All of the beetles let loose pained cries upon being struck by these incantation seals, and they instantly separated. Immediately thereafter, the three Han Lis began to chant something while making a series of different hand seals.
The golden beetles seemed to have fallen under the control of some kind of restriction, and even though they were very reluctant to do so, they were forced to fly toward the white threads that had emerged before them, then set about devouring these white threads.
They did so at an astonishing rate, and the countless white threads that had erupted from the cauldron were quickly completely devoured.
The green-skinned Han Li suddenly opened his mouth upon seeing this, and countless specks of silver light emerged.
These were only pea-sized specks of light, but when they fell into the giant cauldron, they quickly transformed into several tens of palm-sized silver flowers. The petals of the flowers were shimmering with silver light, and they all had crimson patterns running along them.
The thirteen beetles let loose cries of elation at the sight of these silver flowers, and they immediately flew toward the flowers before quickly devouring them.
However, as soon as one flower disappeared, another one would emerge to take its place.
After a while, the beetles had consumed thousands of these silver flowers, and their bodies seemed to have expanded slightly in size.
At this moment, the shimmering golden Han Li abruptly opened his eyes, and balls of black flames erupted out of his crimson eyeballs. After just a few flashes, they transformed into a seal of black flames that swept up all of the beetles within the cauldron.
A peculiar scene then ensued!
All of the spirit insects immediately began to devour the black flames as well, and it didn't take long before all of the flames disappeared.
At this moment, the final Han Li let loose a loud cry before waving both of his sleeves through the air. A pair of loud thunderclaps rang out, and golden light flashed as two thick golden arcs of lightning erupted forth. They then transformed into two nets of golden lightning that fell one after another, completely encompassing the thirteen beetles beneath them.
A string of rumbling booms then rang out, and the lightning nets transformed into countless thin arcs of lightning that inundated all of the beetles.
The arcs of lightning struck the beetles, causing the purple patterns on their bodies to flash erratically, but upon closer inspection, one would discover that they were extending their limbs as much as possible. In doing so, they were allowing the most amount of lightning to strike their bodies, and not only did they remain completely unscathed, they were clearly thoroughly enjoying this process.
After a long while, the golden lightning finally gradually dissipated, and the Han Li with the golden halo behind him also opened his eyes. The 72 azure swords within the halo tremored before flying through the air as countless azure threads that reached the beetles in an instant.
"Clang, clang, clang!"
A string of loud clangs rang out as these azure threads struck the beetles, sending them flying through the air, but the beetles remained completely unscathed, as if they were constructed from indestructible metal.
However, the beetles were all extremely enraged by these sudden attacks, and they all let loose sharp piercing cries as they spread their wings, then flashed through the air at an astonishing speed to evade the azure threads.
The azure threads were as fast as lightning, but they were unable to keep up with the beetles, and therefore unable to strike them.
The Han Li who had released the azure threads seemed to be rather displeased by this, and he made a hand seal before flicking a finger toward the giant azure cauldron.
A dull clang rang out, and countless runes appeared over the surface of the giant cauldron. At the same time, a burst of enormous invisible power surged out from within it.
All of the beetles that were evading the azure threads immediately slowed down significantly, and the dazzling golden light shimmering from their bodies also completely dimmed.
In contrast, not only were the azure threads not slowed down in the slightest by this burst of invisible force, their speed was enhanced, and they formed an azure light barrier over the entire cauldron.
Thus, the thirteen beetles were reduced to sitting ducks, and they were struck by hundreds of azure threads at once.
The clang of metal striking metal came as thick and fast as raindrops during a torrential downpour, and dazzling azure light erupted from the bodies of the golden beetles. The sharp screeching sound they were emitting also became extremely loud and piercing.
The three Han Lis' expressions remained completely unchanged, and two of them were rapidly making hand seals, injecting their magic power into the cauldron in a frenzy, while the final one was controlling the azure sword threads.
Thus, the entire secret chamber was filled with the sound of sword threads flying through the air, intermingled with booms and explosions.
After an indeterminate period of time had passed, the Han Li that had released the azure sword threads suddenly waved a hand through the air, and the azure threads immediately stopped cold in their tracks, then reverted back into 72 azure swords that flew back in a flash.
The golden halo above his head rotated on the spot, and all of the flying swords abruptly vanished.
The halo itself then also disappeared amid a dull thump.
At the same time, the other two Han Lis ceased making hand seals, and the golden beetles that had been inundated by azure light were naturally revealed again.
Even after being ravaged by sword threads for so long, they still remained completely unscathed. However, their fury had been building this entire time, and as soon as the restriction stemming from the giant cauldron was lifted, they immediately flew toward the three Han Lis in a ferocious manner.
Despite this, the three Han Lis remained completely unflustered, and they all uttered the same word in unison. "Stop!"
All of the golden beetles immediately faltered in mid-air, following which a burst of white light erupted from the azure cauldron, sweeping up the beetles and carrying them back into the cauldron in a flash.
The beetles were naturally very reluctant to return to the cauldron, but they were powerless to resist.
The Han Li that had just released the flying swords heaved a faint sigh of relief, and his expression eased slightly as he murmured to himself, "They're becoming more and more difficult to control. Looks like the secret technique wasn't lying; once they grow to this extent, the original control method no longer works. I'll have to conduct another master recognition ceremony. However, at this point, all of the beetles possess similar levels of power; it's very difficult for them to keep devouring one another, so it's not very plausible to try and nurture a beetle monarch."
Han Li's brows furrowed slightly as he fell into deep thought.
Ever since he had departed from the infernal river, he had cultivated while picking up all of the rare materials that he encountered, and after over 100 years, he had finally returned to the human race.
At that point, he knew that the devilish tribulation was imminent, so he immediately gathered all three of his disciples to issue them some instructions, then went into cultivation again.
He had two objectives for this period of seclusion, the first of which was to use the Divine Infernal River Elixir to enhance his own physical constitution, striving to reach the pinnacle of the mid-Body Integration Stage before attempting a breakthrough. As for the second objective, that was to try and nurture a beetle monarch using the secret technique he had obtained from Voidspirit.
If he could successfully nurture a Gold Devouring Beetle Monarch prior to the commencement of the devilish tribulation, although that still may not be enough for him to travel through the Elder Devil Realm without any qualms, it would at least ensure his survival.
As such, even though he knew that there was something fishy about how easily Voidspirit had handed over the secret technique to him, he still decided to give it a try.
He had been back in the human race for over 100 years, and during this time, he had studied this secret technique countless times. Furthermore, he had integrated his own insect nurturing experiences, as well as some unique advantages that he had, and developed his own method of nurturing a beetle monarch.
This method was largely identical to the Mayfly Race's secret technique, but there were minor differences. For example, in the Mayfly Race's secret technique, there were certain spirit medicines that were to be fed to the Gold Devouring Beetles, but due to how rare they were, the spirit medicines were only to be fed once to the beetles. However, with the mysterious small vial that Han Li had up his sleeve, he was able to mass-produce these rare spirit medicines, thereby allowing him to regularly feed them to his Gold Devouring Beetles.
Furthermore, there were some types of lightning stipulated in the Mayfly Race's secret technique that could be used to refine the bodies of the beetles, and he had chosen to substitute these types of lightning with his Divine Devilbane Lightning.
Of course, only the heavens would know whether these changes would prove to be effective. However, in Han Li's eyes, this new method should have a far greater chance of success than the Mayfly Race's secret technique.
During these past years, Han Li had kept close to 10,000 mature Gold Devouring Beetles that hadn't mutated in reserve, while all of the mutated Gold Devouring Beetles were placed together. He then employed special methods to stimulate them into devouring one another over and over again.
In order to control these new Gold Devouring Beetles, which had become far more powerful after devouring so many of their brethren, Han Li had to purchase this massive azure cauldron for an enormous price.
This cauldron wasn't going to be very useful in battle, but it could drastically enhance his ability to control his Gold Devouring Beetles.
Thus, after making all of the required preparations and painstakingly nurturing these beetles for close to 200 years, the tens of thousands of Gold Devouring Beetles had been whittled down to these final 13 Purple-striped Gold Devouring Beetles.
These new Gold Devouring Beetles were all going to be candidates to become a Gold Devouring Beetle Monarch, and with their combined powers, they could even oppose a normal mid-Body Integration cultivator.
However, as Han Li attempted to stimulate these 13 beetles into continuing to devour one another, he encountered an insurmountable problem. Due to how evenly matched in power these beetles were, none of them were able to kill the others.Previous Chapter Next Chapter