Han Li could naturally sense that his pursuers were closing in once again, and he immediately released countless golden flowers from his giant bird body.
Each flower was around the size of a bowl, and they each contained a shimmering golden beetle.
These were none other than the mature Gold Devouring Beetles that Han Li had kept in reserve, and he had released several thousand of them at once.
Even with their instantaneous regenerative abilities, the crimson devilish beings were still completely devoured by the Gold Devouring Beetles within the span of just a few breaths, leaving behind no trace of their existence.
Han Li let loose a long cry, and all of the beetles flew back toward him.
Immediately thereafter, he flapped his four wings and vanished on the spot as a silver arc of lightning.
After a few more rumbling thunderclaps, the silver arc of lightning flashed a few times before completely vanishing into the distance.
Around 10 minutes later, the jade plate and stone hall both arrived on the scene before stopping in mid-air.
A humanoid figure then emerged above each treasure. One of them was a slender and elegant woman, while the other was a crimson-robed young man.
They were none other than the clones of Yuan Cha and Xue Guang.
Yuan Cha was completely expressionless, but the fury in her eyes was plain to see, while Xue Guang wore an expression of unbridled rage.
"I didn't think that even my Bloodlight Crystal Guards wouldn't be able to stall him at all; it looks like he's intent on dragging out this chase," Xue Guang spat through gritted teeth.
"Hmph, aren't those guards of yours supposed to be indestructible? How were they killed by those mere spirit insects?" Yuan Cha harrumphed coldly in response.
"Don't tell me you didn't identify what those spirit insects were! My guards have indeed cultivated the Bloodbody Devilish Art, but there's no way they could withstand the power of those spirit insects," Xue Guang snapped.
"Of course I was able to identify those spirit insects. Perhaps I would be wary of them if there were over a hundred thousand of those Gold Devouring Beetles, but such a trifling number won't be anywhere near enough to pose a threat to you and me; we can just trap them using a wood or stone-attribute treasure," Yuan Cha said in an indifferent manner.
"I do indeed have a pair of treasures of those attributes, but can you be certain that he only has that many of those spirit insects? What if he has more than 100,000 of them up his sleeve? On top of that, we still don't know how many trump cards he's yet to reveal; what if we back him into a corner and he lashes out to deal us severe damage before we take him down?" Xue Guang speculated.
"You think he has over 100,00 Gold Devouring Beetles? You sure have a vivid imagination! Alright, let's say that he does indeed have that many Gold Devouring Beetles up his sleeve; do you think his spiritual sense will be powerful enough to control them? Even if our true bodies were present, controlling over 100,000 Gold Devouring Beetles would instantly exhaust our spiritual sense. Rest assured, controlling several thousand of those beetles at once is most likely already his limit. If he really could control so many of those beetles at once, he would've used them against us already. He does indeed possess some powerful abilities that we need to be wary of, but don't tell me that you're planning to give up now. If so, then I'll just have to continue on my own; you just have to deploy your subordinates to cut off all of the potential routes he can take to return to any major human settlements," Yuan Cha chuckled coldly.
Sacred Ancestor Xue Guang's expression changed slightly before he replied, "I was only considering the worst-case scenario. Seeing as you're so confident, I'll naturally be willing to continue as well."
Han Li had taken two extremely important treasures from him, so he naturally wasn't willing to give up on this chase.
"As you know, I'm the leader of our holy race army in this area, but I can't deploy all of the troops here to hunt down that human brat. Otherwise, if something were to go wrong, I would be held accountable," Xue Guang suddenly said.
"So? What are you trying to say? Spit it out," Yuan Cha urged in an impatient manner.
"Hehe, what I'm saying is that seeing as we're unable to capture this human cultivator in a short time, you and I have to make some long-term plans. Why don't you request some reinforcements from Liu Ji? If she can deploy some of her elite subordinates to assist us, there's no way that human brat will be able to get away. With your relationship with Liu Ji, I'm sure this won't be too difficult," Xue Guang chuckled.
Yuan Cha considered this proposal for a moment before nodding in agreement. "Request reinforcements from Liu Ji? That's not a bad idea. Alright, I can do that, but during this time, you and your subordinates have to keep up the pressure on that Han brat. Don't allow him any respite, and certainly don't let him get away."
"Rest assured, Fellow Daoist Yuan Cha, I'll be sure to cut off all of the potential routes leading to Deep Heaven City and the other major human settlements. I'll ensure that he'll have no one to turn to," Xue Guang assured in an ecstatic manner.
"That would be best. Prior to the arrival of Liu Ji's reinforcements, we should continue to follow him from a distance. Once we completely exhaust him, we'll be able to capture him with ease," Yuan Cha said in a cold voice.
"Of course. In reality, with our powers, if we were prepared to incur some costs, we would've most likely already chased him down," Xue Guang said with a smile.
"Alright, let's continue, then. I have to admit that his speed truly is quite remarkable; if we delay here any longer, he'll escape out of our sensory range," Yuan Cha said as she cast her gaze into the distance.
"Of course. I've already set up seven more groups of my subordinates up ahead, and they should be able to exhaust him even further," Xue Guang replied with a cold smile.
Yuan Cha offered no response to this and merely returned to her stone hall as a ball of white light.
As for Xue Guang, he made a hand seal and vanished into the jade plate as a cloud of black Qi.
In the next instant, both of the giant treasures set off in pursuit of Han Li once again.
Meanwhile, Han Li was around 10,000 kilometers away, flying through the air with a dark expression. Having been fleeing for the past two months, the plans of the two Sacred Ancestors had naturally been made very apparent to him.
During this period of time, he had encountered at least 30 to 40 groups of enemies.
Some of these groups were comprised only of low-grade devilish beings, while others included the most elite forces the devilish army had to offer, and there were even two groups that had devilish lords among their ranks.
Under normal circumstances, this naturally wouldn't be of any concern to him, but with the two Sacred Ancestors hot on his heels, he didn't dare to engage in prolonged battles. As such, he was forced to unleash powerful abilities to eradicate his enemies as quickly as possible, but doing so was naturally very taxing on his magic power and spiritual sense.
If it weren't for the fact that he had many regenerative pills up his sleeve, he would've already collapsed. Even so, he was still in terrible condition.
Following the intense battles that he had endured, his magic power reserves had been whittled down to less than half, and after being forced to release all those mature Gold Devouring Beetles, his spiritual sense had also been severely depleted.
The only silver lining on this situation was that the two Sacred Ancestors seemed to have been intimidated by the powers he had displayed, and they only dared to deploy their troops to try and stall him.
As such, he didn't have to worry about being attacked by the two Sacred Ancestors for now, but he clearly couldn't keep this up for much longer. If they were to discover that he was virtually a spent force or if they were to deploy a large number of devilish beings to surround him, then he would be as good as dead.
Han Li naturally wasn't going to wait for something like this to happen. He had employed all types of methods to try and shake off his pursuers, but the two Sacred Ancestors were just as if not more adept then he was in tracking and concealment abilities.
He had tried a wide variety of tactics, but at the very most, he had only been able to shake off the two Sacred Ancestors for less than half a day before they caught up again.
Thus, Han Li was in a very dire situation.
If there were only a single Sacred Ancestor pursuing him, then perhaps he could slip away by taking advantage of a moment of complacency or a lapse in concentration from his pursuer. However, with two of them complementing one another, there was no way he would be able to depend on something like that.
As he approached Deep Heaven City, the number of enemies that he encountered was clearly beginning to increase.
He couldn't allow this to continue any longer! His pursuers were clearly taking advantage of his intention to return to Deep Heaven City, and had most likely set up a vast devilish army to stop him along the way. If he were to forge ahead blindly, then he'd run out of magic power and be killed before he could reach Deep Heaven City. He had to escape toward another direction! There were definitely going to be devilish beings attempting to impede him in other directions as well, but the resistance he encountered would most likely be significantly diminished.
However, he couldn't make his intentions too obvious. He had to somehow shake off his pursuers for now and give himself an opening for some respite.
Having made up his mind, Han Li immediately began to think of a plan.
Perhaps the dire nature of the situation bestowed upon Han Li a greater sense of urgency, but he was quickly able to think of a plan.
Within the jade plate, the three Xue Guang clones were standing in front of a new crystalline wall in a stationary manner.
Two of the clones had already closed their eyes, seemingly to rest, while the third was staring intently at the image on the wall.
All of a sudden, a faint cry of surprise escaped from the third clone's mouth, and the other two clones immediately opened their eyes.
The image on the crystalline wall depicted Han Li in his Kun Peng form, and he suddenly reverted back into human form, then stopped before making a hand seal. His body blurred slightly, and he manifested eight identical figures to himself.