Han Li’s gaze flickered and he indifferently said, “The Great Development Technique wasn’t something that I fought for over in the Far West. It was something that was delivered to me.”
The Monarch of Soul Divergence casually replied, “Relax! The current Thousand Bamboo School is no longer being controlled by the lineage of my personal disciples. Even if you truly robbed it, I wouldn’t mind.”
“So long as it doesn’t influence our agreement, you may think as you wish.” Then with a hesitant expression, Han Li said, “However, I must ask you if you are truly incapable of dissolving the Soul Seal Curse.”
“It’s not impossible, but it isn’t something that I can do given the limitations of my lifespan. Otherwise, no curse, no matter how wondrous it may be, cannot be seen through by me.” The old man replied with a ton of disdain. Although Han Li had anticipated his answer, he still felt his heart weigh downed with immense disappointed.
With a neutral expression on his face, Han Li replied, “Alright, since you are unable to dissolve the curse, I can only make the journey to Devilfall Valley.”
After an unexpected moment of silence, the old man said, “Youngster Han, entering Devilfall Valley is not a wise decision. I had once planned to enter there when my lifespan was nearing its end, but that changed once I discovered the Soul Attachment Technique. However, I had done my due research. Do you truly believe that you’ll be able to safely leave the valley just because one or two fools manage to occasionally return alive? Not mentioning the ancient restrictions present, but the spatial tears are unimaginably fearsome. They would occasionally...” The old man’s words trailed off and eventually came to a stop.
Han Li’s heart stirred and he asked, “They would what?”
“The spatial tears would occasionally open pathways to other worlds and release demonic and devilish monsters. If you come across any of them, you had better hope for the best.”
“Open the way to other worlds? What does that mean?” Han Li asked in alarm. “In addition to the Spirit Realm, the Immoral Realm and the Underworld, there are other worlds?”
The old man calmly explained, “In the past, I had acquired an ancient book. It happened to mention a few matters relating to other worlds. The Immortal Realm has no connection to our mortal world. The Spirit Realm and the Underworld are both worlds on a higher plane than ours but they aren’t easily passed through. They are filled with vicious demons and ghosts but it is impossible for them to arrive in our world of their own volition.
“They are most similar to the elder devils of our world from the age of antiquity. If they have the opportunity to cross over into our world, they will take it with certainty. There are even a few elder devils that are named. If they send even a few doppelgangers into our realm, they will prove incredibly fearsome. As of current, you will not be able to handle them in the slightest.”
“Elder devils? I’ve never heard of them before.” Han Li spoke with an expression of astonishment.
“It's hard to say what they’re like. They aren’t like us humans or the demon beasts. They also take on a myriad of forms. During times of antiquity, it was said that there was once a path between the realm of elder devils and our world. As a result, these elder devils wreaked havoc in the human world. As a result, the ancient cultivators battled against them for countless years. Eventually, the cultivators were able to kill them one by one by using numbers to our advantage.
“However, the injuries and casualties in the war were said to be innumerable, leading to the extinction of many ancient techniques and spirit beasts. It had much to do with the decline of ancient cultivators.” The Monarch of Soul Divergence spoke with a solemn tone.
“The ancient cultivators warred with these elder devils?” Han Li’s expression vastly changed. From the miraculous techniques and treasure they left behind, Han Li knew how formidable the ancient cultivators were. From the old eccentric’s tone, the ancient devils seemed to be an entire level above the ancient cultivators, much to Han Li’s shock.
“Not only that but a few Devil Dao cultivators who cultivated ancient devil arts later established themselves after discovering the existence of the Elder Devil Realm. They established techniques that were similar to the abilities of Elder Devils and even used secret techniques to part the boundaries of the world so that they could use the devilish Qi of the named Elder Devils, greatly increasing their abilities. While these devil techniques are admittedly powerful, when cultivated to their pinnacle, the user doesn’t ascend to the Spirit Realm. Instead, they are sent to the Elder Devil Realm and become one of their members. Of course, this is only something from legend and hasn’t been verified. However, there are many devil cultivators that covet this ferocious power and brave the dangers of cultivating these devil arts. After all, entering the Elder Devil Realm is something that can only occur when one reaches the Deity Transformation stage. There is no need for most cultivators to even consider it. Of course, the odds of Devilfall Valley’s spatial tears opening a path to another world is very small; it is possible you’ll make it through just fine and that this was only a groundless fear.”
Han Li suddenly recalled the several instances of demonic transformation arts he had seen in the past as well as a few odd silhouettes. He felt his blood run cold, feeling that the old man’s words held true.
After solemnly pondering for a long while, Han Li puzzlingly asked, “If an Elder Devil could truly pass through a spatial tear in Devilfall Valley, why wasn’t the Heavenly South thrown into chaos in the past?”
The old man coldly laughed and said, “What do you mean? The spatial tears aren’t true pathways to another world. Only a few incarnations or lower grade devils are able to pass through. But because their cultivation isn’t great enough, they aren't able to withstand the restrictions of our realm and stay here for too long. But before they return, they will have more than enough time to torture the cultivators entering Devilfall Valley.”
“So it was only restricted to lower grade devils and they are only able to stay for a short time.” Han Li’s stern expression relaxed and he sighed with relief. It appeared to be the same circumstances as when the Moulan used the ancient lantern to summon their Sacred Bird.
“Youngster Han, don’t be so happy so soon. Although it is only speculation, the Elder Devils that truly appear in the valley may be weaker for them to make it through the spatial tears, but their abilities and techniques are incredibly strange. Even if a human cultivator were to match them in cultivation, they would be certain to die.”
Han Li tensely frowned and let out a long sigh. He emotionlessly asked, “How does Senior know this without entering the valley? Could it be you’re just trying to scare me away?”
“While I haven’t entered the valley, several good friends of mine had entered. Their luck had failed them as soon as they entered the valley. They had encountered an Elder Devil, leaving only one of them alive to tell the tale. They were the same as me, vastly powerful cultivators who held little fame. As a result, few in the Heavenly South knew of them. That’s enough talk out of me today. If you still wish to enter Devilfall Valley, you had best be prepared to fend for yourself. Here is the fifth layer incantation for the Great Development Technique and two Core Formation puppet designs, a portion of the reward that was previously agreed upon.”
As soon as that was said, a white jade slip flew out from the bamboo tube and it spun around his head once and then directly fell in Han Li’s grasp.
“I had believed that Senior had forgotten!” Although Han Li was still pondering about the Elder Devils, he revealed an expression of delight upon seeing this. He grabbed the jade slip and quickly sank his spiritual sense into it.
“I must now nurture my soul. It is fortunate that the Heavenfortune Cask still has my puppet designs. If you have no further business, don’t bother me.” After lazily speaking these words, the old man’s voice came to a sudden stop.
After Han Li finished looking through the jade slip, he turned around to look at the bamboo tube he carried on his back with a wavering expression. He knew the old man was still concealing something, but he couldn’t do anything about it. As for the Heavenfortune Cask, that was the name of the bamboo tube that Han Li carried on his back.
While the bamboo tube was completely unremarkable, it was a true spatial treasure and concealed the puppet body of the Monarch of Soul Divergence. Otherwise Han Li would’ve kept it in his storage pouch instead of carrying it on his back.
A long while later, Han Li put away the jade slip and glanced around before looking towards the sky. He then shot off the ground in an azure streak and directly flew out of the city.
By this time the sky was already dark, Han Li stopped above a forest near the city and descended near a huge tree. There seemed to be something vaguely close to it.
It was a giant head that had disheveled hair. If a mortal were to see it, they would immediately flee from fear. But if one were to closely look at it, they would discover that its entire body was buried in the earth.
The head had long green-black hair with its face concealed behind the mass of hair. When Han Li approached it, the green giant sensed something and began to stir, opening its ghastly green eyes. When it clearly saw Han Li, the light from its eyes immediately disappeared and it wore an expression of obedience.
Han Li smiled and took several steps towards it before circling around it with interest.
“Not bad, it’s already begun to nurture a simple consciousness. It seems I’ll be able to put it to good use in Devilfall Valley.” Han Li muttered to himself with a happy tone.
Soon after, Han Li placed down several restrictions in the surrounding area before sitting down cross-legged. He didn’t immediately meditate, instead deciding to grab his storage pouch and fiddle with a yellow medallion, engraved with the words “Heavenpeak Sect”.
As Han Li squinted at it, his eyes glistened in the darkness.