Chapter 510: Blackmail
The person Han Li was requesting a spot from was the shriveled man.
"What did you say?" Alarm flickered across the shriveled man's face, soon to be replaced with anger.
The others glanced at each other, not knowing what Han Li intended.
Han Li calmly said, "Be at ease, Fellow Daoist, I won't allow you to do this in vain. I have two grade five demon beast cores. Take it as payment for your spot. Surely Fellow Daoist won't turn his back on me." He then searched his robes and took two shining blue globes out of nowhere. From their emitted spiritual Qi, they were genuine grade five demon cores.
The shriveled man looked at the two demon cores with a trace of greed, but he soon thought of something and coldly snorted, "Humph! Does your esteemed self think that I will give up my place for a measly two demon cores?"
Han Li didn't grow angry. Instead, he strangely smiled and his lips trembled several times, sending several voice transmissions to him in everyone's presence. The shriveled man suddenly paled after hearing them.
Han Li then spoke to him with a leisurely tone without using a voice transmission, "With this, there should be no way Fellow Daoist could possibly refuse this trade. Am I correct?"
When the shriveled man heard Han Li, his nervous face became lined with cold sweat. After fiercely glaring at Han Li for a moment, the shriveled man's face twitched as he clenched his teeth and said, "Fine! Since Fellow Daoist can say that, I will hand over my spot to you!"
Those words came as a shock to the other six.
The embroidered-robed man's expression sank and he stared at the shriveled man. He coldly said, "Fellow Daoist Zhang, what are you saying? Didn't we say that we were going together? Why did you…"
The shriveled man bitterly laughed and helplessly said, "I am truly sorry, but I fear we must part for the time being. You should all go first. I will join you if there is another opportunity."
The embroidered man spoke no further, nor did the rest of the party. It was now apparent that something was being used against their Fellow Daoist Zhang in order to force him to relinquish his spot. Hence, there was no point in continuing the discussion. Fortunately, a lack of one person didn't make too much of a difference in their plans.
The bald old man frowned and imposingly glared at the shriveled man, "Humph! Who said you could exchange people as you wished."
"Senior Gu, I…" The shriveled man was startled and thought to mutter an explanation, but he couldn't come up with anything.
But at that moment, Han Li produced two jade boxes with a flick of his hand, tossing one each to the bald old man and the scholarly man at his side.
When the two saw the jade boxes, they unconsciously caught them and calmly gazed at Han Li.
Han Li spoke with a serene appearance, "The boxes contain two treasures that Junior unexpectedly acquired. Please take them Seniors."
The two gave each other a mutual glance with curiosity in their eyes. From their examination of the boxes, it seemed that they contained no tricks. They then carefully opened the boxes by a sliver to release several rays of red light.
The two unconsciously revealed pleasant surprise upon seeing what was within.
With a moved expression, the scholarly man said, "Does Fellow Daoist Crooked Soul truly wish to hand these two treasures over to us?"
Han Li faintly smiled and said, "Junior understands that although the items are precious, they are of no use to him at his current cultivation. Junior wishes even more to head out to the Outer Star Seas so that he can continue his peaceful cultivation."
The bald old man couldn't contain his joy and without any discussion with his partner, he hurriedly agreed, "Hehe! Good. Since Fellow Daoist Crooked Soul has given us such a grand gift, we won't be unreasonable. You can use the transportation formation with the other six."
Although Cultivator Qian appeared unhappy, he was also tempted by the item in his hand and didn't say anything in opposition.
This scene shook the hearts of the Foundation Establishment cultivators, causing them to feel a huge desire to see what those boxes contained. However, the boxes were quickly closed by the two Star Palace cultivators. As they didn't dare to use their spiritual sense to pry, they were left helpless.
However, when the embroidered-robed man took another glance at the two jade boxes, a trace of amazement flickered in his eyes. Although he couldn't see what the boxes contained, from what they had said, he couldn't help but think of the words "magic treasure". Could it be that this person had truly given them magic treasures? Despite being just a guess, he couldn't help but feel amazed.
Before the embroidered-robed man could finish his thoughts, the two Star Palace cultivators turned around to the transportation formation behind them and began to chant an incantation with their hands grasping a white jade medallion.
The Foundation Establishment cultivators didn't see anything odd about this, but Han Li let out a long sigh of relief.
"Lucky… The transportation formation has a trick to it. Had I charged in without knowing this, I would find myself in a difficult situation. It seems taking out a few undesirable yet somewhat valuable magic tools was quite an incisive move."
The jade boxes each contained a flying knife magic treasure that sparkled with red light. These two flying knives were taken from Hu Yue after the Bone Sage had killed him1.
Although these magic treasures weren't particularly amazing, they were exceptionally precious to ordinary Core Formation cultivators.
Even if the magic treasure couldn't be linked to one's consciousness, it could be directly used at seventy percent of its strength without the need of investing a large amount of time or resources. This was something that ordinary Core Formation cultivators could only dream of acquiring.
Although many magic treasures have been passed down throughout the years, a majority of them had been destroyed in battle. Even with the remaining magic treasures, most of them would fall into the hands of Nascent Soul Cultivators or exceedingly powerful Core Formation cultivators. Though, they would occasionally fall into the hands of a few nameless cultivators and minor powers.
Huge superpowers like the Star Palace obviously acquired many magic treasures but conversely, they also had an exceedingly large number of Core Formation cultivators.
If these two early Core Formation cultivators didn't earn any merits, they wouldn't be bestowed any magic treasures. As such, they were wild with joy to find a magic treasure unexpectedly falling in their grasp. After refining them, their strength would receive a massive increase.
As such, the shriveled man could only obediently hand over his place. Han Li had a full grasp over the situation.
When Han Li saw the shriveled man's expression on his return to the residence, he grew suspicious and infiltrated his room. Although there didn't exist any magic techniques that could completely control a cultivator's consciousness, Han Li was able to put him into a half conscious daze. With a combination of bewitchment techniques along with his immense spiritual sense, he was able to force out the shriveled man's deepest thoughts.
Although the shriveled man only spouted out intermittent phrases during this state, Han Li ended up quite lucky, acquiring information that the shriveled man and the two Star Palace cultivators had deliberately raised the price to squeeze the other Foundation Establishment cultivators for all they had.
With this information to blackmail him along with the enticement of the two demon cores, the shriveled man meekly submitted to Han Li; his heart filled to the brim with apprehension to the point of near panic. He couldn't help but think, 'Did the Star Palace cultivators deliberately set me up?'
As the incantations reverberated throughout the hall, the transportation formation began to glow with white light. Following a clear ring, the white glow suddenly disappeared.
After seeing that the restriction had disappeared from the formation, the bald old man turned to the party of Formation Establishment cultivators and bluntly said, "Normally, these is another manager of the hall, but as luck would have it, he was sent to the Star Palace Hall to handle emerging affairs in the past day, otherwise you would've had to pay far more. Alright, come and hand over your spirit stones."
When that was said, each of the cultivators immediately took out a storage pouch they had prepared ahead of time and handed them over to the bald old man.
As for Han Li, he took out another two demon beast cores and handed them over, arousing a trace of astonishment from the old man's face.
After examining each of the payments, the bald old man nodded with satisfaction. Seeing this, the scholarly middle-aged man took out a stack of talismans and began to pass them out amongst Han Li and the others.
He pointed to the transportation formation and coldly said, "These are displacement talismans. You can leave after placing them on your body."
The others were hesitant, but Han Li walked into it without a word.
It wasn't that he was displaying courage, but that he had found nothing wrong with the transportation formation after quickly sweeping it with his spiritual sense.
The stone tablet in front of the transportation formation read the words "Wondrous Depths".
Han Li didn't have any particular impression towards this name. From his last experience, it seemed that the islands' names didn't hold much significance.Hu Yue was killed in , and his magic treasures were taken in ↩