Nearly half a month later, in the Yellow Dragon Mountains of the State of Yu’s Li Prefecture, there was a large bald middle-aged man that stood inside a jade hall on top of the Yellow Dragon Mountains. He continuously walked in a circle with an apprehensive expression.
A short moment later, the large man sat down on a straw chair and took a sip of tea from the cup on the table, calming his roiling heart for a time. But then a red streak of light suddenly flew inside and began to circle around the hall. The large man’s expression changed upon seeing this and he beckoned to the red light, having it fall into his hand.
The light burst into raging flames upon touching his hand and the large man sunk his spiritual sense within them. His expression immediately turned unsightly. Silence filled the hall for a time and his expression grew ashen. Then, he silently took out a small azure bell from his storage pouch and struck it with his finger.
A melodious ring filled the entire hall, with unceasing echos returning from a distance.
Soon, the ring spread to the entirety of the Yellow Dragon Mountains, and the jade buildings on top of the other peaks began to flourish with lights of every color. Then cultivators wearing various clothing hurriedly flew out from these buildings as if practiced. Not long after, a dense green mist began to spread throughout the entire Yellow Dragon Mountain, turning an area of tens of kilometers into a sea of strange dark-green mist.
Soon after, four cultivators appeared before the large bald man from within the hall, three men and one woman — all possessing Core Formation cultivation. There were two men that appeared thirty years of age, appearing similar enough to be siblings. The other man was wearing Daoist robes, wielded a horsetail whisk, and despite his gallant appearance he was middle-aged. As for the sole female cultivator, her figure was dainty and her face was exceptionally beautiful.
The four were each standing next to one another in the hall with grave expressions.
With an expression of disbelief, the female cultivator hesitantly asked, “Senior Lu, is it true that a spell warrior army has arrived so quickly. From what we heard last time, wasn’t it only supposed to be a squadron of spell warriors? And what happened to Senior Bu? Could it be that in a mere week the Heavenwind Storm Formation was destroyed even under the guard of Senior Bu? Is this not a misunderstanding?”
 This Lu 陆 is different from the past two ‘Lu’s (Master Jadepearl[鲁 Lu Weiying]), 吕(Lu Luo)’ that have been encountered. They’re homophones.
The bald man coldly smiled and grimly said, “Misunderstanding? I would think that also were it not for the fact that Hunchback Bu had personally sent me the message. He even mentioned that he sustained heavy injuries and was about to soon arrive at our Yellow Dragon Mountains along with a few of his defeated garrison. This is by no means a misunderstanding. We will have to face the enemy alone without any reinforcements.”
When the four Core Formation cultivators heard this, they could only glance at one another with a bitter smile and acknowledge him.
Following that, the large man gave each of the four their orders in preparation for the oncoming battle, but suddenly yet another streak of red light flew into the building. The cultivators in the room were stunned by the sudden appearance.
The large man grew still and reached for the sound transmission talisman without any hesitation. As a result, the talisman bursted into flame and clearly transmitted its message to him, causing him to wear an odd expression.
The female cultivator couldn’t help but ask, “Senior Lu, what’s the matter? Spell warriors have already arrived?” When the other three Core Formation cultivators heard this, their expressions all grew tense.
The large man grinned. Suppressing the excitement in his heart, he slowly said, “No, our reinforcements have arrived. Three Nascent Soul Fellow Daoists have arrived outside the grand formation. Quickly, head out to welcome them and invite them inside.”
Immediately, the four Core Formation cultivators revealed delight and promptly accepted the large man’s orders with a salute.
Three silhouettes were floating outside above the green mist and were examining the restrictions of the grand formation down below. The three, of course, were Han Li and the other two Nascent Soul cultivator that had hurried on their way.
Because the three would soon be relying on the grand formation to resist a siege from the Moulan armies, they each examined the sea of mist surrounding the mountains as they waited for the cultivators inside to respond, wishing to see the mysteries that it hid.
Let alone whatever the true power of the spell formation may be, the green sea it produced seemed nearly limitless at a glance and emitted an unordinary pressure. With his hands behind his back, a blue light suddenly appeared in Han Li’s eyes as he glanced at the formation, resulting in a pensive expression on his face.
Not long after, a series of white flashes appeared from the green mist, and the mist rolled away to create a passage through.
Old Man Ma and Gu Shuangpu seemed to pay this change no notice. One of them was looking at the sky in silence while the other was staring at another portion of the green mist as if he found something odd about it. Han Li was the only one that calmly glanced at the passageway with a faint smile on his face.
A short moment later, four streaks of light shot out from the passageway, revealing themselves to be the four Core Formation cultivators from before.
The gallant middle-aged cultivator in Daoist robes respectfully saluted the three, “Juniors pay their respects to these Seniors. May we know of your venerable names?”
When Han Li saw that the two had no intention of speaking, Han Li smiled and took the initiative to introduce themselves, “I am the Drifting Cloud Sect Elder Han Li. These two are Fellow Daoist Ma of the Grand Pavilion and Fellow Daoist Gu of the Controlling Spirit Sect. There are still another eight Core formation cultivators on their way. Us three left them behind in fear that we would be too late. And since the grand formation is currently activated, the Moulan must soon be arriving!”
The gallant middle-aged cultivator then gave an introduction to the three cultivators standing behind them, “So it turned out to be Senior Han. I am the Clear Void Sect’s Chong Xuzi. These two are Yellow Maple Valley’s Murong Brothers and this is the Saber Transformation Dock’s Lady Li.”
‘The Murong Brothers?’ Han Li’s gaze flickered across the brothers and he wore a mysterious smile on his face, “Is Fellow Daoist Nie still doing well?”
The Murong Brothers revealed delight upon hearing this, “Senior recognizes Senior Martial Sister Nie? We haven’t seen her for several years because we’ve been stationed at this grand formation.”
Han Li glanced at the two brothers and pursed his lips into a beaming smile, “Of course I do. I saw your Senior Martial Sister not too long ago. But it seems you two don’t recognize me. This comes as no surprise as I was but a passing face to you two.”
The two were greatly alarmed upon hearing Han Li and immediately stiffened. This Senior seemed to be an old acquaintance, but why was it they had no impression of him? They took another careful look of Han Li before eventually finding him to feel somewhat familiar. The two then bewilderedly glanced at each other.
“Hehe! Since you Fellow Daoists don’t recognize me, I’ll leave the matter for later,” Han Li then glanced at Old Man Ma and Gu Shuangpu from a side and indifferently said, “Can we now go inside?”
Chong Xuzi felt somewhat baffled by the previous scene, but he roused upon hearing Han Li and hastily agreed, “Of course. Seniors, please follow me. Senior Lu is eagerly waiting for you in the main hall.”
Afterwards, the four Core formation cultivators led the way as they flew through the green mist. Not long after, the passageway within the roiling green mist quickly closed once more.
A short moment later, Han Li and the others appeared within the hall before the large bald man.
When the bald man saw the three, his stern expression was replaced with a smile, “I welcome you three for supporting our defenses. Aren’t you Brother Ma and Fellow Daoist Gu? As for this young Fellow Daoist, who might you name be?” Upon seeing Han Li, the large man felt him to unfamiliar and he curiously examined him.
Old Man Ma chuckled and said, “It is no surprise that Brother Lu doesn’t recognize him. Fellow Daoist Han just condensed his Nascent Soul a few years ago. His future prospects are limitless.”
A trace of disappointment momentarily appeared on the large man’s face when he heard that Han Li was a newly ascended Nascent Soul cultivator, but he soon wore a grateful expression, “Oh? So it turned out to be a newly ascended Fellow Daoist. It is no wonder why I’ve never seen you before! But regardless of how it is said, I am most grateful for your support. I fear that we would’ve fallen in merely days had you not arrived.”
The bald man’s momentary lapse hadn’t escaped Han Li’s notice. However, he simply smiled in silence and didn’t betray the slightest discontent.
The bald man then spoke of a few past matters before moving onto the difficult situation that was currently facing them.