The next day at dawn, on the Thunderous Sound Mountain at the corner of the Dark Desolate Domain
It was the most intimidating mountain in the southeast part of the Dark Desolate Domain. Shrouded by demonic plants, the world inside the mountain was gloomy and drab even if the purple sun was shining brightly outside.
Li Yao hid himself inside a clump of crimson bushes. He withdrew his spiritual energy as much as he could with the Soul Converging Technique. Not only did he smear a layer of mud on his crystal suit, he also wrapped it up with camouflage cloth with stealth rune arrays.
He had completely melted into the dark forest.
A red bird with sharp teeth stopped over his head, only to be tied up by a spider thread from the trunk hole nearby and dragged into the hole without a dying scream. The sound of cracking of bones came from inside the hole.
A thin scent of blood could be smelled.
Neither the predator nor the prey detected Li Yao's existence.
Li Yao was a bit irritated. These second-rate demon beasts were not the trophies that he was looking forward to.
Demon beasts around the anonymous lake had almost all been eradicated by him. Due to his desire for victory, Li Yao risked entering into the Thunderous Sound Mountain. But more than half a day had been gone and not even one valuable demon beast had come by.
Had he known it previously, he would've stayed in the plateau and gone hunting there.
"Come on, big fellows! Otherwise, I would have to be a rogue hunter."
A rogue hunter in the Thunderous Sound Mountain would be in much more peril than ambushing would.
Many predators were lurking in darkness waiting for the audacious preys to fall into their trap.
After careful consideration, Li Yao finally dropped the thought.
He was not strong enough for the task. Ambushing in the outskirts of the Thunderous Sound Mountain was already the best he could do. Besides, this place was still within the range of communication. He could call for the instructor if anything should happen.
But if he were deep into the Thunderous Sound Mountain, he would not be able to reach out to the instructors, and if he were surrounded by strong demon beasts, there would be no one that could save him.
Li Yao had always been a patient man. But after wasting more than an hour in the bush, he felt that he couldn't bear it any longer. The weather was muggier and muggier, too.
Right then, a furious thunder boomed from high above.
Within a moment, countless thunders echoed with one another as if a bloody battle was going on in the sky.
Clouds rolling, purple lightning dancing, rain pouring.
The forest became a world of swelling water.
Many giant purple trees in the forest were reverberating with the thunder. Some even attracted the lightning toward them and sent them out from the branches, forming an intensely knotted electric net above the forest.
The trees were a special kind of demonic plants in the Dark Desolate Domain known as 'Thunder Echo Plant'. Naturally endowed with thunder attributes, they tended to attract thunder and lightning during a storm before forming an electric net above the forest and sending out thunder roars.
This was also how the Thunderous Sound Mountain got its name.
Li Yao frowned and cursed. He heard background noise in the communication channel, which had been jammed by the thunder.
Hesitating no more, Li Yao jumped out of the bush and decided to return to the plateau where he could still hunt down some low-level demon beasts under the protection of the instructors.
But the moment he stepped out, he detected surging spiritual waves like tides coming from deep down the forest. Then, hundreds of demon beasts appeared from darkness and dashed towards him.
"What the hell?!"
Li Yao's heart skipped a beat.
The scents on the demon beasts were all very strong, indicating that many of them were high-level demon soldiers and some were even demon generals. But they were all fleeing in such a desperate hurry that there was not time for them to bother an intruder like Li Yao.
Li Yao's blood was freezing.
What kind of hunter could frighten hundreds of demon beasts like this?
Li Yao made the decision instantly.
However, before he was able to turn around, an iron, cold feeling pricked his heart. His pores were sealed unconsciously in response. Spiritual energy was flowing all over his body. Spiritual shield was brought to maximum.
A rainbow laser flashed beside him. It was a hideous mutant lion dragon!
Somehow disturbed by his presence, the lion dragon waved its paws impatiently.
It was not meant to be an attack, but more like a human being who was waving his arms to drive away the flies.
Li Yao felt that a thunder had directly hit his spiritual shield and left many cracks on it through which demon power penetrated into his limbs and organs.
In a dull grunt, Li Yao was blown away. He tried to change his direction more than ten times while he was airborne, but none of it succeeded and he ended up crashing into a tall tree.
With a cracking sound, the tree was broken into two pieces and hurtled to the ground.
'What a formidable demon beast!' Li Yao screamed in his mind. Never had he been so shocked before.
Thankfully, he had triggered the spiritual shield in time and brought his defense to his best with the Thousand Tempering Hundred Refining technique.
Also, the mutant lion dragon wasn't aiming at him. All it did was wave its paws at him.
His body wasn't injured, but he was agitated from the bottom of his heart.
'Demon king level!
'This mutant lion dragon is definitely a king-level demon beast!
'Judging from the wounds and blood on its body, it seems to be on the run, too, which means that something stronger was chasing after it.'
The conclusion gave Li Yao goosebumps all over his body.
After a moment's rest, the mutant lion dragon dashed into darkness in rainbow laser again.
Li Yao didn't dare to stay. He rose up and fled in the opposite direction of the mutant lion dragon in the stealth mode.
Three minutes later.
"Shua! Shua! Shua! Shua!"
The demon squad showed up where Li Yao and the mutant lion dragon had just stood.
After days and nights of hunting, all the demons looked weary.
The young master, who had gold hair and gold eyes, was apparently more irked than before.
Before the demons continued on their hunting, the black mist enveloping one of the demons split and revealed a snake face. His thin pupils blinked as he croaked, "I seem to sense the scent of a human being."
The demon was solemn. He twisted to and fro in the place where the mutant lion dragon just stood, then he found the bush where Li Yao had hidden himself, and he traced back to the tree crushed by Li Yao eventually.
His snake eyes blinked. His bifurcated tongue rolled up and down as he mumbled something unclear. In the end, he opened his mouth and exhaled a green mist.
The mist flowed in the air and consolidated into a cluster of shadows, which was the blurred picture of a Bloody Blade Battlesuit dancing and crushing into the tree.
"Not an expert. Peak of the Refinement Stage, at best. The crystal suit is the Bloody Blade Battlesuit from a hundred years ago," the demon said in relief.
The young master pondered for a while and said, "Following the mutant lion dragon, we've already reached the edge of the Dark Desolate Domain. Many low-level Cultivators have been training around here. This Refinement Stage Cultivator in Bloody Blade Battlesuit must be one of them, which means he has companions outside of the forest.
"If he escapes and informs them of the existence of our prey, it will be a nuisance.
"However, with the thunderstorm and chaotic spiritual energy fluctuations in the forest, we might lose the mutant lion dragon's tracks if we are delayed for a while.
"We've been hunting it for such a long time. There's no way that we're giving it up at the doorstep of victory.
"Blood Hand! Night Owl!"
Two demons stepped forward.
The demon on the left looked like a hybrid of a human and a wolf. There was crimson fur on his both hands, which seemed to be soaked in blood.
The demon on the right had dense feathers all over his body. He had two big eyes that were glittering brutally like two dim lights, but there were no pupils in the eyes.
The young master continued, "You are both low-level demon generals adept at jungle hunting. You should be more than enough to deal with the Cultivator, who, at best, is only at the peak of the Refinement Stage.
"Now, after you follow up and kill this ignorant Cultivator who doesn't know what he's doing, contact us through our secret technique. I'll tell you the rendezvous then.
"Remember, if you find other Cultivators, give up the hunt immediately and report to me.
"The rest of us will continue chasing the mutant lion dragon until we completely take control of it under the lead of my teachers."
Blood Hand and Night Owl nodded at the same time.
Night Owl, who had feathers all over his body, grinned hideously.
"What can a Refinement Stage Cultivator in a Bloody Blade Battlesuit from a hundred years ago do? We will not let him walk out of this forest alive. Before dark, he'll be ripped into pieces!"
Blood Hand added, "That's right. Rest assured while you continue with the hunt, young master. Maybe by the time we tear this Cultivator apart, you will have already tamed the mutant lion dragon. After that, with the increase of your power, we'll need to address you as 'prince'!"
These words were exactly what the young master had been hoping for. He beamed in satisfaction and waved his hands.
"Let's move out!"
The demons were divided into two teams.
Most of them followed the mutant lion dragon by tracing of its blood, whereas Blood Hand and Night Owl, the two demon generals best at jungle hunting, pursued Li Yao by whatever inconspicuous marks he had left behind.
Ten minutes later, Li Yao, who was rushing in the forest, was alerted of something behind him and noticed the two haunting 'tails'.