As the light faded, the object was revealed to be a massive black pine tree.
The tree was extremely huge, yet its appearance was quite peculiar. There seemed to be an invisible line running directly down the center of the tree; on one side of the line, the tree was extremely lush and exuberant, yet the other half was completely shriveled up and devoid of leaves, as if it were a dead tree.
This was Mu Qing's wood spirit body.
She appraised the tree with a complex expression before flicking her 10 fingers in quick succession, casting one incantation seal after another, which all disappeared into the black tree.
The tree abruptly shuddered before lowering a small section of itself further into the ground, then falling completely still.
However, Mu Qing didn't stop there. She opened her mouth again to expel a ball of green blood essence, sending it flying toward the black tree before disappearing into a slight bulge on the tree trunk.
After that, Mu Qing began to chant something, and she raised both hands in unison to blast forth another two pillars of green light, both of which also vanished into the trees.
In the next instant, a ball of green light abruptly exploded from the spot on the tree trunk where the blood essence had just disappeared. The bark on the tree began to twist and warp before forming an extremely life-like set of facial features.
The face on the tree trunk was squirming incessantly and scrunched up in pain as if it were a living being.
Upon closer inspection, one would discover that this was none other than Jin Ling's face.
"Wake up!" Mu Qing yelled as she raised her eyebrows, then cast another incantation seal.
A small section of the massive black tree's trunk suddenly split apart down the middle, following which a golden ape leaped out from within.
The golden ape immediately knelt onto the ground, and said, "Jin Ling pays his respects to His Mistress! My Mistress, why have you awakened me? Could it be..."
"You may rise. It's a good thing you left a spiritual avatar of yourself within my body before we left. The original Jin Ling has already fallen, so you are Jin Ling now," Mu Qing sighed.
The golden ape's expression changed slightly upon hearing this, but it then said in a respectful manner, "So I really did die. I was wondering why I couldn't sense the existence of my true body. In that case, I'm willing to continue serving My Mistress in Jin Ling's stead! You sacrificed your blood essence to summon me, so you must have something for me to do, right?"
"That's right. The tracking mark I planted in Han brat's body has been destroyed, and I've lost track of him as well. I'm preparing to unleash my Wood Domain to find him, but in that case, I'll have to use the power of my true body. Hence, I'll need you to protect the spirit wood that is my true form, an
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