With gusts of winds, two azure streaks flew out from the umbra beast corpses towards a nearby bolder. Afterwards, a man and a woman clothed in blue beast leather appeared on top of the boulder with a blur.
The man's appearance was ordinary in contrast to the woman's heart-swaying beauty, but a vast intelligence shined from his eyes. These two individuals were Han Li and Mei Ning. Han Li held two inch-long daggers in each of his hands. There was semi-transparent string wrapped around both of their hilts which appeared to be a slim beast tendon.
Han Li walked over and glanced down at the umbra beast carcasses before turning his gaze to the vigilant crowd. He smiled and amiably said, "I hope you won't take offense. I saw that two Jade Yin Toads were about to escape and I couldn't help but take action. But regardless, I have no desire towards these Jade Yin Toads; I merely wish to ask you a few questions."
One of the older party members doubtfully asked, "You truly do not want the beast carcasses?" It seemed he was the leader of the group of youths.
Han Li nudged the beast carcass with his foot and affirmatively replied, "Of course I don't. I already have plenty of food."
Although the man felt somewhat strange, he felt that there was nothing to lose and he eventually nodded his head, "Alright, go ahead and ask."
Han Li nodded, satisfied to see his tactful response, and calmly asked, "You are natives to this land?"
The man frowned and replied, "That's right. We are villagers of Red Soil Village."
"That's good. We arrived here to make some inquiries. Have there been any new arrivals that have joined your village? We are searching for someone."
After a moment of thought, he hesitantly said, "New arrivals? None. However, after the appearance of the last spacial tear, we spotted several remains of both men and women in the umbra beast lair. By the time we spotted them, umbra beasts had already cleanly devoured them until nothing but bones were left."
Standing behind Han Li, Mei Ning grimaced and said, "Bones?"
In the past six months, the two had already visited three villages. Although there were a couple of cultivators that had narrowly survived the spacial tear, there was no sign of her brother.
Seeing that Han Li only wished to find someone, he relaxed and openly said, "That's right. We've already buried their remains, but we have their possessions. They were placed in a village warehouse. Would you like to take a look?"
Han Li glanced at the silent Mei Ning before nodding, "That'd be good. We'll have to trouble you." If her brother's possessions happened to be among them, then the search would be over. He had to confirm them just in case.
After calling out to those behind him to deal with the carasses of the toads, he cordially chatted with Han Li, "Hehe! From your tone, it seems you're quite cultured. I could tell you're an outsider. Have you just arrived this land?"
Han Li beamingly smiled in response.
The two then followed the group for a couple of kilometers before arriving at an unfamiliar village.
This village was far smaller than the others. Although they also have stone walls surrounding them, they were only about twenty meters tall and worn out as if it were neglected.
From the size of the village, it seemed there were only about a hundred inhabitants at most.
After entering the village, their leader pointed at a relatively large stone room and apologetically told the two cultivators to head to the building by themselves. As the toad carcasses were vitally important, the villages had to deal with them first.
Han Li didn't mind this and spoke a few words of thanks before heading there with Mei Ning. ……
Han Li glanced at the torn, bloody robes and asked with slight surprise, "These truly belonged to your brother?"
Han Li truly didn't expect that as soon as they entered that Mei Ning would immediately spot her brother's remnants. Her face had immediately grown pale at the sight and her eyes had become completely dispirited.
Mei Ning stared at the remnants with red eyes and difficultly muttered, "How could I possibly mistake these clothes? I personally made them for him. The storage pouch also has our sect's insignia."
Not knowing what to say to console her, he could only hesitate for a moment before patting the woman's shoulders and quietly slipping away from the stone room. He knew that it would better for her to be alone for the time being.
Just after he left, he began to hear faint sobs from the room. Han Li let out a sigh and then looked to the sky in silence.
A while later, Mei Ning left the room with swollen eyes. She calmly said, "Let's go. Since my brother has passed, there is no longer any need to visit the other villages. Let's head straight to Stormwind Mountain!" It seemed she had stifled the pain from the loss of her brother.
Han Li calmly replied, "Before we head off to Stormwind Mountain, there is still something I must do. I need to acquire a few umbra beast gems."
Mei Ning was stunned for a moment before asking in surprise, "Beast gems! What use is there in collecting them? They're quite difficult to come by."
"I have my own uses of collecting them. I reckon that in the entire world, the umbra realm is the only place where one can find umbra beast gems. Even if one could find them elsewhere, they would likely be extremely scarce. Gathering umbra beast gems would've been incredibly difficult if we wished to acquire them when we had first arrived. However, we won't be the ones handling the umbra beasts. It will be this one." Han Li suddenly shook his sleeve and a green flash of light appeared before him."
Mei ning glanced at the small monkey with suspicion, "This one?"
With a certain expression, Han Li said, "Of course!"
Because Han Li used the safer routes on his his journey to find other villages, Han Li was able to handle the low grade beasts by using only his flying swords. However, this didn't result in any umbra beast gems. Knowing that they had some relation to the puppets of Heavenvoid Hall, Han Li naturally wanted to collect a few.
At that moment, he called out to Mei Ning and had the Weeping Soul Beast return to his sleeve. He would spend the night at Red Soil Village before setting off to testing the efficacy of the Weeping Soul Beast on umbra beasts.
A twenty meter tall clawed beast leisurely walked out of a valley. Its huge claws were overpowering and its mouth was filled with vicious fangs. As the hegemon of the area, it had no fear of any high grade umbra beasts suddenly attacking it.
But at that moment, its dull ears suddenly heard something moving, and it turned its head with a malicious light glinting from its eyes. About a hundred meters away, a foot tall monkey had unknowingly appeared.
The small monkey was currently staring at the colossal beast with immense excitement.
When the huge beast caught sight of the small monkey, it merely snorted several times, wishing to scare it away. However, the monkey actually attacked, shooting out a yellow mist that enveloped it with fantastical speed.
After the mist of yellow light enveloped it, the colossal beast released a world-shaking roar, but soon the yellow mist dimmed and shot back into the small monkey's large nose, carrying streaks of black Qi.
The small monkey chewed with great relish before patting its bulging belly. Its face appeared completely satisfied as if it had a delicious meal.
At that moment, Han Li leisurely walked out with a relaxed expression. A flabbergasted Mei Ning followed after him.
The woman found this entire scene incredulous. She had witnessed the enormous beast turned into a shriveled corpse in the blink of an eye. Another wave of disbelief suddenly shined from her eyes when she faintly recalled the legend of a certain fearsome spirit beast.
As Mei Ning recovered from her shock, Han Li had already arrived in front of the beast's head. With a wave of his sleeve, a sparkling silver dagger appeared in his hand.
He expressionlessly chopped down, splitting the beast's skull like a watermelon. Soon after, a thumb-sized green gem fell out from the remains.
Han Li smiled at the sight of it and bent down to pick it up. Han Li then turned his head to the west and assuredly said, "There should be many more powerful umbra beasts about three kilometers west. Let's take care of them along the way.