Chapter 1786: Three-on-three

Shi Kun's trio scrutinized the tree in silence with dark expressions on their faces.

All of a sudden, azure spiritual light flashed behind the tree, and three cultivators abruptly appeared.

They consisted of a handsome man in a set of scholarly robes who appeared to be in his thirties, a Daoist priest with a black wooden sword on his back who appeared to be in his late teens, and an azure-robed young man who appeared to be in his twenties with a set of completely mundane facial features. The azure-robed young man held a silver talisman in one hand and a petite figure in the other; it was none other than the little girl, Bai Guo'er.

They were naturally none other than Han Li's trio.

Coincidentally, they had only just arrived at this place as part of their journey.

They had been traveling this entire time and were already close to Nine Immortal Mountain, so they planned to rest here for a night before paying the impromptu markets a visit the next day.

However, before the three of them had even begun resting, Shi Kun and the others also arrived in this secluded place, following which this robbery ensued.

This was an extremely common occurrence in the Spirit Realm, but Shi Kun had gone too far by threatening the middle-aged man with a little girl as his hostage.

Young Master Hai and Qi Lingzi couldn't bear to stand by and watch things unfold any longer, which was why they decided to step in to save the little girl.

Of course, they were also accompanied by the unfathomable Han Li, so regardless of how the situation played out, they wouldn't be in any substantial danger.

After the two of them voluntarily revealed themselves in a fit of justified rage, Han Li could only emerge alongside them with a wry smile on his face.

Shi Kun's heart eased slightly upon determining that among the first two people who had emerged, one was a Foundation Establishment cultivator, while the other was only a mortal. "Who are you and why are you sticking your noses in our business?"

"Qi Lingzi, that Great Replacement Talisman of yours sure is quite interesting for it to allow that puppet to take the place of that little girl. Why didn't you use it last time when we were being hunted down? Were you preparing to take this trump card with you into the grave?" Young Master Hai accused as he rolled his eyes at Qi Lingzi.

"Ptui! Of course I wasn't prepared to die before I used this talisman! The Great Replacement Talisman isn't that easy to use. I exhausted almost all of my wealth, and I was only able to refine one of these talismans. When I tried to use it, I discovered I had insufficient magic power and was unable to do so. If I hadn't given the talisman to Brother Han for him to use, we wouldn't even have been able to save the little girl," Qi Lingzi countered in an indignant manner.

"I see." Young Master Hai was rather taken aback to hear this.

The two of them completely ignored Shi Kun, and his expression darkened even further.

Vicious looks had also appeared in the eyes of the other two men in black.

As for Han Li, he gently placed the little girl onto the ground beside him as a hint of a smile appeared on his face.

Bai Guo'er was still reeling from her near-death ordeal, and she was staring blankly at Han Li's trio, at a complete loss for what to do.

"Kill these three bastards!" Shi Kun commanded with killing intent in his eyes.

In his experience, even though there were three more opponents, the only one that they actually had to keep an eye on was the azure-robed young man, who was at the late-Foundation Establishment Stage and was still yet to speak.

The three of them were all late-Foundation Establishment cultivators, so on paper, they should be able to completely dominate their opponents. Furthermore, the fact that his two companions were so wary of him was a clear indication that he possessed an extremely powerful trump or two that would pose a threat even to Core Formation cultivators.

Thus, he was naturally very confident in his group's ability to kill this trio.

The only issue was that it wouldn't be very realistic to expect them to be able to kill all three of these nosy intruders at once.

After all, if they were determined to get away, then it would be quite difficult to hunt them down. This was why he hadn't attacked from the very beginning and had attempted to use his words to placate Han Li's trio.

However, this wasn't the first time that Shi Kun had done something like this, and he could tell that there would be no way for him to convince this trio through his words. As such, he immediately changed his plan and decided to kill them on the spot. Even if one or two of them were to escape, Shi Kun's trio could just flee from Nine Immortal Mountain right away and go into hiding. It wasn't like any high-grade cultivator would hunt down a group of Foundation Establishment cultivators over something like this.

Thus, as soon as he issued the order to kill Han Li's trio, the stack of black formation flags in his hand immediately shot forth as a dozen or so streaks of black light. However, they were targeting the middle-aged man rather than Han Li's trio.

The two silver halberds and spiked black shield being wielded by his companions also surged toward the middle-aged man in a vicious manner as two streaks of silver light and a black cloud.

The three of them often combined forces to fight enemies, so there was no need for communication before they arrived at a consensus.

Their intentions were very clear; they wanted to kill the middle-aged man first before facing Han Li's trio.

The middle-aged man's face paled slightly upon seeing this, and he immediately flicked his wrist to send the small yellow sword flying through the air, conjuring up a vast expanse of sword projections that revolved around his body to form a barrier.

Immediately thereafter, he swept his other sleeve through the air, and a plume of yellow dust erupted forth before transforming into specks of starlight that inundated his body.

A string of rumbling booms rang out, and the three sets of treasures were able to destroy the sword barrier with ease. However, they were repelled by the grains of yellow sand, and that came as quite a surprise to Shi Kun's trio.

However, before they had a chance to attack the barrier of starlight again, Young Master Hai let loose a loud cry before abruptly stomping a foot onto the ground.

The ground below tremored slightly, and his body shot forth like an arrow, appearing in the air above the halberd-wielding cultivator in a flash.

A pair of shimmering golden gloves then suddenly appeared on his hands, and he swung his arms through the air, sending countless golden fist projections raining downward like a torrential storm.

Before the fist projections had even struck their target, they were already releasing an astonishing aura.

The man in black down below was quite alarmed by this, and he hurriedly made a hand seal to withdraw the two silver streaks of light in the distance, which returned to his side before forming a silver light barrier to protect him.

In the next instant, a string of loud booms rang out in succession, and golden and silver light intertwined to inundate both of them.

Young Master Hai chortled in a boisterous manner as brilliant golden light erupted from his fist projections, which crashed down like golden suns, steadily forcing back the silver light.

"He's a body refinement warrior wielding a spirit tool!"

The other man in black's expression changed drastically upon seeing this, and he immediately pointed to his spiked black shield, looking as if he were going to attack Young Master Hai as well.

However, right at his moment, Qi Lingzi shook his head with a faint sigh. "How can you fight him two-on-one? That's far too shameless! It looks like there's no helping it. It would be unbecoming of a prestigious temple master like me to engage in battle against ruffians like you, but I'll have to make an exception for Young Master Hai's sake."

As soon as his voice trailed off, he raised a hand before adhering a blue talisman onto his body.

A flash of blue light appeared, then vanished in a flash, and Qi Lingzi instantly disappeared.

However, the same blue light then immediately reappeared in the air above the shield-wielding man in black.

He was quite experienced in battle, and as soon as he sensed that something was amiss about the light, he immediately diverted his shield away from his companion to crash toward it.

"Bam!" The blue light was pulverized like a ball of water and vanished as countless specks of light, but Qi Lingzi was nowhere to be seen.

The man in black's heart jolted upon seeing this, and he realized that he had been swindled, but it was already too late, and a cloud of faint blue mist suddenly appeared behind him.

Immediately thereafter, several tens of foot-long blue ice spikes shot forth through the air. The man in black possessed a superior cultivation base to Qi Lingzi, but there was no way that he could react to an attack that had been unleashed at such close proximity. Thus, the blue ice spikes struck his back in a flash.

However, a burst of black light then suddenly appeared, and a black tiger head projection abruptly surfaced within this black light.

Most of the ice spikes were blocked by this projection, and only a few of them truly struck the man on the back, causing him to stumble forward as several streams of blood flowed down his body.

"I'll kill you, you bastard!" The man in black immediately flew into a thunderous rage and abruptly made a hand seal. His sleeves bulged, and several black ghostly heads flew out from within. All of these ghostly heads were blasting yellow toxic flames out of their mouths as they pounced viciously toward Qi Lingzi.

Qi Lingzi was given quite a fright by this sudden attack, and he hurriedly grabbed the black wooden sword on his back. He then made a hand seal with his other hand and rapidly pointed at the wooden sword several times in succession.

Bursts of blue light immediately erupted from the tip of the sword before striking the black skulls with unerring accuracy. However, the black ghostly heads only shuddered slightly, but weren't truly damaged by the attacks.

Despite this, Qi Lingzi was able to virtually swim through the air with blue light flashing from his body, using some kind of movement technique to make his opponent unable to hit him in spite of the fact that the man in black possessed far superior treasures and cultivation base compared to him.

Shi Kun's expression darkened even further upon seeing this.

Even though only two of Han Li's trio had attacked, they were far more trouble than he had anticipated. He was confident that his companions would ultimately be able to take care of these two, but he couldn't afford to wait much longer.

Thus, he immediately made a decision. The dozen or so streaks of black light were still incessantly bombarding the barrier of starlight around the middle-aged while he flipped a hand over to produce a crimson leather pouch, within which the sound of buzzing could be heard.

However, right at this moment, a cold voice sounded from behind him. "Oh? Are those spirit insects? They seem to be of a decent caliber as well. It's quite remarkable that a Foundation Establishment cultivator like you possesses such spirit insects."

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