In the next instant, golden light flashed from Han Li's body, and he let loose a low cry as his body expanded drastically in size. Strands of golden fur also began to emerge out of his skin, and in the blink of an eye, he had transformed into a giant golden ape.
The giant ape abruptly swung both of its arms through the air, and the two extreme mountains in its grasp shot forth before crashing heavily into the stone gate amid two earth-shattering booms.
A layer of golden light surfaced from the golden gate, then exploded like a scintillating golden sun.
The restriction formed by the golden light was virtually instantly shattered, and the stone gate was also reduced to dust.
Even this incredible profound restriction was no match for his two extreme mountains and the extraordinary strength of the Giant Mountain Ape.
Han Li abruptly stomped his feet in the ground upon seeing this and propelled himself through the entrance up ahead.
All of a sudden, a massive silver fist emerged up ahead before hurtling toward him with ferocious might. Even before it had reached Han Li, he was struck by a burst of enormous invisible force.
Han Li was slightly alarmed to see this, but he wasn't fearful in the slightest as he let loose a loud roar, and he lashed out with a massive furry fist of his own in retaliation.
Golden light flashed from his fingertips, and his entire hand instantly became as hard as iron and steel.
The two fists clashed with a crisp crack, and the silver fist was instantly shattered by the giant ape.
Right at this moment, a gust of fierce winds were swept up above Han Li, and a silver set of claws came grabbing toward him from above.
Han Li immediately thrust his other golden palm upward in retaliation, and the silver claws were instantly destroyed as well.
After doing all that, Han Li still had no intention of stopping. Blue light flashed through his eyes, and he suddenly opened his mouth to expel a pillar of azure light, which instantly struck a patch of empty air over 100 feet away.
A loud boom rang out, and a silver figure stumbled out of thin air, revealing itself to be a silver puppet that was missing both of its hands.
The puppet was around 20 feet tall with mysterious black runes engraved all over its body, and Han Li made a grabbing motion toward it, upon which 10 streaks of azure sword Qi hurtled through the air in a flash.
The silver puppet was instantly dismembered on the spot, yet all of a sudden, spatial fluctuations erupted throughout the nearby area, and eight identical silver puppets abruptly emerged.
Han Li was slightly alarmed to see this, and the puppets immediately pounced toward him as balls of silver light.
An hour later, Han Li let loose a long cry and hurled both of his extreme mountains through the air at once, reducing two of the silver puppets to dust.
The two extreme mountains then vanished on the spot before reappearing in the giant ape's hands where they disappeared once again.
Meanwhile, the 13 Purple-striped Gold Devouring Beetles were pursuing a few other silver puppets, and they were quickly felled as well.
The giant ape made a hand seal upon seeing this, and it quickly shrank back down to its human form amid a flash of golden light.
At this point, the entire space was littered with the remains of silver puppets, of which there were more than 20.
Han Li inspected his surroundings with furrowed brows, then turned his gaze toward the air not far away with a grim look in his eyes.
These silver puppets were only at around the Early-Deity Transformation Stage, but a huge number of them had appeared on this level.
From the outside, the first level of the pagoda didn't seem all that big, but it had taken him a long while to fly to this point, and he had slain over 100 of these silver puppets along the way.
If it weren't for the fact that the silver puppets couldn't even withstand a single attack from him in his Giant Mountain Ape form, and he had released his 13 Purple-striped Gold Devouring Beetles as well, it would've taken him quite a while to take care of all of these puppets.
This struck Han Li with a sense of foreboding for what was to come. After all, this was only the first level.
With that in mind, Han Li cast his gaze upward again, and around 600 to 700 feet up above, everything had been concealed by a layer of grey mist.
He had considered taking a shortcut by breaking through this layer of mist to the second level, but he was concerned that forcing his way through this place would damage the hidden spatial node, so he could only give up on that plan.
If the spatial node had already fused as one with the pagoda, then it would not be a good idea to act so recklessly.
Even as he was thinking, Han Li continued to fly toward the staircase up ahead, followed closely by the 13 Purple-striped Gold Devouring Beetles.
After just a few flashes, the azure streak of light vanished from view, and a short while after that, an elegant figure emerged amid a flash of golden light.
This was none other than the middle-aged beauty, who was one half of the Yin Yang Twin Devils.
She was looking at the staircase that Han Li had just scaled with a hint of wariness in her eyes.
"It's a good thing I followed him in here. Otherwise, with his true spirit transformation and those powerful spirit insects of his, this place really may not be enough to trap him," the devilish beauty murmured to herself before raising a hand to summon a silver formation plate. A burst of silver light was released by the formation plate, then swept up the devilish beauty, upon which she vanished on the spot.
On the second level.
Two silver puppets that were slightly larger than those on the first level were reduced to piles of scrap metal by streaks of azure sword Qi.
These puppets were very similar in appearance to those that had appeared on the first level, but these ones possessed roughly mid-Deity Transformation Stage power.
Han Li continued to fly onward expressionlessly with his 13 spirit insects, leaving piles of silver remains in his wake.
On the third level. Around 10 late-Deity Transformation Stage puppets surrounded Han Li before pouncing toward him in unison.
On the fourth level...
On the seventh level, Han Li drifted forward, and a slightly peculiar look appeared on his face.
The puppets on the fourth level were at the early-Spatial Tempering Stage, but they numbered far fewer than the puppets on the previous levels.
The puppets on the fifth and sixth levels were at the mid-Spatial Tempering Stage and late-Spatial Tempering Stage, respectively.
The puppets on the sixth level were far more difficult to deal with than those on the previous levels, and Han Li had been forced to unleash several types of powerful abilities to destroy them.
According to the trend, there was a very good chance that the puppets on the seventh level would be at the Body Integration Stage, so Han Li had mentally prepared himself for a grueling battle.
However, he had yet to encounter any opposition on this level, and that made him even more cautious.
Thankfully, his Law Destruction Eye told him that the node within this space was definitely on this seventh level, and it was most likely not far away, so this was a very encouraging sign for Han Li.
All of a sudden, the 13 Purple-striped Gold Devouring Beetles let loose sharp screeches at once and became noticeably more agitated.
Han Li's heart stirred upon seeing this, and he immediately stopped on the spot. At the same time, blue light flashed within his eyes as he cast his gaze toward a certain direction.
The rainbow light there surged, and two tall and broad figures that were flashing with dazzling rainbow spiritual light emerged. This was a pair of semi-transparent puppets.
These two puppets were around the same stature as an adult human, but their facial features were completely blurred. Their skin was extremely smooth and translucent, and in the instant that they appeared, Han Li was struck by a formidable sense of pressure.
Han Li instantly conducted a careful inspection of the two puppets, upon which a cold smile suddenly appeared on his face. "These puppets are indeed quite interesting, but if they think that a pair of early-Body Integration Stage puppets without any spiritual nature can stop me, then they must be delusional!"
He then swept a sleeve through the air, and his two extreme mountains instantly shot forth. At the same time, the 13 Purple-striped Gold Devouring Beetles around him also flew toward the two puppets.
Immediately thereafter, he flipped a hand over to produce his silver ruler, which he swept through the air to unleash a silver ruler projection that was over 100 feet in length.
Han Li was displaying derision and disdain toward these puppets, but his attacks were extremely ferocious, and he didn't want to waste any time with them at all.
In the face of these devastating attacks, rainbow spiritual light swirled within the eyes of these puppets, and they suddenly approached one another before joining their four hands together.
Two balls of rainbow light instantly erupted between their four palms before combining as one, and the unified ball of rainbow light began to swell drastically.
Initially, it was only around the size of a human head, but after just a few flashes, it had transformed into a rainbow light barrier.
The dazzling rainbow light shielded both of the puppets, and the barrier began to tremor at a frequency that was untraceable to the naked eye.
At the same time, countless runes of different sizes surged out of the surface of the barrier in a frenzy, releasing a burst of extremely dazzling light.
The silver ruler projection reached the light barrier first before dealing it a vicious strike.
A peculiar scene then ensued!
The silver ruler projection was stopped cold in its tracks around half a foot away from the barrier, then released an anguished wail before being repelled high up into the air.