His idea was very straightforward; he would simply charge straight into Supreme Yao Lord Lie Huan's palace or cave to hide from this predicament. He was sure that even Bai Ziliang wouldn't be so rash that he'd fight inside Lie Huan's personal quarters.
Behind him, Bai Ziliang's expression was cold, looking as though he had finally cornered a rat. He hurled out the giant black seal again, and it flew off with a thunderous boom.
With Miao Yi's strength, there was no way he could fight against Bai Ziliang. Furthermore, he didn't have any transcendent artifacts capable of long-distance attacks either. The only things at his disposal were a few talismans. These were all that he had to muster up a struggle, however short-lived it may be. With a sweep of his hand, he tossed out six more Second Grade Mountain Cleaving Talismans.
Eruptions resounded as the oncoming giant black seal was deflected once more, crashing to the side and causing the ground to tremble. Plumes of dust and rubble rose up as tiny flares darted about. The shockwave was immense.
At this point, Miao Yi couldn't be bothered even if the sky were to cave in or the ground were to crumble. He simply charged to the peak as fast as he could.
He heard another loud boom coming from behind him. Evidently, the giant black seal was flying towards him again. Miao Yi quickly grabbed a large stack of talismans and tossed them all out. Fifty First Grade Mountain Cleaving Talismans shot out behind him, bombarding the attack aiming for his back. As for the Second Grade Mountain Cleaving Talismans, he'd used them all up already. He'd only brought fifteen of them on this journey to the Sea of Constellations.
Even Bai Ziliang was taken aback by this attack. If those were fifty Second Grade Mountain Cleaving Talismans, they would probably cause severe damage to his transcendent artifact, and he would need to use a large amount of Yao Cores to replenish its energy. However, when he saw that the talismans were emitting a white light instead, he heaved a sigh of relief as he realized that they were simply First Grade talismans.
The sound of explosions continuously erupted. However, Miao Yi seemed incredibly frustrated as the explosive might of fifty First Grade Mountain Cleaving Talismans had barely affected the giant black seal's momentum. They only managed to slow down its flight speed a little, buying him just a bit of time to escape.
The looming black shadow was quickly descending upon him. Without much time to dodge, Miao Yi frantically jumped up from the back of his dragon steed and dove to the side in an attempt to escape.
However, he was still one step too late. The dragon steed was instantly shrouded in flames, neighing in agony before it was then crushed underneath by the giant black seal.
Spurt! Failing to dodge in time, Miao Yi spat out a mouthful of blood as he lay painfully on the ground. One of his legs was buried underneath a corner of the colossal black seal. It was surely beyond saving already.
This was already the best outcome from a bad situation. If the explosion of fifty First Grade Mountain Cleaving Talismans hadn't slowed down the momentum of the giant black seal, his entire body would have already been crushed flat.
Seeing that he'd finally managed to catch Miao Yi, Bai Ziliang revealed a cold smirk. He was about to charge over to wash himself of the shame Miao Yi had put him through when he was suddenly caught by surprise.
Bai Ziliang watched as Miao Yi brandished a sword artifact and without hesitation, hacked down at his own leg. With a cold sheen, the sword artifact immediately chopped off the leg that was crushed under the black seal. Then, Miao Yi frantically crawled back and leaped up onto one foot before continuing to madly charge up the mountain.
Even Bai Ziliang couldn't help feeling impressed by this sight, realizing that this person was truly a ruthless and decisive character. He didn't seem to hesitate at all before he cut off his own leg. What decisiveness! But alas, so what?
Having watched the whole thing play out from behind Bai Ziliang, Kong Zhi and Ba Jie were equally astounded by this sight. Ba Jie clicked his tongue and said, "Who exactly is this guy Bai Ziliang is after? How is he so ruthless even to his own self?"
Perhaps it wasn't a big deal to cut off one's leg. The important thing was that he didn't hesitate at all, as though he was simply cutting up a vegetable. This was what unnerved everyone.
After painstakingly making his way to the top of the mountain, Miao Yi was in despair. He saw no sight of Lie Huan's personal residence before him, only a crevice similar to the mouth of a volcano. A hundred meters below the opening, orange flames burned vigorously. However, the way the flames burned were extremely peculiar; they were somehow spiraling like a whirlpool.
Don't tell me Lie Huan's personal residence is within the sea of flames underneath me? Miao Yi felt as though all hope was lost. He suddenly heard the sound of the giant seal summoned back from behind him and he turned around to find Bai Ziliang already closing in on him.
With a flip of his hand, he brandished the Mystic Yin Mirror. He then made his final attack and shot out a ferocious gust of cold Yin aura.
However, the cold Yin aura seemed to have been affected by the high temperature of the surrounding area, and its might was drastically decreased. The Tempest Beast simply spat out a mouthful of red mist, and it instantly canceled out the attack of the cold Yin aura.
Already seriously wounded in the first place, Miao Yi lost another significant portion of his transcendence energy. Standing on one foot on the peak of the mountain, his body was already beginning to wobble. He only managed to prop himself up by stabbing his sword into the ground and leaning against it. Furthermore, he still had to invoke his arts to control the surrounding temperature and prevent it from harming his body any further. Both his body and mind were in a terrible state.
Seeing that Bai Ziliang was going to throw the giant black seal back at him again, Miao Yi waved his hand and said, "Please wait!"
Bai Ziliang saw how Miao Yi could still retain his composure despite how pitiful he looked—his clothes all torn up and battered, his hair in a mess, his face covered in blood, and with one leg gone as he leaned on his sword to stand up—and he felt a sense of awe inside. He momentarily stopped his attack and mocked, "So now you're afraid?"
"Afraid?" Miao Yi scoffed, then asked, "I simply wish to know why you've been chasing after me so relentlessly. Don't tell me it was simply because I destroyed your transcendent artifact?"
How could a normal bystander possibly know how he came to possess the Demon Refining Gourd? This was a deeply shameful matter for Bai Ziliang. Slightly angered from the embarrassment, he asked, "You're still concerned over a matter like this when you're about to die?"
"Even if I die, I should at least know the reason for it, don't you think?" Miao Yi laughed wryly.
Since he was going to die either way, he might as well try to stall for as much time as he could for Zhao Fei and the others. Maybe this favor from him would influence those that were fortunate enough to survive to do something for him in the future. This was the best scenario.
How could Bai Ziliang possibly reveal to Miao Yi that the Demon Refining Gourd was something his mother had painstakingly begged to obtain? He didn't wish to waste any more time talking and began raising his hand to strike, when Miao Yi hastily shouted, "Don't you wish to know the reason why I took the risk to leave the group and lure you here on my own?!"
Bai Ziliang's hand stopped. He was also wondering about this matter and was curious to know the answer. Why would someone rush to their death so willingly? He asked, "Why did you do it?"
"We would also like to know the reason." Ba Jie's voice could be heard. The golden-hooved white deer descended, carrying two people on its back. Ba Jie smiled at Lan Susu, who was seated behind Bai Ziliang, and said, "Young miss, we meet again!"
Lan Susu silently furrowed her brows. Bai Ziliang turned and said somberly, "Kong Zhi, you've been following me nonstop. What are your intentions?"
"Cast aside your blade and attain enlightenment!" Ba Jie answered on behalf of Kong Zhi, who simply nodded at his response.
"Spare me the charade!" Bai Ziliang scoffed.
Miao Yi seemed to have caught a glimmer of hope. Pointing a finger to Bai Ziliang, he told Ba Jie, "Grandmaster is absolutely correct. This person's bloodlust is too strong. You should advise him to quickly put aside his blade."
Ba Jie nodded and smiled, "A strong sense of bloodlust always stems from the root of evil. I fear it will be difficult for him to cast aside his blade if we don't eliminate this wicked root. My good sir, are you perhaps carrying some kind of treasure that is tempting him so? If so, then that must be the root of evil. I suggest you hand it over to us. Once the root of evil is eliminated, he will naturally let you go!"
Miao Yi grimaced. He initially thought that help had come, but it turns out that an even more shameless character had arrived instead. He couldn't help laughing coldly, "I don't mind handing over the treasure to you two, but I don't think the surnamed Bai person will agree to it!"
Ba Jie placed down his clasped hands and revealed his true desires. He simply said, "As long as you agree to hand the treasure over to us, then it will become our possession. If someone dares to try and take it, then don't blame me for using force to exorcise evil!"
Miao Yi replied plainly, "These people should not be carelessly offended. They are from the Realm of Ten Thousand Demons."
Ba Jie laughed, "My good sir, you may be unaware of our background. We are from the Realm of High Paradise. My Master is Grandmaster Qi Jie of Mount Duolai." He then pointed at Kong Zhi and added, "His Supreme Master is Buddha Sage Cang Lei. Why then, should we be afraid of the people from the Realm of Ten Thousand Demons?!"
Kong Zhi was utterly lost for words. This bastard always used his background to intimidate others whenever he had the chance. When it was useful to him, he would use his Master's name. When it wasn't, he would call him an old baldy behind his back.
Miao Yi nodded. "As long as the two Grandmasters are willing to let me leave, I shall hand over my treasure to you."
Bai Ziliang quickly yelled, "Kong Zhi, stop listening to his drivel! The only thing I want is his life. You two can have the rest!"
Ba Jie quickly asked, "Are you for real?!"
Bai Ziliang was afraid they would get in his way. He wasn't tempted in the least by Miao Yi's things, so he firmly stated, "It's a promise!"
Ba Jie clasped his hands together and nodded. "Life and death are two sides of the same coin. There is neither sadness nor joy to be found within. Like an ethereal dream, everything within is but an illusion." He turned to Kong Zhi and said, "Kong Zhi. We have been too blinded by the mirages of life. We should learn to let go of our desires when we can. Only then will we be free of our shackles and achieve enlightenment."
Kong Zhi remained silent. You're the one deciding what's right and what's wrong anyway. Why bring me in again?
When he saw how they immediately changed their stance as soon as he promised to give them some benefits, Bai Ziliang couldn't help but say mockingly, "Kong Zhi. You people really are noble examples of a monk!"
Ba Jie raised an eyebrow and said, "Are you trying to force us to break our sacred creed?"
What a fickle pair indeed. This was practically a mockery of the teachings of Buddha. Bai Ziliang was lost for words. What sort of failure of a monk was this person? He turned his head and kept quiet. He couldn't afford to upset these two.
Seeing as the situation was not to his favor, Miao Yi said grimly, "Grandmaster, to save a life is better than building a seven-layered pagoda for Buddha. What happened to your merciful hearts?"
Ba Jie clapped his hands together and said plainly, "In this life, I do not favor cultivating a benevolent heart. I prefer carnage and bloodshed instead! I wouldn't count on building a seven-layered pagoda. After all, I am already here in hell. As Buddha once said, if I do not venture into the depths of hell, then who will? Amitabha!"
This was his answer. Bai Ziliang and Lan Susu grimaced as they looked at Kong Zhi, as though trying to ask, 'Is this really how the saying is interpreted in Buddhism?'.
Kong Zhi simply lowered his gaze and kept quiet. He'd long been used to this. If he was bothered by it every single time, he wouldn't be able to live with himself.
Miao Yi was so furious he broke out into laughter. Forget meeting such a shameless monk, he had never even seen a person so shameless to begin with.
He tried hard to regain his composure. Not waiting for Bai Ziliang to make his move, he quickly changed the subject and asked, "Bai Ziliang, do you know why Gu Sanzheng and I suddenly ran off in separate directions just now when you were chasing us, and regrouped as soon as you came after me?"
Just as Bai Ziliang was about to strike, his curiosity stopped his hand yet again. He asked coldly, "Why?"
Miao Yi still wanted to drag on as much time as he could for Zhao Fei and the others, so he slowly replied, "Because I wanted to see whether the person you didn't want to let go of the most would be Gu Sanzheng or me. And evidently, your desire to kill me is slightly stronger."
"So?" Bai Ziliang scoffed, "You still ended up falling into my hands in the end!"
Miao Yi laughed, "I'm glad to see you understand. Your mount is simply too fast, so there had to be someone to lure you away. Which was exactly what happened. You were successfully lured away by me. I don't think it'll be possible for those subordinates of yours to catch up to my friends' Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beasts anymore."
Bai Ziliang scoffed, "Even so, you will still die!"
Miao Yi wanted to elaborate further, but Lan Susu's expression suddenly changed as she quickly said, "This is bad. He's intentionally trying to stall for time so that those three Crystal-Armored Hurricane Beasts can escape our forces!"
Bai Ziliang was astonished.
Miao Yi revealed a vicious grin and said, "It's a little late to be finally realizing this, don't you think? I think it'll be hard for you to even find where the other members of your group ran off to. You still think you can catch up to my friends?"
"Die!" Bai Ziliang was furious.
His hand jerked, but before he could toss out the giant seal, Miao Yi leaped up with his leg and fell backward into the mouth of the volcano behind him.
"You want to kill me? It's not your turn yet!" Miao Yi's furious howl resounded from within the volcano.