In the face of the tempting proposition, Han Li didn't appear overly ecstatic. Instead, he asked in a cold voice, "What do you want in exchange? You're not just going to teach me the refinement method free of charge, are you?"
"I want you to try and remove the assimilation effect the Heavenvoid Cauldron has had on me, and I also want you to protect me for a while before you pass away or ascend to a higher realm. I already have an eighth grade cultivation base, but I've been in the Heavenvoid Cauldron this entire time, so I haven't been able to experience my metamorphosis lightning tribulation. It's going to be a little dangerous to face the tribulation on my own, so I'm most likely going to need your help to transcend it." The Endless Sky Beast rattled off a string of conditions at once.
"That's all?" Han Li's expression remained unchanged.
"If I ask for more than that, you're most likely going to consider killing me, right?" the Endless Sky Beast chuckled.
"Alright, if those are all of the conditions that you have, then I can certainly agree to them. However, with regard to helping you escape the Heavenvoid Cauldron, that has to wait until right before I pass away or prepare to ascend. You have no problems with that, do you?" Han Li considered the pros and cons for a short while before deciding to agree.
"None whatsoever! You've made a very wise decision, Fellow Daoist. There's no need for us to turn on each other, so it's much better for us to be mutually beneficial to one another. As a gesture of my sincerity, I can bestow upon you this beveled silver text first." The Endless Sky Beast was clearly greatly relieved and it began to laugh heartily.
"That would be good." Han Li turned to the golden talisman in his hand and gladly accepted the Endless Sky Beast's offer.
However, he suddenly patted his waist following a brief moment of contemplation, and an azure bag appeared in his hand.
It was none other than Patriarch Golden Flower's storage pouch.
Han Li swept this spiritual sense through the pouch and all of its contents were revealed to him.
Moments later, he rustled the bag and a burst of azure light erupted from within as several jade slips shot forth, all of which were of different colors.
Han Li immediately checked carefully through the cultivation arts and secret techniques recorded within the jade slips, appearing as if he had completely forgotten about the Endless Sky Beast in the Heavenvoid Cauldron.
The beast was very considerate and didn't say anything to disrupt Han Li during this time.
A short while later, Han Li raised his eyebrows and withdrew his spiritual sense from the final jade slip, upon which a puzzled looked appeared on his face.
He hadn't found anything related to this golden talisman from within these jade slips.
Could it be that Patriarch Golden Flower hadn't refined this talisman, and had instead obtained it elsewhere? With that notion in mind, Han Li fell into deep thought.
All of a sudden, his expression stirred and a thought seemed to have occurred to him. He abruptly lowered his head and his spiritual sense sank into his storage pouch again before quickly locking onto an item.
Azure light flashed once again from the storage pouch as another item emerged.
This was a yellow wooden box around half a foot in size with a restriction talisman plastered over its surface.
Han Li raised a hand and immediately tore off the talisman before patting the lid of the box. The wooden box slowly opened itself to reveal an item.
This was a fist-sized white jade badge, upon which silver runes were flashing indistinctly; all of those silver runes were beveled silver text.
These runes were extremely minuscule, yet they were presented to him in an extremely clear manner after he scanned over them with his spiritual sense.
However, it was quite apparent that this was only half a badge and was clearly an incomplete item.
Han Li faltered slightly upon seeing this, yet before he had a chance to inspect the badge more carefully, the silver runes on the badge suddenly flashed wildly before the badge itself flew into the distance as a streak of silver light.
Han Li's heart jolted with surprise, but he had been somewhat prepared after seeing the restriction talisman plastered over the wooden box. As such, the silver light had only traveled around 10 feet before his hand shot forth like lightning.
Azure light erupted from his five fingers in unison. The space around him began to emit a buzzing sound, following which the silver light began to shudder unsteadily. The light faltered as a result, and the jade badge was revealed again.
Han Li wore a dark expression as he brought his five fingers together. An immense suction force immediately acted upon the jade badge, causing it to shoot back into Han Li's hand where it lay, completely immobilized.
The Endless Sky Beast within the Heavenvoid Cauldron detected what had just taken place, and it suddenly exclaimed in a slightly trembling voice, "The Golden Jade Tome! Impossible! How could something like this have been left behind in the human world?"
"Do you recognize this item?" Han Li's heart stirred upon hearing this.
This jade badge clearly had to be an extraordinary item to draw such a vehement response from this powerful Spirit Realm demon cultivator.
The Endless Sky Beast continued to murmur to itself, as if it hadn't heard Han Li's question. "Impossible! There's no way that this item can exist in the human world. With its spiritual nature, how could it be willing to stay in this lowly realm with such scarce spiritual Qi? Wait, I understand now; this page of the tome is incomplete and almost all of its spiritual nature has disappeared, so it no longer possesses the ability to return to the Spirit Realm. But who could have been powerful enough to tear this page apart?"
It appeared that the emergence of this jade badge was so much of a shock to the beast that it was unable to prevent its emotions from getting the better of itself.
Han Li's brows furrowed tightly as he cleared his throat to draw attention to himself.
The Endless Sky Beast finally recovered slightly from its astonishment, and it explained, "Ah, please forgive me for my lack of composure. It's just that seeing this item in this world is genuinely a massive surprise to me."
Han Li waved the jade badge slowly in front of the Heavenvoid Cauldron, and asked, "Judging from your reaction, it seems that this is quite the extraordinary item. From the sounds of it, this is something from the Spirit Realm?"
"Quite the extraordinary item, you say? If I tell you its origins, you'll be given a massive fright as well. This item didn't originate from the Spirit Realm. Instead, it was passed down from an even higher realm, and is well and truly an immortal item." Azure light suddenly flashed along the surface of the Heavenvoid Cauldron, following which a ball of azure light surfaced from within.
The azure light tumbled and materialized into a fair and chubby male child around a foot in height, appearing to be around only three or four years of age.
However, the small child wore a rather unbefitting dark expression on his face, and was staring intently at the jade badge in Han Li's eyes with complex emotions flashing through his eyes. There seemed to be a hint of envy, but also a trace of wistfulness.
Han Li's expression immediately changed drastically upon learning the fact that this jade badge was an immortal item. His heart then jolted with surprise upon seeing the emergence of the small child, but he soon relaxed.
This small child was merely a human form manifestation of the Endless Sky Beast, which it had materialized using the spiritual Qi on the cauldron. Prior to the seal on its true body being undone, there was no way that it would be able to leave the Heavenvoid Cauldron. Han Li's attention was then completely drawn to this Golden Jade Tome.
"An immortal item? Did I hear that right?" Han Li stared at the jade badge in his hand with a skeptical expression.
"Compared to the True Immortal Realm, the boundary between realms is much weaker between the human world and the Spirit Realm. However, it's not all that uncommon for immortal items to fall into our Spirit Realm. It's just that this Golden Jade Tome is simply far too renowned, which is why I couldn't help my reaction," the Endless Sky Beast sighed.
"Oh? If it's not too much trouble, could you tell me about this item?" Han Li asked.
"Of course I can. This item is so renowned among the human race of the Spirit Realm that virtually everyone knows about it, so this is not a secret. To begin with, I'll have to tell you a little bit about the immortals of the True Immortal Realm. It's common to find immortal items in the Spirit Realm as they often drop down into our world due to a variety of reasons. However, there are very few of those immortal items that are actually useful. For some reason, ever since the inception of historical records in our Spirit Realm, there have almost been no immortals who have descended into our Spirit Realm. I say 'almost' because in the extremely distant past, the remains of an immortal had appeared in our Spirit Realm, and this Golden Jade Tome was an item that was found with those remains. It's said that this tome contains a total of 108 pages, upon each of which is recorded a different immortal secret technique. 36 of those pages are known as the inner pages, and they contain things like cultivation arts, as well as some mysterious and remarkable abilities. The remaining 72 pages are known as the outer pages, and they contain a vast array of information regarding areas such as talismans, formation spells, and pill refinement..."
The small child paused here for a moment before continuing, "The inner pages that I mentioned are the most important in this tome. The information recorded on the outer pages is very diverse, yet not a lot of the information is truly useful in direct application as no one has even heard of most of the materials required for pill refinement, talisman crafting, and formation setting. At most, you can only really look at those sections for research purposes. Hence, aside from the inner pages, the rest of the information in the tome isn't very practical or useful. There was a war that erupted throughout the entire Spirit Realm once, and everyone was mainly fighting over those inner pages. However, those pages have switched hands countless times in the past tens of thousands of years, and only the whereabouts of seven or eight of those pages are actually publicly known. However, almost every cultivator who has managed to obtain and successfully cultivate one of more of those pages have become extremely prominent figures in the human race. Even if they can't compare with the three emperors, they're still powerful enough to rule over a large settlement. However, what's most tempting to everyone is that in the past 100,000 years, it's said that all cultivators in the Spirit Realm who have attained the Great Dao have used cultivation arts from this jade tome. Regardless of whether this is true or not, it's enough to make all of the human cultivators erupt into a frenzy."
"Human cultivators? Have all of the pages of the jade tome fallen into the hands of our human race?" Han Li was initially flabbergasted by the Endless Sky Beast's story, but in the end, he detected something that was slightly amiss.
"Hehe! In the beginning, our demon race also participated in the war to secure the inner pages of the Golden Jade Tome. However, not long after that, all of our seniors discovered that the tome only contains cultivation arts that are suitable for human cultivators. If a demon cultivator like us were to use any of those cultivation arts, not only would it not benefit us in any way, it would even severely damage our cultivation base, to the extent that some have even self-detonated on the spot. After some experimentation, our demon race completely gave up on this jade tome. The pages are indeed extremely precious, yet they're completely useless to our demon race. The remains of that immortal was also a set of human remains, so it's no surprise that the cultivation arts on the Golden Jade Tome were created for you humans."
Han Li stroked his chin and mused in a thoughtful manner, "I see! But if no immortal has ever descended into the Spirit Realm, how do you know that set of human remains were the remains of an immortal? Perhaps they were merely the remains of an extremely powerful cultivator from the Spirit Realm."
The small child faltered slightly upon hearing this before replying with furrowed brows, "I'm not sure about the specific details there. These events took place a very long time ago and I hadn't developed any intelligence back then, so how would I know? However, what I'm sure of is that at the time, many of the most powerful beings among the human and demon races gathered together to verify that those were indeed the remains of an immortal, so I can only assume that to be the case."