After Han Li separated with the Ice Phoenix, he stowed away the Heavenvoid Cauldron before flying toward the island.
He naturally wasn't going to cause trouble for the cultivators on the island. Instead, he simply wanted to gauge his current location and gain an understanding of the situation in the Scattered Star Seas. He would then figure out how to return to the Stalwart Star Island, where he would be able to find that ancient teleportation formation.
The fact that this middle-aged man was taking the initiative to come to him, and was extending such a warm invitation, was rather surprising to Han Li. However, his intention was to visit the island anyway, so he decided to accept this man's invitation.
At this current power level, he wasn't afraid of a mere early-Nascent Soul cultivator trying to plot against him.
The middle-aged man was both surprised and elated to see Han Li accept his invitation, and he hurriedly sent a message to his three juniors using his voice transmission talisman, before guiding Han Li toward the island in a respectful manner.
Han Li began to inquire about the surrounding area to discover that the island before them was named the Bitter Gate Island. It was quite a large island with several cities inhabited by mortals alone, and the entire island was completely under the Yellow Sand Sect's control.
Several million kilometers to the north of the Bitter Gate Island lay the Star Climb Island, one of the twelve Inner Star Islands.
Han Li's heart stirred upon hearing this.
With his exceptional memory, he still had a remarkably clear recollection of the map depicting the Scattered Star Seas. If he weren't mistaken, then the place he was currently situated at wasn't far away from the Heavenly Star City. However, it was quite a distance away from the Stalwart Star Island, and he would be passing by the Heavenly Star City on the way there.
The vast number of demon beasts in the Scattered Star Seas was completely incomparable to that of the Heavenly South Region and the Great Jin. However, Han Li wasn't interested in the demon cores of low-grade demon beasts anymore. In contrast, the demon cores of metamorphosis stage demon beasts at the eighth grade or above have all attained intelligence, so it would be impossible to lure them with the Rainbow Skirt Grass.
Otherwise, he wouldn't mind making another trip to the Outer Star Seas.
With that in mind, Han Li allowed himself to be led by the middle-aged cultivator over the dock. Then, after traveling several thousand kilometers into the island, they arrived in the air above a tall mountain with gorgeous scenery and an abundance of spiritual Qi.
At the mountain's peak was a series of grand and lavish palaces and pavilions. There were even a few unidentifiable, yet exceptionally beautiful creatures circling and dancing in the air above, creating a scene that resembled an immortal paradise.
Han Li turned to the middle-aged cultivator with a smile, and said, "Your sect seems to be thriving, Fellow Daoist Gan!"
"Haha, I'm glad you like it, Brother Han. We're just a bunch of nobodies setting up a base here," the middle-aged man chuckled with a wry smile.
He knew that to a Nascent Soul cultivator, these illusions would be easily seen through.
Han Li smiled but didn't say anything. However, before the two of them could descend, heavenly music began to play from the mountain peak. Two groups of beautiful female cultivators wearing palatial dresses of all types of colors made their way out of the palaces down below. They were led by none other than the three Core Formation cultivators from earlier, all of whom were looking up at Han Li with awe and veneration in their eyes.
Han Li couldn't help but burst into laughter upon seeing this, but he still descended in front of the welcoming party down below.
Everyone made way to create a path for him leading to one of the main halls on the mountain peak. To Han Li's surprise, the decor inside was rather plain and simple, certainly not as lavish as he had expected.
The middle-aged man and Han Li sat down at the table, while the other three stood off to the sides.
Han Li cut straight to the chase and began to inquire about the recent situation in the Scattered Star Seas.
The middle-aged man was rather taken aback by these questions, but he merely regarded Han Li as a certain powerful being who had been in seclusion for many years, and naturally disclosed everything that he knew.
When Han Li heard that the Scattered Star Seas was in far more turmoil than when he had left, he couldn't help but fall silent to digest that information.
After contemplating for a long while, the middle-aged man finally decided that Han Li didn't seem to be a cruel and violent person. As such, he mustered up his courage, and asked, "Brother Han, was the place that you emerged from the legendary Heavenvoid Hall? How did you come out of that place?"
Han Li's expression changed upon hearing this and he was snapped out of his train of thought.
"You sure are knowledgeable to be able to recognize the Heavenvoid Hall from a single glance, Fellow Daoist Gan. I was trapped there for a period of time and have only just escaped," Han Li replied nonchalantly.
The middle-aged man could tell that Han Li didn't want to elaborate on this matter, so he didn't dare to pry any further. Instead, he changed the subject to the Ice Phoenix. "I see. May I ask who that woman with you was?"
"She was a fellow Daoist who had been trapped in the hall with me. She had some important matters to attend to, so she had to leave," Han Li replied indifferently.
"I see! Was she also a late-Nascent Soul cultivator like you, Brother Han?" the middle-aged man asked carefully.
"Hehe, she reached the late-Nascent Soul Stage long ago! I cannot hope to compare with her," Han Li chuckled in response.
The middle-aged cultivator's heart stirred upon hearing this and his mind scrambled through the list of renowned female cultivators in the Scattered Star Seas. However, he simply wasn't able to identify that silver-robed woman.
As for Han Li, his appearance was far too plain, making it even more difficult to identify him.
However, that wasn't a cause for any alarm or confusion. It was very common for cultivators of their caliber to go into seclusion and cultivate for centuries at a time.
"Fellow Daoist Gan, I'm currently in dire need of a batch of mid-grade spirit stones and materials. Of course, it would be best if you had high-grade spirit stones. I currently have two treasures which I'm not using at the moment, and I'd be happy to offer them for exchange," Han Li suddenly said. He then swept a sleeve over the wooden table beside him, upon which a green light swept past and two items appeared on the table, one of which was silver while the other was yellow.
They were a silver ring and an ancient yellow halberd!
These were none other than the ancient treasures he had obtained after killing those high-grade demon beasts in the Spirit Void Hall.
Treasures of this caliber were naturally useless to Han Li, but in a place like the Scattered Star Seas, where refinement materials and treasures were very rare, these treasures would be extremely sought-after.
From the spiritual power emanating from the two treasures alone, one could determine that they were high-grade treasures that were rare even among ancient treasures.
"You're far too kind, Brother Han. We'll have no issues sourcing mid-grade spirit stones and materials for you. We have extensive stock on both here in the sect and even if there are some materials that we don't have, I can get people to source them from the markets on the island. As for high-grade spirit stones, I'm afraid there are only about seven or eight of them on the entire island. If you require them, we'd be happy to exchange them with you."
Flames of desire had also been ignited in the middle-aged man's heart upon seeing those two ancient treasures, but he wasn't surprised at all in Han Li's ability to bring out treasures of this caliber so easily.
Seven or eight high-grade spirit stones? A peculiar look appeared on Han Li's face upon hearing that.
According to his knowledge, the shortage of spirit stones in the Scattered Star Seas was even more severe than in the Heavenly South Region. How could this Yellow Sand Sect alone possess so many high-grade spirit stones?
The middle-aged man was initially rather concerned to see the contemplative look on Han Li's face. However, a thought quickly occurred to him along with a sense of enlightenment.
"Haha, apologies for the confusion; it's my fault for neglecting to mention this to you. Over 100 years ago, someone discovered an extremely large spirit stone mine on an island in the outer sea. There were many high-grade spirit stones excavated from that mine so even though they're still quite rare, the shortage is nowhere near as severe as it was in the past. Almost all of the sects have a few in storage now."
"A high-grade spirit stone mine! A mine of that caliber exists in the human world?" Han Li was very surprised to hear this.
"Indeed. Everyone thought that these were merely fake rumors in the beginning. However, the Star Palace and the Starfall Coalition then engaged in a massive battle for ownership rights over the island. Only then did we realize that the news had been true. I heard that the mine had even drawn the attention of high-grade demons beast from the Outer Star Seas and they also joined in on the battle. Many cultivators and demon beasts perished as a result and now, the mine has been split between the two sides to accommodate a temporary truce." the middle-aged man explained.
Han Li nodded but didn't say anything.
This was good news for him. After using his humanoid puppet on the previous few occasions, his supply of high-grade spirit stones was about to run dry, and this presented a good opportunity to obtain some more.
Thankfully, this region wasn't very far away from the Heavenly Star City and he would be passing it on the way to his ultimate destination anyway. As such, it wouldn't take him too much time to make a detour and use the Star Palace's teleportation formation to travel directly to that mine.
Thus, Han Li immediately made up his mind.
He immediately pulled out a jade slip from his storage pouch and copied a list of required materials into it.
The brawny Core Formation cultivator then accepted the jade slip and went away to source those materials at the middle-aged man's behest.
After that, Han Li began to make small talk with this grand elder of the Yellow Sand Sect.
The middle-aged man was clearly trying to be respectful and hospitable, so Han Li naturally conversed with him in an amicable manner as well.
It was a rare occasion for the middle-aged man to encounter a late-Nascent Soul great cultivator, so he naturally raised a few questions about his own cultivation.
Han Li only just reached the late-Nascent Soul Stage, but he had seen a vast array of cultivation arts and had cultivated in both righteous and devilish secret techniques. As such, his experiences really were able to provide inspiration to the middle-aged man, which made him even more respectful toward Han Li.
As for the azure-robed elderly man and the seductive woman standing off to the sides, they were also listening intently to this conversation. This was an extremely rare opportunity for them as well, after all. Several hours later, a streak of light flashed into the room and the brawny man returned with a bulging storage pouch in his hand.
"Senior, there are a few materials on the list that are missing on this island, but I've gathered everything else. I've placed all of our high-grade spirit stones into the pouch as well."
The brawny man strode forward and offered the storage pouch to Han Li with both hands.
Han Li accepted the storage pouch and scanned through its contents with his spiritual sense, upon which a content look appeared on his face at what he saw.
"I still have some matters that I must attend to, so I won't stay any longer. I'll be taking my leave now." Han Li put away the storage pouch before nodding at the middle-aged cultivator sitting across from him. He had no interest in making further conversation with these Yellow Sand Sect cultivators, so he transformed into a streak of azure light and disappeared into the distance in a flash.
"That senior has finally left! I thought our Yellow Sand Sect was in big trouble this time! That Senior Han doesn't appear to be a bad person." After Han Li had disappeared into the distance, the seductive woman heaved a long sigh of relief and fanned her chest with an expression that suggested that she had just survived a perilous ordeal.Previous Chapter Next Chapter