The verdant and wild scenery completely faded away and was replaced with a strange scene. There were now white stones everywhere, each of which were shaped into ovals and sleek. The larger ones were the size of a skull and the smaller ones were the size of a fist.
In the distance, there was a large expanse of dense grey mist that couldn't be seen through. However, the grey mist was confined to an area of around three hundred meters with crimson light to either side of it. The light pushed into the mist as it were a tide, but the mist would push back as if it were an embankment.
Lu Weiying slowly asked, "This is the passage that you were talking about?"
Marquis Nanlong hesitated for a moment and said, "That's right. It's here. Does Brother Lu feel that something is wrong?"
Lu Weiying glanced at the mist and said, "The crimson light is certain to be the inner valley's restriction. However, the mist seems unordinary. Did Master Cang Kun's records mention anything about the mist?"
Marquis Nanlong pondered and said, "No, he hadn't mentioned the mist. It shouldn't be too important."
Lu Weiying shook his head and wore a solemn expression. "I feel that the grey mist isn't ordinary. It's better to be careful."
Han Li then said, "Then let's test if there is any problem with it."
Marquis Nanlong stroked his palm. "It is exactly as Fellow Daoist Han says. I have trained many Eternal Flight Orioles and normally use them to search for medicinal herbs, but they will do in testing the mist as well."
Lu Weiying didn't oppose him so Marquis Nanlong took out an exquisite spirit beast pouch and flung it into the air. With a low cry, a small bird with golden feathers shot into the air from the pouch and it began to circle in the air.
Marquis Nanlong raised his hand and tossed out an azure talisman, striking the small bird with it. The bird then spread out its wings and a small azure barrier appeared on its body. With a cry, the small bird shot into the grey mist in a streak of golden light.
Before the bird reached the mist, Han Li's eyes had already begun to shine with blue light. Making full use of the Brightsight Spirit Eyes, he glanced around and his expression made a sudden change. Marquis Nanlong and Lu Weiying were completely focused on the small bird.
The Eternal Flight Oriole headed straight into the grey mist and disappeared.
Since Han Li wasn't able to clearly see into the mist, he didn't send his spiritual sense into it due to carefulness. He simply turned to watch Marquis Nanlong's expression, who had closed his eyes and focused on his connection to the bird. His expression was calm, clearly revealing that nothing had happened to the bird.
Just as Han Li thought this, Marquis Nanlong's body suddenly trembled and he opened his eyes with a pale complexion.
Lu Weiying stared at Marquis Nanlong and hurriedly asked, "What, did something happen?"
Marquis Nanlong replied, "There is a monster in that mist that swallowed the bird whole. It seems to be..."
Han Li and Lu Weiying glanced at each other with astonishment.
Marquis Nanlong pondered for a long while before finally answering, "It seems to be a huge python. The grey mist should be a demonic fog that it spat out."
"A huge python? That seems strange. Why hadn't Master Cang Kun's records mentioned it? Could it be..."
"The huge python was something that arrived at the passageway after his time here." Han Li finished Lu Weiying's speculative words.
"Yes, that was exactly what I meant!"
Marquis Nanlong nodded. "Your words are reasonable, but how can something like a huge python safely exist inside Devilfall Valley? It seems to be an extraordinary demon beast, likely some ancient variant. If we do not slay it, we won't be able to enter the valley depths. This will be quite troublesome!"
With a cold glint flickering from his eyes, Lu Weiying said, "It's no problem. Since the grey mist isn't a restriction, we don't need to be too fearful of it. With our combined powers, this ancient beast shouldn't be difficult to deal with. I reckon it won't be much more powerful than the Ancient Flame Toad."
"We may not know how powerful the ancient beast is, but we will have to eliminate it in order to continue. Let us deal with it together." Marquis Nanlong then opened his mouth and spat out a small sword flickering with golden light.
The old man rolled his hands and summoned a brilliant white formation flag into his hand.
When Han Li saw this, he bitterly smiled, seeing that the two had already came to a decision to immediately attack.
Han Li suddenly faced an empty area and his expression sank, saying, "I don't object to dealing with the beast, but before we start, how about we first ask for this Fellow Daoist to come out of hiding? How long does your esteemed self plan on hiding there?" He flicked his finger, sending several streaks of azure sword Qi to strike where he was looking.
In a series of explosions, a silhouette covered in yellow light suddenly appeared, holding a large shield in his hand.
Marquis Nanlong and Lu Weiying were dumbstruck at the sight of this.
The silhouette in the yellow light was a lanky man that appeared over forty years old. He hastily bowed to the three Nascent Soul cultivators, but his face was filled with terror. "This is a misunderstanding! Seniors, please do not be angry. I only just arrived here and will immediately depart."
As soon as Lu Weiying saw this person, he shouted in alarm, "Huang Tianming! It's you!"
A trace of hostility appeared on Marquis Nanlong's face and he sternly asked, "What? Brother Lu recognizes this person?"
Lu Weiying's expression grew unsightly as he stared at the lanky man and coldly said, "This cultivator belongs to a small sect of our Righteous Dao Alliance. His cultivation isn't anything special, but I heard he had acquired an ancient concealment talisman that is wondrously effective. I didn't think this matter to be true, but here he was, completely concealed from us."
"Seniors, I only followed you because I was curious about your techniques." Hearing that they spoke with an unfriendly tone, the lanky man blanched.
"Since you secretly followed behind us, you can't be up to anything good. Brother Lu, he is a member of your Righteous Dao Alliance. What do you want to do with him?"
Lu Weiying's face turned expressionless and he squinted his eyes. "I intend on... killing him." With that said, his body blurred and he disappeared without a trace.
When the lanky man heard this, he felt his heart drop. Out of complete fear of the three Nascent Soul cultivators, he covered himself in light and took to the skies.
At that moment, Lu Weiying had used some sort of movement technique and appeared where the lanky man had originally stood. He raised his head to coldly look at the streak of yellow light that was flying away. Then with a tremble of his hand, he launched the white flag into the air.
The flag turned into a white wind as it chased the yellow light with amazing speed, whistling through the air. Soon the lanky man was overtaken, in an attempt to block the white wind, he raised his shield. After a series of fierce trembles, the shield shattered into fragments as the wind pushed through, cutting the lanky man into a thousand pieces, filling the sky with a bloody mist as his last miserable scream spread through the air.
When Lu Weiying saw this, he nodded and waved his hand, summoning the white wind back into his hand as a white flag.
Marquis Nanlong clapped and smiled. "Good. With that settled, we don't have to fear about this matter leaking."
Lu Weiying casually replied, "It was nothing. That mere Core Formation cultivator was deserving of more than just death for daring to follow us." He then reached towards the blood mist and summoned a faint yellow talisman and a storage pouch into his grasp.
Lu Weiying took a quick look at the items before putting them away.
"We were truly lucky to have Fellow Daoist Han here, or we would've encountered unexpected troubles. It is no wonder Brother Han has such a grand reputation, given that he was able to see through such a powerful concealment technique."
Han Li smiled and aloofly said, "It was nothing but luck. You two weren't able to see through it only because he snuck in while you two were distracted."
When Marquis Nanlong heard Han Li's modest words, he shook his head and said nothing more.
At that moment, Lu Weiying returned to them wearing a serious expression. "Let us move quickly and avoid having any other unexpected troubles appear."
Han Li nodded and with a flip of his hand, a sparkling formation flag appeared in his grasp. Rubbing his chin, he proposed, "When we kill the huge python, it will cause quite a commotion. I will first lay down an isolation formation so that the disturbances of the battle remain within the restriction. This way, we won't have to worry about any of the cultivators nearby."
Lu Weiying smiled and couldn't help but offer a word of praise, "Brother Han is truly an attentive person. That will be for the best."
Han Li immediately flew off and began to arrange formation flags one after another. A short time later, he had finished placing down a large spell formation. The spell formation's main purpose was to dampen sound and spiritual Qi fluctuations. With such a specific and simple function, it was able to be placed down in a short amount of time.
When Han Li returned to them, Lu Weiying waved the flag in his hand and calmly said, "Since Fellow Daoist Han has finished laying down the formation, I will use the hurricane flag to disperse the fog. That way the python will have nowhere to hide." With that said, he tossed the flag into the air and began to mutter an incantation.
When Marquis Nanlong saw this, he pointed to the small golden sword in front of him. Suddenly, the sword flew through the air and revolved once before brilliantly glowing with golden light. In the blink of an eye, the sword expanded to a length of twenty meters as it floated above him.