Within the sea of lightning, the giant black ark was swaying unsteadily like a small raft, but still progressing onward with the treasures and light barriers that had been set up earlier protecting it from the falling lightning.
However, once the ark entered the sea of lightning, the lightning that was crashing down from above suddenly became two to three times as concentrated as before, and each bolt of lightning was imbued with a type of unknown power, causing the giant ark to sink slightly with each strike.
Even though the eight Glacial Water Rhinoceroses were towing the giant ark with all their might, the ark was still significantly slowed down by the interference from the lightning, and it took a long while for the ark to travel just a few kilometers.
If it weren't for the pair of azure stone puppets releasing wagon-wheeled-sized balls of azure light upward to dispel some of the lightning, the giant ark would be moving even more slowly.
"We can't keep going like this! At this rate, when are we ever going to get to the island? Fellow Daoist Thousand Autumns, this ark belongs to you; do you have any way to make it faster?" the Long Family patriarch asked with furrowed brows.
"I can use a secret technique to ignite the blood essence of these Glacial Water Rhinoceroses and significantly enhance their bodies for a short time, but they'll be ruined as a result," Holy Maiden Thousand Autumns replied in a hesitant manner.
All of these Glacial Water Rhinoceroses were at the mid-Spatial Tempering Stage, and she expended a lot of effort to nurture them for an alternative purpose. As such, she was naturally very much unwilling to sacrifice them here.
"Now's not the time to be worrying about that! Your losses will be easily covered if we can get out of this area quickly and track down the Spirit Cleansing Pond and Clean Spirit Lotus!" the Long Family patriarch urged.
The woman gritted her teeth and weighed up the situation for a moment before making a decision. "Alright, I'll unleash the secret technique right away; please protect me in the meantime so I don't get disrupted."
The Long Family patriarch was ecstatic to hear this. "Rest assured, Fellow Daoist; we'll make sure that nothing interferes with you."
As soon as his voice trailed off, he pointed a finger toward each of the azure stone puppets, and a layer of golden Qi appeared over his face.
The two stone puppets were originally swinging their fists up toward the air in a frenzy, but they suddenly ceased what they were doing at the Long Family patriarch's behest. They then raised their massive heads, and dazzling white light appeared in their eyes.
In the next instant, two pillars of translucent light erupted out of their eyes, converging above the giant ark to form a gargantuan mercury-like crystalline structure.
The crystalline structure revolved on the spot, and countless silver runes surged forth from its surface, transforming into a shimmering silver giant shield.
The shield was as thin as paper and as smooth as a mirror, and the sound of howling wind and rumbling thunder could be heard coming from it.
Countless bolts of silver lightning struck its surface, threatening to tear it apart, but the shield was able to keep all of the lightning at bay, suddenly making the entire ark extremely stable.
However, the Long Family patriarch's face had noticeably paled, and he urged, "Please make haste, Fellow Daoist Thousand Autumns; this is the strongest ability of the two puppets, and they won't be able to keep this up for too long."
It was clear that unleashing this ability was very taxing on one's magic power, and Holy Maiden Thousand Autumns naturally wasn't going to squander such a brilliant opportunity.
She immediately gave an affirmative response before raising an arm and rapidly slicing a sharp fingernail over her own skin several times.
A few gashes quickly appeared on her fair and delicate skin, forming a miniature blood formation that was only several inches in size.
She then began to chant something, and five-colored light immediately began to surge over the formation alongside a peculiar fragrance.
Moments later, she let loose a delicate cry, and the blood formation shuddered before a series of crimson pea-sized pills emerged from it.
"Go!" Holy Maiden Thousand Autumns yelled, and eight beads shot forth toward the Glacial Water Rhinoceroses as balls of crimson light.
The rhinoceroses immediately let loose thunderous roars and each opened their large mouths to devour the pills.
Holy Maiden Thousand Autumns withdrew her arm upon seeing this, and the blood formation instantly disappeared, leaving no trace on her skin whatsoever. She then made a hand seal to summon a golden badge-like treasure before waving it toward the eight spirit beasts.
Dazzling light erupted from the surface of the badge, manifesting into a series of crimson runes, which then transformed into crimson projections identical to the formation that had been on her arm earlier.
The crimson projections swelled drastically in size, then transformed into eight blurry projections that enshrouded the bodies of the Glacial Water Rhinoceroses at her behest.
In the next instant, the eight spirit beasts let loose roars of agony, and their horns suddenly became as red as blood. Thick veins bulged beneath the surface of their skin, and their auras suddenly became extremely violent.
Immediately thereafter, two thin gashes appeared on the backs of each of the Glacial Water Rhinoceroses, following which pairs of crimson bat wings sprang forth.
When fully spread, the wingspans reached in excess of 100 feet!
The Glacial Water Rhinoceroses flapped the wings violently, and gusts of crimson wind surged forth beneath them in a frenzy. As a result, their bodies became as spritely as agile fish, and they shot forth like a series of crimson arrows.
With their collective frenzied efforts, the giant ark began to tear through the waves of lightning as if it were flying, and everyone was naturally ecstatic to see this.
However, right at this moment, the pillars of light being released by the two azure stone puppets faded, and at the same time, the giant translucent shield up above also disappeared.
The lightning came crashing down in full force again, and the outermost white light barrier around the giant ark was completely shattered amid a crisp crack.
The lightning had become even more ferocious than before, and one of the formations set up on the ark hadn't even been able to last a single wave of lightning strikes.
On top of that, the remaining few light barriers were also on the verge of collapse, and everyone's elated expressions were immediately wiped away upon seeing this.
All of a sudden, Han Li let loose a long cry, and a projection with three heads and six arms appeared behind him amid a flash of golden light.
A thick burst of black Qi then erupted into the air from the projection's body; this was none other than the pure devilish Qi stemming from Han Li's Provenance True Devil Arts.
He swept a sleeve through the air, and the black Qi transformed into around a dozen black wyrms that rose up into the air before fusing as one with the giant black net up above.
The slightly tattered black net flashed with black light, and not only was it fully repaired, it had become over twice as thick as before, allowing it to handle far more lightning strikes.
The amount of lightning that the other restrictions on the ark had to bear was significantly decreased, and the Long Family patriarch was elated as he also immediately made a hand seal.
Silver light flashed from the bodies of the two stone puppets at his behest, and they began to swing their fists up toward the sky again.
Balls of azure light were unleashed up into the air in a relentless wave to nullify some of the falling lightning.
Everyone else also sprang into action, activating the full power of the treasures that they had summoned, and within mere moments, the light barriers around the ark had become very stable.
However, everyone had failed to notice that even though Zhi Shui seemed to be controlling a pair of silver flying daggers to resist the falling lightning, a series of mysterious golden runes had appeared over the entirety of his arms, which were concealed within the sleeves of his robes.
The same golden runes also appeared on the back of the mountainous giant golden crab within the dark clouds up above, but in contrast, those runes were a lot more indistinct.
Despite this, the golden crab still remained completely stationary, and the aura that it was releasing hadn't changed in the slightest, either.
Less than half a day later, the giant ark finally emerged from the sea of lightning. At this point, the ark was barely holding itself together, and the eight Glacial Water Rhinoceroses had returned to their original form, but their bodies had been completely charred black, and their auras were extremely feeble, seemingly on the brink of death.
However, no one paid them any heed. Instead, everyone was appraising the sea around the ark with excitement in their eyes.
This area of the sea was extremely placid, and the seawater was of a dark blue color. There was not a single cloud to be seen, and the sea breeze was carrying wisps of incredibly pure spiritual Qi.
Everyone was suddenly struck by the sensation that they had returned to the Spirit Realm!
However, what attracted everyone's attention the most was that there was a giant green island close to 10 kilometers away from the giant ark.
Judging from the direction that the sea breeze was coming from, the pure spiritual Qi was stemming directly from the island.
"This is it; this is the island we're searching for! This is the only place in the Elder Devil Realm with such pure spiritual Qi, and the only place where the Spirit Cleansing Pond and Clean Spirit Lotus could exist!" the Long Family patriarch murmured with barely contained excitement.Previous Chapter Next Chapter