The projection was another Provenance True Devil Projection, but this one was far smaller than the other one, which had already been incinerated into nothingness by the black devilish flames.
That was only an empty shell conjured up by the Provenance True Devil Projection, and its demise had drawn Ma Liang into a false sense of security, thereby allowing Han Li to land the killing blow with his Profound Heavenly Treasure.
Han Li could sense that Ma Liang's body was harboring an astonishingly powerful Nascent Soul, but it had been instantly shattered by the power of the Profound Heavenly Spiritslash Sword and had no chance of resurrection.
If Ma Liang had been in the True Immortal Realm, his Nascent Soul would've been able to get away even in the wake of his body's destruction.
However, his Nascent Soul had been restricted by the power of the Spirit Realm, rendering it too slow to escape or to defend itself.
In a normal battle, these debilitating effects weren't very apparent, but in a life-and-death scenario, it had proven to be his downfall.
An incredulous look appeared on the dark-skinned young man's face upon seeing this. "You actually killed him! Don't you know that he's a direct disciple to the Nine Origin Dao Patriarch?"
"If I didn't kill him, he would kill me. Am I supposed to allow him to do as he pleases just because he has powerful backers? Besides, no matter how powerful this Nine Origin Dao Patriarch is, he's in the True Immortal Realm, and it's yet to be seen whether I'll even be able to ascend to the True Immortal Realm," Han Li said in a calm manner.
"I don't even recall how many years it's been since I last saw someone with so little disregard for the Nine Origin Daoist Temple, and it's a being from a lower realm! Haha, I wonder how the Nine Origin Dao Patriarch would react if he were to hear this," the dark-skinned man chortled with mirth.
"You're looking awfully relaxed. Are you not planning to continue this battle?" Han Li asked as he waved a hand to draw a golden storage bracelet from Ma Liang's body into his grasp.
"He's already dead, so the contract between us has been rendered null; why would I continue? Besides, without him, I'm not confident that I can take you down even with that dumb wyrm to assist me, so it would be foolish of me to persist. Rest assured, I won't be returning to the True Immortal Realm anytime soon, and I definitely won't tell anyone about what you did. The Nine Origin Dao Patriarch is constantly in seclusion, and there are people in the daoist temple adept in divination, but they won't be able to glean anything due to the resistance of the power between realms," the dark-skinned young man replied in a nonchalant manner.
"Why should I trust you? I don't know why a Heavenly Devilish Monarch is following a true immortal around, but the best way to make sure you keep a secret is to kill you," Han Li said with a cold smile.
The dark-skinned young man heaved an exasperated sigh, and proposed, "You're just as paranoid as Ma Liang, I see. How about this? If you don't trust me, then why don't I follow you instead?"
Han Li couldn't help but falter slightly upon hearing this. "What do you mean by that?"
"I can sign a heavenly devil contract with you, and for a set period of time, I'll act as your shadow and do your bidding to complete some tasks that's beyond even the average immortal. However, you have to offer me some of your blood essence periodically in return. On top of that, if you happen to perish during the term of our contract, your soul and energy will be absorbed by me, so you'll have no chance at reincarnation, just like everyone in the Nine Origin Daoist Temple," the dark-skinned young man said.
Immediately thereafter, he made a hand seal, and a burst of black Qi emerged out of his back before transforming into a giant ghostly head.
The ghostly head then opened its mouth, and a layer of grey Qi flew out of Ma Liang's body before forming a ball of energy that was devoured, following which the ghostly head vanished on the spot.
The dark-skinned young man then closed his eyes with an entranced expression.
"As expected of a disciple of the Nine Origin Dao Patriarch; his soul is extremely delicious and can save me tens of thousands of years of arduous cultivation." He then opened his eyes before turning to Han Li with a hint of a smile on his face. "So? How about it? If you agree to let me follow you, I can help you persuade that dumb wyrm to become your spirit servant."
A serious look appeared on Han Li's face upon hearing this, and he was silent for a long while as he appraised the battle between the Spirit Engulfing Fire Raven and the crimson wyrm.
This was the first time that he had heard of a heavenly devil contract, and he had to consider it carefully before arriving at a decision.
At this moment, the crimson seal projection in the sky finally ran out of power without Ma Liang's support and reverted back into a small seal before descending from above.
The three extreme mountains also rapidly shrank down before escorting the small seal on its descent, carrying it toward Han Li.
In the instant that the giant seal projection disappeared, the eight blood dragons also vanished in a flash.
Thus, the giant golden crab was no longer facing any opposition, and it reverted back into its human form before flying toward Han Li, while the Azure Coil Sword Formation disintegrated into countless azure sword projections.
Han Li raised a hand to draw the three miniature mountains and the crimson seal into his sleeve, following which the azure sword projections reverted back into 72 small azure swords before vanishing into his body in a flash.
Daoist Xie arrived beside Han Li amid a flash of silver lightning, and Han Li asked, "Daoist Xie, do you know of heavenly devil contracts and their effects on Heavenly Devilish Monarchs?"
"Heavenly devil contracts are a unique type of contract created by the Heavenly Devilish Patriarch, and it's widely regarded as one of the three most reliable contracts of the True Immortal Realm. As long as the powers of the parties involved in the contract haven't exceeded those of the Heavenly Devilish Patriarch, they won't be able to revoke the contract. However, according to rumors, many of the immortals who have signed heavenly devil contracts with Heavenly Devilish Monarchs have disappeared under mysterious circumstances," Daoist Xie replied as he took a glance at the dark-skinned young man.
It was clear that he had identified what the young man was.
"Hehe, correlation doesn't always equate to causation. All those who dare to sign heavenly devil contracts are bold individuals who are more willing to take risks than others, so there's naturally a greater chance that they perish than the average immortal. None of those rumors have detailed Heavenly Devilish Monarchs revoking a heavenly devil contract. For us, heavenly devil contracts are far more restrictive than they are to other beings," the dark-skinned young man explained.
"There are indeed no recorded cases of heavenly devil contracts being revoked in the True Immortal Realm," Daoist Xie confirmed in a wooden manner.
"In that case, this contract does sound reliable. I'll agree to sign the contract. It sounds like you've been in the True Immortal Realm for quite some time, so you'll be of great use to me if I ever manage to ascend. However, aside from the heavenly devil contract, I have to plant another type of restriction on you to completely erase my doubts," Han Li said after a lengthy pause for contemplation.
"That's not an issue as long as these terms are stated clearly in the contract. If you can ensure that, then I can even let you plant multiple types of additional restrictions on me," the dark-skinned young man said in a nonchalant manner.
"Alright, then as a start, get that fire spirit to stop resisting first," Han Li said.
The dark-skinned young man did as he was told, turning toward the wyrm before communicating with it through voice transmission.
Soon, all of the feelers on the crimson ball of flesh that the wyrm had transformed into shrank back into its body, and it reverted back into its humanoid form.
The Spirit Engulfing Fire Raven also shrank down to its original size upon seeing this before flying back to Han Li after just a few flashes.
Han Li raised a sleeve to release a burst of azure light, and the miniature Fire Raven was immediately drawn back up his sleeve.
"You are truly extremely fortunate to have managed to refine an Essence Fire Raven with a hint of spiritual nature in this lower realm, Fellow Daoist. Flames of essence are extremely rare even in the True Immortal Realm; it's no wonder that Huo Xuzi was unable to unleash even a tenth of his power in the face of such a fearsome opponent," the dark-skinned young man said.
"Flames of essence? This flame was something that I cultivated unintentionally, and I'm not sure if it's a flame of essence as you say. However, I've always referred to it as Spirit Engulfing Heavenly Flames," Han Li replied.
"Haha, there's no mistaking it, this is definitely a flame of essence; the conditions for the birth of such flames are completely random to begin with. Spirit Engulfing Heavenly Flames is quite an appropriate name, seeing as this flame is adept in devouring other types of spirit flames to bolster itself," the dark-skinned young man said.
Right at this moment, Huo Xuzi appeared nearby amid a burst of spatial fluctuations, then cast his gaze toward Ma Liang's headless body with slightly furrowed brows.
"So he really did die. Now that he's dead, I don't know when I'll be able to recover my bonded bead; I didn't sense its presence from him, so he's definitely not carrying it."
"Fellow Daoist Huo, if you want to recover your bonded bead, then you'll have to place your hope in Fellow Daoist Han here. He's already managed to attain incredible power in this lower realm; if he manages to ascend to the True Immortal Realm, he'll be able to help you recover your bonded bead with ease," the dark-skinned young man said with a hint of a smile on his face.
Huo Xuzi's expression immediately darkened slightly upon hearing this. "What do you mean by that? Are you saying I should accept him as my master?"
"Hehe, if you don't do that, how will you return to the True Immortal Realm? I can just return to the Heavenly Devil Realm, and it won't make any difference to me, but without the nourishment of immortal spiritual Qi, your cultivation base will inevitably plummet over time. Besides, your powers are severely restricted here, so if you don't accept Fellow Daoist Han as your master, you most likely won't be able to leave this place alive. Don't rely on me to help you; I've already agreed to sign a heavenly devil contract with him. Also, if you're willing to follow Fellow Daoist Han, there will be an unexpected benefit..." The dark-skinned young man's voice suddenly trailed off as he switched to voice transmission here.Previous Chapter Next Chapter