With the woman’s explanation, Han Li had a general understanding of the Wood Spirit Nascent that he captured. It was somewhat similar to his Weeping Soul Beast as a spiritual object that was refined by human hands. However, its viciousness was clear to see from its ability to devour a cultivator’s primal soul. It was far different from his Weeping Soul Beast in the past.
Han Li’s mind stirred and he broached another topic, “These Six-Winged Frost Centipedes of yours are rather uncommon. How did you acquire them? Given your current cultivation, it should be impossible for you to use insects of such an ancient lineage. Haven’t your Martial Seniors or Uncles pried into this matter?”
Liu Yu was caught somewhat off guard and remained shocked for a moment. With puzzled thoughts, she bewilderedly replied, “So Senior also recognizes those insects? Junior found their eggs in an abandoned cave residence of an ancient cultivator. I originally believed the eggs to be dead and unhatchable. But after another examination, I found several that were alive. However, my sect seniors mentioned that although this insect was an ancient species and would have vast abilities when fully grown, they are extremely difficult to nurture. With all the right conditions, they would be able to fully grow in about a thousand year’s time. As such, there were no cultivators that wished to take them. Junior believes their abilities to be impressive despite being merely in their infancy. As such, I decided to keep them.”
‘Did he ask about the insects because he was interested in them despite his current cultivation? Since a Nascent Soul cultivator is able to live only a thousand years, surely he wouldn’t spend so much time and effort on these Six-winged Frost Centipedes?’ Liu Yu remained perplexed despite much thought.
Han Li looked at her and calmly said something that made the woman’s heart drop, “I am rather interested in your Six-Winged Frost Centipedes, and I have a way to make them ascend by two grades in a short amount of time. Would Fellow daoist be interested in making an exchange with me?”
Liu Yu’s eyes brightly flickered and she flirtatiously said, “If Senior wishes for me to do something, please don’t hesitate to say it.”
Han Li ignored her actions and insipidly said, “I can help Fellow Daoist mature her Six-Winged Frost Centipedes, but all the eggs they lay belong to me. I have use for them. Also, I heard your Controlling Spirit Sect’s insect control techniques are rather original. Would you be able to teach them to me?”
“Insect control technique?” Liu Yu’s smile froze.
High grade secret techniques for controlling insects and beasts were of the utmost importance to the sect. It was considered an act of treason if one were to divulge them to outsiders. Although she had already intended to completely obey Han Li, her face vastly changed upon hearing him and she bitterly cursed in her heart.
Liu Yu looked at Han Li and anxiously said, “Senior should know that if I were to leak the sect’s techniques without permission, I would have my soul refined. If I were to give the secret technique to you, you should know what will happen to me.”
“So long as I acquire the insect eggs and the technique, you may leave free. I won't stop you in the slightest. As for where you go next, the world is large. Can’t you just stand on your own?” Han Li spoke of the matter as if it were trivial.
Liu Yu’s expression wavered upon hearing him. A long while later, she wryly smiled and spoke with a distressed tone, “Senior speaks of it rather lightly, but I understand my own situation well. If I were to become a vagrant cultivator, I would have no chance of reaching Nascent Soul stage. Also, I already know of Senior’s identity and background. How could Senior allow me to easily leave? I fear I’d be dead when I leave.”
Han Li remained entirely indifferent before her words and said, “What do you mean? Are you accusing me of making a false vow, or are you trying to blackmail me?”
Liu Yu shook her head and said, “Blackmail? I wouldn’t dare. I am merely looking for a way to defend myself.”
“How do you plan on doing that?”
Liu Yu gracefully bowed her head, “If Senior doesn’t find it distasteful, this little woman would like to become your disciple. Does Senior find me acceptable?”
“You wish to become my disciple?” Han Li was truly shocked.
“Yes, with Senior’s cultivation, I am more than willing to become your disciple. As your disciple, I would be granted your protection and would have no qualms about divulging the techniques of the Controlling Spirit Sect. Else, if Senior doesn’t kill me, the Controlling Spirit Sect would surely pursue me for the rest of my life.” The white-clothed woman revealed a trace of dread.
Han Li frowned and began to tap the side of the chair as he pondered. He stroked his chin and indifferently said, “From what you’ve said, you haven’t yet taken a master in the Controlling Spirit Sect. But if you were to become my disciple, how would you confront your clan? Surely you understand that the Heavenly Dao Alliance and the Devil Dao are hostile to one another?”
Liu Yu calmly answered, “From Foundation Establishment to Core Formation, this Junior relied on chance every step of the way and never took a master. As for my clan, I am its last member. Cultivators appear in so few numbers after all, and all the others have passed away, leaving behind only me.”
Han Li mysteriously smiled and said, “If you’re only becoming my disciple for the sake of protection, it isn’t an impossible matter, but I must first mention that I will place a soul restriction on you. I also won’t be involved with your cultivation. In short, you will only be my in-name disciple. You will enter the Drifting Cloud Sect and cultivate on your own. What do you think?”
Liu Yu replied without hesitation, “Placing down the soul restriction is only natural. After all, I was a Controlling Spirit Sect cultivator. So long as Senior shelters me from danger, I will have no complaints. As for cultivation guidance, I never dared to have hope for that considering that I only managed to preserve my life by a fluke.” She seemed to follow the same path of bitter cultivation that Han Li had experienced.
With the woman’s blunt agreement, a strange expression flickered from his eyes and he grew silent for a moment before nodding, “Good! Since you’ve agreed to these conditions, I will naturally uphold my end of the agreement. Tomorrow, I will bring you to the two other elders of Drifting Cloud Mountains and have you enter the sect under a different name!”
“Many thanks for you kindness, Senior.” Liu Yu felt greatly relieved with the knowledge that her life was secure, and hastily saluted Han Li.
Han Li waved his arm and said, “Return to the silent room and rest. I will be placing a soul restriction on you later and will remove the restrictions to your magic power as well.”
After expressing her thanks once more, she respectfully took her leave from the hall.
A flash of yellow light came from one of the hall’s walls, revealing Silvermoon in her human form.
Han Li glanced at Silvermoon and asked with a flat tone, “You still haven’t reverted back to your original form?”
“This servant has made great progress in cultivating her fox body. Of course, this led to an increase in the time I can take this form. However, Master, do you truly plan on taking this girl as a disciple? I recall that Master was never fond of the idea, fearing it would cause problems through implication and interfere with your cultivation. Are the Six-Winged Frost Centipedes so important to Master? If you’re talking solely about the secret insect control technique, you can simply draw it out through the Dreamtear Technique.” The woman’s eyes stirred while she spoke and she appeared puzzled.
Han Li leaned his body against the back of his chair and wore a lazy expression, “You’re not wrong. I truly do hold the Six-Winged Frost Centipedes in high regard. At my current pace of refining the Celestial Ice Flames only a sliver at a time, I reckon it will take quite a while before I will be able to complete refine it.”
Silvermoon hesitated for a moment and asked, “Do you know how long...”
“To tell the truth, it will take two hundred years at the very least to refine all the flames, given that there needs to be a buffer of a year between each sliver. This would take far too long, which is where the Six-Winged Frost Centipedes come in. Their icy Qi would be able to greatly shorten the amount of time it would take to refine the flames. Furthermore, it will have a certain fantastical effect when applied to the Celestial Ice Flames.” Han Li then raised his hands and extended a finger from each.
Under Silvermoon’s astonished gaze, each of his fingertips flickered with a white and a blue light. There was a frost that was white as snow along with an icy flame that glowed a brilliant blue. They then nimbly hovered off of his fingertips.
Silvermoon yelped in surprise, “This...”
Han Li calmly breathed out, spitting a small cloud of azure Qi onto the frost and the blue flames. The frost and blue flames then turned into specks of starlight and began to mix together.
Soon after, a muffled boom sounded out and a blinding white-blue light illuminated the room. A small violet flame bird appeared from within the azure Qi and began to flap its wings. It appeared quite graceful as it flew in circles.
Han Li revealed satisfaction upon seeing the thumb-sized violet bird. There was even a trace of excitement that was betrayed from deep within his eyes.
“Silvermoon, do you remember the Sacred Asura Flames that the Old Devil Bone Sage used?”