An old man with thin-eyebrows and embroidered robes stood at the side of the pale-faced man and added on, "Even so, Martial Ancestor need not worry. The Fu Clan maintained a steady relationship with Seniors Sun and Mo for over a hundred years. They will arrive soon. As their sects' current heights was in significant part due to our Fu Clan's backing, we can be considered to be closely tied together. Besides, we sent two of our clans' most outstanding female disciples as their concubines. They would be embarrassed not to come."
The Fu Clan Ancestor twirled his long beard and a cold glint flickered from his eyes. With his previous smile vanished, he said, "Its not that I'm worried whether or not Brother Sun and Mo will come, but I merely feel somewhat ill at ease at the day of the birth celebration approaches. It seems as if something great is about to happen. It is rather worrying! Has our Fu Clan recently offended a particularly fearsome character or some larger sects?"
When this was said, the people in the hall couldn't help but look at each other in dismay.
After a long while, the pale faced man carefully answered," Venerable Ancestor, you should also know this. Although our Fu Clan has greatly flourished over the years, we've offended countless clans and small sects. But the most hostile to us are the Qin and Hu Clans. Could they be plotting something?"
"It definitely isn't those two clans! While those two clans were able to contend with us for some time, they no longer possess many high grade cultivators. They don't have the capability to stir up trouble." The Fu Clan Ancestor coldly shook his head, but he soon frowned. With some further hesitation, he said, "However, if they were join hands with other small clans, they may take advantage of this opportunity to attack. They'd be able to greatly injure the clan's strength.
After all, in order to curry favor with the Devilflame Sect, our Fu Clan killed many of the two clan's cultivators for resisting the Devil Dao. As of current, the Qin and Hu Clans have lost their backing and are hiding away. With the hatred they holds towards us, it isn't an impossible matter." With that said, the Fu Clan Ancestor's expression grew sullen.
The embroidered-robed old man cautiously asked, "What does Venerable Ancestor mean?"
In an instant, the Fu Clan Ancestor leaned his head back and closed his eyes. Then with an adamant tone, he declared, "We will be calm on the surface, but remain inwardly vigilant! Double the sentries! Have the protective formation continuously activated without pause! And be particularly mindful of vagrant cultivators with unclear background!"
"Yes, it will be arranged!" The pale-faced cultivator immediately accepted the orders.
Seeing that the Fu Clan Ancestor appeared to be in a poor mood, the remaining Fu Clan Juniors all stood in place, even not daring to breathe too loudly.
The Fu Clan Ancestor suddenly said, "Tianyun, call over your Third Uncle. Have him take the Ironback Beast into his spirit beast pouch and bring it along with him to the birth celebration. Only he can control our Fu Sect's sacred sect protecting beast!"
The embroidered-robed old man couldn't help cry out, "What? Didn't Esteemed Ancestor say that Third Uncle should be disturbed during the birth celebration because he was currently in a crucial point in his cultivation?"
The Fu Clan Ancestor coldly snorted and said, "The past is the past, the present is now! Although cultivators can't always predict calamity as it appears, there are times where one's instinct is particularly sharp. It cannot be helped. In order to be careful, it is better for this old man to overly suspicious than having our Fu Clan meet calamity."
Seeing that the Fu Clan Ancestor was about to get angry, the old man obediently agreed, "Yes, Ancestor! I will now call Third Uncle out of seclusion." He promptly left afterwards.
Not yet finished, the Fu Clan Ancestor gave many more additional orders before finally feeling at ease.
With so many preparations in place for contingencies, he felt as if matters would be taken care of.
On a barren mountain outside of Violet Road Mountain, there was a group of thirty vagrant cultivators that were pointing at the purple mist and were whispering amongst them.
Han Li was mixed among the cultivators and were examining his surroundings in silence as if he were a common recluse.
It had come as a surprise to Han Li that there were so many vagrant Foundation Establishment cultivators in the State of Yuan Wu. Only a small portion of them should've come to congratulate the Fu Clan Ancestor's age. Back when he was in the State of Yue, vagrant Foundation Establishment cultivators were rarely seen.
Although the State of Yuan Wu was somewhat larger than the State of Yue, the different shouldn't have been great. But after a hundred years had passed, this new development made Han Li feel as if the world had left him behind.
However, Han Li was unaware that before the Righteous and Devil Dao attacked, a majority of Foundation Establishment Pills were held by sects and clans; few ever made their way into the hands of vagrant cultivators. But with the upheaval from a hundred years ago, many sects and clans ended up being exterminated. Destroyed inheritances and incense burning were common occurrences, resulting in a large quantity of Foundation Establishment pills being spread in the chaos.
Although a majority of pills were acquired by clans and sects, the small portion that managed to land into the hands of vagrant cultivators created a sudden increase of Foundation Establishment disciples in each country, forming a large amount of force. There were even a few vagrant cultivators that had managed to reach Core Formation through chance.
As the Righteous Dao, the Devilish Dao, and the Heavenly Dao Alliance, they all adopted a policy of absorbing all vagrant cultivators they could and suppressing those that resisted. As a result, the vagrant cultivators weren't able to form anything greater, despite their vast increase in number.
As Han Li was mulling over this, he suddenly spotted eight streaks of red light flying across the sky. After landing in front of the purple mist, the light faded away to reveal a group of cultivators wearing fire-red robes.
There were two Core Formation cultivators leading the group. One had a faceful of white hair and a gourd at his waist. The other had an ordinary appearance but his eyes possessed a threatening chill.
The vagrant cultivators became restless upon seeing the new arrivals. Some even whispered that they came from the Devilflame Sect.
The more experienced vagrant cultivators spoke in particularly soft whispers, fearing that the Devilflame Sect members would hear them, "Those are the Devilflame Sect's External Affair Enforcers Sun and Mo. The two female cultivators at their side should be the renowned beauties of the Fu Clan. I heard that they've already become the two Senior's concubines."
Han Li naturally heard all of this with his spiritual sense. He couldn't help but sweep his gaze past the Devilflame Sect Core Formation cultivators and the two female cultivators at their sides. As expected, the two women were gorgeous beauties.
The Devilflame Sect cultivators seemed to ignore the vagrant cultivators. A disciple from the party walked towards the dense mist and sent a voice transmission talisman into it. Afterwards, the disciple obediently stood behind the two Core Formation cultivators.
A short moment later, the purple mist rolled away to reveal a passageway. Many Fu Clan disciples respectfully welcomed them in.
Han Li took advantage of this opportunity to take a deep look at the many Fu Clan disciples before expressionlessly turning his gaze away.
At that moment, the party of Devilflame Sect cultivators entered the purple mist and the passageway faded away.
In the following four hours, a few cultivators from other clans and small sects began to successively arrive at the mountain and were similarly welcomed in.
After another long while, a steward with an apologetic expression walked out from the mist.
"It is quite lacking in manners for our Fu Clan to keep you Fellow Daoists waiting so long. It isn't that our Fu Clan looks down on you, but that there is finite space inside the Fu Clan Castle. It would prove quite chaotic for too many cultivators to be inside at once. As such, we could only have you enter the castle on the day of the celebration. Nevertheless, please be at ease. So long as you sincerely congratulate the Venerable Ancestor, we will treat you fairly. The feast has already been prepared inside the main hall. Please enter the castle."
The steward spoke elegantly, dissipating a majority of the vagrant cultivators' discontent. Then, the vagrant cultivators silently glanced at each other before following the middle-aged steward into the mist.
Han Li calmly walked at the back of the crowd, but a moment later, he disappeared from sight.
Regardless of whether it be the cultivators walking ahead of him or the Fu Clan disciples that were in charge of monitoring the sect, they had all failed to perceive this anomaly as if Han Li had never been there.
Many Fu Clan Foundation Establishment cultivators were currently standing in front of an extravagant hall. They beamingly welcomed the visitors, leaving them with a deep and warm impression.
There were about three hundred guests in the castle, with those having arrived today from those arriving days before. Now that the Fu Clan Ancestor's birthday has arrived, these guests gathered together in front of the main hall, waiting for the Fu Clan Ancestor's appearance.
Given the Fu Clan's immense influence in the State of Yuan Wu, the vagrant cultivators and smaller clansmen were spouting praises without end. Even the emissaries from larger clans were chatting with Fu Clan cultivators with a wide smile.