With Hai Yuetian's easygoing and extroverted personality, he was quickly able to learn who was inhabiting the ninth floor of the Immortal Welcome Palace after asking around in the busy market. The answer that he received immediately made him draw a sharp breath, but his expression remained unchanged as he hurriedly departed.
"What? The Long Family?" Han Li seemed to be truly taken aback by this.
"Indeed. I've already verified that not only are the Long Family patriarch and some of their guest elders living on the ninth floor, even the current Long Family Leader and their Spatial Tempering Stage elders are all there as well," Hai Yuetian replied with a concerned expression.
"That is indeed rather troublesome, but that's not the main issue," Han Li said as he narrowed his eyes slightly.
"What do you mean, Master?" Hai Yuetian was rather perplexed by this.
"The main issue is that I'm not on good terms with the Long Family. If we were facing a normal Body Integration cultivator, I could pay them a direct visit to recover your junior martial brother. Generally speaking, unless they're completely desperate, they wouldn't want to cross another Body Integration cultivator like me. However, the fact that the Long Family is concerned makes things a lot more complicated," Han Li explained in a cold voice.
Hai Yuetian's expression changed drastically upon hearing this.
"However, that doesn't mean I can't recover your junior martial brother. Hehe, I've already crossed the Long Family once, so what'll it matter if I do it again? Besides, they may not detect me anyway. Yuetian, you go back to our Immortal Welcome Palace on your own; I'll return to join you soon," Han Li chuckled coldly as bright azure light suddenly erupted from his body, and he abruptly vanished on the spot.
Hai Yuetian could naturally tell what Han Li was implying, and he was both surprised and elated by what he had heard. Thus, he immediately extended a respectful salute, even though Han Li was no longer anywhere to be seen, then rushed down the hill.
A distance of several tens of kilometers was naturally covered in the blink of an eye for Han Li, and he reappeared in the air around half a kilometer away from the Immortal Welcome Palace.
He looked on at the ninth level of the giant palace, and the image of a massive formation blueprint surfaced in his mind. The nine Immortal Welcome Palaces were situated in different places, but according to his observation, the formations set up within them should all be quite similar.
These restrictions were indeed extremely intricate and profound, but with so many powerful abilities up his sleeve, it certainly wouldn't be impossible to infiltrate this place without being detected.
With that in mind, he pondered the situation for a moment before suddenly flipping a hand over to produce a shimmering silver piece of thin fabric.
This was none other than the Thousand Transformation Faces he had obtained from Liu Shui'er in the Vast Glacial Realm.
This was quite an extraordinary treasure, and Liu Shui'er didn't have the heart to ask Han Li to return it after he had saved her and Shi Kun's lives in the Dark Beast Forest, so it had remained with Han Li thereafter.
He immediately tossed the Thousand Transformation Faces forward before flicking his wrist, and a ball of azure light flashed from his storage bracelet, upon which a furry piece of golden beasthide was also tossed forward.
He then made a hand seal before pointing at the two items one after the other, and the Thousand Transformation Faces shuddered slightly before vanishing into the section of beasthide as a ball of silver light.
The golden beasthide rotated on the spot before suddenly hurtling toward Han Li, then vanished in a flash.
At the same time, a low roar erupted from Han Li's mouth, and his face abruptly underwent a drastic transformation.
A layer of long golden fur suddenly sprouted from his smooth skin, concealing his original facial features. At the same time, blue light flashed from his eyes, and his pupils turned into a deep blue color.
He was giving off an indescribably ferocious aura, and he stroked the golden fur on his own face as he murmured to himself, "As expected, the beasthide of this Golden Arm Ape really does work. I should be able to fool the members of the Long Family now."
He then took a deep breath, and black light flashed as two pieces of black veil suddenly appeared over his body.
The two pieces of veil rotated around him before flying toward his body as two streaks of black light.
In the next instant, Han Li's body gradually became blurry and indistinct within the black light before finally completely disappearing out of sight.
Han Li looked down at his own body, which seemed to have turned completely transparent, and he nodded with a pleased look in his eyes.
Of course, using the High Zenith Invisibility Talisman would result in a superior concealment effect, but if he were to use that talisman, it would be difficult for him to unleash his abilities to break the restrictions he would have to face, so he could only settle for something else.
Thus, Han Li flew directly toward the ninth level of the palace up ahead, and he quickly reached his target.
All of a sudden, white light flashed, and a white light barrier appeared before him. Its surface flashed with lightning, and several arcs of electricity began to emerge.
Han Li's expression remained completely unchanged as he extended a hand out of his sleeve before spreading his fingers, blasting forth several arcs of golden lightning in retaliation.
As soon as the silver arcs of lightning hurtled toward Han Li, they were instantly nullified by the golden lightning in a completely soundless manner.
At the same time, a layer of grey light appeared around Han Li's body, and he passed through the white light barrier as if it didn't even exist.
A human-shaped hole appeared in the white light barrier, but Han Li was still nowhere to be seen. The hole then rapidly sealed at a rate that was discernible to the naked eye and returned to normal in an instant, following which the light barrier itself also quickly vanished.
Moments later, two Deity Transformation Stage guards flew out of the first floor of the Immortal Welcome Place. They then rose up into the air, straight toward the same spot that Han Li had just infiltrated through.
One of the two guards, a young man who appeared to be around 17 to 18 years of age, inspected the surrounding area before murmuring to himself in a perplexed manner, "I'm sure the restriction fluctuations from just now came from here, but there doesn't seem to be anything amiss."
His companion was a thin elderly man with a goatee and short horns, and he suggested, "Perhaps it was only a bird that crashed into the restriction. Otherwise, the reaction wouldn't have been so feeble."
The latter of the two was a demonic cultivator!
"Surely you jest, Brother Gongsun! If even a bird can draw a reaction out of the Immortal Welcome Palace's restriction, then the restriction master responsible for this restriction should seriously reevaluate their craft!" the young man scoffed with furrowed brows.
"Hehe, if it's not a bird, then it could be a spirit beast that strayed away from a nearby market, or perhaps a Body Integration Stage senior unintentionally set off the restriction somehow. In any case, what are we going to be able to do about it? Forgive me for being blunt, but if someone really has infiltrated the Immortal Welcome Palace, they're definitely here to challenge a certain Body Integration Stage senior; do you think that's something that we can stick our noses into?" the demonic elderly man chuckled.
The young man contemplated this notion for a while before suddenly smiling as he said, "You're right, Fellow Daoist Gongsun. Seeing as the restriction here hasn't been damaged, it really would be unbecoming of us to take this matter too seriously."
"Haha, I knew you were a smart man. I have a flagon of exceptional spirit wine; why don't we enjoy it together?" A wide smile also appeared on the elderly man's face now that the young man had given up on the investigation.
Thus, the two of them descended like a pair of good friends, paying no further heed to the restriction behind them.
Elsewhere, a ball of silver flames emerged, then surged forth to incinerate a series of threads of light into nothingness. Immediately thereafter, Han Li appeared in front of a certain wall on the ninth floor.
He cast his gaze toward the pristine white wall up ahead to find a series of silver runes of different sizes shimmering incessantly on its surface, presenting quite a mysterious sight to behold.
A grim expression appeared on Han Li's face. These weren't just normal runes. Instead, they were the manifestation of a type of spatial restriction placed on this wall, which would render it immune to the effects of normal secret techniques and cultivation arts.
Thankfully, he also possessed some spatial abilities, so it wouldn't be too difficult for him to bypass this wall.
With that in mind, Han Li made a hand seal, and a ball of black light suddenly appeared on his glabella. A gash then split open on his forehead, following which a black demonic eye emerged.
The demonic eye seemed to aim a glance at the wall before blasting forth a burst of black light toward it.
A peculiar scene then ensued!
In the instant that the black light came into contact with the white wall, the nearby silver runes suddenly faded into obscurity.
Han Li let loose a low cry, and the beam of black light, which was around as thick as a human finger, abruptly became noticeably thicker.
The white wall up ahead shuddered, and a small black hole that was around a foot in size was punched into it.
A cold light flashed through Han Li's eyes, and the black light being emitted from his demonic eye was withdrawn, following which he flew into the black hole, and in the next instant, the hole vanished.
Han Li emerged on the other side and found himself situated within a forest, standing right beneath a huge tree.
What left him feeling quite awkward was that there was a middle-aged man and a beautiful young woman staring at him with incredulous looks in their eyes from less than 10 feet away.
Han Li naturally immediately reacted, heaving a faint sigh as he suddenly lashed out with both of his arms.
Two loud smacks rang out, as his arms suddenly elongated to several times their original length, striking the two people in the room and sending them crumpling to the ground amid a dull thump.
These two were only at the Core Formation Stage and Foundation Establishment Stage, so he didn't kill them; he merely injected a wisp of his magic power into their spiritual sense to knock them out.
After that, Han Li made a grabbing motion toward the middle-aged man, and he was instantly drawn into Han Li's grasp.
Azure light flashed from Han Li's face, and he immediately unleashed a soul search technique.
After a short while, Han Li's darkened slightly, and he released the man before grabbing the woman and unleashing the same technique on her.
After releasing her as well, he murmured to himself, "So Qi Lingzi really was brought to the Long Family, and that woman is the sister of the Long Family Leader. It's a pity that some of the secrets in the memories of these two were concealed by some secret techniques, so I can only glean very limited information from them."