"I see. Does that mean nurturing a beetle monarch requires a large number of Gold Devouring Beetles to devour one another?" Han Li asked with a contemplative look in his eyes.
"You sure are a smart man, Fellow Daoist; that's not the entire process, but it's not far from it. However, aside from the grand elders of our Mayfly Race, very few people in the outside world are aware of the existence of Gold Devouring Beetle Monarchs. Judging from your reaction just now, it seems that you've already heard of Gold Devouring Beetle Monarchs; Qing Yuanzi was the one who told you, right? He's quite friendly with one of the other grand elders of our race, so I'm sure he knows about this as well," Voidspirit chuckled coldly.
After a brief silence, Han Li replied, "I did indeed hear about this from Senior Qing. He told me that once a Gold Devouring Beetle Monarch is born, even a true immortal would be fearful of it; is that true?"
"That's a slight exaggeration, but Gold Devouring Beetle Monarchs are indeed extremely powerful. At the very least, I certainly wouldn't want to face one in battle," Voidspirit chuckled.
Han Li nodded before asking, "I see. May I ask how much of a chance you think you'd have at nurturing a Gold Devouring Beetle Monarchs after obtaining my Gold Devouring Beetles, Senior?"
Voidspirit narrowed his eyes and thought about this for a moment before holding up two fingers.
"20%? That's not very high," Han Li mused as his expression changed slightly.
"Hmph, what do you take Gold Devouring Beetle Monarchs for? I can only claim a 20% chance of success as I've been studying insect nurturing techniques for many years and have many tricks up my sleeve. If someone else without my knowledge were to attempt this, they wouldn’t even have a 10% chance. Alright, I've already answered all of your questions; it's time for you to fulfill your end of our agreement. You can state what you want for your Gold Devouring Beetles now," Voidspirit said as a cold expression reappeared on his face.
Han Li seemed to have already made his decision, and upon being prompted by Voidspirit, he immediately replied, "I'll naturally fulfill my end of the agreement, and as for what I want for my Gold Devouring Beetles, there are two things."
"Go on, then," Voidspirit said as his expression eased slightly.
"Firstly, I don't require any treasures. Instead, I would like some more Divine Infernal River Elixir. As you just said, with sufficient Gold Devouring Beetles, the elixir won't matter to you, so I'm sure I'm not asking for too much here. Secondly, I also have some knowledge in insect nurturing techniques, and I have some Gold Devouring Beetles leftover as well. Hence, I would also like to try my hand at nurturing a Gold Devouring Beetle Monarch. I don't know how many years it'll take before I can gather enough mature Gold Devouring Beetles again, but I still want to give it a try. As such, I would like a copy of the Gold Devouring Beetle Monarch nurturing secret technique," Han Li said in a serious manner.
Voidspirit's pupils contracted slightly upon hearing this, and he fell into deep thought.
After a while, Voidspirit finally said with furrowed brows, "The first condition is easy to fulfill; I can't give you all of my elixir, but I can spare you four or five vials. However, the second condition is going to be a little troublesome. The secret technique you're asking for is an extremely closely-guarded one in our Mayfly Race, and not even all of the elders of our race have seen it. Hence, it would not be right of me to disclose this information to an outsider."
"If it's only a little troublesome, then I'm sure you'll still be able to do it, right, Senior? Compared to one of your bonded spirit insects or that damaged Profound Heavenly Treasure, the conditions I've proposed are far more lenient," Han Li countered with a smile.
"Hehe, that's true. Alright, I can agree to these conditions, but you have to swear a vow on your inner demons to not disclose the secret technique to anyone else. At your cultivation base, inner demons become extremely fearsome, and if you go back on your word, there's a very good chance that you'll perish during your future tribulation. If you're willing to swear this vow, then I can give you the secret technique," Voidspirit said with a smile.
"Of course, that's a very reasonable request." Han Li was elated to hear this, and he adopted a serious expression before swearing a vow that was satisfactory to Voidspirit.
"Alright, let's begin our exchange, then. Here are a few vials of Divine Infernal River Elixir." Voidspirit nodded in a pleased manner before sweeping a sleeve through the air, sending five small green vials flying directly toward Han Li.
Han Li raised a hand to draw the five small vials into his grasp, then removed their lids one by one, using his spiritual sense to examine their contents. An elated look quickly appeared in his eyes, and produced a spirit beast bracelet before also tossing it toward Voidspirit with a flick of his wrist. "Here are 5,000 mature Gold Devouring Beetles, Senior."
Voidspirit drew the bracelet into his grasp, yet instead of releasing the spirit insects within it, he closed his eyes and directed his spiritual sense into the bracelet.
Moments later, an excited look appeared on his face.
"These are all indeed completely mature Gold Devouring Beetles, and they've developed even better than I had anticipated! Take this jade slip, and don't show it to anyone else," Voidspirit warned.
As soon as his voice trailed off, a jade slip that he had already prepared flew out of his sleeve, then reached Han Li after just a few flashes.
"I won't, Senior," Han Li replied in a respectful manner as he gleefully caught the jade slip, then pressed it against his own forehead.
In an instant, the ancient text within the jade slip appeared in his mind like a series of vivid images.
Voidspirit stowed away the spirit beast bracelet containing the Gold Devouring Beetles, then turned to appraise Han Li with a hint of a smile on his face, seemingly very interested in Han Li. After a while, Han Li removed the jade slip from his forehead and withdrew his spiritual sense.
"So? There are no issues with the secret technique I gave you, right?" Voidspirit asked with a smile.
"Not at all, Senior! The secret technique you gave me is extremely profound, and it's answered many of the questions I had when it came to insect nurturing," Han Li replied in a respectful manner as he stowed the jade slip up his sleeve.
"Oh? You must be adept in insect nurturing if you got that much from inspecting the secret technique for a short time. However, I should caution you that even though Gold Devouring Beetle Monarchs are extremely powerful, both luck and effort are indispensable if you want to successfully nurture one, so I'd advise you to exercise caution in this endeavor," Voidspirit said with a meaningful look in his eyes.
"Thank you, Senior, I'll be sure to do so," Han Li replied.
"Alright, seeing as our exchange has concluded, you can leave the Black Wind Pavilion now, and I'll come out after you. Don't keep Golden Flame and Qing Yuanzi waiting out there for too long," Voidspirit said.
"Yes, Senior. I'll be going on ahead, then." Han Li naturally offered no objections, and after extending a parting salute, he flew out of the hall as a streak of azure light, quickly vanishing into the black Qi outside.
"Hehe, a mere Body Integration cultivator dares to think about nurturing a Gold Devouring Beetle Monarch? How laughable! If it really was that easy to nurture beings that are comparable to true spirits, then our Mayfly Race would be ruling over the entire Spirit Realm already! Even in the entire history of our Mayfly Race, no one has actually succeeded in nurturing a Gold Devouring Beetle Monarch. It's a pity I had to hand over those vials of Divine Infernal Elixir, though. However, with these 5,000 Gold Devouring Insects, there should be a very good chance that I'll be able to refine a Myriad Spirit Umbrella that'll assist me in my tribulation transcendence. Mature Gold Devouring Beetles are virtually indestructible to begin with, so a Myriad Spirit Umbrella refined using them should also have the same quality. Looks like I'll have a greater chance of transcending that ascension tribulation," Voidspirit chuckled coldly as soon as Han Li departed.
After that, he flipped a hand over to produce the spirit beast bracelet containing the Gold Devouring Beetles, then made a hand seal before pointing a finger at the bracelet.
Spiritual light flashed, and a burst of black light surged out of his fingertip, swirling around the bracelet and freezing it into a chunk of black profound ice.
He then instantly plastered several shimmering blue talismans onto the chunk of ice before stowing it away.
Around an hour later, two streaks of light, one golden and one azure, flew out of the white light barrier over the island, then traveled toward a certain direction.
The two streaks of light naturally contained none other than Qing Yuanzi and Han Li.
Golden Flame Baron and Qing Yuanzi seemed to have a tacit understanding with one another, and neither of them asked Han Li or Voidspirit about the details surrounding their deal.
After chatting about some other things and sampling some of the exceptional spirit wine brewed by Golden Flame Baron, everyone departed from his island.
Along the way, neither of them said much, and the two headed directly toward Qing Yuanzi's cave abode.
Around half a month later, the familiar tall mountain finally appeared in the distance.
All of a sudden, Qing Yuanzi abruptly stopped, and Han Li was slightly taken aback by this, but he naturally also stopped.
"Fellow Daoist Han, you've gotten what you want, so I've repaid the favor I owe you. As such, this is where we'll part ways. After I get back, I'm going to seal the mountain right away so I can focus on transcending my next major heavenly tribulation. Yao'er will only be able to assist me in the process once she reaches the Body Integration Stage, so she'll be going into seclusion together with me. I've prepared all of the pills she needs to successfully break through her bottleneck, and I won't be letting her go anywhere until she reaches the Body Integration Stage. Do you understand what I'm saying, Fellow Daoist Han?" Qing Yuanzi asked in a meaningful voice.