"From the sound of it, this Xue Guang must also be a Sacred Ancestor. If the Chaotic Yin Yang Qi is that important, then why did he entrust the treasure to someone else? Why didn't he wait until he could descend into the Spirit Realm so he could extract the Chaotic Yin Yang Qi himself?" Han Li asked in a skeptical manner.
"I've been trapped in here for countless years, so I don't know what his exact reasons could be. Perhaps the other Sacred Ancestors are already suspecting him and have sent spies to monitor him, so he doesn't dare to carry out this task in person. Alternatively, perhaps he's encountered some trouble in the sacred realm and can't descend into the Spirit Realm at all. Sacred Ancestors are able to send clones into this realm, but there are very few of them who can descend into this realm with their true body and not have to fear being rejected by this realm. Xue Guang doesn't rank very high among the Sacred Ancestors, so perhaps he's simply restricted by a lack of power. By the way, you came into possession of this Devil Sealing Lock, so you must've killed the devilish lords that you mentioned earlier; tell them about their abilities, and I'll see if I have any recollection of them," Che Qigong prompted.
Han Li thought about this for a moment before deciding that this information wasn't of any consequence, so he replied truthfully, "That does indeed sound rather plausible. Among the devilish lords I encountered, one of them had extraordinary strength and a physical body seemed to be no less powerful than that of a Sacred Ancestor. As for his two companions, one could directly summon Heavenly Ghosts, while the other was adept in using Hierarchical True Devils..."
"I've only heard of one of those three, and he wasn't all that renowned back when I was first sealed into this treasure. However, he was already a subordinate of Xue Guang's at the time, so it seems that he really did entrust this Devil Sealing Lock to his subordinates."
"In that case, the leader of the devilish army that descended into this area is most likely this Sacred Ancestor Xue Guang," Han Li mused.
"Indeed. Unless all of my prior speculation was incorrect, that must be the case. You still haven't answered my original question yet; are there any places with Yin Yang Infernal Ponds or Earthly Hellish Flames nearby?" Che Qigong asked again in a serious voice.
"There's a valley around two month's travel away from here that contains Earthly Hellish Flames. This flame can only be used to refine some Yin flame treasures, so even though it's very rare, us human cultivators don't really pay it much heed," Han Li replied in a slow voice.
"My theories are virtually all but confirmed, then. Xue Guang must've sent his three subordinates to this place to try and extract some Chaotic Yin Yang Qi from this Devil Sealing Lock, only for it to be taken by you!" Che Qigong guffawed, clearly taking a lot of pleasure in Xue Guang's misfortune.
In contrast, a contemplative expression had reappeared on Han Li's face.
"You seem to be interested in the Chaotic Yin Yang Qi as well," Che Qigong observed in a cold voice as his mirth subsided.
"It would be very pretentious of me to say that I'm not interested in such an incredible treasure. However, how do I know you're not lying to me?" Han Li asked in a calm manner.
"Hehe, how would I benefit from lying to you? I've been trapped in this treasure for countless years, and I've broken through to the last three layers of the 13 restrictions placed on the treasure; if the Chaotic Yin Yang Qi in this Devil Sealing Lock can be drawn out, perhaps I'll be able to free myself someday. Of course, I won't allow a human cultivator like you to reap such an outrageous reward for nothing; if you want me to tell the refinement method for this Devil Sealing Lock, then you'll have to promise me a few things first," Che Qigong said in a nonchalant manner.
"Are you trying to make a deal with me?" Han Li asked as his eyes narrowed slightly.
"I am. Are you not interested in the Chaotic Yin Yang Qi?" A cold smile appeared on Che Qigong's face.
"Of course I am, but I plan to consider this matter in greater detail before I decide whether to strike up a deal with you." A peculiar light suddenly flashed through Han Li's eyes as he spoke, following which he abruptly disintegrated into specks of golden light.
Che Qigong's expression darkened significantly upon seeing this, and only after a long while did he murmur to himself, "He withdrew his spiritual sense from this place; is he really not interested in the Chaotic Yin Yang Qi at all? If he's unwilling to make a deal with me, then who knows when I'll next encounter someone that can help me escape from this place?"
Che Qigong stood on the spot and looked into the distance with a dark expression.
Meanwhile, specks of golden light drifted out of the white wooden box that was suspended in mid-air in the secret chamber on the top floor of the pavilion that Han Li was situated in. The specks of golden light quickly vanished into the golden Nascent Soul above Han Li's physical body, following which the five-colored eyeballs in the surrounding area all imploded amid a string of dull thumps.
The golden Nascent Soul made a hand seal, and it flew into Han Li's physical body as a streak of golden light, upon which a long sigh rang out.
Han Li slowly opened his eyes before staring at the wooden box in silence with a cautious look in his eyes.
"Chaotic Yin Yang Qi and Devil Sealing Lock, eh? Who would've thought that I would stumble upon such an incredible treasure. Having said that, nothing is free in life; this Chaotic Yin Yang Qi will indeed be extremely useful to me, but I have to consider the situation carefully first!" Han Li murmured to himself as he made a grabbing motion to draw the wooden box into his grasp.
As he stroked the box, he fell into deep thought. All of a sudden, a certain thought occurred to him, and his expression changed slightly as he rose to his feet before pacing around the secret chamber.
"If this item is that important, then who's to say that Sacred Ancestor Xue Guang wouldn't have placed some kind of tracking mark on it? I'm sure he wouldn't be willing to lose such a treasure. This could be a little troublesome."
Despite the concern in his voice, there wasn't any panic or fear in his eyes.
Of course, this was because the Sacred Ancestor Xue Guang in the Spirit realm was only a clone. If Sacred Ancestor Xue Guang had descended into the Spirit Realm in his full glory, then Han Li would immediately be fleeing the scene.
He was quite confident in his own abilities, but he definitely wasn't deluded enough to think that he could oppose a Grand Ascension Stage being such as a Sacred Ancestor.
Of course, if he could make another breakthrough and reach the late-Body Integration Stage, he should at least be able to ensure self-preservation even against a Sacred Ancestor.
After pacing around for about 10 minutes, a decisive look finally appeared in Han Li's eyes.
He immediately tossed the wooden box into the air, then swept a sleeve through the air to release a dozen or so golden and silver talismans, which adhered themselves to the box in a flash.
After that, he began to chant something while flicking his fingers incessantly toward the box, casting a torrent of incantations seals that transformed into streaks of light, which instantly encompassed all of the golden and silver talismans.
Light flashed from the surfaces of these talismans, and they blurred before transforming into golden and silver runes of different sizes before being drawn into the wooden box.
Han Li's chanting ceased upon seeing this, but he continued to make different hand seals, and a string of dull thunderclaps suddenly erupted from his body.
Golden lightning flashed from his fingertips, and a series of thin arcs of lightning sprang forth, then instantly intertwined to form a golden lightning net that descended toward the wooden box.
Following a string of rumbling thunderclaps, the lightning net converged at Han Li's behest, and layers of golden lightning enveloped the wooden box, transforming it into a shimmering golden rectangular brick.
Only then did Han Li's expression ease slightly as he swept a sleeve forward to release a burst of azure light, which drew the golden brick into his storage bracelet in a flash.
After that, Han Li sat down with his legs crossed again to contemplate his current situation.
He began to wonder whether the green liquid from his mysterious small vial would work on this incomplete Profound Heavenly Treasure. Unfortunately, with that Sacred Ancestor in the treasure, he didn't dare to conduct any reckless experiments.
Otherwise, if he were to somehow damage the restrictions in the treasure and release the Sacred Ancestor, then he would be in a world of trouble!
Han Li naturally wasn't going to do something so risky, so he could only repress this urge for now.
As for whether that Sacred Ancestor Xue Guang would send people to hunt him down, Han Li was confident that self-preservation wouldn't be an issue as long as he didn't get surrounded by four or five late-Body Integration Stage devilish lords at once. Sacred Ancestor Xue Guang's clone would definitely be far more powerful than the average late-Body Integration Stage devilish lord, but as one of the generals of the devilish army, he definitely couldn't just abandon his post to pursue Han Li himself.
Furthermore, even if he did come after Han Li, there was no telling who would emerge on top in a battle as Han Li had a Profound Heavenly Treasure as a trump card.
With that in mind, Han Li was convinced that he would be fine at least for the short term. As for several decades from now, if Sacred Ancestor Xue Guang really did manage to descend into the Spirit Realm, then the powerful human and demonic beings on the holy island would be able to oppose him. All he had to do was leave Deep Heaven City prior to that, and no one would be able to find him.
Having devised a course of action in his mind, he closed his eyes and entered a meditative state.
Over a month later, a flying carriage drawn by a pair of giant black birds suddenly appeared near the valley where the devilish army was situated.
Within the carriage were two high-grade devilish beings, one male and one female, and they were conversing with one another with grim expressions.