Chapter 2081: Iron Sand Ridge

"You didn't stop us just to try and recruit us to the Beast Lord Palace, did you? As much as I revere the Beast Lord Palace, I have no intention of joining any power at this point," Han Li refused as his eyes narrowed slightly.

"That's quite a pity. Our palace is currently recruiting some powerful fellow daoists in preparation for a major event. If you join us, you definitely won't regret your decision," the daoist priest insisted as his brows furrowed slightly.

"Thank you for the kind offer, but I really don't want to be bound to any power," Han Li refused again.

"In that case, I won't speak any further about this matter. As for why my companion and I appeared here, our Beast Lord Palace received a large sum of devil stones several decades ago along with a request to kill everyone in your group. Rest assured, our Beast Lord Palace won't continue to send assassins after you just because we've taken on this job; we'll only deploy people according to the level of compensation given for a single assassination attempt. Generally speaking, if we encounter powerful fellow daoists like you, we'll only request a sparring match, and we may even extend an invitation for those fellow daoists to join our Beast Lord Palace, just as we've done on this occasion," the daoist priest finally revealed.

"I see. I've also heard that the Beast Lord Palace accepts requests of this nature, but may I ask who it was that paid to have us killed?" the woman from the Ye Family asked with a smile as she drifted over to Han Li's side.

"I'm afraid I won't be able to answer that. Our Beast Lord Palace strictly prohibits the leakage of client information, and this request came from an anonymous source, so even our palace doesn't know who it was," the daoist priest replied with a shake of his head.

"I see. I presume the Beast Lord Palace has sent people after the rest of our companions as well, right?" Han Li asked with a smile.

"As long as those companions of yours are devilish lords as well, they'll only be challenged to sparring matches," the daoist priest replied in a rather ambiguous manner.

"In that case, there shouldn't be any issues. As expected of a vastly renowned superpower of our holy realm to be able to send out so many devilish-lord-level elders at once; the average major family simply can't compare," Han Li praised.

The daoist priest smiled and was just about to respond when a burst of faint white light and a low buzzing sound erupted from a jade pendant hanging from his waist.

The daoist priest's expression changed slightly upon seeing this, and he immediately cupped his fist in a farewell salute.

Thus, after exchanging some more pleasantries, the burly man and daoist priest departed as two streaks of light, quickly disappearing into the distance.

"Fairy Ye, do you think they were telling the truth just now?" Han Li asked as he looked on in the direction that the two beast lords had departed toward.

"I think it's mostly true. It did indeed seem like they harbored no killing intent toward us, but if they had found us to be easy opponents to defeat during the sparring match, then they would've most likely killed us. After all, the Beast Lord Palace does not have a very good reputation among devilish beings," the woman from the Ye Family replied with a contemplative expression.

"That's probably about right. I think the main reason for their wariness is their inability to determine our origins. After all, we're a group of nine Body Integration Stage beings, which is quite a formidable force in the Elder Devil Realm. Unfortunately, they'll most likely develop quite a strong interest in our group as a result of this," Han Li analyzed.

"In that case, we should just keep them here permanently so that they won't get to report back to the Beast Lord Palace. You and I combined should be able to do this," the woman from the Ye Family said as a cold look appeared in her eyes.

"That's naturally a feasible option, but metamorphosis stage devilish beasts are far more powerful than the average devilish lord, so we'll only have around a 50% to 60% chance of success. On top of that, it sounds like the Beast Lord Palace has deployed people to attack Brother Long and the others as well, so there would be no point in doing something like this," Han Li replied with a shake of his head.

"That's true, but the Beast Lord Palace is a very powerful sect; if they were to conduct extensive research into our origins, our covers will most likely be blown," the woman from the Ye Family sighed with furrowed brows.

"The Elder Devil Realm is even bigger than the Spirit Realm, so there's nothing remarkable about a few devilish lords that the Beast Lord Palace didn't know about. At the very most, they'll become suspicious of us, but they most likely won't actually do anything. On top of that, who knows how many years it'll take before they manage to ascertain our origins? By then, we would've already returned to the Spirit Realm. Having said that, we'll need to proceed with more caution from now on," Han Li said.

"Indeed. Hopefully, the rest of our plan will progress in a smoother fashion," the woman from the Ye Family said with a wry smile.

"There's no need to be concerned, Fairy Ye; there shouldn't be any issues as long as you haven't leaked our plan to secure the Azure Luan True Blood. However, I'm rather curious about what that major event that beast lord was referring to earlier. From the sounds of it, it's going to be quite a big move for the Beast Lord Palace," Han Li mused.

The woman from the Ye Family faltered slightly upon hearing this before a thought suddenly occurred to her, and her face instantly paled significantly. "Could it have something to do with the devilish invasion into our Spirit Realm? Perhaps an outcome has already been reached in the battle?"

"We've only just emerged from the Illusion Howl Desert, so we haven't had a chance to get up to date yet, but I hope this isn't the case. We passed through that town very hastily, but perhaps the others have already gathered information about this. Hopefully, we'll be able to learn more about the current situation when we get to the next devilish city," Han Li said in a calm manner.

He knew that with the extensive preparations made by the humans and other races, there was no way that they would be defeated in just a few decades.

Furthermore, after entering the Elder Devil Realm, Han Li had discovered that only a small portion of the Elder Devil Realm's powers had invaded the Spirit Realm, while the majority seemed to not care about this battle at all.

Otherwise, regardless of what extensive preparations were made, there was no way that the humans and other races would be able to contend with the entire Elder Devil Realm. Having said that, most of the Sacred Ancestors of the Elder Devil Realm had sent clones into the Spirit Realm, which was quite a strange occurrence.

Han Li was rather perplexed by this matter, but displayed no outward befuddlement as he called out to the woman from the Ye Family before flying back onto the flying boat.

Moments later, the flying boat continued onward as a ball of black light.

Meanwhile, the Long Family patriarch and Elder Hui were situated in the air above a green lake, looking on as two bursts of black Qi were speeding away into the distance.

"The Beast Lord Palace, eh? That's rather troublesome," the Long Family patriarch murmured to himself with a dark expression.

"There's no need to dwell on this on this, Brother Long; they already know that we're not to be messed with, so I'm sure they wouldn't bother us any longer. Let's continue on our journey. Once we get to the Devilish Origin Sea, the Beast Lord Palace won't be able to do anything to us; it's not like that Sacred Ancestor Wan Shou will hunt us down in person," Elder Hui said with a cold smile.

"Of course Sacred Ancestor Wan Shou won't come after us in person, but it's very possible that he could send a clone or two after us," the Long Family patriarch said with a grim expression.

Elder Hui's expression changed drastically upon hearing this. "Surely not! Our origins are indeed rather suspicious, but it can't be that easy to attract attention from a Sacred Ancestor."

"I certainly hope so. Let's get out of here right away; don't worry about conserving magic power anymore," the Long Family patriarch instructed in a cold voice.

Elder Hui hurriedly nodded in response.

Elsewhere, Holy Maiden Thousand Autumns and Zhi Shui were hovering expressionlessly in mid-air. Standing not far away from them was a pair of devilish elderly men, both of whom had very pale faces and were staring at Zhi Shui with horror in their eyes.

......

Han Li and the woman from the Ye Family continued to spur on the black flying boat with all their might, and after flying for half a month, they finally reached a small devilish city, where they stayed for several days.

During this time, Han Li and the woman had split up and gathered a lot of information.

They discovered that during the past few decades, several major battles had taken place between the devilish beings and the races of the Spirit Realm. On top of that, some Sacred Ancestors had finally descended upon the Spirit Realm, but they were met by resistance from the Grand Ascension Stage beings of the opposing races, and no outcome had arisen. This piece of information came as quite a relief to Han Li and the woman.

Even though the information they had gathered was rather murky and even incomplete in some cases, this was the overall verdict they had arrived at.

Thus after staying for two more days in the city, they continued on their way, and their next destination would be the Iron Sand Ridge.

On this occasion, they enjoyed a smooth journey for over three months before finally catching sight of a vast black mountain range up ahead.

All of the trees and rocks on the mountain range were of a blackish-green color, striking one with a rather unsettling sensation, as if there were countless devilish creatures concealed within the mountain range.

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