The woman appeared as gentle as always, but her words were as cold as a blade’s edge, causing Han Li’s heart to tremble.
Han Li let out a long sigh, before saying something that left the woman somewhat surprised, “Did Senior change her mind in the end?”
“It seems you aren’t completely useless! At the very least, you seem to have some brains.” The woman calmly said.
“If Senior truly wished to kill me, I never would have had the chance to open my eyes!” Han Li chuckled.
“I am called Nangong Bing. Don’t call me Senior this or Senior that! It will make me seem old.” The woman expressionlessly turned her head back and spoke with an unquestionable tone.
Han Li was stunned and inwardly insulted her, ‘Since you’re a Core Formation cultivator, doesn’t that make you the age of an ancient woman in mortal’s years?’
As Han Li’s true essence had been absorbed by her, he naturally held a bellyful of stifled hate towards her. But since his life was currently in her hands, he could only inwardly curse at her.
“Although I was mistaken for my elder cousin yesterday and was rescued under that presumption, in the end, you are still my savior! Furthermore, I unintentionally absorbed your true essence afterwards which did stabilize my injuries.” The woman leisurely spoke with her back facing Han Li.
“Let’s leave it be. Since your esteemed self is Nangong Wan’s younger cousin, I was just out of luck!” Han Li wrinkled his brow and spoke with a tone of helplessness. Afterwards, he stretched his arms and stood.
Papa. Han Li saw a white silhouette flash by, carrying a fragrant wind. The woman then gave him two heavy slaps, causing him to spin in place and fall to the floor.
“You…” Han Li covered his stinging cheeks in astonishment and looked at Nangong Bing in furious surprise.
“Yesterday, you actually dared to touch my body with your hands without permission! Furthermore, you dared to lay… lay down on me while I was unconscious! Those two slaps were only to reprimand you!” Nangong Bing spoke with a cold voice. But when she mentioned that Han Li had lain down on her, her face turned slightly red for just a moment.
Han Li was at a loss for words.
To give justifications for his breach of etiquette against a female Core Formation cultivator was simply asking for trouble. If he were to dispute it, it was likely he’d be met with another two slaps! And now, with his cheeks feeling raw, there was absolutely no way he could do such a thing!
Furthermore, he faintly felt that the reason why she was treating him this way wasn’t because of his actions yesterday. She was most likely venting her anger for what had happened between him and Nangong Wan.
With that in mind, Han Li strongly suppressed the fury in his heart and lightly caressed his swollen cheeks in silence.
Nangong Bing was somewhat surprised to see that Han Li had decided to tactfully let the matter go.
She had expected that Han Li would want to argue over yesterday’s actions. In that event, she had planned to further embarrass Han Li without any explanation. But now that Han Li was tactfully silent, she had no excuse to further act.
As a result, she could only snort and speak bluntly, “Since that matter has been resolved with the previous slaps, I must address the repayment of your great kindness. You have two choices. One is that I give you enough spirit stones to leave you at a loss for words. This would be payment for both your kind assistance and the loss of your cultivation.
“As for the second choice, you could follow me back to my evacuated sect members. After our six sects restabilize, I can refine spirit pills and find a young female disciple from my sect for you to pair cultivate with, restoring your original cultivation at the quickest speed. As you’ve only lost your true essence, your recultivation will meet no bottlenecks. According to my estimates, you should be able to recover your original cultivation in less than twenty years. Naturally, I would be happy to perhaps repay you with a few of my own sect’s secret techniques during that time. Our Masked Moon Sect differs from the varied and disorganized techniques of your Yellow Maple Valley. Our sect has many secret techniques that are wondrous beyond imagination which cannot be divulged to outsiders. The technique I used to unintentionally absorb your cultivation yesterday is one of such techniques.” After Nangong Bing said this with pride, she calmly stared at Han Li, waiting for his decision.
Han Li was lost in amazement. These two choices had a stunningly huge disparity!
One choice was to just leave him be with spirit stones. As for the other, not only would she assist him with restoring his cultivation, she would also find him a pair cultivation partner and willingly teach him a few secret techniques. As Han Li heard this, he became more convinced that this woman deliberately wanted him to choose the second option! This was truly strange. Could it be that she had arranged a trap for him?
He hesitantly glanced at Nangong Bing and saw an indistinct but complex expression as if she was both expectant and anxious.
Han Li’s mind blanked in confusion. He gave his nose a firm rub and then folded his arms. With his right hand grasping his chin, he entered deep contemplation.
Han Li remained silent for no less than the time it took for a stick of incense to burn. But Nangong Bing could no longer wait and hastily asked, “How about it? Have you come to a decision?”
Han Li lifted his head and saw that she wore an impatient expression. After taking a thoughtful glance at her, he unhurriedly said, “I’ve decided. I choose the first option! Senior only has to give me the spirit stones. Senior need not worry further about me. I will think about how to recover my cultivation on my own!” Han Li wore an indifferent expression.
When Nangong Bing heard Han Li’s decision, she stared blankly before revealing a somewhat odd expression. She stared at Han Li’s face for a moment before suddenly raising her hand, throwing over a red storage pouch.
“The spirit stones are in there. There are also a few commonly used materials inside.” Nangong Bing’s tone was gloomy and cold.
Han Li didn’t pay her tone any mind and caught the storage pouch without formality, sweeping his spiritual sense through it. Although he had prepared himself, he was still astounded upon seeing the many tens of mid-grade spirit stones in the bag as well as an assortment of all kinds of materials.
Han Li suddenly revealed some joy and raised his head, eagerly asking, “Does Senior have any more pieces of origin jade that she can spare?
The woman’s eyes flashed with surprise. After wordlessly searching her body for a moment, she handed Han Li several pieces of white jade, much to his delight.
He had now acquired the materials needed for restoring the transportation formation. He no longer had to go out and search for them.
Nangong Bing coldly stared at Han Li before expressionlessly saying, “Is there anything else? If not, then I will take my leave.”
“Oh… There is nothing left to trouble Senior with!” Han Li shook his head after correcting his expression.
Nangong Bing then gave a charming snort before turning around and leaving the tree hollow.
But before she walked outside, she turned her head over and calmly said, “Han Li, I don’t know whether your choice was made out of stupidity or because you think yourself to be clever!” A jade sword flew out from her sleeve. Her white silhouette blurred before appearing on the sword.
At that moment, Han Li lazily said something from behind her, “Senior, please don’t forget to send my regards to Nangong Wan!”
Nangong Bing froze for a moment before wordlessly turning into a streak of white light, leaving the tree hollow far behind. It was unknown whether she had agreed or if she had completely ignored him.
Han Li bitterly laughed and rubbed his nose, simply dropping down to sit on the ground. He blankly stared outside the entrance and became lost in thought.
He still didn’t understand how his cultivation was absorbed by that woman. Could it be that the techniques of the Masked Moon Sect were truly so overbearing? Was it even more strange than the Black Fiend School’s blood sacrifice?
However, Han Li believed that this cultivation art that absorbed other’s cultivation was certain to have many restrictions and flaws. Otherwise, the Masked Moon Sect’s cultivators would have long been at war with the cultivation world.
Han Li’s presumption was somewhat correct.
It was a complete coincidence that Nangong Bing was able to absorb his true essence. After having made full use of her secret technique earlier, her own true essence had been greatly damaged. Had nothing happened, her cultivation would’ve faced a great decline. Although it wasn’t enough to make her descend back into Foundation Establishment, she was certain to face a loss of several tens of years of bitter cultivation.
In addition, she believed that she would’ve fallen into the hands of the Devil Dao cultivators once her secret technique lost its effect. As a result, she clenched her teeth and activated the divine ability of her cultivation art, the “True Art of Reincarnation”.
Once this divine ability was used, anybody who used spiritual power to probe her body would have their true essence forcefully absorbed by the true essence whirlpool formed inside her body. Had she not awoken early and halted her technique, she would’ve absorbed every last shred of Han Li’s cultivation.
Naturally, the restrictions of this strange divine ability were extremely demanding.
First of all, it required that her true essence was in a state of great deficiency.
Secondly, if she didn’t absorb anybody’s true essence during the duration of this technique, her true essence would explode, causing her to die. It could be said that this technique was partially suicidal.
But what made this technique the most undesirable was the fact that even if the user absorbed someone else’s true essence, they would only be able to recover a fraction of their lost cultivation. This technique was unable to be used to increase one’s magic power or cultivation.