The insect control techniques weren't difficult to cultivate, and given Han Li's current cultivation and comprehension, they were easily learned. Even so, these secret techniques greatly broadened Han Li's horizons and the many recorded methods to direct insects to attack were fascinating and impressive. The Insect Armor Technique in particular had allowed him to act on his previous musings of the idea.
Previously, he was able to concentrate the black-tainted Gold Devouring Beetles into simple forms such as blades; however, objects as complicated as battle armor were still out of reach. It was a difficult matter that couldn't be resolved. With the Insect Armor Technique contained within the jade slip, he was able to skillfully learn how to condense battle armor in only a month.
Han Li was brimming with delight. He was convinced the expert that founded this technique was likely to have possessed insects as hardy as the Gold Devouring Beetles, whose defensive power wasn't inferior to true armor type treasures. Additionally, this technique wasn't well known considering there were so few insect cultivators.
In the hands of Han Li, and with the incredible durability of the black-tainted Gold Devouring Beetles along with their particular transformation abilities, this technique could create battle armor that was well suited for himself and possessed immense defensive ability that surpassed those of common armors. Moreover, once his pure Gold Devouring Beetles fully matured and he was more skilled with the insect control techniques, Han Li was confident they would be able to transform into even more impressive armor.
With the thought of the fully evolved Gold Devouring Beetles, he found it difficult to contain his excitement.
A short moment later, Han Li eventually regained his calm. He stroked his armor in a moment of thought before blowing a mouthful of spiritual Qi onto the armor. The armor quickly scattered back into the cloud of beetles and returned to the spirit beast pouch under Han Li's orders.
He returned to sitting cross-legged on the ground and took out an azure jade slip from his storage pouch, the item that Xin Ruyin had left behind. He clasped it with both hands and narrowed his eyes before quickly immersing his spiritual sense into the jade slip. He skipped past the ancient formation spells for the time being and sought the Profound Nascent Formation Arts at the very end.
This technique was founded by an unnamed Devil Dao cultivator in the age of antiquity. Not only was the incantation profound and cryptic, but its words were dense with hidden and rich meaning. Han Li studied each of the words with great deliberation.
After half a year passed, Han Li had a greater understanding of the technique. This had led to him feeling great awe and respect towards the ancient cultivator that founded this technique.
This technique did indeed have some similarities to the Righteous Dao's Three Truths Severance Arts. As for precisely how much, Han Li had no way of knowing as it would be impossible for him to access the greatest secret technique of the Righteous Dao. Still, it stood to reason that this technique was entirely different from the External Incarnation Technique. This heaven-defying technique truly created a second incarnation of one's self. Once this technique was fully cultivated, one would possess an entirely independent Nascent Soul. Although there was something of a master-servant relationship between the two, each one would be able to survive if the other met an unexpected end.
It was merely that the secondary Nascent Soul suffer a great loss in vitality if the main Nascent Soul were to perish, before it could slowly take the place of the main Nascent Soul. If the secondary Nascent Soul were to perish, it would leave the main Nascent Soul completely unaffected.
What made Han Li even more excited was that the second Nascent Soul could be fused into the body of a superior cultivator's corpse and form an incarnation. Once the incarnation was complete, it was a genuine existence outside of the main body. Even if his main body perished, Han Li would survive so long as the incarnation did. After all, both bodies would hold the exact same memories and emotions.
This technique was entirely different from when he had Crooked Soul become a fiend core incarnation. Crooked Soul was merely a puppet that Han Li could control with a sliver of his primal soul. It had no emotions of its own nor independent ability. Furthermore, Crooked Soul had to be in range of Han Li's spiritual sense, else he would lose control.
As for the incarnation created from the Profound Nascent Formation Arts, it could exist entirely on its own regardless of distance. It would take independent action without orders as if it were just another cultivator.
Han Li felt his blood run cold when he read this. But after some further reading, he eventually reached the description of the technique's restrictions and flaws.
Once Han Li read through them, it felt like he had been drenched in cold water. His fervent excitement had disappeared in an instant. The difficulty of condensing a Nascent Soul had left him completely speechless.
It took common cultivators centuries to fragment their core and form a Nascent Soul. Cultivating a Second Nascent Soul would require a second core to shatter, which would take far too much time. The only method would be to seize another cultivator's Nascent Soul and erase its consciousness. Once it is assimilated with one's own spiritual sense, it would become one's Nascent Soul. Although the jade slip mentioned the method to seize and wipe the consciousness of another Nascent Soul, needless to say it was an extremely dangerous matter with low odds of success.
Even if this managed to somehow succeed in a fluke, the assimilation process was even more dangerous. Given that a Nascent Soul was temporarily seized, forcefully assimilating it with oneself still risked having one's spiritual sense being devoured by the target Nascent Soul in the process. Of course, it this managed to succeed, one would have a second Nascent Soul along with its many benefits.
If one wished to take it a step further and create an incarnation, one merely needed to find a suitable corpse and have the second Nascent Soul possess it. Of course, the greater the cultivation of the original body, the better. It would be optimal if it were the body of a Nascent Soul cultivator so that the secondary Nascent Soul would be able to fully utilize its powers.
Nevertheless, Nascent Soul cultivators couldn't speak lightly of killing a cultivator of a similar grade. It was an incredibly difficult matter, and even with Han Li's great might he doubted his own ability to do so.
Of course, even if the Profound Nascent Formation succeeded, one still wasn't free of worry. There was still a chance of backlash.
An incarnation would be equivalent to refining another self. With the passage of time, there would be discrepancies between their emotions and memories that would appear. The incarnation may even strive its hardest to seize control over the main body. Especially when the incarnation possessed superior power to the main body, there was a chance it would take advantage of its special connection to the main body to restrain it, reversing their positions.
As such, although an incarnation can be separated by vast distances and carry out the orders of the main body, it is best to not have it stray too far away. Every so often, one must perform the Profound Nascent Formation Arts' Unification Technique to dispel the inner demons of each soul and converge their primal souls into one, strengthening the primary soul's control over the incarnation.
Of course, in addition to the incarnation backlash, the incarnation also possessed its own flaws, but they weren't nearly as significant.
In fact when the second Nascent Soul was acquired, it was already considered initial success stage for the Profound Nascent Formation Arts. Without any need to cultivate a second incarnation, one had a vast advantage in battle. The second Nascent Soul would be able to use various powerful abilities and greatly increase the chance of survival without any danger from backlash.
Han Li's expression was sullen as he examined the advantages and drawbacks of this cultivation art.
Although it was incredibly difficult to cultivate, it possessed a proportionately powerful ability that he wasn't about to easily relinquish. So long as he fully cultivated it, it would be equivalent to having an additional life, an extremely captivating proposition. As for how he would acquire another cultivator's Nascent Soul, Han Li suddenly recalled the Wood Spirit Nascent that he had captured earlier.
Han Li frowned and took out the jade box from his storage pouch. He gently stroked the jade box and remained silent for a long while.
He heard a bit of the Wood Spirit Nascent's origins from Liu Mei and naturally knew that it was quite different from ordinary Nascent Souls. However, it also stood to reason that the Controlling Spirit Sect's Five Element Spirit Nascents technique had a few similarities with the Profound Nascent Formation Technique. Since this Spirit Nascent was to be fused with a Core Formation cultivator, refining the Wood Spirit Nascent as a second Nascent Soul should follow the same principles and prove to be possible. Besides, he had no other uses for the Wood Spirit Nascent so there would be no harm in trying.
As for the danger of seizing it and erasing the consciousness of the Nascent Soul, it shouldn't prove to be a problem with assistance from his other treasures and his powerful spiritual sense. The only problem he had to worry about was the assimilation of the formless Nascent Soul.
If any problems occurred, he could only sever the portion of his spiritual sense that occupied the Nascent Soul, causing great harm to his soul in the process. It was difficult to say if such an outcome would result in any lasting influence to his mind.
With that thought, Han Li began to wear a face of hesitation.