These spirit boats were all positioned around three gargantuan pillars that extended over 1,000 feet up into the sky. Each pillar was entirely yellow in color with azure and red light rippling like water over their surfaces. These streams of azure and red light were pouring upward relentlessly, and they were clearly responsible for maintaining the veil of light enshrouding the entire island.
Han Li knew that these massive pillars were most definitely the legendary Windfire Pillars, and the Starfall Coalition cultivators in those spirit boats down below had clearly been deployed here to guard the pillars. From a rough visual estimation, Han Li determined that there were about 2,000 to 3,000 cultivators down below.
In order to avoid raising the alarm, he refrained from using his spiritual sense to ascertain their numbers. However, he was certain that there were definitely Nascent Soul cultivators among their ranks.
As for whether the Sect Master of the Myriad Gates of Enlightenment was also there, that was something that only the heavens knew.
However, there were a total of 108 Windfire Pillar, so surely he couldn't just happen to be situated near one of these three, right?
If this Sect Master Wan really were in the general vicinity and tried to stop him, Han Li didn't know whether that would count as bad luck for him or for Wan Tianming.
The Heavenly Windfire Formation was an extremely renowned and powerful formation, but according to Han Li's knowledge, this massive formation had been invented with the purpose of attacking large sects in mind. As such, it was extremely effective against large numbers of normal mid-grade and low-grade cultivators, but it wasn't particularly effective in the face of individual high-grade cultivators.
At his current power level, it would only be slightly troublesome at most for him to bypass this formation, and there was no way that it would actually be able to trap him.
Han Li stood in mid-air and hesitated for a long while. He then cast his gaze toward a certain direction in the distance, turning his attention away from the spirit boats and three pillars directly before him, and flying toward the veil of azure and red light instead.
At this moment, there was a three-story ship floating on the surface of the ocean at the foot of one of the pillars. The ship was extremely large and had been entirely crafted from beautiful green jade, thereby creating a spectacle of mesmerizing beauty to behold.
In the highest level of the ship, there were several cultivators seated around a square jade table, chatting about something with smiles on their faces. There were a few plates of rare spirit fruits placed on the jade table, and all of the cultivators seated around the table appeared to be quite carefree and relaxed.
A white-robed scholar at the table turned to the elderly man sitting across from him, and he smiled as he asked, "Senior Long, I heard that if we can conquer the Star Palace this time, Coalition Leader Wan would agree to hand over one of the three spirit islands of the Myriad Gates of Enlightenment, the Heavenly Fortune Island, to your Golden Lotus Sect. Is that true?"
The elderly man glared at the scholar out of the corners of his eyes, and replied, "You sure are quite well-informed, Nephew Ning. Fellow Daoist Wan did indeed make that promise to me. The spirit vein on the Heavenly Fortune Island is superior to the one on the island I'm currently residing on, so relocating there will be very beneficial for our sect's future development."
A grey-robed middle-aged Daoist priest chuckled, "Indeed, the Heavenly Fortune Island is quite renowned throughout the entire Scattered Star Seas for the quality of its spirit vein. On top of that, the island produces many types of rare spirit herbs as well, so it'll only be a matter of time for your Golden Lotus Sect to rise to another level following the relocation."
"Speak for yourself, Fellow Daoist Hua; weren't you also given a dozen or so types of rare materials? Otherwise, why would an old reclusive monster like you decide to come out and offer Brother Wan your assistance?" the elderly man replied with a nonchalant smile.
Among the three people on the top level of the ship, two were early-Nascent Soul cultivators. The white-robed scholar was only a late-Core Formation cultivator, but he was speaking to the other two in a manner that was neither haughty nor humble, so it was quite clear that he was not just some ordinary late-Core Formation cultivator, either.
The middle-aged man smiled upon hearing this, and was just about to say something again, when a low ringing sound rang out from the Windfire Pillar closest to them. The red and azure light that it was releasing also began to tremor violently, as if it were being struck by an invisible force.
"Someone's trying to break through the formation?" the Daoist priest exclaimed as he immediately rose to his feet.
The elderly man and the scholar also stirred slightly as they also stood up and turned their attention toward the massive pillar.
The Daoist priest summoned a formation plate and made a hand seal before quickly pointing his finger several times in quick succession. "The attack is coming from the southwestern direction! Wait a minute, it's someone trying to come in rather than get out! Those guards are so useless!"
Azure light flashed around the elderly man's body, following which an azure carriage suddenly appeared. A sinister smile appeared on his face as he said, "Let's go, Fellow Daoist Hua! Seeing as the invader was able to bypass the guards and dares to try and break through the Heavenly Windfire Formation, they're definitely no ordinary person. This place isn't very far away from where the attack is taking place, and with the power of the Windfire Formation standing in his way, there's no way that he'll be able to immediately gain access to Heavenly Star City."
"I'll be in your care, then Brother Long!" The middle-aged Daoist priest immediately strode into the carriage without any hesitation.
The elderly man cast an incantation seal onto the carriage, and its entire structure was immediately enshrouded under a ball of azure light. The carriage shuddered before disappearing in the veil of red and azure light nearby, as if it had truly merged as one with the formation. The jade carriage was flashing through the red and azure light at an astonishing speed without any impediment, and the middle-aged Daoist priest standing in the carriage stroked his beard as he praised, "Amazing! I've heard many great things about your Heavenly Wind Carriage, but I didn't think it would attain such an incredible ability here in this Windfire Formation. Tsk tsk, it seems that Brother Wan must've been aware of your carriage's ability, which is why he organized for you to guard such an important location."
"Perhaps that's indeed the case. Although ever since Fellow Daoist Wan progressed to the late-Nascent Soul Stage, his thoughts and intentions have become more and more unpredictable to the likes of you and me," the elderly man replied with a nonchalant smile.
The middle-aged Daoist priest smiled upon hearing this, but gave no reply.
The Heavenly Wind Carriage beneath their feet was traveling far faster than even a normal mid-Nascent Soul cultivator was capable of, and under the guidance of the tracking formation plate in the elderly man's hand, they had traveled several tens of kilometers in what seemed like just a few moments.
"Take care now, that person is just up ahead. They seem to have broken through most of the formation already and are about to completely escape from the powers of fire and wind, so they must be quite powerful." The elderly man stared at the formation plate in his hand, and a grave expression appeared on his face for the very first time. Before the Daoist priest had a chance to respond, he immediately made a hand seal and began to chant something.
Brilliant azure spiritual light erupted from the jade carriage, making the entire carriage and its passengers blurry and indistinct. In the blink of an eye, they had completely disappeared into the veil of red and azure light.
The elderly man had unleashed a secret technique to conceal himself and the Daoist priest. As such, they would be able to survey the situation from the shadows before deciding whether they should attack or retreat.
The middle-aged Daoist priest nodded in approval at this course of action. The two of them refrained from using their spiritual sense as the jade carriage rose into the air, decelerating significantly in the process.
After flying for a few more kilometers, the two of them finally caught sight of the person attempting to break through the formation in the distance, upon which expressions of surprise appeared on both of their faces.
The cultivator attacking the formation appeared to be absurdly young; he seemed to be a young man in his twenties! Furthermore, he hadn't summoned any treasures and had only manifested a layer of protective azure light around his body. Despite that, he was able to fly through the red and azure light at a consistent pace, and the process seemed as easy to him as if he were taking a stroll in the park.
"Who is that? Could it be that he's a mid-Nascent Soul cultivator?" the elderly man exclaimed.
If any other high-grade cultivators from the Starfall Coalition had been in the same position as these two, they would've immediately been able to identify Han Li. Due to the incident surrounding the Heavenvoid Cauldron, Han Li's portrait had been spread all over the Scattered Star Seas. Even though so many years had passed, all cultivators had astonishing memories, so there was no way that they would've failed to recognize him. However, unfortunately for these two, they were Nascent Soul cultivators whom Wan Tianming had recruited from outside the Starfall Coalition.
Even though the respective sects they belonged to were also quite powerful, they were almost constantly in seclusion, so they knew very little about what was happening in the Scattered Star Seas.
If it weren’t for the fact that Wan Tianming had offered them extremely lucrative remunerations, they most likely would've declined to participate in this battle. As such, the two of them were completely unfamiliar with Han Li, and were quite bewildered as a result.
Even so, the elderly man and the Daoist priest weren't actually fearful toward Han Li. If they were to join forces, they would be able to put up a fight even against a mid-Nascent Soul cultivator. Furthermore, their enemy may not even be a mid-Nascent Soul cultivator.
No matter how little they kept up with current affairs, they were still aware of all of the old monsters on the Scattered Star Seas who were at the mid-Nascent Soul Stage above.
As such, rather deciding to retreat, the elderly man continued to approach Han Li, confident in his jade carriage's ability to shield them from Han Li's detection.
When the two of them soundlessly reached a spot in the air around 300 feet above Han Li, the two cultivators carefully appraised him again.
They discovered that Han Li had a set of mundane facial features and was wearing a nondescript azure robe. Aside from the storage pouches and spirit beast pouches hanging from his waist, there was nothing about him that caught their eyes, and it was impossible to determine his origins.
The elderly man's brows furrowed as he turned toward the middle-aged Daoist priest with an inquisitive look.
The Daoist priest only hesitated momentarily before slowly nodding his head.
Thus, the two of them laid their hands on their respective storage pouches at the same time, taking a deep breath in unison as they prepared to unleash a devastating surprise attack.
However, right at this moment, Han Li suddenly raised his head and smiled up at them. A pair of white and azure wings appeared on his back, and he abruptly disappeared following a gentle flap of those wings.
The two cultivators were extremely alarmed by this sight. They were able to reach the Nascent Soul Stage, so they naturally weren't ordinary cultivators, and the elderly man immediately decided to abort the attempt to unleash a surprise attack as he hurriedly stomped down upon the jade carriage underfoot, pouring his magic power into the carriage in a panicked frenzy.
The carriage's concealment technique was immediately dispelled, while a ball of piercing azure light appeared, enshrouding both cultivators as well as the carriage.
Meanwhile, the middle-aged Daoist priest hurriedly pulled out a black and white Yin Yang mirror from his storage pouch before tossing it into the air.