These cultivators were the first ones to reach the end of the Path of Ice and Fire. While the black desert and blood icicle forest naturally proved to be no threat to the Nascent Soul cultivators, the late Core Formation cultivators suffered quite badly to escape them. As for the weaker cultivators, their odds were grim. Only a few of them had managed to make it here so far.
Zenith Yin and Layman Qing Yi naturally worried about Han Li’s fate. If Han Li died on the Path of Molten Rock, his Bloodjade Spider would’ve perished with him, leaving them without any cause for joy. Zenith Yin, who stood to benefit the most, felt especially terrible, far worse than Layman Qing Yi did.
Although Wan Tianming appeared calm, he had lowered his head and was silently staring at his wide, thin hands with an icy gaze.
Naturally, these three Nascent Soul cultivators knew of the strange changes of the Path of Ice and Fire. They were certain that these changes had to do with the Star Palace elders that had yet to appear, causing them all to clench their teeth in resentment and feel great trepidation.
What was the intent behind the Star Palace’s actions? Could it be they truly wanted to tear away at the faces of both the Righteous and Devilish Daos?
Time slowly passed by underneath this stifling atmosphere. Man Huzi, Tian Wuxi, the old farmer, Wu Chou, and the Bone Sage all eventually arrived from the transportation formation from the stone palace. These people either had wretched expressions or were gritting their teeth in fuming rage. They were clearly inwardly cursing at the Star Palace elders for causing these changes.
As of current, it was only half a day more before the Path of Ice and Fire were sealed off. Zenith Yin’s expression had originally soften upon seeing Wu Chou appear. But with Han Li still missing, his face grew unsightly once more.
Wu Chou was able to pass through the Path of Ice and Fire unscathed because he had fortunately been given an ancient protective treasure beforehand. Zenith Yin didn’t expect he would need to give Han Li such a treasure in order to protect himself.
Presumably, Qing Yi and Man Huzi also felt remorse from this. After all, Qing Yi and Man Huzi also had many powerful ancient treasures on hand. Had they given some of them to Han Li, they wouldn’t have to worry about his survival.
With that thought, Zenith Yin gloomily glanced at the old man and Man Huzi.
The Confucian-robed old man was currently gazing at the transportation formation with a fluctuating expression, appearing to be thinking of something. Man Huzi was gazing at the hall’s roof with his chin moving as he muttered to himself. It was clear that he was pondering about something as well.
Seeing this, Zenith Yin’s pent-up rage grew stronger, but his heart soon grew calm. He merely had to face reality and consider his steps moving forward without the Bloodjade Spider.
At that moment, the Bone Sage was sitting cross-legged on a stone table. His eyes were half open, appearing as if he were in the middle of refining Qi. Although he was slightly surprised by Han Li’s absence, it made sense. According to his view, Han Li’s true strength was at most that of a late Core Formation cultivator. He merely had a fifty percent chance of making it through the strange transformations of the Path of Ice and Fire. But without Han Li’s assistance, he feared he lacked the strength to deal with Zenith Yin.
The Bone Sage became unsure whether or not he could take action inside Heavenvoid Hall. Perhaps he would look for another suitable opportunity and take some time to better prepare himself, increasing his odds of success.
Feeling helpless, the Bone Sage couldn’t help but inwardly curse at the Star Palace elders for a long while.
As for Wan Tianming and the other Righteous Dao cultivators, they also had bellies full of grievances. They had no choice but to alter their original plans of drawing support from the Core Formation cultivators.
As a multitude of various attitudes and sinister designs stirred among those inside the stone hall, the two white clothed Star Palace elders suddenly appeared in the transportation formation at the center of the hall. At that moment, everyone gazed at the two cultivators with menacing expressions.
The kindly-faced white clothed man ignored their icy gazes and swept his gaze across the room. He then deeply sighed and said, “Sigh! Just which of you imprudent Fellow Daoists activated those ferocious restrictions on the Path of Ice and Fire? You stirred up huge changes in the canyon. Us two were unable to find a way to reverse these changes, resulting in a loss of many Daoists from the cultivation world. We are quite ashamed at this failure and will beg for forgiveness from the Star Palace Sages when we return, spending over a hundred years in meditation.” He appeared as if he were truly lamentful.
Having heard that, the Righteous and Devilish Dao cultivators shamelessly cursed them out in their hearts. They planned on cleanly brushing the matter aside with those frivolous words as if the affair had nothing to do with them..
However, what happened next was just as the two had anticipated. Although the people in the palace coldly glared at them, none of them took the initiative to question them. Man Huzi, Wan Tianming, and the other Nascent Soul eccentrics fiercely glanced at them several times, but they eventually turned away, each minding their own business.
It seemed none still dared to easily provoke the Star Palace.
After the two white haired elder glanced at each other with a smile, they sat down in a corner and closed their eyes in meditation.
Although many still felt unresigned, nobody was willing to take the initiative to act.
In that next moment, two people appeared with a flash of white light from the transportation formation, Han Li and Yuan Yao.
In the moment Zenith Yin saw Han Li appear, his eyes brightened and he shouted, “Han Li!” He then waved his arms towards Han Li with a smile, having him immediately come over.
Man Huzi and Layman Qing Yi also revealed expressions of pleasant surprise. After exchanging a glance with one another, the two bluntly walked over to Zenith Yin’s side.
Han Li let out a sigh in his mind. After saying a few words to Yuan Yao, Han Li roused his spirits and walked over towards Zenith Yin. As Han Li fortunately knew that these Devil Dao eccentrics needed him in their hunt for treasure, he was able to remain calm. In addition, Han Li felt particularly assured after spotting the Bone Sage when he entered the large hall.
After Zenith Yin called Han Li, he warmly greeted him and assumed the standard role of a kind master, inquiring about the circumstances of the Path of Molten Rock.
Han Li didn’t go far into detail and merely gave a short, vague description to go through the motions. He understood that Zenith Yin didn’t actually care about the matter.
As he had expected, Grandmaster Zenith Yin didn’t pursue the matter and praised Han Li instead.
The Confucian-robed old man looked at Han Li with a smile and would occasionally chime in as if he was quite concerned with Han Li.
As befitted him, Man Huzi indifferently watched from the side and didn’t take the initiative to ask any questions. However, when Han Li returned the Glacial Ice Pearl to him, Man Huzi waved his arm in a relaxed manner, indicating that he was giving it to Han Li.
It seemed these old eccentrics valued Han Li far more now that he was one step closer to entering the inner halls, having rushed through the Paths of Ice and Fire. However, Wu Chou gazed at him from the side with increasing hostility, occasionally revealing a malicious glint from his eyes.
Zenith Yin seemed to have noticed this and suddenly glared at Wu Chou, transmitting a few words to him. Wu Chou suddenly lowered his head, and his expression had returned to normal after he raised his head again.
While Han Li dealt with Zenith Yin and the other eccentrics, he thought about whether or not he should contact the Bone Sage. It appeared that the old eccentrics didn’t have a concrete plan in mind. Could it be that they were planning on responding based on how events would unfold?
As Han Li thought about this, the final moments of the Path of Ice and Fire had passed. The transportation formation at the center of the stone hall disappeared without a trace. There were only about a dozen people in the room before it disappeared.
At that same moment, the walls around them began to rumble. The stone doors then opened by themselves to reveal long, narrow limestone passages.
“Three of these four passageways lead to their own pavilion, each separately holding ancient treasures, medicine pills, and cultivation arts left behind by ancient cultivators. However, all of those items are sealed and each person may only pick one item. After the item is chosen, that person will immediately teleport to the next trial, the Boundary of Fantastical Illusion. As for the last passage, it will teleport those immediately to the next trial. Whoever walks that path can only accept their bad luck for having passed the previous trial without reward. The restrictions here are a bit strange. The passage they lead to changes with each occurrence. But if one chooses a passage, they will have no option to withdraw. If there is anyone who doesn’t wish to attempt the Boundary of Fantastical Illusion, so long as you stay in this stone room for the day, you will be teleported back to Heavenvoid Hall. I wish the best for all of you!” Upon seeing the passages appear, the kindly faced elder slowly gave the explanation as he remained seated with legs crossed.
When the others heard him, they indifferently glanced at him before ignoring him.
When the Star Palace elder saw this, he didn’t seem to care and closed his his eyes with a smile.