HSSB142: With preparation comes assurance
Lin Zhou spread out his palm before him. Within it lay a purple orb the size of an egg, shining with a dazzling radiance.
The purple orb levitated into the air, revolving around Lin Zhou, a shocking aura emanating from within.
This was precisely the manifestation of Old Man Great Sorrow’s Sacred Artifact fragment that he'd previously collected.
Lin Zhou kept the Sacred Artifact fragment that was in the form of a purple orb, now taking a final look at the illusory scene.
Within it, the figures of Yan Zhaoge and Ah Hu could no longer be seen. There was only an all-encompassing world of flames, lava spurting out everywhere.
The core of the spirit formation where Lin Zhou was currently positioned also gradually began showing signs of collapse at this point.
On the side with the flames, the blazing fire grew more and more intense, the icy coldness on his other side attempting to sustain the equilibrium with all its might.
A hint of a smile was revealed at the corners of Lin Zhou’s mouth as, stomping downwards, his foot landed heavily on the core spirit patterns of the spirit formation beneath him.
The spirit patterns shattered, cracks spreading outwards in all directions as the entire spirit pattern became unstable, the space where the icy coldness was also beginning to collapse.
With the formation base collapsing, the effects played out on Old Man Great Sorrow’s entire residence. Not only did the underground lava world where his real coffin was located experience heaven-turning, earth-shaking changes, the palace of ice above also started collapsing!
In the outermost region which was enveloped by the cold fog bewildering formation, the cold fog seemed to roil like lake water, temperamental and violent.
Within the fake tomb, that ice coffin suddenly flickered with a dazzling, bright light as the hidden mechanisms installed within activated, a destructive force beginning to spread outwards in all directions.
As the fierce flames raged within the underground lava world and the drastic changes that had suddenly began unfolding in the ice palace upstairs, they began merging and moving in sync.
The spirit formation that Old Man Great Sorrow had left behind began entirely collapsing and circulating in reverse, the originally smooth channel of power that had flowed within turning wild and crazed, erupting with a shocking force.
The ice and fire intermingled, resembling hell.
Lin Zhou also didn’t dare to remain there any further. He retreated and left the spirit formation, making use of its last vestiges of stable power before it collapsed to open a tunnel, allowing himself to retreat back to the surface.
Currently, within the underground lava world, the gigantic rock on which Yan Zhaoge and Ah Hu currently stood within the river of lava was already beginning to show signs of collapse.
Blazing fire spewed and flaming rocks flew, with it seeming like the sky was going to collapse and the earth shatter.
Ah Hu was rendered wide-eyed and speechless, “Without coming into contact with the coffin, only having taken away the Sacred Artifact fragment, there shouldn’t be this type of change occurring, right?”
Yan Zhaoge let out a long breath, “If the flow of the spirit formation were reversed at its core, that would be possible.”
“Such a calamitous power- even many Martial Grandmasters would be unable to withstand it!” Ah Hu had a pained expression on his face.
Yan Zhaoge shook his head, “The ancients speak true: With preparation comes assurance.”
Saying thus, Yan Zhaoge raised his left hand. On his left wrist was tied a thin rope, from which in turn dangled a rhombic-shaped crystal, crimson as fire, resembling a small shuttle.
Yan Zhaoge took it off, infusing his aura-qi within. The small crystal instantly skyrocketed in size, ending up around two feet long and around the size and thickness of a wrist.
It was precisely Yan Zhaoge’s homemade Underground Splitting Shuttle!
Yan Zhaoge tapped gently on the Underground Splitting Shuttle with his fingers, “Under such circumstances, two perfectly undamaged low-grade spiritual artifacts would not be of any help whatsoever. However, this thing’s different.”
“In undertaking dangerous treasure-seeking expeditions, this is a necessary tool.”
The two foot long Underground Splitting Shuttle increased in size once more, instantly transforming into a crystalline shuttle the size of a small boat.
Ah Hu looked on stunned as Yan Zhaoge grabbed him, the two entering the Underground Splitting Shuttle together.
The next moment, the Underground Splitting Shuttle transformed into a fiery red streak of light, plunging directly into the river of lava on its own accord.
Within the Underground Splitting Shuttle, only now did Ah Hu manage to get his lower jaw that had nearly dropped to the ground back in place, as he stroked it upon witnessing the scene before him, “Young Master, this is…the real use of the Underground Splitting Shuttle?”
Yan Zhaoge looked as though it was only normal, “Underground Splitting Shuttle-it is just as its name implies. What else would you think it would be for?”
Ah Hu scratched the back of his head, “I thought that it was just a tool which could create a path or scout ahead, I had never thought that it would be able to take passengers.”
“Saying that it is for creating a path or scouting ahead is actually also not wrong,” Yan Zhaoge lifted his head as, separated from them by faint crystalline layer, the surging, blazing lava rampaged, seeming as though it could damage the Underground Splitting Shuttle at any time.
Yan Zhaoge smacked his lips, “Such an environment is still a little dangerous. Given enough time, the Underground Splitting Shuttle would also begin to crack and break apart.”
Shocked, Ah Hu was just about to ask what to do when, through the crystalline layer, the surroundings around them suddenly changed, the light of fire dimming as all was pitch black.
Gazing back, the crimson blazing fire as well as lava were still visible not far behind them.
Apparently, the Underground Splitting Shuttle had penetrated deeply into the rock layer, leaving that world of fiercely blazing flames and escaping from all that blazing hot lava.
Yan Zhaoge said, “Luckily, it was originally not meant purely for defensive purposes, but for breaking out from encirclement and escaping.”
“However, with this, the Underground Splitting Shuttle will inevitably suffer a huge blow to its vitality. Even with the Internal Crystal Furnace to restore it, if we wish for its efficacy to be as good as it currently is, we would have to wait some time.”
As he said thus, Yan Zhaoge looked towards the front as though in a bit of a trance.
Ah Hu finally let out a breath of relief, finally able to relax his greatly tensed heart.
Having escaped safely, he suddenly thought of something else, as he ground his teeth and said, “Young Master, this Lin Zhou has some methods ah!”
Yan Zhaoge shrugged, “Fighting for Sacred Artifact fragments, we all rely on our own various methods.”
“Generally speaking, having gained the Sacred Artifact fragment, it would be fine to just leave. Not having met face-to-face or any casualties or enmity having sprung up, there would be no need to render a competitor dead.”
“However, my situation is a little special, even disregarding the fact that the Sacred Sun Clan and the Heavenly Thunder Hall are allies.”
“Infinite Boundless Mountain leaked out a little about the source of the Thunder Element Revival Art, and knowing that it was me who gave Infinite Boundless Mountain the idea to snatch their Thunderbolt Soul Jade, the Heavenly Thunder Hall would naturally wish to see me dead.”
“In recent days, our Heaven-Water-Mountain tripartite alliance and their Thunder-Fire alliance have basically already had a falling out for good. As a direct disciple of the Heavenly Thunder Hall, upon killing me and returning, not only would he not be punished, he would also have performed a huge merit.”
Yan Zhaoge lowered his voice, an obscure light flashing within, “Perhaps, he has an even more personal reason, hoping to erase my existence?”
Ah Hu grimaced, “But how could he have been so fast? We didn’t catch a glimpse of him from start to end, but not much time actually passed between when the spirit formation activated and when we entered it.”
Yan Zhaoge smiled carelessly, “Perhaps there are people above people, heavens above heavens?”
He extended his hands, pressing them onto the protective wall of the Underground Splitting Shuttle, infusing his own aura-qi within.
The direction in which the Underground Splitting Shuttle was headed changed slightly.
Ah Hu looked over curiously, “Young Master?”
Yan Zhaoge closed his eyes, raising his spiritual awareness to its peak, “In specifically choosing the East Strangling Snow Mountain to set up house in secret, Old Man Great Sorrow might not have done so without other reasons.”
“Do you still remember the words of flame on the stone coffin; the ones that did not dissipate despite the ravages of time?”
Ah Hu answered, “It seemed to be ‘alas’, holding the feelings of extreme regret.”
Yan Zhaoge asked, “What do you think Old Man Great Sorrow was regretting before his death?”
“He was regretting that he had obtained the Sacred Artifact fragment, yet still had to go into hiding, piling up with dust alongside his treasure?” Ah Hu scratched his head, saying somewhat hesitantly.
Closing his eyes, Yan Zhaoge lifted his hand and swiftly swiped within the Underground Splitting Shuttle, the resulting patterns that appeared actually similar to that of Old Man Great Sorrow’s spirit formation.
“What you say is a possibility, but there still exists another possibility,” Yan Zhaoge said slowly, “He was regretting his aspiration that he was unable to fulfill, his plan that had yet to succeed; that instead, his full longevity set to pass, could only live on in the form of regret.”
As these patterns of his were born, the Underground Splitting Shuttle began to experience an obvious change in direction as it moved forward unceasingly.
After a moment, the world before Yan Zhaoge’s and Ah Hu’s eyes suddenly lit up, as the dark underground world before them, suddenly exploded with light!
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