Chapter 240: Pages of a Book
Seeing that Han Li was quite discreet, Li Huayuan revealed an expression of satisfaction. Then, he reached his hand out in midair and gently grabbed at something; instantly, a red streak of cloud flew out from his hand, wrapped around a jade slip, and brought it back to his hand.
Li Huayuan didn’t even glance at it and directly handed it to Han Li; then, he used the same method to grab seven or eight items in a row before halting. At this time, Han Li was already holding a huge pile of items, too many for his eyes to take in.
“These cultivation techniques can all progress one’s magic power quickly, and they are also easy to cultivate; pick one to use as your main cultivation technique. You have to put the other ones back in their original position. When you have finished picking one out, come tell me!” Li Huayuan said to Han Li indifferently. Then, he sat down cross-legged on a prayer mat in the stone room.
Han Li felt that his eyes were seeing stars; although there weren’t many cultivation techniques, they all had their own unique attributes.
For example, one of them, the “Essence Gathering Technique”, apart from having a decent speed in increasing one’s magic power, also had the “Essence Gathering Spirit Armor”, an incredibly practical minor divine ability. When facing an enemy, in addition to the protection of a defensive magic technique, one could condense one’s magic power into spirit armor as an additional layer of protection. It could serve as a life-saving technique, and the spirit armor’s defense could also slowly increase as one progressed in the Essence Gathering Technique.
Another jade slip recorded the just-as-impressive “Mirage Spirit Art”, which also included the “Mirage Shadow” ability. One could produce an avatar exactly like oneself at any time to confuse enemies. The higher one’s cultivating layer was, the more avatars one could produce, which would confuse enemies even more.
Apart from these two kinds of cultivation techniques, the other cultivation techniques included small abilities that were extremely suited for escaping despite not being too powerful. It seemed as if the creators of these cultivation techniques were also very clear that these cultivation techniques would not allow individuals to fight fiercely against others; instead, it was more important to flee with one’s small life.
However, after Han Li had browsed through all of them once, a golden page inside a jade box jolted Han Li awake.
That was because this page’s script and size were too familiar. Han Li confirmed that it was identical to the silver page that he himself possessed! The only difference was that this page seemed to be thinner, and its surface did not have those strange patterns; instead, it was covered with densely packed ancient writings. But when he took a closer look, the technique that was recorded was a common magic technique, the “Essence Concentration Technique”. Its ability was also an extremely average support technique called the “Spirit Gathering Technique” and could only increase the speed at which Spiritual Qi was gathered.
(TL: The silver page first appeared in Chapter 213)
Han Li studied the golden page numerous times, but doing so only increased the uncertainty in his heart. However, he also knew that even though he had a strong urge to pull out the silver page in his storage pouch and compare the two of them, now was not the time to solve this mystery.
Regardless, he had to make a decision now, otherwise he would arouse his master’s suspicions.
With this in mind, Han Li hefted this golden page in his hand and made his decision.
As such, he opened his mouth and said to Li Huayuan, who was resting with his eyes closed:
“Master, I have made a decision. I choose this cultivation technique!”
When Li Huayuan heard this, he opened his eyes. Seeing the golden page in his hand, he was slightly startled, but he didn’t say anything. He simply nodded his head and brought him out of the stone room.
The young woman had been waiting for the master-disciple pair. When she saw them return, she smiled warmly before asking:
“How is it, did you make a decision?”
“Many thanks for Madame’s concern. This disciple has already made a selection!” Han Li respectfully answered.
“Then I can be at peace!” Hearing this, the young woman smiled happily again. It was as if she cared even more about this matter than Han Li did, which surprised him.
“Alright, since you have been repaid for saving my wife, let us talk about the matter of officially accepting you under my guidance! Are you genuinely willing to enter my tutelage and officially become my disciple?” Li Huayuan suddenly asked, his expression thickening.
Han Li’s heart trembled, and he hurriedly stepped forth, knelt, and said:
“Disciple Han Li’s heart is genuine; I do not dare to have even a trace of pretense.”
Although Han Li spoke in this way, in actuality he began to mutter in his heart:
“If you genuinely take care of me, I will naturally be a hundred percent sincere and willingly be your disciple until the very end. However, if you have any bad intentions, I will not be so silly as to be manipulated by you!”
Li Huayuan naturally did not know the thoughts in Han Li’s heart. Otherwise, he would have exterminated Han Li with one hand a long time ago.
“Right, us cultivators are simple people; from today onwards, you are Li Huayuan’s official disciple. I hope that you’ll diligently cultivate in the future so that my reputation doesn’t wane.” Li Huayuan lightly smiled with a warm expression.
Han Li and Li Huayuan fulfilled the roles of a pious disciple and a compassionate master for a while, but soon after receiving Li Huayuan’s instructions, Han Li bid farewell and left.
As he was leaving the cave, he happened to run into that Eldest Martial Brother Yu. In the end, this individual insisted on sending his Junior Martial Brother out. However, how could Han Li, who had just yesterday experienced firsthand the devilish, unceasing chattering, inflict such pain upon himself? He declined profusely on the spot; in the end, the other person left with a regretful expression, and Han Li was able to escape the entanglement.
As Han Li stood upon the small boat, he couldn’t help but think about all that had happened in the past two days.
His impression of his master, Li Huayuan, was much better than it had been before, especially since his master’s attitude sharply differed from the indifference he showed during the expedition to the forbidden area. He didn’t know if it was because he had saved his master’s wife or because he had successfully established his Foundation, but now he was finally being viewed with importance by this Core Formation cultivator.
Regardless, Han Li finally felt that this trip had not been in vain; not only did he obtain a large backer in the cultivation world, he also obtained that golden page. Now, he could hope to reveal the secrets hidden in the silver page.
Even if he had no way of unraveling its mysteries, Han Li did not mind; at the very last, he would cultivate the “Essence Concentration Technique”. Although this cultivation technique didn’t have any great effects, Han Li had other ways of protecting himself, so he did not worry about this matter.
When he returned to his own cave, Han Li immediately went into his own room and hurriedly pulled out the gold and silver pages from his storage pouch, carefully comparing the two.
The silver page was still the same as the last time he studied it; Han Li placed both the silver page and the gold page in front of his eyes and superimposed the two. As expected, they were identical in size. With one glance, one could tell that they were closely linked.
Han Li took these two pages, one on the left and one on the right, weighing them individually in each hand. He judged that the silver page was slightly heavier. It seemed as if his speculation that the golden page was somewhat thinner was not incorrect; their thickness was truly different.
Han Li tilted his head and thought for a moment. Suddenly, he took only the silver page and raised it to his eye, carefully scrutinizing the strange patterns on it and stroking it with his hand incessantly.
At this time, his eyes twinkled indefinitely as if there was a very difficult problem ahead of him that he could not make a decision about.
However, an unwavering expression still appeared on Han Li’s face.
He suddenly placed the page between his two hands, then he gently rubbed his hands together. Instantly, the silver page was enveloped in a fierce flame, casting a red glow onto Han Li’s face. However, he did not care at all, instead staring at the page in the flames without blinking. At this time, the surface of the page was beginning to melt due to high temperatures,
Suddenly, Han Li’s expression changed, and then an expression of joy surfaced on his face because the silver page, now with its surface layer melted, actually revealed a golden light — sure enough, the page contained a secret.
Seeing this situation, Han Li carefully controlled the flames, not allowing the golden layer to also be damaged. However, Han Li clearly was overly worried; the newly-revealed golden page seemingly didn’t fear being roasted by the fierce flames and didn’t warp at all.
When a brand-new golden page was completely revealed, Han Li waved his hand, and the flames immediately disappeared. Then, he began to read the newly-obtained page, his heart beating like crazy.
He only read the first few words before he froze, stunned. His expression instantly became extremely unsightly.
That was because this page was actually a manual written to teach people how to control flying swords and was specifically geared towards those who cultivate sword arts; although it appeared to be extremely remarkable, it was something that Han Li simply did not need.
It seemed as if that bare-footed man from the Giant Sword Sect had cultivated the page’s contents. However, though these techniques may have been considered treasures to Qi Condensation disciples, to Han Li, who had reached the ‘Great Success’ stage of Foundation Establishment, they were only average and simply had no way of piquing his interest.
Han Li was still unwilling to give up!
He closely examined it one more time, even going so far as to use the fierce flames to burn it again, but he made no further discoveries.
The more Han Li looked at this golden page, the more he felt resentful. He had busied himself with this for the greater half of the day!
Having wasted so much time, he actually obtained such a useless item. How could he not feel extremely depressed? Han Li was especially provoked upon seeing the two words “Sword Art” because he had already cultivated an Azure Essence Sword Art; could it be that he would have to cultivate yet another sword art?
The gloomy-faced Han Li suddenly grabbed the page and threw it into midair. Immediately afterward, he used his right hand and pointed, shooting out an azure sword edge as wide as a bowl, directly hitting the page. Han Li decided to completely destroy this thing, lest he become angry just from looking at it.
With a “puchi”, the explosion that Han Li had expected did not appear; instead, the azure sword edge, like a clay ox entering the sea, landed on the page and instantly disappeared without a trace, as if it had been gobbled up.
(TL: Clay ox entering the sea means disappearing with no hope of returning)
“This is......” Han Li was very shocked, but immediately afterward his heart moved as his spirits were instantly aroused.