Eyes wide in disbelief, Hu Yue stared at the skeletal hand protruding from his abdomen.
With an audible crack, the blue core was crushed into a fine powder, which trickled from the hand.
Hu Yue let out a muffled groan and weakly fell to the floor after the skeletal hand withdrew from his body. The hole left behind bled profusely, quickly filling the hall with a bloody stench.
Although he was somehow still alive for the time being, he was clearly on death’s door.
The sound of Jin Qing’s and Shi Die’s cries of alarm along with the sound of his magic treasure shattering rang in Hu Yue’s mind as all of his life experiences flashed through his mind.
His impoverished life during childhood and the joy his entire family revealed upon discovering his spiritual roots; the moment of helplessness he felt when the Senior Martial Sister he admired married someone else; his ecstasy at successful Core Formation, and his wholehearted grand ambition of one day forming a Nascent Soul; as all these memories flowed through his mind, his limbs gradually grew colder and more distant…
But he was not resigned to dying!
He had refined a set of three flying daggers as his magic treasure. Ordinarily, he would only attack with two of them and would leave the third behind in his body.
This was because the third flying dagger had been refined using a secret technique. Although its attack power was average, it could automatically protect his body with far greater awareness than common magic techniques.
Moreover, he had spared no cost or effort when refining this treasure and it had just recently entered the sentient stage.
Even if he didn’t give a command, the treasure should’ve responded to the killing intent and automatically protected his body against the surprise attack!
‘Unless, the attacker…’ Hu Yue finally thought of something, using the last of his mortal strength to turn his head with slight reluctance and view everything that was happening behind him.
At that moment, a white blur was closely chasing after Jin Qing. Jin Qing continuously evaded it while engulfed by a silver radiance. He had released his own magic treasure and was ceaselessly bombarding the white blur with attacks as if he were greatly fearful of it.
As for Han Li and the others, they were trapped within a large expanse of black Qi. The fiery scroll painting in hand, Han Li shot countless fist sized flames from it, creating a huge ring of fire around them that continuously attacked the black Qi, keeping it at bay.
Shi Die and Crooked Soul closely stood behind Han Li.
Crooked Soul’s body was enveloped in blood light, and he continuously released purple flames from his hands, striking any black Qi that leaked past the ring of fire. At his side, Shi Die was grasping a white bead that radiated with light, preventing any of the black Qi that slipped past both abilities from approaching. Even then, she still revealed an expression of fear.
Hu Yue didn’t pay any attention to the black Qi and strenuously examined the white blur chasing after Jin Qing.
Sure enough, the white skeleton of the long dead cultivator was now surrounded in white fog and was pursuing Jin Qing with great speed. At this point, it couldn’t possibly be considered dead in the least.
Hu Yue smiled sadly.
He, a core formation cultivator, had met his end by a skeleton. What a ridiculous affair.
While Hue Yue was still mocking himself, he faded into eternal rest with a derisive smirk still at the corner of his mouth.
As Hu Yue breathed his last, Han Li continuously surveyed the situation with a sullen expression.
During the same moment that Hu Yue had fallen prey to the white skeleton, the nearby walls had suddenly released a wide expanse of cold-yin ghost fog, trapping them all at once.
Fortunately, Han Li had made slight preparations and had opened the painting scroll without hesitation, releasing countless flaming spirit birds from within.
These demonfire enveloped swallows were “Congealed Yang Birds”. Han Li had previously read a detailed introduction of them in an ancient record.
They were born from fire essence and particularly loved to consume Yin ghosts and malicious souls, earning a reputation of being the bane of Yin. However, this bird had long been extinct, and the scroll painting had only sealed a fraction of the spirit bird’s soul. As a result, it could only release avatars of the “Congealed Yang Birds”.
While these avatars appeared exactly the same as actual Congealed Yang Birds, their strength was incomparable to the original. Else, this black ghost fog would’ve been cleanly devoured rather than just being temporarily scattered.
Although Han Li was completely tangled up by this ghost fog, he wasn’t particularly worried. Both his Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords and his Gold Devouring Beetles could easily make short work of it.
What made him uneasy was the ghost mist’s master, who still had yet to reveal himself. As for the skeleton, it was clear at a glance that it wasn’t intelligent in the least; it was being controlled by someone else. However, the skeleton was quite strange. Since it was completely unscathed from the repeated pummeling of Jin Qing’s magic treasure, there must be some mystery behind it.
As Han Li thought this, ghostly wails suddenly broke out from around him.
This blood chilling voice was deafeningly sharp and belonged to neither man nor woman. Those who heard it would have their minds bewildered and both their blood and Qi in disarray.
Han Li’s heart trembled, and he reflexively spread out his spiritual sense to envelope the entire hall. At that same moment, he flicked his finger and sent out two small emerald swords from his body which began to slowly revolve around him.
Upon hearing the ghostly wail, Jin Qing appeared distraught from fear and furiously exclaimed, “What demon wishes to mystify himself and remains hidden?” Although his voice wasn’t loud, it resonated throughout the room. Unexpectedly, the ghostly wails stopped in response.
In addition, the next strike of his magic treasure completely shattered the skeleton.
Jin Qing was pleasantly surprised by the strange turn of events.
At that same time, the ghost mist closely surrounding Han Li and company quickly withdrew back into the walls around them.
Han Li was greatly surprised; he didn’t believe that Jin Qing’s furious roar had contained such power.
In the very next moment, Shi Die turned around and took this opportunity to madly rush towards the stairs. In the blink of an eye, she was already climbing up to the surface.
Han Li was expressionless upon seeing this, but Jin Qing was brimming with fury.
This woman would flee in the middle of battle? Although her magic power was lacking, the magic treasure pearl in her possession was clearly capable of restraining the ghost mist. Naturally, he couldn’t just let her run off! With that thought in mind, Jin Qing instantly opened his mouth to stop her.
But at that moment, another anomaly occurred!
Just as Shi Die reached the second step, the stone wall next to her suddenly flashed with green light. A terrifying, ten-fingered ghost claw rushed out without warning and pierced through her abdomen at a speed that almost couldn’t be seen.
Shi Die wretchedly screamed and did her utmost to brighten the pearl’s light in an attempt to escape.
However, the ghost hand didn’t fear the pearl in the slightest and emitted a black Qi instead, surrounding Shi Die with it in a mere moment.
The woman’s screams came to an abrupt stop. Once the black Qi withdrew, all that was left was a dried up corpse that was then thrown before Han Li and Crooked Soul.
After Han Li turned his head to look at the fleshless corpse, his face turned slightly green.
Jin Qing’s face had long turned pale, but he was now nervously glancing around with his white block stamp magic treasure in hand.
“Hehe! I need one more suitable corpse. Which of you three will sacrifice yourself as tribute?” An icy voice echoed throughout the hall with a tone of disdain.
Han Li’s eyes coldly glinted, and he spread out the scroll painting once more. With the entire nest of fire birds returned to the scroll painting, Han Li formed a dual handed incantation gesture with a solemn expression.
Woosh. A three-meter-wide Congealed Yang Bird flew out of the scroll painting while surrounded in brilliant flames. After flying once around Han Li’s head, it shot towards one of the hal’s stone pillars with wings spread wide.
When the huge bird rammed into the stone pillar, it flashed with green light, and an eerie snake made from black Qi flew out and tangled with the fire bird.
With the bird spouting out broiling white essence fire and the eerie snake spraying ink-black cold Qi, a huge battle unfolded between them in the hall.
“Tch, tch! I didn’t expect there to be someone capable of utilizing the long extinct spirit controlling techniques. It seems I’ve underestimated you.” After this was said, a freakish shadow slowly walked out of the stone pillar.
Han Li and Jin Qing both gazed at it with rapt attention.
Not only was the silhouette dark green, but it was also surrounded in sparkling green light, masking its true appearance. His body appeared to be wrapped with arm-thick bands of black fog, and his eyes were as scarlet as fresh blood.
After the freakish shadow swept his gaze past the three, Han Li and Jin Qing felt a chill run down their backs as if their minds and hearts had been laid bare. They couldn’t help but glance at each other before looking back at the shadow with horror.
The enemy had used only his gaze to exert such great pressure onto them. This clearly showed that this person’s cultivation far exceeded their own. Could this person be a Nascent Soul cultivator?
From the appearance of this freakish shadow, it seemed to resemble a ghost or demon more than a living person.
But if it really were a malicious spirit, then how had it preserved the entirety of its intelligence?