Han Li stared at Grand Immortal Xu’s Nascent Soul and calmly said, “Although I don’t fear your Endless Sky Temple and I don’t want to provoke any powerful enemies, that doesn’t mean I’m willing to take the marking of your holy beast and become a part of your temple. I also don’t know if the marking has anything strange behind it. It’ll be fine so long as your temple doesn’t seek me out any more, but don’t blame me for being ruthless if you continue to bother me.”
Grand Immortal Xu hurriedly agreed, “That is only natural. Given your current abilities, we wouldn’t do something that would harm ourselves. Could you now release the Saintess?”
Han Li snorted and bluntly said, “Why the rush? I still haven’t finished raising my conditions.”
“Then, please continue.” Grand Immortal Xu felt his heart sink.
An odd expression appeared on Han Li’s face, “I can give back the holy beast incarnation, but not immediately. It will take a few years. I can at least guarantee that the beast won’t suffer any harm.”
Grand Immortal Xu replied with a hesitant tone, “This... this will be hard to agree to.”
“This is only the first condition. Secondly, I will place down a few restrictions on both your Nascent Souls as well to prevent you from breaking your promise. Don’t worry, it isn’t a soul restriction technique. At our level, such tricks are hardly effective. But I happened upon an ancient refinement technique for something called the ‘Soulburn Mine’. You will need to swallow one of these and they each contain a thread of my spiritual sense.”
Grand Immortal Xu’s heart trembled and he shouted, “A Soulburn Mine! You might as well kill me right now!”
Han Li calmly stated, “If you aren’t willing to agree, then I will head to the Soaring Sky Plains after I’m done with you two. I imagine the Moulan will be very excited to know that all of your Grand Immortals are dead. When the time comes, it is likely your people will become extinct from this world.”
Grand Immortal Xu felt an icy chill spread down his back and he furiously shouted, “You dare!?”
“Why wouldn’t I? When you were just trying to bind me with that marking earlier. I detest the idea of entering the control of others. To avoid that I would need to use another method and this is the only one I have. If you are unwilling to swallow the Soulburn Mine, I’ll be taking this opportunity to rid myself of you. This is your last chance.” Without any intention of delaying the matter further, Han Li raised his hand and bent his thumb, counting down, “Five!”
In a panic, Grand Immortal Xu hastily rattled, “How do I know you won’t use the mine to deal with us at a more opportune time?”
“How would I ever find a more opportune time than now?” Han Li sneered and folded his index finger, “Four!”
“But...” The Nascent Soul began to mutter to itself and its eyes wildly wandered as if it were looking for an opportunity to escape.
But at some unknown time, Gui Ling had already flown above the peacock’s head and was watching the Nascent Soul with a cold expression.
Startled, he felt his heart drop.
With the three surrounding him, escape was only a vain delusion.
Han Li now only had one finger standing.
Gui Ling and the human-puppet released an astonishing spiritual pressure in a threatening gesture.
Gui Ling raised her hand and summoned the silver axe into her grasp. The puppet also summoned the thunderfire bow and the small golden arrow in its hands flared with light, aimed directly at the Keen Spirit Peacock.
Han Li flipped his hand and summoned the Triflame Fan into his grasp. With a gentle wave, talisman characters rolled across its surface and tri-colored flames flashed, releasing the clear cry of a phoenix.
When Grand Immortal Xu saw that light that flared from the fan, his skin turned completely pale and he tightly shut his mouth.
A glint as cold as sword steel shined from Han Li’s eyes as he uttered, “One!”
Seeing that Han Li was willing to carry out his threat, Grand Immortal Xu could only grit his teeth and yelled, “Fine! I agree...”
When Han Li heard this, he nodded and held one hand in an incantation gesture and chanted ancient words.
After a short while, Han Li’s complexion paled and a white ball of light shot out from his forehead and floated towards Grand Immortal Xu’s Nascent Soul.
Han Li still held the Triflame Fan in his other hand. It was obvious that he wasn’t going to allow Grand Immortal Xu the opportunity to escape.
Gui Ling and the puppet also stayed on guard. Grand Immortal Xu even felt the pressure they emitted become even stronger as they focused on his Nascent Soul.
He could only inwardly sigh as he looked at the tiny white ball with fear. It had a white misty layer that covered something faintly signed with rainbow light. It matched the description of the Soulburn Mine, known to be a legendary technique during ancient times.
It soon arrived before him and was being kept at bay by the rainbow light that covered him. He still hesitated, but Han Li’s glare left no room for discussion and he could only allow the white ball to pass through his barrier.
In a flash, the ball entered his Nascent Soul, leaving no trace.
Then, Grand Immortal Xu hastily used his spiritual sense to examine his soul.
He found nothing out of the ordinary as if the mine wasn’t there.
This was only cause for greater fear.
This legendary technique was something that was created from a cultivator’s spiritual sense and was undetectable.
It was exactly as the legends said. It wouldn’t be possible to rid himself of something he couldn't find.
Han Li indifferently interrupted his search, “Fellow Daoist shouldn’t think about forcefully expelling it. It isn’t something that can be removed with magic power. So long as you hold true to our conditions, I will not activate the mine.”
Grand Immortal Xu wore an unsightly expression in response.
Han Li then turned his sights on the unconscious Lin Yinping and frowned. After some hesitation, he shook his head and placed a mine on her too.
Still unable to find the mine, Grand Immortal Xu resentfully said, “Since you placed us underneath this restriction instead of killing us, do you plan on coercing us?”
“Coerce you?” Han Li said indifferently, “Don’t worry, so long as you obedient follow me here and lend me your aid, we’ll go our separate ways when we leave. You’ll still be members of the Endless Sky Temple, and I’ll return to secluded cultivation in the Heavenly South. As for the mines, they should disappear in just a few hundred years.”
“‘Just’ a few hundred years!” Grand Immortal Xu was at a loss for words.
“We’ve wasted enough time. Let’s move.” Han Li glanced at the unconscious Lin Yinping and waved his sleeve, covering her in an azure mist.
Her eyes soon began to stir and she slowly roused. When she saw Han Li at her side, she blurred away without another thought, moving over thirty meters away. She then spat out a silver flying sword in her vigilance.
“Fellow Daoist Lin, please don’t act rashly!” Grand Immortal Xu shouted out. He then began to quickly send her voice transmissions.
Han Li calmly observed with his hands behind his back.
Gui Ling returned to his side and the human-like puppet once again disappeared from sight.
In the blink of an eye, the Endless Sky Saintess Lin Yinping came to realize what had happened to her and her complexion instantly paled, her eyes unable to conceal her terror.
Han Li thought to say something, but then a huge explosion sounded out, shaking the entire space that contained them. A huge swordstreak pierced through the walls of the sealed space that had previously trapped them, creating a large hole three meters wide. Two streaks then shot through, circling once in the air before dropping down near Han Li and the others, revealing a man in Daoist robes and one in a scholar’s.
“Daoist Sevenwonders!” Lin Yinping saw a black-robed scholar amongst them and wore a trace of joy.
The black-robed scholar had a hook nose and a harsh appearance. With a tone of surprise, he asked, “Yi! How did Fairy Lin end up here?”
This person was the Heavenly Devil Sect’s Sevenwonders. Because the sect had some trade agreements with the Endless Sky Temple, Lin Yinping had friendly relations with the old devil, which led to him allowing her to borrow the Clear Sound Mirror at the Jin Capital — a treasure that could see through illusions.
The white-haired red-faced Daoist at his side was the High Zenith Sect’s Master Sable. When he saw the woman, he called out to her with a beaming smile, but when he saw the others, he wore an astonished expression.
The old Daoist’s smile faded and he bewilderedly asked, “Fairy Lin, who are these two Fellow Daoists? Fellow Daoist Xu’s peacock is here, but I don’t see him.”