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The High Priest nodded.
As this was going on, Yi Yun had seen it all through Ling Xie'er's perception. Alchemist Sage Purple Gold had not studied the array patterns of the Herb Nurturing Array at all.
Most alchemist sages would try their best to understand the divine alchemist's array techniques so as to use his methods to complete the array.
However, Alchemist Sage Purple Gold took a different approach. He used his own methods to stabilize the Herb Nurturing Array and actually managed to produce results.
Yi Yun had to admit that Alchemist Sage Purple Gold was truly capable. Yi Yun did not take offense to Alchemist Sage Purple Gold's slander of him since the anomaly in the array was indeed caused by him. It was not a false charge, but what did enrage him was that Alchemist Sage Purple Gold was plotting against Ling Xie'er.
Yi Yun was in no hurry to rush over. He wanted to see what Alchemist Sage Purple Gold would do. He refused to believe that Alchemist Sage Purple Gold was able to complete the Herb Nurturing Array.
"Your Excellency, Your Highness, High Elder, this array has been activated. In order to eliminate any disturbances, might I request that the three of you retreat into the island?" Alchemist Sage Purple Gold said with a faint smile. The island that contained the Fate Changing Pill was now sealed within a massive hemisphere of light.
The High Priest nodded. He entered the barrier with Nine Li Magus Maiden and Aged Blackrock. At that moment, they could already see the Nine Transformations Rejuvenation Array working but their perception had been insulated by the barrier.
Upon seeing this, the corners of Alchemist Sage Purple Gold's mouth curled up.
"Seven Emotions, you can begin. This sort of opportunity only comes once in a billion years. You must not miss it."
"I understand." The seven-colored muslin-clothed woman gave a sinister but charming smile. She flew high into the sky as countless iridescent clouds gathered towards her and lingered around her.
Just seconds later, Ling Xie'er suddenly gasped while standing beside Yi Yun.
Yi Yun turned his head and saw that she was trembling. Her face looked pale.
"Xie'er, what's wrong?" asked Yi Yun immediately.
Ling Xie'er's body scrunched up and shook. "Brother, the fire seed that man summoned is… is extracting my strength!"
"What?" Yi Yun's expression changed. He could see the voluptuous woman standing in the heart of the Nine Transformations Rejuvenation Array. She winded around in midair as though she was doing a s.e.xually bewitching dance.
Every step she took would cause quakes throughout the void. The Heretical God Fire Seed's strength was everywhere in the array, so it was being sucked into her body with every step of her dance.
If the Herb Nurturing Array was stable and Ling Xie'er was perfectly fused with the array, she would have been unassailable. It would have been impossible to extract Ling Xie'er's strength from the Herb Nurturing Array.
But with the anomaly, there were many flaws in the array. Alchemist Sage Purple Gold was taking advantage of these flaws to extract Ling Xie'er's strength!
Ling Xie'er was much stronger than the voluptuous woman but all her strength was sealed within the Herb Nurturing Array. She was the core fire seed of the Herb Nurturing Array, which required her to dedicate all her strength to the array.
This was akin to Ling Xie'er using all her strength to carry a mountain. While the mountain could fall at any time, the woman was stabbing Ling Xie'er in the chest.
Ling Xie'er had no means to resist. Therefore, it was a one-sided gorging from the beginning.
The seven-colored muslin-clothed woman was on the cauldron made of Mother of Purple Royal Copper. She lifted her foot to step high into the sky, showcasing her figure as her long hair and clothes fluttered in the wind. She began to meld with the array and wherever her powers swept, Ling Xie'er's strength would be devoured by her.
"This young girl sure is delicious." The woman's mouth curled up, revealing a seductive smile. She was a fire seed that was ranked very highly in this world. During her growth, Alchemist Sage Purple Gold had fed her low-grade fire seeds but most of them were limited in power. They did not enhance her strength by much.
However, Ling Xie'er was different. Just devouring a tiny portion of her was enough to improve her strength by leaps and bounds.
If she were to devour Long Xie’er whole, even she did not know how much she would evolve.
At that moment, bits of fire began condensing out of the array in Alchemist Sage Purple Gold's palm.
Upon seeing this fire, Alchemist Sage Purple Gold's eyes flashed with a greedy glint as he smiled.
Although the Nine Li Magus Empire refused permission to take Ling Xie'er away, how could he drop the matter so easily? Through the Nine Transformations Rejuvenation Array, he could extract Ling Xie'er's strength.
Even if he only extracted a portion, it would be enough to evolve the Fire of Seven Emotions!
And eventually, he would replace Ling Xie'er with the Fire of Seven Emotions, making it the Herb Nurturing Array's fire seed, thus completing the Herb Nurturing Array!
He knew that even if the Nine Li Magus Empire discovered his intentions at that point in time, it no longer mattered. As long as the Herb Nurturing Array was completed, killing Ling Xie'er did not matter in any way.
Fifty kilometers away, Yi Yun saw all that had happened through Ling Xie'er. He clenched his fists, his fingernails lodging into his flesh. His chest was filled with burning rage.
Alchemist Sage Purple Gold!
He never expected Alchemist Sage Purple Gold to directly attack Ling Xie'er. If he had not come out of seclusion when he did, the outcome would be too dreadful to think of!
"Xie'er, follow me!"
Yi Yun carried the weakened Ling Xie'er and flew towards Alchemist Sage Purple Gold and company!
The pangs of fury in his eyes grew more intense. Yi Yun wanted Alchemist Sage Purple Gold dead!
"Purple Gold, what are you doing!?"
Patriarch Pillheart and Ouming Yin, who were in the array, could fully appreciate the energy flow within it. They instantly noticed that Alchemist Sage Purple Gold was stealing the strength of Yi Yun's fire seed.
They had long coveted the fire seed of such paragon grade. Now, seeing Alchemist Sage Purple Gold using the Fire of Seven Emotions to devour the Heretical God Fire Seed, they could no longer sit still.
"Fellow Daoists, I will not let your assistance go empty-handed. As long as you aid me, I can lend both of you the 'Green Bag Book' now."
Alchemist Sage Purple Gold spoke in a friendly tone, hoping to appease them. However, Patriarch Pillheart sneered and took out his fire seed. It fused into the core of the array and began devouring the Heretical God Fire Seed's strength.
Ouming Yin naturally loathed to lag behind. He immediately conjured his fire seed as well.
Patriarch Pillheart's fire seed manifested as a fire toad in mid-air. As for Ouming Yin's fire seed, it manifested as a fire centipede.
Both their fire seeds were much weaker than Alchemist Sage Purple Gold's. They could barely manifest in the form of a Fey beast but they were still far from gaining sentience.
The moment the fire toad and fire centipede appeared, they flew about in mid-air and began snatching the 'food' from the Fire of Seven Emotions.
Upon seeing this unfold, Alchemist Sage Purple Gold knitted his brows. The two old men were not people who would sit idle. If this continued, not only would they carve away the fire's strength that belonged to him, they would also cause the array to turn even more unstable.
After all, the fire toad and fire centipede could not replace Ling Xie'er as the array's core.
The three alchemist sages used all means possible. Their fire seeds were like leeches sucking away Ling Xie'er's blood!
And among them, the colorful-clothed woman sucked the fastest. She was supported by the Nine Transformations Rejuvenation Array, so her draining of the Heretical God Fire Seed happened more than ten times faster than the other fire seeds.
"Do you think two lowly beasts like you are qualified to compete with me?"
The colorful-clothed woman's eyes shimmered as she began a dance of death. Every step seemed to land on a vital spot of Ling Xie'er's life essence.
If this continued, Ling Xie'er would be sucked dry of her energies, to the point where she would disappear.
"Oh? Something isn't right!"
Even though Aged Blackrock was outside the array and inside the barrier of light, he noticed something was amiss.
Although Aged Blackrock was far stronger than the three alchemist sages, he knew little about alchemy and array formations.
Despite not knowing alchemical refinement, however, he guessed that something had happened from his understanding of energy flows.
"What happened?" asked Nine Li Magus Maiden puzzled.
Aged Blackrock frowned. "Your Highness, let's go out."
Aged Blackrock was about to step out of the barrier as he said that. But at that moment, the High Priest said leisurely, "Blackrock, you do not know alchemical refinement, so it's best you do not act presumptuously. If you do anything rash, you might destroy the Nine Transformations Rejuvenation Array. The Herb Nurturing Array that Senior Divine Alchemist left behind can not withstand any more mishaps."
The High Priest's words carried a warning tone. Since Aged Blackrock was the High Priest's junior and there was some difference in their status, Aged Blackrock needed to acquiesce to the High Priest if there were any conflict of opinion.
Aged Blackrock said angrily, "If I'm not wrong, Alchemist Sage Purple Gold and company are extracting the strength of the Herb Nurturing Array's fire seed."
"So what?" The High Priest shook his head and said. "You did just reject Alchemist Sage Purple Gold's request of taking away Yi Yun's fire seed. Now, he's only extracting a bit of its strength to strengthen his own fire seed. If Alchemist Sage Purple Gold has the confidence to complete the Herb Nurturing Array, then strengthening his fire seed would be beneficial to his chance of success."
Upon hearing the High Priest's words, Aged Blackrock's expression sank. From the looks of it, the High Priest had noticed it earlier than him but he was tacitly allowing for it to happen.
From the High Priest's point of view, Yi Yun's exchange of the fire seed resulted in the Herb Nurturing Array's anomaly. He naturally disliked Ling Xie'er; therefore, he turned a blind eye towards the extraction of her strength. A truly powerful fire seed could be used to its fullest only in the hands of a person like Alchemist Sage Purple Gold.
"Master, what do you mean by that!?"
Nine Li Magus Maiden turned anxious but she lacked the strength to act. If the High Priest supported Alchemist Sage Purple Gold, she had no way to change his mind through force.
And at that moment, Nine Li Magus Maiden suddenly felt something as she looked toward the horizon.
Aged Blackrock also looked over. They saw an azure beam shooting over like a divine sword!
Upon seeing the figure in the beam of light, Aged Blackrock's expression stirred. "Yi Yun! He's out!"
"Yi Yun?" The High Priest's pricked up his white brow. He squinted his eyes as he looked at the beam of light that was flying over. "So he is Yi Yun. He dares make an appearance after causing such huge trouble for my Nine Li Magus Empire?"