The System had a status check function, but as Han De found out, it had its limitations. He believed the System would be able to find a normal poison 100% of the time, but if the poison was something sneaky, he had no confidence.
‘What if the combinations of these dishes turn into a poison inside my stomach? I can’t status check my stomach, can I?’
While his mother probably made sure that this woman wouldn't do something like that, he was still wary. The cultivation idiot had died inside his abode, in the middle of the sect, under the protection of its Grand Array without anyone noticing.
'Maybe I should learn divination? A disassembled poison could be detected that way, right? Hmmm. But if it is a long term effort it might still slip away from divinations.'
Han De had many antidotes and panaceas in his storage ring. He was well prepared, but that wasn't enough. There were still some poisons that would kill even a Transcendent Realm expert within seconds. His first and foremost defense was not exposing himself to these situations in the first place.
Servants arrived while Han De was inside his own world. They were suspiciously quick and efficient in setting up a table and did not allow Han De a chance to interrupt them. Once their work was done, they left equally quickly and efficiently. Their well-practiced movements caused Han De to narrow his eyes. For a moment, he wanted to call the one remaining servant that was waiting some distance away, but he shook his head instead
Three disciples looked at their master. They couldn't sit before their master, obviously.
Just a few moments ago Han De adamantly refused to even try for the fear of poison. But now that the numerous dishes were on the table, his will started to waver. He was a Core Formation expert, and he could smell the dishes even with the lids on them.
'You know what, this woman was brought over by mother. There is no way she could put in poison, where would she get it in the first place? The servants probably checked it too. Their smooth movements can only be a result of my mother's involvement. Besides, I have many antidotes and panaceas. Anything that would render them ineffective would be caught by the system. Yes, it would be a waste to reject this food. Besides, what would mother do to this woman if I reject the food she prepared. Yes, definitely. It is the right thing to do. I have a moral obligation here.'
Justification came at the speed of light. Han De entered the Profound Expert mode, but his movements were faster than usual if one looked carefully.
Aside from the crepes and the one 'steak' he made, the only decent meal he had was at the Brass Stallion city. Ning Bi had made dumplings for him once, but that was only 4 dumplings, not even enough for a mortal.
* * *
An hour later, Han De and his disciples were finished with their meal. Han De didn't show it, but he was deeply impressed. Perhaps it was because of the amount of time that had passed, but he thought this woman’s cooking was as good as the Phoenix' Beak Pavillion in the Brass Stallion city, if not better. He would've directly thanked her if she wasn't afraid of him.
In about 10 hours they were going to board the spiritual boat and start flying toward the northern continent. Everyone was working around the clock to convert the boats into mobile bunkers. His lackeys were scrambling for life saving and escape items. He received a report of all his resources and items. It was time for his final preparations.
'976 life saving items. Not bad. Most of them could be hidden underneath my robes. I can carry around 5 at all times and increase the number to 12 or 13 depending on the nature of the items. Of the 976, 34 of them can withstand hits from Immortal Realm experts, 14 from Ancient Realm, 3 from Divinity Formation, and 1 from Transcendent Realm. I can make a good mixture depending on the situation.'
'3664 escape items. 327 of them are spatial treasures. The rest of them are flight speed items. There is 67 that allows me to phase into solid matter. Probably best not to use them unless necessary. Who would want to materialize in solid rock...'
'411 high-quality healing pills. 1213 antidotes, 37 panaceas. Their spread is pretty good, but really high-quality healing pills are less than I'd like.'
Han De immediately ordered Peng to gather more high-quality healing pills. His bottom line was 1000. This wasn't just for him, but for his disciples as well. Although they would receive some along with the life saving and escape items, that would be only a few dozen at best.
'A thousand high-quality healing pills that can even regrow missing limbs. Yes, I shouldn't leave the sect without that.'
'46 defensive formations, 30 offensive formations, 12 healing formations, but unfortunately all of them are light element...'
Old Peng received another order for at least 20 non-Light element healing formations.
'Better keep the 12 Light element ones as well. Could be useful for my disciples, or lackeys.'
Formations required time to set up. Even though these were 'ready-made' formations, they still required time to set up properly. But at least they didn't require an expert to set them up.
'25 offensive spiritual items. The highest rank is at the Immortal Realm. I can't even use it, but at least Treebeard can. 140 one-time attack items, the highest realm is still at the Immortal Realm. A shame, but 20 Immortal Realm consumable attack items are better than nothing I suppose.'
These consumable attack items were a rarity. Not because of their value, but because of the lacking demand. Apparently, cultivators didn't like to rely on such items. Han De basically swept the entire inventory of the Han family of these items and ordered them to buy every single one they encounter.
'1000 defensive and 1000 offensive talismans. Neatly divided into different realms 100 by 100. Highest is at Unity Realm, which is basically the limit of what I can use.'
Talismans were consumable spells. They were much weaker than the spiritual items, but more flexible than them due to their high availability. One of the reasons why the Han family didn't collect consumable spiritual items was the existence of talismans. They were good enough for most purposes.
'The raw resources I have at the abode and the Han family is useless for now. Still, it is nice to know that I have 499.78 tons of Star Iron remaining. 500 tons of Gold Essence isn't too shabby either.'
Han De had no idea how much these things were actually worth. These were just his personal storage. He had no idea how much his family had. Money was meaningless in the truest sense of the word. This fact was already known by him, but seeing the evidence of it in the form a report was still baffling.
‘The fox tribe’s ransom is useless too. Just a bunch of useless spiritual stones and raw materials...’
Han De thought about it. Was this enough? No, it probably wasn’t. He needed more. Much more. He almost contacted Old Peng for yet another unreasonable order, but spotted something on the records sheet in front of him.
'Hmm? What is this, 28 dresses? 149 ornamental weapons? 34 folding fans? Under Ning Bi?'
When he went to the Brass Stallion city, Ning Bi wanted to wander around the city, and Han De had instructed his lackeys to buy anything that she showed interest, even if it was a rag, or a brick. At the time he got drugged at the Brass Stallion Auction and forgot about it. But thankfully, it seems his lackeys didn't.
Han De looked at the unassuming storage ring without delay. Any of these items could be ancient treasures! He didn't take anything out for the fear of Ning Bi recognizing them, he just sent his spiritual sense inside the ring.
'These look totally ordinary... What the hell?!'
There were many things inside, it wasn't just dresses, weapons, and folding fans. There were also tea sets, spool like things that Han De didn't know about, but they were most likely used for making dresses. There were also many pipes, a few fancy-looking musical instruments, some bundles of cloth. There were some black rocks too, his lackeys were really thorough.
Han De held back his sigh. He didn’t even need to status check these items.
'This girl spent her entire time looking for gifts for her parents huh. I guess that shouldn't be surprising. She is only 13 and at the time she cultivated for what, one and a half months?'
In one corner of the storage ring, he saw the neatly lined ornamental swords. Han De didn't have the cultivation idiot's instincts, but he did pay attention to the physical properties of the swords because they had an effect on their speed. These ornamental swords all had very similar dimensions to his old one.
He had ruined his old sword while running from the fox and the snake-dragon. A few times while he was in the Brass Stallion city, Ning Bi had seen the ruined sword and frowned.
Han De couldn’t resist taking a look at Ning Bi, who was deep in cultivation along with her fellow disciples. The spiritual energy in the immortal dishes was quite beneficial for them as long as they took the time to digest through cultivation.
'The coolness factor would be important for a 13-year-old chuuni girl like her...'
The feeling of regret came back. In the end, she really was just a 13-year-old girl. What would happen to her once he died? Even if her luck was good, she was still a Qi Condensation disciple in the end. The cockroach was destined to rule 13 worlds, but now he was nothing. Who could say that the same thing couldn't happen to Ning Bi when he was gone? What about Yao Qing? What about Jin Shu?
A voice transmission from Ning Bi interrupted his thoughts.
<M-Master. I-I am sorry for disturbing you...>
Han De raised his head and looked at Ning Bi, whose eyes were still closed.
<I-I 'see' somethings far away...>
"Open your eyes quickly."
Not only Ning Bi, but Yao Qing and Jin Shu also opened their eyes in confusion. Their master's face was whiter than usual, and he seemed concerned about Ning Bi.
Han De was always skeptical about the 'spatial domain' that the System mentioned on the Breach skill description. He became even more suspicious after realizing the System would only describe the current condition of something.
Suspicions were only suspicions. He didn't want to scare Ning Bi based on suspicion alone. Especially when the skill was so integral to her Cosmic Destruction Scripture. But that didn't mean he ignored it either. He was always on high alert when it came to the Breach skill.
"Describe what you saw."
Ning Bi needed the support of her elder sisters if he wasn’t around in the future. It was better to let them know about it now. Perhaps Yao Qing might have some insight on the skill as well. Keeping it secret served no purpose anymore. They probably already saw Ning Bi use it anyway and were just waiting for her to explain.
"They are really far away, I am not sure how I am 'seeing' them from this distance. They are like flickering lights, but I get the sense that they are getting closer."
Ning Bi obediently talked out loud. Yao Qing and Jin Shu had no idea what she was talking about, and no idea why their master's expression was so serious.
"Which direction are they coming from?"
Ning Bi blinked. She looked at her master, only after she got permission she closed her eyes and 'looked'.
"West. North. East. South. Even below, but they are too far away. I wouldn't have noticed them if I wasn't looking for them."
Han De thought for a while. There wasn't enough information and he wanted to keep it that way. In situations like these, knowing more didn't mean anything. The safe approach was to separate oneself from the issue altogether.
"Can you turn off your Breach skill?"
Yao Qing and Jin Shu were surprised at the name of this skill.
"I-I can't... It always works even when I'm just blinking, or cultivating, or trying to sleep."
For a while, Han De stared at Ning Bi in complete bafflement. He had always assumed this was something she consciously chose to use. How could she cultivate otherwise? How could she fall asleep otherwise? He frowned and looked at the skill description.
[Notes: By blocking the visual senses, the user can perceive and interact with a spatial domain. Greatly increases passive relational action processing and prediction speed while active. Further effects are unknown.]
'It didn't change, the description is still the same. Should I just directly go to the natural conclusion? Should I just seal her unconscious and start carrying her around with me? But there is no evidence that would even protect her. Losing consciousness might not turn off the skill.'
There wasn't even a shred of single evidence that this was something harmful to Ning Bi. It was only Han De's gut feeling combined with the super-ominous 1 million points quest.
Han De facepalmed and tried to collect his thoughts. He didn’t like passively waiting. He needed to do something. If he couldn’t affect Ning Bi’s skill, maybe he could still strengthen her somehow.
'I never thought I would regret my mother's offer to put Ning Bi on a cultivation realm...'
Unfortunately, he couldn't use a cultivation realm right now. There had to be preparations before someone entered, and that alone would usually take half a day. They were supposed to leave in less than 7 hours already.
Normally Han De would've preferred not leaving at all, but his mother was going as well. If there was a danger at 1 million points level, it was better to stick to his mother rather than staying at the sect and waiting for their death.
'There is no use in crying over spilled milk. Circumstances were different back then anyway. What can I do right now?'
Martial Arts Method Fragment x200
Derive Cultivation Method Token x 5
Spiritual Roots Cleansing Token x4
Spiritual Roots Seed Token x5
Random Constitution Token x4
Random Bloodline Token x4
Potential Point Upgrade Token x1
Bloodline Removal Token x4
'Ning Bi's luck is good. The System probably would try to steer things to her favor too. Jin Shu has 8 points in luck so she'll probably be fine as well. But Yao Qing only has 6. She would be tricky.'
Han De shook his head.
'I should've used the cleansing token on them at the first chance I got. Who knows how long will it take. Will I be offline during their upgrade as well? Maybe? Maybe not?'
Million points quest with its B level difficulty was a massive flag looming over his head. Even an idiot could tell that there was more to this quest than meets the eye. Greater the pain, the greater the reward. That was Xianxia 101. And this pain was worth 1 million. Ning Bi’s news about her skill gave him a really bad taste when he thought about it in this context.
[Profound Points: 502]
'These points aren't worth anything if I'm dead.'
While Han De was thinking, Ning Bi was describing her Breach skill and how she got it to her elder sisters. Both Jin Shu's and Yao Qing's mouths were agape after hearing their little sister's nonchalant explanation.
Yao Qing had never heard a skill like this before. She hadn't heard of anyone going through three enlightenments either, let alone in under 3 months. Jin Shu seemed to take everything reasonably well under the circumstances, but Yao Qing was different. Her real age was unknown even to her. The countless years she spent cultivating once gave her a firm grasp on its workings. But that was no more. Her world view was shattered to bits.