Just like how Han Li had created his own interim cave residence, the Heavenpeak Sect's Elder Lu's cave residence was the same.
After Han Li walked through a sixty-meter-long passageway, he arrived at the cave residence's main hall, a stone room that was over twenty meters wide. A grey-robed old man with a friendly face and a middle-aged man with a tall hat were both waiting for him.
The grey-robed old man smiled and said, "Fellow Daoist Han, you've finally arrived."
"Brother Han has kept us waiting for quite a while. We've sent people to look for you for a
month already. It's a pity that you were so well hidden. Since we couldn't find even a trace of you, we thought Brother Han had changed his mind!" Marquis Nanlong bitterly smiled but a trace of happiness could be seen from his face.
"You also weren't easy to find, given how secretive your residence was." Han Li sighed and helplessly explained, "Not long before, I was sealed in seclusion for a time, so it was natural that you couldn't find me."
Just as Han Li took a seat, Marquis Nanlong wore a strange expression and said, "Brother Han is as famous as the sun is bright. Not only did you display extraordinary skill in the battle at the border, but I heard you slew a mid Nascent Soul Elder from a Jin Empire Devil Sect. You must've spent quite a bit of effort to conceal your abilities."
Unwilling to reveal the entire truth, Han Li shook his head and vaguely said, "It isn't as if Brother Nanlong hadn't seen my abilities before. If I truly possessed such incredible abilities, I wouldn't have had to flusteredly flee from the Moulan Plains. My current fame is only a matter of luck. Speaking of matters of luck, it's because of luck that I managed to appear before you today."
When Elder Lu and Marquis Nanlong heard Han Li, they couldn't help but look at each other with doubt. With their spiritual sense, they were able to clearly sense that Han Li's cultivation was only at early Nascent Soul stage. Likewise, they knew that Han Li was unordinary, but the two still found it hard to believe that he was able to slay a devil cultivator at the peak of midNascent Soul stage. However, all the rumors about Han Li were widely spread and spoke of his amazing feats, much to the bewilderment of the two mid Nascent Soul cultivators.
Marquis Nanlong dryly laughed and said with an ironic tone, "Hehe! Fellow Daoist Han is far too modest. To tell the truth, the greater your abilities, the better it will be when we enter Devilfall Valley. We look forward to witnessing the power of a cultivator on par with the three Great Heavenly South Cultivators."
When Han Li heard this, he silently smiled and said nothing further, wishing to drop the matter.
Elder Lu then spoke with a solemn voice, "Brother Han, since you've sought us out, it seems you've put some thought into our proposition. Are you willing to enter the valley with us and kill the Ancient Flame Toad together?" Once the old man finished speaking, Marquis Nanlong also stared at Han Li with a solemn expression.
"I don't wish to let go of such a golden opportunity, but there is something I have to ask before I come to a decision," Han Li answered with complete calm. "How will we divide the treasures we find amongst ancient cultivator remains? If the answer is acceptable, I will take the risk of accepting this journey." Although he was certain to enter Devilfall Valley one way or another, he wasn't about to reveal his intentions and allow them to negotiate the conditions.
It was unknown how much the two had discussed the matter previously, as the old man promptly responded, "If we are able to smoothly acquire the treasures, how about we evenly divide them?"
Han Li didn't immediately reply or reveal dissatisfaction. Instead, he muttered to himself for a moment and replied, "This is fair. After all, without you two to guide the way, I also wouldn't be able to deeply enter into the valley or be able to find the Ancient Flame Toad. However, I still have one more condition that I hope you two will agree to."
"Fellow Daoist Han, please state your condition!" Elder Lu spoke without any hesitation. While Marquis Nanlong's face stirred, he stared at Han Li in silence.
"I need the inner core of the Ancient Flame Toad. It is useful to me." Han Li spoke of the matter with a casual tone as if it were only something of little value.
Elder Lu promptly agreed upon hearing him, "This will be no problem! We are relying on you to slay the beast. It is only proper for you to have its inner core."
Marquis Nanlong's expression relaxed after hearing Han Li's request. "That's right. Even if Fellow Daoist hadn't mentioned it, we would've given the core to you anyway."
Han Li smiled after hearing them and said, "Since you have both agreed, I won't push matters further and be too greedy. I agree to head into the valley alongside you two Fellow Daoists."
"With Fellow Daoist Han by our side, the treasure will be acquired very smoothly."
"We will be relying on you, Brother Han." Seeing that Han Li had agreed, Marquis Nanlong and Elder Lu couldn't contain their excitement and spoke in succession.
Not at all carried away by their praise, Han Li smiled and said, "You both value me too greatly. I am well aware that you two will be the leaders in the valley and I will only be acting as support, considering my cultivation. Also, it will only be with our combined efforts that we'll be able to escape unscathed."
"This is natural. Since we sought out Fellow Daoist Han to cooperate with us, we trust you greatly. If those treacherous villains from the Ghost Spirit Sect had acquired the Yin Yang Ring, I would've had to directly kill them." When Marquis Nanlong mentioned the Ghost Spirit Sect, he gritted his teeth. It appeared that the damage he had suffered from his previous battle was truly frightening.
When Han Li heard this, he couldn't help but take another glance at Marquis Nanlong. While he still appeared well, it was unknown how much of his vitality he had managed to recover.
"Speaking of the Ghost Spirit Sect, do you two Fellow Daoists know about the method they are using to enter the valley? What is your take on it?" Han Li asked.
Marquis Nanlong coldly chuckled and a strange expression appeared on his face. "What is there to say about it? We merely interfered with their plans to monopolize the treasures. With other cultivators entering the valley, not only will it conceal our tracks but it will also prevent us from being surrounded by the Ghost Spirit Sect."
With slight surprise, Han Li said, "From what you've said, could it be that the both of you had deliberately leaked the information that the Ghost Spirit Sect had a method to enter Devilfall Valley?"
Marquis Nanlong's face then changed to a sullen expression, "We are indeed behind the matter. Before we journeyed to the Moulan Plains, I had known the Ghost Spirit Sect was researching a method to enter Devilfall Valley. Since they have suddenly grown hostile with me, I will not be polite."
Han Li didn't give his own thoughts on the situation and simply nodded, his mind wandering.
As for Elder Lu, he frowned and slowly said, "However, I didn't expect that the Ghost Spirit Sect would bluntly issue the Devilfall Medallions and sell them to various sects in limited quantities. As a result, they guaranteed themselves to be the largest power entering the valley. I fear the Ghost Spirit Sect plans on having these cultivators scout the way on their behalf. As a result, the valley's treasures will no longer be monopolized by them, but the danger will be vastly reduced as well."
Stroking his chin, Han Li smiled and said, "There is no such thing as a perfect situation in this world. Your actions have caused us more benefits than harm. It is likely the Ghost Spirit Sect's elders are gritting their teeth with resentment."
With roused spirits, Marquis Nanlong said, "Fellow Daoist Han's words are correct. This has caused the Ghost Spirit Sect to suffer for the time being. As for the rest of my hatred, I will have to settle accounts after I emerge from the valley."
Afterwards, the three began to discuss the movements of the Ghost Spirit Sect and chatted about the arrangements and details of entering Devilfall Valley.
Seven days later, the miasma surrounding the Myriad Link Mountains had nearly disappeared.
The many cultivators that had remained hidden nearby suddenly appeared in great numbers and made their way towards Devilfall Valley one after another. There were also cultivators who possessed lower cultivation and those that were unwilling to enter, who were merely taking advantage of the weakened miasma to search for spirit beasts and medicines in the mountains.
Devilfall Valley was located in the northwest area of the Myriad Link Mountains, spanning an area of tens of thousands of kilometers. However, the battle amongst ancient devil cultivators had caused the surrounding valley and sky to be layered with fearsome ancient restrictions. They were all incredibly difficult to deal with and overlapped in such a way that it formed an impenetrable barrier.
The sole area that lacked these restrictions was the entrance to Devilfall Valley. It was three hundred meters wide and narrowed as it went tens of kilometers within. This path was originally easy to pass through but the effects of the ancient battles had ravaged the area, leaving it densely filled with spatial tears.
Glaring white light shined from some of the tears while others were dim and completely invisible.
The sizes of these tears varied anywhere from a few inches to several tens of meters wide, allowing them to engulf several tens of men without problem. As for the small tears, they were similarly incredibly deadly blades hanging in the air. Most terrible of all is that over time, these spatial tears would wander, as well as open and disappear intermittently. There was no pattern to their appearance.
Because of these fearsome spatial tears, almost no cultivators had ever made it out of the valley alive, even bringing countless Nascent Soul eccentrics to their end. The reason for Devilfall Valley's reputation as the most dangerous area in the Heavenly South was mostly attributed to its spatial tears.
But this time would be different. According to the Ghost Spirit Sect, one would be able to safely pass into the valley, creating a disturbance throughout the Heavenly South. Suddenly, cultivators began to eye the treasures with greed, and the several hundred Devilfall Medallions were cleanly divided up eagerly.
There were also a few cultivators that were unable to acquire a Devilfall Medallion and could only gather around this area in hopes that they could somehow manage to sneak into the valley.