Silver light flashed, and as soon as Shi Kun was encompassed within the sheet of beast hide, he transformed into a living Dark Beast.
He had the same black fur and identical sharp claws as those of the Dark Beast from before.
"This is incredible! I almost don't feel any different, yet I've completely transformed into another being!" Shi Kun inspected his front paws with amazement before bursting into laughter.
"If the Thousand Transformation Faces didn't have such abilities, I wouldn't have brought them out for you two to use," Liu Shui'er said with a smile.
"Thank you, Fellow Daoist Liu. With these treasures, all of us will have flawless disguises for the journey up ahead," the Dark Beast said with an elated expression.
After witnessing Shi Kun's transformation, Han Li also became quite confident in these treasures, and after expressing his gratitude to Liu Shui'er again, he suggested, "Fairy Liu and I still don't have beast hides at the moment, but it won't be good to delay any further. Why don't we set off, and if we encounter any Dark Beast stragglers, we can pick them off along the way."
"My thoughts exactly Brother Han. We're on a tight schedule, so it's naturally best not to waste any time," Liu Shui'er immediately agreed.
Shi Kun didn't have any objections to this either, so the three of them crept silently out of the hold in the tree and into the night.
After that, Shi Kun expelled a yellow cloud from his mouth, and his body instantly transformed into a burst of faint yellow Qi.
The Dark Beast Forest had extremely low visibility to begin with at night, and after unleashing this technique, it would be impossible for anyone to discover Shi Kun's presence unless they were to look carefully at him from within 100 feet away.
Meanwhile, Liu Shui'er removed a jade-pendant-like treasure from around her waist, and she tossed it into the air, upon which it transformed into a pristine white mouse that was around 10 feet in length.
Her body then swayed, and she drifted onto the mouse's back, following which faint white light began to emanate from its body, enshrouding both itself and Liu Shui'er within.
The two gradually turned transparent in the white light, transforming into a barely visible transparent shadow in the end.
As for Han Li, the measures he took were even simpler.
After the latest refinement, his Azure Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords had become pure wood-attribute treasures, and in a forest with such abundant wood-attribute spiritual Qi, it was extremely easy for him to conceal himself with his swords.
As such, he raised an arm, and a small azure sword shot forth out of his sleeve, then transformed into a streak of azure light that was several tens of feet in length before sweeping toward his body.
Moments later, a barely visible streak of azure light shot forth through the air.
Thus, the three of them officially began their journey into the Dark Beast Forest in a discreet and stealthy manner.
Several days later, a thin Dark Beast was slowly treading over a thick bed of leaves and branches as it traversed through the forest in a graceful manner.
All of a sudden, a burst of blue light flew toward it from a nearby tree, then swept up its entire body.
The female Dark Beast was naturally quite alarmed, and it let loose a sharp cry as it sent several black claw projections hurtling toward the blue light.
However, the blue light merely swirled before transforming into a massive ball of light that completely encapsulated the female Dark Beast's body.
As such, the sharp cries escaping from its mouth became completely inaudible to those outside the ball of light, and its sharp claws were also only able to send a few ripples surging through the blue light without actually being able to penetrate through it.
At this moment, white light flashed from the massive tree, and a gorgeous figure emerged from within.
It was none other than Liu Shui'er.
She was making a hand seal with one hand while carrying a fist-sized blue crystal ball in her other hand, and she was chanting something at the same time.
A peculiar scene then unfolded.
The blue ball of light slowly spread in all directions at her behest, forming a blue light barrier that covered a full acre in mere moments.
After that, she stowed away the blue crystal ball in her hand, following her body swayed, and she vanished into the light barrier as a white shadow.
The Dark Beast within the light barrier immediately pounced toward her without any hesitation, and along the way, it manifested three more identical black shadows.
However, Liu Shui'er remained completely unflustered as she opened her mouth to expel a clump of thin blue threads, which dispersed to form a blue net of light that surged toward the Dark Beast and its projections.
The Dark Beast also opened its mouth to blast forth a pillar of black light upon seeing this, then slashed its claws through the air in a menacing manner, conjuring up countless claw projections that hurtled directly toward the massive blue net.
A string of resounding booms rang out as black and blue light intertwined with one another amid a series of explosions.
However, the loud commotion and violent spiritual Qi fluctuations were all greatly buffered by the light barrier, making it almost impossible to hear the battle from outside.
Thus, Liu Shui'er and the Dark Beast engaged in battle.
Outside the blue light barrier, azure light and yellow Qi flashed, following which Han Li and Shi Kun emerged in unison.
Both of them were staring at the blue light barrier with different expressions on their faces.
"Hehe, Fellow Daoist Liu sure is picky; refusing to go with any target other than a female Dark Beast." Shi Kun chuckled with a shake of his head.
"I'm sure she has her considerations," Han Li replied in a calm manner.
"As a woman, it makes sense that Fellow Daoist Liu is averse to adopting the form of a male Dark Beast, but I'm quite curious about why you decided against killing the Dark Beast that we encountered two days ago," Shi Kun continued as a peculiar look appeared in his eyes.
"That Dark Beast was already riddled with wounds, so even if I were to secure its hide, it wouldn't look right after I transform into it, so I decided to wait for the next one we encounter instead," Han Li explained in an indifferent voice.
"I see. I thought you let it go out of the kindness of your heart after seeing the cubs that were traveling with that wounded Dark Beast. But then again, cultivators like us are beyond such shallow thoughts," Shi Kun said in a nonchalant manner.
Han Li merely smiled and offered no response to this.
Just as the two of them were chatting with one another, a dull thump suddenly rang out from within the blue light barrier, following which the entire barrier tremored slightly, but immediately settled again.
Han Li was slightly startled by this, as was Shi Kun.
All of a sudden, the blue light barrier suddenly shattered, then vanished as specks of spiritual light.
At the very center of the light barrier stood Liu Shui'er, and beside her lay the female Dark Beast in a completely motionless manner. Its fur was rather wet, but there was not a single wound on its body.
Han Li only had to scan this beast with his spiritual sense to know that it was definitely already dead.
"Nicely done! I didn't think your water-attribute abilities would be so potent, Fellow Daoist Liu; you took care of that beast even faster than I slew mine a few days ago," Shi Kun praised as he clicked his tongue with wonder.
Liu Shui'er raised a hand to draw the Dark Beast into her grasp, then smiled as she replied, "There's no need to flatter me, Brother Shi; Fellow Daoist Han and I have both witnessed the power of your body, and my little tricks certainly can't compare with your immense strength."
"Haha, if your abilities are nothing more than little tricks, then my pitiful abilities are even less than that. Fellow Daoist Han, both Fairy Liu and myself have obtained beast hides, so you're the only one left now. The deeper we go into this forest, the greater the probability that we'll encounter packs of Dark Beasts, so you need to think about how to proceed from here," Shi Kun said to Han Li with a meaningful look on his face.
"Rest assured, Brother Shi, I definitely won't be playing games with my life on the line," Han Li replied with a faint smile.
Three days later, beside a small creek in the Dark Beast Forest, a Dark Beast that was around 30% larger than the average Dark Beast had been enshrouded under an azure light barrier.
Han Li hovered in the air above with his eyes closed, making a series of hand seals that were causing the light barrier to fluctuate in brightness erratically.
Both Liu Shui'er and Shi Kun stood beside the barrier, and the two of them were quite stunned by what they were seeing.
Not only was the azure light barrier so dense that it felt as if it were a substantial structure that completely impeded their vision, even their spiritual sense was repelled when they tried to detect what was happening within the barrier.
This was none other than the Spring Dawn Sword Formation that Han Li had set up.
All of a sudden, Han Li raised an eyebrow as he hovered in mid-air, and he ceased making hand seals. He then swept a sleeve downward, and uttered the word "withdraw".
The azure light barrier immediately dissipated, reverting back to several tens of azure flying swords, each of which was several feet in length.
Han Li made a grabbing motion, and all of the flying swords shrank down to several inches in size amid a flash of azure light. They hurtled directly toward him before quickly vanishing into his body.
At this point, the massive Dark Beast below the light barrier was already dead, and it was sprawled onto the ground with blood flowing from all seven of its orifices.
Liu Shui'er and Shi Kun couldn't help but exchange a glance upon seeing this, and they could see their own wariness mirrored in each other's eyes.
Han Li had naturally also caught sight of what they were doing, but he merely descended slowly and landed beside the Dark Beast carcass.
"Fellow Daoists, with this Dark Beast hide, we can now venture deep into the forest without taking as many precautionary measures as before," Han Li said with a smile.
"Of course, it's just that I didn't think that your most powerful ability would be a legendary sword formation, Brother Han. The two of us couldn't see anything that was happening inside, but just the fact that it was able to block our spiritual sense indicates that it's quite a profound formation," Liu Shui'er said with a wry smile.
"Indeed. You took slightly longer than the two of us to kill your prey as you had to lure it into the sword formation before killing it, but no sound or fluctuations escaped during the process whatsoever, and that further exemplifies how incredible this sword formation is. With this ability up your sleeve, I doubt you'd encounter many opponents below the holy race that would be able to best you," Shi Kun also praised in a heartfelt manner.
"Hehe, there's no need to flatter me, Fellow Daoists. My Spring Dawn Sword Formation does indeed possess some power, but I'm sure the two of you haven't even begun to show the extent your powers. Otherwise, the two seniors wouldn't have entrusted you two with such an important task. In the face of your powers, my sword formation is nothing to boast about," Han Li chuckled nonchalantly.Previous Chapter Next Chapter