Chapter 458: Paths of Ice and Fire
Zenith Yin’s expression slightly changed. After a moment of silence, he calmly said, “Brother Man, since you have doubts, I won’t conceal anything. My junior disciple will prove quite useful during our treasure hunt in the Inner Halls. I hope you will forgive him if he has offended you.”
Zenith Yin’s words caused Han Li to be extremely annoyed. When could he have possibly offended Man Huzi? Was it not Man Huzi who had forcefully seized the jade pillar from him and left him with a bellyful of anger?!
Naturally, Han Li didn’t dare to say this and the words remained in his mind.
With a wave of his arm, Man Huzi lazily said, “Offend? I don’t even recognize this youngster. There was no offense! I merely saw that his cultivation technique was quite interesting and I wanted to test it. But, how can a Core Formation cultivator be useful in the Inner Halls? Are you duping me?”
Zenith Yin frowned and hesitated for a moment. Afterwards, he gave Layman Qing Yi an indicative glance. Layman Qing Yi faintly smiled and sent Man Huzi a sound transmission.
Seeing the two’s secretive manners, Man Huzi revealed slight disdain. But after he heard the transmission, his expression suddenly changed, and he looked at Han Li in shock.
Man Huzi then asked the old man a few questions with sound transmissions and came to a sudden realization, revealing an icy expression.
Man Huzi narrowed his eyes and stared at Zenith Yin with a sharp gaze. He said in an imposing manner, “Zenith Yin, I was wondering why you would inexplicably take in a disciple. So it turned out you... humph! You sure came up with a good plan!”
“There is no need to be so angry, Brother Man. If you came across a similar matter, perhaps you would’ve used a similar method. In addition, we’ve revealed the matter to you and have no intention of monopolizing the harvest. We’ll be relying on Brother Man in the coming treasure hunt.” Zenith Yin calmly said.
After a moment of thought, Man Huzi’s expression grew calm, and he said, “If I don’t take action, Wan Tianming and his group of hypocrites wouldn’t give you a chance to take the treasure. So let’s get the business out the way first. If you get the treasure, how are we splitting it?”
“How about we split the treasure into four? Including Young Friend Han, each person will get a share.” Layman Qing Yi had long considered this question and immediately answered.
This answer caused Man Huzi to become angry. With a derisive expression, he said, “Qing Yi, do you really think I’m so easily swindled? Do you really think that you’ll be able to handle Wan Tianming when the time comes? And you actually want to split it evenly amongst us?”
The old man sighed and responded with a chuckle, “Don’t be angry, Brother Man. It’s true that my thoughts aren’t entirely fair. How does Brother Man feel it should be decided?”
Man Huzi spoke with a serious expression, “I don’t care how much you all receive, I require half of the treasure. After all, Wan Tianming alone is more than enough to deal with the both of you. If I’m going to take him on, then it is only fair that I get half.”
Man Huzi’s words weren’t surprising to Zenith Yin and the old man. They had clearly expected him to make large demands.
Zenith Yin unhurriedly said, “An entire half? Brother Man’s appetite is truly great. But don’t forget that without my junior disciple’s assistance, our odds of acquiring the treasure are pathetically low. My disciple also requires a share.”
“Humph! A Core Formation cultivator also gets a share among us?” Man Huzi disdainfully glanced at Han Li.
Han Li’s expression stirred for a moment before calming down.
“Hehe! If he were only a rogue cultivator, he obviously wouldn’t be entitled to a share of the Heavenvoid Cauldron’s treasures. But since he is my disciple, he will get one.” Zenith Yin was unwilling to back down.
A stern expression appeared on Man Huzi’s face. Just as he thought to say something, the old man rushed to propose a compromise, “There is no need to fight. How about this? When we acquire the treasure, we’ll split the treasure into five. Two shares will go to Brother Man and the other three will go to the rest of us. Surely, that is fair?”
Man Huzi blankly stared for a moment, before stroking his beard in silence.
Zenith Yin immediately declared his position with a heavy voice, “I find these conditions acceptable. What do you think, Brother Man?”
“Fine! Although I am not still not satisfied, it is better than the previous proposal.” Man Huzi wrinkled his brow and spoke with an annoyed tone.
He had already figured out that Zenith Yin and the old man had joined hands, and that the proposed conditions were likely their bottom line. As such, he was unable to pressure them too strongly.
As the Devil Dao eccentrics were discussing how to split their not yet acquired treasures, Wan Tianming and the Righteous Dao cultivators were also having a secret discussion about the treasures.
“Sect Master Wan, how certain are you that your Gold Threaded Silkworm will be able take out the Heavenvoid Cauldron? There have been many experts in the past that thought to acquire this treasure, but not one of them were successful. I fear we will also be unsuccessful.” Daoist Priest Tian Wuzi spoke with worry.
Wan Tianming calmly said, “Be at ease. While my Gold Threaded Silkwork doesn’t have high odds, we did acquire the Sky Azure Flower. So long as I feed it to the silkworm when we acquire the treasure and overexert it, we will have at least a four percent chance of success. That can already be considered high.”
“This humble Daoist also knows of this. I merely felt ill at ease when thinking of this matter. I am ashamed. It seems my own cultivation is lacking and my mind must be further polished.” Tian Wuzi spoke with slight embarrassment.
Wan Tianming chuckled, “Hehe, I am also deeply worried that those two old freaks, the Heavenly Star Sages, would acquire the treasures of the Heavenvoid. It only human nature as we are mere cultivators. We aren’t desireless like true Immortals.”
The old farmer then said, “However, Sect Master Wan had better keep watch on those Devil Dao cultivators. They are secretly talking about something. They seem to have just had some internal strife, but now they are bantering as if nothing happened. Are those Devil Dao cultivators scheming something?”
Having heard this, Wan Tianming looked at the Devil Dao cultivators in the distance who had finished their negotiations and scoffed.
Then with a solemn expression, he said, “While the techniques and might of the Devil Dao are powerful, their temperaments are easily distorted. A few strange displays isn’t out of the ordinary. There is nothing to make a fuss about! Even if we fail in our attempt, we must also make sure that the Heavenvoid Cauldron doesn’t fall into the hands of the Devil Dao. After all, Zenith Yin’s mutant fire serpent is also a spirit beast capable of acquiring the treasure.”
“Sect Master Wan speaks truly! If the Devil Dao acquires it, they will flourish. Given the current weakness of the Star Palace, we cannot allow the Devil Dao to replace the Star Palace as hegemon of the Scattered Star Seas.” Tian Wuzi repeatedly nodded his head.
Wan Tianming was very pleased and thought to say something more when the blue-red light from the huge mountain suddenly flourished. The walls near the entrance to the canyon started to tremendously shake, splitting open two separate passageways. It seemed that they lead into the canyon.
A meter tall stone slab emerged at each of the entrances with the words “Path of Profound Crystal” and “Path of Molten Rock” in ancient characters.
Suddenly, the cultivators closest to the entrances hurriedly took a step forward.
Those that approached the entrance to the Path of Molten Rock grew light headed and felt their mouths dry from the gust of scorching heat that flew past them.
As for those near the entrance to the Path of Profound Crystal, it continuously emitted a white, ice-cold aura. The faint whistling of harsh winds caused one’s heart to grow cold.
Upon seeing the paths appear, Zenith Yin stood with roused spirits. He spoke to Han Li with a caring voice, “Han Li, lets go. We will gather up again on the other side of the Paths of Fire and Ice. Although I am incapable of personally bringing you through them, I will give you a treasure to resist either the cold or heat depending on what path you choose.”
When Han Li was traversing the ghost mist, he had been informed about the Paths of Fire and Ice by Fairy Violet Spirit.
He knew that after setting foot in the passage, he would be teleported to a predetermined area in the canyon. There was very little chance that he would be teleported together with others as had been reaffirmed by Zenith Yin.
After some thought, Han Li slowly said, “I will walk the Path of Molten Rock. I happen to possess some fire resistant clothes that might prove to be useful.
Zenith Yin took out a deep blue jade pendant from his storage pouch without hesitation and handed it over to Han Li. “Alright, take good care of this. With this item, you should have no problems passing through the trial, given your cultivation.”
When Man Huzi saw this, he insincerely smiled and said, “This is truly unexpected. Such a miserly person as Zenith Yin actually showed a moment of generosity. Isn’t that your White Rhino Emblem?”