Chapter 2072: Plan
The light faded, and sure enough, it was none other than the woman from the Ye Family who was revealed.
"Welcome, Fairy Ye. Why did it take you such a long time to get here? Were you not staying in Illusion Night City?" the Long Family patriarch asked with a smile.
"I only just got here around half a month ago, and I haven't cultivated any devilish arts. Even with the Devilfeign Bead's disguise, I didn't dare to enter the city, so I was planning to wait and observe for a few days first. It looks like you two have only just arrived as well, and Fellow Daoist Hui seems to be in a rather bad condition," the woman from the Ye Family said as her brows furrowed slightly with concern.
"We encountered quite a bit of trouble during our journey and only arrived yesterday. In contrast, Fellow Daoist Han seemed to have arrived quite some time ago. Brother Hui was very unfortunate in that he ran into the ant queen while escaping from the ant tide and was afflicted by its poison. Thankfully, he's already taken an antidote, but he had to rest for a long time to refine the medicinal effect of the antidote, which is why it took us so long to get here," the Long Family patriarch sighed.
"I see, no wonder Brother Hui looks to be in such bad health. I accidentally stumbled into a perilous area in the plains and was trapped there for several months, and that's why I got here quite late as well," the woman from the Ye Family explained with a hint of lingering fear in her eyes.
"My journey here was quite smooth, and I arrived at Illusion Night City several months ago. However, I've yet to meet Fellow Daoist Lin or any of our fellow daoists from the Spirit Race; could it be that something's happened to them?" Han Li speculated furrowed brows.
The Long Family patriarch replied with a grim expression, "Surely not. Fellow Daoist Lin is a Body Integration cultivator and is adept in several types of top-grade movement techniques; even if he's encountered an enemy he can't defeat, he should have no issues escaping from them. As for the Spirit beings, they're all traveling together, so there's even less chance of something happening to them."
"I wouldn't be so confident. I had initially thought the same, but the plains of the Elder Devil Realm are clearly far more perilous than the primordial world of our Spirit Realm. Even I was trapped in one place for several months; it's certainly not impossible that they've encountered some type of insurmountable obstacle," the woman from the Ye Family disagreed.
The Long Family patriarch was silent for a moment before continuing, "There's no point in speculating about something like this; there's still some time left until the agreed date, so let's keep waiting. By the way, Fellow Daoist Han, you've been here for quite some time, so I'm sure you've learned a lot about this city; would you be able to tell us about it so we can figure out a way to get some Eight-footed Devilish Lizards?"
"Of course," Han Li immediately replied.
"The prominent powers in Illusion Night City consist of the four major families and the Myriad Slave Tower, but only the four major families possess Eight-footed Devilish Lizards. However, these Eight-footed Devilish Lizards are extremely important to these four families and have a direct impact on the prosperity of these families, so it would be impossible to purchase them through conventional means. I was quite lucky as I managed to befriend the Bai Family, and they just so happened to require my assistance to resolve some trouble they'd encountered. As such, I was able to offer my services in exchange for a pair of Eight-footed Devilish Lizards. However, it's most likely impossible to obtain more devilish lizards from the Bai Family. Perhaps the three of you can visit the other major families and see if they'd be willing to exchange their devilish lizards for some precious treasures. According to my knowledge, the Ning Family and Fang Family seem..."
Han Li began to divulge everything he had found out about the city, and everyone was ecstatic to hear that he had already obtained two Eight-footed Devilish Lizards, but their elation was dampened slightly after hearing about how difficult it would be to obtain more of these devilish lizards.
After Han Li finished his recount, the Long Family patriarch said in a contemplative manner, "Brother Han, can you elaborate on exactly why the prosperity of these major families hinges on these Eight-footed Devilish Lizards? Also, roughly how many of these devilish lizards does each family possess?"
"From what I've heard, each major family only has several tens of these devilish lizards, and they're held in such high regard precisely due to their ability to traverse freely through the Illusion Howl Desert. Only with these devilish lizards can these major families travel deep into the Illusion Howl Desert to search for all types of valuable materials. With such an enormous amount of profit on the line, it's understandable why these major families are so reluctant to part with their devilish lizards," Han Li explained.
Everyone's expressions darkened slightly upon hearing this.
After a long while, the woman from the Ye Family asked, "What did you help the Bai Family with to convince them to give you two devilish lizards?"
"I was invited by the Bai Family to take care of a devilish beast that had taken over one of their mines in the desert. However, I was very fortunate to have encountered such an opportunity, and it's most likely not replicable," Han Li replied with a smile.
"Looks like you really did have splendid luck," the woman from the Ye Family said in a slightly envious manner.
Han Li merely smiled and offered no response.
The Long Family patriarch was silent for a moment before finally making a decision. "How about this? I've also cultivated a devilish art in the past, so I should be able to pass myself off as a devilish being with the disguise effect of the Devilfeign Bead. I'll enter the city with Fellow Daoist Han while you two stay out of the city for now and constantly keep in touch with us. Prior to everyone else's arrival, Fellow Daoist Han and I will see if we can obtain more devilish lizards. If we're unable to do so, then we'll have no choice but to infiltrate one of the major families and either steal some devilish lizards or take some by force. Of course, we'll only resort to that if there are no other options."
"That's a good arrangement. There are many more devilish lords in Illusion Night City than in Blood Crow City, so the Devilfeign Beads alone may not be enough to disguise Fellow Daoist Hui and myself. We'll have to count on you two then," the woman from the Ye Family agreed with a nod.
Elder Hui had no objections to this, either.
After that, they devised a specific plan that took all potential mishaps into account, following which the four of them departed from the mountain.
As opposed to traveling together, Han Li and the Long Family patriarch entered Illusion Night City one after the other, and close to half a day later, a late-Spatial Tempering Stage middle-aged man appeared in the city's Holy Spirit Courtyard; it was none other than the Long Family patriarch, who had disguised his own cultivation base.
On top of that, he had rented a pavilion that was quite far away from the one that Han Li was staying in, so no one could draw any connection between the two of them.
The days passed by one after another, and Han Li continued to study the Devil Crystal Puppet refinement technique in seclusion, only occasionally communicating with the Long Family patriarch and the others through some transmission treasures.
During this time, the Long Family patriarch had adopted different identities and attempted to exchange some rare treasure for the Eight-footed Devilish Lizards of the major families, all to no avail.
However, he wasn't disheartened because of this. In his eyes, there was nothing that wasn't up for exchange; it was simply the case that the price wasn't right.
Thus, not only did he not give up, he had befriended a high-grade disciple of the Zhao Family, and the two of them met one another quite regularly.
Han Li wasn't surprised by this news, but he didn't step in, either; he merely waited to see if the Long Family patriarch's methods would bear fruit.
However, before an outcome was reached here, the Holy Spirits finally arrived at Illusion Night City.
The Long Family patriarch was naturally ecstatic to hear this, and he and Han Li left the city to greet their newly arrived companions.
Even though they had come slightly later than the Long Family patriarch and the others, all of them were alive and well.
During their meeting, Han Li couldn't help but take a few extra glances at the Holy Spirit by the name of Zhi Shui.
Perhaps it was just his imagination, but the aura being released by this Zhi Shui seemed to be more dangerous than it had been in the past, striking Han Li with a rather unsettling sensation.
Han Li attempted to assess this Holy Spirit with his spiritual sense, but to no avail, and that made him even more concerned.
Aside from that, the meeting between the Long Family patriarch and the Holy Spirit progressed very smoothly, and it was decided that Holy Maiden Thousand Autumns and Zang Xing were also going to enter the city, while the rest of the group would continue to remain outside the city.
With two additional allies, the Long Family patriarch continued with his plan, and set his sights firmly on the Zhao Family. On one hand, he was slowly raising the price that he was offering, while on the other hand, he was searching for the place where the Zhao Family was keeping their devilish lizards.
It was clear that he had prepared two plans, the latter of which would be to take the devilish lizards from the Zhao Family by force.