Chapter 973: Twin Scorpion Mountain

Half a day later, Han Li put away the Hidden Fortune Mansion and flew off to the mainland in a streak of light. He rapidly reached land after a few undisturbed weeks.

He didn’t revisit the Heavenly Talisman Sect and instead rushed to Nanjiang, the southern border. He intermittently stopped throughout the journey to refine the portion of the Triflame Fan that required human flames. Han Li was gloomy that he wasn’t able to encounter a thunderstorm along the way.

He wasn’t worried, rather the opposite, the dense jungles of the southern border had a rainy climate with lightning often mixed in. It would only be a matter of time before he could refine the heaven flame.

Four months had passed before Han Li arrived at the Nanjiang[1] Region, having to go through multiple provinces along the way.

[1] The Nanjiang Region is a name that literally translates to the southern border. Not only is this territory is on the southern border, but its name literally translates to this as well.

The region was one of the few places that weren’t under the rule of a large sect. Rather, the region’s resources were split up between a dozen or so mid-grade sects. Although there would commonly be strife in between these sects, if an external power were to invade, they would immediately unite. Even the great ten righteous and devilish sects haven’t been able to subject the territory under their rule, assuming an almost independent position in the Jin Empire.

Under such conditions, these sects were distrusting of outsiders and cultivated closely related techniques that were born of themselves.

They mostly cultivated rare Yin Poison techniques that were rarely seen. Not only were they skilled in using poison and insects, their skills in curses had reached perfection. If one fought with a Nanjiang cultivator, a single moment of carelessness would result in a vicious, unblockable blow.

The Chaoyun Prefecture was placed west in Nanjiang, with Twin Scorpion Mountain located in one of its desolate mountain ranges. It was covered in miasma hundreds of kilometers wide yearlong. Unless one had high enough cultivation or took medicine for the miasma, they would be unable to enter.

The mountain range was actually somewhat famous in Nanjiang. As a result of its miasma, the mountain grew many valuable poisonous plants and is the home to two types of venomous scorpions that were ideal for low-grade cultivators using insect techniques.

When Han Li arrived near this mountain, it was during the yearly eruption of miasma. Many cultivators were gathered nearby as the two breeds of venomous scorpions would emerge from their burrows during this time.

However, a majority of these cultivators were at Qi Condensation stage with a few Foundation Establishment cultivators mixed in. Since the mountain range was of little interest to high-grade cultivators, not even a single Core Formation cultivator was present.

If a mid-Nascent Soul eccentric like Han Li was discovered in the area, it would be cause for a great commotion. As such, he hadn’t stayed in the mountain’s surroundings and instead flew into the dense, pink miasma. The azure light protecting his body easily blocked it and the venomous insects that lurked inside.

After making sure of his bearings, he directly made his way to the heart of the mountain.

Although Elder Wei had originally mentioned the name of the Twin Scorpion Mountain, he hadn’t given a specific point. As such, Han Li decided to visit the main peak first.

While he flew and pondered about the purpose behind Elder Wei’s request, he suddenly heard a miserable scream from far away.

“It’s a Scorpion King, an Iron Tail Scorpion variant! Everyone, run!” A hoarse man’s voice shouted out in terror, followed by the nearby sounds of explosions and a strange insect’s cry. 

Han Li glanced in their direction with blue light flickering from his eyes.

With sounds of tearing wind, a group of men and women began to appear within the miasma as they rushed in his direction. They were running with pointed feet and were sweeping across the ground in a clear display of body lightening techniques.

One of the women in the group caused Han Li to suddenly yelp in surprise when he saw her.

Soon after, he swept his sleeve and an azure mist spread out, clearing the miasma in the area, clearing an area of a hundred meters. The group came to a sudden stop when they entered the clearing.

Before they could react, Han Li pointed to the area behind them and made a fist. A hand of azure light appeared and captured something black in its grasp. Then, it flew in a circle and returned to Han Li.

The hand held a foot-long scorpion with a shiny jet-black shell, its half-foot-long tail was barbed and glowed with a purple light. This was the Iron Tail Scorpion variant that was pursuing these low-grade cultivators.

The scorpion was only a grade-two spirit beast, and was firmly confined by the hand of light, only capable of snarling in its capture. These cultivators were all dumbstruck when they saw Han Li in the air and were at a complete loss.

The light around him scattered and he asked one of the women, “I didn’t think I’d see Fellow Daoist Wang here after I left the Jin Capital. Is Young Miss Cao doing well?”  [1]

“It’s Fellow Da- No, Senior Han! Junior Martial Sister Cao is still in the Jin Capital.  I’ve only come here with a few comrades in search of spirit medicines.” Lady Wang hurriedly took the initiative to respectfully salute him. Ever since Han Li took off after he was attracted by the sword cry, she had come to realize Han Li’s identity as a high-grade cultivator and didn’t dare to act casually with him.

When the others saw that Lady Wang recognized this great cultivator, they felt relieved and all stepped forward and saluted Han Li in thanks. However, they all believed Han Li to be at Core Formation stage as Nascent Soul cultivators were far beyond the possibility of contact.

Han Li nodded in acknowledgment and then turned to look at the confined scorpion with a frown. “As the niece of the South Pillar General, you shouldn’t need to brave the risk of looking for spiritual herbs.”

Lady Wang’s expression blanked and then she wryly smiled, “Although my clan is rich and has provided me with a few spirit stones, my aptitude is only average. How could they possibly afford so many spirit stones on me?”

Hmm. In truth, your aptitude is quite good; Foundation Establishment stage isn’t out of reach for you. Since we had the fate to meet again, I’ll hand this over to you. I have business to attend to soon, take care of yourselves.” After that was said, Han Li casually pointed to the hand of light.

With a soft bang, the hand scattered into specks of light and the large scorpion trembled before falling to the ground, completely immobile.

“Senior, I...” Just as Lady Wang was about to utter words of thanks, Han Li disappeared in a flash and her words came to a sudden stop.

The other cultivators looked at the large scorpion variant with envy.

However, since the scorpion was something a high-grade cultivator had given her, none of them dared to rob her. They could only watch as the woman stuck several talismans on it and happily placed it in her spirit beast pouch.

Moments later, an explosion sounded out and the miasma covering the sky began to coil. Then, a furious wind scattered some of the miasma to reveal a black storm cloud floating in the air.

At that moment, Han Li glanced at the black mountain in the distance and muttered, “The time has finally come.” He then flew towards in the mountain in a streak.

Rolls of thunder sounded out and heavy rain pelted the surrounding miasma, causing it to shrink down to several meters off the ground. On the mountain in the distance, a storm began to reveal itself.

Han Li descended onto a large boulder on the mountaintop, remaining dry with the aid of a barrier of light surrounding him. However, there were eight cultivators already gathered: two at Foundation Establishment and the rest at Qi Condensation.

The group all had their hair wrapped in a bun and wore native outfits. When they saw Han Li appear, they all looked at each other in dismay.

Han Li swept his gaze at the cultivators and released a flood of astonishing spiritual Qi. After waving his arm at the cultivators, he coldly shouted, “Get lost!” as wind wildly blew around him, a mist of azure mist surged.

In their alarm, a few of the cultivators released protective barriers and hastily flew off on their magic tools. However, all of them were engulfed by azure mist and flung a hundred meters away. This made for a sorry sight as they wore faces of terror.

At that moment, they wordlessly rushed off the mountain now that they knew Han Li was a high-grade cultivator.

As Han Li watched them disappear from the mountaintop, he expressionlessly turned his gaze to the sky.

Lightning roared and danced in the black clouds above him.

[1] The green-robed woman Han Li spoke to was Cao Mengrong’s Senior Martial Sister Wang who he had earlier met on his way to the Jin Capital.