Just like the skeletal man and the fiendish man, the new arrivals didn’t ask any questions about Han Li’s identity either. When the elegant man saw that there were five people present, he directly saluted the three people that had arrived earlier and respectfully said, “I am Ke Yu. With respect, I’ve come to deliver your orders and guide you. Here is my proof of identity, please feel free to confirm it.” The elegant man then took out a black command medallion and handed it over to Han Li. As he clearly had the highest cultivation among the three that had first arrived, he naturally took the leading position.
Han Li wordlessly received the medallion and glanced at it before casually tossing it to the skeletal man.
The skeletal man took a cursory glance at it as well and then casually tossed it back to the elegant man. He then said with a lazy tone, “What use is there in showing the command medallion? Since a Foundation Establishment cultivator such as yourself was allowed to use the teleportation formation, there is little doubt about your role. As for our identities, there is also no use in examining them. We’ve only arrived here due to receiving orders as enforcers; it is impossible for there to be outsiders. So how about you start telling us our orders?”
The skeletal man appeared quite familiar with the process and boldly spoke with an expression of impatience.
When the elegant man heard this, he hesitated for a moment before revealing an embarrassed smile. He didn’t raise the matter about identifying Han Li or the others and only let out a dry cough before introducing the old man at his side.
“This is Senior Ding, an enforcer of the Azure Yang Sect. Your assignment is to assist Senior Ding in capturing a criminal of the Azure Yang Sect. Senior Ding will continue with the details, this Junior’s role was merely to introduce him.” He then obediently stepped back and deferred to the old man beside him.
“Azure Yang Sect? Don’t tell me that it’s Lord Three Yang’s Azure Yang Sect?” A blue glint appeared in the skeletal man’s eyes as he revealed astonishment.
When Han Li and the fiendish man to his side heard this, they also revealed surprise.
The Azure Yang Sect Elder surnamed Ding faintly smiled and saluted the three, “Hehe, it seems there is no need for me to speak of my sect’s founder since you already know his name. The Martial Ancestor has personally requested Coalition Leader Archsaint Six Paths for this matter. This is due to the fact that not only is the criminal a Core Formation cultivator but she is also in possession of many of the Azure Yang Sect’s most valuable treasures. It has already been many years since she escaped, but we recently acquired word of her whereabouts. Had the Martial Ancestor personally set out to capture her, it would naturally be quite easy, but unfortunately, he has more pressing matters at hand. As such, he was forced to ask you Fellow Daoists for assistance. With us four Core Formation cultivators, we will be able to capture that witch alive with certainty.” When he said that last sentence, his expression subconsciously became stern.
After hearing him say ‘witch’, the fiendish man bewilderedly asked, “Is this criminal a female cultivator?”
Han Li frowned, having faintly recalled something.
“That’s right, the witch is called Yuan Yao. Originally, she was a concubine that was prepared for the young sect master. However, it was beyond our expectations that this witch would be so vicious and merciless, and using her outstanding beauty and bewitchment techniques, she conspired with another woman and killed the young sect master in secret. Yuan Yao then took the young sect master’s treasures and precious medicine pills and fled, later succeeding in Core Formation. As that young master was Martial Ancestor Three Yang’s sole descendant, he naturally has a bone-deep hatred for the woman and views her as a top priority. So long as you three assist me in capturing the woman alive, our sect will be certain to repay you accordingly. We won’t leave you under compensated for your efforts.” The old man gritted his teeth as he spoke of the objective
The skeletal man and the fiendish man glanced at each other with a meaningful gaze. As for Han Li, he rubbed his nose in complete silence.
‘So the culprit turned out to be Yuan Yao!’ This mysterious and beautiful woman’s shocking history was far beyond Han Li’s imagination.
He had been suspicious about how the woman had managed to reach Core Formation in such a small period of time and why she had acted in such a secretive manner, but he wouldn’t have guessed that she had stolen everything from the corpse of a young sect master and was being pursued by the Azure Yang Sect. The many precious medicine pills on the Young Master seemed to have greatly benefited Yuan Yao. But now, it seemed the woman was trapped in a troublesome situation, and vague thoughts of disrupting their plan had sprung into his mind. However, they remained nothing more than thoughts for the moment. While they couldn’t be considered to have a particularly close relationship, they could at least be considered acquaintances.
At that moment, the skeletal man at his side started to speak, “Since we’ve already received orders from our superiors, my brother and I would’ve participated regardless. Do you know where this woman appeared? Since we’ve gathered here, then she mustn't be too far away!”
“Fellow Daoist is right, the witch lives in seclusion on a desolate island north of Bright Emperor Island. When she went out to purchase a few goods, one of our disciples happened to recognize her and followed her back to the island. Up until that moment, we didn’t have the slightest idea about where she could be. This woman is extremely cunning and she possesses treasures with tremendous might, not to mention our sect’s precious Azure Flameblasts. As such, everyone should take proper care.” When the old man gave his warning, he spoke towards Han Li especially. Since Han Li was a late Core Formation cultivator, the old man held him in even higher regard than the others.
But against their wildest imaginations, while Han Li was expressionlessly nodding his head, he was inwardly pondering whether or not he should exterminate them. However, when Han Li heard that Yuan Yao was located nearby and that she had many precious treasures on hand, his heart stirred. After a mere moment of thought, Han Li decided that after he saved her, he would take the opportunity to demand heavy rewards from her.
With the explanation completed, Ke Yu finished examining the people in the room and respectfully asked them for confirmation that they understood before setting off from the cave.
Somewhere else in the Inner Seas a cultivator with disheveled hair glanced down at the transportation formation under his feet with confusion. The transportation had been flickering with light when he had entered, but once he was about to teleport, the formation had lost power for some unfathomable reason. This caused him to gloomily rub the back of his head; he was at a loss of what to do.
Leaving behind the people guarding the formations, Han Li and the party arrived on the side of a mountain. In the distance, a village could vaguely be seen. The party of five then took to the skies and under the guidance of the Azure Yang Sect Elder, they left the island and flew north.
The flight was uneventful and the party flew in silence. With Han Li’s detached and withdrawn mannerisms, none dared to tactlessly chat along the way as he possessed the highest cultivation among them.
About half a day later, the group of five spotted a small island about ten kilometers wide ahead of them.
A cold light flickered within the old man’s eyes as he came to a stop, and coolly said, “This is the place. The witch should be hiding inside one of the hills.”
Han Li and the others soon came to a stop and gazed at the island in the distance. Apart from some sparse vegetation, there were only a few small stone mountains and the spiritual Qi was extremely scarce.
After taking a look at the island, the fiendish man couldn’t help but doubtfully ask, “Fellow Daoist Ding, are you not mistaken? The witch is a Core Formation cultivator. Why would she cultivate in a place like this?”
“Be at ease, there is no way our info is wrong.” The old man surnamed Ding replied with complete confidence. He then formed his hands into an incantation gesture and flung his hand out, causing a streak of bright yellow light to streak across the sky.
A short moment later, a burst of yellow radiance suddenly shone from one side of the island.
The old man was happy after seeing this, and hastily turned his head to the other three and explained, “One of our sects’ disciples remained here to monitor the woman. It seems that she has yet to leave the island.”
After that was said, they waited for a moment more before a streak of red light approached them from the direction of the yellow light. A moment later, the red streak of light arrived in front of them and faded away to reveal a grey-clothed mid Foundation Establishment cultivator that appeared to be about forty years old. His robes were identical to the old man’s robes with azure flame emblems embroidered into them, but the flames were far smaller than those on the old man’s robes.
When the man recognized old man Ding, he hastily bowed to him and respectfully said, “Disciple greets Martial Uncle Ding and Seniors!”
The old man waved off his greeting without paying it any attention and asked in a deep voice, “Is the witch still on the island?”
“She is still there. The witch has yet to leave ever since this disciple tailed her back to this island.” The middle-aged man spoke with certainty.
The old man spoke with a deep tone, “Good, you’ve done well in your assignment. When this matter is over, you will be promoted to an inner disciple within the sect. Go ahead and lead the way.”
When the middle-aged man heard this, he had a rapt smile as he repeatedly thanked the old man. He then turned around and flew to the small island.
In the blink of an eye, the party arrived above the small island. The middle-aged man then pointed to a stone mountain and respectfully said, “On the witch’s return, this disciple saw her approach that mountain and then disappear without a trace. Although I couldn’t investigate closer due to my low cultivation, I reckon that woman’s cave residence is inside that mountain.”
When the skeletal man heard that, a strange light flickered within his eyes as he gazed at the mountain. He then slowly nodded his head and said, “That’s right. The mountain’s exterior is clearly under the effects of high level restrictions. Unless one were to examine that particular mountain up close, they wouldn’t be able to discover anything strange about the island. It is no wonder why the woman was able to conceal herself here for so many years.”