"If you and I were both on the panel of elders, I'm sure we'll be able to drastically improve the conditions for many ascended cultivators here," Buddhist Monk Jin Yue said in a solemn manner.
A solemn look also appeared on Han Li's face upon hearing this, but after a brief hesitation, he still shook his head in response. "As an ascended cultivator myself, I'm naturally aware of the circumstances surrounding us ascended cultivators. However, this is not something that you and I can change on our own. Even if I were to join the panel of elders, it wouldn't make much of a difference, and I would be swept up in undesirable conflicts. Ever since I embarked on my path of cultivation, I've been determined to walk this path to the point of immortality. Even though I've reached the Body Integration Stage, I'm still far from being able to ascend to the True Immortal Realm, so I can't divert my attention to other matters."
Buddhist Monk Jin Yue could tell that Han Li had made up his mind, and he heaved a faint sight as he said, "I am truly in awe and admiration of your ambition, Fellow Daoist. In that case, I won't try to persuade you any further. Do you have any important matters that you need to attend to here in Deep Heaven City? Perhaps I can lend you my assistance in some matters."
"Thank you for your kind offer, but I'm only here to complete some menial tasks such as purchasing some materials," Han Li replied in a polite manner.
"Hehe, I see. If you do need any help with anything, you can come and find me. I'm sure I'll be able to help you out with most things here in Deep Heaven City," Buddhist Monk Jin Yue said.
Han Li naturally extended his gratitude upon hearing this.
After that, Han Li and this Buddhist Monk Jin Yue began to discuss some cultivation experiences, which was something that almost all Body Integration cultivators who were on good terms with one another did.
After all, this was the limit for most cultivators, and as for the legendary Grand Ascension Stage and Tribulation Transcendence Stage, those were virtually completely out of reach, and even the most powerful races in the Spirit Realm only had one or two such beings on average.
Hence, without anyone else available to offer them guidance, Body Integration cultivators could only attempt to resolve their own cultivation issues by communicating with others.
This Buddhist Monk Jin Yue was already a mid-Body Integration cultivator and was only one step away from reaching the late-Body Integration Stage, so he had a far greater wealth of cultivation experience than that early-Body Integration Stage Elder Qi.
In contrast, Han Li possessed several powerful abilities and was also using the Provenance True Devil Arts, which was a simultaneous cultivation art that no one had ever used before, so he naturally had many unique cultivation insights to offer as well.
Thus, both of them benefited greatly from their discussion, and they conversed for an entire day and night. Only on the next morning did Buddhist Monk Jin Yue depart in an elated manner.
After that, Han Li returned to the top floor and continued to meditate.
No more Body Integration cultivators came to visit him after that, so they had to be either busy or had already learned from Buddhist Monk Jin Yue that there was no way he would join the panel of elders.
Six days passed in a flash, and on the seventh day, the one that he was waiting for finally arrived.
Before the servants on the lower floors even had a chance to alert him, he abruptly rose to his feet from his futon and descended from the top floor.
The servants were chatting with one another in a bored manner, and they were all given a fright by Han Li's sudden emergence. They hurriedly approached him before extending respectful curtseys, in response to which Han Li waved a hand and said, "You can all wait outside for now. The one that I'm waiting for has already arrived, so you can invite her in."
The Foundation Establishment Stage servants all faltered momentarily upon hearing this before immediately doing as they were told.
Meanwhile, Han Li himself sat down in the main seat, and moments later, a woman with a complexion that was as fair as jade was led into the room by one of the servants.
This woman was tall and slender and wore a blue palatial dress; it was none other than Fairy Xue, who had already progressed to the Deity Transformation Stage.
"It really is you, Senior Han, and you really have progressed to the Body Integration Stage."
Han Li's appearance was almost identical to how it had been several centuries ago, so the woman was immediately able to identify him and hurriedly extended a respectful curtsey.
Seeing as she was a descendant of Fairy Ice Soul, Han Li had been quite benevolent toward her and occasionally gave her some guidance in cultivation, so her respect toward Han Li was also intermingled with gratitude.
As such, as soon as she returned to Deep Heaven City and heard that Han Li had reappeared in the city, she immediately came to the Immortal Gathering Pavilion to find him.
Upon hearing about how he had progressed to the Body Integration Stage, she had been just as astonished as the elderly man with the Yue surname.
However, this was simply too far-fetched, and even on her way here, she had still been rather skeptical.
Now that she was in Han Li's presence and could sense his powerful aura, she naturally had no further suspicions and was both surprised, but also elated for his progress.
"No need for formalities. You and I are old acquaintances, so take a seat," Han Li said with a smile.
"Thank you, Senior." Fairy Xu hesitated momentarily before doing as she was told and taking a seat beside Han Li.
At this moment, a servant strode in with a platter, upon which sat two cups of fragrant spirit tea.
"You can all go now. Don't come in unless I tell you to," Han Li instructed.
"Yes!" the servant replied before exiting the room.
Only then did Han Li sweep a sleeve toward the door, and it immediately swung shut on its own.
At the same time, a layer of blue light flashed, and the pavilion's built-in restriction was activated to isolate the entire hall.
Fairy Xu's heart stirred slightly upon seeing this, and a slightly solemn look appeared on her face. Han Li clearly wouldn't be doing this unless he had a secretive topic to discuss with her.
"Fairy Xu, I wanted to see you as I wanted to verify one thing. You're a descendant of Fairy Ice Soul, is that correct?" Han Li asked in a serious manner.
Fairy Xue faltered momentarily before replying, "Fairy Ice Soul is indeed an ancestor of mine; I wouldn't dare to lie to you about this, Senior."
"Alright, in that case, do you know where Fairy Ice Soul is? I would like to meet her," Han Li said in a slow voice.
"You want to meet her?" Fairy Xu was slightly stumped by this request.
"Do you not know where she is, either?" Han Li asked with furrowed brows.
"I am indeed a descendant of Fairy Ice Soul, but by the time I was born, she had already been missing for tens of thousands of years. However, I heard from the seniors of my family that at the time, she had also just reached the Body Integration Stage and had been invited to join Deep Heaven City. However, she seemed to have something to do at the time and turned down the offer. After that, she left the city and was never seen again," Fairy Xu replied with a wry smile.
"I see. Looks like there's no way to meet her, then. Aside from yourself, are there any other descendants of Fairy Ice Soul?" Han Li asked.
Han Li seemed to have some ties with Fairy Ice Soul, so after a brief pause for contemplation, Fairy Xu decided to give a truthful reply. "Truth be told, after so many years, Fairy Ice Soul's descendants have already split up into a dozen or so branches of different sizes. Some of them have even used the cultivation arts left behind my Fairy Ice Soul to found two small sects. However, from a bloodline perspective, our Xu Family is definitely the most direct lineal descendant branch of Fairy Ice Soul. Even our surname is the same as Fairy Ice Soul's."
"Who is the current leader of your Xu Family? Is it you, Fellow Daoist?" Han Li asked with a smile.
"Surely you jest, Senior. Our Xu Family may not be one of the legendary true spirit families, but we're still quite a renowned family in this region. The current leader of the family is my father, and there are also a few important seniors in our family as well," Fairy Xu replied after a brief hesitation.
Han Li stroked his chin with a smile before asking, "In that case, you wouldn't mind if I paid your father a visit, would you?"
The woman was quite taken aback to hear this, and she said in a hesitant manner, "It would naturally be an honor for our Xu Family to be graced with your esteemed presence, but would you be able to reveal the reason behind this, Senior Han?"
"Hehe, there's no need for you to worry. I was simply given a request to deliver an item to Fairy Ice Soul or one of her direct lineal descendants. Seeing as your Xu Family is the most direct lineal branch of Fairy Ice Soul's bloodline, then I'll just deliver this item to your father," Han Li explained in a truthful manner.
"I see. Would you be able to tell me who is asking for this item to be delivered? Would it happen to be someone I know of?" Fairy Xu asked in a rather surprised manner.
"Hehe, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't know this person. As for whether anyone else in your Xu Family knows of him, that's not something that I'm aware of," Han Li replied with a shake of his head.
A hesitant look appeared on Fairy Xu's face upon hearing this, and only after a long while did she finally make a decision. "In that case, allow me to accompany you back to our Xu Family. I just returned from a patrol mission, so I have a six-month break. Our Xu Family is in the Tian Yuan Region, so the teleportation formations in the city should be able to take us there."
"Hehe, it would naturally be best if you could accompany me in person, Fairy Xu," Han Li said with a smile.
"Alright, then allow me to return to my cave abode to prepare for the trip. If it's alright with you, we can leave in two days." Fairy Xu rose to her feet as she spoke.
"I don't have to make any preparations, so I can go at any time. Departing in two days will be fine for me as well," Han Li agreed with a nod after a brief pause for contemplation.