Chapter 1940: Abandoned City

As for the clone that was battling the spirit body in the distance, it seemed to have also received the instruction to retreat, and dazzling crimson light suddenly erupted from its body to force back the spirit body before it shot forth toward its two companions.

The three of them gathered together in the blink of an eye and fled toward the same direction.

"This isn't over, brat! Next time we meet, I'll be sure to extract your soul and torture it for all of eternity!" Sacred Ancestor Xue Guang's menacing voice rumbled in the distance, and he disappeared into the distance after just a few flashes.

After making the decision to retreat, he had done so in a very decisive manner and didn't stall in the slightest. He seemed to be very confident that Han Li wouldn't try to hunt him down, and sure enough, Han Li merely looked on expressionlessly as his opponent departed, displaying no intention of setting off in pursuit.

In the distance, the spirit body made a hand seal before abruptly vanishing on the spot. Spatial fluctuations then erupted beside Han Li, and the spirit body re-emerged.

Han Li harrumphed coldly as he withdrew his Provenance Golden Body amid a flash of golden light. His body then shrank down as his golden fur receded, and he reverted back to his human form.

As opposed to being elated by this victory, Han Li continued to look into the distance with a grim expression.

"Just his clones alone are already this troublesome to deal with; his true body will only be even more powerful. Grand Ascension Stage beings truly are as formidable as they're proclaimed to be!" Han Li murmured to himself before withdrawing his gaze and waving a hand toward the spirit body beside him.

The spirit body instantly flew toward him as a green shadow before vanishing into his body in a flash, and the 13 Purple-striped Gold Devouring Beetles also flew back to his side.

Han Li swept a sleeve through the air to release a burst of azure light that stowed away the beetles, then closed his eyes before making a hand seal while chanting an incantation.

A thumb-sized crimson rune surfaced on his glabella, and it was flashing with gentle light.

Moments later, Han Li opened his eyes, and a hint of elation appeared on his face. "It worked! The Purple Word Cauldron hasn't traveled all that far away!"

As soon as his voice trailed off, he switched to a series of complex hand seals, and the crimson rune on his glabella also began to fluctuate in brightness.

Not long after that, a streak of black light appeared in the distance, and within it was none other than the Purple Word Cauldron that had flown away during the battle.

However, the cauldron stopped several thousand feet away from Han Li, and purple light flashed erratically from its surface as it emitted a faint buzzing sound, seemingly expressing hesitation to approach Han Li.

However, after Han Li had activated that crimson rune, a connection had formed between them, and that made the cauldron unwilling to leave.

The smile on Han Li's face widened at the sight of the cauldron, and the crimson rune flew directly out of his glabella before revolving around him.

At the same time, he began to chant something while flicking his fingers through the air, and a series of vibrant colorful incantation seals shot forth before vanishing into the cauldron in a flash.

The small cauldron tremored before letting loose a clear cry akin to a dragon's roar, and it flew directly toward the crimson rune, which also vanished into the cauldron amid a flash of crimson light.

A layer of crimson light then appeared over the surface of the cauldron, and it emitted a cry of elation. Only then did Han Li wave a hand toward the small cauldron with a smile on his face.

On this occasion, the small purple cauldron was extremely obedient and voluntarily flew over to Han Li, shrinking down to several inches in size before landing on his palm.

Han Li was ecstatic to see this, and he began to inspect the miniature cauldron with blue flashing within his eyes.

On the surface of the cauldron were many unidentifiable runes, and it was also enveloped in a layer of faint black Qi.

Han Li's eyes narrowed slightly as spiritual light flashed from his hand, and several golden and silver runes emerged before vanishing into the small cauldron in a flash. 

The cauldron only had a chance to let loose a low ringing sound before it suddenly fell completely still, seemingly having been deprived of its spiritual nature.

Immediately thereafter, countless arcs of golden lightning sprang forth from Han Li's fingertips amid a rumbling thunderclap, then formed a golden lightning net that encompassed the entire cauldron.

The lightning net then shrank and converged to form a small golden ball over his palm.

A relieved look appeared on Han Li's face upon seeing this, and he flipped his other hand over to produce a pristine white jade box, which he placed the golden ball into.

After that, he swept his sleeve over the box, and a dozen or so talismans of different colors emerged before instantly forming several miniature formations that embedded themselves onto the surface of the box.

After stowing the jade box away, Han Li heaved a sigh of relief, and only then did he dare to truly relax.

Using the secret technique that Che Qigong had bestowed upon him, he was able to easily take the Purple Word Cauldron from Sacred Ancestor Xue Guang. However, the fact of the matter was that the cauldron still contained a wisp of Che Qigong's spiritual sense. Prior to eradicating that wisp of spiritual sense and refining the treasure again, Han Li naturally didn't dare to use it. 

Even so, he was still truly elated to have obtained such a precious treasure, but at the same time, he was lamenting the loss of his Myriad Sword Artwork.

He had only just completely refined the treasure, and he had planned for it to be one of his trump cards against the devilish army, so it was naturally quite unfortunate that the treasure was destroyed in just a single battle.

The parting threat that the devilish giant had issued prior to his departure then surfaced in Han Li's mind, and a grim look appeared on his face.

Just as the devilish giant had said, he had only been able to force these three clones into retreat as they were ill-prepared and overly confident as they had two incomplete Profound Heavenly Treasures up their sleeves.

Next time, the three clones were going to be better prepared and more well-versed with Han Li's abilities, so the outcome of that battle could easily go against Han Li's favor.

All of a sudden, Han Li shook his head as he chuckled to himself. He had realized that he was worried about a hypothetical situation that would never eventuate as there was no way he would give Sacred Ancestor Xue Guang another chance to trap him.

If the three clones were to return to the main devilish city, it would take them at least three to four months, which was more than enough time for Han Li to sneak back to Deep Heaven City.

As long as he didn't leave Deep Heaven City thereafter, he wouldn't have anything to fear. However, prior to that, he had to visit the place where Earthly Hellish Flames could be found. He had sworn a vow to Che Qigong, and he certainly didn't want to suffer backlash from inner demons.

On top of that, the Chaotic Yin Yang Qi really was very alluring to him as well. Sacred Ancestor Xue Guang's clones had just retreated, so there was no way that they would return in a short time. As such, this was the perfect opportunity for him to fulfill the promise that he had made.

However, that Che Qigong was a Sacred Ancestor as well, so he naturally wasn't going to believe everything that he said; he had to set up some defensive measures before he carried out the tasks that he had promised to complete.

As for Heavenlean City, all of the Body Integration cultivators had already fled, so there was no way that the city could've survived. As such, there was no point in returning to it.

With that in mind, Han Li immediately made a decision and flew away as a streak of azure light.

...

Meanwhile, the devilish giant was already tens of thousands of kilometers away, and he had reverted back to his normal humanoid form. On top of that, he had released his crimson canoe again, and the three clones were traveling toward Heavenlean City atop the flying treasure.

Along the way, all three clones remained completely silent.

Several days later, the three clones caught sight of the collapsed city wall of Heavenlean City. The air above the entire city had been enshrouded by inky-black devilish Qi, and when the crimson canoe approached the city, a group of armored warriors riding devilish steeds instantly emerged to greet the three clones in a respectful manner.

Once the All-encompassing Devilish Cavalier drew a little closer, Sacred Ancestor Xue Guang instructed in a cold voice, "Activate the teleportation formation closest to our sacred army right away!" 

"Yes, Sacred Ancestor!"

All of the mid-grade and high-grade devilish beings present were already aware of Sacred Ancestor Xue Guang's arrival, so this All-encompassing Devilish Cavalier naturally recognized the three clones, and he immediately gave an affirmative reply with a respectful bow.

...

Half a month later, Han Li was flying through the air as a streak of barely visible azure light. His magic power fluctuations were also extremely subdued, and no one would be able to detect the streak of azure light unless they were an extremely powerful being or possessed a spirit eye ability.

Han Li was currently flying over a small human city, one that had been abandoned over 100 years ago in anticipation for the devilish tribulation. The city was currently nothing more than a conglomeration of ruins and overgrown weeds, but as Han Li was flying over it, he casually swept his spiritual sense through the abandoned city, upon which a hint of surprise appeared on his face.

He abruptly drew to a halt and looked down at the abandoned city with blue light flashing through his eyes.

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