Unbeknownst to Han Li and the others, not long after they had departed from the lightning torrent area, the black clouds around the Lightning Turtle dissipated to reveal its true form.
Suffice to say the creature was as huge as a massive mountain. Its gargantuan shell was deep grey in color, yet was glistening with a metallic gleam and seemed to be extremely smooth.
What was even more curious was that the turtle's four limbs were exposed, but its head and tail were nowhere to be seen. It appeared that they had been completely withdrawn into its shell.
At this point, the lightning torrent was already raging in full force, and the entire sky had been enshrouded under blue light. Bolts of blue lightning of different sizes were falling like rain from the scintillating sky up above. The smallest ones were only around a foot in length each while the largest were as long as over 100 feet. All of them came crashing down in a frenzy, and explosive thunderclaps were the only sounds that could be heard.
The Lightning Turtle's massive body was naturally able to withstand the countless bolts of lightning raining down from above. As soon as an arc of lightning came into contact with the turtle's body, the former would disappear like sand into an ocean.
What was even more incredible was that the turtle was emanating bursts of white light, which drew the surrounding arcs of lightning toward it like a magnet. As such, a large proportion of the lightning within the lightning torrent was forcibly absorbed by this turtle into its body.
The turtle swam slowly through the air, seemingly thoroughly enjoying itself within the lightning torrent.
All of a sudden, the giant turtle's four limbs faltered before abruptly being withdrawn into its shell.
Almost at the exact same moment, spatial fluctuations erupted nearby as a burst of colorful light shot forth out of thin air. The light then receded to reveal a massive skeletal bird that was radiating colorful light from its body.
This skeletal bird was only just over 100 feet in size, but the aura it was emitting was not inferior in the slightest compared to that of the mighty Lightning Turtle. What was even more astonishing was that there were two humanoid figures standing atop its head.
One of them was around 20 feet tall with black light flashing all over its body while the other was more ordinary in size, but it was entirely enshrouded in a green cloud, making it impossible for anyone to glean its true features.
"Not bad, not bad; I didn't think we'd encounter such fantastic prey as soon as we got teleported here. I just so happen to be refining a Ten-Headed Giant Devil and am missing some materials. This Lightning Turtle will suffice," one of the humanoid figures murmured.
"Brother Tian Miao, you can't just claim this turtle for yourself. You'll only require some of its skeleton to refine your devil anyway; I can assist you in killing this turtle, but I want its two lightning beads," the other humanoid figure chuckled.
"Hmph, that's a lopsided deal if I've ever heard one! The most valuable parts of a Lightning Turtle's body are its two lightning beads; don't you think it's rather unfair for you to claim them like this?" The humanoid figure within the green cloud seemed to be quite displeased with this arrangement.
"Hehe, lightning beads are indeed extraordinary items, but they're not very useful to you at all, yet I have a special purpose for them. How about I offer to exchange the arm bone of a Qilin True Spirit for these two lightning beads?" the tall and broad humanoid figure proposed.
"A special purpose? Oh, I almost forgot that Brother Xuan Wu's Transport Spirit is a Lightning Turtle. You're trying to extend its lifespan by feeding it lightning beads, right?" Tian Miao asked.
"That's right, Fellow Daoist. Extending the lifespan of the Transport Spirit will be immensely beneficial to the human race. It can count as half of a true spirit, and if a large-scale war really was to break out, it would be able to provide great assistance to us. You won't turn me down, will you, Brother Tian Miao?" Xuan Wu asked.
"Seeing as you do indeed have a worthwhile purpose for these lightning beads, I naturally won't decline this arrangement. However, we have to make haste so we don't delay the issue we've actually come here to address. We're not here on an expedition to source materials; don't forget that we've been assigned an important mission. We have to get rid of all of those settlements established by beings of foreign races near Deep Heaven City," Tian Miao reluctantly agreed after a period of contemplation.
"Haha, don't worry, we'll have more than enough time. Our combined powers in conjunction with this puppet you refined from the remains of that primordial rainbow phoenix will be able to take care of this Lightning Turtle in no time," Xuan Wu laughed heartily before rising up into the air with his fists clenched and charging straight into the lightning torrent.
Moments later, an earth-shattering boom erupted from within the lightning torrent, followed by a beastly roar that was just as devastating.
Meanwhile, Tian Miao shook his head with a faint sigh as he stood atop his rainbow phoenix puppet, seemingly feeling rather exasperated by his companion's short temper. However, he still immediately made a hand seal, upon which the skeletal phoenix beneath his feet swelled drastically to over 1,000 feet in size in the blink of an eye. The skeletal phoenix then also plunged into the lightning torrent at Tian Miao's behest.
A hint of horror and rage immediately crept into the voice of the Lightning Turtle as it let loose another ear-splitting roar.
Meanwhile, Han Li and the others continued onward in their journey, completely oblivious to the events that were unfolding within the lightning torrent.
As it turned out, Long Dong had been correct in stating that they would most likely be encountering more hazards throughout their journey. During the next month or so, the spirit ark continued to travel at a high speed while enshrouded in its illusionary cloud, but they were still afflicted by numerous dangerous situations.
For example, on one occasion, the ark was suddenly swept into a strange gust of crimson winds. In reality, these "winds" were swarms of countless crimson insects, each of which was only around the size of a grain of rice.
If it weren't for the fact that all five of them combined their powers once again to quickly evacuate the ark from that area, it would've most likely been completely devoured by those insects in the blink of an eye.
Not long after that, spatial fluctuations suddenly erupted up ahead as a two-headed bird that was over 1,000 feet in length emerged out of thin air.
This bird's body was entirely golden in color and radiating astonishing spiritual Qi. It was clearly a fearsome being that was not inferior in power to that Lightning Turtle. Everyone's hearts leaped into their throats as they waited to see whether the bird had discovered their spirit ark.
As it turned out, it did notice their ark, but it displayed a complete lack of interest in such an insignificant object. As such, it merely flapped its massive wings and flew away.
Han Li and the others heaved a collective sigh of relief before glancing at one another with wry smiles on their faces.
After witnessing the horrors of the primordial world, no one dared to actually cultivate in a deep meditative state anymore, even after retiring to their silent cultivation chambers. Everyone remained on high alert, and their wariness was certainly warranted. During the coming days, they encountered several more crises, all of which were barely averted through everyone's collective efforts.
However, their luck was always going to run out one day.
On that day, the white-browed young man was on lookout duty while everyone else was recuperating in their silent cultivation chambers. All of a sudden, a long cautionary cry erupted from outside, and Han Li's expression immediately changed slightly as he rose to his feet. However, before he had a chance to do anything else, the entire ark suddenly tremored violently, and he was almost thrown off balance.
Han Li's heart jolted with shock, following which violent tremors ran through the ark in quick succession White light then began to swirl erratically around the walls around him, and those walls were gradually beginning to crack.
Han Li's expression darkened as he swept a sleeve up toward the roof of his silent cultivation chamber, upon which a streak of golden light shot forth, puncturing a massive hole into the roof.
Han Li's body swayed before he flew through the hole as a streak of azure light. After a few flashes, he had reached an altitude of over 200 feet above the ark. Only then did he begin to carefully inspect his surroundings.
At this moment, several other streaks of light also quickly hurtled forth from within the ark. Long Dong and the others had also abandoned the ark in the face of this latest crisis.
In the instant after everyone had left the ark, a resounding boom erupted and the entire spirit ark exploded amid the erratic white light, instantly sweeping up gusts of gale-force winds that surged toward the five of them.
All of them were Deity Transformation cultivators, so they naturally weren't fearful of these winds. All of them managed to stabilize themselves before staring at the site of the explosion down below.
Aside from the white-browed young man who was on lookout duty, no one knew what had caused this explosion.
However, even as everyone swept their spiritual sense through the surrounding area, they were unable to discover anything.
As such, all of them were rather bewildered.
"Brother Li, who's attacking us?" Xiao Hong hurriedly asked.
"Have a look for yourselves!" The white-browed young man cast his gaze downward with a grim expression.
Everyone faltered slightly upon hearing this before sweeping their spiritual sense down toward the ground.
After ascertaining the situation down below, Han Li's brows furrowed while the two women let loose cries of surprise.
There was a gargantuan set of mountain ranges down below that seemed to stretch into infinity and beyond. All of them just so happened to be situated above the col between two massive mountains, and in this rather obscure place, there was a vast area that had been cleared out amid a forest with huge trees of all types of colors.
At the center of this area was a giant purple herb that was around 300 to 400 feet tall. Each and every one of the herb's leaves reached directly upward as if they were massive swords, and there were countless extremely sharp-looking thorns growing all around it.
There was a pair of colossal creatures facing off against one another on either side of this giant herb.
One of them was a giant lizard with a body that was around 500 to 600 feet long. its entire body was green and riddled with coin-sized black spots while a pair of crimson horns sat on top of its head.
Its opponent was a primordial giant that was around 300 feet tall. It possessed a set of sinister facial features and a head of yellow hair. It had an inky-black wooden club hoisted up on its shoulder, and everyone drew a collective sharp breath at the sight of this giant.
There were countless silvery-white eyeballs of different sizes all over the giant's body and limbs, all of which were emanating an eerie light.
Both the giant and the lizard were scrutinizing their opponent while appraising the giant herb between them.
Han Li's heart stirred upon making this observation as he also swept his spiritual sense toward the herb, following which his expression changed drastically.
Within the sword-like leaves of the herb, there rested a bunch of purple grape-like fruits, each of which was around the size of a human fist.
The fruits were round and supple, and seemed to be practically overflowing with translucent juices, emitting an alluring aroma. After sweeping his spiritual sense toward these fruits, Han Li discovered that each and every one of them contained an extremely life-like dragon-shaped core. All of those dragon-shaped cores were glittering and translucent, creating quite a spectacular sight to behold.
These miniature dragons didn't possess any signs of life, but they were emanating extremely pure spiritual Qi. Even just by sweeping his spiritual sense through these fruits, Han Li was struck by an immense sense of comfort and relaxation.