Chapter 397: Bitter, Secluded Cultivation
Han Li was on his way back to Deep Jade Island, as careful as he had always been. He completely understood that without his puppets or formation spells, it was extremely dangerous to rush through the Outer Star Seas.
Although they were easily able to deal with a grade five demon beast, if they were to catch the attention of a grade six demon beast or worse, it would be difficult to avoid death.
According to his estimations, the demon cores he had gathered should be enough to get him through the second or even third revolution of the Three Essence Revolutions Technique. His several hundred grade five spirit stones would net him a couple hundred thousands of spirit stones at the very least. The rare materials he had gathered alone would double the price.
However, Han Li wasn't inspired by greed. This had all been done so that he may tread a bit farther in pursuit of the Immortal Dao. Thus, when it became increasingly dangerous to continue hunting demon beasts, he immediately decided to return.
As of now, he had traveled quite far into the Outer Star Seas. Had he not recorded all of the strange islands he had been to on his map, he might not have been able to find his way back.
Even if he knew the way back, Han Li's return would still take several months of flight. He greatly valued his life and feared that he might encounter ferocious demon beasts on his way back or cultivators that may try to rob him.
Demon beasts shouldn't prove to be problem. At most, they would just circle around him a bit, but they wouldn't approach him too closely. But if he were to come across any malicious cultivators, they definitely wouldn't let them go. His demon cores would be difficult to protect, let alone his fragile life!
As such, Han Li and Crooked Soul were highly vigilant during their journey. Whenever they encountered traces of other cultivators, they immediately hid or fled.
In this way, Han Li eventually arrived back on Deep Jade Island without any problems, allowing him to let out a huge breath of relief.
Han Li entered an extremely shabby, small street and found that apart from two shopkeepers being replaced, everything else had remained the same.
Not paying attention to any of the shopkeepers' interested gazes, he walked towards the stone room with the transportation formation.
The Star Palace cultivator in the stone room had been replaced by a middle-aged man with a gentle face. Upon seeing Han Li and Crooked Soul enter the room, he faintly smiled, asking, "Do you two want to use the formation?"
Han Li dove onto his large bed and soon fell into a deep sleep.
As of current, he had already returned to his cave residence on the thirty-ninth layer of Heavenly Star City. As both his body and mind were fatigued, he was unable to deal with any other matters. He'd first deeply sleep for a few days before waking up with the energy he needed.
His journey through the Outer Star Seas had tired him by no small amount!
After awakening, Han Li took a stroll around his cave residence. As he hadn't been there for many years, he felt that he should refamiliarize himself with it.
But when he went to the insect room he saw that the Gold Devouring Beetles had turned into a huge silver sphere once more, hanging from the ceiling in hibernation. Han Li couldn't help but lightly shake his head in response.
Soon after, Han Li took a trip to the city market and bought all of the pill recipes being sold in the market before returning.Han Li then busied himself once again with pill concoction.
Han Li then spent an entire two years within his cave residence refining large quantities of medicine pills in accordance to the pill recipes he had collected, combining aged spiritual herbs with demon cores. His original problem of developing a tolerance for medicine was now a thing of the past.
During this time, he gradually sold off the demon beast materials he didn't need to the travelling merchants visiting Heavenly Star City. As a result, he wouldn't have to worry about spirit stones for a while.
After finishing these matters, Han Li thoroughly sealed off his cave residence and started to make preparations for dispersing his cultivation. But while he was arranging his medicine pills and the remaining demon beast materials, he unintentionally took out a particular item that gave him a bit of a headache — the large quantities of hundreds-year-old Rainbow Skirt Grass that he had used to lure demon beasts while in the Outer Star Seas.
They couldn't be sold for much, but it would be a pity to destroy them after having used quite a bit of the green liquid on them. Besides, Han Li had always held some interest in its great demon luring power when its leaves uncurled and had wanted to carefully research it.
As Han Li looked at the bunch of Rainbow Skirt Grass in front of him, he came up with a rather strange thought. The thoughts became stronger until he couldn't contain it, causing himself to feel a bit flabbergasted.
After tilting his head in thought, he gathered the Rainbow Skirt Grass and suddenly walked to the insect room containing the Gold Devouring Beetles. He then casually tossed the Rainbow Skirt Grass into the room, but the Gold Devouring Beetles didn't show the slightest reaction.
Having seen this, Han Li laughed to himself. But after a moment of hesitation, he had Crooked Soul plant the Rainbow Skirt Grass on a few huge chunks of coral in the medicine garden.
Not long after, Han Li entered a hidden room and started to carefully scatter his cultivation in accordance with the Three Essence Revolutions Technique.
For the purpose of stability and safety, Han Li scattered his cultivation at a very slow pace. He had gradually scattered his cultivation for an entire half month before dropping down to his intended target, early Foundation Establishment stage.
After reaching this point, Han Li left seclusion. He would first consolidate his cultivation before practicing the Three Essence Revolutions Technique with the aid of medicine pills.
By some unknown compulsion, Han Li used a green drop to further mature a stalk of Rainbow Skirt Grass and threw it into the insect room when it started emitting its strange scent. Soon after, he stood outside the room, carefully staring inside through a slim gap, only to experience slight disappointment.
The silver sphere of clustered Gold Devouring Beetles didn't move in the slightest as if they hadn't detected any difference. Although this had slightly surprised Han LI, he wasn't particularly puzzled. This was because the Rainbow Skirt Grass didn't have an attractive effect on all demon beasts. As the Gold Devouring Beetles were high ranking demon beasts, not being attracted was always a distinct possibility.
Han Li lightly sighed, no longer willing to waste any more time or green liquid on the grass. He thought to instead fully focus his resources and time on creating more Spirit Feed Pills for his two Bloodjade spiders.
But just as he thought this, the silver sphere of beetles suddenly broke apart.
The eyes of the several hundreds Gold Devouring Beetles flickered with red light as they flocked towards the strangely scented Rainbow Skirt Grass. After devouring it in an instant, they continuously let out a low hum as if they were irritated.
Han Li was somewhat stunned by this scene but immediately revealed slight joy. It seemed that his experiments could continue.
Han Li left the insect room in a great mood and ordered Crooked soul to periodically throw in a similar amount of Rainbow Skirt Grass. He wanted to see what effect his Rainbow Skirt Grass would have on demon beasts so that he may lay to rest some of the doubts he carried.
Not long after, Han Li brought all of his medicine pills with him into his hidden room and sealed it off, intent on staying until either he succeeded or died trying.
Han Li had already fully prepared himself, and in order to maintain his focus he had decided he wouldn't take a single step outside of his hidden room until he fully restored his cultivation. As for the rest of the matters in his cave residence, since he could will his clone, Crooked Soul, to take care of them, he had little worry.
Han Li took a pill out of a bottle and swallowed it before closing his eyes, entering a state of oblivious cultivation.
In the following days, apart from ordering Crooked Soul to tend to the matters outside of his room, he was completely focused on refining his Qi.
As time passed, Han Li's mind eventually felt no desire. Whenever he felt that his body's Spiritual Qi was lacking, he casually swallowed a medicine pill and entered meditation once more.
Years upon years of monotonous cultivation had passed, fueled by Han Li's intense desire to reach Core Formation.
Ten years passed in the blink of an eye and the hidden room's door still showed not a single sign of movement!
Twenty years passed by and still the room's door remained shut!
Time continued to flow with countless suns and moons scurrying past the sky.
On a day during the sixtieth year, a black cloud suddenly appeared above Han Li's cave residence. The weather suddenly underwent a huge change, causing his silver beetles to wildly scatter inside their room.
At nearly the same time, threads of Spiritual Qi from the nearby hundred kilometers frantically amassed towards Han Li's cave residence, creating a huge vortex of Spiritual Qi that could be seen with the naked eye.
This scene alarmed the nearby cultivators. Regardless of whether they were passing by or a resident that lived nearby, they all stopped or left their cave residences, glancing at the scene with amazement.
"Core Formation! Someone has undergone Core Formation!" Many cultivators gazed at this scene and muttered to themselves, each with their own unique expression.
While there were those that were envious and confused, there were even more that revealed gazes of admiration.
At the same time, the cultivators at the island that were at Core Formation or higher noticed that the Spiritual Qi on Heavenly Star Island had undergone a strange change despite not having seen the phenomenon in the sky. They investigated by having their powerful spiritual senses leave their residences.
As they gazed towards Han Li's cave residence, there were a few among them that were expressionless or excited. Some of them had even frowned.