A ferocious momentum billowed from the expansive mountain range, causing the expressions of many to change.
Before, they had dismissed the trembling mountain as just a naturally occurring earthquake. After all, for a mountain to form, fissures and tectonic plates within the earth were absolutely crucial. Though these matters were obviously not as simple as explained here, it wasn’t too much of a stretch either.
However, as the tremors grew in strength, the faces of many experts turned solemn.
Even as this was happening, the seals in Ryu’s Heavenly Pupils shattered one after another. The sixth… The seventh… The momentum of their breakthrough didn’t stop until the ninth seal placed a bottleneck in Ryu’s path.
Still, Ryu was satisfied with this result. Thanks to his Chaotic Silk Meridians, his qi was catalyzed into an energy that stood on par with Essence. As such, he no longer had to worry about finding high level qis to break his seals. As long as he progressed in his cultivation, this special energy would naturally grow more powerful and become capable of breaking more seals.
Ryu suddenly felt that the world had become far clearer. Although he had only marginally impacted the ninth seal and had failed to fully open it, it still felt like there was a whole new world around him.
The several kilometer radius around Ryu was projected to him in striking detail, far beyond what his Spiritual Sense could provide him. He could even faintly feel several powerful auras surging toward him from the corners of the Inner Ring. The Zu and Basteel Clan powerhouses were definitely on their way.
However, Ryu turned a blind eye to these changes, focusing his everything on the shaking and glowing mountain below him as Little Rock continued to perform sharp and elegant aerial maneuvers.
Ryu knew that relying on Ailsa to find the source would be much better than relying on himself. The issue was that ever since Ailsa delved into the secrets of his Chaotic Silk Meridians, she had been exceptionally spent. Originally, Ryu hadn’t even wanted to rely on her for the timely explosion of the Mortal Qi Small Realm. If she hadn’t insisted, he would have allowed it to collapse long ago.
For now, he had to rely on himself and let Ailsa rest.
‘There.’ Ryu’s eyes shone like beaming lights.
Feeling Ryu’s intent, Little Rock immediately dove downward.
“You dared kill my son! Leave your head here!”
The Patriarch of the Basteel Clan had obviously never stopped chasing Ryu. He had been stopped from acting after Tharon died by the Zu Clan female elder. But now, there was obviously nothing doing so. Unfortunately, how could he think that even all this time, he would fail to catch a mere Divine Vessel Realm pup?
Though he was the Patriarch of the Basteel Clan, he was actually a generation younger than City Lord Loom. As such, his power was a step below as well. If his mind wasn’t clouded by anger, he would dare to chase Ryu after seeing how he had dealt with the City Lord.
Ryu couldn’t be bothered with him, melding both his and Little Rock’s body into the wind as they dove downward at even faster speeds.
“He doesn’t seem to be escaping.” Fuoco of the Ember Clan’s eyes narrowed. He had already sentenced Ryu to death in his heart for daring to look down on his Ember Clan, but he had actually yet to make a move. Instead, he had been quietly observing, waiting for an opportunity. But now, seeing Ryu’s odd actions, he suddenly felt something was off.
“Did you find out why the Basteel and Zu Clan entered the Mortal Qi Small Realm during The Selection?” Fuoco turned to the Heir of the Croft Clan, questioning him.
“I still can’t be certain.” He responded with a frown. “It should be said, though, that both the Basteel and Zu Clans have unique methods of sensing… special resources. The Zu Clan and their high Mental Realms, and the Basteel Clan and their great attainments in Earth Daos… Both are in unique positions to sense when something is off. Them taking action at the same time isn’t so inconceivable.
“But, the fact they’re both here without any bitter animosity toward each other can only mean that they found nothing.”
Fuoco’s eyes sharpened further. “… Maybe they found nothing because the secret isn’t within the Small Realm but the mountain range itself! Follow him!”
Fuoco sped forward, a trail of red being left behind him. The old man moderator of The Selection silently followed behind. The Croft Clan Heir wasn’t qualified to enter this battlefield, so he had no choice but to stay behind, his mind spinning with various thoughts. In the end, he secretly contacted his own Clan…
The whole world seemed to converge on a single young man, but Ryu seemed to not have noticed them at all.
His actions appeared to be completely suicidal. He was diving downward at speeds that far surpassed the speed of sound, but all that was below him was a mountain of glowing rock. If he continued, wouldn’t he be sentencing himself and his beast to death?
Ryu, however, simply raised his arm. His Immortal Sakura flashed and disappeared as his oppressive cold aura shifted to a blazing heat.
In an instant, his glaives disappeared, replaced by a single raised halberd.
‘[Twin Titan Dance: Blazing Path].’
Ryu’s arm bulged.
Mortal Qi Mountain was no normal lump of tall rock. It was intertwined with countless qi stone mines and veins, continuously reinforced and strengthened beyond normal realms.
To make matters worse, [Twin Titan Dance] was a dual battle axe Earth Grade technique that Ryu had adapted to be used with his halberds. Anyone watching one would think he was completely insane.
However… Ryu trusted his eyes.
A bloody aura filled the skies and the temperatures skyrocketed.
The Connecting Heaven Realm experts charging in after Ryu all came to grinding halts. They could instantly feel that this strength was far beyond their own. Aside from the old man from the Ember Clan… None of them felt that they could take this strike and survive!
The silhouette of a blood red axe cut through the air, following the arc of Ryu’s arm.
The surface of the mountain imploded. Billowing dust clouds spread outward, completely obscuring Ryu’s grime covered figure, his beast, and the Zu Clan female elder.
‘He planned this all to hide himself? Was I wrong?’ Fuoco frowned. From an outsider’s perspective, Ryu had simply used the mountain debris to hide himself.
Fuoco stretched out his Spiritual Sense but suddenly noticed that he couldn’t sense Ryu at all. However, he sensed something completely different… A surging aura that made his heart palpitate.
‘An opportunity! Most definitely!’
Fuoco completely forgot about Ryu, diving into the cloud of dust and rock without hesitation. Many more who sensed what he had followed along. This matter had suddenly become far bigger than Ryu alone.
In the distance, Matheus’ gaze narrowed as well, having by far the greatest Mental Realm here. He too flashed forward, leaving Tae in City Lord Loom’s hands.
A great upheaval was about to occur in the Inner Ring, and the catalyst was none other than a teenage boy who had been nothing but a Qi Refinement pup just half a year ago.