"A Drought Demon?" Miao Yi and the others gasped in surprise.
This was not a common demonic spirit, but a force of nature demonified and could be considered to possess supernatural powers by birth. It was not something the common beast demons could compare to. Furthermore, the Drought Demon was a demonic spirit of supreme Yang energy and the bane of Ghost cultivators. Upon meeting a Drought Demon, escape was the only option for the average Ghost cultivator, unless they possessed a superior cultivation capable of forcibly suppressing it.
Miao Yi thought back to the time he killed the red-clothed ghost woman back in the Mystic Arts Temple. Back then, using a bunch of ashes, he had created a mock-Yin Dispersal Powder, a substance originally refined from the Yao Core of a Drought Demon. With it, he was able to completely scare the ghost woman off. With this, it was evident how much of an impact Drought Demons had towards Ghost cultivators.
And this Supreme Yao Lord Lie Huan even had a Golden Lotus First Grade cultivation. How terrifying was that? There probably wasn't a single participating Ghost cultivator that dared to approach this island.
"No wonder he's staying in such a weird place!" Miao Yi sighed. As he breathed in and felt the extreme heat in his lungs, he suddenly felt an odd sense of relief.
Miao Yi wondered if he was some kind of pervert to actually feel excitement from being in such a harsh environment. How else could he possibly explain this then?
Then he suddenly went into a daze as he felt a sense of familiarity from this odd, alleviating sensation. It seemed like he had felt it somewhere before...
The surrounding heat and the familiar sensation immediately helped him remember. It was the time when Yao Ruoxian had refined a transcendent artifact for him right after their escape from the Sea of Constellations.
Back then, something strange had happened while he was cultivating beside the furnace. He seemed to have felt something being absorbed into his own art source from the flames of the furnace Yao Ruoxian was refining the transcendent artifact in. At the time, he was utterly shocked, and hurriedly stopped that particular breathing motion out of fear that he would lose control of his transcendence energy.
Thinking back, he seemed to have been able to control the surrounding temperature with his arts as well. This, he was sure of. It was such a peculiar experience that he was able to remember it clearly.
Among the group, Miao Yi's cultivation was the weakest, so his ability to forcibly resist the heat was the worst as well. At the same time, he still had to invoke his arts to help protect his mount from the heat. Looking down at his dragon steed sweating buckets, it was a matter of time before it died of dehydration. The method he was using right now wouldn't last much longer.
Miao Yi no longer hesitated. He quickly gave up on the simplistic method of using his arts to shield against the heat and started circulating the Fiery Star Technique within himself at full speed. Aligning his mental energy with his transcendence energy, the mysterious phenomenon happened once again. It was a similar situation to when he was cultivating beside Yao Ruoxian's artifact-refining furnace.
The surrounding heat was supposed to be something without shape or form. However, it began to quake in accordance to the waves of transcendence energy coming from Miao Yi and was gradually being pushed away like an ethereal mist.
Miao Yi was overjoyed. As expected, he was able to control the surrounding heat.
Originally, he wasn't sure about the effects of this ability and was afraid of losing control. As such, he only tried it once and didn't dare to attempt it again. However, his life was at stake right now so he couldn't afford to be too deeply concerned. He quickly tried to accustom himself to controlling the surrounding heat, and before too long, was able to regain the proficiency he had back when he first did it all those years ago.
The heat around him was immediately forced away. However, as his cultivation was still low, he couldn't use his ability over a large area, and only barely managed to shield himself and his mount. He didn't have the strength to help the others as well.
But looking at their situation, as their cultivation was evidently much higher than his, they would still be able to forcibly resist the surrounding heat with their arts for the time being. Out of all the dragon steeds, Miao Yi's mount was the one that was sweating the most after all.
At first, the dragon steed underneath Miao Yi was already a little uneasy, but soon it slowly regained its composure. Miao Yi was able to sense this directly due to their connection. He heaved a sigh of relief when he noticed the dragon steed had also stopped sweating.
On this boundless, ashen land, the entire ground resembled a giant crust that had formed after an extended period of burning by a blazing flame. Regardless if it were the sloping mountains or the towering boulders, they looked like they were all one and the same. Furthermore, the earth was incomparably hard, and the galloping of dragon steeds rang clearly amidst the raging heat.
Western Constellations Palace.
Standing before the astrolabe, Hei Yun shot the voluptuous Ji Meimei a glance and snickered. "Ji Meimei. Your son is quite bold to trespass into Lie Huan's forbidden area. Is he not afraid of angering Lie Huan?"
A trace of worry could be seen in Ji Meimei's eyes. Fu Qing had nine subordinate Supreme Yao Lords, and each of them was a Demonic Behemoth, possessing a cultivation of the Golden Lotus realm. To be able to oversee one of Fu Qing's domains naturally meant that he trusted them deeply. If Lie Huan was angered, and Fu Qing decided to support him, even her father Ji Huan would have to give him a suitable explanation.
The reason why the Six Sages still had to give some face to the old demons of the Sea of Constellations was because of the strength the Four Constellations Masters and their thirty-six Supreme Yao Lords possessed. They were all powerhouses of the Golden Lotus realm. If these people were to join forces, who in the cultivation realm would dare to disrespect them? Unless the Six Sages were willing to join forces and hold them down. Otherwise, no one would dare offend these old demons!
'Ziliang, why are you so naughty? Skyfire Mountain is clearly marked as a forbidden area. Why do you still choose to trespass inside? The two of us still need to gain the support of the Four Constellations Masters. Why are you already trying to offend them?' Ji Meimei inwardly sighed. She couldn't figure out what was happening from looking at the astrolabe, and wondered who exactly her son was chasing for him to even risk venturing into Lie Huan's personal residence!
"What is there to be afraid of? Even Grandmaster Qi Jie's disciple dares to enter. Why can't my son do the same?" Ji Meimei scoffed. Although she was still worried deep down, she had to look unflustered. She mustn't cast aside her status and pride, otherwise, it would be difficult for both her and her son to stand up tall in the future!
"What's the big deal about Lie Huan? He doesn't have the guts to pick a fight with Ji Huan. The only ones afraid of him are shadowy bastards like you," Yun Guang mocked Hei Yun.
Hei Yun immediately glared at him and retorted, "You think my Yin Yang Realm is afraid of Lie Huan?"
Yun Guang scoffed, "Stop using the Yin Yang Realm to intimidate people! If you're not afraid of him, I'll go help you look for Lie Huan later on and tell him you wish to duel with him. Then we shall see whether or not Lie Huan can slap you into the afterlife!"
Duel against Lie Huan? A trace of fear flashed by Hei Yun's eyes. Even though Lie Huan was no match against his Master, Ghost Sage Situ Xiao, he was still a crazy bastard who'd dared to fight his Master and still escape with his life. That was mostly because that old demon Lie Huan was capable of suppressing Ghost cultivators by nature, which was why very few of them could do anything against him.
As if Hei Yun would dare pick a fight with that old demon Lie Huan. He immediately shrieked, "Yun Guang! You don't need to be such a busybody!"
"If you're scared, just say so. Don't act tough!" Yun Guang mocked. Then he turned to Ji Meimei, who was watching the argument from the side, and shamelessly cast his gaze up and down her mature, sexy figure. Chuckling, he said, "Ji Meimei, don't worry. It'll be fine even if your precious son dies. Since your man is dead anyway, as long as you're willing, then once this is over, I'll work extra hard and give you another child!"
This bastard was not the typical arrogant character. After he was done picking a fight with one person, he immediately tried to take advantage of another.
When he said this, Grandmaster Qi Jie clapped his hands together silently, while all the men in the room chuckled. Even Hei Yun seemed to have forgotten how Yun Guang had just made a fool out of him. His eyes darted across Ji Meimei's body as he gave a vile snicker.
Tang Jun was laughing along when he seemed to have noticed something amiss. Realizing he still had two fellow disciples behind him who were both women, he figured it seemed rather unbecoming of him to laugh along, and he gave a couple of dry coughs.
Ji Meimei was obviously infuriated. She glared at Yun Guang and snarled, "Shut your mouth!"
"Feisty!" said Yun Guang as he winked at Hei Yun.
Hei Yun nodded like he understood what he meant, his shoulders shaking as he struggled to contain his laughter.
The two of them were both cunning bastards, and when it came to certain things, they were practically birds of a feather...
"Young Master! If we go any further, I'm afraid our mounts will not be able to withstand the heat!"
Chasing behind Bai Ziliang, Pang Duo couldn't help offering a reminder.
As he chased after Miao Yi's group, Bai Ziliang thought back to how he'd embarrassed himself in front of Yue Yao. To lose face in front of an enchanting and beautiful woman was something absolutely infuriating. He responded, "They're not afraid, so why should we?"
Pang Duo could only keep his mouth shut.
Behind them, Ba Jie scanned about and asked, "What is this nasty place? It's almost like the inside of a furnace."
Kong Zhi sighed. "I don't mind if you want to continue chasing after them, but I don't think your mounts will be able to take it!"
"Don't act smug just because you're riding on that shitty deer! Are you saying that they're riding on dragon steeds while we're riding on pigs? I won't believe it! Since they can hold on, there's no reason we can't too!" With a flip of his hand, Ba Jie revealed a set of prayer beads. The glass-like beads emitted a cold chill, and Ba Jie placed them on the back of the dragon steed, praising, "This hot and cold feeling is the best!"
Kong Zhi gasped in surprise. "Grandmaster Qi Jie's Ice Soul Beads?"
"I can't come empty-handed after all. It's too bad we can't eat this though." Ba Jie smiled and added, "Why don't I trade these beads for your mount?"
'Eat?' Kong Zhi looked at his own mount and felt a chill down his spine. He shook his head and rejected the offer.
At this point, the large flock of birds in the sky was already gone. It was evident how hot this place was since even the birds were unwilling to come close.
The environment around them was severe. When Miao Yi and the others saw that they were still being chased, their expressions instantly darkened, all of them realizing that the situation was dire and there was little chance of escape. None of them had ever been to Skyfire Mountain before, and they never expected it to have such an environment.
The fear was already evident on Pi Junzi's face, as he and his mount were both drenched in sweat. Trying his best to hold on with his transcendence energy, he said anxiously, "We can't go any further. The heat will only continue to increase as we go along, and I can't hold on much longer. Let's circle around from the side instead."
Gu Sanzheng said gravely, "We won't be able to shake them off if we circle around. We need to venture deep into this perilous area in order to force them to back off. Now that there are no eyes watching us from the sky, we'll be able to make our escape once we force them away!"
Pi Junzi cried, "It seems like that Bai Ziliang's mount is not afraid of the heat. We won't be able to shake him off."
Gu Sanzheng scoffed, "We just need to shake everyone else off. There's no need to fear that surnamed Bai bastard now that he's lost his gourd artifact. If he dares to come after us on his own, we can simply kill him together! It's all a matter of endurance now!"
Pi Junzi was dismayed by his words. To him, this was no different than rushing to his own death!
Perhaps the Blue Lotus Ninth Grade group would still be able to take it, and Tao Ruchun had a much higher cultivation than him, so he should be able to hold on for a while too. The ones who had the lowest risk were the Gu Sanzheng trio, as their Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beasts obviously had a much higher heat resistance than dragon steeds. It was no wonder they were higher in grade compared to dragon steeds.
However, everyone found it odd that Miao Yi, who had the lowest cultivation in the group, seemed to be completely fine. It appeared as though he had it even easier than Zhao Fei and Sikong Wuwei.
Miao Yi wanted to pull Pi Junzi up to his mount as well so that he could help shield him from the heat. However, he could tell how fast this dragon steed of his could go after a single ride. It couldn't compare to Charcoal at all. If he gave Pi Junzi a ride as well, there was no chance he would be able to outrun the pursuers behind them.
However, it was also evident that they couldn't go on like this. Their pursuers did not seem like they were going to let up the chase anytime soon. If they continued down this path, it would inevitably result in death.
Miao Yi suddenly frowned, as though he'd made some kind of decision. He said, "Gu Sanzheng, I want you to leave the group, then head towards the right and circle back. Meanwhile, I will circle to the left. The rest of you will continue straight. If Bai Ziliang suddenly changes his direction, we will immediately reassemble!"