A Record of a Mortal’s Journey to Immortality
Chapter 1838: The Lao Family's Challenge.

The Long Family patriarch withdrew his hand, and a surprised look appeared on his face at the sight of the green arm that had appeared out of thin air.
Spatial fluctuations erupted once again, and a humanoid figure with green skin emerged.
The humanoid figure was around 20 feet tall with purple light flashing all over its body. It bore a strong resemblance to Han Li, and it had green light flashing within its eyes.
Han Li waved a hand toward the green figure, and it arrived by his side in a flash.
"Is that a clone of yours? I must say, you have truly lived up to my expectations, Fellow Daoist Han. Now then, this will be my third attack!" the Long Family patriarch chuckled coldly before raising an arm and making a grabbing motion toward Han Li.
His actions appeared to be identical to what he had just done earlier, but on this occasion, the effect was far different.
Even before his arm had been fully outstretched, a string of rumbling booms had begun to erupt in the surrounding area, alongside which countless five-colored specks of light appeared over the Myriad Spirit Platform.
In the next instant, these specks of light formed by the world's origin Qi surged toward the Long Family patriarch and vanished into his arm in a frenzy.
The golden dragon scales all over his arms instantly became bright and translucent and shimmered with a layer of five-colored spiritual light. On top of that, the light was gradually becoming brighter and brighter, until many of the bystanders were forced to look away.
At the same time, an extremely powerful burst of foreign spiritual pressure also erupted from that very same arm. It was as if the arm had become a completely independent entity, and its aura was even more powerful than that of the Long Family patriarch himself.
In the face of this devastatingly powerful attack, Han Li's expression finally changed slightly. As the Long Family patriarch was approaching the point where it was going to be fully outstretched, he suddenly cupped his fist in a salute, and chuckled, "Your powers are truly extraordinary, Fellow Daoist Long. There's no need for you to unleash your third attack; I concede."
Before anyone had a chance to process what he had just said, azure light flashed from Han Li's body, and he flew out of the light barrier, tearing through it as if it were nothing more than a papier-mâché structure.
After that, he returned to his chair at the front of the Gu Family entourage, and the green figure followed closely behind him like a shadow in the process.
All of the nearby Gu Family cultivators reflexively took a few steps backward as they appraised the green figure with curious eyes, yet Han Li merely cast an indifferent glance toward it before making a hand seal, upon which it rapidly shrank down amid a flash of purple light.
In the end, it transformed into a ball of purple light that vanished up his sleeve.
Meanwhile, Fairy Xiao Feng and Elder Xiao were appraising Han Li with complex expressions. It was no wonder that this was their reaction; as a cultivator who had only recently reached the Body Integration Stage, he had displayed powers that were not inferior to those of mid-Body Integration cultivators, but right when they had thought that he would create a miracle, he jumped off the platform and forfeited the match.
No matter how they looked at it, something didn't seem right. However, in the wake of Han Li's astonishing display of power, they naturally didn't dare to ask any questions, and could only exchange a glance with wry smiles on their faces.
They were rather exasperated by Han Li's erratic actions, but at the same time, all of their concerns had disappeared.
In their eyes, Han Li was not inferior in power to their grand elder, Fairy Tian Li. In fact, his combat prowess seemed to be even superior. As such, it definitely wouldn't be an issue for the Gu Family to secure a rank among the top five.
The Long Family patriarch finally returned to his senses, and he cast his gaze toward Han Li as he chuckled, "Hehe, interesting!"
After that, five-colored light swirled around his arm, and the surrounding world's origin Qi vanished into thin air. At the same time, the golden dragon scales all over his body also receded as he reverted out of his half-dragon form.
The man wearing the copper mask in the Feng Family suddenly declared, "We're giving up on our plan!"
"What do you mean, Brother? Even if that man is more powerful than an ordinary early-Body Integration cultivator, at the very most, he's only comparable to that Tian Li hag; surely we can take him down together," the man in the lavish robes countered with furrowed brows.
"Hmph, you think he's only comparable with Tian Li at most? Have you gone senile? Setting aside everything else, just that clone of his is extremely powerful. It was powerful enough to knock back Old Man Long's attack with just a single punch; that's already something that's beyond our capabilities. On top of that, he displayed no fear or concern throughout that entire battle, so he definitely has more tricks up his sleeve. Even the two of us combined will most likely find it very difficult to defeat him. I don't want our Feng Family to make such an unfathomably powerful being our enemy, particularly at a time like this," the masked man replied in a cold voice.
"But what about our agreement with the Lao Family? We already accepted benefits from them." The man in the lavish robes was still quite hesitant.
"All we agreed to was to weaken Fairy Tian Li as much as we could for them. Seeing as she's not here, it's very normal that we would change our plans. If they try to pin the blame on us, we'll just have to return what they gave us; what are they going to do? During our loser's bracket match against the Gu Family, just fight using normal methods," the masked man said in an implacable manner.
"In that case, we'll do as you say. It's rather regrettable that we won't be able to kick the Gu Family out of the top five families, but I guess we'll just have to wait until next time," the man in the lavish robes sighed in a reluctant manner.
In contrast, the masked man could clearly see the bigger picture, and he chuckled, "The devilish tribulation is about to strike soon; who knows how many of these true spirit families will even be left on the other side? There's no need to think so far ahead."
The man in the lavish robes could only offer a wry smile in response.
Meanwhile, several of the Lao Family elders were standing around the only early-Body Integration cultivator in their family, and they were currently discussing something in hushed tones.
The restriction around their entourage made it impossible to hear what they were saying, but their strained expressions clearly indicated that they were far from happy about this situation.
The Lao Family's Body Integration cultivator was a white-robed middle-aged scholar, and his brows were also tightly furrowed. It was quite clear that Han Li's display of power had come as quite a nasty surprise to them.
"The next match will be the loser's bracket match to decide the fourth and fifth ranks, and it'll take place between the Feng Family and the Gu Family," the Long Family patriarch announced.
Both of the Feng Family's Body Integration cultivators turned toward the Gu Family entourage in unison upon hearing this, while Fairy Xiao Feng and Elder Xiao both turned toward Han Li.
"I forfeit this match!" Much to everyone's surprise, Han Li forfeited the match without any hesitation, and this naturally created quite a stir.
"Senior Han..." Fairy Xiao Feng began as an urgent look appeared on her face.
Han Li merely turned to her in an indifferent manner, and said, "The Feng Family also has two Body Integration cultivators, and they're adept in combination techniques, so there's not much chance for me to defeat them. As such, it would naturally be a better idea to conserve my powers. Besides, according to our agreement, I only have to ensure that the Gu Family can maintain its current rank, so I'm not breaking our agreement, am I?"
Fairy Xiao Feng's expression changed a few times, but in the end, she conceded, "Of course, it's just that the fourth-ranked family will receive far more benefits than the fifth-ranked one. Forgive me for being greedy, Senior."
Thus, the Long Family patriarch announced the result of this forfeited match, following which the other three families drew lots.
On this occasion, the Long Family received a bye, so the next match was naturally between the woman in the five-colored dress from the Ye Family and the man from the Lin Family.
The two of them seemed to have a long-running feud, so as soon as their match began, both of them unleashed their most powerful attacks, and the battle quickly reached an astonishing climax.
Both of them were at the mid-Body Integration Stage, but it was quite clear that the woman from the Ye Family was slightly superior in power. Even after the Lin Family representative unleashed several new abilities in succession, he was still forced out of the light barrier by his opponent in the end, and he could only return to his seat in a furious manner.
Thus, the next match was naturally to be held between the Ye Family and the Long Family, but the woman in the five-colored dress knew that she was no match for the Long Family patriarch, so she conceded in a very straightforward manner. As for the Feng Family, they also made the wise decision not to challenge any of the top three families.
As a result, the ranking of the top five families remained the same as before, with the Gu Family bringing up the rear once again.
It was now time for the lower-ranked families to issue challenges, but the Gu Family wasn't overly concerned about this segment, considering Han Li had just displayed his powers to them.
Despite this, the sixth-ranked family, which was the Lao Family, still decided to issue a challenge. The white-robed scholar rose to his feet with a solemn look on his face, and said, "I would like to challenge the Gu Family. Please enlighten me, Fellow Daoist Han."
White light then flashed from the scholar's body, and in the next instant he appeared on the platform to wait for Han Li.
Han Li smiled upon seeing this, and azure light also flashed from his body as he appeared before the scholar.
Lao Ai wore a serious expression as he gave Han Li a curt nod, then flipped both of his hands over to summon a black ferule[1] in one hand, while golden light flashed from his other hand, and a giant shimmering golden brush appeared. The brush was several feet in length, and its tip was shimmering with extremely vibrant five-colored spiritual light.
The ferule twirled through the air, conjuring up several tens of black spirit flowers that created a barrier around him. At the same time, he waved the giant golden brush in his other hand through the air, and a series of massive exuberant five-colored butterflies appeared.
[1] [A ferule is a wooden ruler-like object normally used for physical punishment.]