After a long while, Han Li finally awoke from his contemplations with a plan in mind.
Nothing appearing out of the ordinary, he proceeded to visit the shops selling ancient records of cultivation techniques. This trip didn’t result in any surprises. He was quite familiar with the cultivation arts and Five Element Techniques being sold as they weren’t much different from those in the Heavenly South Region.
Though it should be said that the water attribute magic techniques were more plentiful. There were even a few new techniques that he hadn’t heard of before.
Han Li bought these new magic techniques along with a book he accidentally found, Pill Dao Evaluations. The reason he bought this book was because it contained an expert’s description and commentary of the “Dustfall Pill”. Han Li intended to carefully study it before coming to a decision about the Six United Palaces’ request.
With no interest in buying anything else, Han Li and Crooked Soul left the Sky Capital Market along with the city.
Not long after they left Stalwart Star City, Han Li and Crooked Soul took to the skies and flew toward the Gu Clan Estate.
About half a day later, Han Li gazed at the somewhat familiar scene of the Gu Clan Estate’s earthen walls. But instead of immediately descending towards the Gu Clan Estate, he decided to first land at the small hilltop to the side of the estate and take a look at the small wooden house he had constructed.
The small wooden house still stood in its original location; however, it was clear that it had greatly aged, and some areas had blackened from rot.
When Han Li saw this, he lightly sighed before opening the door and entering the house.
“Huh?!” Han Li was surprised.The room wasn’t covered in a layer of dust nor was there the rotting scent he had expected. Instead, the room was swept clean, the table, chair, and bed didn’t have a single speck of dust. There was even a pot of blue flowers on the wooden table.
Han Li was at a loss for a moment, but he couldn’t stop himself from breaking out into laughter. “It seems the Gu Clan had put quite some thought into this!” Han Li stroked his nose as he muttered to himself.
Afterwards, Han Li left the wooden house without any feelings of attachment and left Crooked Soul on the hilltop, slowly walking towards the Gu Clan Estate by himself.
Han Li had no intention of hurriedly flying towards the Gu Clan. Although the Gu Clan’s spell formation posed no problem to him, the Gu Clan Master could be considered an old friend; naturally, it’d be better to be polite.
But when Han Li walked in front of the Gu Clan’s gate, two imposingly strong gate guards had noticed him. One of them suspiciously asked, “Who are you? What brings you to our Gu Clan?”
Han Li smiled and spoke in a soft voice, “Tell your clan’s master that an old friend surnamed Han has come.”
“Our clan’s lord doesn’t see outsiders. Wait, Han?... Could it be that you are Immortal Master Han?” The large man had initially rejected him, but after sizing up Han Li, he suddenly revealed doubt.
“You know of me?” Han Li made a slight frown.
“So it really is Immortal Han! Please wait for a moment, Immortal Master. I will send a report to the Manor Lord!” The large man spoke no further and ran towards the manor.
Han Li expressionlessly looked towards the manor and spoke no further.
Not long after, a large group of people left the manor. The old man that was leading them smiled widely upon seeing Han Li and loudly shouted, “Immortal Han, you’ve finally returned! I’ve waited for quite a few years!”
Afterwards, the old man hastily walked forward to salute Han Li. The others followed suit, each respectfully saluting Han Li.
Han Li attentively gazed at the old man’s familiar face. This was definitely the Gu Clan Master, but his hair was now white and his face was decrepit.
“Mister Gu, I trust that you’ve been well?” Han Li asked with a relaxed expression.
Under Master Gu’s respectful welcome, Han Li entered a huge residence at the center of the Gu Estate.
After entering a room, Master Gu took the initiative to hand over a large sack of spirit stones to Han Li without waiting for him to say anything. In addition, he gave Han Li a cordial introduction to a few of the young children of the Gu Clan. He particularly made an effort to introduce his eldest son, a thirty-year-old youth named Gu Kai.
How could Han Li not see what the Gu Clan Master intended? The Gu Clan Master knew that the end of his life was drawing near, and he wished for Han Li to continue providing some assistance to his clan after his passing.
Han Li faintly smiled and said some casual promises for the sake of their past friendship.
The Gu Clan Master felt great joy and immediately called for a feast on behalf of Han Li; however, Han Li tactfully declined.
Following, Han Li had a chat with the Gu Clan Master before swiftly departing from the Gu Clan Estate.
After leaving, Han Li fetched Crooked Soul from the hilltop and flew towards a small, nearby village. Han Li quickly found an inn and spent the night studying the “Pill Dao Evaluations” without any sleep.
On the next day, Han Li had a general understanding about the medicine pills of the Scattered Star Seas. As for the Dustfall Pill, he had examined its description several times.
In accordance to the book, the Dustfall Pill not only required the cores of several uncommon demon beasts, but it also required a large amount of rarely seen spiritual herbs to refine. It was an undoubtedly precious item.
The pill really does have the wondrous effect of increasing the odds of Core Formation. Although the increased odds couldn’t be considered to be much and it can only be taken during the formation of one’s core, it is seen as a treasure to cultivators on the verge of Core Formation. To cultivators wishing to form their core, any items capable of raising their odds of success by even a single percent were greatly coveted but extremely rare.
Nevertheless, Han Li understood that since the six palaces were offering this rare medicine pill as payment, the task wouldn’t be nearly as easy as maintaining a formation. There would certainly be a large amount of danger if he went, and only the Heavens would know what troubles he would encounter.
However, Han Li truly thirsted for this “Dustfall Pill”. After all, both he and Crooked Soul were soon facing Core Formation.
Leaving his own poor odds aside, Crooked Soul’s Fiend Core was said to have a one-third chance of Core Formation. As the probability of failure was so high, he was unable to feel at ease. He needed to acquire the Dustfall Pill!
After sinking into bitter contemplation for a long while, he eventually came to the decision to face the unknown danger. After all, both he and Crooked soul were late Foundation Establishment cultivators. If any danger arose, he should be able to protect himself without problem.
In addition, it appeared that the Six United Palaces held a significant amount of power. Forming a connection to them now, should prove to be rather useful while in the Scattered Star Seas.
However, he must first make some discreet inquiries about the reputation of the Six United Palaces. If relations were to turn sour immediately after the matter is concluded, he’d greatly suffer.
Having come to a decision, Han Li brought Crooked Soul back to Stalwart Star City.
Half a month later, an extremely huge ship sailed into the port of Stalwart Star Island. After a short moment, two streaks of light, one white and one blue, shot towards the boat from a faraway placed and boarded it without any hesitation.
After the light faded away, three people appeared on board the ship: a lofty, and strong but ugly man, a youth with a common appearance, and an odd middle-aged man with an aged appearance.
A wide-eyed man with thick eyebrows walked out to respectfully greet the robust man and youth, “Welcome to our ship, Immortal Masters. I am the ship’s captain, Luo Zheng. The other Immortal Masters are on already board. I will now bring everyone to the general location of the demon beast.”
The Immortal Masters he addressed were naturally Crooked Soul and Han Li. As for the middle-aged man, he was the shopkeeper of the White Water Pavilion, Cao Lu.
“Fellow Daoist Crooked Soul, take care! I must return to take care of a few matters.” After exchanging a few polite words, Cao Lu flew off.
The thick-browed man lowered his head, before saying, “Please come in, we’ve already prepared rooms for you. The ship will soon depart.”
Han Li gazed at the ship as he silently entered its hull with Crooked Soul. As for Luo Zheng, he followed right behind them.
At this moment, the huge ship slowly began to move once more.
Upon entering the hull of the ship, Han Li was surprised by what he saw. It wasn’t at all like the small passageway Han Li had imagined. Instead, there was a luxurious hall that spanned over forty meters.
Embroidered carpet covered the hall’s floor and a long sandalwood table embedded with gold and silver was at the center of the room. There were over a dozen chairs around it, occupied by several people chatting. Once Han Li and Crooked Soul entered, several icy, stern gazes swept past them.
Their gazes merely swept past Han Li before focusing their eyes on Crooked Soul.
Crooked Soul blurred and covered Han Li’s front. He then expressionlessly said, “I am Crooked Soul. This is my Martial Nephew Han Li! What are you Fellow Daoists called?”