Han Li flicked his finger, and the streak of azure light flew into the flame; with a “bang”, the flames shot up a few feet, and Li Huayuan’s voice suddenly came out of it clearly.
“Immediately come to Green Ripple Cave! Your master has something to talk to you about!”
After these words, that streak of flame light immediately exploded into a shower of sparks that filled the sky, dissipating without a trace.
After Han Li heard the message, he rubbed his nose and entered his own room, his expression calm.
Upon entering his room, Han Li pulled out a small wooden trunk from underneath the stone bed; the trunk contained ten or so different styles of storage pouches. Han Li pulled out the one that he was currently carrying, then dumped out the large pile that had been stored inside the trunk. Then, he divided them individually by type and quality, placing them into different locations.
Next, Han Li shoved the trunk back into its original place, hesitated for a brief moment, then headed directly for the main entrance to the cave.
Standing on the Divine Wind Boat, Han Li began to recall the circumstances of his cultivation and talisman manufacturing during these past four years, his expression somewhat heavy.
When Han Li sealed his cave, he had set up a small, very well-hidden medicinal garden in his cave. Although it wasn’t large, it was enough for him to nurture his medicinal herbs while cultivating. The benefits of doing it this way were that when he was behind closed doors, he wouldn’t have to worry about the medicinal herbs he was ripening being discovered; there would be no need for him to leave his cave, and he could be completely self-sufficient.
For this, he had purposefully opened countless small hidden holes in the rock wall near the medicinal garden to allow sunlight to enter, which the little bottle could use to absorb Spiritual Qi. Of course, the locations of these small holes were all definitely in the effective range of the great formation, so he didn’t need to be concerned about others finding it.
As for the large medicinal garden outside, Han Li naturally planned to use it as a protective decoy!
With the small medicinal garden, Han Li could assuredly ripen his spiritual medicines while refining medicinal pills using Innate True Fire. Although True Fire was somewhat worse than Earth Fire, it was superior in its stability and safety; in addition, Han Li wouldn’t have to worry about the number of times that he failed to refine them!
The medicinal pills refined from the ancient recipes were, as expected, no small matter.
After Han Li had refined the Qi Refining Powder and consumed it, he experienced afresh the kind of explosion of Spiritual Qi that he had felt when establishing his Foundation, causing him to immediately sit down in shock and begin to refine it, not daring to have the slightest amount of neglect.
This shocking outcome naturally caused his magic power within the first year of closed-door cultivation to vigorously shoot up, far outstripping any of his expectations.
Extravagantly ingesting medicine saved Han Li the time he would have spent on absorbing Spiritual Qi and allowed him to throw himself directly into refining it into magic power. His efficiency in increasing his magic power naturally multiplied many times.
This caused Han Li to be unable to contain his joy! Recultivating the Azure Essence Sword Art three times suddenly became a very realizable prospect!
Although the Azure Essence Sword Art truly did strangely cause a portion of one’s magic power to dissipate every few days just like how he had been told, with one pouch of Qi Refining Powder every six or seven days, this defect could be completely overlooked.
During this time, Han Li also ingested a Foundation Establishment Pill out of curiosity; in the end, its effect was minimal, so Han Li completely gave up on this train of thought.
However, in the latter three years, a matter that greatly surprised Han Li occurred.
Starting from the second year, the surge of Spiritual Qi when ingesting the Qi Refining Powder gradually decreased year after year until the fourth year, when the same thing that had happened to the Yellow Dragon Pellet and the Golden Essence Pill back then happened once again. The Qi Refining Powder lost all of its effectiveness! No matter how many pouches Han Li ingested, he could not feel any Spiritual Qi.
Han Li’s head hurt, and he also began to feel greatly distressed!
That was because this was definitely not because the Qi Refining Powder was insufficient to keep up with his rate of growth. Based on this Qi Refining Powder’s medicinal properties, using it all the way to the late stages of Foundation Establishment should not have posed any problems; after all, it was a pill based on the ancient formula! Even for Core Formation cultivators it might be quite useful.
The circumstances were completely different than with the Yellow Dragon Pellet and Golden Essence Pill; those pills couldn’t keep up with his cultivation layers, and he had anticipated their failures a long time ago.
After musing over it hundreds of times, Han Li used the medical arts that he had learned before to draw a conclusion: perhaps he had used the overly powerful Qi Refining Powder too frequently, finally causing his body to generate a natural resistance to its medicinal properties. Thus, this kind of medicinal pill gradually lost its efficacy for him.
Han Li was unable to determine the veracity of this conclusion. After all, in the cultivation world, no one else was able to extravagantly consume medicinal pills every few days! Naturally, he had no precedent to compare to, nor could he borrow someone else’s experiences.
However, Han Li still hoped that if he stopped using this medicinal pill for a certain period of time, the Qi Refining Powder would regain its effectiveness.
Holding onto this kind of thinking, Han Li stopped using medicinal pills in the remaining year, switching over to conventional methods to cultivate the Azure Essence Sword Art.
However, having become accustomed to the speed of magic power increase when taking spiritual medicines, it was very difficult for him to endure the slow speeds of obediently cultivating using conventional methods. Even more so, using this method to cultivate, based on his natural talent, it would be a miracle if he could cultivate it once in his lifetime, let alone three times!
After enduring a year of cultivating at the speed of a turtle, the results still brought Han Li great disappointment. Upon ingesting the Qi Refining Powder again, it still had no effect. It seemed as if this medicinal pill had completely lost its effectiveness; he could only search for other spiritual medicines.
As a result, even if Li Huayuan had not used a sound transmission talisman to call him, Han Li had already decided to take a trip outside his cave.
After all, he still possessed another ancient recipe for which he had not yet prepared raw ingredients for; only by refining this kind of spiritual pill could his magic power vigorously shoot up again. In addition, he planned on searching for a few more pill recipes; if the Spirit Gathering Pill also lost its effectiveness like the Qi Refining Powder, Han Li could only resort to taking another kind of pill every few years.
As for refining talismans, the process went extremely smoothly.
Every day, he would set aside the first half of a day, starting by practicing low-grade magic techniques that he could already perform, not treasuring the raw materials and crazily refining talismans nonstop. This kind of wasteful method, which other talisman-refinement masters could not even conceive of, caused Han Li’s skill in talisman-refinement to rise continuously. Now, he could just barely refine elementary high-grade talismans, even though his success rates were still pitifully low!
He had already decided that the next time he cultivated behind closed doors, he would begin to practice refining mid-tier magic spells and attempt to refine mid-grade talismans; these were his primary goals for talisman-refinement.
In addition, while he was behind closed doors, Han Li also refined seven or eight Face Setting Pills in his free time apart from Qi Refining Pills and ingested one out of curiosity. If it could truly preserve his appearance, Han Li naturally would feel extremely happy; after all, nobody would wish for the day when one becomes white-haired, even if cultivators’ fleshly bodies aged at an extremely slow pace.
At this time, because his pill had lost its effectiveness, Han Li was incredibly depressed in flight; however, he was still somewhat curious about why his master Li Huayuan would suddenly want to see him. He couldn’t help but guess reasons as to why after four years he would take the initiative to seek him out.
In this way, Han Li arrived at the Green Ripple Cave, his mind preoccupied with many things. Only after sending a voice transmission did he realize that the one who opened the restrictions for him was no longer that Eldest Brother Yu, but rather a twenty year-old handsome male with red lips and white teeth.
Before Han Li was even able to open his mouth, this youth first said to him indifferently:
“It’s Junior Brother Han, right? I am Wu Xuan, Master’s sixth disciple. Master wanted me to wait here for you for a while; come with me!”
After Wu Xuan said this, he didn’t even glance at Han Li once and turned around, then left. This caused Han Li to rub his face, baffled.
“My face isn’t that unpleasant, is it?!”
Han Li could only somewhat helplessly and unhappily follow closely after him. Naturally, there were no words spoken between them, and they directly arrived at the guest lobby just like that. Three people were sitting on the chairs in the lobby, and two people stood beside them.
The people sitting were Li Huayuan, his wife, and a red-clad woman around thirty years old. Although her appearance was decent and she still possessed some charm, her face was icy cold, faintly revealing a killing intent rarely possessed by cultivators.
At this time, Li Huayuan was seemingly saying something to the woman; based on his expression and words, he seemed to respect this woman very much.
As for the two people standing to the side, one was the Fourth Senior Martial Brother Song Meng that he had met before; the other was an eighteen or nineteen year-old young woman, who was also fully clothed in red. Her face could be considered pretty, but she wore a flirty expression, and it seemed from her appearance that she was very closely related to the red-clothed woman.
“Han Li, come over and meet your Martial Senior Hong Fu!”
Li Huayuan, upon seeing Han Li walk in, immediately called him over with a happy tone. ThenWu Xuan silently walked over to Song Meng’s side, standing with his hands clasped together.
“Martial Senior Hong Fu!” Although Han Li didn’t know what was going on, he naturally would not lack respect when it was necessary.
The red-clothed woman, upon hearing Han Li’s greeting, did not immediately indicate anything; instead, she closely inspected Han Li from head to toe.
After a long while, her face finally revealed a trace of a slight smile, and she said with a somewhat harsh voice:
“En, very good!”
“Hehe! It seems like Martial Senior Hong Fu is very satisfied! Although this disciple of mine only has an average appearance, he is genuinely a Foundation Establishment cultivator; he’s also very lovable and clever, having won my heart!” Seeing the red-clothed woman’s satisfied expression, Li Huayuan instantly broke out into a smile and began to heap praises upon Han Li.
Han Li felt as if he had been drenched in cold water, not knowing the reason why!