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The entire formation began to flash with silver runes and white light, and specks of starlight flashed within it to form a radiant galaxy. It was quite clear that the formation had been activated to the limit of its power.

A solemn look appeared on Jin Yue's face upon seeing this, but in the next instant, her expression abruptly changed as she yelled, "Who's there? Show yourself!"

As soon as her voice trailed off, she extended a hand out of her sleeve before making a grabbing motion, and a burst of enormous invisible force erupted forth.

The invisible force converged toward what was seemingly nothing more than thin air, but a ball of silver lightning suddenly exploded there, and a silver snake shot forth from within the lightning before pouncing toward the light formation.

The silver snake was astonishingly fast and was completely immune to the influence of the tremendous force being exerted upon it.

Jin Yue faltered slightly upon seeing this, and before she had a chance to react, the silver snake had plunged headfirst into the light formation.

Almost at the exact same moment, a sharp piercing cry rang out from within the massive light formation, following which a pillar of white light erupted forth. The pillar of light tore through over 10,000 feet of space in an instant, then vanished into a black hole that emerged out of thin air.

Only then did the five-colored light formation fade away, leaving only a shattered white disk behind.

Lei Lan looked on in a flabbergasted manner, and only after a while did she return to her senses. "Who was that, Grand Elder? They seem to have been teleported away along with Senior Han!"

"I don't know, but that person was using an extremely remarkable lightning cultivation art that allowed them to disregard my powers. He's most likely the thief that the law-enforcement squad is hunting for," Jin Yue replied with a dark expression.

"What? Will Senior Han be in danger, then?" Lei Lan drew a sharp breath upon hearing this.

"Rest assured, Fellow Daoist Han's powers are most likely not inferior to mine; even that thief won't be able to best Fellow Daoist Han in battle. However, the fact that he was lurking nearby indicates that he's most likely been following us ever since we visited that giant crater several days ago, yet neither Fellow Daoist Han nor I were able to sense him, so he must possess incredible concealment abilities. It's no wonder that even after deploying so many people, the law-enforcement squad was still unable to hunt him down. However..." Jin Yue's voice suddenly trailed off as a perplexed look appeared on her face.

"What is it?" Lei Lan asked.

"That man's aura was rather strange; it seemed to be have been intermingled with a beastly aura that resembles that of the Lightningcloud Falcon of the primordial world, but it's not exactly the same," Jin Yue explained in a hesitant manner.

"A beastly aura? Could it have belonged to a spirit beast that he owns?" Lei Lan asked.

"I don't think so. The aura was completely integrated with his aura, and they seem more like constituent parts of a whole rather than two separate entities. In any case, we've achieved our objective, so let's leave this place right away. We came here under the guise that you were going to cultivate in the glacial baleful area, so we have to go there to avoid suspicion. That teleportation formation created quite a massive commotion just now, so there are most likely going to be people arriving on the scene soon," Jin Yue said.

"You're right, Grand Elder," Lei Lan agreed with a nod.

Thus, Jin Yue swept a sleeve through the air to release a burst of light that scattered the remnant fluctuations left behind by the light formation, then flew away with Lei Lan as two streaks of light.

Elsewhere, within a space that was filled with murky white mist, Han Li was standing mid-air, looking at the man who had barged his way into the teleportation formation with a peculiar look on his face.

"I didn't I'd meet you again, let alone under these circumstances! I presume you must the one who's been stealing from the mine warehouse," Han Li said.

In the instant before he was teleported away, he had discovered that someone else had barged into the formation, but the teleportation had already commenced at that point, so he could only allow that person to be teleported into the infernal river with him.

However, never did he think that this man would be someone that he recognized.

"Oh? From the sounds of it, you seem to know who I am." Standing several hundred feet away from Han Li was a thin middle-aged man in a set of long blue robes.

He wore a faint smile on his face, and was quite calm and collected.

"How has that Lightning Beast of yours been developing, Fellow Daoist Yu? I'm sure it must've played a big role in your progression to the holy race," Han Li said as a cold smile appeared on his face.

The man's calm expression instantly transformed into one of bewilderment upon hearing mention of the term "Lightning Beast", and he yelled, "Who are you? How do you know about the Lightning Beast?"

At the same time, his terrifying early-Body Integration Stage aura was released toward Han Li without any reservation.

This man was none other than the shopkeeper with the Yu surname that Han Li had last met in the holy city of the Tian Peng Race. [1]

At the time, the shopkeeper had promised Han Li an Azure Shifting Fruit in exchange for his services to help him tame a certain Lightning Beast. Two other Spatial Tempering cultivators had also been recruited for the task, but in the end, after they had successfully helped the shopkeeper tame the Lightning Beast, the latter had turned on them and tried to kill them.

Only after displaying his extraordinary powers did Han Li manage to survive that ordeal, and the shopkeeper had begrudgingly given him an Azure Shifting Fruit core before they parted ways.

At the time, he had already realized that this was a very mysterious figure who definitely wasn't an ordinary Tian Peng being. The fact that he had progressed to the early-holy race after just several hundred years further vindicated Han Li's suspicions toward him.

However, Han Li was now far more powerful than he had been in the past, and even though he had restricted his own aura to the mid-Spatial Tempering Stage, that was still completely incomparable to his past cultivation base. On top of that, he had also altered his own appearance, so it was no wonder that the shopkeeper had been unable to recognize him.

In the face of the astonishing spiritual pressure the man was releasing, Han Li's expression remained calm, and in the next instant, he also released a burst of spiritual pressure that should only belong to holy race beings.

A resounding boom rang out as the two bursts of spiritual pressure clashed, then nullified one another, indicating that they were evenly matched.

"You're also an early-holy race being?" Shopkeeper Yu's heart immediately jolted upon seeing this.

He had been following Han Li's trio from afar, and after seeing that Han Li had a way to leave the earth abyss, he had barged into Han Li's teleportation formation without any hesitation. He had thought that Han Li was only at the Spatial Tempering Stage, so he hadn't been overly wary of him. If he had known Han Li's true cultivation base in advance, he may not have followed through with his initial plan.

A faint smiled appeared on Han Li's face upon hearing this, and in the next instant, the spiritual pressure he released became even more powerful.

"You're a mid-holy race being! Who are you? There's no way I wouldn't recognize a mid-holy race being from the Flying Spirit Race!" Shopkeeper Yu exclaimed as his pupils contracted drastically.

However, what was rather surprising was that he still seemed to be quite calm and wasn't displaying any signs of panic.

"Who I am isn't important. You must've plundered a lot of precious ore from the mine warehouse, right? I'm not going to ask for anything excessive; hand over all of the ore you stole, and I'll let you go free. That will act as your payment for hitching a ride in my teleportation formation," Han Li replied in an indifferent manner, displaying no intention of revealing his own identity.

"I see, so you want the materials that I took from the warehouse. Indeed, I was only able to escape from the earth abyss using your teleportation formation, so it's only right that I issued some payment to you." As opposed to being enraged by Han Li's demands, Shopkeeper Yu merely chuckled before flipping a hand over to reveal a blue storage bracelet, then tossed it to Han Li with a flick of his wrist.

Han Li faltered slightly upon seeing this, but a thought then immediately occurred to him, and a cold look appeared in his eyes at the sight of the oncoming bracelet.

He swept a sleeve through the air, and golden light flashed as the bracelet was sliced in half. Instead of anything dropping out of the bracelet, a loud thunderclap erupted, and it transformed into a net of blue lightning that descended toward him.

However, Han Li seemed to have anticipated this in advance. He abruptly flapped his wings, and a thunderclap rang out, following which a silver net of lightning also erupted from behind him.

The two nets of lightning clashed, and the silver lightning transformed into a strange lightning formation. The blue lightning net was sucked into the lightning formation in an instant, and it was unable to unleash any of its power.

Shopkeeper Yu's heart jolted upon seeing this, while Han Li merely pointed a finger at the lightning formation, and it vanished following a loud thunderclap.

"I can forgive you just this once. Here's a second chance; hand over the ore, and I'll let you leave. Otherwise, hehe..." Han Li chuckled coldly as killing intent flashed through his eyes.

This Shopkeeper Yu had tried to kill him several hundred years ago, and if it weren't for the fact that Han Li was more powerful than he had expected, he would most likely have tried to kill Han Li here as well.

As such, Han Li naturally wasn't going to show him any kindness. In fact, he was already letting him off the hook by granting him freedom in exchange for the ore that he had stolen.

Of course, if he didn't want to comply, then Han Li certainly wouldn't mind putting an end to his life.

The man's ability to remain calm in this situation indicated that he had some trump cards up his sleeve, but with Han Li's current powers, he naturally wasn't going to be fearful of him.

"Looks like you know me quite well. In that case..." After some contemplation, Shopkeeper Yu feigned a resigned expression and seemed to be about to concede, but right at this moment, a dozen or so transparent thin needles suddenly appeared behind Han Li.

These needles then shot forth toward Han Li as silver threads, and at the same time, a loud thunderclap erupted above him.

A ball of lightning emerged out of thin air, consisting of three colors, which were gold, silver, and blue.

Within the lightning was a half-human half-bird beast, and it opened its mouth to expel three thick bolts of lightning at once.

[1] IGT: Han Li first meets this guy in Chapter 1421 (near the end of the chapter)

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