This was an inky-black monster with six feelers extending from its head and six blade-like limbs.
This being wasn't much smaller than the Purpleblood Puppet, and its entire body was covered in steel-like strands of hard fur. Its two eyes were long and thin and shimmering with an eerie red light while the two pairs of bird wings on its back were flapping rapidly.
It was also a massive strange insect.
The insect and the Purpleblood Puppet remained unaffected by the sharp screech even though they were so close to the insect projection, and they were flashing through the air like wraith-like apparitions. On many occasions, the pillars of red light seemed to have punctured their bodies, only for those to revealed as mere afterimages.
As the Purpleblood Puppet was taking evasive measures, it produced a massive ax and unleashed a relentless barrage of crescent ax projections.
In contrast, the giant black insect was attacking with its six limbs, which were flashing through the air to unleash streaks of black light that resembled sharp spikes.
Most of their attacks were vanquished by the red pillars of light, and even the ones that snuck through were kept at bay by a layer of invisible power.
"What is that? Could it be that it's a Heavenly Mayfly Tier being?" the white-haired beauty exclaimed as she stared at the insect projection.
"I'm actually more intrigued by Fellow Daoist Liu Zu's true form," Mu Qing murmured as her pupils contracted.
The white-haired beauty repressed her shock as a dark expression appeared on her face, and she said, "Now's not the time to be arguing about such trivial matters, Fellow Daoist Mu. Heavenly Mayfly Tier beings are only second to true spirits within the Mayfly Race. If that thing is truly such a being, then none of us would be able to escape."
"Sister Lan, have you still not figured it out yet? That thing is just the projection of a Heavenly Mayfly Tier being, and it must've been forcibly summoned here through the use of a secret technique by the puppet that Liu Zu and Di Xue were pursuing. As soon as this projection exhausts all of its power, it'll disappear. Liu Zu and Di Xue are clearly well aware of this, which is why they're merely doing all they can to stall for time," Mu Qing said in a calm voice.
The white-haired beauty faltered upon hearing this before carefully appraising the gargantuan fly up ahead. Only after a long while did she heave a sigh of relief as she said, "That is indeed just a projection; it possesses only around a fifth of the power of a true Heavenly Mayfly. Furthermore, none of the actual being's spiritual sense had been imbued within this projection. Otherwise, the two of them wouldn't have been able to last so long. Even so, this thing's attacks are extremely powerful. If the puppet or Liu Zu were to get hit by any one of those attacks, they'd be in real trouble."
"Of course. Even though it's only a projection, Heavenly Mayfly Tier beings are only second to true spirit beings, after all, so this is certainly not something we can contend with," Mu Qing sighed in a resigned manner.
After ascertaining the nature of this projection, the two women naturally weren't going to charge into battle against it. They merely looked on from afar, patiently awaiting the moment that the power of the insect projection would run out.
Meanwhile, Han Li listened to their conversation off to the side with a peculiar look in his eyes.
The situation unfolding before their eyes naturally wasn't something that he could meddle in.
At this moment, the white-haired beauty looked down at the high-grade demon beasts, which were still rolling around on the ground below, and her brows furrowed as she swept a sleeve downward.
A swath of black light swept forth, instantly enshrouding all of those demon beasts within.
The demon beasts immediately returned to their senses and finally stopped thrashing and writhing, but all of them were still completely feeble and unable to rise to their feet.
However, the white-haired beauty showed no intention of doing anything else to help them as she turned toward the colossal insect projection again.
It was just as Mu Qing had said; the devastatingly powerful insect projection suddenly began to radiate piercing red light a while later, then exploded into countless pieces amid a rumbling boom before finally disappearing without a trace.
The pillars of crimson light raining down from above also instantly vanished.
The strange black insect and Purpleblood Puppet both heaved a massive collective sigh of relief before standing still on the spot to recover both their composure and energy. After a brief period of recuperation, both of them flew toward Mu Qing and the others.
Moments later, the Purpleblood Puppet and the black insect appeared in the air overhead.
Even though they had determined well in advance that this insect was none other than Liu Zu, both Mu Qing and the white-haired beauty were still staring at it with grave expressions.
Crimson light flashed from the shoulders of the Purpleblood puppets, following which the two crimson-robed figures appeared. They'd been hiding within the puppet's body this entire time.
Meanwhile, black light swirled around the black insect's body and it quickly shrank before adopting a human form.
It was none other than Liu Zu, except his black cloak had disappeared, thereby revealing his true appearance.
Han Li's heart jolted with shock as he cast his gaze toward the man.
Liu Zu's facial features were mostlyidentical to that of a normal man, and he possessed quite a youthful face. However, he had a pair of green compound eyes that shimmered with a cold light, creating a very unsettling sight to behold.
"It really is Fellow Daoist Liu Zu." The white-haired beauty heaved a long sigh of relief.
"Was that ever in doubt?" Liu Zu asked in a nonchalant manner as he hovered in mid-air with his hands clasped behind his back.
"Brother Liu Zu, seeing as you possess the body of a spirit insect, are you related in some way to the Mayfly Race?" Mu Qing asked.
"The Mayfly Race? I originally hailed from that race. Are you satisfied with that response?" Liu Zu replied with a faint smile.
Both Mu Qing and the white-haired beauty's expressions both changed drastically upon hearing this."So you knew of this place in advance, yet still intentionally led us to this place?" The white-haired beauty's voice immediately cooled significantly.
"I'm afraid that you've wrongly accused me here, Fellow Daoists. I was aware that the Mayfly Race had a holy land, but at the time, my cultivation base was far too pitiful to be informed of its specific location. After that, I stayed in the earth abyss for countless years, and I've been stuck at my current cultivation base for almost longer than I can remember. If I'd known that there was an entrance leading to this place from the earth abyss and wanted to plot against you from the beginning, why would I have delayed so long before leading all of you here? I really did unintentionally discover that this place could be accessed from the earth abyss through the infernal river, but I truly had no idea that the Mayfly Race would send puppets to this place. According to my knowledge, the holy land of the Mayfly Race usually only opens up once every few thousand years, and it's only been several centuries since we were last here. I can only say that we were extremely unfortunate to have encountered these puppets under such circumstances. On top of that, if I were working with the Mayfly Race, why would I have only asked for puppets to be deployed to this place? I'm well aware of your abilities, and I'm certainly aware of the fact that those puppets would've been no match for you," Liu Zu replied in a calm manner.
Mu Qing and the white-haired beauty exchanged a glance upon hearing Liu Zu's words.
The two of them couldn't identify any holes in his logic, but both of them knew that he wasn't telling the truth somehow. It was just that they couldn't identify what exactly he had lied about.
"What do you think, Fellow Daoist Di Xue?" Mu Qing suddenly turned to the two crimson-robed figures.
The two of them had remained completely silent from the moment they'd reappeared on the shoulders of the Purpleblood Puppet.
The two crimson-robed figures exchanged a glance upon hearing this before one of them replied, "I think Brother Liu Zu is telling the truth. Even though Brother Liu Zu isn't the one who's spent the longest time among us in the earth abyss, he's definitely not the only who's been in the earth abyss for the shortest period of time, either, so if he wanted to plot against us, there really is no need for him to resort to these tactics. Could it be that two of you want to turn back now? We've already made the Mayfly Race our enemy; would you two be willing to give up on the Divine Infernal River Elixir after all that?"
The crimson-robed figure had completely sided with Liu Zu.
Mu Qing and the white-haired beauty couldn't help but exchange another glance upon seeing the crimson-robed figure's stance on the matter.
A short while later, the white-haired beauty's expression eased, and she smiled as she said, "Seeing as Fellow Daoist Di Xue believes in Brother Liu Zu, we're also willing to do the same. However, if the Mayfly Race has already become aware of intruders in their holy land from our last visit here, why didn't they deploy more troops or send more actual Golden Mayfly Tier beings to this place rather than station all these puppets here? In that case, it would've been very difficult for us to get away."
"That's quite simple. The Mayfly Race discovered our intrusion from last time, but they didn't know when we were going to come back again, so they could only station beings here that could permanently remain in this place. Even though this is the holy land of the Maplefly Race, normal beings of the race wouldn't be able to stay here for long. Otherwise, their cultivation bases would be severely damaged at best, and in worst-case scenarios, they could even die here. If we'd encountered a true insect sea army, hehe, we'd be devoured until not a single shred of our bodies remained," Liu Zu replied.
The white-haired beauty shuddered upon hearing the words "insect sea", and she forced a smile onto her face as she replied, "There's no need to make such jokes, Brother Liu Zu. The Mayfly Race may not be particularly renowned elsewhere in the Spirit Realm, but their influence in this area is not inferior to that of the major races of the Spirit Realm. They wouldn't deploy an insect sea army just to take care of a few Body Integration Stage beings like us."
A hint of fear also flashed through Mu Qing's eyes before she gave a calm analysis. "Indeed. From what I've heard, even true spirits are fearful toward the insect seas deployed by the Mayfly Army. Conversely, unleashing insect seas is extremely taxing to the entire race, so they wouldn't do so unless the circumstances were extremely dire."
"Hehe, I didn't think that the two of you would know so much about our Mayfly Race. Indeed, it would only take a single Heavenly Mayfly Tier being to destroy all of us, so there's certainly no need to deploy an insect sea. That's enough on this matter for now; let's get away from this place. It won't be a simple task for the Mayfly Race to deploy more beings to this place, and that process would take them at least several months. That's enough time for us to find the divine elixir, then return the way we'd come. We did suffer some severe casualties at the hands of those ghostly beings, but we've also slain many of the high-grade ghostly beings in the infernal river, so the rest of our journey should be a lot smoother. By the way, how many more ghostly soldiers and puppets do we have at our disposal?" Liu Zu asked.Previous Chapter Next Chapter