Another two streaks of light shot forth from within the bamboo forest, reaching the woman in white in the blink of an eye. Two other beautiful women were then revealed and one of them, a yellow-robed woman, asked, "Big Sister Liu, have you gotten the herb?"
"I did, but it's not what we're looking for; it's just a Purple Flame Flower!" the white-robed woman replied with a wry smile.
The final woman to complete the trio wore an azure palatial dress, and she smiled as she said, "There's no need to feel disheartened, Junior Martial Sister Mu. We've only searched through a small area of the outer valley; perhaps the Illusionary Spirit Herb we're looking for could simply be elsewhere!"
These three gorgeous women were naturally none other than Liu Yu, Mu Peiling, and the woman with the Song surname.
They had been scouring the outskirts of the Devilfall Valley for close to half a month and during the process, they had found some spiritual herbs that grew in obscure locations, but they Illusionary Spirit Herb that they were searching for continued to elude them. Liu Yu and Mu Peiling were starting to get quite impatient. In contrast, the woman with the Song surname appeared to have the patience of a saint.
"That's true, but if we venture into any other places, it's going to get dangerous. Those areas could have residual spatial rifts and if we fall into one, we'll be dead for sure." Liu Yu's brows furrowed with concern.
"Most of the spatial rifts in the outer valley have disappeared long ago. As long as we keep our guard up, there's no way we'd bump into one. Besides, this pill is very important to Core Formation cultivators like us, and cultivation is always a path that's fraught with peril. If we don't even dare to take risks like this, then we might as well just stay in constant seclusion at the sect and not go anywhere," the woman with the Song surname chuckled.
Mu Peiling was silent for a while before heaving a forlorn sigh, "Senior Martial Sister Song is right. I've reached the mid-Core Formation Stage bottleneck and without this pill, it's going to be very difficult for me to make a breakthrough."
A smile appeared on Liu Yu's face as she said, "Seeing as Senior Martial Sister Song and Junior Martial Sister Mu are both in support of this decision, I can only accompany you two."
Thus, a decision was reached the and the three women shot forth toward another area in the outer valley, disappearing in a flash.
At the same time, in the forbidden area of the Drifting Cloud Sect, the door to the stone chamber was opened again and Han Li emerged from within with a hint of elation in his heart. However, he immediately discovered that Lü Luo was waiting outside for him along with Tian Qin'er, and that discovery made him falter momentarily.
"Junior Martial Brother Han, how is Sister Nangong?"
"She's doing well. I used the curse dissolving method that I obtained in the Great Jin, and lifted the Soul Seal Curse on her again. There should be no further mishaps arising now. However, Wan’er is at a critical juncture in her cultivation of the Youthful Celestial Moon, so she won't be able to leave the ice wall for the time being. It's probably going to take several years for her to master the cultivation art. It's a pity that my cultivation art is of a different attribute to hers. Otherwise, I'd be able to lend her some assistance," Han Li sighed in a forlorn manner.
Lü Luo's expression eased as he joked, "There's no need to hurry, Junior Martial Brother. Sister Nangong is unable to come out of the ice wall right away, but she's already woken up on her own and it'll only be a matter of a few years until she regains her freedom. When that time comes, you have to make sure to invite me to your wedding!"
A rare blush appeared on Han Li's face upon hearing this, but his expression quickly reverted back to normal.
Lü Luo hesitated momentarily before asking, "By the way, you're already a great cultivator now, so it's inappropriate for you to continue living on this mountain. How about you move back to the sect, and I'll construct a new cave abode for you on the main peak?"
Han Li contemplated this offer momentarily before shaking his head as he said, "There's no need for that. My cave abode isn't very large, but it's very peaceful. Even if Wan'er were to come out from the ice wall, it would be large enough to house the two of us."
A reluctant expression appeared on Lü Luo's face and he hesitated momentarily before continuing, "Alright, then we'll do as you say, Junior Martial Brother. Oh, right, I still have your Nascent Soul Stage puppet, I..."
"I've already reached the late-Nascent Soul Stage, so that puppet won't be very useful to me. I'll give to the sect as a present and you can continue using it," Han Li said with a nonchalant smile.
"Thank you, Junior Martial Brother!" Lü Luo was overjoyed to hear that. The puppet was slightly redundant for Han Li, but it was extremely useful for him.
Han Li's brows furrowed as he suddenly said, "Wan'er is at a critical juncture during her breakthrough; I don't want anything to disturb or disrupt her during this time."
"So what you're saying is..." Lü Luo was a little perplexed.
"My cave abode is rather far away from the forbidden area and even though I don't plan to go into seclusion for long periods of time in the near future, I do have some treasures that I have to refine, and I'll perhaps need to make a few trips. Hence, I want to enhance the restriction here so it's completely inaccessible to anyone else. What do you think, Senior Martial Brother?" Han Li asked with a serious expression.
"Haha, there's no need for you to ask my permission about that; just do whatever you please. I was planning to hand over the reins on this forbidden area to you after you came back anyway," Lü Luo replied with a smile.
A smile appeared on Han Li's face and a thought suddenly seemed to have occurred to him as he pointed to Tian Qin'er, and said, "Thank you, Senior Martial Brother. Also, I might have to trouble you to look after this disciple of mine from time to time."
He then divulged the information regarding Tian Qin'er's Dragon Cry Physique, as well as the fact that she could be a reincarnation of a good friend of his.
Lü Luo immediately understood Han Li's intentions, and he nodded without any hesitation as he promised, "Tsk tsk, so reincarnation truly does exist. Don't worry, if you're not around to administer timely treatment, I'll be sure to repress the Yang energy backlash in Martial Niece Tian's body."
"Hehe, then I'll have to trouble you, Senior Martial Brother Lü. In the meantime, I'll try to find some Yin-type spiritual pills and if they're potent enough, they'll also be able to temporarily repress her Dragon Cry Physique so you won't have to always step in," Han Li assured.
In response, Lü Luo waved his hands in a nonchalant manner.
Tian Qin'er was quite touched by Han Li's gesture. She had always been concerned about what would happen to her if her master were to go on a long journey or into extended periods of seclusion.
Who would've thought that Han Li already had everything planned in advance?
Lü Luo then spoke to Han Li about the upcoming celebration, and the potential visits from the Ancient Sword Sect and Hundred Possibilities Pavilion before departing.
As soon as Lü Luo exited the forbidden area, Han Li immediately pulled out several formation flags and formation plates from his storage pouch in order to alter the restriction around the entire stone chamber.
Han Li had slain many Nascent Soul cultivators in the Great Jin, and he had obtained many powerful formation tools from their storage pouches. As such, the restriction around this forbidden area was far too feeble in his eyes, so he decided to revamp the whole thing.
In that case, even if he weren't by Nangong Wan's side, he wouldn't have to constantly be fretting over her safety. He didn't want his companion to come to harm because he wasn't by her side.
With these ready-made formation tools available, setting up the formation was an extremely quick and easy task.
A short while later, all of the formation spells had been set, and Han Li turned to Tian Qin'er with a smile before dusting himself off and entering the stone chamber again. Only after spending a short while in there did he re-emerge with a smile on his face.
Han Li was in a rather good mood as he said, "Let's go. I'll take you to my cave abode, and I'll construct a separate one for you as well. I've also got many spell formation tomes in my collection, and you can take all of them as well."
Azure light then flashed over his body, sweeping up Tian Qin'er with him as he departed from the forbidden area, flying toward the interconnected mountains where he once lived.
A short while later, the azure streak of light flew out of the restriction formation around the Drifting Cloud Sect. Han Li traveled to the interconnected mountains to the east of the sect and circle around in the air before landing on one of the mountain peaks down below.
He swept a sleeve through the air and over ten golden flying swords shot forth, transforming into streaks of golden light that were over 100 feet in length, which disappeared in a flash.
Han Li then sat down with his legs crossed, making hand seals in silence. However, loud rumbling was erupting incessantly halfway up that mountain peak.
Tian Qin'er stood behind him with curiosity shimmering in her eyes as she surveyed her surroundings.
At Han Li's current power level, constructing a small cave abode naturally wouldn't take too much time. Less than 10 minutes had passed when he abruptly opened his eyes, and said, "Alright, the cave abode is complete. You can arrange the interior however you like. Let's go in first and if there's something you don't like, I can make some adjustments for you. If you're missing some things, you can take my elder badge to the sect and get everything you need. I'm going to be in my cave abode refining a few treasures in the next few days, so you can familiarize yourself with the sect first."
"Yes, Master!" A hint of excitement appeared on Tian Qin'er's face upon hearing this.
Han Li flipped his hand over, and several shiny objects appeared over his palm. There was a badge, a flag, a bead, a flying sword, a bronze mirror, as well as six or seven other treasures of remarkable appearance. "You should be able to use these treasures, and they're all pretty decent. Refine them and use them to protect yourself. That badge is a treasure to activate the restriction around these mountain peaks; refine that one first before you leave this place."
"Thank you, Master! Your kindness will not be forgotten!" Tian Qin'er's parents were both Core Formation cultivators, so she could immediately identify that these treasures were far better than "pretty decent". All of them appeared to be either high-grade or top-grade treasures, and she would definitely be able to make use of them even after reaching the Core Formation Stage. As such, she immediately expressed her gratitude before accepting the treasures with elation.
Han Li chuckled as he flew toward another mountain peak as an azure streak of light, flashing a few times through the air before disappearing from view.
Meanwhile, Tian Qin'er was extremely excited as she fiddled around with her treasures for a long while before joyfully heading to her own cave abode.
On the other side, Han Li had already returned to the cave abode that he had been absent from for close to a century.
Everything was still in an identical state to when he left them, and a strong sense of nostalgia welled up in his heart. He then pulled out the spiritual herbs, spiritual medicines, spirit beasts, and spirit insects from his storage pouch, planting the medicines and herbs in the medicine garden, then placing the beasts and insects into the appropriate rooms.
He then entered the secret chamber without any hesitation to refine his second batch of Azure Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords, preparing to infuse them with his newly obtained Auric Essence.
However, that was only the first step. Han Li was also planning to infuse the Myriad Year Profound Jade he had obtained from the North Night Palace into the swords as well. In that case, all of his flying swords would possess glacial powers, thereby making them even more formidable.
Han Li was very much looking forward to seeing how his magic treasures would turn out following this refinement process.