Chapter 1728: Collapse

However, the turn of events that unfolded next gave Han Li a massive fright.

Right as the azure light settled over the puppet before him, light suddenly began to flash erratically from its body, and it released an extremely dangerous aura.

Just this aura alone was enough to force back the azure light, and Han Li immediately rushed back in an alarmed manner, leaving a trail of afterimages in his wake.

After just a few flashes, he appeared in the air outside the platform, and right at this moment, the nine puppets swung their halberds through the air in unison, sending powerful streaks of silver light hurtling toward their closest puppet.

A string of dull thumps rang out, and the nine puppets were all sliced in half at the same time before exploding as they collapsed to the ground, leaving only shattered puppet shards littered all over the platform.

Han Li was naturally feeling rather wistful that he hadn't been able to take the puppets with him, but he then quickly flew over to the platform and collected all of the puppet fragments amid a flash of azure light.

The construction of these puppets was a little rough, but Han Li had never seen this type of material before, so he was planning to take it for further research. After doing all that, he looked down to find that the platform was now completely empty, but the massive starry sky diagram was still perfectly preserved.

Han Li had experienced firsthand just how powerful this illusionary formation was, and even with his significantly enhanced cultivation base, he didn't dare to look at it for too long.

After taking a deep breath, he flipped a hand over to produce a white scroll. He flicked a wrist and tossed the scroll downward, upon which it descended as a streak of white light. 

However, when it was still over 100 feet above the platform, it paused in mid-air, and Han Li made a hand seal while chanting something before pointing downward in a solemn manner.

The scroll unfurled to reveal a blank image that was several feet in length. The scroll then began to expand at a drastic rate as Han Li chanted his incantation, and mere moments later, it had expanded to around the same size as the stone platform, making it look as if it were a massive white canopy that was hovering in mid-air.

A faint smile appeared on Han Li's face, and his chanting ceased as he flicked his 10 fingers downward in succession.

One incantation seal shot forth after another before vanishing into the white scroll down below, and lights of all different colors erupted from the scroll before slowly descending and encompassing the entire stone platform.

The vibrant lights swirled incessantly over the blank scroll, creating a spectacular sight to behold.

Only after a full 10 minutes had passed did the light on the scroll gradually fade into nothingness, but the white scroll had now become a five-colored one.

Han Li waved a hand through the air, and the scroll immediately rose up from the platform in a flash before quickly shrinking down to its original size of several feet.

There was now a miniature diagram on the scroll that was completely identical to the one down below. Han Li had used a secret technique to replicate the starry sky diagram on the stone platform.

The scroll then transformed into a five-colored streak of light that vanished into Han Li's sleeve in a flash.

With this starry sky diagram replica, he was confident that he would be able to glean some secrets from it. At the very least, studying it would greatly assist him in bettering his understanding of illusionary techniques.

As such, there was nothing of value left in this place. However, Han Li still carefully searched through this place, and only after ascertaining that there were no hidden items did he fly out of the shattered gate as a streak of azure light.

He had already been in this space for close to a day, so he naturally didn't want to linger here any longer.

A resounding boom rang out as a certain section of the giant screen in the main palace suddenly exploded. A ball of black light that was around 10 feet in size abruptly surfaced on the screen before quickly swirling to form a small vortex.

A streak of azure light emerged from the vortex before fading to reveal Han Li at the center of the palace. He turned to look back at the screen before his third Law Destruction Eye slowly fell shut on his glabella.

"It's a pity that this Xumi Treasure has already been completely refined by someone else and can't be used by others. Otherwise, this would be a very useful treasure," Han Li murmured to himself in a slightly wistful manner before looking around at the palace, and sure enough, Liu Shui'er and Shi Kun were already nowhere to be seen.

Despite this, Han Li's expression remained calm, and after a brief moment of contemplation, he strode out of the palace.

He had remained in that Xumi Paradise for such a long time, so the other two had presumably already searched through every other place here. As such, all he wanted to do now was to find them and leave this place as quickly as possible, then meditate somewhere for a few days to recover his own soul power.

However, just as Han Li emerged from the palace and was about to let loose a long cry to contact Liu Shui'er and Shi Kun, a loud rumbling akin to a thunderclap suddenly erupted from the ground, immediately following which everything began to quake violently.

Han Li was quite startled by this development, yet before he had a chance to do anything, the sky suddenly dimmed, and a vast expanse of dark clouds suddenly appeared to obscure the entire sky.

Lightning flashed and loud thunderclaps rang out while gusts of powerful grey winds erupted from the ground in the distance, disappearing into the dark clouds like wyrms rising into the heavens.

From a distance, it looked as if countless gargantuan pillars were rising into the air, creating a very spectacular sight to behold.

Han Li's expression immediately darkened upon seeing this. Even without releasing his spiritual sense, he could tell that the world's origin Qi in this place had been plunged into complete disarray, and all types of spiritual Qi had filled the entire sky.

What was even more alarming to him was that many bursts of restriction fluctuations had emerged in the nearby space, and they were fluctuating in power in an extremely unstable manner.

Azure light immediately flashed from Han Li's body as he slowly rose up into the air. Only after elevating to around 50 to 60 feet above the ground did he stop in his ascent. The flight restriction here hadn't completely disappeared, but its power was less than half as potent as it originally was. As such, Han Li had no difficulty flying at low altitudes.

Right at this moment, the ground began to quake more violently, and a layer of purple light began to appear over the main palace behind him before fluctuating in brightness in an extremely erratic manner.

A ball of yellow light abruptly erupted out of the roof of a certain building among the cluster of pavilions behind the main palace, and it hurtled directly toward the main palace.

At the same time, a streak of white light also flew toward the main palace from one of the side palaces.

These were none other than Liu Shui'er and Shi Kun, and both of them wore alarmed expressions, clearly having been caught by surprise by this sudden development.

Han Li's eyelids twitched slightly, and he didn't hesitate any longer as he flew toward the plaza in front of the main palace as a streak of azure light. After just a few flashes, he reached the mountain path outside the palace gate, then rushed down the steps toward the foot of the mountain.

At first, he had been concerned that the suction force of the mountain path would still exist, and that it would impede his efforts to rush down the mountain, but after flying for over 100 feet, those concerns were completely laid to rest.

Perhaps it was due to the sudden changes taking place in this space or perhaps this restriction only applied to those scaling the mountain; in any case, he didn't encounter any impediment and reached the foot of the mountain after just a few flashes.

Shi Kun and Liu Shui'er also arrived beside him almost immediately thereafter.

As soon as Shi Kun appeared, he immediately bellowed in rage and frustration, "What happened? Why does this space suddenly look like it's collapsing? I was just about to secure a powerful treasure!"

"Hmph, you think you're the only one? I had just broken the restriction on a secret chamber and was about to enter it," Liu Shui'er snapped.

Neither of them appeared to be explicitly pinning the blame on anyone, but both of them turned to look at Han Li in unison.

"Do you think I have something to do with this? I only just emerged from that space as well; how could I have possibly done anything to result in this situation?" Han Li's expression darkened, and he certainly wasn't going to take the blame for this.

"But - "

"Let's discuss this after we get out of here. If we don't leave this place, we'll all be dead once the space collapses."

Shi Kun was about to say something further, but Liu Shui'er interjected to cut him off, and he immediately fell silent. Han Li naturally wasn't going to say anything, either, and the three of them rose up into the air as streaks of light. 

Now that the three of them were flying together, the speed of their flight increased by about twofold, and they reached the stone platform nearby, upon which stood the teleportation formation.

The three of them rushed into the teleportation formation at the same time, upon which Han Li raised a hand to cast an incantation seal toward the edge of the formation.

The formation released a faint buzzing sound and a flash of bright white light, following which Han Li's trio was instantly completely encompassed within the white light.

After the buzzing sound receded and the light faded, the teleportation formation also vanished.

A streak of azure light emerged tens of thousands of feet in the air, following which Han Li abruptly emerged.

Liu Shui'er and Shi Kun also appeared within 200 feet of him, and none of them said anything as they stared intently down at the massive light hole down below.

Lights of different colors were flashing incessantly within the light hole amid a string of rumbling booms, and spiritual light was flashing violently on the edge of the hole, making it look as if it were a volcano that was about to erupt.

"Let's go! We can't remain here any longer; that thing's about to blow up, and it'll be extremely perilous for us if we get caught up in the spatial vortex," Han Li said in an expressionless manner. He then flew toward a certain direction without waiting for a response from Liu SHui'er and Shi Kun.

Shi Kun and Liu Shui'er exchanged a grim glance before immediately flying away behind Han Li. At their speed, the three of them instantly covered a distance of several thousands of kilometers in a short time.

Right at this moment, an earth-shattering boom erupted from extremely far in the distance behind them.

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