Han Li's body swayed a few times, and he arrived back at the spot where the clash had just taken place. He looked at the shattered spirit tool fragments strewn all over the ground, and he couldn't help but heave a forlorn sigh.
However, he had refined those spirit tools to save his life in dire situations anyway, so they had certainly served their purpose.
Han Li didn't dare to remain in this place for any longer, and just as he was about to depart in the opposite directions from where the little beast and the miniature humanoid had disappeared when a male voice sounded over 100 feet in the air above.
"Not bad at all! To think that you were able to escape with your life right under Hua Guang's nose; looks like you're no ordinary body refinement warrior."
Han Li's face immediately paled upon hearing this, and he was completely rooted to the spot.
At the same time, several streaks of spiritual light flashed in the air, and three miniature humanoid figures appeared at once, each of which was several feet in size.
One of the miniature humanoid figures wore a set of azure robes with a sharp light glimmering in its eyes, and it seemed to be applauding Han Li with a smile on its face. However, its eyes were icy cold and completely devoid of any amusement or benevolence.
That humanoid figure was flying through the air atop a crimson cloud, while its two companions were a brawny man who was shimmering with red light, and a young woman with a set of cold features, as well as a layer of white glacial mist enshrouding her body.
These three were also Spirit Tribe cultivators.
Han Li took a deep breath and forcibly repressed the shock in his heart. In this dire situation, he made the counterintuitive decision of stowing away his Immortal Vanquishing Beads again.
In the face of three Spirit Tribe cultivators, it would be impossible for him to wound all three at once even if he were to use his Immortal Vanquishing Bead. Furthermore, the three of them hadn't immediately attacked him as soon as they had appeared, so perhaps there was a chance for him to survive this ordeal without a fight.
As such, Han Li's expression eased as he looked up at the three miniature humanoid figures in the sky.
The shimmering red man carefully inspected Han Li before suddenly turning to the man on the crimson cloud in a respectful manner. "Master Xu Tian, he's perfect for our needs. He's a high-grade body refinement warrior, and he should know the location of the Chaotic Valley. On top of that, he doesn't have any magic power, so he fits all of our criteria."
"Alright, well take him then." The man on the crimson cloud nodded indifferently in response.
The red man was ecstatic upon hearing this before turning to Han Li with a sinister smile. All of sudden, his body transformed into a fire wyrm that was around a foot in size as he shot forth toward Han Li.
Han Li's heart jolted with shock upon seeing this. Could it be that he was wrong and these three were aiming to kill him all along?
In the face of the oncoming attack, Han Li certainly wasn't going to resign himself to his face. As such, brilliant golden light flashed from his body as he activated his Vajra Arts to their maximal extent.
At the same time, he produced the two Immortal Vanquishing Beads again, and prepared to hurl them toward the fire wyrm.
Right at this moment, the man on the crimson cloud could see that Han Li was able to retaliate, so he pointed a finger toward Han Li, seemingly in a nonchalant and unhurried manner.
Han Li suddenly felt the air tighten around him as a burst of immense invisible power abruptly descended upon him, trying to crush him to the ground.
Han Li immediately refrained from using his Immortal Vanquishing Beads as this immense power weighed down upon him. If he were to try and hurl the beads through the air right now, they wouldn't be able to travel very far, and he would most likely be caught up in the resulting explosion of power.
As such, he could only inject more power into his Vajra Arts, further enhancing his strength to resist the unfathomable pressure crashing down from above.
However, this burst of power was simply too immense. Even though he was able to maintain a standing position, Han Li's body sunk into the ground like a nail that had been firmly hammered into the soil, sinking all the way down to his knees.
At the same time, Han Li was struck by a numbing sensation and was rendered completely immobilized thereafter.
The man on the crimson cloud faltered upon seeing this, as if he was rather surprised by Han Li's enormous strength.
A mixture of shock and fury surged through Han Li's heart. For this Spirit Tribe cultivator to be able to unleash such devastating power with just a point of his finger indicated that he stood above the Deity Transformation Stage.
Could it be that he was a Profound Spirit level cultivator in the Spirit Tribe.
Red light flashed, and the miniature fire wyrm was already upon Han Li. Taking advantage of his immobility, it dove down without any hesitation before disappearing into Han Li's head.
Han Li let loose a thunderous roar of rage as his face became twisted with pain, seemingly indicating that he was in excruciating agony.
The man on the crimson cloud merely smiled and withdrew his extended finger upon seeing this.
The enormous power weighing down on Han Li abruptly disappeared, and due to the fact that he had been counteracting this force the entire time, its sudden absence made him leap straight out of the ground and several tens of feet into the air.
Blinding golden light then radiated from his body he clenched his fists tightly. He rushed into the nearby forest like a gust of maddened gale-force wind, swinging his fists wildly into the nearby trees.
All of the trees that were struck by him were felled amid resounding booms without any exception, creating an extremely loud commotion.
In the beginning, the man on the crimson cloud merely looked on with a calm smile. However, as Han Li's frenzied tirade continued without displaying any sign of stopping, the smile on his face gradually faded as a hint of bewilderment surfaced in his eyes.
"Master Xu Tian! Could Shi Yan be encountering any difficulties?" The young woman standing beside him was also starting to grow rather concerned.
The man on the crimson cloud paused to consider this notion before shaking his head. "He should be fine. Shi Yan's true form is a Flame Devouring Bead, so it should be simple for him to devour the spiritual sense of a body refinement warrior. Besides, the aura of the bead itself hasn't diminished at all."
The young woman from the Spirit Tribe was quite relieved to hear this.
All of a sudden, the rumbling commotion in the forest came to an abrupt halt.
A hint of elation appeared on the young woman's face, yet the man on the crimson cloud narrowed his eyes as he peered into the forest.
Moments later, Han Li re-emerged from the forest. However, he was completely expressionless, and his eyes were slightly glazed over.
The man on the crimson cloud stared at Han Li for a moment before asking, "How do you feel, Shi Yan?"
"Han Li" twisted his neck around from side to side and replied in the voice of that burly man from the Spirit Tribe, "Not bad. This human's body really is quite powerful; it's just that his spiritual sense was slightly more powerful than the average mortal, so it took me a bit of work to subdue him."
"That's good to hear. This is no ordinary body refinement warrior, and I was afraid that you would encounter some difficulties." The man on the crimson cloud smiled in response.
"How is he any different from the average body refinement warrior? Isn't he just a little more powerful than normal? Master Xu Tian, I've already discovered the location of the Chaotic Valley, but it's a little far away from where we are right now. Should we head over there now?" "Han Li" asked.
"There's no need to hurry. Hua Guang is chasing down that mutated Leopard Kirin Beast, and he should be back soon. Let's wait for a while longer," the man on the crimson cloud replied.
"Han Li" nodded upon hearing this and fell silent as he stood on the spot.
After over an hour had passed, a streak of white light flew through the air and appeared before the trio in the blink of an eye.
The light faded to reveal that miniature humanoid figure, who was holding an azure chain of light. On the other side of the chain, the little beast had been tightly bound and was hovering directly behind him.
"Huh? This human..." The white humanoid figure was slightly surprised to see "Han Li" here.
"Don't worry, the spiritual sense of that human has already been devoured by Shi Yan, so he's controlling this man now," the man on the crimson cloud explained.
"I see. That's rather convenient; I didn't bring a Spirit Beast Ring with me, so it's rather inconvenient for me to carry this Leopard Kirin Beast around. You look after it for me for now." The white humanoid figure was elated to hear this, and he immediately tossed the bound little beast "Han Li".
"Han Li" didn't say anything in reply, but he caught the little beast, and light flashed from his spirit ring, upon which the little beast abruptly disappeared.
"Alright, Shi Yan, seeing as you know the location of the Chaotic Valley, we'll get you to lead the way. We don't have much time now, so we can't afford to delay any further. This is the perfect opportunity for our tribe to secure the divine blood. Otherwise, the Five-Elemental Spirit Tribe wouldn't be willing to offer the divine blood to us. With this drop of divine blood, we'll be able to produce a large number of brethren, so failure is not an option. Hua Guang, you go and meet up with the cultivators from the Five-Elemental Spirit Tribe. Tell them that we're going directly to the Chaotic Valley. Shi Yan, when we get there, you go in there first and mingle infiltrate the humans there, then act according to the demands of the situation." Xu Tian calmly delivered a series of instructions.
"Yes!" "Han Li" replied as everyone else also nodded with solemn expressions.
The man on the crimson cloud issued one final instruction, and their group disappeared into the forest.
Six days later, Han Li appeared on a small hill outside the Chaotic Valley. There were seven or eight other human cultivators and body refinement warriors with him, all of whom were Core Formation cultivators or high-grade body refinement warriors.
Everyone in their group was looking on in silence at the entrance to the Chaotic Valley in the extremely far distance.
A grey-robed middle-aged man suddenly turned to an elderly man holding a palm-leaf fan, and asked, "Brother Sun, will Senior Huang Liang and City Lord Lan really appear today to battle the Spirit Tribe cultivators?"
"There's no doubting that; I only came here after receiving a letter directly from City Lord Lan himself. Aside from our group, there are also other people waiting nearby. It appears that our seniors are intent on winning this battle. They only asked us to come here in order to hold off any demon race cultivators who might seek to benefit from the turmoil," the elderly man replied in a voice that was filled with conviction.
The elderly man glanced at a scholar in their group before asking with a faint smile, "Seeing as Senior Huang Liang and City Lord Lan issued direct instructions to us, we are naturally obligated to come here. However, why are you two also willing to participate in this, Brother Li, Brother Han?"
"I came to the Setting Sun Tomb in order to find a way to make a breakthrough, so there's no way I'm going to miss out on spectating a battle between beings above the Deity Transformation Stage. Perhaps I'll be struck by some kind of inspiration in the process. Besides, City Lord Lan and the others have also offered handsome rewards," Han Li replied calmly.
The reply given by the scholar was much the same.
The elderly man nodded upon hearing this, and was no longer suspicious toward the two. After all, most of the people gathered here were taking this risk for roughly the same reason.
Right at this moment, a long cry suddenly erupted from near the Chaotic Valley.
Immediately thereafter, countless bursts of demonic Qi rose up into the air, combining to form clouds of greyish-white demonic mist that enshrouded the entire sky.
Beastly roars erupted, seemingly from all directions, amid gust of fierce putrid winds.