Chapter 471: An Odd Treasure
There was no question as to whether or not this passageway led to the Boundary of Fantastical Illusion. With his cultivation of the Great Development Technique along with the Matron Screen Pearls that Zenith Yin lent him, passing through this trial should be a matter of ease.
With that thought, Han Li turned his attention to carefully examining the two ancient treasures in his hands. If he couldn't fully understand the scope of their power, he wouldn't be able to effectively use them when the time came.
With a flash of blood-red light, the cloak disappeared from his hand, leaving only the chain of five copper bands in his other hand. These five copper bands were about as wide as an ordinary arm and had mysterious talisman markings engraved on their surface, causing them to appear mystifying.
Han Li lightly shook them with a wave of his wrist. The colorful glow of the copper bands continuously fluctuated in response and released the faint cry of a phoenix. A flicker of spirit appeared from Han Li's eyes as he lowered his head in thought. He then slowly poured spiritual power into the copper bands through his fingers.
During this, Han Li solemnly gazed at the bands without blinking. Then with a flash of colorful light, the chain of five bands abruptly disappeared without a trace.
Han Li was startled, but something soon came to mind. He looked upward to see the five copper bands floating not far above his head. They were ceaselessly flickering with demonic light.
Han Li frowned and raised his arm, sending out an azure incantation seal. The copper bands immediately twirled for a moment before striking the wall to the side. With several muffled pengs, the wall flashed with white light, revealing not the slightest damage. The copper bands had instead been pushed far away.
It seemed the copper bands were not intended to be used to directly attack.
Han Li's expression remained unchanged. He waved his arm and had the copper bands fly back above his head. Then without any hesitation, he spouted out a breath of spiritual Qi towards the rings, causing them to swell into a huge size in the blink of an eye. Blinding radiance coiled around the bands, and their talisman markings began to move.
Ring-type magic tools weren't ordinarily used to make direct attacks. A majority of them were used to either trap the enemy or defend one's self, something that Han Li had learned through experience.
After looking at the huge bands and the astonishing pressure they radiated, Han Li lifted his head and slowly uttered the word, "Execute."
Immediately after he spoke, the huge bands released a cry and directly fell down onto him. The rings overlapped one another and covered Han Li within them. Afterwards, the huge bands revolved around him with increasing speed, completely covering Han Li in a blurred screen of rainbow light.
Han Li wore a slight smile. It seemed the copper bands possessed defensive abilities. As for how effective they were, that was something that could only be tested during an enemy confrontation. With that thought, Han Li shot an incantation seal towards the light screen with a flick of his finger. In an instant, the light curtain dissolved and the rings returned to their original appearance.
But after a period of violent swaying, the copper rings released a flash of brilliance and disappeared from sight.
This time, Han Li remained calm as he extended his palm. Following a flash of rainbow light, the five palm-sized copper bands appeared in his hand.
Han Li calmly gazed at the copper bands with a pensive expression as if something had come to mind.
Not long after, Han Li chanted a series of cryptic incantations, causing the bands to disappear from his hand. But after only a second, they appeared around Han Li's limbs and neck in a flourish of light.
Han Li's stance grew unsteady as he began to drop down like a log. Fortunately, he had already prepared for this and hastily muttered an incantation to release the copper rings.
Han Li hastily recovered his balance and rubbed his choked neck. However, his eyes betrayed immense excitement.
This magic treasure could be used as a sneak attack, and was something that was impossible to defend against. Even if his opponents had immense spiritual sense and realized something was amiss with the copper rings before they were restrained, they still wouldn't have time to react. Han Li was confident that even Nascent Soul cultivators couldn't guard against them. He reckoned that the odds of success for an ambush were quite large. Of course, he still had no way of knowing how long the bands would be able to restrain his opponents.
Han Li was delighted to find that the copper bands abilities went far beyond his original expectations. Feeling completely content, Han Li placed the copper bands in his storage pouch, and he took out the dark-red cloak.
Tests for this ancient treasure were naturally much simpler. He simply wore the cloak on his body and poured a bit of magic power into it. It brightly flourished with a blood light and caused Han Li to feel a burning sensation on his body. At that same time, his magic power began to wildly flow into the cloak beyond his control.
Han Li was greatly frightened and hastily severed his magic power towards the cloak, causing its brilliance to immediately dim.
Han Li was startled and took off the cloak. He looked through it once more with squinted eyes. After a short moment, he donned it again and began to gradually pour spiritual power into the cape with great care.
Once again, magic power began to rush out from his body, but this time, Han Li was prepared and remained calm. Instead, he turned his eyes to the cloak and carefully examined it for any oddities. In that moment, the cloak's outer layer of feathers grew longer and blood-red, covering Han Li in a dense barrier of blood light.
After staring at it for a moment, Han Li waved his arms and slowly hovered off the ground. He then gazed around himself for a moment, before disappearing without a trace.
A series of muffled bangs soon followed, and a ball of blood light burst from the right wall. Han Li fell from the ruptured light and tumbled several times, nearly falling in a dignified manner suiting a cultivator of his stature onto his behind.
His face was filled with shock! He hadn't even used its full strength and only utilized the most common flying technique. However, this had caused Han Li to abruptly crash into the wall, much to his dismay!
With disbelief, Han Li attempted to use several other movement techniques, but the results were all the same. He would into a wall and end up disoriented without making any progress on controlling the cloak's abilities. It seemed this treasure allowed him to use this astonishing speed without any option of going slower.
Han Li silently stood in place with complete astonishment. This cloak was far too bizarre. This was undoubtedly a top-grade life-preserving treasure given its light-like speed. Han Li was confident that even if a Nascent Soul cultivator were to chase him, they would lose his trail after only a short moment with this amazing treasure.
But at the same time, this cloak had significant flaws. Not to mention the astonishing expenditure of magic power, it's speed completely uncontrollable, much to Han Li's disappointment.
It was clear that this top-grade ancient treasure was flawed and limited. Why else would it appear in the outer halls? But despite this, this item was still immensely useful in fleeing from enemies.
Han Li put away the cloak with complicated feelings. He then lowered his head in bitter laughter before sitting cross-legged on the floor to refine Qi. As the cloak had consumed quite a bit of magic power in such a short time, he couldn't afford to just walk out of the room in his current condition.
Han Li rested for over half a day, and when he had nearly replenished his spent magic power, Han Li opened his eyes and stood up as he solemnly gazed into the passageway.
With the bracelet of Matron Screen Beads in one hand and his Great Development Technique circulating throughout his body, he slowly walked into the passageway.
Upon entering, Han Li discovered that the passageway was quite short. After turning a corner, he had arrived at its end.
Light flashed before his eyes, fading away to reveal an outdoor corridor. The corridor was magnificent and refined, but at a glance, it appeared to be endless. It was unknown just how far it reached. White clouds and divine melodies flowed in from outside the corridor along with the faint image of a lustrous jade pavilion.
When Han Li saw this, a faint sneer appeared on his face as he walked onto the promenade with long strides.
Just as he set foot on it, Han Li circulated magic power throughout his body. According to what he know, this one was like the other trials: flying techniques could not be used and one could only travel by foot.
Han Li wasn't bothered by this and intensely studied the are outside the corridor. The divine melodies became clearer after entering the corridor.
Han Li attentively listened to the so-called divine melodies with a blank face. Not long after, he unconsciously wore a mocking expression on his face.
Han Li walked without the slightest urgency as if he were taking a stroll in his own garden. However, the further he walked down the corridor, the more beautiful and clear the melodies became. At that same time, extremely graceful cranes began to appear from within the white clouds. Their elegant dancing along with the cries they unleashed were extremely impressive.Chapter 472: Black Palace in Illusory Realm
Han Li gave the cranes a mere glance before continuing along his way, paying no further attention to them.
But as Han Li continued on his path, the divine melodies descending from the sky gradually increased in intensity. The white cranes that had been dancing in the air abruptly flew to both sides of the corridor and spread their wings with a long cry.
A short moment later, amidst the divine melodies, the cranes spun several times before transforming into young women in palace dresses.
These young women appeared to be only eighteen years of age and were astoundingly beautiful and full of youthful vigor. They smiled towards Han Li with bright eyes that were filled with affection as if he were their beloved sweetheart and then swung their slender waists with a flexibility that made them appear boneless.
At that momen,t the divine sounds changed, becoming soft and tender like the caress of a lover. The very air was filled with the sensation of passionate romance, unwillingly bringing forth emotion within even those who have long buried them deep within their hearts.
When Han Li heard these new sounds, his expression changed for a moment before he immediately steeled his heart and continued on his way, pointedly ignoring the the sweet nothings whispered by the young women.
After walking about a hundred meters, Han Li heard a sudden change in tone causing the melodies to contain feelings of grief and sadness.
The young women's expressions transformed with the melodies, and their dancing halted. Each of their faces held immense sadness as they gazed at Han Li with extreme grief, as if he were a heartbreaking ingrate. Anyone who gazed upon the women would feel immense heartache and compassionate affection.
"Interesting!" Han Li smiled and walked from side to side, appreciating the saddened expressions of the young women as if he were watching an interesting play.
Han Li clearly understood that since the Boundary of Fantastical Illusion followed after the Paths of Ice and Fire, there were certain to be more than these mere tricks.
As expected, after seeing that this was unable to stop Han Li, the divine melodies shifted to subtly invoke lust. At that same moment, the young women aged by several years with a flash of light, each of them now appearing as curvaceous beauties in their prime.
With flushed complexions, the peerless beauties' eyes fluttered with enticing passion as they took off their muslin dresses. Along with the seductive moans leaving their small red mouths and the demonic lust-provoking sounds being emitted by the sky, it was more than enough to drive any man mad with temptation.
Han Li was stunned. But after circulating the Great Development Technique once through his body, he immediately regained his calm.
Even if a master of bewitchment techniques were to assault Han Li with full force as he was now, Han Li wouldn't be fazed in the slightest. In comparison to such an event, these crude illusions were beneath his notice.
As Han Li walked through the two rows of gorgeous women, their actions became even more unrestrained. A few of them looked to Han Li with flirtatious glances as they pressed their hands against their chest. Others stroked their entire body as they shook their hips, along with other increasingly lewd acts.
Han Li watched on with dazzled eyes and clicked his tongue. While he remained unfazed due to the protection of the Great Development Technique, he still made sure to properly appreciate such a rare view.
Following this, the women's appearances changed once more, transforming into all sorts of different types of beauties. There were dignified and scholarly noblewomen, fiery whores, pure-hearted maidens, and elegant and icy matrons, each with their own different bearings and mannerisms. The scene that was revealed was much like a gathering of all the peerless beauties of the mortal world.
A faint smile hung on Han Li's face, but his gaze was ice-cold, without the slightest hint of desire.
After two hours at a relaxed pace, Han Li had finally arrived at the end of the corridor after taking his time and feasting the view.
The corridor led to a black palace hall with a flat ceiling. The large gates and its walls were constructed entirely out of black bricks.
The hall's gates appeared over forty meters tall. As for the interior of the hall, it was pitch-black, eliciting a feeling of mystery.
At the same time that Han Li caught sight of the large black palace hall, the overbearing melodies from the sky and the seductive women suddenly disappeared. All that remained were the endless white clouds. The corridor's appearance had returned to how it was when he had just entered.
Han Li didn't appear surprised and just turned his gaze towards the black hall, wearing a solemn expression. He unconsciously slowed his steps as he approached, but before he grew near, a dense bloody scent arrived before him.
Han Li frowned and took another look at the palace hall.
He discovered that the palace hall wasn't actually purely black, but rather, it contained an odd shade of red as if a layer of hot blood had been frozen over it, producing the wicked scent.
Han Li stood in front of the gates with crossed arms and muttered to himself for a moment.
Although he hadn't had someone explain the finer details of the Boundary of Fantastical Illusion, the mere appearance of this hall made him certain that this place tested the darkest fears of a person's mind. This undoubtedly wouldn't be as easy as the corridor had been.
Han Li fully understood that there were a few weaknesses present in his heart.
He was neither fearless nor unyielding. Nor was he a sage so wise that he was disconnected from the world. At most, he had been a clever and scheming mortal. It would be quite terrible if he saw something he was truly unable to endure and was forced to become still.
It seemed that he would finally have to rely on the assistance from the Matron Screen Beads to pass through this trial.
With that thought, Han Li stroked the beads on his wrist and steeled his mind before walking into the large hall.
It was beyond merely black!
Just as Han Li walked into the palace hall, he experienced an immense feeling of discomfort.
Han Li was unable to detect any restrictions but could only see about ten meters ahead of him despite having his eyes wide open. He was also unable to extend his spiritual sense out from his body.
The absence of light was accompanied by a complete lack of sound, producing a stillness capable of inspiring dread.
Han Li unconsciously licked his lips and waved his hand, attempting to summon a ball of fire.
But at the same instant the flame appeared, it was immediately extinguished.
Han Li was lost in surprise for a moment before indignantly making another wave of his hand. This time, he had summoned a moonlight stone form his storage pouch.
But just like the flame, its light immediately faded away after appearing, turning completely dull as if it were an ordinary stone.
It was now that he realized the hall's restrictions must have the peculiar effect of absorbing light.
With his hopes of producing light dashed, he leisurely walked forwards.
But before he could even take a few steps, he suddenly heard sporadic and faint sobs of pain from the distance. It sounded as though they came from a young girl.
Han Li wryly smiled and continued forward, ignoring the sound.
However, the sobs erratically appeared from either close or far away, and they became increasingly sorrowful. The sobs seemed to be following him.
"Bah!" These sounds had caused him to become distraught and he couldn't help but unleash a shout that caused the nearby ground to tremble.
The sobbing suddenly stopped.
Han Li felt greatly relieved and quickened his pace, wanting to leave this hall as soon as possible.
But after having only walked about ten meters, the sobbing continued. This time, a white silhouette had appeared not far in front of Han Li. A young woman wearing mourning clothes was crouched down .
The sorrowful sobs were apparently coming from her. Han Li's face froze upon seeing the white-clothed woman. Strangely enough, despite the fact that she was kneeling and made no attempt to approach him, he hastily approached her instead.
He knew that the more timid and cowardly he acted in this place, the more likely he was to become entangled in its illusions. As avoiding any conflict wasn't possible, a calm confrontation seemed to be the optimal choice.
With that thought in mind, Han Li arrived about twenty meters from the white-clothed woman.
Just as Han Li thought to recklessly roar once more and disperse the woman, he suddenly felt that this woman's sobbing seemed familiar as if he had heard it before, long ago.
Han Li's heart trembled. He hastily reassured himself that this was but an illusion to prevent himself from becoming mesmerized. But the longer he gazed at her, the more familiar she seemed. His mind began to fervently shuffle through his memories, but he was unable to recall who she was.
Han Li unconsciously stopped and frowned, coldly gazing at the woman in front of him in silence.
"Fourth Brother!" The woman exclaimed with a timid, delicate voice.
When Han Li heard this, he felt his mind shudder as blood rushed to his head. He couldn't help but ask, "Who are you? Could you be…?"
"Fourth Brother, don't recognize me anymore? I'm your little sister!" The white clothed woman slowly lifted her head from the ground and revealed her delicate, grieving face. Her small nose, bright eyes, and delicate face were reminiscent of his shy little sister from before he left for the Seven Mysteries Sect.