While studying the crude map, Han Li saw that it appeared roughly similar to Devilfall Valley. However, there were a few particular areas on the map that were thoroughly marked, detailing those sections of the valley as well as the nearby topography of the marked locations.
Han Li was able to locate his own position with regards to the areas that were marked, but he was far too distant from them and was unsure of the dangers that lay ahead.
Han Li muttered to himself for a moment before putting away the map and shaking his head. He knew that the map was certain to contain some important secrets, but he couldn't afford any distractions before he acquired the Spirit Kindle Fruit; it was of tantamount importance. Silvermoon seemed to guess what Han Li was thinking and said little further.
Han Li flipped his hand and took out the jade box he just acquired before placing it inside the bamboo tube he wore on his back. Han Li then said with an indifferent tone, "Many materials required to craft the Sevenflame Fan should've gone extinct or disappeared long ago. Perhaps Senior can find some substitutions that can be acquired in the current cultivation world with his material equivalence knowledge. If I end up truly able to refine this treasure, I will hold you in the highest esteem."
After a time of silence, the Monarch of Soul Divergence coldly laughed and answered, "Youngster, do you think I'm an idiot? Although I am quite interested in the Divine Spirit Treasure, I'm not about to research the refinement method without a reason. Don't tell me you think I'm going to do that for some simple praise."
Han Li didn't appear surprised. Instead, he coldly replied, "Divine Spirit Treasures aren't easily refined. Although I do know that you are knowledgeable of material equivalence, I am not confident whether or not you can truly do this. But if you do succeed, I will spare no effort to fulfill any of your requests. Will that satisfy you?"
When he heard this, the Monarch of Soul Divergence paused before coldly snorting. With an arrogant tone, he said, "In the past, I had found a few materials for Divine Spirit Treasures in some ancient cultivator ruins and learned of these world-defying treasures. As these treasures were something held in reverence by ancient cultivators, I grew quite curious and took particular note of them. Unfortunately, there was too little information on Divine Spirit Treasures and I wasn't able to make any progress on them. Now that I've become neither human nor ghost, I don't wish to spend my remaining years of life on this task only for it to be in vain. Moreover, I will only be looking for a few substitute materials. I won't be doing something as difficult as creating a new method to refine them. And when I am done, don't forget that I will have a demand for you."
"Fine. I agree." Han Li agreed with a beaming smile.
Since he had the genius who founded the Great Development Arts at his disposal, Han Li didn't wish to waste this opportunity. Although he already possessed another Divine Spirit Treasure, the Heavenvoid Cauldron, he didn't know when he would be able to use it. Besides, Divine Spirit Treasures were heaven-defying existences; so the more, the better.
The Monarch of Soul Divergence was silent afterwards, perhaps already examining the refinement method inside the jade box.
With that matter concluded, the light surrounding Han Li's body shined brightly and he flew forward at an even greater speed.
In the mountain where the Purple-lined Scorpions' nest was located, Marquis Nanlong and Lu Weiying were heading underground inside an unfamiliar tunnel. It was dark to the point that they were only able to see ten meters ahead of them despite their vast cultivation.
As Lu Weiying followed three meters behind Marquis Nanlong, he slowly said, "Brother Nanlong, I didn't think that there would actually be a place so cold and damp inside the lava territory. I've now grown even more convinced that the Blood Curse Gate is here."
Marquis Nanlong smiled and said, "So it turned out that Brother Lu was doubtful about it? You should know that the Blood Curse Gate wasn't even mentioned in the records left behind by Master Cang Kun, or else the Ghost Spirit Sect would definitely be here. The Blood Curse Gate was a secret that was only passed down through his descendants."
With narrowed eyes, Lu Weiying smiled and said, "But if it weren't for the fact you needed the power of two Nascent Soul cultivators to open the Blood Curse gate, you might not have needed to take me along."
With a chuckle, Marquis Nanlong casually said, "Brother Lu must be joking. We've been friends for many years. With such profit to be gained, it is only natural for me to ask you to come along. Why else would I have concealed this matter from that Youngster Han?"
Having heard this, Lu Weiying tactfully dropped the matter and said, "Then I must thank you for your kindness, Brother Nanlong."
With only two people searching for treasures, it was prudent to be somewhat wary of the other party member. By letting Marquis Nanlong know that he had a precaution up his sleeve, there shouldn't be any falling out along the way. He especially didn't wish to fight in such unfamiliar territory.
Marquis Nanlong knew what Lu Weiying was doing and he sneered in his mind while maintaining a calm expression.
The two remained silent as they continued down the passageway and eventually saw a weak light ahead of them. The two rejoiced and immediately quickened their steps, arriving inside a large cave.
The cave was over three hundred meters wide and had meter-long stalactites sparkling with white light hanging from the ceiling. But the most eye-catching thing was the thirty-meter-wide dark-green pool at the center of the cave. Apart from its emerald color, there didn't seem to be anything exceptional about it.
Discovering that there were no restrictions that existed nearby, Lu Weiying couldn't help but ask, "The Blood Curse Gate is really here?"
Seeing that Lu Weiying had already changed his stance despite his previous confidence in the existence of the gate, Marquis Nanlong shot a glance at him before revealing a mysterious smile and saying, "It's here without a doubt. But since the Blood Curse Gate was such an important area, Master Cang Kun hid the area by concealing the restrictions before he left." He then turned his gaze to the pool at the center of the cave. Lu Weiying blankly turned toward it and suddenly began to examine the pool with a sudden realization.
At that moment, Marquis Nanlong waved his sleeve and took out a small blue flag. Plop. The flag flew out of his hand and disappeared into the pool without a trace. Afterwards, he formed a hand incantation and began to mutter.
The calm surface of the pool suddenly began to ripple and slowly revolve. The rotations grew in size and intensity until a large whirlpool appeared at its center, hums emitting from it.
"A Watersplit Flag? I didn't think that Brother Nanlong would have such a rare treasure." Lu Weiying said with astonishment.
Marquis Nanlong shook his head and said, "It's nothing. Apart from splitting the water, it has no other abilities." He then softly yelled as he raised his hands, striking at the whirlpool with two spell seals. The pool grew ten meters wide before creating a passage before them.
Without uttering another word, Marquis Nanlong flew directly into the water. Lu Weiying paused for a second before quickly following suit.
A moment later, Lu Weiying's expression paled. The pool wasn't simply deep; it was profoundly deep. He had already flown a kilometer downward and there was still no end in sight. As he glanced above to look at the top of the pool, he saw a speck of light and faintly felt apprehension and pressure weighing down on him.
Fortunately, after travelling over three hundred kilometers more, he saw that Marquis Nanlong suddenly slowed down. They had finally reached the bottom of the pool. Lu Weiying felt some relief and floated down, withdrawing the light that surrounded him.
The pool's bottom was a round area that was over thirty meters wide, appearing even larger than the pool's surface. The Watersplit Flag was inserted in the middle of the stone floor and glowing with blue light. Surrounding it was a tall, dark-green wall of water that stretched all the way up to the pool's surface.
Lu Weiying glanced at his surroundings and frowned, saying, "The Blood Curse Gate is exceptionally well hidden. No one would think to go a kilometer deep into the pool. However, it is baffling how Master Cang Kun managed to find this."
"This... As a person who possessed an outstanding spiritual sense, it is likely Master Cang Kun managed to directly sink his spiritual sense deep into the pool." Marquis Nanlong spoke with a tone of doubt. As he hadn't considered the matter before, he felt somewhat at a loss.
"That is certainly possible," Lu Weiying stroked his chin but his gaze flickered.
Marquis Nanlong muttered to himself for a moment before shaking his head and tossing the matter to the back of his mind. He then slapped his storage pouch and summoned a white jade pendant into his hand. He released the pendant into the air and it began to revolve around the two of them.
Marquis Nanlong raised his hands and formed an incantation seal, launching streaks of various colored spell seals onto the pendant. The pendant cleanly absorbed them and soon shined with a blinding white light. It stopped in front of the barrier of water before screaming with phoenix cries.
Marquis Nanlong raised his hand and pointed to the jade pendant. As it trembled, a white mist of light sprayed out in front of it.
A strange scene occurred as the mist of white light passed through the water barrier and distorted the image as if ripping through a painting. As the light shattered, a ten-meter-tall arched stone gate appeared in its place with crimson light sparkling on the surface.
A huge horned ghost head was carved onto the top of the stone gate, taking up most of the gate's surface. It appeared true to life and malevolent.
"This is the Blood Curse Gate?" Lu Weiying stroked his chin as he looked at it. For some reason, he suddenly felt a wave of apprehension upon seeing the gate.