Although Han Li's plan seemed reasonable, it wasn't guaranteed that the poison would have any effect. As a matter of fact, Han Li wasn't completely certain of the poison itself. After all, everything he knew of the Ten Supreme Poisons was from records. He hadn't personally experienced them.
A moment later, any doubts the three cultivators possessed were completely banished. When the huge ape puppets had flown a hundred meters, the previously still mountain was filled with bewildered screams.
As soon as Han Li heard them, he suddenly felt the Qi and blood in his body roil while his minded cloud over; he nearly fell from the sky. In his alarm, he hastily circulated the entirety of the spiritual Qi in his body and stopped himself from falling. He then turned his head to look at his party members with his Brightsight Eyes. They weren't in any better shape and their bodies also shook several times before they managed to recover.
Han Li frowned, overwhelmed with shock. That strange scream attack hadn't targeted his spiritual sense but the Qi that the body possessed. Despite how powerful his spiritual sense was, it had no method of blocking this scream attack. It came as a surprise to him that the Purple-lined Scorpions possessed this innate ability. It was clear to see that the records didn't describe everything.
As Han Li was mulling over what had happened, he saw ten or so purple-black streaks shoot out from the mountain and chase after the huge ape puppets in a blur. In that moment, Han Li hastily ordered the puppets to fly at their greatest speed and tear through the sky in streaks of white light.
Although it was only for an instant, Han Li was able to roughly see the purple-black streaks. In addition to their astonishing three-meter-long bodies, they had a pair of transparent wings and a purple-black carapace that shined with light. Aside from their size and wings, they appeared completely the same as an ordinary scorpion.
The scorpion at the very front of the swarm was twice as large as the others, appearing to be their leader. With the dreadful appearance of yellow mist trailing from its mouth, Han Li couldn't help but stare at it.
The huge apes were clearly slower than the purple insects, but they had a head start. They drew the Purple-lined Scorpions away for the time being and soon became black dots in the distance.
Soon, Han Li loudly shouted, "Go! Some of the puppets have already been caught in restrictions. They will be overtaken soon." As soon as that was said, Han Li ceased concealing himself and shot forward, streaking through the air. His other two party members immediately set out after him, making their way to the mountaintop.
All three knew that if they didn't rush past the mountain in this instant, it would be extremely troublesome given the speed of the Purple-lined Scorpions. Fortunately, they all moved quickly. Even without using the Thunderstorm Wings, Han Li was able to fly towards the mountain in the blink of an eye with his deeper cultivation.
At that moment, he felt the connections to his ape puppets disappear one by one. Dread filling his heart, Han Li sped past the scorpions' nest.
When the cultivators made it to the other side of the mountain, they felt a wave of relief.
Marquis Nanlong smiled and said, "Fortunately, thanks to Brother Han's Jadedove Poison and his puppets, we were able to make it past that trial. It would've been quite a hassle otherwise."
Han Li looked at Marquis Nanlong and calmly said, "It was nothing. It was only a matter of chance." Han Li skirted over the matter, knowing that the Jadedove Poison was originally something that Master Cang Kun had left behind.
Lu Weiying also complimented Han Li for easily resolving the matter. Han Li smiled and muttered a few words in response before heading on their way.
After continuing on for half a day without anything else happening, the temperature in the air began to rise.
The mountain ridge also became verdant as they continued forward, a stark contrast to the barren land that had surrounded them before.
Eventually, they arrived at a point where even the mountain rocks had become a fire-red color. A few of the nearby mountains even had cracks glowing with lava scattered across them that released burning air and grey ash like a prison of scorching earth.
Han Li and Lu Weiying revealed surprise upon seeing this, but Marquis Nanlong remained calm as he knew that they hadn't deviated from the path.
Not long after, the three arrived at a huge red mountain that was over ten kilometers tall. Most of the mountain was covered in glowing red clouds and was surrounded by much smaller mountains, making it appear far more prominent.
When Marquis Nanlong saw the mountain, he stopped flying and the light surrounding him vanished. Han Li and the old man glanced at each other with excitement, knowing that they had arrived.
Marquis Nanlong let out a long sigh and he turned around, saying, "Fellow Daoists, there is a cave below the mountain, which is the nest of the Ancient Flame Toad and where the ancient cultivator remains reside. It is said that the creature is powerful. Let's talk about how we should deal with it."
"Below the mountain?" Han Li raised his brow when he heard this and he soon spread out his spiritual sense. As expected, there was a huge fire-red cave inside the mountain that occasionally released waves of burning winds. Fearing that any further prying would alert the flame toad within, Han Li withdrew his spiritual sense.
Lu Weiying quickly said, "What is there to discuss? Fellow Daoist Han will take charge with his ice attribute techniques and we will provide support in slaying the flame toad."
"Brother Lu, this matter isn't so simple. According to Cang Kun's records, the Ancient Flame Toad's nest is half submerged in lava. The beast will be able to flee into the lava when it is injured and quickly recover. Additionally, we will not have the advantage in that environment. Our best plan of action would be to place down a spell formation and draw the toad out of its nest. I have prepared an ice-attribute spell formation precisely for this reason."
Lu Weiying raised no objections after hearing the Marquis and Han Li didn't find anything amiss about it either. With their plan of attack decided, they began to make preparations. In addition to Marquis Nanlong's formation, Han Li also placed down his own spell formations to deal with any unexpected occurrences.
With that done, the cultivators concealed themselves as they waited for Han Li to lure the flame toad out of its cave.
Han Li slapped his storage pouch and took out his remaining white wolf puppet. He then sat down near the edge of the spell formation and sent the puppet into the mountain cave.