In the instant that the formation spell emerged, the two of them hovered into the air before looking down at it from above.
Han Li could determine after a brief glance that the formation in front of his eye was indeed the Heavenvoid Hall's control formation. Furthermore, at the very center of the formation, he saw a diagram that was completely identical to the Heavenvoid Cauldron.
This immediately evoked within him a recollection of the scenes back when he had opened the Profound Jade Cave in the Spirit Void Hall.
The formation that sealed the Profound Jade Cave also seemed to have employed a similar restriction. However, this formation was over ten times the size of that one and it also seemed to be more complex and profound.
The silver-robed woman noticed the flash of recognition in Han Li's eyes, and as she withdrew her Celestial Techniques, she asked, "You've also seen this formation before?"
"I've seen a similar one somewhere in the North Night Palace," Han Li replied.
The silver-robed woman didn't ask for any further details from Han Li. Instead, she urged, "I see! That's a good thing. In that case, you should also know how to control this formation, right? Perhaps you can see if the Heavenvoid Cauldron can be used for that purpose."
Han Li hesitated momentarily before nodding as he opened his mouth. A ball of azure light emerged from within before hovering straight toward the center of the formation. That azure object was none other than the Heavenvoid Cauldron, which was currently only several inches in size.
Of course, during this process, Han Li was constantly guarding against the silver-robed woman. If she expressed any intention of stealing the cauldron from him, then he would immediately withdraw it.
The Heavenvoid Cauldron flew over to the center of the massive formation, where it stopped at Han Li's behest, right over the image of the massive cauldron down below.
Right at this moment, the entirety of the cauldron diagram lit up as a pillar of azure light erupted into the air, encompassing the Heavenvoid Cauldron within.
Han Li sensed a disturbance within his spiritual sense and he lost his connection with the cauldron again. His expression changed drastically as he stole a glance at the silver-robed woman beside him. He was relieved to see that the silver-robed woman hadn't done anything out of the ordinary, and he turned his attention to the Heavenvoid Cauldron again.
Within the azure pillar of light, the Heavenvoid Cauldron began to emit a ringing sound as it swelled drastically in size.
Moments later, the cauldron had become the same size as the diagram down below. At the same time, all of the diagrams of the flora and fauna on the cauldron began to manifest themselves. Han Li felt his spiritual sense stir as he regained his connection with the cauldron. However, his magic power then began to surge toward the cauldron in a wild frenzy, a turn of events that made Han Li's expression change drastically.
Right at this moment, the silver-robed woman suddenly made a hand seal before pointing toward the center of the formation.
A white pillar of light shot forth, disappearing into the giant cauldron diagram in a flash.
Han Li immediately felt his rate of magic power loss slow down to an acceptable degree and his expression eased slightly.
If the silver-robed woman hadn't have done that, he would've cut off his flow of magic power immediately and withdrawn the Heavenvoid Cauldron.
However, the Heavenvoid Cauldron was like a bottomless pit, relentlessly engulfing his and the silver-robed woman's magic power.
A short while later, half of Han Li's magic power had been lost and his expression darkened once again.
At this moment, a low rumbling sounded from the formation. Some of the runes began to light up, but they were only glowing very feebly, as if they had only just been activated.
"This won't work! Our magic power isn't sufficient to activate this formation!" The silver-robed woman's expression changed as she withdrew her hand seal, upon which the azure pillar of light immediately crumbled.
Han Li's brows furrowed as he also snapped off his flow of magic power before waving a hand toward the cauldron in the distance.
The Heavenvoid Cauldron swayed as a pillar of light shot forth from within. It then rapidly shrank to its original size in the blink of an eye before disappearing into Han Li's sleeve.
"It's not just a matter of insufficient magic power; this control formation can only be used by a Deity Transformation cultivator. I'm a mid-Nascent Soul cultivator while you're at the late-Nascent Soul Stage, so there's no way we can succeed!" Han Li looked down at the formation below with his brows tightly furrowed.
Following the disappearance of the Heavenvoid Cauldron, the pillar of azure light erupting from the giant cauldron diagram also vanished. The rumbling and the flashing lights from the formation down below also receded before everything fell completely silent.
After a brief silence, the silver-robed woman said, "It's not necessarily the case that only a Deity Transformation cultivator can use this formation. If several late-Nascent Soul cultivators were to join forces, that would also suffice."
Han Li faltered slightly upon hearing this before turning to her with an incredulous look. "Surely you jest, Fellow Daoist Phoenix! Even four late-Nascent Soul cultivators are no match for a single Deity Transformation cultivator. You should be well aware of the disparity between the two!"
"In terms of combat prowess, a Deity Transformation cultivator is able to draw upon the world's origin Qi, so a late-Nascent Soul cultivator is naturally no match. However, I have a secret technique that can temporarily combine the magic power of several cultivators as one. If we use this secret technique to fuel the Heavenvoid Cauldron, we should be able to activate this formation," the silver-robed woman replied confidently.
"Really, now? Could it be that you want to use my Unbroken Cinque Devils and my puppet for this secret technique?" Han Li asked with a contemplative look on his face.
"Hehe, you sure are a smart man, Fellow Daoist Han. That was exactly my intention! With the combined form of the Unbroken Cinque Devils, that puppet, and myself, there's a good chance that we'll succeed." The silver-robed woman chuckled and her icy cold demeanor was replaced by an inviting and seductive one, as if she had transformed into a completely different person.
However, Han Li paid no heed to her exquisitely beautiful features. Instead, he was contemplating something in deep thought.
"You didn't mention my name just then; am I not able to take part in this secret technique?" he asked.
"That won't work. This secret technique can only be unleashed by cultivators of the same cultivation base. Furthermore, the one who can control this combined magic power must be the participating cultivator with the highest cultivation base. You are far more powerful than any other mid-Nascent Soul cultivator I've seen, but there is still a large disparity between you and a late-Nascent Soul cultivator," the silver-robed woman explained with a smile.
Han Li's expression suddenly changed as he harrumphed coldly, "Hmph! In order to control the Heavenvoid Cauldron, you must master the Artifact Imprint Technique first. Are you asking me to hand over my Heavenvoid Cauldron?"
"A spirit treasure is very valuable, but this is the only way out unless you want to be trapped here forever!" the Ice Phoenix replied calmly.
"Don't even think about it; I won't agree to this no matter what!"
The silver-robed woman was rather surprised by Han Li's complete lack of hesitation. She raised an eyebrow and was just about to say something when Han Li cut her off coldly, "Let me tell you something: this place will open once every 300 years. Even if we don't do anything, we'll still be able to get out; we'll just have to stay here for a while. I've changed my mind now. I'm not in a hurry to leave this place. Instead, I'm going to stay here and cultivate. Hehe, I'll come and find you if I end up progressing to the late-Nascent Soul Stage. Farewell for now, Fellow Daoist Phoenix!" At the conclusion of that sentence, Han Li transformed into an azure streak of light as he flew away from the stone terrace, disappearing into a bluestone path in the blink of an eye.
"This place opens once every 300 years?" The silver-robed woman was overjoyed to hear this and she swallowed back the words that were on the tip of her tongue. Even though she had missed out on the chance to snatch away his spirit treasure, it was undoubtedly good news that she wouldn't be trapped here forever after all.
She didn't have to worry about Han Li deceiving her as a mere 300 years was completely negligible for a heavenly spirit beast like her, whose lifespan numbered in the tens of thousands of years.
She was originally planning to use a secret technique with self-mutilating side-effects that could temporarily grant her Deity Transformation Stage power, thereby allowing her to easily kill Han Li and take his Heavenvoid Cauldron.
However, using a secret technique like that was extremely taxing to her body.
Not only did the user of the secret technique have to be a tenth grade Ice Phoenix, unleashing it would inflict severe damage to the user's essential Dao foundation, making it almost impossible for her to progress to the Deity Transformation stage in the future. Even for a semi-Deity Transformation cultivator like her, who had satisfied the prerequisite conditions for making a breakthrough long ago, the consequences were still bound to be catastrophic.
As such, she had been very reluctant to employ this course of action. Due to the fact that she was approaching the end of her lifespan, she was planning to make her breakthrough during this recent period of time. However, Old Devil Che's avatar had then alerted her to the news regarding the spatial node, so she had been recruited to attack the North Night Palace with him, thereby forcing her to set her breakthrough aside. That was why she was still at the late-Nascent Soul Stage.
Of course, progressing to the Deity Transformation Stage in this place wasn't a bad option, either. If she could successfully make her breakthrough, not only would she be able to kill Han Li, she would also be able to take his Heavenvoid Cauldron and escape from this place. Unfortunately, Ice Phoenixes were rather special in that they could only make breakthroughs during a special ceremony held in the holy land of the Ice Phoenixes, the Ice Abyss Island.
Otherwise, even if a breakthrough were to be successfully made, the Ice Phoenix in question wouldn't be able to make any further breakthroughs in the future. The silver-robed woman didn't dare to take such a risk before she could escape from this place.
Of course, Han Li wasn't aware of these things, but he revealed to her the fact that the Heavenvoid Hall opened once every 300 years in fear that she would turn on him out of sheer desperation. As long as she could see a glimmer of hope, she wouldn't be inclined to engage Han Li in a battle to the death.
What Han Li had said in the end about making a breakthrough to the late-Nascent Soul Stage was, of course, nothing more than an errant comment.
The silver-robed woman didn't take him seriously either.
It was not an easy task to make a breakthrough to the late-Nascent Soul Stage. There were countless mid-Nascent Soul cultivators in this world who were unable to make this breakthrough and were confined to the mid-Nascent Soul Stage until their deaths.
The silver-robed woman stood on the stone terrace and contemplated to herself for a long while before murmuring, "So be it. I have a few secret techniques I haven't yet fully mastered. This is a good opportunity to hone them now. If I can successfully master them, my chances of victory would improve if I were to engage that man in battle."
With that in mind, she stomped a foot onto the ground and abruptly transformed into a streak of light, flying toward the opposite direction that Han Li had gone in.
She was also planning to find a suitable stone chamber for her to go into seclusion and cultivate in.
Half a day later, Han Li found himself in a secret chamber around 400 feet both in length and width. He sat on the ground with his legs folded in front of him and there was an off-white pond over 100 feet in diameter situated before him. Spiritual Qi intermingled with a fragrant aroma wafted forth from the pond; this place was the mysterious secret chamber on the second floor where Han Li had last met Yuan Yao.
Not only was this an extremely well-concealed place, there was also a large spirit well in here, making it an outstanding cultivation venue. However, in order to avoid unforeseen circumstances, Han Li sealed the teleportation formation on this level, making it temporarily ineffective, then used some formation flags to conceal the entire secret chamber.
With those measures in place, it would be difficult to find him, even for a tenth grade Ice Phoenix.Previous Chapter Next Chapter