"Ye Qingyu, I shall burn you and turn you into my most powerful flaming puppet. Haha, I offered you an easy way out but you chose the difficult route yourself!" The new sect master's voice reverberated in the Void like the resonant vibration of millions of rocks, inhuman and thunderous. "I wanted the Ancient Sky Dragon Domain specifically because this place has been forsaken by the myriad domains and is out of the spotlight. You've courted your own death by deliberately coming here to foil my plans. It's predestined that you'll become the flaming puppet I use to kill those Great Saints with, hahahaha!"
Ye Qingyu appeared deep in thought upon hearing this.
He began to understand the state which Cang Li and the others were in.
He had guessed wrongly earlier. They were not possessed, but had rather been burned alive into flaming puppets.
If that's the case, does that mean Cang Li and the others had lost their lives long ago, and all that's left are their bodies?
With this conjecture in mind, Ye Qingyu suddenly raised his hand and grabbed at the Void in an extremely casual fashion. However, when he retracted his palm, he was holding onto a figure who was none other than Elder Cang Li.
After they were activated using the sect master's secret technique, Cang Li and the other elders turned into beams of dancing light which fluttered at a rapid speed that could not be seen by the naked eye, and emitted a destructive scorching-hot force that would quickly burn an average Half-Saint expert into ashes. However, they were no different from flying birds and fireflies to Ye Qingyu, who could easily catch hold of them by raising his hand.
A silver-colored cold light diffused from Ye Qingyu's palm.
After Cang Li struggled for a bit, the orange slurry flames on his body were extinguished by this chilly light and his aura changed tremendously. As the weird scorching force disappeared, he reverted to the look of the time when Ye Qingyu first saw him. Although he then stopped struggling, his eyes did not regain their former spirituality and vitality, leaving him with a dull and vacant expression as if he was a piece of rotten wood.
"He has indeed been burned into a puppet. His spirit has died and all that's left is his body. He can no longer be revived."
Ye Qingyu was able to form a clear judgment with just a glance.
His palm gave a slight shudder.
Elder Cang Li's body turned into a puff of icy mist and dissipated.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Since his spirit has already died, it's probably best for him to vanish completely so as to prevent his body from being made use of by others and thereby allow him to rest in peace. This kind of ending might even be a form of release for him. Perhaps, it was never his intention to betray the young sect master of the Ancient Sky Dragon Sect, and he had simply been manipulated involuntarily.
However, Ye Qingyu did not expect that, during the moment of dissipation, a beam of blood-red light would shoot out from the icy mist and charge straight toward himself at lightning speed.
"Huh? Is this the thing that was covertly manipulating Elder Cang Li inside his body?"
Ye Qingyu was taken slightly aback.
However, he remained fearless and did not seek to evade it. Instead, he opened his mouth and sucked this streak of blood in. The long-prepared bright-yellow Immortal qi gushed up his throat and swirled around his mouth, quickly sealing this streak and turning it into a blood pill before he spat it out.
Landing in Ye Qingyu's hand, the pill spun in circles and emitted a strange and changeful light.
Ye Qingyu could vaguely see that at the bottom of the pill was a hidden bloodworm which rapidly wandered within, desperately struggling to escape from the seal. At present, through careful attention, he could feel that the worm's aura was evil like no other, carrying with it a dense and asphyxiating power of darkness.
After retracting his divine sense, Ye Qingyu looked at the blood pill thoughtfully.
Although he seemed close to putting together a few fragmented clues, it still felt like a few things were missing.
He did not pay too much thought to this.
"Everything is over."
He raised a hand to seal this blood pill into the [Cloud Top Cauldron] before the circulation of the Saint realm laws caused the bodies of the several dozen elders who, ten meters away, were still frantically spinning around him like heavenly scorching meteors to instantly freeze.
As the icy force field expanded, the flames in the palace were extinguished and could no longer be seen. Silver ice patterns crept all over the floor while a chill pervaded the entire palace.
The bodies of the elders turned into magnificent clusters of icy mist, accompanied by thumping noises.
Just like Cang Li, their spirits had long perished, leaving only their dead bodies.
That was why Ye Qingyu did not need to hold back.
And indeed, from among those changeful and pretty clusters of icy mist, puppet bloodworms which were practically invisible to the naked eye shot out at extreme speeds. Possessing consciousness and intelligence of their own, they frantically fled in all directions, apparently terrified by Ye Qingyu's Immortal qi and aura.
However, Ye Qingyu had long been prepared. Raising his palm, his sword will circulated. Galvanized by the true meaning of the [Human King Sword Mantra], a bright-yellow Immortal qi formed a net out of strands of thread and ensnared every one of those bloodworms.
A strange low-frequency bellow rang out in mid-air as those puppet bloodworms wildly struggled to escape from the sword will net.
However, having attained the Saint realmand been through countless top-level life-and-death battles, Ye Qingyu now possessed a perfect understanding of the [Human King Sword Mantra] and could summon ten thousand swords with just a single thought. The bright-yellow Immortal qi, which was innately already the nemesis of those puppet bloodworms, instantly turned them into bright-colored blood pills as soon as Ye Qingyu retracted his sword will.
When the blood pills entered his hand, they began to spin and gave off a peculiar splendor.
Their shape, aura, and unusual internal state were exactly the same as those of the first blood pill. However, the evil and dark forces within them were considerably weaker, which could probably be explained by the fact that Elder Cang Li was the strongest among them.
Ye Qingyu guessed that the new sect master had planted those strange bloodworms in the bodies of Cang Li and the others, whose spirits were thereafter devoured by these bloodworms until only a wisp of them were left, and thus their senses and intelligence were preserved. Because they seemed no different from living humans, it would usually go unnoticed that their consciousness was being controlled by the new sect master, who, in his desperation upon exploding from the punch, fully activated the power of the puppet bloodworms in them, and thus destroyed the final wisp of spirit left in them. Hence, even if Ye Qingyu did not pulverize them, they would only remain as moving corpses and could never come back to life.
Instead, death was a form of release.
Ye Qingyu sighed faintly.
As the saying went, a pitiful person always has a deplorable side.
In this universe, any form of [Puppet Demon Seed] technique could only be implanted in someone by finding one's mental flaws.
Elder Cang Li was formerly a prestigious and distinguished member of the Ancient Sky Dragon Sect, and wholeheartedly served the old sect master who was able to control him. However, after the latter died and was succeeded by a younger person who did not possess sufficient virtue or capability to control him, his ambitions gradually swelled and flaws developed in his mind, giving the mysterious new sect master an opportunity to implant a [Puppet Demon Seed] in him and thereby control him.
Despite his ambitions, being a decent person after all, Elder Cang Li would not have brazenly launched a rebellious campaign so soon, and more so would not have wiped out the loyal disciples of his sect, if it was not for this new sect master. Even if he wanted to fill the boots of the old sect master, he would most likely have used relatively gentler methods, for the Ancient Sky Dragon Sect was where his heart was when all was said and done.
The other elders, who were also implanted with puppet bloodworms, were probably the same case.
Ye Qingyu vaguely guessed as much.
This, in fact, was close to the truth.
However, he had completely no clue as to the origin of the new sect master.
"The puppets I painstakingly implanted have all been destroyed by you. Ye Qingyu, you shall make up for this with your death."
The new sect master's voice rang out again.
The ground began to tremble.
The entire Divine Dragon Palace shook so badly that it seemed like it was collapsing. As an asphyxiating and scorching-hot aura surged out from among smoke and dust at the back of the palace, the silver-colored ice patterns which had pervaded the palace gradually faded away. A human figure, formed from orange sludge, stepped out from the depths of the palace.
Everywhere he passed, even rocks would begin to burn.
Every footprint left behind a cluster of flames.
Even the Saint realm icy force field which Ye Qingyu had set up was destroyed by these flames, with its chill dissipating and its ice patterns melting.
The palace became half ice and half flames.
Ye Qingyu's expression became significantly grimmer than before.
The new sect master had transformed into a being of lava and fire. His vigor and power had grown countless times from before and his figure had expanded several times. At present, he was three to four meters tall, akin to a flaming giant.
Is this his true form?
A monster born of fire?
Frowning, Ye Qingyu vaguely felt that things could not be so simple, for if it was indeed a monster born of fire, it would at most possess a demonic aura and should not be able to control the puppet bloodworms and such evil creatures. After all, fireborns were considered a spiritual species too.
Moreover, the flaming giant ahead was able to derive power from the ground ceaselessly, such that its vigor kept increasing at an astonishing rate with no end in sight.
"Interesting." Ye Qingyu laughed.
He gave a push behind himself.
The dozens of sealed blood pills fell into the [Cloud Top Cauldron], which then carried Qin Hui, Luo Yi, and Tian Ning into the air, breaching the Divine Dragon Palace and suspending several hundred meters up high, where they were away from the battlefield and thus could avoid becoming involved.
In the meantime, the new sect master had already launched his offensive.
A flaming giant fist struck out as if intent on blowing up the entire stretch of land and mountains. It contained a terrifying power which could change the color of the sky and was several hundred times stronger than his previous attacks.
"Haha, I shall crush your spirit while preserving your head and body so as to create a most wonderful puppet." The new sect master's voice was akin to a fierce roar.
Ye Qingyu stood on the spot with his body as straight as a divine sword, completely unmoving.
Boom boom boom!
Punch after punch slammed forth.
The fists collided.
Heavenly fire flew off in all directions like flowing light through a dark night.
Unable to withstand the feedback force, the giant flaming arms of the new sect master were pulverized, yet would reassemble and strike forth again time after time, with the power and terror of every strike several times those of the previous strike.
However, Ye Qingyu remained as unflinching as an ancient divine mountain where he was. No matter how terrifying the punches of the new sect master became, he was easily able to meet them, such that the bursts of flowing light and flames could never reach within one meter of his body.
After ten breaths.
While holding back his strength, Ye Qingyu delivered a punch forth.
The arms of the flaming giant were instantly pulverized by this unprecedentedly terrifying punch. Its body was knocked back and exploded into a Sky Full of swirling flames which splattered all over the palace...
Ye Qingyu took a big step forth amid the skyful of flames.
He had already detected that a wisp of dark-red flowing light, which was probably the true life core of the new sect master, was making a beeline for the depths of the palace.
"If that's all you have, then it's time to end everything." Ye Qingyu hurried toward the depths, in the direction that the true life core of the sect master had fled.
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