Many villagers along the way felt that Han Li's face was somewhat unfamiliar and curiously glanced at him. However, none of them bothered to approach or question him.
As a result, Han Li was able to arrive in front of a rather worn black stone building unobstructed. After a moment of hesitation, he pushed the door in front of him, but it didn't budge in the slightest.
Han Li was surprised by the door's resistance and suspected that there was something wrong with the door. But after taking another deep breath, he used the entirety of his strength. Although he hadn't cultivated any exterior martial arts, his body had passed through the essence cleansing of both Foundation Establishment and Core Formation and was able to muster great force.
With a heavy groan, the door slowly began to give way, inch by inch, and Han Li was elated at the sight.
At that moment, he discovered that for some reason, the door was twice as thick as an ordinary door. It was no wonder the door was nearly stuck.
Han Li quickly entered the room and was faced with a moist stench of decay. He grimaced and quickly held his breath until the outside air rushed into the room and cleared out most of the unpleasant scent. He then took a short breath of fresh air before he began to look through the room, using the faint light from the doorway.
The room was rather simple. Apart from the rows of stone tablets that took up a majority of the room, there were also a few stone tables. The stone tablets were about three meters tall and six meters wide, much to Han Li's surprise. As for the stone tables, they had records and a few scrolls as well as what seemed to be lifeless magic tools.
Han Li quickly recovered from his surprise, and after some thought, he burst into laughter.
How could one find wood or bamboo to make paper with in this realm? As for jade slips, they were incapable of being used without magic power. As such, the stone tablets would be the only way to record something so these stone tablets should be the records they had left behind.
As for the magic tools on the table, they seemed to be just like his own flying swords and must be removed from this place before they could be put away. As for storage pouches, Han Li hadn't spotted any of them in the room. It seems they had been dealt with in a different manner and weren't left on display.
After glancing at the general situation in the room, Han Li casually walked over to a stone tablet and saw that it was covered in a thick layer of dust, obscuring whatever was carved into it. Han Li casually tore off a piece of his jacket with a frown and started to wipe it clean.
Soon, Han Li was able to see what was carved onto the tablet.
These weren't characters that were widely used in the cultivation world but rather were a type of rarely seen script. Fortunately for Han Li, he was vastly experienced and could easily recognize them.
But as soon as Han Li glanced at the tablet, his interest immediately disappeared. This was merely the diary of a Foundation Establishment cultivator. Han Li immediately set it to the side and began to look through the other stone tablets in the room.
There were about twenty in total. It was only when Han Li reached the sixth stone tablet that his interest finally began to stir. He had found what he was looking for, the cultivation experiences of the Nascent Soul cultivator! Han Li was entranced and motionlessly stood in front of the stone tablet for an unknown amount of time before letting out a long breath and revealing a complicated expression.
Han Li muttered, "So it turns out that condensing a Nascent Soul is such a fearsome affair. Even with the assistance of the Ninecurl Spirit Ginseng, my odds of condensing a Nascent Soul still aren't very high. It seems that being dropped into the Umbra Realm was somewhat beneficial after all."
Although the tablet didn't describe any specific method of cultivation, the nameless Nascent Soul cultivator had recorded his experiences from the Foundation Establishment stage to when he had condensed a Nascent Soul with impeccable detail. Han Li felt delighted surprise upon reading through them. With the pointers given through the Nascent Soul cultivator's experiences, Han Li would make far less mistakes due to misconceptions when condensing a Nascent Soul.
After reading through the stone tablet several times to make sure that he hadn't overlooked anything, Han Li put it to the side and began to look through the remaining tablets.
He had originally intended to depart, but after some thought, he figured that since he was already there he may as well read through them all and learn what he could. As such, Han Li looked through each of the tablets in a lax manner.
As expected, the remaining tablets didn't contain anything truly useful. Although a few of them contained cultivation arts, they were all beneath his notice as he had the Profound Yin Arts in his possession.
After the time it took to finish a meal, Han Li arrived at the final tablet.
He absent-mindedly swept the dust off of the tablet and examined it before revealing an astonished expression.
This tablet was completely different from the rest. It was filled with finely carved, rice-sized characters that were far smaller than anything on the previous tablets. Furthermore, when Han Li swept his gaze over them, he discovered that there were two different types of characters written on the tablet. One was a common ancient language, but the other was in demon beast script.
Han Li's curiosity was greatly piqued, and he began to carefully look through it while becoming increasingly more excited.
The stone tablet was a manual specifically intended to teach the demon language. Furthermore, it was extremely detailed and gave word by word explanations. The cultivator who carved this had an immense familiarity with the demon beast language.
Although Han Li couldn't immediately grasp the teachings, if he recorded the text and slowly read through it day by day, he was certain to be able to learn it. As such, he would be able to clearly understand the demon techniques that were recorded in the old hide book and the copper demon plate.
As for whether or not humans could learn the techniques of demons, Han Li didn't bother thinking much about it. Even if the demon techniques were of no use to him, there were only benefits to be gained from learning the demon language. Who knew whether or not it would be useful in the future?
After all, this was an incredibly rare opportunity.
After spending a rather long period of time, Han Li managed to utilize his eidetic memory and commit every character on the tablet to memory without fail. He then took a deep breath and left the room without even bothering to take another look at the magic tools on the tables.
After leaving the stone building, Han Li began to wander around the village and examined a few of the more peculiar buildings. He would examine them closely and talk to a few of the nearby villagers about them. Fortunately for him, these villagers were rather simple-minded. Although he as a complete stranger, they amiably answered any questions he had.
With this, Han Li quickly began to understand a few basic things about the Umbra Realm.
For example, since there were no iron mines or such, they could only refine weapons from the bones of particular umbra beasts. Of course, weapons couldn't directly be made from the bones themselves and were immersed in a liquid known as "dark water", hardening the weapons as a result. Additionally, they gained the added effect of Yin flames, causing them to become particularly powerful against umbra beasts. But because the supplementary effect of the Yin flames quickly expired, these weapons had to be re-immersed in dark water every so often in order to maintain their deadliness. This greatly aroused Han Li's curiosity.
Furthermore, every few months, there would be a storm of Yin winds that lasted several days. During this time, a majority of the umbra realm would be covered in bone-chilling black Yin winds. Humans are incapable of moving outside during this period, as they would be turned into black ice sculptures by the Yin winds. Only with the protection of the village's spell techniques could the villagers remain unharmed.
In contrast, umbra beasts were most active during the storm and would frequently appear, sometimes attacking the villages in groups, much to the worry of humans.
Han Li had acquired quite a lot of information in this manner before suddenly being inspired to ask about the slender-eyed white-faced man that seemed to bode him ill. They told him that he was an outsider surnamed Feng who had been sucked in several years ago that possessed astonishing martial arts. He had killed powerful umbra beasts many times since arriving and was rather renowned in the village. As a result, he had become an elder despite his young age and was responsible for teaching the youths in the village martial arts, gaining great prestige amongst the village youth as well.
While Han Li didn't feel particularly fearful after hearing this, he inwardly frowned and felt that the man would prove quite troublesome.
After strolling around the village for a while longer and seeing what there was to see, he leisurely made his way back to his building.
But just as he arrived, Han Li suddenly heard a man's voice coming from within the room.
"What? Everything I just said was sincere. So long as Lady Mei marries me, not only will you have no lack of food, but you need not risk your life to carry out missions. I have remained alone for many years, not because I am a fickle person, but because Lady Mei is the first that truly touches my heart." At some unknown time, the middle-aged man surnamed Feng had arrived within the room.