Han Li chuckled and didn't say anything else. The jade slip in his hand shuddered as he inserted his spiritual sense within.
After reading through just a few sentences, Han Li's expression suddenly changed drastically. There was an initial flash of surprise, followed by incredulity, then elation.
Man Huzi's Nascent Soul was rather perplexed by his reaction.
However, it was indeed true that he hadn't tampered with the cultivation art, so he had no need to worry about anything.
After 15 minutes, Han Li had already finished reading through the jade slip, taking much less time than Man Huzi had anticipated he would. Han Li withdrew his spiritual sense from the jade slip and his expression became rather confused.
"Brother Man, where did you learn this Heavenbearing Devil Art? Do you know its origins?" Han Li asked.
"Origins? This is a renowned cultivation art in the Scattered Star Seas that has been passed down for a long time. It's no less renowned than the Archsaint of the Six Paths' Six Apex Devils Art. It's just that this cultivation art has always been passed down to only one person per generation, and I only managed to learn it after I encountered my master. Why do you ask? Is there something amiss about this cultivation art?" the Nascent Soul asked.
"No, no!" Han Li shook his head in response before flipping his hand over, upon which the jade slip disappeared.
After witnessing the wide array of emotions Han Li had just displayed, Man Huzi certainly wasn't going to believe that. However, he didn't pry any further into the matter. "Brother Han, if you don't have the time to cultivate this art, then just pass it on to any disciple of yours. The inheritance of the Heavenbearing Devil Arts must go on."
His top priority was naturally to engulf Zenith Yin's Nascent Soul, so he immediately continued, "Seeing as you've already seen the cultivation art, would I be able to begin now?"
Red light flashed in the Nascent Soul's eyes and a solemn look appeared on its face as it spoke.
Han Li glanced at the frozen Zenith Yin before a smile appeared on his face as he asked, "Of course. You're a little feeble at the moment, though; would you like me to assist you?"
"Thank you for your kind offer, but that won't be necessary. My current magic power isn't comparable to even a tenth of what it once was, but it's still more than enough to handle an immobilized cultivator." Man Huzi shook his head with a confident look.
"Alright, then I'll be waiting outside." Han Li smiled and didn't say anything further. His body swayed and he appeared at the entrance before slowly making his way out of the stone chamber.
Thus, only Man Huzi and the frozen Zenith Yin were left in the chamber.
Man Huzi turned to Zenith Yin and a sinister look appeared on his face. Zenith Yin was completely immobilized, but there was a horrified look in his eyes. Meanwhile, Han Li was standing in the passageway outside the stone chamber, silently surveying the jade slip in his hand.
The stone chamber was completely silent. After around 15 minutes, a weary voice sounded from within.
"Fellow Daoist Han, you can come in now." The voice belonged to none other than Man Huzi, but it was slightly hoarse.
Han Li raised an eyebrow as he put his hands together, upon which the jade slip in his hand disappeared without a trace again.
He then made his way into the stone chamber.
The massive block of blue ice was still completely untouched, but Zenith Yin's eyes had already completely rolled over and he was clearly very much dead.
Meanwhile, the Nascent Soul was hovering over the block of ice. It had grown a little in size and was filled with vitality, creating a strong contrast with its previous feeble state. However, it wore an exhausted expression on its little face as it said, "You have my thanks, Brother Han. I've only temporarily recovered most of my energy and I must take this opportunity to pass on to the afterlife. Otherwise, my efforts would all be wasted. My secret cave abode is located at..."As the Nascent Soul began to disclose the location of its collection, it fell silent and began to transmit its voice to Han Li instead.
Han Li listened carefully before nodding expressionlessly.
The Nascent Soul exhaled, and calmly said, "Alright, I've exacted my revenge, so it's time for me to pass on now. Farewell, Fellow Daoist Han."Its body then swayed as it flew toward a corner of the stone chamber, where it sat down with its legs folded in front of itself.
Dazzling golden light erupted from the Nascent Soul's body and its aura became extremely unsteady, oscillating between strong peaks and feeble troughs.
A smile appeared on Han Li's face as he turned his attention away from Man Huzi's Nascent Soul. Instead, he rubbed his hands together before raising them.
A loud thunderclap erupted as several thick arcs of golden lightning struck the massive block of ice. The ice exploded amid a flurry of golden light, and Zenith Yin's frozen body was shattered into countless pieces.
Han Li inspected the remains carefully to ensure that there wasn't a soul fragment or a second primal soul or something of that nature. After verifying that, he nodded with a content expression before turning away.
Right at this moment, a series of cracks had already surfaced on the Nascent Soul's shimmering body. Golden light flashed from within the cracks and it was as if golden liquid were about to spill out.
Han Li's eyes narrowed as he stared intently at Man Huzi's Nascent Soul, but he didn't say anything.
Following a faint thump, the entire Nascent Soul exploded into specks of golden light before disappearing.
After witnessing Man Huzi's Nascent Soul passing on to the afterlife, Han Li heaved a faint sigh. He flicked a finger at Zenith Yin's remains on the ground, and a fireball shot forth, enshrouding everything in scorching flames.
Han Li didn't stay behind to watch everything burn. He transformed into a streak of golden light before disappearing from the stone chamber in the blink of an eye.
Han Li didn't need to fear anything when escaping from this place, so he traveled at full speed and quickly reached the end of the passageway.
A stone wall that was shimmering with spiritual light stood in his way.
Han Li immediately raised a hand without any hesitation. Golden light began to flash from his fingertip as he prepared to summon sword Qi to slice through the wall.
However, right at this moment, an earthshattering boom suddenly erupted. The entire passageway began to tremor and quake while emitting a rumbling echo.
Han Li was slightly surprised by this turn of event, but his hands didn't slow down in the slightest. Several streaks of golden light layered on top of one another before flying through the air and slicing through the stone wall.
Han Li's body swayed and he emerged on the other side.
He had emerged on the first level of the pavilion, and the stone wall that he had just broken through was a secret door located in a corner of the pavilion.
As soon as he emerged from the passageway, the rumbling and quaking were exacerbated by severalfold. There was raucous laughter, cries of rage, and loud explosions erupting outside. It was as if the entire stone peak had become a battlefield and there were people engaged in battle outside.
Han Li's brows furrowed, yet a streak of red light suddenly came flying into the pavilion from outside. Before the incoming cultivator had even identified the man inside the pavilion, he immediately began to yell, "Bad news! The demon beasts of the Ironstone Peak have suddenly... Eh? Who are you? Where's Elder Wu?"
The cultivator was stunned upon making the discovery that the man standing in the hall wasn't actually Zenith Yin.
Han Li chuckled coldly before opening his mouth, upon which golden light flashed from within, and a cry of anguish rang out.
The cultivator within the red light had been sliced in half before he even figured out what was going on.
This Starfall Coalition Core Formation cultivator was very unlucky. He didn't even manage to get a good look at Han Li before his life was forfeit.
However, Han Li roughly understood the situation from what the Core Formation cultivator had said prior to being killed. It appeared that the demon beasts in the sea had suddenly attacked the Starfall Coalition.
He was rather confused about the situation, but he didn't want to get involved in these affairs. As such, he made a hand seal and withdrew his aura, completely concealing his presence. He then strutted straight out of the pavilion.
However, before he had even reached the main gate, he heard a thunderous roar erupting from up above.
"Fellow Daoist Tang, our sea race has deployed a large number of metamorphosis stage brethren this time; there's no way your Starfall Coalition will be able to contend with us. If you're smart, you'd hand over that top-grade spirit stone right now. Perhaps we can consider letting you live, then."
The owner of the voice sounded rather wheezy and out of breath, yet he possessed an astonishing cultivation base. All of the low-grade Starfall Coalition cultivators outside the pavilion were struck by a sense of physical debilitation just by hearing this voice, and the spiritual power within their powers also congealed as a result.
Han Li's heart jolted upon hearing the words "top-grade spirit stone". He immediately shot through the gates of the pavilion and looked up into the sky.
A mass brawl was taking place there and spiritual light was shimmering incessantly amid strings of resounding booms. There were several tens of cultivators engaged in intense battles with some strange-looking demon beasts. In the air above, blue cloud and mist had almost obscured the entire sky.
Beneath the cloud and mist, there were also several battles taking place. There was a thin blue-robed elderly man holding an azure mirror in his hand, from which countless streaks of piercing azure light were hurtling through the air. In his other hand, he was wielding a blue flying sword that was as powerful as a raging flood dragon.
Before him stood an incredibly tall and portly mendicant. There was a golden ring around each of his two arms and he was holding a round bowl in his hand. At the same time, he was expelling blue mist from his mouth, and was able to keep all of the blue-robed man's attacks at bay. The thunderous roars were coming from none other than that massive mendicant's mouth.
Blue light flashed through his eyes as he appraised the mendicant, and he noticed several shimmering silver scales on his neck.
Elsewhere, a man and a woman were battling a scholar with a pair of short horns on his head. There was also a grey-robed elderly man releasing gusts of Yin winds from a gourd, and he was locked in an intense battle with a humanoid figure who was completely enshrouded in crimson flames. Slightly further away, there was a large cloud of crimson mist tumbling and surging incessantly, from within which indistinct roars and explosions could be heard. There seemed to be a fierce battle taking place in there as well.
It was difficult to determine which side would be able to come out on top in this battle. However, it appeared that the Starfall Coalition had been correct to summon all of their Nascent Soul cultivators back to this island.
Otherwise, the guards on the stone mountain would've been no match for this demon beast army.
The blue-robed man's expression remained unchanged, yet he was injecting even more power into his treasure as he calmly said, "What top-grade spirit stone? Where did you hear this false rumor from? I don't have any top-grade spirit stones."
"You're still trying to hide it from me now, Brother Tang? Don't you find that to be farcical?" Clouds of blue mist continued to pour out from the huge mendicant's mouth as a disdainful look appeared on his face.
The blue-robed man's expression cooled even further as he replied, "So you really did come here based on a rumor alone. How can top-grade spirit stones exist in the human world? You arrived unannounced and unprovoked, killing so many of our Starfall Coalition cultivators; I won't allow you to get away with this."