Chapter 1584: The Heavenly Cloud Races

"That's the Spirit Condensing Technique. It is indeed quite an extraordinary secret technique created by the Azure Race, but a strict set of prerequisites must be satisfied before the technique can be cultivated. Not only do the cultivators involved have to be brothers related by blood, their cultivation arts and cultivation bases also have to be extremely closely matched before they can unleash this technique. In contrast with all of the other Heavenly Cloud Races, most Azure beings are born as conjoined siblings where it's quite common even for six or seven siblings to be conjoined as a single being. However, after they grow up a little, they'll be able to split up, and Azure beings are stationed at all four city gates of Cloud City to conduct examinations on all those seeking to enter the city. After unleashing their Spirit Condensing Technique, even beings of a far superior cultivation base to theirs wouldn't be able to hide anything from them," Jia Tianmu explained with a smile.

Han Li was a little disappointed to hear this, but he then decided that it certainly couldn't hurt to reference such an extraordinary technique as that could assist him in his own cultivation. With that in mind, he said, "I see! Looks like my knowledge is rather lacking. I really am quite interested in that technique, though; would you happen to know how to cultivate it, Fellow Daoist Jia?"

"The Azure Race holds the Spirit Condensing Technique in extremely high regard, so there won't be many copies of the cultivation method circulating outside their race. However, I should be able to find a way to get my hands on a copy. If you really want one, I'll get someone to secure a copy for you," Jia Tianmu replied."You have my thanks, Fellow Daoist Jia," Han Li said with a smile as he cupped his fist in a salute.

"Haha, don't mention it. You saved my life, so this is the least I can do. I have to go and visit the elders of our Myriad Ancient Race, so I won't be able to accompany you any longer. This is the location of my cave abode; you can come and visit in a few days for the sentient puppet I promised you earlier. Truth be told, I only have two or three puppets of such a high caliber in my cave abode, and I have to secure approval from the elders before I can give one away to an outsider. However, rest assured, I have some status in the Myriad Ancient Race, so I'll definitely be granted approval with no issues," Jia Tianmu said with a smile as he handed over a stone tablet to Han Li.

At this point, the two of them had already arrived in the city. Up ahead was a wide street that was lined with shops on both sides and filled with different types of beings. It wasn't exactly lively and bustling, but it certainly wasn't a ghost town, either. Han Li accepted the stone tablet and inspected its contents in a cursory manner using spiritual sense, then smiled as he replied, "Alright, I also have some matters to take care of, so let's part ways here."

"Cloud City is not just inhabited by Heavenly Cloud beings, but also many foreign beings as well, some of whom have stayed here for thousands of years. As such, aside from some temporary dwellings, there are also cave abodes available to be rented. The rental fees are very high, but seeing as you're not planning to stay here for long anyway, those costs shouldn't be an issue to you. Also, make sure that you don't fight anyone or use your spiritual power in the city for no good reason. Otherwise, if you're caught doing so by the restrictions in the city, you'll be banished if you're lucky, and in worst-case scenarios, you could even have your cultivation base completely disabled. Even the elders of our 13 Heavenly Cloud Races have to abide by this rule. Alright, that's enough rambling from me; I'll be taking my leave now." After delivering some final words of caution, Jia Tianmu turned and departed.

Han Li looked on as Jia Tianmu hailed a spirit carriage that was being drawn by a pair of deer-like spirit beasts, then got onto the carriage and traveled away. Only then did he withdraw his gaze before carefully appraising his surroundings.

This place really did live up to its status as one of the major cities of the 13 Heavenly Cloud Races. Not only were there countless buildings lining the streets here, all of them were of different styles, and there were virtually no two buildings that were exactly the same.

Some of these buildings were mountainous structures over 1,000 feet tall while others were only several tens of feet tall, yet all of them were extremely intricately crafted. Some of them were quite square and angular, resembling the pavilions often seen in the human race, some were like giant trees that were shimmering with green light... 

It didn't take long for Han Li to become extremely intrigued by this city.

As the name suggested, the 13 Heavenly Cloud Races were comprised of 13 different races, yet ever since countless years ago, they'd lived together in harmony, advancing and co-existing as a single entity. If it weren't for the fact that they were objectively different beings with different bloodlines, they could almost be seen as one massive race.

None of the 13 Heavenly Cloud Races were anywhere near powerful enough to face a colossus like the Jiao Chi Race on their own, but their combined powers were comparable with the top races of the Spirit Realm. This was why the 13 Heavenly Cloud Races had managed to exist up to this point, despite their close proximity to the territory of the Jiao Chi Race. In reality, battles would break out on the borders between the Jiao Chi Race and the Heavenly Cloud Races quite regularly.

Either the Jiao Chi Race took over some more of the Heavenly Cloud Races' territory, or the latter recovered some of their lost land. Of course, under most circumstances, the Jiao Chi Race still came out on top. However, the 13 Heavenly Cloud Races were constantly backing up one another, so they hadn't suffered any decisive losses.

As such, the Heavenly Cloud Races weren't surprised by the sudden attack from the Jiao Chi Race. Instead, they were able to react quickly and calmly, gathering up their powerful beings in preparation to deal their enemies a heavy retaliative blow. This information had all been disclosed whether intentionally or unintentionally by Jia Tianmu during their conversations on the way here.

According to Jia Tianmu, the Heavenly Cloud Races had quite a vast territory, and the Jiao Chi Race wasn't the only powerful neighbor. There was also the Night Race, which was not inferior in power to the 13 Heavenly Cloud Races, as well as the slightly weaker Explosion Race. Of course, there were also many small races in the nearby area, but the only way for them to survive was to join one of the more powerful races.

Otherwise, they would either be completely wiped out or forced to find another home far away. This gave Han Li a general understanding of the situation surrounding the races in this area. 

At present, he was examining the streets in the city while slowly advancing and contemplating about what he was going to do next.

His target was undoubtedly to find a teleportation formation that could take him back to the Tian Yuan Continent. However, there was no way that a single being could own a teleportation formation of such a high caliber. Instead, it was most likely under the control of a certain major power. In that case, he had no choice but to liaise with the higher-ups of that major power if he wanted to use their teleportation formation. This was why he hadn't rejected Jia Tianmu's invitation to Cloud City.

However, he was going to make up his mind about whether he was going to approach the higher-ups of the Heavenly Cloud Races after he had gathered enough information.

His top priority now was to find a place to stay in the city, then slowly search for some leads.

Having made up his mind, Han Li no longer hesitated any further. He glanced at the shops around him, then picked one to visit that was similar in its design to a human pavilion. The shop wasn't very large and only had two levels. From the wares being sold on the shelves, it appeared that this was a very ordinary general store.

The shopkeeper was a green-skinned being who was sitting on a chair behind the counter, and he immediately rose to his feet with a smile on his face at the sight of Han Li. "What can I help you with, Senior? We sell several types of specialty local products from Cloud City, as well as maps, general appliances..."

This foreign being appeared to be in his forties, and even though he was only at the Foundation Establishment Stage, he displayed no fear in the presence of Han Li. After extending a polite salute, he launched into a well-rehearsed spiel to advertise his wares.

This wasn't particularly surprising. After all, at his lowly cultivation base, he most likely couldn't even tell the difference between a Nascent Soul and Spatial Tempering cultivator. Furthermore, there were countless beings who were far more powerful than him in Cloud City, so he was most likely already accustomed to being in the presence of beings that were unfathomably powerful to him.

Han Li glanced at the shopkeeper before suddenly sweeping a sleeve through the air. A mid-grade spirit stone flew out from within as he said, "Get me the most detailed map of Cloud City you have. On top of that, I also have some things that I want to enquire about."

The shopkeepers smile immediately widened with elation as he caught the spirit stone, and he brought over a red stone tablet from one of the shelves in the shop as he said, "This is the best map in my store, and I'll be sure to answer your questions to the best of my abilities, Senior."

A short while later, Han Li emerged from the shop with a calm expression on his face. He hailed a beast-drawn carriage on the street, then gave the driver an address before closing his eyes to meditate in the carriage. The driver immediately spurred on the beast-drawn carriage to rush down the street.

Four hours later, after passing through countless streets, the carriage finally carried Han Li to the nearest corner of the Cloud City and stopped in front of a strange massive building.

Han Li tossed a few spirit stones over to the driver before disembarking from the carriage and looking up at the building in a calm manner.

This was a tall hill-like building that had been entirely constructed from a yellow sand-like material.

The building was over 10,000 feet; countless times taller than the other buildings nearby.

Furthermore, there were several tens of rooms of different sizes littered all over the building, and the occasional being could be seen drifting in and out of the doors. This was like a giant wasp's net when appraised from afar!

Han Li stood on the spot in a slight stupor for a long while before finally casting his gaze downward at a large wide-open entrance at the base of the building.

There was a strange character inscribed on the wall on either side of the entrance, and even with the vast number of foreign languages that Han Li had mastered, he was completely unable to decipher what those characters meant. Following a brief hesitation, Han Li stroked his chin before striding toward the entrance. After making his way into the building, he found himself in an extraordinarily spacious hall. The hall was over 2,000 feet in size, and the walls and ground were all paved with beautiful green jade. There were also rows of flower pots that were several feet tall positioned along the walls, and within those pots were planted all types of vibrant spirit flowers and spirit herbs.

At the center of the hall was a dilapidated black wooden table, on top of which was sprawled a man with snowy-white hair in a set of long grey robes. The man was lying there in a completely motionless manner, seemingly in a deep slumber. Han Li made his way over to the table, and said, "Find me one your more secluded rooms; I want to stay here for a few days."

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