Han Li remained completely expressionless upon hearing this, but he really was tempted to make a move. However, he then cast his gaze toward a certain direction, and what he saw there immediately made his heart sink.
"Haha, you really are an extraordinary man, Fellow Daoist Han. As expected, my concealment abilities weren't enough to fool you." A burst of hearty laughter suddenly erupted from empty space, following which golden light flashed and a golden figure appeared.
It was none other than the golden ape, Jin Ling.
Even though the ape was chortling in a raucous manner, it wore an extremely cold expression as it looked at Han Li.
Yuan Yao and Yan Li's expressions changed in unison upon seeing this.
They had spent many years in the earth abyss, so they were naturally well aware of just how powerful this golden ape was. The two of them were extremely confident in Han Li's abilities, but they knew that there was no way he'd be able to directly oppose a being at the pinnacle of the Spatial Tempering Stage.
With this ape present along with all of the other high-grade demon beasts, it would be impossible for him to get away.
"I'm glad you're safe, Brother Jin. After we were separated in that ghostly mist, I was worried about you for a long while, but it appears my concerns were unnecessary. With your immense cultivation base, those ghostly beings never stood a chance," Han Li said in a calm voice.
"I do have some self-preservation skills, but I can't compare with you, Fellow Daoist Han. You were able to emerge from the mist as a Spirit General; that's very much worthy of my admiration," Jin Ling praised with a smile on its face.
"I don't have such abilities. It was all thanks to Fellow Daoist Yuan and Fellow Daoist Yan that I was able to escape from this mist," Han Li replied with a shake of his head.
"Those two may have certain methods to find their way out of this mist, but without Brother Han's assistance, they wouldn't have been able to deal with the powerful ghostly beings along the way," Jin Ling continued.
Han Li merely smiled in response, and didn't say anything further. However, his mind was quickly scrambling.
He was confident that his powers were not inferior to Jin Ling's and even weighing those high-grade demon beasts into the equation, he was still confident that he had a 70% to 80% chance of getting away.
However, that was only if he were to escape on his own. If he were to take Yuan Yao and Yan Li with him, then that probability fell to less than 50%. This was not a worthwhile risk for him to take. In any case, this infernal river was an extremely perilous and unpredictable places, so it was best to find another opportunity in the future.
Thus, Han Li made his decision and began to chat with Jin Ling.
Seeing as Han Li seemed to have no intention of getting away, the golden ape also relaxed a little, and the two of them engaged in a pleasant conversation as if they'd been good friends for many years.
Just as they were conversing with one another, a ball of green light suddenly sped back toward them from afar.
Mu Qing was standing atop her golden flower as she flew soundlessly through the air, and Han Li faltered initially upon seeing this, a little surprised that she was back so soon, but he then recalled back to the teleportation-like movement techniques that she'd unleashed in the past, and he was quickly enlightened.
Following a few flashes, the ball of green light appeared overhead before fading to reveal Mu Qing's slender figure.
"I pay my respects to My Mistress!" The golden ape immediately extended a respectful bow.
"I'm glad you're safe, Jin Ling." An elated look appeared on Mu Qing's face at the sight of the golden ape.
"It was all thanks to the protective treasures you bestowed upon me, Mistress. Otherwise, there was no way that I could've managed to remain unscathed in the face of so many ghostly beings. In the end, I was only able to escape with assistance from Master Liu Zu and Master Di Xue," the golden ape replied.
"That windstorm in the end was clearly Fellow Daoist Liu Zu's handiwork. This is the first time I've seen him unleash a wind-attribute ability," Mu Qing said in a slow voice, and there was a hint of unidentifiable emotion in her tone.
"Master Liu Zu's powers are indeed quite unfathomable, but it was exactly because of this that those puppets and ghostly beings were vanquished so easily," Jin Ling said in a slightly grim voice.
"You're right. In a perilous place like this, the more powerful Fellow Daoist Liu Zu is, the better. Seeing as I've already taken care of my opponent, the others most likely won't take too much longer, either." Mu Qing nodded after a brief silence before casting her gaze into the distance.
Coincidentally, in the instant that she raised her head, a speck of spiritual light flashed in the extremely far distance in the direction that she'd cast her gaze toward, following which a ball of black Qi appeared and hurtled toward them.
Moments later, the ball of black Qi appeared before everyone like a shooting star before receding to reveal the white-haired beauty.
The woman appeared to be completely unscathed, but her aura was slightly more feeble than when she'd set off, indicating that she'd expended quite a bit of magic power.
She looked around before her brows furrowed as she asked, "Why aren't Liu Zu and Di Xue back yet? With their abilities, I would've thought that they'd be the first ones to take care of their opponent."
"I'm not sure of that myself. Perhaps they encountered some mishaps along the way. Where are your eight ghost monarchs, Sister Lan? Didn't they go with you to hunt down that puppet?" Mu Qing asked with a curious expression.
"The puppet self-detonated on the brink of death, and the eight ghost monarchs were all severely damaged as a result, so I've stored them away into my Yincloud Pouch for recovery. I really at getting rather worried about Liu Zu and Di Xue, though. If you and I are the only ones remaining, there'd be no chance for us to secure the Divine Infernal River Elixir." A concerned look appeared on the white-haired beauty's face.
Mu Qing was just about to say something in response when a resounding boom suddenly erupted from a certain direction. That direction was none other than the one that Liu Zu and Di Xue had departed toward earlier.
Mu Qing and the white-haired beauty exchanged a glance upon hearing this earthshattering commotion, and both of them could see their own surprise mirrored on one another's faces.
"Could it be..." The white-haired beauty's brows furrowed with concern.
However, before she had a chance to finish her sentence, a sharp screech suddenly rang out from the direction where the explosion had just taken place.
As soon as Han Li heard this unbearable sound, his vision blacked out and he plummeted from the sky.
Han Li almost immediately reacted by sealing off his sense of hearing, then activating his Great Development Technique.
However, what was quite astonishing to him was that this sharp screech completely disregarded his attempt to seal off his hearing, piercing directly into his spiritual sense anyway. The Great Development Technique was indeed quite useful in such situations, but its activation had been cut off halfway by that sharp screech, so its effects were naturally severely hampered.
Han Li's heart jolted with shock as he let loose a loud roar, unleashing the Spiritstun Thorn on himself to send a burst of searing pain piercing into his spiritual sense. As such, he was temporarily able to recover his clarity of mind and regain control over his own body.
He then unleashed a layer of golden lightning around his body amid a loud thunderclap, then abruptly slammed his black and white palms together in front of his chest.
Five-colored flames and grey light immediately erupted from his hands in unison, then intertwined with one another to form a dual-layered barrier of light that encapsulated his body.
With these defensive measures in place, the effect that the sharp screech had on his spiritual sense was severely dampened, and he managed to right himself in mid-air again.
However, he then caught sight of Yuan Yao and Yan Li, both of whom were still rapidly plummeting out of the sky, and they were going to crash heavily onto the jagged rocks down below very soon.
Thus, he immediately made a grabbing motion toward them, upon which countless grey threads shot forth from within the grey light, instantly latching onto the two women before drawing them toward him.
Han Li then expanded the flames and grey light emanating from his body to encompass the two of them as well, and a hint of color returned to their cheeks as they regained the ability to hover in mid-air again.
At this moment, a string of dull thumps rang out from down below as the dozen or so high-grade demon beasts fell heavily to the ground, having been unable to withstand the effects of the sharp screech.
All of the demon beasts possessed robust bodies, so falling from this height wasn't an issue at all for them. However, all of them had their hands pressed over their ears with all their might while they thrashed and rolled around in agony. All types of protective spiritual lights flashed erratically around bodies, but they seemed to be completely ineffective.
Han Li drew a sharp breath upon seeing this before casting his gaze toward the others.
Jin Ling was situated beside Mu Qing, and the golden flower down below had conjured up a series of flower projections to shield them from the effects of the sharp screech.
As for the white-haired beauty, she was enshrouded in a ball of Yin winds and stood in a completely motionless manner, clearly also unaffected by the sharp screech.
However, all three of them were looking on into the distance with intense unblinking eyes as the screech was only growing louder, and an incredible phenomenon had appeared up ahead.
A massive crimson insect projection had emerged up ahead, and it was so massive that it took up virtually the entire sky. It had a pair of inky-black compound eyes that shimmered with a cold light while a pair of semi-transparent wings flapped on either side of its body like a pair of light barriers.
It appeared to be a fly that had been enlarged countless times!
The debilitating screeching sound that had almost felled Han Li was coming from none other than the wings of that insect projection. As the projection rapidly flapped its wings, fluctuations that were visible to the naked eye were proliferating from them. They then seemed to have disappeared as they surged further through the air, but in reality, they had turned into that sharp screeching sound that was clearly audible even from Han Li's location.
Even from so far away, the sharp screech possessed such fearsome might; if they were situated right before the insect projection, there'd be no need for it to do anything other than flapping its wings to kill its enemies.
However, this fly-like projection wasn't only flapping its wings; it was also blasting countless thick pillars of crimson light out of its compound eyes.
These pillars of light rained down from above, virtually encompassing the entire space down below.
Even though Han Li couldn't truly experience the might of these pillars of light for himself, they were still a formidable sight to behold, even from afar.
Beneath the massive net constructed from these intertwining pillars of light, there were two beings evading these pillars of light with all their might.
These two beings were each around 100 feet in size, but they were so tiny and insignificant compared to the gargantuan insect projection that they weren't immediately noticed.
Blue light flashed within Han Li's eyes, and he immediately identified these two beings.
One of them was the Purpleblood Puppet, which had shrunk down drastically, while the other being came as a massive shock to Han Li!Previous Chapter Next Chapter