Jing Xinghe was silent. The Eight Pole King was silent. Practically everyone present chose to remain silent, even though they were very unwilling to do so.
The countless Buddha Disks made Jing Xinghe and the others feel really afraid, so they naturally didn't dare make a move against Luo Yunyang.
There was silence all over the area. After some time, the deadlock was broken. "The Iron Blood Mercenary Group respects the master's wishes. We will leave immediately," someone said.
The person who had spoken was a burly fellow. Behind him stood over 30 equally robust martial masters.
Although 30 martial masters were a formidable power, they currently stood beneath the Buddha Disks, so they had no chance of retaliating.
"The Venomous Snake Mercenary Group will leave now!"
"Combat Master Ling Yun will depart. Congratulations on obtaining the treasure."
After a succession of people spoke, the groups started to leave. As they did, Jing Xinghe and the others had ugly expressions on their faces.
Jing Xinghe was the only telekinesis grandmaster present, so everyone was focused on him. The people that hadn't declared their intentions yet all turned their gazes to Jing Xinghe.
Jing Xinghe felt helpless. The others looked to him, but he had nobody to look to. It seemed like, in a sense, being a leader wasn't that easy. If he advanced, he would be praised for his courage; if he retreated, he would be called a coward. Making the wrong decision would be a big problem. Being cursed by others was no big deal. However, there was a chance that he would have to pay this wrong decision with his life.
When the Eight Pole King looked over at him, Jing Xinghe met his gaze. In the brief moment that they made eye contact, they saw the retreating intent in each other's eyes.
Jing Xinghe sighed. He was about to speak, when he suddenly felt the fiery Qi in the air intensify.
The Raging-Spirit Flame Lion, which was lying by the fiery cavern's entrance, seemed irritated. It suddenly let out a menacing roar.
Fear was evident on the lion's face. This fear was a feeling that stemmed from deep within its bones.
The rolling red clouds seemed to have come from the sky. A huge scarlet bird flew in circles around the spot where the red clouds and the horizon met, gazing down at Luo Yunyang and the others.
Luo Yunyang shivered under its scarlet gaze.
"It's the Mythical Southern Phoenix!" Jing Xinghe said in a trembling voice. "According to a legend, it is a descendant of a source beast, so source half-beast blood flows through its veins. Its combat strength can rival even top martial grandmasters!"
Luo Yunyang, who could also sense the Mythical Southern Phoenix's might, felt all sorts of thoughts run through his mind.
Should he use the God Slayer, the Mind Sword, the Heaven-Battling Ape-Dragon Chart, or some other technique?
As an ear-splitting screech was heard, countless blazes filled the sky, turning it a shade of crimson. It felt as if a fiery storm was raining down and merging with the valley, which was already filled with fire energy.
Anyone who had reached this valley was at least as powerful as a martial master. However, when those martial masters used their source power to shield themselves, they realized that their source power was routed by these blazes.
The Eight Pole King shot away like a cannonball, frantically scuttling into the distance. In under a second, he had already run 500 meters away.
Jing Xinghe let out a long sigh and patted the huge snake he was sitting on. Although the snake couldn't run, its slithering speed was still much faster than a flying bird's, so he was able to escape that sea of fire.
All the mercenary groups started to run helter skelter. However, there were still some people who were turned to ashes by the fiery rain.
Jing Xinghe and the Eight Pole King didn't even try to save the people who were trapped in the blazing sea. They only stopped after they had escaped the dangerous valley.
The huge Mythical Southern Phoenix was still beating its wings. Each time it flapped them, a blanket of fire rained down on the valley.
"Ha ha ha!" The Eight Pole King roared with laughter as he watched the blazes litter the entire sky. He was laughing as though he had just heard the world's funniest joke.
"What's so funny?" Jing Xinghe asked bluntly. Although he and the Eight Pole King were not particularly close, they had just gone through an ordeal together.
"I'm laughing at Luo Yunyang. He killed the Great Snow Mountain's 18 Guardians and offended us all. And for what? Now he has to deal with the Mythical Southern Phoenix! Ha ha ha! It's so funny!"
The Eight Pole King roared with laughter like a deranged crackpot.
Jing Xinghe laughed as well. Although he wasn't laughing as maniacally as the Eight Pole King, he still felt delighted.
If he couldn't have that treasure, then no one else should either. This was his current mentality.
As the scarlet blazes kept descending, the number of escaping figures decreased. However, the Eight Pole King didn't spot Luo Yunyang among the fleeing figures.
"He is still inside!" Jing Xinghe was no longer smiling. His tone was now serious.
The Eight Pole King watched the huge Mythical Southern Phoenix open its mouth as it hovered in the air and shoot out a snaking line of bright crimson flames.
"It's the Heaven-Burning Mythical Flames. It's said that even god-grade martialists retreat before these flames." Jing Xinghe's tone had a hint of anticipation.
How great would it be if Luo Yunyang was buried there?
However, as he wondered if Luo Yunyang would evade the Heaven-Burning Mythical Flames, Luo Yunyang, who was still on the ground, created several seals and drew the Heaven-Burning Mythical Flames to his hands.
Then, the flames entered his body.
If the Eight Pole King and the others had seen this, they would surely have thought that Luo Yunyang had a death wish. However, Luo Yunyang had an elated glint in his eyes.
Thanks to Chi Hen's analysis of the Heaven-Battling Ape-Dragon Chart, he had managed to push the Heaven-Battling Ape-Dragon Chart beyond grandmaster boundaries. Besides cultivating and opening other apertures within one's body, another way of improving one's strength was by using essence flames and divine waters to boost one's cultivation base.
Glass Flames, Phoenix Soul Flames, Heaven-Burning Mythical Flames...
Each of these flames could help Heaven-Battling Ape-Dragon techniques advance, and each one could break through an aperture.
This time, Luo Yunyang had gone there to retrieve the Golden Fire-Cleansing Lotus, or rather the Glass Flames.
However, he hadn't expected that, before he could obtain the Glass Flames, the Mythical Southern Phoenix would rush over. As soon as the Mythical Southern Phoenix had spewed out those snaking Heaven-Burning Mythical Flames, Luo Yunyang had felt a pressing impulse to swallow them.
As the Heaven-Burning Mything Flames entered his body, he felt a powerful energy collide all over his insides. This energy felt like it could blow his body to pieces.
He had to guide it in his body and allow it to be completely assimilated by his source core before he used this collision of energies to break through another aperture.
This was the greatest problem Luo Yunyang faced right now.