Many years ago, he'd unintentionally nurtured a shot of Golden Lightning Bamboo, thereby allowing him to refine his Azure Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords, as well as to attain the Divine Devilbane Lightning, but never would he have thought that this lightning would have such stunning origins, nor have some kind of special refinement method.
If the Divine Devilbane Lightning really was one of the five-elemental true lightnings of the Spirit Realm and its power could truly be significantly increased, then it would become staggeringly powerful. In that case, it would immediately become one of his trump cards. Being able to master his Divine Devilbane Lightning would certainly be a good thing, but having to go to this infernal river place was most definitely going to incur a massive risk for him.
If he weren't careful, it was quite possible that he could die in the process. Thankfully, it appeared that there were still around six years left before he'd have to face that ordeal, so he could carefully consider his situation during that time, perhaps allowing him to devise some kind of plan to avoid this peril.
Furthermore, it was quite a surprise to see Yuan Yao again here. Many years ago, she'd been willing to sacrifice her own Core Formation Stage cultivation base to save Yan Li, and that was naturally worthy of respect and admiration.
However, after the passage of so many years, it was yet to be seen whether she was still someone who cherished her bond with others. After all, the most fickle thing in this world was one's heart.
However, Yuan Yao had refrained from revealing the fact that they were acquaintances, and that was quite a relief to Han Li.
Even though he didn't have to hide the fact that he was merely impersonating Flying Spirit Tribe being, he still didn't want his true origins to be revealed to the earth abyss demon monarchs.
Han Li silently recalled all of the memories he had of Yuan Yao. They had met on several occasions, the first of which was in the secret chamber within the Heavenvoid Hall. At the time, she was bathing in a spring, and the image of her flawless body flashed through his mind, sending a slight stir through Han Li's heart.
However, Nangong Wan's figure then surfaced from the bottom of his heart, and a sense of clarity immediately returned to Han Li's mind. After so many years, if everything had gone smoothly, she would've most likely reached the Deity Transformation Stage in the human world as well.
Han Li wondered how long it would take for him to be reunited with his beloved Dao Companion here in the Spirit Realm. Nangong Wan's appearance and voice, as well as the memories of the intimate times they'd spent in the Heavenly South Region flashed through Han Li's mind, and a faint smile appeared on his face as he basked in those warm memories.
A long while later, when Nangong Wan's voice gradually faded from his mind, another set of exquisitely beautiful facial features surfaced in his heart, and he was once again lulled into a period of sentimental recollection.
After the passage of an indeterminate period of time, Han Li heaved a long sigh and finally returned to his senses as a wry smile appeared on his face.
He didn't think that Yuan Yao's appearance would trigger such a long walk down memory lane for him. Thankfully, there wasn't anyone nearby who bore ill will toward him. Otherwise, he would've been in some peril, having been completely absorbed in his memories.
However, seeing as he was unable to depart from the earth abyss anytime soon, he would always get opportunities to meet Yuan Yao again. As such, he didn't have to be in a hurry to contact her.
With that in mind, a contemplative look appeared on his face again.
Three days later, Han Li stood before a small mountain, looking at a strange mountain face, the entirety of which was as green and translucent as jade. A hint of surprise quickly flashed through his eyes.
"This is the Wood Essence Cave that I cultivate in during the seclusion. There are very few places in the Spirit Realm with such abundant wood-attribute spiritual Qi, and those using wood-attribute cultivation arts will be able to enjoy rapid progress in their cultivation here," Mu Qing introduced in a proud manner.
Han Li had turned up to meet Mu Qing as instructed, and Mu Qing had taken him over several mountains, then entered a restriction that was filled with dense mist before finally stopping in this strange place.
They were quite far away from his previous living quarters, and it was quite a surprise that Mu Qing had set up her cultivation venue here.
However, the entire green mountain face was as smooth as a mirror with not a single cave to be seen.
Han Li swept his spiritual sense over the mountain face several times, but was unable to discover anything more than what met the eye. Thus, a peculiar look appeared on his face.
Mu Qing stepped forward and swept a hand gently over the mountain face. Green light flashed over the mountain face, following which a large opening appeared, revealing a green passageway that led straight into the heart of the mountain.
The entrance to the passageway had been sealed by a layer green light barrier, and there was also a series of strange runes carved onto the surrounding rock face, creating quite a discreet and mysterious camouflage effect.
Han Li was quite flabbergasted to see this. How had his powerful spiritual sense been unable to detect this passageway?
It appeared that these earth abyss demon monarchs really did have some unfathomable abilities; he was going to have to take extra care around them from now on.
Mu Qing led the way into the passageway, having been completely unaffected by the green light barrier. Han Li hesitated momentarily before following suit.
The light barrier posed no impediment to him, either, and soon after he'd passed through it, the entrance of the passageway disappeared again.
Not only that, but the entire green mountain face also turned completely dull and lusterless not long after that.
On the other end, Han Li walked behind Mu Qing in this passageway for a long while before they finally reached a hall that was not very large.
The entire hall was empty, and there was nothing else in there aside from seven or eight openings that led to other places. As soon as Han Li entered this hall, he could sense the rich wood-attribute spiritual Qi emanating from the walls around him, and that was something that filled him with both elation and concern.
He was elated the wood-attribute spiritual Qi was so abundant here, and it seemed that with such exceptional facilities, mastering the Divine Devilbane Lightning in two years wasn't entirely impossible. However, at the same time, he was concerned by the fact that Mu Qing was willing to let him use such an exceptional cultivation venue. This indicated that she was intent on keeping him, and it wouldn't be easy for him to escape from this demon monarch's control in the future.
"Come with me; I'll set up a place for you to stay. You'll be spending the upcoming two years in here, and you're forbidden to take so much as a single step out of this Wood Essence Cave. I've already set up an extremely powerful restriction in the surrounding area. Unless I open it for you in person, there's no way that you can leave this place," Mu Qing said in an indifferent voice that was full of confidence.
Han Li's lips twitched, but he didn't say anything as he silently followed Mu Qing into one of the passageways that led away from the room.
After passing through a large garden filled with strange and exotic plants, Han Li was brought to a large yellow gate that was refined from some kind of unknown metallic material.
Mu Qing stopped here, and said, "This is a secret chamber that I often meditate in, but I'll let you live in it for now. From now on, I'll instruct you in mastering the Divine Devilbane Lightning once every seven days. At midday on the seventh day, just come to the hall to find me. Alright, you can go in now; I'm going to another secret chamber. Aside from a few important places that I've set up restrictions at, you can go anywhere you like in here."
"Thank you for your kindness, Senior!" Han Li hurriedly expressed his gratitude.
However, Mu Qing merely took an indifferent glance at Han Li before departing, disappearing from sight after she rounded a corner.
Only then did Han Li heave a faint sigh and strode into the secret chamber beyond the metallic yellow doors.
Time passed by in a flash, and a year flew by in the blink of an eye.
On this day, within a vast expanse of mist, a strange phenomenon suddenly appeared in the air above a mundane-looking small mountain.
Countless dark clouds converged at low altitudes, following which azure lightning flashed amid rumbling thunderclaps. It was if a fearsome vicious beast was being born from the clouds.
All of a sudden, a black formation that was over 100 feet in size appeared amid a flash of black light on the mountain's summit.
Two humanoid figures appeared, one of which was a slender female with black light swirling all over her body, while the other was an ordinary-looking young man in a set of azure robes.
These two were none other than Mu Qing and Han Li.
In the instant that the two of them appeared, loud thunderclaps erupted in the air above, following which the dark clouds began to tumble and surge violently. Countless azure arcs of lightning surfaced within those clouds, creating a formidable sight to behold.
Mu Qing looked up into the sky with a calm expression, and said, "What a coincidence that your heavenly tribulation would arrive at a time like this. You possess the Divine Devilbane Lightning and have achieved an elementary level of mastery over the lightning, so you should be able to transcend this tribulation with ease. This will also be a good opportunity to further hone your affinity for lightning, and that'll be quite beneficial to improving your mastery of your Divine Devilbane Lightning. I'll leave you to your own devices, now." As soon as Mu Qing's voice trailed off, she abruptly disappeared amid a flash of light.
Thus, Han Li was the only one remaining on the mountain summit.
He could only give a wry smile in this situation.
Never would he have thought that he'd be beset with his second minor heavenly tribulation in the Spirit Realm under such circumstances.
Thankfully, he'd been consuming Earth Cleansing Pills regularly, so he was well prepared to handle this tribulation. The first bolts of lightning to fall were normal azure heavenly lightning, rather than the extremely fearsome two-colored tribulation lightning.
Even so, Han Li didn't dare to get complacent in the slightest. After all, this was his second minor lightning tribulation, and it was certainly not something to be scoffed at.
Han Li opened his mouth to expel a small azure cauldron, and at the same time, he laid his hand on the back of his head to summon a burst of grey light that created a light barrier around his body.
After that, he let loose a low cry as both of his hands balled up into fists. A resounding boom erupted as countless arcs of golden lightning erupted from his body, hurtling up toward the sky.
Moments later, a golden net of lightning took shape, and the golden lightning was even more dazzling than the tribulation lightning up above.
At the same time, more and more arcs of azure lightning began to appear, and they intensified in brightness at an alarming rate. Finally, countless arcs of azure lightning came crashing down with reckless abandon amid an earthshattering boom, heading directly toward Han Li. The arcs of lightning as thick as human thumbs, and they rained down in a torrential downpour, crashing headfirst into the net of golden lightning.
Han Li made a hand seal, and the net of lightning let loose a loud thunderclap as a blurry golden rune appeared over its surface, then transformed into vortex-like swaths of golden light.
A peculiar scene then ensued!
As soon as the azure arcs of lightning came into contact with the golden vortexes of light, the former disappeared into the latter in a completely soundless manner, as if the tribulation lightning had been devoured.
Thousands of arcs of azure lightning were engulfed in such a manner in mere moments while a small portion of them struck the golden net of lightning amid resounding booms, only to be deflected with ease.
The first wave of tribulation lightning had fallen, and Han Li didn't even bat an eyelid, having withstood this initial wave with ease.