"This jade slip contains the secret techniques that will assist in a breakthrough to the Deity Transformation Stage. With your vast knowledge and experience, I'm sure you'll be able to verify its authenticity with ease." A smile reappeared on Wen Qing's face as she raised a hand to hurl forth a streak of green light.
Han Li caught the object to find that it was a palm-sized green jade slip.
He nodded and immediately injected his spiritual sense into the jade slip.
Sure enough, there appeared to be around seven or eight secret techniques and methods in there.
Han Li picked one and random and began to carefully scan through it.
Unbeknownst to Han Li, just as he was verifying the authenticity of the contents in the jade slip, Wen Qing took a glance at Ling Xiaofeng and a hint of smug look appeared on her eyes. 10 minutes later, Han Li withdrew his spiritual sense from within the jade slip, and said, "Indeed, the content authentic and will be very useful to me."
"Alright, if that's the case, then we have a deal. The two of us still have important matters to attend to, so we won't stay here any longer," Ling Xiaofeng said with an indifferent expression.
"Haha, this place is still part of the Star Palace's territory, so I should be the one bidding farewell to the two of you." Han Li chuckled as he cupped his fist in a salute. He then transformed into a streak of azure light and covered a distance of over 200 feet in a flash.
The speed of his movement evoked a hint of surprise even in the hearts of the Heavenly Star Sages.
As the azure streak of light disappeared into the distance, Wen Qing turned to her Dao Companion, and asked, "No wonder he's so arrogant; he does indeed appear to have the skills to back himself up. What do you think? Will he fall for our trap?"
"As long as he still wants to progress to the Deity Transformation Stage, there's no way he won't fall for the trap. Even though all of the secret techniques we provided to him are genuine, he'll know when he puts them into practice that they'll either provide only an infinitesimal effect, or be impossible to achieve at all. Only the method we provided to use the power of the five elements to break through the bottleneck is plausible, and at his age, if he were to begin cultivating the Divine Essencefused Light now, he should be able to completely master it within his lifetime. Do you think he'll be willing to pass up this shortcut?" A cold smile appeared on Ling Xiaofeng's face.
"That's true. In that secret technique, we briefly mentioned some of the Divine Essencefused Light's special attributes and powers. Even if he isn't interested in progressing to the Deity Transformation Stage, there's still a good chance that he'll be tempted into using this cultivation art. If he plans to cultivate the Divine Essencefused Light, then he must draw upon the power of the Divine Essencefused Mountain and go through the same process we went through. In that case, he'll be forced to stay in Heavenly Star City. He'll probably only realize how difficult it is to completely master the Divine Essencefused Light close to the end of his lifespan, and that'll be countless years into the future. After such a long time, as long as Yuling can progress to the late-Nascent Sou Stage, she won't have to worry about him exacting revenge on the Star Palace," Wen Qing mused with a smile.
Ling Xiaofeng was silent for a moment before he suddenly said, "What if Yuling can't progress to the late-Nascent Soul Stage? She'll be in massive trouble then."
Wen Qing faltered slightly upon hearing this before heaving a forlorn sigh. "We've already bought so much time for her; if she still can't progress to the late-Nascent Soul Stage, then there's nothing more we can do for her. In that case, she should give up on the Star Palace and leave Heavenly Star City to become an itinerant cultivator."
"Without a late-Nascent Soul Stage cultivation base, it'll be very difficult for her to establish dominance over the elders of the Star Palace. Even with the trump cards we left behind for her, they won't be able to help her forever. Our top priority now is to teach Yuling the method to refine the Divine Essencefused Mountain. Only after taking control over the mountain will that Han brat be wary of her. Otherwise, if he really does refrain from cultivating the Divine Essencefused Light until after we pass away, then come to Heavenly Star City to take the Divine Essencefused Mountain by force, the situation will be very bad for Yuling. On the bright side, Yuling's aptitude isn't bad. If she can find a suitable Dao Companion for dual cultivation, there's a good chance that she'll be able to progress to the late-Nascent Soul Stage with the help of some pills," Ling Xiaofeng analyzed.
"In any case, we've done everything we can to take care of this Han brat. Now, we have to get rid of the Archsaint of the Six Paths and Wan Sangu in the next century or so. This is a really inconvenient juncture for the demon beasts in the outer seas to be wreaking havoc. Looks like we'll have to call a temporary truce with the Starfall Coalition and take care of these demon beasts first." Wen Qing's brows furrowed as resigned look appeared on her face, and she said, "Hmph, these demon beasts must planning on revoking our agreement as no Deity Transformation cultivators have appeared in the inner seas for many year, and we currently have less great cultivators than in other periods as well. These demon beasts really are idiots; we dared to forge this agreement in the first place, so naturally wouldn't fear revocation from them. After the past tens of thousands of years of careful preparation, the inner seas have already been transformed into an unimpregnable fortress by us cultivators. Even if those tenth grade demon beasts join forces and attack us all at once, they still won't be able to force their way into the inner seas. Besides, as far as I'm aware, the current sea race isn't a completely unified entity, either," Ling Xiaofeng harrumphed coldly.
"You're referring to the conflict between the flood dragons and the Suan Ni[1. Suan Ni is a Chinese mythological creature said to be one of the dragon's nine sons.] race?" Wen Qing asked.
"Indeed. The Suan Ni race in the outer seas isn't much more powerful than the flood dragons to begin with, and they're only able to exert dominance with the two tenth grade demon beasts among their ranks. However, the tenth grade grand elder of the Suan Ni race passed away 300 years ago, so the flood dragons are unwilling to concede anymore. We just have to devise a plan to start a war between these two major demon beast races, and we'll have nothing to worry about." Ling Xiaofeng was very confident.
"Your confidence is greatly reassuring. It's a shame that the spirit stone mines on Green Spirit Island have been taken, though. We just received news that a top-grade spirit stone had been unearthed, yet these demon beasts have taken over the island before we could deploy anyone to the scene. I even sent out an urgent message asking them to transport that top-grade spirit stone and all of the recently-unearthed high-grade spirit stone back to the inner seas as soon as possible, but I was still too late. Even Elder Gui fell by the hands of the Golden Wyrm King." A wistful look appeared on Wen Ming's face.
Ling Xiaofeng shook his head, and said, "It can't be helped; the out seas belong to the demon beasts, after all. Prior to this, there weren't any conflicts of interest, and those high-grade demon beasts didn't even regard those unintelligent low-grade demon beasts as their brethren, so they simply let us set up establishments on those islands in the outer seas. Now that high-grade spirit stones and even a top-grade spirit stone have been unearthed, it's only natural that they would attack."
"It's a good decision to give up on the outer seas for now. We should take this opportunity to gather all of our forces in inner seas, and try to stabilize the Star Palace as much as possible before Yuling takes over. However, those itinerant cultivators and the Starfall Coalition most likely won't be willing to give on the outer seas," Wen Qing mused with a thoughtful expression.
"That's perfect for us! We'll open up all of the teleportation formations in the city and as long as they're willing to pay spirit stones, we'll let them go to the outer seas as they please. Ever since the rise of the Starfall Coalition, these itinerant cultivators have been less reverent and respectful toward our Star Palace; this will be an ideal opportunity to teach them a good lesson! Once the matters surrounding the demon beasts in the outer seas are settled, we'll completely uproot the Starfall Coalition. It appears that the Archsaint of the Six Paths and Wan Sangu are really under the impression that we can't stray far away from Heavenly Star City. They'll realize just how absurd their preconceived notions have been on the day that they die. Every once in 100 years, there will be an entire month where the power of the Divine Essencefused Mountain would completely disappear. We won't be restricted by the mountain at all during that month, and when that time comes... Hmph!" A vicious look appeared in Ling Xiaofeng's eye as he harrumphed coldly.
"Indeed, it's time for me to settle my differences with the Archsaint of the Six Paths once and for all." Wen Qing's voice had also cooled significantly.
Ling Xiaofeng faltered upon hearing this before his brows furrowed as he asked, "Are you still hung up on what happened all those years ago?"
"How could I not be? If it weren't for the fact that I met you, I would most likely have died long ago. If it weren't for the restriction of the Divine Essencefused Light, I definitely wouldn't have let him get away from me during our last battle." Wen Qing's expression cooled even further as she spoke.
Ling Xiaofeng was silent for a moment upon seeing this and in the end, he could only heave a faint sigh.
"Alright, seeing as that's the case, I'll let you put an end to the Archsaint of the Six Paths." At the conclusion of that sentence, Ling Xiaofeng transformed into a streak of white light again and flew away in the direction they had come from.
Wen Qing remained on the spot for a while longer with a furious look on her face before also following suit.
At this point, Han Li was already far away.
He was naturally unaware of the fact that on just the second day after his return to the inner seas, the entire Silver Shark Island had already heard about the slaughter that had taken place on Green Spirit Island.
At the same time, news of a top-grade spirit stone being unearthed from a mine on the island created a massive stir throughout the entire Scatter Star Seas.
Just two days following Han Li's meeting with the Heavenly Star Sages, the high-grade demon beasts in the outer seas delivered an ultimatum to all of the islands on which human cultivators were residing. All humans were to leave the outer seas within three months, and anyone found after that would be killed on the spot.
As a result, all of the itinerant cultivators and powers within the inner seas were in a state of uproar.
To the cultivators in the Scattered Star Seas, the demon cores of the demon beasts in the outer seas had become as indispensable and irreplaceable as spirit stones, and almost every power within the Scattered Star Seas was dependent on them. There were massive profits to be gained for all of them in the outer seas, so how could they be willing to retreat so easily?
Thus, countless itinerant cultivators as well as cultivators from the major powers flocked to the Star Palace and Starfall Coalition, accessing their teleportation formations to travel to the outer seas.
Due to the fact that high-grade spirit stone mines and a top-grade spirit stone had been discovered on Green Spirit Island, a large proportion of cultivators chose to teleport to the region near this island.
At the same time, countless demon beasts of all different grades had also gathered on Green Spirit Island.
It appeared that the battle between the human cultivators and the demon beasts was imminent.
Amid the chaos and turmoil, a rumor began to spread throughout the entire Scattered Star Seas. It was said that the Heavenvoid Cauldron had reappeared and that there were mysterious pills within cauldron that could allow a Core Formation cultivator to progress to the late-Nascent Soul Stage in less than 200 years.
No one knew where this rumor had originated from, but it was quickly gaining traction among all of the human cultivators.