Chapter 1596: Exchange and Backup

"In that case, it looks like I have no choice but to comply," Han Li said in an indifferent manner.

"Haha, there's no need to be so depressed, Fellow Daoist Han. There are some perils in the Vast Glacial Realm, but most people would do anything for a chance to enter it. Many people will envy you for the opportunity to enter the realm," Qian Jizi chuckled.

"My cultivation base hasn't reached a bottleneck yet, so entering the realm won't benefit me much. Instead, there's a good chance that I'll be dying in there. The risk and reward comparison simply isn't worth it, so if there's any possibility that I can be exempt from entering the realm, I would definitely pass up this opportunity." Han Li shook his head in a gloomy manner.

Qian Jizi and Elder Ma exchanged a glance upon hearing this, and the former said in a slow voice, "Once a Vast Glacial Badge has been activated, only the one who has activated it can take others to the Void Glacial Realm with them. The future of our 13 races hinges on this, so you must enter the realm; that's non-negotiable. You've carried the badge to us, so our Myriad Ancient Race should be grateful to you, but you've activated the badge and we've given you the opportunity to enter the Vast Glacial Realm, so we've repaid you for your efforts. However, seeing as you're being forced into the Vast Glacial Realm against your will, you can state any condition that you may have, and we'll do our best to satisfy you."

Han Li's heart abruptly jolted upon hearing this, and he immediately said, "I'm sure you know what request I have already. After returning from the Vast Glacial Realm, I'd like to use your super teleportation formation."

"You want to use the teleportation formation? If it's only once, then we should be able to arrange that. However, teleportation using that formation requires a vast expenditure of top-grade spirit stones, and you'll have to issue the spirit stones yourself; there's no way that we'll supply them for you. Furthermore, our race cannot make executive decisions on the teleportation formation, so we have to discuss this matter with the other few races; perhaps they may also have some conditions that you must satisfy before they'll allow you to use the formation," Qian Jizi replied in a calm manner.

"As long as I can use the teleportation formation, I'll naturally supply the spirit stones required. As for any other conditions that may be raised, as long as they're not conditions that are completely outside of my realm of capability, I can accept them," Han Li said with an elated look on his face.

"Hehe, don't be so quick to jump at this opportunity, Fellow Daoist Han. Activating the super teleportation formation even just once requires so many top-grade spirit stones that even some holy race beings wouldn't be able to afford it. You may have some wealth, but it will still most likely be very difficult for you to gather enough top-grade spirit stones to use the formation. With your cultivation base, you'll be greatly valued even if you were to stay in our Myriad Ancient Race, so why insist on traveling to other continents? I suggest you take this opportunity to change to another condition and request for some tangible benefits like pills or treasures instead; that would be ideal for both sides," Elder Ma proposed.

Han Li's expression faltered upon hearing this, but he shook his head after a brief silence, and said, "Thank you for your kind offer, Senior, but I've already made up my mind."

As opposed to being enraged by Han Li's refusal, Elder Ma only nodded indifferently and spoke no further on this matter.

"By the way, when will the Vast Glacial Realm open up? I want to make some preparations beforehand, so learning the amount of time I have left will be quite beneficial," Han Li suddenly asked."We're not sure of the exact opening date, either, but according to past experience, it'll be somewhere between several years to a century from now," Qian Jizi replied with a smile."A century!" Han Li abruptly exclaimed upon hearing this. "For cultivators like us, a century passes in the mere blink of an eye; surely there's no need to be so alarmed, Fellow Daoist Han," the middle-aged man said as he raised an eyebrow. "My apologies, I was just surprised that it would take so long," Han Li replied with a wry smile.

"You're living in the inn from before, right? That place has been placed into lockdown, and you won't be leaving Cloud City anytime soon, so why don't you move to the Eight Cloud Mountains as well, Fellow Daoist Han? I'll get someone to organize a free cave abode for you so you can cultivate in peace while awaiting the opening of the Vast Glacial Realm," Qian Jizi said.

Han Li was a little taken aback by this offer, but after quickly weighing up his options, he nodded in agreement.

After that, Qian Jizi and Elder Ma asked some casual questions about Han Li's origins, to which Han Li gave a few intentionally ambiguous responses.

It was quite clear that Han Li didn't want to disclose too much information about himself, and the two Myriad Ancient Race elders didn't insist on prying, either.

Not long after that, the third elder of the Myriad Ancient Race finally arrived. This was a tall and broad heavily-bearded man, and he only took a glance at Han Li and delivered some absentminded praise before hurrying away, citing the excuse that he had a half-refined batch of spirit pills in his cauldron that he had to attend to.

Qian Jizi and Elder Ma could only exchange a resigned smile upon seeing this. They seemed to have already become accustomed to this Elder Huang's personality.

Thus, after receiving a Myriad Distance Talisman from Elder Ma, Han Li finally stood up to leave. Prior to his departure, Qian Jizi told him that he would discuss with the other races about the teleportation formation and organize a cave abode for him within three days. Hence, he could move in to the Eight Cloud Mountains after that.

Han Li naturally thanked the elderly man for his kindness, then left the hall and departed from the Myriad Ancient Race's fortress on the beast-drawn carriage outside. At this moment, both Qian Jizi and Elder Ma were sitting in silence within the hall, seemingly in deep thought. "What do you think? Could he be a spy from the Jiao Chi Race?" Qian Jizi asked.

"There's no way that he's a spy; expending a Vast Glacial Badge just to plant a spy in our Heavenly Cloud Races is far too heavy a price to pay. Besides, he also saved Master Jia and killed several Jiao Chi beings of the same cultivation base as himself. No matter how you look at it, the Jiao Chi Race would have to be downright insane to sacrifice so much just to plant a spy. On top of that, even if he were to become a guest member of one of our 13 races, he wouldn't be able to obtain any of our confidential secrets anyway, so what would be the point?" Elder Ma immediately shook his head in response.

"My thoughts exactly. In that case, we won't have to use a soul search technique to determine his origins. Otherwise, it could prove to be detrimental to us if we were to draw resentment from him," Qian Jizi agreed with a nod.

"On top of that, he possesses extremely powerful combat prowess that's no less potent than beings at the pinnacle of the Spatial Tempering Stage, so it would be greatly beneficial to our race if he could become a guest member of ours, so we should do our best to recruit him rather than get on his bad side," Elder Ma added."But he seems to be quite intent on leaving the Thunder Continent," Qian Jizi countered with furrowed brows.

"Hehe, it's not that easy to gather so many top-grade spirit stones; who knows how long it'll take for him to save up the spirit stones required? During this process, we'll just have to expend some effort to try and convince him to stay. Of course, if he still insists on leaving in the end, then there's no need for us to play the villains and force him to stay. Our race certainly isn't short of beings at the pinnacle of the Spatial Tempering Stage, so there's no need to risk ruining our reputation for him," Elder Ma mused.

Following a brief pause, Qian Jizi nodded, and said, "Seeing as you've already made up your mind, I have no objections."

"Let's talk about the news we received about the Jiao Chi Race. This invasion from the Jiao Chi Race is on a far larger scale than past invasions. Setting aside everything else, just the number of holy race beings they've deployed is..." Elder Ma changed the subject and moved on to the Jiao Chi Race invasion thereafter.

Meanwhile, Han Li didn't go too far away from the Eight Cloud Mountains before disembarking from the carriage on a relatively secluded street, then found an inn to live in on a temporary basis.

The inn was quite ordinary in appearance and closely resembled a building that one would see in the human race.

After setting up a restriction in his room, Han Li sat down in a cross-legged manner on his bed, then began to carefully think back through his conversation with the elders of the Myriad Ancient Race, trying to see if there were alarming aspects that he should take note of. After contemplating for a long while, he finally exhaled as his expression gradually relaxed.

From what he could recall, the elders didn't seem to be plotting against him in any way, and his only concern was that the Vast Glacial Realm could be quite dangerous.

However, seeing as there were no beings at or above the Body Integration Stage that could enter the realm, he didn't have much to fear. As long as he wasn't too greedy or ambitious and stumbled around everywhere in search of spirit medicines and treasures, he should be quite safe. He'd just have to find an obscure location to hide in and weather the storm, then return following the conclusion of the ordeal.

He had already thought through all this back in the Sentient Hall, which was why he'd agreed to the conditions made by the elders without any hesitation. However, it did indeed come as quite a surprise to him that he'd have to wait for so long before the Vast Glacial Realm were to open up.

If he really did have to wait for a century, then he should be able to use his spirit pills to cultivate to the pinnacle of the early-Spatial Tempering Stage. After that, he could try and use the astonishingly abundant spiritual Qi in the Vast Glacial Realm to break through to the mid-Spatial Tempering Stage.

This was only possible as he could use the liquid produced by the mysterious vial to essentially infinitely refine the extremely rare Rising Dragon Pills.

Otherwise, for a normal cultivator, it would take at least 500 to 600 years to cultivate to the pinnacle of the early-Spatial Tempering Stage.

After reaching the Spatial Tempering Stage, further advancements required far more spiritual power to be gathered and cultivated than for progression in the Deity Transformation Stage. On top of that, Han Li had chosen the path of simultaneous cultivation, which was far more difficult than just normal cultivation. 

With that in mind, Han Li's expression suddenly stirred slightly, and he flipped his hand over to produce a white jade box that also had crimson talismans plastered to its surface. This was none other than the other jade box given to him by the big-headed being.

Han Li knew that if he were to bring out this item, he'd definitely be able to secure greater benefits from the elders of the Myriad Ancient Race. At the very least, he'd be able to secure another sentient puppet for himself. However, he made no mention of this in the Sentient Hall as a safety precaution.

Regardless of whether having an extra Vast Glacial Badge would benefit him in any way after entering the Vast Glacial Realm, he'd rather keep it as backup than exchange it for any benefits.

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