Chapter 473: Opening of the Inner Halls
"Little sister?" Han Li's gaze darted around as he studied the young woman. Her words and appearance had evoked something that he had long buried at the bottom of his heart.
"Fourth Brother, how did I get here? Didn't I die from illness many years ago? I'm scared!" The white silhouette shivered as she stood. He could see that her complexion was pale as she grew near him, appearing just like small, terrified bird.
Han Li's eyes revealed a strange expression.
This young woman who resembled his little sister was just two steps away from him.
Han Li's eyes suddenly revealed a cold glint and he raised his hand, silently shooting out a small azure sword. In an instant, it pierced right through the young woman's forehead.
The white silhouette released a tragic scream before turning into a puff of black smoke.
"Even if you take the form of my little sister, the two of us were separated when we were young. Not only should my current appearance greatly differ from long ago, but I imagine she had already forgotten my appearance as well. Just how could she have recognized her Fourth Brother at a glance?" Han Li looked in the direction of the fading black smoke and revealed a trace of loneliness.
With that finished, he brought his wrist up to his eyes and looked at the four Matron Screen Beads.
Although he had spoken those words with confidence, Han Li might not have taken action if the Matron Screen Pearls had not burned him when the white silhouette had approached him, dispelling the last trace of hesitation from the depths of his heart.
Although he knew it was only either an illusion or a transformed ghost, he had wanted to take a longer look at his sister's appearance.
Bearing a trace of indescribable sadness, Han Li continued forward through the darkness.
There were over ten people sitting motionlessly in front of an enormous pagoda. The pagoda appeared to reach the clouds and was constructed entirely out of huge limestone bricks.
From a distance, the pagoda appeared to be separated into five floors with each floor being slightly thinner than the one below it. However, each floor was separated by at least four hundred meters. Even the limestone gate at the very bottom was at least 200 meters tall, making for an astonishingly grand display.
The entire pagoda was covered by a white barrier of light with everyone resting outside of it with their eyes shut. They appeared like ants compared to the white tower. A white transportation formation was setup at the center of the resting cultivators.
All of the Nascent Soul cultivators were amongst those resting in front of the pagoda. Apart from Wu Chou and the Bone Sage, there was also a late Core Formation cultivator there. Han Li, Yuan Yao, the two Star Palace Elders, and another late Core Formation cultivator had yet to appear.
Zenith Yin's face appeared calm as if he were without a care. However, he was inwardly anxious. As both were Core Formation cultivators, Han Li should've arrived here at the same speed Wu Chou had.
At that moment, a flash of white light appeared at the center of the transportation formation, revealing a silhouette.
Man Huzi and the other Devil Dao cultivators opened their eyes to see, but a moment of disappoint flashed from their eyes as it was the masked Yuan Yao who appeared.
When the woman saw so many Nascent Soul eccentrics simultaneously gaze at her, her heart dropped. But she soon forced herself to silently walk out of the formation as if nothing were wrong.
Coincidentally, just as the woman walked off the formation, it flashed once more to reveal Han Li.
Zenith Yin unconsciously smiled with raised eyebrows. Man Huzi and Layman Qing Yi silently glanced at each other, expressing their relief.
Just as Han Li appeared, he was surprised to find Yuan Yao in front of him.
After glancing at her with a slight smile, he walked towards Grandmaster Zenith Yin and saluted before standing behind him.
Zenith Yin was very pleased to see Han Li behave so dutifully to his 'revered master'. He turned his head and nodded to Han Li without saying anything else.
As expected, he wasn't about to embarrassingly raise the topic of having Han Li return the Matron Screen Pearls to him here.
Equivalently, Man Huzi didn't ask for his treasured armor back. It was as if these people had deliberately forgotten lending these treasures to Han Li.
When Han Li appeared, he saw that the cultivators were all sitting still without any intention to move as if they were waiting for something.
At that moment, Han Li discovered the huge pagoda in front of him and was greatly amazed.
'So this is the Inner Halls. It's very different from what I had imagined.' Han Li inwardly muttered.
He then took a moment to shoot a stealthy glance at the Bone Sage.
He was near the back, sitting in earnest meditation. He didn't appear to notice Han Li's gaze.
The Bone Sage's voice suddenly arrived at Han Li's ear without warning, "Youngster, turn your sights elsewhere. Take care not to reveal me to my traitorous disciple. Rest assured, I've already made plans on how we will deal with Zenith Yin with complete confidence in success. However, the opportunity will only arise after you use the Bloodjade Spider to seize the Heavenvoid Cauldron. I will act after that! Remember, do not send me any voice transmissions. We can't expose the act!"
Han Li's expression remained calm as he listened, and then turned his gaze elsewhere.
'There will be an opportunity after seizing the treasure? What does he mean? Could it be that this old devil also wishes to acquire the Heavenvoid Cauldron?'
Han Li began to feel restless and suspicious!
As the Inner Halls was just about to open, he became worried about how events would unfold after the treasure was obtained. Regardless of whether or not he succeeded in obtaining the Heavenvoid Cauldron, what happened afterwards would be anything but good for him.
As Han Li was inwardly pouring out his grievances, he heard a cold voice from his front, "The Inner Hallss are about to open, and the two Star Palace fellows have yet to appear. It seems they won't be muddying the waters. Wouldn't you agree, Brother Man?" Wan Tianming, who sat at the center of the Righteous Dao cultivators, opened his glistening eyes. Staring at Man Huzi with concealed emotion, he slowly spoke while emitting an astonishing pressure from his body.
"Hehe! What, is Old Wan impatient? Let's wait a bit. After all, those Star Palace fellows are rather crafty. Perhaps they will only appear when they expect us to have already fought amongst ourselves?" Man Huzi disdainfully smiled and lazily stroked his beard.
When Wan Tianming heard this, he appeared somewhat pensive, but he soon nodded his head and shut his eyes once more as if approving of Man Huzi's words.
Two hours later, a series of violent tremors suddenly shook the ground.
The huge stone doors to the Inner Halls slowly opened to reveal a limestone passage.
Even at a distance, the passage appeared lofty and expansive.
At the same moment the gates opened, the transportation formation at the center faded from a dim light to nothing.
Man Huzi suddenly leapt up and threateningly grinned. Without waiting for Wan Tianming to speak, he fervently said, "Hehe! Good! Good! It seems those two Star Palace fellows won't be stirring up any mischief. How about this, Wan Tianming? We'll have a proper battle, and the loser's party is barred from entering the Inner Halls."
"No, I don't wish to fight you. I have different plans."
Contrary to everyone's expectations, Wan Tianming gave a staunch refusal with a resolved expression.
Man Huzi was initially stunned before wearing a evil grin. He mockingly said, "Different plans? Could it be that you're taking the initiative to admit defeat and withdraw without fighting?"
Wan Tianming shook his head and unhurriedly said, "Withdraw? Of course not! But, it would be ridiculous to fight without having even acquired the treasure. Would it not be better for our parties to take turns in attempting to acquire the treasure? Before this, we will restrain ourselves temporarily. As such, we can prevent a mutual struggle. After all, our current enemy is the Star Palace, not each other. We may appear brimming with confidence, but odds are that we will both be incapable of acquiring the treasure. In that case, there would have been no point to our battle."
The Devil Dao cultivators cultivators were somewhat shocked and couldn't help but exchange a glance with one another. They soon began moving their lips and sending voice transmissions.
Wan Tianming and the other Righteous Dao cultivators seemed to have already discussed this and were calmly waiting for the Devil Dao cultivators' response.
After a short moment, Zenith Yin spoke with a gloomy expression, "Your words are pleasant, but in the end, what will happen to the side that takes the treasure? If we were to succeed, how could we trust that you wouldn't then try seize it from us? Are your words merely the result of a silver tongue?"
Wan Tianming grinned in response and said without hesitation, "Zenith Yin, you're speaking nonsense. If you successfully acquire the treasure, then of course we will fight over it. Likewise, you'd contest us if we were to acquire it. When that time comes, we will rely on skill to decide. All in all, it's still better than potentially wasting our time fighting now!"