Han Li sat within the guest pavilion and fiddled around with the Wood Spirit Bead for a while. Just as he was about to stow it away along with the other two treasures, the voice of a small child suddenly rang out. "Fellow Daoist Han, are you really planning to keep this bead?"
Han Li faltered slightly before his brows furrowed, and he asked, "Why do you ask? Is there something wrong with this Spirit Gathering Bead?"
"Hehe, there's nothing wrong with the bead itself, but don't you know that Spirit Gathering Beads are inherently flawed treasures? If you use this bead to cultivate, your cultivation base and magic power will indeed progress at a phenomenal rate, but once you reach a bottleneck, you'll know what the inherent flaw in this treasure is. High-grade cultivators who use this bead to cultivate will find it many times harder to break through bottlenecks than other cultivators. This is because while the bead does increase your rate of spiritual Qi absorption, it also blunts your sensitivity toward the other types of spiritual Qi. For cultivators below the Nascent Soul Stage, the negative effects stemming from that won't be very apparent. However, for a cultivator like you, who will need to sense all types of the world's origin Qi in order to make a breakthrough, this bead is more trouble than its worth. As such, the Spirit Gathering Bead is indeed a treasure that's very tempting to use, but in the Spirit Realm, it's only given to low-grade cultivators with mediocre aptitudes. No high-grade cultivator would ever use something like this," the small child explained in detail.
"Is that so? So what you're saying is that this treasure is completely useless to me."
"That's not necessarily the case. If you can find a few rare wood-attribute materials, you'll be able to convert this bead into another type of treasure known as the Wood Birth Bead. That bead won't be able to accelerate your cultivation, but after you completely refine it, you'll able to attain the immortal body ability. Even though you'll only be able to use that ability once, it'll save your life in a perilous situation," the small child replied.
"Immortal body?" Han Li was very surprised to hear this.
He had been yearning for such an ability for a long time. However, he had only seen this ability present in extremely powerful demon beasts, elder devils, and devilish corpses that had undergone devilfication. He had never heard of any human cultivator who had managed to attain this ability.
"That's right. Each Wood Birth Bead will allow you to unleash immortal body ability once. Following the ability's activation, even if you get decapitated or your entire body gets cut in half, you'll be able to make a full recovery," the small child replied with a chuckle.
"Really, now? But if I can only use it once, doesn't that make it a disposable treasure?" Han Li was quite tempted, but also a little skeptical.
"Being able to unleash the immortal body ability once will be enough to save your life under some circumstances; why do you still look so dissatisfied? In any case, the other wood-attribute ingredients required to craft the Wood Birth Bead will be very difficult to find in the human world, and it's yet to be seen whether you'll even be able to refine the treasure," the small child harrumphed with a hint of displeasure on his face.
"What other materials do I need? I have a pretty big collection of wood-attribute materials," Han Li replied with an unfazed smile.
"I'll give you a copy of the list of required materials, but if you want me to tell you the refinement method, you'll have to give me some things in return," the small child said in a straight forward manner.
"Sure. Feel free to tell me what you need, Fellow Daoist Endless Sky." The fact that the small child was making demands came as quite a relief to Han Li. If the Endless Sky Beast were willing to tell him the refinement method free of charge, he would've been feeling quite uneasy instead.
After all, even though the two of them had built up a certain level of camaraderie following the lightning tribulation, it was still quite a stretch for them to refer to one another as friends. Thus, Han Li remained rather cautious of the Endless Sky Beast.
He wasn't naive enough to think that they were best friends after just a few mutually-beneficial deals and exchanges. The Endless Sky Beast was mostly helping him because he was the owner of the Heavenvoid Cauldron, and the demon beast was unable to escape from the cauldron, so he had no choice but to appease Han Li to a certain extent.
"Even though I've successfully reached the metamorphosis stage, I still require some medicines to fortify my cultivation base. I'm sure you'll be able to easily secure those medicines for me, Brother Han," the small child proposed.
"No problem. Give me a list of what you need along with the refinement method," Han Li replied without any hesitation.
"Alright, when you get back to the cave abode, I'll give you the list of required materials, the refinement method, and a list of the medicines I'm looking for." The small child was very pleased with Han Li's straightforward reply.
Han Li smiled upon hearing this before placing the Wood Spirit Bead back into its wooden box, then flipping his hand over to stow all three treasures away into his storage pouch.
All of a sudden, a cold light flashed through Han Li's eyes as he asked, "Fellow Daoist Endless Sky, do you think the Ghost Spirit Sect cultivators were aware of the Wood Spirit Bead's inherent flaw?"
"That's hard to say. From the sounds of it, this bead was abandoned long ago by ancient cultivators, and information about its inherent flaw doesn't appear to have been passed down. If a Nascent Soul cultivator from the Ghost Spirit Sect specializing in wood-attribute cultivation arts had used bead before, then they would definitely have been able to identify its flaws. Otherwise, there's no way to detect anything wrong just from the bead itself. Are you suspecting that those three are trying to prevent you from reaching the Deity Transformation Stage?" the small child asked.
Han Li stroked his chin, and deduced, "That was my initial thought process, but then, I realized that there's no motive for the Ghost Spirit Sect to do such a thing. After all, even if I can't reach the Deity Transformation Stage, I'm already a late-Nascent Soul cultivator, and I'll still be the number one cultivator in the Heavenly South Region. Aren't they afraid that I'll identify the flaw in the bead and destroy the entire Ghost Spirit Sect in a fit of rage? There must be more to this story than meets the eye. Let me think about this; the mastermind behind all this who's trying to use the Ghost Spirit Sect against me is most likely a cultivator from the Heavenly South Region, but why would it benefit them to prevent me from reaching the Deity Transformation Stage? Even if I don't reach that level, there's still no one in the Heavenly South Region who's a match for me. The only downside to this is that I won't be able to lengthen my lifespan, and I'll pass away after reaching around 1,000 years of age. As such, the period of time during which our Drifting Cloud Sect will be able to exert dominance over the other sects of the Heavenly South Region will be significantly curtailed. However, to normal sects, it doesn't really matter which sect reigns supreme in the Heavenly South Region. There are only a handful of sects who can contend for this position, and it's most likely one of the Flowing Mind Sect, the Harmonious Bond Sect, or the High Zenith Sect. Alternatively, it could be all three of those sects joining forces to plot against me."
The small child was quite stunned by Han Li's analytical prowess, and only after a long while did a wry smile appeared on his face as he said, "Now that you put it that way, things have been made a lot clearer. So you think that the other three late-Nascent Soul great cultivators are behind all this?"
Han Li rose to his feet, and paced a few steps within the hall. He then looked up at the ceiling, and a cold smile appeared on his face as he said, "Perhaps. In any case, this is all just speculation; who knows what could really be going on behind the scenes? I'm not sure if I'm right, either."
"It's easy if you want to find out the truth; just capture one of those three, then use a soul search technique on them," the small child suggested with a low chuckle.
A sharp light flashed through his eyes, but he shook his head after a moment of contemplation as he said, "It would be indeed simple to capture one of them, but that's beside the point. Even if I've hit the nail on the head here, it would be inappropriate for me to attack any of those three sects without any concrete evidence. Otherwise, I'll be viewed as a public enemy. All other cultivators fear and revere me as the number one cultivator in the Heavenly South Region, but if I were to abuse that title, then more people would become resentful and fearful toward me. Maybe someone will take advantage of this opportunity to turn the entire Heavenly South Region against me. No matter how powerful I am, I won't be able to stand against the entire cultivation world of the Heavenly South Region, and there have been previous instances of something like this happening before."
"You're way too much of a coward, Han brat. If someone tried to plot against me like this in the Spirit Realm, hehe..., whatever, it's up to you in the end. As long as you can keep yourself from getting killed, I won't try to influence your decisions," the small child said in a lazy voice.
"Don't worry, now that I know there are people plotting against me, I'll be sure to be careful. As for this incident, I'll pretend to be oblivious to it for now. If whoever's behind this doesn't try any more little trick, then I'll let them be, but if they try something else, I'm sure I'll be able to catch them next time. As soon as I find some concrete evidence, hmph! They'll learn what it means to wish they were dead." Han Li's expression remained quite calm, but the menacing threat in his voice was quite apparent.
The small child merely chuckled without saying anything this time.
Han Li remained within the hall for a while longer before finally exiting the guest pavilion. He then turned his gaze toward another nearby pavilion, and his brows furrowed slightly.
He could understand Han Yunzhi coming to find him, but what business did Dong Xuan'er have with him? He was not on good terms with the latter of these two women. Dong Xuan'er was extremely beautiful, but she had left him with quite a negative impression.
However, there was also something else that Han Li was confused about. He had once heard from a Harmonious Bond Sect disciple that after Dong Xuan'er had reached the Core Formation Stage, she had deployed people to search for him for a period of time. Why was that?
Han Li looked at the pavilion with a hesitant look, but still decided to make his way toward it in the end.
After entering the pavilion, he was greeted by the sight of two beautiful female cultivators, one of whom was standing while the other was seated in a chair, and both of them were completely silent.
The one in the chair was a yellow-robed woman with a set of gentle features, making her appear very warm and approachable. The one who was standing was an extremely seductive white-robed woman who gave off an air of frailty. However, that sense of fragile vulnerability evoked within the onlooker the urge to protect her, thereby further contributing to her allure.
Han Li's arrival immediately drew the attention of the two female cultivators.
"I'm quite surprised that you two came to visit me, Fellow Daoists. We're all old acquaintances and seeing you two evokes many past memories in me."
Han Li approached the two women with a faint smile on his face.
A hint of elation appeared in the yellow-robed woman's eyes at the sight of Han Li. She hurriedly rose to her feet, but was seemingly at a loss for what to do as she said, "Brother Han! No... Senior Han, I hope my visit isn't causing any trouble for you."Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Bruh, I just wanna say, not sure if Han Li or Detective Conan
Hey guys, here's the second chapter for the day, apologies again for the delay, and we hope you enjoy the chapter :)