Chapter 582: The Umbra Realm
Knowing that things were far from good, the huge beast loudly roared and released an icy Yin wind from its mouth.
Not only were the incoming arrows all blown away by the Yin winds, but they were even covered in a layer of glossy black ice. They had all fallen to the ground without even touching the beast.
As for the heavier pikes, although they managed to fall onto the huge beast's body, the Yin wind had greatly reduced their power, and they were barely able to cause a few superficial wounds. All they had managed to achieve was to further enrage the huge beast.
In its fury, the beast's eyes began to flicker with crimson light. With a bang, its neck fur began to harden and grow erect, making for a sinister appearance.
When Han Li saw this, his mind grew blank. The huge beast lowered its head and the erect hair instantly transformed into countless black streaks that shot at the stone wall.
The wall's garrison seemed to already know that this would happen. Although their faces appeared nervous, they shouted a rallying cry as they raised their shields to meet the attack.
Sharp cracks sounded out as the black streaks struck the shields.
Although the black streaks managed to deeply pierce into the shields, a majority of them managed to successfully block the attack. As for the few garrison members that were struck, they were immediately thrown off the wall by the force of the strike. It was unknown whether or not they had survived.
The remaining garrison were too busy to look after the injured. Instead, another order to attack was shouted, and a rain of pikes and arrows immediately followed. But just like the previous time, the huge beast managed to knock most of the projectiles away with the Yin winds. However, it seemed the beast was only able to harden the hair on its neck, so although it continued to loudly shout in response to the attacks, it was only able to crawl forward as it struggled. It no longer had any methods to attack back. As for the tentacles formed from the purple mist, they continued to hold its legs firmly in place without a single moment of weakness.
As the attacks continued for another six waves, the huge beast seemed to have eventually exhausted its Yin wind and couldn't continue its resistance.
From that moment, the arrows and pikes struck with increasingly greater frequency, piercing into the huge beast's body.
As this continued, the beast sustained minor injuries and its furious roars grew more spirited as it continuously pounded the huge black log into the ground, filling it with holes.
As Han Li witnessed the beast's immense strength and durability, he unconsciously became somewhat fearful of it.
As if it were planned in advance, a squad of particularly burly and vigorous men quickly rushed onto the stone walls. Apart from the several twelve meter long pikes they held in their arms, they carried nothing else.
These people each began to lift the pikes in a practiced motion as soon as they arrived on the walls and fiercely launched them in the huge beast's direction.
These powerful shots tore through the air, leaving Han Li surprised by the wind they produced.
Each of these men had to possess powerful inner strength to be able to toss the pikes with such ease, while having each pike sail through the skies with immense speed and power.
In the following instant, bowl-sized splatters of blood began to appear all over the beast's body. All of the strikes were to great effect, nailing the beast to the ground. The beast's original ferocity had completely disappeared without a trace.
Huge cheers erupted from the walls with everyone wearing a face of relief. The purple coils of smoke then disappeared without a trace.
A group of people then excitedly rushed towards the wooden gate with blades in their hands, intending on finishing off the beast. As for the others, they had already started to tend to the wounded.
But before the wooden gate fully opened, the crestfallen beast suddenly roared with a final burst of strength and waved its arm, thrusting the huge thirty-meter-long log into the sky. It carried an astonishing pressure as it directly flew in the direction of the village.
Seeing that the huge beast was on the verge of dying, a few of the villagers had happily rushed out. However, they cried out in shock as they saw the log flying in their direction. But in the following instant, a silhouette had blurred before them and directly shot towards the huge log in the air. With a roar, the person fiercely struck at the center of the log with both his arms.
With a loud crack, the black log flew off in another direction, falling in an area without people.
This person then lightly landed on the ground in a relaxed and confident manner. He was the middle-aged man from earlier with a harsh expression and pale face.
The villagers that had been saved greatly sighed in relief and immediately spoke to their savior, repeatedly thanking him. However, the pale man merely waved at them with an indifferent expression before returning back to his original position.
A trace of astonishment then flickered within Han Li's eyes. After the pale man had rescued these people, he had carelessly shot a cold glance in his direction. Although Han Li didn't know what he meant by it, it clearly wasn't positive by any means.
Han Li frowned and just as he pondered what the man had meant by it, the wooden gate opened and several tens of robust men charged out of the village to finish off the huge beast.
However, it didn't end after the beast was dead. With their long blades, they cleaved open the beast's skull and fumbled around within the blood and gore until they took out green, thumb-sized gem. The group cheered after they found it, and those that were watching cheered along with them.
Han Li blinked, suddenly feeling that the green gem seemed somewhat familiar. After lowering his head for a moment of thought, he suddenly recalled what it was.
During his trip to Heavenvoid Hall, he had encountered many similar green gems in the wreckage of the puppets. Could they be the same material?
After watching for just a moment more, Han Li wordlessly leapt off the stone building.
The plump old man and the other elders had already returned to the hall, and Han Li still had a bellyful of questions he wanted to ask them.
When Mei Ning saw Han Li returning to the hall, she followed him in with a lowered head. After witnessing the previous battle, she realized the dangers of this place and became worried.
When Han Li entered the hall, the elders had already returned to their seats.
When the plump old man saw Han Li enter, he smiled and thought to say something when a tall, robust man quickly entered with the green gem in his hand.
The robust man placed the gem on the table in front of the elders and respectfully said, "Great Elders, this is the Insidious Mauler's umbra beast gem. Please take a look at it."
The old man glanced at the gem and happily said, "We've put you all through quite a bit of trouble. Before this, we sent you all out to take advantage of the eruption of Spirit Extinguishing Qi and you succeeded in bringing back fish. In a moment, we will bestow you all with great rewards."
"Many thanks, Elders!" The robust man wore an expression of delighted surprise and withdrew from the hall with an expression of satisfaction.
Han Li stood to the side and watched all this with a detached expression.
"The strange beast that you two witnessed was an umbra beast known as the Insidious Mauler. It must've been quite a shock to you two! Although the Umbra Realm spans only about a hundred kilometers, there are demon beasts, humans, and all sorts of umbra beasts within."
With slight astonishment, Han Li asked, "There are demon beasts here?"
The old man bitterly smiled and paused for a moment before answering, "Of course. Whenever there's a tear in space, both cultivators and demon beasts are brought here all the same."
"The demon beasts here aren't able to use their demon arts, but they've all developed their bodies with great effort and have incredible power. They aren't an existence that humans or umbra beasts can provoke. Fortunately, they only guard a few specific areas and feast on umbra beasts. They don't pose much of a threat to us humans since they are unlikely to emerge; umbra beasts, however, are different. They are born from the umbra Qi of this place and are innately fond of devouring human flesh. Every so often, powerful umbra beasts will come knocking at human villages. Although a majority of villages are capable of repelling them, smaller villages are occasionally defeated and completely wiped out. Conversely, the umbra beasts are endless and another Insidious Mauler will condense and reemerge into the Umbra Realm soon enough."
After a moment of silence, Han Li slowly asked, "From what you've said, it seems that this isn't the only human village. There are others?"
"Of course. Although there aren't many, there's about eight other villages scattered throughout the Umbra Realm. Food is scarce here so apart from a few pieces of fertile land, the rest is barren from the heavy umbra Qi. A majority of the umbra beasts possess poisonous flesh, and apart from some special varieties, we are incapable of consuming them. Although demon beasts are able to consume them, humans would perish upon eating them. As such, only useful people are allowed to live in villages. Anybody who is useless will be driven away and have their lives run their natural course!" The old man's last words were spoken with an icy tone.