Seeing that Han Li remained silent, Fairy Violet Spirit smiled and asked, “Brother Han, how do you feel about marrying her? Little Sister Mei Ning’s beautiful appearance should more than qualify her enough to become your concubine. Surely you wouldn’t refuse such a pleasant matter that has come knocking on your door?”
Han Li unconsciously frowned and turned to look at the charming, bright appearance of Mei Ning.
Mei Ning held her head low and a faint blush was revealed from her snow-white neck, making for a rather touching scene. It seemed she had tacitly agreed with Violet Spirit’s proposal.
Han Li slowly spoke with a calm expression, “Based on her appearances alone, she wouldn’t qualify as a mere concubine of a high grade cultivator; even being a Dao companion wouldn’t be out of the question. However, I am different from common cultivators. I have dedicated myself to the pursuit of immortality and cannot easily involve myself with the affairs of men and women. Furthermore, I am a lone wanderer and often encounter perilous situations. How could I possibly take in a concubine? If Fellow Daoist Mei were to follow me, it wouldn’t be a good thing for her at all; it would only lead her down a path of unprecedented hardship!”
Mei Ning’s body faintly trembled upon hearing him and her blush hastily faded away. She only raised her head to reveal a paled face.
As if greatly discontent with Han Li’s refusal of the beautiful woman, Violet Spirit annoyedly said, “But in the end, Brother Han is still rejecting her. Needless to say, with your late Core Formation cultivation, who could possibly pose a threat to you apart from Nascent Soul eccentrics? Perhaps Fellow Daoist may soon succeed in condensing a Nascent Soul. After that, the entire world would be free to roam as you choose. How would you be unable to protect Little Sister Mei Ning?”
Han Li flatly said, “Fellow Daoist Violet Spirit should already be aware. Although I believe myself to be a level higher than similar grade cultivators, I’ve always provoked enmity from foes far stronger than I. Until I reach Nascent Soul stage and possess enough power to defend myself, I cannot possibly consider taking in a concubine. When the time comes that I am incapable of defending her, she will only face a bitter reality.”
Violet Spirit creased her brow, knowing that Han Li had spoken truthfully. Moreover, she faintly felt that Han Li was somewhat displeased. She could only sigh and avoid further mentioning the topic.
Mei Ning eventually recovered her calm and bit her lips while staring at Han Li and asking, “Since Brother Han didn’t reject this little woman based on her lacking appeal, would you be willing to accept me after you enter Nascent Soul stage?”
Han Li looked at the woman and calmly said, “Nascent Soul stage? I don’t have any certainty that I will be able to condense a Nascent Soul. Furthermore, even if I am able to reach the Nascent Soul stage, I have no idea about how many years it will take. Would Fellow Daoist Mei be willing to wait over a hundred years for an uncertain chance that I would able to condense a Nascent Soul?”
“I...” When Mei Ning heard this, her expression grew unclear and she was incapable of responding. As a Foundation Establishment cultivator, even thirty years was too long, let alone a hundred. Although Han Li made for a very good choice for pair cultivation, she didn’t have the time to wait for an uncertain result.
After all, the cultivation world was a truly cruel place. Although she had only spent a short amount of time together with Han Li and had a favorable impression of him, it was impossible for her to have fallen so completely in love with him that she’d ignore the consequences.
Seeing her hesitation, Han Li could only inwardly sigh and placed two bottles onto the table before pushing them towards her.
Han Li unhurriedly said, “These are a few cultivation progression pills that I concocted from demon cores. Instead of seeking a man to pair cultivate with, it may be better to diligently cultivate by yourself. Perhaps you’ll even form a golden core like Fellow Daoist Violet Spirit.”
Since these medicine pills were for Foundation Establishment cultivators, they no longer had any value to Han Li, but since the woman had passed on her Transient Spirit Qi to him, he may as well use this opportunity to repay the favor without much effort. As such, he would no longer need to dwell on the matter.
“Medicine pills concocted from demon cores?” Mei Ning appeared moved and unconsciously reached for one. After opening the bottle’s lid, a fragrant odor instantly filled the room. “These are top grade medicine pills!”
Mei Ning then stared at Han Li in confusion. She was at a complete loss for words. Han Li had treated her with such amorous disregard in the Umbra Realm, but he then refused to take her in as a concubine. Even more baffling, he had then taken out precious medicine pills for her.
Fairy Violet Spirit glanced at the medicine pills with a trace of astonishment but she immediately chuckled, “Hehe! Brother Han is truly magnanimous. Since Fellow Daoist Han has said as much, Little Sister should accept them. Perhaps with a few more medicine pills, you will truly be able to enter Core Formation. If that were to occur, us sisters should join hands so that we may travel unfettered.”
Mei Ning glanced at Han Li with a complicated expression and whispered a word of thanks before taking the small medicine bottles into her storage pouch.
Han Li faintly smiled in response and turned towards the window, glancing down at the small city’s streets.
It was bustling with activity, reminding Han Li of a familiar scene that he had long forgotten. His smile then turned into a faint sigh.
Seeing that Han Li wore such an expression, Violet Spirit and Mei Ning couldn’t help but glance at each other in confusion.
The Nan Province was located in the western portion of the State of Xi. The land there was quite complicated, containing many hills and jungles with the occasional swamp miasma occasionally wandering the land. As a result, there were only a few main roads connecting the several villages in the area, and few ever tread into the wilderness. As for the mountain ranges, they were home to particularly vicious beasts, detering anyone from visiting them.
This had caused the area to be abundant with rare medicinal herbs and beasts, much to the joy of the country’s cultivators. This had led to a majority of the country’s cultivators to be located in this province. A few of the more powerful cultivator sects even monopolized a few of the areas with the more abundant Spiritual Qi.
As for the mountain range in the province known as the Dreamcloud Mountains, it was an area famed in the Heavenly South for its sacred spirit veins. In the profound spirit veins of the mountain grew the legendary Spirit Well Tree, the final type of the three divine woods.
The local powers held this tree in even greater esteem than the Heaven Lightning Bamboo and Soul Nurturing Wood because of a spirit milk that was produced by the tree every two hundred years known as “wine nectar”. Although the liquid couldn’t be directly used, it could be refined into many types of exceptionally powerful spiritual medicines. Among these was a legendary sacred medicine known as the Spirit Tempering Pill.
The Spirit Tempering Pill was also known as the Soul Pacifying Pill. Not only could it increase one’s cultivation a certain amount, it could also harden one’s heart and calm one’s soul, alleviating a cultivator of any inner demons that may haunt them.
Condensing a Nascent Soul was quite unlike forming a core. Apart from requiring a certain degree of luck and depth of cultivation, condensing a Nascent Soul also subjected oneself to the disturbances of illusions and inner demons. After all, transforming one’s core into a Nascent Soul was a fearsome test of mental endurance and willpower.
The heaven-defying treasure of the Dreamcloud Mountains’ spirit veins with the addition of the extraordinary concentration of spiritual Qi that it contained had attracted countless sects with the desire to establish their base their. As a result of endless battles and subterfuge, the territory was currently being held by an alliance of three sects: The Ancient Sword Sect, the Drifting Cloud Sect, and the Hundred Possibilities Pavilion.
With the three strongest forces in the State of Xi combining power, other sects could only extinguish any hopes of seizing the spirit veins and watch helplessly.
Sitting down on the steps of one of the peaks of the Dreamcloud Mountains, Han Li was pondering over information that had to do with the mountains and was examining the nearby environment.
There were a few young men and women silently walking on the mountain paths, each with an expression of excitement. When Han Li saw this, he faintly smiled. As the great Drifting Cloud Sect was about to recruit a new batch of new disciples in the coming days, these Qi Condensation youths were brimming with anticipation.
Having spent half a month in this place, it was only natural that he knew of this. Their famed pill concoction technique was one of various reasons he chose to infiltrate the sect. However, he wasn’t going to enter as a Core Formation cultivator, but an ordinary Qi Condensation cultivator.
Unless a mid Nascent Soul cultivator were to closely examine him, none would be able to see through the miraculous effects of the nameless Qi restraining incantation. It was only because of this that he dared to follow through with his plan.
When he suddenly recalled what happened before he had parted with Violet Spirit and Mei Ning, he bitterly chuckled.
According to his original plans, he had found a place to establish a cave residence and consumed a few medicine pills in order to reach the peak of Core Formation stage. While the Transient Spirit Qi had progressed his cultivation somewhat, it wasn’t enough to genuinely advance him into False Nascent Stage.
However, something unexpected occurred that had completely overturned his plans.
When he took a medicine pill, he astonishedly discovered that the medicine pill had completely lost effect for him. Regardless of whether it was the grade six demon beast pills or the grade seven demon beasts, they all had no effect on him. He was left at a complete loss.