Jin Yue didn't say anything further about this matter as the giant bird in the sky suddenly withdrew its wings, then quickly shrank down to its original size amid a flash of azure light.
A loud cry erupted from the bird's beak, and piercing spiritual light flashed as a half-naked man appeared in its place. The man made a hand seal before slowly descending toward the jade platform with his entire body enshrouded in a swath of azure light.
Jin Yue narrowed her eyes as her gaze fell upon the man's chest.
There, she saw a large azure bird image that was extremely life-like and shimmering with faint spiritual light.
This man was naturally none other than Han Li, who had fused the Kun Peng True Blood into his body and also refined the Kun Peng Relic.
The image on his chest was a sign that he possessed true holy blood and had completely activated it. The same kind of image appeared on the bodies of most holy disciples as well.
With that image on his body, even if the beings of the other races were made aware of that fact that he was not a true Tian Peng being, they most likely wouldn't be able to think of any valid excuses to prevent him for participating in the trial.
Jin Yue heaved a faint sigh and consoled herself internally with that thought.
In contrast, Elder Xu and the beautiful woman were feeling quite disgruntled by the image on Han Li's chest.
He was a human, yet the true holy image that even most higher-ups of the race didn't possess had appeared on his body. That was very disheartening to them.
Golden and silver light flashed and a set of golden and silver robes appeared over Han Li's body. He then descended toward the three elders and cupped his fist in a salute as he said, "Thank you for your assistance, Seniors. I've already attained a decent level of mastery of manifestation techniques. Please offer me your guidance if I'm doing something incorrectly."
His attitude had suddenly become extremely sincere and respectful.
"Your manifestation technique is quite splendid already, so there's nothing left for us to teach you. You can go back for now. Two months from now, I'll take you to the trial grounds. I'll also bring a replica scroll of the Tian Peng Vow to you so you can record your name on it. During this time, you're free to go anywhere as long as you don't leave the holy city. By the way, I have to tell you something. Even though you've refined the Kun Peng Replica, there may be some residual baleful aura in there that we failed to remove. It'll lurk within your body, but it won't do anything during the near future. I'll help you expel it from our body when you get back from the trials," Jin Yue said in a nonchalant manner.
Han Li's expression changed slightly upon hearing this, but it quickly reverted back to normal.
"Rest assured, Senior, I'll be sure to attend the trial in two months."
Jin Yue nodded in response.
Han Li immediately recognized that as his cue to leave, so he extended another farewell salute toward the three elders before flying away as a streak of azure light.
The three elders looked on as Han Li disappeared into the distance, and they didn't discuss anything further, but they all wore contrasting expressions on their faces.
Jin Yue was looking up into the sky completely expressionlessly, but the two other elders both seemed to be deep in contemplation.
Half a day later, Han Li was situated within a room on the top floor of the guest tavern, seated on a wooden bed with his legs crossed.
He was making a hand seal as azure light flashed erratically all over his body.
There was a hint of agony etched on his face, and large droplets of sweat were beading on his forehead.
Following a long sigh, Han Li withdrew his hand seal, and the azure light receded as he opened his eyes again.
"Interesting. I didn't think that this Grand Elder Hong Yun's residual spiritual sense would be so violent. If it weren't for my Great Development Technique, I would be in some trouble. Thankfully, the spiritual sense hasn't retained any of its spiritual nature, so I can seal it away before refining it little by little," Han Li murmured to himself.
In reality, even though it was only a wisp of spiritual sense, it once belonged to a Body Integration Stage being, so it was still extremely powerful and would most likely take him several centuries to completely refine. However, the benefits that he would reap from doing so would be quite significant as well. After refining this wisp of spiritual sense, his own spiritual sense would increase by almost 50%.
As for the traces of baleful Qi within the relic, he didn't see it as much of an issue as the Provenance True Devil Arts was the bane of such things.
Han Li paused momentarily before abruptly sweeping a hand over the lightning robe he was wearing.
Following a loud thunderclap, the robe disappeared into his body as countless arcs of golden and silver lightning.
As such, Han Li naturally caught sight of the azure bird image on his chest.
"Hmph, Tian Peng Image? More like Awakening Image." A hint of surprise appeared on Han Li's face as he gently tapped the image with a finger.
An incredible scene then ensued. Five-colored light suddenly flashed from the azure bird image and in the next instant, it transformed into a five-colored peacock with its tail feathers fully spread open. Brilliant golden light then erupted, and the image transformed into that of a howling golden ape. Finally, white light flashed, and the image completely disappeared.
If Jin Yue and the other two Tian Peng Race elders were present to witness the scenes that had just unfolded, they would be completely flabbergasted.
How could a true holy image take on different forms and disappear of its own accord?
Generally speaking, once true holy images appeared on one's body, it would remain with that being for the rest of its life, and it wouldn't easily take on any changes.
However, Han Li seemed to be very pleased as he looked down at his chest.
"I've already mastered three mantras of the 12 Awakening Transformations. I'm missing the true bloods of the Five-Colored Peacock and Giant Mountain Ape so I can't truly transform into those true spirit bodies, but this ability is astonishingly powerful, nonetheless," Han Li murmured to himself.
This cultivation art was something that Han Li had unintentionally obtained from refining some of Hong Yun's spiritual sense, and in theory, it could allow him to take on the forms of 12 different types of true spirits, so its power was undoubtedly downright extraordinary. If he could completely master all 12 true spirit bodies, with the abilities that true spirits possessed, even the true immortals of a higher realm would have to be wary of him.
Of course, that was merely an extravagant dream. Even if he were to completely master this cultivation art, he would still only attain a very small amount of the abilities that the true spirits possessed. Unfortunately, even though the true dragon and the heavenly phoenix were among these 12 forms, he still hadn't obtained their mantras yet. These mantras were hidden deeper within the wisp of Hong Yun's residual sense, and he didn't know how long it would take for him to attain them. Otherwise, with the true dragon blood and heavenly phoenix blood he currently possessed, he would be able to immediately attain two more transformations.
With that in mind, Han Li was feeling rather forlorn.
As for the Kun Peng Transformation, that was the foundation for the 12 transformations, and it was the one that this Grand Elder Hong Yun was most proficient in during his lifetime. Otherwise, despite his extraordinarily powerful body, there was no way that Han Li would've been able to master the Tian Peng Transformation Technique to such an advanced degree even though he'd just come into contact with it.
A thought then occurred to Han Li, and a deriding sneer appeared on his face.
After refining the relic with Jin Yue's assistance, he didn't receive much an enhancement in the power of his spiritual sense, but he did manage to glean some useful information.
This Grand Elder Hong Yun was a brilliant prodigy; the kind that had not been seen for tens of thousands of years. Through his painstaking research of the Tian Peng Transformation, he was able to incorporate many more true spirit transformations into this technique, thereby creating the 12 Awakening Transformations
Unfortunately, even as a Body Integration Stage being and sourcing many types of true spirit bloods over many years, he was only able to invent 12 transformations. After that, his spiritual sense and physical body were no longer able to cope with the demands placed on them, thereby resulting in him being driven insane and killed by backlash from the true spirit bloods.
What was quite strange and perplexing to Han Li was that prior to going insane, this grand elder had refrained from leaving his mantras and cultivation arts to the Tian Peng Race.
Han Li was naturally unaware that back when this Hong Yun was the grand elder, the Tian Peng race had been at the very height of its power. He was able to ascend to the position of grand elder after inventing this cultivation art with his brilliant aptitude, thereby allowing him to rule over the entire Tian Peng Race. As such, not only was this cultivation art the key to his success, it also became his best-kept secret, and he didn't reveal any of it to anyone else.
All of the other elders at the time only knew that Hong Yun had invented a cultivation art known as the Awakening Arts, but they knew nothing else about it.
After that, Hong Yun was driven insane due to true spirit blood backlash and passed away, so the contents of his Awakening Arts remained a mystery.
As for why the Awakening Arts were imbued within the relic he'd left behind, that was only something known to the heavens.
Perhaps it was simply an unintentional gesture by Grand Elder Hong Yun after he had gone insane. Alternatively, perhaps he had managed to retain a final shred of sanity right before his death and suddenly wanted to leave this cultivation art behind for his race, thereby deciding to infuse it into this relic.
Han Li didn't delve too much into this matter. Seeing as this cultivation art had fallen into his hands, he naturally wasn't going to return it to the Tian Peng Race. Otherwise, the first thing those elders would think of was most likely how to kill him to prevent this cultivation art from being leaked rather than how to thank him.
Han Li naturally wasn't going to do something so suicidal.
A contemplative expression appeared on his face as he carefully pondered the situation. All of a sudden, a hint of a smile appeared on his face again.
In reality, aside from fusing the Kun Peng True Blood with his body and obtaining the Awakening Arts from the relic, he had also reaped another massive reward that filled him with elation.
Due to the stimulation his body had received during this process, he was somehow able to break through his bottleneck, so he was now at the late-Deity Transformation Stage.
With the assistance of the True Toad Liquid, his cultivation path would progress without a hitch from here onward.
The three Tian Peng Race elders were only astonished by Han Li's exemplary mastery of the Tian Peng Transformation Technique, but they spoke nothing of the sudden improvement in his cultivation base. They had most likely noticed this, but for Body Integration Stage beings like them, such a minor improvement in cultivation base simply wasn't noteworthy at all.
Han Li narrowed his eyes and considered the situation for a while longer before flipping his hand over to produce a green jade vial, then tipping out a few pills from it.
After consuming the pills, he closed his eyes and began to cultivate in a seated meditative state again.
Having just advanced to the late-Deity Transformation Stage, he had to bolster his cultivation base.
A day later, Han Li left his residence in high spirits and headed straight toward the exchange center.
This was the date on which he had agreed to meet the shopkeeper of the Myriad Lightning Shop. He was determined to secure the Azure Shifting Fruit, so he naturally wasn't going to be absent.
The journey was quite smooth, yet when Han Li arrived in that shop on the ninth level again, his expression immediately darkened.
"What's going on? Why are these people here? Am I not the only one you made an agreement with?" The one who had spoken wasn't Han Li, Instead, it was a heavily-bearded man in a suit of imposing black armor.
At this moment, aside from Han Li, there were three other people present.Previous Chapter Next Chapter