Chapter 1801: Concern
"Ying'er, if Fellow Daoist Han agrees to join your Ye Family, you'll be the one assisting him in cultivating the Great Nirvana Holy Spirit Art, right? That makes sense considering Fellow Daoist Han is a Body Integration cultivator; the average member of the Ye Family most likely won't have phoenix bloodlines of sufficient purity to the cultivate the art to the desired effect. I had heard that there are a lot of people in this generation of the Ye Family, but very few of them have truly inherited the Heavenly Phoenix True Blood. Fellow Daoist Han seems to have always been alone, so he'd be a perfect candidate," Liu Qing said in an amused manner as she temporarily cast aside her own train of thought.
"That... I wouldn't know about that. That'll depend on whether Fellow Daoist Han will be willing to join our Ye Family, and even if he is, my mother will have to make that final decision." Ye Ying's blush had deepened even further, and she was tripping over her own words slightly.
Liu Qing merely smiled and remained silent.
Han Li certainly wasn't an idiot, and he immediately came to realize that this Great Nirvana Holy Spirit Art was a dual cultivation art. From Ye Ying's awkward display, it was quite likely the case that she would be the one to cultivate this technique with him if he were to join the Ye Family.
Han Li found this to be slightly awkward as well, but his expression remained calm, and after a brief moment of contemplation, he shook his head in response. "I appreciate the kind offer from your Ye Family, but I've already decided not to bind myself to any particular power, so I'll have to turn you down."
Ye Ying seemed to be quite relieved to hear Han Li's refusal, but there was a hint of disappointment deep in her eyes as well. However, she quickly cast those emotions aside, and said, "In that case, I won't make any further mention of this. However, would you be willing to accept another exchange? We would like you to lend us your assistance once in 10 years in exchange for a reward."
A wry smile appeared on Han Li's face upon hearing this. "Are you referring to the true spirit ceremony that'll be held in 10 years?"
"You already know of this, Senior Han? Could it be..." Ye Ying reacted very quickly, and a thought immediately occurred to her.
"Indeed, you were one step too late, I'm afraid. I've already made an agreement with Fairy Xiao Feng to assist the Gu Family during the true spirit ceremony," Han Li explained with a slightly resigned look on his face.
"The Gu Family? That won't be an issue, then. The Gu Family has always been on extremely good terms with our Ye Family, so we won't have to contend with you during the ceremony," Ye Ying said with a relieved expression.
"I see, I'm glad to hear that." Han Li nodded as a hint of a smile appeared on his face.
Ye Ying had said everything she had to say, so Han Li naturally wasn't going to linger much longer. Thus, after making conversation for a short while, he took his leave in a polite manner and departed.
Liu Qing and Ye Ying both accompanied him to the teleportation formation, and after Han Li vanished amid a flash of spiritual light, Liu Qing heaved a forlorn sigh. "What a pity."
"What do you mean by that, Aunt Liu?" Ye Ying was rather befuddled to hear this.
"I'm naturally referring to the fact that your mother wasn't able to recruit this man into the Ye Family. He managed to reach the Body Integration Stage at such a young age; if he can survive the imminent devilish tribulation, he'll have an immeasurable future ahead of him."
"Body Integration cultivators stand at the pinnacle of the human race, but my grandmother is already a mid-Body Integration cultivator. If she were to use her Heavenly Phoenix bloodline as well, she would even be able to contend with late-Body Integration Stage beings. Now that you've also joined our Ye Family, it's not all that important whether Senior Han joins us or not. Regardless of whether it's the imminent true spirit ceremony or the devilish tribulation in the future, we should have more than enough power to protect ourselves. Besides, with the conditions offered by our Ye Family, I'm sure we'll be able to recruit other vagrant Body Integration cultivators," Ye Ying replied, seemingly in a nonchalant manner, but it was quite clear that she was still feeling rather indignant about Han Li's indirect rejection.
"Perhaps. Your mother is most likely only holding him in such high regard for his potential. However, this Fellow Daoist Han gives me a very peculiar feeling; it's as if the conditions you offered really weren't all that tempting to him at all. It's a pity that only this puppet clone of mine is here. If my true body were present, I could invite him to a sparring match to test out his abilities," Liu Qing said with a contemplative look in her eyes.
"What's there to test out? He's only recently progressed to the Body Integration Stage, so there's no way he'll be a match for you. On top of that, I heard from my mother that prior to passing away, Heavenly Spirit Sovereign passed on several of his most powerful puppets to you, so your powers are most likely not inferior to the likes of the three sovereigns and seven monarchs, right, Aunt Liu?" Ye Ying said with a wide grin.
Liu Qing's expression changed slightly upon hearing this before she shook her head with a wry smile. "Your Ye Family sure is good at securing obscure information. Not many people know about this; I didn't think that your mother would be one of them. I really must commend your Ye Family on that."
Ye Ying merely chuckled and remained silent...
Meanwhile, Han Li had returned to the fifth floor, and after issuing some instructions to Young Master Hai and Qi Lingzi, he immediately entered the secret chamber in the hall before taking a seat with his legs crossed.
He had originally thought that he would be able to take his time in his cultivation now that he had reached the Body Integration Stage, but after hearing about the imminent devilish tribulation, he had naturally changed his mind.
He had to change his plans for the next several centuries in order to make himself more powerful as quickly as possible, thereby minimizing his chances of perishing in this devilish tribulation.
After all, many of the three sovereigns and demon monarchs had perished during the last devilish tribulation, and this one was apparently going to be even more fierce and difficult to endure.
What made Han Li even more concerned was that he had once crossed Sacred Ancestor Yuan Cha of the Elder Devil Realm back when he was in the human world. One of her spiritual sense clones had descended into the human world and had been devoured by Silvermoon.
The Sacred Ancestors of the Elder Devil Realm were the equivalent of Grand Ascension cultivators in the human race, and if Yuan Cha were to descend into the Spirit Realm during the devilish tribulation, there was a good chance that she would hunt down Han Li herself or send out her subordinates to do so.
As such, he had to elevate his cultivation base to the late-Body Integration Stage prior to the arrival of this devilish tribulation. Only then would he be able to ensure his own survival in the devilish tribulation, and with his vast array of powerful abilities and treasures, he would be able to put up a fight even against the Sacred Ancestors of the Elder Devil Race.
However, through the conversations he had with other Body Integration cultivators, he had learned that making progress after reaching the Body Integration Stage was far more difficult even than what he had envisioned.
Normal early-Body Integration cultivators would often spend thousands or even tens of thousand of years just to make a breakthrough, and there were many who never made this breakthrough and simply perished during a major heavenly tribulation.
As for those who were able to progress to the late-Body Integration Stage, those were even more uncommon.
Even the past and present three sovereigns and seven monarchs weren't all at the late-Body Integration Stage. Furthermore, he was on a very tight schedule. Thankfully, he had those spirit medicines that he had sourced from the Vast Glacial Realm, which would allow him to refine a large amount of pills that would enhance his magic power, even at the Body Integration Stage.
This would allow him to cultivate at several times the efficiency of the average cultivator, and it shouldn't be a difficult task for him to accumulate sufficient magic power during the next few centuries. Thus, the only issue that stood in his path was actually breaking through the bottlenecks.
Even after consuming so many spirit medicines that could enhance one's spiritual root, his aptitude was still not much better than that of the average cultivator. Perhaps his only option was to prepare some more things that could forcibly stimulate him to make breakthroughs.
At the very least, he could look forward to that Spiritvoid Pill that he had finessed, as well as the Divine Infernal River Elixir promised to him by Qing Yuanzi.
With that in mind, Han Li's heart was eased slightly, following which a thought suddenly occurred to him. He flipped his hand over to summon a black spirit beast bracelet before injecting his spiritual sense into it, upon which his brows furrowed slightly.
Within the space inside the bracelet was a hibernating little lack monkey.
It was none other than the Weeping Soul Beast.
Ever since it had slain that Heavenly Devilish Monarch, it had been hibernating in this spirit beast bracelet. Otherwise, with the incredible powers that it had displayed in the past, it would undoubtedly be a huge asset to Han Li when facing powerful enemies.
Thankfully, he still had some time before the devilish tribulation arrived, and he was sure that it wouldn't hibernate for 1,000 years.
With that in mind, Han Li stowed the spirit beast bracelet away in a flash before producing the shimmering golden Myriad Sword Artwork. He flicked his wrist anad tossed it forward, upon which it slowly unfurled before hovering in a stationary manner before him.
The Sword Observation Art hidden within this artwork was an incredible ability. He had only gleaned a small portion of it, and that had been enough to significantly enhance the power of his Azure Coil Sword Formation. If he could master it in its entirety, it would definitely give him an enormous power boost.
He had already come into contact with many Body Integration cultivators at this point, and even though most of them were vagrant cultivators or cultivators who belonged to sects or major families, that was enough.
Some opportunities would have to arise to facilitate meetings with the likes of the three sovereigns and seven monarchs. In particular, even though Han Li had never seen Wolf Monarch Tian Kui, he still couldn't help but feel rather frustrated and displeased at the thought of Silvermoon.
He didn't know how Silvermoon was now that she had returned to the Spirit Realm for so many years and reverted back to her identity as Demonic Concubine Ling Long.
As a concubine of Wolf Monarch Tian Kui, perhaps she would appear during the Myriad Treasure Convention, in which case he may be able to meet her.
However, Han Li was then struck by a sense of melancholy as he recalled back to the complex gaze she had cast toward him prior to their separation.
He was no longer an ignorant little boy at the time, so he could naturally see the emotions that her eyes had held.
He and Silvermoon had been companions for so many years, surviving life and death ordeals together, and it was naturally impossible for him to say that he had no feelings whatsoever toward her. However, at the time, he was only a Nascent Soul cultivator, so he couldn't change anything.
He had since arrived in the Spirit Realm and reached the Body Integration Stage, but so many years had passed; was Silvermoon still the same Silvermoon?
Han Li didn't know the answer to that, and he didn't want to think too much about it in case it affected his mental state.
It took him a long while to return to a state of inner equilibrium, and only then did he cast his gaze toward the Myriad Sword Artwork with blue light flashing in his eyes. Moments later, he was completely immersed in the artwork before him.