The fact that the gold-armored soldier could be seen by the naked eye proved that Ye Chen's Astral Body was only a small distance away from consolidating into its full form."Forget all that. I reckon that final impalement from Tantai Ling's trident probably finished off the Winged Serpent. She left without picking up the Winged Serpent's corpse, which means that its corpse now belongs to us!" A glint of greed flashed in Zhou Yan's eyes. They did not know what kind of mystical beast that Winged Serpent was but to be able to battle Tantai Ling, it should be quite a powerful beast.
After the Winged Serpent was struck by the trident, it fell onto a spot on the ground where it was blocked by the buildings. In addition to the dim nightlight, the trio of Zhou Yan could not see it at all and they thought that the Winged Serpent's corpse was still in the town.
Driven by greed, the three men sneaked back into the town.
Meanwhile, Ye Chen was still recovering. His Astral Body was wounded and it would take more than one or two days for it to recover. If it was required, he was still able to muster some use out of his Astral Body. In comparison, Celestial Chi recovered a little faster and it had already recovered about thirty to forty percent.
"Squeak!" Little Tanuki squeaked anxiously.
Almost immediately, Ye Chen opened his eyes. It seemed to him that the Zhou Yan trio had returned. At his peak, killing Zhou Yan and his two friends would have been a piece of cake. Now that he was seriously injured, he might not even be able to deal with a beginner Tenth Level. Although Little Tanuki was fit for battle, the only thing it could do was to delay the battle by using Illusions. Once the Illusions were dispelled and a battle broke out, Little Tanuki would not be their match.
What should Ye Chen do?
Run away? With the extent of Ye Chen's injury, he would not have escaped far either. If Zhou Yan's trio caught up with him, he would not survive. Hiding in the inn was not an appropriate option either because sooner or later, the three men would surely return here!
After a moment of silence, Ye Chen came up with some ideas.
It was night time and everything outside was surrounded in pitch-black darkness. All the town residents had hidden in their houses and were afraid to go out. There was not a single soul on the streets too, making the entire place very eerie.
Zhou Yan's trio proceeded cautiously, slowly approaching the center of the town bit by bit. They watched from a distance but they could only see countless collapsed buildings in the center of the town. They could picture how fierce the battle was at that time. They noticed a large crater in the distance, which looked like the spot where the Winged Serpent had landed earlier. However, things looked a little different from what they expected as the Winged Serpent was nowhere to be found.
"What's going on? The Winged Serpent isn't dead?" Zhou Yan questioned.
"Don't tell me that Tantai Ling didn't finish off the Winged Serpent?" Lin Tao asked fearfully. "What should we do now? Did the Winged Serpent cower to a hiding place right after it was injured?"
"I don't think the three of us could handle the Winged Serpent even if it was heavily injured." Zhou Yan furrowed his eyebrow.
"I wouldn't be so sure about that. It depends on how heavily it was injured. If it was hanging on the edges of death, shouldn't it be easy for us to capture it?" w.a.n.g Yue said in denial. He often followed behind several Elders and was always put in similar near-death situations. Hence, he was not as timid as both Zhou Yan and Lin Tao. "Let's go and do a quick search. If we run into trouble, we'll just leave this place."
As the three of them hesitated, at the street some distance away, a figure approached them. The white shadow on his shoulders still looked striking even among the darkness. It was Ye Chen and Little Tanuki.
Ye Chen's face was a little pale, but in the dark, it was hardly noticeable.
"It's that guy!" Zhou Yan exclaimed. Seeing Ye Chen walking slowly toward them, his heart wrenched slightly.
Ye Chen left Zhou Yan a very deep impression before this. Until now, Zhou Yan had not fully seen through Ye Chen's strength. Ye Chen gave him a sort of mysterious feeling.
"He didn't leave too?" w.a.n.g Yue asked in surprise. He looked behind Ye Chen and saw several houses on fire. Among the blaze was that deep crater they had seen earlier. Could it be that Ye Chen had come from that deep crater?
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The three men recalled the events that unfolded earlier. After the emergence of the Winged Serpent, Ye Chen never appeared on the scene again. Could it be... A terrible thought flashed in their minds. Could this kid be a human form of the Winged Serpent?
"Little Tanuki, our horse, Nightwind, had been taken away from us. It seems that we can only walk away from here," Ye Chen said while smiling bitterly.
"Squeak squeak." Little Tanuki returned him a few squeaks in response and with a swoosh sound, it jumped off Ye Chen's shoulder. After taking a few steps, it looked back at Ye Chen.
"Where are you taking me?" Ye Chen asked puzzledly, following closely behind Little Tanuki.
Only till they came out of town did Ye Chen notice the blood trails on the ground. His heart shuddered as he said, "Little Tanuki, you're taking me to find that Winged Serpent?"
"Squeak." Little Tanuki nodded his tiny little head.
"But that Winged Serpent is too powerful. As long as it still has a little of its strength left, even if I've recovered from my injuries, I'm still not its match," Ye Chen said worriedly, admitting that the Winged Serpent was indeed too strong for him.
"Squeak squeak." Little Tanuki shook its head as if trying to explain something.
"Alright then. We can go and have a look together," Ye Chen replied after thinking for a moment. He believed in Little Tanuki. Little Tanuki would not risk their lives like this if it was not certain about that snake demon.
Along the way, Ye Chen's injury recovered rapidly. His Celestial Chi had been restored about eighty to ninety percent and his Astral Body was also in the midst of recovery. However, the injury his Astral Body had sustained was not so easy to recover. After being struck by that beam of light, Ye Chen felt that his Astral Body also experienced some subtle changes. As for what kind of change it was, Ye Chen could not tell for sure.
After about half an hour of trekking within the woods, Ye Chen finally arrived at a cliff thanks to Little Tanuki's lead. Next to the cliff was a hidden cavern in the middle of two giant rocks. A spooky coldness constantly emanated from that cavern. A large cloud of mist ama.s.sed at the edge of that cavern.
"Is it here?" Ye Chen asked puzzledly. He edged a little closer to the opening of the cavern and felt the bone-piercing chill. He felt like his body was about to be frozen and said, "It's so cold!"
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