The Jiao Chi Race army had reached Cloud City, but the area beyond Cloud City was still devoid of Jiao Chi presence for now. As such, the flying carriage didn't encounter any mishaps as it flew away from the direction the battle was being waged at.
Over half a month later, Han Li caught sight of the other major city of the Heavenly Cloud Races, Concealed Wyrm City, in the distance.
In contrast with Cloud City, which hovered high up in the air, this city was nestled within a set of boundless mountain ranges.
Close to half of the city wall was constructed from a series of interconnected mountains, and there were also thousands of mountains of different sizes within the city.
There were buildings of different sizes littered all over the city, regardless of whether it was on or between the mountains, and a series of spiral paths could be seen winding down the mountains, creating quite an interesting sight to behold.
Concealed Wyrm City had clearly also been impacted by the Jiao Chi Race army, and even from several tens of kilometers away, one could sense a tense atmosphere from the city.
Not only were there bursts of restriction fluctuations proliferating from the city, there were also armored warriors who were constantly patrolling the nearby area, split up into groups raging from a dozen or so to over 100.
Even though the giant flying carriage that Han Li was on clearly bore the Heavenly Cloud crest, it was still stopped on several occasions to be checked by the armored warriors.
However, after verifying the authenticity of an identification badge that the burly man produced, all of them backed away and allowed the flying carriage passage into the city without any impediment.
Thus, the flying carriage landed in front of the city gate, and a Spatial Tempering Stage armored warrior conducting checks at the gate immediately identified the burly man, upon which he hurriedly greeted in a respectful manner, "Welcome, Senior Bing. These are the fellow Daoists who have just returned from the Vast Glacial Realm, right? The elders of Cloud City have already notified us of your arrival in advance, so I'll take you to the Starcloud Pavilion right away to see them."
The burly man wasn't surprised at all by this arrangement, and he nodded at the armored warrior before turning to Fairy Yue and the others. "In that case, all of you can enter the city. I still have some matters to attend to, so I'll be returning to Cloud City."
Everyone else naturally agreed, and after extending respectful words of gratitude toward the burly man, they all disembarked from the flying carriage.
The burly man let loose a low cry, and the six spirit beasts immediately rose up into the air before quickly vanishing into the distance along with the flying carriage.
After Han Li and the others entered through the city gates, they immediately discovered that the city was extremely lively and bustling, but everyone wore anxious and concerned expressions.
This made sense considering Concealed Wyrm City was the closest major city to Cloud City. Most of the Heavenly Cloud beings who had been evacuated from Cloud City had gathered here, thereby resulting in such high population density.
They hailed two snowy-white beast-drawn carriages on the street before instructing the drivers to take them to the Starcloud Pavilion, and the carriages quickly flew toward a certain spirit mountain in the city.
Han Li sat beside one of the windows of the beast-drawn carriage and looked out at the passersby and buildings on the streets in an expressionless manner, seemingly in deep thought about something.
All of a sudden, his expression changed slightly as he caught sight of a certain figure on the street.
This was a man in a set of grey robes with a head of white hair. He had a slightly sickly complexion about him, and he was currently speaking with someone in front of a materials shop.
The other person wore a set of yellow robes and his skin was of a light purple color. He had a menacing look on his face, and Han Li's brows furrowed slightly at the sight of him.
After a brief moment of hesitation, he suddenly said, "Stop the carriage. I have something that I need to do here; I'll join all of you at the Starcloud Pavilion soon."
Everyone else was rather taken aback to hear this, but they naturally had no excuse to stop him.
Thus, the coach driver stopped the carriage as he was told, and Han Li drifted down from it.
The two people on the side of the street were clearly arguing about something, and their argument was quite loud.
"You have to repay the spirit stones you owe me within three days. Otherwise, don't blame me for turning on you," the purple-faced man said in a threatening manner.
"I'm sure you know about my situation, Fellow Daoist Huang; there's no way I can gather so many spirit stones in three days." The elderly man with the sickly pallor shook his head in a troubled manner.
"I don't care. I'm sure you know what consequences await you if you don't repay the spirit stones. If I don't get my spirit stones in three days, hehe..." the purple-faced man chuckled coldly.
The elderly man's expression changed slightly, and he was just about to say something when a hint of bewilderment suddenly appeared in the eyes of the purple-faced man standing before him.
A calm male voice then rang out from behind the elderly man. "How many spirit stones does Senior Martial Brother Xiang owe you? I'll repay you in his stead."
The elderly man's heart jolted upon hearing this. The voice seemed to be coming from right behind him, but why couldn't he sense the person who had spoken when they were clearly so close to him?
He hurriedly turned around to find a young azure-robed man standing around 10 feet away from him. This was a man with a set of ordinary facial features, and he had a hint of a smile on his face. It was naturally none other than Han Li.
"Junior Martial Brother Han?" An elated look immediately appeared on the elderly man's face at the sight of Han Li.
"Long time no see, Senior Martial Brother Xiang!" Han Li said with a smile.
Indeed, it had been many years since Han Li had last seen Xiang Zhili in Cloud City.
"I see you've come to Concealed Wyrm City as well, Junior Martial Brother. Prior to leaving Cloud City, I tried to find you, but I was unable to find any information on your whereabouts," Xiang Zhili said with a smile.
"I've indeed been in a rather secretive place of late; my apologies for making you go through so much trouble, Senior Martial Brother Xiang. How many spirit stones do you owe him?" Han Li asked.
The purple-faced man was at around the same cultivation base as Xiang Zhili, so he was only at the Core Formation Stage, and his spiritual sense was completely unable to identify Han Li's unfathomable cultivation base. As such, his face immediately paled, and he hurriedly extended a deep respectful bow toward Han Li. "I wouldn't dare to ask for spirit stones from you, Senior! I didn't know that Fellow Daoist Xiang had such connections. Please accept those spirit stones as an offering from me to you, Senior."
"Hehe, do you take me for someone who threatens people into waiving debts? Tell me how many spirit stones he owes!" Han Li insisted in a cold voice.
"It's not much, only..." The purple-faced man's heart immediately jolted as he hurriedly revealed a number that was completely insubstantial to Han Li.
Thus, he flipped a hand over to summon a leather pouch, which he tossed toward the purple-faced man. "There's your spirit stones; you can leave now."
The purple-faced man hurriedly bowed several times in a panicked manner before fleeing the scene.
"I am truly embarrassed to show you such a sorry state and make you pay for my debts, Junior Martial Brother Han," Xiang Zhili said as he cupped his fist with a wry smile following the purple-faced man's departure.
Han Li raised a hand to conjure up a grey light barrier, then smiled as he said, "It's alright, those spirit stones aren't of any consequence to me. I'm truly surprised to see you here, Senior Martial Brother Xiang. I recall that you asked me to come and meet you before I return to the Tian Yuan Continent; you can tell me what you have to say now."
With the temporary restriction set up by the Divine Essencefused Light, no one would be able to eavesdrop on them.
Xiang Zhili was naturally unaware of what kind of ability Han Li was using, but he clearly had great confidence in it, so Xiang Zhili naturally knew that this was quite a powerful restriction. His eyes immediately lit up with excitement, and he asked, "Are you saying this because you can return to the Tian Yuan Continent, Junior Martial Brother?"
"Indeed. I did some things for the Heavenly Cloud Races not long ago, so they've granted me permission to use their super teleportation formation once. I'll be leaving the Thunder Continent soon," Han Li said in a calm manner.
"That's great to hear! However, the item I wanted to entrust to you isn't on me right now, and this isn't a suitable place to discuss these matters anyway. How about this? Can you go and wait for me on the Azure Wyrm Peak close to 100 kilometers outside of the city and wait for me there? We can discuss things in greater detail there," Xiang Zhili said in an elated manner.
A barely detectable hint of surprise flashed through Han Li's eyes upon hearing this before he nodded in response. "Azure Wyrm Peak? In that case, I'll meet you there."
"Then it's settled. By the way, you've made significant strides in your cultivation base again, haven't you? I can't identify your exact cultivation base, but from the pressure I'm sensing from you, you've clearly become more powerful than last time!" Xiang Zhili exclaimed.
"I only made a minor stride in my cultivation," Han Li replied with a nonchalant smile.
Thus, the two of them chatted for a while longer before the Divine Essencefused Light barrier was withdrawn, and Han Li departed on another beast-drawn carriage.
Meanwhile, Xiang Zhili remained standing on the spot, looking on at the departing carriage with a slightly unnatural smile on his face...
Concealed Wyrm City was quite a massive city, but it was still slightly smaller than Cloud City.
After only around an hour, the beast-drawn carriage that Han Li had taken arrived at the foot of a mountain, and on that mountain was a set of interconnected buildings that surrounded the entire mountain peak.
Han Li followed the coach driver's instructions and traveled up the mountain path, but many armored warriors suddenly emerged in a cautious manner halfway up the mountain.
Thankfully, Liu Shui'er and the others had clearly just traveled through the same point, so after Han Li revealed his identity to the armored warriors, they allowed him to pass through without any fuss.
After a short while, Han Li appeared outside a massive pavilion atop the mountain peak.
There was a golden plaque above the pavilion gate, upon which the words "Starcloud Pavilion" were inscribed in large shimmering silver ancient characters.
There were eight silver-robed beings with longswords on their backs standing on either side of the gate in an expressionless manner and to Han Li's surprise, there was a slightly chubby yellow-robed elderly man who was standing in front of the pavilion with his hands clasped behind his back.
As soon as Han Li appeared, the yellow-robed man immediately approached him with a smile. This elderly man was none other than Qian Jizi of the Myriad Ancient Race.