Li Yiming’s painful roar resonated throughout the entire city.
“Yiming!” Liu Meng, who had been trying her best to wrap her head around the situation, leaped up from where she sat and rushed toward the Eastern Gate.
“Li Yiming? Is that really you?” Stargaze said in a low voice and her silhouette slowly faded away.
“Li Yiming…” Li Huaibei turned back to look at the neatly maintained streets behind him and picked up a leaf from the ground.
Li Yiming’s body shook violently as puffs of emerald gas gushed out from multiple sides of his body. His silvery hair was moving back and forth rapidly in the wind as his muscles dried up, aging at a visible speed. Within his body, his Heavenly Vein emitted a fervent green light as it absorbed as much life energy as it could, but it showed no signs of reaching level six.
“He can’t take it anymore!” Eyeglasses opened his eyes with difficulty, but he could not inch forward even the slightest.
“Yiming… let go!” Eyeglasses screamed, his voice unable to reach Li Yiming.
A nearly inaudible crack was heard. Li Yiming snapped out of his frenzy and lowered his head; on his right leg, a small crevice appeared. His muscle had shrunk like a dried up tree branch, hinting that it was going to give away.
‘But the seal… ‘ Li Yiming knew that his body could not keep up any longer, and despite Bai Ze’s seal, which seemed as fragile ever, he had to give up. ‘It’s no use to keep going like this. Even if I manage to free Bai Ze, if I lose my life in the process, there’s no point…’
Li Yiiming gritted his teeth and pulled his hand away from Bai Ze’s statue.
Or so he thought. To his horror, Li Yiming realized that his hand was now stuck to it, and he could not sever the link between himself and Bai Ze.
A moment of hesitation and the fissure that originated from his leg had already spread to his left ribs. Even the gaping wound on his chest appeared to have widened. Li Yiming attempted to cover up his wound using his left hand, but his life energy still escaped slowly between his fingers. Li Yiming knew that he had over-tested his luck, and he found Thunderflash to be of no use.
‘Might as well give it one last try.’ Li Yiming decided to make use of the last chance he had. He looked above him and uttered two words.
The moment Li Yiming felt the green energy vanish from his body and his vein, he knew he had succeeded.
Li Yiming looked up with a smile, only to see a fissure opening gradually in the sky above. What looked like a giant purple eyeball open up on the other side of the fissure that crossed the dimensions. Li Yiming’s intervention, along with the life energy of the formation, had caused a terrifying change to the lightning which was brewing in the clouds above Lianyun City.
A moment later, the giant eyeball turned its attention toward Li Yiming, and a bolt of black lightning shot out toward him.
After launching the attack, the giant eye retreated back into the fissure that closed itself, and vanished completely. The lightning that fell toward Li Yiming was not very imposing in size, but the amount of power it contained convinced him that his lightning immunity would prove to be ineffective against it.
‘Am I going to die to my own spell?’ Li Yiming’s worry was only temporary, as the bolt of lightning was suddenly blocked off just as it was a few inches away from his head. The next moment, it suddenly changed its course, flying toward a ray of blue light in the distance. The lightning melted into the ray of light and vanished a second later.
‘The formation, it’s still not done…’ Li Yiming closed his eyes. His right hand started trembling again as the avalanche of life energy inundated his body once more. By now, he had so little strength left, he could not do anything more than hanging onto the statue like a broken rag doll.
‘It’s over…’ The overflowing life energy revitalized Li Yiming for a moment, but it was followed by its inevitable escape. Li Yiming could feel his consciousness slip away slowly.
A faint metallic noise, like that of a bell, suddenly rung in Li Yiming’s mind. It was that mysterious runic glyph inside of his body that acted as a surrogate for his talent.
The golden wok right outside of the Eastern Gate suddenly resonated with the noise, and its golden aura brightened.
The runic glyph emitted another chime, and for the first time, it could clearly be seen.
The golden wok suddenly burst out in golden light, like a miniature sun.
A moment later, the golden light receded, and the golden wok regained its mundane appearance, just like when Li Yiming saw it for the first time.
After losing the support of the wok, the blue waterfall of life energy directed at Li Yiming suddenly dissipated. Li Yiming looked at his right hand, and noticed that the muscles in his arm were recovering quickly. Instead of gushing out of his body, the life energy actually returned into him through his wounds, and soon enough, Li Yiming had enough strength to stand back up, perplexed, but reinvigorated.
‘This runic glyph… What kind of talent did I awaken?’ Li Yiming touched the Bai Ze statue out of instinct, but this time, the statue turned into a ray of white light and vanished as it flew into his chest.
‘Oh?’ Li Yiming turned his attention toward his inner self; Bai Ze was now resting inside of him.
“Li Yiming!” Unobstructed by the winds, Eyeglasses quickly reached Li Yiming’s location and examined him from head to toes.
“You did it!” Eyeglasses looked at where Bai Ze’s statue used to be and said in a confused voice.
“It looks like she’s free.” Li Yiming was not quite sure himself of what had just happened.
“Yiming! Are you alright?” Liu Meng called as she came out of the gate.
“I…” Li Yiming was relieved at seeing Liu Meng safe and sound, but he was still in the shock of even being alive.
For a moment, Li Yiming was sure of his own demise. Now, he could feel that he had found his level five strength back, and Bai Ze was dormant within his body. The runic glyph inside of his body resumed its foggy appearance, and he would have thought of all the changes that occurred to be a dream if it was not for his long, white hair.
Li Yiming looked up at the sky, and at the sun which seemed strangely not as bright as before. This time, the sun somehow felt more real.
“Careful!” Eyeglasses cried out and put himself in front of Li Yiming and Liu Meng. A moment later, a ray of colorful light shot out of the city and landed right in front of Li Yiming, followed by a loud shriek.
Li Huaibei?” Li Yiming was delighted at finding out that his friend was also in Lianyun City.
“You broke the formation?” Li Huaibei, instead of being the gentleman he always was, asked in a frigid tone.
“Yes, I needed to save Bai Ze.” Li Yiming could tell that something was off, since it was the first time he had observed this kind of expression in his friend.
“The seventy-three thousand nine hundred twenty people that live in this city. They will die because of you.” Li Huaibei seemed furious at Li Yiming, to the point that he had to restrain himself from showing aggression. He vanished a second later, with another flash of light.
“What?” Li Yiming was confused, he looked at Liu Meng, Eyeglasses, and then at the direction in which Li Huaibei vanished.
“What?” Eyeglasses’ countenance shifted before Li Yiming could ask, and Liu Meng opened her mouth wide.
“What is it?” Li Yiming knew something was wrong.
“You mean, you didn’t receive it?” Eyeglasses asked in shock.
“The instructions from Heaven’s Laws…” Liu Meng said. “Lianyu City is to be destroyed. No one is to be spared.”
* * *
Stargaze stood on top of the city walls, looking down below at Li Yiming, and then at the blue sky. “Well, this is interesting…”
* * *
Inside the business cabin of an international flight, Big Beard clasped his fingers around his bottle of brandy as he looked at the three names in red on the screen of his tablet.
He gulped down a mouthful of liquor before making a sign to the charming flight attendant standing at the end of the corridor.
“Get me the fastest flight to Tian Shan.” Big Beard gave a card to the flight attendant. It was a limited membership card for the highest-grade VIP traveler.
“Yes, sir.” The attendant made a polite salute and walked away.
Big Beard took another mouthful and looked at the sky outside. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and the sea below reflected the blue of the sky, but Big Beard could already see the mountains of corpses and the living hell that was soon to come.
* * *
“Are you sure that you want to go there?” Qing Lingling said in a stern voice.
“I have a feeling that they’re over there.”
“This isn’t something you should be involving yourself in…” Qing Linglong said with some regret in her voice.
“You know you can’t keep me here.” Qing Qiaoqiao was not about to give up.
“You’ve seen it yourself, Liu Meng’s back…” Qing Linglong sighed, heartbroken for her little sister’s sake.
“That’s something else. We’re not supposed to give up on our teammates, that’s what you’ve taught me.”
“But they didn’t tell us when they entered the domain…”
“Yes, and you don’t know the reason for that, do you?”
Qing Linglong was backed into a corner. She took a deep breath and walked toward the window. After a long moment of silence, she picked up her cellphone. “Hey, it’s me. Could you get two tickets for us? Yes… we’re going to Tian Shan…”
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