Chapter 2258: Return to the Spirit Realm
Han Li swept a hand toward the azure halberd first, and it immediately flew over to him.
He caught the halberd before giving it a brief appraisal, then smiled as he handed it over to Silvermoon.
"This is a treasure that’s incorporated a fragment of a Profound Heavenly Treasure. It's not very useful to me, but it should be perfect for you."
"Thank you, Brother Han." Silvermoon accepted the halberd with glee and began to inspect it with an elated expression.
Meanwhile, Han Li drew the yellow gourd into his grasp, and after another brief appraisal, a hint of surprise appeared on his face.
He then flipped his hand over to stow the gourd away before casting his gaze toward the final treasure among the three.
That miniature flying ark was most likely the legendary Inkspirit Holy Ark. Han Li inspected the ark through narrowed eyes for a short while, then made a hand seal and pointed a finger at the ark.
The miniature ark shuddered slightly before rising up from the stone platform on its own, and inky-black runes surged forth around it as it began to swell drastically in size.
All of the treasures in the hall began to buzz incessantly, as if to resonate with the black ark.
Around an hour later, the surface of the lake up above suddenly began to churn, and massive waves surged forth in all directions.
An earth-shattering boom rang out, and the entire glacier that the lake was situated upon shattered, upon which a gargantuan black object emerged amid a flurry of ice and snow.
This was a gigantic ark that was over 10,000 feet in length.
The ark was comprised of over 10 levels, and it had countless profound spirit patterns etched onto its surface.
At the front and rear ends of the giant ark stood around a dozen giant silver flags of different heights, bearing images of all types of strange and exotic beasts.
An army of Devil Crystal Puppet guards was situated on the deck of the ark, and as soon as it appeared, the ark sped away as a ball of black light, vanishing into the distance in the blink of an eye.
Two months later, a rumbling boom suddenly rang out above a small mountain range in the Spirit Realm, and dark clouds converged from all directions to form an enormous black vortex.
Bursts of spatial fluctuations erupted out of the vortex, and countless silver arcs of lightning intertwined within the vortex, following which a massive black ark slowly emerged.
The entire nearby space warped violently as if the sky were about to be torn apart, and on the top level of the ark stood Han Li and Silvermoon.
"We're finally back to the Spirit Realm! That was easier than I expected; it's quite a pleasant surprise that this ark possesses spatial abilities as well," Han Li said as a pleased look appeared on his face.
"The entrance of the spatial node that we found wasn't all that stable, so I thought it would take more time to return to the Spirit Realm," Silvermoon said with an excited smile.
"In any case, this trip to the Elder Devil Realm was a very fruitful one," Han Li said with a smile.
"Indeed, it was!" Silvermoon replied with an elated nod as she thought of the portion of Qi Ling's treasures that Han Li had given to her.
"Alright, now that we're back to the Spirit Realm, let's ascertain our current location and return to the holy island; Senior Mo and Senior Ao Xiao should both be waiting for us there," Han Li said in a calm manner as he quickly swept his spiritual sense over the entire mountain range.
"Oh? It sounds like we aren't too far away from human territory," Silvermoon remarked.
"We've arrived somewhere slightly different from our anticipated destination, but fortunately, this place is even closer to human territory than expected," Han Li replied.
"That's great! Let's set off right away," Silvermoon said in an ecstatic manner.
Thus, the black ark tremored slightly before hurtling through the air at Han Li's behest, while the black vortex slowly vanished not long after the ark's departure.
Half a year later, a Patriarch Ao Xiao and Mo Jianli were discussing something in a hall that was situated on the holy island.
On either side of the hall stood the dozen or so holy island elders.
Patriarch Ao Xiao's brows were tightly furrowed with concern as he said, "Fellow Daoist Han should be back by now; could it be that he's encountered some trouble in the Elder Devil Realm?"
Mo Jianli shook his head in response. "Don't worry, Fellow Daoist Han is far more powerful than we can imagine; how can anything happen to him when even that Stemborer Queen wasn't able to kill him?"
"That may be true, but there are countless powerful beings in this world, and he's often getting himself into trouble; who knows if he's landed himself in some hot water again?" Patriarch Ao Xiao said as he pursed his lips.
"Haha, why do you sound like a grumpy father scolding his son-in-law? You're not really trying to make a match out of your granddaughter and Fellow Daoist Han, are you?" Mo Jianli said as he stroked his chin with an amused smile.
"So what if those were my intentions? With Ling'er's aptitude, I can't say that she'll become a Grand Ascension Stage being for sure, but she's definitely more likely to get to that level than everyone else here. Besides, if my granddaughter becomes Han Li's dao companion, our human and demon races will truly be one massive family," Patriarch Ao Xiao said.
Awkward looks appeared on the faces of all of the holy island elders in the hall upon hearing this, but they didn't dare to raise any objections.
Mo Jianli could only shake his head with a wry smile, but he had to admit that Patriarch Ao Xiao was right.
"I heard that Fellow Daoist Han already had a dao companion in the human world, and they seem to be very close. Otherwise, he wouldn't have refrained from finding a dao companion even after spending so many years in the Spirit Realm."
"That may be true, but it's extremely common for beings of our caliber to find a few dao companions. I may be old, but I'm not senile yet, and I can tell that Fellow Daoist Han definitely has some feelings for my Ling'er," Patriarch Ao Xiao chuckled.
Mo Jianli nodded in response with a thoughtful expression. "Come to think of it, Fellow Daoist Han is still far younger than us; if he's willing to find a few more dao companions for himself, there's a good chance that he'll be able to produce some extremely talented descendants."
Patriarch Ao Xiao faltered slightly upon hearing this, and he was just about to respond when a slightly exasperated male voice suddenly rang out in the hall.
"Please stop making jokes at my expense, fellow daoists. Otherwise, I wouldn't even dare to come and see you."
As soon as the voice trailed off, Han Li and Silvermoon appeared at the entrance to the hall amid a burst of spatial fluctuations.
Han Li was currently wearing a resigned expression, while Silvermoon had a faint blush on her face.
"Ah, we pay our respects to Senior Han!" The holy island elders hurriedly gathered to pay their respects, while Patriarch Ao Xiao and Mo Jianli exchanged an ecstatic glance.
"You're finally back, Fellow Daoist Han; I was growing a little worried."
"Haha, I thought you'd eloped with my Ling'er!"
The two Grand Ascension Stage beings also rose to their feet to greet Han Li.
"Sorry for making you worry, fellow daoists," Han Li said with a smile before giving the holy island elders a slight nod of acknowledgment.
"You can all go now; the two of us wish to speak to Fellow Daoist Han in private," Patriarch Ao Xiao said to all of the elders.
The holy island elders immediately gave affirmative responses before exiting the hall.
Following the departure of the elders, Han Li took a seat across from Mo Jianli and Ao Xiao, while Silvermoon made her way over to Patriarch Ao Xiao and gave him an indignant pout before standing behind him.
It was clear that she was still quite embarrassed by what he had said earlier.
"Fellow Daoist Han, Brother Ao Xiao and I would've most likely perished in the Elder Devil Realm if it hadn't been for you; I'll remember what you did for us," Mo Jianli said in a genuine manner as he cupped his fist in a salute toward Han Li.
"Indeed. If Fellow Daoist Han hadn't come to rescue us, that ancient seal would've become a tomb for all of us. I'll be sure to repay you for this, Fellow Daoist Han." Patriarch Ao Xiao also expressed his gratitude toward Han Li.
"You're far too kind, fellow daoists. You've done so much for our two races over the years; it was only expected of me that I would do everything in my power to save you," Han Li hurriedly replied.
"Hehe, that's not the same thing. We have indeed contributed greatly to our two races, but that still doesn't change the fact that you saved our lives. This is something that we must repay you for," Mo Jianli insisted.
Patriarch Ao Xiao also nodded in agreement.
Han Li could only shake his head with a resigned smile upon seeing this.
After that, Han Li and the two Grand Ascension Stage beings discussed their experiences in the Elder Devil Realm, as well as some matters regarding the Stemborer Queen.
Of course, Han Li made no mention of the ancient true immortal still residing in the original sealed site; he merely attributed the destruction of the Stemborer Queen to Bao Hua and the ancient seal, and Patriarch Ao Xiao and Mo Jianli had no reason to suspect that he was lying.
"Fellow Daoist Han, you've only just returned, so why don't you take a rest and refrain from going anywhere for now," Mo Jianli suddenly said with a slightly peculiar expression.