Chapter 438: Remains in the Ghost Fog
Although Han Li walked the path of Immortality, he didn't hold the slightest belief in destiny or fate. In his view, Immortal cultivation was merely a method of pursuing eternal life. If any true immortals were to appear before him, he would show great reverence, but he wouldn't become absolutely subservient to them.
Fairy Violet Spirit and Ge Li were stunned in response to Han Li's blunt words, before revealing embarrassment.
To tell the truth, it wasn't only Han Li who thought this. A majority of cultivators merely treated this "Weeping Soul Beast" as a rumor. Under these circumstances, who wouldn't directly dismiss this like Han Li did? After all, topics relating to destiny and heavenly law only existed in their heart.
At that moment, the black-robed man had gone deeper into the ghost fog with the Weeping Soul Beast and had completely disappeared from sight.
After glancing into the ghost fog, Han Li formed a faint smile and said, "Let us go! Since there was someone willing to scout the path, we shouldn't be so disrespectful."
"What does Fellow Daoist Han mean?" The old man Ge Li didn't seem to fully understand Han Li. Of course, he did understand what Han Li meant and would've also done this if Han Li hadn't agreed to cooperate with him. However, he viewed the black-robed man with contempt. To now take advantage of his lead in front of the other two was truly quite a loss of face. As such, he could only assume an appearance of confusion and have Han Li take the initiative to mention it.
When Han Li heard the old man's words, he gave him a mysterious smile. He then wordlessly look the lead and walked in the direction that the black robed man had disappeared in. Naturally, Fairy Violet Spirit closely followed after him without any hesitation.
Ge Li was initially stunned upon seeing then. But he soon followed after them with a red face.
Once the light grey ghost fog felt living people walk into it, it flared up as if it were alive and started rolling towards the three.
If common mortals were to be plagued by this grey mist, their blood essence would be immediately drained, turning them into dried up corpses. In addition, their souls would then become a part of the ghost fog and they would be unable to free themselves from their fates as ghosts. However, as Han Li and the other two were cultivators, they had no fear of this trifling ghost fog.
With flickers of radiance, each their bodies were enveloped by their own methods of protection.
Ge Li raised his hand and released a small, fire-red umbrella. It swivelled about three meters above his head and enveloped the old man in a red beam of light. When the ghost fog touched this red light, threads of strange azure smoke were released with a puff, followed by ghostly wails. When the ghost fog saw this, it only dared to appear menacingly before the red light and no longer approached it as if it was intelligent.
Fairy Violet Spirit released four fist-sized balls that spiralled around her body, creating a three meter wide moving boundary. The boundary was a white, sparkling square that would repel the ghost fog's slightest approach towards Fairy Violet Spirit.
However, the most strange defensive method was Han Li's. Apart from a layer of lithe azure light emitting from his body, he didn't take out any magic tools or treasures. When the ghost fog neared Han Li's body, several arcs of light shot out without explanation, turning the mist into fading smoke.
This strange scene astonished the other two, but neither of them were willing to take the initiative to rudely ask.
During her musings, Fairy Violet Spirit seemed to faintly recall the Heaven Lightning Bamboo, but still felt uncertain.
Han Li walked at the very front as if he were unaware of their attention. However, this wasn't because he sought to be some hero, but rather that the ghost fog filled the entire area. Since there would be no difference if he walked at the very back, he may as well walk at the front and get a better grasp of any incoming danger.
As for the lightning, it was merely a result of using the Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords' Qi to protect his body. By using the protective sword barrier divine ability of his Azure Essence Sword Arts, he was able to draw on his flying sword's might without releasing his magic treasures. This was a technique Han Li had only recently comprehended. With the Gold Lightning Bamboo's devilbane properties, this ghost fog posed no threat.
Of course, Han Li didn't display the entire might of the Gold Lightning Bamboo, resulting in the arcs of lightning being a faint white. As a result, he need not fear others recognizing the Gold Lightning Bamboo. In addition, he had also released his immensely powerful spiritual sense since he had entered the ghost fog to warn him of any lurking dangers from ghosts. After all, they couldn't see through the dense ghost fog with only their eyes.
However, the tracks of the black-robed man were exceptionally easy to follow. He left behind a three-meter-wide trail of far thinner fog. It was so obvious, they could follow after it with their eyesight alone.
While it was unknown whether this was caused by the black-robed man's technique or the "Weeping Soul Beast", Han Li didn't care in the slightest. He just didn't feel like thinking about it.
The more ferocious this Weeping Soul Beast was, the more beneficial it was for them while following after it.
As he expressionlessly watched his surroundings, he took careful steps forward due to the exceptionally bumpy terrain. He also felt a dampness at his feet as if the air was extremely humid.
Thus, they continued walking for an unknown amount of time without encountering any mishaps. But as they unwittingly followed after the black-robed man in the ghost fog, the color of the ghost fog gradually turned black.
As this went on, Han Li's expression gradually became gloomier before he started to frown.
With a large crack, Han Li suddenly stopped and lowered his head. Fairy Violet Spirit and the old man curiously walked forward to see what had happened.
Han Li narrowed his eyes but his expression soon returned to normal. He had merely stepped on a pile of bones. The bones were wearing clothing that was surrounded in a layer of azure light, appearing quite unordinary. At its side, there were shattered fragments of a sword. From its incisive luster, it seemed as if it still possessed a spiritual nature.
It was a cultivator that had fallen here. A flicker of emotion shined from Han Li's eyes as he shook his head.
With the magic treasure fragments still holding spirit so many years after their death, this cultivator must've had an impressive cultivation. But this person's body being left unattended after death was truly vastly different than the grandeur they had held during life. It was truly pitiful! If those who tread the path of Immortality aren't careful, they would be eternally doomed to a miserable end.
As for this cultivator's soul, it should've become a portion of the ghost fog or turned into a malicious spirit. It would be quite difficult for it to enter the path of reincarnation.
As Han Li lamented, he casually turned his gaze to the other two.
Fairy Violet Spirit's face had turned pale, but when she saw Han Li look at her, she forced out a smile.
Ge Li's expression was quite odd. He gazed at the azure clothes for a long while with a creased brow before suddenly flicking his finger and throwing an egg-sized fireball at the remains. Upon contacting the remains, the fireball was extinguished with a flash.
"Sigh, it really is him!" Ge Li raised his head and muttered to himself with a sad expression.
"Does Fellow Daoist Ge recognize him?" Han Li indifferently asked as he looked at the skeleton with raised eyebrows.
Fairy Violet Spirit also displayed great curiosity.
"This person should be Daoist Master Yu, who I had met several times before. He had entered Core Formation far earlier than I had. His Fire Repulsing Robes were refined from hundred year ice silk so common flames would have no effect on it, and it was somewhat well known. I had heard he entered the Heavenvoid Halls the last time it had opened, but he had never returned. I didn't expect that he had fallen here, unfortunate enough to not even pass the first trial!" Ge Li let out a long sigh.
Han Li was silent for a while before suddenly asking a question that left the old man shocked, "Was the cultivation and magic treasure of Daoist Master Yu far greater than yours?"
Ge Li seemed to understand what Han Li meant and twirled his beard for a moment before speaking with certainty, "Although Daoist Master Yu was an early Core Formation cultivator such as myself, at the time it was said he was about to breakthrough to mid Core Formation. As such, his magic power should be far greater than my own. In addition, he possessed rarely seen ice attribute mutated spiritual roots. His ice cultivation arts should be far superior to my own. As for his magic treasure, I hadn't seen it used in a fight so I have no way of knowing, but it shouldn't have been any weaker than mine." As the old man spoke, his expression became increasingly unsightly.
"Since its like that, then there must be a formidable enemy nearby. I had originally felt it quite odd that since we've followed the Weeping Soul Beast's path, we hadn't encountered any ghosts or malicious spirits apart from the ghost fog. It seems that we can't expect the black-robed man to always clear the way on our behalf." Han Li said with a solemn expression.
Chapter 439: Ghost King (1)
When Fairy Violet Spirit heard Han Li, her face paled in an instant.
The old man looked at the white bones in silence with shifting eyes. It was unknown what he was thinking about.
Han Li looked around and indifferently concluded, "Since a cultivator on the verge of mid Core Formation had fallen here, a fierce ghost with fearsome cultivation is certain to be nearby. Are Lady Violet Spirit and Fellow Daoist Ge prepared for the possibility of falling here? If you two turn back now, you won't have to brave this danger. I'm going either way, with or without you.!"
When the two heard Han Li's calm voice, they couldn't help but look at each other in dismay.
A while later, Fairy Violet Spirit came to a decision after some thought and resolutely said, "Senior Han! Even if I were to fall and become a ghost, I cannot return unless I have a way to reach Core Formation." Her voice revealed great determination.
When Han Li heard this, he mentally sighed with reluctant acceptance and turned to look at the old man.
Ge Li's expression was continuously changing.
After a long while, he dejectedly said, "I came here in hopes of acquiring a few life extending fruits, but I don't wish to risk my life to acquire them. Since the danger is great, this old man will have to turn back. After all, peacefully dying in meditation would be far better than spending eternity as a ghost.
After that was said, the old man revealed a trace of shame. Soon after, he cupped his hands to the two and turned back without hesitation.
Han Li expressionlessly gazed in the direction that the old man disappeared in and remained silent for a long while.
Fairy Violet Spirit appeared disappointed. With one less Core Formation cultivator in her party, the ghost mist had become far more dangerous.
"Elder Han, should we not continue?" Fairy Violet looked at the dense fog around her and spoke to Han Li with a force smiled. Although her previous words were resolute, she had no idea whether or not she had made the correct choice. Her mind was now perturbed.
"Yea." With a flat agreement, he lowered his head to look at the skeleton.
With a swipe of his hand, the Fire Repulsing Robes disappeared into his storage pouch.
Fairy Violet Spirit revealed a trace of amazement and was about to say something. But after some further thought, she decided to remain silent. Han Li's following actions surprised the woman even more.
Han Li flicked his finger and released a ray of azure swordlight, striking open a three meter large hole into the nearby ground. Then with a sweep of his sleeve, the bones and the magic treasure fragments fell into the hole before being buried.
Fairy Violet Spirit's expression became quite odd upon seeing this.
Han Li suddenly turned his head to look at her and calmly asked, "Are my actions strange?"
After some hesitation, she truthfully said, "Somewhat."
Han Li gently smiled and unhurriedly said, "I buried him merely because I felt that as a fellow cultivator, there will come a time where I will unknowingly fall and become a pile of bones. Since I've come across someone else's, I may as well lend a hand. I hope that when I fall to misfortune, there will also be someone that will come across my body and bury me. As for his refined robes, the dead have no use for such objects. It would be far too great a pity if they were to be buried. I may as well regard them as compensation for burying the body!"
Fairy Violet Spirit's amazement faded away before she started to murmur to herself.
At that moment, Han Li started to continue his path forward.
When Fairy Violet Spirit saw this, she looked at the new burial mound and sighed before slowly following after him.
"Fellow Daoist Violet Spirit, how much do you know about the history of the Heavenvoid hall? Could you tell me about it?" As Han Li had waited for her, they were now leisurely walking side by side.
She felt a slightly complicated emotion from seeing Han Li's calm expression. He was only an early Core formation cultivator yet he still appeared so calm in such a dangerous area. How truly unexpected. However, this had also greatly calmed her heart as she felt that Han Li could be relied upon.
Han Li's question had startled her for a moment before she obediently replied, "The Heavenvoid Hall has existed in the Scattered Star Seas for countless years. It is only known to open every three hundred years. It will randomly descend at some remote, deserted location in the Scattered Star Seas and is filled with many treasures. Regardless of whether it be spirit medicines, cultivation techniques, or ancient treasures, all can be found here as a result of cultivators from the desolate era building this mysterious hall for unknown reasons. Thus, whenever the hall is opened, many high grade cultivators would come here in search of treasures."
"However, the Heavenvoid Hall's mechanisms are densely layered in formation spells. As one grows closer to the core of the inner halls, the more treasures one encounters but the greater the danger. It is said that the items in the inner hall are the Heavenvoid Hall's true treasures. However, to come across them, one must pass through three great trials. Otherwise, there will be no chance of arriving there. Apart from Nascent Soul cultivators, only a small number of fortunate cultivators are able to pass through without injury. As a result, the inner halls have become a great mystery towards ordinary cultivators.
As Fairy Violet Spirit spoke with her beautiful voice, she carefully watched Han Li's expression. However, she was slightly disappointed to see that Han Li's expression didn't change, causing her to feel that Han Li was somewhat unfathomable.
"While the Heavenvoid Hall has many treasures, shouldn't there be fewer with each opening?" Han Li indifferently asked.
"That is quite unclear, but the Heavenvoid Hall is opened for only a finite time. Each of its treasures conceal countless secrets. Not a single treasure is a simple item, and their numbers remain many! It is said that anyone that acquires one or two treasures from here are considered quite fortunate. Normally, cultivators end up only picking a few common spiritual herbs. It depends quite a bit on one's own luck. If there were not the case, the inner halls would've long been swept clean by Nascent Soul cultivators." Fairy Violet Spirit spoke with uncertainty.
Han Li nodded with a stirred expression and remained silent. He slightly hastened his steps.
The two continued to follow the black-robed man's trail. After walking for the time it took to finish a meal, nothing strange had occurred. Fairy Violet Spirit had somewhat relaxed as a result. She had come to think that these malicious spirits had traveled a different path than their own, resulting in a lack of encounters.
As these thoughts bloomed in Fairy Violet Spirit's mind, Han Li frowned, and he came to an abrupt stop.
Fairy Violet Spirit was suddenly alarmed and also stood still. She asked with worry, "What's wrong?" Soon after, she swept her spiritual sense past the nearby area, but she found nothing.
With a strange expression flickering through his eyes, Han Li coldly said, "That black-robed man encountered the demon ghost. They are currently fighting."
After some hesitation, Fairy Violet Spirit said, "What will we do? Should we go help, or should we take advantage of the opportunity and slip past them?"
Han Li looked at the woman and knew that she most likely prefered the later choice, wanting to slip past them. This choice couldn't be considered incorrect. If they weren't in the middle of the ghost mist, Han Li would've done the same without a second thought.
Han Li shook his head and sighed before walking forward in large strides.
When Fairy Violet Fairy saw this, she was stunned for a moment. After some slight consideration, she decided to follow after him.
As she followed a hundred meters behind him, she faintly heard the sounds of explosions caused from magic techniques and soft sobs. The voice seemed to be that of a woman. Her voice was muffled, shrieking, and seemed to be on the verge of breaking, causing those who heard it to feel extremely on edge and restless.
Although she could only faintly hear it, she felt anxious and greatly desired to run away. Fairy Violet Spirit was startled to have felt this and used a technique to stabilize her primal soul before daring to wipe away the cold sweat on her chin and raise her head.
By the time she looked up, she could no longer see Han Li.
Fairy Violet Spirit hesitated for a moment before clenching her teeth and walked forward with a solemn expression. After travelling for a short distance, she unexpectedly caught sight of Han Li's solemn silhouette standing still with his hands behind his back.
The woman felt delighted and hastily ran over to him. But before she neared him, she suddenly heard a loud ghostly sob that left her dazed. Her limbs began frantically waving around without any control.
The woman's terror drained the blood from her face!