At this moment, Han Li's Nascent Soul felt as if it were being burned alive. There seemed to be lava churning within its entire body, and its mouth was completely dry while its limbs had turned into a scorching red color.
Right at this moment, a burst of enormous suction force erupted from the physical body down below, and the Nascent Soul was completely powerless to resist as it abruptly shrank down to less than a tenth of its size, then vanished into the top of Han Li's head in a flash.
The scorching energy permeating through the Nascent Soul's body then surged into the physical body in a frenzy as if it had found an outlet.
Han Li's body immediately became translucent, and with the influx of scorching energy, light swirled over the surface of his skin, instantly making his body semi-transparent.
Even the faint golden bones beyond his flesh and blood could just barely be made out.
At this moment, there were countless thin threads of light wrapped around his bones, and these threads were flashing with faint five-colored spiritual light.
At the same time, there were countless tiny streams of energy quickly following through all parts of his meridians from his dantian.
Han Li could only sense that this flow of energy was quickly combating the scorching sensation and replacing it with a cool and refreshing one that was extremely comfortable.
Moments later, all of the energy converged before flowing toward his head at once, and Han Li felt as if there were a massive figurative lock in his mind that was opened by this energy, following which a numb sensation that originated from deep within his soul spread through his entire body.
As a result, he involuntarily opened his mouth and let loose a long cry.
In the instant that the giant ape projection vanished, the astonishing aura that had restricted all of the nearby cultivators also disappeared, allowing all of them to rise to their feet with bewildered looks on their faces.
Some of them decided to stay and continued to appraise the sea of mist to see what was going to happen next, while others were petrified of this place and hurriedly fled the scene, encouraging their friends to do so as well.
In the instant that the white-haired elderly man regained his mobility, he immediately shot forth toward the cave abode as a streak of white light, preparing to gather everyone and leave right away.
However, everyone had only regained their mobility for a short while when the long cry that Han Li had let loose surged toward them. It was as if rumbling thunderclaps were erupting through the entire area, and the sea of mist was dispersed in all directions.
The cultivators near the border of the sea of mist were all alarmed by this development and attempted to flee the scene, but as soon as the sound traveled into their ears, they felt as if bolts of lightning had exploded in their heads, and they let loose cries of agony and alarm as they plummeted from the sky.
Even though these cultivators' magic power had been completely restricted, their physical bodies were still far more powerful than those of the average human, so even though falling from an altitude of several thousand feet was quite a painful experience, they didn't suffer any major injuries.
However, there seemed to be no end to the long cry erupting from the distance, and all of the cultivators were writhing in pain in response to this terrifying noise. They all clamped their hands over their ears in an attempt to lessen the pain, but the sound seemed to be able to pierce directly into their minds.
Some of them had even torn their clothes into rags to craft makeshift earplugs, but that still completely failed to keep out the torturous sound.
Mere moments felt like months to these cultivators, and if it weren't for the fact that these cultivators couldn't muster up any magic power, they would've most likely already self-detonated to put themselves out of their misery.
At this moment, the sea of mist had formed giant waves that were proliferating in all directions, and some cultivators were able to just barely turn their heads to appraise the situation, upon which their faces immediately turned completely pale.
Even though these massive waves had only been formed by mist, they still presented a very terrifying sight that petrified all of the onlookers.
After all, there was no way for them to muster up any magic power or use any treasures to defend themselves, and who knew whether there was some additional type of power imbued within the waves of mist?
The gargantuan waves of white mist continued to surge forth, and if they were to crash into the mountain, all of the spectating cultivators would be instantly inundated.
However, right at this moment, the long cry erupting from the center of the sea of mist suddenly ceased, and was followed by a cold harrumph.
Immediately thereafter, a string of loud thumps rang out, and the waves of mist instantly exploded into nothingness.
All of a sudden, it was as if nothing had ever happened.
Only around 15 minutes had passed did all of the human cultivators rise to their feet. All of them were in an extremely sorry state, and they glanced at one another to find their own alarmed and horrified expressions mirrored in each other's eyes.
Without even uttering a single word, all of them rushed back into their cave abodes as streaks of light, and not long after that, one streak of light after another flew away from the mountain, fleeing in all directions.
They didn't pause even for a single moment in their flight, and only after flying for hundreds of thousands of kilometers did some of them hesitantly stop. However, most of them simply continued onward and completely left this area.
After all, it was simply far too terrifying for them to have a neighbor who could inflict such unspeakable agony upon them with just his voice alone.
However, from the astonishing phenomena and Han Li's display of unfathomable power, many people had already guessed what had just happened.
The white-haired elderly man traveled all the way to a small valley that was hundreds of thousands of kilometers away with his group, and after everyone had settled there, a male cultivator immediately separated from the group. This was the second most powerful cultivator in the group, and the elderly man had given him a jade slip and instructed him to deliver it to the Gu Family as quickly as he could.
Meanwhile, the rumor stating that a new Body Integration Stage powerful being had taken over the Sunrise Peak also began to spread toward other areas like wildfire.
At this moment, the sea of mist around the Sunrise Peak had reverted back to its original state, and peace and quiet resumed.
Three days later, Han Li slowly opened his eyes as he sat with his legs crossed in the secret chamber within the belly of the mountain. Blue light flashed through his eyes, but they returned to normal following a few blinks.
He had already successfully progressed to the Body Integration Stage several days ago, but in order to consolidate his cultivation base, he immediately meditated for a few days within his secret chamber. Now that he had finally quelled the potential negative effects that he could be afflicted by in the wake of such a major breakthrough, he was able to do other things.
Han Li slowly looked around, and a slightly peculiar look suddenly appeared on his face. Even without releasing his own spiritual sense, he could still detect the world's origin Qi in the air around him.
He gently exhaled before making a hand seal and chanting a simple incantation, upon which an astonishing turn of events unfolded.
A loud buzzing sound rang out in the air, following which specks of white light flashed erratically before forming a series of palm-sized blades of wind.
These blades of wind were extraordinarily thin and semi-transparent. They hovered in mid-air while trembling slightly, and they soon filled the entire secret chamber.
"The records on the tomes certainly weren't lying! After reaching the Body Integration Stage, my ability to sense and control the world's origin Qi is incomparable to back when I was at the Spatial Tempering Stage. I've barely expended any magic power, yet I'm able to directly control the world's origin Qi to form attacks," Han Li murmured to himself with an elated look on his face.
He swept a sleeve through the air, and the blades of wind vanished as balls of white light.
He then closed his eyes and began to assess his current bodily and magic power condition following his breakthrough to see if there was anything amiss.
After a long while, he opened his eyes, and the elation on his face had become even more pronounced.
After progressing to the Body Integration Stage, his physical constitution and magic power had both become far more powerful than he had imagined prior to the event. With his current powers, he was confident that he would most likely be able to defeat even a being at the pinnacle of the Body Integration Stage.
After a while, he forcibly repressed his elation and began to think about what he had to do next. It was undoubtedly the case that as a Body Integration cultivator, he would no longer have to fear anyone unless there were hidden Grand Ascension Stage beings among the human and demon races. As such, he would be able to do the things that he wanted without having to be as fearful of potential consequence as he had been in the past.
Of course, he was going to remain here for the next few years as he still needed to completely consolidate his cultivation base. After that, there were many things that he had to do, the most important of which was naturally to verify whether Nangong Wan had ascended to the Spirit Realm.
However, due to the fact that Nangong Wan may have also ascended to the Spirit Realm through a spatial node, she may not necessarily have ended up on human territory. If he couldn't find her in Deep Heaven City, then he would have to consider the possibility that she was somewhere else, perhaps even on demon territory.
That was certainly far from unlikely as the human and demon territories directly neighbored one another, after all.
As such, if he couldn't find any information about her in Deep Heaven City, then he would have to search for her elsewhere on the three regions and seven territories.
If Nangong Wan were still trapped in the human world due to a lack of power, then he would have to find a way to break into the human world and forcibly lend her his assistance.
Setting aside everything else, as long as he could get his hands on a few types of spirit pill and treasures and somehow deliver them to Nangong Wan across realms, then it definitely wouldn't be difficult for her to ascend to the Spirit Realm.
At the thought of his beloved wife, countless emotions immediately welled up in Han Li's heart, and he stared blankly into space for a long while, completely absorbed in his own memories.
In the end, he heaved a resigned sigh before focusing his attention on other matters. Aside from Nangong Wan, he also had to track down that Fairy Xu after he came out of seclusion.
She was Fairy Ice Soul's descendant, he had to deliver to her the items that the young man with the Weng surname had entrusted to him.
Aside from that, he also had to collect the materials stipulated by Qing Yuanzi.
Even though he had already collected most of the materials, he didn't travel to the Flying Spirit Race as he wanted to return to the human race and attain enough power to ensure self-preservation first.
In any case, Qing Yuanzi had given him a time limit of 1,000 years, so he still had 600 to 700 years left.
During this time, he was confident that he would be able to progress to the late-Body Integration Stage, following which he would meet Qing Yuanzi again to exchange for that Divine Infernal River Elixir.
This was definitely the safest course of action to take.