“Immortal cultivation arts?” Han Li repeated as his eyes narrowed slightly.
“As the name suggests, immortal cultivation arts are cultivation arts for true immortals. Only by using cultivation arts of this caliber can one refine immortal spiritual power, allowing low-grade immortals to progress toward becoming high-grade immortals. However, the majority of low and mid-grade immortal cultivation arts will only yield one or two ranks of progression in one’s cultivation upon full mastery, by which time a new cultivation art will have to be selected to continuing progressing; only the high-grade immortal cultivation arts of the major powers can allow a true immortal to cultivate to an extremely high level.
“Only very rarely will you see cultivation arts of that caliber circulating in the outside world, and even if there are some going around, they’ll only be low-quality ones,” Gao Sheng explained.
“Oh? Is there no cultivation art that goes directly up to the dao patriarch level?” Han Li asked.
A peculiar look appeared on Gao Sheng’s face upon hearing this, but he then burst into laughter before offering an explanation. “Dao patriarch? Haha, you certainly dare to dream, Fellow Daoist Han! Unfortunately, even the legendary 10 divine tomes of the True Immortal Realm wouldn’t allow you to cultivate directly to the dao patriarch level. Currently, there are several hundred known dao patriarchs in the True Immortal Realm, and every single one of them had to endure countless tribulations and hardships while also encountering incredibly miraculous opportunities to reach their cultivation base.
“Even the most powerful immortal cultivation arts can only allow one to cultivate to the High Zenith Stage, which is right below the Dao Patriarch Stage.
From that point onward, you’ll only be able to rely on yourself.”
Han Li wasn’t surprised to hear this, and he nodded in response before asking, “It seems like becoming a dao patriarch is virtually impossible! May I ask how many immortal cultivation ranks there are below the High Zenith Stage?”
“Even though all of us are collectively referred to as true immortals by beings from lower realms, in reality, the True Immortal Stage is only the lowest immortal cultivation rank. There are several ranks above the True Immortal Stage such as the Voidspirit Stage and the Clear Origin Stage, and it’s often the case that millions of years of arduous cultivation will be required to progress up each major cultivation rank. As such, immortals are split up into the advanced, intermediate, and elementary tiers. Even among those at the same cultivation ranks, a difference in tiers would equate to an enormous disparity in power,” Gao Sheng replied.
“May I ask what cultivation base you’re currently at, Brother Gao?” Han Li asked.
“I’m very embarrassed to say that even though I’ve been a True Immortal for several million years, I’ve been unable to progress any further than the advanced True Immortal Stage. If I don’t encounter any other opportunities, then this is most likely where I’ll remain for the rest of my life,” Gao Sheng replied with a wry smile.
Han Li’s expression changed slightly upon hearing this.
He was completely unable to glean Gao Sheng’s cultivation base, yet the latter was only an advanced True Immortal.
“In that case, newly ascended immortals like myself must only be at the elementary True Immortal Stage,” Han Li mused.
“I guess you could say that, although it’s not entirely true. After all, you’re still yet to convert all of your energy into immortal spiritual power, so it’ll still take you several centuries to reach the elementary True Immortal Stage,” Gao Sheng replied with a smile.
Han Li was speechless upon hearing this, and only after a long while did he speak again.
“Judging from what you just said, there must be no lack of ordinary cultivators outside of True Immortals like us in the True Immortal Realm, right?”
“There are indeed cultivators below the True Immortal Stage in the True Immortal Realm. Despite our powers, even immortals like us can’t ensure that our descendants will also be able to cultivate to become immortals themselves. Due to their inability to harness immortal spiritual power, the lifespans of these people are limited, so they can only marry and reproduce to give birth to more mortals. With this cycle constantly repeating itself, a considerable population of cultivators and mortals below the True Immortal Stage has naturally built up over time.” Gao Sheng seemed to be quite dismissive of these mortals.
“I see! In that case, a high-grade immortal cultivation art is indeed extremely important for us True Immortals.” Han Li nodded in response as he began to weigh up his options.
Gao Sheng could tell that Han Li was still a little hesitant, so he urged, “Our Stone Hall holds ascended immortals in very high regard, so you won’t find any other powers that offer more favorable benefits than us. On top of that, you can adopt the position of guest elder in our Stone Hall. If you feel like our Stone Hall doesn’t suit you in several centuries, you can just give back all of the benefits that you received from our Stone Hall and leave with no questions asked.”
Han Li was finally convinced.”That’s a very alluring set of conditions! In that case, I’ll come with you to take a look at your Stone Hall.”
Just as Gao Sheng had said, the most important thing for him now was to convert the energy in his body into true immortal power so he could truly progress to the True Immortal Stage.
As such, joining a major power before gradually learning about the True Immortal Realm was a very good option.
Gao Sheng was naturally ecstatic to hear Han Li’s response, and after assuring Han Li that he won’t regret his decision, he swept a sleeve through the air, and a shadow emerged from his back before transforming into another silver-robed Gao Sheng.
“Stand on duty in my stead here for now while I take Fellow Daoist Han to the Stone Hall.”
“You’ll have to be quick. If the inspectors of the area notice your absence, I won’t be able to cover for you for very long,” the second Gao Sheng replied in an expressionless manner.
“You don’t need to worry about that. This Immortal Ascension Platform is extremely secluded; why would an inspector come here? If I recall correctly, the last time an inspector appeared here was several centuries ago. Besides, I’m only taking Fellow Daoist Han to our Stone Hall, so at the very most, it’ll only take around half a month before I’m back,” Gao Sheng said in a nonchalant manner.
“Alright, as long as you know what you’re doing. Just make sure you don’t make me take the fall for you.” With that, the second Gao Sheng strode over to the side of the pond and sat down with his legs crossed, then closed his eyes and began to meditate.
A hint of surprise had naturally appeared on Han Li’s face upon seeing this.
“Sorry you had to see that, Brother Han. That’s an earthen clone that I refined, and it’s not as powerful as I am, but it’s more than powerful enough to deal with an elementary True Immortal. With this clone here taking my place, I’ll be able to leave with no worries. Let’s go, I’ll take you to the Stone Hall right now,” Gao Sheng explained with a smile while making a hand seal, then pointed a finger at the light barrier encompassing the platform.
A circular hole that was large enough for a person to fit through immediately appeared on the light barrier at his behest.
Gao Sheng led the way out of the hole, and Han Li followed along immediately thereafter.
In the instant that they left the platform, the full might of the snowstorm bore down upon them, carrying with it a burst of tremendous glacial power.
Even with Han Li’s extraordinary physical constitution, his brows furrowed slightly in the face of these harsh conditions.
A hint of surprise flashed through Gao Sheng’s eyes upon seeing this.
The Northern Glacial Immortal Region was named as such for a reason. The average temperature in this immortal region was extremely low, and during such a fierce snowstorm, the glacial power in the air was not to be ignored.
Even local elementary True Immortals would generally have to carry one or two specially refined treasures to ward off the cold before they dared to directly face a snowstorm like this, yet Han Li had only just ascended to the True Immortal Realm, but the snowstorm barely seemed to be bothering him at all, and that was very surprising to Gao Sheng.
Gao Sheng’s thoughts were quickly racing, but his hands didn’t falter in the slightest as he released a white incantation seal downward.
Immediately thereafter, several clear cries rang out from the thick snow that had accumulated on the ground below.
Amid the flurry of snow that erupted up into the air, two pristine white gigantic peacocks emerged.
“Please go ahead, Fellow Daoist!”
Gao Sheng got onto one of the peacocks before pointing at the other peacock and gesturing to Han Li with an inviting smile.
A faint smile appeared on Han Li’s face as he flew onto the other peacock, and following an instruction from Gao Sheng, the two immortal beasts spread their wings and took flight, flying directly into the snow and ice.
Thus, Han Li took his first step in his journey through the True Immortal Realm.