(TL Change: Black Dragon's Grasps -> Black Dragon's Claws.)
Chapter 341: A Difficult Situation
The "White Scale Shield" was a top grade magic tool refined from materials of the "Inky Flood Dragon". It had supported Han Li though many fierce battles. Aside from the time that it had been pierced by the "Blood Spirit Drill", it hadn't sustained the slightest of damage. Han Li truly found it hard to believe that it was just destroyed by some monster.
At this moment, Han Li was able to use the moonlight stone's faint light to take a look at this monster.
The creature appeared extremely strange and was only about a meter tall. It had a small head perched on a very thin neck. However, its two green, fist-sized eyes unemotionally stared at him with cold, malicious intent.
What caught Han Li's attention the most were its two black incisive scythe-like forelimbs; Han Li grew greatly fearful of them.
This monster had weapons! But how could these scythes be so sharp that they can split his white scale shield in one blow?
As these thoughts surged through Han Li's mind, his body flickered, shooting straight toward the cave exit like a loosened arrow.
He wouldn't be able to last against that monster inside such a small cave. Even if he had several lives, it still wouldn't be enough; he had to escape in order to stand a chance!
As Han Li shot forth, the monster silently pursued him with shockingly equivalent speed.
Like two gales of wind, Han Li and the monster raced the short distance toward the cave's exit.
Once he left the cave, Han Li waved his hand without the slightest of thought, shooting a streak of white light in front of him; the white light turned into the flawless, white Divine Wind Boat.
He planned to take to the skies!
Since his defensive magic tools were unable to endure the monster's attacks, he would have to increase the distance in between them and use magic tools to ravage it from afar.
As Han Li slowed down to bring out his Divine Wind Boat, a black shadow flashed before his eyes; the monster suddenly appeared between Han Li and his Divine Wind Boat. Clang. Clang. It icily stared at Han Li while rubbing its scythe-like forelimbs against each other.
Han Li felt his heart drop.
Not only was this monster ferocious, it was also intelligent. This proved quite troublesome.
But now that they had left the dark cave, Han Li was able to fully make out the monster underneath the moonlight. It was a huge dark-gray mantis that released a strange gray aura.
Han Li lightly exhaled, suppressing the unease in his heart. His body became blurred for a moment before transforming into six identical images. Each of the illusions charged directly toward the huge mantis. Han Li wasn't completely confident that the fastest speed of his Shifting Smoke Steps could break through the monster's guard.
The mantis' eyes flashed with green light, and its body also blurred, turning into several similar reflections. Each of them moved to block Han Li's illusions.
Han Li's face became aghast.
Puff. Puff. One by one, Han Li's reflections were struck down by the mantis' blades. Just as Han Li's true body was about to be struck, he was forced to use his tortoise shell to block its strike. As a result, the strike blew him back to his original location and left a deep scar on his tortoise shell.
Han Li looked at the scar on the tortoise shell with a pale expression and gulped. It was clear that this magic tool would be unable to endure further strikes.
Without waiting for Han Li to make any plans, the mantis' meter-long wings began to shimmer and buzz. The demonic beast had actually rapidly fluttered its wings and lightly hovered off the ground.
Han Li bitterly swore. How could he possibly forget that mantises were insects capable of flying. Once in flight, this demonic beast will surely be immensely fast.
For the first time, Han Li lacked confidence in his movement techniques.
Even so, Han Li hurried used the "Body Lightening Technique" along with other auxiliary magic techniques on his body and patted his storage pouch, releasing streaks of gold, black and red light.
He hurried, wanting use this opportunity to take the initiative.
However, the demon mantis acted before Han Li could begin his assault. It launched itself into the air and suddenly disappeared without a trace. An instant later, it reappeared above Han Li and fiercely chopped down, intending to split Han Li into two.
At this moment, Han Li appeared incomparably calm.
As the scythe sliced through Han Li's afterimage, Han Li had completely disappeared. However, his magic tools had remained, spiralling around the demonic beast like a swarm of bees, wanting to shred it into pieces.
Dāng. Dāng. A series of clangs rang out as the huge mantis swung its scythes at a speed that couldn't be seen by the naked eye, creating a huge defensive net. In the clash between the magic tools and the mantis' scythes, three of the golden blades and one of the fire tridents were cut into fragments, turning them into clouds of sparkling dust.
Han Li took this opportunity to fly off on his Divine Wind Boat while feeling great heartache.
He urgently recalled his remaining magic tools, causing the streaks of light to rush back toward him.
However, the demon mantis was unwilling to let him go. It clanged its forelimbs against each other and suddenly charged forward, turning into a black blur as it rapidly advanced. In an unrestrained chain of slashes, two more golden blades were broken, scattering into dust.
Han Li's feeling of loss only grew deeper.
Although this set of "Golden Beetle Swarm Blades" couldn't be considered exceptional among top grade magic tools, it was hard to come by such a large set that was easy to use. Furthermore, he had this set of magic tools for many years and had become quite attached to them. He didn't expect that a majority of them would be destroyed today.
Fortunately, Han Li's most important magic tools, the Black Dragon's Claws, were still intact. As the pair had managed to survive, it could be considered a silver lining among this terrible situation.
But with the demon mantis still rigidly staring at him, Han Li was unable to feel hopeful. If he didn't have a good way to deal with this monster, he might not be able to save his own life, let alone his magic tools.
With that in mind, Han Li madly poured spiritual power into the Divine Wind Boat beneath his feet. The Divine Wind Boat lightly trembled for a moment before soaring into the sky as a streak of white light. Han Li truly believed that this demonic beast would be unable to match the speed of the Divine Wind Boat.
However, after a short moment of flying, Han Li couldn't help but recognize how shallow his experience was. The mantis had kept up with him and was slowly catching up!
At this moment, Han Li was wildly driving forward as he threw several fireballs behind him, attempting to stop the demon mantis from chasing him.
'This is far too strange. Not only are its attacks fierce and swift, but its flight speed is even quicker. Even my own Divine Wind Boat is slightly slower than it.' Han Li gloomily thought.
He was now completely certain that this demon mantis was far more powerful than the white spider he had previously fought.
This huge mantis wasn't a mere top grade fourth level demonic beast. It was a fifth grade demonic beast from legend, a monster nearly capable of contending with Core Formation cultivators!
When Han Li thought of this possibility, he felt more cold sweat on his back and fired fireballs with even greater effort in an attempt to stop the demonic beast's gradual approach. Each of the fireballs were easily chopped into two, but they managed to slightly slow it down, buying Han Li some precious time.
Han Li clearly understood that if this continued, the mantis would eventually overtake him. He couldn't allow this deadlock to continue. Therefore, he separately used a thread of consciousness to enter his storage pouch and see what magic tools could be used for this situation.
Suddenly, he felt a very soft item with his strand of consciousness, and his mind flashed with inspiration, coming up with a plan immediately.
Thus, after lowering his head and observing his environment, he fiercely stomped on his Divine Wind Boat, causing it to immediately descend into the thick forest.
At that same moment, he casually took out eight common magic tools from his storage pouch and recklessly shot them all behind him. Afterwards, he threw five puppet soldiers behind him as well. As soon as they emerged, they shot out dazzling light arrows that closely followed behind the magic tools.
Although this wild attack forced the mantis to respond, it was able to quickly tear the puppets and magic tools into pieces. But when it thought to resume chasing after Han Li, Han Li had already silently disappeared into the forest without a trace.
The demonic beast's eyes continuously flickered with green light and slowly descended. It then circled around the forest, still wanting to find Han Li.
Down below in the dense forest, Han Li was solemnly staring at the huge mantis in the sky from behind a large tree. His eyes revealed nervousness.
At this moment, he was wearing a cloak of muslin, hiding all traces of his body and completely isolating him from the world.
This "Concealing Spirit Muslin" was something Han Li had acquired after the fight with the white spider, loot he had acquired from Xuan Yue. Xuan Yue had originally planned to take advantage of this item and use the spider to deal with Han Li but he had died as a result. Not only can this muslin isolate one's Spiritual Qi fluctuations, it can also hide one’s scent and presence, allowing for complete concealment.
Han Li had no choice but to use this magic tool, hoping that the demonic beast wasn't too bright and would leave after searching for a bit. Else, if it persisted, Han Li would be in dire straits.
But to guard against any contingencies, Han Li had the solidified "Blood Spirit Drill" ready in his grasp.
Although this item had astonishing speed and destructive power, Han Li wasn't confident that it would be able to kill the demonic beast, having personally witnessed the mantis' terrifying speed. Thus, he had only taken it out just in case.