Chapter 329: Exterminating the Enemy
When Song Meng and company saw the Emperor of Yue attack the cross-legged Han Li, their hearts grew shocked. Although they were aware of their inability to affect the saber's attack, Song Meng and company still raised their arms in defiance. In hopes of slowing down the attack, they unleashed a torrent of fireballs and threw eight talismans which transformed into huge stones.
Unfortunately, their attacks were of no effect; with a light swing, they were easily swept away by the saber's huge radiance and had completely vanished without a trace.
The saber streak changed direction once more and fiercely chopped down with vicious intent.
As Han Li saw the sharp saber streak about to strike him, his expression didn't change except for forming a slight sneer.
When the Emperor of Yue saw that Han Li was so calm, he was startled for a moment. Without thinking much more, he continued chopping down with the saber streak.
The Emperor struck at thin air, as Han Li had suddenly disappeared.
He discovered that he had returned to his original position at an unknown time, about a hundred meters above the barrier of rainbow light.
The Emperor of Yue's appearance became extremely unsightly, and he struck at the rainbow light while clenching his teeth. As the Emperor split open a hole and charged in, he saw Han Li indifferently gazing at him while still seated in his original position.
This time, the Emperor of Yue didn't impulsively charge down. Instead, his entire body trembled, shooting out a huge beam of bloody light with astonishing momentum. He immediately followed this up with a black saber streak.
Since the Emperor of Yue had prepared himself, he was able to clearly observe what followed.
When the bloody light was about three meters away from Han Li's head, it disappeared without a trace as if it had been swallowed by something. At that same moment, he felt his devilish light suddenly return to its original location above him.
The Emperor of Yue was astonished. Naturally, his following strike wasn't effective in the slightest. Once again, he was outside and high above the rainbow light.
The Emperor's face turned pale, revealing panic for the first time.
He no longer charged downward and instead continuously waved the demonic Black Blood Saber. Endless streaks of crescent saber light flew in every direction in an attempt to break through the formation.
Not long after the saber streaks flew off, a flash of white light caused the attacks to shoot back towards their original location. He was flustered for a moment before furiously continuing his incisive attacks.
If the Emperor of Yue had been able to escape formation, he would have believed it contained a mere illusion technique and wouldn't have felt so anxious. If this were the case, he could easily break through this minor formation by relying on his devilish arts. But now that he was being teleported and his formidable attacks were being bounced back, he felt his heart plummet!
Only great formation spells known as the "Great Unbreakable Formations" would have this type of restriction.
Already perturbed by this abysmal turn of events, the Emperor of Yue felt a powerful surge of Spiritual Qi from the rainbow light barrier below him, causing his heart to tremble. He tightened his grip on the black saber and his bloody light hastily revolved around him, enveloping him in an impenetrable, blood-red whirlwind.
Another two equivalently powerful spiritual pressures surged from within the rainbow light. Soon after, the rainbow light hummed for a moment and opened a three meter wide passage.
A dense cloud of small azure rods swarmed through the passage and rushed toward the Emperor of Yue in a grand torrent. These rods were from the azure rod artifact seal Han Li had just activated.
Closely following the cloud of rods, a small blazing sword and a yellow crystal ball flew out.
After the two exited the passage, they underwent a strange transformation. The small red sword grew incredibly large, and the crystal ball emitted a blinding yellow light.
Under Chen Qiaoqian's and Zhong Weiniang's control, the two artifact seals silently split into different directions, attempting to flank the Emperor.
As he watched these events unfold, the Emperor's face grew ashen. He madly flourished the Black Blood Saber in his hand and shot out eight huge saber streaks from within the whirlwind. With a sharp crackle of explosions, a majority of the small rods smashed into pieces upon meeting the attack.
Han Li's face turned slightly white. Because his mind was connected to the rods created by the artifact seal, he had suffered damage from the strikes.
This blood saber was powerful beyond expectation. But fortunately for Han Li, he didn't have to forcefully defend against its blows.
As for the Emperor of Yue, he was currently making his last stand.
Even with the obstruction of the saber streaks, the small red sword, the yellow crystal ball, and the remaining swarm of azure rods were able to seize an opportunity to charge into the bloody wind.
A storm of sharp whistles immediately rose from within the whirlwind as countless bursts of azure, red and yellow radiance surged against the black streak in confrontation. It was clear that the struggle within was incomparably intense!
Suddenly, an abrupt yell of fury burst forth, accompanied by the sound of an explosion. The black, red, and yellow streaks of light all violently flashed for a moment before completely disappearing from the blood-red whirlwind. At that same moment, the complexions of Chen Qiaoqian and Zhong Weiniang paled and their eyes became spiritless.
"Seventh Junior Martial Sister, are you alright?" When Song Meng saw this, he hastily asked with concern.
"It's nothing; his blood saber is just truly demonic. It was actually able to take down my and Zhong Weiniang's artifact seals in mutual destruction. Now we will have to see whether or not Junior Martial Brother Han's artifact seal will be able to kill him." Chen Qiaoqian softly said. She took out two blue medicine pills, swallowing one and handing the other to Zhong Weiniang.
"Your artifact seals were destroyed?" When the other Yellow Maple Valley Cultivators heard this, their expressions became astonished. In their minds, only magic treasures should be able to contest with artifact seals.
"Impressive! I suspect our enemy's demonic saber is actually a ruined fragment of some kind of magic treasure." After Zhong Weiniang swallowed the pill, her face became flushed and her lips reddened.
"The ruined fragment of a magic treasure? How is that possible?" Chen Qiaoqing asked with astonishment.
A series of earth trembling booms suddenly rang out from above them, causing them to hastily look up in surprise.
Separated by a thin layer of rainbow light, a great battle consisting of dazzling, chaotic bursts of azure and blood-red light was occurring above them.
After a short moment, the bloody light greatly lessened and was thoroughly overwhelmed by the azure light.
Afterwards, all traces of light had gradually disappeared, revealing the Emperor of Yue standing upright.
His face had a vacant expression and his lips were trembling much like a piece of porcelain about to collapse. The Emperor fell straight from the sky without resistance, and softly landed on the rainbow light above them; his body nothing more than a pile of crushed flesh.
Having seen this, all of Han Li's fellow sect members were rapt with joy. Song Meng even went over to Han Li and excitedly yelled, "Junior Martial Brother Han! You've killed that monster! I knew you could do it!"
"I released the entirety of my artifact seal's strength in a single instance to break through his bloody light. Otherwise, it might've taken quite a while." Han Li faintly smiled and spoke with a content tone.
Being able to draw out such a great amount of an artifact seal's might in a single instance wasn't something that everyone could do. Only after using and seeing so many distinct artifact talismans did Han Li receive the experience to do this.
Although such an incisive method to take down the enemy greatly decreased the number of uses for an artifact seal, its power would explosively increase. Such a method proved extremely effective against powerful enemies!
Han Li had just comprehended this method a few days ago and was able to use this technique when it was least expected. As a result, he was able to deal the finishing blow to his heavily injured enemy.
Naturally, this artifact seal was fully consumed in the process and turned to ash.
At this moment, those "Fire Elements Blood Cores" were at the forefront of his mind. After saying a few words to Song Meng, he released two puppet beasts without any hesitation and had them directly head over to the Emperor of Yue's corpse.
When the others saw this, they didn't mind in the least. After all, the death of this enemy was almost entirely due to Han Li; naturally, no one would fight Han Li over the spoils.
Zhong Weiniang unexpectedly appeared somewhat pleased after seeing her sweetheart avenged and repeatedly expressed her thanks to Han Li.
She also said that when the fallen hear of this in the underworld, they would certainly be grateful that Han Li had avenged them!
Those words caused Han Li, who had come here with another objective in mind, to feel a bit embarrassed.
He hastily changed the subject and suggested that the others hurriedly search other areas of the Imperial Palace for any Black School Fiend Disciples that remained hidden. He also said that he had to stay behind and attend to a few matters, such as withdrawing the great formation.
Hearing Han Li's words, how could the Yellow Maple Valley cultivators not understand what he had meant? He was clearly giving them the opportunity to loot the remains of the Black Fiend School's nest.
Song Meng beamed with happiness while the others found it somewhat embarrassing. Han Li then said, "Let's rendezvous after I finish putting everything in order. As for the Black Fiend School Master, he should have enough high quality items on his body to satisfy me!"
The others felt this was reasonable and did not further refuse. After all, everyone had suffered quite a bit from today's great battle.
Thus, after Han Li withdrew the great formation, the others flew away on their magic tools.
Only when the others could no longer be seen did Han Li feel reassured enough to wave his two puppet beasts over. They flew back toward Han Li with the results of their search.
Chapter 330: Fiend Core
When Han Li saw that the "Five Element Blood Cores" were among the Emperor's items, he was jubilant.
He immediately took them from the puppet beast's mouth and closely examined them.
From the great spiritual power contained in the cores, Han Li verified that their medicinal properties were genuine. Relieved, Han Li took out an exquisite jade box from his storage pouch and carefully placed the five Blood Cores inside.
Han Li didn't know the specific effects of the "Five Elements Blood Cores" mentioned by the young prince Xin. But from how urgently the Emperor of Yue had collected these items, their usefulness toward Core Formation should most likely be true.
Han Li then shifted his attention to the other items: a pitch-black alms bowl, an awl with an inch-long, blood-red spike, and a jade slip emitting a light-grey Qi.
Upon seeing these items, Han Li felt somewhat fearful of them.
These kinds of magic tools were commonly used by devilish and evil cultivators. It was likely that such items would have restrictions or curses placed on them, so he wasn't in any hurry to fiddle with them. Instead, he took in a deep breath and covered his hands in a layer of faint azure light.
With this protection, Han Li was able to pick up the jade slip with his heart at ease, and carefully examine it.
Apart from releasing a strange aura, the jade slip didn't have any sort of obvious restrictions. Han Li let out a sigh of relief and slowly submerged his spiritual sense into the slip.
As his spiritual sense entered the jade slip, Han Li stood motionless. However, his expression underwent strange changes. First, he appeared pleasantly surprised, then dismayed and finally, extremely cautious with a slight trace of fear.
After the time it took to make a cup of tea, Han Li withdrew his spiritual sense and found himself in a daze.
The jade slip's contents went far beyond Han Li's expectations.
It contained information on all of the Black Fiend School's cultivation arts such as the young prince's "Black Fiend Asura Art", the four Blood Servant's "Fiend Demon Art", the Emperor of Yue's "Divine Blood Light" and so on.
Han Li was shocked to discover that all of these cultivation arts mentioned a book called the "Profound Yin Scriptures"; it seemed to be the origin of all these arts. This greatly piqued Han Li's curiosity.
But as Han Li hurriedly scoured the jade slip, he was unable to find anything related to the whereabouts of the scripture.
With no other choice, Han Li could only bury his desire to find the scripture in his heart and focus his attention to some of the strange secret techniques.
A few of these greatly pleased Han Li. Not only did they resolve some of his long held doubts, but they also mentioned the true use of the "Five Elements Blood Cores".
Han Li calmed himself and carefully examined the passage.
It turned out that the "Five Elements Blood Cores" were formed within the bodies of cultivators who practiced the "Fiend Demon Art", much like how a demonic beast condense a core within their body. It was the most important aspect of the "Fiend Demon Art".
The reason as to why they were able to turn into fiend demons and didn't need to use Foundation Establishment Pills to enter Foundation Establishment was because of the formation of this core.
Although this "Fiend Demon Art" didn't require the use of blood sacrifices, it still greatly increased the speed of cultivation. However, Foundation Establishment was the highest layer this cultivation art could achieve; there would be no hope of reaching Core Formation.
In fact, the rest of these cultivation techniques were more or less the same and held the fatal flaw of being incapable of reaching Core Formation.
Of course, their speed of cultivation left others astonished through the additional assistance of blood sacrifices.
It seems these "Five Elements Blood Cores" were supposed to be a solution to the defects of these kinds of cultivation arts.
The jade slip also mentioned a secret technique called the "Fiend Core Technique".
According to what was stated by the secret technique, even if one were a late Foundation Establishment cultivator with poor aptitude, so long as they consumed the "Five Elements Blood Cores" in accordance with the technique, there was a one-third chance of forming a "Fiend Core". This "False Gold Core" would be similar to a genuine Core Formation cultivator's gold core.
With the successful formation of a Fiend Core, while one's strength would be inferior to a genuine Core Formation cultivator, the difference wouldn't be that great. In addition, it would have the wondrous effect of extending one's lifespan similar to genuine Core Formation.
When Han Li read this, his heart nearly jumped out of his chest. A one-third chance of forming a core? The "Five Elements Blood Core" was truly heaven-defying!
He immediately felt an urge to set everything else aside and consume the Five Elements Blood Cores!
However, a flaw later mentioned in the description of the secret technique had left Han Li astonished.
Since the "Fiend Core" was an artificial Golden Core, there was no possibility of further improvement. This implied that for the rest of one's lifetime, there would be no way to further one's cultivation and progress past early Core Formation Stage.
If it were only this, Han Li still wouldn't allow such an opportunity to pass him by.
This was because the method the "Three Essence Revolutions Technique" used to form a core was truly unpredictable and unreliable. Even if he were able to scatter his cultivation three times, Han Li wasn't confident it would work.
After all, this cultivation method was something created from the mere conjectures of the founder of the "Azure Essence Sword Art"! No one had ever successfully cultivated it before.
On the other hand, from the tone of this text, the "Fiend Core Technique" was certain to have previously been used.
A one-third possibility of Core Formation was extremely enticing to Han Li!
As for the inability to reach Nascent Soul Stage after forming a Fiend core, this matter was too far removed from Han Li's current situation for him to consider.
"Nascent Soul Stage" was still something Han Li could only dream about.
At the moment, being able to achieve Core Formation was his highest objective. As for whether or not he could extravagantly hope to condense a Nascent Soul, he would only think about it after he reached Core Formation.
But the following details of the "Fiend Core Technique" left Han Li dumbstruck.
It said that after the "Fiend Core" was formed in one's body, Fiend Demon Qi would be continuously released for a long period, and it would be capable of gradually eroding a cultivator's mind.
Although the erosion wouldn't leave one completely without mind or memories, decreased mental acuity along with gradually reduced intellect were unavoidable.
This caused Han Li's heart to tremble without end.
What Han Li was most confident of was his mind and quick-wittedness. These were the main reasons that he had been able to remain so free and unfettered in the cultivation world until now.
Thus, when he read that passage, Han Li had only a moment of internal struggle before completely severing any intentions of using the "Five Elements Blood Cores".
After reading about the drawback, Han Li was extremely vexed. He had done so much to acquire the "Five Elements Blood Cores", but it proved to be of absolutely no use to him.
After a moment of further consideration, Han Li felt that something was amiss.
If the drawback was so severe, then why would the Emperor of Yue specially cultivate these cores? That cunning old fox certainly wasn't going to directly consume it.
With that thought, Han Li looked through the secret techniques once more and his attention was caught by a very interesting secret technique — "External Reincarnation".
This was a renowned top grade secret technique of the Devilish Dao; Han Li had heard about it long ago.
Although there were many techniques called "Reincarnation" techniques, the specific cultivation method and effectiveness of these techniques were exceedingly strange and varied. Regardless of the "reincarnation" technique, to a Devil Dao cultivator, they were all as precious as their own lives. They were all fundamentally the greatest secrets of each sect.
The Seven Sects of Yue had previously attempted to collect all the cultivation arts related to reincarnation but ultimately ended up empty-handed!
Han Li quickly read through this technique several times and grew rapt with joy. He had found a use for these "Five Elements Blood Cores" after all.
If he had guessed correctly, the Emperor of Yue must have had the same plan in mind. Thus, he had painstakingly cultivated those blood servants in order to condense those "Five Elements Blood Cores".
As for the blue-robed man, the self-proclaimed Black Fiend School Master who had died from the Heavenly Lightning Seed, that was an incarnation he had refined.
Only that would explain why the blue-robed man was completely willing to allow his cultivation to be absorbed without the slightest resistance.
The distracting thoughts that Han Li had pushed to the back of his mind resurfaced as he read through the secret technique.
As for secret techniques such as the "Cultivation Essence Pill" and methods of blood sacrifice, since Han Li didn't cultivate Devilish Arts, he had little interest in them.
Only the condensation method of the "Blood Spirit Drill" caught Han Li's eye as he read on. He read through it several times and memorized it.
After Han Li withdrew his consciousness from the jade slip, he properly digested the information before moving on to the next two items.
The blood-red awl was the solidified form of the Blood Spirit Drill after leaving the body. It should be quite a useful magic tool.
As for the pitch-black alms bowl, it must have been the rarely seen magic tool, the "Soul Congregation Bowl". It was specialized in holding the souls of cultivators. Any soul that entered this magic tool would gradually lose its intelligence and become a feral, common soul suitable for refinement or control.
After only briefly examining this "Soul Congregation Bowl", the dark, cold Qi that the bowl contained caused Han Li to shiver and he hastily deposited it into his storage pouch.The magic tool's dark, cold Qi gave an impression that countless cultivators' souls must have been ruined within. The more he made contact with this bowl, the more ill he felt! Han Li clearly understood that without cultivating these kinds of dark arts, he would have no use for this magic tool.
The more he made contact with this bowl, the more ill he felt!