Chapter 1182: Returning to the Devilfall Valley

"So you three are the Zhao brothers of the Golden Sea Sect?" the young man asked with a smile.

"Who are you? What's going on here, Fellow Daoist Hou?" A wary expression appeared on the brawny man's face.

"Please don't be rude, Fellow Daoist Zhao. This is the grand elder of our sect, and the other person with us is Junior Martial Brother Lin." The elderly man's words gave the three brawny men quite a fright.

"Grand elder? Could it be that this is Senior Han?" the brawny man exclaimed with incredulity.

"That's right, I am indeed the grand elder of the Drifting Cloud Sect. My apologies for asking Martial Nephew Hou to invite you three to this place on such short notice." The young man smiled, revealing rows of pristine white teeth. He was none other than Han Li, who had traveled all the way from the Drifting Cloud Sect to the State of Dongyu.

"Not at all, Senior Han! It's our honor to be in your presence!" The brawny man examined Han Li carefully again to find that his physical appearance did indeed match that of the legendary figure in the Heavenly South Region, and he immediately extended a respectful bow.

His two brothers also hurriedly followed suit.

Han Li waved a hand, and asked in a calm manner, "There's no need for such formalities, fellow Daoists. The three of you aren't disciples of our sect, after all. I heard from Martial Nephew Hou that the three of you encountered three female disciples from our sect in the Devilfall Valley. Is that true?"

The brawny man faltered slightly upon hearing this before giving an honest reply. "That is indeed true. When my brothers and I were in the Devilfall Valley, we had a fleeting encounter with them."

"I see. Would you be able to tell me about the situation at the time?" Han Li asked in a warm voice.

"Of course. Several months ago, my brother required a rare material to refine a treasure of his, so we decided to venture into the Devilfall Valley to try our luck. However, we were unable to find the material we were looking for and just when we were about to leave the valley, we encountered the three female disciples from your sect. I was familiar with one of them as we had met once in the past, so I made some conversation with them. However, they seemed to be looking for something as well and were in quite a hurry, so my brothers and I left after only a brief conversation. After that, my brothers and I immediately departed from the valley, and we haven't seen the three women since," the brawny man carefully recounted.

Han Li was silent for a moment before waving a sleeve through the air, sending an azure jade slip that he had prepared earlier flying toward the man. "Fellow Daoist, would you be able to provide more specific details on where you encountered them? I have a map of the Devilfall Valley's outer valley with me here, would you be able to annotate the spot on the map where you encountered them?"

"The place where we encountered them was already somewhere quite deep into the outer valley." The man hurriedly caught the jade slip before injecting his spiritual sense into it. He then immediately withdrew his spiritual sense before offering the jade slip back to Han Li with both hands.

Han Li raised a hand, and the jade slip flew into his palm as a streak of azure light. He injected his spiritual sense into the slip, and he raised his eyebrows in response to what he saw.

Han Li stowed the jade slip away before giving the three brothers a smile, then turning to the elderly man and the middle-aged scholar as he said, "That place is indeed very close to the inner valley already. Thank you for your assistance, fellow Daoists. Martial Nephew Hou, Martial Nephew Wu, please keep our three fellow Daoists company; I have to be on my way now."

"Of course, Martial Uncle Han!" The scholar and the elderly man immediately bowed to bid Han Li farewell, and the three brawny men also hurriedly followed suit.

Brilliant azure light erupted from Han Li's body and he shot forth into the distance, disappearing from view in the blink of an eye.

Only after the streak of azure light had disappeared into the distance did one of the brawny men heave a long sigh, and he asked with an incredulous look on his face, "Brother Hou! Is that really the new great cultivator from your sect, Senior Han Li?" 

"That man was indeed none other than Martial Uncle Han. The three of you are very fortunate to have been able to meet him! Martial Uncle Han has become an extremely renowned figure in the Heavenly South Region, yet he very rarely appears before our sect disciples, and even I've only met him on a handful of occasions," the elderly man said with a wry smile.

"Indeed. Martial Uncle Han doesn't interact much with the disciples of our sect. It's been several decades since I reached the Core Formation Stage, and I've only seen him once from afar during the recently concluded ceremony. If it weren't for the sake of our senior martial sisters this time, the grand elder would've most likely continued to stay in his cave abode," the scholar chimed in with a faint sigh.

One of the brawny men faltered slightly before a grim expression appeared on his face as he said, "So that means that the three female disciples in question really have disappeared in the Devilfall Valley? My brothers and I heard some rumors about this recently, but we thought that they were fabricated stories."

"With things as they are now, there's no point in hiding anything. My three junior martial sisters really do appear to be in some trouble," the elderly man sighed.

"But all three of them are Core Formation cultivators; how could they have disappeared like this? Could it be that they ventured into the inner valley?" The brawny man was very surprised to hear this.

"That's most likely the case. It would be best if they were merely trapped somewhere in the inner valley. In that case, Martial Uncle Han would definitely be able to save them," the scholar mused with a concerned look on his face.

"Could it be that these three female disciples have some kind of special relationship with Senior Han? Otherwise, from the sounds of it, Senior Han doesn't seem to be the type of person to willingly get involved in these matters," the brawny man speculated.

"Hehe, I heard that Senior Martial Sister Song has known Martial Uncle Han for a long time. However, I think the main factor behind Martial Uncle Han's decision to enter the Devilfall Valley is the other two senior martial sisters. I hear that Senior Martial Sister Liu is one of Senior Han's in-name disciples, and that Senior Martial Sister Mu Peiling was once Martial Uncle Han's servant. Now that all three of them have disappeared at the same time, Martial Uncle Han naturally can't just stand by and watch," the elderly man revealed with a smile.

The three brawny men were all enlightened upon hearing this.

As these Core Formation cultivators were discussing among themselves, Han Li was already traveling rapidly toward the Devilfall Valley.

He was holding a white jade badge with a contemplative look on his face as he flew through the air.

All of a sudden, the tender voice of a child sounded beside his ear. "Fellow Daoist Han, are you concerned about your disciple and your servant or are you fretting over your inability to glean the contents of this half-page of the Golden Jade Tome?" 

Han Li glanced at one of his sleeves before replying calmly, "The three of them have most likely entered the Devilfall Valley's inner valley, and as long as nothing has happened to them, it shouldn't be too difficult to save them. As for the beveled silver text that you taught me, are you sure there aren't some things that you've neglected to mention? How could the contents in this half-page be so difficult to decipher? After all this time, I've only managed to confirm one thing, which is that the page does indeed contain a talisman-refinement method, but everything else is far too profound."

"Hehe, that's only to be expected. After all, this half-page contains a talisman-refinement method left behind by an immortal. If a human world cultivator like you could glean its contents so easily, then I'd be very skeptical toward the authenticity of this half-page. Furthermore, you've only got half of a page to reference, so it's naturally going to be even more difficult to comprehend its contents," the small child chuckled.

"You're right. I'll re-explore this half-page another time." Han Li nodded as the stowed the jade badge away.

After a brief silence, the small child calmly asked, "Fellow Daoist Han, I've already taught you the beveled silver text, and bestowed upon you the refinement methods for the Fire Spirit Threads and the Law Destruction Eye. Isn't it time for you to deliver on your promise to help me transcend my metamorphosis stage lightning tribulation?"

"Rest assured, Fellow Daoist Endless Sky, I never go back on my word. Once I've taken care of this matter, I'll find an obscure location and help you succeed in reaching the metamorphosis stage," Han Li replied.

"Good, that's all I needed to hear." The small child seemed to be very satisfied with Han Li's answer, and it immediately fell silent thereafter.

Han Li also remained silent as he flew through the air at full-speed, disappearing from view after just several flashes.

Half a day later, at the entrance to the Devilfall Valley, the teleportation formation that the Ghost Spirit Sect erected still stood. However, there was a thick layer of dust over it, indicating that it hadn't been used for many years.

That made sense, seeing as most of the restrictions and countless spatial rifts around the outskirts of the Devilfall Valley had disappeared, and even the outermost layer of restrictions barely existed anymore. Anyone with a cultivation base at the Core Formation Stage or above could easily access the valley through the brittle patches of the restriction, and they wouldn't even have to enter through the designated entrance.

As such, the teleportation formation of the Ghost Spirit Sect was made completely redundant.

Of course, the entrance to the Devilfall Valley was still a place that most cultivators accessed when entering the Devilfall Valley. After all, this was a path that had been trodden by countless cultivators, so it was naturally a far safer path than any alternatives.

However, there were currently five or six cultivators standing near the teleportation formation, all of whom wore different attire, and they seemed to be discussing something.

They were all Core Formation cultivators, and one of them was even a late-Core Formation cultivator. All of them seemed to be preparing to enter the valley together through the entrance.

All of a sudden, the sound of something whizzing through the air rang out in the distance, and the group of cultivators was all startled by this sound as they hurriedly turned toward that direction.

There, they discovered a streak of azure light flashing rapidly through the air. When they tried to get a closer look, the azure light suddenly flashed and disappeared.

Their expressions change drastically, and they unleashed their spiritual sense when the same sound erupted just over 100 feet away from them!

Azure light flashed right in front of their eyes before disappearing into the valley.

Even with so many Core Formation cultivators present, not a single one of them had been able to catch a clear glimpse of what had just flown past them.

All of them looked at one another, only to find their own astonishment mirrored in everyone else's eyes.

That streak of azure light was naturally none other than Han Li in full flight. He had no time to waste with a few Core Formation cultivators, and sped directly into the Devilfall Valley, heading straight toward the spot that the man from the Golden Sea Sect had annotated on the jade slip.

If he recalled correctly, that spot seemed to not be far away from the place through which he had entered the inner valley on the previous occasion with Violet Spirit and the other Ghost Spirit Sect cultivators.

Furthermore, Song Yu was good friends with Violet Spirit, so it only made sense that she would know about that place. With that in mind, there wasn't much else for Han Li to consider as he headed toward that direction.

Most of the spatial rifts in the outer valley had disappeared, so Han Li was virtually able to fly at his full speed. At this rate, it took him only over half a day to reach the massive ice rift through which one could access the inner valley.

The streak of azure light revolved through the air before Han Li flew into the ice rift expressionlessly.

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