Chapter 1778: Ancestral Shrine of the Xu Family

After determining a plausible reason behind this occurrence, Han Li's expression reverted back to normal as he continued to appraise the mountain in the distance. 

A short while later, the restrictions in the distance finally vanished, and he left the window with a contemplative look on his face, then sat back down onto the futon before closing his eyes.

During the next few days, aside from Xu Qianyu's mandatory daily courtesy visits, none of the other members of the Xu Family came to disturb him.

However, from the hint of concern that was constantly in her eyes, it seemed that what the Xu Family had been doing hadn't progressed very smoothly.

Sure enough, the same fluctuations would erupt from that mountain every single night, and during Xu Qianyu's next few mandatory daily visits, Han Li could tell that she wanted to say something to him, but always decided against it.

Han Li didn't display any reaction to this, but none of it had escaped his detection.

On the fifth morning, Han Li was in the process of inspecting his talisman when his expression suddenly changed slightly, and he abruptly flipped his hand over, upon which the talisman vanished in a flash.

He could clearly sense that Xu Qianyu wasn't the only one who had come to visit him this morning; she had also been accompanied by Xu Jiao and another man who was unfamiliar to him.

This man possessed a very powerful aura and was a late-Spatial Tempering cultivator.

A hint of surprise flashed through his eyes. Who would've thought that there would be such a powerful cultivator in the Xu Family? They sure had hidden him quite well.

Just as these thoughts were running through Han Li's mind, Xu Jiao's respectful voice rang out from down below.

"Junior Xu Jiao pays his respects to Senior Han. May I have the honor of being granted an audience with you?"

"Of course. There's no need to be so polite and formal, Fellow Daoist Xu; please wait in the hall for a moment, and I'll come down right away," Han Li replied before rising to his feet and making his way downstairs.

Moments later, Han Li appeared in the hall on the first floor, and he immediately turned his attention toward the late-Spatial Tempering cultivator whom he was unfamiliar with.

The one standing next to Xu Jiao was a young man in a set of slightly worn-out grey robes. He appeared to only be around 27 to 28 years of age, and he was also appraising Han Li with a respectful smile.

Upon closer inspection, Han Li could see that this man bore a resemblance to Xu Jiao, and judging from outward appearances alone, he looked like a junior of Xu Jiao's.

Xu Jiao immediately extended a bow toward Han Li before making an introduction. "Senior Han, this is the grand elder of our Xu Family, Xu Yuan. He had reached a critical juncture in his cultivation a few days ago, so he was unable to come out of seclusion to greet you."

"Grand elder, eh? I can see that Fellow Daoist Xu Yuan has already reached the pinnacle of the Spatial Tempering Stage and can most likely attempt a breakthrough to the Body Integration Stage at any time now. Should you succeed, you and I will be equals," Han Li said with a smile as he examined the young man.

"Your discerning eye is truly unmatched, Senior. However, my chances of making a successful breakthrough are very slim," the young man sighed after also extending a respectful bow toward Han Li.

Han Li smiled upon hearing this, but didn't say anything in response. He sat down in the main seat, then motioned for everyone else to take a seat as well.

Xu Jiao and the others immediately expressed their gratitude before taking a seat on either side of Han Li.

"Have you decided to pay me a visit because you'd discovered news about Fairy Ice Soul, Family Leader Xu?" Han Li cut straight to the chase.

Xu Jiao was surprised by how straightforward Han Li was, and his lips twitched as a wry smile appeared on his face.

"If you had asked me this yesterday, then I wouldn't have been able to give you a conclusive answer, but I did indeed come to visit you for this matter, and I have a favor to ask of you."

"A favor?" Han Li raised an eyebrow in a slightly surprised manner.

"Truth be told, the two items that you passed on to us will indeed allow us to track down Fairy Ice Soul, but our powers are insufficient to make use of those items, and we'll require your power as well, Senior," Xu Jiao explained in a concise manner.

"Indeed. All three of our Xu Family's Spatial Tempering cultivators have made attempts, but ultimately failed as our magic power was lacking. Hence, we can only request for your help, Senior," Xu Yuan chimed in with a serious look on his face.

"I see. Would you two be able to explain the situation in greater detail first?" Han Li asked in a calm manner. With his current status and powers, he naturally wasn't going to be making any quick promises.

"Of course. Even if you hadn't asked, I would've disclosed the nature of the situation."

Xu Jiao paused momentarily to gather his thoughts, then continued, "It's actually not all that complex. Have you heard of the Great Blood Soul Technique, Senior?"

Han Li's brows furrowed slightly before he quickly recalled the relevant information, and his expression changed slightly as he said, "Great Blood Soul Technique? It does sound rather familiar. Hmm? Could this be the very same Great Blood Soul Technique that was cultivated by that Daoist Master Blood Crystal tens of thousands of years ago?"

"As expected, you really have heard of this cultivation art. This Daoist Master Blood Crystal was an extremely rare prodigy among our human race. Not only did he invent this Great Blood Soul Technique, he had even used it to slay foreign beings of the same cultivation base as him in the past. Truth be told, Daoist Master Blood Crystal has long since perished, but Fairy Ice Soul discovered what he had left behind many years ago. 

“Even though this cultivation art was close to a devilish art, and there was no way that our matriarch would go to the trouble of completely altering the cultivation art to make it accessible to her, she was still able to cultivate some of the life-saving secret techniques in the cultivation art, and also refined several types of related life-saving treasures. Among the items that you passed on to us is a Blood Soul Vial, which our matriarch refined in the past, and the vial contains a wisp of her blood soul. All we need to do to track down our matriarch is to awaken this blood soul." As Xu Jiao was speaking, he was keeping an eye on Han Li's reaction this entire time.

However, aside from the slightest reaction that Han Li had displayed upon hearing about the Blood Soul Vial, he remained completely expressionless.

"The phenomenon that's been taking place these past few nights have arisen from your attempts to awaken the blood soul, right?" Han Li suddenly asked after a brief pause.

"Indeed, Senior. We didn't dare to delay and gathered everyone on the same night as you arrived to perform the awakening ceremony. Unfortunately..." Xu Jiao's voice trailed off here as a resigned look appeared on his face.

Xu Yuan sighed before continuing where Xu Jiao left off. "Unfortunately, we've failed the awakening ceremony several times in succession. Perhaps this is because the blood soul has been contained in the vial for too long or because our bloodlines aren't pure enough. In any case, the talisman sealing the blood soul has already been removed, so if we can't awaken the blood soul in two more days, it's going to completely dissipate."

"You want me to join in on the awakening ceremony?" Han Li asked in a calm manner.

"Indeed, Senior. We've tried everything during the past few days, all to no avail, so I can only turn to you now, Senior." Xu Jiao rose to his feet as he spoke before extending another earnest bow toward Han Li.

Han Li stroked his chin in contemplation, and only after a while did he reply, "If it really is just a lack of magic power, then I can certainly give you a hand, but if the blood soul or the awakening ceremony is fundamentally flawed, then I won't be able to do anything."

Xu Jiao immediately nodded in an elated manner in response. "Of course. Those issues are beyond our control, and if the issue truly lies in one of those areas, then we can only concede to our ill fortune."

Xu Yuan and Xu Qianyu were also ecstatic to hear this.

Seeing as Han Li had decided to agree to this matter, he wasn't going to sit around any longer. He immediately rose to his feet, and said, "Let's not delay this any longer. I'll go with you to see Fellow Daoist Ice Soul's blood soul right away and prepare the awakening ceremony with all of you."

Xu Jiao processed this request for a brief moment before deciding that there weren't any issues, and he nodded in response. "Alright. Even though this ceremony can only be performed at night, it would be a good idea for you to familiarize yourself with the blood soul first."

If they could truly track down Fairy Ice Soul, then the Xu Family would immediately be elevated to become a super family in the human race.

As such, Xu Jiao and the Xu Family elders were keen to do everything in their power to awaken this wisp of blood soul.

Thus, Han Li departed from his pavilion with the Xu Family trio, and the four of them flew directly toward the mountain where the fluctuations had erupted from during the past few nights.

Such a short distance was naturally covered in the blink of an eye, and they soon arrived at the mountain, which appeared to be quite ordinary in itself, but was surrounded by balls of spiritual light of different colors to form a restriction. 

Between these balls of spiritual light were a series of azure-armored guards.

Han Li swept his spiritual sense over the area, and he discovered that most of these guards were at the Nascent Soul Stage, and there were over 100 of them.

This wouldn't be considered to be a formidable force in Deep Heaven City, but it was quite a force to be reckoned with for a single family.

These guards were all concealed within the restriction in a very discreet manner, and none of them made a single sound nor any false moves to blow their covers, clearly indicating that they had been very well-trained. This was even rarer to see in a family.

Xu Jiao seemed to have noticed Han Li's intrigue, and he explained, "These are our Xu Family's secret guards, and they're the most elite forces at our Xu Family's disposal. I'm sure they aren't anything special in your eyes, but if they were to join forces in groups of three or four, they would be able to combat even Deity Transformation cultivators."

"Oh? So these guards must be adept in combination secret techniques," Han Li remarked in an intrigued manner.

"Hehe, that is indeed the case. It would be very bad if the awakening ceremony were to be disrupted, so all of our family's secret guards have been gathered here as a safety precaution," Xu Jiao explained.

Han Li merely nodded in response and didn't offer a reply on this occasion.

Xu Jiao summoned a formation plate to part the restriction first, and the four of them landed in front of a massive building that resembled a shrine, situated halfway up the mountain.

Above the gate of the shrine was a large plaque with a single "Xu" character inscribed upon it in ancient silver text.

There were eight more secret guards standing near the gate in an expressionless manner.

What was rather strange was that the gate was tightly shut, and the only way to access the shrine was through a side entrance that could only allow a single person through at a time.

Han Li's expression changed slightly upon seeing this.

"Please forgive me, Senior. This is our Xu Family's ancestral shrine, so we can only enter the underground secret hall through the side entrance," Xu Yuan said in an apologetic manner.

"It's alright, I understand." Han Li waved a hand in a nonchalant manner.

Both Xu Yuan and Xu Jiao heaved an internal sigh of relief upon hearing this.

If Han Li really did become displeased due to this small detail, then that would naturally be rather bad for them.

Thus, the four of them entered the ancestral shrine through the side entrance one after another.

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