Within the Forest of Darkness, the countless ancient trees soared high into the sky, completely blocking the sun. Huge vines were like dragons as they coiled all around. As Long Chen progressed deeper, the light within the forest became ever more gloomy.
A person would naturally feel uncomfortable with their vision sealed by darkness. That kind of sensation provoked a natural fear.
As soon as he entered the forest, he felt as if he had entered the maw of a giant monster. Unknown dangers could pop up and devour his life at any moment.
An iron spear in Long Chen’s hand shot out. A spider that was around the size of a plate had stealthily appeared behind him and had just been about to attack him when Long Chen’s spear stabbed through it.
Suddenly, that black spider’s mouth opened and a white substance shot out at Long Chen. That white substance was a large net that quickly spread out.
Long Chen jumped in fright. Despite the fact that he had stabbed the spider through its vitals, it was still able to release such an attack.
He hastily dodged to the side. That net had reached a size of five feet, but it just missed Long Chen.
However, when the net flew by him, the air was filled with a disgusting stink, a stink that would make anyone nauseous.
“Even the spider web is poisonous!” Long Chen was slightly surprised. The creatures of the Forest of Darkness were truly too terrifying. All kinds of strange things continued to pop up, so many that it was impossible to defend against them all.
Just as he dodged the net, before he could even examine the spider, the spider suddenly exploded, and a dark liquid splashed out everywhere.
“Shit!” Long Chen instinctively summoned the blue flame of the Flame Salamander to cover his body.
That black liquid was instantly turned to vapor by the flame. But at the same time, an incomparably disgusting stench filled the air.
Long Chen immediately held his breath and rushed away. Several miles away, he wasn’t able to endure it any longer and began to vomit under a large tree.
“It was the Five-Flower Stink Spider… ugh.” Long Chen continuously threw up, his stomach feeling like a churning sea.
The Five-Flower Stink Spider’s abdomen had two poison glands. One was used for releasing a poisonous liquid to capture its prey.
But the other was used to secrete an incredibly disgusting stench. It was used to block opponents it had no chance of defeating. If a powerful Magical Beast wanted to eat it, it would release that stench. No Magical Beast would want to eat something so disgusting.
Long Chen was only able to recognize it because of the unbearable stench. Previously, he hadn’t paid much attention to the five-colored flower marks on its back.
“Shit, I was too careless. Shit, so unlucky- ugh!” Long Chen continued to puke. The Five-Flower Stink Spider was a special Magical Beast, and it was said to have been a rare existence even in ancient times.
It didn’t have a specific rank. It could even be said to be outside the classification of Magical Beasts. However, its stench was too powerful, and there was no antidote for it.
Although it wouldn’t stink a person to death, it could make someone vomit over and over. Even a powerful cultivation base wasn’t able to stop that.
Long Chen puked for over two hours. He had even puked up his bile, and tears were streaming out of his eyes. He appeared unbearably miserable.
“Good things can’t be kept for oneself. They have to be shared with good friends.” Long Chen clenched his teeth and returned to his original location where he had encountered the Five-Flower Stink Spider. Even now, Long Chen couldn’t help but have tears streaming down his face.
The stink in this area was just too dense. It wasn’t just smelly; it even provoked the eyes. Long Chen spread out his divine sense to search through the surrounding vegetation.
He saw many corpses of small insects that had all been suffocated to death by that stench.
Finally, he found the thing he was looking for. That was a black poison sac around the size of an egg.
The Five-Flower Stink Spider had two poison sacs. One would erupt along with its self-explosion. The other one was filled with its stinky fluid. That one was split into two layers.
The outer layer would explode, but the inner layer was much tougher and more supple. Normally, it wouldn’t be easily destroyed. And now, Long Chen ended up finding it intact.
As soon as he gathered that poison sac, Long Chen immediately fled. He then once more began to retch. Although he had nothing more to vomit up, he still couldn’t stop.
“This poison is way too abnormal.” Only after a long time did Long Chen manage to suppress his urge to vomit. He arrived at a river and washed his pale face.
Long Chen suddenly frowned. “Huh?” He walked forward three hundred meters and arrived at a corpse. “This is already the fourth corpse…” He couldn’t help but sigh. From this person’s robes, he could tell he was a core disciple of the Righteous path. His entire body was a dark purple, and he was swollen like a balloon as if he had been about to self-detonate.
His divine sense swept over the corpse and didn’t find any injuries on his body. Once more sweeping his Spiritual Strength carefully over the corpse, he noticed the color at his neck was quite a bit darker than the other parts of his body.
“If there was a puncture on his neck, it’d be hard to see after all this swelling. It seems the most likely scenario is that he was bitten by a mosquito-like creature… and from his posture, it seems he collapsed extremely naturally without any struggle. His face isn’t warped at all… so even when he was about to die, he didn’t sense any danger. The Forest of Darkness really is terrifying,” muttered Long Chen.
He had been in the Forest of Darkness for only five days now. Not only had he gathered various precious medicinal ingredients, but he had also run into all kinds of bizarre Magical Beasts. They had possessed a myriad of attacking methods. It was possible that something as insignificant as a small caterpillar could take his life here.
This was the fourth corpse he had run into so far. Two had been Righteous disciples, while two had been Corrupt disciples. However, they hadn’t died from fighting, but to the indigenous inhabitants of the Forest of Darkness.
This person’s death was especially terrifying. He hadn’t sensed even the slightest bit of danger before dying.
Long Chen shook his head. As a fellow member of the Righteous path, he dug a hole for him so his corpse wouldn’t rot in the wilderness. It was better for the dead to rest within the earth.
It was said that when a person died, their spirit didn’t die. This so-called spirit was a kind of hidden consciousness. It was something completely unrelated to the soul or divine sense. It was a kind of vague, almost unreal sort of thing.
Once a person died, if they were buried underground, then their spirit would also be buried. It would follow the earth to enter a different world. They would be reborn in that other world.
There was also another saying that when the spirit was buried, it would be absorbed by the great earth, similar to how fallen leaves return to the roots. It was a kind of cycle of life. In the end, they would be reincarnated as people.
If the corpse was left in the wild, it would cause a person’s soul to fly away and their spirit to scatter. They would completely vanish from the world. Long Chen had no idea whether these legends were true or not.
However, he didn’t care. In any case, he wouldn’t just watch as a person was tossed to the side like a dead dog.
After burying the person, Long Chen continued forward. Now he was even more cautious than ever.
Suddenly, a distant angry roar rang out. That seemed to be the roar of a Magical Beast. Long Chen immediately began rushing in that direction.
After hundreds of miles, Long Chen slowed down and began to stealthily approach. There was an open space ahead where angry roars were coming from.
It seemed it wasn’t just one Magical Beast. As he approached, he felt the ground constantly quivering from a battle.
Only when he got even closer did he see that there were four Magical Beasts attacking one Corrupt disciple.
This Corrupt disciple was on the Chosen-level. His aura was astonishing as he fought against four Magical Beasts.
Of those four Magical Beasts, two were at the early third rank, while the rest were at the early fourth rank. They were working together extremely well as they assaulted the Chosen.
Of the two fourth rank Magical Beasts, one was a Golden-Scaled Bull. Those golden scales gave it an extremely high defensive ability. It also had two golden horns that were facing off against the Chosen.
The other fourth rank Magical Beast looked like a leopard, but as he stared at it, Long Chen continued to feel something was off. Only later did he notice that it seemed more like a house cat.
Then when he saw that cat’s tails, he finally realized it was a Two-Tail Spirit Cat. Although it wasn’t specialized in defense, its attack speed was fast like the wind and as rapid as lightning.
The Golden-Scaled Bull and the Two-Tail Spirit Cat were working together, one on offense and one on defense. As for the third rank Magical beasts, they were just assisting from the side. The four of them had surrounded the Chosen, and loud explosions continuously shook the sky.
Seeing all this, Long Chen immediately knew there had to be a Beast Tamer nearby. He looked around and quickly noticed the master of these Magical Beasts.
When he clearly saw who that master was, Long Chen couldn’t help but smile. Surprisingly it was someone he hadn’t seen in a long time, Lu Fang-er.
She was hiding behind the Golden-Scaled Bull. She was continuously forming hand seals in front of her, which were most likely used to control how the Magical Beasts were attacking. Otherwise, those Magical Beasts definitely wouldn’t understand how to fight with such cooperation.
That Chosen suddenly let out an angry roar and his aura burst out. It seemed he had seen through their attack patterns, and he punched out at the Golden-Scaled Bull’s head.
This time the Chosen had truly found a good opportunity. His fist knocked that fourth rank Magical Beast tumbling back.
After knocking back the Golden-Scaled Bull, the Chosen then dodged the Two-Tail Spirit Cat’s claw, ignored the other two Magical Beasts, and charged straight at Lu Fang-er.
Seeing her strongest defense had been forced back, Lu Fang-er panicked for a moment. Extending her hand, her Spiritual Strength surged and a curtain of light shot forward out of her hand. “Golden Wave!”
Her golden Spiritual Strength surged over that Chosen. It was impossible to dodge.
“Hmph, I’ve already said that your Spiritual Strength is useless against me. Why don’t you just obediently wait to be captured?”
The Corrupt Chosen snorted and took out a pearl. The instant the pearl appeared, it emitted a ray of light.
Lu Fang-er’s spiritual attack was completely blocked by the pearl.
“Soul Shunning Pearl?” Lu Fang-er’s expression changed when she recognized the item. It was definitely a treasure that his sect’s Elders had bestowed upon him. It was specialized towards blocking the soul arts.
Although the energy contained within the pearl could only activate for a few breaths of time, it would be impossible for her to prevent a Chosen from approaching her in that time.
“Just wait to be captured!” The Corrupt Chosen shouted and his aura completely locked Lu Fang-er in place. A palm crashed down, sealing off any of her retreat paths.
Lu Fang-er was panicked inside. She was a Beast Tamer, and also a woman, which made her physical body weaker than average. She was essentially powerless in the face of physical attacks, especially an attack from a Chosen.
This Chosen’s attack had come so quickly that her Magical Beasts didn’t have the time to come and save her. It seemed that the Chosen’s palm would reach her at any moment.
“Why don’t you try capturing me?”
Another large hand came from an extremely odd angle, firmly smashing into the Chosen’s face.
 The word for ‘spirit’ used here was shen 神. This particular word also means divine or even gods. In comparison, ling 灵, and hun 魂 can also mean spirit/soul, but they mostly only mean soul/spirit.