Chapter 2270: The Spirit Monarch
All eight of the Body Integration Stage Spirit beings possessed powerful treasures, but they were still forced back several steps by Mo Jianli's fearsome Grand Ascension Stage aura, and a hint of fear appeared in all of their eyes.
"It was never my intention to insult the human race, Senior!" the white-robed elderly man hurriedly yelled as sweat began to pour down his forehead.
However, Mo Jianli merely elevated his aura even further, as if he didn't hear what the elderly man had just said.
The eight Body Integration Stage Spirit beings were no longer able to contend with Mo Jianli's spiritual pressure, and only after eight projections of different treasures emerged from their bodies were they able to stand their ground.
Han Li immediately determined the treasures to be three talismans, two badges, a small white cauldron, and a silver scepter.
Mo Jianli harrumphed coldly upon seeing this, and he was just about to take another step forward and unleash his full spiritual pressure to teach these eight juniors a lesson when all of a sudden, a gentle breeze swept past Mo Jianli.
A warm aura swirled around Mo Jianli's body, and the fearsome spiritual pressure that he was releasing was instantly nullified.
Immediately thereafter, a gentle elderly voice rang out from within the breeze.
'"Allow me to offer my apologies on behalf of these juniors, Brother Mo. I am honored that the two of you have decided to visit me; there's no way I would refuse an audience with you. I'll be waiting at the summit for the two of you. Ling Mie, I've detected through my spiritual sense that Xue Ran and Hei Lin have already arrived at the foot of the mountain; four of you, go and greet them, while the rest invite Brother Mo to the Purple Qi Hall."
"Yes, Spirit Monarch!"
The eight Body Integration Stage Spirit beings extended respectful bows toward the mountain summit in unison, then withdrew their treasures projections, and the bald man immediately traveled down the mountain with three companions, while the white-horned elderly man and the others made inviting hand gestures toward Han Li and Mo Jianli.
"Seeing as the Spirit Monarch has spoken, I'll let things slide for now," Mo Jianli said after a brief pause, then flew up toward the mountain summit.
Han Li followed along behind him with a faint smile, and he was followed by the four remaining Body Integration Stage Spirit beings.
As they were flying up the mountain, the white-horned elderly man was surreptitiously appraising Han Li from behind with a peculiar expression.
Even though Han Li hadn't said anything just now, all of the Holy Spirits of the Spirit Race were aware that he was a new Grand Ascension Stage being that had just arisen among the human race.
There wasn't much information about him, but there was a confirmed rumor stating that he had once severely wounded a Grand Ascension Stage being from the Yaksha Race.
This evoked a sense of fear and curiosity within the elderly man toward Han Li.
The Spirit Realm was a massive place, but there were very few people capable of defeating veteran Grand Ascension Stage beings after only just progressing to the Grand Ascension Stage.
Han Li naturally didn't know what the elderly man was thinking, and nor did he have any interest in the elderly man's thoughts.
He was slowly drifting up the mountain while appraising his surroundings.
The top half of Concealed Spirit Mountain was rife with restrictions and formations, far more so than the second half, but most of the formations had been deactivated to grant them passage.
Otherwise, even as Grand Ascension Stage beings, it wouldn't be this easy for Han Li and Mo Jianli to travel up the mountain.
It appeared that there were only less than 10,000 feet to the summit of the mountain, but it ended up taking them quite a while to arrive at the top, and it seemed that the journey up the top half of the mountain actually spanned over 1,000,000 feet.
This was quite surprising to both Mo Jianli and Han Li.
It seemed that aside from the restrictions on the mountain, there was something else extremely profound about it. Otherwise, it wouldn't have been able to fool Han Li and Mo Jianli's spiritual sense.
The white-horned elderly man and the others were unsurprised by this, seemingly already accustomed to this phenomenon.
After passing through a thin blanket of white mist, the seven of them finally arrived at the mountain summit.
Han Li looked around to find on the vast expanse of land on the mountain summit, there stood only a single three-story pavilion.
Above the entrance of the pavilion was a plaque with the words "Purple Qi Hall" inscribed upon it in flowing golden text.
There was not a single person to be seen outside the pavilion.
"Our Spirit Monarch is waiting inside; we won't be able to accompany you any further, so please go in on your own, seniors," the white-horned elderly man said as he extended a respectful salute.
"Alright, then you can all wait outside." Mo Jianli immediately strode toward the pavilion after sweeping his spiritual sense toward it.
Through his spiritual sense detection, he discovered that this Purple Qi Hall wasn't giving off any restriction fluctuations, and aside from a faint peculiar aura within it, it really did seem to be nothing more than a normal pavilion.
As such, he naturally wasn't going to be wary of entering the pavilion.
Han Li followed along closely behind him, and after entering the pavilion, the two arrived in a giant hall that was around 400 to 500 feet in size.
Pots of floral trees that were several feet tall were placed throughout the hall, and there on those trees grew fist-sized flowers of all types of different colors.
In front of one of the pots stood a white-robed elderly man, who had his hands clasped behind his back, and was facing away from the entrance.
"Are you the Spirit Monarch?" Mo Jianli asked with a slightly cautious expression.
"Please take a seat, fellow daoists." The white-robed elderly man didn't directly reply to Mo Jianli's question.
Mo Jianli appraised the elderly man for a while longer before doing as he was told.
Han Li also took a seat on another chair before casting his gaze toward the white-robed elderly man.
"I'm used to living here on my own, so I can only offer you some tea; I hope you don't mind," the white-robed elderly man said with a faint smile.
As soon as his voice trailed off, a side door was opened, and several small white monkeys sprang into the room.
Each of the monkeys was around half a foot tall with snowy-white fur and crimson eyes.
The little monkeys were carrying teapots and teacups on their heads, and they quickly poured Han Li and Mo Jianli a cup of fragrant spirit tea each.
Han Li took a glance at the spirit tea before downing the cup of tea in one go, while Mo Jianli didn't even take a single glance at the tea as he asked, "I'm sure you're already aware of the reason for our visit, right, fellow daoist?"
"I've heard of you for a long time, Fellow Daoist Mo, but this is our first meeting; how would I know the purpose for your visit?" the white-robed elderly man said as he finally turned around.
He had a head of white hair, but a set of surprisingly youthful features.
His eyes were bright and piercing, but his expression was very calm, and there was a purple maple leaf embroidered on one of his sleeves.
"Alright, then setting that aside for now, why have you invited Fellow Daoist Xue Ran and Fellow Daoist Hei Lin to see you?" Mo Jianli asked.
The white-robed elderly man's pupils contracted slightly upon hearing this, but he still replied in a calm manner, "I invited them here to make a deal with them. Are you interested as well, Brother Mo?"
"Hehe, what a coincidence; we also came here to make a deal with you," Mo Jianli chuckled.
"I'll have to disappoint you then, Fellow Daoist Mo; I only make deals with people I'm familiar with, so I'm afraid I'll have to turn you down," the white-robed elderly man replied without any hesitation.
Mo Jianli's eyes narrowed slightly upon hearing this, and he suddenly raised a hand to release a streak of silver light.
The white-robed elderly man remained still on the spot, but the streak of silver light abruptly drew to a halt on its own around 10 feet away from him.
This was a shimmering silver jade slip engraved with the same purple maple leaf design as the one on the elderly man's sleeve.
The white-robed elderly man's expression darkened slightly upon seeing this, and he raised a hand to draw the silver jade slip into his grasp.
After a brief inspection, he sighed, "Looks like Fellow Daoist Shi Xin has passed away. Did you do this or did he perish to the Stemborer Queen?"
"The Stemborer Queen didn't directly kill him, but it was definitely indirectly responsible," Mo Jianli replied in a calm manner.
"Alright, I don't care how you managed to obtain this token, but seeing as it's in your possession, I'll include you two on this deal. However, the rest will be up to you," the white-robed elderly man said as he stowed the jade slip away amid a flash of silver light.
Mo Jianli's eyes lit up upon hearing this. "Of course, we were only searching for an opportunity away."
"Hehe, please don't take any offence to this, Fellow Daoist Mo, but with your abilities, it'll be next to impossible for you to satisfy the conditions of the deal I propose. In contrast, your companion has a decent chance. This is the vastly renowned Fellow Daoist Han Li, right? As expected, he really is incomparable with normal Grand Ascension Stage beings," the white-robed elderly man said with a hint of mockery in his eyes, but that transitioned into a more serious expression as he cast his gaze toward Han Li.
"I'm truly honored that you've heard of me, Fellow Daoist Spirit Monarch, but aren't you being a little too disrespectful to Brother Mo and myself?" Han Li replied with a faint smile.