The Ice Soul Python’s head exploded. Bloody fluid and brain matter leaked out along with the smell of burnt flesh. The stench on the variant python’s body was just offensive to the extreme.
The six- to seven-meter Ice Soul Python had ring-shaped patterns on its body, and the black and white patterns looked quite beautiful.
Gao Yu walked forward as his dark eyes focused on those stripes. Suddenly, he slowly raised his head as if watching something rising into the air.
Qin Lie followed his gaze but did not see anything, so with doubt, he asked, “What are you looking at?”
“A departing soul.” Gao Yu’s eyes flashed with an eerie light. The Ogre-faced Rings in his hands were also flashing. “The Soul Devouring Beast’s soul fragment did not come over. There are no black clouds on the sky, and this soul that had departed from the Ice Soul Python corpse is… slowly fading into nothingness. It has nearly merged completely with the world.”
Shock bloomed in Qin Lie’s heart as he subconsciously tried to sense it with a frown…
He closed his eyes, let out his mind energy, and looked about with his mind consciousness.
Vaguely, he could sense a very thin gaseous form being swept away, little by little, as if it was blown by the wind.
From the thin gas form, he could sense many complex waves. They were like many broken pictures and the soul body’s unique memories…
“I know it’s really hard for you to understand this and a soul body isn’t something that can be detected by regular people, but souls… definitely exist.” Gao Yu didn’t look at Qin Lie but continued staring towards the sky. “Both because the spirit art I cultivate is special and because the Ogre-faced Rings are a little rare, I was able to see them. It’s natural that other people are unable to sense them.”
“But according to what I’ve heard, when the souls of some powerful spirit beasts and high level martial practitioners had reached a certain level of strength, even if their body died, their souls would remain immortal and would not vanish into the world. The souls of those high level existences could exist independently despite losing a body, and they can look for a new body and be reborn again!” Gao Yu looked on dreamily. “I’ve heard all of this from the Ogre-faced Rings, so I didn’t know if it’s true or not…”
“It’s all true,” Qin Lie suddenly interrupted.
Gao Yu appeared surprised as he looked to Qin Lie and asked in confusion, “How do you know if it’s real or not?”
“These words… someone had told me about it in the past.” Qin Shan’s face appeared in Qin Lie’s head. “Moreover, I also was able to sense… just a little of that Ice Soul Python’s soul. I can feel it dissipating little by little, just like a light smoke being blown apart by the wind.”
Gao Yu’s expression turned slightly. “How can you detect them? I was only able to vaguely see them by relying on my spirit art and Ogre-faced Rings, so how can you see them?”
He really was quite shocked. During the time he had been operating with Discipline Hall’s martial practitioners outside of Icestone City, he had fought with many spirit beasts and killed quite a few of them. He had seen the Soul Devouring Beast’s soul fragments in action before.
And yet, he was the only one who was able to detect the soul’s actions after they died. Even if he explained it to Discipline Hall’s martial practitioners, they were unwilling to believe him.
Much less detect the dissipation process of the souls.
Qin Lie was the only other person who was able to detect the spirit beast’s soul dissipating — and this great surprised Gao Yu.
“I’m not too sure myself. At any rate, I can feel them, but I do not see them with my eyes… but feel them with my soul,” Qin Lie explained.
“Sense them with your soul?” Shock flowed out of Gao Yu’s eyes. “In that case, your soul must be a lot stronger than normal people’s! Only martial practitioners with incredibly powerful souls are able to sense the actions of a soul body. Th-this is also the explanation given by the one inside my rings!”
When Gao Yu looked at Qin Lie once more, his gaze suddenly turned strange. “You bastard, it looks like you hide quite a few secrets in you. I didn’t imagine your soul to be this powerful!”
“A powerful soul? Hm, I guess you’re right.”
Qin Lie himself was quietly surprised. The reason he had tempered his mind energy for the past two years was to slowly strengthen his soul. Moreover, from the moment he had memories, he could already clearly feel the existence of mind energy.
It was as if ten years ago he had already worked hard to cultivate his mind, and that was why his soul was much stronger than a normal person’s.
“Your spirit skill just now was pretty powerful too. That Thunder Lightning Ball was full of power, and it blew that Ice Soul Python’s head to bits instantly. Not many spirit artifacts can achieve such explosive power.” Gao Yu was obviously a little envious, and he walked until he was beside the Ice Soul Python’s corpse and said, “It looks like you’ve found a suitable spirit skill for yourself inside the Scripture Tower. That ball formed from thunder and lightning… is really powerful.”
“Spirit skill?” Qin Lie was dumbfounded by his words, and after a thought, he nodded and smiled, “That’s right, that Thunder Lightning Ball is the spirit skill I’ve recently mastered.”
“Let’s check out the goods.” Gao Yu’s face was full of excitement as he took out a dagger and began digging into the Ice Soul Python’s bloody brain.
Before long, he dug out an egg-sized silver-white crystal. The crystal was hexagonal in shape and icy-cold to touch. A silver-white fog surrounded it.
“This is the Ice Soul Python’s beast core. Since this beast is a variant, its beast core should be a bit odd as well.” When Gao Yu touched it, his fingers were immediately covered in ice. “So cold! This beast core is ridiculously cold. It should be very suitable for those Shattered Ice Manor bastards, but not really that useful for us.”
“Let me have a look.”
Qin Lie walked forward and pointed his fingers at the hexagonal crystal. A bitter cold energy immediately invaded and turned his finger rigid. Even his body had shuddered once.
However, a thunderous sound could be heard from inside the core. Since he cultivated Heavenly Thunder Eradication, he could clearly sense it.
“This spirit core may be useful for me, so I’ll be taking this.” He didn’t bother with pleasantries, and with a chuckle, Qin Lie put the crystal into his waist bag right before Gao Yu’s eyes. Then he said, “Let’s melt the Ice Soul Python and have a look. Whatever’s left should all be pretty good spirit materials. Let’s see what it has.”
Gao Yu took out Nebula Pavilion’s acid water specially made to melt spirit beasts and poured it on top of the Ice Soul Python’s body. Without an energy field to protect its body, under the acid water’s powerful acidic properties, the Ice Soul Python’s body rapidly melted. Very soon there was a pool of blood on the stone floor, and it was even spreading rapidly.
Within minutes, the flesh of the Ice Soul Python had melted completely. What was left was its skin, bones, sharp and poisonous teeth, and a pair of eyes.
Qin Lie examined them closely for a while and gave special attention to the pair of eyes. He rubbed his hands on the pair of eyes and suddenly picked one of them. “This eye has thunder waves inside it, so it should be a thunder type spirit material. I’ll save the pleasantries. And yeah, the rest of the spirit materials are yours.”
“Oh.” Gao Yu packed up the rest of the python skin, bone, poisonous fang and the other eye, “These spirit materials are proof that we’ve hunted an Ice Soul Python. When we get back to the pavilion, we can turn them in for contribution points.”
“It shouldn’t be too hard to kill another Rank Two spirit beast if we combine our strength.” Qin Lie suddenly suggested after rubbing his chin and giving it some thought, “Do you want to continue hunting?”
“No problem.” Gao Yu nodded.
“Let’s go! Let’s go and look for the other Rank Two spirit beasts!” Qin Lie said spiritedly.
And so, the duo began to act and swiftly sweep the outer edge of the stone forest, looking for the other Rank Two spirit beasts.
At this moment, Shattered Ice Manor’s Yan Ziqian and Water Moon Sect’s Na Nuo were using the same method of angering the spirit beast horde and pulling them towards the outer edge of the stone forest while running. Even Crimson Flame Association’s Xiong Ba had learned his lesson after two of his brothers were killed. They no longer dared to fight the spirit beast horde to the death and were running wherever they could with the spirit beast horde behind them.
Therefore, there were many spirit beast activities at the outer layer of the stone forest. When the people from Shattered Ice Manor, Nebula Pavilion, Crimson Flame Association, and Water Moon Sect escaped, they normally picked a random direction in panic, and quite often they would even run into each other.
But everyone understood the current situation, and after they ran into each other, they simply nodded before splitting up again hurriedly.
Even when Tu Ze, Zhuo Qian, and Yan Ziqian ran into each other, they did not dare to fight each other. They only left behind a few harsh words before continuing to escape.
—There was a spirit beast horde pursuing every group, and they all had a couple of Rank Two spirit beasts roaring in mad rage.
In the meantime, if the four groups realized that the number of spirit beasts behind them had decreased and that there were only one or two Rank Two spirit beasts, then they would halt their steps and counterattack.
Of course, there were also people who were chased into a dead end by the spirit beast horde and had no choice but to fight the spirit beasts’ rush directly… in this case, those martial practitioners often had to pay a heavy price.
Water Moon Sect’s Na Nuo was one of the unfortunate ones to have accidentally run into a dead end, and as a result, two girls were torn apart and eaten alive by the spirit beasts. Some of them had also suffered various levels of injuries as well.
Yan Ziqian’s group was also unlucky to be pincered by two different hordes. As a result, three men died on the spot, and even Yan Qingsong’s left arm was bitten off.
On the other hand, after their initial misfortune, Crimson Flame Association’s Xiong Ba sailed smoothly and did not suffer any casualties.
Tu Ze and Zhuo Qian had also been pincered by spirit beast hordes before, but they would often risk even death to save their companions, suffering injuries or even having a few pieces of flesh bitten off in order to save their friends.
Therefore, while everyone in Tu Ze and Zhuo Qian’s group were covered in blood and suffered a considerable amount of injuries, not a single one of them had died.
Out of all four sides, Qin Lie and Gao Yu were the odd ones out. They acted together, and they could often find a lone spirit beast and attack first.
Under their combined strength, including the Ice Soul Python, they had actually killed three Rank Two spirit beasts and sixteen Rank One spirit beasts.
All of these had fallen under Xie Jingxuan and Liang Zhong’s eyes as they were watching them from above. Because of this, they paid extra attention to Qin Lie and Gao Yu.
“Those two kids are way too sensitive towards the spirit beasts’ actions.” Standing on top of the hill, Liang Zhong watched Qin Lie and Gao Yu’s movements from afar. “Their sense of smell is exceptional, and more often than not, they would discover a spirit beast horde while it was still far away and avoid them ahead of time. And because of this, they haven’t run into a spirit beast horde yet, instead always finding a lone spirit beast to attack. Therefore, their abilities are impressive.”
“It’s because of Qin Lie.” Xie Jingxuan’s eyes fell onto Qin Lie from far, far away. “He is able to sense the spirit beast horde approaching before getting out of the way with Gao Yu very early on. Therefore, they always avoid the powerful spirit beast horde and always keep themselves safe.”
“You mean it wasn’t Gao Yu?” Liang Zhong was surprised. “Gao Yu is sharp enough to detect the existence of a soul body. It wasn’t actually him?”
“It’s Qin Lie,” Xie Jingxuan said with certainty.
Liang Zhong did not understand and was confused.
Just when Xie Jingxuan was about to explain, she suddenly saw a change from the black clouds deep inside the stone forest. She saw that the black clumps of Soul Devouring Beast soul fragments were actually writhing constantly like a sea of clouds as they suddenly dived towards the ground.
It was as if there was a powerful suction force pulling from under the soul fragments, sucking them all down.
“It has begun!” Her expression turned slightly as she quickly said, “We’ll rush in there now!”
Liang Zhong’s expression was extremely serious, and he quickly flew down to the ground and prepared to act with Dark Asura Hall’s Ban Hong and others.
“Uncle Zhong, you should contact all four sides first and allow them to enter deeper into the stone forest. There is actually no spirit beast horde gathered inside that area, so it has changed from a danger zone to a slightly safer region. Also, bring Qin Lie and Gao Yu with you. These two people… might actually be useful,” Xie Jingxuan instructed quickly.
“Understood. I’m heading off.”