When Yuan Yao answered Han Li's question, her face revealed a hopeful expression, "That's right. I had acquired a jade slip from the Azure Yang Sect's young master that described the Soul Nurturing Wood contained inside Heavenvoid Hall. As such, I prepared myself to go to the Heavenvoid Hall with intention of acquiring the divine wood. However, I didn't expect that it would be far more dangerous than the legends made it out to be. Were it not for your assistance on several occasions, I fear I wouldn't have made it out of Heavenvoid Hall as I had only recently entered Core Formation at the time. Senior Martial Sister Yan Li's primal soul mostly recovered her strength at this point, after being nourished by the Soul Nurturing Wood for so many years. Although she can't possess a body of her own accord, she can still possess a different fleshly body with the Soulrise Technique."
Han Li's expression slightly changed when he heard this, "Soulrise Technique? Is that a type of technique which draws the soul into a fresh corpse and brings it back to life?"
Han Li stared at the woman and imposingly said, "Fellow Daoist Yuan, do you know what you're trying to do? Not to mention the danger when using this technique, but the cost of using such a technique is more than an ordinary cultivator can bear. Not only does one's cultivation need to be at least at Core Formation to use this technique, but due to its heaven defying nature, it will also subject your cultivation to unbearable strain. As an early Core Formation cultivator, it's very likely that you will shatter your core upon using the technique and drop down back to Foundation Establishment stage."
When Yuan Yao heard Han Li's warning, she grew silent for a moment before playing it down by saying, "Of course I know all of that. When possessing a living person's body, so long as one didn't violate the three inviolable laws, it's a relatively safe matter. Since the Soulrise technique is fundamentally different from possession and causes a fresh corpse to revive, it naturally possesses a high cost."
A trace of spirited light appeared within Han Li's eyes, and he solemnly warned, "With the aid of the Soul Nurturing Wood, why can't your Senior Martial Sister take the initiative to possess a body? Can't you just wait until after reaching the mid Core Formation stage before using the Soulrise Technique on your Senior Martial Sister? If you try to form another core after having it shattered, it's so incredibly difficult that it could be considered nearly impossible."
Yuan Yao calmly replied, "Senior Martial Sister suffered far too heavy an injury and has existed as a soul for far too long. Her consciousness has already started to dim and it isn't something that the Soul Nurturing Wood is capable of blocking. She only has one or two years at most before she thoroughly loses her sense of self. If I were to wait until then to use the Soulrise Technique, she would only be a mindless husk. And just as it so happens, I recently came across a very suitable fresh corpse and have already spent a lot of effort into laying down the spell formation for the Soulrise Technique. Had no one disturbed me, I would've begun the ritual in the coming month." Although a slight trace of sorrow could be seen on her face, she appeared determined.
Having heard this, a strange emotion flickered within Han Li's eyes. A short moment later, he let out a breath and asked, "Did Miss Yuan say this with the intention of asking me for help?"
Yuan Yao wore a resolute expression with wide eyes. "Brother Han just saved me a moment ago, so it would be improper for me ask you for assistance. However, the Soulrise Technique requires a place of profound Yin, and will produce effects that spell formations cannot conceal that will attract the attention of other cultivators. Because I was branded a criminal by the Azure Yang Sect, I have been unable to acquaint myself with any other high grade cultivators apart from you. I can only hope that you'll stay for the next few days and offer this little woman some protection as she employs the ritual. As this matter relates to the life or death of my Senior Martial Sister Yan Li, I will agree to any conditions I am able to so long as you agree."
Han Li grew silent for a moment with a pensive expression. According to how he would ordinarily act, he wouldn't even consider staying behind. He had his own share of troubles and couldn't afford to take on anyone else's. However, Yuan Yao wouldn't hesitate to shatter her own core if it meant she could save her good friend. This touching act had stirred up emotions that Han Li had kept locked away deep within his heart.
After a moment of deliberation, he came to the conclusion that so long as he didn't encounter any mid Nascent Soul stage cultivators, he wouldn't be in any danger at his current cultivation. If any ordinary cultivators were to spy on what was happening, he would be able to easily exterminate them. If all he had to do was protect the woman for a few days, then it wouldn't take much effort on his part.
With that thought, Han Li came to a decision and rubbed his nose. He wryly smiled and said, "It seems I don't have a heart of stone after all, because for some reason I just can't refuse you. Since you're even willing to shatter your own core, I will assist you in raising Miss Yan Li's soul, and will act as your protector just this once! I require no other conditions aside from you having to tell me what is amiss with the Weeping Soul Pearl. I have felt apprehensive about refining the treasure ever since you mentioned it. Also, the place of profound Yin isn't be on this island, yes? This place has already been exposed, so it would be a very good idea to conduct the ritual elsewhere."
When Yuan Yao heard Han Li's response, her beauty appeared to blossom as she wore a thankful expression. She then took out a green jade slip and handed it over to Han Li saying, "I am truly grateful for your assistance, Brother Han! However, please don't worry. The place of profound Yin isn't here, it's on another island. Although it is only several days away, we should be safe from the Azure Yang Sect's pursuit for more than enough time for me to conduct the ritual. As for the the matter of the Weeping Soul Pearl, it is quite simple. The Azure Yang Sect young master's Weeping Soul Beast wasn't completely refined. As such, the Weeping Soul Pearl used to control it is flawed. After refining it, one would periodically experience headaches. Additionally, once it is more deeply refined, the headaches would become far more severe. I merely refined it to less than half of completion in order to deal with the first trial of Heavenvoid Hall - the ghost mist, but it still left me restless and troubled. I also have the refinement technique for the Weeping Soul Beast itself. Although I believe that you won't be able to finish refining it on your own, I will give it to you regardless."
Han Li came to a sudden realization about why its power was so inferior to how the legends described. It turned out that his Weeping Soul Beast was a half finished product.
Han Li took the jade slip with slight disappointment and casually took a look inside before throwing it into his storage pouch.
Then with a bright expression, Han Li said, "Miss Yuan, since this place has already been revealed, we should immediately leave for the place of profound Yin to spare us from any potential troubles that may come this way."
Yuan Yao paused for a moment before agreeing, "Yes! I would've proposed the same. I'll quickly tend to my belongings before we depart."
Three days later, Han Li was looking down at a small, barren island.
Han Li stroked his chin and turned to the beautiful woman at his side, asking, "The Yin Qi is truly dense on this island, so it must've been quite difficult for you to find it. Perhaps by drawing on the support of the immense Yin Qi, Miss Yuan won't suffer much backlash when using the technique."
Yuan Yao glanced at the island with a slight smile and said, "Of course. I only managed to find this nameless island after searching through the records of the nearby seas. Long ago, this island was a demon beast graveyard. Before humans had established themselves among the Scattered Star Seas, the nearby low grade demon beasts would approach this island of their own accord when they reached the end of the lifespan to die here. After countless years, the island has developed an astonishing amount of Yin Qi, but few know of it since this island is so far from commonly traveled routes and is quite small."
With that said, the woman flew down without any further hesitation with Han Li calmly following after her.
After descending onto the edge of the island, Yuan Yao brought Han Li to a small, empty valley that was littered with fist-sized black stones.
When Yuan Yao arrived at the edge of the valley, she formed an incantation gesture with both hands and shot out a streak of red light. The valley then rippled with red light before revealing an extremely complicated spell formation that spanned over thirty meters. From the profound talisman characters contained within the formation pieces, its intricacy was obvious at a glance.
But what left Han Li surprised was the translucent coffin of white jade at its center. It was two meters long, a meter wide and a meter tall with streaks of white coiling around it. The entire coffin was actually made from glacial jade! Its price must've tremendous.
There was no doubt in Han Li's mind about whether this glacial jade coffin contained the body that Yuan Yao intended for Yan Li.
To the best of Han Li's knowledge, the Soulrise Technique required several extremely specific conditions. Not only did it require a corpse with the same spiritual roots and age as the soul when it died, but the owner of the corpse must have suffered in the same manner as the soul did when they died. Even their grievances and resentful Qi had to be a perfect match! If any of these conditions weren't met, the Soulrise Technique couldn't be used!
As Han Li examined the coffin of glacial jade, Yuan Yao took out a black wood box from her robes with extreme care and placed it on the coffin before taking several steps back.