The green spear collided with the red dagger to a shocking result—the green spear was knocked away.
The dagger and Han Sen moved like a descending rainbow; one that would touch down at Qing Ming's heart.
Qing Ming's face dropped, as he now understood how his guards and protecting creatures had been slain. The dagger was too powerful.
Qing Ming Knight was an elite that had opened four of his gene locks. In the nick of time, he was able to just about dodge Han Sen's airborne strike and retaliate with a fist of his own.
The green light that enshrouded his fist was like a mystic hellfire, and it guided the fist to a direct hit on Han Sen's forehead.
Qing Ming Knight coldly laughed in reaction, and thought to himself, "It does not matter how sharp or how powerful your dagger is—nothing can overcome my green light."
When the green light came into contact with Han Sen, it was like glass being thrown against steel. The helmet did not break, and it pushed through the light without even slowing down.
"Impossible!" Qing Ming's eyes opened wide as he gargled the words out. Blood choked his tongue as the dagger sliced through his throat. He was decapitated, and his head dropped to the ground like a stone.
Not stopping for one second, Han Sen raced towards the statue in the spirit hall and grabbed the spirit stone from the stone sculpture's forehead.
Outside the hall, many creatures and spirits came forward to witness who they believed to be their new ruler. They stepped into the spirit hall, and quickly crowded it.
There they all saw Han Sen, taking the spirit stone.
The green spirit stone turned into a bright and horrible green light.
Qing Ming reluctantly appeared out of the spirit stone and knelt before Han Sen, before all the creatures and spirits in the hall to make a vow. "I, Qing Ming Knight, am willing to submit and offer absolute loyalty to a new master. I can become the most faithful of servants."
All the creatures froze in place, staring at the day's most unexpected spectacle. The owner of Qing Ming Shelter, the spirit they had always served, was kneeling to pledge obedience to a human.
And there was no ulterior scheme or ploy; it was happening for real.
The contracts that each creature, spirit, and human had signed with Qing Ming Knight were broken at that instant. They were each and all free. He had been claimed, and the marks he had given them all vanished.
Qu Lanxi, back on the outside, was bringing Chu Ming and Golden Growler to Thorn Forest. When she felt the mark break, she burst into tears of joy.
"He did it!" Qu Lanxi wiped away the tears that came. Not only was she happy for Han Sen's victory and exacted vengeance, she was happy to have reclaimed her freedom.
In the spirit hall, Han Sen walked forward with Qing Ming Knight. As he moved forward, others stepped to the side. Like a parting of the seas, every living thing in the hall moved aside to create a way for him.
Qing Ming Knight had been claimed. Their master had been defeated, and so they were not willing to fight Han Sen anymore.
Han Sen, after exiting Qing Ming Shelter, did not dilly-dally. He immediately climbed upon Little Wind and took off running in the direction of Thorn Forest.
The moment Han Sen claimed Qing Ming Knight, a spirit sent word to Thorn Shelter over what had occurred.
"A human has claimed Qing Ming Knight, and a vow was sworn." Inside Thorn Shelter, a cold-looking female spirit frowned.
If Han Sen was there, he'd have been surprised. The master of Thorn Shelter was the very same spirit he saw in the valley. It was the female spirit that used bugs to create sacred-blood creatures.
"What?" All the spirits and creatures looked angry; the former even more so.
To spirits, swearing loyalty to a human was widely regarded as humiliating.
"D*mn it! Baron, allow me to go kill that human and the traitorous scum." A handsome spirit stepped forward and pleaded his desire.
"Baron, allow me, too." Another few spirits stood up and walked forward, each wanting to go to Qing Ming Shelter and slay the human that was there and Qing Ming Knight.
"The human brought Qing Ming Knight to Thorn Forest," the baron said with a sigh.
The spirit from Qing Ming Shelter who sent word to the baron hadn't been able to see Han Sen enter the spirit hall. If she had known about the dagger, she wouldn't have been as calm or composed.
"Baron, I will go to the forest and slay them," the handsome spirit said.
The other spirits hesitated, as something evil and mystic lurked in the tangled, knotted reaches of Thorn Forest. Even with the spirit stones for respawning, there was no guarantee such devices would work if they were to perish in the darkness that veiled those woods.
"Okay." Thorn Baron nodded.
"Thank you." The handsome spirit turned around, not willing to wait around after receiving permission to go after Han Sen. He immediately began walking towards the exit.
"Take the Dark Turtle. It will help you find them," Thorn Baron told the handsome spirit.
The handsome spirit looked pleased, and he turned around to say, "Thank you very much."
He knew the Dark Turtle had strong senses, so locating the human would not be difficult, even in those rotten reaches.
The handsome spirit took the turtle all the way to Qing Ming Shelter. If he wanted the turtle to find the human, it'd have to pick up his scent first.
Han Sen rode Little Wind, and before long, caught up with Qu Lanxi. Together, they ventured into Thorn Forest.
Not long after entering, Qu Lanxi masked their scent to keep them safe on their passage through the darkness of that forest.
They did not dare traverse the deeper recesses of Thorn Forest, but they thought they could find a safe location somewhere beneath those trees. Thorn Forest was an incredibly large woodland.
They went in a different direction than they had gone when they followed the bugs, but after fifty miles of travel, they were still unable to find a place to hide. They did, however stumble upon a most powerful and most mighty tree. Its lifeforce was almost as strong as the iron bug king's.