"Even if you learn the method, you wouldn't be able to replicate it," Yuan Cha said in an indifferent voice.
"Hehe, how will I know whether I can replicate it if you don't tell me?" Xue Guang chuckled.
"If you really want to know, then I'll tell you. Remember how I remained behind to deal with the clone of that human brat?" Yuan Cah asked.
"Of course. You remained there for a few months and didn't mention it at all after meeting up with me. Could it be that this tracking method has something to do with that clone of his?" Xue Guang asked.
"Indeed. That clone is actually one of his Nascent Souls. Even though it's only at the late-Spatial Tempering Stage, it's cultivated several powerful life-saving abilities. Even after chasing it for so long, I was still unable to stop it from self-detonating and escaping as countless wisps of soul fragments. In the end, I was only able to capture one of the soul fragments," Yuan Cha said with a grim expression.
"What? A Spatial Tempering Stage Nascent Soul managed to escape from you?" Xue Guang was quite stunned to hear this, and all three clones exchanged astonished glances.
"Hmph, like I said, the Nascent Soul had cultivated several powerful life-saving abilities and was also carrying a few profound talismans. I was too complacent and allowed it to get away. With that Nascent Soul's powers, as long as most of it manages to gather together again, it should be able to recover back to its original form. If I hadn't been in a hurry to meet back up with you, I would've definitely spent some more time and destroyed all of those soul fragments. However, even with this single soul fragment, I'm able to use my Great Origin Devil Technique to track his location. I've already refined that soul fragment into my own body, so I'm able to sense his approximate location from afar. Unfortunately, I don't have a second soul fragment for you to replicate this tracking method. In any case, this tracking method has a huge margin for error and only points out an approximate direction, which is why that human brat is able to continue to evade us," Yuan Cha explained.
"A soul fragment is required? I have a similar secret technique, but it looks like I won't be able to replicate the tracking method, after all. If I had known this in advance, I would've stayed with you for a few more days to help you capture that Nascent Soul." A regretful look appeared on Xue Guang's face as he spoke.
"If you had done that, then perhaps that human brat would've gotten away. Even a second Nascent Soul of his is so difficult to capture; I can only imagine how slippery he's going to be," Yuan Cha said with a shake of her head.
"Hmph, no matter how tricky he is, he must be close to completely exhausting his magic power and spiritual sense after being pursued by us for so long. Without any power at his disposal, he won't be able to use any of his tricks," Xue Guang harrumphed coldly.
"I recall you said the exact same thing two months ago, but he's still as lively as ever. In contrast, we're the ones who are struggling to keep up," Yuan Cha said as a slightly self-derogatory look appeared on her face.
A slightly awkward look appeared on Xue Guang's face upon hearing this. "That's only because neither of us expected him to be carrying so many magic power regeneration pills. We're unable to track down his exact location, so we can only keep chasing him like this. As soon as he exhausts all of his magic power, we'll be able to capture him with ease."
"Indeed. He's still traveling quite quickly now, but he's far slower than he was in the beginning. It looks like he truly is close to exhausting his magic power," Yuan Cha replied with a nod.
"This is why I'm inviting you into my All-encompassing Plate. If we control this treasure together, we'll be able to maintain our current speed while significantly decreasing our magic power expenditure," Xue Guang said in a hopeful manner.
"Don't mention that again; I won't take such an unnecessary risk. This Stone Devil Hall is formed by the two elders of the Stone Devil Race; I conserve much more magic power using it than anyone else could," Yuan Cha rejected in a cold voice.
"In that case, I won't mention this again. I have some subordinates with me; they should be able to help me control the All-encompassing Plate for brief periods of time," Xue Guang said with a wry smile.
"Then it's settled. It seems like that human brat won't be able to last much longer, but I still think that you and I will need to make some preparations in advance. If he really does manage to last longer than we do or plans to engage us in a last-ditch battle before his magic power runs out, we have to be prepared," Yuan Cha said as she nodded with a cold look in her eyes.
"Rest assured, Fellow Daoist Yuan Cha; I've naturally prepared some other measures. There's no way that human brat will be able to turn the tables on us," Xue Guang said in a confident manner.
"I'm glad to hear that. In order to conserve magic power, I won't be contacting you unless the necessity arises." After that, Yuan Cha swept a sleeve through the air, and her image vanished from the crystalline wall amid a flash of white light.
Thus, peace and quiet abruptly returned to the space within the All-encompassing Plate.
The smile on the face of the center Xue Guang clone instantly disappeared, and he pondered the situation for a moment before asking, "What do you two think of what Yuan Cha just said?"
He was naturally raising the question to the other two clones.
Even though the three clones stemmed from the same being, their personalities vastly differed as a result of the special soul-splitting secret technique, and they were more like three completely different people.
"There's not much to it; Yuan Cha definitely didn't tell the truth. Most devilish cultivation arts include abilities that allow one to track someone's main Nascent Soul through the use of a soul fragment. However, this method is only viable when the person being tracked possesses far inferior magic power to the one doing the tracking. Otherwise, if the target senses that something is amiss, they can use certain special methods to seal off their main Nascent Soul, and the tracking method would be rendered useless," one of the clones said with furrowed brows.
"On top of that, she agreed to return the Devil Sealing Lock and Purple Word Cauldron to you so easily; I suspect that she has some type of ulterior motive. Those two treasures aren't true Profound Heavenly Treasures, but they're still incomplete Profound Heavenly Treasures; why is she willing to give them up so easily? If she had tried to argue with us over ownership rights of one or both of the treasures, perhaps I'd have been convinced that she was being genuine," the other clone also chuckled coldly in response.
"Alright, I think we can conclude that she's definitely hiding something and harboring some kind of ulterior motive, but our top priority for now is to capture that human brat. Also, from today onward, let's begin taking turns absorbing the true devilish crystals that we brought with us. Hehe, I bet Yuan Cha would've never anticipated that we would bring so many true devilish crystals into this realm. With those crystals as a source of devilish Qi replenishment, we can keep this up even for another year. When Yuan Cha is unable to keep up, we'll be able to adopt the dominant position and dictate how that Han brat's treasures are split among us," the center Xue Guang clone said with a dark expression.
The other two clones were also quite elated to hear this.
Meanwhile, Yuan Cha was also seated on her stone chair in deep thought within her massive stone hall.
After a while, a faint sigh suddenly rang out within the stone hall. The voice was very delightful to the ears, but it was also completely unfamiliar; it was the sigh of another woman.
Yuan Cha faltered slightly upon hearing this before an ecstatic look appeared in her eyes. "Liu Ji! You're finally awake!"
"I am. It's all thanks to your willingness to lend me your physical body that I was able to descend into the Spirit Realm without being noticed by anyone else," the unfamiliar female voice chuckled.
"You fell into a deep slumber just as I was breaking into this realm, and you didn't wake up for several years; I was quite concerned," Yuan Cha said.
"This clone of yours possesses quite a powerful physical body, but it's still unable to contain two powerful souls at once; I could only temporarily seal away my consciousness to ensure that no harm came to your physical body. By the way, where is this place, and why have you expended so much of your magic power? Have you encountered some type of trouble?" the unfamiliar woman asked.
"I'll tell you about everything later. For now, please return this soul fragment of yours to your physical body first, Sister. This is the least powerful of your six clones, but it's still far more powerful than this clone of mine."
Yuan Cha flicked her wrist as she spoke, and a ball of black light shot out of her sleeve before landing on the ground. The ball of black light then transformed into an inky-black jade coffin that was around 10 feet in size, and there were wisps of black devilish Qi emanating from the coffin, as well as layers of mysterious patterns engraved over its surface.
There were also a dozen or so golden and silver restriction talismans plastered to the surface of the coffin to seal it tightly shut.
"Sure. Seeing as I've already awakened, it wouldn't be appropriate for me to continue to stay in your body," the unfamiliar female voice replied.
Immediately thereafter, a layer of black light appeared over Yuan Cha's face, following which a ball of green spiritual light emerged from her glabella. After just a single flash, the ball of light transformed into a miniature green humanoid figure that was only several inches tall.
The miniature green figure's body was concealed within a layer of green light, making it impossible to glean its facial features.
Right at this moment, Yuan Cha began to chant something before pointing a finger at the black coffin.
All of the golden and silver talismans on the coffin were ignited at her behest, and were quickly incinerated into nothingness.
Immediately thereafter, the lid of the coffin rose up into the air, and dense devilish Qi erupted forth, quickly filling the entire hall.
The miniature green figure instantly vanished into the coffin as a ball of green light upon seeing this.