The last time his power was sucked away from him, this universe expanded. And with the disappearance of that giant atlas hand, a second "Liu Ming" appeared out of thin air.
To go along with this line of logic, since the giant foot and the atlas hand were both part of the giant fiend, the power that was being sucked should be something akin to the fiendish spirit. Then it would be very likely that another "Liu Ming" appeared in this universe.
But these were only his speculations. He needed to see with his own eyes to know what would happen.
Another thing he couldn't be sure of was how long he would be stranded in this space.
Because last time the giant hand appeared, he immediately passed out and had a weird dream.
Just as Liu Ming was contemplating in the mysterious universe, the entire place trembled and suddenly, strange booming sounds came from above.
Startled, Liu Ming looked up.
The cloud of grey fog above him was now suddenly rolling ferociously with a thunderous roar. The fog was madly whirling into a huge whirlpool in the sky above.
Liu Ming's face changed. He instinctively took a step back and turned his hand to summon the golden dagger, startled by the likeliness of imminent danger in front of him.
Just then, a shrilling voice pierced through the whirlpool and a ball of black gas charged out, as if attempting to escape the whirlpool.
A white light screen appeared at the eye of the whirlpool and completely blocked it.
The ball of black gas hit the screen hard. The light screen shone brightly and the gas ball was rebounded.
The light screen slightly shook and became still as rock again.
The black gas let out a shrill and rotated, then a giant face appeared, whose facial features were exactly those of Liu Ming's, but with furious eyes and an expression of madness.
The mouth on that visage opened and out spat innumerable black fire balls, charging at the light screen.
In an instance, the black flame and the white light were meshed together and there were explosions here and there.
The booming sound had filled every corner of the mysterious space.
Seeing the unusual situation, Liu Ming was horrified. His hand holding the golden dagger broke out in a cold sweat.
But the light screen obviously was one notch above. The black flame was gradually retreating. When the huge face let out a weird shout and stop the fire in its mouth, the light screen was still intact, not a single crack on its smooth surface.
Just then, the light screen twisted and suddenly millions of rays of light darted out, and with a flash, penetrated the giant face, leaving countless holes.
The giant face shrieked and after recovering from a blur, it shrank to a smaller size with a look of indignation in the eyes.
Just at this moment, peals of thunder were sounded in the whirlpool and countless green electric arcs convened from all directions and pressed down towards that giant face.
Seeing this, the giant face howled deeply, swiftly turned around and charged backwards in escape.
Just at this moment, the light screen spitted out a puff of white silk and, in a flashing second, tied up the giant face.
The giant black face was astonished and spitted out black flames in the struggle, but couldn't get away, and was soon surrounded by the blazing army of electric arcs.
The giant face shrieked in pain and, with every attack, gave out a whiff of white smoke, while visibly shrinking.
Though it kept emitting clouds of black smokes in defense, they were slashed into harmless size in no time. It was then that the face first showed its fright.
More and more electric arcs emerged from the whirlpool. It was also a sea of electric thunders.
Seeing that it was impossible to escape, the giant face suddenly turned its face and fixed its eyes on Liu Ming, with a cruel and smirky expression.
It suddenly started to chant a barbaric-sounding spell in a strange language.
Liu Ming froze in confusion hearing the strange chant of spell.
He had never heard this spell before but he recognized that the chant employed the same language as those purple ancient characters on the giant feet.
And as he tried to further deliberate on the matter, the giant face in the whirlpool suddenly exploded. Black concussion waves swept in all directions, so forceful that the black arcs were kept off for a few moments.
And seizing this chance, a silver crystal stone darted out from the explosion center, and with a flash, hit hard on the white light screen that had been blocking the whirlpool.
The silver crystal disembodied into a ball of silver light. But the light screen also squeaked and cracks the size of a rice grain appeared.
A black crystal thread shot from the crack and with a wriggle charged directly at Liu Ming.
Liu Ming, who was watching all this happening, saw this and without thinking, he wielded the golden dagger, which transformed into layers and layers of sword shadows and slashed towards the attacker. At the same time, a red light flashed in his other hand and he wielded his red scale-covered fist with a mighty force.
Then something inconceivable happened.
The short black crystal thread of mere chis long was completely unimpeded by the wall of sword shadows and the ensuing force. With a flash, it had already arrived at the place between Liu Ming's eyebrows and was intending to delve in.
Astonished, Liu Ming's forehead instantly flashed: he forcefully summoned up all his spirit power and crystalized a palm-size transparent crystal shield placed in front of his eyebrows.
Ding! The green thread hit the shield and the shield disintegrated in a flash.
Liu Ming felt a disabling throb of pain and his head buzzed. He stumbled and almost fell to the ground.
But the green thread's charge was also intersected by the small spirit-materialized shield. After a slight tremble, it dashed towards Liu Ming's forehead again.
Just at this moment, the whirlpool gave out a thunderous sound and a line of green electric arc dashed out, striking the green thread head-on.
The black crystal thread instantly melted into a small cloud of black mist and was blown away. Most of the mist disappeared at the strike, but a small puff twirled and escaped.
Liu Ming only had the time to see an incredible flash of electric light when his body was uncontrollably thrown out by a hot wave with a burnt smell and crashed hard onto the wall behind.
Had he not instantly triggered the Jiaolong Spirit Armor and cushioned the blow with a layer of red radiation, his head would be buzzing and his eyes dizzy.
But even so, Liu Ming still had a headache and a feeling of dizziness inside his brain from the attack that had broken his spirit-turned shield.
No longer had he started moving when he felt an air wave in front of his eyes and that whiff of remaining green thread of air appeared in front of him, and swiftly dived into his head from between his eyebrows.
Now this had greatly frightened Liu Ming. But suddenly he heard a soft "Em?".
He immediately looked to where the voice came from: a shadow seemed to have flashed through the grey whirlpool in the sky. But when he looked carefully, he saw nothing but a myriad of green electric threads.
"Who is here?" Liu Ming slowly asked, staring at the whirlpool.
He waited a long while and no one replied but the thunder.
"Had I misheard?"
Liu Ming was utterly confused.
Just at this moment, thunders sounded again in the sky. The huge whirlpool was visibly shrinking and all the green electric arcs flashed and disappeared altogether.
Just when the whirlpool was about to vanish completely, its inside rippled and a giant object fell and with an enormous "Boom!" landed a few zhangs away from Liu Ming.
The entire universe solemnly quaked.
Liu Ming's jaw dropped.
It was a two-zhangs tall stele, the upper half crystal jade and the lower part inky black. In the middle where the two materials were joints was ingrained a chis-tall pattern of golden sandglass. The silver grains of sand were still falling.
"This is …"
Liu Ming licked his dry lips and, after hesitating for a while, walked slowly toward the stele and walked around it for two times.
On the back of the stone stele were countless patterns of unknown demons and fiends, whose teeth showing and clawed paws waving. At the center of them was three purple characters of an ancient language, each the size of one dou (dou is a unit of volume, saying that the size of each character is large).
"The Round Sky Stele"
Liu Ming translated the characters into human's language, expressions kept changing.
But when he walked back to face the front of the stele, he had an idea. So he stood still in front of it.
If he was correct, the amount of sand in the upper half of the golden sandglass pattern was less than a while ago and that in the lower part was more.
Without a word, Liu Ming looked at the pattern on the stele, squinting his eyes.
When he had taken dozens of breathes, the golden sandglass suddenly blurred and with a flash of silver light, more sand appeared in the lower section, dozens of grains in all.
Liu Ming resumed his breath again and glanced at the upper part as well: only a slim layer of silver sand was left, a handful of hundreds of grains.
His brain was busy at work. But he could not immediately figure out what this strange pattern of a golden sandglass signified.
He looked up at the sky: the giant whirlpool had long gone. The sky had resumed its look of a greyish misty wall.
Liu Ming thought for a while and, looking again at the stele, he suddenly stretched out a finger and gently poked the white part of the stele.
The moment his fingertip touched the stele, a warm feeling flew through his body.
Liu Ming's heart sank. Moving away his finger, he poked the inky part in the same manner.
A feeling of coldness passed through.