As for the black storage bracelet, that was also stowed away after he inspected its contents with his spiritual sense.
"As a safety precaution, go and see if that Daoist San Quan is still lingering nearby. If you meet him, then kill him," Han Li instructed.
The Gold Devouring Beetle Monarch nodded in a wooden manner in response, then sped away toward the direction that Daoist San Quan had fled in as a streak of golden light.
After that, Han Li released a ball of flames to incinerate the Immortal Heavenly Lord's dismembered body into ashes, then cast his gaze toward the valley.
At this moment, the entire valley was still enshrouded under a series of restrictions that were not to be disregarded. The battle that had just taken place was quite a short one, but Yan Li and the others had naturally already detected what was happening.
Han Li swept a hand through the air, and countless runes instantly surged forth in a frenzy, transforming into a shimmering azure mirror amid a flash of azure light.
Initially, the surface of the mirror was completely blank, but Han Li then cast a golden rune into the mirror, and the image of Yan Li quickly appeared on its surface.
Yan Li currently had a slack-jawed look on her face, as if she couldn't believe the outcome of the battle outside the valley.
Those were three intruders on the same level as Qing Yuanzi, yet Han Li had demolished them with ease, killing two while the remaining one had fled for his life.
"How are Yuan Yao and your master, Fellow Daoist Yan?" Han Li asked in a calm manner.
"They're both doing well, and they're currently withstanding the last few rounds of the heavenly tribulation. Brother Han, have you already progressed to the Grand Ascension Stage?" Yan Li murmured in a bewildered manner as she finally returned to her senses.
"Of course, how else would I have been able to contend with those enemies. Seeing as Fellow Daoist Qing Yuanzi is still transcending his tribulation, I'll wait for him and Yuan Yao here," Han Li replied before sweeping a sleeve through the air, and the azure mirror instantly exploded into a flurry of runes that vanished into thin air.
After that, Han Li descended onto a nearby mountain before taking a seat with his legs crossed on a clean rock.
He was on friendly terms with Qing Yuanzi, and the two of them had a mutual connection in the form of Yuan Yao, but they definitely weren't close enough to be able to entrust each other with their lives, which was why Han Li had decided to wait outside the valley until the heavenly tribulation concluded instead of asking Yan Li to allow him into the valley.
As soon as he took a seat, he raised a hand to release a voice transmission talisman, which vanished into thin air amid a flash of azure light.
Han Li was sending a message to his companions on the Inkspirit Holy Ark, informing them that they could come and reunite with him now.
Shortly thereafter, the mountainous black ark appeared in the distance.
Inside the formation, Yan Li was still seated atop that disk treasure, appraising the scenes unfolding on the copper mirror before her with a blank expression of incredulity.
Three days later, an earth-shattering boom rang out within the valley, and the black tribulation clouds dissipated while a long cry of elation rang out from Qing Yuanzi.
Han Li was in the process of meditation, and he opened his eyes with a smile as he said, "Congratulations on successfully transcending your tribulation, Fellow Daoist."
His voice wasn't very loud, but it echoed throughout this entire space and wasn't drowned out in the slightest by that elated cry.
Qing Yuanzi's voice abruptly drew to a halt, following which he replied, "I must thank you for allowing me to transcend this tribulation without being disturbed, Fellow Daoist Han. Also, congratulations on reaching the Grand Ascension Stage."
It was clear that Qing Yuanzi had been aware of everything taking place outside the valley even during his tribulation transcendence.
"You're far too kind, Fellow Daoist. Even if I hadn't stepped in, I'm sure you would've prepared other backup measures that would’ve kept those scoundrels at bay with ease. You've only just transcended your tribulation, so your top priority should be recovery; I'll keep a lookout here while you rest in case anyone else tries to plot against you," Han Li replied.
"Thank you for the kind offer, Fellow Daoist. In that case, I'll see you in a few days," Qing Yuanzi agreed after a brief moment of contemplation before falling silent.
Having just transcended his heavenly tribulation, he really did need to consume some pills to recover some of his lost energy.
Han Li appraised the valley for a while longer, then suddenly turned toward a mountain in the distance with a meaningful smile before withdrawing his gaze and closing his eyes.
Almost at the exact same moment, a golden-robed middle-aged wearing a tall crown on his head emerged beneath a giant tree on the mountain that Han Li had just cast his gaze toward.
The golden-robed man was none other than one of the other Grand Ascension Stage beings in the infernal river, Golden Flame Baron.
He was supposed to have already left the infernal river, but he had appeared near the location where Qing Yuanzi was transcending his tribulation and concealed himself on that mountain, so he clearly harbored some sinister intentions as well.
Golden Flame Baron stared at Han Li from afar with a hesitant expression for a long while, then heaved a faint sigh before departing.
After witnessing the incredible power displayed by Han Li and the Gold Devouring Beetle Monarch, he had completely abandoned his original plans.
Furthermore, the glance that Han Li aimed at the mountain seemed to have been very casual, but Golden Flame Baron knew that Han Li had already discovered him, so he naturally didn't dare to remain there any longer.
Moments later, he was already thousands of kilometers away, flying back toward his own cave abode as a ball of golden light.
"Who could've imagined that a Body Integration Stage being just several hundred years ago would progress to the Grand Ascension Stage so quickly and be capable of slaying other Grand Ascension Stage beings with ease? That tiny purplish-golden thing is also extremely powerful; I wonder what it is," Golden Flame Baron murmured to himself as he flew through the air.
Two days later, Qing Yuanzi and Han Li were seated in an elegant hall, and the former was proposing a toast to the latter.
Qing Yuanzi's face was slightly pale, and his aura was rather unstable, but he was in very good spirits.
Yuan Yao and Yan Li were standing behind him, appraising Han Li's companions with curious expressions.
During the heavenly tribulation, Yuan Yao had assisted Qing Yuanzi as instructed, but she hadn't suffered any backlash, so she had emerged from the valley completely unscathed.
However, she had been just as stunned as Yan Li upon hearing about Han Li's progression to the Grand Ascension Stage.
Han Li took a glance at Yuan Yao, upon which he recalled the adorable astonished expression she had displayed, and a faint smile appeared on his face.
"Truth be told, I always knew that you were destined for great things, but never did I think you would progress to this level so quickly and already be capable of slaying enemies of a similar caliber to myself. It looks like I still underestimated you," Qing Yuanzi said.
"You're far too kind, Fellow Daoist Qing. My aptitude is actually quite ordinary, and I was only able to progress to the Grand Ascension Stage so quickly after encountering a miraculous opportunity while venturing into the Elder Devil Realm. In contrast, I'm sure your powers have been further enhanced by your tribulation transcendence, so there may be a chance for you to ascend to the True Immortal Realm someday," Han Li replied with a smile.
Qing Yuanzi hurriedly waved a hand in response. "Opportunities only come to those who are prepared. At the very least, the average Body Integration cultivator wouldn't dare to venture into the Elder Devil Realm, so this is a testament to your courage and decisiveness. As for myself, I wouldn't dare to think about ascension; I'm just glad to be able to live some more years after transcending this tribulation. You're far younger than myself, yet have already reached such a formidable level of power; there's a very good chance that you'll be able to ascend in the future instead, Fellow Daoist Han."
"Hehe, ascension is also something extremely distant to me. Without at least tens of thousands of years of arduous cultivation, there's no chance of ascension for me," Han Li replied in a modest manner.
"Haha, tens of thousands of years are akin to the mere blink of an eye for beings like us. However, if you really do intend to ascend, then there are some preparations that you should make in advance," Qing Yuanzi said.
Han Li's expression changed slightly upon hearing this. "Oh? Please enlighten me, Fellow Daoist Qing."
"I'm far older than you, so I naturally know some more things. If you want to live until the day you can ascend, then you'll have to start preparing for your major heavenly tribulations in case any mishaps arise. If you don't mind, I'd be willing to give you some of my experiences and insights," Qing Yuanzi replied.
"Please go ahead, Fellow Daoist." Han Li naturally wasn't going to refuse something beneficial like this.
Thus, the two of them began to discuss matters surrounding ascension and tribulation transcendence, and the conversation lasted close to half a day before finally drawing to a conclusion.
At this moment, Han Li cast his gaze toward Yuan Yao, and said, "Fellow Daoist Qing, I originally came here just to pay a visit to the three of you, but seeing as you've already transcended your heavenly tribulation and Yuan Yao and Yan Li have already recovered their human bodies as well, I would like to take them back to the human race; would you be open to that?"Previous Chapter Next Chapter