Meanwhile, the immortal zoysia was appraising the white rabbit with a gentle look in its eyes. It suddenly stepped forward and made a grabbing motion, upon which a swath of purple light surged forth from its hand, sweeping up both the rabbit and the root that it was eating and drawing them toward it.
The white rabbit continued to nibble on its root within the purple light, as if hadn't noticed that anything was amiss.
The immortal zoysia stared at the white rabbit for a while before extending a hand into the purple light to try and stroke it.
However, before its fingers could make contact with the rabbit's furry body, the latter vanished through the air amid a flash of spiritual light, leaving a trail of afterimages in its wake.
In the next instant, the white rabbit appeared on the ground again, and it had risen up on its hind legs. At the same time, its snowy-white fur also stood up on end, and it barely its little teeth at the immortal zoysia in what it presumably thought to be a menacing display.
It was quite clear that the immortal zoysia's actions had rubbed the rabbit the wrong way.
However, the immortal zoysia merely smiled in response, and its aura suddenly changed as the light emanating from its body changed from purple to a vibrant green color.
A burst of rich wood-attribute spiritual Qi radiated from its body, and after coming into contact with this spiritual Qi, the white rabbit suddenly faltered in its menacing display. After taking a whiff of the air around it with its little pink nose, its expression eased significantly, and there even seemed to be a hint of affection in its eyes as it cast its gaze toward the immortal zoysia again.
"Come here, little guy." The immortal zoysia clapped its hands together before opening its arms in an inviting manner.
The white rabbit seemed to be able to comprehend what the immortal zoysia was saying, and after a brief hesitation, it really did jump into the immortal zoysia's arms.
The immortal zoysia was elated, and began carefully stroking the white rabbit's head.
The white rabbit's eyes narrowed with enjoyment in response, and it stuck out its little red tongue to lick the immortal zoysia's fingers.
As the immortal zoysia stroked the rabbit's head, it turned to Han Li with a serious look on its face, and said, "This is splendid! Looks like it's not far away from attaining intelligence. Fellow Daoist Han, seeing as this brethren of mine is able to move around so freely in your medicine garden, it's quite apparent to me that you're taking great care of it. In that case, you wouldn't mind if I assisted it in attaining intelligence and taught it some things, would you?"
"You can help it attain intelligence?" Han Li was rather surprised to hear this.
"Indeed. I am a spirit medicine that has attained intelligence, and there are some abilities and cultivation arts that I've mastered that can only be inherited by my brethren. If it could learn everything that I want to teach it, it'll be able to avoid making a lot of the mistakes I made in the past. If it can also manifest a human form like me, I'm sure it'll be of great assistance to you in the future," the immortal zoysia replied in a slow voice.
After looking at the immortal zoysia for a long while, Han Li finally nodded, but he also stated some conditions of his own. "I can allow you to do that, but my puppet has to be present to supervise whatever you do to it. On top of that, this puppet will be accompanying you closely at all times."
"No problem at all. There's nothing secretive or malicious about what I want to do," the immortal zoysia immediately agreed.
"Alright, then I have no further issues either. You can rest here for the next year or so, and if you have any requests, just notify my puppet," Han Li said as he waved a hand through the air, and Doll immediately stepped forward to join him.
"From this day forth, stay with this fellow Daoist at all times, and don't leave him unattended for even a single moment," Han Li ordered in a serious manner.
The sentient puppet didn't possess a very high level of spiritual nature, but it was naturally able to understand such simple instructions.
As such, Doll nodded in an expressionless manner to acknowledge Han Li's commands.
The immortal zoysia chuckled upon seeing this, and it flicked a wrist to send forth a streak of purple light that carried the white rabbit gently back onto the ground.
After that, it made its way over to a spot that was several tens of feet away from the Ninecurl Spirit Ginseng, then spread its feet apart. Green light flashed all over its body again, and its four limbs reverted back into their purple root form before burrowing straight into the ground.
At this moment, the immortal zoysia's entire body took a translucent green hue.
Han Li stood on the spot and appraised the immortal zoysia for a while before departing from the medicine garden with a faint smile on his face.
Even though he was very curious about the mysterious uses of the immortal zoysia, there was something else that he had to attend to for now; the date that Xian Xian had agreed to repair his suit of Heavenly Devilish Armor was about to arrive. Han Li was also very much looking forward to this.
As a safety precaution, Han Li released his Leopard Kirin Beast and second Nascent Soul, then activated all of the restrictions in his cave abode before departing.
Several hours later, the beast-drawn carriage that he had hailed arrived before Xian Xian's shop. The doors of the shop were tightly-shut, and it seemed to not be accepting any customers.
Han Li raised a hand upon seeing this, and a burst of fiery light suddenly flew out of his sleeve before disappearing through the doors in a flash.
After that, he continued to wait patiently outside.
Moments later, the doors opened amid a gentle creak, and Xian Xian's soft voice sounded from inside.
"You sure are punctual, Brother Han; half a month has only just passed, and you've already come to visit me."
"Hehe, I'm quite eager to get his armor repaired; my apologies if I come across as a little impatient," Han Li chuckled as he strode into the shop.
The doors closed behind him on their own, and Xian Xian stood at the center of the shop as she turned to Han Li with a smile on her face.
As soon as Han Li made his way over to her, Xian Xian made a hand seal to activate her formation plate.
Spiritual light flashed, and both of them abruptly disappeared from the shop, having been teleported directly into Xian Xian's spatial rift.
Han Li made his way out of the teleportation formation before looking around, and his gaze immediately settled on a certain corner of the space.
There, a large formation with a radius of over 100 feet had been set up. The entire formation was inky black, and there were a dozen or so black crystals embedded into the ground all around it.
At the very center of the formation was an azure copper cauldron that was around five feet tall, and there were complex runes carved all over its surface, as well as faint white mist emanating from it.
Several feet in the air above the cauldron was a fist-sized object that was enshrouded in white mist. The object was hovering in a completely stationary manner and radiating dazzling black light.
Han Li's eyes narrowed upon seeing this.
The object above the cauldron had changed slightly in appearance, but there was no mistaking the frosty devilish Qi emanating from it; it was none other than the holy-grade devilish core of that devilish ape.
At this point, the devilish core had completely crystallized, giving it the appearance of a shimmering black crystal.
Xian Xian also made her way out of the teleportation formation, and smiled as she said, "What do you think, Fellow Daoist? I certainly haven't been slacking off these past few days. I had to expend a lot of effort and precious materials to completely wipe away all traces of the holy-grade devilish ape's soul from this devilish core, and also make the devilish Qi it contained less volatile and difficult to control."
"Oh? From the sounds of it, you're preparing to completely refine this devilish core rather than embed it into the suit of armor," Han Li mused as he stroked his chin.
"I didn't think you'd be so knowledgeable in tool refinement as well, Brother Han. Indeed, that is my intention. Embedding the entire devilish core into the suit of armor will repair the largest few cracks on it, but I won't be able to address the smaller and finer cracks then. I'm sure you wouldn't want to wear a suit of armor with glaring chinks in it, right, Brother Han?" Xian Xian explained with a rather surprised look on her face.
"I only know a little about tool refinement, so I'll leave everything to you, Fellow Daoist. I'm very confident in the tool refinement techniques of the Crystal Race," Han Li said with a smile.
Xian Xian merely smiled upon hearing Han Li's modest response, and she continued, "While I'm repairing this suit of armor, I'll have to activate the restriction in this space, and I may also need you to lend me a hand. If everything goes smoothly, we should be able to complete the repairing process in about three days."
"Three days is certainly not a long time, and this treasure is being repaired for me, so it's only right that I lend you my assistance." Han Li had no objections whatsoever.
"In that case, let's begin right away." Xian Xian didn't seem to want to keep wasting time with words, either, as she raised a hand into the air. The formation plate that she was carrying rose up into the air, then rotated on the spot above her head.
Spiritual light flashed as incantation seals of different colors swept forth from the formation plate, then disappeared into various locations in the spatial rift.
In the next instant, fierce winds suddenly swept through the air up above, and oppressive dark clouds surged forth in a frenzy. At the same time, a dull ringing sound rang out from the walls of the space before layers of grey Qi began to surface.
Thus, the entire space was immersed in complete darkness so potent that one couldn't see their fingers even if they were to hold them up to their face. It was as if this space had been plunged into a devilish realm.
Han Li swept a sleeve through the air upon seeing this, and an egg-sized ball of white light flew out his sleeve before revolving around him, thereby making the surrounding area a lot brighter.
At this moment, Xian Xian was already making her way toward the large formation. Han Li didn't say anything upon seeing this, but his body swayed as he took what appeared to be two slow and measured steps.
However, he then suddenly appeared behind Xian Xian in the next instant, as if by instantaneous teleportation.
Xian Xian seemed to be completely oblivious to what was happening behind her, and she merely raised a hand to cast an incantation seal toward the formation up ahead.
A low buzzing sound instantly rang out, following which the entire formation activated amid a swirl of black light.
Han Li's expression changed slightly at the sight of the scenes unfolding before his eyes. He had yet to decipher the purpose of this formation, but the bursts of devilish Qi emanating from the formation were very pure indeed. Thus, he was left feeling rather curious about where Xian Xian had sourced so much devilish Qi from.
Right at this moment, Xian Xian suddenly began to chant something, following which brilliant azure light erupted from her body. An azure Kirin projection that was several tens of feet in size then suddenly appeared behind her.
Initially, the Kirin projection remained completely still, but as Xian Xian's chanting gradually grew more urgent, the protection finally slowly opened its mouth to expel a head-sized ball of flames.
The fireball was quite peculiar in that it was both black and azure in color, and it struck the copper cauldron at the center of the formation in a flash.
A layer of scorching black and azure flames immediately surfaced all over the cauldron as a result.