Chapter 1657: The Three Devils

The five-colored sword slowly descended from above, and Ju Chu was immediately struck by a sense of foreboding at the sight of it. 

Thus, it launched the black and red pillar before it up into the air in retaliation, and as the powers of wind and fire surged upward, the air twisted and warped violently amid a loud buzzing sound, as if the entire space were about to be torn open.

The pillar of wind and fire swept up the five-colored sword of light in a flash, and purple light flashed erratically as an earsplitting explosion erupted within the pillar. 

The entire light barrier formed by the sword formation tremored violently as if it could shatter at any moment.

Ju Chu's expression eased as a smile appeared on its face.

It had activated all of the latent potential in this body, then drew upon the power of the spirit bead on the giant toad's glabella to unleash this devastating attack, so there was no way that this sword formation could withstand it.

Even if its true body were here, it definitely wouldn't want to face this attack.

However, a smile had only just appeared on the giant toad's face when its expression abruptly stiffened. A clear ringing sound suddenly rang out from within the pillar of wind and fire, following which it was somehow sliced in half.

Five-colored spiritual light flashed and a massive sword of light shot forth from within.

All of the powers of wind and fire nearby seemed to have been struck by an incredible power, and all of it dispersed to reveal the entirety of the giant sword.

The five-colored sword turned toward the giant toad, then unleashed a gentle slash that was completely soundless, and seemingly harmless as well.

However, the grey bead on Ju Chu's glabella suddenly shattered.

"Impossible!" Ju Chu let loose a bloodcurdling shriek as its eyes sprang open for the first time.

Its pupils were completely crimson, and there was blood flowing from his eyes.

In the next instant, the giant toad's enormous body parted into two halves without any warning as a burst of crimson flames surged out of its body in a frenzy, then inundated it in a sea of red flames.

The remains of the giant toad were instantly incinerated into nothingness, and the colossal creature vanished in the blink of an eye.

The massive toad had been completely powerless in the face of the Origin Qi Sword, and even its soul hadn't managed to escape.

Azure light flashed up above, and Han Li appeared within the sword formation. He looked down at the scorching flames burning down below and heaved a faint sigh.

"As expected, drawing upon the power of heaven and earth can create far more powerful attacks than any ordinary secret technique. If it weren't for the fact that there simply wasn't enough of the world's origin Qi in that devilish Qi passageway, this Origin Qi Sword would've most likely been enough to slay that devilish ape as well. In that case, I wouldn't have had to severely weaken my true devil projection by using that Profound Heavenly Treasure," Han Li murmured to himself with a forlorn look on his face.

He then cast his gaze down toward the sea of flames underfoot, and he suddenly raised an eyelid before making a grabbing motion.

An object flew out of the sea of flames and was drawn into his grasp in a flash.

It was a faint blue pouch with several types of different shimmering runes inscribed upon it, indicating that it seemed to be no ordinary object.

"Is this a storage pouch?" A hint of surprise appeared on Han Li's face.

After a brief moment of contemplation, the hand that was holding that pouch suddenly turned inky-black in color, and bursts of grey light began to erupt from his palm. The pouch was enveloped tightly within the grey light, following which he raised his other hand to cast an azure incantation seal into the pouch.

The blue pouch tremored erratically before spiritual light erupted from its opening, and it slowly opened itself up from the inside.

Immediately thereafter, a ball of blue light shot forth from within before immediately attempting to fly away into the distance.

However, Han Li was already prepared, so he certainly wasn't going to let it get away.

A cold harrumph rang out as grey light swelled drastically from his hand, sweeping toward the ball of light before completely encompassing it.

Grey and blue light intertwined momentarily, and the ball of light reverted to its true form, which was that of a shimmering and translucent blue bead.

The bead was around the size of a human thumb, and there was blue light swirling all around it.

"Is this... an inner core?" Han Li swept his spiritual sense toward the object in a rather bemused manner.

"No, but it doesn't seem to be a treasure, either."

Han Li drew the bead back to him before plucking it between two of his fingers, then holding up to his eyes for closer inspection. However, he wasn't getting any closer to determining just what this object was.

"So be it, I'll study it later when I have time. Getting out of here as quickly as possible is my main priority," Han Li murmured to himself as he flipped a hand over to produce a jade box, which he placed the bead into.

After that, he looked down at the crimson flames that were still burning down below, and his expression changed slightly.

All of a sudden, silver light flashed from the azure light barrier up above, and the Spirit Engulfing Fire Raven shot forth before diving headfirst into the sea of flames.

The vast expanse of scorching flames was completely devoured by the silver Fire Raven in the blink of an eye, following which it raised its head and let loose an elated cry.

It then spread open its wings and flew toward Han Li before disappearing into his body.

After that, Han Li made a hand seal, and the azure light barrier vanished, only be to replaced by several tens of azure lotus flowers.

These flowers rotated on the spot before reverting back into 72 small azure swords. Han Li's body swayed, and he flew through the air as a streak of azure light, collecting all of the flying swords in the process.

After that, he continued onward and flew away into the distance.

...

Meanwhile, inside a grand palace deep within a certain massive mountain in the Golden Devil Mountain Ranges, there were two people standing side by side in front of a huge black gate. In the instant that Ju Chu was slain, the expression on the face of azure-robed man among the two suddenly darkened significantly.

"Is there something wrong, Brother Tie?" the crimson-robed man beside him asked.

"Not really; it's just that one of my avatars has been destroyed," the azure-robed man replied in a truthful manner.

At this moment, an elderly man enshrouded in silver light suddenly interjected from nearby, "Avatar? Is it the one that you refined using the Devilbone Bead?" 

The azure-robed man didn't seem to like the elderly man much, and he put on a fake smile as he chuckled, "Hehe, you sure do know a lot about me, Brother Duo Yan."

"If the Devilbone Bead were to be used on a suitable host, the avatar should be able to unleash no less than 20% to 30% of your powers. There shouldn't be many beings aside from the three of us in the Golden Devil Mountain Ranges that are capable of destroying such a powerful avatar," the silver-robed old man continued in an innocent manner.

"That's not necessarily the case. Have you forgotten that when we first crossed over to the Spirit Realm with the Sacred Ancestor, there was another being of the same cultivation base that was also teleported here? That devilish ape is no less powerful than the three of us," the crimson-robed man reminded.

"Hmph, that devilish ape stole the Profound Heavenly Blade Segment that the Sacred Ancestor ordered us to look after; it wouldn't dare to appear in this place again," the silver-robed man harrumphed coldly.

"I wouldn't be so sure of that. I think the devilish ape must've ventured into the outside world to try and find a method to repair the Profound Heavenly Blade Segment, so it could then use the treasure to return to our realm," the crimson-robed man countered.

"You think that ape wants to repair the Profound Heavenly Treasure? Does it still think that we're in the Elder Devil Realm? The truly powerful beings of this realm are no less powerful than the holy patriarchs of our holy realm. If it weren't for the fact that we simply had no choice, our matriarch wouldn't have risked damaging the Profound Heavenly Treasure to force open a passageway into this realm and teleported us here," the silver-robed man replied in a cold manner.

"There's no use in bickering! I'll be able to find out who destroyed my avatar when I go back and use a secret technique. Besides, the last message my avatar relayed back to me stated that Xue Bi's daughter seemed to have been in the nearby area as well," the azure-robed man said in an indifferent manner.

"Xue Ying was there as well? You're not saying my daughter is capable of destroying your avatar, are you, Brother Tie?" the crimson-robed man asked with a hint of a smile on his face.

"She naturally wouldn't be able to accomplish such a feat on her own, but if she were to join forces with that devilish crocodile that has just reached the holy-grade, there's a very good chance that she would've been able to kill my avatar," the azure-robed man replied as he turned to the crimson-robed man beside him.

"What? That devilish crocodile has reached the holy-grade?" both the crimson-robed man and the silver-robed man exclaimed in unison.

"There's no need to be so surprised, Fellow Daoists. I'm sure your subordinates will also relay this news to you soon," the azure-robed man said with a wry smile.

"I see." A slightly grim expression appeared on the silver-robed man's face.

"If that's the case, then things might become a little troublesome. That devilish crocodile was Sacred Ancestor Ming Luo's favorite steed, and Sacred Ancestor Ming Luo shared quite a close relationship with our Sacred Ancestor. As such, we can't really do much to this devilish crocodile. It's always been extremely uncouth and disobedient, and now that it's reached the holy-grade, it's only going to be more difficult to control. That won't be good for our management of these mountain ranges," the crimson-robed man chimed in in a gloomy manner.

"This is not something that's worthy of concern. Seeing as this devilish crocodile has already reached the holy-grade, our matriarch naturally won't be able to continue to ignore it. All we have to do is inform our matriarch of this matter, and we won't have to worry about it any longer," the azure-robed man said in a confident manner.

"You're right. Our Sacred Ancestor's awakening is imminent, so this is indeed a feasible course of action," the silver-robed man approved with a stroke of his beard.

"Alright, we'll do as you say." The crimson-robed man didn't offer any objections, either.

At this moment, the silver-robed man suddenly narrowed his eyes, and asked, "Come to think of it, I'm really curious now; our Sacred Ancestor is about to awaken soon, yet one of you has deployed an avatar, while the other has deployed their daughter. Is there something happening in the mountain ranges? What are your intentions, Fellow Daoists?"

Both the azure-robed man and the crimson-robed man faltered slightly upon hearing this question, and they reflexively exchanged a glance with one another.

The crimson-robed man then chuckled in reply, "There's no need to ask a question you already know the answer to, Duo Yan. Haven't you also deployed your subordinates into the mountain ranges? Don't tell me you don't know about the immortal zoysia."

Meanwhile, the azure-robed man remained silent with a dark expression on his face.

Much to their surprise, the silver-robed man was rather dumbstruck as he replied, "Immortal zoysia? What's that? I only deployed my subordinates to kill the outsider that killed my son so I can avenge him."

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