There were both male and female guests sitting on either side of the palace, and all of them wore smiles on their faces.
Moments later, the women in palatial dresses finally concluded their dance, then extended a respectful bow toward the elderly man perched on the main seat before exiting the hall.
"Senior Hu, this group of servants seem to be even more beautiful than last time. Looks like Fellow Daoist Yu and the others have been working quite hard," a blue-robed scholar sitting on the left suddenly said with a smile.
"Hehe, I have no other hobbies in life aside from my love for women. Perhaps I'll be able to take a step further in my cultivation base when I overcome this hurdle. Martial Nephew Yu and the others should dedicate more of their time and effort into cultivation. If one of them can reach the Deity Transformation Stage, then I won't have to worry about the Heavenly Devil Sect being eradicated when I pass away someday," Hu Qinglei said in an indifferent voice.
"There's no way that would happen, Senior Hu. There are many fellow Daoists from the Heavenly Devil Sect who are only a step away from the Deity Transformation Stage, and it's only a matter of time before they ascend to such heights. With the Heavenly Devil Sect's resounding reputation, no one would dare to offend it" the blue-robed scholar said with a fawning smile.
"Is that so? I heard that the Yin Sifting Sect is no longer one of the 10 great Devil Dao sects. This sect was once the number one Devil Dao sect for thousands of years, and their reputation was certainly no less prominent than that of my Devil Palace today. To think that they would also fall to such a pitiful state; even if they can avoid complete eradication, they would still be reduced to nothing more than a second-rate sect," Hu Qinglei chuckled coldly in response.
The blue-robed scholar and the other cultivators glanced at one another, wondering what Hu Qinglei was trying to say. None of them were able to decipher the meaning behind his words, so they all refrained from offering any replies.
"I heard that not only were seven or eight Nascent Soul Stage elders of the Yin Sifting Sect killed during this incident, even Fellow Daoist Fang has perished. However, the Yin Sifting Sect has no idea who the culprit could be. That's quite strange, when you think about it. Could it be that the Yin Sifting Sect has drawn the ire of a Deity Transformation Stage senior?" A brocade-robed man suddenly changed the subject in a seamless transition.
Hu Qinglei chuckled, and said, "Hehe, most of you have probably come here due to the Yin Sifting Sect incident, right? You can all rest assured; even though I don't know who the perpetrator is, it's definitely not one of us Deity Transformation cultivators from within the Great Jin. Otherwise, how could I be completely kept in the dark? It may be a certain powerful being from outside the Great Jin. However, if that being continues it's killing spree, we won't stand by and watch any longer." A dangerous light flashed through Hu Qinglei's eyes before quickly disappearing.
All of the other cultivators present were all very relieved to hear this. Thus, none of them mentioned this topic any further and began to discuss some interesting recent news in the cultivation world instead.
"By the way, Senior Hu, the last time you expanded your harem was 200 years ago; which female cultivators have caught your eye this time?" a green-robed woman who appeared to be in her thirties asked with a smile. She was also quite a beautiful woman herself.
All of the other cultivators were also quite intrigued to hear the answer to this question. After all, even though this grand elder of the Heavenly Devil Sect was an avid lover of women, there weren't actually all that many female cultivators who were official concubines of his in the Devil Palace.
"I didn't think that I would expand my harem any further, either. All three women are exceptional specimens with breathtaking beauty and brilliant cultivation bases to match. In particular, there's one woman who stands among the three, and she's the main reason why I've decided to expand my harem." A pleased smile appeared on Hu Qinglei's face at the mention of this topic, indicating that he was very pleased with these three women.
"Hehe, to think that they'd receive such glowing praise even from Senior Hu; I'm really looking forward to seeing them," a mendicant with a set of vicious features chuckled.
All of the other cultivators present were also filled with anticipation, wondering what exceptional beauties the three female cultivators had to be to have caught Hu Qinglei's eye.
"Cultivators like us don't have a lot of rules and taboos like the mortals do. If you'd like to see them, I can call them here to pour some wine for all of you," Hu Qinglei offered with a smile.
However, the mendicant who had spoken immediately shook his head and politely refused with a slightly overawed expression on his face.
Hu Qinglei ignored his objections and ushered over a young woman in a palatial dress who was standing nearby.
"Go and invite the three fairies here," Hu Qinglei instructed.
"Yes, I'll call them right aw..." Before the young woman had a chance to finish her reply, a streak of red light shot forth from outside the palace. The red light hurtled toward Hu Qinglei before revealing itself to be a voice transmission talisman.
A hint of surprise flashed through Hu Qinglei's eyes as he made a grabbing motion. The talisman was drawn into his grasp as a result before igniting into a ball of raging flames.
"Oh, looks like Eccentric Wind and Fellow Daoist Xiang are here, and they've brought a guest along with them as well. Who could be held in such high regard by those two?" A hint of bewilderment appeared on Hu Qinglei's face as he flipped his hand over to snuff out the ball of flames.
"Could it be Senior Feng from Paradise Island or Senior Xiang from the West Spirit Mountain?" the blue-robed scholar suggested.
Everyone else's expressions changed upon hearing this.
"Who else could it be aside from those two? However, it sounds as if they've also brought along someone whom I'm unfamiliar with. I really am getting rather curious now. Seeing as they've already reached the palace, it looks like I'll have to come out and greet them," Hu Qinglei chuckled.
"All of us should also go and greet the two seniors," the brocade-robed man said as he hurriedly rose to his feet.
Everyone else followed his example.
Hu Qinglei merely nodded in response before standing up and slowly making his way out of the palace, followed closely by all of the other cultivators.
The entire Devil Cliff Mountain was enshrouded under particularly fierce snowstorms, but a massive yellow light barrier was keeping it at bay, shielding the entire palace from the elements. The scenes outside the light barrier were a little murky, but one could still roughly make out what was going on out there.
At this moment, there were three humanoid figures hovering in the air above the light barrier, two of which were elderly men while the other was a young man. The trio was hovering in mid-air with calm expressions on their faces.
They were none other than Xiang Zhili, Eccentric Wind, and Han Li.
"The Devil Palace seems to have expanded, and there seem to be even more female servants in there now. Tsk tsk, looks like it's quite a sweet gig to be the grand elder of the number one Devil Dao sect," Eccentric Wind remarked as he looked at the clusters of buildings down below.
"Are you envious of me, Brother Feng? If so, you'll only need to raise the issue to Old Devil Hu. I'm sure he'd love to make you into the second grand elder of the Heavenly Devil Sect. In that case, he'll definitely construct a cave abode for you that's just as lavish as his palace," Xiang Zhili replied with a hint of a smile on his face.
"Forget about it. I'm a man who likes his peace and quiet. If I were to live in a place like this for too long, my mental state would eventually be compromised," Eccentric Wind sighed with a shake of his head.
Xiang Zhili smiled and didn't say anything further on the matter. Right at this moment, a group of cultivators emerged from the main palace down below before flying up to meet them.
Even though Han Li rarely spoke on the way here, he had been quite alert and attentive this entire time, and he quickly identified the elderly man with the wooden crown as a Deity Transformation cultivator. He then cast his eyes toward the other cultivators, and a faint cry of surprise escaped his mouth.
"Is there an acquaintance of yours here, Junior Martial Brother Han?" Xiang Zhili turned to him with a rather surprised expression. "There is indeed someone here whom I've met once before," Han Li replied in a calm voice.
"I see." Xiang Zhili nodded in response, but didn't pry any further.
At this moment, Hu Qinglei had already reached the light barrier, and he made a hand seal as he began to chant something.
Spiritual light immediately flashed from the light barrier before Han Li's trio, following which an opening appeared.
Xiang Zhili and Eccentric Wind flew in without any inhibitions. Han Li hesitated momentarily before also flying in as a streak of azure light.
The yellow light barrier quickly sealed over again.
Moments later, the three appeared before Hu Qinglei and the other cultivators.
"Brother Xiang, Fellow Daoist Feng, you two are a little late. I received news a while ago that both of you had already set off, how is it that you've only gotten here now? Did you encounter some unforeseen delays along the way?" Hu Qinglei asked with a slightly lackadaisical smile.
"That was indeed the case, Brother Hu. The two of us were delayed along the way due to some unforeseen circumstances. I'll elaborate on that later. For now, let me introduce to you this fellow Daoist here. Fellow Daoist Han is going to be joining us and will be treated as an equal..." Xiang Zhili pointed toward Han Li with a smile before delivering an introduction.
Meanwhile, one of the cultivators behind Hu Qinglei was quite surprised by the sight of Han Li.
Hu Qinglei was already a little taken aback by Xiang Zhili's words, and he began to silently scrutinize Han Li.
"My name is Han Li. Greetings, Brother Hu." Han Li cupped his fist in a salute with a calm expression. He was speaking and acting in a manner that was neither haughty nor humble, and he really did seem to intend to treat Hu Qinglei as his equal.
All of the other cultivators' eyes widened at the sight of Han Li's bold display.
"Hmph! Have you two gone old and senile? He's just a late-Nascent Soul cultivator; what right does he have to be treated as an equal by us?" Hu Qinglei's expression immediately darkened.
"Hehe, I have my reason, Brother Hu." Xiang Zhili chuckled before transmitting his voice to Hu Qinglei in a conversation that was silent to everyone else.
Hu Qinglei's expression was quite skeptical initially, but his eyes soon lit up with surprise and excitement, following which he began to nod emphatically.Previous Chapter Next Chapter