Han Li stared at Mu Peiling and slowly said, “As a woman cultivates the Copulation Essence Art, they must retain their vital yin until the very end or all their efforts will be for naught. As a result, I will not have you fulfill your marital duties until you reach late Core Formation stage, preserving our current relationship until then. But if you truly capable of assisting me in reaching late Nascent Soul stage, I will promise you here that I will assist you in forming a Nascent Soul with all of my strength. With a late Nascent Soul stage cultivator backing you, forming a Nascent Soul isn’t an impossible matter.”
Han Li’s words weren’t a pretense. If he truly reached late Nascent Soul stage, he could gather more grade eight Demon Echo Grass to refine with the Ninecurl Spirit Ginseng, creating the spirit medicine that would aid in the creating a Nascent Soul. Once he reached that stage, he wouldn’t have much to fear from a grade eight demon beast.
Mu Peiling lowered her head and sank her head into contemplation before she raised her head and asked Han Li, “My Lord, does the Copulative Essence Arts have a particularly slow cultivation speed or have any negative consequences?”
“Neither,” Han Li promptly answered, “The technique can’t compare to the might of a top grade cultivation art, but it is still faster than ordinary ones. As for any consequences, you may find combat difficult.”
The woman stared at Han Li and calmly said, “Since that’s the case, let’s follow my Lord’s plans. I clearly understand my own aptitude. Without my Lord’s assistance, I will find it incredibly difficult to successfully form a core. As for Nascent Soul stage, that is even more of an impossibility.”
“I am very happy that you agreed. Since we’ve spent some time together, you should how I am for the most part. Although you are only my concubine, I won’t be too demanding of you. Properly ready your mind for Core Formation. I will deliver you the spirit medicine when the time comes.” Han Li spoke with an unchanged expression as if having predicted this result.
With a curtsy, she said with a firm voice, “Many thanks for my Lord’s kindness! I do understand the principle to returning kindness bestowed upon me a thousandfold. I will repay this with my life.” It was obvious that Mu Peiling sincerely decided to attach herself to Han Li regardless of any worry of personal gain. After all, Han Li had power on the level of the three Great Heavenly South Cultivators and treated her well. She believed that such an good opportunity wouldn’t come twice.
It also stood to mention that she already understood that Han Li had already treated her with much favor. Without the medicine pills that Han Li provided in the past, she wouldn’t be on the verge of Core Formation; rather, she would be lingering at mid Foundation Establishment stage. As such, she agreed to Han Li’s conditions without much hesitation.
Han Li’s frank words had brought their relationship even closer and now a faint feeling of intimacy appeared on her face when he spoke with him.
Afterwards, Han Li candidly answered the woman’s questions with regards to Core Formation. Mu Peiling knew that this was a rare opportunity and diligently remembered Han Li’s guidance.
About half a day later, Mu Peiling took her leave, feeling that she had gained much from the visit. Han Li’s pointers in particular had made note of a few areas of cultivation she was lacking in and she needed to properly compensate for them.
Han Li didn’t ask her to stay and sent her off a with a few words of warning. Silvermoon then escorted her out.
By the time Silvermoon returned to the main hall, Han Li was sitting in his chair as he reading through a jade slip that contained the refinement method of the Sevenflame Fan.
Silvermoon walked to Han Li’s side and asked, “Master, you truly wish to assist that woman in reaching late Core Formation stage?”
Han Li withdrew his spiritual sense from the jade slip and he raised his brow, asking, “What? is there something wrong with that?”
Silvermoon’s gaze flickered and she hesitantly asked, “Of course not! I was merely shocked that Master wouldn’t simply take in another Core Formation female cultivator to take as a concubine instead of taking the long and hard path. Why are you treating this woman with such consideration?”
“It’s nothing. I’ve simply known her for many years and find her character to be acceptable and worthy of being nurtured. I also didn’t only accept this woman as a concubine only for her to help me breakthrough my future bottleneck. I want to groom her as a capable subordinate. When I later cultivate in seclusion, I’ll need a person I trust to conduct my affairs. As I am a Drifting Cloud Sect Elder, I can’t continuously ignore the sect, and Wan’er isn’t the type that enjoys being involved with sect matters either. But I can see that this woman is different. She doesn’t have the mind to continually pursue further cultivation. Once she reached a certain stage, she will grow complacent and lose her patience for isolated cultivation. As such, she is suitable in dealing with sect matters on my behalf.”
After Han Li said this, he paused and said, “Of course, the most important point of the Copulative Essence Arts is a woman who is willing. Unless I were to offer a heavy price, ordinary female Core Formation cultivators would be unwilling to abandon their long-held cultivation art for an unknown one. And since I’ve helped Mu Peiling cultivate through Foundation Establishment and form a core, she definitely won’t be unwilling, especially since I’m offering her an opportunity to condense a Nascent Soul. As she said, it is possible that would’ve remained a Foundation Establishment cultivator throughout her lifetime if it weren’t for my assistance. Therefore, there is no shame if I wish to make use of her, especially after all the resources I’ve invested in her.” With that said, Han Li sighed and the jade slip disappeared from his hand in a flash of light.
Silvermoon tilted her head and sweetly smiled. “So it was like that. It seems I hadn’t thought it over much.”
“And in the future, you won’t be idle either.” Han Li mysteriously smiled at Silvermoon. “Now that I’ve reached mid Nascent Soul stage, I must prepare to seclude myself for several days and refine the Celestial Ice Flames to its very last sliver. Afterwards, I’ll try to comprehend the method to open the Heavenvoid Cauldron. During this time, I’ll be leaving affairs in the cave residence to you.”
After Silvermoon heard this, she beamed with joy. “It is truly worthy of celebration that Han Li has finally reached the last stage in refining the Celestial Ice Flames.”
“Ah yes, it can also be considered the first step in opening the Heavenvoid Cauldron, but I don’t have a clue what other requirements there are. But enough of that for now, I’ve grown tired.” Han Li then stood up and walked to his bedroom.
Silvermoon watched Han Li as he left and remained in the hall, pondering for a moment before leaving as well.
An uneventful night passed. Just as Han Li woke up the next day, Silvermoon arrived before him to report that Senior Martial Brother Cheng and Lu Luo had arrived. Han Li promptly readied himself and had Silvermoon open the restriction before heading to the gate to welcome them.
Afterwards, the two men waiting outside were welcome inside by a smiling Han Li.
The three sat down inside the cave residences hall. Then Senior Martial Brother Cheng apologetically said, “We originally didn’t intend to bother Junior Martial Brother Han on his day of rest, but the matter is rather urgent so we had no choice but to rush over.”
“There is no need for senior martial brothers to be overly polite!” Han Li smiled and said with a casual tone, “Cultivators only need a moment’s rest before recovering. It is no trouble at all.”
“If that’s the case, we’re relieved. To put matters bluntly, the Ancient Sword Sect and the Hundred Possibilities Pavilion have received reports that Han Li had returned to the sect and they sent a joint invitation asking for us to meet them. Although Junior Martial Brother Han has been part of our Drifting Cloud Sect for some time, they have yet to see you. This is a good opportunity to introduce you to them as our three sects share a mutual bond of prosperity. And relating to this is the invitation for tomorrow’s master recognition ceremony for a magic treasure. The Hundred Possibilities Sect had invited us and the elders of the Ancient Sword Sect to witness it.”
“A master recognition ceremony?” Han Li interestedly said, “I recall that the Hundred Possibilities Pavilion was renown for their treasure refinement. If they wish for us to attend it, this magic treasure must be quite unordinary.”
“The invitation didn’t reveal it. However, the master of this treasure is to be a young disciple of the Hundred Possibilities Sect. I heard their aptitude was quite exceptional, having formed a golden core in less than a hundred years. The elders of the Hundred Possibilities Sect are holding high hopes for this disciple.” As Lu Luo spoke, he flipped his hand and handed over a letter written in gold words to Han Li.
Han Li smiled and took a look at the letter. “They must be truly exceptional to form a golden core in less than a hundred years. Alright, tomorrow I will head out with your two. I am also quite curious.”
Senior Martial Brother Cheng chuckled and said, “It is great that you’re going. I heard the Ancient Sword Sect Grand Elder Jin Wuhuan had also emerged from seclusion. If I remembered correctly, he had spent entered seclusion eighty years ago at mid Nascent Soul stage. It is unknown how much he had accomplished.
“The Ancient Sword Sect’s grand elder!” Han Li said with surprise and felt that there was no harm in meeting him. Afterwards, he examined Senior Martial Brother Cheng and tensely frowned.
“Senior Martial Brother Cheng, I just swept my spiritual sense past your body. Did you not find any life-prolonging medicine pills in Devilfall Valley?” Han Li worriedly asked.
When the old man heard Han Li, he wore a bitter smile. “I also know what will happen. At most, I only gave another dozen years to live before I perish. And while I did find a few treasures in Devilfall Valley, none of them were life-prolonging medicine pills, sealing my fate. Cultivators that cannot complete the great Dao will eventually perish from age and be reincarnated. There is nothing to be sorry about. When that happens, I will be entrusting the sect to you two junior martial brothers.”
With that said, the old man’s expression grew calm. He was clearly prepared for his end to come.
 The Ancient Sword Sect and the Hundred Possibilities Pavilion are allies and neighboring sects of the Drifting Cloud Sect. They share the Dreamcloud Mountains.