The man appeared to be around 40 years of age and had a very authoritative appearance. He was holding a thick white book in his hand, and it was none other than Master Azure Dragon.
"You should be aware that you won't be able to get what you want if you force me to comply against my will. Besides, aren't you worried about what the other seniors in the city will think?" the Ice Phoenix asked in a cold voice.
"If you had said this several days ago, perhaps I would've been a little concerned, but now, I've already cultivated a new ability that will make you comply willingly to me. As for the other fellow daoists of Deep Heaven City, don't place your hope in them; I've already officially joined Deep Heaven City and became an elder yesterday. Do you think the panel of elders will turn against me in preference for someone who's already dead?" Master Azure Dragon replied in a cold voice, completely doing away with all semblance of geniality.
The Ice Phoenix's expression changed slightly upon hearing this, and she heaved a faint sigh before suddenly raising a jade bowl in her hand, then waving it through the air like lightning.
A white spatial rift instantly appeared, and she immediately disappeared into the rift.
Everything had happened far too quickly for Xiao Hong and her group to react in time, and when they tried to stop her, it was already too late.
However, Master Azure Dragon's expression remained unchanged as he gently brandished his white book.
Silver light flashed, and an ancient silver rune emerged from the book, then swelled to the size of a human head before drifting over to where the spatial rift had just vanished.
A loud boom rang out, and the silver rune exploded, following which the space there shattered like a sheet of glass.
A muffled groan rang out as the Ice Phoenix stumbled out of mid-air, and only after taking a few steps backward did she manage to just barely right herself.
She then looked up at Master Azure Dragon, and even though her expression remained as cold as ever, a hint of despair had crept into her eyes.
"Hmph, if you could get away right under my nose, then I'll spell my name backward from now on! Now then, are you going to allow these fellow daoists to seal off your magic power, or are you going to make me do it?" Master Azure Dragon asked with a haughty look on his face.
Xiao Hong and the others instantly surrounded her from all sides, and the Ice Phoenix's heart sank even further.
Just as Xiao Hong was about to spring into action, a cold male voice suddenly sounded within the hall. "Oh? What's your name going to sound like when spelled backward? Would you be able to give me a verbal demonstration, Fellow Daoist Azure Dragon?"
At the same time, a resounding boom rang out, and the door, which had been sealed tightly shut by multiple restrictions, suddenly exploded inward.
Immediately thereafter, a violent burst of power surged into the room, and the two Spatial Tempering cultivators situated in front of the door were hurled up into the air like a pair of sandbags, then smashed heavily into the opposite wall.
Unfortunately for them, the wall had also been reinforced by restrictions, and they weren't simultaneous cultivators as Han Li was, so they were instantly knocked out cold with blood.
It seemed that even their Nascent Souls had been knocked unconscious by the impact.
Everyone else was naturally very alarmed by this, and they immediately rushed away from the door.
Master Azure Dragon's expression also changed drastically upon hearing this voice, whereas the Ice Phoenix immediately turned toward the entrance with elation in her eyes.
The terrifying aura that had surged into the room receded, and an azure-robed young man walked in.
It was none other than Han Li!
"Brother Han, you're finally back!" the Ice Phoenix said as an excited flush appeared on her face.
Han Li nodded in response as he turned to the Ice Phoenix with a faint smile on his face. "I encountered some trouble along the way, but thankfully, I was able to make a safe return."
Following a brief moment of panic, Master Azure Dragon immediately returned to his senses before forcing a smile onto his own face as he said, "It's truly fantastic news that you were able to escape from that Sacred Ancestor, Brother Han! We have to organize a feast to celebrate your return."
However, Han Li didn't even take a single glance at him. Instead, he turned toward Xiao Hong's in a completely emotionless manner, and his eyes were like a pair of sharp daggers.
Aside from the two cultivators who were lying unconscious on the ground, all of the other Spatial Tempering cultivators immediately turned deathly pale.
Even the ones among them who hadn't ever met Han Li in the past had naturally realized who he was, and their hearts were filled with horror.
The main reason why they had agreed to help Master Azure Dragon was that he had guaranteed them that Han Li was already dead. Otherwise, they would've never dared to meddle in something like this.
As it turned out, not only was Han Li not dead, he had caught them red-handed, and the evidence of their involvement was downright irrefutable!
"Welcome back to the city, Senior Han; my master..."
A burly man with a rather crude appearance cupped his fist in a salute as he approached Han Li, but Han Li merely swept a sleeve toward him, and he was immediately sent flying before also crashing into the opposite wall.
He then thumped down onto the ground and threw up a mouthful of blood, unable to get up again.
Everyone hurriedly turned their attention toward him to find a large hole had been torn into the front of his robes, revealing a suit of smooth silver armor.
The armor appeared to have remained completely unscathed, but in the next instant, a crisp crack rang out, and the suit of armor shattered into pieces that fell onto the ground around him.
Han Li's nonchalant-looking attack had not only severely wounded the man, it had even destroyed the armor treasure that he was wearing.
This made the Spatial Tempering cultivators' hearts sink even further, and they felt as if they had been plunged into a glacial pit.
Master Azure Dragon's eyelids twitched slightly upon seeing this, but thinking back to how Han Li had once faced several Body Integration Stage beings on his own, he was unable to muster up the courage to directly confront Han Li.
"Brother Han, you've just attacked a prized disciple of Elder Gu from the panel of elders; I'm afraid you'll have to give Elder Gu an explanation for this," he said after clearing his throat in an awkward manner.
"Why do I need to explain things to him? If Elder Gu has a problem, he can come to see me. Speaking of explanations, I believe you owe me one," Han Li chuckled coldly without displaying any intention of letting this matter slide.
Rather than make any attempt to argue his case, Master Azure Dragon admitted, "I didn't intend for things to be like this. I had thought that you had already passed away, so I wanted to take Fellow Daoist Ice Phoenix for myself. Seeing as you're alive and well, I'll be sure to pay you a visit at a later date to deliver a formal apology."
"You think an apology will suffice? I took a great risk to go to Heavenlean City to assist you, yet this is how you decide to repay me. If I don't make an example out of you, how can I expect anyone else in the city to respect me?" Han Li asked in a frosty voice.
Master Azure Dragon was beginning to lose his temper upon hearing this, and he also adopted a more aggressive stance. "What do you want from me, then? Do you want to fight me?"
"Sure, I'd be happy to oblige with that request. You dared to try and walk all over my authority, so you must be quite confident in your own abilities. Let me see if you have what it takes to back up your actions!" Han Li chuckled coldly without any hesitation.
Master Azure Dragon's expression darkened even further upon hearing this.
Han Li didn't have any intention of wasting time with words. He swept both sleeves through the air, and several tens of small azure swords short forth in a frenzy.
At the same time, golden light flashed from his body, and he released a burst of astonishing spiritual pressure directly toward Master Azure Dragon.
Master Azure Dragon was also unable to repress his fury any longer. He raised his hand with an enraged look on his face, and the white book that he was holding instantly spread open. Spiritual light of different colors flashed within the book, and it seemed that countless runes were about to emerge from within it.
Xiao Hong and the others were naturally extremely alarmed by this turn of events, but they didn't dare to try and sneak away in fear of incurring Han Li's wrath. As such, they could disperse throughout the hall to get as far away from the two Body Integration cultivators as possible.
They knew that this distance didn't grant them any safety in the face of a battle between Body Integration cultivators, but it offered them some internal solace.
Han Li completely disregarded what they were doing and appraised Master Azure Dragon intently with a cold light in his eyes as he prepared to unleash his sword arts.
Right at this moment, a streak of white light flew into the hall, then circled around in mid-air before landing right in between Han Li and Master Azure Dragon.
A smiling humanoid figure then emerged from within the streak of white light. "Are you two really planning to demolish this pavilion of Elder Gu's by battling here? Please do me a favor and allow me to mediate for the two of you."
This was a benevolent elderly man wearing a golden kasaya; it was none other than Buddhist Monk Jin Yue!Previous Chapter Next Chapter