Han Li didn't directly respond to her question and responded with raised eyebrows, "From the techniques and abilities that you displayed today as well as during that time in Heavenvoid Hall, it seemed that you deliberately allowed me to acquire the jade scepter. Is that right?"
Silverwolf felt somewhat stunned by his question, and she smiled with luminous eyes, "As the jade scepter's tool spirit, I didn't have much of a chance to leave Heavenvoid Hall by myself. I needed a cultivator to bring me out. On that day, I didn't use my full abilities to resist capture. And with my cultivation greatly reduced after breaking free from the Heavenvoid Cauldron, my full resistance wouldn't have been able to stop a Nascent Soul cultivator. In the end, it would've been better for me to fall into the hands of a Core Formation cultivator instead."
After muttering to himself for a moment, Han Li asked with a deep voice, "That day, I wasn't the only Core Formation cultivator there. Why didn't you fall into the hands of the other two? Did you choose me?"
Silvermoon's expression stirred and asked, "You mean the youth surnamed Wu and the Ghost Dao cultivator that planned on killing you for the Heavenvoid Cauldron?"
Silvermoon pursed her lips and sweetly smiled, "I simply found them undesirable! One was eerie and filled with ghost Qi and the other shriveled and hideous. Although you aren't a majestic figure, you could be considered somewhat pleasing to the eye. Do you find these reasons acceptable?" She seemed both earnest and joking as she said this.
Han Li found himself overwhelmed with a feeling of not knowing whether he should laugh or cry.
"Since Fellow Daoist is unwilling to speak of it, I won't press you since I have a more important question to ask. Have you been able to observe my actions over the years from within my storage pouch?" Han Li's question was spoken with an icy tone, causing the temperature in the room to instantly drop.
Her smiled vanished and she seriously responded, "That's right. Regardless of whether it is Brother Han's techniques or magic treasures, I have been able to observe everything. I even know of the small, heaven-defying bottle of yours."
Although he had faintly guessed as much, Han Li's expression instantly grew gloomy upon hearing her. He icily glanced at the young woman in silence as if he were thinking of a countermeasure.
Silvermoon ignored Han Li's icy expression and asked with a weak smile, "Could it be that Fellow Daoist Han plans on killing me? After all, if any of the cultivator clans were to know that such a heaven-defying treasure were to exist, Brother Han would surely meet a miserable end."
When Han Li heard her, his eyes narrowed and his gaze became sharp as a blade's edge.
With a hostile expression, Han Li chillingly said, "Since Fellow Daoist Silvermoon is fully aware of this and dares to brazenly mention it, are you not afraid that I will destroy your linked treasure? If you were to perish, there wouldn't be any leaked secrets. Or do you believe that I wouldn't be able to kill you?"
Silvermoon shook her head and serenely said, "With your current abilities and magic treasures along with my unfamiliarity with this body, it is unlikely that I could prove to be your opponent. And after seizing this body through Soul Devouring, my cultivation greatly decreased. If we were to fight, I'd only have a thirty percent chance of victory if I'm being generous. Besides, my housed treasure is in your hands. I could disappear as soon as you willed it."
Han Li coldly snorted, but the young woman continued her explanation without a care, "I am very much satisfied that Fellow Daoist Han has been able to tolerate me this far without killing me. While you can't be considered a chivalrous hero, you are still clearly someone who understands debts of gratitude. If I hadn't taken action to block the demon fox's attack, Brother Han probably wouldn't have given me the opportunity to speak so much rubbish."
Han Li didn't deny her, instead calmly admitting, "Even if I give you the opportunity, if you aren't able to convince me, I will still take action. I cannot allow any knowledge of the bottle to escape."
Silvermoon explained with an appreciative expression, "That's fine. Brother Han's words are still in line with my predictions. If Fellow Daoist Han were not ruthless and decisive, he wouldn't have made it this far on the path of cultivation, and I definitely wouldn't have saved you. After all, I don't wish to be immediately discarded after recognizing a master."
Han Li was stunned for a moment before he sneered and said, "Recognizing a master? What is that supposed to mean? Do you really believe that I'd release you over a few words?"
The woman's eyes brightly stirred as she further explained, "Of course it isn't such a simple matter. According to my knowledge, your set of Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords has no artifact spirit. I am capable of shifting my main soul from the jade scepter over to your Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords for the time being. With this, your flying swords would become far stronger, and you could end my life with a single thought. This should be enough for you to release me. After all, as your artifact spirit, you'll be able to sense if I have even the slightest malice towards you. Also, since my flesh body cannot be separated too far away from my main soul, there will be no fear of me abandoning you."
Han Li frowned and deliberated for a long while before nonchalantly asking, "Can artifact spirits change their main bodies? If that is possible, then why are you willing to become my artifact spirit? Don't tell me that this is just because you're grateful that I've taken you out of Heavenvoid Hall."
The young woman sighed and slowly said, "Other artifact spirits possess no awareness and are naturally incapable of changing their housed treasure. However, I am different. So long as we are both willing, I am completely capable of doing this. Naturally, if I am to change my housed treasure, I will certainly feel immense pain but that cannot be helped. As for my intentions, I naturally don't wish to be an artifact spirit for eternity. Don't think my views to be contradictory. I am only willing to become your artifact spirit now so that I may acquire true freedom in the future."
Han Li's heart stirred and his expression grew lax, "Could you speak of that in more detail?"
"I am not too sure of the specifics, but my scattered memories tell me that if I cultivate a secret technique, and my housed treasure's master reaches the legendary Deity Transformation stage, then I will acquire my freedom in the instant they ascend to the next realm. But before that happens, I will still be under your control. But if you were to die for any reason before then, I will have to find another cultivator. However from the way I see it, with your precious small bottle, you are the most likely cultivator to fulfill my wishes. That is why I was willing to take the initiative to offer to become your artifact spirit."
Han Li's expression wavered upon hearing this. After letting out a long sigh, he said, "Regardless of whether or not you're telling the truth, I truly have no method of controlling you other than this. And since you've taken the initiative to become my artifact spirit, I cannot reject you. However, I will have to place a temporary restriction on your body for the time being. After all, suddenly shifting an artifact spirit isn't something that can be done all at once. I must first prepare myself. Oh right, how far away can you be from your housed treasure while in that body?"
Silvermoon appeared happy that Han Li had agreed to her request. She obediently replied, "Currently, I must be within fifty kilometers of you. But soon, this demon fox's cultivation will increase and so should the range."
Han Li closely pursued this matter with a cautious expression, "What will happen if you exceed this range?"
"If the range is exceeded, my soul will be beckoned by the housed treasure and I will be called back. However, Fellow Daoist need not worry about inconveniencing me. I know a secret technique that allows my body to be safely sealed within a spirit beast pouch. So long as you cultivate the technique and give the order, I can leave and enter the spirit beast pouch at will. As for when you confront an enemy, I can appear as your artifact spirit or even as the fox in accordance to the situation."
Han Li appeared satisfied by Silvermoon's answer and nodded his head, "Good, since that's the case, I'll first..."
Silvermoon's expression changed as she suddenly interrupted him, "Not good, my spiritual power is exhausted. I cannot continue to maintain this body."
In a pulse of silver light, her body shrank before Han Li's eyes, turning back into a small white fox. It was currently wrapped around Han Li's rather large clothes.
When Han Li saw this, he couldn't help but bitterly laugh. He then formed an incantation gesture without any hesitation and shot several streaks of azure light into the white fox's body, placing it underneath his restrictions.
Han Li then lifted the white fox by its nape and said, "Once we head out, I will hand you over to the Drifting Cloud disciples for the time being. Then after we part, slip away on your own. It should be extremely easy for you to slip away from a couple of Qi Condensation cultivators. I'll be waiting for you along the way."