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The cauldron's lid slammed down, completely sealing the Concealed Dragon Cauldron.
It spun with a rumble as the astral fire flared!
"Patriarch, mighty you are. Success of the divine relic is certain, invincible you will be!"
Cang Wu knelt down and proclaimed loudly.
With that, many of the Myriad God Ridge disciples and Elder echoed loudly—
"Patriarch, mighty you are. Success of the divine relic is certain, invincible you will be!"
The red-dressed boy laughed loudly. "Good! Very good! Once the refinement is a success, all of you will be handsomely rewarded!"
"Cang Wu, help preside over the grand array. The Dragon Emperor Relic needs eighty-one days of refinement. Just this world's astral fire is insufficient. It needs the support of all your powers!"
As the red-dressed boy spoke, array patterns began lighting up beneath his feet. The array formation he had spent years setting up in the pocket world finally revealed itself.
"Each one of you should stand on a particular array pattern. Inject your energy into the grand array and, together with me, refine the Dragon Emperor Relic!"
All the Myriad God Ridge disciples had mixed feelings, but they had no choice but to obey the Myriad God Patriarch's orders. Forget the possibility of them being able to put up a resistance. Even if they succeeded in a rebellion, they had no means of leaving the sealed pocket world.
Everyone took their positions and acted according to the Myriad God Patriarch's instructions. They each injected their energies into the grand array.
Instantly, the numerous Myriad God Ridge disciples' energies fused with the might of the Nine Dragons Surround Pearl force that surged out of the gigantic rifts. The astral fire began to spew crazily!
The actual Ascending Dragon Cauldron that stood in the eye of the array showed no reaction. However, the Concealed Dragon Cauldron that floated above it began to glow red from the flames.
One could imagine how high the temperatures were within the Concealed Dragon Cauldron!
The legendary infernos of hell could not even compare with it.
The extreme temperatures enveloped the nine people within the Concealed Dragon Cauldron!
The interior of the Concealed Dragon Cauldron formed an independent space of its own. It did not look big on the outside but inside it appeared as though they were in the middle of a mountain's belly. The nine people were scattered rather far from each other, with Feng Yunyang in the middle. The remaining eight people were cast off in eight different directions.
The terrifying astral fire permeated the gigantic space. It felt like they had fallen into the mouth of a volcano.
"It's so hot… To think this is my grave. And my fate is to become a relic that will be consumed by others… Master… you taught me some 'Old Snake Divine Divine Skill,' and bragged about how powerful it is. Yet, it's of no use at this moment."
Snake Girl was so upset that she felt like crying, but the tears evaporated before they could even leave her eyes.
"Oh? Someone has already… died?"
Snake Girl discovered that the vital signs of one of the other catalyst herbs that had entered with them were growing increasingly weaker, to the point of completely extinguishing.
His cultivation level was even higher than Snake Girl's but he had died before her.
Why was this happening?
Snake Girl was puzzled. She carefully sensed the area around her and realized that, although she was experiencing extreme heat, her bloodline was being stimulated by the scorching of the astral fire. Her blood seemed to be boiling within her body!
The boiling blood even effused from her pores, forming a red layer of mist that covered her body. It was as if the astral fire hit a wall when it encountered the blood mist. It could not penetrate it and because of that, she managed to barely stay alive.
Although it was excruciatingly painful, her skin had not been burnt to a crisp. Even her clothes were not ignited. That was odd because, despite being fire-resistant, it was absolutely impossible for the Myriad God Ridge disciple attire to withstand astral fire!
Was this the so-called Dragon Emperor bloodline?
Snake Girl suddenly understood that the Myriad God Patriarch was using such a method because it would steam the Dragon Emperor's blood right out of them!
When the Dragon Emperor blood was drained from her body, that would be her death!
Upon realizing this, Snake Girl felt despair.
No wonder someone with a higher cultivation level than her had died before her. As his Yuan Qi was sealed, he could not form a Yuan Qi barrier to withstand the flames. The amount of time one could survive amid the flames had nothing to do with one's cultivation level. Instead, it depended on one's bloodline!
The purer and richer the Dragon Emperor's bloodline was, the longer they could last. Feng Yunyang, who had the highest purity, was expected to last three days and three nights according to the Myriad God Patriarch.
"Thirty minutes, and a second person has died!"
Snake Girl witnessed another person die. If this went on, all of them would quickly perish.
"Yi Yun! Wake up! Quick wake up!"
Snake Girl called out to Yi Yun in her heart but she was unable to verbalize it as there was no way for her to produce any sound.
At that moment, Snake Girl could barely identify Yi Yun through the warped air and flickering astral flames.
Yi Yun was more than a hundred feet away from her and his body was floating amid the flames. His skin was flushed red but he too was not being burnt.
But something was different with Yi Yun. Snake Girl had a red layer of blood mist lingering around her that fended off the flames, but Yi Yun had no blood mist around him.
Instead, the energy from the flames was unobstructed and seemed to flow into his body, but whatever happened next left Snake Girl confused.
Snake Girl was taken aback. She did not know what was going on.
However, if Yi Yun were awake, the scene he would have witnessed would definitely have made him turn extremely anxious.
If he could have looked with his energy vision, he would see that his body was covered in indistinct purple light. The thing protecting his life was the Purple Crystal!
His consciousness had sunken into a deep slumber. The Purple Crystal's instinct was to protect his body, and so it absorbed any energy that entered his body to destroy his meridians.
However, as Yi Yun was not consciously controlling it, everything the Purple Crystal did was out of instinct. It would not produce a gigantic energy vortex but it also wouldn't stop its absorbing process. That wouldn't matter if Yi Yun wasn't refined for several hours, but if he lasted more than three days or even weeks, the Myriad God Patriarch would definitely discover the oddity. And when he noticed that something about Yi Yun was amiss, he would dice him up bit by bit and the secret of the Purple Crystal would be discovered!
The Purple Crystal was a divine item but it did not have a soul or sentient thought. It could not save Yi Yun because all it ever did was act out of instinct.
Time passed in a blink of an eye, and soon it was two hours later.
Out of the nine, only four people were left alive.
At that moment, Snake Girl was suffering from extreme pain. Yi Yun, on the other hand, remained unaffected.
Yi Yun's consciousness had entered a dream that had no end.
A series of horrific things happened in Yi Yun's dream.
First, he was in the Cloud Wilderness. He suffered from hunger and the torment of diseases. Thanks to some fortuitous opportunity, he managed to learn some martial arts but ended up being brutally murdered by Lian Chengyu. Even his sister succumbed to his vileness.
Following that, it was the Tai Ah Divine City, where he was tortured by Shentu Nantian. Not only was he maimed of his dantian, but his limbs were severed and he died from the severity of his injuries.
Then, it was the Luo clan. He was caught by You Feihua from the Fey Phantasm Sect who hated him to the bone. His soul was ripped out and sealed in a ghost summoning banner. His body was turned into a vessel for possession and sold.
Finally, the secret of the Purple Crystal was exposed. He was pursued by people to the ends of the world as he attempted to hide. Through great difficulty, he managed to reunite with Lin Xintong in the Sinkhole but, in order to fend off his pursuers, she eventually died protecting him…
Yi Yun remained clear-minded to the last moment from every single nightmare. But soon, he would enter the next nightmare as it continued ad infinitum!
Yi Yun did not know how long he was immersed in such terrifying experiences. He seemed to experience endless pain and sadness to the point of him losing the will to live.
Eventually, he came to feel that possessing consciousness itself was a form of torture. He would be ultimately saved once his consciousness fell completely silent.
Yet once his consciousness fell completely silent, it would be the eternal slumber that the red-dressed boy had mentioned!
And once he entered an eternal slumber, there would be no way of waking up again. Yi Yun managed to last this long because of his powerful soul but even so, against the Myriad God Patriarch's powers, he had quickly reached his limits.
Just as Yi Yun's soul sea was about to collapse from the pain, he suddenly heard a soft call in his ear—
"Brother Yi Yun! Quick wake up!"
"Who? Who is calling out to me?"
Yi Yun had fallen into a long silence while experiencing the many painful life cycles. It nearly made him forget a lot of things.
"I'm Xie'er. Don't you remember? Your soul sea is sealed and the seal is extremely powerful. It took two hours for me to break into your soul sea. Brother Yi Yun, open your eyes and look at me. I'm Xie'er."
"Xie'er, Xie'er… It's you… Why are you here?" Yi Yun felt an excruciating headache. He tried his best to recall. "Soul sea? Seal… What happened to me…"
"Brother Yi Yun, an old child placed a seal on you. You are now sealed within a cauldron with burning flames. Have you forgotten?"
Ling Xie'er's anxious voice sounded, taking Yi Yun aback.
This oxymoronic term immediately made Yi Yun recall the terrifying red-dressed boy. Cold sweat broke out from fright.
"Soul seal! Refinement! Myriad God Patriarch!"
Yi Yun's heart stopped beating. The red-dressed boy had lived for innumerable years, making his soul extremely powerful!
After he sealed Yi Yun's soul sea, he left behind a soul runic seal, sending Yi Yun into an endless dream world that he could not extricate himself from.
"Dream world… Yes, it's a dream!"
Yi Yun recalled that Feng Yunyang had once used an illusion array on him. The illusion array was no doubt something he learned from the Myriad God Patriarch.
The Myriad God Patriarch was invincible when it came to illusionary arts. The soul mark he left in his soul sea was immensely powerful. Although Yi Yun's soul was powerful, it could not withstand it.
"Brother Yi Yun, you finally remember," Ling Xie'er said happily.
Yi Yun tried hard to open his eyes. His soul's vision gradually turned clear. He discovered that he was standing in the middle of an endless maze.
The soul maze only had monotone lines. Ling Xie'er, dressed in red, was the only color in it. Her bare feet were adorned with jade bangles and her rosy face was filled with a joyous smile.
She had forced her way into the soul maze and behind her was a passage that emitted a faint light. The passage led to the horizon where there was a warm light at the exit.
"Xie'er, you woke me up? You penetrated the multitude of restrictions the Myriad God Patriarch left behind?"
Yi Yun was still reeling in shock. He had nearly perished!
If not for Xie'er, there was no doubt that he would have been long dead.
"Yes, but it took me a great deal of effort just to enter your soul sea. Brother Yi Yun, quickly think of a way out of this," Xie'er said anxiously.
Upon seeing Xie'er's anxious face, Yi Yun suddenly felt moved. He gently hugged her. Meeting Ling Xie'er in the Sun Burial Sandsea was truly his good fortune.
He recalled that when it came to the strength of the soul, Xie'er was at the level of a monster!
Previously, Yi Yun wanted to take the Great Traversal Spirit Ship for his own, but he was helpless against the soul mark that Song Guangyan left behind. Ling Xie'er, however, wiped the soul mark away in less than a minute.
The Myriad God Patriarch had lived for tens of millions of years but Ling Xie'er had existed in the worldly array for half a billion years!
What did half a billion years result in? With Ling Xie'er being a soul body, her soul was extremely robust. And this was without her ever having practiced cultivation. With it, she would truly be like a tiger with wings.
The Myriad God Patriarch had sealed his soul to ensure that he could do nothing. However, he never imagined that there was Ling Xie'er with him, whose soul was powerful enough to break through his seals.
When he looked at the path that Ling Xie'er had split open through the soul maze, it reflected her immense power.
"Myriad God Patriarch, you took my Mirage Snow and interspatial ring away but I still have the God Advent Tower."
Due to the Song family, Yi Yun took the God Advent Tower out of his interspatial ring.
Back then, Song Zhanchen had wanted to check his interspatial ring. Since Yi Yun had put the stolen Great Traversal Spirit Ship in there, his interspatial ring had evidence that could incriminate him.
Although Yi Yun did not give his interspatial ring to the Song family, he had hidden the Great Traversal Spirit Ship in the God Advent Tower to prevent himself from being incriminated. Then, he hid the God Advent Tower inside his body.
As for Ling Xie'er, she was sleeping within the God Advent Tower. Thus, she was able to realize that Yi Yun was enduring a harrowing experience. She wasted no time going deep into Yi Yun's soul sea to awaken him.
"Xie'er, where's Snake Girl!?"
Yi Yun suddenly recalled Snake Girl when Ling Xie'er mentioned that two hours had passed. The lass might appear a little dim-witted, but she was still Old Snake's disciple. If she were burnt to ashes, it would truly be a heart-wrenching moment.
"That sister who followed you? She's fine, but she won't be able to last too much longer," Ling Xie'er said.
Yi Yun heaved a sigh of relief. However, the worry that weighed down his heart was not alleviated. Time was critical. He needed to think of a solution.
Outside the cauldron, there were the Myriad God Ridge's experts, as well as the most powerful Myriad God Patriarch! Ignoring the Myriad God Patriarch, even the Myriad God Sect Master was not someone Yi Yun could match!
In his present state, even if he underwent a random exponential increase in strength, making a breakthrough to become a Supremacy in one fell swoop, he would still not be able to handle the situation outside.
Furthermore, he was only at the fifth-storey Dao Palace realm. There were four storeys and the half-step Supremacy that separated him from becoming a Supremacy. It was impossible to make such a huge breakthrough.
If he just barged his way out, death was certain!
But if he stayed in the cauldron, death was also guaranteed!
Although he would not be burnt to his death because of the astral fire, even Feng Yunyang, who had the purest bloodline, would only last three days and three nights according to the Myriad God Patriarch. If Yi Yun lived past that, the Myriad God Patriarch would definitely notice the oddity.
Dealing with the Myriad God Patriarch, a figure whose eyes could even see the back of his head, was just too difficult.
But Yi Yun had too little time left to fear him.
Now in his dire predicament, Yi Yun had no other choice. He had to take a risk!