Chapter 2309: Fall of Ao Xiao
"What? My grandfather is going to be transcending his tribulation in seven days? Why is the tribulation arriving so soon?" Silvermoon exclaimed in a panicked manner.
They had just arrived in the teleportation hall of Deep Heaven City, and the elder that was on duty was the one who had just informed them of this terrible news.
"There seemed to have been some type of mishap during Senior Ao Xiao's seclusion, so he's forced to transcend his tribulation in advance, and no further delay is possible. For this purpose, the holy island had borrowed some treasures from our city. Otherwise, we wouldn't even have heard about this," the elder replied with a wry smile, then cast a respectful gaze toward Han Li and Mo Jianli.
"Even if we use all of the teleportation formations available to us, there's no way we'll be able to deliver a Sanqing Lightning Talisman to him in seven days; we'll only have a chance if Brother Ao can last a few days while facing the heavenly tribulation," Mo Jianli said with a grim expression.
"Let's get back to the holy island right away then; perhaps we'll be able to make it in time. Teleport us to the nearest city to the holy island!" Han Li instructed.
The elder's heart jolted slightly upon hearing this, and he immediately bowed as he replied, "Yes, Senior!"
He then instructed the guards in the hall to undo the restrictions on a certain teleportation formation before quickly planting some spirit stones onto it.
Once the preparations were complete, Silvermoon immediately rushed into the formation, while Han Li and the others followed closely behind her.
Shortly thereafter, Han Li's trio vanished amid a flash of spiritual light.
Nine days later, a giant black ark suddenly appeared near the holy island before speeding directly toward the island.
The patrolling guards hurriedly flew toward the ark, but upon seeing the large ancient rune engraved on the front of the ark, all of them immediately drew to a halt before extending respectful bows toward the flying treasure.
Before the ark had even reached them, an urgent voice rang out from inside. "Is Ao Xiao transcending his tribulation on the island?"
Immediately thereafter, Mo Jianli emerged from the ark.
"We pay our respects to Senior Mo! Senior Ao Xiao currently isn't on the holy island. Instead, he’s transcending his tribulation in the Red Cloud Valley around 50,000 kilometers away; all of the elders of the holy island have gone to assist him as well," Spatial Tempering Stage guard hurriedly replied.
"Red Cloud Valley?" Mo Jianli murmured to himself before immediately getting back onto the ark which sped toward another direction at an incredible speed, leaving the guards to look on with befuddled expressions.
Close to an hour later, the giant black ark was still speeding through the air with Han Li, Mo Jianli, and Silvermoon all standing at the front.
The three of them looked on with grim expressions, and Silvermoon was feeling extremely anxious.
Han Li had obtained two Sanqing Lightning Talismans from the Spirit Monarch, and he had informed her that he was willing to give one to Patriarch Ao Xiao in order to assist him in his tribulation transcendence.
She had been ecstatic to hear this, but never did she think that such a crisis would suddenly arise as soon as they returned to the human race.
All of a sudden, a dull thump rang out from within Silvermoon's body, as if something had suddenly shattered.
Silvermoon's face immediately turned completely pale upon hearing this.
"What happened, Yue'er?" Han Li immediately noticed the change in her complexion, and a sense of foreboding welled up in his heart. 
Tears began to well up in Silvermoon's eyes, and instead of replying to Han Li, she opened her mouth to release a bright red jade badge.
The badge was only around the size of a palm, but there was an extremely life-like male portrait etched on its surface.
Han Li immediately identified the portrait to be one of Patriarch Ao Xiao.
At this moment, there were cracks all over the jade badge, and the number of cracks was only increasing.
After the span of just a few breaths, the entire jade badge crumbled away into powder that began to slip through her fingers, while she looked on with a disoriented expression.
It was quite apparent to Han Li what had happened, and he heaved a faint sigh before falling silent, standing by Silvermoon's side to offer her comfort.
Mo Jianli also fell silent as he looked up into the sky in a forlorn manner.
As for Zhu Guo'er and Patriarch Hua Shi, the two of them exchanged a nervous glance and didn't dare to make a sound.
The Inkspirit Holy Ark was still speeding along, and after close to another hour, around a dozen streaks of light suddenly came flying toward it.
Han Li's brows furrowed slightly upon seeing this, and the flying ark drew to a halt at his behest.
The streaks of light gathered around the ark, then faded to reveal the elders of the holy island.
The elders were elated to see Han Li and Mo Jianli, but their expressions immediately transitioned into one of grief as they extended respectful bows toward the ark. "We pay our respects to Senior Han and Senior Mo!"
"Did Ao Xiao fail to transcend his tribulation?" Mo Jianli asked with a dark expression.
"Indeed, Senior Ao had just perished to his heavenly tribulation not long ago, leaving behind two damaged protective treasures and a spirit core," an elderly man replied in a respectful manner.
"Who has my grandfather's spirit core? Give it to me," Silvermoon said in a cold voice.
"Of course, Fellow Daoist Ling Long. According to Senior Ao's final wishes, his core should go to you anyway," the elderly man replied, then flipped a hand over to produce a yellow wooden box before flying onto the ark and offering the box to Silvermoon with both hands.
Silvermoon was trembling slightly, but she still gritted her teeth and opened the wooden box to reveal a fist-sized white core that was giving off a familiar aura.
Beside the core sat half of a white sword and a small yellow bell that was missing a significant chunk.
Silvermoon gently stroked the core as she said in a calm voice, "I want some peace and quiet; please don't disrupt me during this time."
After that, she turned and drifted toward the cabin of the ark.
Han Li looked on at her departing figure and didn't say anything to stop her.
Only after she had entered the cabin did he turn back to the holy island elders, and instructed, "You can all get on the ark as well. Tell us about Senior Ao's tribulation transcendence, and don't skip any details."
"Yes, Senior, we'll be sure to provide as comprehensive a recount as possible," the elderly man replied without any hesitation.
Han Li nodded in response, and the holy island elders all boarded the giant ark.
Half a year later, Han Li was standing with his hands clasped behind his back under a green spirit pine tree on the summit of a small mountain on the holy island.
He was peering into a small valley that was enshrouded in white mist in the distance, pondering something in an expressionless manner.
All of a sudden, spatial fluctuations erupted behind him, and a yellow figure emerged before extending a bow toward Han Li, then stood off to the side in a respectful manner.
"How is the new cave abode coming along, Yuetian?" Han Li asked without even turning his head.
"I've acted according to your instructions and examined most of the territory of the two races in person. As a result, I finally managed to find a place that fits all of the requirements, and we can move there at any time," Hai Yuetian replied in a respectful voice.
Han Li's expression changed slightly upon hearing this, and he finally turned around. "Oh? So where is the site of this new cave abode?"
"It's situated on an island in the Boundless Sea. The location is very secluded, but the spiritual Qi there is extremely abundant, and it's naturally enshrouded under a Yin Yang magnetic forcefield, which can be utilized to easily create a powerful protective restriction for the cave abode," Hai Yuetian replied.
"I see, that does sound like a suitable place. Go and pack up your belongings; we'll leave the holy island in a few days," Han Li instructed.
"Yes, Master. How is Senior Silvermoon? Has she still not come out of seclusion?" Hai Yuetian asked after a brief moment of hesitation.
"She still hasn't come out of seclusion yet, but I have a feeling she'll be coming out in the next few days," Han Li replied as he turned toward the valley in the distance again.
"I see. In that case, I'll instruct my disciples to begin preparations for the move." Hai Yuetian naturally had no reason to doubt Han Li's words, and he extended another respectful bow before departing from the small mountain, leaving Han Li to continue peering into the misty valley.
A long while later, the mist within the valley up ahead suddenly began to churn, and a streak of white light shot out before appearing above Han Li.
"I'm fine now, Brother Han; let's leave together," a silver-robed woman said with a smile as soon as she emerged.
"Alright, let's go. I've already found a good site for our cave abode where we can stay for a while," Han Li replied with a warm smile.
"You're saying we now have a cave abode all to ourselves? That's fantastic! I really want to see it," Silvermoon said with bright eyes.
 [The Chinese character for moon is pronounced yue(月), hence, Yue'er is an affectionate pet name for Silvermoon.]