A resounding rumbling sound rang out, and black light flashed as the miniature ark swelled to countless times its original size.
Initially, it was only around several hundred feet in size, but in the blink of an eye, it had become as massive as a mountain. Its three black masts were like a trio of heavenly pillars that extended for over 100,000 feet up into the air, and several extremely life-like ferocious black beasts had been inscribed onto the black sails, giving off an extremely menacing appearance.
What was even more astonishing was that after expanding the ark to its full size, different items had surfaced from the centers of the formations on the giant ark.
Some of these items were balls, some of them were cylinders, but no matter what shape the items were in, all of them had extremely complex runes engraved on their surfaces. It was quite clear that these items had been designed to be easy to activate, but were still capable of unleashing enormous power.
However, with this many of them, it would most likely require hundreds of cultivators to activate all of them at once.
The most eye-catching things on the ark were the three semi-transparent five-colored pillars protruding from the top of the cabin.
Not only were these three pillars as thick as water tanks, they were over 1,000 feet in length, and none of the other aforementioned items could compare with them.
Just as Han Li was carefully inspecting the giant ark, the Long Family patriarch had already completed his examination of the elixir and storage bracelet. He stowed the two items away, then cast his gaze toward the massive ark as he said, "It cost over 100,000,000 spirit stones in materials alone to construct this Giant Atlas Ark, and that's completely discounting the enormous amount of labor, time, and effort that went into its construction process. If I were to sell this ark, I normally wouldn't consider any offer less than twice the value of the materials that you offered to me."
"I know that I stand to benefit slightly more from this exchange than you do, but at the same time, that elixir and those materials definitely can't be purchased with spirit stones in the outside world. In any case, our exchange is complete, so there's no reason for me to stay here any longer. Send me a message in advance when you decide to enter the Elder Devil Realm, and I'll be sure to arrive on time," Han Li chuckled as he made a hand seal, and the giant ark shrank down to several inches in size again before flying up his sleeve.
"As long as the human race can withstand the first few waves of attacks from the Elder Devil Race and limit the magnitude of the devilish tribulation to a manageable scope, then we'll definitely go ahead with our trip, and I'll be sure to notify you in advance. With your current cultivation base, I'm sure you'll be of great assistance to us," the Long Family patriarch said as a rare smile appeared on his wooden face.
Han Li nodded in response before suddenly turning to what appeared to be a patch of empty air with a peculiar smile on his face. He then cupped his fist in a salute toward that direction before flying away as a streak of azure light.
The Long Family patriarch's expression changed slightly upon seeing this, and only after the streak of azure light had completely vanished into the distance did he heave a faint sigh.
Right at this moment, spatial fluctuations suddenly erupted from the spot that Han Li had been looking at before, and a black-robed man emerged out of thin air; it was none other than the Long Family's other grand elder.
He wore a dark expression as he also cast his gaze toward the direction that Han Li had departed in, and said in a grim voice, "It seems that he sensed my presence very early on. This new concealment ability that I've cultivated makes it very difficult even for you to sense my presence, yet it was unable to fool him; he's either cultivated some kind of powerful special ability or possesses a powerful treasure that specializes in countering concealment techniques."
"Indeed. However, there's also a possibility that his spiritual sense is more powerful than ours. With his astonishing rate of progression, it makes sense that he has a few incredible abilities up his sleeve. In any case, he'll be a valuable addition to our party when we venture into the Elder Devil Realm; I'm sure he'll be no less powerful than the Body Integration Stage beings of the Spirit Race," the Long Family patriarch replied with an expressionless nod.
"I've done some research on this Han brat, and he could potentially be a volatile element in our party," the black-robed man said with furrowed brows.
"Hmph, so what? How much do you know about the other people we've invited? It doesn't matter as long as they can help us accomplish our objective. This devilish tribulation is going to be extremely perilous for our human race, but it's also a brilliant opportunity for Body Integration cultivators like us. Failure is not an option for this trip. Otherwise, we'll remain at the Body Integration Stage for the rest of our lives," the Long Family patriarch said as a look of vicious determination appeared on his face.
"You're right, Brother Long, but before this, we have to keep the Elder Devil Race at bay first," the black-robed man agreed with a nod before turning toward a certain part of the giant city behind them.
"I've gathered 13 major families to create this stronghold, and each city can defend one another. Regardless of whether it's the number of high-grade cultivators present or the defensive capabilities of the stronghold, this place definitely isn't inferior to the three sovereign cities. Even if this devilish tribulation is going to be more fearsome than the rumors suggest, this stronghold should be able to stand strong," the Long Family patriarch said in a confident manner.
"I'm also firmly of the same opinion. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have collaborated with you, Brother Long. Seeing as that Han brat's gone, let's go back and take care of our own matters as well. The devilish mark is becoming larger and larger; the Elder Devil Race will most likely descend upon us in around three or four months, so we have to make ample preparations," the black-robed man said in a solemn manner.
"Indeed, I have a cauldron of important pills that I'm currently refining as well," the Long Family patriarch said with a nod before sweeping a sleeve through the air to expel a burst of golden light. The light enveloped his body, and he flew toward the massive city as a ball of golden light.
The black-robed man also made a hand seal upon seeing this, and followed along as a black gust of wind.
Meanwhile, Han Li was already several thousand kilometers away, and a little after two months, Han Li finally returned to Deep Heaven City via teleportation formation.
At this point, the entire city was in a state of high alert, and all of the restriction formations had been semi-activated.
If it weren't for the fact that Han Li was a Body Integration cultivator, he most likely wouldn't even have been granted access to the teleportation formations.
Han Li flew straight back to the pagoda that he and his disciples were living in before giving them the Giant Atlas Ark, then instructed them to get all of the disciples to familiarize themselves with the treasure as quickly as possible.
The Giant Atlas Ark could only display its true power when used by a certain number of people, so this was a life-saving trump card that Han Li was leaving to his disciples.
Otherwise, with their Nascent Soul Stage cultivation bases, it would be very difficult to say whether they'd be able to survive the devilish tribulation.
After that, Han Li returned to the top level of the pagoda and went into seclusion again. However, on this occasion, he instructed his disciples to keep an eye on the devilish mark and to give him daily reports on the changes displayed by it.
Thus, one day passed by after another, and the atmosphere in Deep Heaven City was only becoming tenser and tenser.
Not only did the devilish marks near Deep Heaven City encompass an area of tens of thousands of kilometers, they were becoming glossy black, and there were even some patches where churning devilish Qi could be clearly seen.
However, the devilish marks near Deep Heaven City weren't that massive compared to the ones in the other parts of the human regions. It was said that the largest of the devilish marks had appeared near the city of the newly assigned spirit sovereign, and it was over 100 times larger than the devilish marks present near Deep Heaven City.
Upon receiving this news, Han Li could only heave a faint sigh before casting the matter out of his mind.
On this day, there were two shimmering golden flying arks situated near an inky-black devilish mark that was countless kilometers in size. The two arks were several tens of feet in length each, and they were concealed within a lush forest that was close to 10 kilometers away.
On each of the two arks were two golden-armored Heavenly Guards and several black-armored guards, and these people were currently discussing something in hushed tones with grim looks on their faces.
"Brother Chen, I've been feeling very uneasy these past few days; is this a sign that the devilish tribulation is about to commence soon?" a golden-armored man with a pair of thick musclebound arms said with furrowed brows.
"You're not the only one, Fellow Daoist Jin; I've been feeling very anxious ever since I was deployed here to keep tabs on this devilish mark. Thankfully, that's the extent of our role, and as soon as the devilish mark is broken, we can immediately activate the teleportation formation to return to the city, so there's not actually that much danger involved," a short and thin elderly man replied with a wry smile.
"I'm also aware that this is not actually a very dangerous task, yet I still can't help but feel uneasy; it seems that I need to hone my mental state. Having said that, we really are very unlucky to have drawn lots and been assigned to this place," the burly man said in a resigned manner.
"Hehe, staying in the city is naturally safer, but as long as we can complete this mission, we'll be rewarded extremely handsomely, so I think the reward outweighs the risk," the elderly man said with a shake of his head.
"That's true. The pills offered by the panel of elders are extremely precious and will be very useful to us... Hold on, what's that?" the burly man replied with a wry smile before abruptly rising to his feet. He cast his gaze toward the distance, and his expression changed drastically.
"Is the devilish mark about to break?" The elderly man's heart jolted as he hurriedly cast his gaze toward the same direction, as did the black-armored guards, and all of their faces immediately turned completely pale.
A vast expanse of space beneath the devilish mark in the distance had suddenly begun to twist and writhe violently, as if the heavens were about to be flipped onto its head.
Right at this moment, an earth-shattering boom rang out, and countless demonic bats that were each over 10 feet in length emerged from the churning devilish Qi within the devilish mark.
All of the bats had skin that was as red as blood and a single black horn on each of their heads. They opened their mouths, and bursts of soundwaves surged forth in a frenzy toward the warped space down below.Previous Chapter Next Chapter