Chapter 420: The Might of the Gold Devouring Beetles
Han Li was startled when he saw the human skulls and was reminded of the Six Devil Dao Sect's Ghost Spirit Sect.
The Ghost Spirit Sect disciples used human skull shaped magic tools to attack, but they were merely inanimate objects, unlike these black skulls that seemed to have a life of their own.
Han Li experienced an even greater shock when one of the skulls collided against?
The cultivator surnamed Jian loudly shouted and pointed to his banners, causing them to shoot out a dense number of black threads. The threads then intertwined to form a huge net before rushing towards the incoming human skull.
The threads were extremely fine and glossy. They also carried a faint black Qi that was clearly unordinary.
Upon seeing the black threads release themselves, the skull's eye sockets flashed with red light, and it erratically closed and opened its mouth before countless wisps of dark green fire surged out from its mouth.
Upon contact, the countless black threads instantly combusted as if they had met their nemesis, quickly turning into rising clouds of azure smoke.
The cultivator surnamed Jian greatly paled at the sight and hastily formed another incantation gesture, wanting to activate another divine ability of the black banners.
The black skulls suddenly swelled to the size of a carriage wheel before spouting out a streak of black light for a breath of time. The three black banners were then wrapped up by the streak of light and pulled into the skull's mouth. Afterwards, the skull starting chomping down with force. After a few cracks and bangs, the black banners were entirely shattered. At this same moment, the cultivator surnamed Jian turned deathly pale from feeling his connection to the black banners sever.
"Demon! You dare to destroy my treasures?" The cultivator Jian shouted out in furious alarm, but his eyes betrayed a sliver of fear.
Although the others were unaware, he fully understood that the three black banners were desolate antiquities. It had previously dealt with many formidable opponents, but now, it had unexpectedly met its end in a freakish skull's mouth.
At that same moment, Hu Yue's thunderous lightning was drawn into the other skull's mouth and was rendered completely ineffective.
Hu Yue and cultivator Jian took a mutual glance at each other and couldn't help but feel an urge to retreat.
This had also left Han Li astonished, and he now realized why the eccentric dared to fight against a group of cultivators. He had much to rely on. Not only did he possess many magic treasures, but each of them possessed remarkable abilities. It seemed that if he did not lend them any assistance, they would suffer a great defeat and be forced to retreat.
Han Li didn't wish for that development as he had spent several months of effort on breaking this great formation. He was unwilling to allow this outsider to spoil his efforts now that he was on the verge of success. Additionally, although Han Li didn't want to risk making a clumsy display, he wanted to test the power of the Gold Devouring Beetles and see whether or not they deserved their ranking on the list of exotic insects. As the eccentric before him was an unordinary Core Formation cultivator, he seemed to make for an ideal test subject.
With that thought, Han Li took another glance at the fray.
Hu Yue and the others were flusteredly flying around in the sky, bombarding the two skulls that were chasing them with low grade magic techniques. They clearly understood that common magic treasures would have no effect on those demonic items and could only cease their offensive for the time being.
As for Jin Qing's large white block seal, it hadn't shown itself to be particularly powerful. It had found itself dragged into the flower basket after being wound around by the white Qi when he had least expected it, causing Jin Qing's face to be laced with sweat.
As for Crooked Soul who was at his side and the Foundation Establishment Shi Die, they were only able to gaze on, incapable of providing any assistance.
After seeing this, Han Li took a deep glance at the eccentric before unhesitantly taking out a bulging spiritual beast pouch with a single hand.
Han Li's action seemed to have caught the eccentric's attention, possibly due to his powerful spiritual sense. He immediately focused his attention on Han Li and fished something out from his bosom with an ominous expression as if wanting to take out another magic treasure to deal with Han Li.
In response, Han Li decided to seize the initiative.
He lightly tossed the Spirit Beast Pouch into the air and quickly struck the pouch with an azure incantation seal cast from his other hand. With a tremble, the spirit beast pouch spouted out several tens of spheres sharply shooting towards the eccentric in streaks of light.
These spheres were about a foot large and consisted of the colors of both silver and gold. As soon as the eccentric saw them, he revealed an expression of disdain and took out a jet-black dharma wheel1, thoughtlessly throwing it out with a cold laugh.
As the object whistled, it grew several times in size and spun towards the incoming spheres.
With a succession of pengs, the spheres turned into specks of gold and silver light upon colliding with the wheel, as they were being shattered.
"Ha, ha…" The eccentric roared with laughter and pointed towards Han Li, ordering it to slice towards him.
But at that moment, a burst of buzzing appeared, growing increasingly louder. In an instant, the sound had become ear-piercing, causing everyone to look in the sound's direction with astonishment. The eccentric had also replaced his mad laughter with bewilderment.
The fragments from the spheres had become alive and turned into several thousands of thumb-sized gold-silver beetles, densely scattered nearby the wheel. The sharp buzz produced from their flapping wings had inspired great apprehension.
Han Li didn't give the eccentric any idle time to think and used his spiritual sense to order the beetles to fly towards the wheel without any regard for their lives. In an instant, the magic treasure had been stained with the colors of gold and silver.
"You're courting death!" The eccentric recovered from his surprise and formed an incantation gesture with his hands, causing his wheel to release clouds of black as it spun, intending to eliminate the exotic insects.
However, the following scene had left the eccentric stunned. As soon as the pitch-black mist appeared, the beetles opened their mouth and cleanly gobbled it away, leaving not a single speck behind.
As for the wheel's high speed rotations, it only managed to throw off a small portion of the Gold Devouring beetles. A majority of them had closely stuck onto it and fearlessly ripped it to shreds.
Han Li inwardly rejoiced at the eccentric's aghast expression.
In the blink of an eye, the wheel shrank at a visible pace until there was nothing left. After the wheel was cleanly devoured, the buzzing grew louder once more.
The eccentric's complexion had now turned slightly green!
Han Li bluntly pointed to the swarm of Gold Devouring Beetles and had them turn into a large gold-silver cloud before flocking towards the eccentric.
Now knowing the ferociousness of the beetles, the eccentric's face revealed panic and he quickly beckoned towards the black skulls chasing after the sweat drenched members. With several flickers, they flew back to the eccentric and sinisterly blocked his front.
Finally able to gasp for air, Hu Yue and cultivator Jian let out a large sigh of relief and stopped in the distance, staring at the scene with slight amazement.
The eccentric appeared ill at ease. He summoned a short dagger into his hand with a flash of light. After a short moment of hesitation, he chopped down with a fierce expression, severing another two of his fingers.
The two skulls immediately flew to each eat one. Soon after, they release a strange howl as if they were extremely delighted.
With widened eyes, the eccentric soon opened his mouth, shooting out two black lights at the skull's forehead. The two skulls then let out a series of painful groans and started to undergo a strange change.
With audible cracks, two strange horns similar to a mountain goats sprouted from the tops of their skulls, and their fierce sharp teeth grew by several inches, becoming even sharper in the process. And over the span of a few breathes, their hair turned blood-red, completely changing the skulls into ghost heads.
"Go!" With the skulls' transformation complete, the eccentric let out a breath of relief and painfully used his finger stump to command them towards the insect swarm.
The ghost heads' eyes flashed with a queer green light before obediently charging off towards the insect swarm with a long whistle.
When the Gold Devouring Beetles saw the ghost heads shooting towards them, they separated into two swarms under Han Li's command, each flying to meet one of the ghost heads.
The transformed ghost heads widely opened their mouths and spat out wisps of dark green flame that were several times thicker than before. Upon impact, a series of explosions pushed the swarms of Gold Devouring Beetle back about ten meters.
The beetle swarms were in disorder.
The eccentric revealed a trace of joy, but that had lasted for only a short moment.
The wisps of fire released towards the Gold Devouring Swarm had done nothing but send a couple of beetles tumbling. But afterwards, they continued to fly forward as if they had not suffered any damage in the slightest.
The eccentric now wore a face of disbelief.
The will-o-wisps his ghost heads spat out were more powerful than Core Flame. How were they incapable of frying a few insects?
But despite not being able to deal with the Gold Devouring Beetles with his ghost heads, the flame wisps still kept the beetles at bay. It appeared they were stuck in a deadlock.
The eccentric frowned and started to ponder about a countermeasure.
At that moment, a buzzing sound occurred in a volume several times louder than before. When the eccentric raised his head, his face turned deathly pale as if it were devoid of blood.An eight-spoked wheel that holds much significance in Buddhism(dharmachakra). ↩
Chapter 421: Spirit Sealing Pillar
In the distant sky at an unknown time, a huge cloud of insects spanning over a hundred meters had appeared, staining that part of the sky gold and silver. The huge buzzing seemed to be coming from this new cloud of insects.
Underneath the insect cloud, Han Li looked at the eccentric with a gaze as if he were looking at a corpse. He commanded, "Go!"
Suddenly, the huge insect cloud flew towards the eccentric as an overbearing sky-shrouding shadow.
The eccentric's limbs grew ice-cold. This insect cloud was over ten times larger than the previous. It wasn't something he could withstand. In his terror, he felt a sudden desire to flee.
With an unsightly expression, he recalled his transformed flower basket. He then struck his two ghost heads with blood-red magic seals, and began to chant a cryptic incantation. As for the weapons that were disabled and had been held within the white mist, they were tossed away without hesitation.
The eccentric's decisiveness surprised Han Li.
The two ghost heads madly spat out several more wisps of flames as they retreated, but Han Li wasn't about to let them slip away so easily.
Under his command, the huge insect cloud thoroughly drowned the ghost heads and their flames in an instant. The flames were cleanly consumed by the several tens of thousands of Gold Devouring Beetles in an instant, and the ghost heads' themselves were filled with countless Gold Devouring Beetles.
With this, Han Li knew that the skulls were already finished. But just as he wanted to collect the Gold Devouring Beetles and go chase after the eccentric, he heard two enormous explosions.
The two ghost heads had self detonated in twin blazes of green flame, engulfing a large portion of the Gold Devouring Beetles. Han Li was initially left reeling by the scene but that soon disappeared.
From his mental connection, apart from the several hundred closest to the heart of the explosion, a vast majority of his Gold Devouring Beetles were unscathed.
It seemed that these immature Gold Devouring Beetles were not invulnerable. After a certain limit, they were still capable of being destroyed.
However, their sturdiness was already much to Han Li's satisfaction. After all, the Gold Devouring Beetles only suffered damage from the extremely powerful detonation of the ghost heads. He was confident that any common Core Formation cultivator wouldn't stand a chance against these insects.
With that thought, Han Li wordlessly turned into an azure streak and collected his Gold Devouring Beetles before chasing after the eccentric.
Han Li's thoughts were quite simple. Since deep hatred was planted between him and the eccentric, it was naturally better to settle this problem once and for all. Not wanting to leave a potential enemy, he couldn't allow him to easily escape.
A second later, Crooked Soul joined him and flew next to Han Li as a streak of yellow light, joining in the pursuit.
As for the others, they glanced at each other while staying in their original places. It seemed that for the time being, they were incapable of believing that Han Li had single-handedly forced the eccentric to flee.
The eccentric's escape method was quite impressive. Even when using the entirety of his strength to propel his green brilliance dagger, the distance between them was only gradually increasing. In the blink of an eye, the three had traveled over twenty kilometers and were about to leave the scope of the barren island.
Seeing this, Han Li's eyes glinted with cold light. After taking a deep breath, seven palm-sized emerald green swords suddenly shot from his body.
After flying a circle around his body, the small swords merged into a huge green sword. With a blur, Han Li and Crooked Soul arrived on the huge sword. It then flashed with green radiance and cut through the sky as an emerald streak of light that was nearly forty meters long, increasing their speed by nearly fifty percent.
After the time it took to make a cup of tea, Han Li had caught up to the eccentric. After seeing the black light that was singularly focused on flying, Han Li waved his arm with an icy expression. Two small emerald swords shot towards it along with Crooked Soul's Immemorial Bowl.
The escaping eccentric had clearly seen that his relentless pursuers had released their magic treasures towards him. He immediately responded by throwing a skull towards them. Afterwards, the eccentric continued flying without looking black.
According to the eccentric's thoughts, the skull should be able to buy him some precious time at the very least.
Han Li's expression darkened, and he silently cast an incantation gesture. His two flying swords then flashed with green light and turned into four swordlights which were indistinguishable from one another. Two of these swordlights and the immemorial bowl flew straight towards the skull while the other two swordlights combined to form a foot-long flying sword. It rushed past the skull and shot towards the back of the eccentric without a sound.
The flying sword became much faster after combining together and arrived behind the eccentric in the blink of an eye.
However, the eccentric felt that something was amiss and turned his head, discovering an emerald streak of light that was only fifteen meters away from him.
The eccentric's face turned deathly pale. Responding quickly to the emergency, he opened his mouth and spewed a puff of black Qi towards the flying sword. Afterwards, he hastily flew away, wanting to escape.
Under Han Li's command, the flying sword continued straight through the black Qi without any hesitation. As it approached, an arc of faint golden lightning struck the black Qi and thoroughly blew it away, leaving the flying sword completely unobstructed.
Then with a flash of green light, the emerald flying sword pierced through the eccentric.
The eccentric looked down at the flying sword in his chest with an expression of complete disbelief. Without the chance to say a single word, he was struck with faint golden lightning and turned to ash.
Han Li hastily approached. After blurring a few times, he reappeared with three items in his hands and focused his attention on them. Apart from the flower basket ancient antiquity, there was also a storage pouch and a scroll painting sparkling with red light. From paintings stealthily contained Spiritual Qi, even if it wasn't a desolate antiquity, it was still undoubtedly an unordinary magic treasure.
Delighted, Han Li gently unrolled the scroll and was soon stunned.
After staring at the scroll for a long while, Han Li slowly rolled it back up and wore a contemplative expression. Forcefully suppressing the suspicions he had in mind, Han Li flew towards the skull in silence.
Now lacking a master, the black skull floated in the air without movement. Although it still retained a trace of its evil Qi, it now completely lacked any trace of its former intelligence.
After taking a look, Han Li slightly frowned. In truth, this was the first time he had seen an item like this. He faintly felt that this item definitely had a bad history, but he still felt reluctant to just let it go. After a moment of hesitation, he decided to store it in a jade box.
After circling around the area once more, Han Li flew back with Crooked Soul. On the way, he encountered Jin Qing and the others who on their way to assist him.
Having seen Han Li and Crooked Soul return completely unharmed, they crowded around him in pleasant surprise.
"Fellow Daoist Han, what happened to that eccentric? Did he escape?" Jin Qing couldn't help but ask.
"He died by my hand!" Han Li calmly said.
"He's dead? That's great. From his profuse, evil Qi, we would have definitely found ourselves hopelessly entangled if he decided to pursue us in the future. That would've proved to be extremely troublesome." Jin Qing replied with a large breath of relief.
With slightly changed expressions, the nearby Hu Yue and cultivator Jian looked at Han Li with gazes of involuntary respect.
After all, one's capability defined one's status in the cultivation world.
Afterwards, the party returned to their original location where Fairy Shi was worriedly waiting for them.
The group gathered together once more. After some discussion, Han Li felt that it would be best to quickly break through the formation in order to prevent any further unexpected incidents from occurring.
Thus, the group once again got into formation. After refocusing his heart, Han Li placed down the formation flags and plates.
The destruction of the last restriction was exceptionally smooth. After the scarlet light barrier was destroyed, the "Winged Fiends" contained within were cleanly eliminated by their water attribute magic tools.
The party revealed joy and soon turned their gazes towards the strange, exposed stone pillar at the center.
With no restrictions in the way, the group was clearly able to see the stone pillar with their spiritual sense and eyesight.
The stone pillar's talisman markings were extremely strange. The pillar was covered in eight huge ancient talisman scripts that spiralled around it from top to bottom along with countless strange stripes. In addition, the stone pillar was embedded with extremely rare Yin-Yang Jade in an even distribution. They occasionally flashed with dim black and white lights.
After looking at this for some time, they looked at each other in confusion and sunk into contemplation, bitterly attempting to recall any relatable information.
"Spirit Sealing Pillar!" After a short moment, the weakest among them, Shi Die, suddenly shouted out the name of the stone pillar in alarm.
The others were stunned upon hearing this, but they soon looked at each other in bewilderment.
"Fairy Shi, are you certain? Is this really a Spirit Sealing Pillar?" Hu Yue couldn't help but ask with doubt.
"Absolutely! I possess a book of ancient formation spells that particularly mentions the Spirit Sealing Pillar. From its appearance and those talisman markings, it is exactly as was described in the book. Don't be fooled into believing it to be some common stone pillar. It was forged from over ten extremely precious tool refinement materials. This lone pillar is worth about six thousand spirit stones." Shi Die gazed at this pillar with excitement.