This man was none other than the grand elder of the Lin Family, which was the third-ranked true spirit family, and he seemed to not be on good terms with the grand elder of the Ye Family.
The woman in the five-colored dress from the Ye Family chuckled, "Hehe, if you'd like to spar with me, then I'll naturally accept your challenge, Fellow Daoist Lin."
The man from the Lin Family harrumphed coldly and offered no response.
Fairy Xiao Feng and the two Body Integration cultivators of the Feng Family naturally had no objections to this, either.
The Long Family patriarch nodded upon seeing this before clapping his hands together, and another golden-armored guard strode onto the platform with a platter in his hands.
Sitting on the platter was a yellow bamboo tube, within which were five bright red bamboo sticks. The entire bamboo tube was concealed under a layer of spiritual light that kept even spiritual sense at bay, preventing one from being able to glean what was written on those bamboo sticks.
"As per usual, we'll draw lots to decide the matchups. This will be limited to only sparring matches between Body Integration cultivators, so all of the juniors will be excluded. For the first round, the family that picks the fifth stick will get a bye."
"It looks like you're not going to make the first draw, Brother Long, so let me do the honors," the man in the lavish robes from the Feng Family chuckled before reaching out toward the bamboo tube from outside of the Myriad Spirit Platform, and one of the bamboo sticks immediately flew into his grasp.
The man glanced at the bamboo stick before announcing, "Number three."
The grand elder of the Ye Family smiled as she also raised a hand toward the bamboo tube from afar, and a silver thread shot forth from her fingertip before reaching the bamboo tube in a flash.
Another bamboo stick was drawn into her hand as a streak of crimson light.
She glanced at the stick before announcing, "Number five."
For the first round, the Ye Family received a bye.
"Senior Han, would you like me to draw in your stead?" Fairy Xiao Feng asked in a respectful manner.
"Sure, go ahead," Han Li replied in a nonchalant voice.
Fairy Xiao Feng nodded before sweeping a sleeve through the air, and a white thread shot forth from within her sleeve, then wrapped itself around a crimson stick before drawing it into her grasp.
Fairy Xiao Feng glanced at it before informing Han Li, "Number four."
Han Li nodded and offered no response.
Meanwhile, the man from the Lin Family had also drawn one of the final two sticks, and he announced, "Number one."
All of the Gu Family cultivators' expressions changed drastically upon hearing this. The number two stick corresponded with their number four stick, which meant that they were going to be pitted against the Long Family in the first round.
The Long Family patriarch drew the final stick as a formality before turning to Han Li with a meaningful expression. "The lots have been drawn; let the matches commence. As for the rules of the matches, that'll be up to the participating families to decide. Now then, Fellow Daoist Lin, Fellow Daoist Feng, you may begin."
"There's no need for that; my brother and I are no match for Brother Lin, so our Feng Family concedes," the man in the lavish robes said without any hesitation.
The man from the Lin Family wasn't surprised to hear this.
"In that case, the Feng Family will be placed in the loser's bracket and will be competing with the loser of the other match, and the victor of that match will be able to challenge any of the other three families. If you relinquish the right to do so, then you'll secure the fourth spot ahead of the loser of the loser's bracket match. Next up will be our Long Family against the Gu Family. Will your family be represented by Fellow Daoist Han? Our Long Family will be represented by both myself and Elder Hui, so you'll have to defeat the two of us one after the other to secure victory in the match," the Long Family patriarch announced.
"Senior Han, let's forfeit this match," Fairy Xiao Feng immediately said.
She was well aware that even if their grand elder were present, there was still definitely no chance that they could defeat the Long Family, so she naturally wanted Han Li to conserve his powers for the next rounds.
However, Han Li stroked his chin with a smile, and said something that came as quite a shock to Fairy Xiao Feng and Elder Xiao. "I wouldn't mind sparring with a late-Body Integration cultivator. Ever since I progressed to the Body Integration Stage, I haven't yet had a chance to battle such a powerful cultivator."
This wasn't a battle of life and death, so to Han Li, this was a rare opportunity for him to gauge the power of a late-Body Integration cultivator, as well as to see if he could stand up against one at his current level of power. If he were afraid of fighting the Long Family, he wouldn't have provoked the Long Family patriarch by using his spiritual sense to intimidate Long Dong.
Furthermore, if possible, he definitely wouldn't mind putting on a display of power so these true spirit family cultivators could spread the word and enhance his reputation in the human race. After all, this situation was different compared to back when he was situated on foreign territory.
In the territories of foreign races, no matter how powerful he was, he had to keep as low a profile as possible to avoid trouble. However, now that he had returned to the human race, it would benefit him immensely to establish a resounding reputation.
Aside from the Long Family patriarch, the most powerful beings present were only at the mid-Body Integration Stage, and he knew without a doubt that his powers definitely wouldn't be inferior to those people.
"But Senior Han, the Long Family..."
Han Li's expression fell slightly as he turned toward Fairy Xiao Feng with blue light flashing within his eyes. "If I recall correctly, the terms of our agreement don't allow you to stipulate which battles I have to accept or forfeit."
Fairy Xiao Feng's heart jolted at the sight of the blue light in Han Li's eyes, and the rest of her words were immediately cut off.
Before she had a chance to say anything else, azure light flashed from Han Li's body, and he abruptly vanished on the spot.
In the next instant, he reappeared on the Myriad Spirit Platform over 100 feet away from the Long Family patriarch, then cupped his fist in a salute. "I've heard much about your esteemed self, Fellow Daoist Long; please enlighten me."
The Long Family patriarch's eyes narrowed slightly, and he said, "So you really are representing the Gu Family, Fellow Daoist Han. How is that disciple of yours? I believe his name is Qi Lingzi?"
Han Li faltered slightly upon hearing this, but his expression remained completely unchanged as he replied, "I appreciate your concern for my disciple, Fellow Daoist Long. He's a bit of a trouble-maker, so I've sent him somewhere obscure to cultivate, and he most likely won't be coming out for the next few decades."
"That's not a bad idea. After all, that disciple of yours is no ordinary cultivator, so it definitely couldn't hurt to take some extra precautions. However, if you want to challenge me right now, then I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed; the first cultivator to represent our Long Family won't be me," the Long Family patriarch replied.
At the same time, spatial fluctuations erupted beside him, and a black-robed figure abruptly appeared before turning to Han Li in a cold manner. "I'll be taking you on first, Fellow Daoist. If you can defeat me, then Fellow Daoist Long will face you himself."
This black-robed man was naturally none other than the mid-Body Integration Stage elder of the Long Family.
Han Li immediately recalled the hostility that this man had displayed toward him earlier, and he nodded in a calm manner. "Alright, then please enlighten me, Brother Hui."
A hint of a sinister smile seemed to have flashed over the Long Family patriarch's face as golden light flashed from his body, and he flew off the Myriad Spirit Platform before immediately instructing, "Fortify the restriction! Don't let this battle harm our disciples."
The cultivators in the valley who were responsible for controlling the formation hurriedly sprang into action upon hearing this, and bright light immediately erupted from the formation flags around the Myriad Spirit Platform.
The massive light barrier over the entire stone platform tremored slightly before instantly becoming several times thicker, and restriction runes of different colors appeared on its surface.
All of the people from the true spirit families were quite excited to see this. It certainly wasn't a commonplace opportunity to witness a battle between two Body Integration cultivators, so not only would this greatly broaden their horizons, it would also be a great chance for them to educate themselves.
Within the light barrier, a cold smile suddenly appeared on the black-robed man's face, and he swept a sleeve through the air. A clear ringing sound erupted, and two streaks of black light flew out from within his sleeves before revealing themselves to be a pair of inky-black hooks.
The hooks were no more than three feet in length, and there were indistinct silver flowers revolving around them, creating quite an intriguing sight to behold.
However, instead of attacking Han Li, the two hooks began to revolve around the black-robed man, seemingly more intent on keeping him safe than to directly attack Han Li.
Han Li's brows furrowed slightly as a hint of surprise flashed through his eyes upon seeing this, and in the next instant, spiritual light flashed again from the black-robed man's sleeves, following which two streaks of white light shot forth from within.
On this occasion, he had summoned a pair of pristine white short swords, each of which was around a foot in length and gave off a chilling glacial aura.
He continued to sweep his sleeves through the air, and a pair of silver flying daggers emerged immediately thereafter.
Han Li's eyelids twitched as he watched his opponent summon one pair of treasures after another, seemingly with no end in sight.Previous Chapter Next Chapter