"This is the third time I've failed in breaking through my bottleneck. It appears that cultivation alone won't do me any good for now. I'll have to find another way," Han Li murmured to himself before abruptly flipping over his hand to produce an object with a black flaming phoenix engraved upon it. This was none other than the small silver vial that contained the three Black Flame Pills.
Even though Black Flame Pills were known as the best spirit medicine for facilitating a breakthrough for late-Deity Transformation cultivators, it was actually also fit for consumption for mid-Deity Transformation cultivators as well. It was just that due to the power of the pill, if it were to be consumed by a cultivator with an insufficient cultivation base or a frail body, it could be burned to death by the pill's black phoenix flames.
Han Li possessed the Spirit Engulfing Heavenly Flame and was walking the path of simultaneous cultivation, so he naturally had no such qualms. As such, he could consume one of these pills to assist him in breaking through his current bottleneck.
However, in doing so, he would have one less Black Flame Pill for when he attempted a breakthrough to the Spatial Tempering Stage, and that would drastically decrease his chances for making a successful breakthrough.
After all, Black Flame Pills were extremely rare, and breaking this mid-Deity Transformation Stage bottleneck was merely a matter of time for him. Countless cultivators found themselves stuck at the late-Deity Transformation Stage for their entire lives, and Spatial Tempering cultivators were significantly rarer than Deity Transformation ones, thereby indicating just how difficult it was to break through that bottleneck. As such, it was best to have as many pills as possible to assist him in that breakthrough.
After pondering the issue for a long while, a wry smile appeared on Han Li's face, and he stowed the vial away into this storage bracelet in the end.
However, Han Li didn't continue residing in seclusion, either. Instead, he rose to his feet and made his way outside the secret chamber, only to find that a giant ape puppet was already waiting for him there.
Han Li raised his eyebrows, yet before he had a chance to say anything, the puppet suddenly strode forward and offered to him a yellow rod-like object in both hands. There were some mysterious green patterns all over the object, and it was none other than that Profound Heavenly Fruit. A solemn expression immediately appeared on Han Li's face upon seeing this.
He made a grabbing motion to draw the fruit into his grasp and at the same time, brilliant blue light flashed from his eyes, allowing him to see the internal structure of the fruit. As a result, he discovered that the pesized ball of light was now around the size of a thumb.
Han Li held the fruit in his hand with a slightly dejected feeling in his heart.
Back in Deep Heaven City, Han Li had visited some ancient tome shops in secret to search for information about the Profound Heavenly Fruit.
However, what was quite strange was that no matter how old the tomes were, none of them contained any information about this fruit nor even any related treasures. If it weren't for the fact that the had obtained some information about the Profound Goddess's Palm back in the human world, he most likely wouldn't even know what this Profound Heavenly Fruit was.
Even so, the Profound Heavenly Fruit contained the power of laws of a realm, so it was most definitely a treasure that defied the natural order. As such, Han Li naturally never revealed to anyone that he was in possession of this fruit.
After injecting spiritual power into the Profound Heavenly Fruit again to no avail, Han Li stroked the object with his finger and fell into deep thought.
During these past years, he was constantly pouring that mysterious green liquid into the fruit, yet nothing had happened to it aside from the fact that the white speck of light within it had grown a little in size.
He didn't know whether further injection of this liquid would effect any more changes, but it was the only thing that he could do for now. After carefully stowing away the Profound Heavenly Fruit, Han Li paid a visit to his medicine garden.
Within the garden, the Zoysia Dragon Fruits and other spirit medicines he'd planted had already matured. The puppets that were looking after the medicine garden had harvested a batch for him and stored these spirit medicines in a storage bracelet. Han Li was naturally ecstatic to see this, and he immediately transferred all of these spirit medicines into his own storage bracelet. After doing all that, Han Li waved a hand toward the puppet that had been accompanying him this entire time. The second Nascent Soul immediately flew out from the puppet, then disappeared into Han LI's body.
Han Li's eyes narrowed slightly as if he were processing an influx of information. After a while, he patted the back of his own head to release the second Nascent Soul back into the puppet. At the same time, he chuckled coldly to himself. "To think that a few mid-grade demon beasts would dare to attack my cave abode; looks like they must've found some helpers." Han Li strode directly into a certain hall within his cave abode, within which a massive formation and what appeared to be a sacrificial altar were situated. At the core of the formation sat an octagonal formation plate, and Han Li immediately cast a few incantation seals onto the formation.
Following a burst of low buzzing, the entire formation began to glow with white light, following which a silver screen of light appeared above the formation plate. Specks of white light were flashing incessantly, spreading almost the entire light screen.
Back when Han Li first constructed this cave abode, he had set up Myriad Dragon Beads in the area surrounding the cave abode for several hundred kilometers.
He cast his gaze across the light screen and instantly discovered a few specks of black light situated over 10 kilometers away.
Han Li made a hand seal and brilliant azure light erupted from his body. Following a flew flashes, he emerged from the cave abode and disappeared into the distance.
At Han Li's current incredible speed, such a short distance was covered in the span of just a few breaths.
There, he discovered a three-headed giant python, a small green beast with a cow's head and a lion's body, as well as an indistinct grey figure hovering in mid-air, seemingly discussing something with one another. As soon as Han Li appeared in the air above them, the three demon beasts immediately fled the scene, two of them as gusts of demonic winds while the other flew away as a streak of silver light.
However, Han Li harrumphed coldly as three threads flew forth from within his sleeve. The threads disappeared in a flash before appearing right behind the demonic winds and streak of grey light. Following a flash of bright red light, all three fleeing demons were tightly bound and completely immobilized.
The three red threads were withdrawn at his behest, and the three demon beasts were forcibly dragged to him.
The small cow-headed beast and the giant python both wore expressions of shock and horror, while the demon beast enshrouded in grey light suddenly said something to him.
Han Li had no idea what it was saying, but the tone of its voice indicated that it was delivering a threat of some sort.
Han Li's expression darkened as he made a grabbing motion toward the demon beast within the grey light.
A vibrant burst of five-colored light swept forth, and the grey light surrounding the demon beasts body faded away like melting snow.
The demon beasts true body was drawn into Han Li's grasp, and he pressed five fingers onto its head.
This demon beast was only around five feet in length with shimmering golden scales all over its entire body, and four limbs sprouting from its abdomen. This was a fish demon with the face of a human male, creating quite a harrowing sight to behold.
However, Han Li had seen all manners of demon beasts, and the horrific unsettling appearance of this sixth grade fish demon naturally wasn't enough to faze him. Golden light erupted from Han Li's hand, which was pressed against the fish demon's head, and the demon immediately let loose a cry of anguish, then trembled violently before falling unconscious. Han Li had unleashed a soul search technique to source the information that he required directly from this demon's soul.
The three-headed python and the cow-headed beast were trembling uncontrollably upon seeing this, and the horror in their eyes only intensified.
With Han Li's current powers, soul searching sixth grade demon beast was naturally a simple task. After about five minutes, Han Li had gleaned all of the fish demon's memories. "Tian Peng Race, worship, Lord of Treasured Light!" Those terms surfaced in Han Li's mind in quick succession, and he faltered slightly before releasing his five fingers as the golden light faded from his palm. The fish demon immediately began to plummet straight downward.
In the next instant, the red thread around the demon's body swelled to form a thick fiery rope. A ball of crimson flames instantly erupted from the rope, reducing the fish demon to ashes in the blink of an eye. The fiery rope then flashed and returned to Han Li's sleeve, having reverted back to its thread form. Only then did Han Li turn his gaze toward the two demons in a completely expressionless manner. After a brief silence, Han Li suddenly spoke in the foreign language used by the demon beasts. "You two sure have some guts; you dared to attack my cave abode just for a few Woodbud Flowers?"
After employing the soul search technique, not only had he mastered the language of these demon beasts, he had also gleaned the reason behind these demon beasts' attempts to attack his cave abode.
The cow-headed demon clearly possessed the higher level of intelligence among the two, and it replied, "Without the Woodbud Flowers, our brethren on the Hidden Black Mountains won't be able to gather everything required for a worshipful offering. In that case, we'll inevitably be tortured by the Tian Peng Race, and our intelligence will be destroyed once again. As such, we had no choice despite knowing how powerful you were."
"This is the Woodbud Flower, right?" Han Li chuckled as he flipped a hand over to produce a bouquet of small purple flower. The appearance of these flowers resembled bells, and they were emitting a peculiar fragrance.
The small cow-headed beast stared intently at the bouquet of flowers for a while before replying with a wry smile, "Indeed, that's what we're looking for. There are many spirit mountains within the Hidden Black Mountain Ranges, but this flower can only be found on the spirit mountain where you reside."
"This flower doesn't possess much spiritual Qi, and it can't be used to refine any good spirit pills, but it's listed as one of the mandatory items that must be offered for worship; that's rather strange. Without it, you would indeed suffer severe punishment at the hands of the Tian Peng Race. However, isn't it far too naive and arrogant of you to think that you can conquer my cave abode just because you enlisted the assistance of a sea dragon beast that only just reached the metamorphosis stage? Tsk tsk, and you even promised it ten pairs of Golden Marrow Crystal Insects as reparations; you sure are willing to make large investments. However, according to my knowledge, this type of half-crystal, half-insect creature normally resides deep underground within all types of rare and precious ore, so they're extremely difficult to find. Even if you encounter one, it would immediately die and turn into a crystal after being captured. How are you able to capture Golden Marrow Crystal Insects alive?" Han Li asked in a seemingly nonchalant manner.
"I can answer that. Back when this land was first discovered by the Tian Peng Race, there were beings more powerful than us here in the Hidden Black Mountains. However, all of them were slaughtered by the three Tian Peng Race elders, and we were the only ones allowed to remain here and continue to cultivate, and that was naturally because we possess abilities that allow us to source the items required for their offerings. Otherwise, we would've been killed long ago!" the cow-headed beast chuckled coldly.