The lean man turned his head toward Han Li and the woman and indifferently said, "I'm not sure whether I should say your luck is good or bad. You actually ran into an eruption of Spirit Extinguishing Qi! This causes far more tears in space to appear, and even experts are incapable of escaping them. But as a result, the umbra beasts that normally lay inside the mountain hollow had left. Otherwise, you would've immediately be torn apart upon falling inside."
When Han Li heard this, his heart sank, but his expression remained unchanged. "I hope you'll forgive me for being so bold, but could your esteemed self tell us exactly where we are? From your tone, it seems this place is quite dangerous."
The lean man examined the two's clothing and saw that they didn't seem to be ordinary people and wryly smiled, "Dangerous? Hehe! That's about right. Regardless of whatever identities or statuses you may have held on the outside, here in the Umbra Realm, you're just people that need to struggle to survive. If you can't move or make yourself useful, you will end up as umbra beast food."
Han Li frowned and wanted to ask more questions but the lean mean impatiently waved his hand, "We're pressed for time. The explanations will have to wait until after we return to the village. In just a moment, the umbra beasts will return to their nests and we'll have to quickly block this secret entrance so that we can use it again in the future." After he said this, he turned to the people behind him and started harshly giving them commands.
The men and women began to grab nearby stones and started to hurriedly stack them tightly against the hole.
The lean man gazed at the Yin clouds in the sky and his face darkened. "Let's go. If everything goes smoothly, Ah Hu and the others will meet us on the way. But if we dawdle, the Yin winds will appear and we won't be able to return." After saying this, he turned around and left as the rest of people closely followed after him without a word. None of them ever called out to Han Li or the woman.
When Han Li saw this, an odd expression flickered through his eyes as he began to ponder over the current situation.
The beautiful woman beside Han Li watched as the group grew distant. Seeing that Han Li appeared pensive, she couldn't help but worriedly ask, "Should we follow them?"
Without any magic power, she had turned into a frail and bewildered mortal. Since Han Li appeared calm this entire time, she had instinctively begun to rely on him.
Han Li raised his head and calmly said, "There's no reason not to, so let's go take a look at their so-called village. Perhaps we'll think of something once we're there and are able to recover our magic power." He then headed in the direction the others had gone with large strides.
The woman let out a breath of relief and followed after him.
"Ah, yes. I still don't know your name. My surname is Han, I am a vagrant cultivator."
"I am Mei Ning. I was together with my brother when we were sucked into the ghost mist, but now he isn't here." A trace of worry appeared on her face when she mentioned her brother.
Han Li calmly said, "That's to be expected. The black lightning appears to have the power of random teleportation. Your brother must've teleported elsewhere. Otherwise, why would only the two of us teleport there despite the many cultivators around the island? If you search for him, you'll find him eventually."
When the woman heard this, she felt relieved and her curiosity towards Han Li was piqued. His appearance was rather unfamiliar and she was certain that she had never seen him before. She tentatively guessed that he was a cultivator that had approached the island from a different direction.
She thought to ask more questions of Han Li, but she hesitated after realizing that they didn't have a particularly close relationship, and ended up keeping silent.
As the two hurried after the group of green-robed people, she pondered about the pros and cons of inquiring about him further. Although they didn't have any magic power, cultivators possessed bodies of purified essence that were far more capable than those of ordinary mortals.
Seeing that the two were able to follow after them without difficulty, a strange expression appeared in the lean man's eyes, but instead of saying anything, he lowered his head and sped up.
The others behind him quickened their pace in response.
Han Li was somewhat surprised to see that these people were far more vigorous than ordinary mortals. Although their bodies didn't seem to hold a superior level of inner strength, they clearly cultivated some shallow martial arts. It seemed that martial arts would prove quite useful here.
Nevertheless, Han Li still had misgivings from the ghost mist that had previously occurred.
From the records he had looked through, although the ghost fog was frightful, it had never been as disastrous as what had just occurred. There wasn't even an opportunity for anyone to escape. Before he had even touched the ghost mist, the entirety of his magic power had already been sealed. It had been truly terrifying.
If each appearance of the ghost mist was that disastrous, then even Nascent Soul cultivators wouldn't be able to escape it. But in the previous appearances of the ghost mist, there were many cultivators who were able to escape from it, even low grade cultivators had.
However, Han Li felt somewhat suspicious about what the lean man had referred to as the so-called Spirit Extinguishing Qi. From its name, it was certain to have something to do with why his spiritual sense and magic power were currently restricted.
They were truly unlucky to have encountered such a particularly dreadful ghost mist that had managed to captured everyone present. He reckoned that those that survived the teleportation would be found scattered across the other corners of this land.
Just as Han Li thought this, the lean man suddenly stopped and turned his head in a different direction while the rest of his party had followed suit. Far off into the desert, a yellow dragon could be seen rushing towards them through surging clouds of sand.
"It's Ah Hu and the others!" One of the youths shouted in delight as the others became excited. The lean man nodded his head and revealed a trace of relief, but his smile soon froze when he heard a series of sharp roars from the yellow dragon.
The lean man furiously yelled with a distorted expression, "Everyone, quickly go and help them! They are being pursued by umbra beasts." He took out the long white blade at his waist and led the charge forward.
The rest of the party came to a sudden realization and each of them brandished their blades as they followed suit.
Han Li stood in place, and merely stared at the yellow dragon in the distance with an odd expression.
The lean man's party had just reached the yellow dragon when it abruptly stopped and roared before bursting into clouds of yellow mist.
The party loudly yelled as they entered the dense smoke, and shouts of all pitches and tones were intertwined. After the time it took to finish a cup of tea, their voices eventually quieted down.
After a short moment, a series of cheers came from within the yellow mist, and the men and woman all emerged with their bodies splattered with beast blood. It was difficult to tell if any of them had sustained any injuries, but each of them wore a smile of pleasant surprise.
When they returned, they were joined by the burly men that Han Li had seen within the mountain. They were still carrying the huge bags on their back.
When they spotted Han Li and Mei Ning, they appeared somewhat confused, but after the lean man whispered something to them, their expression brightened and paid them no further mind.
The group quickly marched on with the new arrivals. Two hours later, they had reached an expanse of pitch-black stone that interrupted the desolate sandscape.
Just like the desert from before, Han Li was unable to see the end of this expanse of black stone. However, the black stones were all strangely shaped and their deep shade of black left Han Li with an eerie feeling of discomfort.
But when the others saw this place, they let out long breaths of relief and wore relaxed expressions.
At that moment, the Yin clouds in the sky had begun to restlessly move about and the blue flashes of lightning had become more frequent. Occasionally, they would directly strike an area nearby, causing a pit to appear among the stones.
Han Li and Mei Ning were startled by the sudden turn of events, but the others seemed accustomed to it. They simply walked into the stony areas with quick strides.
The lean man then shouted, "Everyone, quicken your pace! The village is about to close their doors. Let's avoid being trapped outside!" Afterwards, the group of people dashed forward and ran with all their might.
Han Li and Mei Ning glanced at each other. Although they didn't know what was going on, they didn't dare to fall behind.
Following their lead, the made several turns throughout the expanse of stone before suddenly arriving at an open area.
The spacious area had lofty stone walls that were as black as could be. Not only were these stone walls all carved out of massive boulders that were at least three meters wide and ten meters tall, but they extended out for several kilometers. Additionally, about every ten meters along the walls, a sharp spike of hardwood struck out from the wall, making for a sinister appearance.
Currently, the group of people were heading in the direction of an imposing wooden gate with over ten men with white pikes standing guard on either side.
When these guards saw the lean man's party approach, they loudly yelled at them with excitement.
With a huge rumble, the gate slowly opened, allowing them inside.