Bonus Chapter 2
“That’s right. I’ve already mastered the first few layers of the Great Development Arts; all I’m missing are the mantras for the final three layers that you’ve never disclosed to anyone, Senior,” Han Li replied in an honest manner.
“You mastered the first four layers? I don’t believe you. Show me!” the golden figure demanded after contemplating the situation for a brief moment.
“Sure, I’ll show you some of the techniques of the fourth layer of the Great Development Art as proof,” Han Li replied with a smile.
“Alright, then go ahead,” the miniature golden figure challenged.
Thus, Han Li made a hand seal, and one of his fingertips turned a golden color as he thrust it through the air while uttering the words “Spiritstun Thorn”.
His voice wasn’t very loud, but the golden figure’s expression changed slightly upon hearing this.
A layer of faint silver light instantly erupted out of its body, and the light barrier shuddered slightly before returning to normal.
“I didn’t think that you would have mastered the Spiritstun Thorn already! Judging from the power of that technique, I can tell that you really have mastered the first four layers of the Great Development Arts. However, my Seven Pa.s.sions Art was specifically created to target Nascent Soul cultivators; even late-Nascent Soul cultivators wouldn’t be able to remain impervious to it, so why were you completely unaffected?” the golden figure asked.
“Hehe, that’s very simple; it’s because my Nascent Soul was never struck by the Seven Pa.s.sions Art. Instead, something else took the attack in its place.” A faint smile appeared on Han Li’s face as he laid a hand onto the top of his own head, following which a black Nascent Soul that was completely identical to Han Li in appearance emerged. However, this Nascent Soul was looking very frail and lacking in energy and vigor.
“That’s a second Nascent Soul! But how is that possible? I can see that you’ve only recently progressed to the Nascent Soul Stage; how did you have the spare time and power to refine a second Nascent Soul?” The golden figure was stunned to see this.
“Well spotted, Senior; this is indeed a second Nascent Soul. I only recently refined it, and I was only able to do so as I had encountered some special opportunities. Now then, I’ve already shown you proof of my master of the Great Development Arts; would you be able to pa.s.s on the mantras for the final few layers to me now?” Han Li asked.
“It took me an extensive amount of time and painstaking effort to create the Great Development Arts. You don’t look like one of my descendants or juniors, so why should I give you the mantras?” the golden figure countered as a cold look appeared on its face.
“I don’t think you have a choice in the matter in your current state, Senior,” Han Li said as he appraised the golden figure with a hint of a smile on his face.
“Hehe, if you want to destroy what little remains of my soul, then go ahead. I’ve already lived for far too long, and the embrace of death no longer scares me. Even if you don’t do anything to me, my soul is too feeble and will dissipate in a few years anyway,” the Monarch of Soul Divergence replied in a cold voice.
“Do you insist on opposing me, Senior? Are you clinging onto the false hope that I won’t know any soul search techniques?” A cold look also appeared on Han Li’s face.
“Ha! You think I would be afraid of a soul search technique? I was able to create a spiritual secret technique of the caliber of the Great Development Arts; a mere soul search technique is child’s play for me to ward off! If worse comes to worst, I’ll just detonate my own soul on the spot,” the Monarch of Soul Divergence chuckled, seemingly completely unfazed.
Han Li was at a slight loss for what to do upon hearing this.
Only the soul of the Monarch of Soul Divergence remained, and it barely had any magic power. However, the Monarch of Soul Divergence was extremely adept in spiritual secret techniques, so there most likely really was no way for him to get what he wanted by force.
With that in mind, Han Li reverted back to a more gentle approach. “Why do you insist on being so stubborn, Senior? I’ve always been of the opinion that there’s nothing in this world that can’t be put up for exchange as long as the price is right.”
“Exchange? I don’t see anything you have that can be of interest to me,” the golden figure countered as it crossed its arms in a skeptical manner.
“Would you be interested in this, Senior?” Han Li paused momentarily before flipping a hand over, and a burst of black light flashed over his palm, following which a strange piece of wood that was around a foot in length appeared.
The surface of the piece of wood was riddled with pits and b.u.mps and it was of a charred black color; it certainly wasn’t the most elegant piece of wood.
However, an ecstatic look immediately appeared on the Monarch of Soul Divergence’s face upon seeing the piece of wood. “That’s Soul Nurturing Wood! I didn’t think you would have something like this!”
“Soul Nurturing Wood would be able to not only prevent the seepage of our spiritual power, it can slowly nurture your soul; I’m sure this is something that would be of use to you right now, Senior,” Han Li said in a confident manner as he held the piece of wood in his hand.
The golden figure hesitated for a long while before shaking its head in the end. “This wood can indeed delay the day of my death, but too much of my soul has already dissipated. Even with this wood to nurture me, I’ll only be able to live for a few more decades at most, so this thing alone is not going to be enough for me to tell you the mantras for the final few layers of the Great Development Arts.”
This reply clearly came as a surprise to Han Li, and his brows furrowed slightly in response. After a brief silence, he said, “In that case, what would you like in exchange for the mantras? I can see that you still haven’t completely resigned yourself to death yet; if you have any conditions, feel free to raise them, and if I can fulfill them, I definitely won’t turn you down.”
“Looks like you’ve already learned the secret of the Great Development Arts and have found out that it can help you break through cultivation bottlenecks. Hehe, in that case, I wouldn’t be entirely opposed to bestowing the mantras upon you. However, I need you to refine a soul nurturing treasure with that piece of Soul Nurturing Wood, and I also need you to do two other things for me,” the Monarch of Soul Divergence said with a faint smile.
“Go ahead, Senior!” Han Li prompted.
“Looks like you know quite a bit about me; I’m sure you must be aware that aside from spiritual secret techniques, I’m also very adept in the art of puppetry. In fact, at one point, I became so engrossed in the art of puppetry that I neglected my cultivation. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have ended up like this,” the Monarch of Soul Divergence said in a slow voice.
Han Li didn’t really understand where this was going, but he remained patient.
It was clear that the main point was still yet to come.
“During these years spent in this cave, I had an enormous amount of free time, and I make quite a few breakthroughs in my puppetry skills. On top of that, I’ve combined all of these breakthroughs to create a design for an ultimate puppet that should be no less powerful than a Nascent Soul cultivator. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to refine it due to a lack of materials, and this is one of the few things that I regret. I want you to collect those materials and refine my puppet in order to fulfill this wish of mine and lay it to rest,” the Monarch of Soul Divergence said in a serious manner.
Han Li’s heart jolted slightly upon hearing this, but he maintained a calm facade. “A puppet no less powerful than a Nascent Soul cultivator? The materials required to refine it must cost a fortune!”
“Indeed, it does. Hmph, but if you manage to refine the puppet, it’ll belong to you in the end, so you’ll be spending the money on yourself anyway,” the Monarch of Soul Divergence harrumphed in response.
After briefly weighing up his options, Qin Ye accepted the condition. “In that case, I can agree to that condition. Please state your other condition, Senior?”
“My second condition is far simpler to fulfill. I may have been trapped here for many years, but I’m aware that my Thousand Bamboo Sect is most likely just a shadow of its former self now; I don’t even know if it’s still under the control of my past disciples. I’m unable to pa.s.s all of my techniques and abilities onto them, but I don’t want my inheritance to end here. Hence, I want you to find someone with exceptional apt.i.tude for me to pa.s.s my cultivation arts onto and become my heir,” the Monarch of Soul Divergence said.
Han Li was ecstatic to hear this. “Haha, that’s not an issue at all; I’ll accept both of your conditions.”
“In that case, we have ourselves a deal. After you refine the soul nurturing treasure, I’ll pa.s.s the mantra for the first layer onto you, and after that, we’ll leave this place together,” the Monarch of Soul Divergence said.
Han Li naturally had no objections to this.
Several days later, Han Li emerged from the secret chamber and strode into the distance with a yellow bamboo tube that was around a foot in length carried on his back.
A gentle breeze blew past, carrying with it the sound of a faint conversation.
“Hehe, never did I think that I would see the light of day again.”
“I would advise you to keep your voice down, Senior. This used to be the restricted area of the Thousand Bamboo Sect, and it could mean trouble if your descendants or juniors were to hear you.”
“Hmph, with your cultivation base, those little rascals wouldn’t be able to do anything to you. Besides, they’re my…”
The sound of the conversation became more and more distant before finally fading with the wind.