Han Li stroked the jade badge in his hand with a finger and as he looked at the silver runes flashing on its surface, he couldn't help but ask, "So is this page one of the inner pages?"
"The inner pages are written in golden seal text, while the outer pages are written in beveled silver text. Golden seal text is an even more obscure text that even fewer people recognize," the small child replied with a hint of a smile on his face.
"This is beveled silver text, so it must be one of the outer pages, and it's only half a page as well." Han Li didn't express any dismay or dejection upon hearing this. Instead, it didn't really seem to matter to him.
Even if this Golden Jade Tome really was such an extraordinary item, he was merely a human world cultivator who may not even be able to reach the Deity Transformation Stage, so all of this was far too distant from him. To him, it didn't matter if this was one of the inner pages or one of the outer pages. He wasn't going to get ahead of himself and start thinking about cultivating in the Spirit Realm at this point in time.
The small child turned his gaze toward Han Li, and he seemed to have gleaned Han Li's thoughts as he smiled, and said, "At your current cultivation base, it's actually a good thing that you obtained one of the outer pages. Even if you had obtained one of the inner pages, you wouldn't have been able to cultivate it prior to reaching the Spatial Tempering Stage anyway. After all, all immortal secret techniques are truly techniques of the Great Dao that require one to draw upon the world's origin Qi. Only after reaching the middle realm in cultivation base can you truly manipulate the world's origin Qi. Even a Deity Transformation cultivator is only just beginning to learn the ropes in that respect, and cultivating one of the inner pages would only incur harm to them. However, this does not apply to the outer pages as their contents do not contain any cultivation arts. If you can master some of this page's elements and make them our own, you'll still benefit greatly from it."Han Li looked at the golden talisman in his other hand, and speculated, "It's just a matter of seeing what content this half-page contains and whether it'll be useful to me now. It's most likely a talisman-crafting method."
The small child shook his head, and said, "That might not necessarily be the case. There's no way that any human world cultivator would be able to recognize beveled silver text, and that Patriarch Golden Flower most likely obtained this half-page by chance. He probably then discovered the wonders of this beveled silver text and incorporated it into that golden talisman. This is an immortal item, after all, so even if merely imitated the text, it could still result in extraordinary effect."
"If that's the case, then I really do have to carefully read through this half-page when I get the time. How about you bestow upon me the beveled silver text right now?" Han Li blinked and suddenly asked.
"I can do that, but I have a condition; after you glean the contents of the half-page, you have to lend it to me as well. After all, this is one of the outer pages, so even demon cultivators like me can benefit from it," the small child countered.
"No problem! However, you're a Spirit Realm cultivator with vastly superior knowledge and experience to mine, so you have to give me a copy or your observations in case I miss something from this half-page," Han Li replied.
"That's not an issue. However, the beveled silver text and Golden Seal text are both known as true spirit texts, and it's said that they're immortal texts passed down from the True Immortal Realm. Each and every character contains extraordinary power and if they were to be carved onto normal jade slips, those slips would immediately explode. There's no way for me to bestow them upon you through spiritual communication, either, so I can only use the most basic and crude method, and teach you character by character. That's going to be a very time-consuming task," the small child explained.
"We have plenty of time on our hands. It'll take me at least two months to get to the next island, so you can take your time and teach me during our trip there." Han Li flipped his hand over and placed the jade badge back into the wooden box. He then reapplied the talisman onto the box before stowing it away into his storage pouch.
After doing all that, he turned to the small child in front of the cauldron with a smile, yet didn't say anything.
A wry smile appeared on the small child's face upon seeing this.
"Alright, then let's begin now. The beveled silver text first appeared when they were discovered to have been inscribed on some immortal items that fell from the True Immortal Realm into our Spirit Realm. The mighty figures of our Spirit Realm then expended countless time and efforts to slowly compile and decipher this text. The definitions derived may be slightly different from what they were originally intended to be, but they definitely won't be very far off. I'll start off with the 100 or so most commonly used runes for talisman-crafting." The small child began to teach Han Li about the beveled silver text as they flew through the air.
Han Li naturally wasn't going to squander such a valuable opportunity, and he listened with rapt focus, asking questions immediately when there areas that he failed to understand.
The small child was also a very patient teacher, answering his inquiries one by one.
Thus, two months passed by in a flash. When the two of them were finally close to the next island on their journey, Han Li had almost mastered the basics of the beveled silver text.
On this day, Han Li had just finished listening to the small child's lesson and was slowly digesting the information as he flew through the air, when a tiny black spot suddenly appeared on the surface of the ocean up ahead.
Han Li's heart stirred upon seeing this and he immediately accelerated, reaching that black spot in the blink of an eye.
After drawing closer, Han Li discovered that this was a small island with an area of only around 30 to 35 square kilometers. It was downright tiny compared to the islands that Han Li had seen earlier on his journey.
However, this tiny little island was emanating faint spiritual Qi, indicating that there was a small spiritual Qi on the island. Of course, this quality of this spirit vein was naturally of an extremely low caliber.
Han Li hovered in the air several thousand feet above the island and looked down at the mountain ranges down below. His face remained completely expressionless, yet there was an undisguisable trace of nostalgia in his eyes.
This small island was none other than the "minor expanse island[1. The minor expanse island is first mentioned in Chapter 372]" that he had once lived on.
Back when he had left the island, he hadn't even reached the Core Formation Stage yet. However, passing by the island now, he was already a late-Nascent Soul great cultivator. Thinking back, this was quite a staggering transformation.
Even though his heart had been very firm in his pursuit of the Geat Dao when he had left the island, never could he have imagined that he would really become a Nascent Soul cultivator someday.
Han Li hovered above the island in silence for a long while before the nostalgic look gradually disappeared from his eyes, upon which he shot forth into the distance again as a streak of azure light.
Seeing as he had already reached the minor expanse island, he had to be quite close to his destination.
Sure enough, less than half a day later, Han Li caught sight of the massive island he was traveling toward far in the distance.
However, on this occasion, Han Li didn't enter through the dock. Instead, he found a completely secluded place and a layer of spiritual light appeared over his body as he shot directly toward the white restriction enshrouding the island. A loud boom erupted as a result and the surrounding light barrier tremored violently.
Han Li was able to force his way through the light barrier through brute force, then fly away from the scene at a leisurely pace.
A short while after Han Li had left, streaks of light began to converge toward the spot where Han Li had broken into the light barrier. Those streaks of light quickly revealed themselves to be several Foundation Establishment cultivators, and all of them wore panicked and urgent expressions on their faces.
However, the light barrier had already completely sealed over again, and they were unable to discover anything even after splitting up and searching through the surrounding area.
In the end, they could only engage in a bewildered discussion before flying away again.
At this point, Han Li was had already descended upon a mountain several hundreds of kilometers away. All of a sudden, a formation plate that was emanating faint white light appeared in his hand.
Han Li opened his mouth and a ball of azure spiritual Qi was blasted onto the formation plate as he began to chant something.
White and azure light immediately began to intermingle with one another along the formation plate, and the plate itself became extremely bright and dazzling.
Han Li tapped a finger gently on the formation plate and the light immediately receded, revealing the formation plate again, which had become a mirror-like surface that was as clear as water. On the surface of the mirror, there were a series of red lights that were flashing rhythmically.
Han Li gave a content nod upon seeing this, and he carried the formation plate in one hand as he rose into the air.
After ascertaining a certain direction in the air, he began to fly into the distance again.
A short while later, Han Li appeared in the air above a certain spot on the island. He looked down at the farmstead down below and an incredulous look appeared in his eyes.
"Isn't this where the Gu Clan Manor was once situated? Why are Wen Siyue and the others staying here?" Han Li murmured to himself with a surprised and perplexed look on his face.
Han Li was hovering in the air above the manor without making any attempt to conceal himself, so his actions naturally created a stir among the mortals in the manor.
Moments later, two streaks of light suddenly flew out from one of the rooms down below before reaching Han Li in the blink of an eye. The lights then receded to reveal an elderly man and a middle-aged man, both of which were at the Foundation Establishment Stage.
"You are?" Han Li looked at the two of them with slightly furrowed brows.
Upon catching sight of Han Li's facial features, the two of them immediately delivered respectful salutes with stunned expressions on their faces.
"We pay our respects to Senior! We didn't know that you would be visiting this place, so please forgive us for not preparing a more thorough welcome!"
These two were both Wen Siyue and her Dao Companion's Foundation Establishment disciples. They were aware of the fact that Han Li was a great cultivator, so they were naturally filled with awe and veneration.
"Why are you living here? Where are you masters?" Han Li asked expressionlessly.
"This is the residence of one of my in-name disciples, so I decided to bring everyone here. Master and his Dao Companion find this place too rowdy for their liking, so they're living in a makeshift cave abode nearby with their daughter," the elderly man replied in a respectful manner.
"An in-name disciple of yours? Is he a member of the Gu Clan?" A peculiar look appeared on Han Li's face.
"That's right! You know of the Gu Clan as well, Senior?" The elderly man was suddenly struck by a sense of unease.
"The master of the Gu Clan had some ties with me in the past, but that was over 200 years ago," Han Li replied.
"What? Is that so?" The elderly man was stunned to hear this.
"And now, I'm back at this place; looks like I really do have some sort of affinity with the Gu Clan. I'm going to meet your masters first. Get you in-name disciple from the Gu Clan to see me later," Han Li instructed in an implacable tone.
"Yes, I'll be sure to do so!" The elderly man was both stunned and elated to hear this. He didn't know what kind of ties Han Li had had with the Gu Clan in the past, but at the very least, it didn't sound as if they were enemies.
Han Li nodded and sent his spiritual sense sweeping through the air, allowing him to quickly track down the location of Wen Siyue and her Dao Companion.