Chapter 374: Cultivation is Timeless
Time passed day after day.
Apart from maturing spiritual herbs and refining the required "Yellow Dragon Pills" and "Golden Marrow Pills", Han Li refined Qi in bitter meditation the entire time. He also periodically trained the white spiders and other wondrous insects in accordance to the Controlling Spirit Sect Cultivator's Insect Cultivation Insights. This could be considered his sole joy during his cultivation.
Han Li estimated that it would take him about a year to enter the ninth layer of Qi Condensation, a speed that was like wind when compared to his original speed.
However, Han Li was still somewhat unsatisfied at this speed. After he reached the ninth layer, he made a steeled resolution to take three Foundation Establishment Pills in continuation. By using its hugely strong medicinal power, Han Li used only another year to enter Foundation Establishment.
Now, he was able to make use of Innate Truefire.
Han Li immediately ceased taking low-grade medicine pills and started to refine medicine pills that would be more suitable for a Foundation Establishment cultivator.
According to Han Li's assumptions, the Qi Refining Powder would have no effect on him because he had previously taken too much of it. As for the other three pill recipes, they should be able to vigorously advance him to late Foundation Establishment without question.
But according to his original plans, Han Li wasn't going to immediately deepen his cultivation. Instead, he would only stockpile medicines and cultivate the Great Development Technique in preparation to refine a clone.
Originally, Han Li only needed half a year to cultivate the Great Development Technique to the first layer and receive its exceptional benefits.
Although Han Li felt gloomy about his inferior aptitude for elemental magic techniques, he had significant talent for the Great Development Technique. Thus, Han Li held much confidence in cultivating to the second layer of the Great Development Technique.
According to the incomplete collection of the Great Development Technique, his spiritual sense would be several times stronger and he would also be able to separate his consciousness into over a hundred different strands. When combined with the puppet technique, the frightening potential of the Great Development Technique would be fully displayed.
Although he knew that cultivating to the second layer would be more difficult than the first, it took far more time than Han Li had anticipated. He had originally believed that it would only take him three years to reached the second layer of the Great Development Technique, but Han Li discovered that it would take six years of diligent cultivation for him to barely reach the second layer. As this would take twice the time that he had anticipated, Han Li felt extremely helpless.
Now that forcefully increasing his spiritual sense proved to be such a blistering headache, Han Li seemed to have recalled something with a pale face and trepidation.
During the third year of cultivating the Great Development Technique, the disciple of the middle-aged cultivator from the Immortal Records Pavilion came under orders to challenge Han Li at Minor Expanse Island.
As a result, he had been trapped in Han Li's formations for three entire days before Han Li happened to take notice of him and released him.
Because of the difficulty of cultivating the Great Development Technique, Han Li had completely forgotten about this matter.
Using his nameless Qi Restraining Technique to hide his true cultivation, Han Li managed to win by the slightest margin. Under the belief that Han Li had won only due to his slightly superior magic tools, the flustered man who was trapped within the formation spells for several days could only resentfully return.
Another three years later, Han Li finally managed to cultivate to the second layer of the Great Development Technique and now prepared to cultivate the "External Reincarnation Technique".
He first thoroughly relaxed for several days. With his soul at its peak state, he called for Crooked Soul to enter his hidden practice room and sit cross-legged across from him.
Han Li waved his arm, shutting the stone door to the room and staring at Crooked Soul with rapt attention in long silence.
Having seen Crooked Soul's ugly yet familiar face, surges of emotion flowed through Han Li's heart. He recalled matters he had long and quickly forgotten: the Seven Mysteries Sect, the Rainbow Mountains, and a certain familiar figure...
But after staring at Crooked Soul's cold, soulless gaze, Han Li let out a sigh. With no further hesitation, Han Li formed a windmill-shaped incantation gesture with his hands, and his body released an azure light, projecting a dark green light throughout the room.
Not long after, Han Li's face slightly grimaced in the green light and fine beads of sweat started to form on his forehead. A blinding white radiance then shot out from his eyes that none would dare to look at.
"HA!" Han Li suddenly let out a roar as his hands formed a strange incantation gesture. Though his body was still, he snorted out a thumb-sized green ball of light. It quickly flew into Crooked Soul's nostril and entered the rest of his body.
At this moment, Han Li's face was deathly pale with huge beads of sweat dripping down from his face, but the blinding light from his eyes became even brighter. Two fine streaks of white light then shot out from his eyes into Crooked Soul's. Han Li's and Crooked Soul's bodies then simultaneously shivered.
The stone door of the hidden practice room was closed for an entire month. In the middle of the next month, the stone door of the hidden room slowly opened, revealing a haggard but extremely excited Han Li.
The clone refinement had been a bitter and tortuous struggle, but it had eventually resulted in success. Although he didn't know how it turned out, he knew that at the very least he hadn't failed, and there was no cultivation backlash, much to Han Li's relief.
But immediately after Han Li left the hidden room, he entered another room and went into seclusion. The clone refinement had significantly damaged his Origin Qi. If he didn't immediately take medicine and refined his Qi, there was a danger that he would once again drop down to the Qi Condensation Stage.
As for the refined clone, "Crooked Soul", it continued to remain in the hidden room. The thread of consciousness had yet to completely control the corpse and was being broken in.
After a few short months, Han Li had fully recovered the damage to his Origin Qi, but instead of leaving seclusion, he began to research the "Three Essence Revolutions" cultivation art.
The "Three Essence Revolutions" cultivation art clearly stated that when cultivators reached late Foundation Establishment, they were to scatter a majority of their cultivation through the "Azure Essence Sword Art" and recultivate from early Foundation Establishment stage. This would compress one's true essence and allow one to draw as close as possible to solidification, weakening the bottleneck to the Core Formation Stage.
According to the speculations of the expert who created this cultivation art, after three cycles of recultivation, one should have a fifty percent possibility of forming a golden core.
Although Han Li had unexpectedly scattered his cultivation during mid Foundation Establishment instead of scattering his cultivation when he reached late Foundation Establishment, he didn't care in the least. To Han Li, the difference between scattering one's cultivation during mid Foundation Establishment instead of late Foundation establishment was only a small degree of True Essence condensation. With the main idea of True Essence compression and solidification still at the center, there shouldn't be any big problems if he were to scatter his cultivation two more times from late Foundation Establishment.
After several months of single-minded study of the "Three Essence Revolutions" cultivation art, he came to a full understanding of the cultivation art and entered his hidden room with a large amount of medicinal pills.
He had come to a resolute decision that he wouldn't leave his Immortal's cave until he finished the first revolutions of his cultivation art and reached the sixth layer of the Azure Essence Sword Art.
As for Crooked Soul who was now completely fused with Han Li's spiritual sense, Han Li had tirelessly prepared pre-Foundation Establishment medicines pills for him. As Crooked Soul had spiritual roots with three elements, he had greater aptitude than Han Li who had "false spiritual roots" with four elements. As a result, Crooked Soul's cultivation speed was insanely fast with the assistance of medicine pills, no slower than Han Li's recultivation speed.
According to Han Li estimates, it would only take two years for him to reach Foundation Establishment.
In addition, Han Li picked out the Devilish Art "Divine Blood Light" from the jade slip that emitted gray light for Crooked Soul to cultivate after he reached Foundation Establishment. After all, Han Li had personally seen the might of this Devilish Art from the Emperor of Yue himself.
As for the fact that this art didn't have any continuation for Core Formation cultivators, Han Li didn't mind much. This was because after Crooked Soul formed a Fiend Core, Crooked Soul would forever be at early Core Formation. There would be no difference whether or not there was a continuation of the magic art.
Han Li's cultivation session went on for a truly long time!
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It was the same as the common saying, "Cultivation is timeless". In the mere blink of an eye, over twenty years had past.
During this large expanse of time, Han Li didn't take a single step outside of his Immortal's cave, nor did he show himself to the island's inhabitants. Every since Han Li arrived at Minor Expanse Island, several hundred of its inhabitants would say that he nearly hadn't affected them at all. If they wanted to fish, they fished; if they wanted to farm, then they farmed!
Naturally, the inhabitants weren't too comfortable to discover that their two mountains were now constantly shrouded in a thick white fog. But after such a long period of time, the villagers became accustomed to the scene and no longer took notice of it.
However, the village elder would repeatedly warn the village's mischievous children not to approach the mountain's nearby fog under any circumstances. This was because once someone entered, they would disappear without a trace and couldn't come out. Only after suffering several days of entrapment and shouting out "Immortal Master Han" several times would they discover a path out.
As this matter had occurred several times, the villagers came to understand that Immortal Han disliked having others bother him.
Apart from wood chopping and fruit picking, no other affairs were carried out near the Minor Expanse Mountains.
As for the yearly expenditure of spirit stones for the protective formation, so long as the village head loudly shouted towards the mountain a few times, the yearly amount of spirit stones would fly out of the white mist on a tray. Those that came for spirit stones never came back empty-handed.
Of course, the original village head had passed away during these twenty years. The current village head was the the dark skinned fisherman Han Li had seen when he first arrived at the island, Hei Gui. However, he still fetched spirit stones in the exact same manner.
As such, while the inhabitants of the island weren't particularly loyal towards Immortal Han, they still had a decent impression of him.
Then one day, Han Li walked out of his Immortal's cave.