“Yi! The stele’s surface!” Before Han Li could clearly see what was happening, Old Man Fu suddenly pointed at the back of the cracking stone and shouted out in alarm.
Han Li raised his brow. If he remembered correctly, there should’ve been nothing behind it, but the old man wouldn’t act without a reason.
He promptly blurred before reappeared behind the stele, only to be stunned by what he saw.
From the shattered fragments, there was a bright blue crystal shining from a few deep cracks.
“Spirit stones?” Han Li blinked, not entirely sure of what he saw.
He suddenly flicked his fingers and over ten streaks of sword Qi weaved together, instantly covering the top half of the stone with azure light.
For a time, fragments tore off from the stele and filled their surroundings with a grey mist.
From the sharpness of his sword Qi, it took only a short moment before the blue light underneath was revealed.
Han Li withdrew the azure light with a flick of his finger, revealing a deep blue crystal slab.
The crystal was a meter tall and brimming with sparkling blue light. Although it wasn’t fully visible, it appeared to be long and flat.
The stone stele seemed to only be a thick shell surrounding it.
After gazing at it with bright eyes, Bai Yaoyi said with a certain tone, “It isn’t an ice-attribute spirit stone, nor does it contain any of ice spiritual Qi despite its appearance.”
“There is no doubt it isn’t a spirit stone. That isn’t something that can be refined into other objects, and there is even something inscribed on the surface.” Han Li looked at a portion of the bare crystal slab and saw ancient talisman characters roaming across.
With a sigh, he condensed the magic power in his body and reached out.
Suddenly, a hand of azure light appeared in front of the stele and grabbed the top before raising it out.
As he expected, it was extremely heavy, but he was now prepared and forcefully dragged it out from the stone by relying on brute magic power.
A blue sparkling crystal appeared before Han Li. Talisman characters roamed across its surface, faintly shining with a dim blue light.
When Han Li glanced at the words on its surface, his heart stirred, but he maintained a calm appearance as he grasped his hands in an incantation gesture and pointed at the crystal slab.
It began to tremble and massively shrunk to the size of a half-foot-long brick. Then in a gust of wind, it disappeared into his sleeve.
Old Man Fu and Bai Yaoyi were both curious about the crystal, but when they saw that Han Li had no intention of letting them look at it, they tactfully kept quiet. Instead, the two had a quick chat with him before deciding to head further up the mountain.
They had already recognized that the faint rumblings were coming from the top and concealed themselves once more as they traveled.
Of course, Han Li couldn't have known that the sounds were produced by the Ye Clan cultivators. Further up the steps, they were attempting to destroy a restriction the best they could.
However, the distance between the two parties was by no means close, and there was also an additional restriction between them.
As of current, the eccentric and the Ye Clan Grand Elder were standing side by side as they floated above a boulder.
Not far beneath them were the others who were standing inside a recently placed spell formation. They were using the power of the formation to control various treasures and attack the huge archway that was blocking their path.
The Elder Devil was currently controlling a jet-black flying sword and attacking without emotion.
The archway released rays of brilliant light in response, and was able to endure the attacks in its entirety. The archway itself seemed to be a strange treasure.
With a trace of worry, the large-headed eccentric turned his gaze from the brilliant archway to the white-robed scholar and asked, “Young Third, how long do you suppose until we’ll be able to break through the Myriad Cultivator Gate?”
The scholar replied with a calm appearance and a sullen tone, “I expect it to be another day. It is quite a bit more troublesome than expected. It is no wonder it possessed such fame in the past.”
“We’ve been delayed for too long. If we could lend a hand, we’ll be able to cut down on time by at least half,” the eccentric gloomily muttered, but he didn’t show any intention to help.
The scholar insipidly replied, “Since there are such vicious ancient beasts like the Lion Hawk, we must be on guard. It is better to lose a day than to lack strength when we need it most. Please be patient, Seventh Uncle. We still have plenty of time!”
The eccentric sighed, “That is so. Even if the Nascent Soul cultivators of other sects were quick to act, it would still take time for them to arrive and find the opening. But with this gate taking up so much of our time, I wonder what other restrictions lie ahead of us.”
“Don’t be so worried, Seventh Uncle. Our Ye Clan has naturally considered the matter of breaking the restrictions during the long time we planned this. Our clan has already gathered several secret treasures specialized in destroying them, but it still isn’t time to bring them out.”
“So it was like that. I am relieved.” The eccentric’s expression relaxed a bit.
Then, the two calmly observed the destruction of the gate and said nothing else. But not long after, the eccentric stroked his nose and his face sank. He flicked his finger without another word and sent several streaks of yellow sword Qi towards a large tree a hundred meters away.
After it was cut down and swept away, a green-furred silver-winged monster became visible.
It only moved by unfolding its wings, easily deflecting the sword Qi.
Then with a shrieking howl, it coldly examined the Ye Clan cultivators below before turning its gaze to the scholar and eccentric. It then flapped its wings and took off. Several blurs later, the monster seemed to merge with the wind and disappeared.
Making no attempt to chase it, the eccentric wore a grave expression and said, “Did I see that correctly? It seemed greatly skilled in wind movement techniques and was capable of illusory windform, much like the legendary Silver-winged Nightfiend. If it weren’t for the faint corpse Qi on its body, I wouldn’t have been able to detect it.”
“Corpse Qi? I hadn’t sensed it, Seventh Uncle, but your Blood Chariot Arts might’ve given you the keen senses needed. However, it appears the corpse is quite intelligent.” The scholar looked in the direction that the nightfiend had disappeared to and wore an unsightly expression.
The eccentric shook his head with a frown. “Wasn’t Kunwu Mountain known to be a land of Immortals? How could we encounter vicious creatures such as the Lion Hawk and Heavenly Corpses? It is fortunate that we are together, else it would be far more dangerous.”
After some silence, the scholar slowly said, “It was a land of Immortals in the past. Now, it is a sealed relic. It isn’t surprising that these strange events have happened, but the only things that should concern us are the Divine Spirit Treasures. These other matters are of little importance.”
A cold glint shined from the eccentric’s eyes. “That is true, but that Silver-winged Nightfiend seems to possess not only great cultivation but even worse, great intelligence. We must be particularly wary of that monster or it will come to harm us greatly.”
“Many thanks for your warning, Seventh Uncle. I will take note of it.” The scholar nodded and his tone grew solemn.
Light flashed from one of the walls of the stone pavilion where they had taken a rest moments ago. A headful of white hair peaked in and took a look around in a comical manner.
When this person discovered that nobody was present, he left the pavilion and slowly lifted himself onto the roof on a large disc of light.
The person then raised his head to reveal a wrinkly face and narrow sly eyes.
This person was the small mysterious old man, Xiang Zhili .
“It really is Kunwu Mountain. Tch tch! The spiritual Qi is here quite unordinary, but who is so meddlesome to dare open the seal? If those things were to emerge, the entirety of the Great Jin will be doomed. I am quite out of luck to be nearby, as feigning ignorance wasn’t much of an option.” As he looked around, he suddenly heard the sounds of explosions in the distance and began to wildly stomp on the floor and loudly curse, his face filled with anger.
After he was done, he suddenly heard a beautiful soft voice, “Since you knew it was dangerous and still entered, I have to admire you for your courage.”
When Xiang Zhili heard this voice, he felt his entire body grow cold as if his very blood had froze.
The old man let out a stammer, “S-Senior, you... you’ve come!”
“How so? I’ve been here for countless millennium after all. In the past, the three elders here used the strength of over ten thousand men to lay down the final layer of restrictions. It isn’t something I would be able to tear alone, or I would’ve left long ago.” The woman’s voice was incredibly sweet, quite a contrast to his voice that had instantly turned feeble.
 Xiang Zhili was first introduced at Yellow Maple Valley in the Trial of Blood and Fire. He later made a reappearance at the Heavenly Talisman Sect when Han Li had visited, only for him to make his way to a Nanjiang sect in recent months.