The Vermilion Bird Formation was immense in scale and had existed since the time of Ancient Grand Xia. Even after the nine grand clans rebelled, they still had no way to possess this formation for their sole use.
They had no way to neutralize it, and so the ancient grand luck that accumulated within it could only be obtained by people of the Yuanfu Realm.
Hence, among the eighteen trial grounds in Grand Xia, the Vermilion Bird Formation was the highest grade of difficulty that could be opened up to those in Yuanfu.
Even today, after a few thousand years, the transcendent powers had never given up their plan to excavate the Vermilion Bird Formation. For each ranking battle that occurred every three years, they would send the strongest Yuanfu cultivator they had to enter the Vermilion Bird Formation, hoping for them to find traces of its secrets.
And throughout these thousands of years after Ancient Grand Xia was destroyed, there had been more than a few powerhouses obtaining significant benefits from it.
It was rumored that the Azure Emperor himself received an insanely powerful cultivation art, but no one knew what exactly was it.
Naturally, Qin Wentian didn’t know the history of the Vermilion Bird Formation. He only felt that this was an extraordinary world which had even birthed the true spirit of a Vermilion Bird. Based on his current strength, it was impossible for him to see through this formation, but he did understand that it made use of the concept of space and the world within it was exceedingly vast. Even after exploring for three days, he had only met around ten people.
He also noticed some historical ruins inside this world. Some had long been excavated by others before him, while others were like the mountain wall with the gigantic axe embedded within it—he had no way to discover the hidden secrets with his current level of power.
In fact, in this battle to plunder ancient luck, Qin Wentian could just camp at some location and take his time setting up fourth-ranked inscriptions—nobody inside this world would be able to do anything to counter him. Sadly, this world was just too vast, and taking his chances rather than seizing the initiative wouldn’t be a very effective plan. The only way to wrest away the ancient luck of others was to actively go after it.
His powerful heart sense swept out and a few breaths of time later, a silhouette appeared in Qin Wentian’s perception.
Chen Wang from the Great Solar Chen Clan; this time around he was here because he wanted to contend for the position of first. Back then, he was ranked #2 right below Hua Taixu. Now that Hua Taixu had already stepped into the second level of Heavenly Dipper, one could well imagine how powerful Chen Wang must be, given that he suppressed his cultivation base for three entire years. All three of his Mandates had already reached the second level, and his Mandates of Flames was even at the Advanced Boundary of the second level. All these years of preparation, it was all for this event today.
And moreover, Chen Wang’s trump cards were not yet unveiled. Nobody knew what his true limits were.
But one thing that people could all agreed on: in this ranking battle, Chen Wang wasn’t a person they wanted to antagonize.
Qin Wentian calmly turned back, choosing another direction and continued on. His actions caused the spectators to all be puzzled—just when Qin Wentian and Chen Wang were about to meet, he actually changed a direction?
Was this coincidental? Or was Qin Wentian’s perception stronger than Chen Wang’s?
Indeed, Chen Wang hadn’t even noticed Qin Wentian’s presence. He continued on with his course of direction at a leisurely pace. It was clear that he didn’t expect any combat to occur anytime soon.
Chen Wang continued for a while before picking another direction and then increasing his speed. He knew that this world was truly vast, if he wanted to wrest away the ancient luck, he had to be proactive rather than passive.
Under the startled gazes of the spectators, Qin Wentian didn’t choose to leave. Instead, just when Chen Wang changed directions, Qin Wentian stealthily followed him from behind, causing the crowd to marvel at his guts[a][b]. Maybe his confidence in his own perceptive ability bordered on arrogance, because of all people, he actually chose to trail Chen Wang.
“The next unlucky sheep is Qin Zheng! That dark horse with the same surname as Qin Wentian will meet Chen Wang very soon.”
The spectators outside broke into excited discussion. Their attention was mostly fixed on those outstanding contenders, such as Chen Wang, Shi Potian, Wang Jue and the others.
And also, dark horses like Si Qiong, Qin Zheng and Hua Shaoqing were also being closely observed by the crowd.
And as expected, Chen Wang ran into Qin Zheng. Evidently, the amount of ancient luck Chen Wang plundered was more than Qin Zheng’s. Not only that, his Vermilion Bird-form ancient luck was also different from the majority, his was a golden-feathered Vermilion Bird while Qin Zheng’s was an ordinary one.
“Do you want to hand over your bit of ancient luck willingly or do you want me to take it away by force?” Chen Wang’s gaze landed on Qin Zheng’s illusory Vermilion Bird—there were five points of light glimmering there. This meant that if his Vermilion Bird devoured that of Qin Zheng’s, it would be equivalent to him stealing five portions of ancient luck.
“Chen Wang.” Qin Zheng casually laughed. “My ancient luck? You won’t be able to acquire it.”
Chen Wang’s lips curled up in a cold smile as he snorted. Stepping up, both of his arms glowed with a boiling redness as he channelled his Great Solar Universe Art. The temperature around him soared skywards, and even the air around Chen Wang evaporated.
“It seems like you don’t believe me?” Qin Zheng laughed. Chen Wang directly punched out with his tyrannical fist, as flaming fist lights sped forth towards Qin Zheng, each fist filled with an aura of savageness and tyranny.
The terrifying flaming fists slammed into Qin Zheng’s body, yet the spectators were all stunned by what they witnessed next. Qin Zheng’s silhouette appeared in another location, instantly changing his position with incredible speed. It didn’t seem possible that he had dodged it, they could clearly see that he’d been bombarded by the punches. He should have been hit by that last attack.
Chen Wang stepped out as he grabbed forwards in the air. A terrifying manifestation of his flame-ember palm imprint directly slammed downwards, locking down on Qin Zheng’s shoulder.
“Shatter.” Qin Zheng spat out a single word as that palm imprint broke into multiple pieces. At the same moment, a terrifying sword qi could be felt in the air. Chen Wang’s silhouette had already appeared before him, and that great solar light illuminating from him was inexorably resplendent, so piercing that no one could look directly at him. Qin Zheng shut his eyes, and as Chen Wang’s Great Solar Swordplay slashed down, Qin Zheng vanished instantly before everyone’s eyes.
When he appeared again, he blasted forth with his palms. Qin Zheng’s palm was like the edge of a sharp sabre, containing within it a fearsome lacerating energy. Chen Wang sneered, his arms were already circulating with the Great Solar Energy, and he reacted by matching palms with Qin Zheng. The blazing temperature also caused Qin Zheng’s arms to turn a boiling red as the Great Solar Energy surged into him from Chen Wang.
When the two of them broke apart, Qin Zheng’s entire sleeves had been burned off and the whole length of his arms were charred a deep black. Chen Wang’s boiling red arm turned back to its normal color, as traces of a bloody wound could be seen on his palm.
“Mandate of Space,” Chen Wang murmured as he stared at the wound he received. “With that Mandate of yours, it’s no wonder that you’re so confident.”
Lifting his head, Chen Wang’s eyes were illuminated by an intense blazing light. Instantly, the surrounding atmosphere in that region began to boil.
His silhouette flickered as he dashed towards his opponent, like a huge ball of flames fired over that resembled the sun. The ground where his steps passed over all became scorched earth, void of any life.
“INCINERATE!” Chen Wang coldly shouted, as the huge ball of sun flames lunged towards Qin Zheng. Two streams of will of Mandates gushed forth from Qin Zheng as his palms chopped downwards. Momentarily, an incomparably powerful slash descended from the Heavens, cleaving that ball of flame into two. As the two halves of the flaming ball hurled towards Qin Zheng, he vanished from sight yet again, re-appearing elsewhere.
“Spatial Laceration infused into the Mandate of the Wind— allowing you to unleash the might of Grand Cleaving?” Chen Wang stared at Qin Zheng as he continued, “Speak. Who exactly are you?”
“Unmatched Realm, Qin Zheng.”
“Your Mandate of Space grants you a powerful dodging ability, but in terms of true combat, do you think you stand a chance against me?” Chen Wang sneered, his combat prowess was evidently stronger than Qin Zheng’s but when he witnessed how powerful the fusion between Qin Zheng’s Mandate of Space and Mandate of Wind was, even he couldn’t help feeling a little fear in his heart.
“Chen Wang, do you really think you are invincible among Yuanfu now that Hua Taixu is gone? Leaving aside the topic of fighting, you have already failed the moment when you didn’t realize that someone was trailing even before you met me.” Qin Zheng laughed, his words causing Chen Wang’s expression to stiffen. Abruptly, his perception swept out, scanning the surrounding area with greater intensity.
Qin Wentian silently cursed, was Qin Zheng revealing him for his own amusement? Qin Wentian instantly turned and sped away.
It was as though Chen Wang finally sensed something. His countenance changed as he moved like the wind, pursuing after. Evidently, he had finally sensed the fluctuations of Qin Wentian’s aura.
Currently, if they fought purely based on strength, Qin Wentian didn’t think that he would be a match for Chen Wang.
Chen Wang manically laughed. His cultivation base was at the ninth level, while Qin Wentian’s was at the seventh. Given how both of them were using movement techniques, the difference in their levels made it so that Chen Wang’s speed was faster than Qin Wentian’s.
“You won’t be able to escape.”
At this moment, Chen Wang could already see Qin Wentian’s figure in his sights. The Great Solar Illumination from Chen Wang’s grew increasingly brighter as he closed the distance between them. After which, he gestured out with his sword fingers as his Great Solar Swordplay manifested a few solar swords that slashed down.
Qin Wentian turned and responded with a dragon imprint, yet the Great Solar Swordplay easily destroyed that. The remaining might carried over and slammed into Qin Wentian’s body.
Qin Wentian’s countenance remained cold as he continued flying ahead. The garuda wings on his back flapped with greater strength as he tried his best to increase his speed. A few moments later, he noticed a cave dwelling at the side of the mountains. Although visibility was poor in there, he hesitated no longer and immediately dashed into the cave.
Chen Wang sneered when he saw what happened. He too increased his speed while channeling even more Great Solar Energy into a giant flame ball that manifested behind him.
However, the instant he stepped into the cave dwelling, a force of overwhelming power directly gushed out, boring into him. Chen Wang’s killing intent soared to the limits as he hurled the giant flame ball within.
“BOOM!” Chen Wang’s eyes narrowed in trepidation. That force gushing out shattered his flame ball, and continued its way forward aiming for his heart.
With a howl of rage, the blood in his entire body seemingly transformed into magma. An immense heat wave erupted forth from him, pushing against the gushing force but momentarily, Chen Wang’s body was jolted backwards, only regaining control after he was pushed back several steps. His entire arm trembled, as droplets of blood flowed unceasingly from it. He was actually wounded!
A scorching hot flame erupted, evaporating the droplets of blood into steam. Chen Wang clutched his palms as his countenance turned ashen.
When fighting against Qin Zheng, he couldn’t do anything to his opponent. And yet now he actually suffered a disadvantage when he’s fighting against Qin Wentian?
But how could Qin Wentian unleashed such a terrifying attack of such might?
A burst of solar flame inundated the area, Chen Wang wanted to destroy the cave yet he discovered that even though the cave dwelling was trembling intensely from his attack, there were no hints of collapse.
Chen Wang’s expression froze as he walked to the cave’s entrance and hurled a giant ball of sunflames within, wanting to bury Qin Wentian inside it. He stood outside the cave and icily sneered, “Can you only turtle in there like a coward?”
“Chen Wang, can it be that you are afraid of someone like me who’s two levels lower than you in terms of cultivation? So in the end, is this all the mighty Chen Wang amount to? Standing outside hurling useless words of arrogance? Nothing but a scaredy cat.” A voice filled with cold laughter drifted out, containing hints of mockery in it. “Come in if you dare.”
Chen Wang trembled in rage when he heard that. His countenance was ice cold as he continued hurling balls of sunflame within.