Chapter 2218: Sacred Ancestor Xie Lian
Hu Yan faltered slightly upon hearing this before a relieved look appeared on his face. "So you already know about the Stemborer Queen. In that case, there's nothing for me to hide."
"I heard about the Stemborer Queen quite a few years ago, and it's why I decided to come out of seclusion. However, I'm not too familiar with the current situation in our holy realm, so you'll have to enlighten me," Han Li said.
"Yes, Senior. I only began hearing about these things in the past decade or so, so I don't know too much, either. What I do know is that these stemborers in our holy realm were once normal devilish insects that mutated after coming into the contact with the aura of the Stemborer Queen that seeped through the seal. Following their mutations, these stemborers become significantly more powerful, and their reproductive abilities are also enhanced by close to a hundredfold. Otherwise, they wouldn't have become such a huge problem in such a short time."
Hu Yan paused momentarily here before continuing, "According to what I've heard, the three patriarchs and other Sacred Ancestors are indeed dealing with the Stemborer Queen at the original sealed site. In the beginning, things seemed to be going quite well. With assistance from powerful beings of other realms, the seal was constantly being bolstered, and it appeared that the Stemborer Queen would be sealed away again. However, close to 30 years ago, the original sealed site suddenly lost all contact with the outside world, and no one knows what's happening in there."
"They lost contact? How is that possible with so many Grand Ascension Stage beings there? Hasn't anyone gone there to assess the situation?" Han Li asked with furrowed brows.
"By the time it was discovered that contact had been lost, it was already too late. Countless stemborers had appeared around the original sealed site, taking over many of the nearby cities. There are even high-grade stemborers among them that possess Body Integration Stage powers, and their presence makes it impossible for anyone to access the original sealed site," Hu Yan replied.
"Body Integration Stage stemborers? Considering how fearsome the Stemborer Queen is, it's no surprise to see stemborers of this level. Aren't there some Sacred Ancestors who haven't entered the original sealed site yet? Why aren't they doing anything?" Han Li asked.
"I don't know what those Sacred Ancestors' intentions are, but I haven't heard of any of them traveling to the original sealed site to examine the situation there. As for why that is, that's not something for a lowly city lord like me to know," Hu Yan replied with a wry smile.
"Interesting. It seems that the other Sacred Ancestors must know something that we don't. Among the Sacred Ancestors that have yet to enter the original sealed site, which one is closest to Black Gourd City?" Han Li asked.
"The Sacred Ancestor closest to this city is Sacred Ancestor Xie Lian of the Myriad Flower Mountain Range. Three years ago, Senior Xie Lian eradicated all of the stemborers near the Myriad Flower Mountain Range," Hu Yan replied.
"Where is the Myriad Flower Mountain Range? Do you have a map of that area?" Han Li asked in a nonchalant manner.
"I do. I once traveled to the Myriad Flower Mountain Range to request an audience with Senior Xie Lian, so I have a copy of the map of that area," Hu Yan said as he immediately produced a stone shard before offering it to Han Li with both hands.
Han Li accepted the stone shard before briefly injecting his spiritual sense into it, upon which a smile appeared on his face. "That's all I needed to know; you can go now, Fellow Daoist."
"Yes, I'll be taking my leave now, Senior." Hu Yan was very relieved to hear this, and he extended a respectful bow before departing.
A group of high-grade devilish beings that were waiting nearby immediately gathered around Hu Yan, and they flew into the city together.
"Let's pay this Sacred Ancestor Xie Lian a visit," Han Li said in a calm manner.
Silvermoon and Daoist Xie naturally had no objections to this.
Thus, Han Li raised a hand to release a black devilish flying carriage, and the three got onto the carriage before it flew away as a streak of black light.
A month later. Han Li's trio appeared in the air above a lush mountain range that looked as if it could easily belong in the Spirit Realm.
"So this is the Myriad Flower Mountain Range. I have to say, this Sacred Ancestor Xie Lian has found a really nice and scenic location. Where is he residing on this mountain range?" Silvermoon asked.
"The map indicates that this Sacred Ancestor Xie Lian is living on a mountain known as Sky Facing Peak, which is situated at the center of this mountain range," Han Li replied with a smile.
"In that case, it shouldn't be too hard to find him. However, our visit is quite abrupt, and we didn't get a chance to gather any information on what type of person this Sacred Ancestor is; I hope he's not too inhospitable," Silvermoon mused.
"Hehe, regardless of how hostile and inhospitable he may be, we have to make him tell us what's happened in the original sealed site; only then can we devise a plan for how to proceed. Of course, it would be even better if we can directly find out the whereabouts of Senior Ao Xiao and Senior Mo Jianli," Han Li said in a confident manner.
A hint of concern flashed through Silvermoon's eyes at the mention of her grandfather, and she nodded in response.
"Let's go. This mountain range isn't very large, so it won't take us much time to get to Sky Facing Peak."
Thus, Han Li set off as a streak of azure light, followed closely by Silvermoon and Daoist Xie.
Several hours later, the mountain range parted, and a massive white mountain that extended all the way up into the clouds appeared up ahead.
The mountain was hundreds of thousands of feet tall, and its top half was entirely covered in white ice and snow, while its bottom half was enshrouded within layers of black mist, within which fierce winds and ghastly howls could be heard.
Han Li's trio stopped close to 10 kilometers away from the mountain, and Silvermoon was quite startled by the mountain's peculiar appearance. "This Sky Facing Peak really is no ordinary mountain."
"This is just an illusion. It'll work on normal devilish beings, but it can't fool the likes of Brother Xie and myself," Han Li said with a faint smile as blue light flashed within his eyes.
"An illusion?" Silvermoon's eyes widened as she carefully appraised the mountain in the distance, but couldn't find anything amiss.
Han Li chuckled as he made a hand seal, and a third demonic eye instantly appeared on his glabella.
He then let loose a low cry, and a translucent pillar of light that was around as thick a human thumb shot forth before vanishing into the distance.
All of a sudden, a burst of powerful energy fluctuations erupted in the distance amid a resounding boom, and ripples surged through the air several kilometers away, following which the scene up ahead completely transformed.
The massive mountain disappeared, and a huge basin with an area of around 100 kilometers took its place.
At the center of the basin was a beautiful mountain that was tens of thousands of feet tall, and in contrast with the gargantuan foreboding mountain from before, this one was riddled with exotic plants and flowers and enshrouded within a layer of resplendent five-colored light.
Han Li's gaze was immediately drawn to a palace on the mountain summit.
The palace was around several acres in area and was entirely of an exuberant green color, looking as if it had been constructed from fresh wood.
"So this is the true Sky Facing Peak!" Silvermoon murmured to herself.
A faint smile appeared on Han Li's face, yet just as he was about to say something in response, when a female voice suddenly rang out from the scenic mountain.
"Who has paid my Sky Facing Peak a visit? Please forgive me for not coming out to greet you sooner, fellow daoists."
As soon as the voice trailed off, a streak of green light rose up into the air from the palace before flying directly toward Han Li.
After just a few flashes, the streak of light faded close to 200 feet away, revealing a woman in a green palatial dress.
Han Li's expression changed drastically as soon as he caught sight of the woman, and he exclaimed, "Bao Hua? Wait, you're not Bao Hua!"
The woman was extremely similar to Bao Hua in appearance, but upon closer inspection, one would discover that she carried herself in a manner that was completely different from Bao Hua.
"The three of you must not be from our holy realm, right? Otherwise, there's no way you would've mistaken me for Bao Hua," the woman said as she carefully appraised Han Li's trio.
At this point, Han Li had reverted back to his usual calm expression, and he said, "We came directly to see you, so we had no intention of concealing our origins in the first place. Having said that, you gave me quite a surprise; may I ask if you're related to Bao Hua in any way?"
"Bao Hua and I are identical twins. All of the Sacred Ancestors of our holy realm are aware of this, so I knew you had to be from a foreign realm," the woman replied.
"I see, no wonder you bear such a close resemblance to Bao Hua. I'm sure you already know why we're here, right, Fellow Daoist Xie Lian?" Han Li asked with a hint of a smile on his face.
"You're here to find information about what's happening in the original sealed site, right?" Xie Lian asked.