Chapter 1575: Retreat

Han Li looked on at the fleeing purple shadow, and made no effort to give chase. Even if he wanted to chase down his opponent, the elderly man's earth movement technique granted him superior speed to Han Li anyway.

Furthermore, Han Li was also aware of the fact that his opponent had essentially only been frightened away by a bluff. He had been struck by the Origin Qi Sword, resulting in profuse bleeding whenever he tried to use his magic power, which was obviously quite unsettling. On top of that, the vastly renowned Gold Devouring Beetles coupled with his immense display of power further chipped away at his opponent's confidence in winning this battle, thereby leading to him fleeing the scene.

In reality, if the elderly man were to use his movement techniques to stall for time, the effect of the Origin Qi Sword would soon wear off, and Han Li wouldn't be able to continue using his Gold Devouring Beetles for much longer, either.

In that case, the winner of the battle would still be a mystery. This was why Han Li had decided against hunting down his fleeing opponent. Furthermore, even though he was quite far away from Green Light City already, Jiao Chi Race reinforcements could still arrive at any moment.

This was also why he'd unleashed that final Origin Qi Sword strike even at the expense of his sword formation. Compared to the threat posed by the elderly man, he was more wary of Jiao Chi Race reinforcements.

The elderly man disappeared into the distance while Han Li stowed away his treasures without any hesitation, then also departed as an azure thread. 

However, he was naturally flying away in a different direction, and he also quickly disappeared from view.

Thus, the forest that had been plunged into disarray became a peaceful place once again.

However, only about 15 minutes later, spiritual light flashed in the sky, and two streaks of light rapidly hurtled forth from Green Light City.

After just a few flashes, they arrived in the air above the forest, following which the light receded to reveal a pair of humanoid figures.

One of them was the elderly man who had just fled the scene, and he had reverted back to his original form. His companion was none other than the other Body Integration Stage being among their ranks, the silver-robed middle-aged man.

"He really has already left. At that person's speed, he must be close to 100,000 kilometers away now," the elderly man said with a frustrated expression as he appraised the ruined forest down below.

"Of course he's already left; only an insane person would continue to remain here. He must already be too far away for the Profound Heavenshifting Disk to be effective. Besides, we've already used it once today, and we'll have to wait at least three days before we can use it again. I'm rather curious; just how was a mere Spatial Tempering Stage being able to harm you, Brother Tu?" the middle-aged man asked in a contemplative manner as he looked down at the massive crater on the ground below.

An awkward look appeared on the elderly man's face upon hearing this, but that was quickly replaced by a furious expression as he glanced at his own shoulder.

"I was too complacent and became trapped in that man's sword formation. The sword formation was extremely powerful and difficult to deal with. On top of that, he possessed a few other powerful abilities and treasures as well, so I had no choice but to retreat. Oh, by the way, he also possesses a few dozens of mature Gold Devouring Beetles."

"What? Gold Devouring Beetles?" The middle-aged had remained quite composed initially, but his expression changed drastically at the mention of these beetles.

"If it weren't for those beetles, I wouldn't have fled the battle," the elderly man said with a bitter and resentful expression.

"If he possesses a few dozens of those beetles, then even true holy race beings would be wary of this man in battle. However, if it's less than 100, then top-grade wood or stone treasures should still be able to temporarily trap them." The middle-aged man finally managed to recompose himself after a while.

"Hehe, if he had more than 100 mature Gold Devouring Beetles, then I would've urged you to flee this place right away; how would I dare to bring you back to this place?" the elderly man chuckled with a wry smile on his face.

"In the face of a swarm of thousands of mature Gold Devouring Beetles, even holy race beings would be killed for sure. I've heard that a swarm of mature Gold Devouring Beetles that numbered in the tens of thousands once appeared on the Thunder Continent, and the three or four minor races nearby were all eradicated by the swarm of beetles with ease. At the time, a super race used the Profound Heavenly Treasure, the Heaven Vanquishing Hammer, to smash open a spatial rift and funnel all of these spirit insects into a space outside the Spirit Realm. Otherwise, they would've wreaked even more havoc on the continent," the middle-aged man mused.

At this moment, a thought suddenly occurred to the middle-aged, and his expression changed slightly as he asked, "But then again, nurturing Gold Devouring Beetles is extremely difficult; it's one of the most troublesome types of spirit insects to breed, and many people have expended a vast amount of effort to nurture them without any success. I wonder what power that man hails from to be able to bring out a few dozens of those beetles at once. Could he be a member of the 13 Heavenly Cloud Races?"

The elderly man contemplated the notion for a moment before shaking his head. "No. The treasures I was carrying exhibited no reaction toward him, and I was unable to pinpoint what kind of being he was from his physical appearance, either."

"In that case, things will be a little troublesome for us. If he's carrying a jade box with him, then it'll be very difficult for us to recover it," the middle-aged man said with furrowed brows.

"How many boxes did you recover, Fellow Daoist Ning?" the elderly man asked.

"I managed to secure two boxes. That Myriad Ancient being was quite sly and cunning; he tried to threaten me with the destruction of the box in an attempt to get away. Thankfully, my Blood Melting Technique is quite proficient in sneak attacks, so I was able to catch him off guard and kill him on the spot." The middle-aged man flipped a hand over as he spoke, and two identical boxes appeared in his grasp, both of which had restriction talismans plastered onto their surfaces.

It turned out that the big-headed being still had two jade boxes left even after giving out one each to Han Li's trio.

The elderly man nodded as he rustled his sleeve to summon a jade box as well. It was none other than the one that he'd obtained from the green-skinned being.

"In that case, we have three boxes. How many boxes did Hong Yin report that the Myriad Ancient being was in possession of?" Perhaps the elderly man had truly forgotten or he was simply asking for confirmation. In any case, he turned to his companion and then raised the question with an inquisitive look on his face.

"Five or six; the information he sent back to us wasn't very accurate, either," the middle-aged man replied after a brief hesitation.

"Five or six; what a troublesome number. That means that man is carrying at least two jade boxes with him," the elderly man sighed.

"I'm afraid so. On top of that, he appears to be quite powerful so Hong Yin must've fallen by his hands. We can't allow him to get away with this." The middle-aged man's expression darkened as he spoke in a cold voice.

"But he's completely disappeared now; how are we going to find him again?" the elderly man asked.

"We obviously won't be able to do that on our own, but don't forget that most of the cities in this area are under our race's control. We can contact the closest few cities using our Myriad Distance Talismans and request assistance from them to hunt down that man. The people deployed to search for him don't have to be very powerful, either; all they have to do is startle him into showing himself, and we'll immediately get to him using a teleportation formation," the middle-aged man suggested.

"That's certainly worth a try." The elderly man didn't have high hopes for the proposed course of action, but he couldn't think of any better alternatives, so he still nodded in agreement in the end.

Immediately thereafter, the elderly man rustled a sleeve, and a green rock tablet appeared in his hand. He then quickly inscribed something on the tablet with his finger, leaving lines of faint golden text on its surface.

Moments later, the elderly man had finished writing his message, and he laid a hand over the tablet, upon which the lines of text instantly disappeared amid a flash of light.

"Let's return to the battle ark first. That Myriad Ancient being set up a self-detonating formation in the city, but our detection treasures managed to discover the formation, and someone has since disabled it. However, there are still many other things to be taken care of; we'll be busy for quite a while to come," the middle-aged man said with a faint smile.

"Looks like we have no choice." The elderly man naturally had no objections, and the two of them returned the way they'd come as two streaks of light, quickly disappearing into the distance.

... 

Han Li fled for around 500,000 kilometers, and only after he was sure that no Jiao Chi beings could possibly chase him down did he decelerate to his normal speed.

After just a prolonged period of high-speed flight, even Han Li was feeling a little worse for wear.

Thus, he swept a hand over his storage bracelet, and a pair of green stones immediately appeared in his grasp.

These were two top-grade wood-attribute spirit stones. Spirit stones of this caliber were quite rare, but in his current perilous situation, Han Li couldn't afford to be stingy, so he immediately began to absorb the spiritual power within the spirit stones as he held one in each hand.

Thankfully, the surrounding area was extremely bleak and desolate. Han Li picked a mountain at random to descend onto, then sat with his legs crossed beneath a large yet extremely obscure tree to begin recovering his magic power.

The Spring Dawn Sword Formation was indeed extraordinarily powerful, but it also expended a huge amount of magic power to unleash.

In particular, that final strike from the Origin Qi Sword had been extremely draining.

Thus, Han Li sat on the summit of the mountain beneath the large tree, and no one else passed through the area.

After about half a day had passed, Han Li had recovered most of his magic power.

He reopened his eyes with an elated expression on his face, and displayed no intention of staying here any longer. Thus, he stowed away the spirit stone and hurtled into the air as a streak of azure light again.

After flying for over 1,000 feet, the streak of green light suddenly became very blurry and barely visible.

Within the azure light, Han Li pulled out a jade slip.

This was none other than the map of the surrounding area that Han Li had obtained from Qing Xiao prior to teleporting to Green Light Island.

Even though the Flame Coral Islands had been out of contact with the Thunder Continent for thousands of years, most of the things on the map should have remained the same.

Thus, Han Li's spiritual sense seeped into the jade slip as he began to search for a suitable route from here onward.

He didn't know how much control the Jiao Chi Race had over this area, but he definitely wasn't going to visit the few nearby cities. Instead, he was planning to skirt around all of these cities and head toward the largest city that belonged to the 13 Heavenly Cloud Races in this area, Golden Armor City.

It was said that this city was situated in an extremely important location, so not only was it the largest city that belonged to the 13 Heavenly Cloud Races in this area, it was also guarded by a large number of elite forces from the 13 races. At the same time, there were also many high-grade beings defending the city.

If he weren't mistaken, the Jiao Chi Race was most likely planning to eradicate all of the nearby cities first before attacking Golden Armor City.

With that in mind, Han Li looked up at the suns in the sky to recalibrate himself, then flew toward the direction that he'd decided on.

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