"Calm down and tell me what happened," Han Li said with a hint of surprise as he opened his eyes.
All types of beings from the human and demon races gathered at the Myriad Treasure Convention, but it was actually extremely rare for something to happen in public.
Han Li's calmness also soothed the urgency in Hai Yuetian's heart somewhat, and he hurriedly said in a respectful manner, "Master, we already tracked down the demonic senior that you wanted to find, but during our return trip, we suddenly ran into a woman as we were passing by a secluded corner. The woman only took a quick glance at Junior Martial Brother Qi Lingzi before summoning a gust of strange wind that took him away."
Han Li was quite surprised to hear this, and a cold look flashed through his eyes as he asked, "What did the woman look like? Did she have any distinctive features?"
"She was really tall and thin with very long hair. Oh, and she had a very large azure birthmark on her forehead. She gave off this really terrifying dark aura, and she struck me with a palm to knock me out before she departed. I was brought back to consciousness by another group of cultivators who just so happened to be passing by, and I immediately rushed back after that," Hai Yuetian said with a look of resentment on his face.
Han Li's heart stirred slightly upon hearing this, and he waved a hand toward Hai Yuetian. "She struck you with her palm? Come over here."
"Yes, Master!" Hai Yuetian was slightly taken aback by this request, but he did as he was told and immediately rushed over to Han Li.
After carefully inspecting Hai Yuetian's body with his spiritual sense, a hint of fury appeared on Han Li's face. "I thought so! What a vile woman!"
He then raised a hand and grabbed onto one of Hai Yuetian's arms. Azure light appeared between his fingers before being injected into Hai Yuetian's body in a frenzy, and moments later, a thin black thread was forcibly dragged out of his body amid the azure light.
As soon as the black thread left his body, it immediately began to writhe with all its might, revealing itself to be some kind of insect.
Hai Yuetian's expression naturally darkened significantly upon seeing this. "What is that? Did that woman plant that thing in me?"
"Hmph, who else could it have been? This is a Heart Adherence Thread; a rather rare spirit insect. Upon incubation, this insect is around as thick as a chopstick, but after being captured and refined using the correct method, it would gradually become thinner, and only after it shrinks down so much that it becomes invisible to the naked eye can it be considered to have been completely refined."
"In that form, it's completely undetectable and can catch any target off guard. Once the insect enters one's body, it would quickly make its way into the host's heart, thereby killing them, and it's very difficult to find the cause of death thereafter. This insect hasn't been completely refined yet, but it's definitely been refined for several centuries already. They sure are generous to be using it on a body refinement warrior like you!" Han Li harrumphed coldly.
"What are her intentions? If she wanted me dead, then why didn't she kill me on the spot?" Hai Yuetian asked as he stared at the black insect in the ball of azure light with a fearful look in his eyes.
"Did you say something to her before she attacked you?" Han Li suddenly asked something that seemed to be completely irrelevant.
Hai Yuetian faltered momentarily before replying, "What did I say? Oh, at the time, I think I said something like 'we live at the Immortal Welcome Palace'! Could that be why she didn't dare to kill me right away?"
"Perhaps. It's likely that she couldn't tell whether you were speaking the truth, so she decided to plant this insect in you as a test. You won't be able to detect this insect unless you truly have ties with a Body Integration cultivator, so you'll either be killed, or the insect will be removed, in which case your claims would be verified, and she would also be immediately alerted. As for why she didn't kill you on the spot, that's naturally because she's wary of the Myriad Treasure Convention's law-enforcing cultivators. They may not look like much, but they're certainly not just ornaments, and they wouldn't let things slide if someone were to kill you in public," Han Li replied as he appraised the black insect.
Hai Yuetian was enlightened by this explanation.
Right at this moment, the black insect in the azure light abruptly shuddered, and black light appeared around its body, forcibly parting the azure light and allowing it to escape.
Han Li harrumphed coldly before reaching out and making a grabbing motion with one hand, drawing the black thread back like a speeding arrow by exerting a burst of enormous suction force.
He then rubbed his hands together, and the insect was incinerated into nothingness amid a flash of silver flames.
This demonic insect did possess some power, but it was certainly no match for Han Li's flames.
In the same instant that the black insect was burned into nothingness, an elderly woman was suddenly jerked awake from her meditation within the belly of a certain small mountain. This woman had a head of long grey hair and remarkably long black nails, and her face abruptly paled before she threw up a mouthful of blood essence, seemingly having been dealt some kind of heavy blow.
There was an elderly man with a pair of bushy black brows seated next to her, and he hurriedly asked, "Mistress, are you alright?"
"I'm fine! It's just that my Heart Adherence Thread was killed; I'll recover after a couple of days of meditation," the elderly woman spat through gritted teeth.
"I'm glad to hear that." The elderly man knew that the woman had nurtured the Heart Adherence Thread for over 1,000 years, so there was no way that she could be fine in the wake of its destruction, but he was forced to swallow his words of concern after the woman aimed a cold glare at him.
"It seems that brat wasn't lying; they really are related to one of the Body Integration cultivators in the Immortal Welcome Palace," the woman murmured to herself with a dark expression.
"How about we let that kid go? This is a Body Integration cultivator we're talking about; we could be in big trouble if we incur their wrath," the elderly man murmured.
"Shut up! We're both already at such an old age, and we only have a single son. If we transplant that Daoist priest's inherited treasure into Ming'er's body, not only will the inherited spiritual power completely cure his chronic illness, it'll also give him a set of inherited secret techniques. I've seen the inherited treasure in that kid's body; the seal on its surface is very profound, so it must contain some extremely powerful cultivation arts. If Ming'er can obtain it, he'll definitely go a lot further on the path of cultivation than we can. If we pass up this opportunity, where else are we going to find a second cultivator of the same cultivation base with another inherited treasure?" the elderly woman rebutted in a fierce manner.
"But he's got a Body Integration cultivator as a backer; there's no way a pair of Spatial Tempering cultivators like us will be a match for them." The elderly man was still quite fearful.
The woman seemed to have considered the matter carefully already, and she said in a calm manner, "Hmph, this kid is only a Foundation Establishment cultivator with such an ordinary spiritual root; even if he's related to a Body Integration cultivator, their bond definitely won't be that strong. We just have to seek out a backer of our own. Will that Body Integration cultivator risk offending our backers just for Foundation Establishment Stage brat? If worse comes to worst, I'll just have to give some more of my blood to repay them."
The elderly man immediately realized what she was implying. "You're saying we should go to..."
"That's right! Don't forget that I also bear the Long surname, and the patriarch of the Long Family is my father! We'll set off right away and go live in the Immortal Welcome Palace that the Long Family is situated in for a while," the woman decided.
The elderly man was clearly more logical, and he wore a wry smile as he urged, "But according to the rules of the Long Family, once a female member of the family marries someone outside of the family, they'll no longer be considered as part of the Long Family. Otherwise, your father wouldn't have left us to our own devices for so many years. I think we should give up on this, Mistress."
The woman gritted her teeth, and replied, "Indeed, the women of our Long Family are unable to activate True Dragon blood, so we're naturally not held in high regard, but don't forget that Ming'er has the bloodline of the Long Family. On top of that, we verified that he has True Dragon blood flowing through his veins. The bloodline is a little thin, but if we tell my brother about this, he won't do nothing about it."
"Mistress, didn't we agree not to tell your Long Family about Ming'er's True Dragon bloodline? Have you changed your mind again?" The elderly man's expression darkened upon hearing this.
The woman was silent for a moment before speaking again in a cold voice. "I know that you want Ming'er to become the heir of the Li Family, so you don't want him to return to the Long Family, but the current situation simply won't allow for that! If we don't do anything, Ming'er will only be able to live for a few centuries at most. Can you really bear to see that happen?"
"I..." The elderly man had no response to this.
The woman's expression softened slightly at the sight of the dejected look on her Dao Companion's face, and she consoled, "Fear not, everything isn't set in stone yet. Don't mention that kid to my brother yet. If that Body Integration cultivator doesn't come to find us, then that means that this kid doesn't mean much to him; we can just sneak away from the Long Family following the conclusion of the Myriad Treasure Convention in that case. If that does happen to be the case, perhaps we won't have to leave Ming'er's side, after all."
"There's no need to mollycoddle me with lies, Mistress. After all, Ming'er's True Dragon bloodline has already been activated, there's no way we'll be able to fool your brother," the man said with a forlorn shake of his head.
The woman could only fall silent upon hearing this.
After a long silence, the man gritted his teeth, and decided, "Alright, we'll do as you say. For the sake of Ming'er's future, he can go back to the Long Family. Ming'er possesses the True Dragon bloodline, so it'll definitely be much better for him to go back to the Long Family than to stay with us."
The woman was ecstatic to hear this. "You've definitely made the right decision. From what I've heard, there aren't that many people in this generation of the Long Family who have activated their True Dragon bloodlines, so Ming'er will definitely be held in very high regard once he goes back."