Chapter 2255: Discovering the Treasures
"You're telling me you disabled your own cultivation base?" Han Li asked with a skeptical expression.
"If I hadn't done that, there's no way that Bao Hua would be content with only banishing me to this place. After all, I was the one she once trusted the most, yet I stabbed her in the back; it's already a huge surprise to me that I was able to survive this ordeal," Yuan Cha explained.
"I see. To think that she was still willing to let you live after what you did to her; the two of you must've really been quite close," Han Li said as he nodded with a contemplative expression.
"Fellow Daoist Han, we've had our differences in the past, and I'm no longer any match for you, so I'm completely at your mercy. Are you going to take revenge for what I did to you back then?" Yuan Cha asked as a forlorn look appeared in her eyes.
"I would be inclined to exact my revenge if Bao Hua hadn't handed down any punishment to you, but I have no intention of doing that now. Not only has your cultivation base been severely debilitated, your mental state has already fallen apart, so it's already quite remarkable that you were able to maintain your current cultivation base. There's no longer any hope for you to return to the Grand Ascension Stage. Seeing as you were once a Grand Ascension Stage Sacred Ancestor, I won't ask you to do anything too degrading; just sever one of your own arms, and I'll let bygones be bygones," Han Li said.
Yuan Cha faltered slightly upon hearing this before a wry smile appeared on her face. "An arm? Is that all? That's certainly not an issue."
As soon as her voice trailed off, she raised an arm before opening her mouth to release a streak of white light, which revolved around her raised arm, instantly severing it at the shoulder.
However, the cross-section of the wound was as smooth as a mirror, and there was no blood flowing from it.
Yuan Cha then made a grabbing motion with her other hand, and her severed arm exploded into a cloud of blood mist.
"Can I go now?" After severing one of her own arms, Yuan Cha's face had paled even further.
Han Li nodded in response, displaying no intention to punish her further beyond this.
"Thank you for your kindness, Fellow Daoist. You and I will most likely never meet again."Yuan Cha extended a slight bow toward Han Li, then flew away as a streak of blue light.
As she flew through the air, a new arm began to take shape amid a cloud of black Qi to replace her severed limb, but losing an arm had undoubtedly taken a toll on her.
"Are you really just going to let her go, Brother Han? Aren't you worried that she'll try to take revenge against you in the future?" Silvermoon couldn't help but ask.
"Bao Hua was willing to spare her, so it's not really in my place to kill her. After all, who knows what type of bond may still exist between them? The fact that Bao Hua was willing to let her live even after what she did clearly indicates that their relationship was not an ordinary friendship. I'll be visiting the Elder Devil Realm in the future as well, so I'd rather not do something that would drive a wedge between myself and one of the three devilish patriarchs. As for revenge, there's next to no chance for Yuan Cha to return to the Grand Ascension Stage, and her heart is already dead, so she most likely won't even be able to muster up the urge to seek revenge. If she can't return to the Grand Ascension Stage, then her lifespan will run out shortly, so there's nothing for me to worry about," Han Li replied.
"That's true. Besides, with your powers, you wouldn't have anything to fear even if she could return to the Grand Ascension Stage. How the tables turn! Back in the human world, just a wisp of her soul was able to almost kill both of us on Kunwu Mountain, but now, she's been reduced to such a sorry state," Silvermoon sighed.
She naturally didn't have any sympathy for Yuan Cha; it was just that the vast contrast evoked a series of complex emotions in her heart.
"Yuan Cha poses no threat to us, but we should still secure Qi Ling's treasure as soon as possible in case something goes wrong," Han Li said.
"You're right, Brother Han." Silvermoon naturally had no objections, and thus, the flying boat continued on toward their original destination.
Half a day later, the flying appeared in the air above the flat glacier, but what was quite peculiar was that there was a small green lake at the center of the glacier.
The lake appeared to only several thousand acres in size, but it was bubbling incessantly, and steam was rising up from its surface.
There were also some short shrubs growing around it, presenting a miraculous sight in this frozen landscape.
The flying boat quickly descended, and Han Li briefly inspected the surface of the lake before an intrigued smile appeared on his face.
"This is the place on the map, Brother Han; it does look quite different from the surrounding area. After so many years, how have none of the devilish beings that have passed by noticed this place?" Silvermoon asked.
"Qi Ling was a Grand Ascension Stage Sacred Ancestor; his treasure collection can't be discovered by the average high-grade devilish being. Besides, even if another Grand Ascension Stage devilish being were present, they most likely wouldn't be able to find anything, either, without this map," Han Li said with a smile as he swept a sleeve toward the lake, and the four translucent bricks shot forth before hovering above the lake while emanating five-colored light.
Han Li then made a hand seal before pointing a finger down at the lake, and uttered the word "open".
Countless runes surged out of the four bricks in a frenzy, forming a five-colored light formation that was around an acre in size.
The light formation then immediately began to rotate at a rapid speed, and a dull thump rang out from its center as a grey pillar of light erupted forth before vanishing into the lake in a flash.
Spatial fluctuations surged through the lake, and the surface of the lake began to ripple violently.
A black vortex had also appeared right beneath the light formation, and it was revealing countless black tendrils.
"So this is the entrance to where the treasures are hidden; it sure is well-concealed! Looks like we'll most likely have to go through some trouble to obtain the treasures in there," Silvermoon said with an excited expression.
"Let's go. Even if there are restrictions in there, there's no way they can stop us," Han Li said with a nonchalant smile, and the flying boat beneath his feet abruptly vanished amid a flash of spiritual light.
The two of them immediately drifted down toward the lake.
As soon as they entered the black vortex, the five-colored light formation above the lake reverted back into four translucent bricks, which also plunged into the vortex, immediately following which the vortex disappeared as well.
Time slowly passed by, and the surface of the lake returned to its former placid state.
After a long while, Han Li and Silvermoon were walking side by side through a maze beneath the lake.
There were thick round pillars all around them, and all of the pillars were over 100 feet tall with black Qi revolving around them.
Faint ghostly wails rang out incessantly in the surrounding area, and if a normal cultivator were to hear this sound, they would immediately be struck by a sense of drowsiness and sluggishness.
However, Silvermoon was easily able to keep the sound at bay by conjuring up a layer of protective spiritual light, while Han Li was able to simply ignore the sound altogether.
The sky above the round pillars was completely concealed by a blanket of black mist, and all of a sudden, several blurry projections erupted out of several of the nearby stone pillars.
The projections were in the form of giant menacing wolves, and even as they pounced toward Han Li, he didn't pause in the slightest as he released a burst of grey light to sweep up the oncoming projections in a flash.
Meanwhile, two of the giant wolf projections had pounced toward Silvermoon, and they were met by a giant silver wolf projection that devoured the oncoming pair of projections in a single mouthful.
After that, the two of them continued onward as if they were taking a stroll in the park.
"How many waves has it been, Brother Han?" Silvermoon suddenly asked.
"That was the seventh wave," Han Li replied in a calm manner.
"Surely this wouldn't be the extent of the restrictions set up by the vastly renowned Sacred Ancestor Qi Ling. These restrictions don't even pose any threat to a Body Integration cultivator like me, let alone a Grand Ascension Stage being like you," Silvermoon chuckled.
"If you continue to think like that, you're going to fall into Qi Ling's trap," Han Li replied in an indifferent voice.
"What do you mean by that, Brother Han?" Silvermoon was rather befuddled to hear this.
Han Li smiled, and asked, "Do you really think these pillars are just here to make some sound effects and manifest some Spatial Tempering Stage beast projections?"
"Is there something special about them?" Silvermoon asked with a surprised expression.
"Let me show you something," Han Li said with a smile, then suddenly raised a hand and made a grabbing motion.
A burst of silver spirit flames immediately erupted between his fingertips, and he grabbed onto something before forcibly pulling it out of thin air.
Silvermoon's eyes widened as she stared intently at Han Li's hand, and Han Li smiled as he slowly spread open his fingers.