Chapter 781: Fight for the Lantern

“To think of concealing yourself near the Bright Origin Lanterns. You truly are seeking death!” The woman muttered without the mind to carefully examine the results. It was enough knowing that the victim was a Heavenly South cultivator.

Ever since she ignited the ancient lanterns, she had six cultivators come after them one after another. After all, the huge bird only came into existence once the ancient lanterns were summoned, and they remained burning ever since. It took only a glance to know that there was something strange about them, so those that were skilled at concealment techniques thought to exterminate the lantern’s flames. However, not a single one of them were successful; they were all exterminated by the woman’s flames.

At that moment, Han Li was several hundred meters away from her. When he saw that the nameless cultivator had been effortlessly killed by the woman, he felt his heart shiver. He ceased his gradual approach towards the woman.

Although the woman simply muttered to herself, Han Li was able to hear her words using his astonishing spiritual sense. Han Li then turned his gaze to the ancient lanterns not far away. He rubbed his chin as he pondered to himself. They seemed to be an extraordinary existence. Not only were they able to summon that demon bird, but they also had the ability to see through concealment. It would prove truly troublesome.

Han Li’s expression wavered for a long while and his brow shifted, having finally come to a decision. He slapped his storage pouch and fished out a few items. He then glanced at a few spirit beast pouches at his waist with a smile. 

At short moment later, Spell Warrior Le appeared vastly more on guard as she sat cross-legged in front of the ancient lanterns, a lotus mirage faintly visible around her. She was staring at them, fusing her spiritual sense with them and allowing her to sense any movements with a hundred meters of them.

A flash of light suddenly appeared a hundred meters away to reveal a dozen tall apes. Their bold appearance caused the woman to look at them with surprise. There was another entire row of apes standing behind the first. They all raised their arms, shooting several tens of beams of light from their hands.

“Puppets!” Spell Warrior Le was shocked, and soon frowned when she discovered that they were well-crafted. She cautiously looked around, failing to spot who was controlling the puppets.

Spell Warrior Le paid little mind to the light beam attacks. With a single incantation gesture, the lotus mirage flickered and easily blocked them. Afterwards, the woman’s body blurred and she picked off an ember of flame from one of the lanterns.

This time, the woman didn’t immediately release the ember. Rather, she kept it floating in her hand as she stared at the ancient lanterns in preparation for any strange changes.

In a mere short moment, the woman’s expression stirred and she opened her mouth, spitting out a breath of spiritual Qi onto her hand. The flame then blazed with azure light before disappearing without a trace. She turned her head and glanced at an area a hundred meters away.

With a light pop, a silhouette appeared, covered in azure light. Then with an incantation gesture, the woman willed the flames to combust, a cold grin of satisfaction appearing on her lips. 

“Yi! Why are they still alive?” The woman’s smile froze and discovered that this silhouette wasn’t instantly incinerated as with the previous cultivators, nor did it show any sign of struggle.

In her alarm, she hastily examined the figure. “This person is... no, not a person! It’s a puppet!”

The silhouette appeared the same shape as Han Li, but its expression and body was completely stiff. Additionally, it appeared as if it weren’t being burned by the azure flames in the slightest.

“Not good!” In that instant, something immediately came to mind and she hastily turned her head to look at the ancient lanterns, reexamining her surroundings with her spiritual sense. Meanwhile, a silhouette appeared sixty meters away in a flash of azure light. Then with a ring of thunder, he disappeared in a flash of light.

When Spell Warrior Le saw this, she formed an incantation gesture with both her hands in furious alarm, striking the lanterns with successive spell seals.

However, she was too late. Lightning flashed beside the ancient lanterns, followed by the appearance of a youth. Soon after, a giant black-red hand was summoned in the air, growing to the size of three meters before fiercely swiping at the ancient lanterns.

“This person recognizes the main lantern! Only the caster could possibly know which one is the original. Even a late Nascent Soul cultivator shouldn’t be able to see through them!” When the woman saw this, she was shocked to the core.

In this short distance, the large hand and Spell Warrior Le’s spell seal struck the ancient lantern at the same time. The lantern flashed with life as it underwent a transformation, but in the process, the huge hand grabbed onto it, burning with black Yin flames in an attempt to exterminate it.

At nearly the same moment, the other eight lanterns began to tremble, disappearing one by one in a flicker of light, dissipating into wisps of smoke.

“No!” Spell Warrior Le blanched at the sight of this. With gritted teeth, she raised her hands, enveloping the black hand with a large lotus mirage in an attempt to seize back the ancient lantern. However, her attack was predicted. With the ancient lantern in its grasp, it immediately shot back without the slightest delay.

Then with a cold snort, lightning rang once more, and both the black-red hand and the silhouette disappeared. In the following moment, the silhouette re-appeared beside the puppet trapped in azure light, ancient lantern in hand. Han Li had used surprise to his greatest advantage.

“You will not leave.” Spell Warrior Le flusteredly glanced at the azure bird and discovered that the Sacred Bird had yet to disappear. Her heart determined, she loudly screamed, enveloping her body in azure light as she chased after him in a clear wind.

Han Li’s expression grew sullen and white light flashed from his hands. With the ancient lantern placed inside his storage pouch, he unfolded his wings and disappeared to another location a hundred meters away. At the same time, the woman appeared where he originally stood, pursuing him as a transformed wind.

Han Li’s gaze stirred and he suddenly formed a hand incantation with one of his hands, uttering, “Explode.” At that moment, the lightning bead in the puppet’s mouth ruptured. With golden lightning and azure flames intertwined, not only did over half of the puppet disintegrate, but it also caught Spell Warrior Le that was nearby.

The woman’s lotus mirage moved to protect her. Although its master acted without regard for her safety, each of the lotus petals glowed and rigidly blocked the attack.

However, the lightning bead was beyond powerful. Although she hadn’t suffered any damaged, she knocked back ten meters, dissolving her wind movement technique for a time.

Han Li sighed. Although he felt the lightning bead hadn’t reached its full potential, he blinked away once more and fled into the distance. By the time Spell Warrior Le regained her bearings, Han Li was already over three hundred meters away.

Spell Warrior Le gritted her teeth and was just about to give pursuit when the remaining half of the blown puppet began to release a monstrous sound. Having just suffered from it before, she hastily looked towards it in alarm to see it in azure light. Soon after, the remaining half of it began to scatter into swarms of tri-colored beetles.

Spell Warrior Le was forced to confront them and she hastily protected herself, shrouding her body in a white lotus. However, the tri-colored beetles instantly condensed to form several large shields that blocked her path.

Each time the woman attempted to use her wind movement technique, her casting was interrupted with wave after wave of attacks. In her immense fury, she launched series of spirit techniques to strike the beetles, only to find that they were ineffective.

At that moment, she shockingly discovered that the tri-colored beetles appeared nearly identical to the Gold Devouring Beetles apart from the specks of black on their shell. Startled, she immediately reached the the wood spirit treasure in her storage pouch to trap these flying insects, but before she could, the beetles scattered with a buzz. 

The woman changed expressions several times from shock and she hastily glanced into the distance. At an unknown time, Han Li had activated a concealment technique and already disappeared without a trace. Spell Warrior Le’s complexion changed between red and white as she remained still in the air, at a complete loss of what to do.

At that same moment, the Moulan Sacred Bird just breathed out an azure fireball, destroying the protective treasure of one of the Great Truths cultivators. Just as it rejoiced and was about to shred the cultivator with its talons, it suddenly felt spiritual power wildly drain from its body.

In its shock, the bird was unable to injure the cultivator and it hastily turned its head around to discover that the ancient lantern had disappeared. The huge bird could only shriek in panic as its body quickly shrank, having instantly lost its ability to control fire spirit Qi. As for the sea of azure flames, it intensely burned for a moment more before disappearing without a trace much to the astonishment of the Seven Great Truths Cultivators.

The Yin Yang Devils transformed into a green wind as soon as they were freed and fiercely struck at the weakened azure bird. By then, the bird had already shrunk to a meter long. Its eyes were filled with resentment as it stared at the two approaching devils without the slightest intention of dodging. Before the twin devils could strike it, the bird had exploded, transforming into countless specks of azure light that soon faded away.

Once this happened, the Yin Yang Devils paused and simply stood in the sky.

“How did this happen?” One of the old men asked with joy, having escaped death. At that moment, his magic power was already drained and he was nearly defenseless. 

“Look over there. It seems they’ve had some problem with the treasure they used to summon the demon bird. The ancient lantern is no longer there.” The leading old man let out a long sigh and he swept his gaze over to where the ancient lanterns once floated. He appeared completely relieved as if he had escaped calamity. He felt as if he had been only a mere moment from death.