The big-headed being took a deep breath before suddenly producing three white jade boxes, each of which had several crimson talismans that were shimmering with runes plastered over them.
"These three boxes contain items that are extremely important to our 13 Heavenly Cloud Races. If you can deliver them to our Myriad Ancient Race, then you'll be rewarded handsomely for your efforts. However, if you get hunted down by the Jiao Chi Race, then it'd be best for you to immediately destroy the boxes before you're captured. Otherwise, if you're caught in possession of these items, the Jiao Chi Race will definitely torture you for information." The big-headed being flicked his wrist as he spoke, and the three jade boxes were immediately sent flying toward Han Li's trio.
Everyone caught the jade boxes flying toward them, and the being enshrouded under red light inspected his jade box with a hesitant look as he asked, "What items are in these boxes for you to hold them in such high regard, Brother Yuan?"
"Forgive me, but that's not something I can tell you. However, I can guarantee you that you can exchange those items for a sentient puppet or other treasure of the same value from the elders of our Myriad Ancient Race," the big-headed being replied with a solemn look on his face.
"What? A sentient puppet?" the green-skinned being exclaimed with shock in his eyes.
Only Han Li's expression remained unchanged as this was the first time he'd heard of such a thing. A skeptical look flashed through the eyes of the being enshrouded under red light as he said, "Are you serious, Brother Yuan? If this item can be exchanged for such an extraordinary treasure, then can I ask for a Myriad Wonder Pill instead?"
The big-headed being hesitated momentarily before replying, "Myriad Wonder Pills are even rarer then sentient puppets, so I can't guarantee that the elders would be willing to agree to such an exchange, but there's a good chance that they will."
Rather than being discouraged by this more reserved response, the green-skinned being found his words to be more plausible instead.
Thus, his fingers reflexively tightened around the jade box in his hands, and he stared at the box with an intense look in its eyes.
Meanwhile, Han Li was attempting to assess the contents of the box using his spiritual sense, only for his attempts to be thwarted by some kind of restrictive power.
It appeared that the talismans plastered onto the boxes were restriction talismans capable of keeping out one's spiritual sense.
"I'd advise you not to open the boxes. Otherwise, if any mishaps occur, don't blame me for not warning you beforehand." The big-headed being seemed to have read everyone's minds, and he immediately issued a stern warning.
"Hmph, are you telling that there's something inside these boxes that can harm us?" the green-skinned being harrumphed in a skeptical manner.
"The items in the boxes are extremely important to our 13 Heavenly Cloud Races, so there were naturally more restrictions placed on them than just a few talismans. Of course, if you can escape from the Jiao Chi Race and are confident in your ability to eradicate the restrictions that I've set, then you can certainly try to open the boxes," the big-headed being chuckled with a dark expression on his face.
"How can you guarantee that the elders of your race will actually exchange the items in these boxes for valuable treasures? What if they take these boxes and refuse to give us anything in return?" Han Li asked in a calm voice.
The big-headed being's brows furrowed slightly upon hearing this question, and only after a long while did he begrudgingly reply, "If you don't trust our Myriad Ancient Race, then you can give the jade box to any race among the 13 Heavenly Cloud Races; they should be willing to offer you handsome rewards for them as well. However, I must remind you that those items are nowhere near as important to the other races than to our Myriad Ancient Race, so the rewards you'll receive also won't be anywhere near as bountiful. At the very least, you can completely forget about things like Myriad Wonder Pills."
The green-skinned beings and the being enshrouded under red light both fell into deep thought upon hearing this.
Han Li stroked his chin and also became quite interested in the items within the boxes.
"If these items are so important, then why don't you take them back to your race yourself rather than entrusting them to us, Brother Yuan?" the being enshrouded under red light asked.
"I'd only just received these items not long ago myself, and Jiao Chi Race suddenly sent their forces to attack Green Light City. Keeping in mind the fact that Green Light City is by no means a major city, so theoretically, it shouldn't have come under attack so quickly. I'm concerned that the Jiao Chi Race may have somehow been alerted to the fact that I'm in possession of these treasures, so it would be far too risky for me to take them back to my race on my own," the big-headed being explained in a truthful manner.
"You're saying the Jiao Chi Race deployed their army for the items in these boxes?" The green-skinned being drew a sharp breath as an incredulous look appeared on his face.
Han Li was also quite stunned by this notion.
"I'm only guessing that to be true, but it may not actually be the case. As such, I'm only entrusting these items to you three as a safety precaution," the big-headed being replied.
"Alright, in that case, I'll take this item for now." The being enshrouded under red light made up his mind first, and white light flashed from his hand, following which the jade box vanished.
The green-skinned being seemed to be grappling with some kind of internal conflict, but he also decided to accept this task in the end. Thus, he opened his mouth, and a long translucent green tongue reached out from within before drawing the jade box into his stomach.
As a result, Han Li was the only one among the three who hadn't made his decision.
"Do you still have some doubts, Brother Han?" The big-headed being turned to Han Li with a hint of surprise in his eyes.
"Fellow Daoist Yuan, you do realize that you're handing over such an important item to a complete stranger, right? Aren't you afraid that you'll be entrusting this item into the wrong hands?" Han Li asked with a hint of a smile on his face.
"Hehe, I haven't been able to identify what kind of being you are as of yet, but I can be sure of the fact that you're definitely no Jiao Chi being. I've already deduced that it would be far too much of a risk for me to continue carrying these items, so entrusting it to you is clearly a better option," the big-headed being replied with a smile.
A series of thoughts raced rapidly through Han Li's mind before he finally nodded, and agreed, "Alright, seeing as you've placed your trust in me and led us through your secret passageway, then I'll lend you my assistance."
He swept a hand over the jade box, and it was stowed away into his storage bracelet.
He didn't know what this sentient puppet and Myriad Wonder Pill were, but for these Spatial Tempering Stage beings to hold them in such high regard clearly indicated that they were extremely rare treasures. For the 13 Heavenly Cloud Races to be willing to offer such precious treasures for these boxes suggested that the items they contained were even superior in value.
Now that such a precious item was being handed to him, he certainly wasn't going to refuse it. In any case, judging from the conversation held between the three beings earlier, it was rather unlikely that they would be pursued by beings of the Body Integration Stage or above, so he should be able to take care of any enemies that tried to hunt him down.
As for whether he was actually going to take this item to the 13 Heavenly Cloud Races, that was yet to be seen.
The big-headed being was quite elated to see Han Li stow away his jade box, and he said, "Alright, seeing as all three of you have agreed, then let's go our separate ways now. Those Jiao Chi beings are most likely hunting down all of the other beings in the city at the moment, so this is the ideal opportunity for us to get away. I'll be taking my leave first."
After that, he quickly surveyed his surroundings before suddenly tossing out a black metallic spinning-top-like object.
The object was only around a foot in size, but it abruptly swelled to 30 to 40 feet after the big-headed being cast an incantation seal onto it.
The big-headed being then disappeared into the black top as a streak of yellow light before a thought suddenly occurred to him, and he said, "By the way, from what I've heard, all of the elders of our 13 races have gathered in Cloud City in order to combat the assault from the Jiao Chi Race. Even the grand elders of a few races, including our Myriad Ancient Race, have gathered at the city, so I hope to see all of you there in a few months."
Han Li's trio stirred upon hearing this, and a contemplative look appeared on Han Li's face.
He seemed to have heard Qing Xiao mention this Cloud City before, but he couldn't remember the specific details off the top of his head. In any case, that didn't really matter as he had a map of the nearby area anyway. Even though it was a map from thousands of years ago, this was the cultivation world, so not much would've changed during that time.
After that, the massive black top twirled in the air before transforming into a black cone of light that burrowed into the ground, vanishing without a trace.
"Take care of yourselves, fellow Daoists; I'll be taking my leave as well." The green-skinned being seemed to be quite wary of the Jiao Chi Race army, and he cupped his fist in a farewell salute almost as soon as the big-headed being departed.
Immediately thereafter, his body blurred and became completely transparent along with his clothes. Within moments, he had disappeared into thin air.
Han Li was quite startled by this development, and a blue light flashed through his eyes as he instinctively attempted to track down the green-skinned being.
In the end, he was only able to barely catch sight of a virtually invisible humanoid figure flying away into the distance.
"Hehe, that's a concealment secret technique unique to the Dark Green Race. Only cultivators with a cultivation base significantly superior to his or using special abilities will be able to detect his presence after he unleashes that secret technique. The only downside is that while using his ability, his speed is significantly hampered," the being enshrouded under red light chuckled as he caught sight of Han Li's intrigued expression.
"Oh, I see," Han Li replied in an indifferent manner.
Even though his speed had been hampered, the green-skinned being still quickly disappeared into a forest in the distance down below.
"Are you planning to leave as well, Brother Han? Before that I have a suggestion; would you like to hear it?" the being enshrouded under red light suddenly asked.
"What is it?" Han Li asked with a hint of surprise in his eyes.
"You're not from the 13 Heavenly Cloud Races, right? In that case, why take the risk to act as their errand boy? Why don't you give me what Brother Yuan just entrusted to you?" the foreign being suggested in a calm manner.
"You want that jade box?" A peculiar look appeared on Han Li's face as his eyes narrowed slightly.
"Indeed, I'm very interested in the item in the jade box. It makes no difference to me whether I deliver one box or two boxes to the Heavenly Cloud Races, so why don't you allow me to do the honors in your stead?" The foreign being's voice took on a slightly sinister tone as he spoke.