The woman remained calm when faced with Han Li’s questions, giving the impression that she had anticipated them. However, his last question caused her to reveal slight panic. She answered with a forced smile, “Fellow Daoist’s last question is quite meaningful. What great trouble’s could I have provoked? The reason why I was so panicked at the beginning was because…”
Without waiting for her to finish, Han Li insipidly interrupted, “If Lady Yuan doesn’t wish to tell the truth, then leave it be. I have no intention of listening to any empty words.”
“You…” Seeing that Han Li was unmoved, Yuan Yao had finally revealed a trace of anger. She forcefully stomped her foot and left in a fit of resentment.
Han Li’s face didn’t reveal the slightest change upon seeing the woman leave. He soon turned his gaze towards Fairy Violet Spirit, who was currently talking with a male youth with an easy expression. When she saw Han Li looking at her, she gave him a light hearted smile and muttered something to the youth.
After seeing that, Han Li turned his gaze away, but before he thought of anything else, he heard the Bone Sage’s voice.
“Why were you so slow? This master had believed you weren’t able to deal with a trifling ghost mist! Could it be you came across a ghost king?” The Bone Sage’s voice contained dissatisfaction and doubt.
Having heard that, Han Li gazed into the distant ghost mist and indifferently replied, “On my way here, I encountered a fierce ghost. However, that didn’t take up much time. It was the large group of Souleater Spirits that came afterwards that wasted much of my time.
“Souleater Spirits?” The Bone Sage revealed an expression of shock.
“What? Does Senior fear those things despite cultivating the Ghost Dao?” Han Li asked with a calm tone, but his words carried a trace of mockery.
“How could I possibly fear them? However, this old man is quite curious to know how you three managed to escape such a calamity.” The Bone Sage quickly changed the topic.
Han Li inwardly sneered as he casually gave an explanation, “Junior doesn’t really have anything to say. We merely had good luck and were able to avoid disaster through a fluke!”
‘Little sneak!’ Needless to say, the Bone Sage inwardly cursed at him. After a moment of silence, he had no choice but to ask a different question, “Fine! Since you’re unwilling to explain, I won’t continue to pry. The next time I’ll talk with you, we’ll go together to fetch the Ninecurl Spirit Ginseng. Afterwards, you will lend me your assistance in exterminating my traitorous disciple Zenith Yin.”
“No problem! So long as you hand the Ninecurl Spirit Ginseng to me, I will take the risk of helping you.” Han Li agreed without the slightest hesitation. It seemed he had long made up his mind.
The Bone Sage was satisfied by his decisive answer. After a light chuckle, he spoke no more.
However, he didn’t catch sight of Han Li’s mocking smile and the cold light that occasionally flickered from his eyes.
Han Li suddenly felt another person looking at him. He couldn’t help but raise his head. As a result, he caught sight of Grandmaster Zenith Yin looking at him with a trace of joy that reminded Han Li of a tiger eyeing its prey.
Han Li expressively turned his head around and bitterly smiled. It seemed that avoiding a confrontation with Grandmaster Zenith Yin was impossible. Zenith Yin clearly had no intention of letting him go for a reason he was completely unaware of.
However, Grandmaster Zenith Yin seemed to have his own misgivings. Why was he waiting so patiently and hadn’t made a move to restrain him within the hall.
Han Li gloomily sat down on a patch of grass and meditated. He had consumed quite a bit of magic power in the ghost fog and needed to recover to his peak state for the troubles that were soon to come.
Staring from a distance, the woman Yuan Yao glanced at Han Li with unwillingness. While her gaze contained resentment, it also held a trace of loneliness.
Although Fairy Violet Spirit was chatting to the earnest and concerned man with a smile, her gaze unconsciously turned in Han Li’s direction as if she were worried. As for Han Li, he was meditating, appearing oblivious of the two’s gazes.
Time quickly passed by, and the next day arrived.
At this point, many of the cultivators were already impatient. They surrounded a bare stone slab lying at the center of the jade pavilions.
With their experience from the first hall, these cultivators were particularly shocked to see the stone slab reveal a transportation formation with a flash of white light. Its appearance was exactly the same as the one from the first hall.
At that moment, the two white-clothed elders from the Star Palace calmly walked towards it. After examining it, the old man with the kindly face slowly said, “This transportation formation will take you to paths of ice and fire where you will enter the second trial. Before entering the second trial, everyone will have some time to gather spiritual herbs and spiritual fruit as rewards for passing the first trial. If you feel that undergoing another trial is too dangerous, you may return here. In a month, a transportation formation will appear here to take you back to the main hall.”
“But regardless of whether you decide to undergo the second trial or to return here, you only have one day to pick the spiritual herbs throughout the next area. Past that point, nothing else will appear, and you will be stuck there. To the best of my knowledge, cultivators that have remained there have never returned at the reopening of the Heavenvoid Hall. As for the reason of their disappearance, it is still unknown to this day. So don’t believe that you’ll come across fortune by deliberately staying there.
The white-clothed old man’s voice wasn’t very loud, but his voice was resounding and was heard by all those there. Those that already knew this were inattentive while the others who were ignorant were greatly surprised.
After this was said, both of these enforcement elders stepped through the transportation formation and disappeared without a trace.
This time, the other cultivators showed no hesitation, and each of them rushed through. After all, time was limited. They only had a short amount of time to search for the spiritual items. They had best make good use of it.
Han Li unconsciously turned his gaze towards the bone sage before hastily entering the crowd of cultivators that were hurrying towards the transportation formation.
But just as he walked towards the transportation formation, Han Li felt Grandmaster Zenith Yin’s covetous gaze fall upon him once more. Fury and apprehension stirred in his heart, and he sourly grimaced as he passed through the white light.
Despite knowing that someone harbored malicious intentions towards him, he was powerless to do anything about it. This feeling of helplessness awakened a feeling of an intense vengeance that he had forgotten many years before.
After the light faded away, Han Li walked a few steps outside of the transportation formation and examined his surroundings, discovering a sight that left him dumbfounded.
The sky was dark blue and was filled with clouds. An endless expanse of emerald-green grass surrounded him, accompanied by a wind that carried a strong scent of plants. There was also a mountain range that could be faintly seen in the distance.
How were they still in the Heavenvoid Hall? This graceful environment clearly belonged on land!
For a long while, Han Li remained in a silent daze.
At that moment, the Bone Sage walked out of the transportation formation. Scoffing at Han Li’s shocked appearance, he said, “Isn’t it amazing? The first time I came here, I didn’t appear much better than yourself. But this isn’t an illusion; it is a genuine existence. With its abundant spiritual Qi and its indescribable smell of pure nature, this isn’t a place that exists in the outside world.”
He then took a deep breath and slowly savored it before continuing, “This small world should be the result of a great divine ability of some cultivator from the desolate era. Unfortunately, those of us in the later generation never again witnessed their grand, marvelous abilities.” The Bone Sage sighed and revealed a desire to witness the ancient cultivators.
“Splitting the Heavens and Earth apart by oneself?” Han Li was overwhelmed with disbelief.
Guessing what Han Li was thinking, the Bone Sage calmly continued, “There is nothing strange about it! The divine abilities of ancient cultivators far exceed what we can even imagine. But for some unknown reason, these ancient cultivators completely disappeared from this world. It was after this that our own inferior cultivation world came into existence.”
Han Li didn’t further question this, and his eyes suddenly fell down to a small road in front of him.
The winding road was overgrown with unknown, wild plants. It was hard to discern, and it led into the unseen distance.
In Han Li’s eyes, the mystery of the ancient cultivator’s amazing abilities along with their disappearance had nothing to do with the matter at hand. He’d be better served by addressing the matter at hand before considering any matters having to do with ancient cultivators.