Chapter 1995: Invitation

This so-called number one devilish lord clearly wasn't displaying much respect toward Xue Guang. Of course, this could mostly be attributed to the fact that Xue Guang was only present in this realm in the form of a clone, rather than his true body. Otherwise, no matter how powerful the burly man was, he wouldn't dare to act in such an uncouth manner.

A contemplative look appeared on Xue Guang's face for a moment before he suddenly yelled, "Summon the ten generals to come and see me."

"Yes, Master Xue Guang," someone outside immediately answered in a respectful manner before rushing away to do his bidding.

Only then did Xue Guang return to his seat and begin to carefully ponder some things.

Meanwhile, after absorbing sufficient spiritual Qi, the giant projection in Deep Heaven City finally reverted back into an azure ball of light that descended toward the stone pagoda in a flash.

The ball of light then vanished amid a flash of spiritual light, and Han Li, who was situated on the deepest level of the pagoda, slowly opened his eyes as an ecstatic look appeared on his face.

"So this is the late-Body Integration Stage; it really is completely different from the mid-Body Integration Stage. I'm now one step away from the Grand Ascension Stage; the path to immortality is finally becoming a reality," Han Li murmured to himself as he experienced the dramatically enhanced magic power and spiritual sense within his body.

Following this successful breakthrough, both his magic power and spiritual sense had almost doubled, and they would both only continue to increase as he continued cultivating. The only thing that he was rather disappointed about was that his physical body hadn't been enhanced by much.

It seemed that the rumors that one could only reform their physical body after reaching the Grand Ascension Stage were true. As for the benefits that one derived from that reformation, that would depend on their latent aptitude and the cultivation arts they were using.

With that in mind, Han Li closed his eyes again and immediately began fortifying his new cultivation base, as well as to recover the huge amount of energy he had lost during his tribulation transcendence.

Due to the fact that he had to expend a lot of magic power and spiritual sense to combat the inner demon, he was forced to use many treasures to help him transcend the tribulation.

The late-Body Integration Stage tribulation was far more fearsome then he had imagined, and he was forced to detonate over 10 top-grade treasures that he had obtained over the years. Even his 72 Azure Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords had been damaged as he had pushed them too far.

If it weren't for the fact that his two extreme mountains possessed a resistance toward heavenly lightning and shielded him from the final few waves of lightning strikes, he definitely would've been severely wounded, even if he had still managed to successfully transcend this tribulation.

However, following this late-Body Integration Stage tribulation transcendence, Han Li's confidence in the five extreme mountains was boosted even further, and his determination to refine the remaining three extreme mountains was reaffirmed.

His Grand Ascension Stage tribulation was only going to be even more fearsome than this late-Body Integration Stage tribulation; without the five extreme mountains, he wasn't confident about his chances of success at all.

On top of that, the five extreme mountains were also going to be extremely important for the periodic major heavenly tribulations that would befall him in the future.

After lingering on this final thought for a moment, Han Li completely relaxed and immersed himself in his cultivation. Warm magic power flowed throughout his entire body, and he meditated for around half a month without awakening even once.

On this day, the door of the secret chamber was suddenly opened on its own by a gust of fierce wind, and azure light flashed as Han Li emerged from within, then cast his gaze over the surrounding area.

"We pay our respects to Master!"

"Congratulations on your breakthrough, Brother Han!"

Qi Lingzi, Hai Yuetian, and the Ice Phoenix were all standing guard nearby, and as soon as Han Li emerged, they immediately converged toward him with elation etched on their faces.

"Hehe, without your assistance, I'm not sure I would've made it. Let's continue our conversation in the hall. You two can come along as well," Han Li said to the trio.

The trio naturally had no objections, and they immediately followed Han Li to the top floor of the pagoda.

A short while later, Han Li and the Ice Phoenix had taken a seat in the hall on the top floor, while Qi Lingzi and Hai Yuetian were standing respectfully off to the side.

They seemed to be even more excited than Han Li was about his breakthrough.

With such an incredibly powerful master, no one would dare to look down on them again; even beings with far higher cultivation bases than them would have to treat them with respect.

"Brother Han, I had thought that with my heavenly phoenix bloodline, my aptitude wouldn't be inferior to anyone, but now, I truly don't know what to say. I bet even you didn't anticipate that you would make such incredible progress back when we joined forces to ascend to the Spirit Realm through that spatial node. With your formidable abilities, you're most likely the most powerful being in both the human and demon races below only those two Grand Ascension Stage seniors. I can't help but be a little envious," the Ice Phoenix said in a slightly awestruck manner.

"My progress up to this point was heavily dependent on luck. With your true spirit bloodline and exceptional cultivation aptitude, it's only a matter of time before you reach the same level, so there's certainly no need to be envious of me," Han Li replied with a calm shake of his head.

"I certainly hope so. During my recent cultivation, I can feel that I'm approaching a bottleneck; it looks like I'm also not far away from making a breakthrough," the Ice Phoenix replied with a nod.

"Hehe, then I'll have to congratulate you in advance," Han Li said with a smile.

The Ice Phoenix smiled in response, but gave no further reply.

"Qi Lingzi, has anything happened during my time in seclusion?" Han Li asked.

"Recently, many cultivators have been mobilized in the city, and there are rumors going around, stating that the devilish army is about to launch an all-out attack against the city. Also, following your tribulation transcendence, many of the sects and powers in the city sent congratulatory messages and presents; I've tallied up all of the presents and stored them away for you to inspect when you're ready. By the way, the elders of the city have also sent congratulatory presents, and Senior Jin invited you to go and meet the panel of elders right away after you come out of seclusion; he says that they have something important to discuss with you," Qi Lingzi replied in a respectful voice.

"I'll take a look at all of the presents later. As for Fellow Daoist Jin's invitation, that most likely has something to do with the devilish army; it seems I'll have to make a trip there. Seeing as the matter seems to be quite urgent, I'll head over there right away," Han Li said as he a rose to his feet.

Qi Lingzi and the others were slightly surprised to see Han Li leaving in such a hurry, but they naturally didn't dare to stop him.

Thus, Han Li gave them a slight nod before he flew out of the hall as a streak of azure light.

By the time Han Li arrived at the conference hall for the panel of elders, the white-robed elderly man and Buddhist Monk Jin Yue were already waiting at the entrance, seemingly having received news of his arrival in advance.

As soon as the three took a seat, the white-robed elderly man immediately offered his congratulations and swept his spiritual sense toward Han Li, upon which he was given quite a shock.

Han Li's current powers were as unfathomable as an ocean, and even the white-robed elderly man was completely unable to ascertain his exact cultivation base.

How was this possible? He was a mid-Body Integration cultivator; even if his powers were inferior to those of a late-Body Integration cultivator, there shouldn't be such a massive disparity.

There were only two possible explanations for this, the first of which was that Han Li was using some type of secret technique or treasure to disguise his own cultivation base; the second possibility was that Han Li's magic power had truly become too unfathomable for his spiritual sense to properly detect.

The white-robed elderly man's expression remained unchanged, but he immediately ascertained that the first possibility was quite implausible.

After all, if Han Li had a way to disguise his own cultivation base, then he would've used it back when he was a mid-Body Integration cultivator; why would he do something like this now, when everyone already knew that he was at the late-Body Integration Stage? If it were the latter...

The white-robed elderly man couldn't help but draw a sharp breath, and the tone of his voice unconsciously became even more polite.

Buddhist Monk Jin Yue's expression also remained unchanged, but his astonishment was no less potent than that of the white-robed elderly man. Even though he already had a very high estimate of Han Li's powers, it appeared that he had still underestimated him.

After making some brief small talk, Han Li said, "I've already received the congratulatory presents the two of you have sent to me; allow me to offer my thanks. Now then, I'm sure you've invited me here to discuss an urgent matter, so let's cut straight to the chase."

The white-robed elderly man and Buddhist Monk Jin Yue exchanged a glance before the former said, "In that case, I won't delay any longer either. Following your progression to the late-Body Integration Stage, you are already the most powerful cultivator in the city. Forgive me for being blunt, but what would you estimate your own chances to be if you were to go up against a Sacred Ancestor clone?"

"A Sacred Ancestor clone? That's hard to say. After all, the Sacred Ancestors all possess different powers and abilities. I don't know anything about the Sacred Ancestor clone outside the city, so I can't say anything definitive about it, but if it's anything like the Sacred Ancestor clones I've faced in the past, then I should have a decent chance of securing victory," Han Li replied after a long pause for contemplation.

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