Chapter 952 952. Flower
Dodging the flames was impossible. The fire had spread so quickly that Noah didn't even have time to activate one of his spells before it swept him and his allies.
The two beings connected to him reacted due to their instincts. The Demonic Sword and Snore argued a lot, but they bypassed Noah's thoughts and followed his survival instincts as soon as the danger in his mind reached its peak.
The Demonic Sword hid inside his robe, and a dense black membrane appeared over his body as the flames enveloped all the regions inside the defensive walls of the Empire. They even crashed on the blue dome, but they didn't manage to do any damage to that structure.
However, the various districts fell apart in less than an instant. They turned into ashes as soon as the flames touched them, and even their remains vanished.
Any form of vegetation on the ground burned, and the terrain itself took fire. What had once been the home of the strongest organization in those Mortal Lands became nothing more than a black land filled with cracks and burning boulders.
The scene became a spectacle of red shades with the occasional blue light of the dome managing to cross the sea of flames and shine into the world. The red sea remained in place for a while. Then, it retracted and condensed in the form of a man that gazed at his destruction with a satisfied smile.
His expression became slightly annoyed when he saw that the blue dome didn't suffer any damage, but his smile widened when he looked at the invading forces.
There were only a few cultivators still standing in the air. Elder Regina and a few rank 5 cultivators stood behind a massive golden door that had managed to absorb most of the power of the flames. Still, their bodies had countless burns, and some of them showed charred bones too.
The activation of the golden door wasn't intentional. That protection was an item that the Council had given to Elder Regina to preserve her life. It was an inscribed shield that would activate on its own if she was to face a deadly attack.
The Elders near her had managed to use the protection provided by the golden door to save their lives. Yet, the human cultivators and those in the fourth rank weren't as lucky. Even their ashes had disappeared from the area.
On the other hand, Andrew Elbas had reacted in time. A giant made of ice had surrounded all the assets of the Royal family and had prevented them from suffering any injury.
Still, Elder Regina felt that his timing had been off. The giant had appeared even before the arrival of the flames, and Andrew didn't have the thinking speed necessary to perform that action in time.
The giant wasn't an automatic defense. Elder Regina could be sure of that because she had felt a surge of power coming from Andrew as soon as the first flame appeared.
That was her issue in the matter. If her senses didn't deceive her, she felt sure that Andrew Elbas had activated his defensive item before the flames started to spread!
Also, the ice giant had been able to block all the flames, which made her even more suspicious. After all, her item had been able to save her life, but it was a generic shield meant for every situation.
In Andrew's case, instead, the ice giant appeared meant to weaken attacks of the fire element. The leader of the Royal's army had a water aptitude. Still, the fact that he owned such a powerful item capable of countering the fire element sounded too coincidental.
As for the assets of the Hive, only Daniel, Elder Julia, and some other Elders were still in the sky. Noah, Elder Austin, Amos, and most of the weaker cultivators were nowhere to be seen.
Those still flying were full of injuries, and only Daniel seemed somewhat better off. He had activated the divine emblem at the last second, and its light had protected those around him.
However, he didn't manage to recharge the item entirely in those years, which made it capable of expressing only a power similar to the sixth rank.
"Ravaging Demon!" Elder Regina shouted toward the cultivator that had launched the flames. "How dare you attack us after everything the Council has done for you!"
Suffocating pressure followed her words. Ravaging Demon unleashed the entirety of his aura and showed to the world that he was a complete rank 6 cultivator!
The invaders still in the sky could finally understand how a single cultivator had managed to unleash such a destructive attack. In their minds, the powerhouses were able to shatter entire regions with a wave of their hands.
"I've requested two things when I sealed the deal with the Council," Ravaging Demon announced. "I wanted part of Divine Elder Tabitha's inheritance and the freedom to act as I wished. Regina, I've betrayed my brothers and sisters. You had to expect this."
Elder Regina spat a mouthful of blood and began to cough after those words. Her condition was far worse than her companions since she had been the first to face the flames that had surpassed the golden door.
She didn't give voice to any curse though. She only tilted her head to stare at Andrew Elbas, who had a worried expression on his face.
"You can drop the act," Elder Regina said as blood kept on flowing from her mouth. Her complexion paled after that effort, and she lost her foothold for a second as her consciousness wavered. Yet, one of the Elders behind her grabbed her and helped to stabilize her condition.
"I'm not here to mess with the Council today," Ravaging Demon said as he moved his gaze toward a spot where the defensive walls had crumbled. "I just want to retrieve what is rightfully mine."
Elder Julia and the other Elders of the Hive trembled when the Demon's gaze swept them to land in a spot nearby. They understood who his target was at that point, and gloom appeared on their expression when they realized that they had no power over that situation.
Noah had risen in the sky before the other cultivators and had been farther away from them when the flames spread. The defensive walls had crumbled over him when the fire reached that spot and Ravaging Demon's focus was on those burning debris.
As higher-ups of the Hive, the Elders knew that Noah had retrieved Divine Demon's inheritance, and Ravaging Demon's words made sense when they considered that event. The new powerhouse of those Mortal Lands wanted to obtain the legacy of his Master.
Ravaging Demon stretched his hand, and his mental energy went toward the burning debris. It was about to seep through them when his connection with his consciousness wavered, which dispersed those condensed mental waves.
"Who dar-," Ravaging Demon's started to curse, but his body stopped moving all of a sudden, and a white flower started to grow on his stretched hand.