Only after the suction force from the current step had been weakened to a certain degree did he take another step, only to be forced to pause again before continuing onward. Thus, the final dozen or so steps took Han Li close to 10 minutes to scale.
As soon as he set foot onto the mountain summit, the suction force from the stone steps completely vanished, and his body became light as a feather, making him feel as if he could fly even without using any magic power.
After heaving a sigh of relief, the blurry suit of golden armor around his body vanished in a flash.
He turned back to find that Shi Kun was still several hundred steps away, looking up at Han Li with a dejected expression while panting heavily.
As for Liu Shui'er, she was still more than 2,000 steps away, and from Han Li's perspective, she was only a small black dot in the distance.
The only consolation for them was that even though Han Li had scaled the stone steps first, the purple palace was extremely massive and potentially contained some powerful restrictions as well, so they didn't have to worry about him taking all of the treasures in there.
A faint smile appeared on Han Li's face as he turned around before casting his gaze toward the purple palace.
Several hundred feet away from him, there stood a massive gate that was over 200 feet tall.
The gate was tightly shut, and there were several tens of large stones of different colors embedded onto its surface. Around these stones were a series of complex patterns, and the stones seemed to have been placed in a certain sequence.
After taking a careful glance at the palace gate, he was shocked to discover that all of the fist-sized stones embedded onto the palace gate were top-grade spirit stones that were clearly even purer than the top-grade spirit stones in the Spirit Realm.
Han Li clicked his tongue with wonder as he shifted his gaze over to the purple wall beside the gate.
The walls had been constructed from an unidentifiable material, and they only stood around 50 to 60 feet tall. However, they were emanating a strange light, and there were silver runes of different sizes carved onto their surfaces.
Han Li was immediately able to identify those runes as beveled silver text.
"So this place really was constructed by a true immortal!" Han Li seemed to be quite calm on the outside, but there was a scorching look in his eyes as he appraised the palace.
He possessed several extraordinary treasures and had encountered all types of miraculous opportunities during his cultivation journey, but the thought of being able to explore a palace left behind by a true immortal still filled him with irrepressible excitement.
It was no wonder that Cai Liuying and Duan Tianren were convinced that there were pills in there that could help them break through their holy race bottlenecks.
Considering how unfathomably powerful true immortals were, it was naturally a simple task for them to refine pills that could be immensely beneficial to beings of a lower realm.
Han Li took a deep breath to calm himself down before casting his gaze up toward the purple palace walls again.
All of a sudden, he raised a hand and pointed a finger upward, upon which an arc of golden lightning shot forth amid a resounding thunderclap, hurtling toward the air above the palace walls.
A peculiar turn of events immediately unfolded.
There seemed to be nothing but empty air above the palace walls, but as soon as the golden arc of lightning struck the empty space, a burst of delightful heavenly music suddenly rang out, following which purple light flashed, and the golden lightning vanished like a sandcastle in the rising tide.
Han Li's brows furrowed slightly upon seeing this, and even after immediately activating his Brightsight Spirit Eyes, he was still unable to identify what was so special about that purple light.
He then tried to use his spiritual sense to assess the situation, only for it to be repelled by a burst of invisible force as soon as it reached close to the palace walls, thereby making it impossible for him to detect what lay within those walls.
After heaving a faint sigh, Han Li gave up on trying to cross over the palace walls and cast his gaze toward the gate again.
Compared to braving the mysterious restriction on the palace walls, it was clearly a much safer option to try and enter through the gate.
However, even though he couldn't sense anything amiss just by looking at the palace gate, he naturally wasn't going to try and open it on his own.
After a brief pause, Han Li patted the storage bracelet on his wrist, upon which a ball of azure light immediately few forth from within before thudding heavily onto the ground.
This was a giant ape puppet that was around 20 feet tall, and it lay sprawled on the ground, having clearly been impacted quite heavily by the flight restriction.
Han Li raised an eyebrow upon seeing this, then made a hand seal before pointing at the puppet in a nonchalant manner.
The giant ape puppet slowly got up at his behest, then turned around expressionlessly before making its way toward the palace gate.
Meanwhile, Han Li stood still on the spot, appraising the puppet intently through narrowed eyes.
After arriving before the palace gate, the giant ape puppet raised its hands without any hesitation before pressing them against the massive gate.
Azure light flashed erratically around the puppet's body, following which the gate was slowly pushed open.
Han Li was quite surprised to see this, and he was both elated, but also in disbelief.
How could the palace gate have been opened so easily?
With that in mind, he forcibly repressed the confusion and impatience in his heart as he hurriedly cast his gaze beyond the entrance.
Thus, he was greeted by the sight of a plaza that was entirely paved with azure tiles and fenced by translucent white jade structures.
On the other end of the plaza was a tall main palace that was also purple in color.
From afar, Han Li could also see that there were also three side palaces near the main palace, each of which was only around a third of the size of the main palace. These side palaces were situated in a triangular formation with the main palace at the center.
Aside from that, there were also some short buildings and pavilions behind the main palace, and this place seemed to span quite a vast area.
After a brief hesitation, he transmitted an instruction to the puppet using his spiritual sense, upon which it made its way into the palace through the main gate.
Han Li also slowly followed along behind it.
After a while, he found himself on the other side of the city gate, and he quickly arrived at one corner of the plaza.
The plaza appeared to be around 5,000 to 6,000 feet in size, and the giant ape puppet continued onward at Han Li's behest, preparing to pass directly through the plaza en route to the main palace up ahead.
Han Li continued to trail along behind the puppet, maintaining a distance of around 200 feet from it in case any unforeseen mishaps occurred.
However, a peculiar expression soon appeared on Han Li's face.
This was only a plaza that was several thousand feet in size, yet even after walking for so long, the puppet still hadn't even made it to the center of the plaza.
"This is an illusionary formation!" Han Li's eyes narrowed as he instructed the puppet to stop, then turned around to cast his gaze behind him.
In his mind, he had already walked for around 3,000 to 4,000 feet, yet he appeared to be only just over 100 feet away from the corner of the plaza that he'd started from.
Han Li was slightly alarmed to see this, and blue light immediately flashed through his eyes as he cast his gaze around the entire plaza.
However, even after using his spirit eye ability, he was unable to detect anything amiss.
Han Li's expression changed slightly upon seeing this.
This was the first time that his spirit eye ability had ever failed to see through an illusionary formation, but taking into consideration the fact that this restriction had most likely been set up by a true immortal, this development wasn't actually all that surprising.
Even so, Han Li wasn't intending to give up just like that.
After taking a deep breath, he began to circulate all of the magic power within his entire body, then directed it toward his glabella.
A ball of black Qi immediately materialized in front of his glabella, following which a third demonic eye appeared in a flash.
This was none other than the Law Destruction Eye that Han Li had already nurtured for several centuries.
Han Li had possessed this third eye ever since he was back in the human world, and after so many years had passed, it had developed some uncanny abilities.
Even though this eye's forte lay in spatial abilities, it also possessed some abilities that could specifically target illusionary techniques and other types of restrictions, but the effects of those abilities naturally weren't as potent as those of his Brightsight Spirit Eyes.
After arriving at the Thunder Continent, Han Li had unintentionally discovered while cultivating in seclusion that his Brightsight Spirit Eyes and Law Destruction Eye could be combined to unleash a new ability, one that was far superior to any of the abilities that either one of his spirit eyes possessed.
Even though this ability was quite powerful, it required a considerable about of magic power expenditure to be unleashed, and this was the first time Han Li had ever used it in a practical setting.
However, thinking back to the scenes that unfolded the last time he'd trialed this ability, he was quite confident that it would be able to break through the illusionary formation that he was in.
As such, he immediately began to chant something, and the blue light in his eyes gradually became more and more pronounced. At the same time, black light began to swirl within his Law Destruction Eye, making it appear as if there was a shimmering black gem lodged on his forehead.
All of a sudden, two streaks of blue light and a pillar of black light shot forth from his three spirit eyes in unison, and they combined as one to form a black and blue ball of light.
This was a translucent fist-sized ball of light with a blue exterior and a black center, making it appear as if it was a massive eyeball.
Han Li immediately swept a sleeve toward the ball of light, and a burst of azure light surged forth from within before vanishing into the ball of light in a flash.
Spiritual light flashed from the surface of the ball of light, following which black and blue runes of different sizes emerged before rapidly revolving through the air.
All of a sudden, countless threads of black and blue light shot forth from the ball of light, flying away in all directions.
These threads of light were extremely thin and traveled at astonishing speeds, spreading over the entire plaza in the blink of an eye before forming a massive black and blue net that encompassed the entirety of the plaza beneath it.
In the next instant, dull thumps rang out from all over the plaza as balls of light of different colors exploded beneath the massive net.
A burst of spatial fluctuations then erupted into the heavens as the space beneath the net twisted and warped. Immediately thereafter, the center of the plaza blurred before a door of white light emerged.