Chapter 1684: Dark Beast Forest

"That thing looks to be at least just as powerful as that Sea Guardian Ape; we should get out of here as quickly as possible." Liu Shui'er expression changed upon seeing this, and she immediately made a hand seal before flying away as a streak of blue light without any hesitation.

Even without her reminder, Han Li and Shi Kun knew that a battle between two beings with such devastating powers would likely affect a massive area even beyond the direct vicinity of their battlefield.

As such, they also followed suit and flew away as streaks of light behind Liu Shui'er as quickly as they could.

The three streaks of light quickly vanished into the distance, and moments later, an earth-shattering roar suddenly erupted from the seashore in the distance.

Immediately thereafter, the sounds of fierce winds and thunderclaps intertwined, creating a rumbling commotion that drowned out the roar of the Sea Guardian Ape and the cry of the giant bird.

Almost at the exact same moment, a gargantuan wave that was over 10,000 feet tall swept forth in a frenzy from the seashore, completely inundating the spot where Han Li's trio had been standing mere moments earlier.

At this point, Han Li's trio had already fled to several hundred kilometers away, then changed direction and flew back toward land after going around in a massive loop.

After the three of them finally flew safely onto land, Shi Kun heaved a faint sigh of relief as he said, "This Vast Glacial Realm really is just as the rumors proclaim it to be; there are so many ancient beasts here that have already gone extinct long ago in our Spirit Realm. If we keep encountering these beings during our journey, we'll most likely be dead before we even get to the restricted ruins."

His voice wasn't very loud, but at Han Li and Liu Shui'er's cultivation bases, they were naturally able to hear him quite clearly.

"There are indeed some ancient beasts here, but it's not like they're all over the place. It's most likely the case that we were simply unlucky and stumbled upon the battlefield between two powerful ancient beasts," Liu Shui'er said with a shake of her head.

"Is it really just bad luck? This is quite a bad start to the journey," Shi Kun said with a resigned shrug.

"Cultivators like us are beings who defy the natural order, so we can't completely ignore things like omens, but there's no need to take them completely seriously, either," Liu Shui'er said with a faint smile.

"Hehe, I certainly hope so," Shi Kun chuckled in response.

At the sight of Shi Kun's unconvinced expression, Liu Shui'er spoke no further on this matter, turning to Han Li instead as she said, "Brother Han, we need to ascertain our location in this Vast Glacial Realm first, and we'll need you to be on lookout duty for us."

After the events that had unfolded earlier, Liu Shui'er was clearly being more polite to Han Li.

"No problem," Han Li replied with a nod. He was rather curious about how these two were going to ascertain their current location.

After that, he rose up into the air as a streak of azure light, reaching altitudes in excess of 1,000 feet before revealing himself again.

His spiritual sense was then released, covering the entire area in a radius of several tens of kilometers around them.

Liu Shui'er nodded with a pleased look on her face before turning to Shi Kun as she said, "Let's begin, Fellow Daoist Shi."

"Hehe, I've already got everything prepared," Shi Kun replied without any hesitation.

Thus, Liu Shui'er and Shi Kun abruptly flew away in different directions, then stopping after several hundred feet had been opened up between them.

Thus, the three of them ended up in a massive triangular formation.

At this moment, Liu Shui'er and Shi Kun both swept their sleeves through the air, releasing a white disk and a yellow scroll, respectively.

The two of them made hand seals while chanting something, and the disk swelled to over 10 times its original size, looking as if it were a massive moon.

Meanwhile, the yellow scroll slowly unfurled to reveal a burst of yellow light, and there seemed to be something lurking within the scroll.

All of a sudden, yellow light flashed, and the entire scroll disappeared.

In the next instant, specks of yellow light surfaced in the air within a radius of over 1,000 feet, and these specks of light flashed before combining as one to form a yellow light barrier that obscured the entire sky.

Shi Kun let loose a low cry upon seeing this before pointing a finger at the artificial moon.

Pure white light swirled around it before disappearing into the yellow light barrier, and the chanting from Liu Shui'er and Shi Kun began to grow louder.

A peculiar scene then ensued.

A loud buzzing sound rang out from the yellow light barrier, following which a series of mountains, rivers, and lakes appeared all over its surface. These landmarks were all extremely tiny, but also remarkably life-like, and it was quite easy to see the differences between the landmarks.

These miniatures images were then split up into blocks that were each around 10 feet in size, creating quite an intriguing sight to behold.

Han Li was naturally able to see the entire light barrier from his vantage point up above, and his eyes narrowed slightly as he asked, "What is that?" 

"This is a Vast Glacial Map that my master and Senior Duan refined after collating all of the geographic data collected by the beings who came into the Vast Glacial Realm before us. I wouldn't dare to proclaim that it's a comprehensive map of the entire realm, but around 70% to 80% of the entire realm can be seen in this map," Liu Shui'er explained.

"What we have to do now is ascertain whether we're actually situated in one of the areas included in the map. If not, then things may be a little troublesome for us," Shi Kun said as he pointed a finger at the light barrier.

Brilliant yellow light immediately began to radiate from the entire map, following which an egg-sized spot of white light suddenly emerged from a corner of the map, then hovered over a certain block.

After identifying the area that the white ball of light had settled over, Liu Shui'er's voice trembled slightly as he said, "That's it, we're situated on the border of the Myriad Fowl Ridge, which means we just emerged from the Eight Omens Sea."

Shi Kun's expression also changed drastically upon hearing this.

Han Li was appraising the white ball of light down below with a curious look in his eyes, and he drew a sharp breath after hearing Liu Shui'er's words.

Seeing as they were preparing to enter the Vast Glacial Realm, he'd naturally read many tomes with information regarding the realm, particularly about the renowned perilous locations here, in case he were to stumble into one of them and lose his life there.

The Myriad Fowl Ridge and the Eight Omens Sea were two of the more renowned areas that he'd read about.

As the name suggested, the Eight Omens Sea, which they'd just passed through, was a region of the sea where eight legendary ancient beasts resided. As for the Myriad Fowl Ridge, there were tens of thousands of spirit birds that resided here, three of which were ancient beasts that were no less powerful than the Sea Guardian Ape.

These two areas directly neighbored one another, so this was naturally a very unlucky area to have ended up in.

Thus, all three of them fell silent with their brows furrowed as they stared at the giant light barrier in a grim manner.

"I don't want to have to travel through the Myriad Fowl Ridge. Not even taking into account the three ancient birds there, if even the other spirit birds there were to notice us, we'd be swarmed and killed for sure," Shi Kun said with a dark expression.

"The Myriad Fowl Ridge is indeed extremely perilous. Even though we managed to make it out of the Eight Omens Sea safely, that doesn't mean we'll have the same luck in the Myriad Fowl Ridge, so let's go around it," Han Li chimed in in agreement.

Liu Shui'er glanced at Han Li and Shi Kun before heaving a faint sigh as she said, "Looks like we have no choice but to do that."

Seeing as everyone was on the same page, Shi Kun's expression eased slightly, but his brows were still tightly furrowed as he appraised the giant light barrier.

"Directly neighboring the Myriad Fowl Ridge are the Blue Sun Desert and the Dark Beast Forest. There's no need for us to even consider the Blue Sun Desert; for upper race beings like us, that place is even more fearsome than the Myriad Fowl Ridge. According to records, we'll only be able to withstand the power of the sunlight there for half a day at most before we're incinerated into ashes. In contrast, the Dark Beast Forest contains the Dark Beast Race, which has been extinct for a long time in our Spirit Realm. During the nighttime, these Dark Beasts become several times more powerful than they are during the day, so it's also a very perilous place to traverse through. However, it appears that this is the only option open to us," Liu Shui'er said in a slow voice as she pointed at the light barrier.

"We can't do that. There are very few records about Dark Beasts, which means that very few people have made it out alive from the Dark Beast Forest, so it's still too dangerous for us to go through it. It's best to go around that area as well," Shi Kun immediately objected.

"How do you propose we do that? The restricted ruins are already extremely far away from us, so it'll take us three or four months to get there even if we enjoy a completely smooth journey. If we encounter some obstacles along the way, that number could quite easily double. Just going around the Myriad Fowl Ridge will take close to an extra month, and the Dark Beast Forest is even larger in area, which means it'll take us close to two additional months to go around it. On top of that, we need to save a month or two in order to make our breakthroughs. How will we be able to get there in time, then break the restriction if we keep going around everything?" Liu Shui'er countered in a cold voice.

A hesitant look appeared on Shi Kun's face upon hearing this.

"The Dark Beast Forest does indeed appear to be quite perilous, but there have been beings who have traversed through it in the past. In any case, our records do include some information about how to better handle these creatures in battle, so we should have an even better chance of passing through the forest than those who came before us. Besides, if we go back empty-handed, are you not afraid of being punished by Senior Duan, Fellow Daoist Shi?" Liu Shui'er continued with a cold look in her eyes.

Shi Kun was still rather hesitant, and he suddenly turned to Han Li as he asked, "What do you think, Fellow Daoist Han?"

"I was asked to come here by the two seniors and was promised quite a handsome reward for my efforts, so I'm willing to go anywhere as long as it doesn't spell certain death," Han Li replied in a calm manner.

After a moment of careful contemplation, Shi Kun suddenly chuckled, "Alright, seeing as neither of you fear the Dark Beast Forest, I'll also tag along and see just how fearsome these legendary Dark Beasts are!"

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