Han Li took a step forward, and even though it didn't appear as if he were moving all that quickly, he still covered a distance of 70 to 80 feet in a flash.
After a while, he'd traveled several tens of kilometers, and he was already moving slower than he normally would as a safety precaution.
Otherwise, if he were charging through the mist as quickly as he could, he would've covered several hundred kilometers already.
He had once skirted around most of the outskirts of this sea of Black Infernal Mist, and even when flying as quickly as he could back them, it had taken him around a month or two to go the entire way around one side.
He didn't know where he was currently situated within the sea of mist, but it would most likely take him quite a few days to emerge from this area on foot.
As such, Han Li wasn't in a hurry to forge ahead. Instead, he merely progressed at an even pace while considering his trip into the earth abyss and the infernal river.
During this adventure, he'd had quite a few perilous experiences and had almost been reduced to a puppet by the demon monarchs, but he'd also secured bountiful rewards.
He had learned the true method to use his Divine Devilbane Lightning from Mu Qing and also secured a vial of Five-Colored Peacock True Blood from her. From Di Xue, he'd obtained the refinement methods for spirit servant puppets, thereby allowing him to master the refinement methods for the Nine Palaces Heavenly Talisman and the Armor Origin Talisman. On top of that, the elderly man with the Jiang surname had passed the new Azure Essence Sword Art onto him, along with the method to refine the Azure Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords again. If he focused enough attention on those two things in the future, he'd presumably be able to make his sword formation a lot more powerful.
However, none of those things were as valuable as the Divine Infernal River Elixir that had been promised to him.
From what he knew of already, this elixir could alter one's constitution, thereby allowing one to absorb more of the world's origin Qi than they'd normally be able to. This was an incredible item, and he naturally didn't want to give up on it.
With this divine elixir, he'd be saving himself countless years of cultivation. For a cultivator with ordinary aptitude like Han Li, that was definitely something of the utmost importance.
The items on the list given to him by the elderly man were all extremely difficult to find, but there was still hope for him if he had a time period of 1,000 years to find two-thirds of the items on the list.
With that much time allotted to him, Han Li was relatively confident that he'd be able to achieve such a feat.
However, what he had to do now was to return to his cave abode on the island as quickly as possible, then go into seclusion so he could consolidate the rewards that he'd reaped from this trip. Once he reached the pinnacle of the late-Deity Transformation Stage, he'd be able to take the Black Flame Pills and attempt to progress to the early-Spatial Tempering Stage.
During this journey, he'd encountered so many beings at the Body Integration Stage and witnessed them in battle on many occasions. From that experience, he felt as if he'd attained some enlightenment, and was more confident in his ability to break through his next bottleneck.
Even though the demon monarchs had refrained from giving him much guidance in cultivation, they were all immensely powerful beings, and just seeing them in action had been an invaluable experience for Han Li.
After all, how many Deity Transformation cultivators could witness battles between Body Integration Stage beings in person?
All of these thoughts were rapidly racing through Han Li's mind, and it only took him mere moments to establish his future cultivation plan.
He then swept a hand over his storage bracelet, and a jade slip immediately appeared over his palm.
This was none other than the jade slip that the elderly man had given him, and within it was recorded the new Azure Essence Sword Art.
Han Li instantly split his spiritual sense into two with a small portion of it controlling his body in its advancement and inspecting his surroundings, which most of his spiritual sense seeped into this jade slip.
Initially, his expression remained quite calm, but as he furthered his understanding this sword art, his expression gradually became more solemn, and his brows were tightly furrowed by the end.
After a while, he heaved a long sigh and flipped his hand over, upon which the jade slip disappeared amid a flash of azure light.
A contemplative look then appeared in Han Li's eyes.
He had roughly read through the contents of the sword art and committed it to memory. It was quite clear that this so-called new sword art hadn't really brought many changes to the original 13 layers of the cultivation method, and the insignificant changes that had been made didn't impact him in any way.
The main difference was the five additional layers of the sword art after that.
These layers of the sword art corresponded to the three tiers of the Deity Transformation Stage, as well as the early and mid tiers of the Spatial Tempering Stage. If he were to cultivate the sword art in its entirety, it'd support him to the late-Spatial Tempering Stage.
If Han Li hadn't cultivated the Provenance True Devil Arts, he would perhaps truly be quite interested in this cultivation art.
As things were at present, he could only pick a few useful secret techniques and abilities from the last five layers of the sword art to cultivate. After all, he was walking the path of simultaneous cultivation, so it certainly wouldn't be wise for him to spend so much time on this cultivation art.
Of course, he was only able to achieve these things as he'd mastered the first 13 layers of the sword art in advance, and he was also a late-Deity Transformation cultivator himself.
Otherwise, even if other high-grade cultivators were to obtain this sword art, they wouldn't be able to make use of it at all.
The things enclosed in the final five layers of the sword art that Han Li was most interested in was a pair of new sword formations, one of which was named Spring Dawn, while the other was called Azure Coil.
These two sword formations used in conjunction with the final five layers of the sword art would be immensely powerful, and allow him to challenge beings of a higher cultivation base than himself. Even without cultivating the final five layers of the sword art, those two sword formations could still be unleashed, but the requirements on the flying swords used in that case were extremely stringent; they had to be extremely pure wood-attribute flying swords that had been nurtured to an extremely high level.
Han Li's current 72 Azure Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords couldn't satisfy this condition, so he had to refine them again.
Among these two sword formations, Spring Dawn was something that he could unleash with his current cultivation base, but Azure Coil would only be something that he could cultivate and study after reaching the late-Spatial Tempering Stage.
As such, Han Li directed his attention to the refinement method for the flying swords enclosed with the sword art.
However, a bewildered look appeared on his face only after a brief inspection of the refinement method.
The method wasn't very difficult, but the process during which the swords were refined had to be an extremely lengthy one, and during this time, his flying swords would be extremely brittle and frail, making them unusable in battle. Only after completely refining the swords and achieving a state of oneness with them would be able to display their true power.
According to information in the refinement method, he'd have to rid his flying swords of the Auric Essence he'd refined into them as well, and in that case, he wouldn't be able to unleash his Aureate Sword Formation.
That was making Han Li rather hesitant.
Not being able to use the flying swords for an extended period of time wasn't too much of a concern. After all, he wasn't relying on them as a crutch anyway. However, losing the Aureate Sword Formation really was something that made him feel quite indecisive.
The new sword art stated that Spring Dawn and Azure Coil were both far superior in power to the Aureate Sword Formation, so it only made sense to sacrifice it for those two other sword formations.
However, Han Li had never witnessed those two sword formations in action, yet the Aureate Sword Formation had helped him defeat powerful enemies on more than one occasion, so he was inevitably going to be rather hesitant.
He wasn't planning to cultivate the last five layers of the Azure Essence Sword Art, so it was a mystery just how much power he'd be able to unleash with those two sword formations with just his refined flying swords alone.
If it turned out to be the case that those two sword formations were inferior in power compared to the Aureate Sword Formation, then he'd have incurred a massive loss while expending a lot of time and effort.
Just as Han Li was trying to make a decision about his sword formation, his expression suddenly changed as he stood still on the spot.
He peered into the black mist off to one side, and a dark expression appeared on his face as he said in a cold voice, "What are you doing lurking in the shadows over there? Were you planning to attack me?"
He then raised a hand, and a thick bolt of golden light shot forth amid a loud thunderclap, forming a head-sized ball of golden lightning that hovered in mid-air.
The surface of the ball was crackling incessantly with arcs of lightning and shimmering with golden runes, creating quite an intimidating sight to behold.
"You're not a Tian Peng being?" A surprised voice sounded from the direction that Han Li had turned his attention toward.
"Who are you and how do you know that?" Han Li asked as his eyes narrowed.
"Hehe, if you're truly a Tian Peng being, there's no way you'd be able to remain completely unaffected here even as a Great Spirit General, let alone a mere Spirit General," the voice replied in a cold manner.
"Oh? Sounds like you know a lot about Tian Peng beings and this place. Why have you still not shown yourself? Come out and speak to me face to face!"As soon as Han Li's voice trailed off, the golden ball of lightning before him abruptly disappeared.
In the next instant golden light flashed within the black mist, and the ball of lightning appeared out of thin air before exploding on the spot.
Golden light flashed, and a black shadow immediately rushed out of the mist, appearing just over 100 feet away from Han Li after a few flashes.
Han Li carefully inspected the being that had just appeared, upon which his expression faltered slightly.
He was looking at a young man with a green face and a pair of white curved horns growing on his head.
He swept his spiritual sense toward the young man to find that he was a Spatial Tempering Stage being, and the aura he was emanating was rather familiar to Han Li somehow.
He quickly traced back through his memories before abruptly exclaiming, "You're Luminous Beast! Wait, you have a lot of Yin Qi within your body, so you must've used a ghost Dao cultivation art!"
The young man's expression changed drastically upon hearing this, but a sinister light then appeared in his eyes.
"I originally intended to let you go, but seeing as you've identified my origins, you won't be getting away from here alive!"
The young man then abruptly opened his mouth to blast forth a gust of grey Yin winds that swept directly toward Han Li.
He was clearly trying to kill Han Li in order to silence him forever!
Han Li was initially regretting the fact that he'd blurted out the young man's origins, but seeing as the young man wanted to engage him in battle, a smile appeared on his face instead.
He merely stood still on the spot, but the grey light around his body swelled drastically before revolving around Han Li, sweeping aside all of the oncoming gusts of Yin winds.
A flash of astonishment appeared in the young man's eyes upon seeing this, but he immediately slapped a hand onto his own head, upon which his twin horns detached themselves from his body, then transformed into a pair of shimmering white scimitars that landed in his grasp.
With the new weapons, the young man seemed to have been injected with a surge of confidence, and he stomped a foot into the ground, charging toward Han Li at an incredible speed, leaving a trail of afterimages in his wake.
The young man was seemed to be intent on challenging Han Li in melee combat, and a peculiar look flashed through Han Li’s eyes upon seeing this. Instead of taking any evasive measures, brilliant golden light suddenly erupted from his body as he stood still on the spot. A layer of golden scales appeared over his skin, and at the same time, a golden projection with three heads and six arms surfaced behind him.Previous Chapter Next Chapter