Chapter 1361: Lute of Wisdom

"This is indeed an important matter that will require an extensive discussion between the members of the panel of elders. This purple shadow knows quite a bit; you can interrogate it in further depth, Master Jin Yue," the middle-aged scholar nodded before tossing the jade bowl in his hand through the air.

"Thank you, Holy Sovereign! It's just a pity that the people who were deployed to the territories of the different races have most likely all fallen already." The elderly monk caught the jade bowl with a wistful look on his face.

"Theirs was a necessary sacrifice in order to prevent the enemy from catching wind of what we were doing. The Shadow Tribe will most likely attack them along the way, and we can only hope that they'll be lucky enough to escape alive. However, was what you said earlier true, Master Jin Yue? Is it really the case that the cultivators who ascended in the past century could possess that Profound Heavenly Spiritslash Sword?" the Heavenly Yuan Holy Sovereign asked.

"Of course not; I was only lying just then because I didn't want to waste any more time. Once a profound heavenly artifact takes shape in one world, it can be taken to another world prior to its attainment of sentient will. However, if this treasure is taken away from its world of origin prior to attaining sentient will, it will lose the chance to do so in the future. Profound heavenly artifacts with no sentient will aren't very useful, and there's no way that they'd appear on the Chaotic Myriad Spirit Roll," the elderly monk replied with a faint smile.

"I see. As expected, you really are the leading expert in profound heavenly treasures, Master Jin Yue." The middle-aged scholar gave a faint smile, and it was impossible to tell whether the actually believed the old monk or not.

Han Li as naturally unaware of the fact that so many changes would be taking place to the mission that he was on. At present, he and the other four people were skirting around the white clouds, engaging in a ruthless killing spree of the strange birds and ancient beasts there.

Each and every one of these strange birds was around 10 feet in size and possessed four wings. Their bodies were like enlarged versions of bat bodies, yet they possessed the heads of mountain goats. Their pairs of horns were curved backward, and when they opened their mouths, the sharp fangs within presented quite an intimidating sight to behold.

There were several hundred birds of this nature in the surrounding area, and as they flapped their wings, gusts of grey winds would be swept up. They could also blast arcs of lightning that were as thick as large bowls from their mouths, and their individual powers were not inferior to that of the average Core Formation cultivator. Furthermore, these birds all had pairs of black metal talons, so they were dangerous even in close-quarters combat.

If a single normal Deity Transformation cultivator were to encounter such a large flock of these strange birds, they would perhaps avoid them to spare some trouble.

However, in Han Li's party of five, there were direct lineal descendants of true spirit families, metamorphosis stage demonic cultivators from the seven major demon sub-species, as well as an absolute freak in Han Li. As such, they were able to easily protect their Spiritcloud Ark while engaging in a completely one-sided slaughter of these ferocious birds. 

The young man with the red mole was making hand seals, manipulating two streaks of white light that were over 100 feet in length to completely enshroud an area of over 1,000 feet ahead of him. The true form of these streaks of white light had to be some type of wickedly sharp weapon as they were able to cleave through winds, lightning, and birds with no exceptions.

Meanwhile, the young woman in the black dress was situated within a ball of furious black flames. She didn't appear to be unleashing any abilities and was only hovering peacefully in mid-air, but all of the winds and lightning that struck her disappeared without being able to put so much as a single scratch on her. Any of the birds who dared to attack her were also immediately reduced to ashes as soon as they came into contact with even a tiny wisp of those black flames.

Even though these birds were extremely ferocious in nature, none of them dared to approach Han Li's party after having a dozen or so of their brethren destroyed in quick succession.

In contrast, the young man with the white eyebrows was fighting in a unique style of his own. He wasn't relying on any treasures, choosing, instead, to plunge headfirst into the flock of strange birds. A pair of black glistening wings had appeared on his back and his arms had also become extremely thick and bulky, clearly having transformed into a semi-demonic form already.

As his body flashed through the air, one could only see a half-bird half-humanoid shadow crashing through the throngs of birds. All of the birds that were unfortunate enough to stand in his path were split into several pieces, sending a rain of blood falling from the sky.

As for Han Li, his performance was the most mundane of the lot. He merely released all of his Azure Bamboo Cloudswarm Sword, transforming them into 72 streaks of golden light that revolved around his body, each of which was several feet in length. Not only did they manage to ward off all of the oncoming attacks, they also slew any birds that dared to approach him.

However, the one who was seemingly the most relaxed and carefree among their party was the white-robed young woman by the name of Ye Ying.

She was holding a green jade lute in her lap, and her slim fingers were gliding over its strings, sending halos of yellow light radiating through the air around her. Any oncoming birds that were struck by these halos would be completely encased in layers of peculiar greyish-white substance. They would then be completley immobilized as a result and plummet from the sky before shattering into countless pieces on the ground below.

This lute possessed the extremely rare ability to turn enemies into stone.

Even though none of the five unleashed their most powerful abilities or treasures, they were still able to make short work of this flock of strange birds within five minutes.

They then withdrew their abilities and disappeared into the giant cloud formed by the spirit ark before landing on the bow of the ark.

"I wonder what these birds are supposed to be; I'm quite surprised that they were able to see through my ark's disguise," Long Dong sighed.

"I've never seen this type of strange bird, either, but the primordial world is an extremely vast place, so it's no surprise that there are many species of ancient beasts that we're unfamiliar with. I'm more surprised by the fact that it took so long for something to see through the ark's disguise," Xiao Hong said in a calm manner.

"This also indicates that we've traveled really deep into the primordial world already, so we can expect more of these scenarios during the rest of our journey. There was a large number of those strange birds, but they were still quite easy to deal with. If we encounter some more powerful ancient beasts, then we might have to abandon this ark when necessary," the white-browed young man said with furrowed brows.

"Of course. If we really do encounter legendary beings like Hundred-Eyed Giants that we can't contend with, then we'll naturally have to prioritize our own survival. Brother Han, you're on duty next. Thanks in advance for your hard work," Long Dong said to Han Li with a smile.

Han Li nodded with a calm expression and didn't say anything.

Meanwhile, the white-robed young woman turned to the woman in the black dress with a smile, and asked, "Big Sister Xiao, the ability you just unleashed is the vast renowned Black Scorching Flames of the Black Phoenix race, right? The legends certainly ring true in this case; those flames are indeed extremely formidable!"

Xiao Hong faltered slightly upon hearing this before her brows furrowed with a hint a peculiar expression as she replied, "Those were indeed Black Scorching Flames, but they're hardly worthy of a mention. However, your lute reminds me of a legendary treasure. It's said that tens of thousands of years ago, a Body Integration Stage senior of the Heavenly Spirit Region refined a Divine Spirit Treasure known as the Lute of Wisdom. It's since staked a place for itself on the Chaotic Myriad Spirit Roll and is capable of turning enemies into stone, melting metals, and sealing objects in ice. Is the treasure you're using somehow related to this spirit treasure, Fellow Daoist Ye?"

"Hehe, I didn't think that Big Sister Xiao would be so familiar with the treasures from our human race. Even though the treasure I'm using isn't that Lute of Wisdom, it's a replica ancient treasure that is only capable of turning enemies into stone. Of course, even that ability is far less potent than what's capable of being unleashed by the true spirit treasure," Ye Ying replied with a dainty smile.

"I see. Even so, this treasure is comparable with the average spirit treasure. After all, the ability to turn enemies into stone is extremely rare and difficult to defend against," Xiao Hong continued.

Listening to the barbed conversation between the two young women, a hint of a smile appeared on Long Dong's face. A thought suddenly seemed to have occurred to him as he turned to Han Li, and said, "Fellow Daoist Han, your flying swords appear to be quite interesting. There are 72 of them, and they look like they're part of a complete set. That reminds me of a senior from many years ago who was also an ascended cultivator. Even though he was only at the late-Spatial Tempering Stage at the time, he managed to set up a formation with 72 swords to match a Body Integration cultivator in battle, thereby forging quite a reputation for himself. However, the swords wielded by that senior were all azure in color as opposed to gold. Do your flying swords also possess a similar sword formation ability, Fellow Daoist Han?"

Long Dong seemed to be quite interested in the Azure Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords Han Li had just unleashed.

Han Li's heart stirred slightly upon hearing this question, but his expression remained unchanged as he replied, "Oh? I wasn't aware of that. May I ask that senior's name and what kind of sword formation he was using? I only refined so many flying swords so I can have more weapons to combat my enemies with; I have no idea about matters such as sword formations..."

"Oh, I've heard about the person that Fellow Daoist Long is referring to. He's a senior by the name of Qing Yuanzi, and he was indeed quite a legendary figure back in the day. I don't know what kind of sword formation he was using, but I heard that he'd invented the formation himself. Unfortunately, it's said that this senior was never heard from again after entering the primordial world many years ago. Otherwise, with his brilliant aptitude, that senior could've very likely reached the Body Integration Stage," the white-robed woman interjected with a smile.

Long Dong showed no signs of anger at being interrupted, and he merely gave a faint smile.

However, Han Li was silent for a long while after hearing this. It appeared that this Qing Yuanzi was the one who had invented the Azure Essence Sword Art. He was rather surprised to learn about this legendary figure from these two. It was just a pity that he had already chosen the path of simultaneous cultivation. Otherwise, he could attempt to obtain this Qing Yuanzi's inheritance and continue to cultivate his Azure Essence Sword Art.

With that in mind, Han Li extended a polite salute toward the others before rising into the air as a streak of azure light, flying to the highest point of the jade ark, where he took a seat with his legs crossed.

Han Li was clearly unwilling to continue engaging in further conversation, and the other four members of the party also bade farewell to one another soon thereafter. Some returned to their silent cultivation chambers while others traveled to other parts of the jade ark for different purposes.

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