Chapter 373: External Reincarnation
The sole village on this small island was at the east end, near its port. In the west was a small mountain range of about ten kilometers with only two small mountains. The higher mountain was about a kilometer tall, while the shorter one was only about four hundred meters tall.
Han Li gazed at the mountains from afar before suppressing the excitement in his heart, deciding to pay a visit to the village first.
Han Li's and Crooked Soul's arrival caused quite a stir. An old man, the self-proclaimed village head, immediately stepped forward to see Han Li.
After letting the old man inspect the gold symbols on the jade slip, the village head immediately declared that the entire village must obey the Great Immortal's orders.
Naturally, Han Li didn't have any use for the assistance of mortals. Instead, he asked about the issues he was most concerned with: the general circumstances of the island and the amount of spirit stones the villagers were able to contribute towards maintaining the island's protective formation.
After hearing that the amount added up to almost nothing, Han Li became somewhat gloomy.
Didn't this mean that he had to contribute all of the spirit stones? That middle-aged man said the residents would be contributing a portion of spirit stones consumed by the protective formation. It seemed like those were merely pleasant words. Their help wouldn't amount to anything.
Han Li inwardly cursed at the middle-aged cultivator, but spoke a few reassuring words to the old man. He estimated the amount of spirit stones required and compared it to the old man's estimate of their contribution. Han Li then gave the old man a year's worth of spirit stones to sustain the formation spell.
He then told the old man that, in the coming years, he could go to his Immortal's cave and pick up the spirit stones required for that year. Then, without paying attention to the old man's repeated thanks, Han Li and Crooked Soul flew towards the island's west side.
Once Han Li entered the mountain range known by the island's inhabitants as the "Minor Expanse Mountains", he was whelmed by the feeling of faint Spiritual Qi, causing his heart to stir.
A short moment later, Han Li was standing at the front of his Divine Wind Boat as he circled both mountain peaks.
It was obvious that the Spiritual Qi was richer on the higher mountain peak, but the lower mountain peak was thicker and more solid. Not only was it more suitable for an Immortal's cave, it was also the site of a previous cultivator's Immortal's cave. The present Immortal's cave was intact and undamaged; it seemed suitable for immediate occupation.
Han Li sunk into thought for a moment on his Divine Wind Boat. His eyes then flashed with spirited light, and he came to a decision.
He first flew towards the thicker, shorter mountain peak and entered the deepest, most secretive area of the Immortal's cave. Afterwards, he fiercely struck the ground with his magic tools.
Half a day later, the initial makings of an underground passage had been created. It had a nine meter diameter and headed straight towards the base of the mountain.
But when Han Li's passage had reached a dozen meters below the mountain's base, he suddenly changed direction towards the base of the other mountain over a kilometer away.
Although Han Li's magic tool was incomparably sharp, having Crooked Soul's assistance shortened the time required for this massive undertaking to two days.
After carving out a passage between the bases of the mountains, Han Li carved out a new Immortal's cave inside of the taller mountain in the style of his old Immortal's cave in the Heavenly South Region. This new Immortal's cave was cut in exactly the same shape as his old one in the Tai Yue Mountain Range, but this time, there was no exit except for the underground tunnel.
This would be the place where Han Li would cultivate and grow spiritual herbs. Having the original cave dwelling as a cover for the true one, Han Li felt much safer.
After finishing up with his Immortal's cave, Han Li then set up the first Five Elements Reversal Formation at the entrance of the shorter, thicker mountain.
But after Han Li flew around the two mountains for a while, he still felt uneasy.
He took out the sets of formation setup tools that Xin Ruyin had given him and chose to deploy two of the more impressive formation, the "The Fierce Heavenly Wind Formation" and the "Illusory Heavensifting Formation".
These two formation spells had a wide range and would cover both of the mountains entirely. Although they weren't as wondrous as the "Five Elements Reversal Formation", they would still prove to be quite troublesome for Foundation Establishment cultivators. As such, Han Li's cave dwelling would be entirely safe from everything below the level of Core Formation cultivators.
Looking from the sky outside of the formation, the mountains were enshrouded in a misty fog and were hard to make out. Han Li faintly smiled at the sight and slowly descended into the mist, disappearing from sight.
After entering the true Immortal's cave, Han Li continually busied himself instead of taking the chance to rest.
First, he established a secretive medicinal garden with a few spiritual herbs. After all, if he wished to mature them, they must first become young sprouts.
Then, Han Li gazed at the bottle as if it were as precious as his own life before burying it in the corner of the garden and covering it with the concealing magic treasure fragment he had bought so long ago. He also made a hidden vent in the cave wall, allowing it to condense the green liquid.
Afterwards, he created several tens of secret rooms of varying sizes in accordance to the Controlling Spirit Sect Cultivator's Insect Breeding Insights. He placed the white spiders and other wondrous insects inside them before placing several restrictions nearby to prevent them from running away.
After finishing the most important matters, Han Li decided that it was still not the time to meditate and refine Qi. Instead, he carefully took out the light gray jade slip that he had acquired from the Emperor of Yue. It contained many strange secret techniques including the "External Reincarnation Technique" he had set his eyes on long ago.
Han Li immersed his spiritual sense into the jade slip and carefully read through the cultivation methods of this technique several times. Afterwards, he withdrew his spiritual sense and began contemplating what he had read. Although Han Li had previously come to a decision, after carefully thinking it over, he felt that cultivating this technique was truly dangerous.
The jade slip clearly said that if his refined clone were to be destroyed, the spiritual sense planted within the clone would be destroyed and irrecoverable. Furthermore, if his remaining spiritual sense wasn't strong enough, it would be greatly damaged. At best, this would result in madness, at worst, he would suffer from Qigong Deviation and perish. In addition, even if he was successful, the "External Reincarnation" would only be an easily controlled high-level puppet that could cultivate. This was completely different from the rumored ability to split oneself into two, and was inferior to the divine abilities possessed by some cultivator clans.
However, Han Li had the "Five Element Blood Cores" and had a great opportunity to create a clone with a "Fiend Core". This was an extremely rare stroke of luck where he could obtain a puppet guard with the strength of a Core Formation cultivator! Although the puppet would only be considered to be at early Core Formation, he would still have the power to defend himself against any Foundation Establishment cultivator.
The most difficult and crucial aspect of cultivating a clone was that it required a corpse with spiritual roots. But Han Li was already in possession of a suitable corpse: Crooked Soul, a soulless refined corpse he had acquired long ago.
It stands to reason that extracting a cultivator's soul, especially that of a low grade cultivator, would cause the body's meridians to rupture due to the overbearing nature of the magic technique used, disallowing any further cultivation. This was why so many cultivators viewed Crooked Soul with surprise when they saw that a corpse possessed Spiritual Qi fluctuations. Although cases where a soul was extracted from a cultivator's body with its meridians intact did exist, they were flukes that wouldn't be encountered even once in a hundred times.
Unfortunately, this "External Reincarnation Technique" required the body to be intact after its soul had been extracted and that the cultivator must be of the sixth layer or lower. Such a suitable corpse would be hard to come by.
Although Han Li didn't know why there were such strange requirements, he surmised that it probably had something to do with the ease of controlling the corpse after inserting a thread of spiritual sense into it.
Han Li might not know exactly how Yu Zitong and Doctor Mo created Crooked Soul, but Crooked Soul definitely satisfied all the requirements, making it an exceptionally good candidate for refining a clone.
As for the Emperor of Yue, it probably took an unknown amount of dead low-grade cultivators before he happened upon a suitable corpse.
Han Li sat cross-legged on the ground and pondered for a long time before deciding to cultivate the Great Development Technique to the second layer prior to refining the corpse. With that accomplished, he wouldn't suffer much damage even if the clone perished. He had a deep understanding of the wondrous effects that the Great Development Technique would have on strengthening his Spiritual Sense.
Before he could cultivate the Great Development Technique, he would first have to recover his Foundation Establishment cultivation. In order to cultivate the External Reincarnation Technique, he would even have to cultivate to late Foundation Establishment.
After attempting to refine a clone, regardless of success or failure, Han Li would still have to fumble about with cultivating the "Three Essence Revolutions". After all, this cultivation art along with the "Azure Essence Sword Art" would be a crucial step along the great path towards Core Formation Stage.
Having mentally planned out his future cultivation, Han Li entered a secret room in his Immortal's cave and began to refine Qi with the aid of medicinal pills.
He only took the "Yellow Dragon Pill" and the "Gold Marrow Pill" for now, two low-grade medicine pills. Taking Foundation Establishment Pills at his current stage would be far too violent for his body. It would be more appropriate to wait until after he had reached the seventh layer of Qi Condensation before taking them.
Without a bottleneck to Foundation Establishment, Han Li reckoned that he should be able to recover his cultivation relatively quickly.