Shao Xuan was doing his best to get used to this place. Although he felt much better than when he first arrived, it was still uncomfortable. Although he was standing, his legs felt unstable stepping on air. He was not standing on solid ground but was not falling either, he could even walk.
It was very strange.
He had no solid flesh but could hear and see. He guessed that this was a realm of consciousness formed using the fire seed but there were so many peculiar things about this place. Even the surrounding darkness was hidden with many things that could not be seen, dark and mysterious.
Shao Xuan did not think for long because very quickly, he felt a powerful energy ripple from a spot similar to the Yi people but obviously different. Anyone could recognise the difference.
A spot within the illusory space burst into flames, drawing a fiery arc. The fireball and arc that appeared both were very different from the rest of the Yi members, the most obvious difference being the ratio of colours in the flames. On the Yi family side, the ratio of white and orange-red was half to half while the flames forming the arc and fireball on this side was mainly white, taking up two-thirds of the flames!
A figure appeared on the other side of the arc. This glowing figure was exceptionally clear, one could even see the minute movements of his cloaks.
Shao Xuan had previously noticed how powerful people formed clear silhouettes. This did not refer to their faces because everyone was made out of firelight. The Yi members were made of orange-red and white without other colours. The ‘clarity’ of their figures was referring to how solid the shape felt and the distinguishable shape of the body.
Shao Xuan was the worst of them all, for he was barely recognisable as a human. His flames flickered and swayed as if he could be extinguished in a light breeze. IN contrast, the Yi members all looked more distinguishable, especially the three leaders.
However, this newcomer’s silhouette was more solid than the three elders! All the flames that formed his body seemed to condense and solidify into a human without even a stray flame. The edges of his shape were clearly differentiated from the surrounding darkness.
One look was enough to determine the difference in strength.
The anxiety in the room rose dramatically with the appearance of this person. They were afraid.
“Yi Xiang?” asked Yi Tuan in a low voice, looking at the figure.
In terms of seniority and strength, Yi Xiang far exceeded them all - but he was also someone the Yi family wanted to kill so at this point, seniority did not matter. His tone did not contain an ounce of respect, cautiously calling Yi Xiang by his name.
Yi Tuan wanted to question why Yi Xiang was targeting the Yi family. Yi Xiang was still a member of the Yi family, did he really want to exterminate the entire clan? Also, important things were taken from the Yi family a thousand years ago, where are those things now? Did Yi Xiang really create those desert monsters?
Yi Tuan had many questions but it was a pity Yi Xiang did not intend to answer him. He did not even make a sound.
Shao Xuan saw that after Yi Tuan spoke, the figure merely looked to the side without a word, then took a step forward and started to walk towards the Yi family members. The totem beneath his feet moved along with his footsteps, the fireball in front of his arc hanging high in the air. It did not block in front of him but was diagonally above him, also moving as he moved.
Yi Tuan’s chest tightened, knowing Yi Xiang did not even want to speak to them. He roared, “READY!”
They gathered a hundred Yi members here not to charge into battle but to hold the fort. They would just become cannon fodder if they ran out so they were more effective in a defensive stance.
This crowd of a hundred consisted of the most powerful core members within the family. They really were risking the ultimate price.
A giant totem appeared beneath their feet, then expanded as a hundred forces aggregated as one. The totem included the three elders too, now every individual small totem was replaced with one large Yi family totem. The arc of flames burned in an arc-shaped wall of fire ahead while a half-red and half-white fireball burned magnificently in front.
The aura emitted by the blinding, rolling flames was intimidating.
The energy ripples and flames reminded Shao Xuan of a temporary fire pond. He understood too because after the merging of the fire seed, everyone was technically a small fire seed. When all the fire seeds combined together, they formed a large fire seed that offered defensive properties and gave their people a power boost within a limited range.
However, although the crowd looked powerful and intimidating, Shao Xuan sensed that most of them lacked confidence even in themselves.
They were mostly solemn or nervous.
A ray of white shot out of Yi Tuan’s lifted arm, piercing through the fireball ahead and immediately turned into a twenty-metre tall giant. It looked like a tiger or leopard, its silhouette vague. Although it was made of burning flames, it resembled a stout beast. A long animalistic cry rang across the dark illusory space in every direction.
Although Shao Xuan stood far away, it felt as if the animal was right next to his ear, rattling his brain numb.
If he hadn’t just witnessed the scene, he would have thought it was a ferocious mountain beast about to begin a massacre.
The giant beast’s arched back was like a pulled bow. IN the next second, it released and the beast flew into a sprint, every step covering a hundred metres until it arrived at Yi Xiang. It accelerated, its flames pulling backwards as it sprinted ahead.
Both parties were initially far from each other but the distance was pulled closer in the blink of an eye.
The Bone Reading Beast!
This ‘bone’ referred to the animal bones they used during bone readings.
One must pay the price for his powers, that is how the universe keeps its balance. This includes the Yi family’s fortune-telling abilities.
Divination borrowed from the life force of animals and plants. For example, the Yi ancestors had found that some life force still remained in dead animals. During bone readings, they borrowed this life force in the bones to look into the past or future.
Similarly, the Yi family would often use this method in battle.
Every object used for divination, including bones or shells, or the modern hybrid methods all required life force, including rocks.
The Yi ancestors thought of rocks as the bones of the earth, containing powerful life force. That was why they started to incorporate rocks into their readings. These were not just random rocks but ones carefully picked because they contained life force. The jades that Yi Cong and Yi Qi used were an example of borrowing life forces from rocks to conduct readings.
It did not matter if these things were found or gifted. As long as the object was held in the user’s hand, they could be used for readings- or internal battles.
Shao Xuan had heard Yi Qi and Yi Cong talk about this too but this was the first time he saw them using bones this way. The flame beast must be how the giant beast used to look like when it was alive.
As he thought about these, he recalled the bone ornaments he wore on him. These bone ornaments were made of his ancestor’s bones, so could their powers also be his ancestor’s life force? He thought about the flame giant and compared it to the Yi family’s flame beast. Although they were very different, there were similarities.
It did not matter. Shao Xuan had no time to think because both parties were about to collide.
Another deafening roar rang across space. As the beast roared, it leapt and pounced on Yi Xiang.
Unexpectedly, Yi Xiang did not retaliate with a Bone or Shell Reading Beast, nor did he use other reading methods. He did not even dodge, instead of taking one step forward towards the beast. He raised one of his hands and a strange energy ripple appeared, causing the beast to slam right into it.