Through use of lightning movement, Han Li was able to travel fifty kilometers in a single stretch. He then paused for a moment before gaining his bearings and swapped to using the blood-red cloak before continuing on his flight as a streak of crimson light.
After flying five hundred kilometers out, he spotted a Moulan Tribe that consisted of tens of thousands of mortals. He stopped with faint excitement brimming in his heart.
While he was at the Drifting Cloud Sect, the topic of the war with the Moulan spell warriors and Heavenly South cultivators had come up during a conversation with his fellow sect elders. Although the ordinary mortals from the Moulan tribes couldn't cultivate spirit techniques, during times of war the Moulan spell warriors would organize many temporary parties of mortals to seize the spirit stone mines and material sources that the Heavenly South cultivators were too occupied to attend to.
As such, the Moulan spell warriors wouldn't return empty handed once they eventually retreated.
Of course, the Nine Nations Union were well aware of the looting, but they couldn't afford to look after these resources as war was waged. If they had too few cultivators to guard these areas, it was possible that they would be wiped out by any high grade cultivators that the Moulan would send.
If there were too many cultivators, it would be to the detriment of the main battlefield. The only feasible option was to wait until after these areas were seized and recapture them afterwards. The Moulan mortals would be defenselessly slaughtered.
It was unfortunate that the Moulan didn't mind the deaths of mortals. Once a group was exterminated, they would immediately send another, exchanging mortal lives for these precious resources. Additionally, they would occasionally set up traps and inflict heavy losses on cultivators attempting to reclaim these resource areas.
With the loss of these many cultivators, the Nine Nations Union had turned a blind eye to these locations. Regardless, the Moulan mortals wouldn't be able to harvest many materials or mine much spirit stones. So long as they repelled the spell warriors as quickly as they could, the Moulan mortals would obediently follow them back.
Han Li now saw large ranks of oxen carts making their way to the Heavenly South with many young men and women accompanying them. They should be the mortal division that was sent to gather materials in the Heaven South for the time being.
Han Li remained in the air above them and swept his immense spiritual sense past them, spotting one Foundation Establishment stage and three Qi Condensation stage spell warriors.
Han Li lowered his head in thought for a moment before suddenly forming an incantation gesture with his hands. His figure then blurred and reappeared in front of a dilapidated Moulan cart. It was filled with tattered oxen skins along with a few hoes and other tools.
With a wave of his arm, Han Li turned the cart's interiors into a pile of ash and then sat down inside it without any qualms.
From his musings, he concluded that boldly returning to the Heavenly South while the Moulan spell warriors were attacking in full force would be rife with trouble. Although he wouldn't be in danger unless he encountered several top ranked spell warriors, the possibility was still there. This time, he wouldn't be accompanied by a party of eight Nascent Soul cultivators.
Not only did he need to be wary of spell warriors, but he also had to avoid Wang Taingu and the others to avoid any deadly confrontations. Now that he was hidden amongst a party of mortals, he should be able to make it out safely of the Moulan Plains in a few days.
Few would pay any notice to a group of mortals. And given his current cultivation, so long as a late Nascent Soul stage spell warrior didn't inspect the army, his existence was safely hidden. Once he entered the deserts beyond the plains, he would be outside the influence of the Moulan tribes and he would be able to return to the Heavenly South.
As Han Li meditated inside the carriage, the conversations of the Moulan mortals outside could be clearly heard.
The dialect of the Moulan differed from that used by the people of the Heavenly South, but Han Li had already learned their language from a few related jade slips. With his immense spiritual sense, he had managed to comprehend most of this knowledge in only a couple of days, and was able to clearly listen to what was being said outside.
Their conversations was mostly about whether or not they would be able to impress the grand sages from the resources gathered, giving them the opportunity to stand out from their peers.
From their words, the Moulan mortals seemed to worship the spell warriors with admiration and reverence as if they were a kind of god. They even believed it to be extremely honorable even if they died in service to these spell warriors.
When Han Li heard this, he inwardly sighed and swept his hand, sealing off the interior of the cart from the outside with a barrier of faint azure light. The voices of the Moulan came to an abupt stop.
"Silvermoon, how about you talk about what you have gained. From your excitement, you should've acquired many good items!" Han Li's sleeve began to stir and a small white fox flew out from the cuff, circling once in the air before landing in front of him
The small fox laid down on the ground and chuckled, "I'm not too sure how valuable these items are, but Master should know. There were many ancient treasures on the first floor, but because I wasn't capable of concealing their spiritual Qi as I used my movement techniques, I didn't take any of them. However, there were six ancient boxes on the second floor and I took half of them."
"Hehe! I initially thought to take away most of them, but if there were too few of them, it would attract too much suspicion, so I only ended up taking three."
Afterwards, the fox spat out three translucent jade boxes in front of Han Li.
Han Li then took out a jade box from his waist. The jade boxes in front of him appeared exactly the same as the one the Marquis had tossed to him.
Han Li caressed the jade box in his hand and faintly smiled, "Master Cang Kun left behind a total of six jade boxes and four of them are in my possession. It seems it was a correct decision to go."
Silvermoon sighed from her lingering fear, "Master, your courage is quite great. You took hidden action despite having so many Nascent Soul cultivators present, and had me enter first. Did you not fear being discovered?"
Han Li smiled and glanced at the small fox, "Hehe! What was there to fear? At worst, I would merely use Bloodshadow Evasion to flee them. Besides, I was almost completely certain I would succeed. When I used the spiritual light to conceal your entrance, none were the wiser.
I was most concerned that you wouldn't be able to conceal yourself after you had taken the treasure. It would've been terrible if they had detected you, but it seems your evasion techniques were far more effective than I could have anticipated."
Silvermoon calmly smiled and said, "Master jests. Although the evasion techniques of the Silvermoon Wolf Clans are great, the most important factor was concealing the jade boxes' spiritual Qi within my body. It is an entirely different matter whether or not I could've concealed myself from those old eccentrics' spiritual sense."
Han Li gently smiled and didn't further pursue the matter. Instead, azure light began to shine from the palm he placed on the jade box. He then exerted force on his hand and the box began to reveal a trace of white light. Soon after, a majority of the azure light had been cleanly absorbed by the box.
With a clack, the box was easily opened and revealed a faint blue jade slip within.
Han Li gazed at the jade slip for a short moment and took a breath before taking the jade slip into his hands and solemnly immersing his spiritual sense within it.
The small fox stared at Han Li, its eyes brimming with excitement.
As time slowly passed by, Han Li's face retained a calm expression. Silvermoon blinked, puzzled as to why this was.
A short moment later, Han Li's expression stirred as he withdrew his spiritual sense from the jade slip. He frowned and muttered to himself for a moment. A short moment later, he unfurrowed his brow and calmly placed away the jade slip and reached for the second box, uninterested in mentioning the contents of the jade slip.
While Silvermoon was greatly curious, she tactfully remained silent on the matter.
Han Li opened the second box using the same method as the first. This time, the box contained an exquisitely crafted ring. It was dim and jet-black.
Silvermoon astonishedly asked, "Is that an ancient treasure?"
"It doesn't seem to be. It isn't emitting much spiritual Qi." Han Li also seemed uncertain as to what it was. He casually picked it up with his fingers and began to take a closer look at it.
After glancing at it several times and scanning it with his spiritual sense, he decisively said, "The material is somewhat odd. It should only be a common magic tool, but its hard to say its use."
"It is only a magic tool?" A trace of disappointment flickered from Silvermoon's eyes.
Han Li appeared indifferent and didn't reveal the slightest dejection, "Don't worry. Since Master Cang Kun kept it inside a jade box like this, it is certain to have a specific purpose. Perhaps it will prove useful in the future."
Silvermoon tilted her head and excitedly said, "Master, how about taking a look at what's inside the other two boxes."