Chapter 461: Black Desert
Shortly after Han Li disappeared, a male cultivator slowly walked out from the side of the small mountain. He appeared to be about forty years old and possessed a sallow complexion. He was the cultivator who had treated Zenith Yin so fearfully at the entrance of Heavenvoid Hall.
At that moment, he was wearing an odd, dark green conical bamboo hat and had a white jade bowl in his grasp. His body concealed a chill that was completely isolated from the blazing heat surrounding him.
He climbed to the mountaintop and surveyed his surroundings with great vigilance as if he were looking for something. But after seeing that there was nothing, his expression only grew increasingly cautious.
He thought he had spotted a silhouette blur when he gazed at the mountain from afar. But after finding no traces of the person on the mountain, he became even more vigilant.
After coldly sweeping his gaze past his surroundings once more, he wordlessly inserted two of his fingers into the jade bowl and brushed it upward. A streak of white light then flew out from it and started revolving around his head.
"Execute!" The sallow-faced man softly shouted, forming an incantation gesture with one hand.
Peng. The white light trembled for a moment before suddenly bursting into specks as wondrous as starlight scattered from a goddess. The light then completely enveloped a forty meter radius.
The red land was enveloped in layers of frost upon touching the white light, but nothing abnormal had appeared within it.
A trace of doubt appeared on the man's face. After a moment of thought, he didn't seem to care anymore, believing that he had been mistake. After putting the matter to the back of his head, he then looked at the black desert with a grave face.
"This place is truly strange." The man muttered to himself as he looked at the black desert with a strange gaze. He seemed somewhat hesitant to depart.
But after a short moment of consideration, he flung his sleeve and shot a streak of red light towards the ground. The light faded away to reveal a small red fox.
The man flicked his finger, sending a green medicine pill into the small beast's mouth. The small beast swallowed the pill and expressed great pleasure.
"Go!" The sallow-faced cultivator bluntly commanded the small beast, pointing towards the direction of the black desert.
The small beast immediately rushed down the hill at an extraordinary speed, turning into a red streak of light along the way.
After a short moment, the small fox-like beast had arrived a hundred meters deep into the black desert. It was still unscathed even after running around in a large circle.
Nothing strange had occurred. It seemed that apart from the color of the black desert, there was nothing out of the ordinary.
The sallow-faced man revealed an expression of surprise. This was clearly not what he had expected. He had prepared himself for the loss of his Red Fox Beast. As it was but a common grade one spirit beast, he would feel no heartache at all. It didn't have any notable abilities apart from its nimble movements and exceptional sense of smell.
He tensely frowned and rigidly stared at the small beast as it ran around the desert in circles before whistling towards it. It then ran over and flew back into his sleeve.
Afterwards, the man gazed at the black desert in silence with a wavering expression.
But with only a short moment of hesitation, he started to descend the hill and carefully walked towards the black desert.
Unknown to him, shortly after he walked down the small hill, Han Li's silhouette reappeared at the hilltop in a series of fluctuating blurs.
Although the sallow-faced man used a technique to search a wide area, Han Li was easily able to evade his attack and revealed no trace of himself by using both the nameless Qi restraining technique and the Shifting Smoke Steps. Although the man was a mid Core Formation cultivator, Han Li was very confident that a sudden strike of his nine Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords would instantly slay him, had he drawn closer.
Han Li had been quite hesitant about whether or not he should kill him. While his two treasures were quite valuable, Han Li chose to have him act as a forward scout.
But when the sallow-faced man had the small beast explore the black desert to no results, Han Li completely renounced his plan of attacking him. As the greatest dangers were unknown, it'd be better to let him guide the way. Han Li didn't believe that the black desert was completely devoid of danger.
With the White Rhino Emblem and Glacial Ice Pearl leaving him unfettered by the heat, he didn't feel an urgent need to seize those fire resistance treasures.
The sallow-faced man didn't perceive Han Li was behind him in the slightest and continued onward into the strange black desert.
Three meters, six meters...
The man's expression grew increasingly tense as he tread deeper into the black desert. He had already activated his bamboo hat and enveloped his body in a layer of dense green light.
After the man walked through the desert for about a kilometer without problem, his expression slightly relaxed and he felt great relief. It is commonly said that once one headed this deeply into an area, any dangers it possessed should've already appeared.
Han Li gazed at the man's silhouette from a distance away with a strange expression. Could it be that he had guessed incorrectly? The black desert was merely frightening and didn't actually possess any dangers at all? Had he known this was the case, he definitely would've ambushed and robbed the man of his two treasures.
Han Li felt regret! But soon, a startling and abrupt change occurred in the distance.
The black sand around the the sallow-faced cultivator suddenly floated up and surrounded him without a sound. The sand then released a dim black light that appeared rather strange.
As the man was rich with experience, he instantly reacted by raising his jade bowl towards the sky. A vast white light scattered from the bowl, adding another layer of defense upon his green barrier.
At that moment, the black sand turned into countless winged black insects and charged at the shocked man from every direction.
The man bellowed. With a flourish of white light, he was then surrounded with palm sized shields of ice. They then hurriedly rotated to form a white hurricane around him.
He had now clearly made out the true appearance of the insects, winged ants. Their numbers were astonishing with no less than ten thousand insects surrounding him.
The sallow-faced cultivator's mind quickly churned, trying his utmost to recall the specific breed and weakness of these winged ants. But before he could finish thinking, the black swarm of ants knocked against his ice shield hurricane.
Clangs rang out in quick succession as the shields repelled the winged ants several meters back. When the man saw this, he couldn't help but feel slight relief.
But a short moment later, his heart froze. After knocking the black winged ants tumbling away several times, they charged forwards once more without the slightest injury.
He was greatly alarmed! Without taking further thought, he raised his hand and released a grey flying knife. It transformed into a ten meter long streak of light and fiercely chopped towards the winged ant swarm.
Just as the flying knife left the hurricane, the countless ants let out a drone and surrounded it. The fierce attack of the grey light didn't harm the flying insects in the slightest. Instead, they swarmed all over the flying knife in an instant and held it still.
The sallow-faced man turned pale from fright and tried to recall his magic treasure. However, he was too slow. The magic treasure's grey light flashed several times before being submerged in the swarm of black insects.
A blood curling shriek soon followed. The man's face was bloodless. The destruction of his magic treasure had greatly injured his Origin Qi.
Without any further hesitation, he hastily controlled the white hurricane to follow him as he rushed forward. Leaving the desert was now his only chance at life.
At that moment, the black winged ants finished devouring the remnants of the flying knife and didn't move to chase after him. Its next action was cause for disbelief. It gathered together in an instant and flashed with a strange light before turning into a ten-meter-long black lance. Then with a sharp whistle, the lance pierced through the air as if it had been shot from a crossbow.
The sallow-faced man panicked at the sight and hastily exerted the entirety of his magic power to propel the hurricane with further intensity.
The lance of black light struck the white hurricane and pierced through it in an instant.
The spearhead and shaft were completely covered in scarlet blood.