The pink fireballs seemed to be descending quite slowly, but they somehow reached all of the devilish beings down below with unerring accuracy in a flash, including the winged man.
In the instant that these flames came into contact with the pink flames, they were incinerated into smoke in the blink of an eye, leaving only the first devilish lord behind.
The devilish lord's eyes were filled with incredulity at the sight of the floral tree up above, and he immediately fell to his knees without any hesitation.
The devilish lord's voice trembled with emotion as he said, "I didn't think I'd ever get to see you again, Mistress Bao Hu; I can die without any regrets now."
"Long time no see, Ke Yun." A faint sigh rang out, following which two humanoid figures, one white and one black, emerged in unison above the floral tree.
They were none other than Sacred Ancestor Bao Hua and Hei'e. Bao Hua looked down at the devilish lord, and a reminiscent look appeared in her eyes.
"It really is you, Mistress Bao Hu! There are many rumors going around, claiming that you'd already passed away, but I refused to believe them! With your powers, there's no way you wouldn't have been able to at least ensure self-preservation!" the devilish lord said in an excited manner.
"I did indeed manage to survive that ordeal, but my cultivation base was severely debilitated, and I could only flee into the Spirit Realm with some of my subordinates. I'm quite pleased to see that you're doing well for yourself, but as a safety precaution, I have to examine your spiritual sense," Bao Hua said as her eyes narrowed slightly.
The devilish lord shuddered slightly, but then immediately agreed, "Of course, Mistress! Those two possess powers that aren't inferior to yours back at your peak; if they were to plant some type of restriction within me, I wouldn't be able to detect it."
"Alright, pardon my intrusion then." Bao Hua's expression eased slightly as she slowly drifted down from above, followed closely by Hei'e.
The floral tree vanished into her body as a streak of pink light, while the devilish lord rose to his feet and stood on the spot in a respectful manner.
The devilish Qi around his body faded, and he was revealed to be a middle-aged man with a pair of inky-black curled horns on his head.
Bao Hua arrived in front of him before pointing a finger toward his glabella without any hesitation. A thin translucent thread shot forth out of her fingertip and vanished into his glabella in a flash as she slowly closed her eyes.
A hint of pain appeared on the devilish lord's face before his eyes quickly glazed over.
Time slowly passed by, and all of a sudden, the translucent thread began to shimmer with golden light before vanishing into the devilish lord's head.
The devilish lord gave a muffled groan as blood began to trickle out of his nostrils and ears, following which a pesized grey speck of light emerged from each of those four orifices before flying away into the distance.
A cold look appeared on Bao Hua's face as she flicked a finger toward these specks of light, and four more translucent threads of light shot forth in a flash, instantly piercing through those specks of light before drawing them into her sleeve.
Immediately thereafter, she opened her mouth to expel several pink specks of light that instantly disappeared into the devilish lord's glabella.
Only then did the translucent thread disintegrate into nothingness.
The devilish lord's expression stirred slightly, and the vacant look in his eyes faded as he turned to Bao Hua. "Mistress Bao Hua, I..."
"As expected, they planted a restriction within you, but it's been nullified now, and I planted a fake restriction inside your body to replace the original one. Unless those two examine your body in person, no one will be able to detect anything amiss," Bao Hua said in a calm manner.
"Thank you, Mistress. May I ask why you've appeared here? There's no one here who can pose a threat to you, but it would still be very detrimental to you if news of your presence here were to be leaked," the devilish lord said in a concerned manner.
"I have my own reasons. Let me ask you this first: was there a group of people that just entered the node behind you?" Bao Hua asked with a complex expression as she cast her gaze toward the node.
"There was indeed a group of foreign beings who just entered the node. Half of them were human, while the other half were Spirit beings, and they were all at the Body Integration Stage, so I didn't dare to stop them," the devilish lord replied in a truthful manner.
"I see. I have a mission for you: keep this incident a secret from the Sacred Ancestors for now. You won't be able to hide this forever, but keep it a secret for as long as possible, can you do that?" Bao Hu instructed in a cold voice.
The devilish lord didn't know why Bao Hua was asking this of him, but he replied in a confident manner, "That's going to be rather troublesome, but the one that was sent here to keep an eye on me was just killed by you, so I should be able to keep this a secret for around a year."
"Good. Let's go in as well, Hei'e." Bao Hua gave a content nod before drifting toward the node without even turning her head.
Both the devilish lord and Hei'e's expressions changed drastically upon seeing this, but neither of them dared to say anything.
Hei'e gritted his teeth as he grappled briefly with an internal conflict before following along behind Bao Hua, and the two of them quickly disappeared into the node.
The devilish lord stared blankly at the node for a long while before a wry smile appeared on his face. Following a brief moment of contemplation, he suddenly raised his head and let loose a long cry that pierced straight into the heavens.
A short while later, groups of devilish beings riding atop all types of devilish steeds emerged from within the dark cloud.
Black Qi appeared over the devilish lord's body, and immediately charged toward these devilish beings.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the node, spatial fluctuations erupted, and Bao Hua and Hei'e emerged in the Elder Devil Realm, only to be immediately surrounded by a group of alarmed and furious devilish beings.
These were all low-grade and mid-grade devilish beings, most of whom were already carrying injuries. Bao Hua took a glance at them before leaving them to Hei'e and vanishing directly into the nearby space.
Hei'e inspected the surrounding devilish beings, and after discovering that there weren't any Body Integration Stage beings among them, a vicious smile appeared on his face as turbulent devilish Qi erupted out of his body.
Around 10 minutes later, Hei'e had caught up to Bao Hua again on an unknown mountain tens of thousands of kilometers away, and he was standing off to the side in a respectful manner.
"Are you feeling uneasy now that I've brought you back into our holy realm?" Bao Hu asked in a completely emotionless voice.
Hei'e shuddered slightly before replying in a fearful manner, "Not at all! You must have your reasons for doing this, Mistress."
"It's only natural to feel uneasy. This is quite a risky undertaking even for me, and there's a chance that I could perish here. After all, Tian Qi and He Yan will be sure to hunt me down if they discover that I've returned to the holy realm. With my current level of powers, I can just barely ensure self-preservation against one of them, but if the two of them were to join forces, then I would be killed for sure," Bao Hua said as she turned toward Hei'e.
Hei'e hesitated momentarily before speaking in a careful manner, "Seeing as you're aware of the risk involved, I can only assume that you've made this decision based on the results of your divination."
"Indeed. I couldn't complete the divination, so the signs I derived were incomplete, but do you know what those signs told me?" Bao Hua asked as a peculiar look appeared in her eyes.
Hei'e faltered slightly before a wry smile appeared on his face. "I'm a complete novice when it comes to divination; please enlighten me, Mistress."
"If you're not even willing to guess, then there's no point in telling you the signs that I derived. All you have to know is that before those people reach their destination, we can't disrupt them, and we have to ensure they don't discover us. In fact, we may have to assist them from the shadows if that's required for them to reach their destination smoothly."
Hei'e was very bewildered to hear this, but he still immediately said, "I'll be sure to follow your instructions, Mistress."
"You've served me very well during this journey. As long as you continue to serve me, I'll assist you during your future Grand Ascension Stage breakthrough once I recover my powers," Bao Hua promised with a serious expression.