Long Dong was quite indignant toward the fact that the Long Family patriarch hadn't stood up for him, but he didn't dare to raise any objections.
In contrast, the black-robed man sitting beside the Long Family patriarch was rather surprised by this occurrence, and he turned to the Long Family patriarch before transmitting his voice to him. "Brother Long, why did you..."
"Do you still remember the mysterious demonic ape who fought me on Nine Immortal Mountain, Brother Hui?" The Long Family patriarch transmitted his voice back in response.
"Of course I do; didn't you speculate that he may have been a demonic cultivator from the holy island?" the black-robed man asked as his expression changed ever so slightly.
"Hehe, indeed. After the event, I discovered through a thorough investigation that the demonic ape had caused such a scene over a Foundation Establishment Stage junior that had been abducted to our Long Family, and that person is none other than an in-name disciple of this Fellow Daoist Han."
The black-robed man drew a sharp breath upon hearing this. "Is that so? Does this mean you think that he has something to do with the holy island?"
"Perhaps, or perhaps he's merely an acquaintance of that demonic ape; it's hard to say. However, it's naturally best not to attract any unnecessary trouble to our Long Family prior to the devilish tribulation. That man's cultivation base may be inferior to ours, but the fact that he was able to progress to the Body Integration Stage so quickly indicates that he's most likely no ordinary early-Body Integration cultivator. If you ask me, he's either cultivated some powerful abilities or possesses some extremely powerful treasures," the Long Family patriarch replied in a calm manner.
The black-robed man nodded initially before his brows furrowed slightly as he asked, "That is indeed true, but what if we have to face the Gu Family during the ceremony? Do we have to go easy on him?"
"There's no need for that; perform as you normally would during this true spirit ceremony. If you encounter that man, there's no need to hold back; it'll also give us a good opportunity to examine the true extent of his powers. If he really is as powerful as we think, then perhaps we can take him along with us when we go to that place," the Long Family patriarch replied.
"Alright, I understand. Leave everything to me, Brother Long," the black-robed man chuckled before falling silent.
Throughout the entire voice transmission conversation, the Long Family patriarch's eyes had remained closed, and his face had betrayed no emotions whatsoever; it was as if he hadn't engaged in that conversation at all.
Over at the Gu Family entourage, Fairy Xiao Feng and Elder Xiao were both given quite a fright by Han Li's actions.
The Gu Family didn't exactly see eye-to-eye with the Long Family, but Han Li hadn't made any effort to act respectfully toward the Long Family patriarch at all, and that naturally made the two of them quite concerned.
As such, they were quite elated and surprised to see that the Long Family patriarch was dropping the issue so easily, but at the same time, they were also slightly bewildered.
As for Han Li, his expression remained completely calm and collected, and it was impossible to tell what he was thinking.
However, in the eyes of the other true spirit families, he became a lot more mysterious and unfathomable as a result of his actions, and many people were speculating about him.
"Ying'er, that Fellow Daoist Han sure is a brave man; he dares to directly oppose the Long Family patriarch at just the early-Body Integration Stage. It seems that he must possess some extraordinary powers or has backers that he can rely on. It's no wonder even our gorgeous little Ying'er was unable to tempt him." The one who had spoken was a female cultivator from one of the true spirit families.
This group of people was situated directly beside the Long Family entourage, and just like the Gu Family, they consisted primarily of women.
The one who had spoken was standing at the very front of the group, and was a young woman who appeared to be 17 or 18 years of age. She wore a five-colored feather dress, and had a suggestive smile on her face.
Sitting on either side of her was a beauty who appeared to be 27 to 28 years of age, and an elderly woman with a head of grey hair.
The person standing behind the woman in the five-colored dress was a young woman in white, and she immediately blushed upon hearing this before stammering, "I-I'm not exceptional in any way, so it's no surprise that I didn't appeal to Senior Han."
This was none other than Ye Ying, whom Han Li had met on several occasions in the past, and she bore a close resemblance to the woman in the five-colored dress.
"Is that so? Then why is it that the more I look at our little Ying'er, the more adorable I think you are? That Han brat has a rotten eye for women! Otherwise, if he were to join our Ye Family, not only would he receive incredible benefits, he would also be able to marry my most beloved granddaughter." The woman in the five-colored dress suddenly burst into laughter, and her voice was as pleasant as that of a lark, drawing attention from many of the nearby onlookers.
Even though a restriction had been set up to prevent the other true spirit families from overhearing their conversation, the eyes directed toward them from the other families made Ye Ying's blush deepen even further, and she was tucking her chin so firmly that it seemed she wanted nothing better than to bury her head into her own chest.
"Please don't tease her, Mother; why do you always pick on her?" the beautiful woman sitting off to the side chuckled.
"Heehee, I'm not picking on her; it's just that among these juniors of mine, only Ying'er bears a resemblance to my younger self. However, her personality is far too different from mine, so I naturally have to guide her onto the right path. Otherwise, it would be a waste of her beauty for her to act like a cold puppet all the time," the woman in the five-colored dress sighed with a shake of her head.
It was quite clear that the beauty beside the young woman was a very conservative and sensible individual, and she could only fall silent with a wry smile upon hearing this.
As for the rest of the Ye Family entourage, they were all quite amused by this conversation.
Meanwhile, a pair of Body Integration cultivators from another true spirit family were also conversing quietly among themselves.
"That Tian Li hag didn't turn up, but that Han brat clearly isn't going to be a walkover, either. Are we still going to follow our original plan? We initially agreed to target that hag with the Lao Family," a handsome middle-aged man in a set of lavish robes asked with furrowed brows.
The man sitting beside him wore a copper half-mask, revealing only one half of his face, which was as delicate as that of an infant, and he replied, "Why not? That hag should count herself lucky for not turning up. We don't have any vendetta against that Han brat, but seeing as he's here to represent the Gu Family, we naturally have to teach him a lesson. Both of us may only be at the early-Body Integration Stage as well, but we've been at this stage for tens of thousands of years, so even if we don't use our combination technique, we'll still be able to crush him. Besides, all we have to do is wear him down and exhaust him of his magic power; we can just leave all the dirty work to the Lao Family. They're probably over the moon that that hag didn't turn up."
The man in the lavish robes cocked his head to the side and thought about this for a moment before nodding with a smile. "That's true. Even that Tian Li hag wasn't a match for us during the last edition of the ceremony, so that brat is nothing to worry about."
Meanwhile, a sinister voice suddenly rang out from a certain true spirit family that was situated beyond the inner circle. "Fairy Tian Li failed to show up, and the Gu Family only has an early-Body Integration Stage representative; this is a perfect opportunity for our Lao Family! We can take it a little easy when fighting the other families, but during our match with the Gu Family, we have to do everything in our power."
There were also people from other true spirit families who also seemed to be plotting something, yet at this point, Han Li had already withdrawn his gaze. He was currently appraising a thumb-sized golden gourd that he had summoned, and there wasn't really anything remarkable about it aside from the fact that it was fluctuating in and out of existence, as if it had no substantial form.
However, for some reason, Han Li seemed to be extremely interested in this item, and was appraising it with an intrigued expression.
Thus, time slowly passed by, and all of the true spirit families waited patiently.
Finally, after over four hours had passed, spiritual light suddenly flashed from the center of the Myriad Spirit Platform, following which a white formation appeared on its surface. Initially, the formation was only several tens of feet in size, but after a short while, it swelled drastically amid a flash of bright light, expanding to around an acre in size.
Runes of different colors surged out of the formation in a frenzy, and bursts of buzzing sounds rang out from within it.
The entire Myriad Spirit Platform also began to tremor slightly in that instant.
A string of sharp ringing sounds then erupted from the surrounding mountain faces, as if to resonate with the buzzing formation. Immediately thereafter, hundreds of massive pillars of light erupted without any warning from the sites where the sharp ringing sounds emanated from. Each pillar of light was as thick as a water tank, and was flashing with piercing five-colored light.
Under the influence of the formation, a gust of fierce winds swept over the valley, and dense dark clouds appeared overhead. After that, devastating thunderclaps rang out as bolts of purple lightning that resembled giant pythons emerged from within the clouds.
"That's heavenly tribulation lightning!"
Many of the true spirit family disciples who were attending this ceremony for the first time were already flabbergasted by the phenomena that had taken place earlier, and all of them erupted into a panic at the sight of this purple lightning.
The Long Family patriarch abruptly opened his eyes before rising to his feet, then said in a cold voice, "Hmph, be quiet you fools! What's there to be alarmed about? This is just a precursor to Master Myriad Spirit's arrival. Shall we begin the ceremony now, fellow Daoists?"
His voice wasn't very loud, but it was clearly audible to everyone, and all of the panicked disciples calmed down as they exchanged bewildered glances.
The man in the lavish robes from the Feng Family also rose to his feet as he replied with a smile, "Of course. According to past conventions, this ceremony will have to be hosted by you again, Brother Long."
"I have no objections."
"I have no objections, either; Brother Long possesses the most superior cultivation base among all of us, after all."
"Please go ahead, Brother Long."
All of the other true spirit families expressed their agreement one after another.
The Long Family patriarch looked up into the sky, then nodded in response. "In that case, let's offer up the sacrificial items first."
At this moment, the purple lightning above the valley had intertwined to form a gargantuan net, which connected with the surrounding massive pillars of light to create an enormous cage.Previous Chapter Next Chapter