"In a one-on-one battle, I can gain a huge advantage in just 10 breaths, and I'd be able to kill it in 30 breaths," Shi Kun replied with furrowed brows.
"Oh? Then what if three or four of these Dark Beasts, or even a dozen of them were to appear before you at once?" Liu Shui'er asked with a hint of a smile on her face.
"If they're all this powerful, then I can't guarantee victory against more than three of them, and if more than five of them were to swarm me at once, I'd have no chance of victory. If I were to encounter more than 10 of them at once, I'd immediately run for my life," Shi Kun admitted in a begrudging manner.
"That's the problem; from what I've heard, there are tens of thousands of Dark Beasts in the Dark Beast Forest, and their powers differ greatly. According to our records, the power displayed by that Dark Beast earlier is slightly inferior to that of the average power level of a mature Dark Beast. Otherwise, it wouldn't have taken so long to defeat that Azure Night Python. Above normal Dark Beasts, there are also two higher tiers of Dark Beasts, one of which is the Three-eyed Dark Beast. Aside from the fact that they're simply a lot more powerful than normal Dark Beasts, their third eyes can also release a strange type of light that can reduce living beings to rotten wood. The other type of Dark Beast is the Dark Beast Monarch. These Dark Beasts possess pure golden fur as opposed to black fur, and we don't have any information on how powerful they are. Apparently, one of our seniors who came into the Vast Glacial Realm before us once passed through the Dark Beast Forest, and he witnessed from afar a Dark Beast Monarch leading a pack of hundreds of mature Dark Beasts galloping through the forest," Liu Shui'er said in a grim voice.
"I've seen similar records as well. I would estimate that I could take care of a single one of those Three-eyed Dark Beasts, but I'm not sure if I'd be able to take on two at once. As for those golden Dark Beasts, they can lead packs of their kind, so they must be far more powerful than even Three-eyed Dark Beasts. In that case, it's most likely the case that we'd be no match for them even if the three of us were to combine our powers. However, seeing as they're beast monarchs, there shouldn't be all that many of them even in the entire Dark Beast Forest, so surely we won't be unlucky enough to encounter one," Han Li said in a slow voice.
"That's a valid point. We have no intention of bothering these Dark Beasts anyway; all we want to do is sneak through this forest, so we'll be doing our best to avoid them. It's a pity that we can't fly over this forest. Otherwise, it would only take us a few days to cross through it," Liu Shui'er sighed.
"It's alright, we can afford a slight delay like this. Besides, we have no other alternative anyway. If we were to try and fly over the forest, we'd quickly be surrounded by countless Dark Beasts at once," Han Li said with a wry smile.
"I'm naturally aware of that. According to our predecessors who have trekked through the Dark Beast Forest, Dark Beasts are severely weaker during the day than they are during the night, so the forest is much more heavily guarded during the day. Many Three-eyed Dark Beasts would even come out to patrol the forest during daylight hours. In contrast, fewer guards patrol the forest during the night and all of the high-grade Dark Beasts will return to their caves to rest and cultivate, but the Dark Beasts are a lot more powerful during that time," Liu Shui'er continued.
"In that case, we should travel through the night, then rest during the day. I thought it'd be the other way around!" Shi Kun was rather surprised to hear this.
"I also support what Fairy Liu is saying. Not only will there be more high-grade Dark Beasts patrolling the forest during the day, a lot of our concealment techniques will also be hampered greatly during the day, so it's very likely that we won't be able to escape the notice of those Three-eyed Dark Beasts. After all, most beasts with additional demonic eyes have abilities that can allow them to see through illusions and concealment techniques, so that'll certainly work against our favor. Regardless of how severely debilitated Dark Beasts are during the day, we'll still be in a dire situation if we get surrounded by 100 at once. As such, it's better to travel during the night," Han Li said after a brief pause.
"Hmm, that does indeed make a lot of sense. Alright then, we'll travel during the night as opposed to during daylight hours." Shi Kun seemed to have been convinced.
Liu Shui'er nodded before asking, "In that case, let's set off soon. The earlier we can get through the forest, the safer we'll be. By the way, do you two have any suitable concealment techniques?"
"Oh? From the sounds of it, do you perhaps possess a superior concealment technique that can help the two us?" Han Li was immediately able to read between the lines and glean the purpose behind Liu Shui'er's question.
"You really are a smart man, Brother Han. Prior to coming here, I borrowed three Thousand Transformation Faces from my master. With these treasures, we can transform into anything we want, and no one will be able to discover anything amiss unless they were to carefully inspect us with their spiritual sense. I know that the two of you must also have other brilliant concealment techniques, but these treasures are perfect for this situation. Even if we get discovered by other Dark Beasts, we'll be able to conceal ourselves with these treasures," Liu Shui'er explained with a smile as she flipped a hand over to produce three thin silver objects.
"Thousand Transformation Faces! These treasures are extremely renowned, and I've heard that only your master knows how to refine them. If you're willing to lend them to us, then that would naturally be fantastic!" Shi Kun was elated at the sight of the three thin treasures, and he immediately made a grabbing motion to draw one of them into his grasp before carefully appraising it.
Han Li hadn't stayed in Cloud City for a very long time, so it was the first time he'd heard of this treasure. However, it was quite apparent from Shi Kun's excited reaction that these were definitely no ordinary treasures.
Thus, he expressed his gratitude toward Liu Shui'er before also grabbing one of the treasures and inspecting it with a curious look on his face.
This so-called Thousand Transformation Face was as thin as a silk handkerchief, yet slightly warm to the touch. Even with Han Li's vast wealth of knowledge and experience, he was unable to identify what kind of material this treasure was refined from.
However, there were a few pea-sized silver runes of different sizes inscribed onto the surface of the treasure, and they immediately caught his eye.
After focusing his gaze on this silver runes, Han Li's expression changed ever-so-slightly, but his reaction still didn't escape the notice of Liu Shui'er.
A peculiar look flashed through her eyes as she asked, "Brother Han, have you seen this treasure before?"
Han Li's heart stirred slightly, but his expression had already returned to normal as he replied, "This is a treasure that can only be refined by Senior Cai, so of course I've never had the chance to see it before."
"Then what was your reaction just then?" Liu Shui'er wasn't willing to let the issue slide.
"Hehe, the material used for this treasure is very unique. I thought myself to be quite knowledgeable, but I don't have the slightest inkling what this material could step from, and I'm feeling rather embarrassed," Han Li explained with a nonchalant smile.
Liu Shui'er seemed to have believed Han Li's excuse, and she explained, "I see. I don't know the refinement method, but I've heard from Master that these treasures were refined through combining the skins of seven types of extremely rare spirit beasts, so it's no wonder that you can't identify the material used."
"Thank you for telling me this," Han Li replied as he feigned an expression of enlightenment.
At the same time, he was gently stroking the silver runes on the treasure while many thoughts surged through his mind.
The silver runes on this Thousand Transformation Face were none other than beveled silver text, and it was naturally very surprising to him to see this text here.
If this was a treasure that only Cai Liuying knew how to refine, did that mean that she also had an outer page of the Golden Jade Tome?
Just as he was thinking this, Liu Shui'er continued, "These treasures are quite extraordinary, but the transformations won't happen as soon as you put them on. If you want to transform into another living being, it would be best to obtain some of its blood, flesh, or skin first. If you could obtain the entire hide of a beast, the transformation would be absolutely perfect."
"It shouldn't be that hard to find complete beast hides; we'll just have to find a few Dark Beasts and kill them. Hehe, the one that we just saw would be perfect for this. In such a short time, it couldn't have gotten very far away," Shi Kun chuckled a ferocious look flashed through his eyes.
Immediately thereafter, yellow light flashed beneath his feet, and he slowly sunk into the ground.
Liu Shui'er's eyes flashed upon seeing this, but she didn't say anything to stop him in the end.
Thus, Shi Kun unleashed his earth movement technique, and vanished in the blink of an eye.
"There won't be any issues letting Brother Shi go on his own, will there?" Liu Shui'er asked in a low voice as she glanced at Han Li.
"Seeing as you didn't say anything to stop him, you must be of the opinion that everything should be fine, and I also think the same. We've already carefully assessed this area and ascertained that there are no other Dark Beasts within a radius of 50 kilometers. On top of that, Fellow Daoist Shi has the element of surprise on his side, so this should be an easy task for him," Han Li replied in a calm manner.
Liu Shui'er fell silent upon seeing this.
An hour later, yellow light flashed from the spot where Shi Kun had disappeared, and a humanoid figure emerged from the ground.
It was none other than Shi Kun himself.
As soon as he emerged, he smiled at Han Li and Liu Shui'er, then abruptly swept a sleeve through the air, upon which a black object flew out from within.
It was none other than a complete set of Dark Beast hide.
"Fellow Daoist Liu, do you think this beast hide is suitable for me to use?" Shi Kun asked in a proud manner.
After briefly appraising the sheet of beast hide, Liu Shui'er smiled, and replied, "It doesn't have any wounds on it at all! In that case, there would naturally be no issues. I'll teach both of you the mantra, and you can give it a try, Brother Shi."
After that, she tossed back the sheet of beast hide, then transmitted her voice to Han Li and Shi Kun, teaching them a profound mantra.
Han Li and the Shi Kun naturally listened with rapt focus and committed the mantra to memory.
Moments later, Liu Shui'er's voice transmission trailed off, and Shi Kun's eyes lit up as he tossed the beast hide in his hands into the air, following which he raised both hands at once.
The Thousand Transformation Face vanished into the beast hide as a ball of silver light, following which a series of silver runes appeared.
The entire sheet of Dark Beast hide then descended onto his body.Previous Chapter Next Chapter