Truth be told, deep down Miao Yi doubted whether he would be able to leave with the help of the Mystic Yin Mirror. Back when he jumped into the volcano, he had tried using the Mystic Yin Mirror and discovered that the high temperature had suppressed its cold Yin energy. He was simply a little unwilling to face the truth and wanted to allow himself a shred of hope.
Now that his hope was gone, he had no choice but to face reality.
Miao Yi tucked away the Mystic Yin Mirror, eyes locked onto the trail of fire above him. He wasn't sure how far it extended, nor was he confident he would be able to escape with his Blue Lotus cultivation and heat-manipulating arts.
With a flip of his hand, he readied a Second Grade Spear Artifact. Leaping several dozen meters upwards, Miao Yi tossed the spear artifact into the sky in an attempt to see how far the fire trail extended.
Whoosh! The spear called up mighty gusts of wind, parting the clouds of flames in its path as it shot upwards.
However, Miao Yi was completely befuddled by what happened afterward.
Before Miao Yi had even landed back down, he watched as the rumbling flames quickly formed thousands upon thousands of incredibly lifelike, vicious fire dragons. It was a terrifying sight to behold. Several fire dragons then quickly slithered towards the spear, brandishing their blazing jaws and viciously biting down on it.
Boom! The spear was instantly reduced into countless cinders and fell back down.
Miao Yi was utterly dumbfounded. 'A Second Grade Spear Artifact wasn't even able to take a single hit from that fire dragon. What in the world is this? How can it be so powerful? Could it be one of those infamous arrays?'
A single fire dragon's attack most likely possessed the might of a Red Lotus expert, and there were thousands of them up there. Who could possibly escape this?
In his astonishment, Miao Yi was unable to figure out how he had managed to fall down here in the first place. How did he manage to dodge the attacks of all these fire dragons and successfully land down here?
Soon, the raging fire dragons collapsed back into the fiery vortex and sealed the path.
Afterward, Miao Yi continued to toss Second Grade Transcendent Artifacts up into the sky.
As expected, the moment the transcendent artifacts came in contact with the fiery clouds, the blazing flames instantly formed thousands of fire dragons to receive it. The end result was the same; all the transcendent artifacts were destroyed and spat back down with a single bite.
Miao Yi finally understood a Golden Lotus cultivator's might. They definitely weren't pushovers. The other party didn't even need to raise a finger; a simple array like this was enough to give his enemies a run for their money! Even if Miao Yi was already in the Blue Lotus realm, he still didn't have the qualifications to help the other party carry their shoes.
Miao Yi didn't know whether he should laugh or cry. How in the world did he manage to stumble into the home of such a powerful expert? This was absolutely illogical. This wasn't a place that just anyone could simply enter. Perhaps even Red Lotus experts would have no way of breaking in.
However, after probing the fire passage at the expense of several of his transcendent artifacts, Miao Yi somehow managed to figure it out. As soon as he tossed out the transcendent artifact, the flames extending the first few hundred meters upwards would instantly disappear and solidify themselves into the form of fire dragons. However, beyond this long passage of fire dragons was another fiery vortex. Miao Yi had no idea how much further it was to the mouth of the volcano at the top.
'I'm dead!' Miao Yi was anxious. There was no way out at all. Did he really have no choice but to wait until Lie Huan returned to deal with him?
Miao Yi despondently walked down the circular plate and onto the small plaza. Suddenly, he felt a sensation under his feet and came to a stop. Unsure of what it was, he lowered his head to look. It turned out to be the crystal fragment he chipped off from the ground back when he was swinging his spear around.
Miao Yi spread his palm and sucked up the crystal fragment into his grasp. He then strongly hurled it out in frustration. He was about to continue on his way back when suddenly, he came to a halt. Quickly turning his head, he looked back at the crystal fragment he had just tossed out.
He watched as the raging fires immediately parted the moment they came in contact with the crystal fragment, creating a small empty passage about half a meter wide. Pa! The crystal fragment then made its way across the passage and actually managed to knock onto the rocky surface behind the flames.
Utterly dazed, Miao Yi watched the flames seal the gap back up. He slowly paced around while examining his surroundings, especially the blazing flames that constantly surrounded the Supreme Fire Palace, but never once approached it. He opened his palm once again and sucked in another crystal fragment, carefully studying it as he glanced back from time to time at the palace floating in the middle of the molten lava.
Miao Yi seemed to have thought of something. He hurled out the crystal fragment in his hand once again, and sure enough, the fiery vortex formed another passage. Pa! The crystal fragment hit the rocky surface again.
Miao Yi then quickly took out a Second Grade Helmet Artifact and hurled it out as well.
Clank! Although the transcendent artifact was able to reach the rocky surface behind the flames as well, the flames did not part because of it. That said, the fire dragons did not try to attack it as well. Evidently, Lie Huan's array was only concerned with sealing the entrance.
Miao Yi then grabbed a pile of crystal fragments and quickly ran up to the circular plate. With a swing of his arm, he hurled out the several dozen crystal fragments upwards. Under Miao Yi's observation, the fiery vortex previously guarded by fierce fire dragons had actually formed a passage instead this time, allowing the crystal fragments to easily cross through the flames.
The fire dragons no longer appeared, but the crystal fragments Miao Yi tossed out soon rained back down on the palace. Miao Yi used his arts to gather them back together, then continued tossing them back out.
Once again, the blazing flames parted for the crystal fragments. It was no coincidence. Miao Yi tossed them up multiple times to make sure, and as expected, the fire dragons didn't appear even once.
Miao Yi then tossed out a Second Grade Transcendent Artifact. Boom! The fire dragons appeared and reduced the entire transcendent artifact to dust with a single bite.
He tossed out the crystal fragments afterward, and sure enough, no fire dragons appeared.
The crystal fragments fell back down, but Miao Yi didn't try to catch them this time. He simply allowed them to scatter over the circular plate.
As the clattering noise rang about, Miao Yi brandished a Second Grade Sword Artifact and started wildly chopping down on the stone railings surrounding the plaza. However, the crystalline material was extremely robust. Even with Miao Yi's current Blue Lotus cultivation, he was having a hard time damaging it.
After much difficulty, Miao Yi finally managed to cut down one of the columns from the stone railing. Carrying the column in his embrace, he ran back to the circular plate. Once he was there, he jumped up with all his might. While in midair, he channeled all his strength into his arms, then hurled the massive column upwards. He was being very careful in testing out his conjecture. After all, the matter concerned his well-being, so he hardly had any other choice.
As expected, not a single fire dragon appeared when the column was hurled into the fiery vortex. Instead, an even wider passage was formed. Clearly, the larger the size of the crystalline object, the wider the passage it would create.
Miao Yi caught the crystal column with one hand as it fell back down. He then placed it on the ground, propping it up as he laughed aloud, "I get it now! I see! So that was it!"
He finally found a way to escape. As it turned out, the trick to leaving was hidden in this Supreme Fire Palace.
"Lie Huan, you old coot. You sure are devious as hell. Who would have thought that the secret to escaping the fire array would be hidden in the palace right in front of me? One who is directly involved in the matter is most easily blinded to the truth behind it indeed. If I hadn't been lucky enough to discover the hint by accident, I would have been stuck here waiting to die!" Miao Yi chortled as he looked at his surroundings. He was absolutely ecstatic.
Truth be told, he was simply overthinking it. Lie Huan was truly not as devious as he imagined, nor was there a need for him to be.
Think of it this way. Someone with the ability to break through the mighty fire array and enter the Supreme Fire Palace naturally had the strength to leave as well. Someone like that didn't need to figure out any tricks to leave the place. In contrast, someone without the strength to make it inside would have definitely lost their lives within the array already. Why would Lie Huan need to make such a complicated setup then?
Perhaps Lie Huan could have never imagined in his wildest dreams that a White Lotus cultivator would break into his Supreme Fire Palace, be trapped inside, and ultimately decide to make his escape by destroying his property. Not only that, the person in question had even called him a devious man.
Miao Yi was simply being petty, unfairly passing judgment onto someone else based on his own standards. Was there even a need for Lie Huan to trap Miao Yi, some weakling cultivator who wasn't even fit to enter his vision?
Bang! The crystal column fell to the ground.
Miao Yi rushed to the plaza and started preparing his meal. He wanted to eat and sleep to his heart's content. Then once his body was well-rested, he would kiss this place goodbye.
Having found a way to escape, Miao Yi was feeling incredibly relieved. After eating and drinking his fill, he drifted off to a wondrous sleep while soaking in the basin. He didn't need to be worried about anything at all. With Lie Huan's mighty array protecting him, no one would be able to disturb him.
After waking up, Miao Yi got dressed and prepared himself to leave. However, right as he was about to go, he glanced back at the Supreme Fire Palace and hesitated. Did he really have to leave now?
'Looking back at how much time has passed, I have already spent seven years here in the Sea of Constellations. The Subjugation Crusade will only end in another two years or so, and Lie Huan won't return until then either. In that case, why don't I just hide out here until the Subjugation Crusade is nearing its end and leave then instead? If I leave now, I won't be able to find another place where I can cultivate as fast as I do here. Cultivating for even a single year in this place is already equivalent to spending many years outside! Not to mention, it's extremely dangerous outside.'
It seemed to Miao Yi that staying was obviously the better choice. He then rushed back into the main hall, sat himself down on the throne and continued to cultivate...
Eight months later. Sitting cross-legged with his eyes closed, Miao Yi was in the midst of cultivation when he suddenly noticed a drastic drop in the speed at which the fire spiritual essences were being absorbed into his body. He no longer felt a connection behind him, which previously consisted of the twelve power sources providing him with the greatest support.
Miao Yi stopped cultivating and turned around to look. He found that the blurry crimson fire silhouette hidden within the twelve engravings on the wall were all gone; he couldn't see anything inside at all.
No wonder his absorption rate had decreased. He needed every second he could get to raise his cultivation right now. There wouldn't be a second chance if he missed this opportunity. Why did it have to disappear now of all times?
Miao Yi jumped up to stand beside the wall, but he couldn't figure anything out even after a close examination. He then took out a Second Grade Toothed Club Artifact from his storage ring. The transcendent artifact shone with a blue light as he raised his arms and hammered down on the wall.
Miao Yi had no idea what sort of material this crystal was. Not only was he unable to probe it with his transcendence energy, but it was also unbelievably tough. It took him several dozen whacks with the Second Grade Toothed Club Artifact before he managed to break open one of the fire engravings on the wall. To his surprise, there was a spherical space inside, and besides the hole he just made, there was no other way to take something out from the inside.
"That's strange. Why did the flames inside suddenly disappear? Don't tell me I absorbed them all already?" Miao Yi mused. His gaze flitted to the other engravings, unwilling to give up so easily. In truth, he had realized long ago that whatever was sealed inside the wall was highly important to his cultivation.
Since he was unwilling to give up, he obviously wouldn't let the matter lie like this. Bang! Bang! Bang! He gave the beautiful fire engravings on the wall a good beating with his toothed club, and only stopped once he broke them all open.
However, even after examining each and every one of them, he still didn't discover anything new. As he was thinking long and hard about how to solve this predicament, the entire palace suddenly started shaking.
Miao Yi was immediately jolted from his thoughts. He rushed out of the palace and looked about his surroundings, but he didn't find anything amiss.
As he wondered what the tremor just now was all about, the floating palace trembled lightly once again. Miao Yi was in shock. Why did it feel as though the palace was falling down?
However, the palace soon stabilized itself. Miao Yi quietly waited for a while, but there was no longer any signs of movement from the palace.
That said, he no longer dared to waste another second. Tucking his toothed club away, he readied a Second Grade Greatsword Artifact, and after leaping onto the back of the Inferno Qilin statue, he then began to hack away at its neck.