"Rest assured, Fellow Daoist; I have some confidence in my own concealment techniques. As long as I don't encounter any of your race's Grand Ascension Stage seniors, there shouldn't be any issues," Han Li said in a confident manner, and his confidence certainly wasn't baseless.
He possessed the Tian Peng True Blood within his body, and his Thunderstorm Wings had also been cultivated to the point where it was virtually a part of his body, so he would naturally have no trouble posing as a guard from the Tian Peng Race.
"I'm glad you're so confident, Fellow Daoist. Holy Master Lan, we'll be counting on you," Jin Yue replied with a nod before turning to the silver-robed woman beside her.
"Rest assured, Grand Elder; I really do have a type of secret technique that requires Glacial Baleful Qi to cultivate, and I visited the earth abyss for this very same reason several decades ago, so the guard definitely won't suspect anything," the silver-robed woman replied in a respectful manner before her gaze strayed involuntarily toward Han Li again, and there was clearly a hint of astonishment in her eyes.
Even though she had already been made aware prior to setting off that Han Li had become a mid-holy race being, she was still extremely stunned to see this for herself.
Back when they were undertaking the earth abyss trials together, she could already tell that Han Li was far more powerful than his cultivation base suggested, but it was downright absurd that he had managed to progress to the mid-holy race after just several centuries!
However, as the holy maiden, it would be unbefitting of her to let her astonishment get the better of herself, so she merely extended a respectful salute of gratitude toward Han Li for assisting her and Bai Bi during the earth abyss trials, and repressed her curiosity thereafter.
As for Bai Bi himself, he was apparently cultivating some kind of secret technique in seclusion, so he was unable to meet Han Li.
A faint smile appeared on Jin Yue's face in response to Lei Lan's reassuring words, and she nodded before falling silent again.
Thus, the three of them continued in their journey, and quickly left the holy city behind.
Several months later, Han Li's trio finally arrived at the giant city guarding the earth abyss, and from a distance, they could see a row of armored figures standing atop the city wall.
Jin Yue's eyes narrowed slightly, and she led Han Li and Lei Lan on a descent before flying toward a certain city gate.
There were a dozen or so earth abyss guards with wings of different colors situated at the azure city gate, and they were appraising Han Li's trio with wary looks on their faces.
The three of them landed in front of the guards, and at this point, Han Li had already altered his own appearance. At the same time, he had restricted his own magic power to only around the Spatial Tempering Stage.
The leader of this group of guards was a mid-Spatial Tempering Stage being, and he extended a salute toward Jin Yue before asking, "Are you from the Tian Peng Race, Senior? May I ask why you've come here? It isn't time to change the guards yet."
He was unable to glean Jin Yue's exact cultivation base, but he knew that she was definitely a holy race being.
As for Han Li and Lei Lan, they seemed to have been unconsciously ignored by him.
It was no wonder that he held such an attitude; the guards here had been constantly fighting earth abyss demons for many years, so their powers far outstripped their peers of the same cultivation base. As such, they had all developed a hint of arrogance toward beings from other branches of the Flying Spirit Race.
Jin Yue remained unbothered by this and merely smiled as she raised a hand, upon which a blue jade badge shot forth out of her sleeve before landing in the guard's hand.
The guard was rather perplexed by this, but upon inspecting the jade badge, his expression immediately changed as he returned the badge respectful with both hands, then said, "Forgive me for my rudeness, Senior Jin, I didn't recognize you as the grand elder the Tian Peng Race."
"According to the agreement signed by all the races, the grand elders have the right to access the earth abyss at any time, so I'm sure you'll have no issues granting me passage, right?" Jin Yue said as she took the jade badge back from the guard.
"Of course," the guard immediately replied before waving a hand, upon which all of the guards stepped away to the side, opening up a passageway for Han Li's trio.
Jin Yue merely nodded upon seeing this before leading Han Li and Lei Lan in through the city gate.
On the other side of the city gate, Han Li was greeted by the sight of a series of cylindrical pavilions that were each around 300 to 400 feet tall. They were situated in dense clusters and spread over most of the city.
However, there were very few people inside the city; only a few groups of guards that were patrolling the entire city at low altitudes.
"Let's go, there's no reason to delay here." Jin Yue transmitted her voice to Han Li and Lei Lan before rising up into the air and flying toward the city wall on the other side.
Han Li and Lei Lan naturally followed along behind her.
Two hours later, they arrived in front of another massive azure wall, and on one face of the wall, there was a giant shimmering silver formation that had been carved onto its surface.
In front of the formation was another group of guards wearing suits of armor of different colors. However, what was rather strange was aside from these guards, there was also an azure-armored middle-aged man seated atop a futon with his eyes tightly shut.
Han Li's heart immediately stirred at the sight of this man, and Jin Yue's pupils also abruptly contracted.
This man was none other than the general of the guards of this place, Jin Feng. Han Li had met him once in the past, and he knew that this man was a being at the pinnacle of the holy race.
It appeared that he was guarding the entrance to the earth abyss in person.
Jin Yue was slightly flustered by this unexpected occurrence, but her expression remained calm as she smiled, and said, "I'm quite surprised to see you here, General Jin. It's been several centuries since we last met; how have you been?"
The azure-armored slowly opened his eyes upon hearing Jin Yue's words before replying, "Ah, long time no see, Fairy Jin. Why have you come here rather than staying in the Tian Peng Race to cultivate?"
"I should be asking you that; since when did the entrance to the earth abyss require General Jin to guard?" Jin Yue asked with a smile.
"Under normal circumstances, I naturally wouldn't be tasked with this duty, but a major event recently took place, so I had no choice but to take on this role," Jin Feng replied in a calm manner.
"Major event?" Jin Yue was rather taken aback to hear this.
"Around a month ago, I received news that someone had robbed the warehouse on the deepest level of the earth abyss and plundered all of the precious ore we'd mined during the past few years. In the process, he also killed and wounded many of the guards, and he's quite a powerful being. I've already sent a large number of guards into the earth abyss to investigate. This is the only entrance and exit to the earth abyss, and normal guards wouldn't be able to stop that man if he were to try and escape, so I had to take on this role," Jin Feng explained with a smile.
"I see. If I recall correctly, isn't Elder Qin situated on the deepest level of the earth abyss? Was the thief able to overpower even Elder Qin?" Jin Yue asked in an incredulous voice.
"The thief was very cunning, and struck right when Elder Qin left the mine for half a day as he had some other matters to attend to. By the time he received news of what had happened, the thief had already fled the scene. Now then, can you tell me why you've come here, Fairy Jin? Grand elders do indeed have the right to access the earth abyss at will, but you have to have a legitimate reason," Jin Feng said as a serious look appeared on his face.
"Holy Master Lei Lan of our race needs to draw upon Glacial Baleful Qi to cultivate, so she has to enter the earth abyss," Jin Yue explained with a smile as she pointed to Lei Lan.
Lei Lan immediately stepped forward in an obedient manner before extending a respectful curtsey toward Jin Feng. "Lei Lan pays her respects to Senior Jin."
"Ah, yes, I've heard from my subordinates that there is indeed a precedent of Holy Master Lei entering the earth abyss for this purpose. In that case, you'll naturally be granted passage. On top of that, with Fairy Jin in accompaniment, I'm sure your safety won't be an issue even with the current ongoing situation in the earth abyss. However, who is that man, and why does he need to accompany you?" Jin Feng asked with furrowed brows as he turned his gaze to Han Li.
"This is a junior of mine, and he possesses outstanding aptitude as well. He's currently acting as Holy Master Lei Lan's personal guard, so he'll be accompanying us into the earth abyss," Jin Yue replied in a calm manner.
"If Holy Master Lei already has you to accompany her, why would she still need a guard? I don't think there's any need for him to enter the abyss. With the current situation, it's best to have as few people enter the earth abyss as possible," Jin Feng said as he inspected Han Li through narrowed eyes.
Lei Lan and Han Li's expressions both changed slightly upon hearing this, but Jin Yue wasn't panicked in the slightest as she shook her head, and insisted, "I'm afraid that won't do. Junior Han may only be a guard, but he shares a very close bond with Holy Master Lei Lan, and he'll be very important for her cultivation, so he must accompany us into the earth abyss. Otherwise, I wouldn't have taken him all the way here."
"What do you mean by that, Fairy Jin? How could a guard like him be connected with Holy Master Lei's cultivation?" Jin Feng asked with a hint of disbelief in his voice.
Jin Yue merely smiled before transmitting her voice directly to Jin Feng, and initially, Jin Feng was rather perplexed, but an enlightened look quickly appeared on his face, followed by a meaningful smile.
"I see. In that case, it's not in my place to say anything. All three of you will be granted passage," Jin Feng said as he cast his gaze toward Han Li and Lei Lan with a peculiar look in his eyes.
Han Li and Lei Lan didn't show it, but they were quite confused by this situation. However, seeing as they had been granted passage, the two of them naturally immediately expressed their gratitude toward Jin Feng.