Chapter 1717: Screen, Golden Cauldron

"But I've also received instructions from my master to secure the Spiritvoid Pills no matter what. How about this? I can offer everything else to you aside from the Spiritvoid Pills. Of course, my master will offer alternative reciprocation to Senior Cai in exchange..." Shi Kun chuckled in response, but his voice had clearly taken on a more stoic tone.

"What do you mean by that, Fellow Daoist Shi? Haven't you repeated what I just said? My master made it very clear to me that I must secure the Spiritvoid Pills, and that she would accept no alternatives. If you're willing to back down, then I can promise you a vial of our Crystal Race's revered Crystal Moon Liquid in my master's stead. I'm sure you know what this spirit liquid entails for Stone Cocoon being like you, Brother Shi. This is an extremely sought-after item for even the holy-grade beings of your Stone Cocoon Race..." A cold look had appeared in Liu Shui'er's eyes, but her tone had become more gentle and benevolent.

"Crystal Moon Liquid?" Shi Kun's expression changed slightly upon hearing this, and it was quite clear that this was a completely unexpected offer that was truly quite tempting to him. However, he then immediately thought back to Duan Tianren's stern instructions prior to his departure, and his heart instantly jolted as he cast aside his personal desires. He immediately shook his head, and refused, "No. Crystal Moon Liquid is indeed very tempting to me, but without the Spiritvoid Pills, I won't be able to answer to my master, so this is a non-negotiable matter."

"So you're not willing to back down or compromise at all, Fellow Daoist Shi?" Liu Shui'er's voice had also taken on a cold and forbidding tone.

On this occasion, Shi Kun didn't offer a reply; he merely appraised Liu Shui'er with a cold expression, and his intentions were as plain as day.

Liu Shui'er also fell silent and met his cold gaze with a frosty one of her own.

All of a sudden, the atmosphere became extremely tense, and Han Li couldn't help but furrow his brows slightly upon seeing this. 

"This is not the time to be quarreling, fellow daoists. I don't know what extraordinary effect these Spiritvoid Pills possess to make them so desirable to our two seniors, but don't you think it's too early to be engaging in conflict when we haven't even ascertained whether these pills are truly in this palace?"

Shi Kun's expression stirred slightly upon hearing Han Li's words, and Liu Shui'er also turned toward him as a peculiar look flashed through her eyes.

"Our two seniors may be convinced that there are Spiritvoid Pills in this palace, but I would assume that this verdict was reached based on circumstantial evidence. After all, they haven't gained access to this place in the past, so it's yet to be seen whether their deductions are indeed correct. Why don't we enter the palace and ascertain whether these pills can truly be found here before the two of you make a decision?" Han Li suggested in a calm manner.

Contemplative expressions appeared on both Shi Kun and Liu Shui'er's faces upon hearing this proposal. 

The two of them had naturally already considered the possibility that Han Li had just raised, but in the instant that the palace gate was broken, the two of them were so eager to get a headstart over the other that they had forgotten about their prior suspicions. Now that Han Li had reminded them of this possibility, both of them returned to their senses, and it naturally became quite clear to them that their top priority was to find the spirit pills first before deciding who would claim them.

"You're right, Brother Han. Fellow Daoist Shi, let's determine whether there actually are Spiritvoid Pills in this palace before we discuss anything else," Liu Shui'er said in a slow voice.

"I have no objections to this proposal, Fairy Liu." He knew that Han Li's presence could play a major role in which side claimed the Spiritvoid Pills in the end, so he squeezed a smile onto his face and agreed to compromise for now.

"Seeing as the two of you have reached a temporary resolution, why don't we all head inside together?" Han Li said with a smile before taking a few steps and reaching the two of them.

Shi Kun and Liu Shui'er naturally didn't have any basis to refuse, and they both nodded in response.

Thus, the three of them entered the palace one after another, then arranged themselves side by side before appraising the entire palace.

As expected of the main palace! The interior was close to 10,000 feet in size, and it could comfortably house several thousand people.

The first things that everyone saw were the purple pillars inside the palace, each of which was as thick as a human, and there were over 100 such pillars.

There were also many antiquated weapons that were hanging from the walls of the palace, all of which were either long halberds or giant axes, and they were all shimmering with silver light while emitting powerful spiritual Qi.

At a rough glance, there appeared to be close to 1,000 such weapons, and placed at regular intervals at the foot of the walls were suits of colorful armor.

The suits of armor were completely empty, and it was quite clear from the intricate patterns carved on their surfaces that these weren't ordinary suits of armor.

On the other end of the palace that was directly facing the gate was a massive screen that was shimmering with azure light. There seemed to be something drawn onto the screen, but it was difficult to make out exactly what was drawn on it as it was too far away.

There was a short table that resembled a tea table in front of the screen, upon which was sitting a golden cauldron.

Aside from that, the entire palace was completely empty without any embellishments, so there was no need for them to make any extra effort in searching for treasures.

Han Li's trio was naturally quite surprised to see this, and Han Li cast his gaze toward the screen and golden cauldron in the distance. Following a brief moment of contemplation, he strode directly toward that direction, and Liu Shui'er and Shi Kun exchanged a quick glance before immediately averting their eyes, then followed along behind Han Li.

After all, there wasn't really anything that appeared to be worth investigating in the entire palace aside from the screen and the golden cauldron.

Thus, three of them made their way to over 100 feet away from the screen and the golden cauldron under a strange atmosphere.

Han Li stopped on the spot and began to appraise the two items from afar. Shi Kun and Liu Shui'er also reflexively stopped and began to inspect the two items with differing expressions.

Han Li had his hands clasped behind his back, and his expression appeared to be quite calm and placid, but there was already blue light flashing deep within his eyes. The surface of the screen was concealed by a layer of azure light, but that certainly wasn't going to stump his spirit eye ability.

Thus, he was instantly able to glean what had been drawn on the screen, and a hint of surprise appeared on his face.

The artwork on the screen depicted a strange massive gate that had golden and silver runes inscribed on its surface. The gate was antiquated in design and completely black in color, but the two types of runes on its surface were constantly flashing, giving it an intriguing air of mystery.

The golden and silver runes bore a slight resemblance, and they were none other than beveled silver text and golden seal text, both of which were spirit texts used in the True Immortal Realm.

Han Li raised an eyebrow ever so slightly, and he instantly released a wisp of spiritual sense toward the giant gate on the screen.

As soon as his spiritual sense came into contact with the giant gate artwork, a burst of enormous force erupted from the screen, and before that wisp of spiritual sense had a chance to react, it was dragged into the screen, thereby completely cutting off its connection with Han Li.

Han Li's expression changed slightly, and he instantly developed a sense of caution toward this screen.

Shi Kun let loose a muffled groan and stumbled back a half-step before immediately catching himself. He had clearly also fallen victim to this screen's power, and it appeared that he had been affected more so than Han Li.

Liu Shui'er's face was concealed by her hood, so it was impossible to glean her expression, but her body also swayed slightly before she managed to steady herself, so she had also definitely been made aware of the peculiar nature of this screen.

Han Li had lost a wisp of spiritual sense, but it didn't affect him at all as his spiritual sense was far more powerful than that of his two companions.

He temporarily turned his attention away from the screen and lowered his head to appraise the golden cauldron.

The cauldron was shimmering with golden light, and a series of patterns that resembled clouds and mist were engraved on its surface.

These patterns were extremely complex, and most of them were in a corkscrew form. They were spread over the entire cauldron, and upon closer inspection, he was struck by a sense of dizziness.

Han Li's heart stirred upon seeing this, and he calmly released his spiritual sense once again, only to find that it was unable to seep into the cauldron at all.

He didn't know what kind of material the cauldron had been forged from, but it was able to completely keep out his spiritual sense. However, he had also noticed that there were two square indentations on the sides of the cauldrons, and they seemed to be slots that certain items could be placed into. 

Han Li looked on with a contemplative expression for a moment before he suddenly sensed something, and he turned his gaze toward his two companions, upon which his heart immediately stirred slightly.

Liu Shui'er and Shi Kun were currently staring at the ancient golden cauldron with intense unblinking eyes. To be more specific, they were staring at the square indentations on the golden cauldron, and there was an ecstatic look on Shi Kun's face.

Han Li's eyes narrowed slightly, and he asked, "Do the two of you recognize this golden cauldron?"

The elated look on Shi Kun's face receded slightly upon hearing this, and he hurriedly shook his head in response. "Surely you jest, Brother Han; this is the first time I've come here, so there's obviously no way that I would recognize anything here."

"Oh? Then why is it that both of you seem so interested in something you don't even recognize?" Han Li asked with a faint smile.

Seeing as Han Li refused to be placated, Shi Kun decided to kick the ball into Liu Shui'er's court. "Well... Why don't you ask Fairy Liu about that instead; she knows more than I do about this."

Liu Shui'er was naturally quite disgruntled by Shi Kun's devious diversion tactic, but she could offer an explanation at the sight of the curious gaze that Han Li had turned to aim at her.

"There's no need for you to be overly suspicious, Brother Han; this cauldron is most likely the treasure that contains the Spiritvoid Pills and the other treasures that my master and Senior Duan seek. Fellow Daoist Shi and I are both aware of this as each of us is carrying an item. Fellow Daoist Shi, how about you and I bring out those items for Brother Han to see?" Liu Shui'er explained.

"Hehe, I'm really getting rather curious now," Han Li chuckled upon hearing this.

"Er..." A hesitant look appeared on Shi Kun's face in response to Liu Shui'er's proposal, and he felt as if he had shot himself into the foot.

"Is there something that you're reluctant to show me, Fellow Daoist Shi?" Han Li asked in a seemingly casual manner, and his tone was extremely benevolent. 

However, Shi Kun's heart immediately jolted at the sight of the tranquil expression on Han Li's face, and he hurriedly chuckled, "Of course not. Even if you hadn't asked, I would've revealed this item anyway. After all, the two items are required to secure the treasures within the cauldron."

Thus, he flipped his hand over as he spoke, and golden light flashed as an item appeared over his palm.

Han Li naturally immediately focused his gaze on the item and quickly ascertained what it was.

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