Her son's expression changed drastically upon seeing this, and he immediately raised a hand to summon a translucent long saber, which he slashed toward the golden hand with vicious force.
A crisp clang rang out, and a burst of piercing golden light erupted as soon as its blade struck the furry hand.
The treasure then immediately exploded, and the young man was forced back several steps in succession from the resulting backlash. He threw up a mouthful of blood essence, then collapsed to the ground and was unable to stand up again.
"I've already cast a restriction around this place, so no one will hear you no matter how much you yell. You sure are daring to have captured this Daoist priest despite being aware that he has a powerful backer. Did you really think I wouldn't dare to retrieve him just because the Long Family is involved?" The frosty male voice rang out again.
Immediately thereafter, spatial fluctuations erupted, and a golden figure appeared in the room.
This was a golden demonic ape that was around 30 to 40 feet tall, wearing a suit of silver armor.
The demonic ape had a pair of blue eyes and a mouthful of menacing fangs. An extremely ferocious aura erupted from his body, and there was also black baleful Qi swirling around him, presenting a very menacing sight to behold.
"You're a demonic cultivator?! How could this be?!" the elderly man exclaimed.
A hint of astonishment also appeared in the woman's eyes as she struggled to keep them from rolling back into her head.
"Hehe, why are you so surprised? Seeing as you clearly have a death wish, I'll send you on your way!" A vicious light flashed through the golden ape's eyes, and golden light erupted from the fingers that were locked around the elderly woman's throat as Han Li prepared to snap her neck.
The elderly man and his son both yelled out to try and stop Han Li, but they had both been rendered completely powerless by Han Li's attacks, and could only look on in horror and despair.
A look of despair also appeared in the elderly woman's eyes when all of a sudden, a cold voice rang out from outside the room.
"You're also quite daring to infiltrate my territory and kill my descendants!"
As soon as the voice trailed off, a resounding boom rang out from up above, following which a huge purple hand that was around 10 feet in size tore through the roof. The hand had countless runes swirling around it, and it broke through the restriction that Han Li had set up before grabbing viciously toward the giant golden ape's head.
The golden ape's expression abruptly changed as he let loose a low snarl, casting the elderly woman aside before reaching up with a hand of his own. His golden palm swelled rapidly in size to directly oppose the giant purple hand, and at the same time, he made a grabbing motion toward the puppet-like Qi Lingzi with his other hand.
"Boom!" An earth-shattering boom erupted as a massive ball of golden and purple light appeared in the room, and the enormous spiritual pressure erupting from the clash instantly laid waste to the room's roof and walls.
A cold harrumph rang out from within the dazzling spiritual light, following which a golden figure sprang forth and reappeared over 1,000 feet away in the blink of an eye.
"You think you can get away?" the owner of the purple hand roared in a cold voice, following which a streak of purple light shot forth in pursuit of the golden figure, and the former was even faster than the latter.
Such a massive commotion had naturally alerted all of the people in the entire fortress, and countless streaks of light rose up into the air from all directions to see what was happening.
In the blink of an eye, the golden figure and purple streak of light had rushed out of the city walls and flown into the white mist outside.
By the time many of the Long Family's cultivators arrived at the edge of the mist, a string of explosions were already taking place within the murky white mist.
Immediately thereafter, a series of roars and enraged cries rang out, and two bursts of astonishing spiritual pressure erupted from within the sea of mist, causing the illusionary formation up above, which was simulating the sky, to warp and twist violently.
The two bursts of spiritual pressure seemed to be evenly matched, and all of the nearby Long Family cultivators couldn't help but exchange astonished glances with one another.
They were naturally already aware that one of the people in the mist was none other than their patriarch, yet the other person still managed to hold their own. Could it be that this was another late-Body Integration Stage being? In that case, Deity Transformation and Spatial Tempering cultivators like them would essentially be committing suicide if they were to rush into the mist to join the battle.
The Long Family cultivators were led by none other than their family leader, who was the purple-robed middle-aged man.
He was staring into the sea of mist with a shocked and enraged look on his face, but he was also quite hesitant to join the battle as he sensed the enormous spiritual pressure emanating from within the mist.
"Hehe, Family Leader Long, would you like me to step in to separate them?" A pleasant female voice suddenly rang out from behind the Long Family Leader.
The purple-robed man's heart jolted upon hearing this, and he immediately turned around to find a beautiful yellow-robed woman who appeared to be around 17 to 18 years of age. The woman was standing behind him and appraising him with a faint smile.
If Han Li were present on the scene, he would immediately be able to identify this woman as the vastly renowned Holy Maiden Thousand Autumns of the Artifact Spirit Race.
The purple-robed man was slightly skeptical toward the yellow-robed woman's motives, but he feigned an elated expression, and hurriedly said, "Senior Thousand Autumns! It would naturally be brilliant news for us if you could step in to help my father capture than man."
"Capture him? I can't do that. Even if I were willing to, I may not be able to. Besides, I may be on good terms with your Long Family, but I certainly can't just offend another Body Integration cultivator for your sake. All I can do is to separate them and end this battle," Holy Maiden Thousand Autumns said with a smile.
The Long Family Leader hesitated momentarily before agreeing, "That would suffice as well. My father has expended some energy while taking care of some matters a few days ago, so it wouldn't be ideal for him to fight a powerful enemy at a time like this."
"Alright, in that case, I'll... Hmm? It looks like I won't have to step in, after all." Holy Maiden Thousand Autumns cast her gaze into the sea of mist as a slightly grim look appeared on her face.
"What do you mean by that, Se..." The purple-robed man faltered slightly upon hearing this, yet before he could even fully articulate his question, the ground near the entire fortress suddenly tremored violently. Immediately thereafter, an earth-shattering boom erupted within the sea of mist, followed by a sharp screech.
A burst of violent golden and purple energy surged forth from within the sea of mist, blowing all of the mist away before sweeping directly toward the Long Family cultivators.
This immediately sent the Long Family cultivators into a panic, and those with weaker cultivation bases hurriedly fell back to seek refuge behind the city wall.
Meanwhile, the high-grade cultivators who were at the Spatial Tempering Stage all released protective treasures to shield themselves, and also retreated a few steps to a safer distance away.
Only Holy Maiden Thousand Autumns allowed the energy to sweep over her while remaining completely still on the spot. However, her smile had already faded, and had been replaced with a grim expression.
All of the white mist was eradicated by the eruption of energy, and only then were the two figures in the distance revealed to everyone.
One of them was a mountainous golden ape that was over 300 feet tall, and it was holding a Daoist priest in one hand while its other hand was clenched into a tight menacing fist.
The normal-sized humanoid figure before the giant ape was none other than the Long Family patriarch. At this point, a pair of golden dragon horns had appeared on his head, and golden scales had emerged on the sides of his face. Even his pupils had taken on a shimmering golden color, and just like the ape, he wasn't wielding any weapons, either.
The ground that the two of them were standing on was filled with craters of different sizes, having clearly been severely ravaged by their battle.
"Hehe, as expected of a late Body Integration cultivator from the number one true spirit family; to think that you can contend with me using nothing more than your physical body. However, you won't be able to prevent me from getting away," the giant golden ape roared.
"Who are you? From what I know, there are no other ape-type demonic cultivators who have reached the Body Integration Stage aside from that Daoist Master Yellow Brow," the Long Family patriarch asked in an expressionless manner.
"Hehe, you can speculate about who I am in your own time. Seeing as you've stepped in in person, I'll let those people live. However, if the same thing happens again, don't blame me for putting an end to them!" the giant ape roared in a menacing voice.
Immediately thereafter, a layer of shimmering silver flames appeared over its body, and it crashed toward the air nearby.
A sputtering sound rang out as the space there was melted by the silver flames, revealing a black hole.
The giant ape vanished into the black hole in a flash, and the Long Family patriarch made no effort to intervene. He merely remained on the spot and stared at the rapidly shrinking black hole, seemingly in deep thought about something.
Only then did the purple-robed man hurriedly approach him in a respectful manner along with the Long Family elders. "Are you alright, Father?"
"Hmph, of course I am! Do you think that ape is capable of harming me?" the Long Family patriarch replied in a cold voice.
"That's certainly not what I was implying; I was merely slightly concerned as you had even activated your half-dragon body, Father," the purple-robed man said in a respectful voice.
The Long Family patriarch suddenly asked in a cold voice, "You heard what that demonic cultivator said before he left, right? As the Long Family Leader, I presume you know something about this."
"This matter concerns my sister, Lady Li. I was just about to report this to you, and I didn't think that such a powerful demonic cultivator would be involved, nor did I think that he would get here so quickly," the purple-robed man replied with a wry smile.