Lu Weiying noticed nothing out of ordinary about those two mountains and asked, “Is there something wrong with them?”
“From now on, we’re setting off to one of those two mountains. The point where they join together will be the Ancient Flame Toad's nest. However, there is a group of Soaring Purple-lined Scorpions that dwell on the left side of the mountain range. Although they only number in the tens, each one of them is ferocious. I fear that we will most likely alarm them. It will be quite troublesome.”
Lu Weiying shouted in alarm, “Soaring Purple-lined Scorpions? Those fearsome insects that eliminated all the cultivators of the Ocean Mist Sect in the State of Wangsui?”
Han Li felt a wave of shock when he heard the name ‘Soaring Purple-lined Scorpions’.
Marquis Nanlong sighed and said, “That’s right, it's those vicious insects. Additionally, this lot is much more fearsome than the swarm that emerged in the State of Wangsui. These have lived for tens of thousands of years and their bodies are entirely purple-black.”
Lu Weiying lost his composure and glared at Marquis Nanlong as he bluntly said, “Fellow Daoist Nanlong, please tell me you’re joking! How could we afford to provoke Purple-lined Scorpions? If there were only two or three of them, we could deal with them if we were careful, but there are over ten of them. Wouldn’t we be sending ourselves to our deaths if we approach them?”
Marquis Nanlong wore a helpless expression and explained, “There is one other path, but it is even more dangerous as it is filled with a large number of invisible spatial tears. It isn’t something that we can tread through. Since we can’t identify the location of the invisible tears, the Purple-lined Scorpions is definitely the safer option.”
Lu Weiying remained dumbfounded for a long while. Needless to say, Purple-lined Scorpions were preferable to spatial tears, especially invisible ones.
When Han Li heard of the invisible spatial tears, he looked into the distance and his gaze began to wander.
Han Li finally broke his silence and spoke with a wry smile, “It seemed Master Cang Kun had taken the path with the spatial tears. He should’ve been able to avoid them with his abilities.”
When Marquis Nanlong heard this, he bitterly smiled and said, “Brother Han is right. Without Master Cang Kun’s abilities, we have no way to safely avoid the spatial tears. In comparison, a battle with the Purple-lined Scorpions is far less dangerous.”
Lu Weiying strongly shook his head and said, “That won’t do. We definitely cannot fight the Purple-lined Scorpions. You only heard of what had happened in the State of Wangsui, but I personally took part in the Purple-lined Scorpion’s extermination as a representative of the Heavenpeak Sect. They are fearsome beyond your imagination. Provoking all of them at once is a death sentence.”
The old man’s fear towards the scorpions was beyond what Marquis Nanlong had anticipated. He originally believed that they would prevail over the scorpions despite a bit of challenge. Now, he wore an expression of hesitation.
At that moment, Han Li frowned and began to recall the information regarding the Purple-lined Scorpions from the exotic insect rankings.
Soaring Purple-lined Scorpions were ranked fourteenth, close to the Gold Devouring Beetles. If it weren’t for the small number of eggs that the scorpions laid and their limited numbers, their ranking would likely be above the Gold Devouring Beetles.
Although they didn’t have the same ability to devour everything like the Gold Devouring Beetles, their defenses were about the same and they couldn’t be harmed by ordinary magic treasures. Additionally, their speed was amazingly fast and they were incredibly venomous, earning them their high position on the exotic insect rankings. Not to mention that these Purple-lined Scorpions had resided in Devilfall Valley for countless years. They had already reached the peak form of maturation where their bodies turned purple-black.
However, it appeared Marquis Nanlong only knew a smidgen of how fearsome these insects were. Contrarily, Lu Weiying had witnessed their power before and paled at the very mention of them.
As Marquis Nanlong’s expression turned gloomy, Han Li coldly chuckled. Marquis Nanlong had only mentioned the Purple-lined Scorpions after they arrived this far. It seemed it wasn’t done out of any good intentions but to keep them from fleeing. Since they had traveled so long, they would both feel reluctant to return without having made any gains and would feel obliged to face the danger.
Han Li continued weighing his options as he considered the danger of dealing with the Purple-lined Scorpions versus what there was to gain. After all, he would have to reveal his abilities to see through spatial tears in order to take the other path. As it was his most crucial ability for guiding him through the valley, he wouldn’t tell it to others unless it was absolutely necessary.
While Han Li pondered with a lowered head, Lu Weiying stood in place with a gloomy expression, his fear betrayed from his eyes. Marquis Nanlong also glanced at the mountain with the Purple-lined Scorpions with a wavering expression.
For a time, the three floated in place without knowing whether to advance or retreat.
After a long silence, Han Li’s expression stirred and he lifted his head to reveal a slight smile. Although Marquis Nanlong and Lu Weiying appeared absentminded, they were closely paying attention to the actions of their companions and noticed Han Li’s movements.
Marquis Nanlong immediately turned his head to look at Han Li and asked, “What? Could it be that Brother Han has a good idea?” A trace of hope could be heard from his tone.
Lu Weiying also turned to look at Han Li with excitement. However, Han Li didn’t immediately reply. Instead, he grasped his storage pouch, taking out a small green bottle. He asked, “Have you two Fellow Daoists heard of the Ten Supreme Poisons?”
Startled, Lu Weiying said, “The Ten Supreme Poisons? I heard that they possessed an inconceivable toxicity. Even if cultivators like us were to make contact with those poisons, we could come to an immediate end. I have heard that Wei Wuya mainly cultivates venomous techniques, allowing him to utilize one of the Ten Supreme Poisons, Corpse Venom. When other cultivators fight him, they dare not get too close to him or they risk perishing without warning.“
Marquis Nanlong looked at the small bottle in Han Lil’s hand and quickly said, “However, I heard that a few of the Ten Supreme Poisons had other miraculous uses apart from their deadly applications. Could it be that Fellow Daoist Han has one of these poisons?”
Han Li raised the small bottle and explained, “It seems there is no need for me to say anything. As you’ve already guessed, this bottle contains one of the Ten Supreme Poisons, Jadedove. It is said that this poison is refined from the saliva of a demon bird with a jade beak.”
“Brother Han means to say...” A trace of happiness appeared on Lu Weiying’s face.
Han Li promptly answered, “The Purple-lined Scorpions may be durable, but so long as we use the poison to draw them away from the mountains, it will give us the opportunity to entirely avoid them.”
“How can we draw them away with the poison? Oh, hehe. I forgot that Fellow Daoist was skilled in puppet techniques. Smearing a few puppets with the poison should be enough to attract the scorpions.” At that moment Marquis Nanlong smiled.
Once that was said, Han Li’s expression remained unchanged as he mused, ‘Marquis Nanlong speaks of the matter quite easily and has pushed it completely onto me with only a few words. Especially since his Eternal Flight Orioles would do just as well. Last time, several of my puppets were destroyed in the fight against the huge python.’
Although Han Li felt somewhat dissatisfied, he calmly nodded. Because this was but a small matter, he wasn’t willing to have a falling out over it. After all, they were still only halfway to their objective, and the poison was originally one of the treasures left behind by Master Cang Kun after all.
With Han Li’s medicinal experience, he was able to recognize the poison with a single sniff and had immediately put it away. Now that he thought about it, it was quite possible that Master Cang Kun had left behind the poison in preparation to deal with the Purple-lined Scorpions.
However, it seemed excessively affectionate and out of character for Master Cang Kun to scheme every step for his descendants to acquire treasure. Having recalled Master Cang Kun’s ruins, he remembered the portrait of the three-headed six-armed demon beast, feeling that there was something mysterious about it. Since Marquis Nanlong had previously said that he was a descendant of Master Cang Kun, he should know something of it.
But regardless of whatever was amiss, Han Li was only concerned with acquiring the core of the Ancient Flame Toad. He wouldn’t involve himself in matters that didn’t concern him and risk attracting problems to himself.
As Han Li came to this conclusion, his hands continued to move. With a casual slap of his storage pouch, he summoned five streaks of light from his storage pouch, revealing themselves to be huge ape puppets.
Han Li promptly took out several small jade bottles and poured a drop of the Jadedove poison into each of them before properly sealing the bottles. He then gave them to the ape puppets to tightly grasp.
Then under the guidance of Marquis Nanlong, Han Li ordered his huge ape puppets to silently make their way to the left mountaintop.
After they made it part of the way, Han Li turned to his party and said, “Let us set out too. We can’t be too far away from the puppets. When the puppets attract the scorpions, we’ll have to move as quickly as possible across the mountain or we may miss our chance.”
Marquis Nanlong and Lu Weiying raised no objections and closely followed after the ape puppets alongside him.
Soon, the ape puppets arrived at the mountain peak with Han Li and the others a couple kilometers away in concealment. At that moment, the puppets used the entirety of their strength to crush the small bottles in their hands.
Suddenly, a putrid smell immediately spread through the mountain and the ape puppets flew off to one side of the mountain.