profound Beasts here.
Cracks appeared on the scarlet ground, occasionally spewing out boiling-hot lava.
Although Xiao Chen slowed somewhat, he had his Movement Technique, so he still moved quite quickly. As his figure flickered, he did not run into any of the lava.
On the large road, the four old men from the Divine Dragon Palaces persistently giving chase stopped running. As they looked at the distant figure of Xiao Chen, they revealed contemplative expressions.
"This fellow is no longer traveling on the road. There are volcanoes everywhere; it will not be easy to find him."
A fierce look flashed in the eyes of the old man from the Eastern Sea Divine Dragon Palace. He said, "We will stand guard at the transportation formation at the first gateway. I do not believe that he will hide here forever."
"Good, that's what we'll do."
From what Xiao Chen's senses picked up, Ao Jiao and Little Yellow Feather had stopped at a volcano. After climbing up with much difficulty, he was greeted by a flabbergasting sight.
Heat waves surged, and Profound Beasts littered the ground by the mouth of the volcano. Little Yellow Feather excitedly picked up the Profound Cores of the Profound Beasts with its beak.
Standing at the side and smiling faintly, Ao Jiao told Xiao Chen that Little Yellow Feather had killed these Profound Beasts on its own.
After a quick look, Xiao Chen saw that the bodies on the ground were all Inferior Grade Profound Beasts. These were existences that could rival a grandmaster-level Martial Sage, yet they all died under the flames of Little Yellow Feather.
"Hehe! Don't listen to what it said before, that these Profound Cores tasted horrible. They are actually great supplements for it. These Profound Cores contain some Immortal Qi, which is what makes them very good supplements. Look at its size; it even doubled in size without us noticing," Ao Jiao said with a soft laugh.
Indeed, that was so. Initially, Xiao Chen could capture the Golden Crow with one hand. Now, it was already larger than his palm.
The most important thing was that, from the initial faint yellow, Little Yellow Feather's feathers had slowly brightened, and its eyes also looked more intelligent.
Xiao Chen shook his head and smiled helplessly. "This fellow really startled me. It turns out that the fire-attributed Profound Beasts were what drew it over. It is even eating so happily now. With this detour, the four old men behind us will definitely reach the gateway of the first ring before us."
Ao Jiao said with some vexation, "That is rather problematic. With those four old men guarding the transportation formation, you can't do anything."
It had been a long time since Xiao Chen had been in such a miserable situation, surrounded and trapped by others.
In the end, the reason was his lack of any true trump cards. If he still had the Azure Emperor's saber light, they would not be able to be so unruly before him.
Counting a further step back, if he had managed to reach the surface of the sea, he could have used the Sea Monarch Crown and would not need to fear these four at all.
"Letting this drag on is not a solution. You only have five years to advance to Martial Emperor and need to find as many resources as you can."
After saying this, Ao Jiao paused as if she was trying to make up her mind about something.
"Damn! What are you trying to do?!"
Little Yellow Feather, who had just finished eating the fire-attributed Profound Cores, patted its belly with its wing before flying to the mouth of the volcano and entering it.
Xiao Chen and Ao Jiao both changed their expressions as they quickly went over to look into the volcano.
Horrifying lava accompanied by terrifying heat waves spewed out of the volcano. Its interior rumbled as it erupted without end—a very startling sight.
The two moved hastily, dodging in advance. The earlier scene was quite perilous.
"Little Yellow Feather!"
Ao Jiao revealed an extremely worried expression as she cried out, about to rush over.
Xiao Chen hurriedly grabbed her. "Calm down. It is a fire-attributed Holy Beast. Such an environment would not hurt it. If you go over, you will only hurt yourself."
At this reminder, Ao Jiao seemed to wake up from a dream. She said, "Little Yellow Feather is normally very obedient. There must be something exceedingly appetizing at the bottom of the volcano. Otherwise, it would not be this disobedient."
"That should more or less be the case." Xiao Chen frowned and said, "However, there are Medial Grade Profound Beasts in the volcano, possibly even Superior Grade Profound Beasts. Such rashness is really worrying."
"What should we do? What if the little guy gets eaten by something?" Ao Jiao looked very anxious but helpless at the same time.
The flames surging up into the sky died down slowly. The mouth of the volcano now looked relatively calm. However, the explosions inside never stopped, rumbling without end. Something must have happened inside.
"I'll go in and take a look!" Xiao Chen said.
It was rare for Ao Jiao to care so much for something, so Xiao Chen did not want to disappoint her.
"However, the temperature at the mouth of the volcano is no less than ten thousand degrees Celsius. It is too dangerous for you to go down." Ao Jiao still retained her rationality, not wanting Xiao Chen to risk himself.
"It is fine. I have the Sea Monarch Headscarf, a Rank 4 Sage Body, the Great Perfection will of ice, and these Azure Dragon Robes I'm wearing. All these should be enough."
After saying that, Xiao Chen controlled the azure energy of the Azure Dragon King's insignia on his chest with a thought. It quickly shot out and dyed the white robes azure, protecting him.
"Come in, then!"
Ao Jiao nodded and turned into a beam of light, entering the Immortal Spirit Ring.
Xiao Chen took a deep breath, and his forehead flickered. The energy of the will of ice spread throughout his body. A faint radiance flowed on the light-blue Sea Monarch Headscarf.
He stood at the mouth of the volcano, then jumped down to see what in the world the little Golden Crow had found.
Lava flowed like fiery water at the mouth of the volcano. When Xiao Chen entered, he instantly became covered in lava.
Even with all his preparations, he still found the temperature of more than ten thousand degrees Celsius hard to bear. The further he sank, the more unbearable it became.
Xiao Chen's body glowed red, incomparably hot. Even his internal organs felt like they were burning.