The two of them immediately opened their eyes after the barrier of light was shattered by Han Li. Both of them directed their attention upward and were clearly surprised by the sight of Han Li that greeted them.
At the same time, a green and yellow barrier of light settled over the two of them. Even though it was far smaller than the five-colored barrier of light from before, it was still enough to encompass the two of them. At the center of the barrier of light, a semi-transparent embroidered cloth was slowly rotating.
This barrier of light was being released by the cloth.
"How could it be you?" The old woman's wrinkled face was etched with incredulity.
The grey-robed monk also wore a similar expression.
Han Li looked down at the new barrier of light and the embroidered cloth down below as a faint smile appeared on his face.
"Looks like you two have expended quite a lot of effort into this; to think that you would use a treasure to conceal your presence. Tsk tsk! I was wondering why I was unable to see through a mere illusion technique with my Brightsight Spirit Eyes; it turns out that you two were hiding in here hatching a plot this entire time. I really do admire you two for your wisdom!" Han Li was expression admiration with his words, but his expression suggested the contrary as a cold look appeared in his eyes.
The grey-robed monk finally managed to compose himself and uttered a Buddhist prayer before saying, "As expected, you are indeed very powerful, Fellow Daoist Han; even the other three fellow Daoists were unable to capture you. Speaking of which, where are the other three? Have they left the cave?"
The monk cast his gaze around the cave as he spoke, and a hint of alarm welled up in his heart upon making the discovery that Master Arctic Dragon and the other two cultivators were nowhere to be found. He clearly didn't think that Han Li would have any chance of being able to kill the three of them on his own.
Han Li narrowed his eyes and shook his head, then nodded his head. In the end, he heaved a long sigh but refrained from saying anything.
The two people down below were rather perplexed.
The old woman lost her patience first, and glowered up at Han Li as she grumbled, "Hmph, why are you putting on this cryptic act, fellow Daoist? If Master Arctic Dragon and the other two have already left the cave, then the three of us will have to break our way out as well. Otherwise, we'll be trapped once they summon more cultivators here from the North Night Palace."
"There's no need for you to worry about them; all three have died by my hands. Actually, Master Arctic Dragon left behind a Nascent Soul with me. Would you two like to see him one last time before I send you on your way as well?" Han Li asked coldly.
The old woman was initially stunned by Han Li's words before an enraged expression appeared on her face as she asked, "You defeated Master Arctic Dragon?! That's impossible! And what do you mean by send us on our way?"
"Nothing much. I don't know what kind of relationship the two of you share, nor what intentions you're harboring, and I can't be bothered to consider those things now. However, what I do know is that you two left me here to fight the North Night Palace cultivators, yet you were plotting against me in the process. That's all I need to know. I detest nothing more than to be used by others. Furthermore, I don't want anyone else to know that I have the Divine Spirit Treasures, so the two of you need to disappear from this world." Han Li's voice was absolutely implacable and it was as if he were announcing their deaths already rather than delivering threats. After saying all that, he closed his eyes and ignored the two of them before making a hand seal while chanting in a low voice.
The grey-robed monk and old woman both sensed spiritual Qi fluctuations nearby, and they hurriedly looked around in bewilderment.
Several hundred feet away, countless flashes of golden light appeared, following which strands of gold thread as thin as hair began to emerge. They flashed and moved with no rhyme nor reason, but all of them converging toward the center. They did so completely soundlessly, creating an extremely eerie and peculiar sight to behold.
The old woman looked around before exclaiming, "It's a sword formation!"
The grey-robed monk's heart jolted and he tried to repress his shock and suspicions toward Master Arctic Dragon's death as he yelled, "I think there's been a misunderstanding, Brother Han, the two of us do not harbor any ill will toward you. There are countless North Night Palace cultivators outside the Spirit Void Halls right now. If they don't see Master Arctic Dragon emerging from this place, you won't be able to leave. What we should be doing now is to join forces to combat our common enemy. As for the Divine Spirit Treasures, we can swear blood oaths to keep the matter a secret."
Han Li chuckled in response. "There's no need for that. Dead people are much more reliable when it comes to confidentiality!"
"Don't waste your words, Brother Mo Jiu. Look at the treasures behind him; with those things backing him up, there's no way he'd decide to comply with us." The old woman chuckled coldly as she flipped over her hand to produce her yellow cane.
The monk faltered upon hearing that and only then did he turn his attention to the humanoid puppet and the five skeletons behind Han Li, upon which his expression changed slightly.
"What are those things? And who's that man?" the monk asked.
The old lady transmitted her voice to the monk as said, "Those skeletons are most likely the legendary Unbroken Cinque Devils. As for that man, I don't recognize him either. He most likely managed to take Master Arctic Dragon by surprise and killed him using those things. Setting aside that other man for now, if those five skeletons really are the Unbroken Cinque Devils that once belonged to Old Devil Qian, then even if we join forces, we won't be a match for them. The only way for us to win is to finish this battle as quickly as possible by killing that Han brat. Those things won't be able to pose a threat to us once he's dead. For now, let's focus on breaking through this sword formation first. Otherwise, we'll be in big trouble once those five devils are released on us. Thankfully, Buddhist techniques can somewhat debilitate the five devils. Once the five devils strike, you'll have to be the one to hold them off. If all else fails, we'll use that thing we prepared for Master Arctic Dragon on him."
The monk sighed as he transmitted his voice in response, "I guess we have no choice but to do that. This man doesn't use an ice-attribute cultivation art, though, so that thing will be significantly less effective against him."
"It can't be helped. Thankfully, he's not a late-Nascent Soul cultivator. Even if we can't kill him, it'll be a simple matter for us to inflict severe wounds upon him. We really have miscalculated this time. We received news in advance that this brat is very powerful and comparable in combat prowess to a late-Nascent Soul cultivator, but I still didn't think he'd be this difficult to deal with. I was thinking that he would be able to exhaust Master Arctic Dragon before we swooped in to land the killing blow, but who would have thought that he would kill Master Arctic Dragon and remain largely unscathed? If I had known this was going to happen, I would've stayed out of this business," the old woman grumbled in a bitter voice.
"It's too late to be thinking about these things now. If we can use that thing in exchange for a Divine Spirit Treasure and the Unbroken Cinque Devils, it would be quite a bargain for us." The monk had also relinquished any efforts to try and appease Han Li. He looked around at the golden threads converging toward them, and his expression also darkened. At the same time, a dark and sinister energy arose from his body, in complete contrast with the benevolent facade he had put on earlier.
The old woman was still grumbling under her breath, but she had also sprung into action. She tossed her cane into the air and brilliant yellow light erupted, within which a yellow horse-like monster with vicious tusks materialized within.
The monster spun around in the air at the old woman's behest before abruptly opening its mouth, blasting out countless streaks of yellow light which swept toward a certain direction.
The streaks of light were countless miniature golden swords, each of which was around the size of a human hand. All of them were shimmering with light and appeared to be extremely sharp.
Meanwhile, the monk joined his hands together before separating them again, upon which a ball of silver light appeared in each of his hands. He flung the balls of light into the air and they expanded drastically, reaching the size of wagon wheels in the blink of an eye before hurtling toward the same direction.
Han Li had already reopened his eyes as he stood in mid-air and his expression remained calm at the sight of the oncoming attacks. He looked on as the miniature yellow swords and the two silver wheels crashed into the golden threads in quick succession, only to be reduced to scrap metal in an instant before clattering to the ground.
"What kind of sword formation is this? How can it be so vicious?!" Both the old woman and the monk drew a sharp breath in unison. They looked at one another to find their own shocked horrified expression mirrored on the other's face.
However, they certainly weren't just going to give up. The old woman flipped over her palm and a blue rectangular brick-like ancient treasure appeared in her hand. She chanted something before hurling the brick through the air, upon which it drastically swelled to the size of a pavilion in the blink of an eye. It then flew into the distance with devastating force amid a burst of piercing blue light.
The same thing happened again.
The golden threads in the air flashed in unison and the treasure was instantly sliced into countless pieces, disappearing into the distance like blue fireworks.
The old woman's emotions finally got the better of her upon seeing that, and she exclaimed, "Impossible! My Blue Gold Brick is refined from Blue Gold Essence and it's near indestructible! How could it have been destroyed so easily?"
The grey-robed monks brows furrowed as he let loose low cry before abruptly pointing toward the inconspicuous mouse-like spirit beast.
Grey light suddenly began to flow over the surface of the spirit beast's body and its stomach was inflated to an incredible size. In the blink of an eye, it had swelled to several times its original size before it opened its pointy little mouth amid a dull pop.
A burst of grey soundwaves that were visible to the naked eye erupted violently from the spirit beast's mouth, creating a raging turbulent wave as it swept toward the golden threads.
The monk's ability to think quickly under pressure was on full display. Seeing as treasures with substance were unable to break through this sword formation, he immediately thought of unleashing an insubstantial attack to bombard the formation.
However, it was proclaimed in the Azure Essence Sword Art that once one mastered the Aureate Sword Formation, they would invincible in the human world. This statement was slightly leaning toward the side of hyperbole and only half of the sword formation had been set up here, but it certainly still wasn't something that a mere burst of soundwaves could destroy.
The grey soundwaves crashed into the golden threads, causing the latter to tremored slightly. However, a brilliant golden light then erupted, converging to form a massive golden sword that was roughly 10 feet in length. The sword lashed out at the grey soundwaves like lightning, instantly vanquishing the latter with ease.
The golden sword then reverted back to form strands of golden thread before continuing to converge toward their two targets. It was as if nothing had ever struck them and their seemingly invincible might struck one with a sense of despair.