The pillar of fire that erupted from the ground wasn't made from ordinary fire, but….lava!!
By calling upon the powers of the earth, Wu Shang was able to summon lava from the very depths of the world—this was a heaven-tier soul skill!
Like a magmatic sword, the pillar of fire speared straight through the fiery maelstrom in the air and into the clouds. Any neighbor cloud was immediately evaporated upon contact. The advent of gravity soon caused the pillar of lava to fall back down to the earth, sprinkling down like rain. With how vast of an area the sprinkles covered, it didn't take long before the entire forest was turned into a sea of fire!
Wu Shang watched the pillar of lava spear through Bai Yunfei's position with a satisfied smile on his face. He could barely sense the chaotic—but weakening—aura of Bai Yunfei and was slightly impressed that Bai Yunfei was even able to endure for so long. He was still sure that Bai Yunfei's barrier would soon collapse, and his life would be extinguished.
Another trill from behind caused Wu Shang to turn a frosty eye towards the source, "You're noisy!!"
He sent another powerful soul attack at Xiao Qi while also blocking the one sent at him. Evading the Spatial Edges sent at him, he whipped his left hand upwards to send a flame blade towards Xiao Qi!
With how injured he was, Xiao Qi's soul attack was no match for Wu Shang. And with how the Spatial Edges took a good amount of soulforce from him, Xiao Qi was barely able to defend himself from the blade of fire sent at him with his wings.
This time the Wind and Lightning Feathers protected Xiao Qi from the brunt of the attack. The blade of fire exploded and sent Xiao Qi tumbling to the ground!
With Xiao Qi temporarily out of the battle, Wu Shang didn't care to pay attention to him. Killing Xiao Qi wouldn't do, since he wanted him alive to give to the Beast Taming School later. A class seven soulbeast with a space affinity—even if contracted—was a prize the Beast Taming School would gladly pay a large sum for.
But first he had to make sure that Bai Yunfei was dead before he took Xiao Qi and left. They were a decent ways away from the Capital, but such a commotion near their borders would surely catch the eyes of the many Soul Kings there. If any of them decided to come over and check, then there'd be a great deal of trouble.
The moment he turned to look at where Bai Yunfei was, his eyebrows suddenly perked upwards in surprise. Somehow, Bai Yunfei's soulforce had spiked yet again while still protecting himself within the maelstrom of fire and lava!!
Wu Shang narrowed his eyes to look closely and think about the situation. "A meaningless struggle. Even if you sacrifice your essence fireseed, you'll only have strength for one short moment. You are like the final rays of light the sun brings, you cannot escape death!!"
What Bai Yunfei was doing right now could actually be said to be similar to being the final rays of the sun!
The Cataclysmic Seal's barrier was the only thing protecting Bai Yunfei when the 'Fake Dual Dragon Burst' from Wu Shang's 'Replicating Flames' hit. Given only a short time to breathe, Bai Yunfei was now backed into a corner.
He had never thought that he'd be hit with the Dual Dragon Burst—even if it wasn't the true version of it….
Countless waves of elemental fire pulsated and lashed out with destructive force against his barrier. It destroyed everything else within the area they covered, and even the earthen barrier around him was starting to 'melt'. He had already all his soulforce into the barrier, but Bai Yunfei knew the barrier wouldn't be able to hold on for much longer.
In a short few seconds, Bai Yunfei's soulforce had already depleted by two-thirds! In light of that, Bai Yunfei would most likely succumb to the Fake Dual Dragon Burst!
"Damn!" Bai Yunfei gritted his teeth in frustration. Calling upon the stockpiled soulforce in the Violet Soul Ring, he managed to send some more soulforce into his barrier to hopefully reinforce it long enough to make it through this ordeal.
A pained cry from Xiao Qi made its way to his ears during this time. At the same time, he felt Xiao Qi's aura drop drastically.
"Xiao Qi!!" Bai Yunfei cried out to himself, but before he could do anything, the area beneath his feet rumbled dangerously!
A moment after, the pillar of fire completely enveloped him and the barrier!
At first stuck in the middle of a maelstrom of fire, there was now a pillar of lava on him!
There was a popping sound as the earthen barrier suddenly collapsed!
Countless streams of elemental fire immediately covered Bai Yunfei!
All Bai Yunfei could see around him was red. Like being submerged in water, Bai Yunfei felt it hard to move with his arms and legs having some sort of force moving against them.
The elemental fire was trying to devour away at his body, but the essence fireseed within Bai Yunfei's body was exporting a large amount of elemental fire itself to serve as a layer of protection just two centimeters over his skin to prevent the elemental fire to get across.
Unfortunately for him, the elemental fire only grew stronger the more it tried, and soon, Bai Yunfei could feel some parts of his final protection start to give.
"So….in the end I couldn't beat a mid-stage Soul King after all? Ironic that someone like me who depended on soul armaments and chance was finally beaten with ease by a person with two soul skills…..
"Is this how I die then? Dying like how some of my enemies died before, being burned to cinders….
"In the end, I was still too weak!! If I was only just a little stronger. Just a little stronger…."
"I…..I don't want to die!"
Despair was settling in on Bai Yunfei's face now. But it seemed that he was really on the verge of death!
He was already in berserk mode, which was his strongest state, there was no more powerups from here!
He could hear Xiao Qi's faint chirps, and through their soul bond, Bai Yunfei could feel Xiao Qi's aura weaken again as if struck by another attack. He could feel the many emotions Xiao Qi was feeling—anger, shock, panic, and concern—Xiao Qi was trying with all his might to continue fighting, fighting as if he'd die if he stopped.
Bai Yunfei wanted to say something to him through their bond, but already Bai Yunfei's mind was starting to fade. He couldn't do it.
"What a joke! How can I die here? I won't die—I still have so many things I haven't done yet. I can't die, I won't die!!"
Clamping down on his tongue strong enough to draw blood, Bai Yunfei snapped his eyes open with renewed life.
Circulating the remaining soulforce in his body, Bai Yunfei began to think of a plan only a desperate madman would do—if he couldn't block it, he'd absorb it!!
"Bang!" There was a light cracking sound as the final protection Bai Yunfei had disappeared, allowing for the seemingly endless amount of elemental fire to devour at his body!!
His clothes were the first to go. They burned to ashes and then to nothingness a moment later. Now without any obstruction, the elemental fire began to enter Bai Yunfei's body!
From all over, Bai Yunfei was beset with elemental fire. Every single inch of Bai Yunfei's body seemed as if it was being burned….No—every single cell in his body felt like it had been doused with gas and was starting to burn his body from the inside out!
A pain-filled cry erupted from Bai Yunfei's mouth before stopping almost straight away when the elemental fire came pouring into his body through his mouth!
With how fast and hard the pain was hitting him, Bai Yunfei felt numb all over his body. It was as if his body wasn't his own anymore. Cracks were starting to form and fire were starting to seep through, but Bai Yunfei didn't even seem to notice that….
A moment later, his clarity suddenly came back as he felt the influx of elemental fire start to pour into his body and start to destroy everything inside on its way towards his origin acupoint where the only thing left to fend off the intruders were.
But with the berserk mode meaning both his essence fireseeds were at their strongest, the two fireseeds were trying their best to break apart this flow of elemental fire and absorb it. Bai Yunfei's origin acupoint was like a bottomless hole with his body constantly taking in the elemental fire to be absorbed, hence why his body was able to handle it so far.
But there was just far too much elemental fire to absorb. It was a futile attempt to even try, but Bai Yunfei had decided to do so. After a while, Bai Yunfei felt like his heart was starting to bulge a bit and the pain of his organs being burned was starting to reach his heart.
The feeling 'death' was getting closer and closer. Bai Yunfei could already feel his soul start to melt away and his own lifeforce start to drip. Parts of his body was starting to fail, and it felt like any second now, he'd be blown apart and the rest of his body burned to cinders…..
From within Bai Yunfei's body, he heard something seemingly shatter. It wasn't his body, but his…..essence fireseed!
Erupting again with a cry of agony, both of Bai Yunfei's eyes began to shine with a furious beam of light. As if given the signal to be renewed in life, his body began to spike in energy!
It was said those that were about to die would have one final spurt of strength like the final rays of sunlight before the sun set. Was….Bai Yunfei going through such a phase like that?!