Chapter 2216: Black Gourd City
The devilish woman was the first to arrive, and she didn't dare to get too close as she extended a respectful salute from around 70 feet away. "Thank you for saving our lives, seniors."
She was completely unable to ascertain the cultivation bases of Han Li's trio with her spiritual sense, and that prompted her to act in an even more respectful manner.
"Who are you, and where is the nearest city?" Han Li asked in a concise manner.
"We are crystal gatherers from Chaotic Cloud Mountain, and the nearest city is Black Gourd City. If you want to go there, we'd be happy to lead the way, Senior," the devilish woman replied.
"Black Gourd City? I've never heard of it before. There's no need for you to lead the way; just give me a map of this area," Han Li instructed.
"I just so happen to have a detailed map of this nearby area; it would be my honor to offer it to you, Senior," the devilish woman said as she immediately offered up a black stone shard with both hands.
Han Li nodded as he drew the stone shard into his own grasp, then injected his spiritual sense into it, upon which a pleased look appeared on his face.
At this point, the other devilish beings had also already arrived, and they were all standing in a nervous silence.
"What's the deal with the stemborers you mentioned earlier? I don't recall such an insect in our holy realm, and their auras are slightly different from normal devilish insects as well," Han Li inquired as he stowed the stone shard away.
"Do you not know of these stemborers, Senior?" the devilish woman asked as a hesitant look appeared on her face, and a stir also ran through the other devilish beings, but none of them dared to say anything.
"I've been in seclusion for the past few centuries; is it very strange that I don't know of them?" Han Li asked.
"I see, then it's no wonder that you're not aware of these stemborers. These insects have only appeared in the past century, and apparently, they were originally all ordinary devilish insects, but for some reason, they suddenly mutated into their current forms. These stemborers are currently wreaking havoc across the entire holy realm, and there are even stories of entire cities being massacred by these insects. As a result, there's been a lot of unrest in our holy realm, and everyone is living in constant fear," the devilish woman explained.
"Oh? Have the three patriarchs and other Sacred Ancestors not stepped in to exterminate these stemborers? They're certainly more powerful than normal devilish insects, but they can still be easily killed by Sacred Ancestors," Han Li asked.
"With my lowly cultivation base, I don't have access to information about what the patriarchs and Sacred Ancestors are doing. All I know is that only a few Sacred Ancestors have stepped in in areas where stemborer infestations have been too severe. As for the rest of the Sacred Ancestors and the three patriarchs, all of them seemed to have disappeared at once," the devilish woman replied after a brief hesitation.
"All of the Sacred Ancestors have disappeared? When did this happen?" Han Li immediately continued in his line of questioning.
"I can't give you an exact time, but it seems to coincide with when the first stemborers began to appear," the devilish woman replied in a respectful manner.
"Alright, that's all I need to know; you can go now," Han Li instructed in an indifferent manner.
The devilish woman was quite relieved to hear this, and she said in a respectful voice, "Yes, we'll be taking our leave now, Senior."
After that, she quickly departed, and the other devilish beings hurriedly followed along after extending respectful bows toward Han Li's trio.
Following their departure, Silvermoon sighed, "It looks like all of the Grand Ascension Stage beings really have encountered some trouble. Otherwise, the situation in the Elder Devil Realm wouldn't be this bad."
"The current state of affairs is indeed quite grim, but we'll have to do some further investigation if we want to know exactly what's happening. I presume there are devilish lords in Black Gourd City, and I'm sure they'll know some things about the Sacred Ancestors and the Grand Ascension Stage beings from our Spirit Realm," Han Li said as a solemn look appeared on his face.
Silvermoon smiled, and replied, "You're right, let's make a trip to Black Gourd City then, Brother Han."
"Hehe, there's something that I have to do before that," Han Li chuckled before sweeping a sleeve through the air to release a burst of grey light, within which was contained a giant grey insect.
It was none other than the two-headed stemborer that he had just captured.
The insect possessed an aura that was around the late-Deity Transformation Stage, and clearly held an important position in the insect swarm.
As soon as the insect appeared, it immediately began to flap its wings desperately in an attempt to escape.
However, Han Li instantly released his terrifying aura, and the giant insect was slammed back down onto the ground by a burst of enormous invisible force.
The giant insect's two heads thrashed violently, but its body was completely immobilized, and it could only let loose bursts of fearful cries.
Han Li reached a hand out of his sleeve before pressing it toward one of the giant insect's heads, and five translucent threads shot forth from his fingertips before vanishing into the insect's head.
The struggling insect immediately shuddered before slumping onto the ground in a motionless manner, and at the same time, Han Li closed his eyes as faint golden light appeared all over his body.
He was unleashing a soul search technique on this giant insect.
After about 15 minutes had passed, Han Li opened his eyes, and the translucent threads were withdrawn from the giant insect's head before disintegrating into specks of translucent light.
The giant insect's head then began to fluctuate unsteadily in size before abruptly exploding.
Han Li swept a sleeve through the air again, and a fireball shot forth to instantly incinerate the insect carcass into ashes.
"Did you get any information, Brother Han?" Silvermoon asked.
"I'm afraid not. This insect only has the most basic instincts and possesses no intelligence, so I couldn't find out anything," Han Li replied with a shake of his head.
"I see, that's not too much of a surprise. These stemborers have suddenly become very powerful due to their mutations, but it's not that easy to attain intelligence, and that's good news for us," Silvermoon said with a smile.
"Indeed. If the stemborers are only relying on basic instincts, then they won't pose a threat to us no matter how many of them there are. Let's go to Black Gourd City now; I'm sure we'll be able to get some information there," Han Li replied.
Thus, the three of them rose up into the air and flew north.
Three days later, Han Li's trio entered a highland that was full of black mud, and after flying for several more hours, a black city with an area of around 200 kilometers appeared in the distance.
This was none other than Black Gourd City.
However, the entire city was currently surrounded from all directions by another grey sea of insects with no end in sight, and the sounds of battle were audible even from extremely far away.
This sea of stemborers covered virtually the entire sky, and even though the stemborer swarm that Han Li had witnessed before was also extremely large, it was nothing compared to this one.
Currently, Black Gourd City was enshrouded under a black light barrier that sat atop the city like a giant upside-down bowl.
Dense layers of stemborers covered every single inch of the light barrier, and they were all attacking the light barrier in a frenzy.
Within the light barrier were countless devilish beings that were using devilish treasures of different descriptions or unleashing devilish techniques to strike back at the stemborers.
The stemborers currently attacking the city were clearly not that powerful, and they were being quickly slain by the attacks being unleashed by the devilish beings in the city.
There were also arrows flying out of the city like a torrential storm to exterminate even more of the stemborers.
At the center of the city stood hundreds of tall towers that were rumbling incessantly, around which lightning was flashing incessantly. Hundreds of bolts of black lightning were constantly being released by these towers before splitting up into countless threads of black lightning that were reducing hordes upon hordes of stemborers to ashes.
It seemed that under the protection of the city's restrictions, the devilish beings could attack with reckless abandon and held the firm upper hand.
However, as blue light flashed through Han Li's eyes, he was able to ascertain the true nature of the situation, and his brows immediately furrowed slightly.
During this brief period of time, the black light barrier over the city had already dimmed slightly, and the devilish beings unleashing attacks from within the city were all in very bad condition, clearly already beginning to overexert their magic power.
All of a sudden, the rumbling in the city drew to an abrupt halt, and all of the towers ceased their lightning attacks.