Star Gate

Chapter 407: One After Another (I)

Chapter 407: One After Another (I)

Li Hao even saw a Solar level monster spirit soar overhead at one point. His timely evasion prevented trouble from developing. He wasn’t afraid of Solars, but this was just the outskirts of the mountain.

If there were Solar monster spirits here... wouldn’t it be more dangerous further in?

Liu Long also sensed some dangerous presences and walked up to Li Hao, keeping his voice down. “Let’s keep to the fringes as we head east. We should avoid penetrating the mountains. According to some Silver City elders, Ash Mountain is made of nine mountains and eighteen layers—nine enormous mountain ranges have become what we know as Ash Mountain.”

There would be trouble if they went further in and entered the second mountain.

Li Hao nodded and determined their direction, then shifted slightly to the side. He hadn’t followed the foot of the first mountain because that was too obvious and made it impossible to cover their tracks. But now that he sensed the dangers within, he wasn’t in the mood to court death.

After a while, the young man exhaled heavily and changed direction. When Liu Long looked at him, he transmitted, “There’s a Solar monster spirit ahead. We should walk in another direction.”

Liu Long was likewise resigned. Were Solars everywhere in this blasted place? Why did it seem so terrifying?

They proceeded another span of the path before Li Hao scratched his head. He was beginning to sweat as he adjusted their direction again, prompting another glance from Liu Long.

“There’s another Solar ahead!”

“......” Liu Long was dumbfounded. He was from Silver City and the mountain was right next to them. When had it become so dangerous? If the monster spirits residing in Ash Mountain liked to take walks in the plains, then wouldn’t Silver City have been destroyed long ago?

The young man didn’t say a word. They continued forward; there were no monster spirits on this path. Li Hao heaved a sigh, there was finally a normal route they could take.

He wasn’t familiar with monster spirits or the habits of major monster spirits. Records regarding these creatures had long disappeared. The ancient tomes that Yuan Shuo taught from rarely spoke of them. Therefore, it wasn’t just Li Hao, but the entire modern world that lacked understanding of monster spirits. Whether it was supernatural, martial masters, or others, very few knew that these kinds of creatures did not congregate in packs. The major monster spirits went a step further and oversaw their own territory.

If there was an empty clearing devoid of monster spirits found amid several major spirits, those of the ancient civilization would warn to not proceed there! That emptiness represented there were even stronger spirits inside. These were so strong that the minor spirits nearby didn’t dare approach.

Such was the experience of the ancients. Apart from central region powerhouses possessing some understanding of major spirits, modern superhumans were completely ignorant. They just knew that monster spirits were strong and occasionally appeared with some treasure.


No monster spirits appeared along the way. Li Hao and the Demon Hunters were able to make quick time. Seeing that dawn was at hand, Li Hao decided to rest. He bade the team to stop.

“I’ll find a safe place for shelter. We’ll rest up and travel at night again,” he transmitted.

It was September 20. He was counting the days and trying to estimate if they would make it past the mountain before the 28th and enter the east side of Rift Canyon. There were eight more days left. Based on their current progress, there would be a bit of difficulty. However, it wouldn’t be a big problem if they picked up speed. Accelerating progress was possible once they shook off their pursuers or killed them.

Reminding his people to wait here, Li Hao struck out alone to find a safe place to rest. He ducked, rolled, jumped, and leapt. The young man moved fast when no one was following him and threaded through the endless mountain like an ape.

There were no signs of monster spirits to be seen along the way, making him uneasy. Why wasn’t there a single one? While numerous sightings before kept him on edge, he was also apprehensive when all of them disappeared.

Continuing forward through the forest, he seemed to glimpse a small mountain up ahead. No, it was more like a mountain valley with the terrain rising on four sides around it. The center was sunken in—this was a good spot. And was that water vapor rising from the center? Was it a lake in the mountains?

The team had brought rations with them on this trip, but not much. They’d brought even less water with them. Having not run into lakes along the way, the Demon Hunters were a bit short on water.

“Water source... where there is a water source, there will be congregations of animals.” Li Hao was well aware of this, so he didn’t dare relax his guard. He was a bit of a distance away and separated by some mountain rock. Unable to see if there were balls of light inside the valley, he cautiously crept forward and kept his presence strictly contained.

He’d absorbed dark energy earlier, which contributed to his concealment. He was also carrying the bronze mirror he’d taken from Qiao Feilong, so there truly was no hint of his presence leaking. Li Hao spread his arms wide, as if soaring through the sky, and quickly approached his target.

Moments later, he landed on a rock in the middle of the shrubbery. There wasn’t a single tree here, which made hiding difficult. Thankfully, the sun was yet to fully rise—the sky was only reddening to the east.

Li Hao walked up, finding the mountain to be unique. It looked like someone had dug through it. There was no mountaintop and nothing beyond the halfway point of the landmass. The land was sunken along the four sides.

Li Hao pushed off gently and climbed swiftly, reaching the top in a matter of moments. It was exceedingly flat, like someone had sheared off the mountaintop with a knife and dug a hole in the center. The young man sighed with emotion at nature’s exquisite work. A place like this would be a tourist spot anywhere else.

He walked toward the end of the platform, curious about what could be found below. A big lake? There was no path leading to it so... would there be monster spirits? He was yet to see any balls of light even now.

When he reached the end of the walkway, Li Hao looked down and... quickly retracted his gaze, tears glittering in his eyes. Every hair on his body stood on end as he spun on his heel to pick his way back to where he started. His movements were so small that he barely felt them as he slid across the ground.

After that, he glided off the mountain without daring to raise the sound of the wind. His eyes were still teary and red, like a suffering child who’d been beaten. When he reached the foot of the mountain, he vanished on the spot without a look back. He wouldn’t return to this place even if someone called him their daddy!

He’d nearly been blinded when he stuck his head out—it was similar to when he entered the provincial government building. When he saw Director General Zhao, Commander Huang Yun, Kong Jie, and Hou Xiaochen, they’d nearly rendered him sightless from the force of their combined strength.

Li Hao saw the same thing today, noting a snake, an ape, a golden bird, and a ferocious tiger... Four kinds of animals and four kinds of light. He was blind!

My heavens, what kind of forsaken place is this?? They’re on the same level as Hou Xiaochen and the others given how bright they are. For a moment, the young man thought he’d gone back in time to that meeting at the provincial headquarters and was meeting those four wily old foxes again.

There happened to be four monster spirits here!

In fact, Li Hao was even contemplating that those four had become major monster spirits and hid themselves here. Why else would their light be so similar, and four of them?? What kind of blasted area is this?!

Cold sweat beaded the young man’s forehead and he glided outward without a look back. All he wanted was to leave this unlucky place as soon as possible. This was too close to where the team had stopped—less than three thousand meters. LI Hao wouldn’t be searching for shelter here otherwise.

We need to leave, as soon as possible! As Li Hao reeled from shock, he was also curious about what the four monster spirits were waiting here for. To have a drink of water together? There was indeed a lake at the center of the valley and there almost seemed to be a flower...

A flower?

Li Hao blinked. Were those monster spirits waiting for that flower? To eat it?

Forget it, it’s not important. Although he was fearless, he didn’t wish to meet his end. Just one Hou Xiaochen alone would be his doom. Four Hou Xiaochens... he would die a very grisly death!


As Li Hao ran off.

Within the valley.

Four major monster spirits lifted their heads at almost the same time. They were just taking a look. The ape looked at the golden eagle, the eagle looked at the snake, the snake looked at the tiger...

Someone’s there!

The four monster spirits shared the same look in their eyes. You go take a look! Someone’s come, go take a look! You’re looking at me and I’m looking at you... C’mon, go look!

In the end, no one moved. They weren’t going. Whoever did was an idiot. There was nothing to fear about a human on the scene; there was much to fear that the golden lotus would appear as soon as they left. There would be nothing remaining for the one who moved, which would be the greatest loss of all.

They’d kill the human if it really entered the valley, but it didn’t—an obvious sign that it wasn’t that strong. Although there was no hint of presence, the disturbance it caused was still there. It wasn’t a very strong existence.

In that case... who was afraid of the human robbing them?

As Li Hao rejoiced that he hadn’t been discovered, he remained blithely unaware that he was alive because he’d seen four monster spirits. If he’d seen only one... he’d be dead on the spot. None of the four were willing to leave because they awaited the maturation of the golden lotus.

In the middle of the lake, the lotus flower petals were gradually turning golden. If one looked carefully, there were eight petals and golden seeds in the middle that bore a hint of green. The golden color kept spreading, however. It would be soon.

The four monster spirits lazily stood guard, no one shifting a muscle. They knew that humans had come to Ash Mountain. Some minor spirits were harassing them to interfere with their travels. It wasn’t that the monster spirits were afraid of the trespassers, they just didn’t want the humans to arrive too quickly and interfere with the Sky Golden Lotus.

Who would’ve thought that one of them would find the valley regardless?

A martial master?


The major monster spirits turned over the possibilities. One of them suddenly recalled a scene from long ago. The crouching tiger remembered a human who pinned it to the ground for a thorough beating. Those days were the most humiliating of the tiger’s life. Some bastard wanted it to roar, go berserk, or even go into heat so that the human could comprehend a so-called aura of the Five Styles... He beat the tiger if it didn’t cooperate!

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