Noah's group didn't encounter many living beings as their journey continued. There were rare specimens that had luckily survived the lightning storm or that had smartly used the environment to protect themselves, but the continent appeared desolate nonetheless.
However, they could begin to sense traces of life as they neared the human domain.
The landma.s.s of that world was somewhat circular, while those in their Mortal Lands were almost rectangular. That had slowed down their exploration, but it made their path back to the volcano quite short.
Yet, they weren't even halfway through it when a sudden shockwave spread far in the distance, from the territories under the control of the natives.
Huge figures could be barely made out in the sky far from them, but they knew that only rank 6 existences were able to create such powerful after-effects in their battle.
The communications were still down, but Noah could only think about two explanations for the event happening on the other end of the continent. The first one saw the rank 6 existences of the natives losing control of their transformation and fighting themselves, while the other one alluded to a battle between the powerhouses of the two worlds.
Either way, the human domain had suddenly become a danger zone that they had to avoid if they wanted to keep their lives.
Noah led June and Faith on a more peripheral path. They would lose days of travel through that path, but that outcome was better than risking exposing themselves to a battle at the peak of the heroic ranks.
Their target was the fissure under the volcano. Noah's group had already decided that those Mortal Lands were too dangerous for them right now.
Ripples and cracks appeared in the sky as the battle unfolded. It seemed to go on forever, day and night, and the earth never stopped shaking in that period.
"They aren't giving this world a break," Faith said, annoyed by the constant tremors, "It's crisis after crisis."
June and Noah could share her annoyance, especially since they didn't know if there was still a way back to their world. There was a chance that those Mortal Lands would be their new home for a while, but the three of them didn't want to make plans for that eventuality just yet. Rather, the idea would be just to escape and find a safe spot where to wait for reinforcements.
The battle in the human domain eventually ended, and the three cultivators didn't even manage to take a look at the beings involved since they were still too far away. However, they were nearing the volcano with each pa.s.sing day, and it would take them less than a few months to reach their destination.
When they were almost there though, the tremors returned, but Noah was able to recognize the existences involved at that time.
A vast and fiery snake flew above the natives' domain and filled the sky with a torrent of flames able to cover entire regions. A ma.s.sive tornado followed the snake, and dark clouds gathered above them, releasing what seemed to be purple rain.
"Our forces are attacking the natives!" Noah said without stopping his flight.
Faith didn't know much about the powerhouses of their world, but June could recognize the fire of the Elbas family when she saw it. As for Noah, Chasing Demon had been detailed in his report after the crisis of the winged beasts, so he could even name the rank 6 existences involved.
The three of them picked up speed. The three powerhouses had decided to fight above the enemy territory, which meant that the portal was still in function and needed to be protected!
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Two gigantic figures rose in the sky when the powerhouses threatened to destroy everything in their path. One of them was a ma.s.sive turtle with a sh.e.l.l filled with spikes and buildings, while the other was a tall ape surrounded by white sparks.
Nevertheless, Faith suddenly turned and hugged him.
"I'll take care of her," Faith said, "Thank you for taking care of me out there."
Then, she broke the embrace and ran after Elder Clara that was staring at her with an incredulous expression.
June snorted when she saw that scene, but she limited herself to bow toward Cecil and Thaddeus. The two Royals informed her about Lix's death, but they didn't show any surprise when they saw no change in her expression. Instead, they released a helpless sigh and began to lead her inside the volcano.
Noah watched her leave and turned toward Elder Austin, who was doing his best to suppress a grin from appearing on his expression. Noah didn't even bother to try to explain his misunderstanding, but, as he took a step forward, a whiff of his aura reached the four cultivators that had greeted them.
Elder Austin's grin froze when he sensed it. Elder Clara moved her gaze away from her disciple to stare at Noah with a black expression. Cecil and Thaddeus suddenly turned to show disbelief and traces of fear.
Noah didn't pretend nor try to hide under the inspection of those cultivators. He kept on walking toward the volcano, with his hair reflecting the sunlight, and his sleeveless robe revealing few spa.r.s.e scales on his arms.
The Demonic Sword appeared too. He couldn't hide it when his pride was overflowing. After all, he was the youngest rank 5 cultivator in history.
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