"There should be a designated sparring venue here, right, Fellow Daoist Gu?" Han Li asked as he turned toward the grey-robed elderly man.
"Of course. Our Origin Pocket Pavilion has a private space established in a spatial rift. Even a Body Integration Stage battle in the rift wouldn't affect the outside world, so it'll be perfect to facilitate your sparring match," Elder Gu replied.
Buddhist Monk Jin Yue's eyelids twitched slightly in response to the three-attack agreement that had just been forged.
All of the elders of the city had heard from Fairy Silver Light that Han Li was far more powerful than cultivators of the same cultivation base and had even managed to kill several devilish lords in succession, but if it were only three attacks, then Master Azure Dragon should be able to handle it.
Otherwise, one could only say that Master Azure Dragon was nowhere near as powerful as his reputation suggested, and there would be no need for the panel of elders to continue protecting him at the risk of offending Han Li.
After thinking through all of this, Buddhist Monk Jin Yue tried his hand at persuasion again, but could only give up with a wry smile when his efforts failed to bear fruit.
As for Fairy Silver Light and Elder Gu, the former was on Han Li's side, while the other didn't want to offend either side, so they naturally raised no objections, either.
Thus, they were led out of the hall by Elder Gu.
However, just before departing, Han Li suddenly turned toward Xiao Hong and the others, and said in a cold voice, "If I don't see you at my abode at the same time tomorrow, hehe, I'm sure you know the consequences that await you!"
After that, he strode out of the hall, and none of Xiao Hong's group dared to say anything in response.
As for Buddhist Monk Jin Yue and the others, they merely pretended not to have heard anything and didn't even look at Xiao Hong's group before departing.
Master Azure Dragon took an expressionless glance at them before his departure, but didn't say anything in the end.
Following the departure of Han Li and the others, a demonic cultivator with dense black fur all over his face immediately turned to Xiao Hong with a depressed expression. "What do we do, Fairy Xiao? Senior Azure Dragon seems to have no intention of standing up for us!"
"This is not what we agreed upon initially, Fellow Daoist. You told us that Senior Azure Dragon had assured you that Senior Han had already passed away, and that Senior Azure Dragon would stand up for us, so there's no risk involved. I believe you owe us an explanation!" another human cultivator chimed in in an urgent manner.
The other remained silent, but all of them were also looking at Xiao Hong.
"Hmph, do you think I can be exempt from all of this? I merely passed on Senior Azure Dragon's promise to all of you; how would I know that he would be so wary of Senior Han that he doesn't even dare to stand up for us? It's a good thing that all of us have powerful backers so that man couldn't just kill us on the spot! Having said that, we're definitely going to be punished tomorrow," Xiao Hong snapped in the face of all of the accusatory eyes being directed at her.
"So you're saying we really do have to visit Senior Han tomorrow?" someone said in a hesitant manner.
"Hmph, I suggest you don't try to run away. If you do that, Senior Han really will have a reason to kill us. When that time comes, even our seniors won't be able to protect us," Xiao Hong harrumphed coldly.
"You're right, Fellow Daoist Xiao. Senior Han has most likely already planted spiritual sense marks within our bodies without our detection, so trying to escape would be akin to committing suicide. Besides, the devilish army has already surrounded Deep Heaven City; where can we even go? I suggest you all set aside any funny ideas you're hatching and do as Senior Han instructs tomorrow. I have to inform one of my seniors of this, so I'll be taking my leave now," one of the more mature cultivators sighed before departing with a concerned look on his face.
The rest of the group couldn't think of any alternatives, either, so they could only depart in a gloomy manner as well.
Thus, Xiao Hong was the only one left in the hall.
She sat in her seat with furrowed brows for a long while, and her expression changed several times as she explored different potential alternatives in her mind, but in the end, she also stomped her foot and departed in a resigned manner.
As for everyone else, they had all gone back, either to prepare lavish presents or to seek out their backers.
At this point, Han Li and the others had already been led by Elder Gu to an even larger hall on the highest level of the pavilion.
Han Li was currently appraising a small formation that had been set up at the direct center of the hall, and Elder Gu strode toward the formation before making a hand seal to cast several profound incantation seals into it.
The spiritual light formed by the incantation seals vanished into the formation in a flash, following which the formation was activated amid a loud buzzing sound.
Only then did Elder Gu turn to everyone else with a smile, and said, "We can get to the sparring venue through this teleportation formation. Please follow me, fellow daoists; this formation will be able to teleport all of us into the venue at once."
"Sure," Han Li replied with a smile before drifting to the center of the formation.
With his current level of powers, a spatial rift wasn't going to be enough to trap him, so he naturally had no inhibitions.
Master Azure Dragon was unwilling to display any weakness, and he also flew into the formation as a ball of azure light.
Buddhist Monk Jin Yue shook his head in a resigned manner before following suit, and he was followed by the Ice Phoenix, whose brows were tightly furrowed.
Elder Gu and Fairy Silver Light were the last ones to enter the formation, and as soon as the former stepped into the formation, he immediately made a hand seal.
Five-colored light was instantly released by the formation before enveloping everyone, and Han Li felt his surroundings blur before he appeared in an unfamiliar place.
He swept his gaze through the surrounding area to find that this was quite a large space that spanned several thousand acres in area. As was the case with all spatial rifts, the area was surrounded by murky grey spatial walls. There was a tall platform that had a diameter of over 1,000 feet at the center of the space, and there was faint spiritual light shimmering from the platform, clearly indicating that it had been fortified through the use of restrictions.
There were also a dozen or so stone pillars standing around the platform, each of which was over 100 feet tall.
There were extremely intricate patterns engraved on the surfaces of these pillars, and there were also top-grade spirit stones embedded into them as well, creating quite a lavish sight to behold.
Fairy Silver Light was immediately able to identify the formation, and she exclaimed, "This is the Heavenly Bipolar Formation! You sure made a heavy investment into this place, Brother Gu. With this formation in place, it'll indeed be very difficult for a Body Integration Stage battle to affect the outside world."
A hint of surprise also appeared on Buddhist Monk Jin Yue's face.
"Hehe, you're far too kind, Fellow Daoist Silver Light. I have to test out some abilities and cultivation arts from time to time, so I decided to make this investment." Elder Gu was speaking in a modest manner, but there was a hint of smugness in his eyes.
Han Li appraised this setup through narrowed eyes for a moment before flying onto the platform as a streak of azure light.
The azure light faded in mid-air, and Han Li was revealed again before turning toward Master Azure Dragon with a cold expression. "Do I need to invite you onto this platform, Fellow Daoist Azure Dragon?"
Master Azure Dragon's expression darkened as he harrumphed coldly, and he abruptly stepped forward, upon which his body was hoisted up into the air by a burst of azure Qi. He drifted lightly over to the platform, then descended upon it across from Han Li.
Elder Gu immediately flipped a hand over to produce a silver jade plate upon seeing this, then tossed it toward the platform.
The jade plate transformed into a silver ball of light that hovered high up in the air, and Elder Gu pointed a finger at it from afar while chanting an incantation.
A loud rumbling boom rang out, and piercing light erupted from the spirit stones embedded onto the stone pillars. At the same time, a pillar of light shot forth from the top of each stone pillar before converging toward the silver ball of light.
In the next instant, the silver ball of light exploded, releasing specks of silver light that transformed into a dense light barrier that encompassed the entire platform.
Not only was the light barrier shimmering with silver light, there were countless white runes surging out of it, basking the entire stone platform in a mysterious white glow.
"Alright, the restriction is ready; we won't be affected no matter how fierce their battle becomes now," Elder Gu said as he turned to Buddhist Monk Jin Yue with a smile.
"Thank you, Fellow Daoist Gu. Hopefully, this is going to be nothing more than a casual sparring match," Buddhist Monk Jin Yue said in a concerned manner.
"Rest assured, Fellow Daoist; if it's only three attacks, then Fellow Daoist Azure Dragon will definitely be able to endure it. I'm sure both of them will be displaying their true power during this sparring match; I'm very much looking forward to this! In particular, I heard that Fellow Daoist Han has killed several devilish lords; I'm sure he'll put on a spectacular display for us," Elder Gu said with a faint smile.
Buddhist Monk Jin Yue merely heaved another resigned sigh in response.
As for the Ice Phoenix, she was appraising Han Li with a concerned look on her face.
"Are you ready? Here I come!" Han Li said in a cold voice as a hint of baleful aura began to emanate from his body.
Almost at the exact same moment, he clenched his fists, and a loud thunderclap rang out.
Golden lightning erupted from his arms, then converged to form a pair of menacing golden lightning pythons that sprang up into the air.Previous Chapter Next Chapter