Everyone stood on the stone platform staring down into the magma in shock at the unforeseen event that’d just occurred before their eyes. Scarlet shadows flashed under the surface of the magma.
The boiling liquid moved and gave the spectators a preview of a massive horned python covered in fiery-red scales. The boiling flames didn’t cause it the slightest discomfort; on the contrary, it seemed quite content with its environment.
These snakes roamed freely below the surface of the magma. One glanced at the human figures standing the stone platform with a cold, savage light in its eyes.
“Those are Flame-Eating Pythons!”
Someone cried out in alarm when they recognized the savage creatures hiding within the magma. These Spiritual Beasts were creatures that possessed the ability to control the magma from the moment they were born within it. As they’re hidden under the magma, they were also extremely difficult to deal with.
“If there’s a treasure, then there’s always something guarding it. It looks like these Flame Eaters are guarding the Fire Spirit Lotuses.” Mu Chen nodded to himself. However, there was nothing here that he feared. It was true that Flame Eaters weren’t easy to deal with, but they weren’t enough to make him pull back, either.
“Hmph, just a few little Flame Eaters wants to keep us from acquiring the Spirit Lotuses?”
The cold snort sounded from a short distance away — a man with a cold laugh on his face as he released rippling, potent Spiritual Energy. He moved in a burst towards the magma.
Right before he was about to pluck the Fire Spirit Lotus, several scarlet lights burst from underneath the surface of the magma lake. A wild gale sprung up.
The man barked a laugh and a long blade appeared in his clenched fist and flickered with spiritual light. The blade trembled as he cast several razor-sharp blade-like images, which soared out and cut deeply into the scarlet lights.
The sounds of metal on metal rang out. Lines of blood appeared on the bodies of the Flame-Eaters as they whined mournfully and fell back into the magma.
After pushing back the Flame Eaters, the man extended his hand, clutched the Fire Spirit Lotus, and plucked the Fire Seed from the heart of the flower.
The spectators became riled up when they saw the man obtain the Fire Spirit Lotus. The ones with decent strength were the first to leap out. After that, an earth-shaking number of figures began rushing towards the magma lake.
Mu Chen also burst forward with them. He put one foot on the empty air and used the foothold to drive his body straight towards the center of the lake.
Even though Fire Spirit Lotuses were decently-prized treasures, the one that Mu Chen wanted was the Fire Celestial Lotus. If he could get his hands on that, then he’d be able to strengthen the Nine Neatherflame inside him, while also charging directly towards the Heavenly Fusion Stage Middle Phase.
Even though Mu Chen had quite a few tricks he could’ve pulled, he knew that his physique still wasn’t strong enough. If he ended up fighting an opponent who far surpassed him in strength, things could get troublesome.
Those thoughts further fueled Mu Chen’s desire for the Fire Celestial Lotus and he abruptly quickened his pace.
The moment Mu Chen upped his speed, the magma below him suddenly boiled upwards. A pillar of liquid stone rose into the air by several feet and ruthlessly aimed towards him.
Mu Chen moved to evade as he activated the Shadowspirit Step and his body split into several illusions as he avoided the pillar of magma. The maneuver hadn’t slowed him in the least as he continued towards his target.
The surface of the magma lake bubbled with noise as figures shuttled back and forth. Each Fire Spirit Lotus blooming on the lake’s surface had already been targeted by more than one person. Chaotic battles broke out over who would be the one to keep the treasures.
These fights also attracted the Fire-Eaters hidden under the magma. If they discovered an opening, they’d burst up with ruthless attacks.
As a result, the battles were accompanied by shrieks of misery as one body after another fell into the lake. Even though one could keep the burning liquid at bay with their Spiritual Energy, they’d be overwhelmed with despair and fear once they had fell into it, as a result of being attacked by the Fire-Eaters.
Mu Chen watched the scene unfold with apathy and his steps didn’t show the slightest pause. He wasn’t fighting over the Fire Spirit Lotuses, so he was using his energy to boost his speed to the max as he headed towards the center of the lake.
One could expect the natural Spiritual Aura to be even more chaotic around the center of the lake and the Spiritual Beasts hiding in that area to be even more savage and ruthless. The other experts probably wouldn’t head in that direction for a while, so Mu Chen had the opportunity for first pick.
In just a few short minutes, Mu Chen had already approached the center of the lake. He kept his eyes peeled for the possible existence of a Fire Celestial Lotus.
However, his first search didn’t bear fruit. The center of the lake only bubbled and burst with blazing hot scarlet magma.
“There aren’t any here?”
Mu Chen knit his brows as a look of disappointment flashed across his face.
As Mu Chen was feeling disappointment from the lack of a harvest, a screeching wind blew by his ears. There were people heading in his direction and it was clear that their target was the same as Mu Chen’s — the Fire Celestial Lotus. They must have good foresight.
Mu Chen looked them up and down and realised that these newcomers weren’t weak. However, he knitted his brows when his eyes reached the end of the line. There were a few familiar figures.
It was a group of five or six people led by someone dressed in white — the Young City Lord of White Dragon City, Bai Dong. Next to him were several white-robed underlings and the grey-robed elder.
Mu Chen and Bai Dong recognised each other at the same time. A contemplative smile crossed the latter’s dark eyes.
“Haha. Brother, are you alone? It looks like you’ve been separated from your friends.” Bai Dong’s face was plastered over with a smile as he approached Mu Chen.
The grey-robed elder and the underlings spread out in a circular formation as they slowly advanced towards Mu Chen.
Mu Chen’s eyes dulled at the sight of them; however he displayed a smile on his handsome face as he moved towards Bai Dong. He cupped his hands and said, “So, it’s the Young City Lord who I’ve heard so much about. Please forgive me for my lack of respect back at the auction house.”
Bai Dong gave Mu Chen a blank look as he studied the slightly regretful expression on Mu Chen’s face. He couldn’t help puffing out his chest and raising his head. Even though Bai Dong still intended to kill Mu Chen, he thought he’d at least spare his enemy some suffering in return for his tact.
“Haha, it was just a small disagreement… I, Young City Lord of the White Dragon City…” Bai Dong smiled, but before he could finish his sentence, the face of the grey-robed elder abruptly changed.
Mu Chen moved like ghost and approached Bai Dong in only a single step. A cyan longsword appeared in his fist and flashed towards Bai Dong’s throat in a ruthless swing.
Mu Chen’s actions were so unexpected that both Bai Dong and his grey-robed elder had been taken by surprise. Not only did this little Heavenly Fusion Stage Initial Phase manage to escape their clutches earlier, but he dared to strike right before their eyes!
Of course, Mu Chen’s blow was difficult to avoid, given such a short distance. There was nothing that Bai Dong could do except watch as the sharp sword glinted towards him.
But right before Mu Chen’s glowing sword cut through Bai Dong’s neck, the grey-robed elder forced a palm towards Bai Dong and sent him flying backwards at an angle.
The blade streak across Bai Dong’s face and sliced off his ear. Fresh blood welled up from the wound.
Since Mu Chan had failed to kill his target with that strike, he immediately backed away. Nothing rippled in his dark pupils and the cold smile on his face had turned even more frigid. The warmth from before was entirely gone from his face.
“Haha, you can thank your dumb luck.” Mu Chen’s longsword trembled as he smiled at Bai Dong, who’d lost an ear and had blood all over his face.
“Bastard…bastard, little trash…my ear…”
Bai Dong’s expression was savage and the blood made his expression seem even more twisted. He covered his missing ear with one hand as he pointed at Mu Chen with a trembling finger and roared with the desire to tear Mu Chen apart.
He never imagined that someone like Mu Chen would be able to do something like to him!
“Elder Qiu! Catch him, catch him! But, don’t kill him! I want to chop his limbs off one by one!” Bai Dong snarled as his eyes turned scarlet red.
“Brat, it looks like we really can’t underestimate you. So cunning and ruthless at such a tender age.” The grey-robed elder darkly stared at Mu Chen. Now he knew why those four Demonic Dragon Guards had wound up dead instead. This brat was a few years younger than Bai Dong, but he’s as cunning as a fox and ruthless to the extreme. How could an ordinary student of the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy have learned such ruthlessness?
“You’ve left a blood trail all the way to my doorstep. Did you think I was going to offer you tea and shout ‘1,2,3’ before we started?” Mu Chen laughed in ridicule.
The grey-robed elder had darkly stared at him and coldly laughed in reply. “No worries. Either way, nothing can change your fate. You managed to escape last time; but this time, you won’t be so lucky.”
Mu Chen’s pupils slightly shrank. “Last time?”
He stared into the eyes of the grey-robed elder. Then Mu Chen’s gradually turned from bewildered to cold.
“So, you were the ones who sent those people… which means that your White Dragon City is, in fact, from the Demonic Dragon Palace?” Mu Chen’s heart jolted. This secret Demonic Dragon Palace was indeed powerful and far-reaching. Even the White Dragon City was one of their chess pieces.
“What a smart brat.”
The grey-robed elder smiled indifferently. He never thought that this slip of his tongue would give so much away to this youth. But what the kid learned wouldn’t make a difference right before he died.
“Go, kill him.”
The grey-robed elder waved his hand and the white-robed subordinates advanced towards Mu Chen with icy expressions and bloodthirsty auras — exactly the same as the four who they’d encountered in the forest!