The fireball didn’t disappear after Ye Zichen sleepily shoved it away. Instead, it continued growing larger and larger.
It seemed as if it were about to swallow him up. Waves of hit assailed his face. Before long, he was drenched in sweat.
In his dreams, he was running about madly, until….
His nostrils flared. As Ye Zichen’s dream-self ran, he smelled roasting meat. Then, seemingly naturally, a plate of piping-hot chicken legs appeared before him.
He started drooling uncontrollably. He wanted to rescue the chicken legs from the fire despite the blazing heat.
Xue Honghong raced to the woodshed. As she watched the raging flames, her heart burned with fury. She audibly ground her teeth.
Some of the attendants had already taken to the skies and started raining water onto the blaze. However, these were no ordinary flames. They were dao flames; ordinary rainwater had no effect whatsoever.
Xue Honghong stood outside and barked a command. “Bring water from the Sea of Innocence.”
Then she took a look around and realized that the guy she’d locked in the woodshed wasn’t there. “You take charge of the fire. Don’t let it spread! I’ll go inside and take a look!”
Xue Honghong ignored the servants’ and attendants' cries and murmured a spiritual incantation. A flame-colored light blazed around her body as she raised her right leg and kicked the woodshed’s door in.
She stepped inside. The flames were far worse indoors. Intense waves of heat blasted Xue Honghong in the face. The heat was so intense, even she struggled to endure. She felt as if all the water in her body, as well as her blood essence, were evaporating into nothingness.
“Hey, are you still here?”
Thick, black smoke made it impossible to even open her eyes. Xue Honghong could only madly circulate her spiritual energy to separate herself from the blaze. Even so, the temperature was just too high. All she could do was cautiously move about in the few spaces that the flames had yet to invade.
“Chicken legs, my chicken legs……” The sound of someone talking in their sleep cut through the raging flames. When Xue Honghong, who’d been on the verge of leaving, heard the voice, she steeled herself and charged directly into the sea of flames.
Ye Zichen lay on his straw mat, drool leaking from the corners of his mouth. To Xue Honghong’s surprise, despite the intense waves of heat and although practically the entire woodshed had been swallowed in flame, the blaze hadn’t invaded the space where Ye Zichen was sleeping at all. It hadn’t even damaged his straw bedding.
When she saw that Ye Zichen hadn't been injured, Xue Honghong subconsciously sighed in relief. Of course, she wasn’t worried about Ye Zichen’s safety. It was just that she was the one who’d locked him in the woodshed, so she didn’t want to see Ye ZIchen die within its walls.
If it were anywhere else, who cared if he lived or died….
Especially when she saw Ye Zichen’s strange situation. Xue Honghong was absolutely certain that he had something to do with the blaze. Otherwise, how could he possibly be lying there totally unharmed?
This guy was a disaster!
She grit her teeth and shouted, “You’re still asleep?!?” Then, when he still didn’t wake up, she walked over and kicked him.
“Chicken….. Chicken……” Ye Zichen shouted randomly as the kick startled him awake. When he saw that the shed was burning up, he calmly sat back down. His eyes flashed with a hint of delight.
“Preliminary success in the Dao of the Five Elements’ path of flame. I wouldn’t have guessed I’d breakthrough in my sleep. I really am a genius! Over thirty percent of my immortal power has been converted into divine power. Once I’ve achieved preliminary success in all five elements, my strength should fully convert into divine power.”
Despite the intense, baking heat, his self-satisfied delight was interrupted by a sudden, bone-chilling cold.
He looked through the raging flames and saw Xue Honghong glowering coldly at him….
“There’s a fire!”
Instantly, Ye Zichen’s smug expression was replaced with a look of sheer panic. He curled up into a ball like a frightened rabbit, gulping repeatedly as he stared fearfully into the flames.
He was certain that he’d started the fire, but was he really supposed to pound his chest and say, “I started the fire, so I’ll reimburse all your losses.”
Nevermind anything else, just compensating them for their losses was impossible. Ye Zichen feared he wouldn’t have enough, not even if he sold himself. Just now, he’d used his immortal sense to investigate. The fire wasn’t limited to the woodshed. By now, almost the entire yard was on fire.
There was no way he could take responsibility for this. If he did, he couldn’t pay it back, not even if he spent his whole life trying!
“Honey, even if you want to kill me, there’s no need to resort to arson! Oi! But…. you’re here too. Could it be that your family refuses to let us be together and you want to commit double suicide? I don’t want to! I haven't lived enough yet, I haven’t seen the God Realm’s great rivers and splendid mountains, and I have too many long-cherished wishes I’ve yet to fulfill. I can’t die here!” Ye Zichen acted just as someone on the brink of death was supposed to: bitter and awash in despair. If Xue Honghong didn’t know just what kind of person he was, she might really have fallen for his act.
“Drop the act. Hurry up and tell me how to extinguish these flames. The fire is way too intense. I’ve already sent everyone to collect water from the Sea of Innocence, but even that hasn’t been enough.”
“How could I possibly know? Surely you don’t suspect me?” There was no way he’d let her blame him for this. Ye Zichen had already made up his mind to keep playing dumb until the very end. In any event, there were no lie detectors here, nor any experts of criminal psychology available to interrogate him. If he refused to admit fault, how could they possibly prove it was him?
For all they knew, he was a victim of the fire too!
“You…..” Xue Honghong was so angry she could barely stand it. Although she currently stood inside the woodshed, she was using her immortal sense to keep tabs on the situation outdoors.
The wind had spread the flames. By now, the entire estate was engulfed in a sea of flames.
The attendants and servants were using water from the Sea of Innocence to douse the flames, but the fire was so large that the effect was miniscule.
“Follow me out.” It’s hard to even imagine Xue Honghong’s internal struggle. In the end, though, she still decided to rescue Ye Zichen from the blaze.
Her decision left Ye Zichen stunned.
He looked at Xue Honghong, the woman who’d attacked him even though he was her benefactor, who’d locked him in this woodshed. She had a somewhat stubborn look on her face….
Ye Zichen’s internal rejection of her softened somewhat.
“Forget it, I’ll just reluctantly tag along. It took a situation like this for you to show me your true feelings. You’ve truly moved me! If we make it out of here alive, I’ll definitely go to your clan and propose marriage. If your family opposes our love, I’ll use my sincerity to persuade them. No matter what, no matter the risks or adversity, I’ll go to any lengths to convince them to grant me permission to marry you openly and properly. Trust me, when I, Ye Zichen, said something, I mean it!”