Flame Volcano collapsed, resulting in the tumbling descent of many millstone-sized stones. The earth rumbled endlessly as ghastly, wicked clouds of smoke began to emerge from each hole.
The earth was torn apart as one fissure appeared after another. The plaza began to resemble a giant fragmented rock as cracks formed.
Qin Lie sat atop the plaza situated halfway up the shaking mountain. Gathering all of his mind consciousness, he permeated it into each and every spirit pattern pillar.
Xue Li had told him the method for moving these spirit pattern pillars. In fact, it was extremely simple. All he had to do was send his soul consciousness into each spirit pattern pillar. Then, he would be able to control each pillar’s “soul”—its spirit diagram.
By inciting the spirit diagram, he would be able to control the respective spirit pattern pillar. This allowed him to release the various powers of the spirit pattern pillars.
To put it simply, these twelve spirit pattern pillars were a single unique spirit artifact!
Song Siyuan’s Silver Armored Giant Alligator emerged beside the plaza with no one noticing when it had arrived.
At this time, Song Siyuan and Xie Zhizhang were both mounted on the Silver Armored Giant Alligator. They intently stared at all of the holes in the ground.
Zhan Tianyi was on his Green Hunting Bat. The bat circled high in the sky, constantly emitting ear piercing low sounds.
Regardless of whether it was the Silver Armored Giant Alligator or the Green Hunting Bat, they both felt an inexplicable sense of evil coming from the holes which exuded grayish-white smoke. The evil fluctuations which emerged caused both of these spirit beasts to be constantly anxious.
The fissures running through Flame Volcano became increasingly more severe. All of the palaces which had been constructed atop the mountain peaks by Armament Sect’s inner sect came crashing down at this time.
Armament City was already lifeless. All of the living practitioners had long since withdrawn.
Yet another spirit pattern pillar flew up, exposing yet another extremely deep hole. The extremely powerful tremor caused Qin Lie’s body to suddenly shake.
Two lines of blood emerged from the corners of Qin Lie’s mouth. The light in Qin Lie’s eyes disappeared as he suddenly shouted, “I can’t suppress it any longer!”
“Bang bang bang!”
From within the depths of the earth, a drum-like roar emanated out. One angry howl after another loudly echoed through the emptiness.
Yet another spirit pattern pillar charged into the sky!
The expressions of Song Siyuan and the other two greatly changed. Xie Zhizhang shouted, “Kid, come here!”
At this moment, all of the spirit pattern pillars had flown into the sky where they were suspended in midair and released one powerful fluctuation after another.
However, these fluctuations were extremely tempestuous and violent. Clearly, they were not all under Qin Lie’s control—he didn’t have enough power.
“The pillar which I was imprisoned in is the central one. As long as you are able to reach the center of it with your soul and activate it, the other spirit pattern pillars will naturally be suppressed and enter your spatial ring…” Xue Li’s words from earlier quickly flickered through Qin Lie’s mind once again.
Qin Lie looked towards the twelfth spirit pattern pillar.
The inscription atop this pillar depicted the primitive world. It was the spirit pattern pillar which Xue Li had originally been imprisoned in. Under Qin Lie’s fixated gaze, it faintly trembled in the air.
His mind consciousness was like a thread of spirit as it completely traced along the ancient glyphs depicted on the body of the pillar. Subsequently, a wisp of his soul immediately entered inside.
Within the boundless yet small space were twelve seemingly real but illusory spirit pattern pillars. In quick succession, rays of blinding, seven-colored light shot out from the base of each pillar, converging at a point in the center of them…
Where they came together was the spot where Xue Li had originally been sitting when he was restricted by the heavy chains.
That wisp of Qin Lie’s soul was like miniature duplicate of himself as it followed Xue Li’s example and sat down where the twelve rays of light intersected.
Tiny memory fragments, containing countless obscure, indistinguishable, complex, and profound symbols, in addition to a stream of flashing orbs of light simultaneously surged into the thread of soul like a wave of consciousness.
Qin Lie’s physical body began to intensely convulse.
At this moment, he suddenly began to feel some kind of mystical sensation: he had become the soul of the artifact!
He had become the soul of the twelve spirit pattern pillars!
He could sense the small differences between each spirit pattern pillar as well as the power stored within each one. Furthermore, he could feel the secrets hidden deep inside the pillars, and… the wondrous array which had been purposefully blocked!
His soul shouted a single word as it sat at the intersection of the twelve rays of light, using his thoughts to express his intention.
Extremely magically, the glow of the twelve spirit pattern pillars suspended above his head all began to diminish as each pillar, around ten or so meters tall, began to shrink and quickly miniaturize.
In the short span of five breaths, the twelve spirit pattern pillars had each shrunk, now the length of his arm, and could be easily stored in his spatial ring.
Qin Lie’s eyes brightened. As per Xie Zhizhang’s waving and shouting, he immediately rushed towards the Silver Armored Giant Alligator and climbed on.
“Where are those twelve pillars?” asked Xie Zhizhang in shock.
“They’ve been temporarily stored,” replied Qin Lie.
Song Siyuan and Zhan Tianyi’s eyes showed traces of shock as they also subconsciously looked at Qin Lie in bewilderment.
“Crack crack crack! Crack crack crack!”
The earth began to split even faster. The twelve holes created by the spirit pattern pillars flying into the sky began to grow larger at a rapid pace.
Intense, demonic flames; odd, ink-black smoke; and foul, reddish-brown water began to spew out from each hole.
Copious white bones were contained within the foul water. There were also the cocoons of insects and unbelievably large eggs of unnamed beasts.
“Demon Armor Insect cocoons! Those are the eggs of Spirit Corroding Beasts!” shrieked Zhan Tianyi.
“Shit!” Song Siyuan’s expression also shifted. He immediately reached out and patted his Silver Armored Giant Alligator.
The Silver Armored Giant Alligator lowly roared as it turned around and quickly fled. From afar, it looked like a mountain of flesh was writhing.
Zhan Tianyi also rode away on his Green Hunting Bat.
Amidst the foul, reddish-brown water that was spewing out, the bug cocoons continuously grew in size. As for those unbelievably large eggs, the sound of hearts beating began to emanate out from within them.
Seated atop the Silver Armored Giant Alligator, Qin Lie looked back at Armament Sect which was gradually disappearing into the distance and at the foul water which spewed out from within the holes. He then peered at the bug cocoons and giant eggs and couldn’t help but ask, “The cocoons of Demon Armor Insects and the eggs of Spirit Corroding Beasts, what do they do?”
“You’ll find out very soon,” answered said Xie Zhizhang, sighing.
“Crack! Crack! Crack!”
One bug cocoon after another burst open. Afterwards, one strange-looking, thumb-sized, winged bug after another emerged and loudly hissed as they flapped their wings as they took flight. Their bodies were covered in a blackish-red shell.
These bugs were called Demon Armored Insects. After taking to the skies, they all began to make swallowing motions as if they were swallowing air.
Qin Lie watched from a great distance. After a while, his expression greatly changed as he exclaimed, “They are devouring all the nature spirit energy nearby?”
He could feel the spirit energy surrounding Armament Sect was rapidly thinning out as if it were disappearing.
Replacing it, dark and cold evil energy was gradually filling the area.
The sky above Armament Sect gradually turned pitch black. Everything was blocked out by the darkness. Not even the sun’s rays were able to penetrate through.
From his point of view, Qin Lie discovered that the clear skies in Armament Sect were fading away at a speed that was visible even to the naked eye. The blue sky and white clouds were all blotted out and replaced by the pitch darkness which rolled in.
The sky slowly became black…
“Those Demon Armor Insects don’t devour nature spirit energy. Instead, they convert nature spirit energy. They can turn the world’s spirit energy into the nether demonic energy of the Nether Realm!” Xie Zhizhang’s expression became increasingly severe. “Of the evil beings of the Nether Realm, the majority have bodies which are different from ours. They are unable to survive in Spirit Realm’s environment. Some cannot even withstand the light of the sun. Thus, they use Demon Armor Insects to first convert nature spirit energy into nether demonic energy. Only after the surroundings have been converted into an environment in which they can survive will they finally appear.”
“Turn the world’s spirit energy into demonic nether energy?!” Qin Lie exclaimed in askance, “Can we not exterminate the Demon Armor Insects? After killing them, won’t it become impossible for them to create nether demonic energy and thus prevent them from entering our world?”
“If it were only Demon Armor Insects, it would be easy to deal with. However, I’m afraid there is still the issue of the Spirit Corroding Beasts’ eggs…” bitterly answered Xie Zhizhang.
“Spirit Corroding Beasts are beasts of the Nether Realm. What do they do?”
“Spirit Corroding Beasts are one of the evil races of the Nether Realm. They specialize in fostering the corrosion of the earth of Spirit Realm. Spirit Corroding Beasts can continuously secrete fluids which corrode the earth. Upon permeating into the ground, these fluids will slowly corrupt and change the earth, turning it into one which is reminiscent of their favorite environment.” Xie Zhizhang sighed, then continued, “Demon Armor Insects create nether demonic energy in the sky while Spirit Corroding Beasts infect the earth. These two nether beasts, one responsible for the sky, one responsible for the earth, will slowly change the area in which they appear. Before long this place will become reminiscent of the Nether Battlefield.”
“Can’t we kill these Spirit Corroding Beasts too? These Spirit Corroding Beasts, aren’t they still in their eggs?” asked Qin Lie in doubt.
“It’s precisely because they are still in their eggs that we don’t dare approach them. Before Spirit Corroding Beasts hatch, the fluids within their shells are completely terrifying. When one of them hatches, the fluids inside will explode out. In that case… whoever touches it will promptly perish.” As Xie Zhizhang remembered events of his past, his expression turned even uglier. “We have things which we can use to deal with Demon Armor Insects and Spirit Corroding Beasts, but those things are all at the Nether Battlefield. Everything there is used as a part of the line of defense.”
“Let’s leave this area and notify the alliance of the situation here first. The Green Robed Envoy will ride his Giant Hunting Bat as quickly as he can to the Nether Battlefield and procure the things we need from there,” solemnly said Song Siyuan.
“This is all we can do,” said Xie Zhizhang, nodding his head in annoyance.
The two of them had traveled all the way to Armament Sect to assist the five forces exterminate it. They never expected that they would encounter such a series of unexpected events.
Currently, not only was Armament Sect not exterminated, they had accidently pried open an evil nether passageway and allowed the Nether Realm’s Demon Armor Insects and Spirit Corroding Beasts to surface.
The two already had no idea how they would report the results of their mission this time.
“Brother Song, can you let me take Qin Lie?” The Green Hunting Bat approached from behind, hovering by the head of the Silver Armored Giant Alligator. Zhan Tianyi continued, “My Green Hunting Bat is a flying spirit beast after all, and it is quite a bit faster than your Silver Armored Giant Alligator. I can quickly bring him to Eight Extreme Temple.”
“One step faster, one step slower, it doesn’t make much of a difference right now.” Song Siyuan snorted and said, “Furthermore, your Eight Extreme Temple is too perplexing. I’m afraid that if I hand a living person to you guys, he will eventually turn up dead.”
“So what if he’s dead?” Zhan Tianyi’s expression was indifferent. “As long as we are able to soul scour and learn what we want, we will be able to mass produce those bombs and figure out the mysteries of the spirit pattern pillars. Aren’t you guys thinking the same?”
“No. We need him alive. The senior said very clearly, only he can control the twelve spirit pattern pillars,” said Xie Zhizhang.
Listening to the conversation between the three, Qin Lie’s expression constantly shifted. He watched as the Silver Armored Giant Alligator fearfully rushed out of Armament Sect into the land outside.
He quietly touched his Eye of Frost, trying to stimulate its mysteries. Promptly, a sphere of icy-blue light suddenly began to wrap him, one layer at a time.
While Zhan Tianyi and Xie Zhizhang were arguing, Qin Lie suddenly vanished into thin air, disappearing from the back of the Silver Armored Giant Alligator.