Han Li glanced at the case made of bone, but didn’t move to receive it. With an indifferent expression, he asked, “What do you mean?” He wasn’t about to take the case before realizing what it was.
The red-faced old man let out a long sigh and said, “There is no need for Fellow Daoist to think much of it. The case contains the refinement method for one of our sect protecting talismans, the Spirit Subjugation Talisman. Originally, only the sect master could learn it. I only have one intention; I wish for Fellow Daoist Han to deliver the talisman refinement method on my behalf. I don’t wish for the talisman to forever be lost from the sect.” Soon after, he lifted the cover of the case to reveal several pieces of engraved bone.
A trace of hesitation appeared on Han Li’s face, “The Spirit Subjugation Talisman? Since only the sect master could learn, then your esteemed self must be the Heavenly Talisman Sect Master?”
The old man conceded, “I shamefully admit that I am the fifty-seventh sect master of the Heavenly Talisman Sect, a small dying sect from the State of Jin’s Flower Cloud Province. It is quite laughable that a Foundation Establishment cultivator like myself acted in the position of sect master.”
A strange expression momentarily appeared on Han Li’s face but he soon frowned. After a short moment, he glanced at the old man and slowly said, “The Spirit Subjugation Talisman should certainly be unique considering that only the sect master could learn it. Fellow Daoist Yun doesn’t fear that I would learn of its contents? Additionally, while I have heard of the resounding name of your country, I’ve never been there before, and I am unsure of whether or not an opportunity would truly arise for me to visit. From how I see it, aren’t you being a bit too rash?”
When the red-faced old man heard Han Li’s questions, he didn’t reveal the slightest surprise. Instead, he replied with an appreciative expression, “Since I am giving this item to you, I’ve already accepted that Fellow Daoist Han will learn the talisman refinement technique as payment. To tell the truth, I’m not sure whether you would be interested in learning it after taking a look at it. Although the refinement method of the Spirit Subjugation talisman has been passed down from generation it generation, it had only been refined a scarce few times by the founders. It has merely continued to be passed down despite not being refined by the later sect masters. And since my own sect was already greatly weakened, this talisman will only serve as a sentimental dream of mine.
“As for whether or not Brother Han can arrive in the country of Jin, it doesn’t really matter. I merely find peace of mind that the sect founder’s creation isn’t forever lost from the cultivation world. Even if the talisman refinement method truly isn’t capable of returning to the sect, it will be good enough if Fellow Daoist Han passes it down so that it doesn’t remain lost. When I later face the previous generations of sect masters in the underworld, I will have an excuse.” The red-faced old man spoke with a bitter smile.
When Han Li heard this, he was somewhat dumbfounded.
The Heavenly Talisman’s sect master was only seeking peace of mind. It seemed that the exchange was incredibly one sided in Han Li’s favor and that he wouldn’t suffer any loss. If he truly was incapable of going to the Great State of Jin, then he had no obligation to return the bone case. But if he was able to visit this famed country, then delivering the item would only take a minor effort.
Furthermore, it seemed that the Spirit Subjugation Talisman was a rather miraculous talisman for it to be so difficult to refine. It greatly piquied Han Li’s interest! According to his vast experiences, apart from the commonly refined talismans of the five elements, there were talismans with unfathomable and extraordinary effects known as secret talismans.
These secret talismans weren’t difficult to differentiate among the five elements. Additionally, each sect had their own unique method of refining their own secret talisman, making it extremely difficult for outsiders to copy them.
For example, when the Star Palace Elders had nearly killed him in a sneak attack from Heavenvoid Hall, they had used a proxy produced by the Incarnation Talisman. Afterwards, they used a transportation talisman unique to the Star Palace to escape. Of course,the Incarnation talisman was worth far more than the teleportation talisman despite both being secret talismans.
After some further thought, Han Li accepted the bone case without any further hesitation and solemnly pledged, “I can only promise that I will try my best. Fellow Daoist Yun shouldn’t expect too much.”
“Hehe, that’s fine! I am already completely grateful for Brother Han’s words.” The red-faced old man appreciatively thanked him several times. Afterwards, he had a quick chat with Han Li before tactfully taking his leave.
Han Li stood by the building’s entrance as he watched the old man walk away before weighing the bone case in his hand. It was light; there didn’t seem to be anything profound about the bone case itself.
Mei Ning, who had been silently standing behind him, couldn’t help but ask, “This is the first time I’ve heard of this Spirit Subjugation Talisman. Could it truly be powerful?”
Han Li smiled at Mei Ning and said, “I don’t know, but I reckon it is unordinary at the very least!” Soon after, he sat down beside the table in the room and started to look through each of the bones.
“Yi!” After a mere glance, Han Li yelped in shock.
“What? Is there a problem with the talisman refinement method?” Mei Ning sat down across from Han Li and glanced at him with bright curiosity. Ever since their kiss, they’d become somewhat more familiar with one another and their original awkwardness had disappeared.
“It’s nothing. It’s just that the materials required to refine the Spirit Subjugating Talisman are truly extraordinary. It was no wonder that the Heavenly Talisman Sect didn’t dare to refine this talisman.” After looking through all of the bones, he casually closed the bone case aside.
Mei Ning curiously asked, “What are these materials that Brother Han find so extraordinary?”
Han Li grabbed a bone shard and smiled, saying, “It’s primary materials can’t be considered much. But there is one extraordinary material that can’t be bought with spirit stones: the soul of a metamorphosis stage demon beast. Wouldn’t you say that is extraordinary?”
“The soul of a demon beast at metamorphosis stage?” Mei Ning gasped in astonishment.
However, Han Li’s mysterious expression as he grasped the bone shard had completely escaped her notice.
Having rested for the night, Han Li and Mei Ning left the village without notifying anybody else, much to the astonishment of the village guards.
Han Li found himself standing on yet another pile of rocks as he gazed into the yellow desert in front of him. After getting their bearings, Han Li and Mei Ning headed towards the nearest village.
Han Li’s plans were quite simple: find the elder brother of Mei Ning. If he was alive, he was certain to be found in another village, and when he was found, Han Li would bring him and Mei Ning to Stormwind Mountain. Mei Ning felt that this plan was reasonable and followed his lead without complaint.
Then in the blink of an eye, the two faded away into the endless sand.
In an expanse of blood-crimson soil, there were a dozen young grey-robed men and women with bone pikes stealthily climbing up a tall mound and slowly surrounding it.
At the top of the mound, there were many green beasts with short and thick necks who were currently curled up in their sleep.
These were umbra beasts by the name of Jade Yin Toads. Their bodies were small and covered in lumps. While they appeared as if they were just enlarged toads from the mortal world, they didn’t possess an ounce of poison on their bodies and were one of the few umbra beasts that were edible to humans.
These people had naturally come to hunt the Jade Yin Toads to ease the crisis of their village’s food shortage.
The group’s actions were nimble and silent. By the time they had completely surrounded them, a Jade Yin Toad suddenly opened its red eyes and saw that there were humans about a hundred meters away.
“Attack!” As soon as that was shouted, the beast began to croak in warning, but in the blink of an eye, over a dozen sparkling white bone pikes were shot towards the beasts.
As a result, a majority of the Jade Yin Toads had leapt away, and only two had met the barrage of spears. However, these two were the most vigorous of the toads and they managed to dodge out of the way, ending up with only scrapes from the spears.
The Jade Yin Toads were among the weakest of umbra beasts. Apart from being able to spout a few mouthfuls of Yin Qi, they had few other powerful attacks. However, they were particularly adept at using their powerful jumps to escape with astonishing effectiveness.
The remaining two Jade Yin Toads took large breaths and spouted out large clouds of black Yin Qi. Afterwards, they jumped twenty five meters into the air and broke the encirclement. Although the group had continued to use their pikes without reserve, they were clearly too slow, and were incapable of catching up to the two Jade Yin Toads.
After the two Jade Yin Toads leapt towards a strange expanse of stone in the distance, a flash of azure light sparked, resulting in the two toads falling to the ground with their throats gouged.
Green blood painted the red ground.
This scene caused the dismayed youths to look on with astonishment.