Chapter 1733: The Plot of the Jiao Chi Race

However, in the instant that the body began to fall, brilliant crimson light erupted, and it suddenly exploded amid a resounding boom.

Blood began to rain down from above as an extremely faint shadow shot forth in a flash toward the small white bell in a wraith-like manner.

It was none other than the young man's Nascent Soul!

He was naturally aware that after losing his physical body, it would be next to impossible for his Nascent Soul to escape from Han Li on its own. As such, the Nascent Soul immediately tried to seek refuge in the small bell, hoping to use the bell's abilities to help it escape.

In the face of the oncoming blood arrow, the giant ape made no attempt to evade. Instead, a ferocious look flashed through its eyes, and its chest bulged before it let loose a devastating roar.

The roar was like a culmination of countless thunderclaps, causing the surrounding sky to ring violently. Soundwaves swept through the space up ahead, causing it to twist and warp as countless white marks appeared in the air.

The giant ape's roar alone had shattered the surrounding space, and that was sufficient testament to its enormous power.

The blood rain was instantly reduced to nothingness, and the young man's Nascent Soul hadn't had a chance to escape out of the range of the roar yet. It only had a chance to let loose a howl of anguish before it was also completely destroyed, and much to Han Li's surprise, the small white bell also abruptly self-detonated amid a flash of white light in the instant that the young man's Nascent Soul was destroyed.

However, the treasure's self-detonation didn't release any power, and it merely vanished as countless specks of white light.

Blue light flashed through the giant ape's eyes upon seeing this, and it immediately vanished into space without any hesitation.

In the next instant, the giant ape appeared in the air above the giant white python, which was still battling the six-pawed lizard, and its fists rained down from above like a torrential storm.

The poor lizard was also a mid-Spatial Tempering Stage being, but in the face of the giant ape's attacks, it was pulverized into mincemeat without being able to offer any resistance. Even its demon core was gouged out of its body in the end, and the demon soul that escaped from its pulverized body was devoured by the white python.

Now that the final enemy had also been slain, golden light immediately flashed around the giant ape's body, and it instantly shrank back down into its human form.

Han Li then turned toward the spot where the small white bell had just vanished with a contemplative look in his eyes.

... 

Just as the small bell had self-detonated within the Vast Glacial Realm, a cry of surprise suddenly rang out from a pavilion within a certain mysterious palace in the Spirit Realm, which was surrounded by layers of restrictions.

"Impossible!"

The voice was filled with shock and fury, and there were several golden armored warriors standing at the entrance to the pavilion, but they remained completely expressionless, as if they hadn't even heard the loud cry that had just rung out from within the pavilion.

There were three Jiao Chi beings in different forms on a higher level of the pavilion, and all of them were appraising a massive white bell on a green jade table with grim expressions on their faces.

The one who had let loose the cry of surprise was a middle-aged beauty who appeared to be in her thirties. She had a pair of small green horns on her head, and her hand was covering her mouth as an enraged look flashed through her eyes.

The giant bell on the table was over 10 feet tall, and aside from its size, it was completely identical to the small bell used by the golden-horned young man.

On the ground beneath the table, there were five shimmering golden miniature formations, and four of the formations were completely empty with only a white ball of light hovering above the formation that was closest to the giant bell. 

The white light and the giant bell were flashing in unison as if in resonance with one another.

"A Profound Heavenly Holy Artifact has been destroyed, and even the divine bell true spirit that was the main material of holy artifact has returned of its own accord! It seems that the disciple wielding this Profound Heavenly Holy Artifact has most definitely perished in the Vast Glacial Realm," the middle-aged beauty murmured.

However, a white-robed old man with an azure mark on his forehead remained completely unflustered, and he stroked his beard as he said, "What's so remarkable about that? There are countless powerful beings who are sent into the Vast Glacial Realm every time it opens, and it's far from impossible for those disciples to encounter a few powerful opponents or power beasts within the Vast Glacial Realm."

"I beg to differ, Brother Shi Xin. The disciples who are carrying Profound Heavenly Holy Artifacts that are replicas of this Heavenbending Bell should be able to save themselves even against holy-grade opponents. On top of that, we made it extremely clear to them that all groups had to travel as a single unit at all times. I can't think of anything in the Vast Glacial Realm that can kill a core disciple with a Profound Heavenly Holy Artifact when there are so many people protecting them. On top of that, it's been half a year since they entered the Vast Glacial Realm, so no matter how far away they initially were from their destination, they should've reached it and begun to set things into motions now," a blue-robed middle-aged man said with a faint smile.

The elderly man fell into a contemplative silence upon hearing this.

The middle-aged woman calmed herself down before musing in a cold voice, "Regardless of how that core disciple perished, that group of disciples has lost their Profound Heavenly Holy Artifact, which means that they've lost their opportunity to obtain that thing. This will have a significant impact on our plan."

"It's alright, that thing was split up into a total of five segments; as long as the other four groups succeed, we can just secure the final segment when the Vast Glacial Realm opens next, and we'll still be able to enact our plan," the middle-aged man said.

"I'm just afraid that something will happen to the other groups as well. It's not a disaster if we miss one segment, but if we miss out on more than that, then we'll be in big trouble!" the elderly man mused in a slow voice.

"Surely we can't be plagued by that much misfortune. Even if that does happen, it simply means that it's not yet time for our race to rise into the ascendancy, so there's nothing to complain about," the middle-aged man replied with a smile.

"That is indeed true, but we've used a lot of our race's precious materials and even had to use this Heavenbending Bell to refine those Profound Heavenly Holy Artifacts; it would be quite a waste if we can't achieve our objective. Those holy artifacts are all temporary treasures that were specifically refined to target those things, after all. Even though they aren't less powerful than true Profound Heavenly Holy Artifacts, they'll disintegrate on their own in a year. We were the ones who proposed this plan, so if we don't reap the desired rewards, we'll have a hard time explaining ourselves to those old geezers," the elderly man said with furrowed brows.

"What's there to explain? Have you two forgotten that our plan consists of killing two birds with one stone to begin within? We may have failed in our plan for the Vast Glacial Realm, but there's a very good chance of success for our project in this realm," the middle-aged beauty said as a cold light flashed through her eyes.

"That is indeed true. It's about time we ended this battle against the Heavenly Cloud Races." The middle-aged man and elderly man exchanged a glance, and both of them began to chuckle.

The middle-aged beauty didn't say anything further, and she pointed a finger toward the white ball of light hovering above the golden formation. The white ball of light immediately let loose a delightful ringing sound before drifting over to the giant bell and vanishing into it in a flash.

The giant bell then began to chime as layers of silver runes appeared over its surface.

... 

Han Li was naturally unaware of the fact that he had unintentionally foiled one of the plans of the Jiao Chi Race by killing the golden-horned young man.

At this moment, he was completely immersed in the recollection of that final punch that he had unleashed in his giant ape form to kill his opponent.

It was quite clear that his 12 Awakening Transformations could become more powerful as he did. Now that he had reached the late-Spatial Tempering Stage, this ability was finally beginning to display its true power.

In his giant ape form, his body and spiritual sense were enhanced to such an extent that he was struck by an impulsive urge to seek out a Body Integration Stage being and engage them in battle.

Thankfully, his mental fortitude had also been bolstered following his ordeal in the illusionary realm of that starry ski diagram, and that allowed him to maintain spiritual equilibrium, as well as control over his own emotions and impulses.

On top of that, he was also quite disappointed by the abrupt disappearance of the white bell. That Profound Heavenly Holy Artifact possessed some extraordinary abilities, and securing it would undoubtedly have given him a significant power boost.

However, he couldn't do anything now that the treasure had disappeared, so he could only take the treasures that the young man had left behind before flying away as a streak of azure light.

Not long after that, Han Li appeared tens of thousands of kilometers away, and as he flew through the air, he began to carefully consider what he was going to do next.

He had already obtained the treasures requested by Duan Tianren and Cai Liuying with the assistance of Liu Shui'er and Shi Kun, but he still hadn't yet secured the tool refinement materials he had promised to the Stone Cocoon Race.

Duan Tianren had told him that this wouldn't be an issue as long as he could secure the treasures within the restriction, but he didn't want the Stone Cocoon Race to be able to use this as an excuse to prevent him from being able to use the super teleportation formation.

Thus, after considering where the ore was situated and how much time he had left, he decided that he still had enough time to secure the material. However, prior to this, he had to recover his lost magic power first.

The Vast Glacial Realm was an extremely perilous place, and he didn't dare to grow complacent in the slightest despite his drastic cultivation base improvement.

Thus, after formulating a plan, Han Li immediately changed directions and flew into the distance.

Close to half a day later, Han Li stopped in the air above an ordinary-looking small forest.

He circled around in the air for a while with blue light flashing within his eyes, and after ascertaining that there were no potential hazards nearby, he descended into the forest as a streak of azure light.

He then found an enormous tree and stepped into a hollow at the foot of the tree before raising his hand to release several formation flags. The flags disappeared at the entrance to the hollow, forming a simple concealment formation that hid the hollow from view.

After that, he swept a sleeve through the air, and a streak of yellow light flew out before revealing itself to be a small furry beast.

It was none other than his Leopard Kirin Beast.

After consuming the demon cores of the Three-eyed Dark Beasts, the spirit beast had been hibernating in the spirit beast bracelet this entire time, and it seemed to have only awakened not long ago.

Even though it had already refined the demon cores, its outward appearance didn't seem to have changed much. The only noticeable change was that some inky-black patterns had appeared over its body, and on top of that, its aura had now also become slightly different striking even Han Li with a slight sense of peril.

This naturally made Han Li rather intrigued.

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