Silvermoon widely opened her eyes and she hesitantly said, "Master, you... you're serious?"
"You'll come to know whether or not my words hold true. For now, call that woman in for me. At her current cultivation, she shouldn't be able to see through your human form." Han Li casually commanded.
Regardless of her suspicions, she respectfully replied, "As you bid, Master!" Han Li then turned around and entered the large hall.
After the time it took to finish a cup of tea, Silvermoon gracefully entered the hall with a haggard Mu Peiling. It seemed that this short time had been quite stressful for her.
Silvermoon glanced at Han Li and respectfully said, "Master, Young Lady Mu has arrived."
Han Li nodded his head and indifferently said, "I am aware. You may leave."
"This servant is excused!" Silvermoon shot a glance at Mu Peiling and departed from hall with a pursed smile.
"I pay my respects to Senior Han." After saluting Han Li, she remained helplessly silent as if she were awaiting punishment from Han Li.
Han Li slightly frowned in response to her appearance and he examined her beautiful face.
Without revealing the slightest anger, he calmly said, "You should know why I've called you in. You blurted out words to those cultivation clans that gave them a domineering impression of me. After all, seizing an engaged woman as a concubine can't be something that is easily taken. Of course at my current cultivation, the Mu and Yan Clan wouldn't dare to complain, nor do I hold them in much esteem. However, this doesn't mean that I will tolerate your presumptuous actions. You should realize I will punish you."
The woman raised her head and spoke with a pale complexion, "Please forgive me Senior. This woman has truly been reckless. But rather than wed into the Yan Clan, Junior would find it preferable to become Senior's concubine."
Han Li's gaze flickered and he snorted before slowly continuing, "Since you said that you were to be my concubine, I can no longer stay uninvolved, nor can I make clear that this is untrue. Otherwise, these cultivation clans will recognize me, this new Drifting Cloud Sect Elder, to be weak and feeble, incapable of protecting even a Foundation Establishment woman underneath him. And these rumors should've already spread throughout the cultivation world as well. So tell me, how should I deal with you?"
Mu Peiling bit her lips and softly said, "Junior has nothing to say. I will have no complaints in how Senior will punish me."
"Since cultivators on the outside know you to be my concubine, I will give you two choices. The first is to pretend to be my concubine, but you will actually be my servant and obey my orders. After you've served me for twenty years, the matter should've faded and I will let you free. However, you had best avoid any thoughts that I will assist with the cultivation of a servant girl."
When Mu Peiling heard this, she revealed a trace of disappointment and raised her head, asking, "Then, what is the second choice?"
Han Li stared at the woman and calmly said, "The second option is make this fiction a reality, to become my concubine in truth. You will attend to me through your life. I will not treat my own spouse pettily and will guide you in your cultivation if my mood is willing. However, I must first tell you that if you wish to become my concubine, I will place a soul restriction on you to prevent any possible betrayal. After all, if you were to suddenly changed your mind, my secrets could possibly be laid bare."
"I..." Mu Peiling grew distracted upon hearing him and her expression fluttered as if she were deeply considering Han Li's thoughts. It seems this woman didn't greatly oppose the thought of marrying Han Li.
Han Li indifferently said, "I know that you've always been proud. Even a Nascent Soul cultivator such as myself isn't your ideal husband. However, this doesn't matter. Fellow Daoist Mu isn't my ideal Dao companion either, but this won't stop me from taking you in as a concubine. If you obtain my protection, you will tread farther on the path of cultivation without much cost.
And in these past few years, you've come to know that I'm not a brutal or craven eccentric. Even if I place down a restriction on your soul, I won't mistreat you or cause you hardship. And later on, I may even grow to trust you and remove those restrictions. It either will be this, or acting as my servant for twenty years! Those years as a servant shouldn't pass by too slowly." His eyes moved away from her as if he didn't mind what she chose.
Mu Peiling's heart grew turbulent. While she was unwilling to be controlled by another, the assistance and guidance of a Nascent Soul cultivator was also hard to pass. Unable to come to a decision, she hesitantly said, "Senior, could I have two days to consider this?"
As for becoming Han Li's concubine, she already knew what Han Li had described; it couldn't be said to be a bad decision in the slightest. Countless beautiful, young Foundation Establishment women would be tempted to take the offer of becoming the concubine of a Nascent Soul cultivator.
Without any intention of making it difficult for her, Han Li leniently nodded his head, "You may. Come back after two days with your answer. It should be enough time for you to come to a decision." He then called for Silvermoon to take her out.
After saluting, Mu Peiling followed Silvermoon's lead and absentmindedly left the hall.
A short moment later, Silvermoon gracefully walked back inside.
Silvermoon's bright eyes flickered and she mysteriously smiled, "Master, the two conditions you raised are somewhat..."
Han Li glanced at Silvermoon and said, "What? Do you think they're too harsh? Don't they align with her wishes?"
Silvermoon sighed and softly said, "It isn't about harshness. It's merely that this woman possesses an unyielding heart. With her pride, it would be difficult for her to choose either option. But if Master truly accepts this girl, then a soul restriction is undoubtedly necessary considering his many secrets."
Han Li attentively took measure of Silvermoon and spoke with slight surprise, "You seem to have quite a favorable impression of her."
Silvermoon was momentarily surprised before wryly smiling, "That isn't it. It's just that her staunch character gives me a familiar feeling. It seemed in the past that I had a close relationship to someone with a similar nature. I've unconsciously grown concerned with her."
Han Li nodded his head and didn't pursue the matter any further.
Silvermoon tactfully avoided mentioning Mu Peiling and instead discussed the matter of refining the Celestial Ice Flames, Han Li's most pressing matter.
Two days later, Mu Peiling arrived once more and she was led into the main hall by Silvermoon.
Han Li glanced at the woman and bluntly asked, "So, you should've already came to a decision. Will you be my servant for twenty years or will I be placing a soul restriction on you?"
It was the clear the woman had made up her mind. She took a quick breath and calmly said, "I've already decided. In the cultivation world, it could be considered destiny for a low grade female cultivator to be given an opportunity to become the concubine of a Nascent Soul cultivator. However, I hope Senior will make a promise before I become his concubine. So long as this condition is met, I am willing to be be restricted by your spiritual sense and spend the rest of my life under you."
"A condition? Go ahead and speak." Han Li's face remained unchanged as if he had already anticipated this.
"I know Senior Han isn't a hasty character. As such, I hope that Senior will pledge to hold off for thirty years before he takes my vital yin. I am currently at a crucial point in my cultivation and wish to see whether or not I can form a core within thirty years. It is extremely important for my cultivation art that I remain a virgin. It was for this reason that I was unwilling to be married. Regardless of whether or not I form my core within this time, Senior may pair cultivate with me once time has passed." Perhaps thinking that the conditions were too harsh or that speaking of the matter of pair cultivation was embarrassing, her face blushed after this was all said, revealing a captivating expression.
"Thirty years? Haha! That's fine. I can agree to your condition." Once Han Li heard this, his eyes brightly flickered and he instantly agreed.
Mu Peiling was amazed that Han Li had so quickly agreed, but she soon recovered and joyfully said, "Many thanks to Senior!"
After pondering for a moment, Han Li said, "In two days, I will officially notify the other two elders of the sect that I've taken you in as a concubine. But since it will be thirty years before we actually pair cultivate, I will open a smaller separate cave residence for your cultivation among one of the other three mountains. Of course if I have the time, I will go over and give you some guidance."
"Yes, as you wish." Mu Peiling was clearly very satisfied with these results and approved without thought.
Han Li's expression relaxed and he mysteriously smiled, "As my future concubine, there is no need to always address me as Senior. You may just call me Sir. I am only two hundred years old, and am quite young considering my lifespan is now over a thousand years." Han Li then sized up the beautiful woman without any restraint, clearly appreciating the view.