Chapter 1225: Another Long Journey

Liu Yu was feeling quite excited.

If Han Li's cultivation base were to take another massive stride, then she would undoubtedly attain an even higher status within the sect, and that would naturally benefit her greatly.

In reality, after tasting the pleasure that power and influence brought to her, it was impossible for her to calm her heart and return to cultivation. After all, even Nascent Soul cultivators had to be very respectful to her at present, and that was very pleasing to her.

Besides, she was well aware of the limitations of her own aptitude. After attempting and failing several breakthroughs to the Nascent Soul Stage, she had completely given up in that endeavor, and was entirely dedicating herself to assisting Lü Luo in running the Drifting Cloud Sect.

Even if she couldn't attain the Great Dao, she didn't want to reach the end of her lifespan without having done something with her life first. As such, she really had contributed quite significantly to the Drifting Cloud Sect's rapid expansion.

Lü Luo was very pleased with her dedication to bettering the sect, and had given her a lot more jurisdictive power when it came to matters in the sect.

The group from the Drifting Cloud Sect flew toward the interconnected peaks, but were kept out by a restriction.

They looked up as the tumbling spiritual cloud in the sky revolved and transformed into a giant funnel, looking as if it were about to slowly descend upon the interconnected peaks, and they hurriedly sent a voice transmission talisman into the restriction.

Moments later, the mist standing in their way surged before parting to open up a passageway, through which the group immediately entered without any hesitation.

After emerging from the mist, they were immediately greeted by the sight of Mu Peiling.

She was holding a yellow formation flag in her hand, and was silently awaiting their arrival.

"Mu Peiling pays her respects to the elders of the Drifting Cloud Sect. Big Sister Nangong has been waiting for a long time; please come with me." Mu Peiling stowed away the formation flag before pointing toward one of the interconnected peaks in a respectful manner.

Lü Luo and his group naturally had no objections to this, and they immediately flew toward that mountain peak.

There, they discovered Nangong Wan standing at the summit in a pristine white palatial dress, appearing as if she were a celestial maiden who had descended from the heavens. However, her intricate brows were slightly furrowed, and she merely nodded gently to acknowledge the arrival of Lü Luo and the others. Her attention was still entirely focused on the phenomenon taking place nearby, and there were hints of concern and anxiety shimmering within her eyes.

Beside her stood a man and a woman who were none other than Tian Qin'er and Shi Jian.

Both of them had also reached the Core Formation Stage several decades ago. Tian Qin'er had taken an Evergreen Pill to ensure that she held onto the appearance of a young woman around 16 or 17 years of age. Even though so many years had passed, she still looked almost no different compared to when Han Li had first taken her under his wing.

After paying their respects to Song Yu and Lü Luo, the two of them stood behind Nangong Wan again with respectful expressions on their faces.

"Elder Nangong, is Junior Martial Brother Han attempting a breakthrough to the Deity Transformation Stage?" Lü Luo asked with a hint of excitement on his face.

"Aside from a breakthrough to the Deity Transformation Stage, what other breakthrough attempt would create such a spectacle? It's just that the heavenly omen as already been around for a while, so the breakthrough doesn't seem to be progressing very smoothly," Nangong Wan replied with concern etched on her face.

"Why is that? Junior Martial Brother Han has already been able to trigger such an astonishing phenomenon, hasn't he?" Lü Luo was very surprised to hear this.

Nangong Wan seemed to have done quite a bit of research on Deity Transformation Stage breakthroughs, and she offered her own analysis. "The breakthrough will only succeed after the spiritual cloud in the sky is summoned onto the mountain peak, then merged with his body. However, the spiritual cloud is falling very reluctantly, which is a sign that he's still unable to sufficiently control the world's origin Qi. As such, this breakthrough may not succeed."

After hearing Nangong Wan's words, everyone turned their attention to the spiritual cloud in the sky again. Just as she had said, the shimmering spiritual cloud had attempted to descend toward the mountain peak several times, but was repelled by an invisible force on all of those occasions. As a result, they were unable to truly descend onto the mountain peak, and the process didn't indeed appear to be quite a reluctant and laborious one.

Lü Luo's heart sank upon seeing this, and he didn't ask any more questions. All he did was continue to stare intently up into the sky with an unblinking gaze. Song Yu didn't say anything, but the concern shimmering in her eyes betrayed her calm facade. The other cultivators all had mixed emotions, but with their two Nascent Soul Stage elders among them, none of them dared to make any comments.

Right at this moment, the spiritual clouds descending from the sky suddenly began to tremor violently. A peculiar ringing sound rang out, following which the massive cloud immediately began to tumble and surge unsteadily. An earthshattering boom then erupted, and a cloud exploded into spiritual light of different colors before completely vanishing.

All of the balls of spiritual light that were flying toward the mountain peak also disappeared amid an audible sigh.

All of a sudden, everything around the interconnected peaks returned to normal.

A slightly wistful look appeared on Nangong Wan's face upon seeing this.

At this moment, Song Yu suddenly broke her silence. "Senior Martial Brother Han clearly already has one foot in the door toward the Deity Transformation Stage, and he only failed on the final hurdle. With Senior Martial Brother Han's current lifespan and cultivation base, he'll be able to make many more attempts, and it's only a matter of time before he succeeds."

Lü Luo also wore a rather forlorn expression on his face, but he nodded in agreement with Song Yu's words, and said, "Indeed. Junior Martial Brother as already able to summon such an astonishing phenomenon during his first breakthrough attempt; I'm sure it won't be an issue for him to progress to the Deity Transformation Stage."

Nangong Wan was silent for a moment before a wry smile appeared on her face, and she said, "What you're saying is indeed correct, but Han Li has always been extremely careful and precise in his cultivation. If he's attempting a breakthrough to the Deity Transformation Stage now, then he must've made all of the preparations he possibly could. He must be unable to progress any further in his cultivation base before deciding to try and take this final step. In that case, unless he encounters some kind of opportunity, even if he attempts a few more breakthroughs, his efforts most likely won't amount to anything."

Lü Luo and Song Yu were naturally aware of this as well, and they were only trying to offer words of consolation. After hearing Nangong Wan's frank admission, they didn't know what to say in response.

Liu Yu was naturally also feeling quite disappointed. Just as she was about to say something, Han Li's voice suddenly rang out from within the main peak. Even from so far away, his voice was clearly audible to everyone, as if he were speaking right before them.

"Wan'er, seeing as Senior Martial Brother Lü and Junior Martial Sister Song have already arrived, why don't you invite them into my cave abode? I'm going to have to leave the Heavenly South Region for some time after my failed breakthrough attempt, and I have some things to say to them before I go. Get Liu Yu to come with them as well."

Nangong Wan faltered slightly upon hearing this before she turned to Lü Luo and the others with a smile, and she said, "Senior Martial Brother Lü, Junior Martial Sister Song, let's go together." 

Lü Luo and Song Yu glanced at one another before flying toward the main peak together with Liu Yu in accompaniment.

Tian Qin'er and Shi Jian were quite disappointed that they hadn't been summoned, but they could only wait on the spot with all of the other Core Formation cultivators. Without the orders of Nangong Wan or the other elders, the group of Core Formation cultivators didn't dare to leave, either. All of them began to discuss spiritedly among themselves after Song Yu and the others disappeared into the cave abode on the main peak.

The few cultivators who were acquainted with Tian Qin'er and Shi Jian approached the two of them and engaged them in conversation.

Tian Qin'er and Shi Jian had already reached the Core Formation Stage, but due to Han Li's strict orders, they were cultivating in their respective cave abodes most of the time, and they were quite glad to have the opportunity to talk to someone.

Several hours passed, yet Nangong Wan and the others still hadn't emerged from Han Li's cave abode.

All of the cultivators waiting outside could only speculate about what matters they were discussing.

Three months later, a streak of azure light shot forth from within the Dreamcloud Mountains, disappearing into the distance in the blink of an eye.

Only after several days did news spread from the Drifting Cloud Sect that Grand Elder Han had departed from the sect to embark on a journey.

The objective and timeframe of his journey had intentionally been made quite ambiguous, so no one could ascertain exactly why he had left.

This piece of news wasn't all that surprising to everyone. This was because news of his failed breakthrough to the Deity Transformation Stage had already spread throughout the cultivation of the Heavenly South Region, and virtually all of the sects had been made aware of this.

This came as quite a relief to all of the sects that were wary toward Han Li.

Even though Han Li was already the number one cultivator in the Heavenly South Region, if he were to progress to the Deity Transformation Stage, his lifespan would be extended to over 2,000 years. That was simply far too long for all of the sects that harbored ambitions of stamping their mark on the Heavenly South Region in the future. None of them wanted to be oppressed by Han Li for so long.

Seeing as Han Li was unable to progress to the Deity Transformation Stage, it only made sense that he was now embarking on a journey.

After all, cultivation alone clearly wouldn't be enough to help him make any further improvements, so he could only search for opportunities to act as a catalyst for a breakthrough. Of course, the chances of him actually succeeding were pitifully slim. Otherwise, the three great cultivators of the Heavenly South Region wouldn't have been stuck at the late-Nascent Soul Stage for so many centuries.

With Han Li gone, there were only two late-Nascent Soul cultivators left in the Heavenly South Region.

The grand elder of the Nine Nations Union, Wei Wuya, had passed away over 100 years ago. However, the Flowing Mind Sect had kept this a secret for many years, and news of this had only begun to spread several years ago. This was the most shocking event that had taken place in the Heavenly South Region in recent years.

The Nine Nations Union was plunged into turmoil as a result, and many sects and powers had erupted into conflict in the aftermath of this news being revealed.

Han Li was feeling rather forlorn after hearing about this when he had emerged from seclusion.

Even though Wei Wuya was only a step away from the Deity Transformation Stage, it was that single step that barred him from being able to continue his pursuit of the Great Dao.

That was a rather depressing end for such a legendary figure of the Heavenly South Region.

However, his passing only served to further cement Han Li's resolve in his pursuit of the Great Dao.

To him, everything was trivial if he couldn't attain immortality. No matter how powerful he became, everything would come to an end, and his legacy would cease to exist at some point.

He was unwilling to resign himself to such a fate.

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