Han Li narrowed his eyes and began to circulate the first layer of the Heavenvoid Cauldron’s Artifact Imprint Technique.
A dragon’s cry roared out from the cauldron and the cauldron’s lid launched into the air in a streak of blue light, revealing the rainbow light that shined from within it. Then the sea of azure light the Saintess used to freeze Han Li’s movements was quickly absorbed into the Heavenvoid Cauldron.
They were both shocked to see what was happening.
The Saintess’ huge cauldron had released a strange hum and suddenly shot down in a streak of light.
The Saintess turned deathly pale at this sudden change and hastily formed a hand incantation, ordering the cauldron to stop, but her commands were ineffective and the cauldron disappeared into the Heavenvoid Cauldron down below.
Furious alarm filled the Saintess’ mind, but it didn’t stop there.
The Heavenvoid Cauldron suddenly flew out from Han Li’s grasp and spun in the air before pointing its mouth towards the white mist at the side. As the cauldron faintly glowed with light, a roar of terror sounded out from the mist, followed by a black silhouette shooting out from it into the sky. It was a flood dragon with a bull’s head, the Endless Sky Beast.
Then, an enchanting azure mist shot out from the Heavenvoid Cauldron and chased down the Endless Sky Beast with incredible speed, instantly wrapping around the beast. The Endless Sky Beast wildly howled and struggled with all its might, but the blue mist held firm as if unaffected by the beast’s attacks. The mist spun around and quickly shank itself along with the beast before flying back into the cauldron. Then, the cauldron's lid spun once more before slamming into the cauldron and sealing it shut.
This strange turn of events had occurred all in the blink of an eye.
The Saintess’ expression turned completely pale in complete disbelief. It was clear that she was initially winning the battle. How was it that she had fallen into the abyss of defeat so quickly? Not only did Han Li escape from her cocoon of sand, but he seized both the holy cauldron and the incarnation of the holy beast.
However, the woman was someone of unordinary character and still retained her composure. Her gaze then dropped down to the Heavenvoid Cauldron in Han Li’s grasp.
She clearly understood that the change of circumstance in the battle was due to that cauldron. The loss of control over the holy cauldron must’ve been due to a connection between it and Han Li’s cauldron, or something so great wouldn’t have occurred. She had to acquire that cauldron!
In the blink of an eye, the Saintess resolved herself.
Han Li was delighted by this sudden turn of events, but when the woman’s icy gaze flickered past him, he smiled, knowing precisely what the woman was thinking. Then, his wings flapped, he disappeared in a flash of silver lightning, only to reappear a hundred meters away.
He then recalled his condensed flying swords without any hesitation and his fingers blurred as they formed a series of strange hand gestures. Azure light flashed around his body as astonishing spiritual Qi was emitted from his body. He then opened his mouth and spat several mouthfuls of blood essence into the air. They transformed into threads of blood mist before turning into a strange azure-red color. Additionally, his complexion turned from dark red to a blood-crimson in an astonishing display and his figure grew indistinct inside the mist of blood.
“Not good!” When the Saintess saw Han Li’s actions, she immediately thought of something and she cried out in panic. She raised her hand and released two beams of silver light, turning into countless silver threads in midair in an attempt to cover Han Li.
But by the time the huge sword returned to Han Li, his image inside the crimson mist began to blur and he disappeared from view. In the next moment, crimson light glowed from the horizon before fading away.
The Saintess’ heart sank and she quickly released her spiritual sense, but Han Li had already escaped the limits of her spiritual sense with his Bloodshadow Evasion. The woman remained floating motionless in place with an ashen complexion.
In that same moment, over five hundred kilometers away, the elegant man was glancing down at the vast borderless plains with a strange expression as nine humming dark green wheels fluttered around him.
“Wood movement techniques? It was still had the strength to use the vegetation to conceal itself after I injured it to that degree? And that devil artifact is extremely powerful and troublesome, but it risked backlash when using it. However, it has no hope for survival. It is merely a Nascent Soul. With the injuries it sustained, its body will soon vanish. Nevertheless, I have the feeling that something bad had occurred. Could it be something to do with the others?” The youth’s eyes flickered as he muttered to himself before raising his head in another direction. After some hesitation, the nine wheels joined together as one and he shot back in a dark green streak of light.
Under an unremarkable bush, a shining black flag was embedded in the earth. There was a half-foot-wide hole that faintly emerged from it where there was an inch-large black-green Nascent Soul laying inside of it unconscious. Black Qi roiled around its body as it quietly absorbed the pure devilish Qi in the flag to restore its wounds.
In another area of the plains, a beautiful purple-haired woman had used a jade ancient treasure to trap several thousands of Gold Devouring Beetles. And she blocked an attack from a bead of lightning before easily piercing through the body of the foreign cultivator with a single attack. However, the foreign cultivator’s body then glowed with silver light to reveal the body of a charming woman. Then, she completely disappeared in specks of starlight.
The purple-haired woman stood in place with shock.
Four hours later, the elegant man, purple-haired woman, and the Endless Sky Saintess met together once more. They gave each other an account of what happened and looked at each other with dismay.
The elegant man frowned and sullenly said, “You mean to say that not only did we not acquire the method to nurture the Gold Devouring Beetles, but we also lost the holy cauldron and the Holy Beast?”
The purple-haired woman wore an unsightly expression and said, “The holy cauldron isn’t significant as we have another alternative to summoning the Holy Beast. However, I fear that having the Holy Beast’s incarnation captured will invoke the fury of the Holy Beast in the realms above. We must reclaim it.”
“We were far too careless,” the Saintess said with an exceptional calm, “I didn’t think this person would have a method of restraining the holy cauldron and cause this to happen. I will have to go to the Great Jin to reclaim the Holy Beast incarnation. And that strange small cauldron that was used to control our holy cauldron is nothing to underestimate either.
I suspect that cauldron is the Divine Spirit Treasure that our holy cauldron was modeled after. It can’t be explained any other way.”
“Divine Spirit Treasure? That isn’t very likely,” the purple-haired woman doubtfully said, “Those treasures aren’t something that can appear in this world. There were treasures that ancient cultivators brought down from the realm above. The refinement method for the holy cauldron was something that a unique genius ancestor had acquired after using a secret technique to communicate with the Holy Beast. How could the Divine Spirit Treasure still remain in the mortal world?”
The elegant man shook his head and said, “That might not be certain. Since Elder Devils were able to appear in our mortal world, it is possible there are several Divine Spirit Treasures that exist in our world as well.”
When the Saintess and the purple-haired woman heard the Elder Devil being mentioned, their expressions changed.
The purple-haired woman snorted and said, “It was said the Elder Devil was extremely fearsome, but it is a shame we didn’t have the opportunity to fight it. However, the Devil’s movement techniques are truly wondrous. It was easily able to cross our plains and enter the Great Jin.”
The elegant man sighed and spoke with a wry smile, “That is because the Elder Devil was gravely wounded. If it were to encounter us, we would give chase, preventing it from finding the time to heal. If it weren’t for that, the devil could’ve spread chaos throughout the plains.”
Gloominess worn on her face, the Saintess said, “Regardless of whether that cauldron is truly a Divine Spirit Treasure, he had killed many of our Immortals and seized the Holy Beast. We cannot allow this to be. Since the holy cauldron was seized away from me, I must make the trip to personally find it and the Holy Beast’s incarnation. Otherwise, we will not be able to answer the Holy Beast’s questions the next time we summon it.”
When the other two heard this, they exchanged a glance as if communicating their opinions.
The elegant man then nodded and said, “Since the Saintess feels strongly about this, she may as well make the trip to the Great Jin. However, many cultivators sects of the Great Jin are prejudiced towards our Soaring Tribe Immortals. You had best keep your identity a secret. After all, those of the Great Jin should possess vast abilities. You should first take a look at the Yin Sifting Sect and see if that person is truly a Yin Sifting Sect Elder. After making his identity clear, you should immediately return to the plains and we will lend you our power.”
“I understand. Since that person’s abilities are likely beyond mine, I won’t rashly take action.” The Saintess said with a grave expression.
Thus, the three promptly returned. After the Endless Sky Saintess finished handling her affairs, she set off to the Great Jin to search for Han Li.
The Great Jin’s Liao Province was one of the hundred and eight provinces of the empire. It was split into ten prefectures, but a majority of them were located in a vastly snowy area where few lived. The more prosperous of these prefectures were still somewhat destitute.
The Liao Province’s Mystic River is the province’s second largest river and it was one of the few rivers that wouldn’t freeze during flood season. As a result, whenever the time came, merchants and travellers would all use this river to travel as it was far more convenient than carriage or horse. And at every portion of the river, there would be empire vessels making their patrols.
But regardless of this, there were many ships on this vast stretch of river. Naturally, there would be many criminals that would take the risk of seizing the ship of worse. As a result, there would be a few larger ships that would hire skilled martial artists as guards.
Wang Tieqiang was a common example of such a guard. And as his name would suggest , he was somewhat skilled with spears, but this was secondary to his vast experience as a guard. He has been a guard for over twenty years, turning from a hot-headed youth to an experienced and profound Jianghu practitioner.
At the moment, he was steadily standing at the bow of the ship with a hand resting on the boat railing. He was examining the nearby waters with a calm expression.
On this journey, he was only a common bodyguard. The only thing exceptional about this job was that the ship’s owner was rumored to be the trusted confidant of a very important government official.
That being said, most bandits would be unwilling to take action against a ship, even if it were lightly guarded. And this was shown across their long journey, where not even a single event had occurred.
Just as he was lost in his thoughts, he recalled how generous the ship’s owner had paid him. The silver could afford his wife several good fabrics to make several sets of good clothing. With that thought, Wang Tieqiang couldn’t help but smile as he thought about his seven-year-old son.
But then a woman’s voice suddenly cried out, “Quick come! There a huge block of ice there. It... It seems to have someone inside.”
 The qiang 枪 in his name means spear.