Translator: Silavin & Jon
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
A flicker of fire penetrated the umbrella and formed a hole in it. As the fire expanded, the hole also became larger. Besides that, the light of the umbrella swayed and rapidly became dim.
Madam Lan stared at her artifact with a gaze filled with sorrow and reluctance. This treasure was given to her by a Senior from her former Sect and it could even easily parry a High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Master’s attack. However, she had never expected that the artifact would be destroyed on this day. Compared to the Seventh-Order Sun’s True Gold she had just obtained, she wasn’t even sure whether she had made a gain or suffered a loss.
It was pointless to think about it now, however. While she was lost in her thoughts, a loud boom was heard as the umbrella exploded. The dazzling light, which was shielded earlier, filled everyone’s vision again as the scorching power permeated the hall.
Shrieks were immediately heard as the cultivators closest to the platform started burning and turned into fireballs in an instant. No matter how hard they tried, they were not able to put out the Golden Crow’s True Fire on their bodies.
The ones further away from the platform were luckier, but they also had to use all their strength to resist the expanding flames.
The World Force undulated as the different illusory phantoms of Small Universes appeared behind these cultivators.
Realising that he was in mortal danger, Yang Kai hesitated between using his Sealed World Bead, Six Fated Paths Bag, and Mountains and Rivers Bell for a moment. After making a decision, he snuck into Six Fated Paths Bag and summoned the Mountains and Rivers Bell to cover it. With two layers of protection in place, he felt much safer.
The next instant, his heart shook violently as though someone had landed a heavy blow on his chest. With his vitality churning, he felt like he was going to cough up blood, causing him to realize that the Mountains and Rivers Bell must be severely damaged, resulting in him suffering a backlash.
Fortunately, the raging Golden Crow’s True Fire lasted only ten breaths of time.
Presently, corpses could be seen lying all over the floor. Half of the Open Heaven Realm Masters had been killed, burned to death by the Golden Crow’s True Fire. As for the ones who were not dead, they were all injured and had gone completely pale.
This was the result of Madam Lan using her artifact to block the initial attack. Without the umbrella containing the raging Golden Crow’s True Fire, all of the Low-Rank cultivators would have been killed by now.
It was also thanks to her umbrella weakening the power of the Golden Crow’s True Fire that so many were still alive.
The Mid-Rank cultivators were fine, but their expressions were still filled with fear. Faced with a powerful Golden Crow, no one had the courage to confront it.
In the corner, Yang Kai quickly left the Six Fated Paths Bag and covered himself with Shadowless Veil to conceal himself again.
Fortunately, it was so chaotic in the hall just now with everyone desperate to save themselves that no one had noticed him. Otherwise, he would have been pretty conspicuous as the only Emperor Realm cultivator in this place.
After a glance, Yang Kai felt his face twitching as he appeared heartbroken. His Mountains and Rivers Bell was practically destroyed, its surface completely melted as most of its spirituality had been lost. Unless he could find someone to repair it and then nurture it for a long time, it couldn’t be activated again.
He had never expected that this Ancient Exotic Artifact, which had been by his side since his trip to the Shattered Star Sea, would be destroyed in this place. Even though he had psychologically prepared himself for it, he still felt heartbroken when he was faced with the truth.
Nevertheless, he had no other choice in that kind of situation earlier.
He wasn’t certain how powerful the Golden Crow’s True Fire would be when it reached him, so he didn’t dare to hide inside the Sealed World Bead. That was because once he did that, the Sealed World Bead would be exposed in the hall and subject to the Golden Crow’s True Fire. He couldn’t be sure whether the Sealed World Bead would be fine after it was struck by such flames. If anything happened to the bead, his medicine garden would be gone for good. Furthermore, Mu Zhu and Mu Lu were still living inside it.
Therefore, hiding inside the Six Fated Paths Bag was his best option. To be safe, he also decided to summon the Mountains and Rivers Bell and covered the bag.
Now, it seemed that his decision was right. Compared to the other injured cultivators, he was practically fine besides some backlash he had suffered after his artifact was destroyed.
The Ancient Exotic Artifact, Mountains and Rivers Bell, had reached the end of its life. Yang Kai could only console himself in such a way. However, it wasn’t the time to be sorrowful. The Golden Crow had come back to life after feigning death, so he was still in grave danger. If he couldn’t flee from this place, he would end up dead as well.
Looking around, he realised that Wei Que and Tao Rong Fang were hiding in a far corner. Despite their pale faces, they seemed to be in excellent condition as there were no injuries on their bodies.
It must have something to do with the fact that Yang Kai had warned them earlier. When the barrier around the platform was broken, everyone else charged forward, while Yang Kai, Wei Que, and Tao Rong Fang retreated. When the Golden Crow’s True Fire erupted, the people closest to the platform were the most affected, while the flame’s power weakened as it expanded.
[Should I join them?] If Yang Kai had two Open Heaven Realm Masters as his companions, he would stand a better chance of surviving.
Right after the thought flashed across his mind, a murderous intent permeated from the centre of the hall.
A horrified Yang Kai turned his head, only to see the Golden Crow standing on the platform. The beast was staring fixedly at Madam Lan with its golden eyes, its gaze filled with endless hatred.
Apparently, the beast was aware that Madam Lan had ruined its plan. If it weren’t because she had summoned that umbrella, there wouldn’t be any living people in the hall by now.
As their eyes met, Madam Lan felt as though her Soul was being drawn out of her body, causing her to shiver violently. Then, a thought suddenly flashed across her eyes.
The Golden Crow, which was standing on the platform earlier, appeared before her eyes and lightly pushed out its claw.
A terrified Madam Lan hurriedly extended her slender hand to parry the attack as the illusory phantom of her Small Universe expanded and her World Force exploded out.
A violent force swept across the hall as Madam Lan was sent flying backwards like an empty sack. While in mid-air, she coughed up blood several times, dying her robes red. The Golden Crow also staggered backwards, almost unable to support its own weight.
After flipping through the air a few times, Madam Lan agilely landed on her feet and held her chest with her hand. Despite her pale face, her eyes appeared bright as she exclaimed, “The beast is already an arrow at the end of its flight! Everyone, please assist me!”
Earlier, she couldn’t ascertain the Golden Crow’s true strength; however, after trading blows directly, she realised that the beast wasn’t as powerful as she had imagined. Even though she couldn’t defeat it on her own, it also wasn’t easy for the beast to kill her.
At that instant, it dawned on her that the Golden Crow was really dying. The reason it had feigned death was that it wanted to attract people to come over and launched a sneak attack on them, which would deliver a harsh lesson for those who coveted its treasures. It also served as a warning for other people who intended to steal its things in the future. It had to be said that the beast was truly vicious.
The beast was like a lamp that was running out of oil, and its condition was exacerbated after it expended so much energy to cast its Golden Crow’s True Fire just now.
Unfortunately, even though Madam Lan had come to that realization, the others were not aware of what was going on. Upon seeing that Madam Lan, a Sixth-Order Open Heaven Realm Master, was unable to bear the beast’s attack, and even spat blood upon impact, no one dared to move forward.
Even the other Mid-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters, Yuan Xiao Man, Ji Tian Xing, and Zhang Qi, only looked on from afar, let alone those Low-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters.
A tinge of mockery flashed across the Golden Crow’s gaze as it strode towards Madam Lan.
Madam Lan stared fixedly ahead as she bellowed, “What are you all waiting for? If I lose my life here, none of you will be safe! By then, all of you will be doomed! Rather than wait for death, why not join forces with me and deal with the beast now? Only by doing so do we stand a chance to survive!”
Upon hearing that, the Mid-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters traded nervous glances.
Usually, they wouldn’t mind sitting atop the mountain, watching the tigers fight. First Inn was truly powerful, but as long as they didn’t make a move against Madam Lan, her death would have nothing to do with them. However, if Madam Lan, who was the strongest among them, lost her life at this point, none of them would be able to face the Golden Crow. By then, just like what Madam Lan had said, they would be killed by the beast like ants.
While the Mid-Rank cultivators were still hesitating, two figures shot forward from the corner of the hall and landed beside Madam Lan. They were none other than Wei Que and Tao Rong Fang.
Wei Que said, “Madam Lan, we’ll assist you.”
Madam Lan gave him a grateful look and nodded gently, “Many thanks to you and your wife.”
Besides possessing courage, it was clear they also had trust in Madam Lan as they were the first ones to step forward at this moment.
Tao Rong Fang stole a glance at Wei Que and started blushing furiously, but she didn’t explain their relationship to Madam Lan. In her heart, she thought that even if she had to lose her life today, as long as she was together with this man she loved, it was worth it.
“Big Sister Lan, I’ll help you as well!” Yuan Xiao Man shouted and darted towards them.
Old Hong, Zhang Qi, and Ji Tian Xing nodded before they appeared beside Madam Lan.
With the help of the Mid-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters, Madam Lan set her mind at ease and wore a smile, “You’ll not regret your decision.”
Old Hong shot a cold glance over those Low-Rank cultivators who were still hesitating, then he said grimly, “If you want to survive, come and help us defeat this beast. If any one of you dares to play tricks, this Old Master will kill you even if the Golden Crow doesn’t!”
It had to be said that deadly threats were more useful than benevolent requests at this point. At the very least, after Old Hong threatened them, these Low-Rank cultivators shuffled forward even though they were still reluctant.
At that instant, the Golden Crow was surrounded by the surviving Open Heaven Realm Masters.
The Golden Crow stopped in its tracks and looked around with a tilted head. There was no doubt that it was infuriated by the situation it was in. As the beast raised its wings and cried out, the Astral Wind, which could cut through gold and jade, surged at the cultivators from all directions. The Open Heaven Realm Masters hurriedly fended it off as clanging sounds were heard.
“Today, we either kill this beast or die trying!” Madam Lan took a deep breath as her chest heaved. Then, she raised her hand and summoned a silk ribbon, “Everyone, follow my lead!”
She knew that this kind of impromptu group was weak to pressure and if she couldn’t show them there was hope, none of them would have the guts to make a move against the Golden Crow. Therefore, she had to take the initiative so that the others became aware of the condition the Golden Crow was in.