Chapter 2241: Mystery

A translucent thread suddenly shot out of Han Li's glabella before vanishing into the giant stemborer's body in a flash, but the carcass suddenly exploded into specks of white light as if it were nothing more than an illusion.

The translucent thread returned to Han Li's glabella, and his expression immediately darkened slightly.

Elsewhere, countless pink flower petals had filled an entire area, within which countless silver arcs of lightning were flashing incessantly.

Bao Hua had already arrived beside Daoist Xie and activated her spirit domain to trap the other stemborer.

That stemborer's forte laid in its spiritual sense secret technique, but unfortunately for it, Daoist Xie was completely unaffected, as was Bao Hua due to the enhancements she received from her spirit domain.

The stemborer's baleful lightning was also extremely powerful and was imbued with the power of the law of destruction, allowing it to damage even Profound Heavenly Treasures, but both Daoist Xie and Bao Hua were very cunning, refusing to engage in direct clashes with it.

As a result, it was becoming more and more enraged as all of its attacks were being evaded.

Once Bao Hua unleashed her Profound Heavenly Spirit Domain to trap the stemborer, the tables were immediately turned.

The stemborer immediately unleashed its baleful lightning with all its might to try and escape from the spirit domain, but this Profound Heavenly Spirit Domain was an ability that only true immortals could truly master, and it was far too difficult for the stemborer to break out of.

The sea of pink flower petals trapped the stemborer firmly at the center of the spirit domain at Bao Hua's behest, causing it to become more and more sluggish despite the fact that it was resisting with all its might.

The stemborer had surrounded itself with arcs of grey lightning and a white light barrier manifested from its spiritual sense, but it was riddled with wounds and on the verge of defeat in the face of Daoist Xie and Bao Hua's combined attacks.

Han Li summoned his green longsword again upon seeing this, then slashed it through the air to unleash 12 green lines at once.

In the next instant, the 12 green lines appeared right beside the stemborer in Bao Hua's Profound Heavenly Spirit Domain in unison, then flashed past its body in a flash.

The light barrier and lightning around the stemborer were instantly wiped out of existence alongside the stemborer itself, and it was as if it had never been there in the first place.

Bao Hua was quite alarmed to see this, and only after carefully verifying that the stemborer was no longer in her spirit domain did she withdraw the spirit domain with tightly furrowed brows.

Spatial fluctuations erupted nearby, and Han Li emerged not far away, while Daoist Xie also reverted back to his human form before appearing behind Han Li.

Han Li cast his gaze toward Daoist Xie and was quite relieved to find that Daoist Xie was largely unscathed.

"Your powers are truly formidable, Brother Han; even with my spirit domain to protect me, it would've definitely been very difficult for me to withstand that slash," Bao Hua said with a slightly wary look in her eyes.

"You're far too kind, Fellow Daoist Bao Hua; the stemborer was already a spent force after battling the two of you for so long. Otherwise, there's no way I would've been able to strike it down so easily," Han Li replied with a nonchalant smile.

"It's not that simple." Bao Hua shook her head in response, but didn't say anything further.

Instead, she cast her gaze toward the spot where the stemborer had just disappeared with a perplexed look in her eyes.

"Looks like you've also noticed that something is amiss. It's clear that we didn't manage to actually destroy those stemborers. Setting that little girl aside, these two stemborers don't seem to be physical beings, either, and they're not that easy to kill," Han Li said as a grim look appeared on his face.

"Indeed, I always felt like those two stemborers were off somehow. Both of them possess powerful abilities, but are extremely limited; one of them possessed an incredibly powerful spiritual sense, while the other had such a formidable physical body that it was able to match me with just a single claw. However, the one-sided nature of their abilities was a weakness that we could exploit to defeat them," Bao Hua analyzed.

"If these stemborers were bred by the Stemborer Queen, then this is very strange. Considering how cunning the Stemborer Queen is, there's no way it'd do something so unintelligent," Bao Hua continued.

"Individually, those two stemborers were still manageable, but if their abilities were combined in a single stemborer..." Han Li chuckled as he left his sentence unfinished.

Bao Hua's face paled slightly as she drew a sharp breath. "If that had been the case, all of us would've been in severe trouble."

"I'm not sure if you noticed, but the little girl and those two stemborers don't seem to be allies; even those two stemborers seemed to harbor some animosity toward one another. Otherwise, if they had teamed up from the very beginning, it wouldn't have been anywhere near as simple to exploit their individual weaknesses," Han Li said with a meaningful expression.

"That is indeed rather strange. If they were bred by the Stemborer Queen, then why do they seem so hostile toward the Stemborer Queen's soul?" Bao Hua mused as her brows furrowed tightly.

"I don't understand that, either, but judging from how those two stemborers disappeared just now, they seem to have been conjured up through the power of projection," Han Li remarked.

"The power of projection? Are you saying that there are beings from other realms interfering with this matter as well? For a mere projection to be so powerful; could it be that true immortals are involved?" Bao Hua's expression changed significantly as this thought occurred to her.

"I'm not sure about that; this is only a suspicion of mine, and perhaps it's incorrect. However, if that really were the case, then the situation here is very complex. How about you communicate with the spirit of the ancient seal to see if it's found out anything," Han Li suggested.

"The spirit of the ancient seal has become very frail from the seal's power loss, and even I can't contact it now. Otherwise, the ancient seal will instantly fall apart," Bao Hua replied with a wry smile.

"In that case, it looks like we're completely in the dark," Han Li said with a grim expression.

"In any case, we can't turn back now. I still haven't received any news from our other two fellow daoists, so something's most likely happened to them; it looks like we'll have to venture down there ourselves," Bao Hua sighed.

"I'll abide by our agreement and accompany you down there, but if we encounter any insurmountable peril, I'm going to turn back right away," Han Li said with a serious expression.

"Of course, I'd do the same if our mission becomes too difficult to accomplish. Besides, I'm sure you're capable of leaving this space even without the Treasured Phoenix Spirit Plate," Bao Hua said with a knowing smile.

"I'm glad you understand that. Let's go down now," Han Li replied with an expressionless nod, then plunged into the water with Daoist Xie by his side. Bao Hua quickly inspected her surroundings, and after verifying that nothing was amiss, she also followed along.

Shortly after the three of them entered the water, a burst of faint spatial fluctuations erupted overhead alongside wisps of five-colored light. The five-colored light then quickly converged to form a tightly-shut giant five-colored eye.

......

Meanwhile, the giant stemborer carcass was hovering in the underwater abyss in a completely still manner, but two balls of devilish flames were burning within its eye sockets, and the flames were only becoming brighter and brighter.

Several broken treasures that were glowing with faint spiritual light hovered beside the carcass, one of which was a shattered jade badge, while the other was a black spear with cracks all over its surface.

These two were the elderly man and black-robed woman's most prized treasures, yet they had been strewn around like garbage, and it was clear that the two of them were most likely already dead.

Spatial fluctuations erupted above the carcass, and two blurry balls of light emerged in unison.

One of the balls of white light transformed into a giant rotund insect, while the other morphed into an almost transparent insect.

These were none other than the two insects that had just been slain by Han Li and Bao Hua.

However, their bodies had become far more indistinct, and their auras had also waned significantly, making them resemble a pair of projections.

All of a sudden, a silver-robed woman emerged from the devilish flames within one of the eye sockets of the giant carcass.

The woman had an elegant figure, and she looked much like a more mature version of the little girl that had just been devoured.

Both of the blurry insect projections immediately sprawled down onto the ground in reverence.

The silver-robed woman cast a cold gaze toward the two projections, then harrumphed coldly, "Useless fools! I can't believe you're unable to deal with a few puny Grand Ascension Stage beings of the lower realms. Having said that, it's a good thing that they managed to wound the Stemborer Queen's soul. Otherwise, I may not have been able to completely devour it so soon. Now that close to half of my powers has recovered, I no longer have any use for you two; return my energy to me now."

The silver-robed woman raised a finger and pointed toward the pair of projections as she spoke.

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