Chapter 1972: The Return Trip and the Mystery of the Elder Devil Race

The return journey proved to be a very smooth one for Han Li. Flying at full speed, he returned to the yellow desert in just a day, and the devilish node soon appeared up ahead.

Everything was the same as when he had left the node, and Han Li wasn't all that surprised to see this.

The black Qi around his body faded, and he transformed into a heavenly phoenix again before flying toward the node as a faint streak of light.

After just a few flashes, he flew into the node, escaping the detection of the devilish guards down below once again, and this journey through the node was also a smooth and uneventful one.

A short while later, the heavenly phoenix emerged in the Spirit Realm as a ball of five-colored light, but in the instant before he exited the node, he swept his spiritual sense through the surrounding area.

As he had expected, devilish beings had surrounded the node, and a cold smile appeared on his face after detecting this.

Bright light erupted from the heavenly phoenix's body, and it disappeared from the spatial passageway in a flash. 

In the next instant, spatial fluctuations appeared outside the node, and an azure figure emerged out of thin air.

As soon as Han Li appeared, a loud cry of "attack" rang out nearby.

Immediately thereafter, countless streaks of black light hurtled toward him from all sides, and fierce winds were swept up overhead as a dozen or so two-headed devilish birds swooped down from above.

Down below, two azure battle arks that were each several hundred feet in length emerged, and they blasted forth two pillars of black light that reached Han Li in a flash.

Several hundred devilish guards had gathered near the exit of the node, and as soon as Han Li had returned, they immediately unleashed a torrential barrage of attacks.

Han Li had anticipated this situation well in advance, and despite the fierce attacks being aimed at him, a faint smile appeared on his face.

He abruptly swept a sleeve forward, and a burst of grey light swept forth before forming a translucent light barrier that completely shielded his body within.

He then flicked his fingers casually up toward the giant devilish birds, paying no heed to the oncoming streaks of black light around him.

Around a dozen streaks of azure sword Qi shot forth in a flash from his fingertips, and before they even knew what had happened, each of the devilish birds had been sliced into two.

Their carcasses crashed down from above amid a rain of blood, and the high-grade devilish beings appraising the proceedings from afar were extremely alarmed to see this.

Those two-headed devilish birds possessed bodies that were more resolute than iron and steel; even the average treasure wouldn't be able to harm them in the slightest, yet they had just been sliced apart by Han Li with ease!

However, whatever was even more astonishing to them was that all of the streaks of black light and that pillar of light had vanished as soon as they had struck the grey light barrier around Han Li's body; it was as if they had all been devoured by the light barrier!

"That's a Body Integration Stage human cultivator! Retreat at once!" one of the high-grade devilish beings hurriedly commanded.

Those high-grade devilish beings were none other than the four Deity Transformation Stage devilish beings and that brocade-robed late-Spatial Tempering Stege devil.

After they had dealt the Wood Tribe resistance force a heavy defeat, they discovered that the devilish beings guarding the node had disappeared, and this had naturally been quite an alarming discovery for them. 

They had no idea what had happened, but if some kind of mishap were to befall the devilish node, then they would all be held accountable.

Thus, following some discussion, they contacted the other devilish strongholds nearest to them and gathered a group of elite devilish warriors to surround the node.

In reality, they were doing this just for show, and they didn't actually think that they would catch anyone, but much to their surprise, Han Li had returned after staying for only a few days in the Elder Devil Realm.

As soon as he returned, he immediately fell into their trap, and initially, they had been ecstatic to see this, but their elation soon gave way to horror when the brocade-robed devilish being ascertained Han Li's cultivation base.

The high-grade devilish beings exchanged a few horrified glances before immediately flying away as streaks of black light. In order to not alert Han Li to their escape, they didn't even notify their subordinates of what they were doing.

However, with Han Li's immense spiritual sense, he had naturally already spotted these high-grade devilish beings. As soon as they attempted to flee the scene, he cast a frosty gaze toward them.

"You're dreaming if you think you can get away!"

As soon as his voice trailed off, Han Li made a grabbing motion with his pristine white hand, and spatial fluctuations erupted in the air above the high-grade devilish beings, following which a giant five-colored hand that was over 100 feet in size abruptly appeared before swooping downward.

The high-grade devilish beings were horrified to see this, and they accelerated with all their might while releasing all types of treasures to attack the giant hand.

They weren't actually expecting their treasures to destroy the hand; they were simply hoping to delay it slightly and buy themselves some time for escape.

However, in the instant that the treasures struck the massive hand, the hand immediately exploded into a vast expanse of five-colored glacial flames that encompassed an area of around an acre.

The five-colored glacial light swept downward, and the five high-grade devilish beings were all instantly frozen solid.

Only then did the devilish beings that had surrounded Han Li realize what was happening, and they immediately flew into a blind panic.

However, before they had a chance to retreat, Han Li swept his sleeves through the air to release several tens of small azure swords, all of which transformed into streaks of azure sword Qi.

He then let loose a low cry and made a hand seal, sending the streaks of sword Qi flying in all directions.

......

Around 10 minutes later, not a single living devilish being remained in the entire devilish stronghold.

A streak of azure light circled around high up in the air, then flew back toward human territory.

Several days later, the Wood Tribe scouts discovered what had happened here, and they were naturally filled with elation.

After doing some further scouting to ascertain that this wasn't some kind of trap, they immediately hurried back to report the situation.

Seven or eight days later, the devilish stronghold was taken over by Wood Tribe beings, who began to set up some kind of profound formation at the exit of the node in an attempt to completely seal it off.

Of course, none of this had anything to do with Han Li.

He was currently refining the Chaotic Yin Yang Qi within his body while quickly flying back toward human territory.

Even though he had only refined a small portion of the Chaotic Yin Yang Qi, his magic power had been greatly enhanced, and he had benefited immensely.

He estimated that the Chaotic Yin Yang Qi should be close to fully refined by the time he returned to the human race, and that would take him to the pinnacle of the mid-Body Integration Stage. After that, he would be able to make a breakthrough to the late-Body Integration Stage, but for that, he would require the Ice Phoenix's assistance.

Otherwise, Han Li would've settled somewhere in the primordial world to make his breakthrough instead. After all, the human territory was rife with devilish invaders, and it certainly wasn't a very safe place.

With that in mind, Han Li could only heave a resigned sigh and continue onward.

Meanwhile, there were groups of human warriors and cultivators situated atop the city wall of Deep Heaven City, controlling their treasures with all their might to attack the devilish army outside of the city's restrictions.

An extremely fierce battle was taking place, and similar scenes were unfolding all throughout the human and demon territories.

During the recent period of time, the devilish army had suddenly become a lot more ferocious and began to launch wave after wave of fierce assaults without any regard for the casualties they suffered.

Countless low-grade and mid-grade human and demonic beings had perished during these intense battles, and the number of casualties among high-grade cultivators at or above the Deity Transformation Stage was also spiking drastically.

This made both races extremely nervous and apprehensive. During past devilish tribulations, these cities should be fine after withstanding a few years of attacks from the devilish army.

As such, all of the cities were using everything at their disposal to ward off the attacks, eagerly hoping for the arrival of the day when the devilish army would run out of steam.

Unbeknownst to everyone, there were currently around a dozen human and demonic Body Integration Stage beings gathered on a mysterious island situated on the border of the human and demon territories. At present, all of them were discussing a secretive matter in a hall that was surrounded by layer upon layer of restrictions.

"So the Elder Devil Race is planning to conquer our territory, then settle permanently in the Spirit Realm," an elderly man with snowy white hair mused with furrowed brows.

"That's not the extent of it; the scouts that we sent into the Elder Devil Race have discovered that a huge group of low-grade elder devils have been mobilized, and they're about to force their way into the Spirit Realm soon," a red-haired middle-aged man said with a dark expression.

"Low-grade elder devils? Approximately how many have been mobilized?" someone sighed before asking.

"We don't have an accurate figure, but it's going to be at least 1,000,000,000," the red-haired man replied after a brief pause.

"1,000,000,000?!"

Everyone gathered in the hall was astonished to hear this.

"Is this figure really reliable? There aren't that many pure elder devils in the entire Elder Devil Realm; 1,000,000,000 will comprise of close to 10% of all of the elder devils in the Elder Devil Realm! How are the Sacred Ancestors willing to take such a huge risk?" a white-robed elderly woman asked.

"The information we've received is definitely reliable. Many of the cities inhabited by the elder devils have already been completely vacated; 1,000,000,000 is already only a conservative estimate," the red-haired man replied in a confident manner.

"Hmph, it looks like those devilish beings are preparing for an all or nothing invasion. It's a pity that we were unable to ascertain the reason behind their act of desperation even after we sent so many scouts into the Elder Devil Realm to investigate. Otherwise, we'll be able to target them much more effectively," the white-haired elderly man sighed.

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