Jiang Yong cupped his fists with the utmost respect, but Ye Zichen simply laughed. “Brother Jiang, you’re exaggerating. If not for Queen Murong supplying you with a constant stream of divine power, by the time I came up with a solution, it might have already been too late.”
“Murong?” Jiang Yong couldn’t help but look behind him. Murong Xue’s face was inexplicably red.
However, she simply snorted and smiled coldly. “Don’t overthink things. I was just worried that if you died, your family would make trouble for him.”
“That won’t happen, of course it won’t!” Jiang Yong grinned and laughed out loud. “They won’t simply ‘not make trouble for you.’ Once we get back to the academy, I’ll even contact my family and have them send yours a marriage proposal. I’ll keep that cloth you gave me as a symbol of our bond.”
“Scram!” A fireball manifested in Murong Xue’s hand, which she tossed at Jiang Yong.
He leaped into the air, and the fireball….
“Waaah!” Li Hu scrambled off the group and dashed a dozen or so meters. The fireball had set his entire body on fire!
He howled and ran in circles around the altar. Murong Xue watched in shock and covered her mouth. She never would have guessed her attack would hit Li Hu instead!
“Water! Water! Water!” The others hurriedly extinguished the flames. Ye Zichen sighed exasperatedly, waved his hands, and condensed a beam of water which splashed onto Li Hu.
The fire went out.
Li Hu stood there, burnt black like an overcooked chicken. The fire had burnt his already spare hairs to a crisp, and most of his clothes were burnt to cinders.
If you drew in close, you could faintly smell grilled meat.
“Who did this to me?” After a moment’s silence, Li Hu reacted like he was a cat and someone had stepped on his tail. It was as if he’d exploded with rage!
“It was me.” Murong Xue walked over calmly. When Li Hu saw it was Queen Murong, he wilted, and his fury vanished.
“So it was you! No problem, a bit of burning is fine, great, even!” said Li Hu.
The stark change in his demeanor left the others speechless. They couldn’t help but think to themselves, This guy really has no bottom line.
Murong Xue covered her mouth and chuckled at Li Hu’s pitiful appearance, then bowed. “I’m sorry. I accidentally burned you, so I’d like to offer you a sincere apology.”
“Hey, it’s no big deal!” Li Hu let out a few dry laughs and scratched his head.
Murong Xue’s gaze inexplicably landed on a certain important part of his. She examined it briefly and said, “Since it’s no big deal, how long do you plan to flash us? Don’t think that just because you have the ‘capital,’ you can do whatever you want. Haven’t you noticed that my association’s golden flowers don’t dare so much as look at you?”
Li Hu only then realized that his bottom half was uncovered. No wonder he’d felt a breeze down below...
He went bright red, covered his nethers, and rushed to the side to change. Murong Xue glanced at Jiang Yong.
“What’s there worth looking at it?” he said. “My ‘capital’ is far more impressive!”
“Oh,” said Murong Xue flat. With that, she ignored him. Her cavalier attitude left Jiang Yong feeling deeply wronged.
“I’ll let you see it for yourself one of these,” he murmured through clenched teeth.
Luo Zi took out a set of spare clothes. Once Li Hu got dressed, the team gathered around the altar.
“Pan Sheng, please disperse the formation,” said Ye Zichen.
Pan Sheng looked at him in bewilderment, so Ye Zichen pointed at the accumulated smog and said, “The death qi and smog are all gathering here. Placing a formation here will obstruct the absorption process, but it can’t stop the smog and qi from gathering. Look outside the barrier; the smog is condensing out there, and it’ll only get denser. If things go on like this, we won’t be able to leave.”
“But isn’t the smog poisonous?”
“Didn’t Xue Mo give you an antidote earlier? There shouldn’t be any problem with her medicine.” Pan Sheng glanced at Jong Yong, who nodded.
“Barrier!” Everyone held their breath as Pan Sheng dispersed his formation. Without his barrier in the way, the gathered smog rushed madly into the altar’s pillars. Perhaps due to the sudden onrush, cyclones formed around the stone pillars.
“It’ll be difficult to destroy the altar with our power. What should we do? Should we keep investigating or return to the academy?” Jiang Yong looked at the cyclones and knit his brows. “It’s not that I want to give up halfway through, but I really don’t think we can carry on like this.”
“Actually, we’ve already completed our investigation,” chuckled Ye Zichen. The others looked at him in confusion. He narrowed his eyes, which glinted with sharp light. “If I’m not mistaken, demons were involved in these people’s deaths.”
“Why do you say that?” asked Xue Mo.
“I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve gone toe-to-toe with the demons several times, and am deeply, deeply familiar with everything about them.” Ye Zichen’s eyes flashed with gold light. He pointed above at the smog and said, “When we first got here, I sensed something familiar about the purple smog, but now I’m certain. This smog is actually miasma, a type of poison that only abyssal demons can produce.
“Also, about the Subterranean Beasts just now. Why did Jiang Yong and Li Hu faint, but not the rest of us? The only thing they had in common was that they were both covered in buckets of blood. The pills I gave them are used to expel demonic miasma, not normal poison.”
When they recalled the situation earlier, things were exactly as Ye Zichen said. Only the two axe-wielders got governed in blood, while the others remained spotless.
“But what does that have to do with anything?” asked Li Hu. “Subterranean Beasts are yao!”
Ye Zichen smiled flatly. Suddenly, Murong Xue, Jiang Xue, Xue Mo, and Chen Guangfa’s gazes grew incomparably solemn. The two flowers of the Appearance Association furrowed their brows as well.
Only Li Hu stood there, staring at his silent companions in wide-eyed ignorance.
“What’s going on? Why aren’t any of you saying anything?” he said uneasily.
“Brother Ye, are you certain about your conclusions?” asked Jiang Yong.
“I can’t quite believe it,” said Murong Xue.
“That isn’t possible, is it?” asked Xue Mo.
The others in the group were ignoring Li Hu completely. He stared at them in bewilderment, but none of them explained.
“I’m at least eighty percent certain,” said Ye Zichen confidently.
Jiang Yong slammed his fists against a stone pillar, his gaze sharp and dangerous. “If that’s really the case, we’re in for huge trouble.”
“It will be a problem, yes.” Murong Xue nodded. “More importantly, it would mean that yao and demons have joined forces to seize god race territory without any of us noticing it!”
“Yes, that really is a problem.”
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