The next day, the three of them rushed deeper into the forest. They were not as relaxed as they were yesterday since they were entering the part of the wilderness where they will encounter Class 3 Beasts. They could have dealt with Class 1 and Class 2 Beasts easily, but Class 3 Beasts were a lot different as they would have a strength equivalent to those of human cultivators at Late Condensation Realm to Peak Condensation Realm.
None of the three had a cultivation that could contend head on with that level of strength. Azalon kept his third eye opened completely and his Spiritual Sense spread out, constantly scanning the surroundings.
“We will be moving Northeast as that was the last place where there were rumors of the Class 5 Spirit Beast being seen. Be careful as we have to cross through the territories of powerful Beasts. It is fortunate that the area where we are going is only at the edge of the Class 4 Beasts’ territory. Otherwise, we could only give up.” Mark said as his alert eyes constantly scanned the surroundings.
Azalon and Leora nodded as they followed behind Mark. Azalon observed that the trees now became thicker and taller and the branches now covered the sky, making the jungle darker. He could feel the Spirit Energy and the Spirit Essence getting thicker as they moved deeper and he could also feel the different Spirit Beasts like clusters of dots with his Spiritual Sense.
Suddenly, he stopped and his eyes widened as he turned to look in the direction he felt a strong reaction from his Spiritual Sense.
“Azalon? What happened?” Leora stopped and asked when she saw Azalon stopping and staring in one direction. Mark too stopped moving and he watched as Azalon’s expression turned from shock to happiness.
“Come with me.” Azalon didn’t explain and quickly rushed in the direction he could feel the reaction. Mark and Leora glanced at each other. Mark shrugged his shoulders and followed Azalon who had now almost disappeared from their view. Leora stomped her feet in irritation but she too followed.
They didn’t manage to see Azalon’s silhouette until they caught up with him after a few miles. When they finally saw him, Azalon was crouching on a tree and gestured at them without making a sound. Now that they caught up with him, their senses also alerted them to something in the vicinity and then quietly they swiftly jumped up the tree, joining Azalon.
Now that they were all in the same place, what they saw made Mark become serious and Leora silently gasp.
It was a lake. The lake was in an open clearing that appeared within the thick canopy of the trees. The lake was filled with crystal clear blue water that glittered like a large blue gem under the sunlight that reflected off its surface. Soft lapping sounds echoed out through the silent surroundings, creating a pleasant and hypnotizing feel to the lake.
However, what shocked them was not the sudden appearance of the lake but the entity that was about to enter the lake.
A large serpent with shimmering azure blue scales on its body that matched the color of the water in the lake was slowly slithering into the lake. Its body was slim and Azalon could feel the powerful muscles rippling underneath, ending in a wide fan-like tail with pointed needle-like spikes at its end.
Two arm-thick fangs protruded down from its jaw, the sun gleaming off the sharp ends. Yet this serpent was not a poisonous beast and these fangs would only be used as weapons by the serpent and not for injecting venom.
On its head was a bright blue sapphire-like gem embedded, above two gray eyes with bright blue slit pupils which were now blank with a content expression in them, the cause of which was the fully stretched belly of the serpent. It was clear that this serpent has hunted recently and was about to retreat into its abode to digest it.
Azalon grinned at Mark and Leora as he said.
“Class 3 Spirit Beast, Netherlake Basilisk.”
The information regarding this Beast quickly surfaced in his mind provided by LILY.
[Netherlake Basilisk: A Class 3 Spirit Beast but because of its high affinity with Water, it is considered to be close to a Class 4 Spirit Beast. It’s blue scales are soft but very hard to penetrate. Its speed is very fast and it is extremely territorial. Its territory would be a lake that would be formed from the cold water emitted by the Netherlake Basilisk itself and the water would be ice-cold, almost at sub-zero temperatures which instantly freezes anything that comes in contact with it. The Water Essence would be converged to form a Spirit Core that would manifest as a bright blue gem on its forehead and by the shape and size of the Spirit Core, the strength of the Netherlake Basilisk could be estimated.]
Azalon became more and more excited the more he read through the information. This Netherlake Basilisk clearly had a high affinity with Water Essence and there exists a possibility of his Water Spirit Awakening if he could get the Soul of this Spirit Beast.
When he observed the blue gem-like Spirit Core of the Netherlake Basilisk, it showed a perfectly cut gemstone with no flaws and a bright luster. His excitement grew as this meant that the purity of the Water Essence this Netherlake Basilisk cultivated was of the utmost purity and concentration. Otherwise, there would never be a chance for the Netherlake Basilisk to form this perfect gem like Spirit Core.
It was this Spirit Beast, which was now coiled up at the bottom of the lake, that caused such a powerful reaction in his Spiritual Sense. It may possibly be the residual energy from the battle between this Netherlake Serpent and whatever Spirit Beast that has become its prey. He had followed the trail left behind by its Essence and arrived at this place.
“Azalon. You have not become crazy after spending a month with your Master in his secret chamber, right? Look at that goofy grin on your face! Please tell me you are not crazy. Otherwise why in the name of the Spirits would you want to hunt this Spirit Beast?” Leora started complaining the moment she snapped out of her shock. She even put her hand on Azalon’s forehead to check his health condition.
Azalon pushed the hand of Leora away and looked at Mark who was looking seriously at the lake.
“Mark?” Azalon and Leora asked at the same time. Mark stayed silent and turned towards Azalon.
“What do you think of our success rate?” He asked Azalon. Leora gaped at Mark and Azalon like they were two mad men.
Azalon went silent for a while as he began conversing with his Spirits.
“LILY?” The first one was obviously LILY and she quickly responded. “Based on the information received from you, Master, there is a 70% probability of your team killing this Spirit Beast without you showing your real power.”
“Yawn. Do whatever you want. If you can’t even handle this pathetic worm, then you are really not worthy of having me as your Soul Spirit.” As usual, there was not much useful information from Raka. Azalon wondered whether his Soul Spirit was really like this or he was putting up a front. After all, it had been Raka who pointed out his Demon blood lineage and similar things.
“I would say it would be 50 – 60% chances. The first factor is that this Netherlake Basilisk has hunted recently, so its speed should be reduced by at least by half because of the reduction in the reaction speed. The next factor is the surprise element on our side. It is not showing any response to our presence and that means that it has not sensed us encroaching on its territory or that we haven’t entered into its territory yet.” Azalon reduced the probability by 10% because as amazing as LILY’s computative capabilities may be, she can’t really predict all that may go wrong in reality.
He had retracted his Spiritual Sense the moment he could sense the powerful undulations being emitted by this serpent. Since Mark and Leora were following him they too hadn’t used their Spiritual Sense, which saved them as snakes and serpents were exceptionally sensitive to their surroundings and any changes would immediately alert them. Not to mention that this Netherlake Basilisk was such a powerful entity that they had no chance of taking its attacks head on.
“It is a shame that Leora’s hypnotizing ability doesn’t work on this beast, but you have the fast and powerful long distance attacks that are the signature moves of Wind element. You can harass this beast while staying at a safe distance.” Azalon said to Leora and turned to Mark.
“The main attack point will be you, Mark. You can hover in the skies with your transformation for a few moments. You are also the one with the highest cultivation level among the three of us. Your position would be the one with the most danger but I think you are used to it and can cope with it.” Mark grinned wolfishly when Azalon said that but his smile disappeared the next moment as he became serious.
“What about you then? What would you be doing?” Leora asked with a slight bite in her tone. She was still not used to the fact that the other two would be considering to attack this powerful beast that would possess the strength to consider the three of them as ants before it.
“Me? I will be doing something far more reckless and crazy. In fact, I think that among us three, only I would be capable of handling that position.” Azalon said with a serious expression while his eyes traveled to the blue lake in front of them.
Mark nodded and jumped down. He took a stick and started drawing on the ground. Azalon and Leora also jumped down and they could see Mark drawing the lake and the surroundings on the ground with the stick. When he finished roughly drawing the surroundings, Mark looked up and the three of them started discussing plans to successfully hunt the Netherlake Basilisk.
The discussion lasted for 15 minutes before they came up with a highly probable strategy.
“Well then, get ready and no matter what happens, we are hunting this Netherlake Basilisk today,” Azalon said with excitement in his eyes. Perhaps he would be able to awaken his fourth Soul Spirit today if he can get his hands on the soul of this Netherlake Basilisk.