"Run away, brother! I'll hold them off!"
"No way! I'll stall them for now, you hurry up and run!"
"Cut the crap! Do you want all of us to die here?! Don't let our third brother's death be in vain! We can make it out of here, even if it's just one of us!! Hurry up and run! I'll fight off this bastard!"
The sound of loud crying and the roars of a soulbeast could be heard deep within one of the tunnels underground. Followed by these sounds were the fierce explosion of elemental energy and soulforce clashing with one another.
A single figure turned around the corner away from the fierce fight. He had been thrown off farther away from one of the previous blows, allowing the person to run as fast as he could away from the place. As he ran, hot tears of indignation and grief rolled off his cheeks to fall onto the ground beneath him.
"Big brother, third brother…I'll definitely get revenge!! The Lords will definitely hear about this! I'll make sure the hand of justice will tear apart the crazy Qin!!"
This was a wood-type Late-stage Soul Exalt that was running away. Slapping his chest with his palm, the man was reinvigorated with a burst of energy so that he could run even faster. If he could go down one of the paths of the fork up ahead, he'd most likely be able to make it far away enough from his pursuer and increase his chance to escape…
The man was right about to charge onto the path to the right when he was forced back a step! From the darkness of the path ahead, a light-green light the shape of a palm came shooting out from it to slam into his face with the speed of lightning!
The palm connected into the Soul Exalt, propelling him into the nearby cave wall hard enough to leave behind a man-shaped crater. His hands and legs spasmed for a moment before the life of the Soul Exalt expired and went still…
It was a calm-faced Qin Shu that watched the Soul Exalt take his final breath. Standing for a moment, he watched as the man died before he turned towards the direction where the man came from.
He did not have to wait for long. Two figures—one in gold and one in violet—came speeding down the tunnels before coming to an immediate stop to bow respectfully towards Qin Shu.
"I've stopped this one. Go and capture the others." Qin Shu spoke before either of the two could greet him.
Neither of the two men minced any words. With just a single word of affirmation, the two men flashed down another tunnel to do as they were told.
Left alone in the tunnel, Qin Shu took a long look at the corpse next to him before he sighed…
"Sigh…is using such an extreme method like this truly the best way to help the patriarch succeed?"
He looked troubled at the things set in motion for his family. "There's no going back on this road," he sighed again, "all that's left to do is hope that the patriarch becomes a Soul Emperor. Our crisis will be no more when he succeeds!! If there's anyone you wish to blame, blame yourself for your misfortune. You should never have come to this mine!"
He was muttering some kind of mantra for himself as if he was trying to make himself believe in the family cause. Killing intent poured from his person once more as he stared one last time at the corpse before stalking down the path to the right.
His eyes suddenly swiveled towards the corner further down the road. He took off in one fluid motion down the path to lash out with his right hand at whomever it was there!
"It's me, cousin!!"
A terrified voice called out in response to him. Qin Shu's eyes squinted narrowly as he took notice of the voice and shifted his hand just enough to send the blade of wind slightly off towards the side to graze past the corner and into the wall.
"Qin Lang? Why are you here?"
Qin Shu looked a lot calmer at the sight of the familiar face.
It was his Peak Late-stage Soul Exalt cousin, Qin Lang. The man was bathed head to toe with blood and his left and right hands held a person practically on the verge of death in them. He had clearly just succeeded in a battle just now.
A little terrified at the blade of wind that had just barely missed him, Qin Lang took a moment to recompose himself. "I found these two just barely out of our perimeters from the eleventh section. I was just on my way back when I felt cousin's aura and came to take a look."
"Oh…" Qin Shu nodded knowingly, "I have just captured six people myself. Hand over those two and continue your work."
"Yes." Qin Lang nodded. The two people he carried were quickly thrown over to Qin Shu for him to catch with two bubbles of elemental energy. They bobbed up and down in the air behind Qin Shu as he prepared to turn around to head back for the cave.
But at that moment…!
Qin Shu had noticed something the moment when he turned around. His eyes flew wide open as he moved to protect himself with soulforce!
But his reaction was just a moment too late! A hand smoking black with light was already clutching at where his heart was!
At the deepest point of the mines where a large hall was.
The black light shining from the array the patriarch was in was already so overreaching that it was covering the areas where Qin He and the others used to stand. The group had already retreated to the other side of the cave's entrance so that only the patriarch was left in the cave.
The white sand covering the ground was a lot thicker than it was before. Just thinking about how this white sand was actually the powdered remains of people was a little terrifying, and the fact that there was so much of it was mind-boggling…
The light was already piercing into the top of the cave now. It seemed like the entire cave was now a formation of some kind with the black light acting as a powerful barrier to prevent the whirlpool of energy within it from escaping out. But even the Soul Kings waiting outside were alarmed by the amount of power being conducted in this array. Even their souls felt terrified by what was going on.
A faint black wisp was traveling around the array. Almost as if it was alive, the wisp traveled around the patriarch before it and another strand of black energy melted into his body. Wriggling almost as it traveled in, the black strands of energy was almost too horrific to look at.
The patriarch was looking eerily strange right now. His face was twitching non-stop as if he was trying his best to push down some kind of force that was trying to escape his body. The red light around his person was darkening in shade, and it seemed like it'd burst any second now…
"It has to be soon…just a little bit now…the patriarch will definitely succeed!!"
Qin He was growing more excited by the second. He was muttering non-stop to himself as he watched the patriarch go. When most of the black strands of energy were sucked into the patriarch, Qin He turned around to glare angrily at the people behind him. "What's going on? Why haven't the next group of people been brought in yet?! Hurry it up!"
An Early-stage Soul King turned to look down the tunnel as if waiting for someone to report. "They're here!" He cried out a moment later. "Qin Shu has returned, and with plenty of sacrifices!"
A near dozen people were coming towards the cave now, each of them with an unconscious person per hand and a single person leading the group from the front.
It was Qin Shu!