"Not only did Senior Ao Xiao go to the holy island, he's going to be staying there until the true battle against the devilish beings commences," the Long Family Patriarch said in a grim voice.
"So that means the rumors of the devilish patriarchs descending into our Spirit Realm are most likely true. In that case, all of our plans will be heavily affected," Han Li sighed.
"Indeed. We had already planned to enter the Elder Devil Realm after the most ferocious attacks from the devilish army had passed by, but if the devilish patriarchs are going to be descending into this realm, then things will be a lot more troublesome. When that time comes, Senior Ao Xiao, Senior Mo Jianli, and the holy island will be the keys to the battle. If our two races are defeated, then we'll have no choice but to flee and hand over this territory. As a result, our plan of entering the Elder Devil Realm will be completely thrown out the window.
"If we were to win the battle, then all of the devilish beings will retreat back to the Elder Devil Realm. If that happens, the spatial nodes will be rife with high-grade devilish beings, and that would also make it very difficult for us to sneak through. If the devilish patriarchs were to descend into our realm, then our risk would be reduced to a minimum. From that perspective, it's a very good thing for us that the devilish patriarchs are planning to descend into the Spirit Realm," the Long Family patriarch said with a wry smile.
"We can only think like that now. Have you informed our fellow daoists from the Spirit Race about this, Brother Long?" Han Li asked.
"It's not that easy to get into contact with the Spirit Race, so I haven't had time to tell them yet, but as long as we have no issues here, there shouldn't be any issues with them, either. The devilish beings aren't just targeting our human and demon races; they're targeting all of the nearby foreign races as well, so the decision that they make will most like be the same as ours," the Long Family patriarch said in a confident manner.
"I see. Would you be able to give me two days to ponder this issue before I get back to you?" Han Li asked after a brief pause for contemplation.
"Hehe, of course. I'll be returning to hear you reply in two days then, Fellow Daoist Han," the Long Family patriarch agreed with a smile.
"I'll be sure to give you a definitive answer in two days. However, prior to that, would you be able to tell me about what the devilish beings have been doing over on your end?" Han Li suddenly changed the subject.
The Long Family Patriarch nodded in response. "I don't know about what they're doing elsewhere, but our stronghold was attacked a few times by the devilish army. Thankfully, we were able to keep them at bay. However, if it weren't for the fact that the Holy Sovereign City had attracted the majority of the devilish army, our stronghold would've been in some peril. It seems that the devilish army in that area intends to focus its power on conquering the Holy Sovereign City city, then wipe out the rest of the nearby human settlements. Fortunately, the Holy Sovereign City has managed to hold its own against the devilish army, and..."
Han Li listened intently to what the Long Family patriarch had to say and occasionally raised a few questions, all of which were answered by the Long Family patriarch to the best of his abilities.
Han Li was very pleased with this information, and the two of them chatted for a while longer before the Long Family patriarch departed.
Han Li accompanied him to the gate of the hall before suddenly asking in a seemingly nonchalant manner, "By the way, would you happen to know if Senior Ao Xiao is on the holy island by himself or if he's there with one of his descendants?"
"I'm not sure exactly who it is, but I heard that Senior Ao is indeed being accompanied by one of his descendants. Why do you ask, Fellow Daoist Han?" the Long Family patriarch asked with a peculiar look in his eyes.
"No particular reason," Han Li replied with an ambiguous chuckle.
The Long Family patriarch obviously wasn't convinced, but this had nothing to do with him, so he naturally wasn't going to pry any further. Thus, he cupped his fist in a salute toward Han Li before flying out of the stone pagoda as a streak of golden light.
Following the Long Family patriarch's departure, Han Li returned to the hall, where his two disciples were already waiting for him.
"Have you encountered some trouble, Master? Is there anything we can help you with?" Hai Yuetian asked.
"If it's something that you can help me resolve, then it wouldn't be considered as trouble to me," Han Li replied in an indifferent manner.
"If only we had progressed further in our cultivation; we would be of more use to Master," Qi Lingzi said with a shameful expression.
"You two already possess exceptional cultivation aptitude. Otherwise, you wouldn't have progressed to this point in such a short time. It's just that the issue at hand is extremely perilous even for Body Integration cultivators, so it's only normal that you two are unable to contribute in any way. Alright, that's enough of that matter; tell me about the current situation in Deep Heaven City. Have the remnants of the devilish army been wiped out?" Han Li asked with a serious expression.
Qi Lingzi immediately launched into a recount of events in response. "After you went into seclusion, Senior Gu and the others only returned to the city to recuperate for a short while before immediately undertaking a series of tasks..."
After Qi Lingzi had recounted all of the important events that had taken place in the city, Han Li nodded in response before asking about the Ice Phoenix.
"Senior Ice Phoenix seemed to have attained the catalyst for a breakthrough, and she immediately went into seclusion after the devilish army was wiped out. According to her, she'll be in seclusion for at least several months, but no more than a year," Hai Yuetian replied.
"Fellow Daoist Ice Phoenix possesses outstanding aptitude with her heavenly phoenix bloodline, so it's no surprise that she's gleaned something during the battle. Stay in the pagoda during this time and make sure that no one interrupts her seclusion," Han Li said with a pleased look in his eyes.
"Alright, you two can go now," Han Li instructed with a content nod.
"We'll leave you to rest then, Master."
Qi Lingzi and Hai Yuetian extended a deep bow before exiting the hall.
Just as the two of them had made it to the entrance of the hall, a thought suddenly occurred to Han Li, and he instructed, "By the way, don't tell anyone that Fellow Daoist Long came to visit me today."
The two disciples' hearts stirred upon hearing this, and they naturally gave an affirmative response.
Thus, Han Li was the only one left in the hall.
He sat on his chair with his chin resting one of his hands, and a contemplative look appeared on his face.
Over half a year later, a group of devilish beings with black Qi surging all over their bodies were attacking a group of seven or eight human cultivators in the air above a certain mountain range.
The two sides appeared to be evenly matched, so the battle was extremely fierce.
All of a sudden, spiritual light flashed in the distant sky, and a streak of five-colored light appeared before hurtling onto the scene in a flash.
The devils and humans down below didn't know whether this was a friend or a foe, so they all stopped and quickly retreated.
Right at this moment, a pleasant young female voice rang out from within the five-colored streak of light. "I guess it wouldn't be right of me to not give you all a hand."
As soon as her voice trailed off, the streak of light paused in the air above the group of devilish beings for a moment. Immediately thereafter, countless threads of five-colored light came raining down from above, instantly destroying the bodies of the devilish beings.
"Thank you, Senior!"
The human cultivators were ecstatic to see this, but the five-colored streak of light merely continued on its way and quickly vanished into the distance, seemingly completely disinterested in receiving their gratitude.
The group of human cultivators exchanged a few bewildered glances, and following a brief conversation, all of them departed as well.
Not long after that, spatial fluctuations suddenly erupted up above, and two more humanoid figures appeared. One of them was a fierce-looking burly man in a suit of black armor, while the other was a slender woman in a white palatial dress. Both of their bodies were covered in a thin layer of pink mist, making it impossible to glean their facial features.
"Mistress, would you like me to kill that group of human cultivators?" the black-armored man asked as a hint of killing intent appeared in his eyes.
"There's no need to do that; all we have to do is follow this woman," the woman in white replied with a calm shake of her head.
"But Mistress, we've followed this woman for around a year already, and it hasn't yielded any fruits; could it be that your initial divination was incorrect somehow?" the black-armored man asked in a hesitant voice.
"It's quite common for errors to occur during this type of divination, but I was very successful on this occasion. As soon as I saw this woman, I was sure that she's the one I need to follow in order to find the spirit medicine that'll heal me, or take me to the person who possesses such a spirit medicine; this is certainly much better than stumbling around aimlessly in the vast human territory," the woman replied.