"Another high-grade cultivator is coming our way!" the elderly man exclaimed.
"How could there be other high-grade cultivators coming to such an obscure island? Did your underlings reveal this news to anyone?" The woman immediately turned to the elderly man with an expression of shock and fury.
"I didn't tell any of them about our objective for this trip, so how could they have revealed anything to anyone?" The elderly man hurriedly shook his head with a grave expression.
"Don't panic, this cultivator could just be passing through. We'll just have to keep an eye out and act according to the situation," the blue-robed man urged in a calm voice.
The woman and the elderly man could only recompose themselves upon hearing this.
Right at this moment, the streak of azure light that had appeared to be extremely far away mere moments ago had reached them in the blink of an eye. It was so close that all of them were already able to make out an indistinct male figure within the light.
All three of them were stunned to see this as a hint of foreboding welled up in their hearts.
After a few more flashes, the azure light appeared directly above their heads. The light receded to reveal an azure-robed cultivator who only appeared to be only in his twenties, an observation that was quite startling to the three cultivators down below.
The young man looked down expressionlessly and asked in an implacable voice, "Is this Devil Lake Island?"
The three cultivators' hearts sank in unison. They scanned their spiritual senses toward Han Li, and were even more astonished by what they discovered.
The spiritual power emanating from this young man's body was clearly far more powerful than theirs, so he was most definitely a Nascent Soul cultivator. This was almost the worst thing that could happen.
"This is indeed Devil Lake Island. Do you require any assistance, Senior? We would more than willing to lend you a hand." The elderly man hurriedly put on a smile and bowed respectfully.
"That's all I need to hear. Why are all of you here?" Han Li faltered slightly at the sight of the low-grade cultivators down below before a hint of a smile appeared on his face.
A stir ran through the elderly man's heart, yet he could only pull out the excuse that he had prepared in advance. "I require a large quantity of green copper to refine a few special treasures, so I brought along some disciples with me to assist me in the excavation process."
This young man clearly wasn't an ordinary Nascent Soul, as evidenced by the fact that his spiritual sense was completely unable to ascertain his cultivation base. Something like this had never happened before. Theoretically speaking, as a late-Core Formation cultivator, even a mid-Nascent Soul cultivator shouldn't have been able to hide their cultivation base from his spiritual sense.
"Green copper? So you're setting up those restriction-breaking formations just to excavate some green copper?" The young man chuckled as he crossed his arms and glanced at the formation spells that the low-grade cultivators were setting up, then at the green surface of the lake below him.
The skepticism in his chuckled was very apparent. Cold sweat was beginning to pour down the elderly man's face upon hearing this. Never would he have thought that this young man would proficient in the art of formation spells as well. One had to realize that most formation spell masters didn't have high cultivation bases, and those with advanced cultivation bases normally wouldn't waste their time researching formation spells.
Furthermore, the formation spells being set up were rather rare and obscure ones, so for this young man to be able to immediately identify them clearly indicated a high level of knowledge in this field.
The woman and the blue-robed man immediately became extremely docile, lowering their heads and casting their eyes downward, making it appear as if the elderly man were the leader of their group.
As such, the elderly man had no choice but to deal with this young man on his own, and he was fuming internally by this betrayal.
After all, there were very few Nascent Soul cultivators with amicable personalities, so his situation was an extremely perilous one.
"Please don't misunderstand, Senior. I'm quite interested in formation spells as well, and I wanted to set these up to test their effects." The elderly man floundered for a split second before inventing a rather plausible excuse.
The young man's expression remained unchanged upon hearing this. He looked down at the three of them, and suddenly said something that gave them a massive fright. "In what way are the three of you related to Man Huzi?"
"I don't know what you mean, Senior." The woman raised her head in response.
"The cultivation arts you're using are different, but all of them clearly contain traces of Man Huzi's Heavenbearing Devil Arts. Other people may not be able to discover this, but if you're trying to fool me, hehe..." the young man chuckled.
Seeing as they were unable to lie their way out of this, the blue-robed man took a deep breath, and finally admitted, "Do you recognize our master, Senior?"
Expressions of unease appeared on the faces of the elderly man and the woman upon hearing this.
"I've only met him on a few occasions. You three are trying to obtain the treasures under this lake, right? Man Huzi proclaimed that he was the only one who knew the location of his treasure cave, but the three of you have suddenly popped up here. Either he intentionally tried to deceive me, or the three of you must've learned his secret through an alternative avenue," the young man mused to himself.
His words were like claps of thunder exploding in the ears of the three cultivators down below, immediately rooting them to the spot.
Even though they all had a very bad feeling about this, none of them could do anything.
If this young man were a Core Formation cultivator, the three of them would immediately join forces to kill him. However, he was a Nascent Soul cultivator; someone far too powerful for them to kill.
Furthermore, it appeared that Man Huzi had told him about this location in person. That came as a massive surprise to them. Could it be that their master was still alive?
With that in mind, expressions of bewilderment surfaced on their faces.
The woman was the first to recover from her shock. She forced a smile onto her face, and asked, "The three of us are indeed disciples of Master Man. May I have the honor of knowing your name, Senior?"
"My surname is Han. The three of you... Eh? I didn't think a small island like this would be such a lively place. Who's hiding over there? Show yourself!" Han Li was only halfway through his sentence when his expression suddenly darkened, and he casually flicked his five fingers toward a hill beside the lake.
Several azure threads immediately shot forth in a flash, transforming into streaks of light that were several tens of feet in length before slashing viciously into the kill.
The woman's expression immediately turned deathly pale upon seeing this.
A few resounding booms erupted and the pillars of azure light managed to slice away almost half of the entire hill.
However, what came as more of a surprise to the elderly man and the blue-robed man was that within the destroyed hill, a bald brawny man appeared.
This was a very large man with golden light shimmering all over his body, and it was as if his robes and attire had all been crafted from pure gold.
At this moment, the man wore a shocked expression on his face and was holding a golden shield in one hand, which was releasing a semi-circular barrier of light that kept the streaks of azure light at bay.
"Patriarch Golden Flower!" the elderly man immediately exclaimed upon seeing this man.
All of a sudden, a streak of red light suddenly flashed toward the man, upon which a lithe and graceful figure quickly appeared beside him. It was none other than Man Huzi's female disciple.
"Junior Martial Sister Cai, how could you ally yourself with Patriarch Golden Flower?!" The elderly man immediately figured out what was going on, and an expression of shock and fury appeared on his face.
The blue-robed man's expression also darkened upon hearing this.
It was quite clear that the woman had planned to use them to gain access to the cave abode, then join forces with this Patriarch Golden Flower to kill them and split the treasures between themselves.
"Hmph, you're sure one to talk! Senior Martial Brother Wu, did you not notify the people from the Blood Light Sect to intercept and kill me after we left this island? And Junior Martial Brother Lei, you joined the Wood Sword Pavilion of Grass Haven Island, and are preparing to marry the pavilion lord's daughter, yet you promised them all of the treasures in this cave as your dowry! If I didn't find allies of my own, today would be the day I die! However, don't pin your hopes on receiving any reinforcements; Patriarch Golden Flower's underlings have already cut them off. I was with Man Huzi and satisfied his desires for so many years; everything that he left behind should be left to me! Patriarch Golden Flower has also agreed to officially make me his Dao Companion after this." A smug smile appeared on her face as she stood beside Patriarch Golden Flower in an extremely intimate manner.
"If that's the case, then why did you come to Senior Martial Brother Wu and me? You could’ve just obtained the treasures on your own." A panicked expression appeared on the blue-robed man's face, but she quickly recomposed himself.
"If it weren't for the fact that the restrictions under the lake are extremely troublesome to deal with, and you two were the only ones who were instructed by Man Huzi in the way of formation spells, why would I inform you two of this?" The woman casting aside all pretenses and laying the cards directly onto the table.
The elderly man and the blue-robed man's expressions became extremely dark upon hearing this.
"That's enough, you can settle your differences with those two another time. I want to speak with this fellow Daoist." Patriarch Golden Flower's brows furrowed as he cut off what the woman was about to say next.
The woman fell silent obediently upon hearing this.
"Fellow Daoist, are you also here for the Man Huzi's secret cave abode?" Patriarch Golden Flower asked.
As an early-Nascent Soul cultivator, he was also unable to ascertain Han Li's cultivation base, and that made him extremely wary.
"Indeed. I'm taking everything under this lake. If you don't have anything else you want to say, you can go now," Han Li hovered in the air and replied coldly.
Patriarch Golden Flower was instantly enraged upon hearing this. At the same time, his heart jolted with a hint of shock. The fact that Han Li was speaking in such a bold manner clearly indicated that he was extremely confident in his abilities.
With that in mind, he suppressed the rage that had ignited in his heart and adopted a stern expression as he said, "You sure can talk big, Fellow Daoist; are you planning to send me on my way so you can take all of the treasures here for yourself?"
Patriarch Golden Flower's voice had suddenly become rather unpleasant!