Giant Beast Forest...
The fractal distribution of the trees lined the uneven ground. The moonlight that fought their way through the thick foliage gave the place a bit of light. Meanwhile, the birds and beasts continued chirping and making noises. The gust whistled between the branches and leaves. If one were to remove the demonic beasts here, this part of the forest would make a serene habitat for humans.
However, this serenity got destroyed by a series of footsteps.
The figures emerged from the darkness, unveiled by the weak moonlight. The man leading the group was at the front while his four bodyguards continued looking out with vigilant and wary eyes.
Marcus and his secret forces ran all the way here.
The guards with him were carrying unconscious humans.
While they walked, they couldn't help but emit rustling sounds. They travelled in whichever direction Marcus walked in. the guards followed closely behind Marcus. They didn't complain when Marcus changed directions, at most, they exchanged a look and then they would continue looking out with utmost vigilance.
The guards could see Marcus had a goal in mind, he navigated his way through the forest, although they wondered why he couldn't just walk in a single direction, they decided it was not their position as secret guards to question their master...
Marcus also didn't tell the guards what he was up to. He treated them like they never existed. With a dark look, he continued walking all over the place. From time to time, he would stop and close his eyes as if he's trying to remember a route. Then, he would change his directions, sometimes going back where they came from.
The crooks were incredibly lucky. They didn't encounter a single demonic beast despite travelling for about 3 hours. They were in the deep region of the Giant Beast Forest, a demonic beast encounter is not something they want to deal with.
As time went on, the trees around them grew in density and height. Even the ground was hard to navigate. However, without complaining, the five fugitives walked on until they were in a certain area. Marcus opened his eyes and he gazed upon it...
It was a very tall cliff with a precipitous incline, the surface also looked verys mooth, it was about 100 meters tall. Judging by the volume of decayed leaves and the amount of insects like centipedes and bugs here, it's clear nobody's been here for years.
Faced with this tall cliff, Marcus & co stood as the others waited for Marcus to come up with an action plan. The guy himself stood there with hesitating eyes, it's like he's second-guessing his own choice.
After 10 or so minutes, Marcus moved.
"Let's go up..."
Any other person would be flabbergasted Marcus said that. The cliff is tall, precipitous and, barring the usage of climbing magic, it would be hard to make it to the top. The guards also had unconscious humans with them, making climbing this cliff monumentally hard.
The guards flinched but they disappeared from their spots as they climbed the cliff, led by Marcus.
They manipulated their Dou Qi to form spikes in their hands and feet, the cliff got gouged by their powers, with this forceful use of power, they climbed steadily upwards. However, the closer they got to the top, the slower they got. The Dou Qi consumption of precise dou qi manipulation isn't a laughing matter.
When they arrived at the top, even Marcus was sweating all over and panting. It took them half an hour to climb this cliff, it wasn't easy but they made it. Marcus lifted his foot as he inched forward.
The secret guards also got a better look at what it's like up here...
There were tall walls to the sides. In front of them is another wall of hard rock, they were faced with a dead end. Here, they saw a platform at the center of this walled-off cliff.
Marcus looked happy after he found this platform. He rubbed away the dust and one could see channels to hold liquid. Marcus cleaned up the platform, revealing more channels.
After clearing the platform, they could see the channels formed an intricately-designed ritual circle.
Marcus hesitated as he floated between bitterness, hatred, and malice. At last, he was consumed by his own hatred and evil. He reached his hand out and he took out a vial of unknown liquid. He poured its content into the conduit and he ordered his men.
"Kill them, let their blood pour down on the platform.
His lackeys channeled dou qi as they executed the sacrifices with a blow to the head.
Bam bam bam bam
It sounded like multiple watermelons got smashed apart, they hung the lifeless bodies upside down, letting their blood drain as if they are letting chickens bleed out.
The blood of the dead humans dyed the platform in a gory red, Marcus emptied his vial of unknown liquid.
Then, the platform lit up.
The blood that were scattered about the platform got sucked into the channels as if the platform was alive, the platform returned to its original look, except this time, the platform's conduit brimmed with eerie dark liquid.
Following that, the channels lit up
The platform started shaking violently as the platform and channels lit up.
It turned into a magical formation.
The third time it shook, the platform stayed still as the liquid within it churned around.
The black liquid shot up into the sky, the stream of liquid moved around in the air, weaving an identical formation to the platform on a grander scale, this formation was at least 10 meters wide.
The formation throbbed like a living thing. Then, it rapidly shrunk as it shot into Marcus.
Marcus cried out.
His lackeys were stunned by what they saw.
Marcus was quickly covered in a layer of dark scales. Even his face was covered, he also grew a long tail and two demonic horns. He looked like a terrifying monster.
His aura also rose rapidly as he entered the tier 9 realm.
His lackeys watched as they were struck with awe.
The monster who was once Marcus laughed out loud.
His demonic cackle echoed throughout the sky.