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Chapter 878: Restoring the Banner

    With a soft shout, Han Li's light barrier doubled in size and a streak of white light flew out from his sleeve. It circled around him and turned into a small white fox.

    "Since time is limited, let's split up to find the Devil Essence Diamonds." Han Li quickly spoke and tossed a ball of golden lightning towards the small fox. With a ring of thunder, the ball of lightning wrapped around the fox in a net.

    "Keep in mind that the lightning will not last long!" Han Li solemnly warned, "Once it shows signs of weakening, immediately return and then we'll head back up."

    "Yes, Master," Silvermoon replied in her usual bright voice, "However, I do not know what Devil Essence Diamonds look like."

    Before Han Li could reply, Monarch Soul Divergence answered, "Devil Essence Diamonds are pitch-black gems that contain astonishing devilish Qi. They will be easily recognized."

    "That will do then. I'm heading off." Silvermoon nodded and her fox body flashed with silver light before disappearing into the ground.

    Han Li didn't remain still either. With a wave of the jade scepter, a layer of yellow light appeared around his light barrier and he sank into the floor without a trace. For a time, no one could be seen above ground.

    Time slowly passed by and the platform was completely quiet, but was now shrouded in pitch-black devilish Qi. The endless darkness resembled what one would imagine of the underworld.

    Not long after, golden light flashed as Han Li emerged from the ground. He looked around him and a trace of worry appeared on his face when he saw that Silvermoon wasn't there.

    Then, he turned his attention to his hand and relaxed his grasp, revealing an exquisite pitch-black gem. It appeared to be the size of his thumb.

    Monarch Soul Divergence chuckled and said, "As I expected, there are truly Devil Essence Diamonds here. Your luck is quite good. This was an item that ancient Devil Dao cultivators could only dream of. It was incredibly rare even during times of antiquity."

    "Is that so? This item is so precious?" Han Li took a closer look at the gem and narrowed his eyes to examine it.

    The gem didn't shine with even the slightest light. Instead, its serene darkness gave a bewildering sensation to Han Li as if his consciousness was being sucked inside it. Han Li felt his heart tremble and quickly withdrew his gaze, not daring to look any longer.

    At that moment, silver light shined from underneath him. A silver fox wrapped in faint golden light shot out from the ground and quickly entered Han Li's light barrier.

    "If you took any longer, I was going to personally come and find you! I expected that you would've returned earlier than I did. Could it be that you found something?" With a wave of his hand, he swept up the small fox into his arm.

    Without saying a word, Silvermoon spat out three pitch-black gems, undoubtedly Devil Essence Diamonds.

    "Good, good." Delight appeared on Han Li's face and Silvermoon gave what appeared to be a smile before disappearing into his sleeve.

    Han Li took the three gems along with his own and placed them into a single jade box.

    "We can't stay any longer," Han Li muttered. Soon, the golden lightning around him trembled and a large boom sounded out. He began to slowly rise to the surface.

    Han Li's speed was slow throughout his ascent. After a quarter hour, he finally arrived at the barrier of white light. During his entire journey, he hadn't made use of any of the devil warding treasures that the three great cultivators had given him.

    Han Li eventually passed through the light barrier suppressing the devilish Qi and withdrew his Divine Devilbane Lightning entirely. But then, Han Li didn't immediately return to the surface. Instead, he looked down and slapped his storage pouch, taking out a damaged dark-green flag.

    Silvermoon yelped and said with amazement, "Yi! This... Isn't this the Ghost Sifting Banner[1]?"

    [1] Appears in Chapter 789 when Han Li fights against the devil cultivator that cursed Nangong Wan.

    "Although the devil heads and Yin ghosts attached to the banner were cleanly destroyed, the banner itself is a rare Devil Dao treasure and is still intact. From what I've heard, it is able to absorb ghost Qi in order to restore itself. Devil Concord's flag had reminded me of this. Devilish and ghostly Qi are both worldly Yin Qi and have a certain level of similarity. And given the pure devilish Qi here, it is perfect to test whether or not the flag can be restored. It doesn't matter if it fails." Han Li spoke calmly and blue light began to brightly glow around his hands, wrapping around the small flag. Afterwards, the flag flew into the devilish Qi in an azure streak.

    The Ghost Sifting Banner was engulfed by the countless threads of devilish Qi and the azure light surrounding it was cleanly devoured.

    When Han Li saw this, he grasped his hands in an incantation gesture and pointed at the green flag below. The lifeless Ghost Sifting Banner suddenly glowed with green light and it violently grew under Han Li's command. In the blink of an eye, it turned into a torn three-meter-tall banner. It appeared to still be damaged from its battle against the Aureate Sword Formation.

    When Han Li sifted through the consciousness of the Yin Sifting Sect Elder, he also acquired the method to control the banner. This and the many other banners of its kind were legacy treasures passed through many generations of the Yin Sifting Sect. Of course, this meant that the banner didn't require blood to recognize a master. Although it was classified as a magic treasure, it could be used by anyone after some refinement.

    Han Li chanted an incantation at that moment, and a meter large hold suddenly appeared in front of the flag, containing gusts of Yin winds within it. Then, the dense devilish Qi that gathered around quickly streamed into the hole at a violent speed.

    Han Li rejoiced at the sight. The banner was able to absorb the devilish Qi as he expected.

    As the banner absorbed the Qi, it began to restore itself at a speed that could be seen with the naked eye. Not long after, the banner appeared to be in` flawless condition, but its original green color was now tainted black.

    Han Li's eyes wandered across the banner as it consumed the devilish Qi all around it. He was somewhat surprised that it continued to absorb the devilish Qi after restoring itself. He didn't expect for it to consume the Qi like a bottomless pit. In addition, he discovered that the more devilish Qi it absorbed, the more black light began to cover the green parts of the banner.

    When Han Li saw this, a trace of surprise appeared on his face, but he continued to calmly observe this from a distance.

    After an unknown amount of time had passed, the Ghost Sifting Banner finally released a series of hums and the hole it summoned in front of it disappeared. The banner was now entirely covered in dazzling black light.

    At that moment, Han Li pointed at the black banner and it quickly shrank back to its original size. It then shot up in a black streak of light and entered Han Li's grasp.

    Han Li quickly examined the banner in his hand and nodded with satisfaction before putting it away. In the future, he would have to find an opportunity to test its might.

    Because he had tarried for too long, Han Li didn't dare to delay any further and promptly had his tens of flying swords revolve around him, breaking through the dense spiritual Qi above him, allowing him to ascend to the surface.

    ...

    As the three great cultivators waited above the whirlpool, they appeared calm but their expressions betrayed a slight trace of fear as if worried that Han Li had failed in his task. But then, Han Li shot out from the whirlpool in a streak of azure light and they all felt great relief at the sight.

    "Fellow Daoist Han, how did it go? Did you succeed?" Master Sunreach beamingly asked.

    "I've fulfilled my task. The formation plate is securely placed." Han Li replied with a smile.

    "Good. Allow me to test it." Wei Wuya summoned a formation plate identical to the one Han Li buried before slapping his storage pouch. He held the formation plate in one hand and formed a hand gesture with the other. Then, he muttered a cryptic incantation and the formation plate in his hand began to shine with white light, releasing threads of rainbow light in a gorgeous display.

    "Good," Wei Wuya said with a friendly grin, "You've properly installed the formation plate. We can immediately send invitations to the other cultivators to come and restore the spell formation. With the formation plate set down, we won't need to worry about the devilish Qi suddenly bursting. We owe much to Fellow Daoist Han's achievement."

    "Since the matter is settled, I must bid my farewell. I have a few important matters to handle. I'll return these treasures to you." After this was said, Han Li returned the four devil warding treasures to the three cultivators.

    The three great cultivators received the treasures and couldn't help but look at each other with dismay at Han Li's wish to suddenly depart.

    "There is no need for Fellow Daoist Han to be so impatient," Master Sunreach urged, "How about he stays at our Seven Spirit Islands for a few days?"

    "Many thanks for Brother Sunreach's kindness, but I cannot afford to delay these affairs." Han Li shook his head, his face revealing a trace of regret.

    "Since Brother Han has urgent matters occupying him, we won't keep you here any longer. Have a smooth journey!" Wei Wuya sent him off with a salute.

    "Then I will take my leave!" Han Li then cupped his fist to the three cultivators and covered his body in blinding azure light before brilliantly streaking across the sky.

    ...

    Half a month later, Han Li returned to the Drifting Cloud Sect. After informing his senior martial brothers about the spirit island that was given to the sect, he prepared to enter seclusion.

    This time, Han Li wasn't cultivating magic power but completing the refinement of his second Nascent Soul. Not only would this greatly expand his abilities, but it would also grand him another life. What was originally the Wood Spirit Nascent had now reached the stage of assimilation and was on the verge of becoming his second Nascent Soul in entirety.

    Of course, Han Li first observed Nangong Wan's condition before entering seclusion for a few years.

    After experiencing several grand events recently, the Heavenly South cultivation world had finally entered another period of peace, and the many sects and clans took the opportunity to nurture their disciples and hone their strength.

    
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