Nine Astra Skies

Mad Snail

110 The “Skyfire” Armguard

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Seven days ago, while exploring the Sunken Jade Tower, members of the Stalwart of the Heavenly Stars Sect came across a body floating on magma. The body was sitting in a lake of scorching liquid but the body remained in perfect condition. The clothing disintegrated away over time and only an armguard on the body's left wrist remained perfectly intact. The armguard had peculiar design and it seemed to contain a concentrated amount of Celestial Chi. Given their lack of knowledge, they could not explore the oddity before them. Besides, their sect leader happened to be deep underground and so was uncontactable for most parts. Their initial plan was to lift the body away but it was too heavy to be moved, which caused the men to give up their plans. Finally, they spent an arduous amount of energy trying to remove the armguard from the giant though they were spotted by the airborne beasts. Then, they were hunted by various beasts and news traveled to the ears of the Taiyi Sword Sect and Emerald Cloud Sect, complicating the matter further. Following a series of events, the members of the Stalwart of the Heavenly Stars Sect worked hard to reclaim what was theirs, only to have lost it again.

"Don't worry Dao Kui, I have a plan." One of the elders stroked his beard and smiled.

The man who spoke was one of the three elders of the Stalwarts of the Heavenly Star Sect, Xi Li. He had a very composed air as did the other two Earth-Rank Venerable Ones. 

The younger-looking man by the name of Dao Kui was taken by surprise by the elder's words. He suddenly realized that the three elders had always managed to retrieve the item although it had been lost twice.

"Could it be the Stalwart of the Heavenly Stars…" He could not bear to complete his sentence.

The three elders smiled. The Stalwart of the Heavenly Stars Sect had been pa.s.sing their knowledge down for thousands of years with certain secret arts. These secret arts possessed their purpose and one the arts was to track certain things. 

The Heavenly Stars clansmen brought the injured man away and under the instructions of the three Earth-Rank Venerable One elders, they began to put their plans into motion. 

The two other major sects which were the Taiyi Sword Sect and the Emerald Cloud Sect too suffered heavy casualties resulting from the battle with the beasts. With the package stolen by the beasts, they had no choice but to disperse and let go of their pursuit.

While Ye Chen tailed the beast along the way, the battles between beasts turned violent. Bodies of Demon Wolves, lions, and rhinoceros sprawled across the floor. Blood was everywhere and there were other species of beasts involved too.

Eventually, the hundreds of Demon Wolves tasked with overseeing the delivery of the package managed to shake loose of their pursuers as they continued to run ahead.

Little Tanuki was right behind the group of Demon Wolves, ready to strike at any given time.

The one that carried the package in its mouth in the group of wolves was a large sanguine Demon Wolf, different from the one before. Under the protection of its Demon Wolf brethren, it ran as fast as it could. Just then, as if it had noticed something, it stopped in its tracks. Its eyes seem to have been entranced and it dropped the package from its mouth. 

A white shadow pa.s.sed by. Like the speed of lightning, it darted in to grab hold of the package and then proceeded to run. 

Ye Chen's heart skipped a beat. That was Little Tanuki! The critter was so quick that the Demon Wolves barely had a chance to react.

Noticing that Little Tanuki had the package, the surrounding Demon Wolves growled and dashed for Little Tanuki.

Of course, Ye Chen would never let the wolves get it. He mustered his breath and directed his Astral Body toward the pack of wolves. 

The Demon Wolves shuddered at the sight of Ye Chen's Astral Body. The well-formed pack scattered, some scampering so hard that they tripped and rolled away, taking a hard fall.

Just the presence of a Daemon King was enough to make hundreds of wolves run for their lives. Neither of them even dared of continuing their pursuit of Little Tanuki.

Under the cover of Ye Chen's Astral Body, Little Tanuki returned to Ye Chen's side swiftly. Swoosh, it leaped back onto his shoulder.

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Ye Chen placed the package into his Heaven-Earth Pouch. It would not fit. Rarely if ever would a thing not fit into the pouch. There were far too many beasts, Celestial Beasts, and humans around. Beasts and Celestial Beasts did not pose a problem but humans do. If they ran into any humans, that would be a huge problem. Ye Chen did not even bother to check what was inside the package. He quickly placed it close to his chest and ran as fast as he could.

"What's the matter, Xi Li?" a ponytailed-old man with wounds asked. He was the Second Elder of the Stalwarts of the Heavenly Stars Sect, Xi Yang.

"I don't know if the thief is a beast or a human but he seems to have stopped and he's hidden at a place three miles away from here.

"What now then?"

"Since the thief is hiding, we shouldn't take it now. If a battle breaks out, it'll draw more beasts and other companies here. Let's just wait for now. Once the beasts, the Taiyi Sword Sect, and the Emerald Cloud Sect have all dispersed, we can plan for our next move!" Xi Li suggested. That was a safer plan.

The rest of the clansmen agreed with Xi Li. They allowed their men to disperse, hiding at a different spot to corner Ye Chen when he surfaced and cut off his escape route.

Ye Chen remained underwater. His Astral Body rose into the air to scan the surroundings. The beasts and Celestial Beasts had left. The Taiyi Sword Sect and the Emerald Cloud Sect had left too. The only ones left behind were the members of Stalwarts of the Heavenly Stars Sect who seemed to be looking for something. There were hundreds of them lying around with three Earth-Rank Venerable Ones!

No matter how powerful these people were, they would never dare to dive into the waters. Maybe the men would leave if Ye Chen did not show up in another thirty minutes. 

Ye Chen recalled his Astral Body. He touched the package that tucked in his embrace. He did not know what was inside.

Ye Chen could not contain his curiosity. He took out the wet package. It was difficult to tell what was inside without any light. Ye Chen used his Astral Body to see through it. He unwrapped the package and found an armguard. There was only one and he could not say what it was made from though it was so thin that it was practically translucent. A mysterious faint light covered the its top, giving off a concentrated presence of Celestial Chi. Peculiar words and pictures were st.i.tched onto its sides. The only words that could be vaguely made out were "Sky" and "Fire."

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