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Chapter 882: Wanton Calamity

 It had now been half a year since Han Li left the Drifting Cloud Sect.

After he left the Heavenly South, he directly entered the Moulan Plains and carefully concealed his cultivation and identity. At the start, it went smoothly and he assumed the identity as an unaffiliated cultivator, safely entering many Moulan Tribes and even exchanging cultivation experiences with a Soaring Tribes cultivator.

But after he crossed most of the plains and arrived in the south, wanton calamity struck down upon him. In a wasteland far from the Soaring Tribes, he had routinely released his Gold Devouring Beetles and was about to prepare his strongest batch of beetles for reproduction when a mid-Nascent Soul stage Soaring Tribes elder came across Han Li while he was chasing down a demon bird. The Soaring Tribes elder was also controlling a single fully mature Gold Devouring Beetle at the time [1].

Because the Rainbow Skirt Grass was so convenient to use and mature, Han Li had grown careless, as nothing happened to him in the past when he used it. Without any high grade concealment spell formations placed down, the Soaring Tribes elder saw Han Li's beetle swarm in plain sight.

When the Soaring Tribes elder saw the ten thousand Gold Devouring Beetles floating above Han Li, he nearly passed Han Li by in shock. He promptly ignored the demon bird and immediately demanded Han Li to follow him to see some kind of holy woman of theirs.

Han Li couldn't agree to such conditions and immediately set out to kill him. He promptly used several grand abilities along with his second Nascent Soul, resulting in the destruction of the cultivator's physical body.

But Han Li then gloomily discovered that the Soaring Tribes elder cultivated a very strange technique. He was able to split his Nascent Soul into seven divisions, each of them skilled in evasion techniques. During a moment of carelessness, Han Li allowed one of them to escape.

It was then that Han Li realized that he stirred up the hornet's nest. Not daring to linger for even a moment, he flew south throughout the night.

But by using some unknown method, Han Li suddenly found many Soaring Tribes Nascent Soul cultivators pursuing him several days later. Even one of the Soaring Tribes' four late-Nascent Soul cultivators were present.

Han Li repeatedly fought several battles and slew several high-grade cultivators, but the late-Nascent Soul cultivator amongst them struck a heavy blow against Han Li while he was distracted. Were it not for the Myriad Year Spirit Milk and the Bloodshadow Evasion, he feared his life would've been forfeit.

Although he managed to temporarily evade pursuit through these measures, Han Li suddenly discovered something immensely troubling affecting his body. Perhaps as a result from the loss of strength and injuries from the constant battles, the baleful Qi on his body broke out and began to undergo backlash. Fortunately, he was able to see this ahead of time with his immense spiritual sense and used secret techniques to forcefully suppress it.

This made his bad situation even worse. Helpless, he could only ask Monarch Soul Divergence for guidance out of this perilous situation.

As an old eccentric that had lived over ten thousand years, Monarch Soul Divergence immediately gave Han Li the Pestilence Demons Soullock Seal to temporarily seal the baleful Qi. However, the consequences were immense. Before he could find a method to dissolve the baleful Qi, he would need to seal the demons of pestilence along with his baleful inside of his body. This would contain a majority of his baleful Qi at the cost of most of his cultivation. If he rashly made use of his magic power during this time, the baleful Qi and pestilence demons would backlash.

Han Li was fully aware of the consequences of this technique and hesitated in using it. But as he evaded pursuit, the baleful Qi in his body underwent backlash with far greater intensity than before. In a moment of desperation, he hastily landed in the shrubbery and without the time to even place down a protective spell formation, he employed the Pestilence Demons Soullock Seal with frantic need.

When Ying Lu had arrived, Han Li was in the final stages of employing the technique. The youth Mu Teng parted the shrubbery just as Han Li's face wore the appearance of one of the five pestilence demons sealed inside of him. It was incredibly gruesome, giving the youth much cause for fright. The youth currently believed the ghost face to be Han Li's true appearance.

With that thought, Han Li couldn't help but wryly smile.

"Although I am temporarily able to restrain the baleful Qi, a vast majority of my cultivation was sealed. It is fortunate that I am escorting these mortals to an Endless Sky Temple. Nothing should happen along the way." Han Li muttered.

Monarch Soul Divergence coldly chuckled and said, "Although your cultivation is sealed and you aren't able to use your ancient treasures and flying swords, you can still use your Gold Devouring Beetle and second Nascent Soul. However, you did give the Nascent Soul grade puppet you refined to your Senior Martial Brother Lu before you left and you also gave a majority of your Core Formation stage puppets to that concubine of yours. Those puppets would be rather useful right now."

Han Li indifferently said, "I didn't know when I'd be able to return to the Heavenly South, so I had left the puppets behind in case of contingencies. Even if Senior Martial Brother Cheng will soon perished, Lu Luo will have the Nascent Soul stage puppet to assist him. And Mu Peiling will be safe with the tortoise puppets I've given her. Otherwise, I would've felt ill at ease heading towards the Great Jin."

"In that case, don't complain about any dangers you encounter." Monarch Soul Divergence said with disapproval.

After a moment of silence, Han Li's expression stirred and he asked, "Is there any way to temporarily dissolve the Pestilence Demon Soullock after it is placed? My Gold Devouring Beetles and second Nascent Soul shouldn't have any problem dealing with Core Formation opponents of course, but it will be dangerous if I run into an enemy at Nascent Soul stage. I don't know how long it will take before I can find a method to dissolve my baleful Qi."

"Temporarily dissolve the seal?" Monarch Soul Divergence paused for a moment before slowly replying, "It might not be possible for others, but it could be possible with the many treasures in your possession. However, the cost will be steep."

"What cost? So long as it doesn't affect my future cultivation, I will accept the cost. It will be better than losing my life at a desperate moment."

"In that case, it will be quite simple. Each time you wish to dispel the seal, it will require two drops of the Myriad Year Spirit Milk. I'll give you another set of secret techniques to release the pestilence demons and temporarily allow the baleful Qi. According to present circumstances, your magic power will be restored for about two hours. After that time passes, the spirit milk will be completely devoured by the pestilence demons and your magic power will be sealed once more. And each time the seal is released, the baleful Qi will take over a portion of your soul. After a certain number of times, even the pestilence demons will not be able to restrain the baleful Qi backlash."

"Although Myriad Year Spirit Milk is precious, it isn't as precious as my own life, but aggravating the baleful Qi backlash won't be good by any means. Will this cause any future problems after I dispel the baleful Qi?"

"There will certainly be problems after releasing the baleful Qi. Under your current circumstances, I reckon that you will only be able to lift the seal five of six times before the pestilence demons lose control. It is up to you to weigh what there is to gain and lose."

"There isn't much to think about," Han Li said with decisiveness, "I will only use it during matters of life and death. How about Senior pass the technique onto me?"

"I will only say the incantation once, so remember it properly!" Monarch Soul Divergence then uttered the incantation for the technique. Han Li closed his eyes and committed the incantation to memory.

Han Li opened his eyes and calmly said, "Alright, it appears this technique isn't very difficult. I should be able to use it after a few days of comprehension."

"Of course. It is but a common method of removing seals. But Youngster Han, do you truly plan on following these mortals to the Endless Sky Temple?" Monarch Soul Divergence curiously asked. "Surely you would know that this event of theirs will attract many Soaring Tribes cultivators."

"Has Senior heard of the proverb that the most dangerous areas are actually safest? If I wholeheartedly wished to conceal myself, I am confident that I would be able to stay hidden for some time, but with the baleful Qi winding around my body, I would need to urgently hurry to the Great Jin Empire. As for my pursuers, they would be looking everywhere for lone travellers such as myself. In that case, it'd be better for me to mingle among the cultivators near the temple. Since there are many cultivators there, it would be impossible for my pursuers to look at them all. And given that I've already lived several months in the Moulan Plains, I am confident I'll be able to disguise myself as a low-grade cultivator. In any case, the temple just happens to be in the direction of the Great Jin."

"It seems I was just being meddlesome as you already have a plan." Monarch Soul Divergence chuckled and then said nothing else.

When Han Li heard this, he sighed and immediately asked, "Silvermoon, how are you faring? In that last battle, you also sustained heavy injuries."

"Many thanks for your concern," Silvermoon replied with a faint voice, "Since I am an artifact spirit, wounds don't affect me much, but my fox suffered significant damage and can't be used to assist Master for a time."

Feeling relieved, Han Li gently replied, "It will be no matter. In the future, I will act carefully, so there should be no need for you to take action. Take your time to recover."

"Yes, Master." After strenuously forcing out an answer, Silvermoon spoke no more.

With a grimace, Han Li wryly chuckled in his mind.

Han Li quietly meditated for a moment more in the carriage before brushing his hand past the storage pouch, producing a foot-long jade box in his hand. Several white sparkling talismans were stuck onto the box as if sealing it.

Han Li then stroked the talismans on the jade box with his fingers with a wavering expression.

[1] As previously stated in chapter 742, Gold Devouring Beetles were also nurtured and used by the Soaring Tribes.