A long sigh was carried by the wind, echoing throughout the deep ice walls.
“Fellow Daoist Hu, I don’t remember inviting you here. Weren’t you cultivating at Devil Cliff Mountain? Just what are you doing at Ice Soul Valley?”
The old grey-robed old man snorted and unhappily said, “You think I want to be here? It’s about Kunwu Mountain.”
A neutral voice echoed back, “Oh, Kunwu Mountain! Didn’t we already leave this matter to our disciples? What’s left to talk about it?”
The grey-robed old man sullenly said, “If only it were so simple… you might not know this, but that Old Ghost Xian had met mishap on the mountain.”
“Old Ghost Xian!? Are you sure? Of all the old coots left, he was the strongest among us.” The voice shouted with disbelief.
The grey-robed old man coldly answered, “I’m not too sure myself, but Old Eccentric Feng personally reported it to me with his flying sword. You should understand that he had always been good friends with that old ghost and that they exchanged primal soul pearls. Recently, Kunwu Mountain made an appearance into the world, and Old Ghost Xiang happened to be nearby, but not long after he entered, his primal soul pearl fell dim. If he isn’t grievously injured, then he must be trapped in a restriction of some kind. In any case, he isn’t in a good spot.”
After a short pause, he continued, “And just as it so happens, a great problem has come to find Old Eccentric Feng and he isn’t able to personally go and assist. As such, he’s requested that we go take a look. He said he’s willing to give us two Blood Qi Pills as compensation.”
“Two? How generous! That pill will lengthen our lifespan for tens of years. But how did Eccentric Feng know that Ghost Xiang entered the mountain?” The voice asked with a cautious tone.
“That old ghost has always been cunning. Whenever he sets out to do something, he leaves behind a contingency plan in case anything happens. Before he entered Kunwu Mountain, he sent a message to Eccentric Feng with a flying sword. It seems his actions had proved fruitful and now we’re here to save him. How about it? Would Fellow Daoist Bai be interested in taking a look? It would take us quite some time to refine those on our own,” the old man spoke enticingly.
The voice then paused in thought. Not long after, he then said, “I’ll leave it alone. You can go, but I won’t follow.”
“What? Does the Blood Qi Pill really not tempt you?” The old man asked with surprise.
The voice coldly replied, “I am indeed tempted, but I fear what I encounter isn’t worth the risk.”
“What do you mean? Even if that devil truly escaped confinement, if we join hands, we have nothing to fear.”
“What is there to fear? No matter how fierce it has been in the past, after being suppressed for so many years, its abilities shouldn’t be much higher than our own. It can’t have been as domineering as it had in ancient times, daring to use Spatial Tempering Stage abilities in the mortal world.”
“Then why not go?” The old man frowned.
“If I hadn’t taken the Fire Essence Jujube, perhaps. But now that I am using the fruit to break through my bottleneck, I can’t miss this opportunity, no matter how minor the changes may be.”
The old man’s expression revealed alarm, “The spiritual item you acquired was... did you take it directly?”
“Of course, that’s the only way to receive sufficient fire spiritual power!”
A glint flashed from the old man’s eye and he sullenly said, “You actually did! Don’t you know that fruits spiritual power is overbearing if you don’t refine it into a pill? It is enough to ignite the magic power in your body. Hadn’t we become all too familiar with the dangers the last time we met?”
“I am well aware. But if I don’t take the risk, I could perish within these walls of ice. Or perhaps I will take Ghost Xiang and Eccentric Feng’s example, and let go of my grand abilities to play the fool. Mingle with low-grade cultivators in fear that using too much magic power would take my life,” the voice said with a mocking tone.
“Brother Bai’s words are a bit harsh. They are only doing that in order to find the reverse spirit streams that the spirit world cultivators used in the past to descend into this world. Without reaching late-Deity Transformation stage, we will need to use these passages to ascend. After all, the cultivators of the higher realms were capable of suppressing their magic power and forcefully descend onto our world. If we find these passages, we can temporarily raise our magic power and use them to enter the spirit realm.”
“Ever since the world changed in the past, countless of our fellow Deity Transformation brethren went searching throughout most of the mortal world for any reverse spirit streams. If any existed, they should’ve been found by now, or they could be located in the far reaches of the ocean, meaning they could hardly be found at all.”
“Perhaps. But in any case, pursuing our only hope of ascending to the spirit realm is better than sitting around dying.” The grey-robed old man wore a helpless expression.
“Rather than looking for reverse spirit streams, wouldn’t it be better to cultivate to late-Deity Transformation stage? But if it weren’t for the ancient devil realm’s wickedness in having our world’s strength turning sparse, we wouldn’t be stuck at this stage to begin with,” the man chimed resentfully.
“There is no use in cursing them, Brother Bai,” the old man gloomily said, “With the last of the ancients that had ascended, it will be some time until the next cultivator manages to reach late-Deity Transformation stage and ascend, and even then, their numbers will be incredibly few in comparison to ancient times. Recently, the situation has turned even worse. In nearly ten thousand years, not a single cultivator managed to ascend. Not one. It is no wonder Eccentric Feng and the others wanted to put their trust into finding a reverse spirit stream.”
“They can do whatever they please. As for me, I’ll be cultivating in seclusion. Let’s end our talk here, you already know what I intend to do. Either refuse Eccentric Feng’s request or head out on your own. Forgive me for not personally sending you off. Ah, In the future, I will be asking my disciples to seal off this valley. I won’t be seeing anybody else until I fully refine the jujube. Make sure to inform the others.” After that, the voice ceased speaking and silence filled the air.
The old man wore a sullen expression and lingered near the ice for a moment more before stamping down his foot. “For two Blood Qi Pills, I only need to risk danger once. The extra hundred years of life should be more than enough to compensate for my loss of origin essence.” With that muttered, his body glowed in green light and he shot out from the ice valley.
In front of the palace on the eighth floor of the Devil Suppressing Pagoda, Han Li expressionlessly held his hands in an incantation gesture and combined a dozen of his flying swords as they let out a resounding hum, instantly turning them into a ten-meter-long cleaver that flashed down at the palace in golden light.
With a huge boom, the sword cleaved through a white jade statue and shattered it to dust.
Its remains faintly shook before ultimately lying still.
Han Li faintly nodded, then commanding his sword to return. This was the fourth statue that he had thoroughly destroyed.
The great formation around the palace seemed to make the statues undying, but in truth, they stopped regenerating after better shattered several times.
However, this was only possible with a great number of Nascent Soul cultivators attacking the formation simultaneously. If it were only a couple, it would take far too much magic power to entirely eliminate the formation.
As for the golden sabers the stone statues wielded, they were made from a material unknown to him. Not only were they incredibly incisive, they all also had devilbane properties.
But what particularly caught his attention was the blades of light that the sabers released. The cultivators of devil techniques wouldn’t dare to approach them as they would be able to penetrate through devilish Qi as if it were thin air.
As for those that wished to enter, the statues would ignore those on the outside and simultaneously release a combined attack in the direction of the trespasser, forcing them to flee back as the attack seemed to cover every angle.
And as it turned out, the spell formation was an overlap of several kinds of restrictions. Even after destroying the main body, they wouldn’t be able to rush in.
Of course, no one was about to take this risk and simply bore through attacking the statues nearby. After they were finished being destroyed, they would be able to tear down the rest of the formation with less effort.
After Han Li struck the statue in front of him, he suddenly frowned and looked around. He only saw a few more puppets that still moved.
When he thought that, Silvermoon suddenly yelped from his mind and began to sob in pain.
In his alarm, he couldn't help but ask, “What’s going on? Is there something wrong?” His voice carried a tone of concern.
“It... isn’t important... There is something in the palace that has awakened. It gives me an important, strange feeling as if it is— familiar?... Ah, my head!” After forcing out those few words, all Silvermoon could do was groan.