Han Li swept his gaze over his surroundings. Ensuring that no one was nearby, he slapped his spirit beast pouch and had a single black-tainted Gold Devouring Beetle silently fly out. Then with great difficulty, he managed to command it with a sliver of spiritual sense. The insect then shot toward the stone room with a buzz and slipped in through a small crack.
The building was extremely quiet.
Han Li inwardly sneered and walked back to his residence without looking behind him. By the time he had turned a corner, he heard a miserable wail from the middle-aged man’s residence.
Han Li pursed his lips and expressionlessly continued on his way. However, the disturbance had already began to attract the attention of the villagers.
Since the middle-aged man was all but guaranteed to come for revenge, it would be better to cleanly deal with him while Han Li still had use of his magic power and spiritual sense. Otherwise, the man would remain a worry on his mind.
The remaining magic power that had been produced by the Transient Spirit Qi had disappeared by the time he returned to his residence. Likewise, his spiritual sense was once again incapable of leaving his body. Han Li could only shake his head in helplessness as he hurried back.
After walking into the room, he found Mei Ning lying down on the bed. From the rhythm of her soft breaths, it seemed she had fallen asleep a while ago.
When Han Li saw her sleeping figure, he recalled the kiss from not long before and felt his heart roil. But after seeing the woman’s figure coldly curled up on the bed, he hesitated for a moment before fetching a large piece of demon beast hide from the pile of materials on the table and placing it on top of the woman.
She soon relaxed her expression, and she unconsciously rolled the beast hide around her, remaining soundly asleep.
Han Li couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight.
This turn of events was of no surprise. Although she possessed a body that was far superior to ordinary mortals, she was still a member of the fairer sex and both her mind and body must’ve been exhausted from all that happened. As a result, she had unintentionally fallen asleep.
Han Li smiled and then turned his attention to the pile of materials on the desk with a strange expression appearing in his eyes.
Not long after, Mei Ning slowly roused from her slumber. Before her eyes were entirely open, she heard a calm voice speak, “If Fellow Daoist Mei is awake, then please get up. We will be busy with preparations over the next two days.”
After she heard Han Li’s words, her face reddened and she sat up. Naturally, the demon beast hide fell off as a result.
This surprised her and she glanced in the direction of Han Li’s voice with a complicated expression.
Han Li was currently sitting in a chair and was handling a rather large piece of demon beast hide. After Mei Ning rose, he smiled at her.
“Would Fellow Daoist Mei happen to be skilled in needlework? I have a few high grade fire-attribute demon beast hides. If it is possible, it would be best to turn them into clothes so that we’d be able to better resist Yin winds.”
Mei Ning’s embarrassment waned after seeing that Han Li hadn’t brought up the matter of yesterday’s kiss. But for some unknown reason, she also felt a trace of indescribable disappointment. Still, her face slightly blushed as she replied, “I can give it a try, but I’ll be requiring a needle and thread.”
Han Li grabbed a faint blue needle on the table and handed it over to her. “This demon beast hide is rather tough. Only flying needle magic tools are able to pierce through them. You’ll also be using the beast’s tendons to sew the hide together. In the end, we will only use this to withstand the Yin winds so there is no point in caring about appearance.”
The needle was a top grade magic treasure that was extremely sharp. Han Li had acquired it from some unfortunate cultivator that he had already forgotten about. He felt that it would prove quite useful as of present and took it out of his storage pouch.
Mei Ning bit on her lips and softly whispered, “I will do my best.”
Han Li nodded and thought to say something else when he heard footsteps from outside. An old man’s voice soon followed, “Is Fellow Daoist present?”
“Who is it?” Han Li asked, confused. He felt that the voice was rather familiar, and soon recalled that it belonged to the long haired old man.
“Hehe, Fellow Daoist and I had quite an enjoyable chat yesterday on top of the stone platform!”
Since it was the cultivator from the day before, Han Li found it awkward to keep the door shut. And since he was also curious about why they had suddenly paid him a visit, he walked towards the door and opened it, revealing the chuckling long-haired old man and two other old men behind him. One was red-faced and white-haired while the other had a hunchback and an eerie aura.
“Please, come in!” Han Li confidently invited the three in without asking them of their intentions.
“So this is Fellow Daoist Mei!” When the three saw Mei Ning, they revealed a slight trace of astonishment before calmly saluting her.
Mei Ning returned the greeting and moved to stand by Han Li’s side. She remained silent as if she were deferring the matter to Han Li.
The three pensively glanced at one another. After they took a seat, Han Li glanced at the other two and slowly asked, “Are these two also...?”
“Fellow Daoist guessed correctly. These two are fellow cultivators who arrived from the Great State of Jin. This is Fellow Daoist Yun from the Heavenly Talisman Sect, and this is Fellow Daoist Jin from the Four Seas Institute.”
Han Li nodded his head to each of them. The two then examined Han Li before politely smiling at him.
Han Li calmly asked, “May I ask what brings you three here?”
The three old men unconsciously glanced at each other. After a short moment, the long haired old man dryly coughed and spoke with a deep tone, “Fellow Daoist Han might not know this, but Elder Feng, the village’s instructor for martial arts, suddenly died after being devoured alive by a nameless, exotic insect. It is said that the exotic insect bit his neck in his sleep, and he died a miserable death as a result.”
With a completely unchanged expression, Han Li indifferently said, “Oh, so it was like that? What kind of exotic insect could possibly be so fearsome?” The three then began to mutter among themselves, as they were unable to tell whether or not Han Li was related to the event.
The long-haired old man stared at Han Li as he slowly said, “This isn’t entirely clear. By the time he screamed, he was already on the verge of death. When the other villagers saw a flying insect fly from his wound, they immediately struck it with their weapons, but as the insect was incredibly hard, they weren’t able to wound it in the least. As the insect was covered in blood, it was difficult to make out the exact details of its appearance.” The other two solemnly stared at Han Li in silence.
With an unchanged expression, Han Li leaned back in his chair and lazily said, “What? Could it be you three believe that I killed him? Are you three here to punish me?”
The old man’s expression slightly changed as he chuckled, “How could that be possible! We absolutely don’t believe that Fellow Daoist Han could’ve done such a thing. Even if he did it, we would be incredibly happy. That mortal named Feng had always viewed us with disdain just because of his martial arts. It is better that he is dead.”
Han Li narrowed his eyes and stared at the three in silence.
The long-haired old man’s eyes shifted and he probingly said, “However, I heard that Elder Feng paid a visit to Fellow Daoist’s room yesterday. Soon after, he left in a crestfallen manner. Additionally, they found that his arm was broken at the time of death. It seems even without any magic power, Fellow Daoist Han still possess some powerful techniques!”
Upon hearing their words, Han Li raised his eyebrows. It seemed these three held some influence in the village. They were actually able to find out that the man surnamed Feng had entered his room yesterday and that he was driven off.
After a moment of silence, Han Li’s voice grew cold. “Could you three Fellow Daoists be here for that matter? If that’s the case, please be direct. I have no interest in beating around the bush.”
“This...” The old men couldn’t help but glance at each other with hesitant expressions upon seeing Han Li be so direct.
Unwilling to speak in circles, Han Li’s expression grew impatient. “Since you are unwilling to speak, then I won’t force you. How about you come back some other time?”
Spurred by Han Li’s words, the hunchbacked old man said, “Fellow Daoist Han, would you be interested in governing the village with us?”
“What do you mean?” Han Li frowned, already guessing what he truly meant.
Seeing that his companion had already struck the main point of the matter, the long haired old man revealed everything, “Since we are fellow cultivators, I will speak bluntly. Surely Fellow Daoist saw that apart from the head elder, all of the others are mortals. They hold greater power in the village because they were here before us. Cultivators are held to the same standard as mortals, and eat and starve as they do. The mortals even have us risk our lives to hunt umbra beasts. Contrarily, we are the only ones that are capable of using spells with the umbra beast gems, yet they all hold the gems in their hands. It is utterly humiliating to be treated as criminals without cause. Since this is the case, us cultivators have joined hands to grasp authority in the village. Would Fellow Daoist Han care to join us?”