Wei Wuya's eyes narrowed as he asked, "We fell to a disadvantage? Even you think that to be true?"
"What do you mean? Could it be that you and Concord really were unable to defeat that Han brat?" Master Sunreach exclaimed.
"You think far too highly of me, Brother Sunreach. Even after we joined forces, we were only able to last a short while before both of us were completely crushed," Wei Wuya replied with a wooden expression.
"That's impossible! No matter how powerful that Han brat is, he's still just a new late-Nascent Soul cultivator. It would already be extraordinary if his combat prowess were slightly superior to one of ours. How could it be the case that both of you combined were unable to defeat him?" Master Sunreach shook his head vehemently, refusing to believe this.
A fearful look flashed through Wei Wuya's eye as he said, "I take no pleasure in admitting mine and Concord's inability to match a new great cultivator; do you think there's any reason for me to lie to you? Also, you can laugh at me all you want, but I'm not afraid to tell you that this man is unfathomably powerful. On the surface, it appeared that we suffered a close defeat, but he hadn't even used his full power yet. I could sense that if he wanted to, he could've killed Concord and myself right there and then."
Master Sunreach was completely rooted to the spot upon hearing that.
"Of course, if you don't believe me, you're free to head to the Drifting Cloud Sect and challenge him for yourself. Hehe, you came all this way here from the Great Truth Sect, so I suppose that must be what you're planning to do already." A cold smile suddenly appeared on Wei Wuya's face.
Master Sunreach's expression changed slightly upon hearing this, but he didn't refute that assumption, indicating that Wei Wuya had indeed been right.
"If I were you, I would save myself the humiliation. In any case, I'm about to reach the end of my lifespan anyway, so no matter how powerful that Han brat is, it doesn't matter to me. However, you and Old Devil Concord will most likely be around for many more years, so I'd advise you not to get on that man's bad side," Wei Wuya said calmly.
"What? You're about to reach the end of your lifespan, Brother Wei?" Master Sunreach faltered slightly before a shocked expression appeared on his face.
"Indeed. I reached the late-Nascent Soul Stage over 200 years earlier than you two did, so it's only natural that I'll be passing on ahead of you two. It'll probably happen sometime during the next few years. You and Concord still have some time and perhaps there's a chance for you two to reach the Deity Transformation Stage." A slightly dejected look appeared on Wei Wuya's face.
"Brother Wei, you..." Master Sunreach wanted to say something, but he didn't know what to say, and a complex expression appeared on his face.
"Regardless of how powerful we become, everything will come to an end as long as we haven't attained the Great Dao. Brother Sunreach, you and I have known each other for many years and I'd advise you to listen to me one last time; do not get involved in the affairs in the Heavenly South Region. Just focus on your own cultivation and think about nothing else. Don't become like me, a silly old man who can only await the embrace of death. After I pass away, even if you were to join forces with Old Devil Concord, you still wouldn't be a match for that Han brat. In that case, you may as well relinquish the title of the number one sect in the Heavenly South Region and completely bury the hatchet. In any case, it's only normal for a sect to have periods of prosperity punctuated by less glamorous stretches. If you do that, I'm sure that Han brat won't insist on hunting down you and Old Devil Concord. You'll be able to then focus wholeheartedly on reaching the Deity Transformation Stage," Wei Wuya urged.
"Thank you for your advice, Brother Wei, I'll be sure to consider it carefully." Wei Wuya's words were extremely genuine and heartfelt, and even Master Sunreach was slightly tempted to take his advice.
"Alright, I've said everything there is to be said, it's up to you whether you want to heed my advice or not. I'm returning to the island now. This will most likely be our final meeting." Wei Wuya cupped his fist in a salute and before Master Sunreach could say anything further, he was already flying back toward the Seven Spirit Islands.
As for Master Sunreach, he remained rooted to the spot with a contemplative look on his face.
After a long while, he finally heaved a faint sigh and also flew into the distance as a streak of white light. However, he was flying directly toward the State of Xi!
He still wanted to see Han Li's power with his own eyes before he made his decision.
If this new great cultivator really was as fearsome as the rumors suggested, then he would immediately heed Wei Wuya's advice and go into seclusion to try and reach the Deity Transformation Stage.
A month later, another piece of news began to circulate throughout the Heavenly South Region. It was said that Master Sunreach had visited the Drifting Cloud Sect in person, only to depart after only half a day. Following his return to the Great Truth Sect, he suddenly announced that he was going into seclusion for an indefinite period of time.
This piece of news naturally drew further speculation from the sects within the Heavenly South Region. However, at this point, even the most dimwitted cultivators could figure out that this grand elder of the Great Truth Sect had definitely no been able to come out on top against Han Li. Otherwise, why he put on such a display of weakness as soon as he returned to his sect?
As such, Han Li's reputation as the number one cultivator in the Heavenly South Region had well and truly been cemented. The Drifting Cloud Sect's influence also began to expand drastically and within the short span of a few months, they had taken over most of the State of Xi. All of the other cultivation sects in the State of Xi either had to concede to them, or re-establish their sects in another nation.
Due to the fact that the Ancient Sword Sect and the Hundred Possibilities Pavilion were also situated on the Dreamcloud Mountains, they were spared from this assimilation process and also managed to expand their forces as well. However, they had virtually become subsidiaries to the colossus that was the Drifting Cloud Sect, and they were constantly basking in a mixture of pain and pleasure.
In a cave abode within the interconnected peaks of the Drifting Cloud Sect, Han Li sat with his eyes tightly shut and his legs folded inside a secret chamber. There was a massive formation that had been carved onto the ground, at the very center of which a pair of snowy white wings was hovering in the air. There were arcs of silver lightning flashing incessantly over their surface, but at the same time, they had been enshrouded within a ball of azure and white flames.
With each and every revolution, immeasurable and dense layers of runes would emerge on the surface of the wings.
Han Li was making hand seals to activate the formation spell, which was unleashing azure and white pillars of fire that were constantly refining the wings.
After an indeterminate period of time, Han Li withdrew his hand seals and opened his eyes. He looked at the wings rotating slowly within the flames and pointed a finger toward it.
The wings immediately shuddered as azure light erupted from within. The silver arcs of lightning running along its surface also rumbled violently, creating an astonishing commotion.
However, Han Li's brows were slightly furrowed with discontentment.
After a brief pause, he suddenly opened his mouth and expelled a small azure cauldron from within. The cauldron spun around in the air before landing on the ground before him.
"What is it now? I've already elaborated on the refinement method for you on more than one occasion," a faint sight sounded from within the cauldron. The voice was clearly very tender, yet the tone being used was very mature and jaded, creating quite an amusing contrast.
However, Han Li was not amused at all as he said in a cold voice, "I've already infused the Kun Peng feather into the Thunderstorm Wings in accordance to your refinement method. It's able to use wind-attribute spiritual power now, but it's only about as powerful as a spirit treasure replica like the Triflame Fan; it's nowhere near as powerful as you had proclaimed it would be. Were you intentionally lying to me?"
Han Li's expression was extremely dark.
"That's impossible! The Kun Peng feather is an extraordinary treasure; how could it have only resulted in such a minimal enhancement effect? Let me see the Thunderstorm Wings you're refining first." Spiritual light shimmered on the lid of the cauldron and a faint humanoid figure emerged. It was none other than the projection materialized by the Endless Sky Beast.
Han Li didn't say anything as he waved a hand toward the wings.
The Thunderstorm Wings shot forth as a streak of azure and white light before hovering above the small child's head.
The small child looked up at the wings with an intense unblinking gaze. His expression changed from time to time as he made certain observations, and only after a long while did he close his eyes in deep thought.
The small child opened his eyes again, and remarked, "I know what happened. This Kun Peng feather is far more difficult to refine than I'd anticipated. We've infused it into the wings, but the power of the wind-related heavenly laws of the world within haven't been completely captured. As such, it only possesses the power of a spirit treasure replica and isn't even close to a Divine Spirit Treasure."
"Then how do I capture that power?" Han Li asked in a cold voice.
"If you want to activate the power, you'll have to either switch to a wind-attribute cultivation art, which you should be able to do at your current cultivation base, or find a top-grade wind-attribute spirit stone," the small child replied.
"Switching to a wind-attribute cultivation art or finding a wind-attribute top-grade spirit stone; I can do neither of those," Han Li immediately replied.
"Then there's nothing I can do. Perhaps there are other ways, but there's no way that those methods would be viable here in the human world, so it would only be a waste of time for me to elaborate on them," the small child said in a resigned manner.
"Hmph, so what you're saying is, my refinement method was correct, yet your predictions were wrong," Han Li accused.
"Er, that does appear to be the case." An awkward expression finally appeared on the small child's face.
A light flashed through Han Li's eyes, and his expression suddenly eased as he said, "So be it. I'm already satisfied with the Thunderstorm Wings' ability to activate the powers of wind and lightning at the same time. If it really did become as powerful as you proclaimed it would, I wouldn’t be able to handle it with my current power level anyway."
The small child faltered upon hearing this before a suspicious look appeared in his eyes.
In terms of cultivation base, this human cultivator was nothing to him. However, he knew that this man was not the kind of person to so graciously accept the under-delivery of a promise to him.
The small child stared at Han Li for a short while before deciding to take the initiative. "If you have some conditions, then state them. I can consider doing you a favor or two to make up for this error in judgment."
"Seeing as you've already made the offer, I have no choice but to accept," Han Li replied with a smile.
The small child rolled his eyes upon hearing this.
Han Li patted his storage pouch and a burst of azure light erupted from within. After the light receded, a few strange objects had appeared before Han Li.
There was a fist-sized clump of transparent gluey substance, three shiny black crystals, one of which was big while the other two were smaller, a black and white bead, and pitch-black thumb-sized eyeball.
Han Li pointed at these items, and said, "These materials are all items that I've obtained my chance, but I'm unable to identify how they can be applied in practical usage. You're from a higher realm so you must be more knowledgeable and experienced than I am. I was hoping that you could provide me with some guidance."
"Huh? Where did you get these materials? The other ones aren't really all that noteworthy, but these two are quite rare even in the Spirit Realm." A hint of surprise appeared on the small child's face as he feigned a grabbing motion, upon which two objects immediately flew toward him.Previous Chapter Next Chapter