With a face still lingering with fear, Bai Yaoyi slowly said, “I was heavily injured. In order to repel my enemies, I was forced to release the profound glacial Qi I diligently cultivated within my flying sword for many years. At the time, the others were only thinking of entering the lower floors as soon as they could and I managed to escape death through only luck.”
“Oh? From your words, you don’t seem very familiar with the attackers!”
“It was someone from the group of cultivators that arrived before us. At the time, I was in a deadlock with someone when I was ambushed, forcing me to seal myself. The ice would’ve taken a long time to break unless a late-Nascent Soul cultivator was personally bent on destroying it. But since I am heavily injured, I had no way to break free and had to trouble Fellow Daoist Han to save me. Had I remained sealed for a long... I don’t even want to think of the consequences. Speaking of it, Brother Han is truly powerful to be able to wipe away the glacial Qi in only a short time.”
“It didn’t take much effort. Could Fellow Daoist Bai tell me what happened here?”
“After Fellow Daoist Fu and I departed, we searched a secret pavilion and acquired quite a few gains. We planned to withdraw, but then, an abrupt change occurred in the sky above the Devil Suppressing Pagoda, signifying the appearance of a grand treasure. We were overcome with greed and had joined the fray. Along the way, we encountered many cultivators that were heading in that direction as well. We saw the Yin Sifting Sect Elders, the cultivators that had opened the seal, the vagrant cultivators, and even the Silver-winged Nightfiend from before. To tell the truth, when we saw so many powerful figures, we immediately felt regret and thought to withdraw. However, they had attacked as soon as they spotted us and we were forced to fight. I had been pursued from the very beginning and fled here. Fellow Daoist Fu had disappeared along the way. It seemed he had an opportunity to escape.”
As Bai Yaoyi explained what happened, she examined the horned woman at his side with an uneasy expression. She clearly sensed the fearsome demonic Qi emitting from her body.
Seeing that she was startled, Han Li smiled and said, “There is no need to fear, Fellow Daoist Bai. Fellow Daoist Gui Ling has agreed to join hands with me. I wouldn’t have dared to come otherwise.”
Gui Ling then squeezed out a faint smile.
Although Bai Yaoyi didn’t believe the two’s circumstances were as simple as he stated, she felt relieved, “So it was like that. I did say Brother Han’s abilities and wisdom is far beyond the likes of us.”
Then with a stern expression, he continued, “But I have to mention I saw the remains of Fellow Daoist Fu. He had passed near the entrance.”
“Truly?” Bai Yaoyi wore a trace of astonishment.
“I personally dealt with his corpse and there are no signs that his Nascent Soul manifested.” Han Li was then reminded of the crimson saber and a cold glint flashed from his eyes. “Speaking of which, did you sense anyone pass by you when you were trapped in the ice?”
“No,” Bai Yaoyi paused in surprise, “Could it that others have entered?”
“Nothing of the sort,” Han Li pondered to himself and looked down at the entrance to the bottom floor. “Since your vitality is weakened, what do you plan on doing now?”
“What is there to do? No matter how valuable the treasure is within, it would only be a vain attempt on my part. I plan on immediately departing as soon as the seal’s opening stabilizes.”
“That will be good. Let’s part here then, Fellow Daoist Bai. I still hold quite a bit of interest in the treasure.” Han Li said, revealing no surprise at her intent to retreat.
When she heard him, she chuckled, “Since Brother Han is confident, I will not try to change your mind. Be careful!”
“Take care of yourself too, Fellow Daoist Bai!” Han Li saluted her and then blurred in the direction of the entrance to the next floor.
Gui Ling silently followed after him.
When Bai Yaoyi saw the two depart, she sighed and swallowed a fire-red pill she summoned from her storage pouch.
Just after he was sixty meters away, Han Li suddenly thought of something and turned around, “Fellow Daoist Bai, I’ve long heard of the fame of North Night Palace. Would it be possible for me to visit it in the future?”
Bai Yaoyi paused in surprise and replied with a sweet smile, “Fellow Daoist must be joking. Our palace would be happy to receive you.”
“Your words put me at ease.” Han Li smiled and departed without any further delay.
Bai Yaoyi waited for Han Li to disappear before her smile changed to a pensive expression.
Although she happily agreed, she felt rather bewildered as to why he would suddenly mention the North Night Palace.
On the seventh floor where the Elder Devil and company had previously fought against the ghost fiends, it was completely empty without a soul in sight.
The two easily made their way down to a small room that contained a white and a black teleportation formation.
When Han Li glanced at the formations, he stroked his chin and carefully mused.
Within his mind, he asked, “Silvermoon, do you sense anything? These two are both short-ranged and should lead to the next floor. Is there anything about them that beckons you?”
“How strange,” Silvermoon slowly answered, “I sense something awfully familiar from them both, but the feeling from the white one is far stronger.”
After a moment of silent thought, Han Li calmly said, “Then let’s go through that one. I faintly sense a devil Qi from the black teleportation formation. It makes me feel uncomfortable.”
Soon after, he wordlessly stepped into the white formation and Gui Ling followed suit.
Then with a spell seal striking the edge of the formation, white light flashed from around them and they disappeared.
Just as they appeared on the eighth floor, Han Li summoned the Tailstar Essence Shield in front of him and Gui Ling’s crimson armor shimmered on her body.
After all, they didn’t know where the formation would take them, nor if there was anyone guarding it. Given how experienced they were, they didn’t dare to be careless.
But contrary to their expectations, there weren’t immediate attacks. Instead, they heard raging explosions in the distance. When the teleportation sickness faded away, Han Li glanced around, only for his heart to stir.
The terrain in front of him was in complete disarray.
Up above them, flying swords and other treasures were dancing in the air.
Han Li hastily swept his eyes up above and spotted a dozen silhouettes. The Silver-winged Nightfiend, the Lion Hawk, the Grand Immortal Xu, the Endless Sky Saintess Lin Yinping, and the two Immortal Form Sect Elders were among them. There were also several unfamiliar cultivators that Han Li guessed to be the ones from the Ye Clan.
However, Ge Tianhao and the remaining Yin Sifting Sect Elder was nowhere to be seen.
All of the figures in the sky weren’t actually attacking each other at the moment. Rather, they were scattered across the palace at the center of the area. There was a huge spell formation surrounding the palace and tens of altars surrounding it, each enshrined with a white jade statue that was ten meters tall.
The statues were clad in glittering armor and held huge golden blades in their hands. They had come to life and were working in conjunction with the restrictions of the giant spell formation. They faced off against the many high-grade opponents, releasing ten-meter-long sword lights in response to the cultivator’s attacks.
However, the cultivators weren’t entirely focused on the statues. Quite a few would occasionally steal a glance at the palace in between their attacks.
Over thirty meters in the air above the palace floated an emerald-green wooden ruler emitting a faint verdant glow. It was half a foot long and styled unoriginally.
It only appeared to be a common treasure however, because every time it flipped in the air, countless lotus flowers blossomed around it and slowly danced in the air. The images of eight various spirit beasts would appear amongst them and roar at the ruler as if in a show of respect.
“A horned Lion-Dragon, Golden-scaled Flood Dragon, Eightcorn Deer...” Han Li lost his breath as he named them all off.
These spirit beasts were resoundingly famous during ancient times.
In her shock, Gui Ling muttered, “The Eight Spirit Ruler! I didn’t think that the Three Kunwu Elders would leave this treasure behind!”
“The Eight Spirit Ruler?” Han Li’s expression stirred.
Silvermoon slowly said, “The ruler is a Divine Spirit Treasure. However, it was only used a handful during ancient times, and was lesser known as a result. Nevertheless, its power should be as expected.”
Han Li’s frowned, having heard Silvermoon’s voice turn strange. “Are you alright?”
“I’m... not sure. I originally didn’t recognize the treasure, but some detailed information on it had just appeared in my mind. It seems like this was what had summoned me. No, no, it's not the ruler. Someone close to me was beckoning. Wait, that’s not right either. My... other half is here.”
Han Li frowned, but just as he thought to inquire any further, the group of cultivators discovered Han Li and stared at him with bemused and hostile gazes.
In his shock, Han Li dropped the matter with Silvermoon. He then walked out from the teleportation formation with a glint in his eye and floated to the sky.