Chapter 331 : Orders
After carefully putting away the items he procured from the Emperor, Han Li looked up toward the rainbow light and quickly flew to a corner of the bamboo forest.
After a brief moment, Han Li arrived at a huge bamboo stalk with a formation flag stabbed into it and pulled the flag out.
The rainbow light barrier immediately disappeared without a trace.
Han Li smiled faintly and flew off to another corner of the forest.
Soon after, Han Li left the bamboo forest, having retrieved all of the formation flags and plates with exceptional care.
After experiencing the might of the improved “Five Elements Reversal Formation”, Han Li had come to value it far more than before.
When Han Li calmly walked out of the bamboo forest, something caught his eye: the pulverized corpse of the Emperor of Yue. It seemed that when the rainbow light had disappeared, the body had fallen onto the ground.
Han Li wrinkled his bow and let out a sigh. He then shot a fist-sized fireball toward the corpse, turning it to ash.
Han Li would have lamented if the ashes of such a remarkable character had been blown into the wind after death. As such, Han Li patted his storage pouch, and a streak of golden light flew out, blasting a large hole in the ground.
Han Li then lightly waved his sleeve, sweeping the ashes into the hole with a gentle gust of wind.
Suddenly, white light flashed. Just as Han Li thought to close the hole, he paused.
With amazement, Han Li beckoned with his hand, causing an embroidered cloth to fly from the ashes and into his hand.
“This is...” Han Li took a quick look at it with curiosity.
This embroidered cloth was slightly yellow and appeared to be ancient. He did not know what it was made from, but it emitted a faint glimmering light. Han Li suspected that the embroidery was actually an indistinct map.
Han Li’s curiosity was piqued and he hastily examined the map. After looking through it several times, he then lost all interest.
This was because after careful examination, it was certain to not be any terrain in the State of Yue as it was particularly unfamiliar. The drawing should be of a strange land. Furthermore, the cloth was clearly damaged and incomplete. He wasn’t sure if it was even half of the original map or merely a tiny piece.
However, since the map only appeared after the Emperor of Yue had turned to ash, it seemed he had used some sort of secret technique to conceal it within his body. Else, his puppet beasts would’ve found it from the start.
From this, it appeared that the map was extremely important!
Han Li pondered for a moment before deciding to store the badly damaged map into the jade box along with the Five Elements Blood Cores.
Now was not the time to unravel this mystery. He had to hurry and find the others.
After all, with the Emperor of Yue dead, the aftermath would be quite troublesome!
When Han Li found Chen Qiaoqian and the others in front of the Cold Palace, he was met with some unfortunate news.
They discovered Wu Xuan’s corpse within the Black Fiend School Master’s private room; he had recently died as a blood sacrifice and had his blood essence absorbed.
When Han Li heard this, he was startled. But then he smiled bitterly and remained silent.
Because of this matter with the Black Fiend School, many of his own sect’s Foundation Establishment cultivators had died. When Han Li returned, his master, Li Huayuan, definitely wouldn’t look at him favorably. After all, this matter was brought up because of him!
After wallowing in the feeling of helplessness, Han Li bluntly passed the responsibility of dealing with the aftermath to Chen Qiaoqian and Zhong Weiniang. He then found an excuse to return first to the Qin Residence.
However, Han Li completely had not expected that as soon as he returned, he would meet an entirely unexpected visitor.
“Greetings to Martial Uncle Han!” A middle-aged man wearing embroidered clothes saluted him.
“Martial Nephew Ma! Why have you come to find me so late? Has something important happened?” Han Li’s eye’s flashed with confusion.
Han Li, who had just returned from the Forbidden City of Yue, did not expect to find the disciple responsible for contacting the sect from Yuejing to be waiting for him in his courtyard.
Furthermore, it appeared the disciple had been waiting for quite a long time.
“Martial Uncle, this one has just received news of an order. All Foundation Establishment disciples must hurry to the Seven Sect’s main barracks at the border. The enemy has delivered a war ultimatum. In two months, the Six Devil Dao Sects will have a battle for supremacy with the Seven Sects of Yue. For this, all hands are to return to the battlefield. In addition, Martial Ancestor Li has sent a message to you!” The embroidered-clothed man solemnly said and handed a writ and jade slip over to Han Li.
When Han Li heard this, he was slightly startled, but he still maintained his calm expression as he took the two items and carefully examined them.
The writ’s orders were exactly as he had been told. All Foundation Establishment cultivators out on missions are required to assemble at the border camp within a month of receiving the writ and the date of the decisive battle had already been determined. The spiritual signature at the end of the writ was also genuine.
Having finished reading the writ, Han Li submerged his spiritual sense into the jade slip.
A hollow image of Li Huayuan appeared within and spoke very plainly. He merely instructed that Han Li no longer needed to protect the Qin Residence and that Han Li along with his other disciples were to return to the border. He had previously received information that the Devil Dao’s plan to infiltrate the State of Yue’s secular world and wreak havoc was canceled for some unknown reason.
When Han Li heard the few words of Li Huayuan’s hollow image, he was vexed to the point of spitting out blood.
Han Li strongly suppressed the sullenness in his heart and withdrew his consciousness from the slip.
After a moment of thought, Han Li looked at the items in his hands and said, “Leave behind the writ and jade slip. I will inform the others about this!”
The middle-aged man hesitated for a moment before respectfully replying, “Then, I will have to trouble Senior Uncle!”. He then took his leave.
Han Li didn’t speak any further and watched as the middle-aged man departed. Afterwards, he softly exhaled and slowly returned to his room.
On the morning of the second day, Han Li and the others sat in the guest hall and discussed their departure from Yuejing.
“Before I can travel to the border camp and participate in the great battle, I must first pay a visit to my clan. Thus, I will not be able to travel together with you all.” Not long after she read the writ, Chen Qiaoqian said this as she lightly bit on her lips.
“I must deliver Senior Martial Brother Liu’s remains back to his clan.” Zhong Weiniang said with a haggard appearance and slightly red eyes.
Although it wasn’t explicitly said, all the others undoubtedly intended to travel alone as well.
“I have no plans, so I’ll travel together with Junior Martial Brother Han.” Song Meng was quite forthright and patted the shoulder of Han Li beside him.
“Fourth Senior Martial Brother, I can’t! I also have a few personal matters to attend to.” Han Li had previously made plans and declined Song Meng with a slight smile.
“Let’s forget about it then!” Song Meng appeared very disappointed
“How about I accompany Junior Martial Brother Song?” Chen Qiaoqian’s sole surviving Senior Martial Brother said to Song Meng with a smile.
Song Meng’s spirits were immediately raised. Now, he would have someone to swap pointers with along the way.
When Han Li saw this, he couldn’t help but inwardly laugh! He didn’t think that after such a bloody battle, his Fourth Senior Martial Brother would stay completely the same.
With that, everyone agreed that on the morning of the next day, they would go their separate ways.
By late afternoon, Han Li had already informed Qin Yan that the danger had come to pass and he would be departing the next day.
Qing Yan revealed great happiness at the news, but hastily said a few words urging Han Li to stay as a guest. Han Li refused with a faint smile, so Qin Yan could only drop the subject.
After speaking with Qin Yan, Han Li returned to his residence.
But he didn’t expect that in an unavoidable garden on the way back, he would encounter Chen Qiaoqian wearing a white skirt with her back to him.
As she was admiring the flowers, she just happened to be blocking his path.
Having seen this, Han Li was a bit surprised and found it embarrassing to silently pass by her.
“Senior Martial Sister Chen, what a coincidence!” Han Li found a casual encounter preferable to just passing her by.
However, Chen Qiaoqian suddenly straightened her back and turned around to face Han Li with an appearance as dainty as a flower.
“It isn’t a coincidence! I was waiting for you here!” Chen Qiaoqian spoke, slightly opening her almond-shaped lips.
With a complicated expression on her face, she stared at Han Li with her autumn-colored eyes.
“Waiting... for me?” Han Li looked astonished.
Although he did not know why, he felt both bitterness and joy in his heart.
After a moment of silence, Chen Qiaoqian spoke a few words that left Han Li astonished. “I heard that the White Chrysanthemum Mountains at the outskirts of Yuejing were gorgeous and one of the nearby marvels. Would Junior Martial Brother Han accompany me there to sightsee?”
“Sure!” Han Li had originally intended to refuse, but upon seeing the sorrow in her eyes, he had reflexively agreed. Was this the doing of the gods?
When Chen Qiaoqian heard Han Li agree, her face slightly blushed, revealing a happy expression; it complimented her incomparable beauty.
“That is great, Junior Martial Brother Han! Let’s go now. If we wait until after the sun sets, we won’t see anything.”