With the recent improvement in Han Li's power, his Giant Mountain Ape transformation was now far more fearsome than back in the battle of Heavenlean City.
Even if his strength couldn't compare with that of an actual Giant Mountain Ape, he still possesses around 30% to 40% of its strength, and that, in conjunction with the two extreme mountains, was far too much for Master Azure Dragon to handle.
Thus, he was immediately sent flying by the pair of mountains.
If it weren't for the fact that he had instinctively withdrawn his hands in time and summoned a treasure to save himself, not only would his fingers have been shattered, his arms would've been snapped as well.
Even so, excruciating pain was spearing through all of his meridians, and he was unable to muster up most of his magic power.
Right at this moment, a ferocious light flashed through Han Li's eyes, and he abruptly stepped, covering a distance of over 1,000 feet in a single step, thereby taking him to only several tens of feet away from Master Azure Dragon.
Han Li's cold voice rang out, and his giant furry fist was thrust violently through the air.
Master Azure Dragon's expression changed drastically upon seeing this, and he immediately tried to unleash some type of cultivation art to take evasive measures, only for a bone-chilling harrumph to suddenly ring out in his heart.
Master Azure Dragon felt as if a thunderclap had erupted right within his ears, and a sharp pain stabbed into his mind.
He gave a muffled groan and was rendered completely unable to muster up any magic power.
Meanwhile, an astonishing baleful aura erupted from Han Li's body as his giant golden fist hurtled directly toward Master Azure Dragon's head.
Even before the fist had struck its target, Master Azure Dragon was struck by a sense of asphyxiation from the enormous pressure it was giving off. With Han Li's incredible strength in his giant ape form, Master Azure Dragon's head would definitely be pulverized by this punch, even in his half-demon form.
Master Azure Dragon was still reeling from Han Li's Spiritstun Thorn, so he was completely unable to evade or defend himself, and a horrified look appeared on his face.
However, as a Body Integration cultivator, he naturally had a few life-saving trump cards up his sleeve.
White light flashed, and a translucent shield flew out of his body before positioning itself in front of him.
At the same time, all of his scales instantly shrank to form a suit of azure armor that encased his entire body.
These two layers of defenses were more than enough against the average Body Integration cultivator's attacks, but they were destroyed with ease by the giant ape's golden fist.
Golden light flashed as the translucent shield was shattered amid a resounding boom, following which the golden fist struck the suit of azure armor.
All of a sudden, an azure dragon projection erupted forth and pounced directly toward the golden fist, but right at this moment, the giant fist transformed into a golden vortex that was around 10 feet in size.
The vortex released a burst of incredible tearing force, and the azure dragon projection was instantly torn to shreds.
In the instant that the projection was vanquished, the suit of azure armor also crumbled away.
The golden vortex then reverted back into a giant golden fist that hurtled directly toward Master Azure Dragon's head, and the killing intent imbued within it was detectable even to the cultivators outside the light barrier.
Master Azure Dragon's face had become deathly pale under the illumination of the golden light being released by the fist.
"Fellow Daoist Han, no!"
"Stop, Brother Han!"
All of the cultivators outside the light barrier immediately cried out in a horrified manner.
In the next instant, the giant golden fist glanced past Master Azure Dragon's ear before striking the stone platform behind him.
What everyone had failed to notice was that a hair-thin object had shot forth out of the golden fist and instantly vanished into Master Azure Dragon's ear just as it was passing by his face.
The entire stone platform tremored violently, and a giant crater that was around 10 feet deep appeared while the surface of the restriction flashed violently with spiritual light.
Master Azure Dragon's face was completely devoid of color, and he could only stare in silence as the giant ape slowly withdrew its fist.
Everyone outside the light barrier heaved a collective sigh of relief upon seeing this.
Han Li reverted back to his human form amid a flash of golden light, then turned to Master Azure Dragon with undisguised killing intent in his eyes. "I don't care how you came to Deep Heaven City and how you became an elder; I don't want to see you here three days from now. If you haven't left Deep Heaven City by then, I suggest you pick a burial site for yourself!"
After that, Han Li flew off the stone platform as a streak of azure light before landing beside the Ice Phoenix.
Buddhist Monk Jin Yue hurriedly tried to say something, but Han Li cupped his fist in a salute, and said, "Fellow daoists, I've done everything I came here to do; I've only just returned to the city and have some matters to attend to, so I'll be taking my leave now."
As soon as his voice trailed off, he swept a sleeve through the air to release a burst of azure light, which swept up both the Ice Phoenix and himself, then carried them both over to the teleportation formation.
Following a burst of rumbling from the formation, both of them vanished.
Han Li hadn't given Buddhist Monk Jin Yue and Elder Gu any chance to try and mediate the situation.
Before the two had a chance to say anything, Han Li and the Ice Phoenix had already left.
Elder Gu was silent for a long while before turning to Buddhist Monk Jin Yue with a wry smile. "Looks like Fellow Daoist Han wasn't joking!"
"Benefactor Han has gone too far here. No matter what differences there are between them, Master Azure Dragon is already an elder of our city; how can he leave Deep Heaven City just because Fellow Daoist Han told him to? Rest assured, Fellow Daoist Azure Dragon, I'll visit Fellow Daoist Han with a few other fellow daoists to convince him not to take such drastic measures," Buddhist Monk Jin Yue said with a shake of his head.
Only then did Master Azure Dragon return to his senses, and his face was still completely devoid of color as he shook his head in response. "There's no need for that. I lost to Fellow Daoist Han; even if he didn't ask me to leave, I would be too ashamed to remain in the city. I'll leave the city tomorrow and will no longer be an elder. Thankfully, not many people knew that I had joined the city, so my departure won't cause much of a disturbance."
After that, he vanished from the stone platform as a ball of azure light, then also teleported out of this space using the teleportation formation.
Buddhist Monk Jin Yue and Elder Gu exchanged a glance, and both of them were temporarily rendered speechless.
"Looks like Fellow Daoist Azure Dragon has been dealt a heavy blow," Elder Gu sighed.
"His reaction makes sense. Conflict has already arisen between him and Fellow Daoist Han, and he's clearly no match for Fellow Daoist Han's powers; if I were in his place, I would also leave the city," Buddhist Monk Jin Yue said in a resigned manner.
"Are we really just going to allow a mid-Body Integration cultivator to leave our Deep Heaven City? That will be a massive loss to the panel of elders! Fellow Daoist Han may be far more powerful than Fellow Daoist Azure Dragon, but he has no intention of joining the panel of elders," Elder Gu said in a hesitant voice.
"Let's visit the other fellow daoists and see if we can come up with a way to keep him. Having said that, with the devilish army piling so much pressure on the city, Fellow Daoist Han is more important to our city at the moment. Besides, Azure Dragon has already developed a sense of fear and wariness toward Fellow Daoist Han; I think it's going to be very difficult to change his mind," Buddhist Monk Jin Yue sighed.
"In any case, we still have to give it a try. I'll contact the other fellow daoists and invite them here right away," Elder Gu said as he flipped a hand over to summon a stack of voice transmissions talismans.
Buddhist Monk Jin Yue merely nodded in agreement as a contemplative look appeared on his face.
Meanwhile, Han Li was taking the Ice Phoenix back to his abode.
Han Li flew on ahead with his hands clasped behind his back, looking into the distance in silence.
The Ice Phoenix was situated behind him with a complex expression, and she didn't say anything, either.
Several hours later, the streak of azure light returned to the top floor of the stone pagoda.
Qi Lingzi and Hai Yuetian were beginning to grow rather impatient from waiting, and they immediately extended ecstatic bows toward Han Li upon witnessing his return with the Ice Phoenix.
"Master, Senior Ice Phoenix, welcome back! Did you have a smooth trip, Master?" Hai Yuetian asked in an excited manner.
"I did. You two can go and rest now; I have some things that I'd like to discuss with Fellow Daoist Ice Phoenix in private," Han Li instructed.
Qi Lingzi and Hai Yuetian immediately gave an affirmative response before departing after extending another respectful bow.
Thus, Han Li and the Ice Phoenix were only ones left in the hall.
"Please take a seat, Fellow Daoist Ice Phoenix; that must've been quite the ordeal for you," Han Li said with a smile as he sat down on the main seat.
"Thank you, Brother Han. Indeed, I thought I was done for. Never did I think that a Body Integration cultivator like Azure Dragon would do something so brazen and underhanded," the Ice Phoenix said with a wry smile as she sat down beside Han Li.
"Under normal circumstances, perhaps he would be more inclined to uphold his reputation, but in the midst of this devilish tribulation, he's naturally willing to cast all that aside for the opportunity to become more powerful. I'm guessing that if he weren't wary of me, he most likely would've gone after you even earlier than this," Han Li replied.Previous Chapter Next Chapter