When Wang Tieqiang heard this, he was stunned for a moment. The voice sounded very much like the maid named Huang Ying. However, it was quite odd for there to be ice floating in the river during flood season, not to mention the day's warm weather.
He couldn't help but take a look above up at the sky and make sure that the sun was blazing in the middle of the sky. He felt on the verge of sweating even as he wore his thin clothes. Could it be there was someone on the ice? Despite the many years spent in the world of Jianghu , this was the first time he had heard of such a thing. He then reached behind him to grab the two short iron short spears he kept on his back before walking over to the source of the commotion with silent steps.
When he arrived at the side of the boat, he saw seven men and women gathered there, consisting of maids, servants, and boatmen. They were all talking and pointing at something in the river.
He glanced over and saw something about fifteen meters away. There was a sparkling white object floating on the surface of the river. He focused his gaze on it and found that it was a sparkling crystal block of ice containing someone inside.
Wang Tieqiang wore an expression of surprise and couldn't help but mutter, "How strange. Could it be that someone had fallen in the river and is now trapped in a block of ice?"
He heard footsteps from behind him and a hoarse voice asked, "Brother Wang, what's the matter?"
"Brother Gao, you've come." Without turning his head, Wang Tieqiang already knew that the owner of the voice was his partner of many years, Gao Dafeng. He cultivated a body hardening technique for many years and was somewhat famous for his boxing techniques.
The large man with a full beard casually walked to Wang Tieqiang's side and clicked his tongue in wonder. "Oh! There really is someone in the ice. How rare."
Wang Tieqiang coldly laughed and said, "It is only a single dead person. No matter how odd the circumstances, there isn't much to say about it."
Gao Dafeng stroked his beard and chuckled. "Definitely! At the very least, the corpse hasn't come to rob us."
A middle-aged man in Confucian robes walked towards them with a sullen expression and scolded the servants, "What are you making an uproar about? Didn't you know the mistress had just gone to sleep?"
This person was Master Zhou, the person who was reportedly the trusted confidant of an important government official. He was currently employing Wang Tieqiang and his partner to guard the said official's family.
"Master, in the river..." The young maid named Huang Ying shyly extended her finger and pointed in the river.
When Master Zhou saw Wang Tieqiang and Gao Dafeng, he felt somewhat baffled. Then when the young maid said something, he unconsciously glanced where she was pointing to find a block of ice with a person inside of it. He wore an odd expression on his face before he frowned and said, "It is only a dead person. There is no point in looking at it any further. Go back to your duties. Could it be that you want me to call over Steward Wang?" The man's final words were spoken with a harsh tone.
When the servants heard the name "Steward Wang", their expressions immediately changed and they immediately scattered. The three boatmen also made a discreet departure.
Wang Tieqiang and Gao Dafeng exchanged a glance and were about to leave as well, feeling that it would be unwise to remain there any longer. But after Gao Dafeng took a few steps, he glanced at the river and shouted out in alarm, "How is this possible?! That person is still alive!"
Wang Tieqiang and Master Zhou were both alarmed when they heard this and they looked at the block of ice to find that it remained completely still.
Master Zhou glared at the large man, but Gao Dafeng stood firm and said, "I am not mistaken. I saw the person in the water move his eyes."
"Brother Gao wouldn't fool us. It seems he is still alive." Wang Tieqiang spoke with complete trust in his partner.
Master Zhou still felt a bit of doubt after he heard this, but after some thought, he shook his head and said, "It doesn't concern us if that person is alive or dead. There is no need to attract any trouble to the Mistress and her daughter. And since other boats haven't done anything with the ice, there is no need for us to mettle with it either."
When Wang Tieqiang heard this, he didn't feel any anger or injustice over the matter. It was odd for there to be someone inside the ice, but that didn't give him any intention of allowing him on the boat. After all, as one who had tread in Jianghu for many years, he found these odd situations to be more difficult to guard against than ordinary people.
However, a trace of hesitation had appeared on Gao Dafeng's face.
"Master Zhou, please wait!" A sweet voice suddenly sounded from across the boat. "The act of saving a life is greater than any mountain. And my mother has a merciful heart as well. Since this person is still alive, can we save him?" Then a young woman in embroidered robes soon approached them, followed by the maid Huang Ying who was walking with a dropped head. It appears that she was the one who told the young lady about the matter.
When Master Zhou saw this woman, he respectfully saluted her and hesitantly said, "Young Miss! This isn't very wise. Having a stranger on the boat..."
"What's unwise about it? Since he has survived catastrophe and encountered us, it will be considered a display of our clan's virtue to save him. We even had an empty room on the boat. Could it be with so many of us that we have something to fear from a dying man?" The young woman spoke with a soft voice, but her expression clearly displayed that she wouldn't change her mind.
After a moment of thought, he could only agree with a salute. "Very well. Since the Young Miss had given the command, I will send out men to rescue this person." The young woman responded with a smile and then walked back with her maid in tow.
Master Zhou tightly frowned as he glanced in the direction of the ship's hold and then he wryly smiled, saying, "You heard her. Since this person must be saved and is trapped in a huge chunk of ice, I fear I will have to trouble you two to go make the trip.
"Its no problem. We have little else to do and have the strength to break this person out." Gao Dafeng said with a casual tone. Wang Tieqiang then examined the huge block of ice and slowly nodded, raising no objections.
After spending an unknown amount of time in the darkness, Han Li woke up to a splitting headache. Before he even opened his eyes, he heard a young woman's voice sounding out, "Old scholar, when will this person awaken? It's already been two days. Has nothing truly happened to him? The Young Miss is waiting for my reply!"
A snort sounded out and an old man's voice sullenly said, "What does a servant like you know? I only have a cursory understanding of the medicinal arts. How can I know when he will awaken? However, this person's disease is truly strange. His complexion is clearly pale and he shows signs of great loss in blood and Qi. However, his blood vessels and meridians appear to be far stronger than an ordinary person. This is truly beyond my understanding!"
The woman chuckled and teasingly said, "It seems the old scholar most likely read the blood vessels wrong!"
"Nonsense. Have I ever been wrong when I was looking after you all when you were sick? Perhaps this person encountered a strange sickness that hadn't been seen before. Since I am no great doctor, I am baffled by this." The old man seemed embarrassed but he spoke boldly nonetheless.
As Han Li heard this, he realized that he was lying down on a very comfortable bed. There was a smooth blanket on top of him and a thick mattress beneath him.
Han Li felt somewhat at ease when he heard the two speaking in the language of the Great Jin. It seems not only had mortals rescued him, but that he was also inside the borders of the Great Jin. However, his current situation was far from good.
In the instant he awoke, he used his spiritual sense to look deep into his body. As a result, he felt his blood run cold.
After he escaped from the Endless Sky Saintess' pursuit and put thousands of kilometers between them, the Soullock Seal had gone back into effect. At the time, he had fallen into the river and used the technique for feigning death that Monarch Soul Divergence had taught him, sealing himself in a block of ice and allowing him to escape pursuit from the Soaring Tribes as he floated down the river current.
However, his body's present conditions were as worse as could be. The excessive use of the Bloodshadow Evasion had caused a massive loss of blood essence and immensely weakened his body. Additionally, his severe loss of True Essence had caused his cultivation to violently drop to Qi Condensation stage. Under such circumstances, he would need to properly recover for five to six years if he had any chance to recovering his original cultivation.
Han Li gloomily sighed in his heart and suddenly thought of something before examining the flying swords inside of his body. He then found the primal soul of a greatly weakened and unconscious Silvermoon, much to his relief.
However, he felt quite a headache over the fact that his second Nascent Soul had yet to return. Although he was too far away to know its true location, he was still able to feel an extremely faint connection to it, affirming that his second Nascent Soul had exceed his expectations and managed to survive. If he couldn't call back the Nascent Soul after a certain amount of time, it would not only become independent but it would likely attempt to dominate him.
The only good point was once he restored his original cultivation, his second Nascent Soul wouldn't stand a chance against him. It wouldn't be difficult for him to retrieve it at that point.
With that thought, he spoke through his spiritual sense to the bamboo container he was carrying, "Senior, how long was I unconscious since I've arrived at the Great Jin? Are there any Great Jin cultivators nearby?"
"Oh! You're finally awake. You've been floating in the river for a year already. Once your magic power ran out, the block of ice began to flow on the surface of the water. But I must say Youngster Han, your current situation is far from good." Monarch Soul Divergence responded with a lazy tone.
Han Li smiled and contently said, "How could I not know how terrible my body's condition is in? However, my fortunate survival could be said to be a great escape from calamity. There isn't much to complain about. After all, few could've escaped from the hands of several late-Nascent Soul cultivators in that situation."
Monarch Soul Divergence snorted and gloomily said, "Well, aren't you carefree? However, I must ask you why you've never mentioned your Divine Spirit Treasure to me. It was no wonder why you placed me outside your room while you were in seclusion. I've always wanted to personally investigate a Divine Spirit Treasure. Forget the excuses, when you are able to take out the cauldron again, hand it over to me for examination.
 Jianghu 江湖 is the world of mortal martial artists operating beyond the reach of the government.