Han Li turned and walked to the door, but when he reached it, he suddenly turned around and asked one question.
“Elder Mo’s guest, the one standing behind you, has not said a single thing all this time. What is the reason for this?”
Elder Mo, hearing Han Li’s remark, laughed a bit and craftily replied:
“You are so quick-witted; why don’t you guess? I’d like to know what you think.”
Han Li just shook his head and promptly walked away from Doctor Mo and left his room. He refused to guess, feeling a strong aversion towards obeying Doctor Mo’s words.
When Han Li stepped outside, his expression became despairing.
“During this confrontation with Doctor Mo, I wasn’t able to retaliate even once. He manipulated the entire conversation and exposed my inexperience. I believed I was clever and that he was foolish. I even had my tube, which I filled with five different poisons, as a backup, but it was so easily thwarted. I must go back and thoroughly plan out a course of action.”
Pondering, he walked towards his residence in large steps. It was obvious he had no intentions of submitting to Doctor Mo’s control.
Inside Doctor Mo’s room, Doctor Mo was stunned as he looked at the ground. In the floor of the room, a dusky hole had appeared. Just a while ago he carelessly examined the iron tube’s contents. It turned out that, by simply touching it, the poison would easily corrode the ground. Seeing the liquid’s absurd level of toxicity, he could no longer control his lingering anxiety over Han Li and jumped up, cursing.
“That bastard! He somehow learned to create such a vicious poison. I never taught him this kind of stuff, and I was certain he was just a soft little brat. This boy is indeed merciless and dangerous.”
However, Han Li did not know of how deeply he unnerved Doctor Mo. He had already returned to his room and had collapsed on his bed. After the day’s shocking events, he was mentally and physically burned out. He urgently needed to rest to recover his strength.
After getting sufficient rest, Han Li began to slowly wake up from his dreams. He got up, but after seeing the color of sky, he turned pale. Apparently it was already the next morning, meaning the time he spent asleep was most certainly not short.
Han Li sat up on the bed, but didn’t leave it. Putting his pillows on his knees and supporting his chin with both arms, he continued to contemplate methods to escape from Doctor Mo’s grip.
Certainly, Doctor Mo had promised that no harm would come to him for the next year. This was likely not a lie, for it would make sense that Doctor Mo would prefer to keep him in good condition. After the year was up, however, there was no telling what would happen.
At the very least, Han Li had no worries concerning the Eternal Spring Art. He had already broken into the fourth layer a few days before, and he was confident that he would be able to reach the fifth layer by the next year. With regards to this, there was not much to worry about.
The Insect Corpse Pill was not too large of a concern either, because, unknown to Doctor Mo, he had already fulfilled Doctor Mo’s condition. When the time came, he could pressure Doctor Mo to give him the antidote by withholding treatment. Doctor Mo would have no choice in the matter.
Suddenly Han Li recalled something. He procured a medicine bottle, then opened it up and took out a single green pill. He raised his head and consumed this pill. After a while, the pill’s effect began to take effect and Han Li calmly inspected himself.
“Damn! Doctor Mo is truly sly with the Insect Corpse Pill, and it seems he wasn’t kidding about its properties. Even the Pure Spirit Powder, which can cure hundreds of poisons, has no effect on it. It seems I have no choice but to wait a year before asking him for the antidote,” Han Li irritatedly muttered under his breath.
He closed the medicine bottle and got off the bed and on his feet.
He walked to the room’s only table and then turned around again.
Putting his hands behind his back, he began to slowly pace about, racking his brain for solutions to every kind of problem.
Contemplating, he considered Doctor Mo’s claim regarding the time he had left, not entirely convinced. He wasn’t sure if this was Doctor Mo’s true motivation, but with his loved ones at stake, he didn’t dare to overstep his bounds.
Han Li thought Doctor Mo’s one year limit was very suspicious. He doubted that Doctor Mo would just sit still and leave Han Li to himself for a year. But because Doctor Mo had at least bothered to put up the pretense of civility, Han Li didn’t dare openly oppose him. He was afraid of Doctor Mo’s schemes, for he was certain that behind them was a greater plan on a massive scale. If Han Li didn’t prepare thoroughly, there was no way he could resist.
Han Li paced back and forth again and again, trying to think of some piece he might be missing, but still failed to come up with a decisive solution.
Right now both he and Doctor Mo were afraid of each other, one was afraid that if he didn’t practice he would lose his life and the other was afraid of the doom that lingered over him and his vicious poison.
Originally, Doctor Mo had only treated Han Li as a minor annoyance and didn’t do much to constrain him. However, he now knew better and brought Han Li’s relatives into the equation, so Han Li was now bound hand and foot and could do nothing but obey.
“Is it truly the case that that my life is in the palm of Doctor Mo’s hand, so that I can do nothing but hope for the other’s mercy, that he will be lenient with me?” Han Li moaned dejectedly.
“No, there’s no way that I’ll let him get away with this. My fate isn’t in the palm of his hand. I will not blindly obey him; that would be absurd!” He immediately threw that idea out.
After furiously running through possibilities, Han Li still had no idea what to do.
He came up with many different plans, trying to rationalize them. He tried to think of every possible method that would gain him an advantage. He knew that Doctor Mo was a fearsome opponent, but Han Li desperately needed to find a way to protect himself.
It was foolish to do nothing but defend, giving up the initiative, but it was looking like he had no other choice.
After Han Li made up his mind, he went outside to take a walk. He stepped out the door and went into an open space, where he stretched out his body and yawned once.
He faced forward into the fierce morning wind, gazing at the half risen sun, and defiantly declared:
“I will control my fate through my own hands! Never will I allow myself to be subjugated by another!”