The final two waves of lightning strikes progressed as Han Li had expected; after nullifying most of their power with his silver shield, the Endless Sky Beast's demon core was able to take care of the rest, albeit with a certain degree of difficulty.
Following the conclusion of the final wave of lightning tribulation, the dark clouds in the sky disappeared just as quickly as they had first materialized, and the light of the sun came seeping through in the blink of an eye. Before long, there was not a single cloud to be seen in the sky.
At this moment, the Endless Sky Beast's was situated at the center of the formation, enshrouded within layers of greyish-white demonic Qi. It was as if the demon beast had been encapsulated within a massive cocoon, and the surface of the cocoon was squirming and writhing gently.
Han Li was not surprised to see this at all.
After withstanding the lightning tribulation, the Endless Sky Beast was reconstructing its body and adopting a human form. Generally speaking, this transformation was outside of the demon beast's control. It was just like the birth of a human; no one could determine their looks from birth as that was predetermined by genetics.
However, the appearance of a demon beast's human form was somewhat dependent on their true form. For example, demon beasts like demonic foxes would usually undergo metamorphosis to become handsome men and beautiful women, while demon beasts with hideous forms to begin with usually had ugly human forms as well. A thought suddenly occurred to Han Li, and he cast his gaze toward the distance. There, the carcass of the mutated Narwhal Worm had been completely engulfed into nothingness by the Gold Devouring Beetles. At this moment, the swarm of beetles was buzzing incessantly as they hovered in mid-air.
Han Li let loose a long cry, and the golden swarm of beetles immediately flew toward him before being stored away in his spirit beast pouch.
He then sat down with his legs crossed and closed his eyes as he awaited the conclusion of the Endless Sky Beast's metamorphosis.
A day and a night passed.
When Han Li opened his eyes again, a dull thump suddenly erupted from within the gigantic cocoon. A fair and tender arm punched through the surface of the cocoon, and the familiar voice of a small child sounded from within. "I've finally succeeded. Thank you for your efforts, Fellow Daoist Han."
Han Li smiled upon hearing this before slowly rising to his feet...
Several days later, Han Li returned to the interconnected peaks on the Dreamcloud Mountains. At present, he was situated within the secret chamber of his cave abode, holding the shimmering golden horn in his hand with the three container treasures placed before him. A large azure cauldron that was around 10 feet in size was hovering in the air before him, and a small child in yellow robes was sitting atop the cauldron. The small child was currently reading an aged hide book in his hands that it was holding in its hands.
This child was naturally none other than the Endless Sky Beast in its human form. It wasn't exactly identical to the projection that it had manifested in the past, but it bore a strong resemblance to that projection.
That made sense, seeing as the demon beast's true body in the Spirit Realm had already undergone metamorphosis once, so it would naturally have a rough idea of what its human form would look like. That was why it was able to manifest a projection with roughly the same appearance.
Han Li stroked the bumpy patterns on the surface of the golden horn with his finger, and after a while, he suddenly said, "After some experimentation, I've discovered that this horn can absorb almost all types of spiritual power, and also release it. The only flaws are that it's only able to absorb a limited amount of spiritual power at once, and the rate of absorption is also rather slow."
The small child put down the book in his hands and turned to Han Li with a vibrant smile as he said, "As expected of a material from a mutated demon beast; spiritual absorption is a very rare ability. There are countless cultivators even in the Spirit Realm who are dying for a material with such an extraordinary ability. It's the ideal material for refining defensive-type treasures, and many renowned defensive-type spirit treasures have incorporated this type of material."
"Defensive-type treasures? Can this be used to refine battle armor?" Han Li asked.
"Hehe, you really are very smart, Fellow Daoist Han. You should be able to use this horn and your Fire Spirit Threads to refine a powerful suit of battle armor. Even if it won't be a spirit treasure, it won't be too far away from that level, either. However, my advice is that you should refrain from doing that," the small child said with a serious expression.
"Why's that? I'm in need of a suit of battle armor at the moment." A hint of confusion flashed through Han Li's eyes.
"If you want to spend the rest of your life here in this human world and regard safety as your number one priority, then refining a suit of battle armor is naturally your best option. However, if you want to sneak into the Spirit Realm through a spatial node, hehe, it's best to keep this item to refine another type of treasure," the small child explained.
"What other types of treasure can be refined using this thing?" Han Li asked.
"The Realm Transcending Bead, of course. That treasure will assist you greatly in your attempt to pass through a spatial node," the small child replied.
"A Realm Transcending Bead? If I recall correctly, you seemed to have used something known as a Realm Transcending Stone when your avatar descended into the human world. What is the relationship between those two treasures? Are they the same thing?" Han Li asked with a hint of surprise in his voice.
The small child thought about this question carefully before replying, "Their names are very similar, and they are indeed related. The Realm Transcending Stone is a disposable naturally-occurring treasure that is only found in the Spirit Realm, whereas a Realm Transcending Bead is a refined treasure that can be used more than once. The two serve a similar purpose, but the difference in their levels of potency is like that of night and day. I'll put it this way for you; a Realm Transcending Bead only has about one percent of a Realm Transcending Stone's power."
"One percent?" Han Li was slightly speechless upon hearing this.
"Don't look down on the Realm Transcending Bead just because of that, Fellow Daoist Han. You have to realize that Realm Transcending Stones are exceedingly rare, even in the Spirit Realm, and it ranks alongside the Star Defying Plate as one of the three most sought-after realm transcending treasures. The Realm Transcending Bead obviously can't compare to those two treasures, but it's still very renowned for its ability to break through some spatial restrictions. The fact that it requires a spiritual absorption material to refine makes it just as rare. Driven by my curiosity, I entered a spatial node in the Spirit Realm once, and even though I immediately returned, I'm still struck by a lingering sense of fear whenever I recall the fearsome power of the spatial storm and the boundary between realms within that spatial node. Even if you can cultivate your Law Destruction Eye to its maximal extent, there's still only an infinitesimal chance that you'll be able to pass through a spatial node. Otherwise, there would be countless cultivators in the Spirit Realm who have snuck over from lower realms. Don't even try to pass through a spatial node without a Realm Transcending Bead; it'll be the last thing you ever do. I was going to wait until you reached the Deity Transformation Stage before I warned you about this, but seeing as you have a spiritual absorption material now, this is something that you should be made aware of," the small child warned
"Looks like I have no choice but to refine this Realm Transcending Bead, then." A wry smile appeared on Han Li's face.
"Hehe, if it weren't for the fact that you already have the Law Destruction Eye, I wouldn't even bother mentioning this treasure to you. Only with both on your side would you have the slightest sliver of a chance to pass through a spatial node. I'll give you the refinement method for this bead in return for the Glacial Quintessence you gave me," the small child chuckled. Han Li suddenly changed the subject, and said, "You sure don't like to owe people favors. By the way, I wanted to ask you something; I witnessed the tribulation transcendence of an eighth grade demonic tortoise in the past, but its lightning tribulation was very different compared to yours. Your lightning tribulation seemed to have been far more powerful than the one I witnessed."
"That's not anything to be surprised about. Different demon beasts naturally have to withstand different lightning tribulations. The more powerful a demon beast is, the more formidable their lightning tribulation becomes. It's rumored that heavenly spirit beasts like dragon and phoenixes have to withstand 13 waves of lightning strikes during their metamorphosis stage lightning tribulations. I'm already quite lucky that I only had to withstand 11 waves," the small child revealed.
"I see!" Han Li was enlightened upon hearing this.
The small child held up the aged hide book with a hint of a smile on his face, and asked, "This demon cultivation art, the Nine Gale Transformations, is rather interesting, but why are you showing it to me? Could it be that you're interested in cultivation arts from our demon race?"
It turned out that the book the small child was reading was none other than the aged hide book that Han Li had obtained from Xiao Cui’er. Within the book, there was a nameless aura concealment technique, as well as a demonic cultivation art written in demon script. Only after learning the demon script did Han Li discover that this was a cultivation art known as the Nine Gale Transformations. It was a very powerful cultivation art, but it had been designed exclusively for demon beasts. Unless one was born with a pair of wings and possessed the powerful body of a demon beast, they wouldn't be able to use this cultivation art. However, he was now giving it to the small child for examination for some reason.
"This Nine Gale Transformations is quite a powerful cultivation art, and I just so happen to be missing a cultivation art that corresponds with my Thunderstorm Wings. It would be a waste to discard such a powerful technique, so I was hoping to modify this cultivation art so that it can be used by me. You're a demon beast, Fellow Daoist Endless Sky, so it shouldn't be too difficult for you to modify this cultivation art for my usage, right? In return, I can lend you that half-page of the Golden Jade Tome for examination and research. The page may be a prized treasure, but it's too profound for me comprehend for now," Han Li proposed.
"This cultivation art is indeed quite difficult to come by for the demon beasts of your human world, and it does correspond nicely with your Thunderstorm Wings. However, there's a major problem here, one that I'm sure you're aware of already; in order to unleash this technique, you must possess the powerful body of a demon beast. You've cultivated in a body refinement art before, so your body is far more powerful than that of the average human cultivator, but it's still not enough if your goal is to use this cultivation art," the small child mused with furrowed brows.
Han Li contemplated the issue for a while before replying, "As long as the gap I have to bridge isn't too large, this shouldn't be an unreachable goal for me. I have a Buddhist cultivation art known as the Brightjade Arts, and with each layer I reach in that cultivation art, my body becomes a lot powerful than it was before. I've already reached the second layer now and once I get to the third layer, I should be able to satisfy the conditions required to cultivate the Nine Gale Transformations."The small child faltered slightly before a surprised look appeared on his face. "The Brightjade Arts? a Buddhist cultivation art?"
"What is it? Is there something wrong with this cultivation art?" Han Li asked with furrowed brows.
The small child replied with a question of his own. "How many layers is your cultivation art split into?"
Han Li was rather perplexed by this line of questioning, but he still replied truthfully, "Seven."
A peculiar smile appeared on the small child's face as he exclaimed, "What a coincidence! I also have a Buddhist body refinement art that's split up into seven layers!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter
More cliff notes from our friendly neighborhood tofu! Make sure to show him/her your appreciation in the comments section down below!
"Xiao Cui’er, is the girl Han Li first encountered in 296-297. In exchange for the aura concealment technique, Han Li had introduced her to his old sect, Maple Valley as she had one of the rare and exceptional spiritual roots that would give her a stable path in the world of cultivation. It is because of this aura concealment technique along with the great development technique, Han Li is able to hide his cultivation base better from other cultivators, including Nascent soul stage cultivators when he snuck into the Drifting Clouds prior to forming his Nascent soul.
"Xiao Cui'er is encountered again in 764, right before the battle at the border between Heavenly South and the Moulan Spell warriors."