Chapter 503: Another Clash
The burly man amongst the Core Formation cultivators saw the old man's face and asked with surprise, "What is it? Was there something amiss? Was his identity false?"
The old man twirled his beard with his finger before revealing a green jade slip in his palm. "There is nothing wrong with his identity. We've long acquired the portraits of the two elders from our agents in the Exquisite Sound Sect. His appearance is an exact match for what we were given. There is no doubt that he is Elder Han. Even if he was a pretender using some sort of secret disguise technique, he won't be able to escape Elder Wang's discerning eye when he leaves the harbor."
The burly man snorted with dissatisfaction, "Since there is no problem, why did you wear that expression?"
After muttering to himself for a second, the old man said, "The Exquisite Sound Sect's Elder Han is no simple character. I fear that even if we were to both take him on, we would not be victorious."
The burly man was stunned before shaking his head as if he were beating a drum with it. He doubtfully said, "What does that mean? Isn't he an early Core Formation cultivator just like us? Moreover, he is a vagrant cultivator. How could he compare to the two of us who have received the frequent teachings of our Divine Ancestor?"
The old man wasn't annoyed by his words in the slightest and calmly gave him an explanation, "Enforcer Liu should know that although our Seven Fiends Arts can't be considered a top grade cultivation technique, we are extremely sensitive to the amount of baleful Qi one possesses. The baleful Qi that he possesses is the heaviest I've ever seen from a Core Formation cultivator. No small number of cultivators has died by his hand."
The burly man objected, "That's nothing. So what if he killed a few low grade cultivators? I could do that too."
"It's not the same. Although you can accumulate a bit of weak baleful Qi from that, it would last for but a short moment, and would easily disappear. As for this person, not only is his baleful Qi exceedingly dense, but it is also extremely cold. This is something that can only be developed by killing a great number of cultivators of similar rank or higher. Unless he uses a few specific secret techniques to rid himself of the baleful Qi, it will forever haunt his body."
After a cold glint flickered from his eyes, he imposingly continued, "Furthermore, he seems to have comprehend a few miraculous sword Qi techniques, causing the span of his baleful Qi to be exceptionally large. It is truly astonishing. If an ordinary cultivator were to fight him, not only would their bewitchment and illusionary techniques be weakened, but if his baleful Qi were to be fully cultivated, his opponents could temporarily lose their will to fight if they do not protect against it. If he were to cultivate our Seven Fiend Arts, he would make rapid advancements."
Of course, the old man didn't know that Han Li had sparsely killed Core Formation cultivators, but instead killed several hundreds of their equivalent, grade five demon beasts. The reason for his heavy baleful Qi was completely different from what he had imagined.
The burly man blankly stared for a moment before puzzlingly asking, "Enforcer Cang, could it be that you wish to take him as a disciple? Regardless of his baleful Qi, he won't become your disciple. Don't forget that he is a Core Formation cultivator as well."
The old man calmly said, "Take him in as a disciple? Of course not. I was merely interested in the method he used to accumulate such strong baleful Qi. He must have a secret."
Having heard that, the burly man lost interest. He reckoned that in the entire Scattered Star Seas, any cultivation arts that draw on support from the baleful Qi to progress all belonged to renegade sects. As his own cultivation art was not one of them, he felt disinterested.
But the burly man soon thought of something and asked with a puzzled expression, "You said that the young master was interested in the Exquisite Sound Sect's Fairy Violet Spirit. Why haven't I heard of this before? Could he have told you in private?"
"Hehe! The young master need not tell me anything. You should know the cultivation art that the young master cultivates. With the widespread fame of Fairy Violet Spirit's beauty, if we are able to present the woman to our young master, there will be many rewards. The young master has just reached late Core Formation stage. With the Sacred Ancestor's pointers and protection, I reckon that he will become a Nascent Soul cultivator in less than a hundred years!"
The burly man was rendered speechless for a moment before he excitedly nodded his head.
The burly man then rubbed his hands with a sinister smile and said, "Then when should we act? It appears that the young master is about to leave seclusion."
The old man calmly said, "There is no need to rush. It would be best to do this after the next great battle. After all, it would be better to act after we have displayed the might of our Starfall Coalition. If they are unwilling to yield when the time comes, we'll be able to seize her under the pretext of that she possesses secret ties to the Star Palace. As she established her sect in Heavenly Star City, she will have to obediently comply."
The burly man rejoiced and laughed, "Good! Since they only have two early Core Formation elders, they won't dare to stop our scheme. Fellow Daoist Cang is truly clever!"
The old man smiled upon hearing him. At the same time, he contentedly thought, 'Like this, I will be able to pressure the Exquisite Sound Sect's Elder Han into obediently handing over his secret for accumulating baleful Qi. Two birds with one stone!'
With that thought, the old man narrowed his eyes and wore a strange expression.
Han Li had now reached the end of the harbor. After taking a few glances at the bustling Starfall Coalition cultivators on the island, he decided to speed up.
But at that moment, a formidable spiritual sense suddenly enveloped him without restraint. Han Li was startled, but he soon stopped and remained floating in the sky.
This was something that he had earlier anticipated. How could the Starfall Coalition allow Core Formation cultivators to be released on something as simple as a token?
Han Li reckoned that the owner of the spiritual sense was their leader, a Nascent Soul eccentric, using his spiritual sense to examine him. It seemed this was a measure to prevent Core Formation cultivators from using secret techniques to alter their appearance and escape the island with a false identity.
Han Li's expression was completely calm and didn't reveal the slightest panic. He hadn't even bothered to consider using a false identity from the very beginning. This was because these techniques could be seen through by those with formidable spiritual sense, unless one used a legendary technique from antiquity or an extremely precious magic treasure.
Had he superficially changed his appearance and used a false identity, he would appear quite suspicious were he to be caught, causing a huge backlash.
Instead, he would rather take advantage of his status as an elder of the Exquisite Sound Sect and take the risk of leaving a trail behind for Zenith Yin and the others. By the time the eccentrics tracked him down, he would already be in the Outer Star Seas, and be completely untouchable.
With that in mind, Han Li calmly allowed the Nascent Soul cultivator to examine him with his spiritual sense. As expected, the spiritual sense soon disappeared without leaving a mark on his body.
Han Li let out a long sigh and calmly flew towards the sea.
Not long after Han Li left the island, he began to fly at his top speed.
As the blood-red cloak would attract too much attention near the conflict, he could only fly through normal means.
Half a day later, Han Li was wondering how he should enter the city while he flew when he came to a sudden stop. He frowned and examined his surroundings with a puzzled gaze.
His expression suddenly stiffened as he gazed into the distance. He enveloped his body in a layer of faint azure light and motionlessly floated in place.
After a short moment, a blue and a red streak of light flew towards him with the speed of lightning. The lights arrived in front of Han Li in an instant, fading away to reveal two middle-aged cultivators wearing silver robes with gold lining.
Starfall Coalition cultivators!
Both of the men were early Core Formation cultivators. One of them appeared scholarly, possessing a pale face and no beard. The other was a rather robust man with tan skin.
Since they had both appeared, they just coldly stared at Han Li without a word. Their spiritual senses were obviously locked onto Han Li as if they were about to take action.
Han Li's expression stirred for a moment. He then asked them with a deep voice, "What business do you two have? I am in a hurry. If you have nothing to say, then I will take my leave."
"Wrong! You will be coming with us!" The robust man icily spoke with a commanding tone.
Han Li scowled and his eyes coldly glinted. "Have I offended you two? Or has the Starfall Coalition taken to tyrannically arresting people as they please?"
"Fellow Daoist, please do not be angry. We are under orders to pursue and eliminate any Star Palace remnants. We managed to wound a Star Palace cultivator just recently, but he managed to escape in this direction using a strange technique. It just so happened we found you while in pursuit of him. According to our knowledge, the Star Palace cultivators possesses face changing techniques. As we are unable to tell if your appearance is genuine, we must ask you to accompany us until we find the cultivator that escaped." The scholarly middle-aged man spoke quite politely, but he obviously had no intention of letting Han Li go.