A strange resonance could be heard from somewhere.
Having completely eliminated Blood Master, Chun Yeowun's gaze fixed onto one thing.
The huge flame in the middle of the pond.
'Did she say that it was diluted with 10,000 year old snow?'
Qilin, who were the embodiment of Flame Qi, generally overflowed with fire, and are often said to be born from flames.
Therefore, even after their death, the flame that blossomed from the Qilin had remained for nearly two hundred years.
However, the flames in the middle of the pond seemed different, toxic in a way.
'Why is that?'
The demonic energy in Chun Yeowun's body suddenly shuddered.
After sensing the resonance, the black haze around Yeowun's body thickened, as if he couldn't control it anymore.
'I'm losing control over my demonic energy.'
He had experienced such a phenomenon only once before.
It was when he had accepted the cold energy from the woman in the past.
At that time, Yeowun was only trying to create a balance with the energy in her body, but the greedy demonic energy in him had absorbed it, and he'd lost control..
'Is my greedy demonic energy coveting this flame too?'
Chun Yeowun had recognized what the fluctuations of his demonic energy meant as he clicked his tongue.
As if the massive energy he had wasn't enough, the demonic energy wanted to absorb another power.
However, the energy he'd absorbed in the past was nothing compared to the one coming from the flame in the middle of the pond.
'Aren't you being too greedy? Demonic energy?'
Swallowing another energy wasn't anything new.
The capacity to store energy would increase as a martial artist grew stronger, but there was actually a limit to it too.
Moreover, just like the demonic energy, that flame was extremely hard to absorb.
Unlike Chun Yeowun who'd been doubtful, the demonic energy in his body had been eagerly trying to move.
Slowly, the black haze overflowing from his body began to grow thicker and so did the resonance from the flame, as if they were two opponents waiting impatiently for the moment they battled each other to the death.
"Ah! It's going to explode?"
It hadn't, the huge flame had kept growing even bigger until it touched the ceiling above.
The flame had released its energy as if it was rejecting the link with the demonic energy.
It had refused the demonic energy getting any closer to it.
The demonic energy responded violently to the flames' refusal and Yeowun's whole body got dominated by its overwhelmingly growing greed.
The demonic energy showed no signs of backing away from the flames.
'Don't you think you are being too stubborn right now!. Phew.'
As both energies had reacted to the opponent's actions, Chun Yeowun had given up and decided to approach the source of this alien energy inside the flame.
When he arrived at the flame, he realised that the flame wanted to destroy anyone that touched it. It was a normal reaction, since the flame belonged to a Spirit Beast.
'I'll protect my body with the opposite energy.'
Along with the black haze, an intense chill began emanating from Chun Yeowun's body.
The coldness was so strong that the vapor around him began freezing.
"Nice. Let's take a look."
As he had wrapped his body in cold energy, Chun Yeowun walked over to the pond.
The water in the pond was boiling, but when Yeowun's foot touched it, a ripple occurred on its surface and surprisingly he didn't sink.
Pang! Pang! Pang!
It was thanks to the Wind Steps.
Chun YeoWun couldn't walk on water, therefore he stepped on the air using this high level technique.
As Chun Yeowun walked above the pond, the huge flame began to soar higher, expressing it's refusal of his daring approach.
The more the flame rejected, the more greedy the demonic energy inside Chun Yeowun grew.
'It is difficult to breathe. Ugh!'
As the heat increased, the air got thinner.
As a result, Chun Yeowun took a deep breath and walked towards the flame.
The moment the flame and the cold energy made contact, a burst of vapor erupted above the pond, as a white haze spread in all directions.
Even though he was protecting his body with cold energy, the flame was too hot for Yeowun's body to handle.
The intensity of the flame was so terrifying, that if Yeowun released the cold energy, it would engulf his entire body and scorch him.
'Are you trying to scare me? That's useless you know.'
The flame released tremendous heat in order to prevent Chun Yeowun from getting any closer.
However, no matter how much heat the flame radiated, Chun Yeowun approached closer and closer, until he'd reached the centre of the huge flame.
As he entered the centre of the flame, a bright light welcomed him into the centre.
It was a light created by the strong heat. That's why, he'd been unable to open his eyes and figure out what actually existed in the centre.
[Wide-field mode has been activated.]
Nano's voice echoed in his head and his pupils contracted.
Before long, his eyes went dark and then immediately began to adapt to the light.
'Now I can see.'
As his eyes adapted to the light, he saw a hot-red bead.
This fist sized marble was radiating enough heat to kill any living thing.
'What is this?'
The bead that Chun Yeowun was looking at, was at the epicentre of the flame.
It was the source of all the spiritual energy of the Qilin, even after 2000 years, this bead had protected itself with the flame and preserved its spirit.
The core resonated.
It was still refusing contact.
The flame seemed to be afraid of the violent and greedy demonic energy that was flooding out of Yeowun's body.
'Can I really absorb this energy?'
The demonic energy would surely do it, but Chun Yeowun couldn't stop himself from worrying.
If he accepted this energy in addition to the cold energy and the demonic energy, Chun Yeowun would have three kinds of energies.
'Well, I've already come over here, so...'
Chun Yeowun, who hesitated for a moment, reached out towards the core.
Since the Blade God Six Martial clan had been aiming for it, then it would be better for Chun Yeowun to take it for himself.
His palms had been burnt because of the heat.
Shockingly, his palm started burning.
The heat from the flame had been fended off by the cold energy, but when he directly reached out and grabbed the core, the heat grew almost unbearable. It was like nothing he'd felt before.
[High temperature of over 3000 degrees destroyed the user's energy shield. The burned area is quickly self-healing.]
Such tremendous energy.
That explained why no one had been able to take this bead.
However, Chun Yeowun who was supported by the cold energy and Nano's regeneration speed was different.
When Chun Yeowun grabbed the bead with his hand, the demonic energy began to absorb the flame energy as if it had been waiting for that very moment.
As the flame energy slowly got dragged into his body, Chun Yeowun experienced extreme pain.
The Greedy demonic energy had begun absorbing it very quickly.
Steam began to rise from his body as the cold energy protecting his body came in contact with the flame energy.
If he accepted this energy as it was, Chun Yeowun would instantly burn to ashes.
'Da, damn it! This is just what I expected.'
As flame entered his body, three types of energy began colliding violently.
The cold energy and demonic energy had been in a state of balance, but now that a third energy had joined them, everything quickly began to change.
The blood in his body began to heat up.
The flame energy had begun taking over his body as he kept trying to control it.
The Qilin's spirit was strong, and it slightly exceeded the limit of energy that Chun Yeowun could absorb.
While the energy was swelling up in his body, Chun Yeowun couldn't stand the pain anymore and fell on his knees.
The energy was so strong that even the top three ranked martial artists of Wulin would find it hard to control together.
'This can't be done. I need to stop the demonic energy and remove my hands from this thing.'
If this continued, the core in his body would burst and he would die.
The problem wasn't the flame anymore.
Chun Yeowun, forced the demonic energy which had been absorbing the flame energy to sleep and tried to remove his hand from the core.
However, something unexpected happened.
'No! The demonic energy rose upwards?'
His Demonic energy, located in his dantian, had begun moving up to the centre of his chest.
The stomach and chest were the vital parts for any human.
As the demonic energy moved towards his upper body, the energy from the Qilin naturally moved to the demonic energy's previous location..
In the meantime, the cold energy and Qilin's Flame began creating a balance with each other in his dantian.
'Ahhh! If things go well, a balance can be achieved.'
As the sense of crisis disappeared, Chun Yeowun closed his eyes and began focusing on establishing harmony between the energies.
'What the hell is happening?'
There was one person who'd witnessed this entire scene.
She was Ran-yeong.
She tried to move in and bring out Chun Yeowun who had entered the flame, but her body got rebounded by some unknown energy.
Just the force of the energy had made her body shudder.
'Ah! The fire is fading!'
She had been protecting the Qilin's Flame in the underground cave for nearly two hundred years.
The flame that had never moved was disappearing right in front of her eyes.
Ran-yeong couldn't take her eyes off it.
'Ho-how did this happen…'
It was no wonder that she was dumbfounded.
At the orders of the previous Emperors, she had previously tried to remove the core from the centre of the huge flame.
However, even though her entire body had been reconstructed to be flame resistant, she was unable to go to the centre which had a different level of heat.
'Is he absorbing the energy in there?'
If that wasn't the case, the flames that protected the core would never subside.
She couldn't believe it.
Even though his body harboured cold energy, he was absorbing an energy which was of the opposite nature.
'Wouldn't something happen then?'
This was a meeting she had been waiting for for two hundred years.
Since the Lord seemed efficient, she trusted that he could absorb the flame energy, but for one person to have both flame and cold, that's...
'The two energies won't stay still.'
Ran-yeong turned her head and looked at Hu Bong, whose body was covered in flames.
At first, she'd thought that her flames had been transferred to him, but unexpectedly, Hu Bong was gradually generating his own flames.
'I can do nothing but watch.'
It was the first time for Ran-yeong to witness both situations.
She knew that she could do nothing but observe the two people who were undergoing tremendous changes.
How much time had passed?
Finally, there was some change. It started with Hu Bong.
The flames which engulfed his body had slowly subsided.
And then disappeared as if his body had absorbed it.
That was when Hu Bong's skin cracked! From one to many, the skin across his entire body continued cracking and an ash-like smoke slowly drifted off and away from his body.
"Ah! Phantom Metamorphosis!"
As if the Qilin's Blood was insufficient, he had taken half of her flame energy. She'd thought that something huge would happen, but for it to be a metamorphosis!
Hu Bong's entire physical structure changed, no, he looked a lot better now.
He slowly opened his eyes.
"Th-this must be a dream! My Goodness!"
The first words he uttered were of shock at him being alive.
From the moment he'd gotten engulfed in the flames, he had regained consciousness, but had decided to meditate in order to calm the energy in his body.
When Hu Bong finally opened his eyes, he was able to recognize the changes that happened to his body.
He couldn't help but feel thrilled.
That was when someone came up to him and said
Hu Bong was shocked when Ran-yeong, whose entire body was covered with scales, approached him.
Ran-yeong looked at him with furrowed brows.
"Huh! The first words you say to the person who saved your life and made you change so much is 'woah'?"
"Ah! Then you must be the one with the flame…"
Hu Bong had been confused as he was dying, but he was certain that he'd witnessed Ran-yeong who'd been covered in flames, kneeling and calling Chun Yeowun her Lord and Master.
Ran-yeong glanced at his body from top to bottom and spoke with a smirk on her lips.
"I guess the Phantom Metamorphosis was evenly done."
Only after hearing those words did Hu Bong realize that he was butt naked.
A red faced Hu Bong, immediately looked for something to cover himself with, and in the direction of the entrance, he saw a bloody body with clothes on.
In a hurry, he stretched out his hands in the direction of the dead body, and as the energy rose, the body got pulled towards him.
Hu Bong looked at the man's body, and couldn't believe what he was witnessing.
The amount of cruelty that the body had suffered could only have been done by one person, his Lord.
"Oh oh oh! For me, he did it for me!"
"You get shocked at everything."
She'd felt a little offended in the beginning, but couldn't help but laugh at how innocent Hu Bong seemed.
He was deeply loyal to the Lord and had been ready to throw away his life.
There was something very important she needed to know.
"Ah! Can you release flames from your body?"
She was curious.
Hu Bong had absorbed the flame without burning away or producing any red scales on his body.
She had actually expected his body to burn to ashes.
"Yes. You might be able to release flames. The sensation of how the fire entwines with your body… oh!"
Before she could complete her words, Hu Bong's body produced flames.
It was the same as when she covered her body with flames.
"You-you can do it?"
In just one try, he had managed to use the flames.
Ran-yeong was surprised at Hu Bong's ability to produce the flames without the red scales protecting his skin.
'This is amazing! This guy has truly absorbed the Qilin's Blood! Even the court ladies and other women could only display an incomplete form.'
It was a tremendous achievement.
For the one who supports the Lord of the Demonic Cult to acquire the real Qilin's Flame!
Hu Bong was also shocked beyond belief, his eyes were wide open.
He looked a little naïve and cute to Ran-yeong.
"I know that it is shocking to have flames…"
"No... not that, over there…"
Hu Bong pointed to something behind her with his finger.
At that very moment, an enormous energy exploded inside the room, causing Ran-yeong to turn her head.
When she looked back, she saw Yeowun in the middle of the pond, floating in the air.
Even more shocking were the black flames that moved like a whirlwind around Yeowun.
It looked like the Dragon of Black flames was ascending.
They weren't normal flames, but black flames!
When she'd previously guessed that he had absorbed the Qilin's Core, she knew that something would happen, but this was entirely unexpected.
With a trembling voice, Hu Bong muttered.
"The Black Dragon has descended for the Lord!"
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