A hint of surprise flashed through the woman's eyes upon hearing this, but she then smiled, and said, "Indeed, we will require you to do something for us in the Vast Glacial Realm. Rest assured, Fellow Daoist Li; even though you're not a member of our 13 Heavenly Cloud Races, we are both relatively important figures in our respective races, so it won't be an issue for us to grant you a spot to enter the Vast Glacial Realm. As such, we'll be giving you this splendid opportunity in return for your help; what do you think?"
A peculiar look appeared on Han Li's face. After a long while, he finally sighed, "I haven't reached a bottleneck in my cultivation, so entering the Vast Glacial Realm won't do me much good. On top of that, I can enter the Vast Glacial Realm without any additional effort on your part, Senior."
"You can enter the Vast Glacial Realm without our help? Surely not! I can see that you're in disguise right now, but I'm certain that you're not a being from one of our 13 races; how can an outsider like you have the right to enter the Vast Glacial Realm?" A hint of surprise appeared on Duan Tianren's face as he spoke.
A flash of realization suddenly appeared in the Crystal woman's eyes, and she chuckled, "Don't be quick to jump to conclusions, Brother Duan. If we're talking about outsiders, then there really is one who was granted the right to enter the Vast Glacial Realm recently. I think we need to stop referring to you as Fellow Daoist Li; isn't that right, Fellow Daoist Han?"Han Li heaved an internal sigh upon hearing this.
As expected, these two beings were too powerful to be fooled by his disguise. Thankfully, from the sounds of it, they could tell that he was in disguise, but they still couldn't glean his true appearance.
After a brief pause to collect his thoughts, Duan Tianren mused, "Fellow Daoist Han? Now that you mention it, I did hear someone in my race tell me about this. There was a certain outsider who activated a Vast Glacial Bage around a year ago, and he seemed to be requesting access to our super teleportation formation at the time as well."
"Indeed. It appears that this Fellow Daoist Han and Fellow Daoist Li are one and the same," the woman said with a smile. "Hehe, in that case, he has to enter the Vast Glacial Realm anyway; that'll save us a lot of hassle." Duan Tianren was quite elated to hear this.
"I still don't know what you'd like me to do, and on top of that, I've accepted another mission from your Stone Cocoon Race as well, so it'll be quite difficult for me to juggle two missions at once in the Vast Glacial Realm," Han Li said in a hesitant manner.
"Oh, you're talking about gathering the tool refinement material, right? Don't worry, that won't take you long at all, so it definitely won't delay you. If you have to choose between one or the other, then naturally prioritize the task that Fellow Daoist Cai and I are assigning you. Even if you don't manage to gather the tool refinement material, our Stone Cocoon Race wouldn't hold you accountable as long as I have something to say about it," Duan Tianren said in a proud manner.
"As for what task we're going to be assigning you, seeing as it's assured that you'll be entering the Vast Glacial Realm, it couldn't hurt to divulge some of the details to you. What do you think, Brother Duan?" the Crystal woman asked."If you think it's fine, then go right ahead; I have no objections," Duan Tianren replied.
"It's actually very simple. We need you and two other beings who also possess the Essencefused Body to combine your powers in order to open a hidden restriction in the Vast Glacial Realm, then secure a few items from within the restriction. Those items will assist Brother Duan and me greatly in our heavenly tribulations, and if you succeed, our survival will essentially be ensured for the next few tens of thousands of years," the woman elaborated in a serious manner.
Han Li faltered slightly upon hearing this, and he couldn't help but think of Qing Yuanzi, who was hiding in the infernal river.
Despite his extraordinary cultivation base, he had no choice but to reside in a space outside of the main realm in order to delay his next major heavenly tribulation.
At their cultivation bases, dying of old age was no longer a concern, but the major heavenly tribulations that were guaranteed to befall them periodically was something that they had to try to avoid or delay at all cost.
It seemed that even after reaching the Body Integration Stage, one still had to toil away in the ever-present hamster wheel of cultivation.
Han Li heaved an internal sigh as he came to that conclusion.
The Crystal woman continued, "This restriction is something we discovered in the Vast Glacial Realm back before we reached the holy race, and I wasn't able to open it at the time, but I was lucky enough to learn some information about it through other avenues. There are a few items in there that are next to useless for upper race beings like you, but they're life-saving treasures to holy race beings like us."
"Seeing as this restriction lies in the Vast Glacial Realm, then doesn't that mean it would've been left behind by an immortal? I've heard that many beings have perished within various restrictions in the Vast Glacial Realm; are you really certain that we'll be able to bypass it unscathed, Senior?" Han Li asked in a cautious manner.
"Perhaps my combat prowess is slightly inferior compared to that of the average holy race being, but in terms of mastery in restrictions, I can confidently say that I'm ranked within the top five beings in all of the Heavenly Cloud Races. At the time, I painstakingly studied the restriction to find that it had existed for countless years, and the vast majority of its power had already faded. Otherwise, I would've completely given up on it from the get-go. Do you not believe me, Fellow Daoist?" the woman asked with a meaningful look in her eyes.
"I wouldn't dare," Han Li hurriedly replied.
"It would only be natural for you to be skeptical under these circumstances. Rest assured, I may be a woman, but I'm not so petty as to begrudge you for doubting my words. I spent over 1,000 years to devise this method to break the restriction using the powers of three beings with Essencefused Bodies, and there's at least a 70% to 80% chance that it would succeed. As for the other two beings with Essencefused Bodies, they've been here in Cloud City this entire time. One of them was naturally born with the constitution and is currently a guest member of our Crystal Race; the other acquired the Essencefused Body through assistance from Bother Duan. If they were to join forces with you, I'm sure the three of you will be able to break that restriction," the woman said in a confident manner.
"If Senior Duan can help a being attain the Essencefused Body, then why didn't he just replicate that with another being rather than wait all this time?" Han Li asked with furrowed brows.
"The other being was only able to attain the Essencefused Body with Brother Duan's assistance through the use of Essencefused Stones. These stones are extremely rare, and it's very difficult for beings to absorb them into their bodies. At the time, Brother Duan attempted to assist six of his brethren to attain the Essencefused Body at once, but only one of them succeeded. After that, we couldn't gather any more Essencefused Stones, so that course of action was no longer feasible. At the core of the matter, we simply want to ask you to help the other two break a restriction in the Vast Glacial Realm; we're not asking you to take some kind of outrageous risk," the woman explained.
After a brief pause, a wry smile appeared on Han Li's face. "I probably have no choice but to agree, right?"
"Hehe, what do you think?" At this moment, Duan Tianren had finished his flagon of wine, and he turned to Han Li with a cold expression on his face.
"If it really is as simple as you say, then I'm naturally willing to help. However, the Vast Glacial Realm is fraught with peril, and that restriction was very likely left behind by an immortal, so there could be many unpredictable circumstances involved. Will you really be able to ensure my safety?" Han Li asked after taking a deep breath.
"Hehe, nothing is set in stone in this world. Even if I were to guarantee your safety, would you believe me?" the woman asked with a hint of a smile on her face.
Han Li fell silent for a moment before continuing, "Seeing as you're unable to make that promise, I'd like you to agree to two conditions of mine in return."
As opposed to being annoyed, the woman was quite relieved to hear this. The fact that Han Li was willing to state conditions indicated that he was willing to undertake this task. "Of course! Even if you didn't state any conditions, Brother Duan and I would be sure to reward you handsomely for your efforts as long as you succeed."
"My first condition is very simple. As you know, I wish to access the super teleportation formation after returning from the Vast Glacial Realm, but using the teleportation formation requires the expenditure of a vast number of top-grade spirit stones. I'm afraid I won't be able to issue such a massive sum on my own," Han Li said in a calm manner.
"Using the super teleportation formation does indeed require the expenditure of an astronomical number of top-grade spirit stones. How about this? I'll supply half of the spirit stones required; are you happy with that?" the woman promised without any hesitation.
It seemed that providing this astonishing sum wasn't an issue for her at all.
Han Li was rather taken aback by the fact that she was willing to offer so many spirit stones to help his cause, but he merely smiled as he continued, "Thank you, Senior. My second condition is that after breaking the restriction, I want all of the other treasures aside from the few designated ones."
"No problem. We only want those few treasures, so you and the other two fellow Daoists can take everything else," the woman immediately replied, seemingly completely unsurprised by this condition.
She didn't even discuss the matter with Duan Tianren, but he merely glanced at the woman and didn't state any objections.
"I'm not a greedy person; seeing as you've accepted both of my conditions, I have no further objections. I'm willing to lend you my assistance after entering the Vast Glacial Realm." Han Li rose to his feet as he cupped his fist in a salute.
"Great! With your help, I'm sure we'll enjoy resounding success. Brother Duan and I will visit you to disclose the specific details closer to the opening of the Vast Glacial Realm. Also, I hope that you won't reveal what we discussed here to anyone else," the woman cautioned with a smile.
"Rest assured, Senior; I'll be sure to keep this a secret. If that's all, then I'll be taking my leave," Han Li replied with a respectful bow.
"Alright, you can go now. If you encounter any difficulties during this time, you can refer to myself and Brother Duan as your backers; that should take care of most troubles that come your way. Oh right, you still don't know my full name, right? I'm Cai Liuying," the woman said with a smile.Previous Chapter Next Chapter