Chapter 1018: Array Cracking
In the vast Blood Desert, the Immortal Rain Sect and Azure Wood Manor disciples that were trapped within were like two lone boats lost in turbulent seas. They could capsize at any time.
In that moment of peril, Granny Yin took out the Great Heavenly Compass as she tried to divine the path out of the Blood Desert.
“Why did my disciple burn to death?”
The purple-robed elder was feeling agitated. At the final moment, it was he who had struck out with his palm, giving his disciple a quick death.
“I do not know either. Although there are some descriptions of the Blood Desert in canon, it only mentions of dangers in it. As for what the dangers are, the records aren’t that detailed,” said Granny Yin. She had a deep sense of worry hanging over her face. She had a feeling that over the hundreds of millions of years, the Door to the 33 Skies had experienced drastic changes after its disappearance. The canon the Azure Wood Manor had from years ago was no longer enough. It could even be possible that the Door to the 33 Skies was even more dangerous as the Azure Wood Great World was on the brink of destruction.
“Don’t you have the Great Heavenly Compass?” asked someone from the Azure Wood Manor separatists.
“Although I have studied the Great Heavenly Compass for years, it cannot remedy my lack of talent. I only studied the dangerous zones that had detailed records in canon. I’m helpless against this Blood Desert even with the Great Heavenly Compass.”
Granny Yin’s words made everyone’s heart sink. At that moment, the purple-robed elder stood forward as he took out a set of array flags from his interspatial ring.
The array flags’ staffs were made of bones from Ancient Fey beasts, and the flags were made of Ancient Fey hide. Sealed within the flags were apparently living creatures that were writhing in pain.
One could tell that the purple-robed elder was feeling the pinch as he looked at those array flags. They were his most valuable array cracking treasure. The array flags had ‘flag spirits’ sealed in them. They would slowly deplete with every use and it would be completely useless once it was used too many times.
“Let me do it. Since there is an array formation in the Blood Desert, I’ll use this trump card of mine that cracks arrays. It should be effective.”
Granny Yin hesitated for a moment before letting the purple-robed elder study the situation. Now that they were in peril, every additional person meant an additional amount of strength. What would happen if the purple-robed elder managed to figure out something?
The purple blood elder stuck the array flags into Blood Desert’s red sand. He began to combine his Daoist arts as he studied the Blood Desert’s natural forces.
And at that moment, Yi Yun was also observing the Dao patterns around him that pervaded the Blood Desert. They were formed naturally from fragments of divine weapons that were destroyed in Blood Desert, carcasses of dead primordial creatures, or remnant laws.
Yi Yun realized that the spots where the people had burned to their deaths were not because they had stepped onto the Dao patterns, but because they had stepped onto the nodes between Dao patterns.
The distribution of the Blood Desert’s Dao patterns had its own regularity. Three or four energy nodes would produce powerful forces that could vaporize people! Then…what would happen if he avoided the energy nodes?
After a long while, the purple-robed elder with his tightly knitted brows heaved a sigh of relief. He wiped the tiny beads of sweat from his forehead as he said, “So that’s it! It should be that.”
The purple-robed elder was muttering to himself as though he had been enlightened.
He did not look relaxed, but he had clearly made progress.
“Did you figure out something?” A disciple from the Azure Wood Manor separatists said anxiously.
“The Blood Desert might look endless, but it is actually not that expansive. If we keep walking straight, there is no way to escape this zone. Flying would not work either as it would be equivalent to suicide. We can walk here. There’s a path here that leads us out. It crosses through the Blood Desert and all that’s needed is about a thousand steps.”
“Just a thousand steps? It’s actually that short?”
The purple-robed elder pointed out a path as the Azure Wood Manor disciples remained unconvinced. Many were fearful as no one dared to take a step.
The purple-robed elder knitted his eyebrows into a stern look as he said, “Why? Does no one believe me?”
“How can it be?” Rooster laughed dryly. He indeed was not confident of the purple-robed elder’s claims. It was mainly because Blood Desert was just too odd. He found it unbelievable that about a thousand steps were all that was needed to escape the land of death.
Of course, he did not proclaim what was on his mind. Instead, he said, “Elder Dagu has impressive attainments when it comes to array formations. However, there is always some risk to pathfinding. We can’t let us Azure Wood Manor separatists undertake all the risk while people enjoy the labors of others by simply following behind.”
As Rooster spoke, he glanced at Yi Yun. He had long found Yi Yun an eyesore. Furthermore, they wanted to probe the inner depths of the Door to the 33 Skies, so how could they bring an outsider along? It was most appropriate to get him to be the pathfinder. It would only be a joy if he died.
“What do you mean by that?” Yue Yingsha asked coldly as she stood in front of Yi Yun.
“Nothing. I’m just getting this young friend to walk in front. Our Elder Dagu has paid a nontrivial price in order to divine this path. Just one use of Elder Dagu’s array flags would expend a portion of the flag spirits’ energy. Do you know how great his loss was?”
“You want to follow us out at no cost? How can there be such a free ride in this world?”
Rooster’s words were immediately echoed by the Azure Wood Manor separatists. The youth with his face covered in lion fur also stood forward and said, “That’s right. All you need to do is be responsible for treading the path we found!”
Everyone looked at Yi Yun. Even Yue Yingsha’s status was not useful based on the circumstances.
Although they had a request that depended on Yue Yingsha, the dangers they were facing in Blood Desert was tremendous. It was a problem if they could survive, so they obviously flung the thoughts of exploring the Door to the 33 Skies to the back of their minds.
“Punk, get over here and lead the way!” said Rooster in a queer manner. He believed that Yi Yun had no other choice.
Yi Yun flicked the red sand off his sleeves and said nonchalantly, “Did you just say that I will be following you out of the Blood Desert? You sure think highly of yourself. I wouldn’t even be bothered to follow you even if you begged.”
When Yi Yun said those words, it made all the Azure Wood Manor separatists stare angrily at him. They never expected him to speak so arrogantly!
“This little bastard is too arrogant. Senior Brother Seven Plume, I’ll kill him!” A burly youth stood forward and was about to attack Yi Yun when he was stopped by Rooster. He knew very well that fighting in the Blood Desert was no different from committing suicide.
“You have guts.” Seven Plume’s eyes flashed a cold glimmer. “I want to see how you will walk out of the Blood Desert. Let’s go!”
Since Yi Yun was quitting the group, the Azure Wood Manor separatists did not target Yi Yun any further. They were interested in seeing Yi Yun alone in the Blood Desert, looking pathetic with no one to help him. It was definitely going to be entertaining.
Someone from the Azure Wood Manor separatists was appointed as he followed the directions the purple-robed elder gave. Nothing happened to him after he took about eight steps.
“Awesome. Elder Dagu truly has the miracle of foresight. He is indeed able to divine the path to survival in this land of death.” flattered someone.
“Haha!” Elder Dagu laughed as he stroked his beard while appearing rather satisfied.
“Yi Yun, are you really staying behind? With death on the line, don’t try to act out of spite.” Yue Yingsha turned anxious as she saw Yi Yun remain motionless while Elder Dagu was about to guide the Azure Wood Manor separatists away.
Yi Yun had saved her twice, so she could not leave him in the lurch. However, Yi Yun’s feet were firmly planted in the ground. He had no intentions of leaving.
“Junior Sister Yingsha, if you don’t leave now, you might not be able to leave anymore. Do you really plan on accompanying that punk to your death?” derided Rooster.
Yue Yingsha turned anxious. She could not shrug off Yi Yun as she gave Granny Yin a pleaful look. She hoped that Granny Yin was able to use the Great Heavenly Compass to divine a path, but clearly, Granny Yin lacked the confidence. Taking a step back, even if the Great Heavenly Compass found a path, it needed someone to test the ground. It was too dangerous to simply follow the results.
At that moment, Yi Yun said slowly, “Yue Yingsha, don’t be worried. They won’t be able to leave the Blood Desert. Soon, someone will die.”
Yi Yun’s words were not loud, but with the ears of warriors, they obviously heard him loud and clear.
The Azure Wood Manor separatists, who had walked a certain distance, looked back at Yi Yun angrily.
The burly youth that had walked more than ten steps forward revealed a murderous look. He was walking right in front, so if someone were to die, it would be him. Yi Yun’s curse made him wish to smack Yi Yun to death!
“Little bastard, spout any more nonsense and I’ll rip your mouth apart,” admonished the burly youth.
“Why do we even care about him? He’s just an ignorant punk. Does he think he has the right to evaluate Elder Dagu’s divination?”
Another youth said as Elder Dagu stroked his beard. A cold look flashed in his eyes as he said, “This child is ignorant as he maligns the Heavenly Dao. This Blood Desert is a naturally formed force, and all I feel towards it is fearful reverence. All I understood was a trivial part of it, but for him to talk wildly, it’s not only laughable but sad.”
“Then go on ahead.” Yi Yun spread out his hands, “Who can stop it if you want to die?”
“Die? I’ll show you exactly what will happen!” The burly youth said with a sneer as he suddenly took a big step out.
He did not feel like anything had happened with his step, but before he had the chance to act complacent, he suddenly felt the loss of feeling in his feet.
He looked down and saw his entire feet beginning to melt like wax that was consumed by flames.
Blood began to drip like candle wax, and soon his bones were exposed.
“Ah Ah Ah Ah!”
The burly youth cried out tragically, but the melting quickly spread to his thighs. Following that, it reached his waist and began moving up his torso.
The burly youth’s abdomen burst open violently like a burst water bag. His organs were reduced to bloody fluids as they spewed out.
The burly youth’s expression was twisted as his expression was filled with horror.
He had his mouth open, but he could no longer say a word. He could only look at Yi Yun in despair before looking at the purple-robed elder.
The final voice he issued came to a halt. His head had been devoured by invisible flames. Moments later, his eyes burned into their sockets, and all that was left was a skeleton.
The bones that were covered in blood and bodily fluids quickly splashed to the red sand as melted bone before completely vanishing.
Every Azure Wood Manor disciple was horrified.
When the purple-robed elder saw this, his eyes widened for he could not accept the fact.
He had been complacent just a moment ago, but now, it looked like he had aged greatly.
He…he really died!?
Did he make a mistake in his calculations? His original calculation was for them to take about a thousand steps to cross the Blood Desert. But now, one of them had died with just over ten steps. If they carried down this path, everyone would be dead before they left the Blood Desert.
At that moment, many people were looking at Yi Yun, who had his arms were crossed while looking calm. It was as if what had happened had nothing to do with him.
Was it a coincidence that Yi Yun had managed to predict the death of the burly youth just moments ago? But wouldn’t it be too much of a coincidence?