Chapter 501: Southclear Island
Inspiring awe in all those who witnessed his passage, Han Li eventually arrived in the nearby seas of the Heavenly Star City. As he was only a few days away, Han Li put away his blood-red cloak and resumed traveling as an ordinary streak of light.
Currently, the Scattered Star Seas were in disarray and it was possible that a Nascent Soul cultivator would be nearby. As Han Li didn't wish to capture the attention of such a powerful individual, he moved in a more inconspicuous manner. Fortunately, he hadn't heard any news of the Starfall Coalition appearing nearby. Much to his relief, it seemed he had managed to arrive in time.
He had arrived at the outskirts of the last intermediary island before Heavenly Star City. Although it wasn't large, it held many cultivators from the Star Palace. It seemed they were the forward sentries for Heavenly Star City.
In the past, the island would have boats of all sizes flowing in and out of its harbor with cultivators and mortals leaving and arriving at the island en mass. But now, when Han Li swept his gaze past the island, he only spotted a few small boats. As for cultivators, he would only occasionally come across them.
It seemed both the mortals and cultivators knew that a war was imminent and meekly avoided the area for the time being. The only cultivators that dared to come to the island were mostly from factions wishing to scour through the rumors.
Having traveled for such a long period, Han Li felt somewhat fatigued and decided to stop over at the island for the time being. Not only to rest, but to visit the island's market in preparation for his long excursion in the Outer Star Seas. After all, he didn't know how things currently were in Heavenly Star City. As such, it would be best for him to make his preparations here and avoid any mishaps from catching him unprepared.
When Han Li descended within range of the island, he was able to sense that Southclear Island was on far greater alert than during his previous visits. Just as he entered the scope of the island's spell formation, he was able to feel the spiritual sense of three Core Formation cultivators sweep past him. They had even lingered on him for quite some time until they had deemed him unsuspicious.
It was clear that the Star Palace was guarding itself against any sudden attacks by the Starfall Coalition.
At that moment, Han Li was calmly heading towards the island's market.
Southclear Island's market was in a small city not far from the island's port, likely for the convenience of any merchants or cultivators that visited. Although the market wasn't nearly as famous or as large as those on other islands, its variety of goods was unrivaled by any other market. More importantly, its prices were cheaper than in Heavenly Star City. This was because a majority of Heavenly Star City's goods were directly shipped over from this island.
Han Li didn't have any time to dawdle. Just as he entered the market, he took out the Bone Sage's Ninecurl Ginseng pill formula and read through it.
Now knowing the required ingredients by heart, he bluntly began to search through ingredient stores of all sizes.
Inside a large room, an ordinary middle-aged cultivator said with a careful tone, "Senior, I am truly sorry! Junior has opened a materials shop for so many years, yet he had never heard of 'Thousand Leaves Dew' before. As for 'Agate Horn', it is the horn that is grown off of the rare Agate Beast. Few cultivators ever get to see it. I fear Senior will have to go look through other stores or auction halls to see if they have it."
"This is the largest materials shop on the island. If you don't have it, then the other shops won't either. As for the auction halls, I currently do not have the time for them." Han Li frowned and sat down in the chair across from the middle-aged cultivator. He softly tapped his finger against the side of the chair in annoyance.
The middle-aged cultivator revealed slight embarrassment at Han Li's words. However, he was being honest when he said that he had no way of acquiring the items that Han Li wanted. As such, he could only continue to ingratiatingly smile. After all, he was in the presence of a rarely seen Core Formation expert; he could not afford to offend him.
When Han Li saw the shopkeeper's attitude, he knew that he truly didn't have the two items. With a sigh, Han Li stood up and walked out.
It seemed that he would have to think of other methods to find the last two ingredients for the Ninecurl Spirit Ginseng. Fortunately, he was still quite a long way from the peak of Core Formation. As the medicine could only be used upon the formation of a Nascent Soul, he wasn't in any rush.
Just as the middle-aged cultivator was about the respectfully send Han Li off from the entrance, he suddenly thought of something and hesitated for a moment before saying, "While you might know of its name as the 'Thousand Leaves Dew', it may be known by another name."
A strange light flickered from Han Li's eyes and he stopped, curiously asking, "Oh? What does that mean?"
The middle-aged man honestly replied, "Not to boast, but this Junior has spent over a hundred years managing this ingredient store. I've seen all sorts of bizarre and rare ingredients. If there is an ingredient I haven't heard of, it is likely being referred to by the name passed down from ancient cultivators. In current times, it may be known by another title. This was something that I have encountered several times before. This Thousand Leaves Dew might actually be a rather common medicinal ingredient."
Han Li's heart stirred. He felt that the man's words made much sense.
After all, the Ninecurl Spirit Ginseng was an item from legend. It made sense for its formula to be passed down from antiquity. It seems he would have to examine a few ancient records to find out its true identity.
With that thought, Han Li nodded with a relaxed expression and silently left the store.
Afterwards, Han Li sifted through all of his pill formulas suitable for Core Formation cultivators, and made preparations for his future pill refinement. Han Li especially stocked up on the supplementary ingredients that couldn't be grown with the liquid from his small bottle.
The current journey to the Outer Star Seas would take a long while without doubt. Han Li didn't wish for his mass creation of pills to fail because of a shortage of common materials, and slow down his own progress in cultivation as a result.
With his current collection of magic treasures along with the aid of a few flag formations, he should be able to handle grade seven demon beasts without question. Naturally, if he were to come across any grade eight demon beasts, he would have no choice but to flee. Once demon beasts reached grade eight, it is said that their wisdom would be far greater than ordinary humans and their bodies are able to take human-like forms. Due to their exceedingly powerful innate skills, they would have a tremendous advantage over Nascent Soul cultivators of the same rank.
Several hours later, Han Li managed to gather everything together and left the market city in the direction of the port.
At that moment, the sky suddenly filled with black clouds, turning the sky into the image of a cloudy night.
A short moment later, a relentless barrage of light shot towards the island from the horizon, leaving roars of thunder in its wake.
Han Li's expression suddenly change and he hastily strained his magic power, tearing through the sky in an azure streak.
From the pressure being emitted, it seemed that the barrage came from the simultaneous attack of at least a thousand cultivators.
In the following moment, a large formation activated and covered the entire island in a barrier of scarlet light, managing to rigidly block the attack. At the same moment, there were many white clothed cultivators that struck back at the attackers in the sky with their own magic tools.
Han Li bitterly laughed. The Starfall Coalition had moved remarkably quick. They even managed to bring the battle so close to Heavenly Star Island in only a few months.
Heavenly Star City would surely receive news of this sudden battle through specialized means. Now, his current plans of rushing towards Heavenly Star City had been completely ruined.
Extremely vexed, Han Li's expression fluctuated for a long while before he suddenly stamped his foot on the ground. Then with a series of distortions, his body disappeared from sight.
Although he was disinclined to involve himself in the battle, he still stealthily released his spiritual sense. If he had guessed correctly, the harbor and its surroundings should be quite active.
As expected, many streaks of light soon shot towards Southclear Island's harbor from inside the island. But as they grew closer, they all disappeared from sight, quietly laying low as they observed the battle unfolding above.
A majority of them were Foundation Establishment cultivators, numbering over a hundred, with only about thirty Qi Condensation cultivators mixed among them. As for Core Formation cultivators like Han Li, there were only five or six with the highest ranked cultivator being at the mid Core Formation stage.
Although this person was silently watching from the cover of the hills, Han Li's spiritual sense was vastly superior to his, allowing Han Li to observe him without being noticed.
While Han Li's spiritual sense wasn't as powerful as a Nascent Soul cultivator's, by cultivating the Great Development Technique, it wasn't that much weaker either. Since he could even conceal himself from a nearby early Nascent Soul cultivator, it was only natural for him to be able to do this much.
To the best of his knowledge, a majority of Nascent Soul cultivators lingered at early Nascent Soul stage without any hope of advancement. And much to his relief, he couldn't sense such a monster nearby.
However, since the Starfall Coalition dared to attack Southclear Island, there should be at least one Nascent Soul cultivator in the main host. As such, Han Li could only conceal himself and meekly wait for the conclusion of the battle before stealthily slipping away.