Chapter 469: Acquiring Treasure
While Han Li was normally steadfast, this sight caused his mind to sway, leaving him in a daze. After forcing himself to look deeper and ignore his feelings of discomfort, he turned away without gaining anything. Despite having immense spiritual sense, he was unable to figure out anything about the abyss.
Afterwards, Han Li continued on his way without hesitation.
Once he grew closer to the pavilion, its true size was revealed, appearing at least four times as large as common buildings. Its entrance was an arched door that was six meters tall and was covered in a screen of yellow light.
After Han Li arrived at the front, he examined the light screen and tilted his head in thought. With a flash of azure light, his hand was covered in swordlight. He lightly touched the light screen with his finger. The light screen rippled, but it allowed the swordlight in without the slightest resistance.
Han Li felt slightly surprised by this. He then withdrew the azure swordlight and inserted his arm into the yellow light. It felt slightly cold as if his arm were surrounded by water.
Without any further hesitation, Han Li stepped forward, disappearing into the light barrier.
But after he entered the arched doors, Han Li stood in place with a look of astonishment.
He saw rows of round white jade tables about a meter tall, each of differing sizes. Their surfaces were covered in flickering light barriers of all colors as if they were concealing something underneath.
Han Li's gaze focused, revealing at race of excitement.
When Han Li first saw the words "Treasure Light Pavilion, he had already guessed that he had come across great fortune. This pavilion most likely contained ancient treasures. However, it appeared that the pavilion was desolate. It seemed all the people that had arrived here either went to the second floor or had already chosen an ancient treasure and moved on.
With that thought, Han Li examined the jade tables. As he had expected, there were jade tables that lacked both an item and the light barrier.
'And the stairs to the second floor?' Han Li was slightly puzzled. He swept his gaze all around and couldn't find it! After looking around several times with great interest, Han Li spotted a particularly unusual jade table.
This jade table was at the back of the first floor and appeared alone. It was extremely smooth and was engraved with profound, cryptic talisman markings.
Han Li examined it several times and drew from his own knowledge of spell formations to conclude it was a simple transportation formation with peculiar shape. He then slowly walked past the rows of jade tables and gazed at the ancient treasures they contained.
After looking at them, Han Li frowned. "Aren't these ancient treasures a bit too lacking?"
After looking at several tens of jade tables, Han Li completely lost his interest. He stood in place, muttering to himself with crossed arms and a doubtful expression.
The items on the jade tables were unworthy of the name of "ancient treasures". They were all either spears or halberds of an ancient style. Although they all flashed with various colored ancient Qi, Han Li clearly understood that these items were the near equivalent of flying swords and saber magic treasures that were used in the present. Their abilities wouldn't be particularly exceptional.
Of course, they couldn't be said to be useless! But with the Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords in his possession, the items on this floor held little interest to him. He wanted ancient treasures that had extraordinary abilities like his flower basket.
Although he thought this, he forced himself to look through all the items on the floor in fear that he would miss something. As a result, Han Li sighed and walked to the transportation formation without further hesitation. He believed that the items of the second floor should prove different.
After placing several spirit stones on the transportation formation, Han Li arrived at a new location with a flash of white light.
'This was the second floor of the Treasure Light Pavilion?' Han Li looked ahead of him with squinted eyes and tight lips.
The room wasn't large. Apart from a huge spherical light barrier in front of him, there was nothing else in the room. The light barrier was about forty meters tall and floated about three meters above the center of the room, shining with a soft azure radiance. Several tens of different ancient treasure calmly floated within.
There were scrolls, jade tiles, alm bowls, and black banners as well as many other items that Han Li hadn't seen before. There were no duplicate items to speak of.
When Han Li saw this, he was delighted and knew he had come to the right place.
However, these items were so openly on display. If they were so easily taken, they wouldn't still be there by the time he arrived.
With that thought, Han Li slowly walked towards the sphere of light with his hands behind his back. After quickly circling around it several times, he stopped and opened his mouth, spitting out an inch-long azure sword.
It spiraled above his head many times before it struck at the bottom of light barrier as a streak of azure light.
Peng. A flicker of blue light sparked from where the swordlight attempted to pierced the light barrier. The swordlight was then immediately repelled, leaving no mark behind.
Han Li wasn't particularly surprised by this. This merely displayed how valuable the ancient treasures were.
With an excited expression, Han Li opened his mouth and spouted out eight more small swords. The nine swords released a long shriek above him and combined into a huge azure sword.
"Strike!" Han Li softly shouted.
The huge sword struck the light barrier with mountain breaking momentum. Boom. In the instant the huge sword touched the barrier, a meter large hole appeared.
Han Li revealed a trace of happiness, but before he could move, a huge force suddenly blew away the huge sword from the light barrier. With a flash of blue light, the light barrier returned to normal.
Han Li was astonished. He then reexamined the sphere of light with a gloomy expression and with his chin in hand.
Not long after, Han Li's expression relaxed and he faintly smiled. He pointed towards the huge sword, causing it to disassemble back into nine small swords with a clear ring. Having returned them into his body, he reached towards his waist and took out the Gold Devouring Beetles' spirit beast pouches without the slightest hesitation.
With a loud buzz, the gold and silver insect swarm flocked out from the pouches. Han Li whistled in a low tone, causing the insect swarm to charge towards the sphere of light. In an instant, the insects had covered the bottom of the light barrier. In mere moments, the insect swarm forcibly gnawed out a meter large hole from the light barrier.
Blue light flourished from the light barrier, causing the round hole to distort and shrink. The barrier was recovering at greater speed than the Gold Devouring Beetles could destroy.
When Han Li saw this, he didn't dare to delay. He immediately turned into streak of slender azure light and quickly flew into the hole just before it closed.
The azure light faded away inside the light barrier to reveal Han Li.
He gently floated amongst the many ancient treasures inside the light sphere. Their ancient aura caused him to feel somewhat excited. However, Han Li didn't dare to wait too long and hastily released his spiritual sense in an attempt to probe the intensity of the ancient treasures' spiritual Qi. He soon wore a bitter expression. His spiritual sense was actually unable to leave his body inside the barrier. As such, he would only be able to rely on experience and intuition to choose a treasure.
Without any other choice, Han Li could only glare at the items with widened eyes.
'The strange blade? No, it was clearly an offensive ancient treasure. Those weren't rare.'
'The command medallion? No, it was engraved with the image of a strange beast. It should be the same as the scroll painting of the Congealed Yang Birds and contain the souls of spirit beasts.'
'The snare drum? What's this? I can't make out its use. Let's forget about it.'
One by one, Han Li eliminated the ancient treasures he wouldn’t choose. Eventually, Han Li narrowed his selection to three items: a gold oval mirror, a chain of five different-colored copper bands, and a wide dark-red cloak.
Han Li naturally had his own reasons for why he had picked them. Needless to say for the golden mirror, mirrors-type magic treasures each possessed unique and remarkable abilities. Han Li didn't wish to pass on such a powerful treasure.
As for the chain of five different-colored copper bands, they simultaneously contained the five elements. Although he didn't know its ability, he knew it couldn't possibly be weak.
And for the cloak…
Chapter 470: Strange Black Armor
Han Li's gaze focused on the black cloak the longest out of the three treasures.
This cloak's appearance was very peculiar, consisting of two layers. The interior was made of silver thread, and the exterior was made of the feathers of an unknown bird. The feathers emitted a fluctuating dark-red blood light from within the light barrier, appearing rather bizarre.
This was also the first time Han Li saw this type of magic treasure, and he was very curious about its abilities. Han Li guessed that this ancient treasure had either defensive or stealth properties. Both of these were something that Han Li direly needed if he wanted to survive the countless powerful enemies inside the Inner Hall.
Han Li appeared hesitant as he gazed at the three magic treasures. As soon as he picked an item, he would be teleported out of the building. He had to pick carefully.
It was reasonable to say that the golden mirror was the safest choice. Han Li was almost certain that it held significant power and would prove to provide an immediate and great increase to his strength. As for the odd five-colored copper bands, they could prove to surprise him. Their synergistic properties and multi-colored brilliance caused it to appear rather mysterious. As for the cloak, there was a good chance that it would also be immediately useful. Perhaps it could save his life during a moment of danger.
Han Li's focus continuously changed between the three items.
Although he would normally be happy about being able to acquire such powerful treasures with ease, he was worried about what would be gained or lost from choosing one over the other. A while later, Han Li took a deep breath and grew calm.
He muttered to himself for a moment more before a spirited light flashed from his eyes as wild imagination unfolded in his mind. These unexpected thoughts caused Han Li's heart to become restless.
According to Han Li's knowledge of formation spells and restrictions, the room's high grade involuntary teleportation restrictions couldn't be tricked or worked around apart from finding the central crux of the formation or forcefully erasing the restriction from the entire room. Once someone was caught in the restrictions, they would be automatically teleported out.
Both of those options were out of reach for Han Li. Finding the central crux of the room's restrictions was something that would take a grandmaster level formation expert several years to accomplish. The very thought of it was something best left alone. As for forcefully erasing the formation, it was only something that Han Li would attempt if he were out of his mind. Given the many Nascent Soul eccentrics that clearly hadn't succeeded, he would have to be deluded to think that a Core Formation cultivator like himself could succeed.
However, he did possess the formation breaking insights of the genius spell formation master Xin Ruyin. Her records described a theoretical response to area restrictions that could disable an area's restrictions temporarily. Although it was only for a short instant, it would give Han Li enough time to acquire an extra ancient treasure.
This method required the cultivator's own spiritual power to be completely severed from the energy contained room, leaving not the slightest connection for the duration.
After Xin Ruyin wrote this in her records, she self-mockingly added that even a Nascent Soul cultivator couldn't perform such a feat; the thought was but an indulgence moment of her imagination. If a cultivator truly had such amazing abilities, they wouldn't have to go through the trouble of this as they could rely on their own strength to forcibly break through the formations.
After all, the cultivators of this world were only at most capable of Qi concealment techniques that could hide themselves from others. How could they possibly sever their own connection from the spiritual Qi of heaven and earth?
But when Han Li read this inside his cave residence, he immediately thought of his Gold Devouring Beetle's bizarre capability of devouring the energies of Heaven and Earth. This roused enough interest in him to perform a small test with his Gold Devouring Beetles. He had spent a short amount of time on it and regarded it as a momentary diversion to be later forgotten. But now that he recalled all of this, Han Li couldn't suppress his burning excitement.
After a moment of careful consideration, Han Li felt that this had a large chance of success. Even if it failed, he'd still be able to acquire one ancient treasure and would suffer no loss.
With that thought, Han Li no longer hesitated. He waved his two arms and brought forth the spirit beast pouches on his body. Several tens of thousands of Gold Devouring Beetles flew off, transforming into a huge, buzzing cloud of insects that spiralled around Han Li.
Han Li paid no attention to the insect swarm and turned his gaze towards the three ancient treasures. After some more thought, he floated over to the dark red cloak with his insect swarm closely following after him.
When Han Li was about three meters away from the cloak, Han Li felt a slight change in the surrounding spiritual Qi. He hastily stopped and wore a solemn expression.
His hands suddenly formed an incantation seal, and used a series of whistles. The Gold Devouring Beetles that were surrounding Han Li suddenly became restless, and they charged towards Han Li like an arrow. In the blink of an eye, they were covering his entire body in dense folds, immersing him in a sea of silver.
While Han Li was covered in the beetles, his whistles did not cease, but rather, they became even sharper.
Not long after, the beetles on his body started releasing soft cries, echoing Han Li's whistles. The beetles' cries gradually became louder until their mouths were gaping wide. Their continuous breathes appeared synchronized to a bizarre degree.
At that moment, Han Li halted his whistling and became silent. An incredible scene followed.
The cries of the insects crawling over Han Li's body diverged into high and low, gradually bringing forth specks of black light. As more flickering specks of light appeared, they grew larger. When they eventually touched, they fused together, becoming larger blots of black light. These black blots gradually grew larger and more numerous until they formed a large sphere.
The black sphere appeared like a blooming chrysanthemum. The flower-like sphere slowly blossomed and unfolded as the black light underneath continuously grew larger, forming a profoundly black armor underneath. This impenetrable armor covered both Han Li and the beetles.
The beetles' cries immediately disappeared with the appearance of the armor. Apart from pitch-black, nothing else could be seen from the armor. It was unknown whether it was simply incapable of being seen or was completely void of color.
[TL: see 'Vantablack']
In that very instant, Han Li began to move. A strange hand of jet-black light moved to snatch the nearby cloak at the speed of lightning. At the same time, Han Li clumsily turned around and floated towards the five colored bands.
In the same instant Han Li grabbed the cloak, he was surrounded in brilliant blue light. The countless rays of light swept over him, but after they touched the strange black armor, they immediately disappeared into the black light without a trace. However, this didn't cause the blue light to retract. Instead, it grew increasingly overbearing and attempted to violently suppress the black armor with all its strength, causing it to sway on the verge of collapse.
Han Li was burning with impatience, but his movements still remained careful and smooth, for fear that he would disturb something else.
Traveling a mere twenty meters, Han Li felt as if he had made a difficult trek for two hours before having finally arrived in front of the five colored copper bands. While forcefully suppressing his wild delight, Han Li swiftly grabbed the bands with his hand of black light.
At nearly the same time his hand closed around the copper bands, Han Li's black armor was overwhelmed by the blue light, causing it to loudly shatter. The armor dissolved into little blots before completely disappearing.
Before Han Li could even react, he was drawn into the blue light and the world changed around him, causing him to disappear without a trace.
In a flash of blinding blue light, Han Li appeared in a small stone room. After swaying a few times, he managed to find his bearings and stand straight before carefully examining his surroundings. He immediately let out a sigh of relief. Fortunately, there wasn't a single person around. Otherwise, they would have caught the extremely abnormal sight of him being covered in layers of crawling beetles.
Having finished pondering, Han Li whistled. In response, the Gold Devouring Beetles flew off of his body and into a sparkling gold-silver cloud above his head.
Without paying them much mind, Han Li hastily looked at the two items in his hands. Although he had previously seen them many times, Han Li could not hold back the thrill from having the items in his hands.
He gently stroked each of the two ancient treasures for a moment. The cloak was extremely light and emitted a bit of heat. As for the five copper bands, they were ice-cold to the touch.
After admiring the two treasures for some time, his attention shifted to the stone room.
It was completely empty apart from the transportation formation that brought him here and a rectangular passageway that appeared completely desolate. There was nothing else of interest in the room.