Shi Kun faltered slightly before bursting into laughter as he said, "I'm sure your powers aren't inferior to ours, Fellow Daoist Han. In any case, we should stop praising one another and discuss the more important matters at hand. If we continue onward for a day or two, we'll truly be entering the depths of the Dark Beast Forest, which is where most of the Dark Beasts reside. If we want to pass through this area, we have to be on high alert the entire time."
"When passing through the central region of the forest, make sure you don't try to kill any straggling Dark Beasts. Our restrictions will be able to fool normal Dark Beasts, but high-grade Three-eyed Dark Beasts will immediately sense that something is amiss as soon as we try to use our powers. On top of that, we won't be able to release our spiritual sense over large areas deep in the forest, so if a battle were to break out, we'd be in a lot of danger," Liu Shui'er said in a grim voice.
"Even if we're forced into a battle, we can't delay for so long like we're doing now. We have to attack all at once to try and kill the enemy on the spot in an instant; only then will we be minimizing the risk of blowing our covers," Shi Kun added in a solemn manner.
"Indeed. If we were to come up against a normal Dark Beast, it shouldn't be too difficult for the three of us to kill it in an instant. However, I can't say the same if we were to encounter high-grade Dark Beasts," Han Li said as he stroked his chin.
"If we really do get targeted by a high-grade Dark Beast, then that's when our Divine Essencefused Light combination technique would come in useful," Liu Shui'er reminded with a smile.
"I almost forgot about that secret technique! With that up our sleeves, we won't have to fear even high-grade Dark Beasts as long as we don't encounter too many of them," Shi Kun chuckled as he rubbed his hands together with glee.
"However, that ability has to only be used as a last resort. If we were to unleash it, it would definitely cause a massive commotion that would result in a large number of high-grade Dark Beasts pursuing us at once," Han Li said with a concerned shake of his head.
"Rest assured, Brother Shi and I are well aware of that. Seeing as you've also obtained a Dark Beast hide, let's all transform and set off. It would be best if we were to open up some distance between one another. Otherwise, it would be rather eye-catching if we were to travel as a group of three," Liu Shui'er suggested.
"That's a valid point, Fairy Liu. In that case, I'll be going on ahead first," Shi Kun said with a quick nod.
He then made a hand seal, and that black beast hide abruptly appeared over his body. A ball of silver light then shot forth from within his sleeve before disappearing into the beast hide in a flash.
Thus, he transformed into a Dark Beast again, and his four paws dug into the ground, propelling him through the forest like an arrow.
Han Li and Liu Shui'er also immediately followed suit upon seeing this, transforming into a pair of Dark Beasts that set off in hot pursuit.
Along the way, the three of them activated their concealment treasures to hide themselves once again.
Thus, it would be very difficult to discover the three of them, especially in the Dark Beast Forest, which had very low visibility during the night.
After that, Han Li's trio proceeded cautiously onward, skirting around an area as soon as they discovered any powerful beasts there, trying to minimize their contact with other creatures in the forest.
During the first few days, they didn't encounter Dark Beasts on too many occasions, but they rarely ever appeared on their own, and most of them traveled in groups of two or three.
After about a week or so, they had traveled to the true central region of the forest, and Dark Beasts were beginning to appear in groups of five or six, and even packs that numbered in excess of 10.
This was rather alarming to Han Li's trio, and they began to proceed with even greater caution.
Thankfully, they were able to rely on their profound movement techniques and superior magic power to fool these Dark Beasts, and no mishaps occurred.
Perhaps they were simply lucky or something was happening within the Dark Beast Forest. In any case, they didn't even encounter a single high-grade Three-eyed Dark Beast on the way here, thereby allowing them to travel smoothly all the way into the very center of the Dark Beast Forest.
If things were to continue like this for the next three to four days, they would've passed through the most dangerous region of the Dark Beast Forest at that point, and they'd be able to heave a sigh of relief.
However, at present, Han Li and the others were all quite tense, and they wore rather grim expressions on their faces.
All three of them were vastly knowledgeable and experienced beings, and even though they were quite glad that they hadn't encountered any high-grade Dark Beasts in the forest, their past experiences told them that this was not necessarily a good thing.
As they continued to forge on ahead, even the number of normal Dark Beasts they encountered dwindled significantly. During the next two days, they only encountered a dozen or so Dark Beasts during their travels.
This was quite alarming to Han Li's trio, and they became even warier of the situation.
Han Li was quickly traveling through the forest in a wraith-like manner, passing through all obstacles like giant trees in his path in a completely soundless manner as an azure shadow.
This kind of movement technique naturally allowed him to travel extremely quickly.
However, his brows were tightly furrowed, and faint blue light was flashing within his eyes as he constantly surveyed his surroundings.
This was the central region of the forest, so he naturally didn't dare to release his spiritual sense. As such, he could only use his Brightsight Spirit Eyes to detect Dark Beasts and take measures to avoid them in advance.
He didn't know what kind of methods Liu Shui'er and Shi Kun were employing, but they were reacting just as quickly as he was whenever Dark Beasts appeared up ahead.
This came as quite a surprise to Han Li. Could it be that they'd also cultivated some kind of profound sensory ability or were using treasures to accomplish this?
In any case, Han Li's appraisal of their powers was increased once again upon seeing this.
With that in mind, Han Li inspected his surrounding area, and with his spirit eye ability, he was able to tell that Liu Shui'er and Shi Kun were over 1,000 feet away on either side of him.
Both of them were also traveling very quickly through the forest, and after ascertaining that they'd encountered no issues, Han Li's expression eased slightly as he withdrew his gaze again.
However, right at this moment, a sudden turn of events abruptly unfolded!
A golden shadow suddenly shot forth out of the darkness right ahead of them.
After just a single flash, it covered a distance over several hundred feet, taking it over to Shi Kun before it crashed headfirst into his body.
Shi Kun was naturally extremely alarmed by this, but he'd been caught completely off guard, and simply had no time to evade.
As such, he had no choice but to conjure up a protective barrier of spiritual Qi amid a flash of bright yellow light.
An earth-shattering boom rang out, and golden and yellow light intertwined before the golden shadow stumbled backward a few steps, but then immediately righted itself.
In contrast, the Dark Beast that Shi Kun had transformed into was sent flying like a cannonball, crashing into a large tree several hundred feet away with vicious force. Only after the entire tree had snapped in half from the force of the impact did he finally manage to arrest his momentum.
However, he continued to lay on the ground with an agonized expression on his face, looking as if he were unable to get up.
Han Li and Liu Shui'er were both quite stunned to see this.
They had personally witnessed just how powerful Shi Kun's body was, yet even he had been reduced to such a sorry state after being rammed into by that golden shadow. Just how terrifyingly powerful did that golden shadow have to be to accomplish this?
Blue light flashed through Han Li's eyes, and he immediately managed to identify what the golden shadow was, upon which he was instantly given a massive fright!
This was a Dark Beast that was around 10 feet in length with shimmering golden fur and inky-black eyes.
It was a legendary Dark Beast Monarch!
No way! Prior to setting off, he'd said that there was no way they'd be unlucky enough to encounter a Dark Beast Monarch, yet they'd somehow managed to encounter one before they'd even seen a Three-eyed Dark Beast. These Dark Beast Monarchs were the most fearsome beings in this forest, and even though there were no records detailing how powerful they were, they had to at least possess powers comparable to holy race beings.
Han Li's heart sank as he came to an abrupt halt, then fixed an intense unblinking gaze onto the golden Dark Beast.
At the same time, he immediately forged a spiritual connection with several treasures within his body, getting ready to unleash them at a moment's notice.
Meanwhile, Liu Shui'er had also stopped on a thick tree branch, appraising the golden Dark Beast with a grave expression on her face.
The Dark Beast Monarch was clearly also rather disoriented from crashing into Shi Kun out of the blue, and after shaking its head from side to side, a vicious light flashed through its eyes as it fixed its gaze on Shi Kun, who was still unable to get up.
Sharp claw projections immediately appeared on the front ends of its paws, and it seemed to be preparing to attack Shi Kun.
Both Han Li and Liu Shui'er's hearts jolted upon seeing this, and they were contemplating whether to step in or not.
It was quite clear that the Dark Beast Monarch hadn't discovered the two of them yet, so if they were to sneak away now, perhaps they'd be able to escape unscathed. Otherwise, even if the three of them could just barely hold off this Dark Beast Monarch, as soon as it summoned more of its brethren to the scene, they'd definitely be plunged into life-threatening danger.
However, if Shi Kun were to die, there'd be no way for them to access the restricted ruins, so their mission would end in failure before it had even begun.
If they were to fail to complete the mission and allow Shi Kun to perish in the Dark Beast Forest, they would definitely be punished by Cai Liuying and Duan Tianren, even if they could return from the Vast Glacial Realm alive.
However, even though this was quite a troublesome prospect, it was something for him to worry about in the future. For now, his top priority was naturally to save himself.
Thus, Han Li made his decision in the blink of an eye before quickly turning to glance at Liu Shui'er.
However, he discovered that the Dark Beast that Liu Shui'er had turned into was arching its back, and faint white light was shimmering from its body, looking as if it were going to rush to Shi Kun's aid without any hesitation.
This came as quite a surprise to Han Li, and a contemplative look appeared in his eyes.
However, he had no intention of risking his life with her. As such, after taking a deep breath, he planned to hurtle back in retreat.
However, the events that unfolded next had him completely flabbergasted.
The golden Dark Beast had a ferocious look in its eyes, and it was clearly just about to attack. However, its ears suddenly twitched, following which the vicious look on its face transformed into one of shock and fury.
It then let loose a low snarl, and shot forth as a golden shadow again, disappearing into the forest after just a few flashes.Previous Chapter Next Chapter