Xiang Zhili was the strongest Deity Transformation cultivator residing within the Mortal Realm. As a Deity Transformation cultivator, Xiang wanted to ascend to the Spirit Realm, where he would have access to stronger World Origin Qi. Xiang began searching the Mortal Realm for Reverse-Spirit Streams, an alternative way to ascend to the Spirit Realm, because he was unable to raise his cultivation to Late-Deity Transformation stage.
Old Ghost Xiang obtained his nickname after wandering the mortal world disguised as a Qi Condensation cultivator in search for Reverse-Spirit Streams. As a Deity Transformation cultivator, Xiang must be careful about using too much power. Old Ghost Xiang has joined numerous cultivation sects and interacted with numerous cultivators that were completely unaware that they were in the presence of a Deity Transformation cultivator.
Meeting through the Ages
Xiang Zhili joined the Yellow Maple Valley sect in the Heavenly South Continent disguised as a Qi Condensation cultivator. Here where he first met Han Li (also a Qi Condensation cultivator) as they waited outside of the seal for the Trial by Blood and Fire. Xiang had taken the opportunity to invite Han Li to work together to overcome the trial. However, Han Li held a negative impression sensing that Xiang was crafty. Han Li rejected the invitation leaving Old Ghost Xiang to walk away angry having been rejected by an trifling Qi Condensation cultivator. However, Old Ghost Xiang's invitation was accepted by two other Qi Condensation cultivators - one from the Giant Sword Sect. During the Trial by Blood and Fire, Xiang would help these two cultivators clearing away obstacles such as Demon Beasts. When the trial ended, Xiang Zhili left the last, but without his 2 companions. He might have been looking there for the Six Divine Talisman.
Hundreds of years later, Xiang joined the Heavenly Talisman Sect in the Great Jin continent masquerading as a Qi Condensation cultivator again. Xiang oversaw the Records Hall. Here he would again meet Han Li who had come to return the refinement method for the Spirit Subjugation Talisman that was lost in the Umbra Realm. Han Li confronted Xiang, only for the Old Ghost to reply to Han Li that he was mistaken. Monarch Soul Divergence, carried by Han Li, attempted to probe Xiang's cultivation but was unable to see through him. This allowed Han Li and Monarch Soul Divergence to deduce that Old Ghost Xiang was a Deity Transformation level cultivator. Knowing this, Han Li grew wary of Xiang and took deliberate steps to avoid further contact. Old Ghost Xiang, true to his name, would disappear from the sect shortly after Han Li. This caused the Heavenly Talisman Sect to associate Xiang's disappearance with the then Mid-Nascent Soul senior Han Li.
Kunwu Mountain Incident
Xiang Zhili discovered that the Spirit Prison Formation sealing the Kunwu Mountain had been breached. He was irked that someone opened the seal. He did not know that Han Li had mistakenly broken the seal in a life-death struggle with the Silver-winged Nightfiend which was one of the four guardians of the Spirit Prison Formation. As a Deity Transformation level cultivator, Xiang knew that Elder Devil Ancestor Yuan Cha and Ling Long had been imprisoned together by Three Kunwu Masters, since they left him such information.
As the closest Deity Transformation cultivator, Xiang entered the Kunwu Mountain range to prevent anyone from breaking the final seal. Due to his cautionary nature, he informed Eccentric Feng about his plans beforehand sending him a message and his primal soul pearl. He also contacted Immortal Form Sect, which founder was a descendant of the Three Kunwu Masters, to search their records on that matter. However, combined soul of Yuan Cha's soul fragment and Long Meng sensed him and sealed him with Phantasmic Air. She didn't want him to interfere with other ignorant cultivators.
Xiang Zhili was released from confinement by Ling Long, who sought to use Xiang's power to tip the balance of power between herself and Yuan Cha's soul fragment. Xiang's release confirmed Han Li's suspicions that the Qi Condensation cultivator named Xiang that he had met twice before was a Deity Transformation cultivator. Xiang teamed up with Ling Long, Han Li, and Corpse Xiong enabling the group to temporarily overpower Devil Ancestor Yuan Cha's soul fragment. However, in an act of desperation, Yuan Cha sacrificed the blood essence of the stolen Silvermoon Wolf body giving her a major boost in power and broke the seal on the 9th floor of the Devil Suppressing Pagoda unleashing powerful devilish Qi. Allied cultivators were forced to escape to the 7th floor.
Xiang Zhili wanted to retreat and turn the mountain into restricted area. Ling Long wanted to go back and retrieve her true body to return to the Spirit Realm. Corpse Xiong tried to dissuade her and invite her to meet with Old Demon Che, who washer acquaintance. Ling Long saw through his intentions, that they wanted her to share information about reverse spirit streams to the Spirit Realm. She told them that reverse spirit streams could only be opened by contacting someone in the Spirit Realm, who was willing to open them, but there was also weak spatial node connecting the two realms. For information about it, she asked for their Devil Dragon Blade replica and 2 Worldbreaker Talismans. Then Xiang Zhili and Corpse Xiong left.
In a brief conversation with Corpse Xiong outside of the mountain range, Old Ghost Xiang declared that the Ye Clan of the Great Jin would be exterminated for nearly provoking a disaster for the Mortal Realm by their Elders' attempt at freeing the Elder Devil Ancestor Yuan Cha.
Xiang Zhili got invitation to attend Hu Qinglei's ceremony of taking new concubines. As he travelled, he found Eccentric Feng fighting Han Li. He intervened stopping them. Xiang was suprised and impressed seeing Han Li at late Nascent Soul stage. He wanted Eccentric Feng to spare Han Li. When Eccentric Feng questioned Han Li's prowess, youngster showed them Immortal Vanquishing Beads, which a bit suprised both Deity Transformation cultivators. Xiang Zhili wanted all of them to work together on finding accessible spatial nodes to the Spirit Realm, since he didn't have luck with previous findings from Ling Long's information. Han Li agreed to a collaboration and he gave them his info from Ling Long. Senior Xiang was elated. He also told Han Li to not cause any incidents as with Yin Sifting Sect and to follow rules of Deity Transformation cultivators from then on. Then he suggested to Han Li to accompany them to Hu Qinglei's ceremony of taking new concubines.
Ceremony For New Concubines
When Xiang Zhili and Eccentric Feng arrived with Han Li, Hu Qinglei was baffled for a moment, when Xiang said to treat the youngster as equal, but the latter quickly explained him his accomplishments in Kunwu Mountain and with Yin Sifting Sect. Once, 3 new concubines appeared, it was clear to everyone that one of them, Violet Spirit, was an acquaintance to Han Li. Hu Qinglei made her offer Han Li a cup of wine, which would signifying cutting all ties with her past life. As she did that, Han Li spoken aloud she had a restriction placed on her, which displeased Hu Qinglei. Old Devil Hu demanded explanation from him for an insolence. Xiang Zhili suggested Han Li to apologize, trying to protect him, because he wasn't willing to fight another Deity Transformation cultivator, but he also warned Hu Qinglei that he couldn't kill the youngster. Han Li asked Violet Spirit whether she was there willingly or not. After she revealed that she was captured forcibly, Han Li tried to buy her freedom. Enraged Hu Qinglei was wary of Han Li's Immortal Vanquishing Beads and then was placated with promise of some item. Eccentric Feng was very curious what this item was. Xiang Zhili ignored that, because only thing mattered was finding a suitable spatial node to ascend to the Spirit Realm. Eccentric Wind agreed with him after admitting he was led astray by his greed for a moment. Once Hu Qinglei received few drops of Glacial Quintessence, he made another condition that Han Li had to take one of his attacks without evading, to which Han Li agreed. He managed to withstand attack of 7 Jade Peaks with help of Weeping Soul Beast and the Eight Spirit Ruler. Then Xiang Zhili stopped further confrontation and everyone returned to the ceremony.
About 150 years later, Xiang Zhili discovered a spatial node located in the Five Dragon Seas and he entered it together with Eccentric Feng, Hu Qinglei and Old Demon Che. Their primal soul lanterns they left behind were extinguished. It was unknown whether they successfully ascended to the Spirit Realm or perished.
Han Li encountered Xiang Zhili again while visiting Cloud City in the Thunder Continent. Xiang Zhili had survived the spatial node after using multiple secret techniques but his cultivation had regressed to Core Formation stage. Xiang Zhili asks Han Li to visit him before he leaves Cloud City, since he has a request for him once Han Li reaches human territory. However, Xiang Zhili won't say what the request is until right before he leaves for the teleportation.
After Han Li returns to Cloud City from the Vast Glacial Realm, he immediately finds that Cloud City was under attack by Jiao Chi beings. Him and the other returnees evacuate to Concealed Wyrm City, where Han Li meets Xiang Zhili again. Han Li set up a barrier with his Divine Essencefused Light, and told him that he would be returning to the Tian Yuan continent where the human race resided so he could tell Han Li what the request is. However, Xiang Zhili once again said he couldn't say right away as he needed to prepare some things, and arranged to meet after a few days. When they meet four days later, Xiang Zhili presented a box to Han Li for him to open, and wouldn't say what it was until after he opened it. Inside the box was supposedly a "Giant Spirit Talisman" which attacked Han Li after the opening of the box, rendering him immobile. Xiang Zhili's body then self-detonated, and it was revealed that "Xiang Zhili" was not Xiang Zhili at all, but a crimson shadow possessing his body. Han Li had always been suspicious of this "Xiang Zhili" since he first met him again in the Cloud City, when the hibernating Weeping Soul beast reacted to "Xiang Zhili"in a restless and uneasy manner. He wouldn't have done anything if the crimson shadow had not plotted against him, but every time they met, "Xiang Zhili" was always attempting to lure Han Li, which ignited the killing intent in his heart. The crimson shadow was killed by the Provenance Golden Body and Spirit Engulfing Heavenly Flame.