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Zu An chuckled, even though he was in danger. He summoned Grandgale and instantly moved several dozen feet away.
He had already been wary when he heard the other two’s suggestions. After all, they had just fought with the intent to kill moments before. One would have to be an utter fool to completely trust their words. Sure enough, the two failed to live up to his ‘trust’.
The black-haired monster had lost its objective, so it instinctively shifted its attention to the fleeing Jin Shi. It took a step forward, catching up to him with just a single step.
The others felt chills watching the scene. Even though the skill Jin Shi had displayed was just the beginning level of the Invincible Heavenly Peng, he was already extremely fast. And yet, despite his head start, the black-haired monster had caught up so easily.
The monster extended its fingers like lightning, its hand piercing straight through Jin Shi’s back and ripping out his heart. Jin Shi screamed, his heart still throbbing as it left his body. It was easy to imagine just what kind of suffering he had just experienced.
Yan Xuehen and the other women exchanged a look. They both thought back to the corpse of Ancestor Chuan Shan, which they had seen on the way. At that time, judging from the scars, they deduced that someone had most likely scooped out his heart from behind. They had felt that the thought was a bit outrageous at first, but now, they personally witnessed it happening.
The black-haired monster tossed the dripping heart straight into its mouth. It chomped down and blood spurted out of its mouth.
“No!” Jin Shi exclaimed. He still had some of his consciousness left, but after seeing that scene, he perished instantly. His golden body dimmed, and he fell into the blood pool below, his flesh quickly being eaten away.
Ma Huang’s fine hairs stood on end when he heard the bitter screams behind him. He hadn’t expected the monster to deal with Zu An and Jin Shi that quickly. The way things were, however, he had no other option. He rushed directly toward the blood pool.
When they saw that, the survivors were all stunned. Kong Nanjing cried out in shock, “Is he trying to kill himself?”
Yan Xuehen shook her head and said, “Do not forget that he is from the Blood race. This blood pond might be deadly for others, but it might not be to him.”
That was precisely what Ma Huang had been thinking. He had been a bit alarmed when the platform collapsed and the others fell into the blood pool, but after some time passed, he remembered that he was from the Blood race!
Even though the blood pool below had a powerful corrosive nature, there was a great deal of blood essence stored inside. For him, it would be an incredible source of nutrients. As such, he had secretly come up with a plan. While Zu An and Jin Shi stalled the monster, he would enter the blood pool first. He would then absorb the blood essence inside to strengthen himself while seizing the eternal flower.
He had clearly seen that ever since the pool of blood surged, the mysterious formation around the flower had already disappeared. Once he obtained the Three Three Flower, he would use the Blood race’s secret arts to escape, using the pool as cover.
As soon as he entered the blood pool, he felt a stinging pain. As someone from the Blood race, he immediately realized that it was sucking out his blood essence, and it wasn’t some kind of corrosive poison.
However, his race specialized in absorbing blood essence. Not only could he use a special technique to protect his own blood essence from leaving, he could even absorb the blood essence in the pond instead.
At that instant, he felt as if he were in paradise. The aura around him was just too fragrant. This was pure blood essence, its quality far greater than anything he had ever absorbed before! In just a few breaths of time, he quickly recovered the twenty percent of his blood essence he had lost while facing Zu An, and it was still increasing. Soon, he quickly surpassed his normal peak! If he could cultivate in the blood pool for two hours, he was confident he could even break through directly into the master rank.
For cultivators, cultivation became more and more difficult as one’s rank increased. There were countless experts at the peak of the ninth rank who were forever stuck at that rank, unable to break through into the master rank. If just two hours in this place was enough to overcome such a thing, just what did that represent?
However, Ma Huang knew he didn’t have that much time. As such, he quickly swam toward the Three Three Flower at the center of the blood pool. Perhaps because a portion of the blood essence had been sucked away, the petals that had seemed about to blossom appeared a bit limp.
The black-haired monster noticed what had happened and let out a sky-shaking roar.
A terrifying pressure swept over Ma Huang, leaving him absolutely horrified. He gave the Three Three Flower that was almost within reach a reluctant look, but decided that his own life was still the most important thing.
Meanwhile, the black-haired monster stood in the blood pool, looking down to examine it. The experts on the ledge couldn't see the abnormalities in the blood pool at all, but the monster seemed as if it had X-ray vision. It suddenly let out an inhuman roar, then thrust its palm toward the blood pool, sending a large hand projection in. When the monster pulled its hand back out, it was gripping the fiercely struggling Ma Huang.
Ma Huang was terrified. He didn’t know why his Blood race’s secret arts had been so easily seen through by the enemy. He struggled frantically, releasing a strange, viscous liquid from his entire body. Not only was it poisonous, it was also extremely slippery. Together with his struggles, he actually managed to free more than half of his body!
The black-haired monster harrumphed, tightening its grip. The tremendous pressure made Ma Huang’s eyes roll back, and he almost fainted on the spot. It felt as if many needles had stabbed into his body, preventing him from moving. Out of desperation, he bit down on the monster’s hand in an attempt to use the Blood race’s sinister techniques with everything he had, trying to suck away the monster’s cultivation.
Ever since ancient times, many of the Blood race’s seniors had been able to kill powerful beings with higher cultivation ranks precisely because of those special methods. If their opponents were careless, they would have their blood essence sucked out.
However, this time, Ma Huang felt despair. No matter how hard he sucked, the other party’s source didn’t budge at all!
The black-haired monster was clearly getting annoyed. It raised Ma Huang up, then squeezed his body from the bottom up like a roll of toothpaste. Ma Huang didn’t even have time to scream miserably before his entire body… exploded on the spot! His internal organs and intestines flew out of his mouth.
Ma Huang had been unstoppable for decades, having sucked countless experts dry. Never could he have expected that he would die so miserably.
When the women on the stone platform saw what had happened, they clutched their mouths and began to retch. Such a scene really was way too shocking. Even the eyelids of a thick-skinned man like Zu An twitched.
The monster seemed to find the pile of remains too filthy for the blood pool. With a wave of its hand, a stream of black energy wrapped around the inner organs and fluids, instantly refining and cleaning them. Only a few drops of blood essence entered the pool below. The Three Three Flower that had previously looked somewhat wilted immediately recovered its budding vitality.
Yan Xuehen looked at Princess Suolun and asked, “Is this monster from the Demon race?”
Princess Suolun shook her head and replied, “That black energy indeed seems a bit similar to the Demon race’s black flames, but I do not sense the aura of the same species from his body. On the contrary, that black energy is full of the aura of death, as if… As if…”
Yun Jianyue finished, “As if it already died a long time ago.”
Yan Xuehen frowned. There were indeed some cultivation methods that specialized in refining the souls of the dead, but practically all of them involved turning bones and rotten corpses into weapons or puppets. When had there ever been an instance of a corpse gaining its own consciousness?
Kong Nanjing cried out in alarm. “That flower still hasn’t bloomed. Does it need more blood essence…”
The survivors were disheartened when they heard that. They were the only ones left. If more blood essence was needed, it would obviously have to come from them.
The black-haired monster seemed to have realized that as well. It looked toward the stone platform.
Qiao Heng picked up his bow and took a step forward, saying to Zu An, “Brother, I don’t know why you saved me, but it is a fact that you saved me several times. A real man separates gratitude and grudges clearly. You’ve saved my life, so I’ll return you a life. As for the two princesses, if you’re able to leave this place alive, please help me watch over my clansmen in my place.”
Afterward, he nocked an arrow and drew his bow. The arrowhead flickered with jade green radiance. He said with a firm expression, “I’ll stall this monster. All of you, hurry and escape.”
As soon as he finished speaking, a green streak flew toward the black-haired monster like a shooting star. Wherever it passed, the powerful aura even cleaved the blood pool apart.
“Emerald Immortal Tear!” Princesses Suolun and Changning both cried out in alarm. They were from the fiend races as well, so how could they not know about the Elf race’s lethal move?
The elves were all excellent archers, who would each fire countless arrows in their lifetime. However, there was a kind of arrow they could only fire three times at most, and it was a skill that only the most outstanding talents could learn. That was the Emerald Immortal Tear.
The move ignited one’s potential and definitely couldn't be used rashly. After using it, they would become seriously injured at best, and in the worst case, they might even die. The move’s use often preceded the fall of a genius. Its price was so great that the Elf race believed even the emerald deity they worshiped would shed tears. That was how it had obtained its name.
Zu An didn’t run, and instead said with a sigh, “You won’t be able to stop it.”
Sure enough, the black-haired monster seized Qiao Heng’s most powerful arrow. The green radiance repeatedly spun in its palm, even producing smoke as it ground against the monster black hair. However, in time the light grew dimmer and dimmer, eventually disappearing completely.