When the white-clothed woman saw Han Li enter, she stroked the silver sword before returning it to the wooden box. She then raised her head and gently glanced at Han Li. The face that Han Li yearned for in countless dreams had appeared before him.
A slightly pointed chin, a delicate nose, and bright, enchanting eyes. These traces of familiarity caused Han Li to feel a trace of excitement along with a trace of warmth in his heart that had remained dormant since he had last spent time with her. It felt like it had been ages ago.
Any thoughts or words had already been released from his mind at that moment. Only an overwhelming passion remained.
When Nangong Wan saw that Han Li was so imprudently staring at her, she was stunned for a moment. With a pensive expression appearing on her face, she unconsciously frowned.
Nangong Wan raised her head and turned to the yellow-clothed woman that had guided Han Li. She calmly said, "Yu'er, go down first. I will be speaking with him alone."
After a moment of brief surprise, she immediately lowered her head, "Yes, Martial Ancestor!" She then quietly left the hall and disappeared from sight.
Han Li calmly waited for the yellow-clothed woman to disappear before glancing around with his spiritual sense. Seeing that there was no one else present, he stared at Nangong Wan and formed a hand incantation. With a series of explosive crackles coming from his body, his body suddenly grew a few inches, and a flicker of azure light revealed his true face.
"So it really is you, Han Li!" A complicated expression appeared on Nangong Wan's face, but there was no trace of surprise, only a faint sigh.
Not knowing how to address her, he stuttered before clumsily saying, "You... you knew I was coming!" After he said this, Han Li felt a tinge of regret and couldn't help but feel annoyed with himself.
"You? Wan'er will due instead." Han Li's clumsy reaction had caused Nangong Wan to unfurrow her brow. She softly smiled, displaying her bright eyes and mesmerizing beauty.
"Wan'er!" Han Li felt overjoyed and couldn't help but softly shout her name. He had finally released the apprehension that was lingering in his heart.
She truly harbored some feelings for him. She wouldn't have shown him such an appearance otherwise. For a moment, Han Li stared at her with fascination.
Nangong Wan blushed and turned her head, insipidly saying, "What's nice about looking at me? Could it be I'm more beautiful than your new concubine?"
When Han Li heard her unhappy words, he couldn't help but be alarmed, "Concubine? So you knew of that as well."
Nangong Wan lowered her head and glanced down at the floor. She snorted and annoyedly said, "You're newly joined elder of the Drifting Cloud Sect and recently condensed a Nascent Soul at around two hundred years of age. How could I not know?
After a short moment, something soon came to mind. "Was it the cultivator surnamed Tang?"
Nangong Wan wiped away a sliver of her hair and mysteriously smiled at Han Li, "So you aren't dumb! It truly was that Martial Nephew Tang. He had made use of a special method to send me a sound transmission talisman. When I received it, I couldn't dare to believe it. After disappearing for so many years, you return as a Nascent Soul cultivator. In the past, I hadn't particularly paid much attention to this field. As such, I immediately called for recent information on the Drifting Cloud Sect. Although it was a bit slow, I know of your general circumstances.
With your sudden appearance, you became an elder of the Drifting Cloud Sect. You left the trade fair halfway and departed, but I know little of this. But your concubine still remains at Soaring Skies City until this day!"
Han Li touched his chin and revealed a trace of embarrassment as he tried to explain, "At the time, I told her to follow an elder back to the sect. It seems there is something delaying her. However, this concubine..."
Nangong Wang interrupted, "Enough, there is no need to speak more of it. I'm not going to complain about how you took in a concubine. After all, am I not getting married myself?" Her expression suddenly grew saddened and incredibly weak.
Han Li's expression slightly changed. With a sullen voice, he unhurriedly asked, "What's going on with that? Could it be you truly plan to marry that person?"
Nangong Wan bit her red lips and bright eyes flickered, "Before I answer that question, I have questions of my own. Why have you come? Do you want me to not marry this person, or do you wish to take me away?"
With complete and unwavering determination, Han Li immediately answered, "Of course it is to take you away! I want you to become my wife! No matter who it is that wishes to take away the one I cherish, they will have to go through me first!"
"That is quite the dream, but when I have ever agreed to become your wife?" Nangong Wan blushed and shyly rebuked him in a charming display.
Han Li silently smiled and said nothing else. As he was new to matters such as this, it would be better to not delve too deeply.
Soon, Nangong Wan's shyness had disappeared, and she expressionlessly said, "You should know that in the year of the Trial by Blood and Fire, my first thought was to slash you into countless pieces after you took my virginity.
Afterwards, I would use the Vermillion Bird Band to turn your body into ashes to fulfill my revenge. After all, I had bitterly guarded the purity of my body for over a hundred years, but you came along and took it. How could I not bear great hatred towards you?"
"From what you've said, I should've already died!" Han Li rubbed his nose and found himself not knowing whether to laugh or to cry.
Once that was said, Nangong Wan's face grew scarlet and she unhappily rebuked him, "Of course. Were it not for some unexplained coincidence that caused my heart to soften, I wouldn't have released you. Do you believe that Core Formation cultivators are so easily dealt with?"
Han Li grinned and said nothing else. Once Nangong Wan explained a trace of the grudge she held against him, she continued, "After we left and returned to the sect, for some unknown reason, I was unable to cast off your image regardless of whether it be during cultivation or secluded meditation.
Moreover, your image only became more distinct over time, and it appeared more frequently in my mind. At that moment, I realized that you became an inner demon of temptation. If I didn't cast you off, I feared that my cultivation would become forever stagnant.
"There were only two methods to cast off an inner demon of temptation. I had to either marry you and become one with you, fulfilling the temptation, or to have you disappear from this world. If you no longer existed, the inner demon would gradually fade. Because there was far too great a disparity in cultivation, it was impossible to choose the former. After a long while of inner torment, I eventually clenched my teeth and decisively decided to exterminate you. But before I could do this, the Six Devil Dao Sects had invaded us, and I came across you at the war camp for the Sects of Yue. You were a Foundation Establishment cultivator at the time, and this had caused my determination to waver. If you were able to continue progressing, I felt that becoming husband and wife wouldn't be impossible.
Han LI bitterly smiled and muttered, "So it turned out that you wished to kill me at the time. When I saw you during that time, I was incredibly excited to see you, but your cold and detached attitude had been a rude awakening. It had depressed me for quite a few days afterwards."
Nangong Wan smiled upon hearing this but continued without answering, "From then on, the Sects of Yue had suffered a great defeat due to Spirit Beast Mountain's betrayal. Each of the six sects then began to evacuate their disciples from the State of Yue.
As the youngest Core Formation cultivator, I was originally among those evacuated, but at the time, I had a good friend within Yellow Maple Valley. In our letters, I came across vague plans for Ancestor Ling Hu's evacuation plan. I knew that you were likely to be in the danger zone.
"I felt shocked at this fact and only one thought had filled my mind: to rescue you. When I left, I was too slow. The battle had already concluded. A majority of the disciples had already died with only a few managing to escape.
Not knowing whether or not you survived, I could only helplessly return to my own sect and assist the rearguard disciples in their fight against the Devil Dao. As a result, I was gravely injured against a Core Formation cultivator and was pursued by several juniors. I think you should know of what happened afterwards. There is no such person as Nangong Bing in this world. I had only changed my appearance.
This wasn't because I didn't wish reveal my true identity, but I couldn't tell you that a Core Formation cultivator like myself came to rescue you with the particular intention of marrying you! Moreover, because I absorbed most of your cultivation at the time, it was even more embarrassing to reveal my true face to you.
However, I didn't wish for you follow me back to join the Masked Moon Sect. I just wanted you to follow me so I could reveal my true appearance and assist you in forming a golden core. We would marry afterwards. But who could've thought of how greedy you were, or perhaps due to chauvinistic stubbornness, that you would simply take the spirit stones. You had left me completely helpless."
Once that was said, a faint smirk appeared on her face and she fiercely glared at Han Li, but how was it that Han Li had felt the sliver of happiness from her eyes?
Of course, Han Li couldn't have known that if he agreed to follow her back to the Masked Moon Sect, Nangong Wan would've definitely brought up the prospect of marriage. However, the most likely resolution was that he would've casually agreed to become another woman's Dao Companion, resolving her inner demons in a disappointing fashion. The one who married him would've likely been someone that Nangong Wan had personally sought out.