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A supreme powerhouse!
Duan Ling Tian felt dispirited upon hearing the words of the spherical key, and the excitement in his heart vanished in just an instant. The idea of becoming a supreme powerhouse seemed like a distant dream to him now since he was not even an advanced Supreme God yet. Moreover, even after becoming an advanced Supreme God, it would not be easy to become a supreme powerhouse. He knew that he was able to become an intermediate Supreme God and stabilized his cultivation base so quickly only because of the divine fountain. Such an opportunity was unlikely to present itself again in his lifetime. The amount of liquid he had in his possession was only enough for him to become an advanced Supreme God; it was not enough to stabilize his cultivation base, let alone help him become a supreme powerhouse.
‘What a pity that I can only enter the independent realm that supreme powerhouse left behind after I become a supreme powerhouse…” Duan Ling Tian sighed inwardly. He had expected to be able to enter the independent realm after he became an advanced Supreme God, but his expectations were quickly destroyed by the spherical key's words.
‘Initially, I thought I might be able to use the treasures or resources in the independent realm to speed up the process of becoming a supreme powerhouse after I become an advanced Supreme God…” Duan Ling Tian could not help but sigh again. After a while, he quickly calmed down and reminded himself that the spherical key was given to him by Wang Yi Yuan before Wang Yi Yuan's death.
‘If I manage to escape alive, I'll definitely fulfill your last wish on your behalf,” Duan Ling Tian thought to himself solemnly as he recalled Wang Yi Yuan's final words. Although Wang Yi Yuan had passed away, he was determined to keep his word.
‘I should calm down and start cultivating. Hopefully, I'll be able to become an advanced Supreme God before the secret realm opens again…”
Duan Ling Tian was aware that his only chance to escape from the Crimson Demon was when the next secret realm opened again. According to the World Cleansing Divine Water, if he did not break through into the realm of advanced Supreme Gods, he only had a 50% chance of escaping from the Crimson Demon. Nonetheless, although the success rate is higher if he became an advanced Supreme God, there was still a chance that he might fail.
‘No matter what, I should try my best to obtain a higher success rate!”
Duan Ling Tian inhaled deeply and calmed down before he brought out the liquid from the divine fountain and began to cultivate. Just like before, he lost track of time as he immersed himself in cultivating, hoping to break through into the realm of advanced Supreme Gods.
At this time, a few people left the secret realm one after another after Duan Ling Tian returned to his cave. Unlike Duan Ling Tian, they were injured, some minor and some severe.
A frail figure stumbled out of the secret realm at this moment. He retched before he spat out a mouthful of blood, causing his face to turn pale. As he wiped the blood off the corners of his lips, he looked around his surroundings vigilantly. When he confirmed that he was alone, he finally heaved a sigh of relief.
‘If I'd known better, I wouldn't have provoked Duan Ling Tian… I didn't expect him to be so powerful!”
If Duan Ling Tian were present, he would have recognized the man immediately. The man was none other than Ao Long Yu, one of the two prodigies who sought trouble with Duan Ling Tian before they entered the secret realm.
The Ao Long Yu from before was arrogant and dignified, but he looked exhausted and weak now. Although he managed to survive the secret realm, it took a huge toll on him. With his injuries now, he might not survive the next secret realm. Moreover, he had provoked Duan Ling Tian previously so there was a chance that Duan Ling Tian would seek revenge from him and kill him before the secret realm opened again. He was no match for Duan Ling Tian even when he was in peak condition, let alone now that he was severely injured.
“Just like what Tian Hu and I discussed earlier before entering the secret realm, we should seek protection from someone after we leave the secret realm. Duan Ling Tian is powerful, but there must be a few prodigies in the Crimson Demon's Little World who aren't afraid of him…” Ao Long Yu muttered to himself. Instead of returning to his cultivation ground, he left in a different direction.
At the same time, Tian Hu was in a cave located in one of the distant mountain ranges.
“Tian Hu, what do you mean by this?”
A handsome white-clad young man sat at a stone table, sipping a cup of tea, as he looked at the spatial ring that Tian Hu presented him.
“Young Master Jun, this is more than half of my life savings. I came here to seek protection from you,” Tian Hu said earnestly with a solemn expression on his face.
“Seek protection from me?” The white-clad young man was stunned by Tian Hu's words. After a moment, he laughed bitterly and said, “I'm afraid you've come to the wrong person. Just like you, I'm also a prisoner of the Crimson Demon. You should look for the Crimson Demon instead.”
Tian Hu did not give up. He continued to say, “Young Master Jun, I only need you to protect me until the secret realm opens again. Once we enter the secret realm, you don't need to protect me anymore.”
A hint of desperation could be seen in Tian Hu's voice when he spoke. He was naturally unwilling to die in Duan Ling Tian's hands before the secret realm opened again. He wanted to raise his strength before the secret realm opened again so he would have a higher chance of surviving. Moreover, if he became stronger, he might not have to fear fighting Duan Ling Tian with Ao Long Yu. He knew that Ao Long Yu was on the verge of a breakthrough, and it was possible that Ao Long Yu might be able to do so before the secret realm opened again. All in all, he and Ao Long Yu needed protection to buy time for themselves. In his opinion, he and Ao Long Yu might not be a match for Duan Ling Tian now, but that might not be the case after a few years.
The white-clad young man looked at Tian Hu knowingly as he asked, “Are you afraid that the newcomer will attack you?”
Tian Hu took a deep breath and replied, “Young Master Jun, I'll be honest with you. Ao Long Yu and I are indeed afraid that he might make a move on us. That's why I'm seeking protection from you as a preventive measure. I believe he won't dare to cause trouble if you're around…”
Tian Hu was clearly confident about the white-clad young man's ability. The white-clad young man, Shangguan Jun, was a top advanced Supreme God and one of the strongest prodigies in the Crimson Demon's Little World, after all. In Tian Hu's opinion, Duan Ling Tian was at most on par with Shangguan Jun; it would be difficult for Duan Ling Tian to beat Shangguan Jun.
Shangguan looked at Tian Hu before he shifted his eyes to the spatial ring and said, “It's not a problem for me to protect you. However… I'll have to see if your sincerity is worth my protection. Otherwise, you'll have to look for another person to protect you. After all, I'm not the only person in this Little World who's capable of protecting you…”
Tian Hu bowed slightly and handed the spatial ring to Shangguan Jun as he said, “Young Master Jun, please have a look.”
After accepting the spatial ring, Shangguan Jun claimed ownership of it before he took a look inside. His gaze was calm in the beginning, but his eyes suddenly lit up like the stars in the sky a moment later. His breathing was slightly heavy, and he had to take a deep breath to calm down before he looked at Tian Hu and said, “You're really generous… I have no reason to refuse you. We have a deal. If we were in the Outer Boundary, I wouldn't make an enemy out of him due to his high innate talent. However, there's no reason for me to fear him here since all of us are just waiting for our deaths in the Crimson Demon's Little World.”
After a brief pause, Shangguan Jun continued to say, “You'll stay and cultivate here until the secret realm opens again. If Duan Ling Tian shows up, I'll stop him.”
“Thank you, Young Master Jun!” Tian Hu said, delighted. He finally felt at ease after Shangguan Jun agreed to his request.
When Tian Hu successfully obtained Shangguan Jun's protection, Ao Long Yu had just arrived outside of a cave. The cave was the cultivation ground of another prodigy comparable to Shangguan Jun.
After greeting the prodigy, Ao Long Yu expressed his intention and made an irresistible offer. Similar to Tian Hu, he also successfully obtained protection from a prodigy who was one of the strongest prodigies in the Crimson Demon's Little World.
It did not take long for word of the duo's actions to spread.
The surviving prodigies could empathize with the duo. After all, if they were in the duo's shoes, they would have done the same.
“It's impossible for Duan Ling Tian to attack Ao Long Yu and Tian Hu now that the duo has Sun Zhi Yao and Shangguan Jun's protection…”
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