The cultivators of the Sacred Poison Sect couldn't have possibly known that their Junior Martial Brother Yuan had perished at the hands of the Silver-winged Nightfiend. After they chatted for a moment more, they made haste to quickly hurry on their way.
The sooner they arrived, after all, the better.
Above a small lake in the Puyun Province, there were already several hundreds of various cultivators gathered.
Many of them were flying about in the sky searching around the seven pillars of light.
There were a few cultivators skilled in earth movement techniques that occasionally burrowed into the ground, and excitedly spoke with a few of their companions standing on the surface.
It was clear that these people had already discovered the huge seal underneath.
As for the opening the Ye Clan forcefully split open, they had yet to find it.
But even so, all of the cultivators in the area were extremely excited and sent voice transmission talismans to each of their own clans and sects. There were even those that flew throughout the night to report the matter in person.
Currently, a majority of the cultivators present were at Foundation Establishment stage with sparsely few Qi Condensation and Core Formation cultivators amongst them. Most of them were also vagrants that had unintentionally discovered the pillars of light and rushed over, but a few of them were scouts sent by various powers to investigate.
There were currently no Nascent Soul cultivators.
This was no surprise. The small lake originally belonged to a desolate area with nothing of note nearby. With no large clans or sect present, there was no reason for a Nascent Soul cultivator to be there.
Even the Sacred Poison Sect, who immediately rushed over at first news of this event, was still two days away.
However, when it was discovered that there was a giant seal underground, the more experienced vagrant cultivators all made the decision to wisely depart despite their reluctance. While the seal may reap amazing profits, but the ensuing battle of high grade cultivators that would ensue over them wasn’t something they could participate in. If they continued to stay and the area became a battleground for high-grade cultivators, it would end in disaster.
Of course, there were many younger, more spirited low-grade cultivators rather unwilling to depart. Not only did they want to see what laid beneath, they also had a small hope of being lucky. Their cultivation wasn’t high, but if the opportunity arose, they could achieve grand rewards. It was a gamble they were willing to take.
As such, all sorts of characters gathered there, carrying their own designs and thoughts.
In the cave at the heart of a giant mountain, Han Li and Bai Yaoyi were sitting cross-legged, staring at Old Man Fu with complete focus.
Though in reality, they were staring at the sparkling golden cauldron in front of him. It was a meter tall and slowly revolved above the ground.
Old Man Fu spat out thin strands of green Nascent Flame and held his hands in an unknown gesture, occasionally striking at the cauldron with spell seals. With each strike, more of the green flames surrounding the cauldron turned into rainbow light, making for a gorgeous display.
Medicinal scents were already bleeding from the cauldron. The aroma was rich and pleasant.
His face grew solemn and his strikes turned fervent. It was clear that he was in a crucial moment of pill refinement.
Han Li observed with a calm expression, contrary to the nervousness in his heart.
Old Man Fu had successively tossed in the Umbra Yin Horse and other rare materials into the cauldron over the past few days. This was their one shot. A second chance would be near impossible, as some ingredients simply couldn't be found again.
Although Old Man Fu was confident in his refinement of the Nascent Cultivating Pill, Han Li felt apprehensive and concerned as he watched.
Bai Yaoyi wasn’t faring much better, as her eyes glistening with a burning fervor.
Then, the cauldron came to a sudden stop. Hums droned out from it and the medicinal scent grew even denser.
Old Man Fu’s eyes lit up, and his past actions all came to a stop. He then flipped his hand to produce a vermillion gourd that was only five inches tall.
With his other hand, he flicked his finger, sending a speck of white light to strike the lid of the cauldron.
The lid trembled before sliding off.
With the hums coming to a stop, five fist-sized balls of white light shot out with a thumb-sized green pill floating at their center. The pills themselves glowed a glistening emerald.
These wisps circled once above the cauldron before scattering towards different locations.
Old Man Fu was already prepared, and hastily shook the gourd to release a mist from it. Then in a flash, the balls of light were sucked inside.
The old man let out a long sigh and smiled, “Alright! It’s a success!”
Bai Yaoyi shot up and happily said, “Thank you for your trouble, Brother Fu. I didn’t expect that you’d be able to refine five. Originally, I feared that the number of pills would fall short.” Her face had a rosy complexion, adding much to her charm.
“When I gathered together the materials, I had enough to refine about five or six pills. Why else would I invite five fellow Daoists to assist me? It is a pity that my Junior Martial Sister and Fellow Daoist Yuan hadn’t survived.” The old man’s smile then disappeared.
It was clear that the he and the black-robed woman had a deep relationship. Although death was common sight amongst cultivators, the joy of success in creating the medicine pills wasn’t able to overcome such a loss.
When Bai Yaoyi heard him, her smile disappeared as well and she let out a sigh.
Unlike the others, Han Li’s expression remained unchanged, but he did keep silent.
Then, the old man’s sadness quickly faded and he said, “Fellow Daoist Bai, do you have a wood-attributed container? You shouldn’t use any common ones for the pill or it will lose its medicinal potency. Also, the pill will require half a year of seclusion to properly consume, or its effects will be less than expected.”
“Of course I do. And naturally, I wouldn’t immediately take something this precious.” Bai Yaoyi sweetly smiled and with a flip of her hand, she summoned a yellow wooden case.
The old man nodded and silently flicked the bottom of the gourd. Then red mist whirled out from it and released a ball of white light in Bai Yaoyi’s direction.
She caught it with her free hand and quickly placed it within the box.
After she closely examined the pill and clearly sensed its astonishing spiritual power, she put it away with unconcealed joy. Then, she repeatedly thanked him.
Old Man Fu smiled and he slapped the storage pouch at his waist to produce a green wooden box.
He then exacted a pill from the gourd in a similar fashion and put it away. Then after letting out a few dry laughs, he raised his hand and tossed the gourd in Han Li’s direction.
He caught the gourd unconsciously, but his face betrayed surprise. He frowned and slowly asked, “What is the meaning of this, Fellow Daoist? I only asked for two Nascent Cultivating Pills!”
With a stern face, the old man said, “I am not an excessively greedy man. It is only by luck and your strength that I was able to both escape death and create these pills. Now that my Junior Martial Sister has perished, I only have need for one. If Brother Han finds it acceptable, he may take the last three.”
Han Li looked at the gourd in his hand and turned his eyes to the old man. He couldn't help but smile.
He could vaguely guess what the old man intended. It seemed the Nine Serenities Sect Elder believed that his value had greatly reduced now that the pills were finished and that Han Li would suddenly turn hostile. As such, he had surrendered an additional pill.
On one hand, he was clearly showing his goodwill, and on the other, he was giving Han Li less reason to kill him. So long as he wasn’t a ruthless sort, he most likely wouldn’t harbor any further malicious intent.
Since Han Li was being presented with such a valuable gift, he could hardly refuse. And if he did, he would likely cause a misunderstanding.
“In that case, I will graciously accept your offer.” Without further hesitation, light flashed from his hand and the gourd disappeared.
The old man chuckled and relaxed, “There is no need to be so modest, Brother Han. It is something well deserved.”
Of course, Bai Yaoyi came to understand what was happening and she smiled in silence.
With this, the tension eased in the group.
“Since the pills are finished, we should look for a way out. Let’s look toward the base of the mountain. Perhaps we’ll find something there,” Old Man Fu proposed.
Once spoken, the entire cave faintly shook, followed by the sounds of a muffled rumbling. It sounded out from all around them and without end.
The three looked at each other with dismay.
Bai Yaoyi bit her lip and spoke with an astonished tone, “There are others on this mountain?”
“Maybe, but it might be the doing of the Silver-winged Nightfiend as well!” The old man shook his head and a trace of resentment appeared. He had been reminded of his Junior Martial Sister’s death.
After a moment of silence, Han Li indifferently said, “Regardless, let’s be careful on the way out. With our combined might, we shouldn’t have anything to fear.”
Then with a wave of his sleeve, azure mist spread out.
The radiant haze swept across the cave, dissolving all the restrictions and sweeping them up in one swoop. In the blink of an eye, the flags and plates returned to Han Li’s sleeve and disappeared.
“Let’s go! We’ll speak further after we leave!”
With light shining all around his body, he flew towards the exit in an azure streak.
Old Man Fu and Bai Yaoyi exchanged a glance before hurriedly following after, not daring to delay in the slightest.