Those present were the strongest to be among the nine tribes. The leaders of all nine tribes were there personally, as were the Holiness of Nirvana.
The fact that the nine tribes had still been able to rule the region after Emperor Kua's passing served as an undeniable testament of their powers.
Several pairs of eyes turned to Ye Futian when he came. Notable among them were the mighty ones from the Zhu clan and Yin Tianjiao, princess of Emperor Wu. Also Xi Chan of the Xi clan and Chang Huai, who worked with the Vermilion Bird clan and the Jue tribe.
The Vermillion Bird clan consisted of demonic beasts, with the leader having once served as Emperor Kua's steed.
The student of Saint Chiming worked with the Nanli tribe, while the student of Saint Jiuyou worked with the Raven tribe. The mighty ones of which descended from the bloodline of the Three-legged Golden Raven.
The Beili tribe had chosen to work with a prestigious young saint from Flaming Prison City after Ye Futian refused their offer. And finally, the ones from Crimson Cloud City worked with the Shang tribe.
All nine cultivators who internalized the Flames of the Way were of Proving Holiness level. Though there were others of higher-level flame power, only those who had attained Proving Holiness were permitted. That was because only people of Proving Holiness level could enter the ruins of Emperor Kua. Those rules were likely due to concerns of the nine tribes over their ability to keep the more powerful in check. There may have been other reasons, but only the nine tribes knew for certain.
"Since we're all here, let's move out," the Zhu clan elder with a fiery red beard said. The leader of the Zhu clan stood right beside him and his aura was unreadable, looking like a god of fire simply by standing around.
Everyone nodded and began walking. The leaders of the nine tribes walked to the spectral gate and all performed hand seals. Nine dazzling wisps of flames emerged from their hands and shot at the gate.
Nine beams of light rained down and the gate seemed to have detected some kind of summons. A terrifying fiery aura and air flowed and the entire gate twisted, with a huge hole appearing shortly after.
"Let's head inside," a voice said.
Everyone moved for the gate, their bodies immediately disappearing after stepping inside.
"Let's go, City Lord Ye," the grey-robed elder said.
Ye Futian nodded and looked at Xia Qingyuan and the others. The princess then said, "Be careful."
"Yeah." Ye Futian replied before moving alongside the massive group, disappearing inside the gate.
The mighty ones of the nine tribes went in next. After everyone else had entered, the nine tribe leaders followed.
Only members of the younger generation of the nine tribes—as well as mighty ones from all forces all over Crimson Dragon Realm—were left outside the gate. They all stood guard over the vast territory, waiting for their compatriots' return.
"Let's just train at the side," Xia Qingyuan said and everyone nodded. All of them went elsewhere and sat cross-legged, waiting for Ye Futian and the others to return.
Ye Futian entered another space right after stepping inside the gate. When they entered, they sensed scorching will washing all over the place. It looked like it had been cooked throughout. Fire sprouted from the red-hot ground everywhere. The will of the great path of fire was all around them.
"The world of fire," Ye Futian muttered. He looked up and saw that even the sky was scorched red. The fiery red sky seemed to have been shaped into peculiar patterns. Two huge balls of fire were seen like there were two suns in the sky. However, they were concave and looked like black holes of fire. Their shapes made them look like a pair of eyes.
Ye Futian's mind was rattled. He peered closely at the sky and saw more than just the eyes. He then saw a boundlessly huge face and the fiery red hair spread out throughout the sky, like glowing, red clouds in the sky. "A humanoid form!"
Ye Futian was not the only one who thought so. The other eight mighty ones not affiliated with the nine tribes all looked up at the sky. They all seemed to have seen something and looked rather astonished.
"Let's go," a mighty one said.
Hot winds blew and it seemed that even the winds were imbued with the will of the great path of fire. The winds were scorching hot when they hit them. The place seemed like a holy ground for training in the ways of the flames.
What did Emperor Kua leave behind here? The nine tribes went out of their way to invite geniuses from all realms. Could it be that the nine tribes who had once served Emperor Kua were unable to get it themselves? Is that why they wanted help from outsiders?
"What would I need to do?" Ye Futian asked the mighty one from the Wu clan by his side.
"Fire spirits are found in the ruins. Countless fire spirits of differing strengths are born in this place. All of those fire spirits have the essence of will of the great path of fire. What you'd need to do is to take them and make them your own," the mighty one answered.
"Is that all?" Ye Futian asked.
"Indeed. To possess the boundless will of the great path and transform yourself, you'd need to keep extracting and refining them. The process isn't complete until you're able to bring out extreme might using the way of flames," the mighty one elaborated.
Ye Futian nodded. The other mighty ones moved forward.
Ye Futian wondered if he would have been able to ignore the obstacles posed by plane limitations and bring out combat prowess exceeding his level, simply by using the way of the flames.
It was no surprise why the nine tribes placed so much importance on the fire manipulation abilities of the mighty ones. It possibly had something to do with the ruins. The way of the flames was of utmost importance there. As such, those who were incapable of internalizing the will of the great path would not have been allowed to enter.
The mighty ones of the nine tribes moved forward and split up, heading in different directions. Dangers lurked everywhere in that ancestral land. If the nine outsiders were to simply wander on their own, there was no doubt that they would end up dead.
Therefore, each tribe was in charge of the safety of one person. But of course, the nine tribes naturally had their reasons for doing so. They would not have been so meticulous with their selection process otherwise. All of them placed high hopes on their chosen ones.
The Wu clan chose to work with Ye Futian, so they followed right behind him. The Zhu clan was there as well. They were tasked with the protection of Yin Tianjiao.
A fiery desert area was right before them, looking endless.
Ye Futian finally saw fire spirits emerging. One fire dragon after another was seen spread out in different places. All of them were burning with golden flames. They had a humanoid, yet fiery build. They all pounced when they saw the group. Despite being spirits, they had not actually been awakened and only acted on instinct, making them see the humans as prey.
"Let's go," mighty ones from both clans said to Ye Futian and Yin Tianjiao respectively.
Both of them flashed and headed out in different directions.
The mighty one from the Wu clan paid close attention to Ye Futian. The Zhu clan wished for Ye Futian to be of aid to Yin Tianjiao. It was a good chance to see what both of them were capable of.
Boom! Yin Tianjiao charged and her entire body burst with extremely dazzling golden flames. Holy light burst out of her body, making her look like a furnace of the great path. She stepped out at blitzing speed as she headed for a fire spirit.
While the fire spirits were not intelligent beings, they nonetheless possessed saint-level auras, as if they were Flames of the Way borne of the world itself. However, Yin Tianjiao was not hesitant. She charged right before a fire spirit and lashed out. That construct of flames charged at her roaring but was quickly pinned down.
A terrifying whirlpool seemed to have appeared on Yin Tianjiao, devouring the fire spirit's body and making it one with her own. She was able to absorb fire spirits of such levels into her body without pause.
The mighty one from the Zhu clan watched the scene quietly. Yin Tianjiao, princess of Emperor Wu, had indeed inherited the true essence of her father. She was able to incorporate fires of the great path directly into her, wielding such powers in a variety of means, making her extremely powerful.
Ye Futian charged at a fire spirit as well. Raging flames were sensed all over the place.
Boom! A fire spirit charged right at Ye Futian, intending to eat him up alive. However, the will of the great path coursed about his body and holy light flowed. The flames were quickly internalized. The fire spirit roared and wanted to destroy him outright, yet its body kept shrinking. It continued until every single bit of its way of flames was taken into Ye Futian's body, being siphoned straight to his Life Palace.
The mighty ones from both the Zhu Wu clans nodded when they saw the scene. While the city lord of Qianye City might not have been well-versed in fire powers, but that was not to say that he was weak. Such beginner levels of fire spirits were of no threat to him at all.
Both Yin Tianjiao and Ye Futian continued moving forward, destroying any fire spirit that emerged from the desert and consuming their powers.
Time passed and as they crossed the desert area, hundreds of wills of the great path of the flames were already found in Ye Futian's Life Palace.
They came to a lava-filled area when they crossed the desert. The lava burst everywhere, and there were even more fire spirits to be found there. However, the will of the great path of flames was different from what was seen before. But things ended up almost the same nonetheless.
Both of them charged into the fires of the lava and continued to internalize the fire spirits within. The mighty ones followed closely behind. The mighty one from the Zhu clan was relieved to find that Ye Futian had not gotten in the way in the slightest, as he consumed the flames without a problem. It seemed that Ye Futian had a way of taking down flames after all.
At that moment, the lava boiled and gushing sounds were heard. Ye Futian looked forward and saw the lava boil, from which a war god of lava appeared. That thing was no longer a simple fire spirit, as it had condensed itself into a solid body and materialized into a giant of lava, emanating a terrifying aura.
"Saint of True Self level, eh," Ye Futian muttered to himself.
The giant of lava took a look at Yin Tianjiao and Ye Futian, lashing out with both its hands. Anything hit by the great, big hands of lava would have probably melted on the spot. Both of them evaded at breakneck speeds. Yin Tianjiao looked at Ye Futian and said, "Work with me."
It was apparent that she was getting ready to take on the giant, even though it was of Saint of True Self level.
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