Half a year later, Han Li was standing near a set of secluded ruins in the Yue Nation of the Heavenly South Region, appraising a dilapidated stone wall with a contemplative expression.
The ruins had clearly been abandoned for a long time, and it was rife with unkempt weeds and shrubs, and the bricks were covered in thick layers of dark green moss.
There was a small grey section left exposed on the stone wall ahead of Han Li, and a corner of a "Han" character could be seen engraved on the wall.
After a while, the sound of footsteps suddenly rang out behind Han Li, and a couple rounded the corner with their son.
The couple appeared to be around 30 years of age, and the man had dark skin with large hands and feet, while the woman had an air of simplistic beauty about her.
Both of them were carrying baskets that were filled with things such as incense, and they appeared to be an average couple.
The two of them faltered slightly at the sight of Han Li, while their son, who appeared to be seven or eight years of age, was also appraising Han Li with curiosity in his bright and adorable eyes.
The man hesitated momentarily before making his way toward Han Li with his wife and son. "G-Greetings, may I ask your name?"
Han Li had his back facing the man, but judging from his attire, the man could tell that Han Li was a well-educated individual, and that evoked a sense of respect within the man, who had rarely ever left the village.
"I am a member of the Han Family, and I've come to visit the old Han Family ancestral hall," Han Li replied as he turned around, and there was a very slight resemblance between him and the man.
A hint of elation appeared on the man's face upon hearing this. "I see, you must be from another branch of our Han Family. I heard from my great-grandfather that our Han Family was once a very prosperous family over 1,000 years ago, and there were many people coming back from different places to pay their respects at the ancestral hall, but that's become a rarer occurrence of late."
"As time passes by, the members of those branches of the Han Family will gradually forget their roots, so it's no surprise that there are fewer and fewer of them returning to visit the ancestral hall; I have to give you credit for staying here," Han Li said with a hint of approval in his voice.
"Hehe, I heard from Great-grandfather that his generation had thought about leaving, but they couldn't bear to leave this place behind. Apparently, an ancestor of our Han Family became a deity; if we were to leave, that deity wouldn't be able to find us if he ever returns someday, so we decided to stay," the man chuckled in response.
"A deity, eh? Hehe, I've heard of that as well, but that legend was passed down from thousands of years ago, so it may not have much credibility," Han Li said.
"I'm not sure about that, but that's what all my seniors told me. Also, during a past ceremony, my great-grandfather once brought out a scabbard of a divine sword that was said to have been left behind by that deity ancestor of ours, so I'm sure there's some truth in that tale," the man said with a smile.
"A sword scabbard?" Han Li raised an eyebrow upon hearing this.
For some reason, the man felt Han Li's presence to be very comforting, and he said, "That's right. According to my seniors, the scabbard had always been worshipped in the ancestral hall, and many years ago, it saved our Han Family from a major crisis. Unfortunately, after it was used that one time, the sword disintegrated into golden light, leaving only the scabbard behind. The scabbard doesn't appear to possess any special powers, but it's always been worshipped nonetheless. I heard that our Han Family fell into rapid decline during a subsequent crisis as we no longer had the divine sword, and that forced its members to split up and leave."
"I see. I don't know about all of that, but a family will inevitably experience peaks and troughs. Is this your son? He looks like a very smart boy; what's his name?" Han Li asked in a nonchalant manner as he cast his gaze toward the little boy.
The man was very pleased to hear Han Li praising his son, and he nudged his son forward as he said, "Hehe, this is my third eldest son, Han Ming. Ming'er, come here and greet your senior."
The boy was very young, but he wasn't shy at all and immediately knelt down before kowtowing to Han Li twice as a greeting.
Han Li had identified that the boy possessed a spiritual root, and even though it was only an ordinary one, it still evoked a sense of hope within Han Li. "Good boy. Seeing as we've met here, we must have some type of affinity. Here is a gift for your son; if he's fortunate, then perhaps this will be a major opportunity for him. Even if it doesn't work out that way, this will ensure that he lives a very long life."
Immediately thereafter, he flipped a hand over to summon a jade badge, which he cast an incantation seal into before attaching a red string to it, then placed it around the boy's neck.
The jade badge began to glow with white light, then suddenly vanished in a flash along with the red string.
The boy's parents were astonished to see this, and by the time they looked up, Han Li was already nowhere to be seen.
The boy's father was immediately rooted to the spot, while his wife yelled, "Was that a ghost?"
During the next few days, word of the "ghost" encounter experienced by Han Heizi and his family spread through the neighboring villages, providing a good topic for gossip; only after several months had passed by did everyone forget about this incident.
However, several months after that, Han Ming unintentionally discovered the secret within the jade badge and suddenly left his home.
Several years later, he was able to use the power of the badge to become a disciple to a Nascent Soul Stage elder of the Drifting Cloud Sect.
From there, he went on to become a vastly renowned cultivator, and the Han Family experienced another resurgence as a result.
The outskirts of the Devilfall Valley was once a lively and bustling place, but as the supply of spirit medicines there dwindled, it had become a deserted place that no one was willing to venture into.
However, on this day, an azure shadow ignored all of the residual restrictions within the valley and flew directly into it.
Half a day later, an earth-shattering boom suddenly rang out within the Devilfall Valley, causing the nearby area to tremor violently.
Immediately thereafter, a streak of azure light shot out before vanishing into the distance after just a few flashes.
Such a massive commotion naturally alerted all of the nearby sects, and disciples were immediately sent to investigate.
As a result, everyone was stunned to discover that a mountain that separated the inner and outer valley had disappeared, and there was only a gargantuan crater in its wake with wisps of silver light surging out of the ground.
"Greatnorth Essence Light!"
Some of the more knowledgeable and experienced cultivators immediately identified this light, and many of them hurriedly entered the giant crater to try and collect some Greatnorth Essence Crystals.
Unfortunately, even after scouring the crater hundreds of times, they could only find around a dozen of these crystals, and a significant conflict erupted between these cultivators as a result.
The one who was responsible for all of this was naturally none other than Han Li.
He had excavated the Greatnorth Essence Crystals under the Devilfall Valley, then arrived in a secluded cave nearby before setting up an extremely complex formation.
There was no need for him to remain in the human world any longer, so he was preparing to return to the Spirit Realm.
However, due to the fact that he had to return with the Greatnorth Essence Crystals, it was more difficult than when he had ascended, so he had no choice but to use a formation.
Several hours later, the formation was finally complete.
Han Li sat at the center of the formation and made a hand seal, upon which a giant five-colored disk flew out of his body.
The entire formation immediately began to buzz incessantly, and bursts of spiritual light swept out of it to inundate Han Li's entire body.
Moments later, a rumbling boom rang out within the cave, and a thick pillar of white light erupted out of the heavens, only disappearing after it had reached an altitude of over 100,000 feet.
At the same time, Han Li suddenly reverted back into the blue-robed man, who slumped onto the formation and fell completely still again.
Within a secret chamber in the Azure Origin Palace, Han Li suddenly opened his eyes, and a yellow storage bracelet appeared on the futon in front of him without any warning.
A pleased look appeared on Han Li's face upon seeing this storage bracelet.
With these Greatnorth Essence Crystals, he would finally be able to complete the Integrated Five Extreme Mountains. That, in addition to the True Soul Pill, would give him a very good chance to transcend his ascension tribulation.
Of course, as a safety precaution, he had to master the third stage of the Spirit Refinement Technique and also capitalize on his Vast Spirit Dao Physique to master the Organ Refinement Origin Arts and other immortal cultivation arts.
Once all that was done, he would be ready for his tribulation.
With that in mind, a hint of irrepressible excitement welled up in Han Li's heart.Previous Chapter Next Chapter