Chapter 1987: Pull the Weed Out by the Roots

"Is Azure Dragon really going to leave Deep Heaven City? Even if he were willing, surely the panel of elders wouldn't be willing to let him go. After all, a mid-Body Integration cultivator is currently an extremely prized asset to Deep Heaven City," the Ice Phoenix said in a concerned manner.

"A prized asset? He couldn't even take three attacks from me; do you think the panel of elders will actually hold him in high regard? Under normal circumstances, the panel of elders will perhaps exert pressure on me to prevent this from happening to maintain their authority, but now that the devilish army has surrounded the city, I'm sure they know who's more important to the city between Azure Dragon and myself. I'm guessing that they'll send some people to try and persuade Azure Dragon to stay as a mere formality, then let him go when he insists on leaving," Han Li said with a nonchalant smile.

"You're right, the panel of elders wouldn't dare to do anything to antagonize you at a time like this. However, that Azure Dragon is undoubtedly going to be extremely resentful toward you; you'll have to be wary of him in the future. Of course, you won't have anything to fear, but he could target your disciples," the Ice Phoenix cautioned.

"It's alright, Azure Dragon won't trouble anyone ever again," Han Li replied with a mysterious smile.

"What? You don't mean..." With the Ice Phoenix's intelligence, she was naturally immediately able to read between the lines, and her heart jolted with shock.

"He's a very petty man; I'm not going to allow such a toxic enemy to live on in this world. Otherwise, who knows what troubles could arise in the future?" Han Li said in a cold voice.

"I'm sure you're more than powerful enough to put an end to Azure Dragon's life, but surely the panel of elders won't allow you to do something like this. Besides, no matter how discreetly you do this, the panel of elders will still suspect you for foul play," the Ice Phoenix said in a hesitant manner.

"I won't do this in the city, and I'll have someone else take him out in my stead," Han Li replied with a faint smile.

A hint of surprise appeared on the Ice Phoenix's face before she hurriedly cautioned, "You have an ally who's capable of doing this? Please do exercise caution, Brother Han. That Azure Dragon may be no match for you, but he's still a mid-Body Integration cultivator; it'll most likely be very difficult for other people to kill him."

"Rest assured, Fellow Daoist Ice Phoenix; I'll make sure that the job gets done," Han Li replied in a confident manner, then swept a sleeve through the air to release a ball of yellow light, which then transformed into a little girl who appeared to be around two or three years of age.

The little girl had fair skin and a pair of large black eyes that were extremely adorable to behold.

"Go and keep an eye on Azure Dragon. If I'm not mistaken, he'll most likely leave the city before the three-day time limit runs out. Follow him out of the city, then put an end to him in a secluded location," Han Li instructed.

The little girl's lips didn't move, but a tender female voice suddenly rang out in the hall. "You make it sound so simple! I can keep an eye on him with no issues; with my current powers, I can conceal myself even from the average late-Body Integration cultivator. However, I don't think I have the power to put an end to his life. I only just went through metamorphosis, so my powers won't outstrip his by much."

"Master Azure Dragon has already been wounded by me; even if he immediately takes pills to try and recover, he won't be able to make a full recovery anytime soon. On top of that, I planted something in his body so he'll only be able to unleash around 30% of his powers at most. In his current state, you'll be more than enough to put an end to him," Han Li said with a hint of a smile on his face.

"Oh, in that case, I don't have any further issues." The little girl gave an adorable smile before vanishing on the spot amid a flash of golden light.

"Brother Han, who was that?" Ice Phoenix couldn't help but ask.

"That was a spirit beast of mine; it only underwent metamorphosis recently," Han Li replied.

"Your spirit beast? From the sounds of it, it also seems to be at the Body Integration Stage," the Ice Phoenix said with a stunned expression.

"It is indeed at the early-Body Integration Stage, but it's inherited some of the bloodline of the true spirit Kirin, so even the average mid-Body Integration cultivator won't be a match for it," Han Li replied in a truthful manner.

A wry smile appeared on the Ice Phoenix's face upon hearing this. "I finally understand why you're not concerned about repercussions from the panel of elders now; with that spirit beast to assist you, you're most likely the undisputed number one cultivator of Deep Heaven City."

"I wouldn't dare to claim such a title. Deep Heaven City has protected the human and demon races for hundreds of thousands of years; surely you don't think that the city is only as powerful as it appears on the surface, Fellow Daoist Ice Phoenix. Who knows how many powerful cultivators there are lurking beneath the surface?" Han Li replied with a solemn shake of his head.

"Oh? Have you heard some rumors, Brother Han?" the Ice Phoenix asked in a surprised manner.

"No, I'm merely speculating. Alright, let's not dwell on this topic any longer; everything will be made clear once the devilish army officially commences their attack on the city, but prior to that, I'm going to require your assistance, Fellow Daoist Ice Phoenix," Han Li said with a serious expression.

The Ice Phoenix faltered slightly upon hearing this before a thought immediately occurred to her, and a faint blush appeared on her face. "Are you referring to..."

"That's right. I encountered some peril during my trip, but also some opportunities as well, and I can begin attempting a breakthrough to the late-Body Integration Stage, so I'll have to borrow your Heavenly Phoenix Origin Yin Qi," Han Li confirmed.

The blush of the Ice Phoenix's face quickly faded, and she said in a solemn manner, "If you hadn't stepped in to save me, I would've been reduced to a mere spirit beast, and there's certainly no way I could've reached the Spatial Tempering Stage so quickly, so it's only right for me to repay you for your kindness. When do you plan to go into seclusion, Brother Han?"

"If I had full confidence in my ability to break through this bottleneck, I wouldn't have asked this of you. If I can succeed in my breakthrough, you'll definitely be the most significant contributor. As for when I'm going into seclusion, that answer to that would naturally be as soon as possible. Once the Leopard Kirin Beast returns, I'll go into seclusion right away," Han Li replied.

The Ice Phoenix nodded in response.

Thus, the two of them chatted for a while longer before the Ice Phoenix stood up to depart.

Han Li accompanied her out of the hall, then returned to his cultivation chamber to meditate.

At the same time, Master Azure Dragon was seated on a wooden chair in the hall of a small stone pagoda that was around 1,000 feet tall. His face was quite pale, and he was surrounded by a dozen or so cultivators, all of whom seemed to possess powerful cultivation bases.

Not far away from Master Azure Dragon sat a beautiful female cultivator who appeared to be around 27 to 28 years of age.

She was none other than the only other remaining Body Integration cultivator of Heavenlean City, Fairy Lin Luan.

She could sense Master Azure Dragon's severely weakened aura, and she heaved a faint forlorn sigh. "Have you really decided to go to the Holy Sovereign City, Fellow Daoist Azure Dragon? We are the only remaining grand elders of our four great sects; if you leave now, I'll truly be all alone in this city."

"I don't want to leave, either, but that man is forcing me to go, so I have no choice. You've seen him in action; even if we were to join forces against him, we still most likely wouldn't be a match for him," Master Azure Dragon said as a hint of resentment flashed through his eyes.

"Why did you insist on pursuing that Fairy Ice Phoenix, Fellow Daoist Azure Dragon? I've always been rather curious about this; she is indeed quite a beauty, but surely that's not enough to make you take such a huge risk. I know you're not a promiscuous individual; is there some other reason behind this?" Fairy Lin Luan asked with furrowed brows.

"There are indeed some reasons that I can't reveal, but there's no point in talking about this now. I'm going to leave tonight so that bastard has no opportunity to hunt me down before I go. If it weren't for the fact that I intend to leave my disciples to you, I wasn't planning to tell anyone about this," Master Azure Dragon said with a wry smile.

"Our four great sects have always been a unified entity; even if you hadn't said anything, I would've still looked after the disciples of your Nine Star Sect in your stead; I'm sure the elders of the city wouldn't stoop to oppressing these juniors. Come to think of it, it may not be a bad thing that you're going to the Holy Sovereign City. This way, we can avoid putting all of our eggs in one basket, and if something happens to either of us, the other can preserve the heritage of our four great sects," Fairy Lin Luan said after a brief silence.

"I had those considerations in mind as well. Alright, I won't delay here any longer; I'll be taking my leave now, and I'll leave you with all of my disciples except for two of them. Listen up, during my absence, all of you must follow Fellow Daoist Lin's instructions, understood?" Master Azure Dragon instructed as he rose to his feet.

"Yes, Grand Elder!" the dozen or so disciples replied in unison.

Master Azure Dragon nodded before cupping his fist in a salute toward Lin Luan, then immediately departed, followed by two of his disciples.

Lin Luan looked on at the trio's departing figures and shook her head in a forlorn manner.

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