As soon as his gloved hand closed itself around the hilt of the Golden Luster Sword, the light shimmering from the sword receded, but it suddenly began to give off an even more dangerous and menacing aura.
Han Li's expression remained unchanged upon seeing this, but he truly was quite surprised.
After donning this glove, this mortal truly was able to use this so-called spirit tool. This was a completely mindblowing concept to him.
He had heard that the most exceptional mortal cultivators of the Spirit Realm could even combat cultivators in battle, but the demon beast hadn't told him about these spirit tools.
If these spirit tools really were comparable to the treasures of the human world, then it really was no surprise that mortals could slay low-grade cultivators in this world.
Just as Han Li was reeling internally from his bewilderment, Little Seven raised the Golden Luster Sword, and inched it toward Han Li's wrist again. On this occasion, he was clearly being a lot more careful and precise.
Han Li's brows furrowed as he slowly activated his cultivation arts.
The Brightjade Arts and the Vajra Arts were the same cultivation art, but one was cultivated using the spiritual power within one's body, while the other was cultivated by forcibly injecting spiritual power from the outside world into one's body.
In the past, Han Li had naturally cultivated the Brightjade Arts, but due to the fact that he was unable to muster up any magic power, he could only employ the use of the Vajra Arts instead. Furthermore, he had been lying when he told the middle-aged man that he had only mastered the third layer of the Brightjade Arts. With the assistance of the Bone Tempering Arts and the Dragon Scale Fruits, he had already mastered the fourth layer of the Brightjade Arts.
As such, if he didn't intentionally decrease the power output from his Vajra Arts, the Golden Luster Sword still wouldn't be able to inflict any damage upon him.
As the blade of the sword made contact with Han Li's wrist, the sword faltered slightly, but it was finally able to slice through his skin and draw blood in the end.
The knight hurriedly picked up Han Li's other hand, dipped his finger into his own blood, then used this finger to write a few peculiar runes onto the blood curse contract.
As soon as those runes took shape, they disappeared into the sheet of paper without a trace. The knight turned to Han Li with a smile, and said, "All of you have to do now is think about the terms of the contract again, then express approval of the terms in your heart."
Han Li did as he was told.
As a result, brilliant crimson light suddenly erupted from the blood curse contract, and all of the runes seemed to have sprung to life. All of them flew up from the contact before disappearing into the bodies of Han Li and the knight.
Meanwhile, the blood curse contract self-combusted and was burned into nothingness within a ball of green flames.
"Haha, Brother Han, you belong to our Heavenly East Enterprise from this day forth. Little Seven, carry Brother Han onto a carriage. He's currently unable to move, so he won't be able to ride on a wolf beast." The middle-aged man's demeanor toward Han Li suddenly became a lot more benevolent.
Little Seven clambered onto his wolf steed before riding off toward the rear of the party in search of a carriage. Meanwhile, the middle-aged man began to chat with Han Li as he wore an amiable smile on his face.
Only then did Han Li discover that this man was named Zhang Kui, and he was the leader of the Heavenly East Enterprise's first guard squad. They were passing through this Azure Sifting Desert as they were transporting some important cargo. The Azure Sifting Desert was quite a vast desert, and several months was required for their squad to get from one end of the desert to the other.
Just as the two of them were making small talk with one another, a colossal creature suddenly approached them from the distance. That Little Seven was riding on his wolf steed in front of the giant creature, seemingly leading the way.
Only after the creature drew closer did Han Li discover that it was a massive tortoise that was around 40 to 50 feet tall, and roughly 70 to 80 feet in length.
There was wooden carriage set up on the tortoise's back as well as a seat toward the front end of its shell. There was a thin grey-robed elderly man sitting on that seat, and it appeared that he was the coach driver.
The massive turtle stopped in front of the group of knights, and the carriage door was opened from the inside. A slender figure emerged from within, revealing herself to be a young woman who appeared to be 15 to 16 years of age, wearing a green dress. She had a round face with a set of sweet and adorable facial features.
The young woman glanced at Han Li before smiling as asked, "Is he the one, Uncle Zhang?"
"Xiang'er, this is Brother Han, and he's already one of us now. It's just that he's unable to move at the moment, and all of the other carriages contain cargo, so I'll have to trouble you to look after him." The middle-aged man was speaking to the young woman in a very polite and respectful manner.
"I see. I'm happy to look after one of our own. Get him onto the carriage," the young woman replied with a smile. Even though she was still quite youthful, she was already displaying a hint of seductive feminine charm.
The middle-aged man expressed his gratitude toward this Xiang'er before waving a hand toward his companions. Two knights immediately dismounted from their wolf steeds and dug Han Li out of the sand. One of them was carrying his legs while the other had his hands hooked under Han Li's armpits as they carried Han Li up the tortoise along a rope ladder.
The young woman entered the carriage first, following which the two knights also arrived at the entrance. Han Li glanced at his surroundings and took in the entire carriage.
The carriage was very spacious, able to house a dozen people with ease. Aside from Xiang'er, there were also three other young women sitting in the carriage, all of whom appeared to be between 12 to 17 years of age. All of them were quite pleasing to the eye, and they didn't appear to be ordinary people.
There was only a chair and a few benches in the carriage, all of which had been stabilized to the ground, so the carriage appeared rather empty.
It was no wonder that the middle-aged man would arrange for Han Li to stay here.
In the end, Han Li was laid down on of the long benches in the corner of the carriage. The yellow hide of some unknown beast had been spread over the bench, and it was quite warm and comfortable to lay down on.
Immediately thereafter, the two knights exited the carriage, not taking the opportunity to steal so much as a single glance at any one of the girls in the carriage.
Han Li was rather surprised to see this. However, he was naturally not going to delve any further into this observation. Instead, he merely gave the girls a smile before closing his eyes to rest and recuperate.
In reality, he didn't have a single trace of magic power within his body, and his meridians were yet to be fully healed, so there was no way for him to actually cultivate. However, he had stayed in this godforsaken desert for several months, getting baked during the day and freezing during the nights while his body was destroyed and repaired from the inside, so he really was feeling quite exhausted.
The four young women in the carriage were all looking at Han Li with curious expressions while discussing quietly among themselves.
Even though they were speaking in extremely low whispers, their conversation was naturally unable to escape Han Li's extraordinary sense of hearing.
"Sister Xiang'er, what kind of injury has that man been afflicted with? How is he completely unable to move?"
"Who knows? Uncle Zhang told me that he'll get a cultivator to come and have a look at him soon."
"Tsk tsk, looks like Uncle Zhang holds this man in extremely high regard; it's not easy to employ the services of those cultivators." "I'm not sure about the details, but Uncle Zhang tells me that this man is a rare talent with extremely strong potential. Otherwise, he wouldn't be letting him stay in this carriage with us."
"A rare talent, is he? Why do I not get that feeling? He looks really ordinary."
Han Li pretended to not be able to hear their conversation as he lay on silently on the beasthide bench.
At this moment, the giant tortoise began to move again. Even though it was traveling quite quickly, it was doing so in a stable manner, and Han Li could only detect a few minor bumps here and there during their journey.
However, the giant tortoise came to an abrupt halt a short while later.
From the sounds of the commotion outside, it appeared that the tortoise had caught up to the rest of the squad.
The middle-aged man outside delivered a loud instruction, upon which the entire squad set off once again.
Even though Han Li was unable to witness the scenes outside the carriage for himself, he could tell that there were at least 200 to 300 people outside.
The four young women discussed among themselves for a while longer, but they eventually grew bored upon seeing the lack of reaction from Han Li. As such, they moved on to other conversation topics, and on this occasion, they made no effort to keep their voices down.
"I heard that the cargo being delivered by the Heavenly East Enterprise this time is imperative for the safety of An Yuan City; that's why the city lord was willing to spend an absurd amount of spirit stones to hire us to deliver the cargo from so far away. Otherwise, we wouldn't normally accept orders from a secluded city like theirs."
"But why has the mistress gone ahead to An Yuan City first without taking any one of us? That's rather strange."
"Heehee, let me leak some insider information to the three of you; the mistress is traveling to An Yuan City in person, firstly because the cargo that we're delivering this time is very important, and secondly, she's heading there to welcome the fifth young master home."
"The fifth young master? You mean the mistress's son that was sent away to cultivate more than 10 years ago? Didn't they say that the fifth young master possesses a spiritual root and was accepted as a disciple by a cultivator? Why would he be in An Yuan City?" Xiang'er exclaimed.
"I'm not too sure about that. I heard this information from the mistress herself."
"I heard that the mistress has always heavily favored the fifth young master because he possesses a spiritual root. In that case, it's no wonder that the mistress was so eager to travel to An Yuan City."
The four young women were chatting spiritedly among themselves while Han Li lay silently on the bench, looking as if he had already fallen asleep.
All of a sudden, the eldest girl in the carriage, a young woman in a blue dress, suddenly adopted a serious expression as she exclaimed, "Who's there?"
The other three young women's expression changed slightly upon hearing this.
Right at this moment, a male voice sounded from outside the carriage.
"It's me, Nan Qizi. I was sent here by Benefactor Zhang to inspect the condition of Benefactor Han."
The young woman's expression eased slightly as she replied, "Oh, my apologies for my rudeness. Liu'er pays her respects to Daoist Priest Nan Qizi. Please come in."
She then cast a reflexive glance toward Han Li, upon which her expression abruptly stiffened. It turned out that Han Li's eyes were already open, and when she turned her gaze toward him, their eyes just so happened to meet, and there was a hint of a smile on his face.
At this moment, Xiang'er had already opened the carriage door to reveal a yellow-robed Daoist priest and a white-robed elderly man.
The Daoist priest appeared to be over 30 years of age and there was faint azure light shimmering on his face, which was a clear indication that his magic power had reached a certain level. In contrast, the white-robed elderly man had a head of grey hair and a face that was riddled with wrinkles, giving off the appearance of a frail geriatric.
"Old Man Fu? Why did you come here as well?" Xiang'er appeared to be quite surprised to see the elderly man.