Lei Lan and Bai Bi's expressions changed in unison upon hearing this, and they also hurriedly sprang back into the carriage.
Almost at the exact same moment, a faint cry of surprise suddenly rang out on the third level of the earth abyss, in a place that was pitch-black and completely devoid of light.
A fair and slender arm reached out of the darkness while holding a yellow wooden badge in the shape of a ghostly head.
"What happened? The Eightface Beast's soul flame suddenly snuffed out! Hmph, that useless oaf can't even do something so simple! Looks the ones who destroyed my Giant Spirit Flower have some tricks up their sleeves. So be it, I'll take care of these trivial matters later. As long as these people haven't left the earth abyss, I'll be able to find them no matter what," the woman harrumphed coldly in a confident manner before everything fell silent again.
Two days later, on the first level of the earth abyss.
A faint white shadow passed over a set of black grasslands. All of a sudden, a dozen or so black shadows sprang forth from the tall grass down below, pouncing straight toward the indistinct white shadow.
These were a dozen or so massive praying mantises with green eyes and sinister facial features. They were each around three feet tall and pitch-black in color.
Bursts of rumbling erupted from within the carriage, following which a dozen or so arcs of silver lightning flashed forth from within the white shadow, striking these praying mantises with unerring accuracy.
The praying mantises didn't even get a chance to utter a single sound before they were reduced to dust and blown away by the wind.
Four days later, a spirit carriage flew through the air in a careless manner, flying over a vast expanse of rugged rocks. There were several rock demons with bodies constructed from loose rocks down below, galloping as quickly as they could in pursuit of the carriage.
Countless golden threads suddenly shot forth from within the carriage, instantly puncturing the bodies of their rock demons before constricting in a violent manner.
Brilliant golden light flashed, an all of these rock demons perished, crumbling to the ground as loose rocks.
Seven days later, Han Li's trio stood in the air above a massive valley within which greyish-white mist was surging incessantly, and all three of them were carefully inspecting this valley.
Lei Lan and Bai Bi's eyes were filled with elation, and the flying carriage that had carried them to this point was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps it had been destroyed by demon beasts on the way here or had been stowed away by Han Li. In any case, it was gone now.
"Looks like this place is relatively safe. Let's go in. If we descend underground here for a day, we'll be able to reach the second level. This place is so secluded, so the exit on the other side will most likely be quite safe as well. It would be quite unlikely that someone would go to the trouble of setting up traps on the other end," Han Li analyzed before spreading his wings and leading the way into the mist.
The two Tian Peng Race holy disciples had already come so far, so backing down now was naturally not an option. As such, they also entered the mist with solemn expressions on their faces.
The grey mist wasn't very dense, so even after entering it, they could still roughly see everything just over 100 feet away from them.
However, there would occasionally be a few foot-long winged snakes that would fly out of the mist to try and attack the trio.
Of course, they were all slain with ease.
Two hours later, they finally emerged from the mist and arrived at the end of the valley.
At this moment, they were greeted by the sight of a massive rift on one of the valley's gigantic stone faces. The rift seemed to be leading extremely deep into the ground.
A smile appeared on Han Li's face upon seeing this rift, and he led the two holy disciples into it without any hesitation.
The three streaks of spiritual light flew on, and disappeared from view after rounding a few corners.
A day and a night later, a strange howling sound suddenly erupted near a massive rift that was leading downward.
A gust of fierce black winds erupted from the rift in a frenzy, completely coating the nearby rock face in a layer of ice, clearly indicating that it was extremely frosty.
However, three streaks of spiritual light took advantage of this opportunity to fly out from the gust of wind, appearing several hundred feet away after a few flashes. The spiritual lights then faded to reveal three humanoid figures.
They were none other than Han Li's trio.
"The earth abyss winds in this passageway are far too fierce; I was almost unable to withstand them. Why didn't the information we received mention this at all?" Bai Bi's face was quite pale as he cast his gaze toward the spot from which the trio had just emerged.
"The fact that this phenomenon wasn't detailed in the information we received indicates that it's only appeared in recent years. Otherwise, the senior of our race would've definitely mentioned this to us." Lei Lan also appeared to have expended a lot of energy in flying through the earth abyss winds, and she couldn't help but glance at Han Li.
At this moment, Han Li had his arms crossed and was surveying his surroundings. He was completely unruffled, and it was as if he'd just taken a stroll in the park rather than forcing his way through lethal earth abyss winds.
Could it be that there's such a massive gulf between early-Spirit Generals and late-Spirit Generals? Lei Lan thought to herself in a resigned manner. It was all thanks to Han Li's assistance that she was able to survive that ordeal at all. Otherwise, she may well have perished to those fearsome winds.
"We've already been delayed too much on the first level, so there's no point in wasting time searching for Infernal Flame Fruits on the second level. Let's head straight to the third level," Han Li said in an implacable voice as he withdrew his gaze.
The air here was rather humid, it appeared that they were situated in the air above a swamp-like area.
The two Tian Peng Race holy disciples were now well aware that Han Li was far more powerful than them, so they naturally didn't harbor any more discontent toward him. However, Lei Lan still couldn't help but express her concern after a brief hesitation.
"I naturally have no objections there, but there are only three entrances from the second level to the third level, so no matter which one we take, there's a good chance that we'll encounter people from other branches. If we encounter the holy disciples from branches that bear ill will toward our Tian Peng Race..." Lei Lan didn't finish her sentence, but the implications in her words were quite apparent.
"It's not just a good chance; those branches would've definitely deployed people to those three entrances. We're most likely not their sole targets, either; the people from the weakest few branches will most likely all be targeted by them," Bai Bi sighed.
"Hehe, if we encounter them, then we'll just have to fight. We'll have to overcome this obstacle sooner or later. However, even if a powerful branch like the Chi Rong Race wanted to plot against our Tian Peng Race, there's no way that they'll station all of their holy disciples at the three entrances. The earth abyss trial takes place once every 300 years, so it's just as important to them as it is to us. As such, they could only have stationed a half or even less of their members at the three entrances. In that case, it may not be easy to defeat them, but forcing our way through their barricade certainly won't be impossible," Han Li analyzed with a cold chuckle.
"If that really is the case, then we've got some chances after all." Bai Bi and Lei Lan were reinvigorated by Han Li's encouraging words.
"No one can guarantee exactly what the situation will be like. We can only work things out as we go," Han Li replied in a calm voice.
"Which entrance are we going to choose? Two of them are relatively safer to get to while the other one is rather dangerous," Lei Lan asked with furrowed brows.
"Seeing as we could encounter obstacles from the other branches regardless of which entrance we choose, then it's naturally best to choose the one closest to our current location," Han Li decided without any hesitation.
"In that case, we'll have to go to the Myriad Vine Path," Bai Bi said after a brief pause.
Han Li seemed to have some recollection of this name, and his eyes flashed as he enquired for confirmation, "The Myriad Vine Path? Is that the entrance from the second to the third level connected by many ancient vines?"
"That's the one. Aside from some demonic insects that may appear along that path, there are virtually no hazards to be encountered. If we have a smooth journey, we should be able to get there in half a month," Bai Bi confirmed.
"That sounds good. Let's go to that entrance, then," Han Li said.
Lei Lan and Bai Bi had no objections to this, and both of them nodded in agreement.
Han Li flipped his hand over to produce a blue formation plate, which he shook in front of his eyes, thereby allowing him to confirm the direction they were heading in before leading the two holy disciples onward.
Not long after the three of them had departed, an inky-black figure emerged soundlessly from within the thick mud of the swamp. It turned an intense gaze toward the direction that Han Li and the others had sped away in, and a hint of red light flashed through its eyes.
The black figure then suddenly exploded like a bubble and disappeared on the spot.
All of a sudden, Han Li felt a chill run down his spine as he flew through the air. He immediately paused in his flight and glanced behind him.
"What is it, Brother Han?" At this point, Bai Bi had complete trust in Han Li's abilities and judgment, and he also stopped in a wary manner.
Blue light flashed through Han Li's eyes as he scanned his gaze across the ground behind them. Only after a while did he reply, "Nothing. Perhaps it was my imagination."
The bone-chilling sensation that he had been struck with had already vanished, and it was as if it had never appeared in the first place.
For people like Han Li with excessively sensitive spiritual sense, it was quite often that he would sense peril where none actually existed. However, for something like this to happen in such a dangerous place was rather unsettling to him, and he simply couldn't bring himself to forget it.
Having said that, no demonic being would be able to escape the detection of his spirit eyes unless that cultivation base was far superior to his, so perhaps that spine-tingling sensation really had just been a figment of his imagination.
After a brief pause, Han Li could only arrive at that conclusion. He waved a hand toward Bai Bi and Lei Lan before continuing onward, but his expression had darkened significantly.
Unbeknownst to Han Li, there was a mysterious being whose entire body was enshrouded in a set of vibrant red robes lying down on a black wooden chair within the belly of a mountain in a deeper level of the earth abyss. There was a stone table beside the chair, upon which was placed a large copper mirror. There was a rather blurry image being depicted in the mirror, and the image was none other than that of Han Li's trio flying over the swamp.
"Interesting! To think that he's even able to sense my mud puppet; looks like his spiritual sense far outstrips his cultivation base. Unfortunately, I'm not really interested in refining Yin spirits," the red-robed being chuckled before sweeping a sleeve toward the mirror as if he were going to dispel the image, but its arm suddenly faltered as a contemplative look appeared in his eyes.
"I almost forgot; that ghost hag seems to be collecting beings with powerful souls, so this man would be a good gift for her. I should be able to exchange him for a blood fish from her!" the red-robed being murmured to himself.
He suddenly sat up as a hint of excitement flashed through his eyes, seemingly very pleased with his own lateral thinking abilities.
He rustled a sleeve, and a translucent bead shot forth before stopping in front of him.
He then made a hand seal, and a streak of red light disappeared into the bead in a flash, following which brilliant crimson light began to radiate from the bead.Previous Chapter Next Chapter