Chapter 423: Extreme Poison
Han Li's calm voice sounded out from behind the other cultivators, "Is this Sevenglow Lotus very famous? Does it have any particular uses?"
Upon hearing him, cultivator Jian and the others sobered up and felt their hearts tremble. They unnaturally turned their gazes to Han Li.
They had all witnessed the power of his Gold Devouring Beetles while they were fighting together, and now they feared that they wouldn't prove to be his match. Now that such a precious item had appeared, they unconsciously felt unease.
Even Jin Qing, who had implored him to come here, revealed a trace of unease.
Upon seeing these people's expressions, Han Li was able to roughly tell what they were thinking. A wry smile flashed through his eyes.
However, he quickly concealed this and asked with an unknowing expression, "The name of this Sevenglow Lotus is quite peculiar! I've read through quite a few records, but I haven't the slightest idea what it is."
The other cultivators looked at each other. Hu Yue let out a dry cough before giving Han Li an explanation with a smile, "It seems that Fellow Daoist Han has spent most of his time in secluded cultivation and rarely deals with external matters. The name of this Sevenglow Lotus won't be found in Spirit Herb Records as its name is only passed down through oral legends. It is said that it would be able to bring mortals back to life and can regrow the flesh from just bones. When cultivators take it, it is said to be able to raise one's cultivation by an entire grade. This is an immortal item from legends!"
Upon finishing his explanation, Hu Yue was showing inconcealable excitement despite looking at Han Li with a trace of vigilance.
Han Li squinted his eyes and spoke with slight disbelief, "Is it really so miraculous? Is it even true?"
"We have no idea as nobody we know has seen a Sevenglow Lotus before. We didn't even believe such an item existed until today. However, it is certain that there are cultivators that will spend a great amount of spirit stones for it." Hu Yue spoke with a chuckle.
"So it was like that!" Han Li indifferently nodded his head and shifted his attention to the flawless white skeleton lying on the floor with an interested expression.
Seeing that Han Li was unconcerned and didn't appear interested in monopolizing the rewards, the others let out a breath of relief.
"Fellow Daoist Jian, how about you go and collect the Sevenglow Lotus? After we auction it, let's evenly split the spirit stones. Fairy Shi, we'll have to trouble you to look for any formation spell restrictions near the pond." Hu Yue gave a meaningful glance at cultivator Jian and Shi Die.
After taking a thoughtful look at Han Li, they agreed.
Having felt that Han Li was far too strong, they united together with a feeling of suspicion towards Han Li.
After Jin Qing heard this, his face revealed a trace of hesitation as if he wanted to say something. But after some thought, he decided to stay silent.
At that moment, Han Li was half-crouched next to the skeleton and was carefully examining it. Hu Yue, who was carefully gazing at him, felt somewhat relieved.
After Shi Die used a few magic tools to examine the surroundings, she confirmed, "There are no restrictions near the pond. Fellow Daoist Jian may collect the lotus without obstruction."
Upon hearing this, cultivator Jian immediately stepped forward with delight.
Hu Yue's expression stirred as if he had thought of something and hastily warned, "Be careful. I've heard that the Sevenglow Lotus can't touch any magic tools. It must be picked up by one's own hand or else it will immediately wither!"
Cultivator Jian responded with a wave of his hand, expressing acknowledgement. At that moment, his thoughts were completely focused on the Sevenglow Lotus bud.
Standing beside the pond crafted from fine, beautiful jade, cultivator Jian bowed over the water and extended his arm towards the tri-colored flower bud with great caution.
Shi Die and the others watched his every move and couldn't help but hold their breaths.
"Yi!" He cried out in astonishment.
"What happened?" Hu Yue and Shi Die simultaneously said the same words with worried expressions. It was unknown whether they were concerned for the flower or the flower picker.
Cultivator Jian withdrew his fingers and flexed them. He puzzlingly said said, "It is a bit strange. This flower is rather sturdy and is very difficult to pull out."
"If you cannot pull the whole plant out, then how about just picking it!" Hu Yue faintly rolled his eyes and suggested.
"Directly picking it off? That would greatly diminish its value!" Shi Die shook her head with a face of disapproval.
"Wait, I'll try it again with an immense strength talisman." Cultivator Jian took out a yellow talisman and slapped it on his body. Afterwards, he rigidly grabbed the flowerbud three inches beneath the surface of the water and pulled with all his strength.
"Stop!" Han Li suddenly shouted while still looking down at the skeleton.
Hu Yue and the others felt their hearts thump and were slightly bewildered.
Cultivator Jian was startled, but seeing that he was so close to the dazzling flowerbud, his heart became stubborn, and he put force into his grip. However, the Sevenglow Lotus didn't budge in the slightest as if it were welded in place.
This set cultivator Jian's heart aflame with impatience and he instantly reacted by tightening his grip once more to pick off the flower.
At that moment, the flowerbud finally reacted and slightly trembled for a few moments before suddenly shrinking back from the water and disappearing without a trace.
Plop. Cultivator Jian hadn't released his grip, and was dragged into the pond when the flower stalk shrank with immense strength, resulting in a splash of milky-white water.
As Fairy Shi was relatively nearby, a few droplets landed on her face. She immediately let out a miserable shriek.
"It's poisonous! The water is poisonous!" The female cultivator covered her face with her hands and shouted in furious alarm. She then hastily took out a red medicine bottle from her storage pouch and flusteredly threw the fire-red medicine pill it contained into her mouth.
In the split second between taking out the medicine pill and swallowing it, Hu Yue and Jin Qing saw her face decay with yellow blisters all over, causing their breaths to turn ice-cold.
Even Han Li's expression changed upon seeing this.
If just a few drops caused Fairy Shi's face to become like this, then what about cultivator Jian who fell into the water?
With that thought, they turned their gazes towards the milky-white pond.
Ever since he had fallen into the pond, there had been no other disturbance, no miserable screams or desperate calls for help. Fear began to blossom in their hearts.
At that moment, Shi Die finally stopped groaning and tore off a corner of her robe and tightly wound it around her face. With a light sigh, she looked at the water with a gaze of bitter resentment.
Pop. Pop. A series of bubbles popped on the surface of the pond. Soon after, a completely decayed corpse floated to the surface.
Everyone's face had turned green. From the clothes on the corpse, it was obviously cultivator Jian.
In just a few moments, he had turned into a wet skeleton with empty eye sockets. Upon seeing that his eyes had turned into empty sockets, they felt chill downs their spines.
"How did this happen? Was thousand year stone milk supposed to be this poisonous?" Hu Yue muttered to himself with disbelief.
"Thousand year stone milk isn't poisonous. But it may as well be if poison was placed within it." Han Li stood and slowly said with a light breath.
"Fellow Daoist Han! Could it be that your shout to stop was because you knew the water was poisonous?" Shi Die icily asked with a slightly hoarse voice.
"I didn't know whether or not it was poisonous. However, I did find out that the Sevenflow Lotus isn't something that should be plucked. Look at the right hand of that corpse!" Han Li calmly said, lightly tapping the skeleton with the tip of his foot.
Hu Yue and the others attentively examined the hand and revealed baffled expressions.
The bones of the right hand were partially black, and the forefinger's tip had been shattered. It was jagged, like it had been bitten off by something.
Seeing that nobody was doubting him, Han Li didn't bother further explaining and looked at the water with an icy gaze.
At the center of the white pond, the "Sevenglow Lotus" had reemerged at an unknown time. It still released its beautiful glow, but now, Hu Yue and the others gazed at it as if it were a scorpion.
Han Li wordlessly opened his hand with five fireballs floating above his fingertips. With a flick of his fingers, the fireballs lined up in the form of a word and shot towards the Sevenglow Lotus.
Jin Qing and the others were startled but didn't stop Han Li due to the previous occurrence.
The Sevenglow Lotus swayed from the impact of the fireball's and suddenly withdrew from the pond. Something flew out of the water as a blur, shooting straight towards Han Li like an arrow.