Even though Dark Beasts weren't the most powerful beasts in the Vast Glacial Realm, even an ancient beast definitely didn't want to face a pack of mature Dark Beasts at night.
For some reason, it was night time in the Dark Beast Forest for about two-thirds of the day, leaving very few remaining hours of daylight in contrast.
There were thousands of Dark Beasts living in the forest, and quite a large proportion of them were mature Dark Beasts.
As such, even though the Dark Beast Forest directly neighbored the Myriad Fowl Ridge and the Eight Omens Sea, none of the powerful ancient beasts nearby had any intention of invading the forest.
This forest was like the backyard of the Dark Beasts, and virtually all of the other beasts that resided within it could only act as prey to the Dark Beasts.
There were a few other types of beasts that also enjoyed enhancements during the night, and only they could pose some threat to the Dark Beasts, but they were all far inferior to the Dark Beasts both in terms of numbers, as well as individual powers.
On this day, close to 100 kilometers away from the border of the Dark Beast Forest, there was a giant python that was 70 to 80 feet in length with azure scales all over its body, facing off against a Dark Beast in a tense confrontation.
This python appeared to be no different from a normal python, but in reality, it was one of the types of beasts in the Dark Beast Forest that could challenge the Dark Beasts.
These types of pythons were known as Azure Night Pythons, and at night, their already powerful bodies would become significantly enhanced, and they would also draw upon the power of the night to enter what was essentially a berserk state.
After undergoing a berserk transformation, these giant pythons possessed powers that were comparable to that of mature Dark Beasts, and they were extremely ferocious and bloodthirsty in battle.
However, this type of transformation naturally also presented many negative after-effects to these Azure Night Pythons.
Not only would they be severely debilitated within the next few years, their lifespans would also be reduced. As such, none of them would undergo such a transformation unless they found themselves in grave danger.
Unfortunately for these Azure Night Pythons, their inner cores were extremely beneficial for Dark Beasts to consume, so if they were to encounter one another in the Dark Beast Forest, a battle to the death would immediately ensue.
This was exactly what was happening right now.
The Azure Night Python had its head raised up high, and it was flicking its dark purple forked tongue in a menacing manner. All of the azure scales on its body had also stood up on end, and it appeared to be ready to pounce at a moment's notice.
The Dark Beast that was facing off against it bore the appearance of a wolf that had swelled to three or four times its normal size. It was completely inky black in color, and its tail was long and thin, like that of a leopard, giving it a graceful and rather feline appearance.
This Dark Beast was slightly thinner than a normal mature Dark Beast, so it had clearly only reached maturity not long ago. However, it wasn't backing down in the slightest as it glowered at the Azure Night Python with ferocity flashing in its eyes.
Strangely enough, the Dark Beast was only staring at the giant python, and didn't immediately pounce toward it.
Most battles between mature Dark Beats and berserk Azure Night Pythons ended with the former securing the inner core of the latter, but there were also cases where Dark Beasts had been devoured by Azure Night Pythons.
As such, the Dark Beast was naturally delighted to have encountered an Azure Night Python here, but it didn't immediately rush into battle.
A berserk Azure Night Python would obviously become a lot more powerful, but in the instant it underwent its transformation, it would expose its weakness, and if the Dark Beast could take advantage of that split-second of weakness, it could kill its opponent in a single well-timed strike.
Meanwhile, the Azure Night Python had adopted a pose that suggested that it was going to go berserk at a moment's notice, but in reality, it didn't dare to do anything rash, either.
Thus, the tense standoff continued.
All of the beasts in the Dark Beast Forest were nocturnal creatures that rested in their caves during the day.
The trees here were extremely tall, and even though they were some distance away from the edge of the forest, the lush branches and leaves up above were still dense enough to almost obscure the entire sky. If one were to try and peer through these lush canopies, they'd only be greeted by the sight of a vast expanse of darkness.
It was currently the darkest time in the night, and if it weren't for some glowing plants nearby, this place would've been completely pitch-black.
Time passed by slowly, and the standoff continued. Both of the creatures were getting rather disgruntled at this point.
Finally, it was the Dark Beast that ran out of patience first.
It let loose a low snark, and it began to slowly stalk the area around the giant python in an entirely soundless, wraith-like manner.
The Azure Night Python began to flick its forked tongue with even greater urgency upon seeing this, and at the same time, it began to hiss in a menacing manner.
However, the ferocious light in the Dark Beast's eyes only grew more pronounced as inky-black claw projections that were half a foot in length each began to appear on its front paws. At the same time, its long and thin tail began to swish through the air, leaving a trail of afterimages in its wake as it cracked like a bullwhip.
The Azure Night Python was carefully appraising the Dark Beast this entire time, so it naturally saw everything that the Dark Beast was doing. Upon seeing the Dark Beast whipping its tail through the air, its hissing suddenly became more urgent, as if it were being provoked.
At the same time, light flashed from its dark azure scales, and its body began to swell up like a balloon, causing the entirety of its snakeskin to be stretched taut.
Almost in the blink of an eye, a sharp tearing sound rang out as the entire snakeskin split open, revealing a serpentine body that was almost one and a half times the size of the original Azure Night python.
This was still a python with azure scales, but the patterns on those scales had become silver, and these patterns intertwined to create a series of runes of different sizes that were flashing with faint silver light.
On top of that, a single horn that was as pristine white as jade had also appeared on the python's head. The horn was in a corkscrew shape, and it looked extremely sharp.
The giant python's green eyes also took on a crimson hue, and they were flashing with a deranged light.
Almost in the exact same instant that the giant python had completed its transformation, the Dark Beast immediately sprang into action.
Black light flashed, and the Dark Beast vanished on the spot.
In the next instant, black light flashed again near one side of the giant pythons's head, and the Dark Beast reappeared, seemingly out of thin air. At the same time, several black claw projections erupted forth, slashing viciously toward the python's neck.
On each berserk Azure Night Python's neck, just below their head, were several red scales. These scales could be considered to be the Achilles' heel of these snakes, and even an ordinary flying sword would be able to inflict grievous wounds on these pythons if the swords were to target those scales.
If the Dark Beast's claw projections could strike that weakness, then the battle would essentially be over.
Of course, this glaring weakness wouldn't constantly be present. In the instant right after entering a berserk state, those scales would turn into the same color as the rest of the python's scales, and in fact, they'd become far more resolute that all of those other scales.
A few dull thumps rang out as the claw projections struck the Azure Night Python's body, but the giant python had instinctively dodged to evade these lethal attacks.
Even so, several red bleeding gashes had been inflicted onto its neck, but they didn't appear to be very deep.
Such a surprise attack naturally completely enraged the giant python, which was already in a semi-deranged state. An explosive roar of fury rang out, following which the python whipped its tail through the air, and a series of azure tail projections appeared before surging toward the Dark Beast.
Even after failing to land a decisive blow with its surprise attack, the Dark Beast remained calm as it swayed, and two streaks of black light shot forth from its body before transforming into a pair of black beings.
These two shadow-like beings were extremely similar in appearance to the Dark Beast, except their bodies were quite blurry and indistinct, and were flashing with dark grey spiritual light.
As soon as they appeared, they also pounced through the air alongside the Dark Beast.
The Dark Beast and its two projections then unleashed claw projections in unison, which instantly clashed with the azure projection sweeping through the air.
Following an earth-shattering explosion, the projections all disappeared at the same time, and it appeared that the first clash had ended in a tie.
Immediately thereafter, a ball of azure light erupted in the air above the Dark Beast, following which a giant python head emerged from within the light. The python head then came crashing down at an astonishing speed, swallowing one of the Dark Beast projections whole before hurtling toward the other one.
Right at this moment, the actual Dark Beast emerged from the side, then opened its mouth up as wide as it would go, revealing rows of dagger-like teeth that before pouncing toward the giant python.
Despite how thick the Azure Night Python's body was, if those giant jaws were to clamp down on it, it would definitely be bitten into two halves.
However, after going berserk, the Azure Night Python's speed was not inferior to that of the Dark Beast, and it abruptly withdrew its head before also opening its cavernous mouth and turning toward the Dark Beast.
At this moment, the body of its original target, the other Dark Beast projection, suddenly elongated to an incredible extent as it hurtled directly toward the Azure Night Python.
Thus, the two beasts clashed amid a string of resounding booms, and they appeared to be quite evenly-matched.
Unbeknownst to the two of them, a massive hole with a radius of around 20 feet had been carved into an ordinary-looking giant tree close to 10 kilometers away from them.
Within the hole in the tree, there were three people seated inside in a cross-legged manner, appraising a mirror that was hovering in mid-air with rapt focus on their faces.
The back of the mirror was shimmering with silver light, while the mirror of the surface was displaying an extremely clear image; the image was none other than that of the battle between the Dark Beast and the Azure Night Python.
All of the scenes in the distance had been perfectly replicated in the mirror, except everything was countless times smaller than their actual size.
Among this trio, one of them was an azure-robed man, one was a woman with a white hood over her head, and the final being was a burly yellow-skinned man.
These were none other than Han Li, Liu Shui'er, and Shi Kun, who had finally gotten here after close to a month.
All three of them wore grim expressions as they stared at the mirror with intense unblinking eyes.
Close to an hour later, the Dark Beast in the image had split up into hundreds of black bats that finally wore the wounded Azure Night Python down until it died, then devoured its prey's beast core before departing in high spirits.
Liu Shui'er cast an incantation seal onto the mirror, and the image disappeared as she sighed, "What do you think of these Dark Beasts after witnessing one in action for yourselves?"Previous Chapter Next Chapter