As Wei Wuya and Master Sunreach remained behind and had a casual discussion about Han Li, the person in question had already arrived outside. To his surprise, Han Li caught sight of Dong Xuan'er.
The woman was standing outside the hall with a lowered head as if she were thinking about something. The cultivators standing guard had ignored her since she had arrived with Devil Cloudpart.
When she saw Han Li arrive, it stirred a reaction from Dong Xuan'er. She wore an odd expression on her face and appeared to be at a loss. A trace of resentment could also be faintly made out.
Han Li felt somewhat bewildered and couldn't make much sense of the matter. Regardless, Han Li promptly walked past her as if he hadn't seen her and slowly walked towards the distant street. She simply stood in place, biting her lips, and watched Han Li in silence as he left.
After making a turn, he sensed her gaze had left him, and he shook his head with a frown.
Silvermoon's puzzled voice echoed from the back of his mind. "Master, you recognize that female cultivator?"
Han Li casually replied, "She was an old acquaintance. But our relationship couldn't be considered good."
"Is that so? From her expression, it appeared your relationship with her was unordinary. Could it be Master once..." Silvermoon smiled and deliberately trailed off.
"Enough nonsense. I have a poor impression of the woman, and we were even once enemies." Han Li grew annoyed and coldly snorted.
Silvermoon wryly smiled in response and tactfully kept silent.
Ever since Han Li saved Silvermoon and remained silent on the matter of the Purple Cloudlace and the ancient flower basket being seized, Silvermoon grew far more intimate with Han Li. Although she didn't dare to be too imprudent with him, she spoke far more openly with Han Li. Of course, he also sensed this and felt more trustful with her in turn, resulting in a much closer relationship between the two.
After returning back to the Drifting Cloud Sect encampment, Han Li had a quick discussion with Lu Luo about the meeting.
Lu Luo wore a worried expression. "There is no need for Junior Martial Brother to risk participating in the wagered battle. It is true that Auric Essence is rare, but you only has one life to lose. This is far from good!"
Han Li smiled and carelessly said, "Senior Martial Brother Lu, please relax. I am confident that I'll make it through the battle in one piece. Why else would I have agreed so quickly? However, I won't be able to pay much mind to the safety of our sect disciples before the battle. Senior Martial Brother Lu will have to look after them alone."
Having heard Han Li, Lu Luo wore a relaxed expression. "In the battle next week, I will naturally look after the sect disciples. Please don't worry about them. Since Junior Martial Brother is confident in the wagered battle, I won't speak further of it. However, I must ask if there is anything that you would like any sect disciples to perform."
Han Li smiled. After a moment of thought, Han Li slowly said, "For the coming battle, I will need to perform a few preparations. There are a few particular materials that I'll need my Junior Martial Nephews to gather for me." Han Li bluntly took out a jade slip he had already prepared and handed it over to Lu Luo.
Lu Luo took the jade slip and resolutely said, "Rest assured. So long as they can be found in Skyfirst City, I will have these materials gathered for you."
Warmed by his words, Han Li nodded and chatted a bit before taking his leave.
The jade slip that he gave Lu Luo detailed the supplementary materials for the Spirit Subjugation Talisman. On the way back to the encampment, he had came to a conclusion that while he should have no problem with the wagered battle given his current abilities, he always felt it best to tread with caution and that he should make what preparations he could; the Spirit Subjugation Talisman being one of them.
 In the Umbra Realm, he received the talisman refinement method for a grand talisman. Chapter 591
It would be the sole killing move that he would be able to prepare within several days time. His only worry was the odds of success for refining it. As for tempering his flying swords with Auric Essence and cultivating the Aureate Sword Formation, that wasn't something that could be accomplished in a sparse few days.
He originally thought to find a satisfactory spirit talisman brush and have some more practice honing his talisman refinement techniques before attempting to create the Spirit Subjugation Talisman. But now that he only had a few days, he had to make an attempt despite the lower chances of success. If he could successfully refine it, he would have another killing move. If he failed, nothing could be done about it. Any other preparations he could make over the next few days wouldn't be able to increase his strength.
With that thought, Han Li calmly arrived at his assigned residence and entered his bedroom. He then sat cross-legged on his bed and closed his eyes.
In a mere two days, Han Li had acquired all of the materials that he had requested. He was delighted and felt reassured of his decision to become a Drifting Cloud Sect Elder.
With these materials on hand, Han Li moved to a sealed room. After taking a seat cross-legged at the center of the room, he placed each of the materials in front of him and carefully opened a black-green bottle that he took out from his storage pouch.
With a woosh, a streak of crimson light shot out from the bottle. Already prepared, Han Li calmly raised his hand and grasped at the air. A large hand of azure light appeared soon after and grabbed the crimson ball of light. The azure light hand then pulsed with light and trembled, revealing the crimson light's true form. It was a crimson flood dragon that was several inches long. It continuously swiveled at the center of the palm and would occasionally attempt to escape, but the surrounding walls of azure light firmly trapped the flood dragon like a bird to a cage.
Han Li narrowed his eyes and blue light shined from his pupils. He was able to instantly view every detail of the flood dragon's soul. It appeared lively and exactly the same as when he had captured it tens of years ago. But with his Brightsight Spirit Eyes, he was able to see something exceptional.
Although the power of the flood dragon's soul still remained astonishingly strong, the light in its eyes had dulled. Clearly, its intelligence had waned. Now, the soul merely had power, but its mind was exactly the same as an unevolved flood dragon. Its attempts to escape were only born from instinct.
Han Li sighed and recalled the grade eight Venomous Flood Dragon and its immense abilities; it was now reduced to a feral soul only over the passage of tens of years. The contrast was so great that it nearly invoked pity! This led Han Li to be particularly mindful of immense challenges on the path of cultivation. If he were to one day lose his flesh body and his primal soul fell into the hands of an enemy he may find himself in the same situation as this Venomous Flood Dragon.
Han Li sat down in silence for a moment longer and sighed. With a shake of his hand, he had the crimson flood dragon appear three meters above his head, remaining trapped in place within a barrier of azure light.
Paying no further attention to the Venomous Flood Dragon soul, Han Li lowered his head to look at the materials before him. He pointed to the emerald-green hide of an unknown spirit beast and had it fly over towards him.
With a bright glint from his eyes, he opened his mouth and spat out a sliver of azure Nascent flame onto the spirit beast hide. Oddly enough, the flames didn't burn the spirit beast hide but enveloped it.
Han Li clutched both of his hands in an incantation gesture and began to continuously flick his fingers, striking the spirit beast hide with a barrage of spell seals. The Nascent flame continuously flickered and pulsed with light. Han Li then ceased his casting incantation gestures and pointed his finger at a white jade box. The box flew over to him and opened to reveal a pile of sparkling silver powder.
He flicked at the jade box, sending a small portion of the silver powder directly into the azure Nascent flames, bringing forth silver embers within the flames. With further control from Han Li's incantation gestures, the flames drew the spirit beast hide to its center, transforming the hide into a huge silver lotus flower that slowly swiveled in the flames.
Han Li's expression grew increasingly solemn and began to point to each of the containers in front of them; various materials dazzlingly burned as they entered the fire. As they burned, the spirit beast hide turned silver to black, then black to green. Then when it turned crimson, Han Li breathed out and ceased pouring in the materials, and instead began to mutter.
At the same time, several of his fingers trembled, shooting out several threads of slim azure light from his fingertips, directly striking the surface of the spirit beast hide. Now under the azure threads' control, the spirit beast hide ceased revolving and began to sway with a strange momentum.
As Han Li continued his incantation, the spirit beast hide began to release slivers of black Qi and shrink by a small amount. When the black Qi touched the crimson Nascent flame, they burned and released a faintly fishy scent in the air.
Han Li seemed to ignore this and continued maintaining the flames for two hours. When the last sliver of black Qi from the spirit beast hide had been refined, Han Li's expression finally relaxed and he sighed with relief.
He tossed several more materials into the flame and had them burn for a moment more. Then as Han Li's gaze flickered, the flames were suddenly extinguished with a pop, revealing a crimson spirit hide. At this moment, it was only the size of the palm of a hand.
Han Li was satisfied to the chances to the spirit hide. He then pointed to the flood dragon soul above him without the slightest hesitation and had the barrier surrounding it scatter into specks of light. Then through some invisible force, it was sucked into the crimson spirit hide.
With a puff, it disappeared without a trace.