His entire hand swelled to form a huge golden hand that grabbed onto the bead, and golden light flashed from his fingers as countless golden runes surged out of his palm.
The runes instantly enshrouded the bead and formed a golden ball of light.
Han Li immediately began to chant something upon seeing this, and a thin translucent thread shot forth out of each of his fingertips before vanishing into the golden ball in a flash.
In the next instant, a wisp of barely visible grey Qi emerged out of the golden ball along the translucent thread before being drawn into Han Li's grasp.
After that, Han Li closed his eyes and began to refine this peculiar wisp of energy.
Golden light swirled over his body, and his aura also began to fluctuate in power in a strange sequence.
Several hours later, he reopened his eyes, and they were filled with elation. He could clearly sense that his magic power had been further enhanced by a tiny amount.
"This really is the same energy as the energy in that piece of Foreign Devilish Metal! If I can find more of this type of Foreign Devilish Metal, it won't be impossible to enhance my magic power to the Grand Ascension Stage! That could save me over 1,000 years of arduous cultivation. It looks like I'll have to make a trip to the Blue Waterfall Lake if the opportunity arises," Han Li murmured to himself.
After a brief moment of contemplation, Han Li suddenly extended a finger, and a strand of green Qi was suddenly forced out of his fingertip.
"As expected, this energy has appeared as well. Looks like I have no choice but to continue to seal it within my second Nascent Soul's body," Han Li mused as his brows furrowed slightly.
The amount of grey Qi that he had refined was less than 10% of what the entire crystalline bead contained; if he could refine all of the energy within the bead, then that would enhance his magic power by over 10%!
As a safety precaution, Han Li had decided against refining all of the energy at once. Instead, he was planning to refine the energy bit by bit over the span of around half a month, making sure to consolidate his cultivation base in between each bout of refinement. This would prevent any potential negative effects from having his magic power enhanced too quickly.
After all, the mysterious energy that he had obtained on this occasion was more than 10 times as much as last time.
After making that decision, Han Li swept a sleeve through the air to release around a dozen golden and silver talismans, all of which adhered themselves to the golden ball of light, thereby tightly sealing it.
He then produced a pristine white vial and gently shook it to release a burst of five-colored light that enshrouded the golden ball.
After that, he stowed the small vial away and entered a meditative state once again.
During the next half a month or so, Han Li remained in the pavilion and finally refined all of the energy within the crystalline ball into magic power, thereby significantly enhancing his cultivation base.
During the next few days, Han Li explored various parts of Illusion Night City and purchased some books, as well as specialty local products from the city. He also visited the Myriad Slave Tower several times, and he was finally able to purchase the refinement technique for the Devil Crystal Puppets.
In exchange for the puppet refinement technique, he had to fork out several top-grade devilish treasures and an astronomical sum of devil stones, but he felt this to be worth it.
This puppet refinement technique was completely different from those he had seen in the Spirit Realm.
Instead of instilling spiritual sense into the puppet to activate them, these Devil Crystal Puppets were activated through restrictions and treasures that had been set up in advance. Thus, even the lowliest of cultivators could easily control the most powerful Devil Crystal Puppets. On top of that, there was no limit to the number of puppets that could be controlled, and even low-grade devilish beings could control an army of these puppets with ease.
Han Li was naturally very surprised to hear this, but unfortunately, nothing was perfect in this world.
These Devil Crystal Puppets did indeed have many incredible advantages, but they also had many flaws, the most prominent of which was that due to the fact that they couldn't be controlled through spiritual sense, they could only follow some simple instructions through their core restrictions.
As a result, the attack patterns of these puppets were very one-dimensional and predictable, and they were also significantly less powerful than other puppets of the same caliber.
On top of that, it was extremely troublesome to refine the forces of these puppets, and the materials used were also very expensive. The higher the caliber of the Devil Crystal Puppets, the more expensive they would be to produce, and what was quite frustrating to Han Li was that even after expending such a heavy price, the puppet refinement technique that he had purchased from the Myriad Slave Tower was only for low-grade and mid-grade puppets. According to the two Spatial Tempering Stage elders of the Illusion Night City Myriad Slave Tower, the refinement method for high-grade Devil Crystal Puppets was only known to the highest-ranking devilish-lord-level elders of the Myriad Slave Tower, and it was not up for sale.
Furthermore, even the high-grade Devil Crystal Puppets themselves were very rarely sold by the Myriad Slave Tower.
This was naturally quite disappointing to Han Li, but he didn't pay too much heed to it. Unless he could amass a huge number of these high-grade Devil Crystal Puppets, they wouldn't be of much use to him at his current level of power. He had only purchased the puppet refinement technique for such a hefty price to see if he could reference it to improve his own puppet refinement mastery.
Thus, Han Li went into seclusion again to study the puppet refinement technique, and during this period of time, he experimented with refining some low-grade Devil Crystal Puppets to test out his theories, reaping some rewards in the process.
On this day, just as he was planning to test out a four-armed Devil Crystal Puppet he had refined, a ball of white light suddenly flew out from his waist, then revealed itself to be a silk handkerchief.
Han Li's expression changed slightly upon seeing this, and he pointed a finger toward the handkerchief, injecting a streak of azure light into it.
In the next instant, a row of small silver text suddenly appeared on the surface of the handkerchief.
Han Li quickly read the message, then waved a hand toward the handkerchief, and it flew into his sleeve as a ball of white light again.
After that, he made his way downstairs to the first level of the pavilion, where Zhu Guo'er was completely engrossed in a book that she was reading. As soon as she caught sight of Han Li, she hurriedly rose to her feet and extended a respectful curtsey. "Is there anything you'd like me to do for you, Master?"
"Has anyone visited me during the past few days?" Han Li asked.
"No. I've been here the entire time, and no one has come to visit you, Master," Zhu Guo'er replied in a careful manner.
Han Li nodded in response. "Alright, you stay here; I'm going out for a bit." After that, he left the pavilion before Zhu Guo'er could say anything, leaving her to look on with a befuddled expression.
After emerging from the pavilion, Han Li hailed a beast-drawn carriage on the street and traveled toward the city gate.
Several hours later, Han Li appeared above an obscure mountain several hundred kilometers away from Illusion Night City.
A layer of white mist had enshrouded the entire mountain, making it impossible to see anything.
Han Li raised a hand to release a burst of flames, which flew into the mist down below in a flash, and shortly thereafter, a male voice rang out from below the mist. "Greetings, Fellow Daoist Han; I'll release the restriction to let you in right away."
After that, the layer of mist parted to reveal a passageway, and Han Li flew directly into it as a streak of azure light.
The passageway in the mist was closed again, and Han Li appeared on a patch of empty ground on the peak of the mountain.
There were two people seated on a pair of large rocks not far away from him; they were none other than the Long Family patriarch and Elder Hui.
Han Li's eyes narrowed slightly at the sight of the duo, and he discovered that the Long Family patriarch's face was rather pale, while Elder Hui was looking far worse for wear and was missing an arm.
"What happened to Fellow Daoist Hui? Did you encounter some powerful enemy on the way here?" Han Li asked as his brows furrowed slightly.
"That's a long story that I'll tell you about another time, Brother Han. Are you the only person who has made it to Illusion Night City thus far?" the Long Family Patriarch asked.
"You've already used your treasure to summon us; if no one else has arrived, then that's most likely the case. At the very least, I'm staying in the inn that we originally agreed upon, and I haven't met anyone else in our group," Han Li replied as his brows furrowed slightly.
"In that case, let's wait here for a while to see if anyone else shows up," the Long Family patriarch said after a brief hesitation.
Han Li offered no objections to this and took a seat on another rock.
Time slowly passed by, and around two hours later, Han Li's expression suddenly changed slightly as he cast his gaze upward with blue light flashing within his eyes. "Someone seems to be coming."
The Long Family patriarch immediately also cast his gaze toward the same direction upon hearing this.
Moments later, a pleasant female voice rang out up above. "Please forgive me for my tardiness, fellow daoists!"
The voice belonged to none other than the young woman from the Ye Family!
The Long Family patriarch was ecstatic to hear this voice, and he immediately made a hand seal to part the mist in the air again, following which a streak of light descended from the heavens.Previous Chapter Next Chapter