In the next instant, two balls of light flashed before Han Li, one black and one silver, and the black mountain appeared alongside the silver Fire Raven, both of which had shrunk back down to their miniature forms.
He swept his sleeve through the air, and both the mountain and the bird disappeared.
The streaks of azure sword Qi that were locked in combat with his opponents' treasures also hurtled back toward him, then transformed into flying swords that vanished into his body in a flash.
Even the small yellow cauldron that had lost its owner as the green-haired being had just been slain was drawn into Han Li's grasp.
After taking all of those treasures, Han Li flapped his wings and shot forth into the distance as an arc of azure and white lightning, disappearing from view in a flash.
Thus, the elderly man and the woman in the palatial dress were left to stare at one another.
After witnessing Han Li making easy work of the green-haired being, both of them were extremely wary toward him, and they didn't dare to give chase anymore.
The immortal zoysia was a prized treasure, but certainly not more important than their lives.
After exchanging a wary glance, both of them turned toward the oncoming fiery clouds and black waves, and contrasting expressions appeared on their faces.
The woman remained standing on the spot, seemingly completely unfazed by the phenomena that were surging toward them from the distance. In contrast, a dark expression appeared on the elderly man's face, and he abruptly pointed a finger at the white-cloud-like treasure up above.
The cloud immediately tremored before transforming into a swath of white light, and it swept up the old man before fleeing into the distance.
The speed at which it was traveling was not much inferior to that of Han Li's after using his lightning movement technique.
Thus, the woman was the only one left on the scene.
Her brows were furrowed tightly as she looked on at the fiery clouds and black waves in silence.
Moments later, the two phenomena appeared above her almost in unison, and they both immediately stopped.
The fiery clouds tumbled and churned momentarily before a giant toad's head that was over 100 feet in size poked out from within. "Oh? If it isn't Xue Ying. Did you obtain the immortal zoysia?"
The head belonged to none other than the devilish beast, Ju Chu. At this moment, its skin was as crimson as fire, and its eyes were tightly shut, but a fist-sized grey bead had appeared on its glabella, and the bead was shimmering with a strange light.
The woman wasn't fearful in the slightest as she replied in a respectful manner, "Surely you jest, Uncle Tie; I'm sure you can tell at a single glance whether I'm carrying the immortal zoysia or not. Besides, if I'd managed to obtain it, I would've fled the scene already rather than continue to stay here."
"Hmph, you're just like that sly old fox, Xue Bi. Both of you look simple and honest, but you're extremely cunning and deceitful on the inside. If I don't ask the question just to confirm the situation, how can I be content to leave? You know what consequences await you if you're lying to me, right?" Ju Chu harrumphed coldly in a menacing manner.
This giant toad appeared to have been possessed by his master, the winged devilish beast named Tie Mo.
A black sinister head with a remarkably long mouth that was filled with sharp fangs emerged from the black waves off to the side, and urged in an impatient manner, "Cut the chit-chat! We have to hurry up and go after that immortal zoysia. You promised that you'll give me that Glazed Water Bead if I help you capture that thing."
"Hei'e, you only just progressed to the holy-grade recently; you haven't even fortified your cultivation base yet, so you'd better show some respect when talking to me. Otherwise, even if this is only an avatar of mine, I can still teach you a lesson in respect," Ju Chu retorted in a cold voice.
"Hehe, is that so? Now I really want to see if you're actually capable of that!" Hei'e replied in an uncouth manner as a vicious light flashed through its eyes.
Ju Chu's expression darkened upon hearing this, and the grey bead on its forehead flashed as the fiery clouds around it swelled to staggering heights.
Hei'e didn't back down in the slightest, either, as it opened its cavernous mouth, and the black waves around it immediately erupted into a frenzy. It appeared as if the two of them were about to engage in battle once again.
Ju Chu's face convulsed with fury, but it seemed to be rather wary of Hei'e, and it forcibly repressed its rage as it said, "Forget it. I'll let you get away with this for now, seeing as I was rather close with your former master. As long as we can capture the immortal zoysia, I'll naturally give you the Glazed Water Bead. You're not doubting my words, are you?"
"Not taking into account other matters, you're a holy-grade being, so I'm sure you wouldn't go back on your word. Let's keep giving chase. Seeing as Xue Ying doesn't have the immortal zoysia, one of those outsiders that just escaped must be in possession of it. How about we ask her who has it?" Hei'e cackled.
"You think we should ask her? I can confirm that she doesn't have the immortal zoysia, but do you think she and Xue Bi will want us to capture the treasure? There are two of us anyway, so we'll just have to split up and pursue a target each. If we do that, there's no way that the immortal zoysia will slip through our fingers," Ju Chu replied in an indifferent voice.
"Alright, we'll do as you say. I'll go chase that one over there. If I secure the immortal zoysia, I'll come back here to exchange it for the Glazed Water Bead," Hei'e chortled with glee before withdrawing its head back into the black waves.
Immediately thereafter, a loud rumbling boom erupted as the black waves surged toward the direction that the elderly man had fled in.
Ju Chu also spurred its fiery clouds into action, traveling toward the direction that Han Li had escaped to.
Thus, the woman in the palatial dress was the only one left on the scene yet again.
After witnessing the fiery clouds and black waves disappear into the distance, a wry smile appeared on her face as she murmured to herself, "I didn't think that this devilish crocodile would progress to the holy-grade so quickly; I have to report this to Father right away. As for that immortal zoysia, I can only hope that that outsider manages to escape with it."
After her voice trailed off, crimson light erupted from her body, and she flew away as a streak of crimson light.
Several thousand kilometers away, Han Li was hurtling through the air as an arc of lightning amid a string of dull thunderclaps.
Close to 100 kilometers behind him, a loud and relentless rumbling sound could be heard. The entire sky in that direction had been stained a fiery red color, and a vast expanse of fiery clouds was hurtling after him in hot pursuit.
Han Li heaved a faint sigh upon seeing this.
He didn't have much Divine Devilbane Lightning left, so he wouldn't be able to maintain his Thunderstorm Wings for much longer. From the startling phenomenon created by his pursuer, it was quite clear that this was no ordinary being, so he most likely wouldn't be able to get away unless he killed the being that was chasing after him.
Even so, he still decided to fly on ahead for now. He wanted to lure the enemy further away before facing him in battle so he wouldn't get mobbed by other enemies as well.
Thus, Han Li traveled for close to 100,000 kilometers at his current speed, taking him to an area above a set of several mountain peaks.
At this point, he felt that he'd opened up enough distance, and the lightning around his body faded as he abruptly drew to a halt.
He turned and cast his gaze toward the oncoming fiery clouds before taking a deep breath. All of a sudden, countless streaks of azure light erupted from his body, all of which then abruptly disappeared in the surrounding space in a flash.
Han Li knew that he was being pursued by quite a powerful being, so he decided to set up the Spring Dawn Sword Formation without any hesitation.
Having set up this sword formation, he was confident that he'd be able to kill his enemy as long as it wasn't a Body Integration Stage being.
Not long after Han Li had set up his sword formation, the fiery clouds swept into the nearby area amid a burst of incessant rumbling. The fiery clouds obscured the entire sky, and it was as if the God of Fire were about to descend upon this world.
"Hand over the immortal zoysia and I'll spare your life." A thunderous voice rang out from within the fiery clouds.
Immediately thereafter, a gargantuan creature that was comparable in size to a small mountain emerged before Han Li.
Han Li focused his gaze up ahead, and his expression faltered slightly as he discovered that he was facing a giant crimson toad, except it had a pair of massive inky-black wings on its back.
The wings had black Qi surging all around them, and they seemed to be projections rather than actual substantial wings. There were also faint golden runes that were flashing within the black Qi, giving the projected wings quite a mystical appearance.
The giant toad's eyes were tightly shut, but there was a grey bead embedded on its forehead that was flashing with strange grey light, seemingly possessing a high level of spiritual nature.
Han Li's eyes narrowed slightly as he appraised the giant toad, and he replied, "I do indeed have the immortal zoysia, and you can take it if you want, but you'll have to hand over your devilish core in exchange."
"Haha, you sure do dare to talk big, little brat. It's been countless years since anyone's dared to say anything like that to me. Seeing as you've made me laugh harder than I have for a long time, I'm going to swallow your soul and savor it carefully after I destroy your body." The giant toad suddenly burst into raucous laughter, as if it had just heard the funniest joke in the world.
However, before its laughter had even ceased, red light suddenly flashed from within its mouth, and a crimson shadow shot forth from within. The shadow then appeared before Han Li as if by instantaneous teleportation, then stabbed directly toward his chest.
If a normal cultivator were in Han Li's shoes, they'd most likely be completely unable to react to this surprise attack, and the crimson shadow would've instantly punctured their body as a result.
However, Han Li was certainly no ordinary being, and he possessed a vast wealth of battle experience. He had activated his spirit eye ability well in advance, thereby allowing him to easily track the crimson shadow that would've been close to untraceable to the naked eye for ordinary beings.
Using his spirit eye ability, he was able to identify the crimson shadow as a long tongue that was around as thick as a human wrist.
A dull thump rang out as the crimson shadow was repelled by a small black mountain that had suddenly appeared before Han Li.
The giant toad's tongue possessed immense strength, but it was nowhere near powerful enough to move the current Divine Essencefused Mountain.
Ju Chu was rather surprised that its surprise attack had failed, but it immediately chuckled coldly before flapping its black wings.
The fiery clouds in the sky seemed to have been drawn toward the massive devilish beast by some kind of mysterious power, and the Ju Chu's body seemed to have transformed into an insatiable black hole; even with such a vast volume of fiery clouds entering its body, it still displayed no signs of discomfort.
However, a grim expression suddenly appeared on Han Li's face for the first time as he appraised the scenes unfolding before his eyes.