Patriarch Golden Flower had only just disappeared into space using the power of his talisman, when he felt a burst of devastating force approaching him soundlessly from behind. He desperately attempted to gather the golden flowers behind him as a makeshift barrier, but he was still struck by this immense force.
Right at this moment, a rumbling thunderclap erupted from behind him.
Patriarch Golden Flower turned around with an expression of shock and horror on his face.
Over 100 feet away, Han Li emerged from a flash of golden light while slowly withdrawing his fist with a cold smile on his face.
Patriarch Golden Flower felt as if his heart had been plunged into a glacial pit. This man was definitely not an early-Nascent Soul cultivator. At the very least, he was a mid-Nascent Soul cultivator, and all of his treasures and abilities were all far superior to his own.
With that in mind, Patriarch Golden Flower naturally didn't dare to engage in battle with Han Li any longer. All of his battle intent was instantly snuffed out as he violently hurtled his golden talisman into the air. At the same time, golden light erupted from his body and he fled into the distance and in his panic, he was even leaving the woman behind.
Han Li was just about to give chase when the golden talisman that Patriarch Golden Flower had just hurled into the air suddenly crumbled. A vast expanse of golden light appeared before exploding, then converging to form over 1,000 thumb-sized golden wasps, all of which came flying toward Han Li.
A loud buzzing sound instantly erupted. Han Li was a little surprised by this turn of events, yet he still responded calmly, opening his mouth to blast forth a small cauldron that was enshrouded in azure light.
The cauldron spun in the air in front of him before instantly reaching several tens of feet in size, following which Han Li patted the cauldron with his hand.
A resounding boom rang out as blue flames surfaced over the giant cauldron, enshrouding the entire cauldron within.
The lid of the cauldron was then slowly lifted amid a loud rumbling, opening up a gap around a foot wide.
A burst of azure light shot forth from the gap, swelling drastically in size to form an azure net over 100 feet in length.
Brilliant azure light flashed and the net swept through the air, sweeping up all of the golden wasps within in the blink of an eye. It then circled through the air before returning to the cauldron like lightning.
The Heavenvoid Cauldron had only been summoned for a fleeting moment, yet all of the countless golden wasps in the air had already been captured.
Despite that, Patriarch Golden Flower had already fled to a distance of around 600 feet away during this brief delay. The speed at which he was traveling was quite astonishing for an early-Nascent Soul cultivator.
However, a deriding sneer appeared on Han Li's face upon seeing this. He didn't immediately set off in pursuit of Patriarch Golden Flower. Instead, he cast his gaze around him first, upon which his brows furrowed as he harrumphed coldly.
During his clash with Patriarch Golden Flower, the grey-robed elderly man and the blue-robed young man had retreated to a distance of over 1,000 feet away, preparing themselves to flee the scene at a moment's notice.
Ever since Han Li and Patriarch Golden Flower had appeared in quick succession, they had relinquished all ambitions of securing the treasures beneath the lake. All they were thinking about was how to escape alive from this perilous place.
Patriarch Golden Flower had clearly been drawn here by the woman to kill everyone else and take the treasures for themselves.
However, this man dared to attack Patriarch Golden Flower, a Nascent Soul cultivator, after just a brief conversation, and the two of them immediately realized that something was very much amiss.
When Patriarch Golden Flower mentioned the Heavenvoid Cauldron, the two of them finally realized who this man was.
Even though they were only Core Formation cultivators, they were disciples of Man Huzi, so there was no way that they wouldn't have heard about the Heavenvoid Cauldron. Even to this very day, the Starfall Coalition's orders to hunt down the owner of this cauldron was still in effect.
They knew that staying here would most likely result in their deaths, so they had already begun to sneak away as soon as the battle between Han Li and Patriarch Golden Flower had commenced.
At the sight of Han Li turning toward them with a cold gaze, their heart rates accelerated through the roof as they fled in different directions as quickly as they could.
As for that woman, she had realized the danger that she was in after Patriarch Golden Flower left her behind, and she also fled as a streak of red light with panic surging through her heart.
Meanwhile, the Foundation Establishment and Qi Condensation cultivators by the lake were too far away to see what was going on at the center of the lake. However, even from afar, they could see their masters fleeing into the distance. All of them looked at one another before naturally also dispersing in sheer horror.
Upon seeing this, a dark expression appeared on Han Li's face. He abruptly patted grabbed a spirit beast pouch hanging from his waist before raising it up into the sky.
A screeching sound rang out from within the pouch, following which a burst of white glacial mist appeared, within which was contained a dozen or so snowy white centipedes. Each and every one of the centipedes was around half a foot long with pairs of transparent wings on their backs. Their appearance as very sinister and they began to fly in the air above Han Li's head.
Han Li didn't say anything; all he did was point toward the three Core Formation cultivators in the distance.
The 18 six-winged frost centipedes split up into three groups, transforming into three gusts of white glacial wind as they rushed toward the three Core Formation cultivators with glacial Qi emanating from their mouths. They were clearly traveling faster than the prey they were pursuing.
The three Core Formation cultivators hurriedly unleashed their full speed upon seeing this, causing them to accelerate even further.
Thus, the three cultivators and 18 centipedes flew into the distance.
As for the low-grade cultivators down below, Han Li couldn't be bothered to take care of them.
With their absurdly slow speed, even if they wanted to report this matter to someone, it would take them at least several days, by which time Han Li would be far away from this island.
However, a hint of killing intent flashed through his eyes as he turned his gaze toward Patriarch Golden Flower. The Thunderstorm Wings on his back flapped gently and his entire body disappeared as an arc of silver lightning.
Even though Patriarch Golden Flower was already more than 1,000 feet away at this point, Han Li was able to cover a distance of over 200 feet with each and every flash. After around only six or seven flashes, he had already appeared in the air above Patriarch Golden Flower.
He immediately raised a hand and a vast expanse of purple flames shot forth, transforming into a massive hand that came crashing down from above.
Never would Patriarch Golden Flower have thought that Han Li would be able to catch up to him so easily. A cry of shock escaped his mouth and a horrified expression resurfaced on his face at the sight of the massive purple hand.
In his desperation, he could only open his mouth and blast forth a golden flying saber that swept toward the huge hand, while hurriedly making a series of hand seals in an attempt to evade this attack.
However, a massive hand manifested by Purple Apex Flames was not something that an early-Nascent Soul cultivator could deal with. Ever since Han Li had attained these glacial flames, all he had to be wary of were late-Nascent Soul cultivators and tenth grade demon beasts.
The golden flying saber struck the massive hand, but the former was immediately coated in a thick layer of purple glacial ice following a flash of purple light, upon which it plummeted straight down from above.
The massive purple spread open right before Patriarch Golden Flower's petrified eyes, before ensnaring his body within its palm.
A howl of anguish erupted as the purple flames on the hand rose up a further several feet. Patriarch Golden Flower was transformed into a purple ice sculpture in the blink of an eye.
Upon seeing this, Han Li immediately cast an incantation seal and the massive purple hand brought its five fingers together in a violent manner.
Following a crisp cracking sound, the entire ice sculpture was shattered. A flash of golden light emerged from the shards of ice as Patriarch Golden Flower's Nascent Soul attempted to escape.
However, Han Li was already prepared for this. The huge hand disintegrated into raging purple flames at his behest, immediately trapping the Nascent Soul within.
The Nascent Soul was only able to last a few seconds within the flames before it was reduced to nothingness.
Han Li swept a sleeve through the air and the purple flames transforming into a fiery python, disappearing into his sleeve in a flash.
Only then did a faint smile appear on his face. He scanned his gaze downward before feigning a grabbing motion with his hand, following which Patriarch Golden Flower's storage pouch was obtained.
He stuffed the storage pouch up his sleeve before turning his attention to other directions.
The three Core Formation cultivators and the 18 snowy white centipedes were already nowhere to be seen. However, Han Li wasn't overly concerned about that. He stowed away the Weeping Soul Beast, which had already reverted back to its miniature form, and closed his eyes as he sat down with his legs crossed. His spiritual sense slowly fanned out around him as he sat in mid-air, completely stationary.
Everything around him became very peaceful and there was no other sound to be heard aside from the rustling sea breeze.
After about 10 minutes, a faint smile appeared on Han Li's face as he reopened his eyes.
Almost at the exact same moment, spiritual light flashed from afar in a certain direction as a cloud of white glacial winds flew toward him. A few moments later, it had reached the air above Han Li's head, upon which the glacial winds dissipated to reveal six sinister-looking snowy white centipeds.
Each and every one of the centipedes had swelled to over 10 feet in size, and there were a few faint sword incisions on the snowy white exoskeletons of two of the centipedes, indicating that they had just endured an intense battle.
Han Li let loose a low cry before casting a few incantation seals into the air. White light flashed from the bodies of the six centipedes, and they quickly shrank to their original size.
Han Li then brought out his spirit beast pouch and the six centipedes flew into the pouch as streaks of white light.
A short while later, the other two groups of centipedes already returned. One of the groups was completely unscathed, but there was one centipede in the other group that had had a few of its legs severed, seemingly having sustained some wounds.
However, all of these spirit insects naturally had extremely powerful life forces and possessed the inherent ability to regrow severed limbs. As such, it wouldn't take long before such a minor injury was completely healed.
After stowing away these centipedes as well, Han Li turned toward the center of the lake on Devil Lake Island before he flew toward the island as a streak of azure light.
The streak of azure light soon disappeared into the lake.
This so-called devil lake wasn't actually very deep; at depths of just over 2,000 feet, Han Li was already able to indistinctly make out the lakebed.
However, the water in this lake really was remarkably green. Even after unleashing his spirit eyes, there was only visibility of over 100 feet. Anything that was further away than that was very blurry and unclear. As for his spiritual sense, it was seemingly unable to leave his body as soon as descended into this lake.
This devil lake seemed to be able to naturally cut off one's spiritual sense.
However, Man Huzi had already provided Han Li with the specific location of his cave abode, so he was able to find it with ease.