Chapter 564: A Gift
After hearing Han Li’s tone suddenly turn harsh, the fiendish man felt that something was amiss. When he saw Han Li had tossed over a severed head, he felt his heart drop but he unconsciously blurred forward to catch it. In the same instant he moved forward, he clearly saw the severed head’s face. He felt his heart quake upon realizing that the pale severed head belonged to Old Man Ding.
The skeletal man was similarly aghast when he saw that it was the head of Old Man Ding. With great coordination, the two quickly drew close to one another the instant they discovered the situation had gone awry. They then commanded their magic treasures to return to them before staring at Han Li with vigilant expressions.
Although Han Li was a late Core Formation cultivator, if the two of them joined hands, they could possibly rival him. As a result, they didn’t appear to possess the slightest fear.
Not far away, Yuan Yao was watching all of this unfold in utter confusion. Despite not using the opportunity to escape, she still maintained the devilish technique that surrounded her body and had her strange red hammer revolve around her out of caution as she silently observed the strange actions of Han Li and the others.
Han Li shot a deep glance at Yuan Yao before turning his gaze back to the skeletal man and the fiendish man. Without offering any further explanation, he waved both his arms with a faint smile and over twenty small azure swords flew out from his sleeves like two schools of fish. Then in a sudden burst of light, the flying swords shot directly at the pair of cultivators.
When the skeletal man and the fiendish man saw this, they couldn’t believe their eyes and had incredulous expressions on their faces.
Ordinary Core Formation cultivators had to exhaust most of their fortune just to refine a single magic treasure, and now this traitorous ally before them had suddenly took out over twenty flying swords. With this single display, the two immediately knew that Han Li was no ordinary late Core Formation cultivator, and didn’t stand a chance against him.
The skeletal man’s expression paled and he suddenly yelled, “Scatter! To each his own!”
Just as he finished yelling, he transformed into a black streak of light and flew away. Upon hearing this, the fiendish man immediately retrieved his halbard without another word and rushed away in the opposite direction. His speed wasn’t much slower than his partner’s. He seemed to be exceptionally proficient in running away.
When Han Li saw this, his expression grew solemn, and he quickly formed an incantation gesture with both his hands before pointing to his flying swords. The swords then glowed with azure light before each sword produced three identical swordlights, transforming the original twenty four swords into ninety-six and doubling the strength of each of their auras. Han Li then flung his sleeve and imposingly uttered, “Separate.”
As soon as the word was uttered the azure swords split off in two groups. Each group of flying swords then united together with a pulse of azure light and formed their own distinct swarms of light before swiftly setting off.
Han Li’s use of the divine ability Swordshadow Phantasm Technique left the skeletal man and the fiendish man deathly white when they turned their heads around to look. They then began to circulate the entirety of the magic powers in their bodies while fearing for their lives.
Han Li stood still and merely glanced at the two with a trace of pity. The swarms of swordlights traveled at a speed that ordinary cultivators couldn’t hope to match. Unless they had heaven-defying treasures similar to Han Li’s blood-red cloak or Thunderstorm Wings, the two of them didn’t have the slightest chance of survival.
After only a short moment, the swarms of swordlight had traveled several kilometers away and chased down the skeletal man and the fiendish man. They could only helplessly turn around and summon their magic treasures in an attempt to block the sword swarms. But under the overbearing assault of their superior numbers, the swords tore their bodies apart in quick succession, each death accompanied by a miserable scream.
Han Li then calmly released the Swordshadow Phantasm Technique, and had the swords fly back with the now ownerless storage pouches.
With the swords flying back into his robes like birds returning to their nest, Han Li turned to look at the black mist in the distance with a mysterious smile.
To his surprise, before he even spoke Yuan Yao giggled and said, “So it’s Fellow Daoist Han. I didn’t expect that in the tens of years we were apart Brother Han’s abilities would reach this stage. This little woman truly holds you in great esteem!” Soon after she said this, the black mist slowly dispersed to reveal the stunningly beautiful woman. She then silently gazed at Han Li with luminous eyes and a wide smile.
“I didn’t expect for Fellow Daoist Yuan to recognize me. You gave me quite the fright!” Han Li chuckled and then dissolved his appearance exchange arts without hesitation, restoring his original appearance in a flash of white light.
“I, myself, find it quite difficult to believe that apart from Brother Han, there could be another person in the Scattered Star Seas that also possesses such a vast number of flying sword magic treasures.” Although she had said those earlier words with a smile, she still let out a breath of relief after seeing Han Li reveal his true appearance. Then after a moment of hesitation, she refrained from asking why Han Li had appeared here; instead, she approached Han Li and gracefully saluted him, expressing her sincere gratitude, “It is thanks to Brother Han’s timely rescue that this little woman was able to escape calamity.”
She truly understood that if Han Li had meant her harm, she wouldn’t have even been given the opportunity to flee given his current cultivation. As such, it would be far better if she could forge a friendly relationship with him.
Han Li naturally knew why Yuan Yao had showed him respect with such a strong smile. As such, he chuckled and waved his arm before saying, “I merely happened to encounter this hunting party by chance, and saving you only required very slight effort. Since we last saw each other, it seems Fellow Daoist Yuan has made quite a bit of progress with her techniques.”
Yuan Yao tilted her head and glanced at Han Li before speaking with feigned anger, “Is Brother Han making fun of this little woman? Brother Han has already reached late Core Formation stage while I am still lingering at early Core Formation stage. What progress is there to speak of?”
“Hehe! Fellow Daoist Yuan is far too modest. Although I’ve managed to reach this stage with the assistance of many chance encounters, there are still several matters that I must consult with you about.”
Yuan Yao was momentarily stunned before concealing a giggle with her hand. “Hehe! Ask as you please, but if Brother Han doesn’t find my humble home distasteful, wouldn’t it be better to have our chat there?” The woman treated Han Li with obvious intimacy, perhaps due to him having just saved her life.
Without putting on any airs, Han Li saluted her and agreed, “Then I will have to trouble you to lead the way!”
Yuan Yao’s complexion flushed and she descended onto the island with a smile on her face as Han Li followed her into her cave residence.
Yuan Yao’s cave residence couldn’t be considered very large, but it was tastefully arranged in an elegant and clean manner. Additionally, the residence’s passageways were lined with rare and colorful plants, filling the ordinarily dull cave residence with color and a pleasant fragrance.
When Han Li saw this, he couldn’t help but warmly smile as Yuan Yao led Han Li into a stone hall over thirty meters wide. After Han Li took a seat at the table, she steeped a pot of fragrant tea and happily sat across from Han Li.
“Brother Han is quite famous within the Scattered Star Seas; you’ve acquired quite the reputation. Nearly everyone has heard of how the top ranked secret treasure in the Scattered Star Seas fell into the hands of a Core Formation cultivator surnamed Han. Judging by how Fellow Daoist entered late Core Formation in so few years, could it be that you have consumed the legendary Heavenmend Pill? Is the medicine truly as miraculous as the legends say?” As soon as Yuan Yao sat down, she revealed an unconcealed longing towards both the Heavenmend Pill and the Heavenvoid Cauldron.
Han Li paused for a moment before silently smiling, the woman was quite clever. She clearly had taken the opportunity to raise the matter of the Heavenvoid Cauldron and the Heavenmend pill without showing any hostile intentions. Han Li couldn’t help but feel favorable towards her.
Han Li sighed and shook his head, “Since Fellow Daoist Yuan mentioned it, I won’t try to fool you. The Heavenvoid Cauldron really is in my possession. However, due to my shallow cultivation, I’ve been unable to open the cauldron ever since I acquired it. Whatever treasures it contains are completely inaccessible to me for the time being. By the time my cultivation progresses and I have the ability to open it, the Heavenmend Pill will no longer be of any use to me.” Since his cultivation far exceeded her own, he didn’t feel the need to lie and calmly revealed the truth of the matter.
“You’ve yet to open the Heavenvoid Cauldron?” When Yuan Yao heard this, she paused for a moment, before revealing an expression of slight disbelief.
Han Li frowned and was disinclined to offer the woman any further explanation. Instead, he coughed several times and decided to clearly strike at the heart of the matter at hand. He stared at Yuan Yao and slowly said, “Would Fellow Daoist Yuan happen to have any more Myriad Spirit Milk on her? You should know that with the Heavenvoid Cauldron in my possession, trouble has a way of constantly finding me. This along with many other unexpected matters has caused me to consume nearly all the Myriad Year Spirit Milk that you gave me. If you have any of it remaining, I am willing to pay a high price for it. You definitely won’t suffer a loss.”
Han Li would have lost his life several times over during his time in the Outer Star Seas, were it not for the Myriad Year Spirit Milk. After realizing just how important this item was, Han Li was naturally unwilling to let go an opportunity to acquire the other half of the spirit milk originally in the bottle. With this, he would have yet another life saving item the next time danger came to seek him out.
When Yuan Yao heard Han Li, she paused for a moment before unconsciously frowning.
A moment later, she took out a jade bottle from her waist and placed it at the center of the table and pushed it towards Han Li without any hesitation.
The woman serenely gazed at Han Li and said, “I haven’t used even a drop of the Myriad Year Spirit Milk. Brother Han can have it as a gift, so there is no need to give me any spirit stones or items for it.”
 [First introduced in Chapter 217. It is a technique that allows swords to produce an illusory copy of themselves. At his current strength, each of the sword illusions are able to retain one-third of the power of the original weapon.]