The party of cultivator moved east down the passage, and looked through all the caverns they encountered. In order to be careful, three of them would search while two of them would remain behind and guard the tunnel, preventing the Umbra Yin Horse from escaping.
Not long after, the party arrived where Cultivator Yuan discovered the horse, an unremarkable small cavern. This time, the black-robed woman and Bai Yaoyi were guarding the tunnel as the others went inside.
When they entered, they discovered something strange. Not only were the Yin winds extremely weak, but they even felt comfortably warm. There was also some soft sand and a pile of rare warm jade in the corner. There was also a faint fragrance lingering in the air that resembled a mix of sandalwood and medicine. Upon closer inspection, they also found imprints on the ground that resembled that of a horse hoof but several times smaller.
“This is truly it...the Umbra Yin Horse!” With the hoofprints and the fragrance, Old Man Fu rubbed his hands together in excitement.
With a trace of red light shining from his face, Cultivator Yuan said, “Since Brother Fu said this, it must be true. Let’s pursue it, the passage forward isn’t very wide. Although there may be further forks in the tunnel, so long as we slowly track it, we’ll eventually force it to appear.”
Old Man Fu nodded, “Yes, that’s reasonable. We’ll...” Suddenly, he was interrupted by the sounds of an explosion, and the earth beneath them became unsteady as the cave quaked with ferocious roars.
In the three’s alarm, their bodies glowed as they shot off in the direction of the noise.
In the blink of an eye, they trailed back the way they came. The two women were looking ahead of them with shock as the thunderous footsteps shook the ground, each step more brutal as if the source was growing closer. An astonishing roar then sounded out.
The five cultivators all exchanged a glance and each took out their magic treasures, awaiting what was to come with readied stances.
Although the black Yin winds prevented them from seeing very far, blue light flashed from Han Li’s eyes, allowing him to view the ghost that was three hundred meters away. He couldn’t help but gasp cold air at the sight.
It was a huge wolf that was covered in green fur. It was ten meters tall with a head the size of a small building, and huge crimson eyes. Its four claws were as sharp as blades, cutting into the ground with each step.
But what was most alarming to Han Li was the green corpse flames that would spew out from its mouth each time it opened. Whenever the green flames touched the ice walls, it would leave deep and uneven grooves glowing with green light.
“A Corpse Wolf?” The name suddenly lit up in Han Li’s mind, but a common Corpse Wolf should only be a common ghost; even larger Corpse Wolves shouldn’t be this gigantic. The sheer size of this monster was far beyond the scope that was recorded and possessed a cripplingly intimidating aura.
Just as he was about to warn the other four, his eyes suddenly caught sight of something burrowed in the huge wolf's head.
“That’s... the Umbra Yin Horse!”
“What does Brother Han mean?” Astounded, Old Man Fu turned to look at Han Li.
“The formidable ghost ahead of us and the horse are together,” Han Li briefly replied.
“The Umbra Yin Horse?” The others revealed joy when they heard this.
They could faintly see the giant wolf through the Yin winds then. Although they couldn’t grasp its true form, the magnitude of the monster caused their hearts to tremble, and the joy on their faces quickly vanished.
The black-robed woman sullenly flicked her fingers, releasing over ten spheres of white light. The spheres didn’t strike the huge wolf but flew upward instead, and burst high in the air. Dazzling white light lit the tunnel and allowed them to see the wolf’s sinister form.
Their faces unconsciously changed. Given their vast experience, they could all tell how formidable this enemy was. But in that instance, they also saw something white lying down on the wolf’s head. Although it was half submerged in fur, it appeared to be a white horse head with green eyes.
“Everyone, be careful. We cannot allow the Umbra Yin Horse to escape. This Corpse Wolf should be a variant beast. Although it will prove troublesome, it should be an easy task for the five of us to slay it. Fellow Daoist Bai, you are in charge of capturing the Umbra Yin Horse!” With that said, Old Man Fu slapped his storage pouch and released chains that shined with black light. It flew forward and wrapped around the giant wolf like a snake.
The others were quick to take action as well: The black-robed woman released three scarlet flying swords; Cultivator Yuan took out a jade pendant, producing several winged scorpions; and Han Li spat out several flying swords that swept forward in a wave of light.
During this time, Bai Yaoyi flipped her hand and summoned a translucent net. In a glimmer of ice, the net transformed into white mist, and enveloped the Umbra Yin Horse on the wolf’s head.
Although this was the first time they had acted together, the sheer amount of power their treasures displayed was overwhelming.
The Umbra Yin Horse quickly reacted. As soon as it saw the incoming attacks, it lept off the wolf’s head to conceal itself once more.
As for the corpse wolf, a glint flashed from its eyes, and its howls came to a halt. It gaped its mouth, releasing an unfathomable stream of dark green inferno to meet the oncoming magic treasures.
For a time, the flames had restrained the treasures and prevented any of them from coming any closer to the corpse. It was too late for the winged scorpions to dodge, and they were turned into ash after just a moment. The white net released to capture the Umbra Yin Horse was also restrained by the green flames.
When Bai Yaoyi saw this, she let out a cold snort. As the North Night Palace was a place of eternal snow, all of her techniques and treasures were ice-attributed, and she held these flames in utter contempt.
Before any of the others had taken further action, Bai Yaoyi held her hands in an incantation gesture and the light around her body flared, releasing a wave of white Qi. The gorgeous, glittering light made her appear like a goddess of ice afloat in a blizzard. As temperatures suddenly plummeted, the black-robed woman and Cultivator Yuan couldn’t help but tremble.
The huge wolf seemed to sense that matters had turned for the worse and took a deep breath before spitting out even greater flames.
At nearly the same time, Bai Yaoyi spat out a crystalline fan, circling once around her before dropping into her hand, empowering the cold light surrounding her. Then with a wave, the air shrieked as the glacial winds swept forth, carrying countless shards of penetrating ice.
Green and white power clashed, drowning out the magic treasures in the flare of their collision. The explosions that resulted caused the cave to tremble.
The Corpse Wolf’s flames were truly formidable, capable of evenly contending against its natural nemesis. When Bai Yaoyi saw this, her face flushed red with rage. She waved her fan once more and rose winds of even greater power.
As the battle unfolded, the others didn’t simply remain idle.
The old man promptly pointed at the chains he had summoned. With a bang, black flames coiled across them and they blurred, transforming into several tens of indistinguishable copies, instantly forming a huge net above the wolf.
As for the black-robed woman, she muttered a spell and released three red flying dagger. They shook before merging together into a single three-meter-long sword and cleaved forward in a swordstreak.
Cultivator Yuan withdrew the jade pendant in his hand and replaced it with a blue gourd. It spat out a dense purple mist that slowly spread towards the wolf.
Having seen the others employ their great abilities, Han Li raised his brow and casually shook his sleeve. A red line flashed out before fading away from sight.
With so many attacks suppressing it, the huge wolf wasn’t able to endure. The black flaming chains and red swordstreak gradually pushed back its corpse flames, making way for the dense purple mist to arrive.
Although it wasn’t very intelligent, it could feel that danger was approaching. Its body flickered with green light, and its figure suddenly shrunk as the fur on its back turned erect. Then with a roar, a dense barrage of green light launched from its coat, enveloping the five present.
The cultivators had anticipated this, but none of them dared to underestimate the attack and had employed their own abilities to block it. In that moment of delay, the wolf turned tail and fled, leaving the cultivators in shock.