Chapter 494: Celestial Ice Pearl
Han Li felt his blood run cold and his face trembled upon witnessing the ferocity of the Asura Flames.
After the grey flames incinerated the Bone Sage, they condensed into a delicate ember and flew off.
For some unknown reason, the Bone Sage's death had caused a strange transformation in the Asura Flames. All of the grey embers simultaneously released a thread of dark green Qi along with a spark of black lightning, turning the embers blue in an instant. The embers appeared to have returned to their original form as Celestial Ice Flames.
Han Li suddenly felt his surroundings compress, as the air filled with blue glacial Qi. The glacial Qi started to cover the ground in thin layer of ice, spreading to the rest of the area within the light barrier.
Han Li turned pale from fright at the sudden onslaught of cold and wildly poured spiritual power into the White Rhino Emblem. A scorching white light was emitted that repelled the cold Qi, barring it from approaching his body.
It seemed the Celestial Ice Flame's true capabilities were only displayed after the Bone Sage had lost control. In only a short moment, the entire surface of the stone platform had been covered in a sheet of frost. Han Li's barrier of white light barely managed to protect him, but it massively drained his magic power, causing him to bitterly curse.
Han Li now understood that the Bone Sage's Celestial Ice Flames were weakened from either his shallow cultivation or a lack of time to refine them. This would explain why he had only been able to use a faction of its true power a moment ago.
Had the Bone Sage displayed this fearsome power with his Celestial Ice Flames from the start, he would've been able to kill Han Li several times over without having any need to refine the Asura Flames. In addition, it is likely that the true power of the Asura Flames hadn't been displayed either. Its power had probably only reached a tenth of its potential!
As these domineering thoughts entered his mind, he had nearly deduced the entire truth of the matter. Regardless, he wasn't about to let himself to foolishly meet his end by the masterless Celestial Ice Flames after having put so much effort into eliminating the Bone Sage.
At that moment, he grit his teeth and reached for the spirit beast pouch at his waist. He was going to release the Gold Devouring Beetle's and see whether or not they could increase his odds of survival.
The still immature Gold Devouring Beetles were certain to be unable to resist the fearsome chill, but Han Li didn't have many options left to keep his life.
Han Li's palm moved and just as he was about to open the spirit beast pouch a sudden change occurred.
The floating blue embers throughout the room suddenly flickered several times before releasing a clear ringing sound. They seemed to have received some sort of command and started to shoot towards the sky, condensing into a single solid form.
A short moment later, a shining blue light sphere appeared in the sky. As soon as this fist-sized blue ice pearl had appeared, the fantastical chill within the stone platform instantly disappeared as if it had never been there.
Having already opened his spirit beast pouch halfway, Han Li was dumbfounded, but he soon found himself overwhelmed with delighted surprise. Regardless of what strange transformations the Celestial Ice Flames underwent, he could now safely make his escape.
At that moment, the blue ice pearl slowly floated down from the sky and stopped in front of Han Li.
Han Li looked at the ice pearl with a strange expression. After some contemplation, he reached out his hand and shot a bolt of the remnant lightning at it. After winding around the ice pearl for a moment, the pearl had been restrained and obediently entered the lightning's control with no further surprises.
Han Li's expression grew solemn. He didn't dare to be overly confident, and carefully flicked his wrist, having the golden lightning slowly draw the ice pearl towards him.
He had the pearl stop about a foot away from him, and looked at it with trepidation. With his hand firmly covered in azure light, he carefully reached out to it.
Although his hand was still covered in dense true essence, Han Li could feel a slight chill through it. It seemed that after the Celestial Ice Flames had condensed into this pearl, its glacial qi had been completely sealed.
As such, Han Li breathed a sigh of relief and dispersed the light surrounding his hand. He grabbed the pearl with three fingers and carefully examined it.
The blue pearl's exterior was solid blue crystal while its interior consisted of raging flames.
Han Li hesitated for a moment. This Celestial Ice Pearl was a treasure that had scarcely, if ever, appeared in this world. It could be considered a treasure even more valuable than the Heavenvoid Cauldron.
Although he didn't know how this ice-fire pearl could be refined or used, it was something that he absolutely couldn't discard. After having witnessed the viciousness of the Azure Sun Devil Fire1 and the Heavenwide Corpse Fire, Han Li found himself desiring a powerful flame of his own. And even better, the Celestial Ice Flame's power was even greater than the previous flames he had witnessed.
With this, he would be able to fulfill his long desire of possessing some truly ferocious flames. Although attempting to use and acquire it possessed a certain degree of danger, Han Li was more than willing to brave the risk.
With that thought, Han Li shot out a spark of gold lightning and wrapped the ice pearl in successive layers of lightning. A short moment later, he held the lightning-clad pearl in his hand while sparks of lightning occasionally arced off the ball. The result set Han Li's mind at ease.
If the ice pearl was to rupture once more, the cover of Devilbane Lightning would be able to buy him enough time to wrest control over it. After having just battled against these very flames, he was completely confident that the Divine Devilbane Lightning could restrain them if need be. There would be no fear of any sudden backlash.
However, he had now truly exhausted the reserve of Devilbane Lightning inside his body. Not even a spark remained.
However, Han Li couldn't bring himself to care as he put the pearl inside a square jade box and properly placed it away.
At that moment, Han Li finally had the chance to take a breath and make a quick flight to the altar. He placed his over exhausted Bloodjade Spider into his spirit beast pouch. As for the refined spider corpse, it had long stopped moving.
Han Li couldn't help but stop when he arrived at where the Bone Sage perished. With an astonished expression, he waved his hand. An item that faintly shone with white light flew into his hand from within the ashes.
It turned out to be a flawless white gem that was several inches long. After sizing it up for a moment, he recognized it to be the Bone Sage's rib bone.
Han Li was quite amazed to find that it had been completely unharmed by the Sacred Asura Flames.
When he had first seen it inside the Bone Sage's prison, the rib bone had contained the map of Heavenvoid Hall.
'Could it be that the rib bone holds other items as well?' After some further thought, Han Li placed it into his storage pouch. Now was not the time to examine his spoils as his escape and survival were the far more urgent matters at hand.
Just as Han Li flew towards the steps, he unexpectedly found a dormant emerald-green arrow on the ground.
Han Li frowned and waved his hand, sweeping the treasure into his grasp with a streak of azure light.
After a casual inspection, Han Li placed the arrow into his bag, but a strange ringing then unexpectedly sounded out from within his spirit beast pouch.
Han Li's heart stirred, and he couldn't help but be his surprised.
After frowning with some deliberation, he suddenly slapped his storage pouch. A streak of light circled around him before revealing itself to be the soul devouring Weeping Soul Beast.
Han Li opened his mouth and spat out the grey pearl used to control it, the Weeping Soul Pearl.
Han Li had found the circumstances from when Yuan Yao handed this beast over to him to be quite strange. As a result, he hadn't refined the control pearl. However, it was still an easy matter to erase her lingering spiritual sense from the pearl and exert control over the Weeping Soul Beast.
As he held onto the Weeping Soul Pearl, he stared at the small emerald-green arrow and suddenly opened his mouth. An azure ball of core flame enveloped the arrow and started to slowly refine it.
At first the arrow didn't reveal the slightest reaction as if it were truly dead.
A cold glint then flashed through Han Li's eyes. After licking his lips, he threw the arrow into the air and gave the Weeping Soul Beast a command. The beast suddenly snorted and shot out a yellow mist, enveloping the small arrow.
The small arrow had originally stayed still, but upon seeing the yellow mist, it flashed with green light several times, enveloping itself in a streak of green radiance accompanied by a sharp whistle. The arrow then shot directly towards the stone stairs as if it were terrified by the yellow mist.First and only appearance in chapter 266. ↩
Chapter 495: Mysterious Scroll Painting
Han Li had already been prepared for the arrow to attempt to escape. Within the arrow's first few meters of flight, Han Li shot out an azure swordstreak that intercepted it, causing it to tumble.
In that opening, the Weeping Soul Beast wrapped the small arrow in a yellow radiance, causing the magic treasure to incessantly flash. The arrow dashed back and forth within the cage of light as if wanting to escape, but the yellow light appeared immensely more powerful than it. No matter how much the arrow struggled, it was unable to escape. This was to be expected of the beast that was known to be the bane of all ghosts.
As the small arrow's resistance grew weaker, yellow threads shot out from the cage of light and tightly bound the small arrow in an instant. The yellow threads then grew taut and dragged out a ball of green light from within the small arrow.
The green light was ensnared by many yellow threads and incessantly transformed into all sorts of animals and insects as well as fluctuating in size in its attempt to break free. Despite its efforts, it was unable to escape from the yellow threads and was gradually drawn closer and closer to the Weeping Soul Beast's nose.
At that moment, the green light grew panicked and transformed into the face of an old man. The light loudly pleaded towards Han Li, "Young Friend Han, I beg you to let me go. So long as you spare my life, I will willingly serve you for the rest of my life. The number of strange and secret techniques I know are countless, and I am willing to give you all of them! Moreover, doesn't Young Friend Han wish to learn the entirety of the Profound Yin Arts? I didn't even teach the last few layers to my traitorous disciple Zenith Yin. Doesn't Fellow Daoist Han also wish to know about the wonders of Profound Soul Demonification? Although my own estate had been seized by Zenith Yin, I still have many secret cave dwellings, each containing their own hidden treasures. This old servant is willing to fully devote himself to you…"
The more the ghostly face spoke, the quicker the words came out and the more panicked it appeared. He even took the initiative to offer to become a servant because at that moment, he was only about a foot away from the Weeping Soul Beast's nose.
If he were to truly be absorbed by the beast, even if his soul were more tenacious, he would never be able to escape.
Despite having a will far more staunch and unwavering than others, Han Li's heart thumped upon hearing the Bone Sage's offers, and his face revealed a trace of hesitation.
Perhaps due to having seen Han Li's hesitation, the ghost revealed his greatest trump card with a low roar, "Even if Fellow Daoist Han doesn't want those things, don't you want to know the weaknesses of Zenith Yin's cultivation arts? And how about removing the tracing mark he placed on your body?"
Han Li's gaze flickered several times and his expression continuously shifted. He sighed and lightly waved his hand, causing the radiance encasing the Bone Sage to grow still, preventing him from continuing towards the Weeping Soul Beast's nose.
The thread-bound ghost rejoiced and sighed with relief, "Young Friend Han, you are truly wise! By sparing this old man…" The ghost face forced a smile and intended to ingratiate himself to Han Li.
But when the Bone Sage was about to continue, the Weeping Soul Beast snorted and resumed sucking in the Bone Sage. With his guard now down, he was sucked in without the slightest resistance.
At that moment, Han Li wore a cold sneer.
The Weeping Soul Beast burped as if it was quite satisfied with his meal and clumsily patted its stomach.
With a faint smile, Han Li shook the Weeping Soul Pearl in his hand and returned the beast to his storage pouch.
Han Li walked forward with the small green arrow now in his grasp. As he gazed at it, he muttered, "You want to be my servant? How could I possibly choose to act against my own interests?! You lived for over a thousand years! It would already be baseless flattery to say that I could possibly stand to outscheme you. Killing you now will save me quite a bit trouble. Who knows when you would betray me."
Even now, Han Li was unable to understand whether the ghost had been the Bone Sage's true soul or a soul shard that he had split off earlier! Han Li wouldn't be surprised if Ghost Daoists had such soul splitting techniques.
After Han Li picked up the Five Element Bands that were lying nearby, and lingered for a moment. The ghost face had reminded him of the marker that Zenith Yin had placed on him. If he didn't figure out how to remove it, he might be detected immediately after he left the barrier.
Han Li had already examined himself several times with his spiritual sense, but hadn't been able to find the slightest trace. However, Han Li still had another way to look for any markings. Otherwise, he wouldn't have so rashly exterminated the ghost.
Han Li released several thousand Gold Devouring Beetles into the air and had them crawl all over his body.
After a short moment, a few of the Gold Devouring Beetles on his lower leg released a peculiar shriek.
Han Li rejoiced and issued the command. The Gold Devouring Beetles on his leg became restless for a moment, before they all returned to his spirit beast pouch. Han Li then flew towards the stone steps without further delay.
He felt that he had tarried for far too long and was on edge with fear.
He traveled the hundred meters down the stairs in the blink of an eye. Han Li then opened his mouth and spat out a streak of blue light, cleaving open a three meter hole in the light barrier with his Bamboo Cloudswarm Sword. He then shot out of the hole in a streak of light.
According to his calculations, his best bet would be to stealthily return to the first or second floor and enter one of the doors. Afterwards, he would break the restrictions on the secret room and return to Heavenvoid Hall. As for the rooms on the other floors, they were far too dangerous for him.
Han Li shot along the path he remembered in complete silence. On his way back, the restrictions and puppets had all been long since eliminated. Apart from being careful about avoiding the old devils, he didn't have any other worries, and flew as boldly as he could.
Because Han Li could see the path ahead with his spiritual sense, he took out the shabby scroll he had acquired from the hollow wall and decided to use the time to read it.
After taking several quick glances at it, he couldn't help but yell in shock and slow down, despite having planned to rush through the passageway. The scroll didn't appear exceptional and didn't contain the slightest spiritual power. Rather, the scroll contained a rather crude and simple drawing, depicting a vague map.
After Han Li studied it several times, he immediately recognized it to be a map of the fifth floor of the Inner Halls.
Needless to say, there was a drawing of a stone platform along with a cauldron that had two handles and three legs at the very top. This was clearly a picture of the Heavenvoid Cauldron. There was also a crossed marking in front of it that was certain to be indicating a secret room!.
But what shocked Han Li the most were the passageways that were traced with bright red ink, standing out from the rest of the black ink map. The route led to a picture of a high wall with a transportation formation behind it.
According to Han Li's original plan, he would return to the first or second floor and pray that he wouldn't encounter any of the old devils along the way. If this map was accurate, then couldn't he just use the transportation formation it showed to leave this place? Even if it didn't take him outside of the Heavenvoid Hall, it would almost certainly be much safer than foolishly forcing his way through the fifth floor.
Han Li was more specifically tempted by how close he already was to the marked path. He was only an intersection away from entering the red lined path.
However, his sole worry was whether or not he would encounter any restrictions or puppets along the way. He had no worries towards the validity of the map. How could it possibly be fake? Not only was it hidden behind a hollow wall, but it seemed to be as old as the Heavenvoid Hall itself. Who would spend so much effort just to play a joke?
After extended period of indecision, Han Li arrived at the intersection. He continuously glanced around as he was still unsure of what path to take.
'Whatever! If I come across any dangers, at worst, I'll just return to the previous path. According to the map, the route isn't very long. As such, it should prove much safer than returning to the previous floor.' Moreover, he didn't believe that the map would mark out a route for escape that would include many dangers along its path.
With that thought, Han Li spread out his arms. Many lights flashed around him to reveal a crowd of huge ape puppets. Under his command, they immediately set forth down the passage as he closely followed after them with a solemn expression.