Han Li sat still and closed his eyes as the mist descended over him.
The mist revolved around Han Li for a long while before finally dissipating into nothingness.
After the mist dissipated, Han Li opened his eyes, and when he spoke again, he was using a language that was identical to what the serpentine beings were using. "This is quite an interesting tool refinement method; I could glean the contents of the stone shard even without using my spiritual sense."
"You're far too kind, Senior; this is just an insignificant trick that we learned through experimentation. Here is a map of the Flame Coral Islands, Senior," the woman replied with a modest smile before tossing a white stone shard over to Han Li.
On this occasion, the stone shard didn't explode. Instead, it was drawn to his forehead by the spiritual light expelled from within his mouth, and it stayed there in a motionless manner.
Han Li's eyes narrowed as a hint of bewilderment appeared on his face, but his expression quickly returned to normal again.
The red-robed woman was rather perplexed by Han Li's reaction, but she refrained from saying anything.
Moments later, the white stone shard detached itself from Han Li's forehead before springing back toward the woman.
The woman caught the stone shard and stowed it away, but Han Li remained silent with a contemplative look on his face, seemingly in deep thought about something.
The woman merely smiled and left Han Li to his own thoughts in silence.
After a while, Han Li raised his head, and mused, "From what I've gathered, this place is rather close to the Thunder Continent; it's only about half a year's flight away."
"Half a year! That's only at your speed, Senior. For us, we wouldn't be able to get to the Thunder Continent without at least a few decades, and that's not even taking into account the perils that we'd encounter along the way," the woman chuckled with a wry smile.
Han Li nodded before asking, "From the maps, it appears that your Fire Yang Race doesn't have control over many islands. Are the other islands inhabited as well?"
"It's indeed true that our race owns very few islands, and in reality, this Firecloud Island is the only one that's inhabitable. The other islands are merely places that our brethren go to source food and materials from. As for the rest of the Flame Coral Islands, most of them are under the control of other powerful races, and some are inhabited solely by upper race beings like you, Senior. Our Fire Yang Race is not a powerful nor prominent race by any stretch of the imagination," the woman sighed.
"I see." Han Li nodded before falling silent.
However, after a brief hesitation, the woman asked, "You seem to have come from somewhere extremely far away, Senior. May I ask what business you have here? My cultivation base may be quite pitiful, but our race has inhabited this island for a long time, and we'd be happy to provide any assistance we can."
The woman seemed to be quite eager to please.
"I am indeed not from this area. I unintentionally triggered some kind of restriction elsewhere and was teleported to this place. During the teleportation process, a minor mishap occurred, and I ended up in this pitiful state," Han Li replied in an indifferent manner.
"Not at all, Senior. Your mobility is hampered at the moment, but I can sense that your cultivation base is completely unfathomable to me. You must require a place with extremely rich spiritual Qi for your rest and recuperation, right, Senior? Our Firecloud Island may not be very large, but we have a few brilliant spirit veins. If you don't mind, we'd be more than happy to provide a place for you to rest and recover at," the woman said with a respectful smile.
"You want me to rest on your island?" Han Li chuckled in an ambiguous manner.
The woman was slightly flustered by his response, and she hurriedly continued, "Rest assured, Senior, the spirit veins on our island aren't inferior to those on the larger islands nearby. On top of that, we also have some rare spirit medicines and a supply of spirit stones on the island that you may use as you please, Senior."
Han Li's smile faded upon hearing this.
His voice cooled slightly as he said, "I don't have a habit of taking free handouts, and nor do I like people who act and speak in a roundabout manner. If you have something to say to me, then just tell me in a straightforward manner."
Only then after hearing Han Li's response did the woman realize that she'd acted in too desperate of a manner, and her expression changed slightly before she heaved a long sigh.
"Seeing as you've already identified my intentions, then I'll no longer hide anything from you, Senior. All of you can go for now!" The woman's last sentence was directed at the serpentine beings within the hall.
All of the serpentine beings immediately bowed before exiting the hall.
Han Li looked on with a calm expression and refrained from saying anything.
After all of the serpentine beings had left, the woman turned back to Han Li with a solemn expression, and asked, "How do you rate my cultivation base, Senior?"
"It's passable," Han Li replied in a calm manner.
"As little as a month ago, I was still like my other brethren and hadn't attained this body that belongs to upper race beings," the woman continued as a peculiar look appeared in her eyes.
"What are you referring to when you say upper race?" Han Li asked as he raised an eyebrow.
"I'm naturally referring to those who've attained upper race bodies. Only cultivators of my cultivation base can attain an upper race body," the woman explained with a smile.
Han Li's heart stirred slightly upon hearing this, but his expression remained unchanged as he nodded, and asked, "Oh? From the sounds of it, you don't seem to have reached this cultivation base through conventional means. Could it be that you ingested some kind of spirit medicine or used a secret technique to forcibly raise your cultivation base to this level?"
"Your wisdom is truly unmatched, Senior! I did indeed consume a few rare pills within the race, then used an extremely damaging secret technique to raise my cultivation base to this level. However, because of this, my cultivation base will never progress again, and my lifespan has also been reduced to less than half of other upper beings at the same cultivation base. I've done this because our Fire Yang Race is truly in grave peril, and I have no choice but to put my life on the line," the woman said with a grim expression.
"Grave peril? Tell me about it." Han Li was rather intrigued.
"Half a year ago, one of our neighboring Naga Race branches, the Sabertooth Race, was completely wiped out. All of the female beings in the race were eaten with only their bones left behind, while all of the male beings disappeared. Not long after that, the neighboring Scorpiontail Race also suffered the same fate. There are only these three branches of the Naga Race, including our Fire Yang Race, in this region of the sea, and none of our three branches are all that powerful, but we've always helped one another and managed to keep our races alive. Now that the other two races have been eradicated, our Fire Yang Race is most likely next. I still haven't been able to find out the reason why those two races were destroyed, but what we've managed to deduce is that there should be more than one perpetrator involved; most likely from one of the other powerful races. The high priests of the other races were not inferior to me in power at the time, which is why I did this to myself and forcibly raised my own cultivation base," the woman explained.
"Oh, so you want me to stay here to protect your race. Are you that confident in me? Aren't you afraid that even I won't be able to save everyone?" Han Li chuckled.
"I don't know what your true cultivation base is like, but it's most definitely well above mine. As for your injuries, our Fire Yang Race still has a Scorching Sun Divine Pill that can heal all injuries as long as one isn't dead. If you're willing to stay and assist me, I'd be glad to offer the pill to you, Senior!" The woman gritted her teeth and finally brought out her trump card.
"Scorching Sun Divine Pill? That's a fire-attribute pill, right? The severity of my injuries is not something that you can imagine, Fellow Daoist; the divine pill you're offering may not be very effective for me," Han Li replied with furrowed brows.
Despite what Han Li was saying, the woman could sense that he was interested, and she immediately continued, "Rest assured, Senior, not only was this pill refined using the inner core of a Twin-headed Flame Wyrm, it's been nurtured within earthen flames in our race ever since it was first refined, and thousands of years have passed since then. As such, I'm quite confident in its efficacy."
A hesitant look appeared on Han Li's face upon hearing this.
"How about this? You can stay in our race for a few days and consume the divine pill. If the pill really does prove to be ineffective, then I won't request your help any longer, but if it works..."
"If this Scorching Sun Divine Pill really can heal my injuries, then I'll naturally help your Fire Yang Race survive this ordeal. However, I have to make this clear first; if your enemies are too powerful for me to handle, then our agreement will be void," Han Li said in a calm voice.
"Of course! I wouldn't expect you to risk your life for an insignificant race like ours, Senior." Not only was the woman not disheartened by Han Li's disclaimer, she was instead ecstatic.
Thus, Han Li nodded in agreement and accepted this arrangement.
The events that unfolded next were quite simple. Han Li made some inquiries about the foreign races in the nearby region of the sea, and the woman answered all of them before taking Han Li to a silent cultivation venue.
She produced a white veil-like treasure and gently swished it through the air, following which the treasure transformed into a large white cloud that was several tens of feet in size.
The cloud flashed and lifted both Han Li and his chair up from the ground, hovering at altitudes of several tens of feet.
The woman also flew onto the cloud, then chanted something, and the cloud flew out of the palace gates.
All of the serpentine beings waiting outside the gates bowed respectfully to see off the departing duo.
The cloud wasn't traveling very quickly, but the entire island was only several hundred kilometers in size.
As such, the woman and Han Li soon arrived at the foot of a small yet lush and elegant mountain.Previous Chapter Next Chapter