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Chapter 218 – Pros and Cons

A Record of a Mortal’s Journey to Immortality

When Senior Martial Brother Ma spoke up to here, he stopped for a moment. An expression of regret surfaced on his face, and he continued to say:

“Unfortunately, after one cultivates this sword art to a deep layer, there is an intolerable flaw. Starting from the fourth layer, when using the Azure Essence Sword Art to absorb Spiritual Qi from the environment, every few days the strange phenomenon of one’s cultivation scattering will occur. A small portion of the magic power that one gained from cultivating this magic art will bafflingly dissipate on its own a few days later. This has truly stumped many people!”

“The speed of loss at the fourth layer of this sword art is not too frightening; only one tenth of the newly cultivated magic power will dissipate. If one were to spend even a little effort, common cultivators would still be able to make up for it! But if one steps into the fifth or sixth layer, the rate of loss of spiritual power would be frightening; an additional loss of one tenth is added on every layer, causing one’s bitterly cultivated magic power to continue to greatly dissipate. That is also to say, twenty percent of newly cultivated magic power will be lost at the fifth layer of the sword art, and thirty percent at the sixth layer. In this way, who would still dare to cultivate the Azure Essence Sword Art?”

“In addition, the highest layer of the Azure Essence Sword Art that our sect’s disciples used to cultivate was the sixth layer. Above the sixth layer requires that one must be at the Core Formation stage to cultivate it; however, when this kind of cultivation technique reached the sixth layer, one would already lose close to a third of one’s spiritual power. How could these experts still dare to take this incredible risk! If at the seventh layer of the Azure Essence Sword Art one still continued to lose a huge amount of spiritual power, wouldn’t these experts be incredibly wronged?!”

“One has to know that progressing one layer in a Core Formation stage cultivation technique is much harder! This Azure Essence Sword Art is already incomparably difficult to cultivate; nobody would be willing to waste ten or so years or even decades to take this incredibly stupid risk. Even more, this Azure Essence Sword Art is fragmented and incomplete, and it isn’t some kind of divine technique! There simply isn’t enough motivation for them to take this risk.”

“However, this sword art’s sword streak divine ability is truly very practical; simply giving up on it like this is somewhat of a pity. Thus, some people will only cultivate the first three layers of the Azure Essence Sword Art, and it has since become a very successful supporting technique. Thus, one doesn’t need to worry about losing one’s cultivation and can still continue to use the sword streak divine ability. Of course, even if one only cultivated the sword streak divine ability, it would require these disciples to spend four to five years of solitary cultivation to achieve it.”

After hearing the little old man’s lengthy explanation, Han Li could only stare with his mouth open. When he finally regained consciousness, he only felt a bad taste in his stomach!

It couldn’t be! He had already cultivated to the fourth layer of the sword art! According to what the little old man said, if in the future he wanted to continued cultivating the Azure Essence Sword Art, a tenth of the magic power he cultivated would dissipate for no reason. In addition, the deeper the layers, the more the loss of magic power would accumulate!

How could he continue to cultivate like this?

However, since everything had become very clear, no matter what he would not behave foolishly and continue to cultivate. Cultivation of the Azure Essence Sword Art would end here.

Han Li had not made this decision for long before the little old man’s next words moved Han Li’s heart again, and he felt that there was something off!

“Although the Azure Essence Sword Art has such a great drawback, it still has its own unique characteristics. Otherwise, it would not have become the signature technique of a sect back then,” the little old man suddenly remarked with some regret as he pressed his lips together.

“I once heard someone say that although cultivating this sword art is extremely slow, every time one successfully cultivates a layer, one may enlarge their meridians and have profound, wonderful effects on the Dantian. This causes the magic power of cultivators that have cultivated this sword art to be somewhat more profound than that of a cultivator of the same level.”

“But exactly how much more profound can it be? This depends on how many layers of the sword art one has cultivated.”

“But based on records from before, the only disciple that cultivated this Azure Essence Sword Art to the sixth layer, when he reached the Foundation Establishment stage, had magic power roughly a third greater than that of other cultivators in his level. This extra magic power was exactly the same amount as the magic power that he had lost while cultivating the Azure Essence Sword Art. This kind of coincidence must be mentioned; this sword art is truly somewhat profound!”

The little old man had seemingly studied this Azure Essence Sword Art quite a bit, and the more he spoke, the more his spirits were lifted up. Afterwards, spittle was even flying from his mouth, and he was very animated! This caused Han Li to hurriedly bring up some other matters, forcibly changing the subject from the Azure Essence Sword Art. Only then did Senior Martial Brother Ma return to normal.

To Han Li, even if this sword art had any other marvelous characteristic, he still would not cultivate it.

His aptitude originally was already not good; there must be something wrong with his brain if he intentionally cultivated this extremely slow, incomplete magic technique unless he did not want to reach Core Formation!

Even with those common cultivation techniques, Han Li reckoned that if he were to discover a few medicinal recipes, there was still somewhat of a possibility of him reaching Core Formation!

Han Li chatted with the little old man for a while longer before taking his leave.

Now that he had reached Foundation Establishment, he naturally could no longer watch over the medicine garden for the other person; thus, he returned to the cottage that he normally lived in. After a little bit of cleaning up, he swiftly headed towards it.

At the time, the sky was very bright, making it the perfect opportunity for him to go to the official hall and take care of business.

The excitement in Han Li’s heart had yet to retreat completely, since he had just reached the Foundation Establishment stage. His only thought was that he would take care of his business, then immediately open up a cave for himself!

Han Li had looked forward to this for a long time! After all, once he had his own patch of ground, he wouldn’t need to be stealthy anymore no matter what he did, and he could do whatever he wanted in his own area.

The more Han Li thought about it, the more excited got; in no time, he had unconsciously arrived at the council hall.

The two young disciples guarding the big door obviously didn’t recognize Han Li; however, they had clearly seen with a glance Han Li’s identity as a Foundation Establishment cultivator. Thus, they naturally did not dare to delay Han Li just because he was young!

The two people stepped forwards simultaneously and immediately bowed to Han Li, showing their respect:

“This Martial Uncle, is there something that you need us to help you with?”

“Martial Uncle?”

When Han Li heard this, he thought it was somewhat funny. If he had met these two people a year ago, perhaps he would even have to call them Senior Martial Brother! Today, his status had greatly increased because he had reached Foundation Establishment, and he immediately became their senior! Han Li felt that he was not used to it.

However, seeing these people, whose ages were similar to his, greet him with such respect, he felt pretty good!

“Is Sect Master Zhong here? I have something I need to discuss with him!” Han Li said arrogantly.

These two Qi Condensation disciples couldn’t help but glance at each other after hearing Han Li say this. The person on the right then replied, “Sect Master has gone to the Hundred Opportunities Hall to take care of business, but he should be back quickly! How about Martial Uncle wait for a moment in the pavilion hall?

Han Li slightly knitted his eyebrows, but immediately returned to normal and said carelessly:

“Okay! Since it’s like this, I will just wait for a bit!”

“Great! Martial Uncle, this way, please!”

The other person was also very clever, and he took two steps backwards, then led Han Li there.

Following this person, Han Li passed through the large lobby and was brought to a slightly larger room in the hall. Not only was this room extremely clean and tidy, a few pen and ink drawings were hung on the four walls, creating an elegant, scholarly atmosphere.

“Martial Uncle can wait first here for a moment; when the Sect Master returns, this disciple will immediately report to him!” The youth skillfully poured a pot of fragrant tea for Han Li, then retreated.

Han Li nodded his head as he watched the youth’s retreating figure, but then shook his head!

He first nodded because he felt that whether it was this youth’s eyes or his bearing, both caused

Han Li to feel great satisfaction; it was as if he had no flaws, and that he had undergone a special training to get this kind of a face!

But when he shook his head, it was because he felt grieved for these low-level disciples!

For a cultivator to be forced to behave like a common servant instead of undergoing closed-door cultivation, taking turns watching the door and pouring tea, it truly was highly regretful!

Thinking about it now, if he hadn’t used a Foundation Establishment Pill to buy out Elder Ye, perhaps his circumstances would not be much better than this person. He would similarly be required to bow and serve them cups of tea; perhaps he would be even more restricted!

Just as Han Li was sitting in the room, tasting the fragrant tea as many thoughts raced in his heart, Sect Master Zhong returned after a brief period.

When he heard from his manservant disciple that a young Foundation Establishment cultivator was looking for him, he couldn’t help but feel astonished. This was because he could not remember this person based on the description given to him by manservant disciple; out of the hundreds of Foundation Establishment disciples, he had not found a person similar to this.

“Twenty-five or twenty-six years old with somewhat dark skin and a plain appearance...who could this be?” Zhong Lingdao was thirty percent surprised and twenty percent curious, so he hurriedly walked towards the guest lobby where Han Li was at.

When he entered the room, he saw a youth with an average appearance wearing a Yellow Maple Valley uniform, gazing at a flowery painting on a wall with his back towards the Sect Master. He was currently staring at it with great interest!

However, apparently the movements Sect Master Zhong made when he entered the room had been heard by the other person. Thus, this person immediately turned around, and greeted him with a bow:

“Senior Martial Brother Sect Master! Junior Martial Brother Han Li has come to see Sect Master!”

“Han Li?”

When Sect Master Zhong heard this name, he felt that it was somewhat familiar, as if he had heard it before! But when he carefully looked at the other person, apart from having a somewhat familiar face, he did not remember exactly who this person was. This caused him to feel somewhat ashamed in his heart, and a trace of awkwardness was revealed on his face.

“Han...... Junior Martial Brother Han, please sit; no need to be polite! Senior Martial Brother, as the Sect Master, has been busy with business and arrived a little late. Junior Martial Brother, please don’t take offense!”

Zhong Lingdao was a sly old fox who had seen many big winds and waves; with a few careless, ambiguous sentences, he had easily dissolved the awkward mood that he created by not recognizing the other individual.

(TL: “winds and waves” - a lot of hard experiences)

Han Li was not actually shocked that Sect Master Zhong could not recognize him!

One had to know that the last time Han Li had seen this person was five years ago. At that time, he was only a low-quality and low-aptitude Qi Condensation disciple. Thus, Sect Master Zhong naturally would not put him in his heart, let alone have any kind of deep impression of him.

If the other person was actually able to recognize him on sight, Han Li would feel greatly shocked!

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