Chapter 1145: Unannounced Assault

The surrounding area remained silent and no one revealed themselves in the darkness. It was as if there really wasn't anyone there.

The cultivator who had just spoken was furious upon seeing this. He harrumphed coldly as he made a hand seal, preparing to unleash an attack that would force their pursuers to show themselves.

Right at this moment, an indistinct buzzing suddenly rang out around them in all directions. Furthermore, the sound was only becoming louder and louder, as if it were rapidly approaching them.

The cultivators' hearts jolted upon hearing this as they surveyed their surroundings with wide eyes.

Moments later, spots of golden light began to appear in the darkness. Each and every spot of golden light contained a golden beetle within, and more and more of those spots were beginning to appear. The group of cultivators had been surrounded.

A stir immediately ran through the group upon seeing this.

Even the two cultivators at the forefront of the group were astonished.

In particular, the one who had just attacked the spirit insect knew just how pesky these spirit insects were. With so many of them appearing at once, it was definitely not going to be easy to take care of all of them.

Thus, the cultivator's expression immediately darkened as his spiritual sense swept incessantly through the surrounding area, trying to find that cultivator that was manipulating these spirit insects.

However, his search proved to be completely futile. Their opponents had concealed themselves extremely well, leaving him unable to discover their presence.

This turn of events immediately made his heart sink.

This indicated that their opponents either had special treasures or secret techniques to conceal themselves, or their cultivation base was significantly superior to theirs. In any case, neither of those possibilities were good things!

"If you're going to use your insects to trap us, then at least give us a reason for your actions. You still haven't revealed yourself to us yet; are you really just a coward who's going to hide in the shadows?" the cultivator who had summoned the jade hammer yelled. At the same time, dazzling green light began to flash from the treasure in his hand.

"Hehe, you'll meet me soon enough. Fellow Daoist Swift Crane, I'm here especially for you, so there's no way I wouldn't come out to meet you. Do you remember me? I'm a nondescript cultivator with the Han surname." A cold male voice suddenly rang out from within the darkness.

From the sound of the voice, it appeared that the man was still extremely far away.

"Han? Who are you and when have I ever offended you?" One of the masked cultivators stirred upon hearing this. He tore off the conical bamboo hat off his head, revealing a set of youthful features that were filled with shock and bewilderment.

This man was none other than Daoist Master Swift Crane!

The cultivator who had summoned the white threads also took off his conical hat. He was the yellow-robed cultivator who had accompanied Daoist Master Swift Crane earlier in the day. His expression was quite grim as his gaze flashed through the darkness. 

As for the cultivators behind them, they were naturally the disciples of these two Nascent Soul cultivators.

It was rather strange that these people were leaving Green Spirit Island in such a sneaky manner during the dead of night.

Upon hearing Daoist Master Swift Crane's questions, a burst of raucous laughter erupted from all directions before coming to an abrupt halt. The man clearly had no intention of answering him.

This made everyone even more perplexed.

"Fellow Daoist Swift Crane, is this man one of your enemies?" the yellow-robed man asked with furrowed brows.

From what their mysterious assailant had said, it appeared that he was directly targeting Daoist Master Swift Crane.

"I'm not sure. I don't have any recollection of an enemy with the Han surname," Daoist Master Swift Crane replied expressionlessly. Despite his calm expression, he was very confused. He simply couldn't recall having such a powerful enemy.

The yellow-robed man seemed to be quite wary of this mysterious cultivator and he hesitated momentarily before cautioning, "Regardless of who this man is, he's clearly coming after you with bad intentions. You should take care, fellow Daoist."

"I'm naturally aware of that. However, this man is clearly also a Nascent Soul cultivator. How could I not be able to recall such a powerful enemy? Han..." Daoist Master Swift Crane murmured as he fell into deep thought.

During this brief delay, the sound of something tearing through the air suddenly erupted in the night sky. A dazzling streak of azure light then shot forth from the distance, appearing amid the horde of beetles following just a few flashes.

The light receded to reveal a young man in azure robes.

He looked at Daoist Master Swift Crane and chuckled coldly as he said, "I was right to have waited for you for so long. So you really were planning to head to Green Spirit Island. Are you going to hand over your spirit stones or will I have to take them from you?"

The young man wore a nonchalant expression, completely fearless in the face of Daoist Master Swift Crane and the yellow-robed man, both of whom were early-Nascent Soul cultivators.

The two of them swept their spiritual sense toward Han Li, upon which hints of fear appeared on both of their faces.

The two of them were unable to detect Han Li's cultivation base. However, from the spiritual pressure that was indistinctly emanating from his body, they could tell that his cultivation base definitely outstripped theirs. This was most likely a mid-Nascent Soul cultivator. Furthermore, the fact that he had immediately exposed the secret behind their journey came as a huge shock to them.

"Fellow Daoist, I am Huang Kun of Fire Dragon Island! I'm afraid I'm not sure what you mean by high-grade spirit stones. Perhaps you were misled by some rumors and harbor some sort of misunderstanding toward us." The yellow-robed man was extremely wily and crafty. He could tell that this enemy was more powerful than them, so he immediately put on a polite smile.

"Misunderstanding? Hehe, I heard your voice transmission conversation from earlier; is that a false rumor? You can only blame your luck for seeking out Swift Crane and running into me. Swift Crane, do you still remember me?" A deriding sneer appeared on the young man's face. He then turned his attention to Daoist Master Swift Crane as a frosty look appeared on his face.

He was naturally none other than Han Li, who had split his spiritual sense into over 1,000 strands, then employed the assistance of his Gold Devouring Beetles to track down Daoist Master Swift Crane.

The yellow-robed man's smile immediately stiffened upon hearing Han Li's cold words.

"You... you're Han Li? You progressed to the Nascent Soul Stage?" At the same time as Han Li was replying to the yellow-robed man, Daoist Master Swift Crane was struck by a sense of familiarity. All of a sudden, he recalled back to the events that had transpired all those years ago, and he finally recognized Han Li. Upon making that realization, an incredulous look appeared on his face, as if he had seen a ghost.

"Brother Swift Crane, do you know this man? Who is he?" Shock and rage were surging through the yellow-robed man and he turned to Daoist Master Swift Crane with a dark expression.

Han Li clearly had no intention of settling this in a peaceful manner, so a battle was inevitable. The yellow-robed man knew that he wouldn't be able to detach himself from the upcoming battle, so it was naturally best to get a gauge of what he was dealing with here. Even though they were facing a mid-Nascent Soul cultivator, both of them were early-Nascent Soul cultivators and if they were to join forces, they wouldn't have to fear this opponent.

Han Li hovered in the air with his arms crossed, looking at the two of them with a cold sneer on his face.

"Fellow Daoist Huang, this man is the one who obtained the Heavenvoid Cauldron all those years ago. I didn't think that he would have progressed to the Nascent Soul Stage already," Daoist Master Swift Crane replied with a dark expression.

"What? He's the man that was being hunted down by the Starfall Alliance? I knew he looked familiar somehow, but wasn't he just a Core Formation Stage brat? How has he reached the mid-Nascent Soul Stage already?"

"I'm not sure of that myself. The Heavenvoid Cauldron is known as the number one secret treasure of the Scattered Star Seas, so perhaps it contains some kind of unimaginable pill that can drastically improve one's cultivation base. No one has ever opened the cauldron before, so it's not impossible for that to be the case." Daoist Master Swift Crane speculated with a greedy look in his eyes.

"If that really is the case, then we're in deep trouble. His cultivation base is already this fearsome and he has the Heavenvoid Cauldron. Even if we combine our powers, we may not be able to defeat him," the yellow-robed man transmitted his voice to Daoist Master Swift Crane as he looked at Han Li with a wary expression.

"I'm naturally aware of that, but even if that turns out to be the case, how will he be able to stop us if we run away?" Daoist Master Swift Crane's lips twitched slightly, but a confident look appeared on his face.

As for those Core Formation Stage disciples, in such a perilous situation, they would simply have to be left behind.

"You're right!" The yellow-robed cultivator faltered upon hearing this before bursting into laughter.

"Hmph, are you done talking? If you're done, then it's time I sent you two on your way. Don't even think about trying to escape!" Han Li stirred as he chuckled coldly.

"Crap! We forgot that he can eavesdrop on our voice transmissions!" The yellow-robed man's expression changed upon realizing this.

Daoist Master Swift Crane's expression also faltered upon hearing this. Right at this moment, a thunderclap erupted from behind Han Li as his Thunderstorm Wings appeared on his back. His body then swayed, and he disappeared amid another loud thunderclap.

"Look out! He possesses a strange treasure that allows him to unleash lightning movement techniques!" Daoist Master Swift Crane had seen Han Li use his Thunderstorm Wings in the past, and he immediately offered words of caution to the yellow-robed man. Spiritual light flashed on the green jade hammer and it transformed into a barrier of azure light that shielded him within. At the same time, he feigned a grabbing motion with his other hand to summon a fiery red shield. The shield also transformed into a red barrier of light that surrounded his body.

Meanwhile, the yellow-robed man made a hand seal. The white threads nearby instantly flashed through the air, interweaving with one another to form a dense net that encompassed his own body.

After the two of them had unleashed their defensive techniques, silver light flashed over 100 feet in front of them as Han Li reappeared.

Upon seeing the defensive measures they had taken, Han Li merely sneered and didn't even bother to summon any treasures. He raised both arms and a layer of purple flames surfaced over his body. His body then swayed as he transformed into a massive fireball, hurtling directly toward the yellow-robed man.

The elderly man's heart shuddered at the sight of Han Li's ferocious attack, but he didn't have any time to think as he let loose a low roar. The white threads in front of him immediately changed directions, flying toward the fireball in unison as if he were trying to puncture countless holes into Han Li's body.

A vicious light also appeared in Daoist Master Swift Crane's eyes as he pointed to the jade hammer in front of him, upon which light shot forth from the treasure in all directions. The green light that erupted from the hammer emitted loud rumbling booms before crashing toward Han Li.

In the face of their attacks, Han Li took no evasive measures whatsoever. He plunged straight into the dense expanse of threads and the deriding sneer on his face was obscured by his purple flames.

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