The leaders and elders of the true spirit families were all quite accustomed to this sight, and after hearing what the Long Family patriarch had to say, they each waved a hand toward the disciples behind them, immediately following which one person from each family quickly approached the Myriad Spirit Platform with a palm-sized jade vial cradled in their hands.
At the same time, golden light flashed from the Long Family patriarch, and his body swayed, following which he entered directly through the light barrier over the Myriad Spirit Platform. After that, he hovered at a low altitude and made a hand seal to release a pillar of golden light downward.
The golden light then vanished into the ground down below in a flash.
In the next instant, a burst of dull rumbling rang out from the Myriad Spirit Platform, and an antiquated azure stone basin appeared near the white formation.
The basin was long and flat, measuring around 10 feet in length. There were peculiar black symbols carved all over its surface, and it seemed to be an extremely ancient artifact.
All of the people who had emerged from the true spirit families approached the stone basin one after another, then removed the lids on the jade vials in their hands before pouring their contents into the basin.
Streams of liquid of different colors flowed out of the vials, some of which were extremely repugnant and vile, some of which were quite fragrant and pleasant, while others were colorless and odorless like water.
Several tens of different types of liquids were poured into the basin, and they came together to form a ball, but they didn't intermingle with one another in the slightest.
The Long Family patriarch paid no heed to all of this. He merely glanced at the light within the formation, which was steadily increasing in brightness, then looked up at the enormous purple net of lightning up above in an expressionless manner.
Outside the Myriad Spirit Platform, all of the Body Integration cultivators had risen to their feet, and they were also appraising the formation with serious expressions.
All of a sudden, a resounding boom rang out, following which the runes of different colors pouring out of the formation suddenly condensed to form a huge ball of light with a diameter of several tens of feet.
The ball of light then revolved in the air above the formation a few times before exploding amid a dull thump to reveal a strange beast with eight heads.
Its body was very indistinct, as if it were only a projection, and its aura was only at the early-Spatial Tempering Stage. However, as its eight heads swiveled around to sweep its gaze over all of the people surrounding the Myriad Spirit Platform, everyone couldn't help but shudder as if a glacial aura had just passed over their bodies.
In the next instant, the Long Family patriarch cupped his fist in a salute, and said, "Welcome, Master Myriad Spirit. Please enjoy the true blood sacrifice our 51 human true spirit families have prepared for you."
The eight-headed beast raised one of its heads to glance at the Long Family patriarch, then flew out of the formation and arrived above the basin.
It opened all eight of its mouths in unison, and the liquid in the basin flowed into its mouths in a frenzy.
Within mere moments, the liquid in the basin had all been devoured, following which a layer of light appeared over the beast's body, and it took on a more substantial form.
Immediately thereafter, the beast glanced at the cultivators outside of the stone platform before rearing its heads back and letting loose a thunderous roar.
An astonishing aura emanated from its body, rising from the early-Spatial Tempering Stage to the mid-Spatial Tempering Stage, then rapidly climbing to the late Spatial Tempering Stage...
After a short while, the beast's aura had swelled to the pinnacle of the late-Body Integration Stage. No, it seemed to be slightly superior to that, as if it was only half a step away from reaching the Grand Ascension Stage.
Even Han Li couldn't help but be awestruck as he sensed the violent aura emanating from the Myriad Spirit Platform.
Thankfully, this seemed to the limit of the beast's capabilities, and its enormous aura finally stagnated thereafter.
However, what the eight-headed beast did next was quite alarming to all of the onlooking cultivators.
All of a sudden, the beast raised all eight of its heads in unison, and a bolt of azure lightning as thick as a large bowl erupted from each of its mouths, then crashed into the purple lightning net up above in a flash.
Even the Body Integration cultivators present were slightly alarmed by this, and the Long Family patriarch was able to maintain a calm expression, but the look in his eyes indicated that he was also slightly bewildered.
Several earth-shattering booms rang out in quick succession as the purple and azure lightning intertwined, forming balls of lightning that were as large as wagon wheels before exploding in the air above.
Moments later, the lightning receded, and the massive purple net tremored a few times before falling still again, managing to remain completely unscathed through the process.
The cold look in the eight-headed beast's eyes faded, and it slowly closed its eight enormous mouths.
One of its azure heads then abruptly turned toward the Long Family patriarch, and it said in an extremely ancient voice, "Hmph, you humans sure are a careful and meticulous race; I've already descended upon this place countless times, yet this Lightning Myriad Seal Formation has had no fallacies every single time. You better pray that things continue like this. Otherwise, if you slip and allow me to find a chink in this formation, hehe..."
Not only was the beast's azure head speaking in a human tongue, it was also appraising the Long Family patriarch in a threatening manner.
The Long Family patriarch extended a slight bow before replying in a manner that was neither humble nor arrogant, "Rest assured, Master Myriad Spirit; if we become so incapable someday that we can't even set up a seal formation properly, then everyone here deserves to have their true blood sucked away for your consumption. However, according to the agreement our true spirit families have made with you, now that our sacrifice has been accepted, it's time for you to create the Hidden Spirit Badges for us now."
This beast was a true spirit level being from another realm, but only its clone could descend into this world. Even though it had devoured the sacrifice to significantly enhance its powers, it was still being severely debilitated by the seal formation set up by the true spirit families, so a late-Body Integration cultivator like the Long Family patriarch didn't have much to fear.
"Hmph, I did indeed accept your sacrifice, so I'll naturally fulfill my end of the agreement," the beast harrumphed coldly before beginning to chant something with all eight of its heads.
As it did so, runes of eight different colors surged out of its mouths before intertwining with one another in mid-air.
After a short while, all of the runes had spread over the Myriad Spirit Platform, creating quite an astonishing sight to behold.
The Long Family patriarch was situated within all of these runes, but he appeared to be very calm, and there was a layer of golden light around his body, keeping the runes several feet away from him.
All of a sudden, the beast let loose another thunderous roar, and invisible ripples abruptly surged through the air above.
All of the runes in the sky stacked on top of one another, then transformed into countless five-colored badges that fell onto the Myriad Spirit Platform.
"Alright, the 999 Hidden Spirit Badges have been created; make sure you don't summon me again until 3,000 years have passed," the eight-headed beast grumbled in a slightly weary manner, then flew back into the formation.
Light flashed from the massive formation, and spiritual light erupted forth to inundate the giant beast in a flash.
A buzzing sound rang out once again, and the eight-headed beast's body exploded into countless runes amid a dull thump.
In the next instant, the formation itself also vanished, and it was as if it was never there to begin with.
The Long Family patriarch was silent for a moment before instructing in a cold voice, "Gather the Hidden Spirit Badges, and we'll distribute them once the rankings have been decided."
Several golden-armored guards immediately heeded his call, striding onto the platform, carrying a silver platter each. They then made grabbing motions toward the badges, and all of them were drawn toward the guards before being piled onto the platters.
After that, the platters were carried to a designated table below the stone platform, where they were placed down in a respectful manner.
"Master Myriad Spirit has already left. Next, let us pay our respects to our true spirit ancestors," the Long Family patriarch said in a solemn voice.
All of the true spirit families immediately sprang into action upon hearing this, bringing out all types of spirit tools, as well as spirit fruits and incense, before setting them up on the platform.
Immediately thereafter, all of the true spirit family entourages were led by their leaders and elders onto the Myriad Spirit Platform one after another. They knelt down in front of their respective makeshift true spirit shrines before paying their respects and praying to their ancestors.
There were even some more traditional true spirit families who performed ceremonies that had already been made obsolete elsewhere, and Han Li was quite intrigued to see this.
The families paid their respects for close to half a day, and only then did the truly important segment of the true spirit ceremony commence. All of the true spirit families were competing to decide their rankings, and resources would be reallocated based on those rankings.
The Long Family patriarch flew onto the stone platform again before announcing, "As per usual, each family possesses one opportunity to challenge a family above them, as well as an opportunity to accept a challenge from a family below them. However, the challenger can't challenge a family that is more than five ranks above them, and if multiple families challenge the same family, then the highest-ranking challenging family will take priority. Of course, our top five families can only accept challenges after we compete in round-robin matches to decide our rankings again. Fellow Daoist Lin, come onto the platform and draw your opponent for the first round."
Among the five true spirit families, one of them was comprised solely of men, and a lazy voice rang out from among them. "Hehe, there's no need for that. If we encounter your Long Family, then we'll forfeit the match right away. However, I did cultivate a few new abilities recently, so I'd like to test my skills against Fairy Ye."
The one who had spoken was a man in a dark green robe with a strange silver band around his head. His features were as fine and delicate as those of a woman.Previous Chapter Next Chapter