Chapter 2305: Collective Vow
The figure suddenly swept a sleeve through the air, and the entire formation disintegrated into countless golden and silver runes, revealing the figure to be a black-robed young man with his hands clasped behind his back.
The young man had particularly pale skin that had an almost sickly appearance in contrast with his black robes.
After taking a glance at the black space around him, he seemed to have immediately realized what environment he was in, and his brows furrowed slightly as he pointed a finger upward.
Around a dozen silver runes instantly shot forth before vanishing into the surrounding space, and in the next instant, a burst of loud rumbling rang out all around him.
All of the surrounding earth was rapidly peeled back as if it had sprung to life, forming an extremely long canyon that led all the way to the surface of the ground.
The young man cast his gaze upward, and a pleased look appeared on his face at the sight of faint white light shining down from above.
A burst of light swept up from beneath his feet, carrying his body directly up toward the top of the canyon.
Moments later, the young man emerged from the canyon amid a flash of silver light, and only after rising to an altitude of over 10,000 feet above the ground did he finally draw to a halt.
He quickly inspected his surroundings to discover a barren black landscape that was devoid of all signs of life aside from some short patches of wild weeds; it was as if this were a realm of death.
He didn't seem surprised by this in the slightest, and after a brief moment of contemplation, he made a hand seal, upon which specks of spiritual light emerged up above to form a menacing beast that was over 1,000 feet in length.
The beast had the head of a lion and the body of a Qilin. Its upper body was covered in scorching crimson flames, but its lower body was shimmering with silver light, and it was impossible to identify what type of beast this was.
In the next instant, the young man's face suddenly paled even further, and the giant beast he had just summoned disintegrated amid a dull thump, only able to maintain a blurry projection form.
"Hmph, to think that my magic power has been restricted to such a degree; as expected, being sent down into a lower realm really isn't a good thing. It's no wonder that I was chosen," the young man murmured to himself.
"Then again, this is a good thing. It means that those geezers won't be able to interfere with my actions. Hehe, that treasure of mine is still yet to be completely refined; I'll be able to arrange another blood sacrifice now. The blood essence of the vast majority of living beings in lower realms is quite impure, but if I can gather enough of them, then the quantity will make up for the lack of quality. As for that traitor, there's no need to track him down right away. Those geezers won't be happy with me for delaying the completion of my mission, but it's not like they can do anything," the young man chuckled in a bone-chilling voice.
Immediately thereafter, he flipped a hand over to produce a shimmering golden cylinder, within which was a cluster of vibrant red bamboo slips.
The surfaces of these bamboo slips were etched with beautiful silver patterns, and there were lights of all types of different colors revolving all around them, indicating that they were no ordinary treasures.
The young man tossed the cylinder high up into the air before chanting something, and it quickly transformed into a ball of golden light, following which a giant eight trigrams projection emerged.
The young man ceased in his chanting before pointing a finger upward, then uttered the word "rise".
A streak of green light immediately shot out of the eight trigrams projection before speeding toward a certain direction.
"Looks like that direction is where the greatest number of living beings are situated; let me start there," the young man mused to himself with a sinister expression before flying away as a streak of golden light, followed closely by the beast projection he had just summoned.
"So this is the true form of the Domain Bead," Han Li said as he appraised the bead in his hand with a surprised expression.
The bead had already shrunk down to less than half its original size, making it comparable to a pea.
However, its surface had become extremely smooth, and it had taken on a five-colored appearance with a wisp of white Qi revolving around it, presenting quite a mysterious sight to behold.
"That's right, Senior. The mark left in the bead has already been completely erased, so the disguise cast on it by our forefathers has also been lifted. You can now begin refining this treasure right away," the chieftain of the Space Fish Race replied in a respectful manner, and his face was looking slightly pale, clearly indicating that he had expended quite a bit of blood essence.
"Alright, get all your brethren to pack up their belongings; we'll leave the Small Asura Realm once I finish refining this bead," Han Li instructed.
"Thank you for your kindness, Senior; I'll arrange that right away. By the way, you must require a quiet place in which you can refine this bead, so please come to the secret chamber that I normally cultivate in," the chieftain replied with an excited expression.
"Alright, lead the way," Han Li replied with a nod.
Shortly thereafter, Han Li was led to the bottom of a triangular building, where a tightly-shut bluestone gate appeared before him.
"Please come in, Senior," the elderly man man said as he made an inviting hand gesture after opening the gate.
Han Li strode in through the gate, and a hint of surprise flashed through his eyes.
Aside from some commonplace fixtures that one would normally find in a secret chamber, there was also a row of black wooden shelves that were laden with bamboo slips, jade boxes, and other containers, as well as a crimson pill refinement cauldron that was several feet tall.
"Are you adept in pill refinement as well?" Han Li asked.
"No, Senior, these things are all for my granddaughter; she has some aptitude when it comes to pill refinement. Unfortunately, she's limited by the lack of diversity in the spirit medicines in this realm, so she's unable to refine many types of pills," the chieftain hurriedly explained with a bow, and a hint of pride could be seen in his eyes as he talked about his granddaughter.
"Hehe, if she really does have some aptitude in pill refinement, I can nurture that talent once we get back to my realm," Han Li said with a faint smile.
"That would be immensely fortunate for her." The chieftain was naturally ecstatic to hear this.
"Alright, you can go now. Everything will have to wait until we leave this realm, so I'm going to begin refining this Domain Bead now," Han Li instructed.
The chieftain hurriedly did as he was told, departing from the secret chamber after extending a respectful bow.
Han Li swept a sleeve toward the gate, and it swung shut on its own amid a flash of light.
At the same time, countless runes appeared on its surface, instantly forming a restriction.
Only then did Han Li take a seat on a futon in the secret chamber, then flipped a hand over to produce a yellow jade slip.
This was a refinement technique recorded by the Space Fish Race, and it had been given to him by the chieftain not long ago.
He pressed the jade slip to his forehead before injecting a wisp spiritual sense into it, and his expression changed slightly.
Sure enough, this refinement method was different from all of the ones he had learned in the past, indicating that it had most likely been created specifically for this Domain Bead.
With his current level of power, he was able to master the secret technique after only reading through it a few times.
Thus, he stowed the jade slip away before flipping a hand over to summon the Domain Bead.
A burst of invisible power surged forth, suspending the bead in mid-air.
Immediately thereafter, Han Li took a deep breath before opening his mouth to expel several balls of spiritual Qi onto the bead, then made a hand seal to summon his Provenance True Devil Projection amid a flash of golden light.
At the same time, black light flashed from his glabella, and his Law Destruction Eye also slowly opened.
Countless spiritual sense threads immediately came surging out of the demonic eyes, and the entire secret chamber was filled with all types of energy fluctuations...
Two days and two nights quickly passed by, and just as the Space Fish Chieftain was beginning to grow rather anxious, the stone gate was finally opened once again, following which Han Li emerged with a hint of exhaustion in his eyes.
A hint of elation coupled with anxiety surfaced in the elderly man's eyes as he asked, "Senior, have you already..."
"Rest assured, I've already successfully refined the Domain Bead. Gather all of your brethren as quickly as possible; I can already sense that this realm is beginning to reject me, so I won't be able to stay here for much longer," Han Li replied.
"That's fantastic! I'll arrange that right away," the chieftain replied in an ecstatic manner before hurriedly departing.
Around 15 minutes later, several hundred excited Space Fish beings were gathered on the plaza, but all of them were completely silent and standing in rigid and formal postures.
At the very front of the group stood the chieftain, and in the instant Han Li emerged from one of the triangular buildings, he knelt down before kowtowing as he said in a respectful voice, "Thank you for saving our race, Master! The 512 members of our race hereby swear to serve you for generation after generation until the end of time. If we break this vow, then our entire race will receive divine retribution, erasing our entire race from the face of the world."
As soon as his voice trailed off, the chieftain made a grabbing motion to summon a short dagger, which he plunged several inches deep into his own chest, and blood immediately began to flow from the edge of the wound.
The Space Fish beings behind him also kowtowed toward Han Li before summoning all types of sharp blades that they plunged into their own bodies, then swore the same blood vow.
A massive crimson rune that was around an acre in size emerged in the sky as a result of the vow, but it then quickly vanished in a flash.
"You can all get up now. The fact that you've sworn a collective blood vow is sufficient testament to your loyalty. In return, I will treat you like my own brethren without any bias or discrimination," Han Li said as he appeared in the air above all of the Space Fish beings.