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Chapter 862: Feeding the Core

 When Senior Martial Brother Cheng heard Lu Luo, he was stunned. He hastily examined Han Li's inner Qi with his spiritual sense and saw that Han Li had truly entered mid Nascent Soul stage, much to his shock.

"I knew that with your quick wits, you would've quickly discovered it. I did indeed come across a fortunate encounter inside Devilfall Valley and bitterly cultivated to enter the next stage. As a result, I was able to enter mid Nascent Soul stage after such a short amount of time, something that even I hadn't expected. But if I hadn't known that you two were protecting Wan'er, I would've spent my many years trapped inside the pocket dimension with worry on my mind, preventing me from wholeheartedly cultivating. My progress is much in thanks to you two as well."

Han Li then saluted the two and uttered his thanks.

"What is Junior Martial Brother saying? Since I am Sister Nangong's sworn brother, it is only natural that I look after her. And it's not like we did much with regards to that. To our shame, she is still trapped in ice!"

"Junior Martial Brother Han reached mid-Nascent Soul stage in less than three hundred years of cultivation. Such an announcement would shake the entirety of the Heavenly South. Let alone late Nascent Soul stage, it is highly possible that Junior Martial Brother could reach the Deity Transformation stage!"

Lu Luo words were filled with admiration. There were only a sparse few characters in history that had progressed at the same speed as Han Li.

Speed on this level no longer had anything to do with cultivation aptitude and most likely came from luck and destiny.

Of course, Han Li simply responded with a few humble words before changing the topic and asking about what had happened after he disappeared in Devilfall Valley. The information he acquired straight from someone who witnessed the battle was far better than whatever was heard from rumors.

When the old man heard Han Li, he bitterly smiled.

After Han Li was swallowed by the spatial tear, the other Elder Devil was thrown into a fury. Just as Senior Martial Brother Cheng thought that his life was forfeit, the other cultivators had arrived.

Although the newly arrived cultivators had joined hands with Wei Wuya, they were still unable to deal with the two-headed four-armed Elder Devil. But just as these cultivators were about to be put in crisis, the Moulan had finally arrived.

With both sides joining hands, they trapped the devil. In the battle that followed, Spell Warrior Le summoned the Moulan Sacred Bird and they were able to grievously wound the devil. The Moulan Divine Sage Zhong was able to cut off one of the devil's heads. But in the end, the Elder Devil managed to escape.

However, there were many Nascent Soul cultivators that perished in the battle. Nangong Wan's Senior Martial Sister in particular suffered in the Elder Devil's last struggle; he turned her body and Nascent Soul into ash with a ball of black devilflame. As for Ancestor Linghu, he ended up somewhat better. Although his body was destroyed, his Nascent Soul managed to survive.

But none were as unfortunate as the Ghost Spirit Sect Elder Zhong who had his Nascent Soul seized and devoured by the Elder Devil. As a result, all the Ghost Spirit Sect cultivators that entered the valley perished, apart from a few Core Formation cultivators, much to the shock of everyone.

As for everything that happened afterwards, it was mostly as Huang Yuanming had mentioned. According to ancient records, devils couldn't remain in the mortal realm for long, and none took the risk to chase it down. But against everyone's expectations, the devil managed to persist in this world through some unknown method and went on a killing spree in the Heavenly South, killing cultivators and devouring their Nascent Souls. With fury and rage built up, a hunting party was launched.

When Han Li heard this, he frowned and said, "I've heard a few rumors with regards to the hunting party's battle with the devil. But is it true that two of the Great cultivators and the Moulan Divine Sage weren't able to slay the devil? Given your identities, you should know the truth of the matter." With that said, Han Li's expression turned heavy.

"We didn't participate in the campaign against the devil, but according to the information that the alliance sent, the Elder Devil received grievous life-threatening injuries, but it still managed to escape through some strange secret technique. Master Sunreach and the others attempted to give chase to eradicate the devil, but they gave up the case at the border of the Moulan Plains out of fear of provoking the Soaring Tribes. However, many years passed without the devil being sighted in the Heavenly South. And given how calm the Moulan Plains are, if the devil hasn't succumbed to its wounds, it should have crossed the Moulan Plains into the Great Jin."

"The Great Jin Empire?" Han Li couldn't help but reveal shock.

Senior Martial Brother Cheng and Lu Luo saw the surprise in Han Li's words, but they tactfully dropped the subject. After all, Han Li current abilities and cultivation were beyond the two so they couldn't help but feel a bit of admiration for him.

They chatted for a moment more before Han Li eventually mentioned how he found a cure for Nangong Wan in Devilfall Valley and wished to make an attempt to dissolve her curse.

The two were overjoyed when they heard this. If Nangong Wan recovered, the might of their Drifting Cloud Sect would increase once more. They hastily concluded their chat and personally guided Han Li to the restricted area.

Senior Martial Brother Cheng and Lu Luo stood at the entrance to the restricted area and personally kept watch, allowing Han Li to take care in dissolving the Soul Seal Curse. He uttered a quick word of thanks before approaching the stone gate.

Han Li glanced at the gate and saw that the restrictions hadn't been further activated since the last time it had been opened. It appeared that Senior Martial Brother Cheng and Lu Luo had only used their spiritual sense to see how Nangong Wan was doing inside, much to Han Li's satisfaction.

With his hand forming an incantation gesture, a series of spell seals flew out and struck the stone door, causing it to open with groans. Han Li then silently walked in with an odd expression, followed by the gate closing shut.

The room was exactly the same as in the past. It was completely clean because the restriction placed, and the moonlight stones embedded in the ceiling were as bright as ever. Nangong Wan's child form was still sealed in the sparkling wall of ice with her eyes closed and a pale face.

With sadness across Han Li's face, he took several steps towards the ice wall and stopped three meters away. Then, he stared at Nangong Wan's deathly pale face and a complicated expression appeared on his face.

An unknown amount of time passed before he finally let out a long sigh. He then slapped his storage pouch and summoned a jade box into his hand.

He lightly tapped the top of the box with his other hand and it suddenly flung open, revealing a thumb-sized scarlet demon core that pulsed with red light. It appeared mysteriously alluring.

Han Li squinted his eyes as he examined the demon core before suddenly opening his mouth and spitting out an azure mist onto the demon core. Afterwards, he tossed the demon core and had it hover in the air towards the ice.

At that moment, he muttered a series of incantations and struck the ice wall with a spell seal. In a flash of blue light, the azure mist and the demon core phased into the thick ice and flew into Nangong Wan's lips.

Han Li then pointed at Nangong Wan and she stiffly opened her mouth like a puppet, allowing the demon core to fly into her mouth. Suddenly, Nangong Wan's deathly pale face began to shine with a faint layer of red light, but her eyes remained completely shut.

Han Li let out a deep breath, knowing that the matter couldn't be rushed. Even if the demon core was truly effective, the curse wouldn't be dissolved in a few short months. Han Li stayed there regardless and simply stood in front of the ice wall, staring at Nangong Wan in silence. For some unknown reason, the breathtaking memory of when he first saw Nangong Wan appeared in his mind.

Time slowly passed by as Han Li stood still without moving an inch.

After a long while, Han Li calmly walked out from the secluded room and sealed the restrictions once more.

Still guarding the cave on the outside, Senior Martial Brother and Lu Luo asked a few questions of concern, but Han Li simply forced a smile and said he would have to wait a few days and see whether or not the Soul Seal Curse was dissolved. Han Li then bid his farewell for the time being and flew back to his cave residence, tired from his rushed journey back to the Dreamcloud Mountains. In any case, there was always time for a proper discussion in the coming days.

As mentioned by his senior martial brothers, his cave residence had remained untouched under their strict order. As for his concubine, Mu Peiling, she just had continuously resided in the mountain neighboring his cave residence and was shown much consideration by his two senior martial brothers. She had now reached False Core stage and was only on the verge of Core Formation.

Han Li felt his heart stir at this news and recalled the details of the Copulative Essence Arts [1].

Han Li had many medicines that could increase the odds of a successful Core Formation, and given her exceptional aptitude, she had a seventy percent likelihood of safely forming a core if he wholehearted assisted her.

However, he didn't expect that he would encounter a chance to breakthrough the bottleneck to mid Nascent Soul stage without her in Devilfall Valley. He had originally planned on having Mu Peiling cultivate this technique for several tens of years before he would claim her vital yin, but that plan had fallen through. He could also use the Copulative Essence Arts to breakthrough the bottleneck to late Nascent Soul stage, but he would need a deeper mastery of the technique to use it, not to mention that the woman must also be at late Core Formation stage as well.

Under normal circumstances, it was possible that he wouldn't be able to reach the peak of the Nascent Soul stage in even three hundred years. And during this time, he would have to properly nurture Mu Peiling as she cultivated the Copulative Essence arts. As the Copulative Essence Arts wasn't anywhere close to being a top grade technique, she wouldn't be able to reach late Core Formation stage in a short amount of time unless he provided her sufficient medicine pills.

With that thought, Han Li arrived in front of his cave residence. When he saw the sea of mist in front of it, he smiled and parted it with a wave of his sleeve before calmly walking inside.

[1] First mentioned in Chapter 645. A technique that allows a male cultivator to breakthrough a bottleneck through copulation with a Core Formation stage woman. Can only be used once.