The azure streak of light vanished into the distance after just a few flashes.
"Was there any reaction from the Foreign Spirit Discs?" the Heavenly Guard asked with a solemn expression.
"There was no reaction; that Senior Han really is a human," one of the Dark Azure Guards replied.
"He doesn't have a transit badge, and his Dark Azure Guard badge also expired so long ago. Could it be that he's lingered in the primordial world this entire time? It seems he must've encountered some miraculous opportunities. Otherwise, there's no way he could've progressed from the Deity Transformation Stage to the late-Spatial Tempering Stage in just over 300 years. But then again, he really is a human so there shouldn't be any issues; I really shouldn't stick my nose into this matter." The Heavenly Guard contemplated the situation for a while before shaking his head.
It was extremely rare to see someone make such extraordinary progress in just a few centuries, but there were countless opportunities in the primordial world, so it wasn't entirely unheard of. If he hadn't already been a Deep Heaven Guard before, perhaps he could've been recruited as a Heavenly Guard, but now that he was already a free man, he naturally wouldn't be willing to explore such a route.
Thus, the Heavenly Guard quickly set aside this matter and turned toward the scholarly man and his three companions, who had just emerged from the same hall.
Han Li was constantly inspecting his surroundings while flying through the air, and despite the fact that over 300 years had passed, none of the buildings in Deep Heaven City seemed to have changed at all.
There were still many black and white-armored guards patrolling the city at low altitudes, as well as many cultivators who were entering and exiting the buildings down below.
The entire city appeared to be quite lively and bustling, and there was no sign that it had been attacked by foreign beings before.
Han Li flew directly toward the Deep Heaven City market, and on this occasion, he didn't plan to stay in Deep Heaven City for too long.
He had consolidated his magic power during the past century, and his mental state had been refined through many near-death experiences, so he already satisfied all of the criteria to break through his Body Integration Stage bottleneck. As such, he could attempt a breakthrough after making a few more preparations.
With his vast array of abilities, even as an early-Body Integration cultivator, he should be powerful enough to contend with late-Body Integration Stage beings, so he could virtually do as he pleased in the human regions and demon territories.
As such, what he had to do next was to find an obscure place near Deep Heaven City and go into seclusion to attempt a breakthrough.
Prior to that however, he was going to set everything aside for now and first replenish his supplies. He had whittled down his supplies over the course of the past century, so he had to replenish everything in the nearby market
He was able to replenish some of his supplies on the territories of foreign races during these years, but he had only dared to venture into the outskirts of those territories, so he naturally wasn't able to replenish his supplies by much.
If he hadn't prepared many things in advance prior to departing from the Thunder Continent, he most likely wouldn't have been able to stop and study so many things that caught his interest along his journey.
With the scale of Deep Heaven City, he should be able to fully restock all of his supplies. With these materials, he'd be able to refine some treasures and pills that would assist him in his breakthrough attempt.
Han Li had visited the Deep Heaven City market countless times when he was last in the city, so he was quickly able to find his way there and descend in front of a massive light barrier around an hour later.
On the other side of the light barrier was the exchange center for the demonic beings in Deep Heaven City, while at the center of the light barrier stood a hall, which was the only venue where humans and demons could trade precious items with one another.
Han Li cast his gaze toward the massive hall in the distance, and his expression changed slightly as he caught sight of a demonic woman who was vaguely familiar to him.
He had traded with this demonic woman countless times in this hall in the past, and secured many precious demon race spirit medicine seeds from her.
If it weren't for her, he would've had to expend a lot more effort to gather those seeds on his own.
However, this woman seemed to have some rather important connections, as exemplified by the fact that she was aware that the foreign beings were going to attack Deep Heaven City in advance, so she was able to leave before the battle ensued.
Han Li withdrew his gaze and inspected his surroundings before entering one of the larger material shops nearby.
The shop had around five or six employees, and a handsome young man immediately strode over with a smile. "Our shop specializes in selling all types of pill and tool refinement materials. Feel free to tell me if you require any assistance, Senior."
Before Han Li had a chance to say anything, the shopkeeper, who was sitting on a bamboo chair, suddenly discovered that an item in his hand had begun to flash erratically with light. He was quite startled by this and immediately sprang up from his chair. "You can go do something else; I'll serve this senior in person."
This Core Formation Stage shopkeeper then rushed over to Han Li with a respectful look on his face. "Forgive me for not coming out to greet you sooner, Senior; I was unaware that you would be gracing my modest shop with your presence."
Han Li was rather taken aback by this.
He hadn't used any secret techniques to conceal his own cultivation base after entering the city, but a Core Formation Stage being definitely wouldn't be able to glean his cultivation base.
However, he then glanced at the treasured in the old shopkeeper's hand, and an enlightened look appeared on his face. "I see you have a Spiritual Pressure Disc; no wonder you were able to identify my cultivation base. I require a large batch of materials; prepare them for me as quickly as possible."
Han Li flipped a hand over to produce a white jade slip before tossing it toward the shopkeeper.
The elderly man hurriedly accepted the jade slip with both hands before injecting his spiritual sense into it, upon which an expression of surprise and glee appeared in his eyes.
"This is indeed quite a large batch of materials. My shop will be able to provide most of these materials, but I'll have to borrow the rest from other shops; would you be able to give me some time, Senior?"
"Sure, I'll give you 15 minutes," Han Li replied.
The shopkeeper was ecstatic and hurriedly led Han Li over to a chair, then instructed an employee to brew some spirit tea for him while ordering the rest of the employees to bring out the required materials from their storage room.
After that, he departed from the shop to visit the other nearby shops in order to gather the rest of the materials he couldn't supply.
Judging from the shopkeeper's reaction, it was naturally quite apparent that this senior was quite a powerful being, and they were all appraising him with awe and veneration in their eyes.
Han Li casually took a sip of the spirit tea that had been offered to him before closing his eyes to rest.
After about 15 minutes, the shopkeeper returned in an excited manner with a storage bracelet in his hand. At this point, the other employees in the shop had also brought out a bunch of different containers.
These materials were quite ordinary to Han Li, but they were very precious to this shop.
After sweeping his spiritual sense over the storage bracelet and these containers several times, Han Li asked for the final price, and the shopkeeper put on a fawning smile as he stated a price that would've been an astronomical amount to a normal cultivator.
However, Han Li didn't even bat an eyelid as he flicked a wrist to toss a leather pouch through the air.
The shopkeeper caught the leather pouch and injected his spiritual sense into it to find that the amount of spirit stones had even slightly exceeded the amount that he had asked for, and he immediately expressed his gratitude in an elated manner.
Han Li calmly stowed the items away before departing from the shop.
After that, he left the market altogether and flew toward another direction. Several hours later, he departed from Deep Heaven City before flying toward a boundless expanse of mountain ranges as a streak of azure light.
Half a month later, Han Li had left the territory under the jurisdiction of Deep Heaven City, but he continued onward without any intention of stopping.
Two months later, the azure streak of light finally landed on a lush mountain.
The light receded, and Han Li appeared on a massive rock. He briefly inspected his surroundings before closing his eyes and releasing his powerful spiritual sense.
Moments later, he nodded in a pleased manner.
This place had a decent spirit vein, and even though it wasn't very big, there was abundant spiritual Qi in a radius of several hundred kilometers, which was perfect for his needs.
However, it was impossible for such a spirit vein to be unoccupied, and through his spiritual sense, he detected that there were a dozen or so cave abodes of different sizes nearby.
The most densely populated of these cave abodes housed more than 10 people each, while some were inhabited by just a single person.
However, even the most powerful ones among them were only a pair of Nascent Soul cultivators, while the rest were only at the Core Formation and Foundation Establishment Stages.
This made sense as more powerful beings wouldn't be willing to establish their cave abodes in such a secluded place. There was no way that a cultivator at the Deity Transformation Stage or above would stray so far from the city just for a place to settle, so despite the abundance of spiritual Qi here, there definitely wouldn't be any overly powerful beings inhabiting this place.
However, Han Li wasn't planning to cultivate here for too long anyway, so he naturally wasn't concerned by the people already inhabiting this mountain.
Thus, he immediately made a hand seal, and golden light flashed from his body. His lips moved a few times, but no sound came out, so it seemed that he was transmitting his voice.
Within the belly of a mountain that was around 50 kilometers away from Han Li's location, there was a white-haired elderly man in a set of brocade robes. He was situated within a secret chamber that was sealed by multiple restrictions, and he was making a hand seal while appraising a cauldron in front of him in a tense manner.
Beneath the cauldron were bursts of blue flames, and a rich medicinal aroma was wafting out of the cauldron.
All of a sudden, an unfathomably powerful burst of spiritual sense completely disregarded all of the restrictions around the secret chamber and descended like a fiend celestial.
The elderly man didn't get any chance to react before he was completely flattened onto the ground by the enormous power accompanying this burst of spiritual sense, and he wasn't able to move so much as a single finger.
The elderly man yelled out in shock and horror.
However, before he had a chance to do anything else, a cold male voice suddenly rang out from above the secret chamber.
"I need to borrow this place for something, and I don't want to be disrupted by anyone. All those who hear this voice transmission, leave this place right away. If you haven't left after a day, then you can remain here forever."
After that brief ultimatum, the burst of powerful spiritual sense abruptly vanished.
The elderly man immediately regained his mobility, and he rose to his feet in a shaky manner with a horrified look in his eyes.
After contemplating the situation for a moment, he stomped his foot onto the ground and instantly flew out of the secret chamber, not even taking a second glance at the cauldron that he had held in such high regard.
Two hours later, a streak of white light rose up from the mountain before flying into the distance.
The same scenes were unfolding in various places within a radius of several hundreds of kilometers.
One streak of light after another flew away from this place in a panicked manner, and after around half a day, the set of mountain ranges was completely devoid of cultivators, leaving behind only a series of empty cave abodes.