Cold sweat was trickling down Li Yao's back.
It was within his expectations that strong predators might be hiding on the shore and inside the lake. But he didn't anticipate that there were invisible creatures in the air, too.
A lot of green liquid spurted out from the fracture of the broken tentacle of the strange beast inside the lake. The broken tentacle quickly withered into something like a snake.
Li Yao hurriedly activated all his probe magical equipment and released his telepathic thoughts which rippled out and sensed what was there.
Just now, his attention had been focused on the silver lake and its surroundings. The area above the lake had been overlooked by him. Since the beasts were floating in the air without any action, he hadn't noticed their existence at all.
Now that the transparent beasts had launched their attacks, naturally, there were biological reactions in their bodies. The circulation of body liquid, the rhythm of muscle movement, and their breathing all left traces.
Therefore, almost ten shadows that looked like giant bats appeared on the light beams of the six crystal suits.
The long, soft tails behind them were sucking the tentacle of the beast in the lake like a straw, while they spat silver lasers from their mouths which seemed as sharp as the swords and sabers of the Cultivators.
The strange beast in the lake had lost one of its tentacles, but it had secured one of the six-legged lizard, too. It seemed to be in no mood to deal with the transparent bats, because its tentacles retreated to the bottom of the lake quickly. After a long series of bubbles, the lake went quiet again.
After hovering for a while, the transparent bats flew to the crags and vanished among the vines.
The six-legged lizards were even faster them. They had camouflaged themselves and lurked under the earth again.
At first glance, the underground world was as peaceful as half a minute ago. The vague stink of blood and acid in the air was the only proof that a soul-stirring hunt had taken place a moment ago.
To hunt and to be hunted. Life underground seemed rather cruel.
Captain Hong Tong frowned and said, "Let's just bypass the lake. The spiritual beasts here seemed to only be interested in the creatures coming close to the silver lake. There shouldn't be a problem if we keep a distance from them.
"Team Tiger Deity must've circumvented the place, too. More secret treasures are buried deep underground. We ought not waste our spiritual energy in this place.
"If we have no gains, we can always excavate the Flowing Brightness Crystals and the Heart Locking Flowers on our way back."
The proposal was very practical, but Li Yao disagreed.
"I think we should excavate the Flowing Brightness Crystals and the Heart Locking Flowers right now.
"First of all, the creatures in this underground world aren't morons. If faked Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures were everything in this place, there wouldn't be too many prey falling into their traps. Their trick would be seen through very quickly.
"The fact that the six-legged lizards have tongues almost identical to the Heart Locking Flowers is evident enough that most of the Flying Brightness Grass and Heart Locking Flowers here are real. It is the only motivation for the prey to risk coming to the lake, even if they know there might be ambushes.
"Therefore, there's no need to fear that we will get nothing after a fierce battle.
"In the meantime, the attack pattern and the damage of the three spiritual beasts that we saw just now, although weird, are still comprehensible. They can be blocked and resolved, too.
"Their intelligence seems not very high, either, otherwise they wouldn't have gobbled up the beast puppets that I sent out without examining what they were.
"I feel that they are just spiritual beasts with strong instincts in hunting, but they haven't evolved to the level of demon beasts yet. Besides, in a monotonous biological system of an underground world, their methods of attack won't be very diversified. We should've seen most of their skills already.
"Considering the mess that they caused right now, stronger predators would've appeared if they existed, but they didn't. So, I assume that the spiritual beasts we saw were the strongest predators themselves.
"One bird in the hand is better than two in the bush. Our exploration has only just begun. Who knows what kind of weird situation we will be mired in later? Flowing Brightness Crystals can be absorbed directly to improve our strength; Heart Locking Flowers can be taken at critical moments to soothe the soul and prevent us from derangement. They might be very useful for our journey to come!
"Right now, we can collect the Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures unhurriedly at our own pace, because the demons are not messing around. But if we are engaged with them in fierce battles, there is no guarantee that we can come back to this place and collect the Flowing Brightness Flowers and the Heart Locking Flowers!
"Therefore, I suggest we clean up the underground spiritual beasts and take the treasures while we can!"
Li Yao's proposal was seconded by most people.
The duller a biological system was, the fewer the attack skills of the spiritual beasts would be, because they would only have to deal with limited types of enemies.
If they hadn't seen 'Cultivators' in their entire life, there would be no way that they would have a special skill to cope with Cultivators.
Everyone gathered around and studied the battle footage taken just now carefully by stopping at each frame. Very soon, they came up with a tactical plan.
"Vulture, your hands are the fastest of all, and you are more familiar with Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures than anyone else. You will be in charge of the collection; the rest of us will cover you up with firepower!"
Under the command of Captain Hong Tong, everyone activated their Cosmos Rings and summoned dozens of beast puppets from them.
For this mission, every Orb Patroller had brought more than ten beast puppets. Now that they were rallied, they seemed to have made a battalion.
"Let's move out!"
Covered by the dozens of beast puppets, the six crystal suits turned into six streaks of brilliance darting toward the silver lake.
The beast puppets that they had most were Tarantulas that Li Yao modified based on 'Mystic Wolves', a high-speed scouting beast.
After being strengthened by multiple Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures, the Tarantulas at this moment were much scarier and were particularly suitable for combat in underground environments.
Before the two parties clashed, Ba Weiqi, who was at the end of the team, launched his first wave of mental attacks.
The intense spiritual waves assaulted the invisible bats on the crags directly, forcing them to activate their brains to counteract.
As a result, their strong brain waves exposed themselves like burning torches in the darkness. Their remarkable stealth abilities didn't work anymore.
Six-legged lizards had never seen enemies who were wearing metal all over their bodies from which flames were jetting out. They fled out of the earth in consternation.
What embraced them in the outside was a storm of bullets!
Two areas of the lizards' heads exploded into translucent clouds of blood.
These critical parts had been found out by the six Cultivators through studying the battle video. They had noticed that the six-legged lizards had been protecting these parts judiciously, which should be their important sense organs.
The light was extremely dim in the underground world. Their eyes were definitely not of much use despite the enormous size.
However, in a world of quietness, even the weakest sound could carry a lot of information. Therefore, the hearing organs on the two sides of their heads that looked like ears were their biggest weakness!
As it turned out, after their 'ears' were blown to pieces by the shocking bullets, the six-legged lizards started circling around like headless flies.
In the meantime, the transparent bats had sprung from the crags and flew up toward the top of the cave in a panic.
Faced with the mysterious enemies, the transparent bats which had been entirely confused decided to simply run away.
But the silver lake was boiling again, with bubbles popping up nonstop. Dozens of tentacles protruded out and whipped at the six of them roaringly.
"The silver lake is only about a hundred meters in diameter. It's impossible for super-large spiritual beasts to grow in this small pond. The combat ability of this strange beast is limited however formidable it seems! Let's block it now so that Vulture can gather the Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures!" Captain Hong Tong bellowed and charged at four tentacles.
Ding Lingdang followed him closely. Three dragons of flames in different colors craned up from her back and stabbed at the depths of the silver lake.
She was brutal enough to attack the body of the strange beast inside the lake without bothering with the tentacles!
Li Yao had no time to notice what everyone else was doing. The aura on his Boiled Blood Wind Slashing Saber was extended to more than five meters and slashed a six-legged lizard which was running dizzily into two halves. Then, it was lengthened further and chopped off one of the tentacles of the strange beast!
In the next second, he set the Tarantulas that he carried into the automatic mode to protect himself, before he sprayed out almost a hundred beast puppets the size of a palm which looked like spiders.
He didn't treat the spiders casually as he did with the Tarantulas. Instead, he extended almost a hundred spiritual threads out of his spiritual root and connected them to the crystal processors of the little spiders. With the calculation of the crystal processors and his own computational ability, he would be able to control the spiders directly!
The little spiders had no combat ability, but they were of tremendous help for his gathering work.
Li Yao's hands were moving as fast as the wind. Translucent blades as thin as the wings of a cicada stuck out from his fingertips to help him cut off the Heart Locking Flowers.
The little spiders were not as fast as himself. But there were a whole lot of them. His collection efficiency was more than doubled with their help!
Many six-legged lizards nearby lunged at him, shrieking. Li Yao sent out a telepathic thought. Their bellies exploded one after another, before they collapsed to the ground, unable to move anymore.
Li Yao was a lunatic bomber. How could they eat his magical equipment thoughtlessly?
"One Two Eighteen Nineteen Twenty-one Flowing Brightness Grasses in total!
"And twenty Heart Locking Flowers!"
Five minutes later, all the Flowing Brightness Grasses and the Heart Locking Flowers had been looted by Li Yao.
Li Yao was more exhilarated than ever from collecting so many precious Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures all at once.
But in the meantime, Team Blue Bronze had lost some twenty beast puppets. There were traces of corrosion on all their crystal suits.
The main reason was that the strange beast inside the lake had a very unusual way of attacking. It had several different types of tentacles which could spurt acids and venom of different attributes. Some of the tentacles would even expand and explode when attacked, spewing super corrosive liquids.
Gudu! Gudu! Gudu! Gudu!
The number of bubbles covering the lake was increasing, as if a volcano under the lake was erupting. An intense spiritual wave soared up to the sky. It appeared that the strange beast inside the lake was ready to reveal itself and play with them for real!
"Let's go now!"
Since the Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures had all been accumulated, no one was interested in fighting this strange beast any longer. After a roar from Captain Hong Tong, the six of them activated all their remote magical equipment and bombarded the silver lake, while they fled quickly to the deeper part of the cave that had been marked on their map without looking back.
Hey, it's Millman here.
Just to give you guys a quick update, I'm still quite ill but have been told by doctors that I should start to swiftly recover in the next few days. So please be patient, and we'll make sure to catch up on the chapters owed over the next week.