Demon Emperor Bloodmalva's sacrifice had lacked Wei Xing'er as a crucial component. Thus, he was only at roughly thirty percent of his full potential. But even a crippled demon emperor was still astonishingly mighty. The great emperor aura filled the interior of the mountain.
The Resplendent Emerald Veranda master's aura is nowhere to be found. Has he died?
Though the demon emperor had only been recently freed, his consciousness was perfectly clear. There was no way otherwise he could've convinced the Veranda master to join the blood demons, nor laid out this plot for his human agent over these several years.
Transforming himself into a bloody cloud, the demon emperor stormed from the altar to the dissipated fog formation. He arrived to the sight of utter ruin. His prepared food was long gone. The only thing that remained was a strong lingering scent of battle.
"Aaah!" Demon Emperor Bloodmalva knew that his plans had fallen awry. He was completely furious. He'd arranged such an intricate plot, only to have its fruit stolen from him at the last second! The imperfect blood sacrifice and the disappearance of his food further detracted from his awakening. Two mishaps in a row upset the demon emperor greatly.
"Was the Veranda master too unlucky after all? Was he insufficient to shoulder the burden of the demon race's destiny? It seems that I've picked the wrong man for the job." The demon emperor's eyes were rimmed with red. He wanted to kill someone. "Who is it? Who dared interfere with my great scheme?! I don't care who you are, I'll eat you alive when I find out!"
This series of disruptions so soon after his revival ignited his demonic malice. Like a crimson haze, a cloud of blood tore out of the area with almost impossible speed.
An immense demonic consciousness spread out instantly for a radius of several dozen miles, seeking out a possible culprit who was still around.
With the Veranda master's death, the demon emperor no longer had a source of information. But Demon Emperor Bloodmalva knew well that the disruptor for such a well-constructed plot was definitely still close by. It was obvious that the fighting within the formation had just ended moments prior. The lingering ripples of battle still clung to the air.
As soon as the demon emperor tore through the earth, Jiang Chen sensed the demonic aura approaching from a great distance. The young man was startled by its sheer intensity.
"Even a weakened demonic emperor has such impressive might! He truly is an emperor from the ancient past. If he's allowed to return to peak strength, who in Great Scarlet Mid Region, the Upper Eight Regions even, will be able to face him head on?"
Concerned, he began to think of a solution to the pressing problem before him. The selfish choice was to up and leave immediately. But he had to be more responsible than that. If he left now, the demon emperor would have more than enough time to recover and would surely leave Cloudshatter Mountain to wreak havoc in the wider world. There would be a massive loss of life then.
Even if a demonic invasion was inevitable, Jiang Chen wanted to delay that eventuality for as long as he could. Not a single region in the human domain had made sufficient preparations. He began to dash outwards without delay. He didn't have the luxury of time.
Now that the earth attribute orb was in his possession, the formation on the outside was rendered largely ineffective. Jiang Chen wanted a fight with the demon emperor to take place out of this strange area. It was unwise to fight on unplumbed enemy territory.
As he sped by in the air, he saw Ole Zhang slowly trudging in the same direction far below. Having been corroded by the blood mist, the old man had no strength to go any faster. He walked at a snail's pace. There was no way he could escape at his current pace.
Sighing softly, Jiang Chen dove down and picked the old man up. "Don't move," he growled. "I'll bring you out."
With his Kunpeng Meteoric Escape pushed to maximum speed, Jiang Chen was barely affected by his new burden. He pushed outwards once more with all the force he could muster.
On a mountain trail near the outer reaches of the mountains, Jiang Chen keenly spotted a wandering Silversand Cavalier.
"Sir Silversand, the demon emperor has awakened. You must leave Cloudshatter Mountain immediately!" He reminded aloud as soon as he saw the man.
The Silversand Cavalier was surprised by the sound of Jiang Chen's voice. He saw a bolt of lightning blitz outwards through the air.
"Friend," he shouted upwards, "how are things inside?"
"They're all dead. You better hurry up and leave. The demon emperor has descended upon the lands. If you don't, you'll just end up as food. He'll recover faster because of it." Jiang Chen knew that advice wasn't always enough to convince men like the Cavalier, but clear analysis usually did the trick.
Right on cue, the cavalier immediately looked apprehensive. The prospect of staying only to become food and strengthen the demons was thoroughly unattractive to him. Having witnessed Jiang Chen's incredible speed, he didn't dare defer his own departure.
"Friend, I thought there was a formation outside that restricted our movement?" He asked while running. "Can we really get out?"
"The formation should be gone now."
"Oh? The formation is gone? But then, if we leave now, what if the demon emperor leaves Cloudshatter Mountain? Won't a lot of people die?" The cavalier had a stronger sense of racial responsibility than most.
Jiang Chen approved of this trait a great deal, but he wasn't pleased with the comment's timing. "If you're not leaving, then you must be confident in your ability to defeat an ancient demon emperor, correct?"
The Silversand Cavalier blinked. Right, er, did he have that confidence? In his moment of hesitation, an inexorable tide of demonic aura came up behind them. It moved with such velocity and vehemence that the air visibly roiled.
Demon Emperor Bloodmalva's ominous laughter could be heard within. "I knew there were some stragglers. So, you're the culprits that ruined my plans?"
The demonic presence rushed in like water, crashing closer with vexing rapidity. Jiang Chen found the last part extremely surprising. Though the demonic emperor wasn't necessarily moving faster than the Kunpeng Meteoric Escape, he wasn't much slower either. However, it wasn't a real comparison. Jiang Chen was at close to top speed, while the demonic emperor had regained maybe twenty to thirty percent of his strength.
This benchmark deepened Jiang Chen's understanding of ancient demon emperors in general. If he pushed his Kunpeng Meteoric Escape to its maximum limits, he'd find it easy enough to outrun the demon emperor's wrath. But the Silversand Cavalier couldn't say the same.
The Cavalier wasn't particularly slow, but the demon emperor blew him out of the water. The former moved at about half the speed of the latter. Thus, the Cavalier's fate was all but sealed.
When the demon emperor inevitably caught him, he would be turned into nourishment in short order. Though a single third level emperor realm wasn't near sufficient, it would still be an excellent snack. Any amount of strengthening in the demon emperor's power at this stage was terrifying to contemplate.
Jiang Chen was at his wit's end. He was caught between a rock and a hard place. After a few moments, he dipped downwards decisively after all. Tossing the old man in his hands to the Cavalier, he called out, "Take Ole Zhang away. I'll bring up the rear."
The Silversand Cavalier couldn't have imagined this kind of development in his wildest dreams. He instinctively caught Ole Zhang.
"What are you standing around for? Hurry up and go!" Jiang Chen glared at him angrily.
"If you're staying, then I will stay too. Us two together is better than you alone…" The cavalier stomped his foot.
"Stop wasting time. You'll just cause more trouble for me if you stay. What's with all the sentimentality, huh?" Jiang Chen admonished, rather angrily.
The cavalier made to speak some more, but decided against it after noticing Jiang Chen's increasingly darker expression. The young man spoke the truth.
"Alright," he nodded, "I'll take your kindness at face value, then. I will head for Great Scarlet Capital immediately. You must hold fast as much as you can. You're fast, so try to drag things out as much as possible. When more of us human experts can get here…"
"Get out!" Frowning, Jiang Chen loudly urged the other man away. His tone had become rather harsh. The Silversand Cavalier had a good heart, but now wasn't the time for small talk. A second lingered was a second gambled.
The Cavalier didn't dare venture another word. Old man in tow, he raced outwards without looking back.
Brows still furrowed, Jiang Chen chose not to run any more. Instead, he stood in place, staring at the direction from which he came. He activated his Imperial Advent Defense Talisman. The talisman shone with a blinding light that seeped into Jiang Chen's body.
In the next moment, an invisible shield sprang into being around the youth. The talisman produced an effect comparable to a great emperor's defense. It had a duration of two hours, and each possessed three charges. Jiang Chen's particular talisman had only two remaining.
Within another few breaths, a cloud of blood arrived within the mile. Transforming into a more physical form, Demon Emperor Bloodmalva skewered the young man opposite him with his gaze.
Jiang Chen stared back fearlessly. God's Eye working in tandem with his Evil Golden Eye, he confronted the demon emperor's look head on.
The demon emperor was enshrouded in a bloody haze. The body within was extremely burly and tall, and wore scarlet armor. There was a mark on the body's forehead, unique to the blood demons. It was a flame-shaped sign, diabolic in its fascination.
"You again?" Demon Emperor Bloodmalva dug into Jiang Chen with a fierce look. "I remember you. You've been to my altar! You stole a girl from me. You! You were the one that ruined my revival."
The demon emperor had still been within his seal then, but Jiang Chen's presence had made a strong impression. After all, the bloody formation around the altar had failed at trapping him. It was easy to remember someone so exceptional.