The interior was very simple; there was a small door that separated the rectangular room into two sections. The outer section was the larger one of the two, and it was clearly a guest hall, which was completely empty aside from a simple table and some chairs, as well as a tea set.
Han Li swept his spiritual sense over these items to find that the materials used for them were all quite precious, but they were completely useless to him. Thus, he continued onward without pause, stepping into the inner section, which appeared to be a bedroom.
There were slightly more items in this room. Aside from a faint green jade bed, there was also a rectangular desk, upon which were placed several writing brushes, a faint red inkstone, and a pile of thin snowy-white silk-like sheets.
Han Li's raised an eyebrow as he strode over to the desk. He picked up the writing brushes and inkstone one after another before giving them a quick inspection, but he then shook his head before putting them down again.
After that, he reached out to grab the thin silk sheets before gently spreading them open, only to find that they were completely blank and devoid of any writing.
Han Li's expression remained unchanged upon seeing this. He placed the silk sheets back to their original spot, then carefully swept his spiritual sense through the entire room again to make sure that he wasn't missing anything before immediately departing.
This was clearly the living quarters for a disciple, so he didn't have high hopes that he would discover anything useful here anyway. As such, he naturally wasn't going to linger here for too long.
Furthermore, there were over 10 rooms that were similar to this one, and he was on a tight schedule, so he couldn't conduct thorough investigations of all of these rooms.
Thus, Han Li quickly searched through the dozen or so rooms, but didn't reap any worthwhile rewards for his efforts aside from a few jade slips, which had an unknown ancient scripture inscribed upon them.
These jade slips had only been casually placed on a bedside table, so they most likely weren't important anyway. Han Li had only picked them up as an afterthought, thinking that he could perhaps glean some useful information from them if he were to decipher this ancient text someday.
After all, he was very curious about everything in the True Immortal Realm.
He returned to the main hall with his puppet, then immediately strode through the side door on the other wall. After passing through another passageway, Han Li found himself standing in front of another orderly row of cabins.
These cabins were completely different from the rooms he'd just visited; each cabin was completely square and angular in shape with a small door and no windows.
Furthermore, all of the cabins were completely independent from one another, with a distance of over 100 feet between each cabin.
What especially drew Han Li's attention was that the surfaces of these cabins were all shimmering with silver light and inscribed with faint silver runes, which were none other than the beveled silver text that he was now extremely familiar with.
Han Li stared at these cabins for a while before finally ascertaining that these were secret chambers specifically designated for cultivation. This was quite an encouraging discovery to him as it was very possible that there could be things left behind in these secret chambers by the people who had cultivated inside them in the past.
However, a slightly grave look then appeared on his face at the sight of the finely inscribed silver runes on the doors of the cabins.
Generally speaking, restrictions and formations that were set up on secret chambers were ones that isolated sound and kept out spiritual sense. However, with the terrifying ordeal he had suffered at the gate of the main palace earlier, he naturally wasn't going to take things lightly.
On this occasion, he didn't spur on his giant ape puppet to test anything. Instead, he set up a few layers of defenses over his own body, then swept a sleeve directly toward the stone door of one of the secret chambers.
A small azure sword shot forth, then transformed into an azure streak of light that was around 10 feet in length before striking the door in a vicious manner.
He was immediately resorting to brute force to try and force his way through the restrictions on the door!
Brilliant silver light radiated from the door, and a crisp ringing sound erupted from within the secret chamber. The silver light appeared to be quite ordinary, but it was able to keep out his Azure Bamboo Cloudswarm Sword. It was as if the streak of sword Qi had struck a body of water, and was completely unable to break through the silver light; it was only able to slowly wear down this spiritual light.
However, Han Li was quite relieved to see this.
Just he had expected, the restrictions on the door weren't capable of retaliation. Furthermore, they were most likely restrictions of a very low caliber in the True Immortal Realm.
That made sense, considering that this was a row of a dozen or so secret cultivation chambers lined up next to one another; why would anyone set up powerful restrictions on this cluster of buildings?
With that in mind, he no longer hesitated as he flipped a hand over to produce a tiny black mountain that was around several inches tall, then tossed it forward.
The mountain immediately expanded to around 10 feet in size amid a flash of black light, then struck the silver light in a vicious manner.
The restriction on the door was clearly unable to withstand such an enormous impact, and the clear ringing sound immediately cut off while the silver light instantly dissipated.
Azure light flashed, and the stone door was sliced in half by the azure sword Qi before the two halves of the door fell to either side.
Han Li stowed away his treasures before quickly striding into the room.
The secret chamber was only around 70 to 80 feet in size, and the interior was completely empty aside from a futon that had also been woven from Cloth Armor Grass. As such, there wasn't even any need for him to use his spiritual sense to detect anything.
Thus, he could only heave a faint sigh and exit this secret chamber after picking up the futon. However, there were many such secret chambers in this area, so he wasn't actually all that disappointed.
He used the same method to break through one stone door after another before entering the secret chambers, only to quickly emerge empty-handed every time.
After breaking into six secret chambers in a row, Han Li still hadn't discovered anything of note, and he was internally lamenting his bad luck. At the same time, his expectations for the remaining secret chambers had also dwindled significantly.
However, after the door of the seventh secret chamber was broken amid a resounding boom, his eyes immediately lit up as he strode into the chamber.
This secret chamber was slightly different from its previous counterparts; not only was there a table and chairs in the room, there were also three jade boxes of different sizes on the tables, as well as a pair of small vials.
Furthermore, the thing that drew his attention the most was a piece of shimmering golden artwork that was hanging on the wall.
This piece of artwork was radiating dazzling golden light, rendering him unable to glean its true contents. Han Li closed his eyes momentarily before abruptly opening them again, and blue light flashed within his pupils, allowing him to peer through the golden light.
Immediately thereafter, his expression faltered slightly as he discovered that the piece of artwork was filled with countless golden flying swords of an identical style.
These flying swords had been depicted in all sizes and positions, with the largest ones resembling gigantic heaven-splitting swords that struck him with the feeling that there were several hundred feet in length. In contrast, the smallest of these swords were only around an inch in length each, yet all of the patterns on the swords were extremely clear, as if they were right before his eyes.
The presence of so many golden swords should've made the artwork extremely cluttered and chaotic, making one unable to discern one sword from another, but each and every flying sword on the piece of artwork was extremely life-like, and they all possessed different auras that made them easily discernible from their counterparts.
Han Li was quite elated to see this bizarre myriad sword artwork, and he stared intently at it as he remained still on the spot.
However, only a brief moment had passed before Han Li suddenly gave a muffled groan and retreated a few steps as if he had been dealt a heavy blow by some kind of invisible power. He immediately twisted his own head away to remove his gaze from the artwork, not daring to inspect it any longer. At the same time, an unnatural flush appeared on his face.
"What powerful spiritual sense! It feels like I was actually being attacked by flying swords. If it weren't for the fact that I'm also proficient in using flying swords and possess a powerful spiritual sense of my own, my spiritual sense would've been severely damaged just now."
Han Li's spiritual power rapidly circulated within his own meridians for a few cycles, following which his bodily condition returned to normal, but he still wore a stunned look on his face.
However, after he calmed himself down, he immediately flipped a hand over to produce a stack of talismans of different colors. He then raised his hand, and the dozen or so talismans shot forth one after another, disappearing into the myriad sword artwork after just a few flashes.
A peculiar scene then ensued. Rune projections of all types of different colors emerged from the surface of the artwork, enshrouding the golden light before rapidly shrinking.
Under the pressure being exerted by these runes, the golden light emanating from the artwork began to reluctantly shrink as well before finally completely vanishing in the end.
The rune projections then instantly reverted back into their talisman forms before plastering themselves firmly onto the piece of artwork.
As a result, the auras being exuded by the sword artwork were instantly restricted, reducing it to an ordinary piece of artwork.
A faint smile appeared on Han Li's face upon seeing this, and he made a grabbing motion with one hand.
The sword artwork was forcibly wrenched off the wall before landing in his grasp.
Faint azure light flashed, and the artwork instantly rolled itself up into a scroll before vanishing in the blink of an eye.
Only then did Han Li heave a faint sigh of relief.
He didn't know if this myriad sword artwork had been created by the owner of this place, but even after taking only a brief glance at it, he could sense that this artwork was extremely profound and seemed to be imbued with some kind of mysterious cultivation method. It seemed to be a powerful sword art, but also like some kind of spiritual sense secret technique, but further inspection would be required before he could arrive at a definitive conclusion.
After that, he strode over to the table, then swept a sleeve through the air to release a burst of azure light. The azure light instantly removed the lids of the jade boxes and small vials, but Han's brows immediately furrowed slightly as he swept his spiritual sense into those containers.
There were several talismans in each of the three jade boxes, upon which were inscribed extremely complex beveled silver text runes. However, the spiritual Qi within the talismans had also dissipated, rendering them completely useless. As for the two small vials, they were completely empty with only faint traces of spirit liquid left behind within them.
It appeared that these two small vials had contained some kind of spirit liquid in the past, but the liquids had since dried up due to lackluster storage conditions. After a brief moment of contemplation, Han Li decided to stow away all of the talismans.
These talismans were very different from the talismans on the Golden Jade Tome that he possessed, so it would be a worthwhile endeavor for him to study and replicate the talismans.
After that, he searched through the entirety of this secret chamber, but didn't make any further notable discoveries.
Thus, he immediately exited this secret chamber before breaking into all of the remaining chambers one after another, but these ones were also completely empty.
After he emerged from the final secret chamber, he immediately rushed back the same way he had come without any pause.
Not long after that, Han Li appeared on the platform outside the gate of the side palace. He then glanced at the mountain paths leading to the other two side palaces and the main palace, and a contemplative look appeared on his face.
At this point, Shi Kun and Liu Shui'er were most likely close to reaching the mountain summit.