Han Li’s expression sank when he saw their attempt to escape, and proceeded to flick his fingers at the three cultivators who had emerged from the yellow mist. They were only able to fly ten meters away before being engulfed by sword Qi.
Miserable screams sounded out, followed by a shower of blood raining from the air.
Terrified, the hunchbacked old man that escaped in the blood cloud immediately poured the entirety of his spiritual power into the cloud, hoping to reach the street a hundred meters away.
He didn’t actually think he would be able to escape, but if he managed to escape in an area filled with morals and cause Han Li to hesitate, buying him precious time.
However, Han Li simply stood in place with a sneer and pointed at the blood cloud. The red thread that had just killed Shopkeeper Feng a moment ago suddenly appeared behind the cloud and pierced through it in a flash of crimson light.
An anguished wail sounded out and the blood cloud scattered. The hunchbacked old man then fell from the sky and was caught by a large hand of azure light. It had thrown away the three magic tools previously in its grasp, bringing only the old man back to Han Li.
As for the red thread, it completely disappeared without a trace before making a reappearance at his side.
Han Li held out his hand and the thread slowly fell into his palm to reveal its true form as an inch-long flying needle. It was translucent and crystalline with red light pulsing from its surface.
He looked at the needle with a satisfied expression. Quite a bit of effort went in to refine the crystallized demon core into this flying needle. Its great might, speed, and stealth were all to his satisfaction. And with a bit more tempering, he could increase its power by another stage.
With a flip of his hand, the needle was absorbed into his body. Emotionlessly, he raised his head to look at the hunchbacked old man grasped in the hand of light. The old man’s complexion had now turned completely pale in part due to the new hole in his abdomen.
When he saw Han Li looking at him, the old man forced a smile out of fear and spoke with a flattering tone, “This is a misunderstanding, a complete misunderstanding! Since Senior possesses such vast abilities, we certainly found the wrong person! Yes, Senior must certainly be a magnanimous person and mustn't lower himself to this foolish Junior’s level. I-I am a mere member of the Guanning’s Kong clan. Please, if you have any questions, I will be sure to answer them all!” Knowing that his situation was dire, he hastily rambled in hope of somehow persuading Han Li to spare him.
However, Han Li stuck a talisman onto the old man’s body and he suddenly ceased begging for his life as his eyes became spiritless.
“So troublesome, I only wish to know a few things so I didn’t have to worry,” he muttered softly and then summoned all of the magic tools on the ground into his hand before heading inside the courtyard, followed by the large azure hand tightly grabbing the old man.
The courtyard had a very simple smokescreen restriction placed down inside of it. Han Li paid it no regard and with a wave of his hand, he struck it with magic seals and shattered it. Afterwards, he brought the old man into one of the rooms.
After the time it took to finish a meal, Han Li struck the old man and turned him to ash, having him pass away from the world while he was unconscious. Then, he sat down in a wooden chair, and began to mull over his thoughts as he held his chin in hand.
Without having to worry about preserving the soul, he used the Dreamtear Technique to scour everything the old man knew.
He was a Foundation Establishment attendant of the Kong Clan that was in charge of their affairs in the Jin Capital.
This person was actually quite competent. He was able to find Shopkeeper Feng two years ago and threatened him into paying allegiance to the Kong Clan. After all, how could a mortal dare to oppose a cultivator?
When Han Li used Feng Yue’s jade pendant to contact Shopkeeper Feng, he had informed the Kong Clan members in turn, hoping to acquire merit with them.
As a result, the old man rejoiced at the appearance of the long lost Young Master of the Feng Clan and didn’t dare to release this opportunity. He set up a trap and personally set off to deliver the supposed Feng Yue to an ambush.
But when Han Li left the restaurant, he was able to see through the old man’s poor concealment techniques at a glance and asked Shopkeeper Feng a knowing question. Unfortunately, there were too many mortals nearby and he couldn’t directly take action. As such, he decided to follow them and later investigate the matter. Eventually, he was led into an ambush of Foundation Establishment cultivators, each of them posing as much of a threat to him as an ant.
He had an idea this was going to happen. Even if Core Formation cultivators laid in ambush for him, it would still prove to be a laughable matter.
As Han Li scoured through the old man’s soul, he made an astonishing discovery.
After the three noble clans of Guanning concluded their joint trade fair, it was discovered that the Kong Clan Ancestor had his soul devoured and that his corpse was possessed by a devil. As a result, the other two clans joined together to request assistance from the sects backing them, leading to the possessed Ancestor being struck down.
With this, the Kong Clan suffered a massive drop in strength, turning from the strongest to the weakest clan in the region. This had also foiled the plan of King Glorious Blaze who was hidden deep into the Snowmound Mountain Range. Furious, he directly raised his tomb and released several thousands of Foundation Establishment-grade undead soldiers, brazenly forming an Underworld Ghost Formation to destroy all human life in the mountains.
The high-grade cultivators backing the three clans had a massive battle against the three corpses of the ancient tomb. Many of the refined corpses and low grade disciples had perished, with the disciples’ souls consumed by the ghost formation.
As for the Nascent Soul-grade cultivators, they found themselves at a massive disadvantage as they fought against the tomb’s three corpses inside of the Underworld Ghost Formation, with one of these cultivators even suffering heavy injuries out of negligence. After the battle, cultivators of the three clans were trapped on the mountain where the grand auction had been held by the ghost formation, which spanned fifty kilometers around them. They could only rely on the grand formations that were previously established on the mountain to survive with much difficulty.
In truth, these Nascent Soul cultivators had heavily injured King Glorious Blaze in their ambush and had underestimated him as a result. They had believed that since he had been crippled, he should’ve been easy to deal with. But they hadn’t known that King Glorious Blaze had the strength equivalent to a late-Nascent Soul cultivator with the support of his tomb, and with the addition to two other early-Nascent Soul grade corpses, the mortal cultivators became completely overwhelmed in terms of might.
Had things continued, the cultivators would’ve been wiped out, but such bold movements over the span of the month had eventually alerted a late-Nascent Soul cultivator of a nearby Daoist sect. In a display of amazing strength, this eccentric scared the three corpses back into the depths of the Snowmound Mountains.
The late-Nascent Soul cultivator showed no intention of pursuing the corpses after forcing them to retreat. And after the three clans were rescued, they didn’t dare to remain in the vicinity and withdrew from the mountain range, giving the corpse monarch free reign over the land and an opportunity for him to rise again with greater strength.
However, King Glorious Blaze and the other two corpses were also fearful towards the late-Nascent Soul cultivator and didn’t dare to rashly emerge from the depths of the mountain.
Naturally, Han Li understood the old man only knew a portion of the truth, but he was able to draw a connection with the heavily injured King Glorious Blaze he had seen. After coming up with his own conclusions, he couldn’t help but click his tongue in astonishment.
This King Glorious Blaze was a rather fearsome character. He was already heavily injured when he fought against Master Wildsand, but only needed a short while to recover before raising a large scale assault against the nearby cultivators.
But as someone who consumed countless medicines, Han Li clearly knew that it was impossible to fully recover one’s vitality from such grave injuries so quickly no matter what medicine they took. Han Li had yet to fully recover his peak cultivation, for example, despite the number of medicines at his disposal. As such, the only possibility of King Glorious Blaze’s sudden recovery in strength was that his techniques as a myriad year corpse monarch were immensely powerful to begin with or his techniques had a unique property allowing for a miraculous recovery.
As Han Li pondered about the abilities of the corpse monarch, he recalled the Heavenly Corpse Pearl he set aside within his body. He drew much support from the pearl’s powerful effects to cultivate the Brightjade Arts. He was even unsure whether he would’ve been able to cultivate the technique to the second layer solely with the vajra relic.
The effectiveness of the pearl was perhaps the reason why King Glorious Blaze was able to recover his strength at miraculous speed.
Han Li calmly pondered the matter for a moment more before tossing it to the back of his mind, setting his thoughts on making future plans in the Jin Capital.
Needless to say, he wouldn’t be able to stay at this courtyard for long. Someone would likely come to investigate the disappearance of Shopkeeper Feng, which would be quite troublesome. It would be better for him to rent a room at a monastery or temple for a time as it would be much quieter than an inn.
Additionally, he would need to pay a visit to the cultivator markets in the Jin Capital to investigate the details of the upcoming great auction.
Having made certain of his plans, he departed from the residence, leaving no trace of him behind.