The immense burst of demonic Qi surged toward the entrance to the Chaotic Valley as soon as it appeared, startling Han Li and all of the other humans who were situated nearby.
There were some cultivators conducting surveillance of this place, and they had only just witnessed two Spirit Tribe cultivators crushing the demon race beings present not too long ago. There were even several metamorphosis stage high-grade demon beasts that had been killed during that battle, so it was quite clear that those two Spirit Tribe cultivators were immensely powerful beings.
However, the demon beasts were suddenly stirring up such a massive commotion; were they planning to force their way into the Chaotic Valley?
Just as all of the humans hiding nearby were looking on in bewilderment, a burst of thunderous rumbling suddenly erupted from the direction of the Chaotic Valley. Immediately thereafter, and vast hordes of beings emerged from the ground below as well as the sky above.
All of the creatures in the sky were green wooden birds, each of which was around 10 feet in size, while the beings emerging from the ground were massive stone giants that were around 60 to 70 feet tall.
All of the wooden bird puppets were extremely life-like and agile, and from afar, it was impossible to identify whether they were real birds or not.
In contrast, the stone giants possessed extremely crude bodies with only a pair of white eyes on each of their massive faces. On top of that, they came in all types of different forms, as if they had all been haphazardously thrown together.
The emergence of so many wood and stone puppets made everyone draw sharp breaths in unison.
Han Li's expression also changed slightly at the sight of the countless puppets that had just appeared.
Right at this moment, a green wooden phoenix and a stone giant with an entirely greyish-white body emerged at the same time.
Spiritual light flashed above the wooden phoenix's head, and a ball of green light surfaced, revealing a woman in a green dress who was only around a foot in size. Meanwhile, the massive stone giant extended a huge hand, and an elderly man of roughly the same size appeared over its palm. The elderly man was holding a white stone cane and was looking on with a cold expression at the enormous bursts of oncoming demonic Qi.
"Is Fellow Daoist Xiao there? Come out and meet me if you are," the elderly man suddenly said. Even though his voice wasn't very loud, it was clearly audible to all of humans and demons within a radius of over five kilometers.
The vast expanse of greyish-white demonic Qi in the distance suddenly began to tumble and surge, following which the clear cry of a phoenix rang out from within. Immediately thereafter, a black fireballs shot forth before transforming into a young woman in a palatial dress with a cold expression on her face.
"What are you calling me for, Huang Shi? Are you perhaps vacating yourselves from the Chaotic Valley?" the young woman asked in a cold and forbidding manner.
"Vacating the Chaotic Valley? You sure dare to dream big, Fellow Daoist Xiao. Who was it that was almost hunted to death by the two of us just half a month ago? You're just an early-Deity Transformation demonic cultivator; how do you plan on combating two mid-Divine Generals at once? I'm only advising you to retreat rather than killing you on the spot so those human cultivators don't benefit from our battle," the young woman standing atop the wooden phoenix said in an extremely delightful and heavenly voice.
"Oh? Looks like they don't respect you at all, do they, Lass Xiao?" The demonic Qi overhead surged once again as another demonic cultivator emerged from within.
This was a short and thin demonic cultivator with a shimmering moth sitting on his shoulder; it was none other than that young man with the Huan surname.
Huang Shi and Tian Ying's expressions both changed drastically upon seeing this young man, and the former exclaimed, "Huan Cangqi? Why are you here?"
"Tsk tsk, I see you two still recognize me. During our last battle, I was able to hold my own against you two even prior to reaching the Spatial Tempering Stage. Over 10,000 years have passed since then, and I've already forged a Five-Elemental Body for myself long ago, yet you two are still only a pair of lowly Spirit Generals. It seems that aside from your lengthy lifespans, you Spirit Tribe cultivators can't compare with demon and human race cultivators in any other aspect. Your Spirit Tribe will most likely be wiped off the face of the Spirit Realm eventually, just like all of those other weak races. If you ask me, you should pledge your allegiance to us while you still can. After all, some of your skills are quite useful to our two races, so at the very least, we'll ensure that you don't go completely extinct," the young demonic cultivator said in a calm voice.
"Hmph, you sure dare to talk, Fellow Daoist Huan. Our Spirit Tribe may not be very powerful, but it has existed in the Spirit Realm for all this time, and there must be a reason for this. You're just an elder of the demon race; what right do you have to foretell the fall of our Spirit Tribe?" Huang Shi was furious upon hearing the young man's bold declaration, and the wariness in his heart was completely washed away by his rage.
The young man wasn't enraged in the slightest by Huang Shi's barbed response. Instead, he burst into laughter as he said, "It's indeed true that I have no right to speak about your Spirit Tribe, but those words were spoken by the patriarch of our demon race, and I'm merely relaying his message word for word."
"You should stop dreaming! So long as our Holy Spirits continue to exist, we'll never bow to any other race!" Tian Ying retorted coldly.
"If that's the case, then there's nothing for me to say. Fellow Daoist Huang Liang, City Lord Lan, you should show yourselves as well. I know that you two already arrived here yesterday. Are you really planning to watch from the sidelines and swoop in to take all the spoils of war?" A cold smile appeared on the young man's face as abruptly turned around before pointing toward a certain spot in the air.
The two Spirit Generals and all of the humans lurking nearby were stunned to hear this.
Faint white light flashed, and a jade ark was revealed as if an invisible veil had been lifted. The massive arc was 300 feet long and 40 to 50 feet wide, housing Spirit Lord Huang Liang and his group of cultivators as it hovered stealthily in mid-air.
All of the human cultivators on the ark wore surprised expressions, as if they were quite stunned that their cover had been blown.
"That's an Illusionary Flame Moth! So you were the one eavesdropping on our conversation at Setting Sun City!" Spirit Lord Huang Liang's expression darkened as he cast a glance toward the young man's shoulder.
"Did you only just realize that, Brother Huang Liang? I had thought that you'd figured it out a long time ago." The young man pursed his lips in response.
Spirit Lord Huang Liang seemed to be familiar with this young man, and a hint of a deriding sneer appeared on his face as he asked, "Haven't you been in hiding all these years like a cowardly rat, trying to transcend your next heavenly tribulation? Why have you come here? "
"Hmph! If I had confidence in transcending my heavenly tribulations that strike once every 3,000 years, why would I come here? I've been struck at the mid-Spatial Tempering Stage for over 10,000 years, and my last tribulation was already very difficult for me to transcend. There's no chance that I'll be able to withstand my next one, so my only option is to come out and search for some opportunities. In contrast, you've only reached the Spatial Tempering Stage not long ago, Fellow Daoist Huang Liang, so you've only had to withstand one heavenly tribulation. You have a long road ahead of you," the young man sighed in response.
At the mention of heavenly tribulations, Spirit Lord Huang Liang's expression immediately became quite strained.
The scenes during his first heavenly tribulation were still very much clear in his mind, and that was such a fearsome experience that he couldn't help but shudder upon its recollection.
Spirit Lord Huang Liang's lips twitched as he transmitted his voice to the young man, "Hmph, if you're trying to search for an opportunity to make a breakthrough, then wouldn't it be much better for you to go to the world? What are you doing here in human territory? If you want to fabricate an excuse for picking a fight, then at least come up with a plausible one."
"I'm afraid those are false accusations that you've aimed against me, Fellow Daoist Huang Liang. The reason I appeared in Setting Sun City is precisely because I wanted to invite you on another trip to the primordial. However, I then stumbled upon this Spirit Tribe incident, and I had no choice but to step in as an elder of the demon race," the young man chuckled as he transmitted his voice in response.
"You're inviting me to the primordial world?" Spirit Lord Huang Liang faltered upon hearing this.
"That's right. Even though humans and demons are completely different creatures, our individual abilities will definitely be able to help one another in the primordial world, making it a much safer trip. We made a very bountiful foray into the primordial world together several thousand years ago, didn't we? I'm very confident in your abilities, Fellow Daoist Huang Liang, even more so than the abilities of my fellow elders. You're close to your second heavenly tribulation, right? If you don't find some treasures that can help you transcend the tribulation, perhaps your chances of withstanding the tribulation. After all, the tribulations will only continue to grow more powerful with each successive occurrence, even if your cultivation base doesn't change," the young man asked in a calm voice.
A contemplative look appeared on Spirit Lord Huang Liang's face as he stood on the jade ark, and only after a long while did he slowly reply, "Seeing as you're being so open and honest, I'll reveal the truth to you as well, Brother Huan. In my current state, I estimate that I only have a 50% chance of transcending my second tribulation. During my first and previous tribulation transcendence, a lot of my treasures had been destroyed."
"In all honesty, I have less than a 25% chance of transcending my next heavenly tribulation. So how about it? Are you willing to take a trip to the primordial world with me?" the young man transmitted his voice with a serious expression on his face.
An indecisive look appeared on Spirit Lord Huang Liang's face upon receiving an official invitation. Only after a long while did he ask, "If you're planning to go to the primordial world with me, how do you suggest we resolve this Spirit Tribe incident here?"
The young man seemed to have already considered this issue, and he immediately replied, "That's simple; you and I can join forces to capture these Spirit Tribe cultivators, then detain that Spirit Tribe traitor. As for the things he's carrying, if there are many of them, then we'll split them evenly between our two races. If there's only one, then we'll have a friendly sparring match to determine who gets to take it."
"You sure are a sly old fox; you've been at the Spatial Tempering Stage for several thousand years longer than me. How could I possibly gain the upper hand against you?" Spirit Lord Huang Liang immediately shook his head without any hesitation.
The young man wasn't surprised by this reaction at all. Instead, he calmly asked, "Then what do you propose, Brother Huang."
"We'll see what the items are first, and we'll have to give something of a similar value to take the items," Spirit Lord Huang Liang replied with a stroke of his beard.
"No problem, we'll do as you say. Let's join forces and take care of these two Spirit Tribe cultivators first," the young man suggested as a cold look appeared on his face.
"Hehe, sure!" Spirit Lord Huang Liang nodded in response before explaining the situation to City Lord Lan and the others through voice transmission.
Seeing as their plan to lurk in the shadows before swooping in to take the spoils of war had been exposed, everyone naturally had no choice but to agree to this arrangement.
As such, City Lord Lan immediately rubbed his hands together before raising them into the air, upon which a massive shimmering blue fireball erupted into the sky and exploded at high altitudes.
All of a sudden, lights of all types of colors flashed as a series of human cultivators and body refinement warriors revealed themselves from within the forest.