Chapter 2159: The Second Formation Core
The gigantic objects included massive palaces, mountainous beehive-shaped islands, and massive clouds of green light.
All of them were also filled with troops of the united army, and they stopped momentarily in mid-air before flying away from Cottonwood City, surrounded by throngs of flying carriages and arks.
Close to half of the united army's elite forces had departed, including the three Grand Ascension Stage beings. They were going to unite with the troops deployed by other cities to form a formidable force that could truly contend with the devilish army.
Han Li didn't depart with this group. Instead, he merely looked on as Mo Jianli and the others departed, then returned calmly to his pavilion to continue cultivating.
Five days later, Cottonwood City erupted into a frenzy again as another branch of the united army that was comprised primarily of Wood Tribe beings gathered together in preparation to leave the city as well.
Han Li was currently meditating on the top floor of his pavilion at this point, and his expression changed slightly as he opened his eyes.
Not long after that, the sound of footsteps rang out from the stairwell, and Zhu Guo'er arrived with a respectful look on her face. "Senior Han, the Wood Tribe has extended an invitation toward you."
"I see. You're still too weak, so stay in Cottonwood City for now. Once the battle is over, I'll take you back to our human race," Han Li said.
There was an implacable tone in Han Li's voice, and Zhu Guo'er immediately lowered her head before giving an affirmative response. "Yes, Senior."
Thus, Han Li rose to his feet in an unhurried manner before walking down the stairs.
Upon arriving in the hall on the first floor, he discovered that Daoist Xie was seated in a corner in a completely expressionless manner, while a green-skinned young man from the Wood Tribe was standing at the center of the hall with an uneasy expression.
Han Li immediately detected that this young man was only at the Nascent Soul stage, and had only recently manifested a Nascent Soul.
As soon as Han Li arrived, the young man hurriedly rushed over to him before extending a deep bow. "I pay my respects to Senior Han. I was sent here by our grand elder to invite you to join us."
"Your grand elder? Isn't he resting in the holy tree?" Han Li asked.
"Elder Han has temporarily taken over the role of grand elder," the young man explained.
"I see, lead the way then. Let's go, Brother Xie," Han Li replied before turning toward Daoist Xie.
Daoist Xie offered no response, but he suddenly appeared completely silently behind Han Li in a blur.
The Wood Tribe young man was naturally quite startled by this, but he didn't dare to ask any questions and hurriedly exited the room.
Thus, Han Li and Daoist Xie were led out of the pavilion, where they caught sight of a dozen or so giant azure clouds hovering in mid-air. Each of these clouds was over 1,000 acres in size, and there were some pavilions and buildings that could be seen on them.
Furthermore, there were many warriors from all races rushing atop the clouds, seemingly transporting some things from Cottonwood City onto the clouds.
Han Li merely took a brief glance at the situation unfolding before his eyes before following the young man toward the largest of the azure clouds.
Moments later, Han Li appeared on a platform that was constructed from yellow wood atop the massive cloud. At one end of the platform was a green hall that was over 1,000 feet tall, and at the entrance of the hall were around a dozen fully armed Wood Tribe guards.
"Senior Han, our stand-in grand elder is currently waiting for you inside the hall," the young man carefully explained.
Han Li took a glance at the hall before sweeping his spiritual sense into it, upon which he immediately sensed a few powerful auras. He motioned for the young man to continue leading the way, and the guards in front of the hall granted them passage, clearly indicating that they were all familiar with the young man.
However, they sensed the unfathomable spiritual pressure emanating from Han Li's body as he passed by them, and a hint of fear crept into their wooden expressions.
Some of them even unconsciously bowed and lowered their heads as Han Li was walking past them.
Even though they were from different races, a respect for power was something that was universal across the entire Spirit Realm.
Right at this moment, Han Li suddenly said something to Daoist Xie through voice transmission, and Daoist Xie immediately stopped in his tracks before making his way toward one side of the hall's entrance.
The Wood Tribe guards were all quite surprised to see this, but they didn't dare to ask any questions.
Meanwhile, Han Li followed the young man through a corridor and entered the hall before casually inspecting his surroundings, upon which he discovered that there were only three people in the hall, which was several hundred feet in size.
The one sitting on the main seat was a purple-haired elderly man from the Wood Tribe. This was a thin late-Body Integration cultivator who was wearing a set of green robes and a golden and silver belt around his waist.
On either side of the elderly man were seated a silver-armored burly man from the Wood Tribe and a tall and lithe young woman in black, both of whom were at the mid-Body Integration Stage.
The burly man was very imposing and significantly taller than the average Wood Tribe being. There were several deep wrinkles on his forehead, and his eyes were completely wooden and soulless.
As for the young woman, she appeared to be around 18 years of age with a pair of short black horns on her head. She was quite beautiful, but she currently wore a cold expression.
All three of them immediately fell silent and turned toward Han Li upon his arrival.
Upon verifying that Han Li was indeed at the late-Body Integration Stage, a wide smile appeared on the elderly man's face, and he stood up before cupping his fist in a salute. "Brother Han, I've heard much about you from Senior Mo; our Wood Tribe is immensely fortunate to have you on our side."
"Greetings, Fellow Daoist Han; my name is Cao Ji."
"So you're Han Li. As expected, you seem to be far more powerful than Fellow Daoist Cao and myself. I am Fei Xiaoxi of the Yaksha Race."
Upon detecting Han Li's cultivation base, the other two beings in the room also stood up before extending salutes.
"Sorry to keep you waiting, fellow daoists," Han Li replied as he returned a salute of his own.
"Please take a seat, Brother Han; we are currently discussing the protection of the formation core. Fellow Daoist Cao and Fairy Fei will team up with you to protect the same formation core," the elderly man said with a smile.
As for the young man, he had already backed out of the hall in a respectful manner.
"With Fellow Daoist Cao and Fairy Fei's assistance, I'll be better equipped to protect the formation core," Han Li replied, clearly already treating Cao Ji and Fei Xiaoxi as his subordinates.
His cultivation base was superior to theirs, so there was no need for him to be overly polite. Otherwise, it could lead them into thinking that they could challenge his authority.
Cao Ji displayed no reaction to this, but Fei Xiaoxi's expression changed slightly, and she couldn't help but give a cold harrumph.
"Haha, with your powers, I'm sure the formation core will be safe. However, aside from protecting the formation core from devilish attacks, the three of you will have another important task to complete," the elderly man said.
"Another important task? Why did I not hear about this from our grand elder? Did you add this task on a whim?" Fei Xiao Xi asked as her brows furrowed slightly with displeasure.
"Of course not. The important task I'm referring to is something that Fellow Daoist Cao will have to complete; you and Fellow Daoist Han will still only be responsible for protecting the formation core," the elderly man explained.
"Oh? Would you be able to elaborate on what exactly this task is?" Han Li asked in an intrigued voice.
"Due to the intricacies of the formation, our united army will most likely have to borrow some power from the three formation cores. When that time comes, the people situated at the three cores will have to cooperate with the united army. I've already informed Cao Ji of how to do this, but he'll require your protection while he's activating the power of the formation core," the elderly man said.
"I see, that's not an issue. The formation was set up by your race in the first place, so it's only right for Fellow Daoist Cao to operate it," Han Li replied with a nonchalant smile.
"I also have no objections to this," Fei Xiaoxi chimed in with a nod.
"Great! I knew you two would be willing to lend Cao Ji your assistance. Once the formation is set up, the second formation core will be left to the three of you," the elderly man said as he rose to his feet before extending a salute toward Han Li's trio.
Han Li's trio naturally also stood up and returned the salute. "Rest assured, Elder Han, we'll be sure to do our best."
After that, Elder Han informed them of some other matters that required their attention, then gave each of them a jade slip, within which were contained some of the different forms that the formation could take on.
If enemies were to make it to their formation core, they would be able to use the power of the restriction to oppose them.
Elder Han then summoned three Wood Tribe beings to organize a place to stay for Han Li's trio in the buildings on the giant cloud. After all, there was still quite a long journey ahead, and prior to arriving at their destination, Han Li and the others naturally had to prime themselves into the best condition possible.
Half a day later, a burst of rumbling rang out in the air once again, and the dozen or so giant clouds also departed from Cottonwood City, accompanied by thousands of flying carriages and battle arks, heading directly toward the territory that had been taken over by the devilish army.