Bai Yunfei wasn’t wrong in thinking that the battle was over and he was the victor. All the Soul Kings from the Qin were more-or-less dead, but…there was still patriarch Qin!
The one who was beyond the realm of a Soul King. The terrifying Half-emperor!
He had only a moment to sigh to himself before patriarch Qin’s aura made its way towards him to lock him in place in a prison of fear!
Patriarch Qin was locked onto him!!
Several kilometers west of this place, the skies in that area seemed to be constantly on fire with the amount of elemental fire in place. It was like some kind of giant beast made completely from fire was trying to burn everything around it!
The soulforce within the area was stifling enough, but the spread of the flames was so quick that it had already traveled five kilometers within moments!
The very edge of the flames was just shy of a few thousand steps away from Bai Yunfei now. A giant arm made completely from the fire formed from it to reach out and smash Bai Yunfei to pieces!
In the face of the giant hand—or even just a single finger—Bai Yunfei was basically the size of a small fly. It felt like any second now, he’d be crushed to death just like a fly!
Bai Yunfei’s mind was paralyzed with fear. He was nearly close to crying out in his fear as well, but then his senses caught back up to him. The Cataclysmic Seal immediately flew up above his head to protect him while he prepared a few hand seals…
While the Cataclysmic Seal was expanding in size and Bai Yunfei was preparing for the next step, a sneer echoed across the skies!
A black light shot forth from the western skies to make contact with the sea of flames. The world tremored as the two lights smashed against each other. Like the wind, the black light swirled around the giant fiery arm to engulf it!
The black tornado and fiery arm were blown apart shortly afterward, and Bai Yunfei was treated to the sight of the skies mixing with both colors. The space in the middle where the two elements collided were warping inwards on itself as if space itself was threatening to destabilize!
Bai Yunfei roared out loud. His hand called the Cataclysmic Seal to get in between him and the space in front of him as he called for Xiao Qi, Jing Mingfeng, and Xiao Nan to get as far away from the place as quickly as possible.
On the outside, everyone could only see a tornado of black and red light ‘coil’ around each other as if fighting each other for dominance.
Fortunately enough for Bai Yunfei, the killing intent that had locked onto him earlier was gone, so he could sigh in relief yet again as he relished in the feeling of ‘escaping from death’...
“I wonder if I’d have been able to survive ‘that’ energy if it hit me…”
He couldn’t help but think about the scenario if he wasn’t saved. He didn’t actually want to find out though and resolved to get as far away from this place as possible.
A furious red-eyed patriarch Qin stood in the middle of the fiery tornado. He was as skinny as a corpse and deranged looking with how his arms were unceasingly shooting flames to coil around the figure in black in front of him.
The figure in black was Jing Wuying. He had a halo of black light circling around him, cloaking him like he was a reaper traveling through the night. It almost seemed as if he was one with the darkness with how easily he blended in with the darkness. Not even his aura could be substantially felt when scanned with soulsense. It was only because of the fire and its direct contrast to his black figure that made his figure noticeable in the day.
In his right hand was an especially black-colored dagger. Its edge was slightly crooked with one side of it having a rather spooky-looking barb. But the most peculiar part of the dagger was the hilt of the dagger where several smaller blades could be seen connected to it by strands of black-silk that seemed to almost float in the air.
Jing Wuying had an especially serious look on his face in direct contrast to the deranged one on patriarch Qin’s face. The only thing he was doing was defending against the elemental fire coming at him. Retaliation wasn’t even something he was bothering to consider.
Patriarch Qin really did look like he was about to go crazy. Never could he possibly imagine that so many unexpected developments could happen today!
He only needed a few weeks to be in the most optimal state to try to breakthrough. But Jing Wuying chose now of all times to attack, and the Qin had no choice but to risk outing themselves to the world in order to sacrifice everyone they could get their hands on to hasten his breakthrough process.
The method he was using to try and become a Soul Emperor was the Soul Fusing Array. Its original purpose was to gather the soul energy of all the departed spirits underneath the earth to turn into processed energy that a soul cultivator could use to improve.
The ‘soul’ was something that the majority of the world deemed as something ‘intangible’. Even the more specialized soul cultivators who studied the soul only knew to improve their soul as much as they could. But none of them could probably give a reason why this was effective other than saying ‘it works’.
When a soul cultivator or soulbeast died, their souls would dissipate. That was something that was true for all.
But the death of a person also actually meant leaving behind an aspect of the soul in the world. The energy left behind was known to most as ‘decaying aura’ and would gradually disappear with time. Decaying aura could be guided and pulled given the proper abundance of elemental energy and dissipate in said places. Generally said, these areas of high elemental energy were deep within the earth, so the energy of the departed would gather there.
And so the Soul Fusing Array was something that even ordinary soul cultivators could use to make use of the soul left behind from the decaying aura.
Naturally, the mines was an ideal spot to place the Soul Fusing Array in. The patriarch had already been locked away in training to take in the remnant energy of the decaying aura even before he knew about the Soul Fusing Array with how ideal it was for his training.
In time though, the amount of energy grew less and less and the patriarch started to worry about his training.
That was when the Qin came across something that could help the patriarch. The Soul Fusing Array which could take in the souls of the departed; a new source of energy the patriarch could partake in! This was a huge benefit for him!
That was also when rumors of people going missing due to a mysterious beast started to make its rounds in the mines.
If they said that the Soul Fusing Array was meant to take the souls of those who died to empower the user, then the wanton killing of soul cultivators would definitely give rise to a lot of opposition. The world would never allow such a perverse thing to exist, and the Qin would definitely be fought against by a coalition of people for the sake of safety.
When he resolved to have all the miners brought to him and sacrificed, patriarch Qin figured that it’d be fine as long as he became a Soul Emperor. Should he be successful, he could probably say that those who died had died because of their close proximity when he broke through. The dead told no tales, and no one would be any wiser to the actual truth but the Qin themselves. Even if someone did think this was suspicious, the patriarch could have the person killed and the news suppressed before it could become something major.
It wasn’t half-bad of a plan, but too bad for him things weren’t going as he expected!
Jing Wuying was already something that was too far beyond his expectations! He never thought that Jing Wuying would appear in the final moments when he was about to breakthrough!
But even more infuriating was the fact that Jing Wuying didn’t simply attack him during that moment. He was…stealing the energy he needed to breakthrough!
Patriarch Qin hadn’t the chance to become a Soul Emperor prior to his knowledge of the Soul Fusing Array. He was relying on the array for the one chance to absorb enough energy to breakthrough. The fact that Jing Wuying was coming in to steal that energy was the same thing as forever ruining his chances to breakthrough!
Patriarch Qin hadn’t the ability to stop Jing Wuying from doing that. The only thing he could do was try and absorb as much of the energy as he could to hopefully become strong enough to fend off against Jing Wuying!
The energy the two were fighting for was what Xiao Fang had said to be an ‘incomplete’ form of the Emperor’s Phenomena. The resulting moments after their initial struggle for the energy led to the two people entering a stalemate.
Neither persons were moving even a finger as they tried to take in as much energy as they could. They were trying to get as strong as possible in a limited amount of time. Neither of the two had any second to spare for any other battle that was taking place.
Patriarch Qin never expected to wake up a few minutes later to a strong amount of energy coming from where his family should’ve been. And by the time he was rushing out to see what was the matter, Qin He and the others were already…dead or heavily wounded!
The matter was so surprising that even patriarch Qin was at a loss for what to do! Not even someone as strong as he knew what to do in this case. He nearly thought he was dreaming, in fact!
In the end…he couldn’t do anything but burst out into a berserk form of anger!