"Why are you here? Have you reached the Deity Transformation Stage as well?" This silver-robed woman was naturally none other than the tenth grade phoenix Han Li had encountered many years ago, and she wore a rather strained look on her face.
She had personally witnessed Han Li progress from the mid-Nascent Soul Stage to the late-Nascent Soul Stage, and he was now at the Deity Transformation Stage. Wasnt's he progressing a little too quickly?
After all, there were over 100 late-Nascent Soul cultivators in this realm, but only a handful of Deity Transformation cultivators in total.
"Hehe, you've also reached the Deity Transformation Stage, haven't you? I don't know how you found out about this place, but you must be here for the spatial node as well. In that case, I think we should work together. After all, it's not our first time helping out one another," Han Li chuckled as he transmitted his voice to her.
Just as his voice trailed off, the lightning and fire that was violently bombarding the gel-force winds abruptly vanished, and the restriction nearby seemed to have deactivated of its own accord. The four Core Formation cultivators down below had naturally also heard Han Li's voice transmission, and their faces immediately paled in unison after learning the fact that this woman was a Deity Transformation Stage demon beast. All of them hurriedly stood off to the side and adopted respectful demeanors, as if they had come here with the sole purpose of welcoming the silver-robed woman.
The Ice Phoenix was silent for a moment before suddenly raising her eyebrows and shooting a glance at the four Core Formation cultivators. She then transformed into a ball of silver light and flew toward the island down below.
Han Li's four subordinates heaved internal sighs of relief in unison as they hurriedly flew along behind her, following her to the largest pavilion on the island.
The woman looked into the distance to find an azure-robed young man standing at the entrance to the pavilion, looking at her with a smile on his face.
He was none other than that detestable human cultivator whom she had last met over a century ago.
The silver-robed woman wore an unfriendly expression as she stopped over 100 feet away from Han Li, and interrogated, "You sure are fast to have reached this island before me, Fellow Daoist Han. Where's the spatial node?"
Han Li smiled before waving a dismissive hand toward the four Core Formation cultivators, and all of them immediately departed from the scene.
Only then did he slowly reply, "You're already here, so why are you in such a hurry? The spatial node isn't very far away from here. How about I lead you to it after we have a quick chat?"
"I have nothing to chat with you about. Do you really think you can intimidate me just because you've reached the Deity Transformation Stage as well?" The woman's expression cooled even further and despite what she was saying, her voice really was tinged with a hint of wariness.
"You're looking for the spatial node, which means you're also trying to ascend to the Spirit Realm, just like me. I think we can work together," Han Li proposed with a calm expression.
"You want me to work together with a human cultivator like you?" A deriding sneer appeared on the Ice Phoenix's face.
"I'm sure you already know about what happened to Fellow Daoist Xiang and the others. Otherwise, you wouldn't have appeared here. You possess spatial abilities that allow you to tear open and traverse through spatial rifts as you please. Those abilities will be very useful in the face of the power of the boundary between realms in the spatial node. You've also witnessed my abilities, and I trust that you'll agree that my abilities are not inferior to yours. I also possess two Divine Spirit Treasures, so there's no way that I'll drag you down. If we join forces, it will be much safer than either one of us entering the spatial node on our own. Otherwise, you saw what happened to Fellow Daoist Xiang and the others. I heard that Old Devil Che entered another spatial node; he didn't leave behind a soul lamp, so we don't know what happened to him, but the spatial node that he accessed is even more chaotic than this one, so I'm not too optimistic about his chances of survival, either..." Han Li persuaded in an unhurried voice.
A cold light flashed through the silver-robed woman's eyes as she retorted, "After reaching the Deity Transformation Stage, my lifespan has increased by more than twofold. I can remain in the human world for tens of thousands of years without any concerns. Why would I be in such a hurry to ascend to the Spirit Realm?"
"That may be true, but do you think that the spatial node will wait for you for tens of thousands of years? If you miss out on this one, do you think you'll be able to easily find another in the future?" Han Li stroked his chin as a hint of a smile appeared on his face.
"What are you trying to say?" The silver-robed woman's expression changed slightly upon hearing this.
"Nothing, really. I only wanted to inform you of the fact that this spatial node will only be able to maintain itself for about 100 years before it collapses and disappears. If you're confident in your ability to find a more suitable spatial node through which you can access the Spirit Realm, then just pretend like I didn't say anything," Han Li chuckled.
The silver-robed woman faltered slightly before a skeptical look appeared on her face. "How can there be such a convenient coincidence? You're not lying to me, are you?"
Han Li wasn't in a hurry to force the issue. Instead, he changed the subject, and said, "You'll know whether I speak the truth or not if you stay here and observe this spatial node for a few days. I have to leave for now and search for some methods to ward off the power of the boundary between realms. I'll be leaving one of my female disciples here, so you can speak to her if you have any instructions. Of course, if you can instruct my disciple in my stead while I'm away, then I must thank you wholeheartedly on behalf of my disciple."
"You're going to leave this island? It appears that you really are planning to access this spatial node soon. So be it; seeing as your offer does sound sincere, I'll stay here for a while. However, if I find out that you've been lying to me, I'll leave immediately!" The Ice Phoenix was slightly taken aback to hear this, and she only nodded reluctantly after a long period of contemplation.
Han Li was naturally ecstatic that she had agreed to cooperate with him. Thus, he immediately raised a hand to send a streak of fiery light flying into the air, which disappeared in a flash.
It was a voice transmission talisman.
After that, he began to make some small talk with the silver-robed woman. However, she didn't seem to be keen on making conversation with Han Li, and she merely gave a few clipped replies before falling silent.
Han Li remained unfazed by her aloof demeanor, but he had also relinquished further attempts to strike up a conversation.
After a short while, a streak of white light approached from the direction that the spatial node was in before descending beside Han Li. The white light faded to reveal a slender yellow-robed woman with a set of gorgeous features. She was none other than Tian Qin'er.
"Tian Qin'er pays her respects to her master!" Tian Qin'er extended a respectful bow before standing off to the side.
"So that's your disciple? Eh? Is that... the Dragon Cry Physique?" The silver-robed woman turned her gaze toward Tian Qin'er, upon which a surprised look appeared on her face.
Han Li smiled as he said, "It is, indeed. My disciple is female, yet she possesses a physique that should be unique to men, and it's truly a curse rather than a blessing for her. I had heard the glacial essence cultivated by the Ice Phoenix race extremely useful for cleansing one's essence as well as to balance the energies of Yin and Yang within one's body. I was hoping that you would be able to bestow a few drops of this essence upon my disciple so she can lift the curse of her own physique and restore her potential to pursue the Great Dao."
He hadn't mentioned Tian Qin'er's Dragon Cry Physique much, but behind the scenes, he had spent a vast amount of time researching this physique, and this was the only potential method of rectification he had discovered. As such, he was naturally unwilling to give up on this rare opportunity.
"Hmph, a few drops? You sure dare to dream! Our race's glacial essence is extremely valuable; how could be I possibly give a few drops to a human on a whim? Maybe I'll consider it when I'm in a good mood someday," the silver-robed woman scoffed.
Instead of reacting in an angry manner, Han Li gave a hearty laugh instead before turning to Tian Qin'er with a meaningful expression. "Of course. Qin'er, make sure to listen to this senior. Fellow Daoist Phoenix will be staying here on this island for a while, and you'll be responsible for catering to her needs during that time."
After hearing that a potential cure for her Dragon Cry Physique had been found, Tian Qin'er's eyes immediately lit up, and she hurriedly agreed to look after the silver-robed woman to the best of her abilities.
The Ice Phoenix glared coldly at Han Li, but didn't say anything.
The rest of the process was quite simple.
Han Li let the Ice Phoenix to the spatial node in person, then remained on the island for a further half a month. After verifying that the silver-robed woman harbored no ill will toward Tian Qin'er, he left the small island and flew into the distance as a streak of azure light.
Mid-flight, a small azure cauldron emerged from his sleeve. "Fellow Daoist Han, are you really planning to join forces with this Ice Phoenix?" The projection of a small child abruptly materialized atop the cauldron.
Han Li turned to the small child with a rather surprised look. During recent years, the small child very rarely emerged unless if he were requesting for some materials or pills from Han Li. As such, Han Li was quite taken aback by his sudden emergence.
"That's the plan. She possesses extremely powerful spatial abilities that will be very useful once we enter the spatial node," Han Li replied.
"That's true. The Ice Phoenix race hasn't inherited the bloodline of the true phoenix, but they have inherited its spatial aptitude. With her assistance, it'll make the journey slightly safer. However, shouldn't you free me from the Heavenvoid Cauldron first before you leave the human world? Have you forgotten about that?" the small child asked.
"Of course not. Speaking of which, it's been many years since I gave you that half-page of the Golden Jade Tome. Isn't it about time that you gave me your observations?" Han Li's expression remained unchanged as he diverted the conversation to another topic.
"I've indeed managed to glean some of the contents of that half-page. I can't guarantee whether that information is correct or not, and I'm unable to put it into practice in the human world. After all, if anyone were to attempt to craft an immortal talisman in a world with such scarce origin Qi, they would be completely sucked dry long before the talisman could be successfully crafted. Are you sure you want to see my observations?" the small child asked with furrowed brows.
"Of course. I also plan to take back the half-page as I'll be studying it once I get to the Spirit Realm as well," Han Li replied in an indifferent voice.
"If that's the case, then here it is." The small child stomped a foot onto the lid of the cauldron without any hesitation. The lid lifted itself slightly to release two balls of spiritual light, one of which was yellow while the other was green, and both were caught by Han Li at once.
They were a yellow wooden box and a green jade slip.