"What if I were to say no?" Han Li asked in an unflustered manner.
"I'm sure you wouldn't be so foolish, Fellow Daoist! What use would that treasures be to you if you were to perish here?" the being enshrouded under red light chuckled.
"Are you going to attack me here? There are Jiao Chi beings all over the place here; do you want to get us both captured?" A frosty look appeared on Han Li's face.
The foreign being's brows furrowed slightly upon hearing this, but he then suddenly flipped a hand over to produce a small translucent vial before offering it to Han Li for inspection.
The vial contained a pill that was as crimson as blood, yet was radiating golden light.
"Fellow Daoist Han, if you deliver the item to the Myriad Ancient Race, then the most you'll get in return will be a Myriad Wonder Pill. I have a Golden Blood Pill that's only slightly inferior to that pill and can also assist you in breaking through your next bottleneck. How about you exchange your jade box for this pill of mine, Fellow Daoist Han?" the being enshrouded under red light asked as he fixed his gaze firmly on Han Li.
"Golden Blood Pill?" Han Li's pupils contracted slightly.
It was the first time he had heard of this pill, but both his spiritual sense and the medicinal fragrance emanating from within the small vial told him that this was no ordinary pill.
He stared at the translucent vial in silence, seemingly truly considering this offer.
The being enshrouded in red light was quite ecstatic to see Han Li considering his offer, but his expression remained unchanged as he urged, "I'd advise you to make your decision quickly, Brother Han; the Jiao Chi beings could get here at any moment."
What he failed to notice was that the black shadow beneath Han Li's feet had become slightly thinner and longer than before. But then again, no one would be able to notice that slight change unless they were staring intently at Han Li's shadow this entire time.
At the same time, a barely visible azure thread shot forth from beneath Han Li's feet before disappearing soundlessly into the soil.
"May I ask which race you're from, Fellow Daoist?" Han Li suddenly asked.
"What do you mean by that? I'm clearly a being from the Fire Moon Race; why would you ask a question you already know the answer to?" the foreign being harrumphed coldly.
"Is that so? I'd thought that you were Jiao Chi being who was going to take my jade box, then immediately turn on me!" Han Li mused in a rather unsettling manner.
The foreign being faltered slightly upon hearing this, but an enraged look then appeared on his face as he exclaimed, "I'm clearly a Fire Moon being; how could I possibly be from the Jiao Chi Race?"
"I don't care whether you're Fire Moon being or not, but are you going to deny what you did back in the pavilion after you asked me to go on ahead? How about you give your jade box to me instead, and I'll deliver both of them at once? One jade box or two makes no difference to me," Han Li said in an indifferent manner.
The foreign being's expression finally changed drastically upon hearing this. As soon as Han Li's voice trailed off, the Fire Moon being suddenly made a hand seal, and red light swirled around his body as a red moon erupted into the air, then disappeared high into the sky following just a few flashes.
At the same time, his body blurred, and two identical projections of himself appeared within the red light.
The three identical figures clasped their hands behind their backs and appraised Han Li in an expressionless manner.
Much to his surprise, Han Li suddenly rubbed his hands together and burst into laughter upon seeing this.
"So you really have been plotting something this entire time. You released your spiritual power to attract the Jiao Chi beings to this place, and you're now preparing to engage me in battle so I won't be able to leave right away."
The three identical humanoid figures were all rather perplexed by Han Li's calm reaction to the situation, and one of them said in a high and mighty manner, "I don't know how you caught me leaving mark on that statue, but I've already summoned others to this place, so don't even think about getting away. If you hand over your jade box to me, I can put in a good word for you, and perhaps they'll spare your life."
The Fire Moon being seemed to be very confident.
That made sense, seeing as the Jiao Chi beings were less than 10 kilometers away, so it wouldn't take them long at all to get to this place.
"This is what you just released, right?" A mysterious smile appeared on Han Li's face as he suddenly made a grabbing motion in a nonchalant manner.
Red light flashed, and a head-sized ball of red light abruptly appeared in his hand.
"Impossible! How did you do that?" The three identical humanoid figures shuddered in unison as expressions of shock and fury appeared on their faces.
The red ball of light that Han Li was holding was none other than the ball of spiritual power the Fire Moon being had just released!
All of a sudden, the three humanoid figures slowly backed away at once with wary expressions on their faces without waiting for a reply from Han Li.
Han Li faltered slightly upon seeing this before a cold smile appeared on his face.
He flipped a hand over, and white light flashed as the white jade box with red talismans plastered over its surface reappeared in his hand. He then tossed the box up into the air before flicking a finger toward it, and several streaks of azure sword Qi shot forth toward it.
"Are you insane?!" The retreating Fire Moon being was given a massive fright by Han Li's actions, and the two projections shot forth in unison from within the red light.
Both of them were traveling extremely quickly, with one of them transforming into a massive red hand that hurtled toward the jade box, while the other pounced toward Han Li with a ferocious look on his face.
As for the third humanoid figure, he remained completely still within the red light in the distance.
He had quite clearly sensed that Han Li was an unfathomably powerful being and had become very cautious as a result. As such, it was only manipulating its two avatars to attack Han Li while it remained a safe distance away.
The two projections seemed to be far faster than Han Li had anticipated, affording him no time to react.
The massive red hand grabbed onto the jade box while the other projection flashed through the air as a streak of crimson light before puncturing Han Li's body and emerging on the other side.
The crimson light then receded, and the projection reappeared several tens of feet behind Han Li before turning around to appraise him.
Crimson flames erupted all over his body, and he was incinerated into nothingness within the scorching flames in the blink of an eye.
The ease with which Han Li had been slain came as quite a surprise to the Fire Moon being, and a hint of foreboding welled up in his heart as opposed to triumph.
Before he had a chance to further assess the situation, the jade box that the massive red hand had latched onto suddenly glowed with azure light before transforming into a fist-sized azure bead.
Before the red hand had a chance to react, the bead exploded, and countless arcs of azure lightning shot forth amid a loud thunderclap, instantly puncturing innumerable holes into the massive red hand.
In the end, the hand was completely vanquished and dissipated into specks of red light.
"Argh!" The Fire Moon being's face paled as an expression of shock appeared in his eyes, and he opened his mouth to throw up a mouthful of shimmering green blood essence.
All of a sudden, Han Li's voice rang out from all directions. "I'd thought that you were using some kind of profound avatar creation technique, but it turns out you were merely using a soul splitting technique. In that case, I'll be taking these two avatars of yours." Immediately thereafter, a barely visible black line flashed through the air before a long golden blade rushed toward the second Fire Moon being projection from down below.
The golden blade was far too fast for the projection to evade, and it was sliced in half as it let loose a howl of anguish. The two halves of its body then fell to the ground and also dissipated into specks of spiritual light.
Only then did golden light flash, and a golden-armored warrior wielding a long bladed weapon slowly emerge from the soil underfoot in a wraith-like manner.
After the second avatar was destroyed, the Fire Moon being's face paled even further, following which an unnatural flush appeared on his cheeks, indicating that losing those two avatars had dealt his body a heavy blow.
However, the Fire Moon being was also quite decisive; as soon as his second avatar was destroyed, he immediately opened his mouth to expel a small green bell before quickly flicking a finger toward it.
A deafening clang rang out, and a burst of invisible soundwaves radiated in all directions with the bell at the center.
A sinister expression then appeared on the Fire Moon being's face. There was no way that what he was doing wouldn't attract the nearby Jiao Chi beings to this place. However, he had no intention of staying here to engage Han Li in battle, either. His body swayed, and he transformed into a streak of red light before flying high up into the air.
However, a cold harrumph suddenly rang out, and after reaching an altitude of 500 to 600 feet, azure light suddenly flashed in the air above the streak of red light. An azure lotus flower then emerged out of thin air before multiplying at a rapid rate.
Specks of azure light filled the entire sky in the blink of an eye, and all of the azure lotus flowers revolved on the spot before expanding to around 10 feet in size each.
The Fire Moon being was stunned to see this, and he hurriedly raised both hands into the air.
A short silver dagger and a shimmering golden badge shot forth in unison.
As soon as the dagger left his hand, it transformed into a massive blade that was several tens of feet in length before striking the lotus flowers overhead with tremendous force.
Meanwhile, the golden badge emitted a buzzing sound, following which a shimmering golden wyrm projection erupted from the badge before also rushing into the air.
Two resounding booms rang out as the silver blade and golden projection struck the giant azure lotus flowers almost in unison.
Immediately thereafter, the azure lotus flowers were all shattered despite the runes flashing from their petals, and the Fire Moon being was ecstatic to see this.
However, his smile then immediately congealed on his face in the next instant.
After the lotus flowers had been destroyed, azure light flashed, and another massive lotus flower appeared in his path.