Around 10 minutes later, a loud explosion suddenly erupted near the devilish stronghold, following which over 100 wooden giants that were several hundred feet tall rushed out of the dense forest amid a flash of green light. They rushed toward the stronghold like devastating wrecking balls, followed close by the group of Wood Tribe beings.
A series of green wooden spears, bows, and arrows appeared in their hands, and launched the projectiles toward the stronghold in a torrential barrage.
All of the spears and arrows that were launched instantly swelled to several times their original size before crashing into the protective light barrier around the stronghold, sending ripples running along its surface amid an incessant string of resounding booms.
At this point, the wooden giants had reached the fortress, and their hands transformed into giant white metal hammers that were brought down upon the light barrier with ferocious might.
The light barrier began to tremor violently, and it seemed to be on the brink of crumbling away.
Everything had happened within the span of a few breaths, and only now did the devilish beings in the stronghold react to the situation. Loud sirens immediately rang out all over the stronghold while bursts of black light descended from the city walls before falling upon the Wood Tribe beings down below like rain.
An extremely fierce battle was about to unfold.
Black and green light flashed and intertwined, forming a giant net above the fortress that rumbled and flashed incessantly.
The wooden giants seemed to be a little clumsy and maladroit, but their bodies were as hard as iron and steel, and attacks from ordinary devilish beings were only able to inflict some insignificant pit and bumps into their bodies.
A short while later, a giant opening was created by them in the city wall, and they charged onward in a completely fearless manner.
These wooden giants seemed to possess tremendous strength, smashing all of the devilish beings before them into mincemeat with their giant hammer hands. They led the other Wood Tribe beings straight into the devilish fortress, but their actions had also enraged the high-grade devilish beings in the fortress.
One of them let loose a loud cry, and several menacing roars immediately rang out from within a few giant buildings in the fortress. Immediately thereafter, a dozen or so 100-feet-long rhinoceros-like devilish beasts rushed out of those buildings.
These super devilish beasts all had bright red eyes, and they opened their mouths to expel pillars of white light that struck the wooden giants in a flash.
Around a dozen wooden giants immediately stumbled and almost crashed to the ground. Furthermore, charred holes had appeared on the parts of their bodies that had been struck by the pillars of light.
The rest of the wooden giants continued to charge toward the giant beasts, but the super devilish beasts weren't backing down, either.
They lowered their heads and pounced toward the oncoming wooden giants to engage them in a fierce battle.
Deafening roars and resounding booms rang out, and the two sides seemed to be evenly matched.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of feet above the ground, the elderly man and the middle-aged couple were facing off against four armor-clad devilish beings.
A high-grade being that resembled a giant bear glanced at the elderly man, and as opposed to being panicked or alarmed, a sinister look appeared on his face as he said, "Hmph, I was wondering what gave you the courage to attack us like this; so you've brought along reinforcements. You've made our job a lot easier; after killing this old fart, there shouldn't be any Wood Tribe beings of a higher cultivation base in this area."
The middle-aged couple's expression changed slightly upon hearing this, but the elderly man remained calm and collected as he replied in a cold voice, "You think a group of Deity Transformation Stage devilish trash like you can bring me down? Let me see if your powers can back up your words!"
"If they're incapable of bringing you down, then how about me?"
A rumbling boom rang out as spatial fluctuations erupted in mid-air, and a black figure appeared at the center of the four high-grade devilish beings before appraising the Wood Tribe trio with a cold expression.
This was a man in a brocade robe with a pair of horns on his head, and there was a ruthless look in his small triangular eyes.
The elderly man's heart immediately sank upon seeing this.
This was a late-Spatial Tempering Stage devilish being while he was only at the early-Spatial Tempering Stage; he was most likely no match for this new enemy.
The middle-aged couple were unable to ascertain this devilish man's exact cultivation base, but they could also sense that his aura was more powerful than that of the elderly man, and their expressions darkened significantly.
"We're very fortunate that you paid us a visit, esteemed envoy. Otherwise, we would be in huge trouble here. These are the leaders of the Wood Tribe resistance forces in the nearby area; we'll have to trouble you to help us take care of them," the bear-like devilish being said as he extended a respectful bow toward the brocade-robed man.
"Hehe, these three are all that we're dealing with? I can kill them all with one hand tied behind my back! Rest assured, there's no way I'll be letting them get away," the brocade-robed man guffawed with a disdainful look in his eyes.
The elderly man took a deep breath to repress the alarm in his heart, then quickly transmitted his voice to the middle-aged couple. "We're in trouble here, fellow daoists! I'll do my best to hold off this devil; lead everyone else on a retreat right away!"
The middle-aged couple's hearts jolted upon hearing this, and the middle-aged man hurriedly transmitted his voice in response. "Don't engage in a direct battle with this devil, Elder Zhu. If the opportunity arises, you have to retreat as well!"
The elderly man nodded in a grim manner and didn't say anything further. Instead, he swept both sleeves through the air to release a dozen or so azure wooden balls, all of which transformed into azure balls of light that encompassed all five devils before him.
The cold look in the eyes of the brocade-robed devil became even more pronounced as he harrumphed coldly, and bright red light suddenly began to glow from his horns. Countless crimson threads shot forth, all of which struck the surrounding balls of azure light with unerring accuracy before piercing through them in a flash.
However, before the brocade-robed devil had a chance to do anything else, a crisp crack akin to the sound of shattering porcelain suddenly rang out.
All of the azure balls of light exploded in unison and radiated blinding spiritual light.
All five devils immediately closed their eyes as an instinctive reaction to this piercing light.
Taking advantage of this opportunity, the middle-aged couple shot forth toward two different directions as two streaks of azure light, and at the same time, both of them let loose long cries of different octaves.
The five devils were only disoriented for a split-second before immediately returning to normal, and they were naturally all infuriated to see this.
"I'm going to rip you to shreds and torment your soul for all of eternity! Go and chase down those two; leave this old fart to me," the brocade-robed man roared as he rubbed his hands together. Bursts of inky-black devilish Qi erupted from his body, then converged to form a two-headed devilish projection.
The devilish projection was rather blurry and indistinct, and one could only just barely make out its rough form, but it was extremely fast and pounced toward the elderly man in a vicious manner.
The elderly man remained calm as he opened his mouth to release several streaks of yellow sword Qi. The sword Qi formed a sword barrier that shielded him from the oncoming devilish projection, and he seemed to be content to merely defend himself against his opponent's attacks.
The devilish projection immediately gained a significant upper hand as soon as it clashed with the sword Qi, but it was unable to immediately break through the barrier to kill the elderly man.
The four Deity Transformation Stage devilish beings shared a few hesitant glances upon seeing this, then split up into two groups to pursue the two streaks of azure light.
Meanwhile, the Wood Tribe beings who had just stormed into the fortress down below all displayed expressions of surprise upon hearing the long cries from the middle-aged couple, but they immediately turned around and flew back the way they had come without any hesitation.
However, on this occasion, the devilish beings weren't willing to let them leave so easily. They let loose fierce war cries as they rushed out of the stronghold to pursue the retreating Wood Tribe beings, and none of the wooden giants were able to assist them as they were still locked in battle with the giant rhinoceros beasts.
Thus, the entire stronghold was instantly plunged into a state of chaos.
Meanwhile, no one noticed a faint azure shadow appear high up in the air right below the devilish node, then reverted back to its original form, revealing itself to be Han Li.
The node was covered by a layer of inky-black devilish Qi, and there were over 100 devilish beings on a dozen or so battle canoes guarding the node.
They were clearly far more powerful than the average devilish being in the stronghold, and they remained completely unmoved by the battle taking place below them.
These devilish beings were naturally greatly alarmed to see someone suddenly appear before them, but before they had a chance to do anything, Han Li swept a sleeve through the air to release his Azure Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords, which transformed into hundreds of azure threads that instantly vanished into thin air.
In the next instant, all of the devilish beings and their flying treasures were shredded by streaks of azure sword Qi, following which Han Li opened his mouth to expel a ball of silver flames.
The silver fireball exploded as soon as it emerged, scattering through the air as countless silver sparks. The remains of these devilish beings and their battle canoes were set alight as soon as they came into contact with these silver flames, and they were incinerated into nothingness.
Immediately thereafter, layers of five-colored light appeared over Han Li's body as he quickly made a hand seal, and he flew directly into the dense devilish Qi.
This devilish Qi was clearly supposed to be some type of restriction, but it merely gave way to the five-colored light around Han Li's body.
In the blink of an eye, Han Li had passed through the devilish Qi and arrived before the devilish node up above.
The node was a vast expanse of darkness, and there were bursts of devilish Qi occasionally pouring out of it.
A solemn look appeared on Han Li's face upon seeing this, and after a brief pause for contemplation, he made a hand seal to summon a suit of antiquated black devilish armor over his own body.
Countless black runes then surged out of the suit of armor in a frenzy at his behest before enveloping his entire body.
Immediately thereafter, extremely dazzling and vibrant light erupted from his body, and he transformed into a giant five-colored heavenly phoenix.
The heavenly phoenix gave off an extremely authoritative aura, and it flapped its wings to send faint fluctuations rippling through the nearby space, instantly eradicating all of the oncoming gusts of black wind.
The giant heavenly phoenix then flew directly into the massive black hole.