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The journey through the underground left Liu Ruyi and company feeling high-strung. The monsters there were so powerful that any single one could wipe out a large sect. The girl in front of them was obviously abnormal. It was even possible that she was not human.
"Retreat! Attack when possible!"
Liu Ruyi and the two children were immediately on high alert. Meanwhile, Master Tianxiao was looking at his compass in a daze. Perhaps due to the appearance of the girl, the compass began reacting strangely.
Could it be…
Master Tianxiao looked at Ling Xie'er once again. He was proficient in anthroposcopy, so he could sense the aura of the God Fire's within her.
This left him overjoyed.
"Deputy Palatial Lord Liu, capture her!"
Master Tianxiao suddenly exclaimed.
He discovered something extremely special. Ordinary people had worldly luck, be it good or bad, flowing within their bodies. However, the girl was a blank slate. Although she looked like a living person, she possessed a qualitative difference from ordinary people.
Therefore, Master Tianxiao was certain that the girl was not human, but a spiritual body that had taken form.
For a spiritual body to take human form in such a land, combined with the fire aura that exuded from her body, she was very likely the Yang spirit taken form.
"She's the Yang spirit! There was really no effort wasted searching for it!" Master Tianxiao said agitatedly.
Liu Ruyi and company were somewhat surprised. But immediately, the two childlike deputy palatial lords reached out their hands to grab Ling Xie'er.
"Regardless, capture her first!"
"Capture her and refine her away. When we return to the palace, we will earn great merit!"
Ling Xie'er turned lightly pale when she saw two large palms materialize and reach for her. Instantly, she transformed into a fire wisp and rapidly flew downwards.
Upon seeing this, Liu Ruyi's eyes lit up.
"She's truly the Yang spirit! Chase after her!"
Alongside the crashing waterfall, a fire wisp raced down.
Liu Ruyi and company followed closely behind. From the moment they came to the underground world of the Sun Burial Sandsea, they encountered only terrible things. But now, they finally had a reward in sight.
As for Ling Xie'er, she could sense the quartet's pursuit. She cast her gaze forward.
At that time, although Ling Xie'er was a spiritual body, she was confident that she could trap the group if she were careful, since she had fused with the massive array.
Ling Xie'er flew into a cave.
"There's a cave here." Liu Ruyi and company instantly reached the cave's entrance.
"This Yang spirit is deliberately leading us in." Master Tianxiao hesitated for a moment before speaking.
He was already scared out of his wits from the strangeness and peril the underground world posed. Even if the Yang spirit was in the cave, he was considerably apprehensive.
"So what if it's deliberate? This place is already run down. Her past master is no longer around. We just need to be careful when entering," said one of the childlike deputy palatial lords.
"Master Tianxiao, divine the path and lead the way," said Liu Ruyi. "Don't you try any tricks. If we obtain the Yang spirit, we will naturally bring you out with us and reattach your arm and legs. In the future, your Heaven Secrets Chapter will be able to rely on our Seven Star Dao Palace."
The color in Master Tianxiao's face drained as he cursed inwardly. The people from the Seven Star Dao Palace were ruthless in their dealings. They actually intended for him to lead the way despite him losing all his strength.
However, Master Tianxiao did not dare refuse. The Yang spirit had been found and he was not of much use. The three deputy palatial lords of Seven Star Dao Palace could abandon him at any time.
Master Tianxiao divined the path with his compass, leading the way to the stone temple.
"There doesn't seem to be any danger," said Master Tianxiao.
Master Tianxiao was calculating the luck that determined survival. If the place was extremely dangerous, his luck would be extremely low, which likely meant death.
After they entered, they heard a loud boom behind them.
Liu Ruyi and company turned around immediately and saw a massive metal door close.
The runes on the metal door flickered as Liu Ruyi raised her sword to stab at it but was rebounded by a beam of light.
And there was a dead end in front of them.
"We have been trapped," said one of the childlike deputy palatial lords in frustration.
Liu Ruyi stared at the door for a moment before turning to look at the cave.
"No need to fret. The Yang spirit has disappeared so there's probably some trick to this cave. If we search around we will definitely find a way out," said Liu Ruyi.
There were no humanoid monsters here, nor were there ancient creatures. Being trapped was not a setback in terms of danger.
Furthermore, with the Yang spirit at hand, their mission would soon be completed.
"Master Tianxiao, hurry up and divine a path," ordered Liu Ruyi.
"The array in this cave should be able to trap them. Unfortunately, I'm unable to control the evil creatures outside the array. If only I could lead them into the cave…"
Ling Xie'er muttered to herself and returned to the lake to watch Yi Yun studying the scroll.
Yi Yun was sitting there in a highly concentrated state. There were runes flicking around him constantly as he used his fingers to draw in mid-air.
Yi Yun originally thought of studying the array, but as he gained more understanding of the scroll, he began engaging in the array techniques and alchemical skills recorded in it.
The divine alchemist had reached the peak of alchemy. So his scroll was a rare treasure for Yi Yun.
Time passed without him knowing it.
Day after day, and soon almost a month had passed.
One day, Ling Xie'er sat by the fiery river's bank. Her fair feet were dabbing in the river, sending red molten liquid splashing out. It formed a stark contrast to her porcelain-like feet.
"This youth sure is persistent!"
Ling Xie'er cocked her head and looked at Yi Yun. He had been sitting there without moving for a month. She did not know if he had figured out anything from his studies. He had already finished reading the black scroll left behind by the divine alchemist, but at the divine alchemist's level, how could a junior understand a notebook he left behind?
As Ling Xie'er was pondering over the matter, she suddenly heard a crisp sound, as though a barrier screen had shattered. Spatial transmission waves immediately rippled over.
"Oh? They have broken out of the cave's restraints?" Ling Xie'er's eyes flashed. She was rather shocked; however, she immediately understood that the cave had existed for hundreds of millions of years. Even if the array was extremely secure in the past, it was almost defunct after all these years. Of course it would be unable to trap Liu Ruyi and company completely.
Ling Xie'er glanced at the motionless Yi Yun before disappearing into the lake and appearing in front of the stone temple.
At that moment, Liu Ruyi and company had been transported out and had arrived in front of the stone temple.
It could be said that they looked extremely pathetic. Much of their energy had drained after being trapped in the cave for a long period of time.
They immediately saw the girl standing in front of the massive stone temple.
The childlike deputy palatial lord's eyes flashed after seeing the Yang spirit once again after a month.
Seeing the four appear, Ling Xie'er turned and ran into the temple.
Liu Ruyi's eyes were filled with greed, anger, and viciousness.
They quickly entered the stone temple, where they saw Ling Xie'er standing by a statue.
"Yang spirit!" Liu Ruyi's eyes gleamed as she extended her hand to grab at the girl.
Suddenly, Ling Xie'er leapt backward and emitted a blinding, fiery light. The stone temple's ground immediately lit up with numerous esoteric runic patterns.
These runic patterns were carved by the divine alchemist. There were also some that had naturally formed after the massive array had fused with the world it was in.
As the massive array's core, Ling Xie'er was one with the array. Although she posed no physical threat, she was able to control the array.
Seeing the fire-red runic patterns at her feet, Liu Ruyi immediately withdrew her attack and retreated.
However, all the runic patterns had lit up simultaneously. In response, the entire temple was inundated by an inferno.
The temple instantly turned into a massive cauldron, trapping Liu Ruyi and company in its flames.
The two childlike deputy palatial lord combined their forces but failed to break through the barrier, preventing them from escaping the inferno.
"Ah! Ah!" Master Tianxiao constantly wailed. He suffered the most from the inferno. His weak protective Yuan Qi could not shield him. Even his hair had been burnt off, much less his beard. If this continued, he felt like he would be cooked to a crisp.
As for Liu Ruyi and the other two, they were able to withstand the flames. For them, it was only maddening that they could see the Yang spirit, but were trapped and could do nothing to obtain it.
"Yes, this is good. When Yi Yun realizes that he can't crack the array, he will leave," said a satisfied Ling Xie'er as she gave a delighted clap.
Since she was a part of the massive array, she didn't suffer any damage from it. She was free to come and go.
However, at that moment, Liu Ruyi's eyes suddenly glinted with a sinister beam of light. She wiped across her interspatial ring and immediately produced a whip. It struck at Ling Xie'er with flashing runes.
Ling Xie'er's expression changed drastically as she attempted to transform into a fire wisp to escape the area. But the whip quickly vanished and, in the blink of an eye, appeared by her side, fastening her tightly.
"Indeed! You are just a sentient projection. All you have is your sentience and not your core. This whip of mine happens to lock onto sentient projections and spiritual bodies," said Liu Ruyi coldly.
Despite appearing pathetic after being trapped for a month, they had been constantly searching for Ling Xie'er's weakness.
Ling Xie'er was an innocent girl after all. Although she controlled everything in the vicinity, she was incomparable to Liu Ruyi and company in terms of craftiness.
Ling Xie'er struggled but, without her true body around, she was no match for Liu Ruyi.
"This Soul Locking Whip of mine is specially made to torture souls. It beats out the soul from a person's body and slowly obliterates it. You are but a mere Yang spirit, yet you did not try to escape and instead trapped us. As long as I annihilate your spiritual body, you will lose your consciousness, naturally rendering this entrapping array useless."
"If your spiritual body is here, your true body must be here too." When we obtain your true body and refine it, you will become the property of the Seven Star Dao Palace." As Liu Ruyi spoke, she curled the corners of her lips, revealing a diabolical smile.
When Ling Xie'er heard that, her face turned pale. This woman wanted to obliterate her consciousness! To the group, it was already sufficient to capture her fire source.