This was a place with extremely unique scenery.
In the air around 3,000 to 4,000 feet above the ground, there was a vast expanse of grey devilish Qi that stretched as far as the eyes could see, and below that was a layer of dense black mist that obscured everything down below.
There was a clear division between the black mist and the grey Qi, and they coexisted alongside one another like yin and yang.
Han Li's expression changed slightly as he looked down to find that only the tip of the mountain down below could be seen, while the rest of it was hidden within the sea of mist.
There was visibility for only around 400 feet, and even then, the objects within that range were quite blurry and indistinct. If one were to try and look any further beyond that, they would only be greeted by the sight of inky darkness.
After a brief pause, blue light flashed through Han Li's eyes as he activated his Brightsight Spirit Eyes, and everything in the black sea of mist within a radius of several thousand feet instantly became clear to him.
However, Han Li's brows still furrowed as he discovered that even his spirit eyes were unable to pierce through the mist all the way to the deepest part of the ground down below.
As for his spiritual sense, he could only release it for several hundred feet down below before it was repelled.
When he tried to sweep his spiritual sense toward the grey devilish Qi up above, he found that the situation was even worse as he was only able to release it for around 500 meters, thereby rendering it even less effective than his spirit eye ability.
In that case, things were going to be rather troublesome.
If they were to encounter high-grade devilish beasts that were proficient in concealment, then even he wouldn't be able to detect them in time.
Just as Han Li was hesitating about how to proceed, Yue Zong turned to Xian Xian, and asked, "Fairy Xian, can you tell me where you want to go now?"
"Of course. How will you guide us if I don't tell you where we're going?" Xian Xian chuckled as she flipped a hand over, tossing a stone tablet that she'd prepared earlier toward Yue Zong.
Yue Zong made a grabbing motion to draw the object into his grasp, then laid it against his forehead and closed his eyes as he seeped his spiritual sense into it.
Meanwhile, Han Li had already ascertained that there were no devilish beasts nearby, and he withdrew his gaze before turning his attention to Yue Zong.
Moments later, Yue Zong opened his eyes again, and a grim expression appeared on his face as he said, "So this is where you want to go? That's the deepest point of the outskirts of these mountain ranges."
"You've ventured deep into the mountain ranges on several occasions, so surely it won't be an issue for you to take us there, Brother Yue," Xian Xian replied with a smile.
"If it weren't for the fact that we're currently in a period of devilish Qi influx, this would naturally not be a problem. However, at present, going that deep will incur some risk. On top of that, this area is quite far away from the entrance, and the journey definitely won't be a smooth one," Yue Zong sighed.
"We'll only be taking a slight risk; it's not like we're guaranteed to encounter high-grade devilish beasts. We've already made it here, so we can't just turn back now. You're quite familiar with the Golden Devil Mountain Ranges, so I'll leave it to you to decide on a route for us, Brother Yue. All I ask is that we get there in around 10 days," Xian Xian said.
"You sure have a lot of faith in me, Fairy Xian!" Yue Zong gave a wry smile upon hearing this before turning to Han Li.
Han Li was the most powerful being among the three of them by far, and his display of power earlier had filled Yue Zong with awe and veneration, so he naturally had to get Han Li's opinion on the matter.
Han Li was naturally aware of what Yue Zong was thinking, and he smiled as he said, "I don't have any suggestions or objections; I'll leave the decision-making to you, Fellow Daoist Yue."
"In that case, I'll lead the way. If we go directly there in a straight line, we'll be incurring too much risk. In contrast, skirting around the outermost area of the mountain ranges will be a lot safer, but we might not make it there in time. Hence, we have to find a route somewhere in between the two. In doing so, we'll be able to limit the risks involved, but also get there in the required timeframe," Yue Zong said after a brief pause.
"Alright, we'll do as you say, Brother Yue," Xian Xian readily agreed.
Han Li didn't say anything, but he also nodded in response.
Thus, after discussing some finer details with Han Li and Xian Xian, then instructing the two of them on a few precautionary measures that they should take, Yue Zong forged on ahead to lead the way for the trio.
Around two hours after they'd departed, four more beings rushed out from the world of lightning and emerged in a nearby area.
The four of them inspected their surroundings in a cautious manner, then gathered together to discuss some things before a black-faced mid-Spatial Tempering Stage being among them waved a hand through the air. All four of them then pulled out a formation plate each before flying toward a certain direction.
After that, more and more beings entered the Golden Devil Mountain Ranges at intervals of around two to four hours.
Some of them were alone, while others traveled in groups, and the largest of those groups was the group of outsiders led by the silver-armored being.
The second-largest group was that of the local cultivators led by the elderly man with the Yan surname.
However, as soon as those two groups entered the mountain ranges, they immediately dispersed instead of traveling together.
Three days later, a dull explosion rang out at low altitudes over a certain location in the Golden Devil Mountain Ranges.
Several balls of white light comparable in size to wagon wheels exploded in unison before transforming into gusts of fierce white winds. The winds screeched through the air, harboring countless blades of wind, and in the next instant, several cries of anguish rang out from within.
Immediately thereafter, several tens of sections of furry remains plummeted from above, disappearing into the sea of mist down below in the blink of an eye.
The fierce winds then disappeared into nothingness.
Three humanoid figures appeared thereafter, one of whom was holding a white bead in his hand with a grave expression on his face.
This man was none other than Yue Zong.
Han Li stood beside him with his arms cross, hovering in mid-air in an expressionless manner.
Meanwhile, Xian Xian had donned a suit of red armor, and an inky-black bird with a fiery red beak and a pair of shimmering golden eyes was perched on her shoulder.
Yue Zong stowed away the bead in his hand as he heaved a faint sigh, and the residual winds in the area completely vanished.
"Something's not quite right!" Yue Zong said in a grave voice.
"What do you mean, Brother Yue? We've only encountered a few low-grade devilish beasts, haven't we? It's not like we haven't encountered other low-grade devilish beasts up to this point," Xian Xian asked in a perplexed manner.
"Everything would naturally be fine if these were just normal low-grade devilish beasts, but these devilish ravens have always resided deep in the mountain ranges and never appeared in the outskirts. These devilish ravens share a symbiotic relationship with the high-grade devilish beasts, the Cerberus Badgers. If one of them appears, then others shouldn't be far away, either. This is why I asked the two of you to be on your guard even though we were only dealing with low-grade devilish beasts," Yue Zong explained.
Xian Xian faltered slightly upon hearing this before asking, "Could it be that these devilish birds have always been able to travel on their own, but it's only rather rare, so you've never seen it happen before?"
"Definitely not. These devilish ravens are the most common devilish birds deep within the mountain ranges, and countless explorers have entered these mountain ranges before and after me, and none of them have seen these birds on the outskirts here," Yue Zong immediately replied with a shake of his head.
"So what could it mean for these birds to appear here?" Han Li suddenly asked.
After a brief pause, Yue Zong replied, "It means that the Cerberus Badgers with whom these birds share a symbiotic relationship have already perished, and they weren't able to find other Cerberus Badgers. As such, they were unable to survive deep within the mountain ranges, thereby forcing them onto the outskirts here. Alternatively, it could mean that these birds have been forced against their will to come here by beings that are far more powerful than the Cerberus Badgers."
"Oh? Which one of those scenarios is more plausible in your opinion, Fellow Daoist Yue?"Han Li asked with a nonchalant smile.
"The first scenario is very unlikely. After all, these devilish ravens are low-grade devilish beasts, and they can fly pretty fast, but they're certainly far from powerful. Without any Cerberus Badgers protecting them, it's very unlikely that they would've escaped all the way here deep within the mountain ranges alive. The other devilish beasts within the mountain ranges would've hunted them down long before this," Yue Zong replied.
"So that means these devilish ravens have most likely been forced here by another powerful devilish beast, and that devilish beast is already onto us," Han Li mused as his eyes narrowed.
"I'm afraid so. On top of that, this devilish beast appears to be quite intelligent as well," Yue Zong replied in a solemn manner.
"What do you think we should do in this situation, Fellow Daoist Yue?" Xian Xian asked with furrowed brows.
"I suggest we speed up first to see if we can throw it off our trail. After all, seeing as this beast possesses a high level of intelligence, perhaps it appeared here for some other reason rather than to hunt us down. If that doesn't work, then we'll have no choice but to kill it. Otherwise, if it attracts other devilish beasts here or continues to tail us, it'll always be a thorn in our sides. Hehe, of course, I'm only able to make the second suggestion because Senior Han is with us. If I were alone, then I'd have to employ some other measures. However, those measures are very time-consuming to implement, so they won't be suitable for our current situation," Yue Zong replied while giving Han Li an offhand compliment.
A hint of a smile appeared on Han Li's face upon hearing this, but he didn't give Yue Zong a direct response. Instead, he turned to Xian Xian, and asked, "What do you think of this suggestion, Fairy Xian?"
"Brother Yue's understanding of the devilish beasts here definitely far outstrips mine, and with your powers, we have nothing to fear as long as we don't encounter any holy-grade devilish beasts," Xian Xian replied in a smile.
"In that case, I don't have any objections, either," Han Li agreed with a nod.
"Alright, then let's keep going. It's a pity that we can't fly too fast here in case we attract attention from other devilish beasts here. Otherwise, if we were to fly at full speed, we'd be able to throw any devilish beast off our trail as long as they're not extremely proficient in flight," Yue Zong mused in a slightly forlorn manner.
That was quite true. Needless to say, Han Li was flying at nowhere near his top speed, and Yue Zong standing atop a white wheel treasure that enhanced his speed to be comparable to that of a Spatial Tempering Stage being.
As for Xian Xian, she had summoned a small golden flag, and during her flight, she could transform into a barely visible golden streak of light that could cover a distance of over 100 feet with every single flash, making her speed comparable to Han Li's as well.
The three streaks of light hurtled through the air, disappearing into the distance in the blink of an eye.
Almost at the exact same moment, at the foot of a small mountain close to 10 kilometers away, crimson light suddenly flashed. Immediately thereafter, a dozen or so crimson devilish eyes suddenly lit up at once in what was a pitch-black area just a moment ago.Previous Chapter Next Chapter