The middle-aged man's facial muscles spasmed upon seeing this as he exclaimed, "That's the Heavenvoid Hall! Impossible! It hasn't been 300 years since it last opened!"
He immediately managed to identify the palace in the distance.
The blue-robed Daoist priest and the scholar didn't exhibit any reaction to the mention of the Heavenvoid Hall, but the three Core Formation cultivators were all stunned to hear this. The burly man's voice began to tremble as he exclaimed, "The Heavenvoid Hall? The secret realm containing unfathomable ancient treasures?"
"What else could that palace be? It's a little strange that it's appeared before it's time, but even if this really is the Heavenvoid Hall, no one would be able to enter it without the Heavenvoid map fragment anyway. Hmm? What's that? Someone seems to be approaching it."
Just as the middle-aged man was musing to himself in bewilderment, a vast expanse of fiery clouds suddenly came rumbling over from the distance at an incredibly fast speed. The caster of the fiery cloud seemed to have also discovered the phenomenon in the air, and was traveling to the palace to gauge the situation.
The middle-aged man's expression changed slightly upon seeing the fiery cloud. He had also intended to travel to the palace, but he immediately changed his mind as a cold light flashed through his eyes.
Just as the fiery cloud was about to reach the palace, a burst of five-colored light suddenly flashed from the palace and an extremely thick pillar of azure light shot forth directly into the ocean.
An unfathomably large black hole suddenly appeared on the surface of the ocean. The seawater parted to accommodate the pillar of light, creating a large vortex.
However, an even more incredible scene ensued!
At the center of the azure pillar of light, a white formation that was several tens of feet in radius emerged without any warning. White light then flashed from the formation, upon which a man, a woman, and a massive azure cauldron materialized out of thin air. Both of them were still rooted to the spot, seemingly having been temporarily trapped in the pillar of light.
At this moment, the fiery cloud was already almost upon them, but it suddenly faltered slightly as if its caster were also at a loss for what to do.
However, all of a sudden, an earthshattering boom erupted from within the white ball of light, sending tremors running through the massive palace. Spatial fluctuations immediately radiated forth and the palace disappeared amid a burst of piercing white light.
The azure pillar of light flashed wildly several times before also crumbling and disappearing, leaving only the man, the woman, and the massive cauldron hovering in the air.
The caster of the fiery cloud seemed to have sensed a hint of peril as the cloud immediately swerved around, flying away in the opposite direction amid a resounding boom.
However, the woman raised an eyebrow upon seeing this before waving a sleeve through the air.
Over 100 translucent swords shot forth from her sleeve, filling the entire sky with eerie glacial light, before sweeping directly toward the fiery cloud.
The swords were traveling at an incredible speed and caught up to the fiery cloud with ease before unleashing a violent bombardment.
A roar of shock and rage erupted from within the fiery cloud, following a frosty light flashed in its depths. The cultivator in the cloud seemed to have brought out some kind of treasure.
However, the translucent swords seemed to be the bane of the fiery cloud's existence as the latter quickly crumbled and dissipated. The treasures that had been summoned were also sliced in half before they could unleash any of their power, tumbling from the sky like pieces of scrap materials.
The cultivator within the fiery cloud was horrified to see this and he tried to unleash an evasion technique, but it was already far too late.
All of the translucent swords fell at once and a howl of anguish rang out as the cultivator body and soul were completely destroyed.
Clumps of blood and flesh came raining down from above as the cultivator was slain in what seemed to be the blink of an eye.
Not only were the Core Formation cultivators horrified to see this, a fearful expression had even crept onto the face of the perpetually calm middle-aged man.
The brawny man's lips trembled as he forced a smile onto his face, and said, "Martial Uncle, was the cultivator in the fiery cloud one of Old Devil Hun's disciples?"
The middle-aged man took a deep breath, and replied drily, "That was no disciple; that was none other than Old Devil Hun himself! Otherwise, who else would've been able to unleash such a powerful Scorching Flame Technique?"
Even though the three Core Formation cultivators had suspected this to be the case, they still couldn't help but draw a sharp breath in unison upon having the notion confirmed by the middle-aged man.
"But Old Devil Hun is a Nascent Soul cultivator just like you, Martial Uncle; how could he have been slain so easily? It looks like not even his Nascent Soul had a chance to escape!" The seductive woman was completely dumbfounded.
The azure-robed elderly man and the brawny man were also incredulous.
The middle-aged man didn't say anything in response. Instead, he was staring intently at the events unfolding in the distance.
At this moment, the man and the woman in the air seemed to have exchanged a few words, upon which the woman chuckled coldly in response. She then summoned all of her flying swords back to her before disappearing into the distance as a streak of light over 100 feet in length.
The man shook his head before turning his attention to the dock. He then transformed into a rather unremarkable streak of azure light as he flew toward the island, and the speed of his movement wasn't all that astonishing either.
However, the middle-aged man's expression changed upon seeing this, and he urgently instructed, "You three stay in here and keep your guard up. I'll be back soon!"
As soon as his voice fell, the middle-aged man shot forth out of the pavilion as a blue streak of light to meet the oncoming streak of azure light.
All of the people left in the pavilion began to look at one another.
They had just witnessed that woman slay a cultivator of the same caliber as their martial uncle as if she were crushing an ant. This man had accompanied her out of the Heavenvoid Hall, so his cultivation base was most likely nothing to scoff at either.
As such, all of them were feeling very nervous.
Not only them, but even the middle-aged man flying toward the azure streak of light was also feeling very uneasy.
However, after witnessing that woman in action from afar, he immediately made up his mind. That woman was most likely a late-Nascent Soul cultivator comparable to the likes of the Heavenly Star Sages and the Archsaint of the Six Paths. If they had harbored ill intentions toward them, then there was no way he would've been able to escape.
After all, he was merely an early-Nascent Soul cultivator and there was simply too large a disparity between their power levels.
As such, the best course of action was for him to voluntarily greet them in person instead of trying to flee.
Thus, after making up his mind, this early-Nascent Soul cultivator mustered up his courage and flew toward Han Li.
The two streaks of light converged together in a few moments.
The azure light receded, and Han Li was revealed.
The middle-aged man also stopped over 100 feet away before turning his gaze toward Han Li.
He discovered that the person standing before him was a young man in a set of azure robes. His looks were average and his skin was slightly dark. He currently wore a hint of a smile on his face and was also looking back at the middle-aged man.
The middle-aged man unleashed his spiritual sense to detect Han Li's cultivation base, upon which his pupils contracted minutely as he joined his hands together in a salute.
"I am Elder Gan Lin of the Yellow Sand Sect! May I ask for your esteemed name? And do you require any assistance from me?" Even though the middle-aged man was speaking to Han Li as equals, his tone and choice of words were extremely respectful.
Han Li examined the middle-aged man upon hearing this before smiling as he said, "My surname is Han. I recall hearing about the Yellow Sand Sect once, but it's been too long and I can't remember it too well. Is this island under the sect's ownership?"
"Our sect is merely a small insignificant sect in the Scattered Star Seas, so it's not strange for you to have not heard of it, fellow Daoist. If you'd like, you can come to visit our sect." The middle-aged man was very relieved to see that Han Li seemed to be quite benevolent and amicable. However, he still didn't dare to show any dissent.
He had just verified with his spiritual sense that Han Li was indeed a late-Nascent Soul cultivator, so he had to be extra careful.
Following an extended period of cultivation lasting more than 80 years, Han Li had finally escaped from the Heavenvoid Hall.
In the beginning, he had spent 60 years cultivating with the assistance of the spirit well to reach the pinnacle of the mid-Nascent Soul Stage. He then used the next 20 years to fortify his cultivation base in order to achieve the prerequisites for a breakthrough. After that, he had attempted to break through the bottleneck, hoping that he would get lucky.
The result left him rather speechless.
He discovered that his attempt to make a breakthrough encountered no impediment whatsoever, taking to the late-Nascent Soul Stage with ease.
Even after he had become a late-Nascent Soul cultivator, he was still in disbelief.
After all, it had been an extremely arduous process for him to make the breakthrough to the mid-Nascent Souls Stage and he had only succeeded after preparing all types of pills and medicines to assist him during the process.
For this attempt at breaking through to the late-Nascent Soul Stage, he had only prepared some ordinary pills and didn't really harbor any high hopes, but the process had been as simple as breathing air.
The ease with which he had made the breakthrough left him extremely perplexed. He pondered the process over and over again, but still couldn't make sense of the situation.
Perhaps this was because the Great Development Technique he had cultivated in conjunction with the Nascent Cultivating Pill that he had consumed had finally taken effect; perhaps the rainbow bead manifested from his consumption of the Heavenmend Pill had improved the aptitude of his spiritual roots; perhaps the Azure Essence Sword Art he had cultivated made it much easier for him to progress to the late-Nascent Soul Stage; perhaps his cultivation base was simply far superior to other cultivators of the same level...
All of the aforementioned factors were plausible possibilities, and it could also be the case that a combination of those factors was the answer he was seeking. In the end, Han Li gave up on trying to identify the underlying reasons.
After all, it was impossible to replicate the conditions for any successful breakthrough to the late-Nascent Soul Stage. Otherwise, great cultivators would have been a lot more common in the human world.
After making his breakthrough, Han Li naturally refined his Eight Spirit Ruler and Heavenvoid Cauldron again, then easily mastered the second layer of the Artifact Imprint Technique before setting off in search of the silver-robed woman, who had also been cultivating in seclusion the entire time.
When they met, her jaw dropped to the ground upon making the discovery that Han Li had become a late-Nascent Soul cultivator.
As a result, she completely relinquished any thoughts of attacking Han Li. Through the use of the secret technique that she provided, the two of them, in conjunction with the five devils and the humanoid puppet, really were able to activate the control formation, thereby forcing the Heavenvoid Hall to temporarily reveal itself over the Scattered Star Seas.
The two of them then used the control formation to teleport themselves out of the hall along with the Heavenvoid Cauldron.
As for the cultivator who had unleashed the fiery cloud, he was simply very unlucky. The Ice Phoenix had been trapped in the Heavenvoid Hall for close to a century and had been very flustered by Han Li's easy progression to the late-Nascent Soul Stage. Just as she was at the height of her frustration, Old Devil Hun delivered himself to her doorstep as a living punching bag, an offer which she naturally wasn't going to refuse. After that, she left Han Li behind to search for a way back to the Great Jin.
Even though Han Li's cultivation base had taken a significant stride forward, he still didn't like his chances in battle against her, so he let her leave.
Of course, he wasn't going to tell her about the ancient teleportation formation that led to the Heavenly South Region.Previous Chapter Next Chapter