In all honesty, Han Li didn't want to stay in this place. Instead, he wanted to return to the Heavenly South Region as quickly as possible to undo Nangong Wan’s Soul Seal Curse.
However, lending the Heavenvoid Cauldron to the silver-robed woman was no different from committing suicide. A late-Nascent Soul cultivator like the Ice Phoenix was powerful enough to master the second layer of the Artifact Imprint Technique. In that case, with the cauldron under her control, he would be no match for her in battle even with the puppet and the Unbroken Cinque Devils on his side.
He was naturally not going to put himself in such a perilous situation.
Thankfully, Nangong Wan had already consumed the inner core of the Ancient Flame Toad. Even though that couldn't completely undo the curse, it would definitely be able to delay the outbreak of the curse, thus ensuring her survival for the next 300 years.
In that case, he could only set aside his original objective and cultivate in this place instead.
Han Li currently had his eyes tightly shut and if it weren't for the steady rising and fall of his chest, he would like an inanimate object.
At the same time, the white mist emanating from the spirit well was slowly drifting toward him, enshrouding him in a veil of mist before transforming into a ball of white mist that completely obscured him within.
One day, one month, one year... Time slowly passed by and the white mist continued to drift toward Han Li. The white ball of mist remained completely stationary around him without exhibiting any changes, as if it had been born with the creation of the world and would exist for all of eternity.
In the blink of an eye, 80 years had passed. On that day, a series of ships of all different sizes were entering and exiting the dock of a certain island in the Scattered Star Seas. There were also some cultivators with advanced cultivation bases flying to and from the island. Aside from this single point through which one could arrive or depart, the rest of the island had been completely sealed by a restriction.
Thus, a lively and bustling scene was presented at the dock.
Close to the shore, there were several small mountains of different sizes scattered erratically over the land. On the tallest of those mountains, there was a white pavilion, which wasn't exactly intricately-crafted, as the entire structure had been built using massive rocks, but it possessed a rather unique and rough charm.
On the top level of this three-story pavilion, there was a blue-robed Daoist priest and a white-robed scholar discussing something with one another as they looked out at the dock.
"Senior Martial Brother Ming, I heard the Starfall Coalition and the Star Palace have clashed in battle again near the Starfall Island. This time, A Core Formation cultivator from the Starfall Coalition perished during the battle. It appears that the Starfall Coalition has suffered a heavy loss," the scholar said in a slow voice.
"The conflicts between the Star Palace and the Starfall Coalition have been increasing in regularity in the past few years. Looks like we won't be too far away from the next major battle. Come to think of it, the situation is rather strange. The Starfall Coalition has clearly gained the ascendancy in this tug-of-war, claiming over 20 of the 20 islands in the inner sea. However, the Star Palace has won most of the battles between the two powers," the blue-robed Daoist priest sighed.
"Hehe, what's so strange about that? The Heavenly Star Sages have cultivated the Divine Essencefused Light so as long as they don't stray far from the Heavenly Star Island, they're virtually invincible. Didn't you hear about what happened in the battle before the last one? The Archsaint of the Six Paths joined forces with Wan Sangu, but were still comprehensively defeated near the Heavenly Star Island. However, the Heavenly Star Sages don't dare to leave the Heavenly Star Island for long as their cultivation bases would be severely hampered as a result. Hence, both powers are wary of one another and the victims of this stalemate are small sects like ours," the scholar chuckled coldly.
The blue-robed Daoist priest pursed his lips with a gloomy expression, and said, "That's true. In the past, these two powers only conscripted troops from surrounding sects, which wasn't too difficult to deal with as we could just send over a few low-level disciples. But back then, we only had to pay taxes to one side, yet we have to pay taxes to both powers now. Times are getting a lot harder."
"Haha, you sure like to burden yourself with unnecessary concerns, Senior Martial Brother Ming. These matters are not for Foundation Establishment disciples like us to think about; our Martial Seniors will take care of those matters. As long as our patriarch is still around, those two powers wouldn't dare to exert too much pressure on us. We just have to last through this two-year period. After that, we can go back and focus on cultivation. Speaking of which, when I came out of my last period of seclusion, I could sense that I was about to progress from the early-Foundation Establishment Stage, so I must be close to the mid-Foundation Establishment Stage." A smug expression suddenly appeared on the scholar's face.
The blue-robed faltered upon hearing this before an envious look appeared on his face as he said, "If you can progress to the mid-Foundation Establishment Stage within 100 years, then your aptitude is exceptional. I've been stuck at the mid-Foundation Establishment Stage for several decades already, yet there hasn't been any inkling to suggest an imminent breakthrough."
The scholar waved his hands modestly, and said, "You're far too kind, Senior Martial Brother Ming. Everyone knows that the early-Foundation Establishment Stage bottleneck is completely incomparable to that of the mid-Foundation Establishment Stage. After I progress to the mid-Foundation Establishment Stage, there's a good chance that I won't even be able to match your progress."
A wry smile appeared on the blue-robed Daoist priest's face upon hearing this and just as he was about to say something, an earth-shattering boom erupted, immediately following which the entire pavilion began to tremor violently.
Both of them were stunned by this sudden turn of events and after taking a glance at one another, they immediately turned their gaze toward the dock.
In the air over five kilometers away from the dock, there was a vast expanse of cloud and mist that was surging and tumbling incessantly, and a thunderous noise akin to that of countless rumbling horse hooves could be heard coming from within.
Just as this noise erupted, a massive wave over 1,000 feet tall suddenly appeared on the surface of the ocean as a silvery-white line hurtled rapidly toward the dock.
All of the ships near the dock were immediately thrown into a frenzied panic as they sped toward the dock with all their might. Countless mortals began to abandon their ships as they scrambled onto the shore.
In the face of such an astonishingly massive wave, anyone could see that staying on their ships was akin to committing suicide.
As for the merchandise and stock on those ships, their fate would be decided by the gods.
The blue-robed Daoist priest and the scholar completely ignored this monstrous wave. Instead, they were staring intently at the tumbling clouds and mist in the sky with tense expressions on their faces.
Only a short while had passed and the two of them were already sweating profusely.
Not only them, but the expressions on the faces of all of the cultivators on the dock had also changed drastically. Some of them low-level cultivators weren't even able to activate their treasures in order to flee the scene, forcing them to descend unsteadily from the air above.
The spiritual pressure emanating from the cloud and mist was simply far too astonishing. Even though the two of them were situated so far away, they were still petrified by those spiritual Qi fluctuations. It was as if some sort of primordial demon beast were about to descend upon them.
At this moment, not only were the buildings near the dock beginning to tremor, the entire massive island was starting to quiver and quake.
The blue-robed Daoist priest and the scholar felt as if all of their saliva had run dry, leaving them unable to speak.
Right at this moment, three streaks of light suddenly flew forth from within the island, appearing above the pavilion in the blink of an eye before rushing separately into the top floor.
The light receded, revealing a woman and two men.
There was a brawny man in a set of long robes, an elderly azure-robed man with a troubled frown on his face, and a woman with a seductive figure.
The Daoist priest and the scholar were finally snapped out of their stunning stupor following the arrival of their martial seniors, and they hurriedly rushed over to pay their respects.
"What happened?" the brawny man asked with a grave expression on his face.
"I'm afraid I do not know, Martial Senior. This cloud and mist phenomenon suddenly appeared in the sky over there and we were just about to contact you using our voice transmission talismans," the blue-robed Daoist priest quickly replied.
The three Core Formation cultivators also began to stare silently into the sky upon hearing that.
"What is that thing? Is there some type of high-grade demon beast exhaling that cloud and mist?" the woman asked with furrowed brows.
The azure-robed elderly man shook his head with narrowed eyes as he replied, "No. There's no demonic Qi within that cloud and mist, so it can't be a demon beast. Also, a demon beast capable of creating such a phenomenon would at least have to be at the metamorphosis stage. There's no way that a demon beast of that caliber would appear here."
"Then, could it be a Nascent Soul Stage Senior casting a technique?" the brawny man asked with a bewildered look.
The elderly man took a deep breath, and solemnly said, "That doesn't seem very plausible, either. As far as I'm aware, aside from a few Nascent Soul devils who are proficient in the devilish arts, there aren't any who use cultivation arts that would produce this kind of phenomenon. In my opinion, it looks more like the heavenly premonition indicating that a certain treasure is about to appear."
An eager expression appeared on the face of the brawny man upon hearing this.
At this moment, an elderly voice suddenly reverberated throughout the entire room. "What's this nonsense about a treasure? You're going to get yourselves killed if you keep thinking like that!"
The elderly man was startled by this voice before hurriedly standing up straighter.
A blue light abruptly appeared, immediately following which a thin middle-aged man emerged in the room.
"We pay our respects to Martial Uncle," the three of them greeted in unison.
Both the blur-robed Daoist priest and scholar were surprised to hear this before they also paid their respects to the middle-aged man.
Only then did they catch a clear glimpse of the middle-aged man to find that he had an unhealthy yellow pallor and a pair of greyish-white eyes, making him appear as if he were blind.
The middle-aged man turned his expressionless gaze toward the distance as he said in a cold voice, "Hmph, you sure are full of yourselves. Even if this really is a heavenly premonition indicating the appearance of a treasure, do you think a treasure of this caliber is something you can lay your hands on? Even if by some miracle you were to actually obtain the treasure, you would only be killed for it later on anyway. As far as I know, Old Devil Hun is somewhere nearby and there's no way he'd ignore this phenomenon."
As he looked at the tumbling cloud and mist in the sky, a solemn expression appeared on his face.
All three of the Core Formation cultivators instantly dejected at the mention of this Old Devil Hun.
"Even if we can't obtain this treasure, wouldn't you be able to do so, Martial Uncle?" The seductive woman was still unwilling to give up on this opportunity.
"If it really is some type of treasure, then I'll naturally try to secure it for myself. Other people may be fearful toward Old Devil Hun, but I wouldn't mind battling him. It's just a pity that this is most likely not a heavenly premonition indicating the emergence of a treasure," the middle-aged man replied.
Right at this moment, a blinding white light suddenly erupted in the sky in the distance. The colorful cloud and mist were instantly reduced to nothingness and every in the pavilion aside from the middle-aged man were forced to close their eyes.
However, at the exact same moment, the space in the above suddenly began to twist and warp, following which enormous spiritual pressure that was several times more intense than before abruptly descended.
A pristine white palace emerged amid the white light, emanating a faint light as it hovered in the air.
As everyone in the pavilion opened their eyes again, they were immediately dumbstruck by this scene that greeted them.Previous Chapter Next Chapter