The thunder-flames approached menacingly. Having no time to care for his assistants, Miao Yihu covered his face with both hands and laid huddled up on the ground. A dark mist towered into the sky from his back, amidst which, a beast soul of an alligator revealed itself, throwing its head back and giving a long howl. Immediately, the dense water vapor lingering in the surrounding air rolled and rushed towards Miao Yihu, quickly compressing into a thin armor around his body.
In the next moment, the cluster of several dozens of thunder-flames, each as large as a water tank, exploded. The brutal explosion tore and ripped Miao Yihu's assistants and personal guards to pieces, throwing broken arms, legs, and body parts all over the place. Then, the scorching flame swept across them, burning these broken parts as sizzling noises filled the atmosphere. In just a blink of an eye, everything was burned to ashes.
The black-bearded Daoist laughed hideously. He continued to shower the valley with an endless thunder-flames, turning the place into a hell on earth and killing the army of nearly two thousand soldiers who Miao Yihu brought here. Only a dozen of Oracles from the Directorate of Celestial, whose cultivation base was the strongest, managed to survive the attack with their bones talismans, and were about to flee amidst the vast white light emitted from them.
"You can't escape!" The Daoist roared with laughter. A dozen streams of flame shot out as he pointed his right hand forward. Each of the flame wrapped around a palm-sized spirit talisman crafted using fire element stone of excellent quality- the 'Flame Wind Stone'. The surface of the paper-thin spirit talismans was fully engraved with countless bean-sized runes that looked like dancing flames. They were emanating a very strong spirit pressure.
They accurately hit those fleeing Oracles' bodies. The white light emitted from their bone talismans were shattered, while the spirit talismans sunk deep into their bodies. Miserable cries full of forlorn kept echoing out as dense and sticky red flame rose from their bodies and slowly wrapped them in raging flame. The flame danced silently as they turned the Oracles into ashes.
"Ahhh!" A furious roar rang out. Miao Yihu, who had his hair and brows vanished in the flame, and even his golden armor melted down, sprung to his feet while being shrouded in flame. The alligator beast soul behind his back transformed into a pitch-black, watery beam of light, and fused into his body. He threw his head back and gave a long howl into the sky. His body grew to fifty feet tall in a flash, and his once fair skin had taken a bizarre, dark-green tone. Vaguely, patterns that looked like the scales of alligators emerged from under his skin.
"Die!" He clenched his right hand into a fist, with the middle finger protruded like the eye of a phoenix, then thrust it forward. The punch pierced the air, and the force launched his body into the black-bearded Daoist, as the fist smashed heavily in the Daoist's chest.
A sheet of flame spread out across the Daoist' body, while a small shield emerged before his chest, twisting and rippling. The shield was round in shape, about the size of a palm, and incorporeal. It seemed to be entirely materialized from flame and exuding an intense heatwave, with a deep dragon eye found at its center. When the eye blinked, there would be a large sheet of flame spraying out, transforming into several dozens of flaming serpents thrusting towards Miao Yihu.
All of a sudden, Miao Yihu's body shrunk back to its original size. A dark punch force shot out from his right fist, emitting a blinding light as it smashed brutally onto the shield. It was as if the shrinking of his body had forced out all his blood essence, turning it into the punch force.
A loud boom rang out, and a few large cracks were opened up on the shield's surface. The black-bearded Daoist let out a muffled snort as the corner of his eyes ripped suddenly, with a dozen drops of bright red blood splattering out. The flame surrounded him dimmed down as well, and Miao Yihu's fist smashed viciously into his chest.
The Daoist gave a painful cry and widened his eyes. A large sheet of green flame sprayed out from them, and the blood seeped out from the wounds at the corner of his eyes fused with the green flame, giving it a stronger power. The flame landed on Miao Yihu's body, clinging tightly to his skin like burning rubber. It burned ragingly with an intense high heat, and no matter how hard Miao Yihu tried to control his beast soul and absorb the water element energy from the surrounding air, he just could not put out the flame.
Wu Qi stealthily poked his head out from behind a boulder not far away and shook his head. The flame shot out from the black-bearded Daoist's eyes was the True Flame he cultivated with his own life, an outward manifestation of an Immortal's pure Yang energy. It had an incredible power, and was usually used to craft an Immortal's prime immortal item, or defend against evils. No Immortal would be willing to use their True Flame to attack an enemy, unless it was at the most critical moment.
Evidently, Miao Yihu's punch had really hurt the black-bearded Daoist's foundation.
The green flame burned quietly, while Miao Yihu howled and shrieked horribly with pain, losing all his ability to attack the enemy. His broken armor was melting, his clothes had turned into ashes, and his skins were turned into a green mist that drifted away in the breeze. The green flame continued to burn his flesh without making any sound.
In just less than the time to finish a pot of tea, Miao Yihu's flesh and bones were burned to ashes, and his soul was trapped by the green flame.
The black-bearded Daoist laughed hideously, pointing at the green flame with his right hand. Immediately, the flame transformed into a bell-shaped light and flew up into the sky, amidst which was held Miao Yihu's soul, about the size of a fist and looking identical to him. The flame slowly baked the soul, causing Miao Yihu to keep letting out tragic howls. However, his voice could not be heard by ears. Only with divine will could one sense the lingering forlorn howls and screech.
The baking went on for a full fifteen minutes. After Miao Yihu's soul had suffered all the painful torment, only then the Daoist closed his right palm and crushed the flame, destroying Miao Yihu's soul. "How dare you damage my immortal treasure and hurt my immortal body? Hehe, the punishment of perishing your soul is the lightest I could give you! Tsk, tsk, three flying ships!" He said with a strange laugh.
He retracted the dragon skin fire sack which was spitting an endless stream of thunder-flame, folded it, and shoved it back into a secret pocket near his waist. After that, the Daoist landed happily before the three flying ships in the valley. He patted the ships and said with a smile, "Marvelous! Three third-grade flying ships crafted with Flying Cloud Wood, an excellent material to craft flying chariots. If I dismantle them and sell all the materials, I can get at least two immortal stones!"
Wu Qi blinked his eyes as he stared at the Daoist, wondering himself that could this man have come here just to rob?
Even as he was guessing the purpose of this black-bearded Daoist, a sense of danger suddenly leaped into his mind. He snorted coldly and leaped forward, going through the boulder before him like a spirit. Then, with just a blink of his body, he had teleported himself to a place about one hundred feet away, spinning and thrusting out a golden scale. The scale pierced whistling through the air, clashing violently with a very fine red thread that was shooting towards his direction.
A crispy cracking noise rang out. The golden scale was knocked tumbling back, but the red thread was cut to half, turning into two broken needles exuding faint white mist as they fell to the ground. Wu Qi spun to look towards his back. He saw a cute and smart-looking little girl, about seven to eight years old, who had just landed gracefully on the boulder where he was hiding previously.
She was clad in a moon blue Daoist dress with sleeves stretched only to her elbows, revealing two fair arms. Her big eyes and little mouth made her look like a cute and adorable doll, and her hair were tied into two braids. However, she had squeezed her lips into a fine line, and tears were rushing out from her big eyes. She stared at Wu Qi, then suddenly burst into loud wails. "Uncle Beard, he has broken the Three Flame Divine Needle you gave me!"
'Ugh, the person who just sneaked attack me from behind is this little girl?' Wu Qi quickly exercised the Mystic Eyes of Universe and gave the little girl a glance. She was a genuine little girl, who had just attained a cultivation base of Xiantian realm, and could barely control a magical weapon. She also had an excellent bone structure and latent potential, and had a ring of bright light surrounded her. Obviously, she was practicing an orthodox cultivation technique from the Dao League, a remarkable technique.
Her bones were young and fragile, an evidence that she was a real little girl, not some little monster disguised from the soul of an old demon, and not a demon transformed from a mountain spirit or an aquatic demon. Her soul and fleshly body were tightly bonded together, and her foundation was solid. This showed that her soul and fleshly body were both original, not an unlucky fellow who had her body possessed by the soul of a demon or ghost.
Laughing dryly, Wu Qi raised both hands over his head and assumed a surrendering posture. "Don't cry, this is just a misunderstanding!"
The black-bearded Daoist had arrived behind Wu Qi. "A misunderstanding?" He said with a cold grin.
Wu Qi spun and answered the Daoist with a nod, "She was sneakily attacked me from behind using a flying needle. I was merely saving my own skin."
The Daoist was taken aback. He turned to glare at the little girl and scolded, "Xue Mei, you initiated the attack?"
The little girl, Xue Mei, squatted down as she fiddled a few little rocks scattered on top of the boulder, then bowed her head and murmured, "I saw him sneaking behind the boulder, watching you killing and setting fire, and I thought he is one of them... That's why I attacked him with the needle. But his treasure is really powerful, as it cut my Three Flame Divine Needle!"
The Daoist turned and looked at Wu Qi, suddenly cupped his fist and bowed. "Fellow Daoist, I am Supremacy Three Flame from the Wandering Immortal Hall of Myriad Immortal Alliance. Xue Mei is the orphan girl left behind by my best friend. She was spoiled by me since little. If she has offended you, I hope you can forgive her!"
Wu Qi returned the greeting with the same gesture and said, "I am... well, I am Daoist Greed!"
Supremacy Three Flame's expression turned extremely strange. Glancing at the ruins around him, he smiled dryly and asked, "Daoist Greed? You've followed them here? Hehe, for the past few days, your name has been... resounding throughout the entire Zhong Province!"
Xue Mei sprung to her feet abruptly, clapping as she said with a smile, "Daoist Greed? The Daoist Greed who is wanted by that old bad guy, Feng Lingling, the Prefecture Overseer of Zhong Province?" She gave Wu Qi a pitying look, then sighed and said, "I know a few unlucky fellows with the same name being captured or killed by the people from Punishment Court, while some other cultivators with the similar name have all fled from Zhong Province!"
Shaking his head, Wu Qi forced a smile to his face and said, "Well, it is really an undeserved calamity!"
As he was laughing, Wu Qi was wondering what this Myriad Immortal Alliance was. From the introduction that included Myriad Immortal Alliance and Wandering Immortal Hall, apparently, it was a well-established organization. At least it had a complete structure.
While he was deep in thought, he was surprised by something.
The celestial fiend puppet who was disguised as him and staying back in An He City had just sent him a message. An Immortal, who claimed to be the messenger from the Ascending Immortal Hall of Myriad Immortal Alliance, had just paid a visit to the puppet, expressing Myriad Immortal Alliance's wish of recruiting Wu Qi.