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Li Yao picked up a handful of bluish powder with his right hand. He then curled his index finger and made a weird posture before he opened his hand like a blossoming lotus. A bluish fire suddenly popped up from his palm, making the small cave look like a deep ocean and making him even more mysterious.
"Before the bone fire dies down, give me a few reasons why I shouldn't kill you," Li Yao said casually in a rigid tone.
The movement to make the fire and his tone raised surging tides in Jin Xinyue's heart.
As a princess of the Gold Crow Kingdom and a saintess of the Pantheon of Demons, Jin Xinyue had read a lot of books from a young age. The divine classics of the demon race in the Demon Beast Empire thirty thousand years ago, the notes and books of human beings, and even anecdotes from the era of the ancient Cultivators forty thousand years ago were all familiar to her.
When Li Yao made the fire with the weird technique, she already felt that the movement was both strange and familiar. When Li Yao uttered 'bone fire', the pores all over her body constricted violently, and she could not help but shudder.
Making a fire in midair was not difficult for Cultivators and demons with reasonable expertise.
But the spiritual fire or the demonic fire would release very strong waves. They were like fireflies in a dark night, and it was more than easy for the enemies to detect them.
During an adventure or battle, if somebody made a fire in a dark environment, they would be committing suicide by turning themselves into a target for everybody.
By the same logic, normal fire would emanate light and heat incessantly, too. Not just the Cultivators, even a regular animal would be able to sense it.
The so-called 'bone fire', on the other hand, was made by igniting the powder of the bones of special beasts.
The constituents inside the bone powder could suppress the waves in the fire and cover up the source of light.
As a result, those within the range of the bone fire could see their surroundings clearly.
But if somebody was three to five meters away from the bone fire, they would not see a burning fire however hard they strained their eyes. They could not even feel the tiniest waves from there.
This was the most amazing part of the bone fire!
However, triggering a bone fire was an ancient secret technique that had been lost forty thousand years ago. The recipe for the bone powder and the gesture and spell to trigger the bone fire had been lost with the passage of time.
Even Jin Xinyue had only read the descriptions of the bone fire in the records of the Demon Beast Empire from more than thirty thousand years ago.
The records also stated that the bone fire technique had been lost thousands of years earlier.
Bone fire! A technique that has been lost for at least thirty thousand years!
Who is he exactly? Why can he perform such an ancient secret art?
Besides, his voice—
The mysterious demon's accent was as rough as iron, and every word lingered on after it was spoken. It sounded quite vintage.
In the demon race, there was a special name for such an intonation, which was 'Elegant Accent'.
It was the accent of forty thousand years ago. Ancient Cultivators often talked in such a tone.
When the demon race rose up and established a Demon Beast Empire across the entire universe, the stronger demons naturally adopted the tone, too.
However, after forty thousand years, especially after the collapse of the Demon Beast Empire and the establishment and fallout of the Star Ocean Imperium, the tones of the demon race and human beings both changed a lot. They were vastly different from the ancient Elegant Accent now.
Right now, the Elegant Accent, which was a mimicry of the tone of forty thousand years ago, would only be used during major ceremonies of the royal family in the demon race.
As a member of the royal family, Jin Xinyue had learned the Elegant Accent, too, but she had to admit that the stranger's accent had a certain unadorned, uncouth feeling to it. His Elegant Accent was not only much more proficient than hers but also far exceeded that of the teacher who had taught her Elegant Accent.
A mysterious and strong demon lurking in a small village!
He seemed to have popped out of nowhere in the weird forest fire half a month ago.
He considered the ancient secret techniques petty tricks, he has left the materials of the demon beasts and the scraps of ancient magical equipment from forty thousand years ago lying around so randomly, and he can speak such standard, authentic ancient Elegant Accent!
Who can he possibly be?
Jin Xinyue thought hard for a moment. Suddenly, she shuddered as if hit by a lightning, because she came up with an impossible answer, and she almost exclaimed.
Could it be—
Li Yao stared at her coldly and quietly. The bone fire that was bouncing weirdly left twisted shadows on his face that looked like his unpredictable killing intent.
The bone fire inside his palm was like a candle in wind. It was flickering and shrank to the size of a bean multiple times, but it shone stubbornly again every time it appeared to be dying down. Jin Xinyue felt her heart pounding, and her head was dizzy.
It's time for a gamble!
After connecting all the weird behaviors of the stranger together, Jin Xinyue figured out a shocking answer.
She made up her mind and blinked before she shouted quickly, "Senior, please don't kill me. I'm very useful for you!
"My name is Jin Xinyue. I am the First Princess of the Gold Crow Kingdom, which is the best of the four most powerful kingdoms of the Blood Demon Sector. We govern all the Feather Clan in the world and dominate the sky!
"My father, Jin Tuyi, is one of the twelve demons of the Pantheon of Demons as well as the commander-in-chief of the coalition army of the demon race. Billions of demons listen to his command!
"If you are lenient enough to pardon me for my disrespect, senior, you will be an honorable guest of the Gold Crow Kingdom and receive the help from the entire country!"
Li Yao laughed in contempt. There was no interest in his eyes at all.
Jin Xinyue was even more positive about her assumption, so she probed further. "Senior, do you know that you have made a quite troublesome enemy?
"The insect demon that you killed just now was named Yuan Hao; he was a prince of the Nether Spring Kingdom, another one of the four most powerful kingdom. Elder Nether Spring, his master, is also a top expert of the Blood Demon Sector. He is brutal, sordid, and petty. Now that you have pissed him off, he will certainly not stop asking for your trouble!"
"Okay." Li Yao nodded. "Are you done yet? You are going to die if you are."
Jin Xinyue observed the stranger. She could tell that the mysterious demon really did not care about the friendship of a demon emperor and the threat of another demon emperor.
Judging from his easiness, it was even possible that this was not the first time he had slain an important figure such as Yuan Hao.
It was definitely not a threat that he claimed that he was going to kill her; he was merely stating an unimportant fact!
Jin Xinyue was ninety percent sure about his identity now. In her last try, she raised her voice and said, "I'm a saintess of the Pantheon of Demons, and I'm familiar with the history over the past tens of thousands of years. I also possess countless secret techniques for the training of demons that have been developed in the recent thousands of years!
"There are also many other secret arts that I can find in the library of the Gold Crow Kingdom and the Pantheon of Demons even if I don't know them myself!
"I assume that you must be familiarizing yourself with 'modern' society when you hid in the small village, right?
"But for such a far-flung village, the best they had must have been preliminary body-training techniques. There would have been nothing advanced at all. You were completely wasting your time there, senior!
"Only I can help you fit into 'modern' society quickly!"
Jin Xinyue intentionally stressed 'modern'.
Li Yao narrowed his eyes. His killing intent, as if tangible, spurted out of his bandages and congregated into an unstoppable tornado that pressed Jin Xinyue to the ground, making her unable to move anymore.
"Are you forcing me to kill you?"
Tears in her eyes, Jin Xinyue replied in a shivering voice, "Spare my life, senior! I really don't know anything. I'm trying hard to think how I can possibly be of value to you!
"I would be privileged to die in the hands of an unparalleled expert such as yourself, but if I must die, why don't you wait until I tell you everything that I know? If you kill me then, I will be able to die in peace!"
Li Yao gazed at her for a long time and retracted his killing intent after a snort.
Cold sweat pouring out, Jin Xinyue panted hard and managed to say, "Senior, the world is different today. Human beings have risen again, and the demon race is declining. However, human beings and the demon race have both developed unbelievable methods of training in the past thousands of years that… are possibly different from those that you are familiar with.
"Are you not interested in the methods of training at all?"
Li Yao was silent. The cold bone fire constricted yet again into the size of a needle tip before it shivered and faded out.
In the darkness, Jin Xinyue felt her heart palpitating.
While she was preparing her last words, the stranger did not attack her but said coldly, "Tell me why the three parties were attacking each other. I'm told that the Blood Demon Sector is at war with a world of human beings named the Heaven's Origin Sector. The demon emperors should know what they are doing in the internal fights. Do they never consider the consequences of their decisions at all?"
Jin Xinyue was slightly relieved, knowing that her life was saved, for now.
She swallowed hard and said, "Senior, it was beyond my expectations, too.
"Since you know about the war between the Blood Demon Sector and the Heaven's Origin Sector, senior, have you heard of an organization named 'Blade of Chaos'?
"Half a year ago, the 'Battle of Dawn', a large-scale attack that the Blood Demon Sector carried out against the Heaven's Origin Sector, failed. A lot of soldiers returned to the Blood Demon Sector.
"The Blade of Chaos took the opportunity to gather the defeated soldiers and rebelled, which was known as 'Riot of Bloody Blade.
"When the rebellion was at its peak, they occupied 'Bone Sand City', a city governed by the Nether Spring Kingdom in the north.
"My father, Jin Tuyi, was the commander-in-chief of the coalition army of the demon race. He was responsible for annihilating the rebels and suppressing the insurrection.
"I was helping my father by hunting the leadership of the Blade of Chaos. But I discovered that Elder Nether Spring's subordinates were chasing after the Blade of Chaos in secret, too.
"Bone Sand City, which was taken over by the rebels, was the Nether Spring Kingdom's territory. It was normal that Elder Nether Spring hated the Blade of Chaos' guts. I didn't think too much of it in the beginning. But later, I discovered that Elder Nether Spring's subordinates were not chasing after the Blade of Chaos randomly. Instead, they were focused on one squad of the Blade of Chaos and meant to kill them at any cost.
"Truth be told, my father and Elder Nether Spring are political rivals. They have been attacking each other openly and in secret for decades. Now, for the post of the commander-in-chief of the coalition army, they are almost engaged in an open fight.
"After I discovered the anomaly of Elder Nether Spring, I investigated and found out that Elder Nether Spring had a confidential laboratory in Bone Sand City that was compromised in the Riot of Bloody Blade. Something extremely precious was stolen by the Blade of Chaos."