The grey-robed monk's expression darkened significantly upon seeing this.
This sword formation was far more powerful than they had anticipated.
Han Li could see that his two opponents were stunned by the power of his sword formation, but never truly horrified, which made him rather wary as that suggested that they had trump cards with which they could use to turn the tables.
At this moment, both of them produced several other treasures in an attempt to keep the sword projection at bay.
Han Li's expression changed slightly and faint spiritual light suddenly flashed from the body of the humanoid puppet behind him, upon which it disappeared on the spot.
Moments later, the sword formation had converged to the extent that it was only just over 200 feet away from their two targets.
The old woman and monk had even been forced to detonate ancient treasures. As a result, they were able to temporarily halt the golden threads in their advance, but were still unable to stop them altogether.
A fearful expression finally appeared on the old woman's face. She turned toward the monk and urged, "We can't keep this up forever. I don't know what this sword formation is, but it definitely isn't going to be broken by any normal treasures. Hurry up and use that thing; it's the only thing that's powerful enough to destroy this formation!"
"That thing will naturally be able to destroy this sword formation, but what are we going to use against that Han brat later?" The grey-robed monk was still a little hesitant.
"We'll think about that later! We can only survive if we destroy this sword formation. Otherwise, once the sword formation converges completely, we'll be dead anyway and that thing will just go to waste!" the old woman urged again.
The monk's facial muscles spasmed slightly upon hearing that. He glanced at the approaching golden wires and finally gritted his teeth as he nodded.
He immediately patted his storage pouch, upon which a peculiar object appeared in his hand.
It was a fiery red ball that was about the size of a fist and it was rather murky, making it impossible for anyone to identify exactly what it was. Furthermore, there was a gold and silver talisman plastered to the ball, and the monk was holding it with a very careful and solemn expression.
The old woman was starting to panic at the sight of the converging golden threads, and she screeched, "We have to make haste, Fellow Daoist Mo Jiu! If the sword formation gets too close, we'll be harmed by this thing's power as well!"
The monk sighed and reached out to tear off the talisman on the red ball in preparation to use it.
However, right at this moment, a faint burst of silver light flashed behind the monk and a humanoid figure emerged from within. It moved in a completely soundless manner as if it were a ghostly wraith, and the monk was completely oblivious to its arrival.
However, the old woman standing across from him immediately caught sight of the silent assailant, and she cried in a panicked voice, "Look out! Behind you!"
As she let loose her cry of warning, a streak of yellow light shot forth from her sleeve, directly toward the humanoid figure.
The monk's heart jolted with shock upon hearing his companion's warning cry and he immediately tried to get away. At the same time, he reflexively cradled his arm inward, trying to stow the ball away into his sleeve. However, he was too late.
The humanoid figure that had appeared behind him was none other than Han Li's humanoid puppet, which possessed power comparable to a late-Nascent Soul cultivator. Its body flashed through the air and it rammed one hand toward the monk's back while reaching out with the other hand toward the red ball. Its movements were as fast as lightning and the monk uttered a muffled groan as he stumbled away.
The humanoid puppet's hand was aimed directly at his vital regions and was able to easily pierce through the layer of light that was shielding his body. However, just as the puppet's hand made contact with his back, the projection of a strange, entirely pitch-black bird suddenly emerged.
Even though the puppet's hand was still able to pierce through the projection with ease, it was slowed down ever so slightly in the process, affording the monk the split second required to avoid a lethal wound. Even so, he was still afflicted by a long gash on his shoulder, from which blood was gushing profusely. Meanwhile, just as the puppet's other hand was about to reach the crimson ball, the latter suddenly detached itself from the monk's hand and flew toward the old woman.
Furthermore, the yellow streak of light that the old woman had hurled through the air was already upon the puppet; it was a thin yellow needle that was flashing with light.
Purple light erupted from the humanoid puppet's eyes and it made no attempt to evade the needle. All of a sudden, the arm reaching for the red ball tremored violently amid a crisp "crack".
The arm detached itself from the puppet's body and caught up to the ball in the blink of an eye. The ball was cradled up by the hand before instantly being carried away.
Almost at the exact same time, the yellow needle struck the humanoid puppet on the head, creating a dull explosion amid a flurry of yellow light.
Two contrasting cries, one furious and one elated, escaped the mouths of the monk and the old woman respectively.
The monk's crimson ball had been wrested away from him, so he was naturally shocked and enraged. Meanwhile, the old woman was ecstatic upon seeing the magic treasure she had refined for hundreds of years strike their assailant right in a vital region.
The humanoid puppet stumbled back several steps before barely managing to arrest its momentum. It stood up straight once again and turned to appraise the old woman with a cold expression. There was a small hole around the diameter of a thumb puncturing right through its glabella, but the hole completely healed in the blink of an eye, leaving behind not even a single trace to suggest that the puppet had ever been harmed.
The old woman was flabbergasted upon seeing this. However, she then suddenly sensed something as she screeched, "My Yellow Plum Needle! What did you do to my Yellow Plum Needle?"
The humanoid puppet slowly raised a hand to reveal the thin yellow needle hovering over its palm. The needle was darting around desperately, trying to escape from its captor, but it had been sealed firmly within a ball of silver light and was unable to get away.
The old woman's face paled significantly upon seeing this. She opened her mouth and was just about to say something, when the humanoid puppet suddenly rubbed its hands together. Piercing silver light immediately erupted from between its hands and the yellow needle immediately dimmed as it lost its spiritual nature.
The old woman let loose an anguished cry before throwing up several mouthfuls of blood essence in quick succession, as if she had been severely wounded.
The monk wore a thunderous expression on his face and he didn't have time to tend to the wound on his shoulder as he abruptly raised both hands up in the air. Countless balls of silver light that were roughly the size of fists surged forth in a frenzy from his hands. The sound of howling winds and claps of thunder could be indistinctly heard as they were released, creating a rather formidable sight to behold.
However, Han Li merely chuckled coldly as he looked down from above.
The humanoid puppet made a hand seal at his behest and brilliant silver light erupted from its body. The light then receded and it disappeared on the spot.
The balls of silver light all struck empty air and amounted to absolutely nothing.
The monk and the old woman looked at one another, and both of them could see the despair in each other's eyes.
At this point, the sword formation was only about 70 to 80 feet away from them. There was nothing more that they could do.
Han Li hovered high in the air with his hands clasped behind his back, looking down at the two of them with a cold expression.
The Aureate Sword Formation finally completely converged and the countless golden threads formed a massive golden ball of light in the end. A burst of loud explosions erupted from within the ball initially, causing the ball to tremor slightly. However, this was soon followed by the anguished cries of the old woman and the monk.
Using his Brightsight Spirit Eyes, Han Li could see that the two mid-Nascent Soul cultivators had been instantly shredded by the sword formation.
Their Nascent Souls lasted a while longer than their physical bodies, but they were also unable to withstand the sustained assault from so many golden threads, and disappeared from this world as specks of green light.
As for their storage pouches and treasures, all of them had been completely eradicated by the might of the sword formation. There were only two small balls of glacial flames left hovering in the air, one of which was yellow while the other was green.
Han Li heaved a faint sigh and a rather lonesome expression appeared on his face.
Following a brief silence, a burst of silver light suddenly flashed beside him before the humanoid puppet soundlessly emerged, handing over the crimson ball it had snatched to Han Li.
Han Li accepted the ball wordlessly and began to carefully examine it.
Upon close examination, he could see that the ball was semi-transparent with a ball of piercing red flames tumbling within. He looked even closer to find that it was a miniature fire-bird flapping its wings inside the ball. The fire-bird was extremely life-like and quite mesmerizing to behold. There were also runes of all types of colors flashing around the fire-bird and upon closer inspection, Han Li discovered that those runes were all some type of pseudo ancient language. Even with Han Li's vast knowledge in ancient texts, he was still unable to decipher the etymology of these runes.
It seemed to be a completely brand new type of primordial text!
Han Li examined the runes for a long time with furrowed brows.
Seeing as this treasure was the ultimate trump card that the two of them had been banking on, it clearly had to be an extremely powerful item.
The ball did indeed appear to be quite mysterious and seemed to be imbued with an immense amount of fire-attribute spiritual power. However, it would be an absolute joke to think that such a pitiful amount of spiritual power could break through his Aureate Sword Formation. As such, the true might of this treasure had to be somehow related to those runes. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to identify even a single one of them, let alone try to understand them.
It clearly wasn't the time to be conducting thorough research so after a moment of contemplation, Han Li produced a few more talismans from his storage pouch and plastered them to the ball. He then pulled out a special wooden box and carefully placed the ball into it. He was going to keep it for later usage.
After doing all that, Han Li turned toward the Qilin silhouette to find that it had already shrunk quite noticeably. In contrast, the Fire Raven flapping its wings within the silhouette was extremely vigorous, and its body had grown by roughly a third of its original size.
Han Li stroked his chin with a contemplative look upon seeing that.
He didn't hurry to withdraw this wisp of true flame. Instead, he made a hand seal and began to chant something.
All of a sudden, over 100 bursts of golden light surfaced from the air down below. Most of them dissipated on their own, leaving only 36 miniature golden swords behind.
Han Li waved a sleeve through the air indifferently, upon which the swords flew into his sleeve like a river of golden light. Finally, he turned his gaze toward the two small balls of glacial flames.
The balls of glacial flames were completely rooted to the spot while emanating a faint glow, appearing to be entirely unremarkable in every way.