In the blood pool, a faint mist of energy rose, enveloping Xiao Cai's body and rendering its figure nearly indiscernible within the mist.
"This situation seems somewhat similar to when the Ancient Heaven Serpent's soul gathered earlier, but also somewhat different," Xiao Ming said, comparing the scene to the previous gathering of the Ancient Heaven Serpent's soul.
The energy mist around the serpent was blood-red, reflecting the color of the blood pool, while the energy surrounding the Seven-Colored Heaven Swallowing Python was pure white and appeared even purer.
Just as Xiao Ming pondered the difference, the ground beneath them suddenly trembled.
Xiao Ming and the others looked at the ground with puzzlement.
"What's going on?"
As soon as the words were spoken, a deafening sound reverberated through the air as if a magical switch had been turned on, triggering a continuous series of thunderous noises.
The earth shook violently, and in an instant, several mountain peaks in the vicinity crumbled. Rocks tumbled down, filling the air with dust, and massive cracks tore through the ground, creating a spectacular scene!
Reacting swiftly, Xiao Ming and the others suspended themselves in mid-air, releasing their respective colored Dou Qi to shield themselves from the swirling dust.
"Xiao Ming, something's not right!" Venerable Tian Huo approached Xiao Ming and directed his gaze towards the area obscured by the dust. His voice carried a grave tone as he sensed the energy fluctuations of people engaged in battle, and these energy fluctuations were drawing closer to their location.
Xiao Ming nodded, his expression growing serious. "Be careful, they're coming!"
Another thunderous noise erupted, and through the haze of dust, several massive rocks whistled towards Xiao Ming and his group. Following closely behind, an old man dressed in a green robe flew towards them in a desperate manner.
"A two-star Dou Venerate?" Xiao Ming quickly assessed the old man's strength with a single glance.
Xiao Ming did not make any move, a two-star Dou Venerate was not worth worrying about.
However, while Xiao Ming remained composed and took no immediate action, Venerable Tian Huo was keenly aware of his duty to protect the group. He focused his attention and summoned a majestic concentration of Dou Qi into his palm, causing the surrounding space to tremble with its intensity!
"Retreat!" Venerable Tian Huo's voice boomed, and with a powerful slap of his palm, a gigantic flame palm materialized before them and struck the green-robed old man.
"Pu!" Under the forceful attack, the weakened green-robed old man trembled violently and spewed a mouthful of old blood!
However, he managed to stop his backward momentum after being pushed back several meters.
The green-robed old man stabilized himself and turned his head to look at the person who had attacked him. As he saw the two women, one young man, and one old man staring back at him, his pupils suddenly shrank, and he felt a chill down his spine.
He completely ignored Xiao Ming and the girls and stared fixedly at Venerable Tian Huo, not because of any particular fetish, but because he felt a mortal danger emanating from him.
'Human Dou Venerate!'
The green-robed old man's eye twitched slightly, cursing inwardly.
'Damn it! How did these people infiltrate our core territory?'
The green-robed elder was naturally the First Elder, and he was unaware of anyone entering the Ten Thousand Snake Mountain Range. This was because the Third Elder was planning to inform him after the ceremony.
'Could it be that they have ambushed the Snake Lord?' The green-robed elder's suspicion grew stronger as he pondered the abnormality at the blood pool earlier. His vigilance heightened.
'Hmm?' Xiao Ming glanced at the cautious green-robed old man but didn't dwell on it too much.
Venerable Tian Huo had delivered a heavy blow to the old man just moments ago, exacerbating his existing injuries. It was only natural for the old man to be cautious and wary of them.
Similarly, Xiao Ming and the others remained cautious of the old man.
After all, in this world, there were countless ways for cunning individuals to launch attacks, such as feigning injuries and then striking unexpectedly.
Venerable Tian Huo's earlier attack had not only assessed the old man's condition but also weakened his strength to some extent. Being cautious was a reasonable approach since there was little to lose by doing so.
Ignoring the green-robed old man, the four individuals redirected their attention towards the direction from which the old man had been propelled.
As the dust settled, the sound of approaching footsteps reached their ears, and a muscular, red-eyed man emerged, his chest bare. He held the decapitated head of a white-haired old man, followed by over ten other elderly figures and numerous giant pythons, all with blood-red eyes.
The sight of the muscular man caused Venerable Tian Huo's previously nonchalant expression to turn serious.
"A six-star Dou Venerate!"
Xiao Ming scanned the group behind the muscular man and added with a grave tone, "In addition to the six-star Dou Venerate, there is also a one-star Dou Venerate and over ten Dou Ancestors. It seems like they have all lost their sanity."
Venerable Tian Huo addressed the green-robed old man, seeking answers. "Hey, what happened to your clan? Why does everyone seem to have lost their minds?"
The green-robed old man was taken aback by the question.
Wasn't this group responsible for their current state? Or was it an unexpected turn of events? If it was, it seemed too coincidental!
After all, they had just hit him with a palm!
But the expressions of these people didn't seem fake either...
There was no apparent reason for them to deceive him, apart from possibly wanting to toy with him.
"I am Tian Qing Zi, and this matter..."
The green-robed old man began, intending to explain the situation briefly, hoping to use the people before him to resolve the impending trouble. However, the Snake Lord had already lost his mind and wouldn't stand still and wait for them to finish talking.
Therefore, as soon as Tian Qing Zi spoke just two sentences, the Snake Lord roared in anger, threw down the head he was holding, and a surge of power erupted from his body like a volcanic explosion. The ground cracked and trembled, emitting a cacophony of sounds. With a forceful stomp of his foot, the Snake Lord created even larger fissures that rapidly spread and engulfed the entire area. The space ahead twisted and distorted, and he suddenly vanished.
Noticing the Snake Lord's disappearance, Xiao Ming furrowed his brow and instinctively moved to shield the girls. Venerable Tian Huo swiftly positioned himself in front of Xiao Ming and the girls, protecting them from harm.
However, the Snake Lord's target was not Xiao Ming and his group but Tian Qing Zi, who found himself caught between both sides.
Fear contorted Tian Qing Zi's face, his eyes reflecting panic. The Snake Lord, as swift as a ghost, appeared before him. His five fingers transformed into razor-sharp claws, glistening with a chilling malevolence.
With a ferocious roar, the Snake Lord locked his bloodthirsty and merciless gaze onto Tian Qing Zi, who stood merely an arm's length away. Without hesitation, he extended his clawed hand towards the vulnerable area of Tian Qing Zi's heart.