After returning to Twin Peaks Mountain, Han Li assisted Lady Fan in exterminating the remaining cultivators that were loyal to Yun Tianxiao. Afterwards, he calmly awaited Yun Tianxiao's return to the city.
Five days later, Han Li was sitting in the area behind the city's hidden hall with closed eyes. Lady Fan was sitting beside him with a fluctuating expression.
At that moment, a streak of fire flew through the door and Lady Fan's eyes brightened as it flew into her open hand.
The fire released a woman's flustered voice, "Sect Master, it's terrible! Elder Yun brought Daoist Master Swift Crane with him. They've already arrived at the entrance of the city. Sect Master, please make preparations!"
"What? The old monster Swift Cane arrived with him?" Lady Fan crushed the sound transmission talisman in astonishment and wore an extremely unsightly expression.
"The Jade Cloud Sect's Swift Crane?" Han Li opened his eyes with a startled expression, but soon regained his calm.
"If it isn't that old Daoist, then who else could it be? It is too late to stop our plans since Yun Tianxiao's subordinates have already been cleanly exterminated. He will notice something is amiss in the city after being there for just a moment." Lady Fan's expression grew pale, but when she saw Han Li's calm expression, she felt slightly hopeful.
When Han Li saw her silently staring at him, he couldn't help but roll his eyes at her and sourly said, "What is Lady Fan looking at me for? Don't tell me that you expect me to stake it all in a battle against a Nascent Soul cultivator?"
Even though he said this, Han Li didn't feel particularly flustered in the slightest. Since a threat on the level of Man Huzi and Wan Tianming hadn't arrived, he could make himself scarce without much of a problem. He was confident that he could escape from the hands of an early Nascent Soul cultivator with ease, especially with the miraculous abilities of his newly acquired Thunderstorm Wings. Of course, if it were possible, he still wanted to return to the Inner Star Seas with the transportation formation. As a result, Han Li was thinking of an alternative plan despite his previous words.
But when Lady Fan heard Han Li, her expression turned pale and she blankly stood in place. She was at a complete loss about what to do.
A short moment later, a cold glint flickered within Han Li's eyes. He licked his lips and asked with a serious tone, "Does that Swift Crane have a close relationship with Yun Tianxiao? If I were to suddenly kill Yun Tianxiao, would he take revenge on me?"
Lady Fan was startled when she heard Han Li, but hastily replied with delighted surprise, "Relationship? Yun Tianxiao merely used our Exquisite Sound Sect to form a loose connection with the old Daoist by giving our disciples over to him as cultivation vessels. He doesn't care about the matters of our Exquisite Sound Sect. However, you must kill Yun Tianxiao before he can cry for help. Otherwise, the old Daoist might truly intervene out of obligation."
"That's fine," Han Li then calmly ordered, "Drag that Yun Tianxiao into one of the neighboring rooms alone. I will kill him there in an instant. He won't have the time to call for help from Swift Crane. So long as you are in charge of the sect, the old Daoist won't be able to say anything. Afterwards, win over his favor by using some good conditions."
Displaying staunch decisiveness, Lady Fan gritted her teeth and agreed, "Yes! Since matters have reached this point, we can only do our utmost. Senior must exert his complete strength and kill Yun Tianxiao as quickly as possible! Please wait in the room farthest away from here for the time being. I will bring him over."
When Han Li saw this, he immediately walked to the hall's side door that led to a hallway with many variously sized rooms.
When he arrived at the door, Han Li thought of something and suddenly stopped. He turned around with a gloomy expression and icily said, "Sect Master Fan! After I kill Yun Tianxiao, don't get any ideas of revealing my identity to curry favor with old Daoist Swift Crane. With my current abilities, I can easily escape from Swift Crane's grasp despite not being able to fight against him. If that happens, Lady Fan should know what would happen to her! These words are only a warning to help you avoid doing something that wouldn't benefit either of us during a moment of panic."
When Lady Fan heard him, she was startled for a moment. Her expression shifted several times before settling on a bitter smile. "Senior jests, I would never do such a wretched thing! Also, I am fully aware that Senior Han is far from a common Core Formation cultivator. Please be at ease, Senior. So long as you eliminate Yun Tianxiao, I will definitely follow through with our agreement."
Han Li took a deep glance at the woman before heading off to the farthest room in the hallway without further hesitation. Apart from the somewhat smaller size, it was the overall the same as the other rooms in the hallway.
Han Li blurred and reappeared on a sandwood chair within the room. Afterwards, he closed his eyes and thoroughly restrained his Qi, preventing himself from being discovered by either Swift Crane or Yun Tianxiao.
With his late Core Formation cultivation, Han Li was confident that he could conceal himself from the spiritual sense of early Nascent Soul cultivators, but in the end, this was still only a guess. He could only try his hardest despite the slight doubts that he held in his heart.
In the main hall, Lady Fan was greatly on edge.
While she had spoken to Han Li as if she was completely confident in him, the woman was also completely unsure as to whether Han Li could kill Yun Tianxiao in an instant.
Although Han Li had nearly killed Yun Tianxiao at the previous trade meeting with but a raise of his hand, that was likely due to catching Yun Tianxiao off guard. But as Lady Fan was an extremely shrewd person, she forcefully suppressed the distracting thoughts in her mind and poured herself a cup of tea.
As she slowly sipped the tea, she quickly regained her calm.
At that moment, footsteps came from the hall's entrance. Soon, a middle-aged Daoist wearing a white crane embroidered robe and a Confucian-robed man entered the hall.
"Senior Swift Crane, Elder Yun!" Lady Fan deliberately cried out with a surprised expression. She then quickly placed down the tea cup she held at her lips and saluted Daoist Swift Crane.
Swift Crane indifferently nodded his head and remained silent as if he belonged to a realm beyond hers. But when Yun Tianxiao entered, he unconsciously frowned and his face revealed a trace of confusion.
Yun Tianxiao returned her salute and angrily said, "Why isn't Yun Qin attending to the Sect Master? Is she slacking off? I will have to properly discipline her."
"Yun Qin! She..." Lady Fan revealed hesitation and glanced at Swift Crane.
Yun Tianxiao paused for a moment before speaking with an expression of annoyance, "Sect Master, Senior Swift Crane cannot be considered an outsider! Go ahead and speak."
Lady Fan wore a similarly displeased expression and responded, "Since that is the case, then I will say it. Yun Qin is attending to a vagrant cultivator who is in possession of some Phantasm Stone and wishes to sell it. Yun Qin was steadfast in wanting to personally deal with the person, so I had no choice but to remain here."
Yun Tianxiao was about to say something to Swift Crane, but when he heard the words 'Phantasm Stone' his body trembled and he revealed delight. "What? Phantasm Stone?"
Likewise, Swift Crane's eyes grew bright upon hearing these words and his eyes narrowed.
Appearing as if she were wronged, she coldly spoke with a grimace, "Humph! Elder Yun's close disciple insisted on handling the matter alone, refusing to allow this Sect Master to participate."
Yun Tianxiao dryly coughed and said, "Yun Qin had truly overstepped herself. However, I'm sure this wasn't done deliberately. Sect Mater, where are they? I don't feel entirely at ease." He then turned to Swift Crane and respectfully said, "Senior Swift Crane, please wait for a moment. There is something that I must deal with first. How about we continue our discussion later?"
Swift Crane smiled and casually said, "Since Fellow Daoist Yun has some matters to attend to, I'll just sit here for the time being."
Yun Tianxiao immediately revealed delight and turned towards Lady Fan.
Lady Fan reluctantly said, "Follow me, Elder Yun. I'll bring you there." She slowly walked to the side door as if she was unwilling.
With his mind feverishly occupied by thoughts of the Phantasm Stone, all of his suspicions of Lady Fan's actions had been wiped clean and he hastily followed after her.
Swift Crane casually glanced at the two from behind before finding a chair and aloofly took a seat.
Yun Tianxiao excitedly followed Lady Fan to the room at the very end of the hallway where the door was tightly closed.
"It's right here! Have a good chat. In any case, this sect master is simply incapable of interfering with this deal!" Lady Fan snorted and walked back to the hall with dissatisfaction.
When Yun Tian Xiao saw this, a cold smile momentarily appeared on his face. He then opened the door without any hesitation and directly entered the room.