"You want to enter the Spirit Cleansing Pond and consume the Clean Spirit Lotus?" Bao Hua said as her expression darkened slightly.
"That's right. I've taken such a massive risk to come here in search of a sliver of an opportunity to progress to the Grand Ascension Stage. Now that I've made it this far, I'm naturally not going to give up here," Han Li replied in a determined manner.
"Even if you enter the Spirit Cleansing Pond and obtain a Clean Spirit Lotus or two, do you think your wish will be granted? Let me tell you this: you and your companions aren't the only ones to have made it this far," Bao Hua said in a meaningful manner.
Han Li wasn't surprised at all to hear this. "I'm naturally aware of that. If it weren't for our predecessors from the Spirit Realm who came here before us, how would we have known that the Spirit Cleansing Pond and Clean Spirit Lotus can be found here?"
"Your predecessors from the Spirit Realm? You're severely underestimating just how alluring these two things are. Countless powerful beings from your Spirit Realm and other realms have ventured into our holy realm for a chance to enter the Spirit Cleansing Pond. Some of them have extremely powerful backers that even patriarchs like us wouldn't dare to turn down, while others possess incredible abilities. For those people, we can only grant them passage after securing some compensation from them. However, less than 10% of those beings have managed to reach a higher cultivation with the help of the Spirit Cleansing Pond and Clean Spirit Lotus," Bao Hua explained in an unhurried manner.
Han Li's brows furrowed slightly upon hearing this, but he then immediately harrumphed coldly in response. "Less than 10%? Even so, that's enough for me to take a gamble."
"Alright, but what if I were to tell you that those who didn't manage to succeed completely lost their chance to progress to a higher level after emerging from the Spirit Cleansing Pond?" Bao Hua continued as a hint of a smile appeared on her face.
"What do you mean?" Han Li was truly surprised to hear this.
"According to my knowledge, even those who have failed to progress using the Spirit Cleansing Pond and Clean Spirit Lotus have obtained some benefits from them, but after that, none of them have managed to reach the Grand Ascension Stage. Otherwise, do you think the defenses would be this lax in a place as important as the Bitter Spirit Island? Without this caveat, we would’ve destroyed this island at all costs. After all, the Spirit Cleansing Pond and Clean Spirit Lotus have no use to devilish beings like us at all, but they're immensely beneficial to powerful beings of other realms. Now then, would you still like to enter the Spirit Cleansing Pond, Fellow Daoist Han?" Bao Hua asked with a faint smile.
A hesitant look appeared on Han Li's face, but a thought then immediately occurred to him, and he cast his gaze toward Sacred Ancestor Yuan Yan, in response to which the Sacred Ancestor chuckled, "There's no need for us to lie about something like this to you, Han brat. The Spirit Cleansing Pond and Clean Spirit Lotus can help some people break through their Grand Ascension Stage bottlenecks, so they naturally present some severe negative side-effects as well. Perfection does not exist in this world; you'll have to weigh up your options and make a decision for yourself."
"Is there no way to eradicate these side-effects?" Han Li asked with furrowed brows.
"Of course there are, but I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you; none of those methods are within your grasp. In fact, they're completely out of even my reach," Bao Hua replied as a derisive look appeared in her eyes.
"There are ways to eradicate the side-effects of the Spirit Cleansing Pond?" Sacred Ancestor Yuan Yan was stunned to hear this.
"There's no need to be so shocked, Yuan Yan; you've only been a patriarch for a short time, whereas Nie Pan and I have been at the Grand Ascension Stage for countless years. There are far more secrets that you're still unaware of," Bao Hua replied in a cold manner.
The black-robed young man was naturally furious upon hearing this, but he could only forcibly repress his own rage.
"In that case, why don't you disclose those methods to me? Perhaps I would be able to achieve one of them," Han Li said.
"Sure, seeing as you're still unwilling to give up, I can disclose those methods to you. However, before that, you have to give me some of the spring water that's nurturing the spirit medicine for verification," Bao Hua replied with a smile.
"That's not an issue," Han Li agreed without any hesitation, then gently flicked a finger toward the spring, upon which an egg-sized ball of spring water was sent flying directly toward Sacred Ancestor Bao Hua.
An elated look appeared on her face as she made a grabbing motion toward the ball of water, and it was drawn toward her before hovering around an inch above her palm.
She then began to appraise the spring water with an unblinking gaze before injecting a wisp of her spiritual sense into it.
After a while, she opened her mouth, and the ball of spring water flowed into her mouth as a streak of white light.
A layer of white Qi appeared over her face, and she slowly closed her eyes as if she were savoring it.
Both Han Li and Sacred Ancestor Yuan Yan looked on in silence.
A short while later, Bao Hua reopened her eyes, and the elation on her face had become even more pronounced. "After tasting the spring water, I'm almost certain that this is the spirit medicine that I'm looking for. As for the methods that can be used to eradicate the side-effects of the Spirit Cleansing Pond and Clean Spirit Lotus, I've enclosed them into this jade slip."
Bao Hua raised a hand as she spoke, and a blue jade slip flew out of her sleeve as a ball of blue light.
Han Li made a grabbing motion toward the jade slip to draw it into his own grasp, then immediately injected his spiritual sense into it.
Within the jade slip were several pages of extremely life-like images accompanied by passages of explanatory text.
"Immerse yourself in Exquisite Dharmic Flames for 49 days, then consume three Profound Heavenmend Pills..." Han Li's expression immediately became rather strained as he read the first line of text on the first page.
Both of those things were vastly renowned spirit items even in the True Immortal Realm! They were extremely sought after even by countless true immortals, let alone beings of the Spirit Realm. In fact, in the eyes of some true immortals, those two things were even more precious than the Spirit Cleansing Pond and Clean Spirit Lotus; there was no way he would be able to secure those two things.
Thankfully, there were some other methods listed in the jade slip, so Han Li moved on to another page.
"Grind an All-encompassing Integration Flower into powder before combining it with the demon core of a Seven-footed Crow and some other spirit medicines to refine an elixir, then apply the elixir to your own body for over 100 years. The recipe is as follows..." Han Li's expression darkened even further upon seeing this.
The Seven-footed Crow was quite a renowned true spirit being. It couldn't compare with a true dragon or heavenly phoenix, but it was certainly not something that he could hunt down.
As for the All-encompassing Integration Flower, that was something that he hadn't even heard of.
However, as he swept his spiritual sense toward the next image, a hint of surprise appeared on his face.
The image depicted a small golden bird, at the center of which was a shimmering golden pill that had countless patterns all over its surface.
Han Li stared intently at the image for a long while before finally reading the explanatory passage below it.
"The Spiritvoid Pill can be consumed by Body Integration Stage beings to drastically improve their cultivation base and significantly increase their chances of breaking through the Grand Ascension Stage bottleneck. Consume a Spiritvoid Pill after entering the Spirit Cleansing Pond and consuming the Clean Spirit Lotus, and there will be a 50% probability of circumventing the attached side-effects."
A sense of ecstasy welled up in Han Li's heart upon seeing this.
The Spiritvoid Pill displayed in the image was none other than that golden pill that he had obtained from the Vast Glacial Realm. 
With his incredible memory, he was naturally able to immediately identify the pill in the image to be a Spiritvoid Pill.
Several Body Integration Stage beings on the Thunder Continent had almost turned on one another for this pill.
At the time, he had secured one through sleight of hand, but he hadn't managed to figure out exactly what its uses were. However, this passage of explanatory text had answered that question for him.
Considering the fact that the pill could increase the chances of making a successful breakthrough to the Grand Ascension Stage, it was no wonder that those foreign Body Integration Stage beings were so eager to obtain it.
After reading through this passage, Han Li immediately withdrew his spiritual sense from the jade slip, following which a contemplative look appeared on his face.
He quickly began to weigh up the available options in his mind, and a hint of surprise appeared in Bao Hua's eyes at the sight of Han Li's expression.
After a long while, Han Li turned to Bao Hua in a calm manner, and said, "I would still like to enter the Spirit Cleansing Pond. After I emerge from it, I'll hand over the spirit medicine regardless of my success or failure."
Before Bao Hua had a chance to reply, he turned toward Yuan Yan, and continued, "Senior Yuan Yan, if you're willing to grant me passage to enter the Spirit Cleansing Pond, I'll hand over the Devil Refining Herb after I emerge as well. If you're unwilling to agree to these conditions, then I'll destroy the two spirit medicines, and we can have a battle to see if you two really are capable of keeping me on this island for the rest of eternity."
1. Chapter 1721