A strange glint appeared in Han Li’s eyes. He glanced at the old man and indifferently asked, “What? You recognize me?”
The old man shivered underneath Han Li’s icy gaze and hastily answered, “No, I am mistaken. How could Junior have possibly recognized you!”
“You’ve admitted to be mistaken?” Han Li indifferently rubbed his chin and swept his gaze past the others as if he believed the old man.
The grey-clothed man seemed puzzled as he glanced at the old man. Although he felt it was odd, he couldn’t afford to pursue the matter. He could only think of flattering Han Li and somehow taking an opportunity to flee.
Before any of them could respond, Han Li slowly said, “Since you are Ghost Spirit Sect cultivators and have discovered my trail, you’re just out of luck. I will be taking your lives!” As soon as that was said, Han Li’s expression grew dark and he waved his sleeve, releasing over ten streaks of azure swordlight. As soon as these swordlights left his sleeve, they transformed into over forty swordlights in a blur, and engulfed the black-clothed cultivators in an overwhelming strike.
When the grey-robed cultivator heard Han Li’s voice grow harsh, he knew that matters had taken a turn for the worst. His complexion grew pale upon seeing Han Li’s momentous attack.
Of course, he wasn’t about to submit to death. He instinctively whirled his body, releasing countless stands of black Qi to cover his body. A gold and a silver prong soon flew out from the mist and transformed into a gold and a silver python to guard the front of the black Qi. The grey-clothed cultivator then did his utmost to fly backwards in a streak of black smoke, abandoning the rest of the black-clothed cultivators to their fates.
Apart from the old man, the rest of the Ghost Spirit Sect cultivators were helplessly beheaded by the assault of azure swordstreaks. As the old man was paralyzed from fright, Han Li flicked his finger, launching a slim azure strand from the sword streaks. It instantly bore into the old man’s body and caused him to collapse on the ground.
When Han Li saw this, he no longer paid any attention to the old man and focused on the grey-clothed cultivator that had fled over a three hundred meters away. Han Li sneered and casually pointed at the swordlights and had over a hundred streaks of swordlight converge together, instantly forming a huge azure sword.
“Go,” Han Li softly uttered. The huge sword trembled and released a muffled hum before launching itself forward at an unfathomable speed. In the blink of an eye, a dazzling explosion of azure light erupted from the black smoke.
The strike from the huge sword annihilated the black Qi and the pythons at the same time. With a wretched scream, the grey-clothed cultivator was rend into a mist of gore.
Han Li recalled the magic treasure and his expression grew sullen as he glanced at the old man lying unconscious on the ground.
After some further thought, Han Li raised his hand and drew the old man’s shriveled body into his grasp. Azure light flickering from his free hand, he pressed it against the old man’s head without any reservations. After the time it took to finish a cup of tea, fire flared from his hand and turned the old man into ash.
Han Li floated in the air with his arms held behind his back and wore a flabbergasted expression on his face, “That disciple left behind to the Harmonious Bond Sect, Dong Xuan’er, actually formed a core. However, it is truly odd that she would send men after me.”
The old man’s origins were quite complicated. He was once a disciple of the Harmonious Bond Sect, but because he had greatly violated the sect’s laws and feared that his soul would be refined, he changed his appearance and identity. He had remained hidden inside the Ghost Spirit Sect ever since.
Naturally, Han Li didn’t care for such matters. What shocked him was how the old man along with many other Harmonious Bond Sect disciples were sent to frantically search for Han Li by the Core Formation stage Dong Xuan’er. These people were even sent into the Nine Nations Alliance in order to search for traces of Han Li. It seemed the old man had shockingly recognized Han Li due to having seen his portrait before.
At the time, Han Li had been in the Scattered Star Seas and the matter was ultimately left unresolved.
As of current, Han Li felt greatly confused. He wasn’t so vain as to think that Dong Xuan’er fancied him. As such, he felt that there was a deeper reason for her continuous search for him. It was only a pity that the old man’s status at the time wasn’t high and he had no further information on the matter.
After pondering for a moment, Han Li couldn’t think of a reason why Dong Xuan’er would send men to search for him and he shook his head, placing the matter at the back of his mind.
Now that so many years had passed, this matter didn’t affect him in the slightest. There was even less cause for concern since he was now a Nascent Soul cultivator.
With that thought, Han Li dealt with the Ghost Spirit Sect cultivators’ corpses and glanced in the direction of the former location of Yellow Maple Valley before departing from the Tai Yue Mountain Range.
Unbeknownst to Han Li, at the same moment he killed the grey-clothed cultivator, a black-robed, shrivelled-skinned cultivator awoke from his meditation with a frown and sighed. He then took out a dull, pitch-black bone medallion from his robes.
The black-robed cultivator fiddled with the bone medallion and glanced at it with narrowed eyes. A stern expression appeared from his face. A moment later, he stood up and walked out of the secluded room.
After walking down a long corridor, the black-robed cultivator arrived in a large hall and he calmly took a seat in a stone chair. With a white flickering light emitting from his hands, he took out a small bronze bell.
A loud clang rang out with a casual swing of the bell. A deep ring continued to reverberate from it, spreading over an unknown distance. The black-robed man put away the small bell and remained still inside his chair.
A short moment later, three Core Formation cultivators hurriedly entered the hall from three side doors, two men and one woman. They differentially stood in front of the old man with their heads faced down with solemn expressions.
“Just now, the light from your Sixth Junior Martial Brother’s life medallion was extinguished. It seems he met a vicious end. Although I don’t know what exactly happened, he was a disciple of me, Splintered Soul. I cannot allow his death to remain unanswered. Find the killer and bring him to me alive. I wish for them to give me the story behind what happen!” The black-clothed cultivator indifferently spoke as if he were discussing a trivial matter.
The three cultivators were initially surprised but they soon saluted him with bowed heads, “As you bid master. We will immediately depart.”
“I hope the next time I see you, you will have already placed the killer in the Immortal’s Hold.” The black-robed cultivator nodded his head and left the hall without another word.
Only the three Core Formation cultivators, the disciples of Splintered Soul, remained in the hall.
After a moment of consideration, the cultivator with a bold and clear appearance orderly arranged, “Fifth Junior Martial Sister, send a voice transmission talisman to the sect branch in the Tai Yue Mountains as soon as you can. Let’s see whether or not they know about Sixth Junior Martial Brother meeting with mishap. If they are unaware, have them send men to investigate the whereabouts of the killer. Junior martial brother Que, your relationship with the side branch master is quite good. See whether or not he can send men to investigate if any unfamiliar high grade cultivators have recently entered the State of Yue.
“Also, we will all send our own competent disciples to investigate the last known location of Sixth Junior Martial Brother and see whether or not there are any clues. Once this information is relayed back, we will set forth together to capture this person. Since he was able to kill Sixth Junior Martial Brother, his cultivation should be high. It is best to be careful.”
The other two cultivators were a middle-aged woman who still possessed beauty, and an eerie scholarly man wearing embroidered robes.
The woman smiled upon hearing him, but the scholarly man frowned and revealed a somewhat unsightly expression. A moment later, he reluctantly nodded.
As if feeling worried, bold-faced cultivator stared at the embroidered-robed scholarly man and coldly said, “Junior martial brother Que, I know that you were on bad terms with Sixth Junior martial brother. However, this matter was personally given by the master. You should know what will happen if you disobey. Don’t forget that Second Senior martial brother brother and Seventh Junior martial brother were also punished for mishandling their affairs.”
The scholarly man wryly smiled and chuckled, “That isn’t the case. Although we didn’t get along, he is dead now, and this matter is now assigned to me by the master. Please be at ease, Third Senior martial brother. I will definitely try my hardest.”
The bold-faced cultivator slowly said, “If Junior martial brother knows how things stand, then let us set off.”
The three then left the hall to attend to their own matters.
Several days later, the Ghost Spirit Sect cultivators had tracked down where Han Li killed the party of cultivators. After further inspection, Han Li’s original cave residence was also discovered.
When the three disciples of Splintered Soul heard this, they rushed to the Tai Yue Mountains with a group of disciples in tow. After entering, they looked at each other in dismay as they stood in front of the large hole where the spirit well used to be.
At that same moment in a land far away, Han Yunzhi and that woman surnamed Liu were hurriedly crossing through a series of towering mountains into the State of Yue.