Ever since the battle at the Yellow Dragon Mountains, the three Moulan Sages had taken the initiative to lead the war effort. In only half a month, they had already managed to push all the way towards Soaring Heavens City.
Caught unprepared, the Nine Nations Union could only stand alone against the incoming enemies.
Fortunately, the grand elder of the Nine Nations Union, Wei Wuya — one of the three great cultivators in the Heavenly South — had recently received word to hurry to the city. Relying on the city's grand formation, he was able to support it for an entire month against the spell warriors armies.
However, the city faced the combined might of three Divine Sages, a few black-robed cultivators, and eight giant beasts. As such, it didn't take long for the grand formation to be destroyed and for Soaring Heavens City to fall to the hands of spell warriors. But fortunately for the Nine Nations Union, a majority of their forces in the city had already withdrew to the neighboring countries of Yu and Beiliang.
At that time, reinforcements from the Righteous and Devil Dao as well as those from the Heavenly Dao Alliance had arrived.
With the four united superpowers of the Heavenly South, they managed to temporarily hold back the Moulan vanguard after a few small scale battles. However, it was clear that none of these battles were a true battle to the death.
Once Soaring Heavens City was seized by the Moulan, it immediately became the first stronghold in the Heavenly South for the spell warriors. An unending stream of Moulan spell warriors began to stream in from the Moulan Plains in great number.
Each of the Moulan tribes sent their elite to the other tribes in hopes they would be able to occupy the Heavenly South, apart from the greatest Moulan Tribe — the Golden Sun Tribe who were occupied with monitoring the movements of the Soaring Tribes in the Moulan Plains.
Once the Moulan finished gathering together, they would begin conducting battles to the death.
Of course, the Heavenly South wasn't about to accept this occupation without resistance.
In addition to the forces of the four superpowers, unaffiliated sects also sent men and even a few vagrant cultivators participated in the war effort, all knowing just how important the coming battle was. Even the various clans in the Heavenly South took the initiative to send their own forces to support the war.
With these forces taking in, the four superpowers immediately moved towards the border of the the State of Beiliang and the State of Yu. Through the use of grand techniques, they were able to construct a huge stone city overnight, treating it as a fortress to resist the spell warriors advance.
During that time, they also made arrangements for the various sect and vagrant cultivators in their armies so that they may drive away the Moulan from the Heavenly South in a single move.
Like the calm before the storm, battles between both sides ceased, and they made use of this opportunity for further preparations.
And during this time, Han Li's feats during his time at the Yellow Dragon Mountains had already begun to spread.
Of course, he couldn't have known that in addition to himself, Old Man Ma had also survived from the battle that day. However, in the face of the green-robed woman's wind movement techniques, he could only abandon his mortal body and flee back to the Nine Nations Union only with his Nascent Soul.
As for Core Formation cultivators, Yingning and the Murong Brothers had both survived. Once they saw the battle was lost, they all took the initiative to flee.
With these survivors, Han Li's feat of killing the black-robed Nascent Soul cultivator in an instant became known by others, and his reputation soared!
As for the Controlling Spirit Sect spy— Gu Shuangpu — his true identity was only known by a select few high grade cultivators amongst the superpowers. It was not widely spread.
Of course, what truly made Han Li's reputation soar was the news that he managed to escape from the grasp of a Moulan Divine Sage. When Divine Sage Zhong had returned to the spell warrior army, his failure to kill Han Li had caused quite a commotion amongst the spell warriors.
The scholarly man as a result had given Han Li a very high assessment in order to save face and avoid embarrassment, rating his abilities slightly beyond that of a mid Nascent Soul-stage cultivator.
Naturally, none doubted the assessment of a Divine Sage.
With the addition of the many abilities Han Li displayed in his battle with the green-robed woman surnamed Le, and his earlier victory over the Heavenly Wind Tribe's Sage Mu — resulting in the destruction of his physical body, his repute amongst the spell warrior armies were even greater than those of the Heavenly South cultivators.
Of course, this information eventually made its way to the Heavenly South and had caused quite a ruckus as well.
Needless to say, many other obscure Nascent Soul cultivators had also made a name for themselves in that way. After all, a cultivator's true abilities could only be truly measured in battle.
Eventually, over half a year had passed, and Han Li had finally emerged from his seclusion in a valley in the State of Yu.
Feng Tuo was a Foundation Establishment-stage spell warrior from a small Moulan Tribe. Although he was worshiped as an Immortal master amongst his people, he was now merely a common foot soldier in Soaring Heavens City.
He was currently stationed on a fortress on the border of the State of Beiliang. He had to patrol an area of over a hundred of kilometers with a party of Qi Condensation spell warriors in between the fortress and the city to warn of any sudden attacks by the Heavenly South cultivators.
After patrolling for about half a day, it was about time for him to be relieved by another spell warrior. Once he patrolled a few tens more kilometers, he would be able to return.
Feng Tuo pondered for a moment, thinking about the tens of spirit stones he had received in the past two days. With those spirit stones, he felt confident he would be able to breakthrough the bottleneck to mid Foundation Establishment stage. He couldn't help but feel an impatience to return to cultivating and become stronger before the next battle. If he would be able to acquire a few merits in the upcoming battle, he would surely be rewarded with an appropriate number of spirit stones.
This spell warrior was indulging in fantasy as he slowly flew on his magic tool, guiding a party of Qi Condensation-stage spell warriors.
At that moment, he happened to fly across an ordinary cliff that few ever visited. When he thought to brush through the area, he suddenly saw a flash of azure light emerge from the rock, revealing an azure-robed youth that appeared to be in his early twenties.
The youth glanced at the party of spell warriors with a cold, emotionless expression.
When Feng Tuo clearly saw this youth, he swept his spiritual sense past him and felt his breath turn cold. "Heavenly South cultivator! He's at least Core Formation stage. I cannot see the depth of his cultivation."
"Quickly, withdraw! This person isn't someone we can handle!"
Feng Tuo acted rather keenly and hastily called for his six low grade party members to retreat. He then tossed an exquisite spirit beast pouch through the air.
At that same moment, a streak of red light shot out of the pouch and spun in the air before shooting in the direction of the fortress.
At that moment, a beautiful white-clothed woman appeared in a flash of white light. Red light suddenly appeared near her and she chuckled before spitting out a fragrant pink mist and forming a barrier around the streak of red light.
With a clear cry, the red light faded away to reveal a small red bird floating in the air.
The young woman extended her hand and had the small bird fly into it.
Having seen this, Feng Tuo felt his heart drop. Unable to look after the others, he quickly formed a hand incantation and had his body glow with yellow light and instantly shot several kilometers away by using a life saving technique.
But at that moment, the youth narrowed his eyes and snorted.
The sound was ordinary as it could be, but when Feng Tuo heard this, he felt his ears ring and his mind grow dark as he felt the very earth twirl around him.
The other Qi Condensation-stage cultivators didn't fare any better either. In the instant the youth infused magic power with his snort, the spell warriors dropped to the ground in succession.
As for Feng Tuo, the young woman arrived by his side in a blur and lifted him into the air by his neck.
Once she landed in front of him, she sweetly smiled at the youth and said, "Master, this person is their leader. He should know a bit more."
Needless to say, these two were Han Li and Silvermoon who had discovered that the State of Yu had fallen during their time in seclusion. They already had a rough understanding of what had happened. He already had Silvermoon sneak into the nearby area and gather some information.
Just as he was passing through this area, he discovered Feng Tuo's party patrolling nearby.
Han Li felt his heart stir and decided to capture the party of spell warriors, questioning them about the surrounding affairs and saving him the hassle of treading into any areas that may be guarded by a Divine Sage.
Combined with Silvermoon's bewitchment techniques, Han Li's Dreamtear Technique allowed him to easily acquire what he wanted.
Han Li greatly sighed with relief. The three Divine Sages took alternative turns guarding the border, but this span of the border was far from the fortress the Divine Sage was guarding and was being guarded by only a Moulan Sage.
With Han Li's cultivation, he should have no problem sneaking past him.
Han Li then looked down at the captives with a frown.
In order to acquire the information as quickly as possible, Han Li had used a forceful method to extract information, resulting in a near total annihilation of their minds. Even if they woke up, they would empty husks.
With a light sigh, he turned each of the spell warriors into ash with a fireball. He then took to the skies in an azure streak of light and took Silvermoon in tow.
On the border of the State of Beiliang, in a remote building in the newly constructed city of Skyfirst, Han Li's Senior Martial Brother Lu was currently talking with a few other high grade cultivators of the Heavenly South cultivators. However, he appeared absent-minded as if he were worrying about something.
Since he had already battled against the spell warrior vanguard, he could already return to the Drifting Cloud Sect. However, the sect currently only had two Nascent Soul cultivators. He couldn't allow the silver-haired old man, his senior martial brother, to lead the Drifting Cloud Sect disciples into battle, so he took the initiative to remain and look after his sect disciples.
Of course, the other reason he was unwilling to depart was because of the recently famous Drifting Cloud Sect's Elder Han. His whereabouts were still unknown. He was worried that Han Li either met mishap or perhaps found himself incapable of returning.
Nevertheless, Han Li had already proven himself capable of killing other Nascent Soul cultivators and even escaping the pursuit of a Moulan Divine Sage. Elder Lu could hardly believe Han Li was such a capable individual.
After all, others might not know this, but he personally knew that Han Li had just condensed a Nascent Soul several years ago. How was it possible that he had developed such heaven-defying abilities in such a short amount of time? Even a Moulan Divine Sage had appraised him to be a level slightly above that of a mid Nascent Soul cultivator.
Could it be that the Drifting Cloud Sect had truly collected a treasure? Was Junior Martial Brother Han a cultivation genius that appeared once in ten thousand years?
As of current, Lu Luo was sitting in the hall as he pondered about this matter, oblivious to what the others were saying.