Yuan Yao and Yan Li exchanged a glance upon hearing this, and both of them could see their own indecision mirrored in each other's eyes.
The two of them naturally weren't going to give up on recovering their human bodies, and after a brief moment of contemplation, a wry smile appeared on Yan Li's face, and she said, "It looks like I was too naive about our situation. From the sounds of it, you seem to have traveled through a spatial node before, Brother Han. In that case, if we can find a relatively stable spatial node, then my junior martial sister and I would naturally also like to leave this place. However, the two of us have no idea how to find spatial nodes."
"Rest assured, Fellow Daoists, I have a few tricks to find spatial nodes, but we'll have to wait for a while before we begin our search; at least until after the demon monarchs give up on searching for us. Regardless of whether they've obtained when they came here for, they won't stay in the infernal river for too long as they'll be wary of Mayfly Race reinforcements as well. The time period after they leave the infernal river and before the Mayfly beings arrive will the ideal window for us to search for a spatial node and make our escape. What we should do now is find an extremely obscure location to hide for a while first," Han Li analyzed in a confident manner.
Yuan Yao and Yan Li both nodded emphatically in response, seemingly in agreement that this was quite a sound plan.
Thus, following the conclusion of their discussion, they continued onward, disappearing into the distance in a flash.
A few days, Han Li's trio arrived in the air above a peculiar body of water. The water down below was black and green, and there was a layer of thin black mist hovering over its surface.
What was even more peculiar was that there were many islands of different sizes sitting on top of this vast body of water, which Han Li was unable to determine whether it was a sea or a lake.
Han Li's trio traveled deeper into the area for a day and a night, yet they were still seemingly nowhere near reaching the conclusion.
"Let's hide here for now. This body of water is most likely not inferior in size to an ocean. Even if those demon monarchs track us down to this place, there's no way that they'll be able to find us in a short time. On top of that, I can sense that there seem to be a lot of fearsome beings lurking deeper within the water. With those things there, the demon monarchs wouldn't dare to search through the area recklessly with their spiritual sense, so they can act as a smokescreen of sorts for us," Han Li said in a slow voice as he surveyed their surroundings with blue light shimmering in his eyes.
They were currently situated in the air above a dense cloud of mist, and they had seen many such clouds of mist on the way here. Through the use of his spirit eyes, Han Li was able to determine that there was an island hidden beneath the mist.
Yuan Yao and Yan Li were unable to see through the black mist, but they immediately followed Han Li's lead without any hesitation as he descended toward the mist down below.
However, the events that unfolded next came as quite a surprise to all three of them.
The black mist appeared to be quite ordinary, but as soon as the trio flew into it, they felt the black mist converge toward them, following which the spiritual Qi around their bodies instantly dissipated.
Yuan Yao and Yan Li both let loose cries of alarm. Even though they were trying to stay aloft with all their might, they were still plummeting deeper into the mist.
Han Li was also stunned by this development, but thankfully, he'd encountered countless unforeseen incidents in the past, so he was able to keep a level head as he instantly switched between several cultivation arts. He unleashed his Divine Essencefused Light and Provenance True Devil Arts at the same time, but they were also unable to allow him to muster up any spiritual power. In the end, he unleashed the Kun Peng transformation among his 12 Awakening Transformations, and after transforming into a massive azured bird, he recovered all of his magic power.
Han Li was naturally ecstatic, and he spread his wings as his body expanded even further in size. He flew through the air and gently caught the two women using his talons before flying high up into the sky.
Following a few flashes, the massive azure bird emerged from the mist and appeared at higher altitudes.
The azure light faded, and Han Li reverted back to his human form. Yuan Yao and Yan Li had both recovered their magic power by not, but both of them still wore expressions of lingering fear as they hovered in mid-air.
"What is that terrifying black mist? If Brother Han hadn't saved us, we would've been in big trouble," Yan Li murmured.
Yuan Yao's face was also quite pale, but a peculiar look slowly crept onto her face.
Han Li clasped his hands behind his back and appraised the black mist down below with a contemplative look on his face.
"This mist is indeed quite bizarre, but this feeling... Fellow Daoist Yuan, do you find it to be a little familiar as well?" Han Li asked as he turned to Yuan Yao.
"Indeed, Brother Han. I've suffered a similar ordeal once before in the human world. In the Scattered Star Seas, I was swept up by a similar type of ghostly mist right before I entered the Umbra Realm," Yuan Yao replied with a hint of bewilderment on her face.
"The Umbra Realm and the infernal river; there must be some kind of connection between the two," Han Li mused as he stroked his chin.
"But it's still a little different. I feel like the mist here is less powerful when it comes to debilitating one's spiritual power than the ghostly mist of the human world. Even though I couldn't muster up any magic power, I could still sense spiritual power, but after being swept up into the ghostly mist in the Scattered Star Seas, I felt like I was no different from a mortal," Yuan Yao said in a hesitant voice.
"I have the same feeling as well. It could be the case that the ghostly mist here is inferior to that of the human world or perhaps we're simply better equipped to deal with it due to our superior cultivation bases. However, I can say for certain that the ghostly mist in the human world seems to possess more spiritual nature and will take the initiative to engulf nearby cultivators, whereas the mist here..." Han Li shook his head as his voice trailed off.
"Indeed, Brother Han, the black mist here didn't try to sweep us up before we'd entered it. Speaking of which, the ghostly mist of the human world draws one into the Umbra Realm; will this mist lead to another space or realm as well?" Yuan Yao's eyes lit up with excitement.
"I'm not particularly sure about that. After all, I've never been able to ascertain the origins of the ghostly mist and the Umbra Realm in the human world," Han Li sighed.
"I can see many other clouds of similar black mist nearby; do they all have the same effect?" Yan Li suddenly asked as a hint of curiosity flashed through her eyes.
Han Li faltered slightly upon hearing this before raising an eyebrow as he said, "That's a good observation! Wait here for me for a moment; I'll be back soon."
Thus, azure light flashed from his body, and he transformed into a massive azure bird again. With each flap of his wings, he covered a distance of over 100 feet, and he flew into the distance, leaving Yuan Yao and Yan Li to look on in amazement.
"Junior Martial Sister Yuan, Fellow Daoist Han sure has cultivated many abilities; to think that he's even learned the transformation secret technique of the Flying Spirit Race," Yan Li said as she clicked her tongue with wonder.
"Have you forgotten that Brother Han has entered the earth abyss as a Flying Spirit Race holy disciple, Senior Martial Sister? It's no surprise that he's mastered such a secret technique, seeing as that's the case," Yuan Yao replied with a smile.
"You may not be aware of this, Junior Martial Sister, but not just anyone can become a Flying Spirit Race holy disciple. I've heard some information about this in the past; not only are holy disciples of the Flying Spirit Race required to have the true spirit blood of their respective branch in their bodies, there are also other types of stringent conditions that have to be met, and even for beings from the Flying Spirit Race, it's extremely difficult to become a holy disciple. I wonder how Fellow Daoist Han managed to achieve this and learn all these abilities," Yan Li chuckled.
"I see." Yuan Yao nodded, and her eyes had remained fixed on the direction that Han Li had disappeared in this entire time.
A peculiar look flashed through Yan Li's eyes upon making this observation, and she smiled as she said, "In comparison, I'm actually more curious about why Brother Han becomes immune to this ghostly mist after transforming into his bird form."
"I'm quite perplexed about that as well. Could it be that the transformation secret technique of the Flying Spirit Race contains some other type of unknown elements?" Yuan Yao was distracted by this question, and she withdrew her gaze as a confused look appeared on her face.
"It's no use speculating about this; why don't we ask Fellow Daoist Han when he gets back? He should know something about this." Yan Li pursed her lips with a smile.
"Is that a good idea? Wouldn't it be rude for us to inquire directly about his abilities and cultivation arts?" Yuan Yao was feeling rather hesitant about this.
"Hehe, with the relationship that the two of you share, surely it's not too much to ask of him. I just think that ghostly mist is quite bizarre, and I wanted to see if we can devise some kind of method to counteract it. However, I'm not all that familiar with Fellow Daoist Han, after all, so it's best that you asked him in my stead," Yan Li replied in a nonchalant manner.
Yuan Yao's brows furrowed upon hearing this, and she only nodded after a moment of contemplation.
An hour later, azure light flashed in the distance, and the massive azure bird returned.
Following a few flashes, gusts of fierce winds were swept up as the bird arrived before the two women. Immediately thereafter, the azure light faded, and Han Li reverted back to his human form.
"Did the other patches of black mist have the same properties as this one?" Yan Li asked.
"Not all of them; only some of them have that debilitation effect, and most of those patches of mist are quite large in area and also very dense," Han Li replied with a serious expression.
Both women were rather surprised to hear this.
"Should we enter the black mist again to investigate?" Yan Li asked.
"Theoretically, we've already got enough on our plates, so it would be rather unwise to investigate such things, but this black mist is able to cut off one's spiritual power and spiritual sense, so if we can hide in it, there's no way that the demon monarchs will be able to find us. My only concern is whether there are any hazards lurking deep within the mist," Han Li replied in a hesitant voice.
"If we can avoid detection from the demon monarchs, then its worth taking the risk. In any case, you're immune to the effects of the ghostly mist after transforming into your Kun Peng form, right, Brother Han?" Yan Li said with a smile on her face.
Han Li also smiled in response, yet before he had a chance to reply, Yuan Yao suddenly interjected, "Brother Han, your transformation secret technique comes from the Flying Spirit Race, right? Do you know why it is that you gain immunity to the ghostly mist after your transformation? Will my senior martial sister and I be able to do something to also retain our magic power in there?"