One of them was a devout follower of Buddhist teachings, while the other subscribed to Daoist mantras, so they naturally had conflicting viewpoints. As for Han Li, he was leaning more toward Master Black Rain's perspective.
All those who embarked on the journey of cultivation should focus entirely on attaining the ultimate objective of immortality. In comparison, everything else really did pale in insignificance.
After that, Han Li slowly closed his eyes and entered a meditative state. As for Buddhist Master Tian Chan and Master Black Rain, their debate naturally wasn't going to lead to any definitive outcome, so they eventually fell silent and began to meditate as well.
Time slowly passed by, and three days and three nights flew by in a flash, but the yellow mist within the giant crater still hadn't displayed any changes.
On this day, Han Li opened his eyes and casually swept his spiritual sense toward the bottom of the giant crater, upon which his brows furrowed slightly. "How long has it been since the two of you have arrived here? Could it be that the date of the Pipe Dream Stone Spirit's tribulation transcendence has been misjudged?"
"Rest assured, Fellow Daoist Han; the mighty figures on the holy island are renowned for their accurate divination. Buddhist Master Tian Chan and I only arrived around half a month before you, and according to the result of the divination, the stone spirit will be transcending its tribulation during this month, so the time will definitely come soon," Master Black Rain said in a calm manner.
"I see. It seems I was being too impatient. Hm?" All of a sudden, Han Li's expression changed slightly, and all three of them turned toward the giant crater down below in unison with serious expressions.
The yellow mist at the bottom of the crater had suddenly begun to churn violently, and a burst of glacial aura that was far more powerful than before began to emanate from it, creating a layer of yellow ice over the bottom half of the crater.
All of a sudden, a resounding boom rang out overhead, and Han Li hurriedly cast his gaze upward to discover that a series of inky-black clouds were quickly converging from all directions. At the same time, bursts of dull rumbling could be heard coming from within the clouds, and it seemed that countless bolts of lightning were taking shape.
"Haha, the stone spirit's heavenly tribulation has arrived! It won't be long before it emerges from the Earthly Hellish Flames now. Buddhist Master Tian Chan, let's begin," Master Black Rain said in an elated manner before rising up into the air as a ball of black light.
Buddhist Master Tian Chan was also ecstatic as he flew up into the air as well.
Immediately thereafter, the two of them began to chant in unison as they released one formation flag and formation plate after another. These formation treasures quickly filled the entire air above the giant crater, then vanished in a flash.
An extremely powerful formation had been set up by the two of them in the blink of an eye, and the power of the restriction had spread over every single inch of the mountain summit.
Right at this moment, Master Black Rain withdrew his hand seals and rotated on the spot, upon which countless black specks of light erupted from his body. These specks of light then self-detonated and vanished into countless black threads.
Meanwhile, Buddhist Master Tian Chan let loose a low cry, then flipped a hand over to produce a fiery red bowl, from within which emerged three balls of crimson flames amid a clear phoenix cry.
Each fireball was only around the size of a human head, but they instantly swelled to over 100 feet in size each at Buddhist Master Tian Chan's behest, then transformed into three giant crimson fiery birds.
Han Li drew a sharp breath upon seeing the three birds, and he exclaimed, "Fire Phoenixes!"
"Hehe, these are merely Flamebirds that possess faint traces of the Fire Phoenix bloodline; they can't even begin to compare with a true Fire Phoenix. The stone spirit had been residing in the Earthly Hellish Flames for tens of thousands of years, so it should've already attained an extreme Yin constitution. As such, the powers of these three Flamebirds should be very effective against it," Buddhist Master Tian Chan explained with a smile.
Even so, Han Li still found the three birds to be quite remarkable. "I see. The Flamebirds truly bear a startling resemblance to the Fire Phoenix. If it weren't for their slightly inferior auras, it would be quite difficult to distinguish one from the other."
After releasing the countless specks of black light, Master Black Rain suddenly opened his mouth to expel a miniature purple gourd. The gourd was only several inches in size, and its surface was flashing with specks of mysterious silver light.
A blue crystalline scorpion then sprang out of the gourd. The scorpion was only around a foot in size, but it was extremely intricate in appearance and had a pair of semi-transparent wings on its back.
After that, Buddhist Master Tian Chan and Master Black Rain cast a series of incantation seals toward these spirit beasts to conceal their bodies and auras.
At this point, the dark clouds up above had already completely concealed the entire sky, and if it weren't for the occasional flash of silver lightning, one could be forgiven for thinking that night had suddenly arrived.
"Brother Han, we'll have to leave this mountain for now. Buddhist Master Tian Chan and I will use a treasure to erase the residual aura we've left behind here," Master Black Rain said in an apologetic manner.
"Of course. All spirit items possess astonishing senses; if we don't take the necessary precautions, there's no way we'll be able to fool it." Thus, Han Li rose to his feet and vanished on the spot as a plume of azure smoke.
In the next instant, spatial fluctuations erupted in the distance, and Han Li re-emerged before crossing his arms as he hovered in mid-air.
Buddhist Master Tian Chan and Master Black Rain exchanged a glance before one of them flipped a hand over to produce a translucent bead amid a flash of white light. The bead was giving off remarkable glacial power, and as soon as it emerged, Master Black Rain swept a sleeve through the air to release a ball of azure light, which then revealed itself to be an azure fan.
Buddhist Master Tian Chan gently waved the bead through the air, and a flurry of five-colored runes revolved within the bead as it released a burst of white glacial Qi.
Master Black Rain also pointed a finger toward the azure fan, and the treasure waved itself through the air several times at his behest.
Gusts of fierce azure winds swept out of the fan, then formed a fierce hurricane that intertwined with the glacial power. A snowstorm instantly swept over the mountain summit, and everything was covered under a blanket of ice and snow.
Buddhist Master Tian Chan and Master Black Rain then exchanged another glance, and they also departed from the mountain just as Han Li had a moment ago. The residual auras left behind by the trio were then instantly dispersed by the fierce snowstorm.
"Prepare that thing now! Judging from the overhead conditions, the Pipe Dream Stone Spirit is most likely going to emerge soon," Buddhist Master Tian Chan said as he looked up at the sky through narrowed eyes.
Master Black Rain chuckled in response before rubbing his hands over, and a silver net abruptly appeared amid a flash of silver light.
"Go!" Master Black Rain yelled as he released the silver net, and it transformed into a vast expanse of silver mist that instantly enshrouded the entire mountain down below.
After that, he made a hand seal, and the mist quickly began to fade before vanishing into thin air.
"Hehe, with this Silver Celestial Lightning Net, there's no way the stone spirit will be able to escape through an aerial route. What's even more remarkable about this net is that it won't have any impact on the lightning tribulation up above, so the Pipe Dream Stone Spirit definitely won't be able to sense it," Buddhist Master Tian Chan chuckled as he rubbed his hands together.
"Indeed. This net is ranked quite highly even on the Chaotic Myriad Spirit Roll. If it weren't for the fact that this is an extremely important mission, the holy island wouldn't have allowed me to take it out of the island. Now that we've sealed off all aerial routes of escape, we have to prevent the stone spirit from being able to escape back into the Earthly Hellish Flames as well. Once the stone spirit becomes feeble from transcending its tribulation, we'll immediately activate the restriction to cut it off. However, the formation alone may not be enough to stop it, so we'll be counting on you to prevent it from escaping, Brother Han. Oh, and don't forget to look out for the stone spirit's illusionary abilities," Master Black Rain said in a solemn manner.
"Rest assured, fellow Daoists; I'll do everything in my power to make sure it doesn't escape." Han Li's spiritual sense was no less powerful than that of a Grand Ascension Stage being, so he was naturally very confident.
Master Black Rain was still a little uneasy, but he couldn't say anything further after witnessing Han Li's confident display. "In that case, there shouldn't be any issues. Buddhist Master Tian Chan and I will take care of capturing the stone spirit."
Thus, after a brief discussion, all three of them unleashed concealment techniques and went into hiding.
The only sound that lingered over the mountain stemmed from the fierce snowstorm, and that also subsided after a short while.
An icy white blanket had draped over the entire mountain, and at the same time, the black clouds up above had begun to slowly revolve to form a massive black vortex.
There were countless arcs of silver lightning converging within the vortex, and they gradually combined to form an extremely thick bolt of lightning. At the same time, the rumbling thunderclaps up above suddenly subsided, and deathly silence ensued, but an astonishing sense of pressure had filled the entire surrounding space.
Meanwhile, the yellow mist within the giant crater had also formed a small vortex, and the center of the vortex was completely pitch-black. However, there were wisps of white Qi emerging from within it, and it was as if a ghost or spirit could spring out at any moment.
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