Jin Yuan was doubtful when he heard Han Li's explanation, but he didn't pursue the matter. Instead, he chatted a bit more with him before taking his leave.
After Jin Yuan walked out of the room, Han Li's smile slowly faded away to reveal a gloomy expression. Shortly after, he took the jade box out and silently looked at it.
Monarch Soul Divergence calmly asked, "What? Do you plan on truly taking a look at that ancient tomb?"
"Of course not," Han Li sneered, "Although I don't know if his words were true, I'm not about to brave this danger like some novice. However, I am quite curious about this monarch's tomb. After I restore my cultivation, I might delve to take a look. However, it is clear that he didn't tell me this out of the kindness of his heart. Saying that we've become quick friends, does he believe me to be a child? How could an old man like him easily tell others of this secret matter, let alone a stranger he just met. Given how eager he was, it is certain to be a trap!"
"That's right. But if it were those young fellows that have just left the sect, they will certainly be tricked by such people with ease. He believed that he managed to gain your trust and would've likely betrayed you in the future! Reminds of when I..." Monarch Soul Divergence then sighed and his voice came to a sudden stop.
"Oh? Was Senior deceived by such a trick in the past?" Han Li asked with a chuckle.
Monarch Soul Divergence snorted several times out of embarrassment. "I was young once too. It isn't so strange."
"It's alright. This Junior won't ask Senior about his past shames. However, it seems the Weeping Soul Beast is interested in this item. It does seem quite strange!" Han Li's face blanked and he slapped the spirit beast pouch at his waist, releasing a streak of black light. It landed on the table and revealed itself to be a miniature foot-tall monkey covered in jet-black fur.
As soon as the monkey appeared, it began to sniff the air and began to stare at the golden bubble with a hesitant expression.
Baffled, Han Li joined his spiritual sense with the Weeping Soul Beast.
From its response, it seemed the monkey simultaneously felt somewhat fearful and excited of the golden bubble.
'What's going on?' Before Han Li realized what was happening, black Yin Qi suddenly covered the Weeping Soul Beast's body and it charged into the golden bubble headfirst. Soon after it entered, the golden bubble brilliantly shined with light and produced a wisp of grey flame that wrapped around the beast's body.
The Weeping Soul Beast wore an expression of pain and remained still as it continued to release a pitch-black Qi around its body to counter the grey flame.
Han Li's brow tightly frowned when he saw this.
Although he didn't know what was happening, it appeared that the Weeping Soul Beast wouldn't be emerging from the bubble anytime soon and was drawing on support from the grey flame to cultivate something. But what baffled him the most was how the golden bubble was suddenly overflowing with astonishing spiritual Qi fluctuations out of seemingly nowhere with the grey flame's appearance.
Monarch Soul Divergence yelped in surprise and said, "Wait, wait! I've seen something like this before."
"Has Senior recalled something?" Han Li asked in surprise.
"Let me think," Monarch Soul Divergence replied with a solemn voice, "It was a very long time ago."
When Han Li heard this, he remained silent and turned his gaze to the Weeping Soul Beast in the bubble, pondering about what was happening.
A long while later, Monarch Soul Divergence finally broke his silence with a tone of astonishment, "I remember now! When I was journeying around, I saw something similar on a ten-thousand-year-old corpse monarch that was once a senior monk of a Buddhist sect. After he became a corpse monarch, he refined his crystal relic into an incredibly powerful protective treasure. It would render him invulnerable for a short period of time after it was released from his body. I've suffered quite a bit at the mercy of its might. However, this was something from a long time ago and the protective barrier was silver. Furthermore, this type of treasure should be hidden within the corpse monarch's body. How did a Foundation Establishment cultivator like Jin Yuan get his hands on it?"
"You were at its mercy! Since it is so powerful, it could be considered an extremely precious treasure." Han Li then asked with a tone of worry, "But leaving aside how it was acquired, do you think it poses any danger to the Weeping Soul Beast?"
Monarch Soul Divergence muttered, "You still haven't realized it? Your spirit beast is currently absorbing the corpse flames contained in the relic. Not only are you an abnormality, but all of your spirit beasts are marvels as well with this one specialized in restraining ghosts and spirits. In the many years I've been alive, I've never heard of a beast like this."
"Absorbing the corpse flame?" Han Li examined it for a moment and found that the Weeping Soul Beast's Yin Qi was slowly consuming the grey flames, much to his relief. After recalling Monarch Soul Divergence's words, he couldn't help but wryly smile and say, "To tell the truth, this beast has greatly deviated from its original cultivation method and had evolved several times already. It's hard to say if it is still a Weeping Soul Beast."
"Oh? So it's a spirit beast variant? I was wondering why there was the design of a demon ghost on its back. And given the light grey color of the flames, they are certain to be pure corpse flames that are over ten thousand years old. Common cultivators and spirit beasts would perish upon contact, but this beast dares to consume it. Tch tch, how truly unordinary. However, it appears that the treasure isn't still completely refined and doesn't have a master, or it would've been tracked down by the corpse monarch that created the treasure, no matter the distance. This in itself is quite odd."
After a moment of silence, Han Li smiled and said, "It still hasn't recognized a master? In that case, after the Weeping Soul Beast is done consuming the corpse flames, I will have acquired a treasure for free. Tch tch, I didn't think that I'd acquire a precious Buddhist treasure before being able to acquire a Buddhist technique. I truly wish to see the power of the relic's barrier form."
Monarch Soul Divergence sighed and explained, "I must also mention that this isn't a mere crystal relic but a vajra relic. A vast majority of crystal relics are white with a few being other colors. Only golden relics receive the name of a vajra relic and there are rarely ever seen.
Normally, Buddhist cultivators that refine a vajra relic are all given the role of a vajra protector of the sect. It is a position most comparable to the title of enforcement elder in other sects."
Han Li's eyes flickered and he asked, "Then you mean to say that this relic should be even more formidable than the one you encountered in the past?"
After some hesitation, Monarch Soul Divergence replied with a somewhat uncertain tone, "That should be the case given the illustrious reputation of vajra relics in other sects, but I've never had the chance to test them so it is hard to say."
Han Li smiled and thought to ask something else when the golden bubble suddenly trembled and a grain-sized speck of green light suddenly shot out from it.
Alarmed, he concentrated his spiritual sense onto it. Suddenly, the green light seemed to knock into something and began to bounce around in the air. This was caused by the concealed spiritual sense that Han Li surrounded it in. Then, the Weeping Soul Beast snorted and released a mist of light from its nose, dragging the green light back into the bubble and into its stomach.
Han Li tightly frowned when he saw this and stared at the golden bubble before faintly guessing something.
In a grave room over a thousand kilometers away, there were three stone coffins arranged next to one another. The room was remarkably large, spanning over three hundred meters wide with walls engraved with ancient murals, and was faintly illuminated by huge copper jars standing at each corner, all of them brimming with raging green flames.
At the moment that the green ball of light was consumed by the Weeping Soul Beast, a pained yell sounded from one of the coffins and a large bang rumbled, followed by the heavy lid of the coffin shooting ten meters in the air before falling onto the floor.
Black Qi gathered from the coffin and a tall silhouette suddenly rose up from within it.
"My royal son, what happened? Why are you angry?" The voice of a middle-aged man sounded from the coffin in the middle of the room. It was calm, deep, and resounding.
The tall silhouette wrapped in black Qi roared several times before managing to collect itself to utter some words. "My... my... thread... of spiritual sense... is gone!"
"Your thread of spiritual sense is gone?" A woman's smooth voice suddenly sounded out from the smaller coffin nearby. "Perhaps someone saw the incarnation you sent out and dispatched it? It's no matter. It isn't some serious affair. So long as you continue to cultivate the 'Underworld River Corpse Arts' your lord father gave you, you'll be able to restore it soon enough. No need to fly into a rage. Are you still unable to control your temperament?"
The tall silhouette then beat his chest with his fists and groaned, "B... But... my... vajra... barrier!"
"Vajra barrier? You mean the barrier I refined from the monk I killed the last time I awakened? Didn't I already help you refine most of it before handing it over to you? Why haven't you already made it recognize you as its master?" The middle-aged man's voice turned sullen and icy.
"I..." The black silhouette grew flustered when he heard this and for a time, he found himself at a loss of what to say.
"Great King, please don't blame the prince for this. I've already spoken of this matter with him." A groan sounded out from the smaller coffin and its lid slid open. A slender body sat upright from it, but it was difficult to clearly see the woman's appearance in the dim room.
"What's going on?" The middle-aged voice asked with a softer tone, "Beloved concubine, explain it to me. That vajra barrier was an extremely precious treasure. I saw that my son's magic power was still shallow so I had given it to him for his protection, or I would've used it for myself."