"The day when the five suns transition into moons? Now that you mention it, this centenary phenomenon is indeed going to take place in two months, but how does it have anything to do with the city's protective formation?" Fairy Silver Light asked.
Han Li was very knowledgeable in formations, and he quickly theorized, "On the day when the five suns transition into moons, the Yang energy of heaven and earth will be severely lacking; could it be that this formation draws its power from this energy?"
"Precisely, Fellow Daoist Han. Our four sects set up a Nine Sun Astral Formation in the city, and the more Yang energy of heaven and earth it can absorb, the more powerful it'll be. At the height of its powers, it wouldn't be impossible for it to kill even devilish lords. It's exactly because of this formation that the devilish army hasn't dared to launch an all-out attack against our city. Not only can this formation only be set up in a place where nine plots of earthly fire can be found, the materials required have exhausted almost the entire wealth of our four sects. On top of that, it's limited by the fact that it can only unleash its power after absorbing an enormous amount of the Yang energy of heaven and earth. Under normal circumstances, this wouldn't be an issue, but due to the issue outlined earlier, we're truly in a dire situation," Lin Luan said with tightly furrowed brows.
"Nine Sun Astral Formation? If this formation is as powerful as you say, then why have I never heard of it before?" Fairy Silver Light asked.
"That's no surprise; this formation is one that was created by a dozen or so of our four sect's formation masters, and it took over 1,000 years for them to do so. Its powers are definitely not inferior to those the legendary ancient formations," Fairy Lin Luan explained in a slightly proud manner.
Han Li's expression remained unchanged upon hearing this, but he was actually quite surprised. Only a major power such as this one would be able to gather enough resources and manpower to create a new formation of such staggering power. It seemed that the four sects were very powerful, and had been preparing for this devilish tribulation for a long time.
Not only had they gathered four Body Integration cultivators, they had even created such an extraordinary formation.
A thought suddenly occurred to Han Li, and he smiled as he said, "This Nine Sun Astral Formation does sound very powerful, but the city is facing an army of devilish elites led by four devilish lords; surely this formation alone isn't enough to make the army so wary of the city."
"Indeed, this formation is extremely powerful, but it will surely take quite a while to activate, so it would be quite a stretch to use it against the four devilish lords. On top of that, there's a devilish lord at the pinnacle of the late-Body Integration Stage among the devilish army; will a formation really be enough to oppose such a powerful being?" Fairy Silver Light also asked with a puzzled expression.
"Aside from the Nine Sun Astral Formation, our city did have some powerful trump cards that could threaten devilish lords, but these trump cards all have severe limitations and can only be used a set number of times, so there are barely any remaining now. These devilish lords are throwing their armies at us once every few days, and they're doing this in order to exhaust all of our trump cards. I'll disclose the specific details of the situation to the two of you later," Master Azure Dragon replied with a wry smile.
"Indeed, those devilish lords are extremely devious, and every time they've attacked the city, we've been forced to exhaust a large number of our defensive resources. On many occasions, the two of us were forced to exit the city to combat the enemies, and the devilish lords would always appear to attack us. If we hadn't used some trump cards to defend ourselves, we could've easily followed in the footsteps for our two fallen fellow Daoists," Fairy Lin Luan said as a look of intense resentment appeared on her face.
"It sounds like the city's not in a very good place; please elaborate on the current situation," Han Li said in a calm voice.
"Yes, it would indeed be a good idea for us to get a better grasp of the situation," Fairy Silver Light chimed in in agreement.
"Fellow Daoist Shi, introduce our Heavenlean City's current situation to our fellow Daoists here," Master Azure Dragon said as he turned to one of the Spatial Tempering cultivators.
"Yes, Grand Elder!" a grey-robed elderly man said as he immediately took a step forward in a respectful manner.
After extending a salute to Han Li's duo, he began in a solemn voice, "The situation that our Heavenlean City is currently in is truly not a very optimistic one. All of the fortresses we had constructed around the city had been razed to the ground by the devilish army several months ago, and five of the thirteen protective restrictions we've set up around the city have also been destroyed. In order to repair these restrictions, we'll require at least a month of respite. The most powerful asset of our city, the army of copper puppets, has also been reduced from 100,000 to around only 70,000.
"On top of that, the remaining puppets are all severely damaged, and are in desperate need of repair and recuperation. Otherwise, their numbers will only drop at an increased rate. The most damning thing of all is that the treasure used as the core of several of our city's major protective formations was destroyed in a surprise attack from the Jialun War Devils, which has dropped our defensive prowess by about 30%. As for the spirit beasts being nurtured by the Heavenlean Sect and Heavenly Sovereign Sect..." As the elderly man spoke, the grim look in Fairy Silver Light's eyes became more and more pronounced.
Han Li's brows also furrowed slightly, and after listening for a while longer, he suddenly interjected, "Why is it all bad news? Isn't there anything good you can tell us?"
"Of course there's some good news as well! Thus far, our city hasn't actually suffered all that many casualties, and we've only lost around 10% of all of our low and mid-grade cultivators, and mortal warriors. It's just that morale is not very high due to frequent battles we've had to endure and the death of the two Body Integration Stage seniors. On top of that, our supply of spirit stones and other resources are extremely abundant, and they'll be able to last us several decades with no issues..." Thus, the grey-robed elderly man began to rattle off a list of positives at Han Li's behest.
"I see, so we're not lacking in manpower or resources. With Brother Han and I here to reinforce the city, there's a very good chance that we'll be able to defend it," Fairy Silver Light said in a slightly relieved manner.
"That's what Fellow Daoist Azure Dragon and I think as well. With your assistance, we won't have to fear the four devilish lords anymore. Those All-encompassing Devilish Cavaliers and Jialun War Devils are certainly very troublesome, but as long as we can put on a display to show everyone that our high-end powers aren't inferior to that of the devilish army, then I'm sure morale will be recovered in no time," Lin Luan said with a hopeful look in her eyes.
"Indeed, when the devilish army attacks our city again, we just have to think of a way to trap the four devilish lords, then unleash the power of the Nine Sun Astral Formation; perhaps we'll be able to severely wound one or two devilish lords," Master Azure Dragon chimed in in an optimistic manner.
"It most likely won't be that easy. Those two devilish lords have already seen us enter Heavenlean City, so they'll definitely have their guard up. They'll most likely devise countermeasures against the Nine Sun Astral Formation, or simply wait until the day when the five suns transition into moons before they attack the city again," Han Li said with a shake of his head.
"Hehe, if they choose to do that, then our city will get some much-needed respite. If we can repair the city's restrictions and copper puppet army, and prepare some other trump cards we have up our sleeves, we may be able to defend the city even if the Nine Sun Astral Formation fails. However, no matter what happens, we'll require your assistance, fellow Daoists," Master Azure Dragon said with a cold smile.
After a brief silence, Han Li nodded, and said, "It looks like that's all we can do for now. Rest assured, if those devilish lords join in on the attack against the city, Fellow Daoist Silver Light and I will be sure to lend you our assistance."
"We came all the way here with the goal of helping your city through these tough times, so we're certainly not going to just stand by and watch when our services are required," Fairy Silver Light chimed in with a smile.
"You have my thanks, fellow Daoists," Fairy Lin Luan immediately said in a grateful manner, and Master Azure Dragon also expressed his gratitude with an elated look in his eyes.
After that, Han Li and Fairy Silver Light made some more inquiries about the city defenses, and after the Spatial Tempering cultivators answered all of their questions, they took their leave and were taken to their silent cultivation chambers to rest.
They had traveled for a long time to get to Heavenlean City, and a battle against the devilish army could erupt at any moment, so they really did need to rest and recuperate.
Of course, prior to their departure, Master Azure Dragon gave each of them a jade slip containing information about the devilish army that they were facing.
As such, as they were resting, they would be able to familiarize themselves with their enemies.
Following the departure of Han Li's duo, the group of Spatial Tempering cultivators also took their leave. Master Azure Dragon looked on at their departing figures, and suddenly heaved a long sigh.
"Are you still concerned, Fellow Daoist?" Fairy Lin Luan asked with a faint smile.
"How could I not be concerned? You and I both saw how our fellow Daoists were felled on that day. Those two devilish lords are far more fearsome than we imagined; even with Fellow Daoist Han and Fellow Daoist Silver Light's assistance, our chances of securing victory are still very slim," Master Azure Dragon said in a grim voice.
Fairy Lin Luan's expression darkened slightly upon hearing this, but a cold smile then appeared on her face, and she said, "But if we use that thing, there's still a chance for us, so it's not like we've deceived them."