"He's going into seclusion to reach late Core Formation stage?" The man was clearly surprised, but he soon sighed and spoke no further.
The Ancient Sword Sect's Cultivator Bai then wordlessly raised his hand and struck the pile of rocks nearby with a streak of white light. The pile of rocks suddenly flashed with light and he disappeared. The pile of rocks was clearly a well hidden transportation spell formation.
After seeing the grey-clothed old man depart, he sat down on the ground nearby.
At the other end of the transportation formation was a small stone room in the Hundred Possibilities Sect. The scholarly man appeared within the formation with a flash of white light. Several high grade cultivators from the three sects were surrounding him.
Cultivator Jian asked, "How is it Junior Martial Brother? Are the preparations finished?"
The scholarly man replied, "Senior Martial Brother, relax. Everything is ready at the sacred site. We may take them in now."
The old man surnamed Fu nodded his head with satisfaction, "Good! Then we must trouble Brother Duan to bring the ten juniors over here." As soon as he finished the red-robed old man wordlessly pushed open the door and left. Old Man Fu continued, "As arranged, our three sects will each send a Core Formation cultivator to accompany them. The Drifting Cloud Sect's Fellow Daoist Yu is already on the other side. Brother Jiang, who will you be sending over?"
Jiang Yun casually replied, "I've already seen it once before and there is little to see, how about Junior Martial Brother Bai goes?"
Old Man Fu smiled and said, "That's fine. Although Fellow Daoist Bai hasn't had his turn guarding the sacred site, he was once one of the ten finalists in the Sword Trial Assembly. It could be considered revisiting a memory."
Cultivator Bai nodded his head with a calm expression but said nothing. The white-clothed young woman charmingly smiled at him and rubbed shoulders with him in a rather romantic manner.
At that moment, footsteps came from outside of the stone room and the red-robed old man walked in with a calm expression, leading the ten finalists.
Although the Drifting Cloud Sect hadn't acquired first place, there were four disciples that managed to make it into the final ten. Occupying the most places amongst the three sects. This had caused Old Man Duan to feel quite pleased in contrast to his calm exterior.
With that thought, he unconsciously swept his gaze over the four disciples. There was the Firecloud Mountain's Sun Huo, a staunch-faced youth, Mu Peiling of Dayspring Mountain, Han Li and Du Dong.
When he caught sight of Du Dong, Old Man Duan couldn't help but inwardly snort, and a trace of derision momentarily appeared within his heart.
As for the disciple that had acquired first place, he was a black-clothed youth with an expression as clear as a drawn sword. He was the Ancient Sword Sect's Meng Di, who possessed the Ninesword Spirit Constitution.
The "Ninesword Spirit Constitution" was among the three great sword bodies in the cultivation world. It wasn't something to take lightly. With a top-grade sword magic tool in hand, there were no opponents in the competition that were capable of withstanding his strikes. In only a few short moments, he was able to crush any opposition that stood in his way en route to first place.
Having thought that, the red-robed old man felt somewhat envious of the Ancient Sword Sect's good luck.
Han Li indifferently glanced at the Core Formation "Masters" in the room. He felt neither joy nor alarm.
After his victory in the third round, he had deliberately lost to a skilled Hundred Possibilities Pavilion Foundation Establishment disciple. He then participated in a battle against the six who lost for the final four positions in the top ten. In the end, he had nearly spent all of his talismans to forcefully enter ninth place.
As for Du Dong, perhaps having held the same plan in mind as Han Li, he had also suffered a defeat at the fourth round and then deliberately suffered a loss against him, landing him in tenth place. Those actions had left Han Li dumbstruck.
As for the top ranked disciple amongst the Drifting Cloud Sect disciples, that would be the youth named Sun Huo. His cultivation was quite strong and he managed to land in third place.
But from how Han Li saw it, apart from the black-clothed youth whose techniques greatly matched his magic tool, he would be able to defeat all the others using his previous methods.
Once the assembly concluded, the top ten disciples each received a top grade magic tool. As for Meng Di, he also received a jade box that contained a Spirit Tempering Pill.
When Han Li saw the jade box, he instantly grew determined, 'If this goes smoothly, and I'm able to acquire the root of the Spirit Well Tree as well as the pill formula, it'll be over. If that isn't possible, I'll take the pill from the hands of that Ancient Sword Sect disciple. After all, that pill will greatly aid in condensing a Nascent Soul.'
As Han Li thought this, Old Man Fu began to teleport the gathered disciples.
The three sects' youths already knew where they were going and wore cheerful smiles.
As white light flashed, Cultivator Bai and a middle-aged cultivator from the Hundred Possibilities Pavilion teleported alongside them.
Han Li and company were left dazed from the teleportation and found themselves amidst a dense fog and a pile of rocks.
Han Li narrowed his eyes and unconsciously swept his spiritual sense past the area. However, once it extended out a hundred meters, he immediately felt a restriction block his path. His heart trembled at the discovery. Knowing that there were powerful spell formations in place, he decided that stealthily completing his objective would be best.
Seeing that they had all arrived, the grey-clothed old man calmly stood up and raised his hand, shooting out a yellow spell seal into the dense mist.
The surrounding mist began to roil and suddenly dispersed. Not far ahead of them was a wall overgrown with dense moss as if no one had ever passed it by.
Cultivator Bai warned the ten finalists with an icy tone, "Listen well. You must cleanse your eyes as soon as the spirit water is refined. You are allowed to enter the restricted area for that reason alone. Normally, even we are not allowed near this place. After you enter, you are only allowed to stay here for the day, and must immediately depart on the next. This place is also heavily clad in restrictions. Absolutely do not roam this place as you please, else you will be subjected to the entirety of the consequences."
The disciples naturally acknowledged his words.
At that moment, a man's voice was heard from the direction of the stone wall, "Alright, if you have anything else to say, leave it until after you enter. I am going to open a way through the great formation."
When the man surnamed Yue said this, the stone wall rippled throughout the air and disappeared in flash of green light.
A moment later, the disciples were left astonished as the stone wall disappeared before them and was replaced with huge, tightly-shut stone gates.
The stone gate was densely covered in talisman characters and pulsing with rainbow light. It was unknown just how powerful this restriction was. There were also several barriers of yellow light surrounding the gate.
At that moment, a yellow-clothed cultivator with his arms behind his back was standing outside the thirty-meter-tall gate. He appeared to be in his forties, and he had thick, slanted eyebrows that gave him a fierce appearance. If an ordinary person were to see him, they would grow fearful and wouldn't dare to meet his gaze.
When the middle-aged cultivator from the Hundred Possibilities Pavilion saw his fearsome appearance, he revealed trace of admiration. "Hehe! Senior Martial Brother Yue seems to have made much progress in his Ghost Fiend Arts. It seems cultivating near the sacred tree has made cultivation far easier."
Although his words weren't loud, they had clearly reached Cultivator Yue's ears. The yellow-clothed cultivator immediately rolled his eyes and snorted, "If you're willing to be confined to this place for sixty years, you can diligently cultivate as well. Though I wonder if Junior Martial Brother Pai would be able to endure it, given his temperament."
The middle-aged Hundred Possibilities Pavilion cultivator wore an embarrassed expression and said, "I was merely speaking without consideration. It must be be extremely difficult for Senior Martial Brothers Yue, Wu, and Tian to stand guard here. My words..."
"Enough! No need to speak any further. These restrictions are something that our Nascent Soul Martial Uncles placed down. I will only be able to open the restrictions for a short amount of time. Hurry up!"
The yellow-clothed cultivator then slapped his hands together and summoned a yellow command medallion. He then began to chant with a solemn expression.
The command medallion suddenly glowed with a grand yellow light and began to radiate nearby, melting away the light barriers in an instant, revealing a ten meter wide passage.
"Everyone go! Be quick!" The scholarly man urged them as soon as he saw this and took the lead, flying forward in a streak of white light.
The other two Core Formation cultivators gave similar commands and shot forward as well.
When Han Li and company saw this, they hastily followed after them on their magic tools.