“Retreat! Everyone, retreat to the great formation!” Lu Tianmeng yelled in a moment of desperation after seeing the azure flames on those large flags grow thicker and thicker, then took the lead to fall back, fleeing towards the large formation behind him.
Hearing this, the cultivators next to him immediately instinctively followed their captain and retreated.
Xuan Yue did not hesitate and similarly ordered a retreat.
However, the cultivators on Han Li’s side, apart from a few cultivators who had a steady advantage and could retreat at any time, were all entangled by the opponents’ ferocity and had no way of escaping. Han Li’s opponent similarly mounted a ferocious offensive, attempting to contain Han Li.
However, Han Li coldly laughed. After retrieving his other magic tools, he tossed out the White Scales Shield, forcefully blocking the opponents’ attacks and easily returning to the great formation. The Heavenly Fiend Sect’s cultivators could only bitterly watch and stop their footsteps outside of the formation.
Seeing that more than half of his unit was stuck outside the formation, unable to escape, Xuan Yue began to fight even more fiercely, knowing in his heart that the situation was not good. But just as he wanted to go assist the other cultivators, Lu Tianmeng instantly pulled him back the moment he began to move.
“It’s already too late! The Azure Sun Devil Fire has already been summoned!” Lu Tianmeng said with an ashen expression, shaking his head.
Upon hearing this, Han Li finally noticed that between the flags of the red-robed flag bearers, azure flames had already shot out. Ten or so flame columns shot into the air, converging into a giant azure fireball tens of meters in diameter, gently floating in midair and swaying imposingly; it was incredibly eye-catching.
After being startled, Xuan Yue was about to say something. However, the following movements from those red-robed cultivators immediately caused his expression to become extremely ugly.
Those red-robed individuals pointed the tips of the flags at the Seven Great Sects cultivators who had been entangled outside of the formation. Instantly, the huge fireball became ten or so smaller fireballs about a meter wide with a “pu”, shooting directly towards these cultivators.
The speed of those azure fireballs was incredibly frightening. In the time it took to blink, they had already aggressively flown in front of the cultivators from the Seven Great Sects.
Naturally, these people had long discovered the transformation of the large fireball; they all instinctively used various kinds of magic tools to receive the attacks of the azure fireballs. An extremely low number of them used a few talismans to execute Daoist magic in an attempt shoot them down.
Unfortunately, because these azure flames were the so-called “Azure Sun Devil Flames”, they were extremely frightening!
Regardless of whether it was the magic tools or the Daoist magics, as soon as they encountered the azure fireball, they were like moths in a flame, silently melting away completely.
Seeing this unbelievable scene, the faces of those cultivators became as deathly pale as snow!
Before they could think carefully about it, ten or so fireballs simultaneously slammed into them. The protective barriers and similar magic spells were all completely destroyed upon contact. Furthermore, their bodies instantly became reduced to nothing under the demonic fire, not even leaving a single trace behind.
After seeing this massacre, how could the remaining cultivators who had not been hit dare to hesitate at all! Either they had been gravely wounded by the Heavenly Fiend Sect cultivators or they simply dropped the tangled-up magic tools, directly fleeing towards the great formation.
However, two or three people panicked, and they immediately died under their opponents’ magic tools.
In this way, the Seven Great Sects cultivators defending the spirit stone mine had suffered the deaths of nearly ten Qi Condensation disciples and one Foundation Establishment cultivator. As soon as they brushed against the enemy, their losses were very great!
However, the Azure Sun Devil Flame’s might was not limited to this!
Under the guidance of the red-robed cultivators, those azure fireballs became one entity once again, directly becoming a sea of flames that rushed towards the Four Fiend Formation.
At this moment, the expressions on the faces of the ones hiding inside the formation drastically changed, and a fear spread through all of the cultivators.
Seeing this, Xuan Yue wrinkled his brow and directly asked asked Lu Tianmeng, "Senior Martial Brother Lu, what’s going on with these azure flames? How can Foundation Establishment cultivators release such frightening True Fire? This great formation’s restriction ability should be able to block the attack of the flames, right?"
Lu Tianmeng couldn’t help but begin to bitterly laugh after hearing the other person’s string of questions. However, upon seeing that all the other cultivators were attentively watching him, he could only helplessly explain:
“To tell the truth to you all, when I, Lu, was battling in the warfront, I only occasionally witnessed this Azure Sun Devil Flame’s fearfulness! As for whether or not it can break the Four Fiend Formation, I have no way of guessing! Only, I heard afterwards from a senior that this kind of demonic fire cannot be carelessly released; not only are these Wild Flame cultivators required to cultivate in this kind of Azure Sun Devil Flame technique, every time they release it they pay a price in lowering their own cultivation bases. That’s why it’s so difficult to defend against!”
These words from Lu Tianmeng caused Xuan Yue and the other cultivators to glance at each other, revealing dispirited expressions!
At this time, the fierce azure flames finally slammed into the four-colored restrictions of the great formation; a low rumbling sound, like an explosion, sounded out, immediately attracting the attention of all the cultivators present.
They saw that the azure waves incessantly slammed against the four-colored light barrier, wave after wave, causing the light barrier to ripple nonstop. However, in the end it blocked these frightening demonic flames, causing the Seven Sects cultivators in the formation to let out a sigh of relief.
However, Han Li and the others did not relax for long before they were on edge once again.
That was because as time went on, the four-colored light barrier was already slowly dimming under the repeated onslaught of the vicious azure flames; clearly, this was a sign that the great formation was about to shatter. And although those red-clothed people were also drenched with sweat, waving their large flags, they definitely had no problem in holding out for a while.
All of the cultivators inside the formation now began to furiously rack their brains on ways to retreat and get out of there!
Based on the circumstances of the other spirit stone mines that had been ambushed, although the Seven Sects cultivators who fell into the hands of the Devil Dao were not immediately killed, they would be immediately escorted to the enemy. It was unknown what the Devil Dao were planning to do with their hostages.
However, the hatred built up between the Seven Sects and the Six Devil Dao Sects after their consecutive battles could be likened to a deep sea! How could either side treat their hostages well? This concern was especially made worse since the opponent often practiced the inhumane method of extracting one’s soul; this caused the Seven Sects cultivators to feel even more uneasy!
Thus, unless there was no other way out, no one would bring up the matter of surrender.
“I know of a tunnel directly leading to a location around ten miles away. That should be enough for us to escape alive!” The elder Yu Xing, who had been standing guard here for ten or so years, suddenly said with a peaceful expression.
Like a large boulder creating huge waves, these words instantly shocked Xuan Yue and the other cultivators, then exciting them immediately afterwards.
“Martial Brother Yu, is this really true?”
“Great, now we can finally escape!”
The Seven Sects cultivators who were originally panicking had suddenly became much more lively and were unable to contain their joy.
Han Li was also rather happy. After all, he truly had no way to deal with those Azure Sun Devil Flames. Even if he were to go all out, he wouldn’t know where to start.
Xuan Yue and Lu Tianmeng restrained the excitement in their hearts and, after confirming again the veracity of the tunnel from Yu Xing’s mouth, hesitated for a moment before issuing the order to retreat!
As for the spirit stone mine, they wouldn’t have to worry about it; at most, the opponents would destroy the tunnel entrance, halting the production of spirit stones. The Devil Dao cultivators wouldn’t even take a few spirit stones from the mine. Even the mortals who worked the mines wouldn’t normally be injured in the battle.
Thus, all they needed to do was make themselves scarce and slip away.
Under Yu Xing’s lead, Han Li and the other fifty or so cultivators guarding the mine entered a certain underground tunnel in the spirit stone mine. However, just when they entered the underground tunnel, everyone felt the entire canyon tremble for a moment.
“The Four Fiend Formation has been broken through!” Xuan Yue shouted expressionlessly.
Instantly, the cultivators sped up their footsteps even more.
The inside of the tunnel was lit up by the many moonlight stones in the cultivators' hands. One could tell from the potholed walls of the tunnel that it was man-made, causing all of the cultivators to feel somewhat shocked.
Based on Yu Xing’s brief overview, this tunnel was originally an extremely long spirit stone vein. It had been carved out by the miners as they progressed along the vein, harvesting the spirit stones. It eventually led to another exit.
Thankfully, this tunnel existed and Yu Xing remembered it. Otherwise, they really would have had nowhere to escape today!
These words caused the other cultivators to repeatedly nod their heads in agreement.
But just at this moment, the tunnel suddenly began to shake violently. After a few loud rumbles, it began to slowly fall apart.
Countless clumps of dirt and huge stones rained on the frightened cultivators, directly burying them. The entire underground world became pitch black once again.
After many hours, at a certain stone wall in a naturally-occurring underground cave, a large hole suddenly opened up with a “huala”. Next, a lizard-like puppet beast rushed out of the hole, stretching its head to size up its surroundings. It then jumped back into the hole.
After the time it takes to cook a meal, the lizard mechanical beast jumped out again from the stone wall, only this time a person crawled out as well, closely following behind. This was none other than Han Li, who had encountered the collapse yet managed to survive the disaster.
Han Li stood up, and glanced at the surroundings, his face revealing a joyful expression. He had just received a new lease on life!