Chapter 1539: Escaping from the Ordeal

"Perhaps you were mistaken and the newly appeared Profound Heavenly Treasure isn't actually in our Flying Spirit Race territory, Fellow Daoist Jian? In that case, it would be quite understandable that you were unable to summon the treasure using your blood sacrifice technique." A faint female voice also sounded from the altar in response.

The one who had spoked was a middle-aged beauty wearing a white cloak with a pair of five-colored wings on her back, and her voice suggested that she was taking some pleasure from her companion's misfortune.

"Mistress Bu! Brother Jian and I set up this summoning formation together, and both of us definitely sensed the Profound Heavenly Spiritslash Sword through the power of our blood sacrifice, but something went wrong during the summoning process, and it suddenly disappeared. Could it be that this sword has already attained sentient will, and it sliced open space before hiding into a spatial rift?" another young man suddenly said.

This young man had a single shimmering horn on his head, and he was none other than the Jiao Chi being that Han Li had seen on the massive island half a year ago.

The one who had spoken first was naturally none other than that crimson-haired being from the Sea Monarch Race, and he currently wore a furious look on his face.

"The two of you set up the formation, so only you two are aware of whether this Profound Heavenly Treasure truly exists; we've merely been deployed here to assist you," an elderly man with a pair of grey wings said in an indifferent voice.

He was holding a cane with a dragon head carved onto its tip, and he was making no effort to hide the mockery in his words.

As for the other winged Flying Spirit beings, none of them said anything, but they were also appraising the two foreign beings with steely looks in their eyes.

The young man from the Jiao Chi race didn't respond to their words. Instead, he exchanged a glance with his companion, and their lips moved in a silent conversation as they transmitted their voices to one another.

The expressions on the faces of the Flying Spirit beings present darkened even further upon seeing the lack of respect being displayed by these two foreign beings.

Following their discussion, the horned young man wore a dark expression as he said, "Seeing as we failed on this occasion, we'll just have to hold another blood sacrifice. The blood Qi has yet to completely dissipate, so we should be able to achieve this. As long as the Profound Heavenly Treasure is still within your Flying Spirit Race territory, we'll definitely be able to summon it."

"Hold another blood sacrifice? Do you think our magic power grows on trees? The blood sacrifice from earlier has exhausted most of our spiritual power. If we hold another one right away, it could very likely damage our cultivation bases!" the elderly man with the grey wings said in an enraged voice as he abruptly brought his cane down onto the altar, causing the entire structure to tremor amid a dull thump.

"I'm well aware that I'm asking a lot from you, but I'm sure you'd prefer risking your cultivation bases rather than face the destruction of your entire race within half a year, right? If you weigh us down and cause us to lose the opportunity to obtain the Profound Heavenly Treasure, I'm not sure you'll be able to handle the consequences," the horned young man said in a nonchalant manner as he narrowed his eyes.

An enraged expression appeared on the grey-winged man's face, and strode forward a few steps with a thunderous look in his eyes.

However, right at this moment, a slight cough sounded from the crowd nearby, following which a husky voice rang out.

"Peace, Brother Yao, Fellow Daoist Min is a representative of the Jiao Chi Race; we mustn't be rude to him." The one who had spoken was a hunch-backed humanoid figure enshrouded under a faint layer of white mist, making it impossible to glean his facial features.

The grey-winged man’s expression changed drastically upon hearing this, and he immediately stepped back to his original spot before replying in a respectful voice, "You're right, Brother Xiong, please forgive me."

The horned young man's expression also stiffened as he identified the one who was speaking, and he forced a smile onto his face as he asked, "Do you have something to say, Fellow Daoist Xiong?" 

"I do, indeed. We can overexert ourselves here and help you perform another blood sacrifice, but what if the second blood sacrifice also fails?" the hunch-backed figure chuckled before his voice cooled significantly.

"If both blood sacrifices fail, then that means the item is no longer in the area. In that case, we'll immediately depart from this place, and we definitely won't revoke our earlier promise to all of you," the horned young man replied.

The crimson-haired being remained silent as he spoke, seemingly expressing passive approval of his words.

"Good! That's all I needed to hear; we'll help you once again, then. All of you, set aside your egos and perform the blood sacrifice again," the hunch-backed figure instructed.

Strangely enough, all of the other Flying Spirit beings present were all high ranking figures, but none of them dared to express any displeasure toward this instruction as all of them silently nodded.

Moments later, the surface of the blood lake began to bubble and surge. At the same time, bursts of black Qi began to appear above the lake, and the sea of crimson mist up above also began to churn violently.

The sacrificial altar at the center of the blood lake was completely enshrouded under a layer of crimson light, and incantations could be heard being chanted within.

... 

Following a head-splitting burst of excruciating pain, Han Li finally slowly awakened.

He was greeted by the sight of complete darkness, yet when he tried to open his eyes, his eyelids felt impossibly heavy and simply refused to budge.

Han Li was quite alarmed by this, and he suddenly realized that he seemed to be lying down. He immediately tried to sit up, but he couldn't even move so much as a single finger.

Han Li's heart sank as he forcibly repressed the agony spearing through his body, mustering up his final shred of spiritual sense as he hurriedly assessed his bodily condition.

What he discovered as a result was quite discouraging.

Not only had most of his blood essence been exhausted, all of his magic power had also been completely depleted. What was even worse was that only around 10% to 20% of his spiritual sense remained, and that was the reason for his splitting headache.

All of this had been caused by the reflexive swing of that sword from earlier.

Han Li's heart jolted with shock as he recalled back to the astonishing scenes that had unfolded following the swing of that sword, and at the same time, he was feeling extremely fortunate.

When he had unleashed that sword strike, it was as if heaven and earth had completely been tipped on its head. Not only was he able to instantly cut off the teleportation, he'd even managed to slice open space. However, the price for unleashing that sword strike had also been quite a hefty one. Not only had all of his magic power been exhausted, the sword had even drawn upon his spiritual sense. As such, he was sucked into the spatial rift he'd created with the sword, then immediately fallen unconscious.

However, thinking back, he'd only been able to unleash a tiny portion of the sword's power with that slash. The sword had clearly drawn upon his magic power, spiritual sense, and even his blood essence to fuel itself.

However, after ascertaining just how horrible of a state that his body was in, Han Li was instead feeling rather relieved. Blood essence, magic power, and spiritual sense were all things that could be recovered through pill consumption, as well as rest and recuperation. As such, no permanent damage had been done, and he'd be able to recover in a few years. 

His surroundings were quite peaceful, and the fact that he'd appeared in this place alive indicated that he'd at least most likely escaped from that perilous ordeal.

He couldn't open his eyes and nor could he release his spiritual sense, but from the humidity in the air and the slightly salty breeze washing over him, he could ascertain that he was situated on a certain beach. The ground below was quite soft, and he seemed to be lying on a patch of grass.

Could it be that he hadn't been teleported too far away?

With that in mind, Han Li was beginning to grow concerned again. However, in his current condition, he was unable to move at all, so he could only continue to lie on the grass.

After a long while, Han Li's eyelids twitched, and he was able to just barely peel back his eyelids by a sliver.

He was immediately greeted by the sight of clear blue skies that were completely devoid of those nightmarish blood clouds, and he heaved a faint sigh of relief.

A few hours later, Han Li was able to move his neck, thereby allowing him to swivel his head from side to side in order to survey his surroundings.

He seemed to be situated within a small valley with short hills on three sides while a narrow exit stood on the remaining side. The entire valley was only just over 10,000 feet in size, and he was situated right at its very center.

A hint of amusement appeared in Han Li's eyes, and his lips began to curve up into the faint smile, but even that immediately made him grimace with pain. Only then did he discover that all of the muscles in his entire body had become extremely sore and lethargic.

This was a feeling that he'd never been afflicted by ever since he cultivated the Provenance True Devil Arts.

It appeared that aside from his magic power and spiritual sense, unleashing that sword strike had also caused something else to be depleted from his body. Otherwise, there was no way that his powerful body would be reduced to such a sorry state.

Han Li continued to ponder his current situation as he lay on the bed of grass.

After the better part of a day had passed, Han Li was finally able to move one of his fingers, thereby indicating that he'd recovered a shred of strength.

A hint of elation appeared on Han Li's face, but his expression soon stiffened.

Right at this moment, a string of dull thumps suddenly erupted from outside the valley. From the tremors running through the ground beneath his body, Han Li could sense that there was a gargantuan being making its way toward the valley.

Han Li cast his gaze toward the entrance of the valley as a grave expression appeared on his face.

Moments later, a massive creature that was over 100 feet tall barged into the valley; it was a massive crab with hooked spikes all over its body.

The crab had a pair of shimmering green eyes, and its exoskeleton was emanating faint azure light, making it appear as if it were wearing a suit of azure armor.

Initially, the giant crab failed to notice Han Li as it rapidly scurried sideways toward one of the nearby hills. Moments later, it had arrived in front of a rock face, then picked up a fallen grey rock with its massive pincers before stuffing the rock into its mouth.

A bone-chilling string of chewing sounds rang out from within its mouth, yet Han Li was quite relieved to see that the giant crab wasn't attacking him.

The giant crab devoured a dozen or so rocks before suddenly turning around and catching sight of Han Li.

Han Li's pupils contracted as he looked into the giant crab's eyes.

A strange hissing sound erupted from the giant crab's mouth as it swung its giant pincers in an intimidating manner, then rushed directly toward Han Li.

Han Li's expression darkened as a cold light flashed through his eyes. He glared expressionlessly at the oncoming giant crab, and even though he could barely move, there was no fear in his eyes.

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