Chapter 339: Astonishment
“Your esteemed self had better avoid calling yourself a rogue cultivator. Otherwise, I’d feel inclined to distrust you!” Han Li expressionlessly interrupted him.
Crooked Soul bitterly smiled. It appeared that as he was still unresigned, he had thought to say as such.
As a result, after some slight hesitation, he dispiritedly said, “It is as Fellow Daoist suspects. This one has an unusual identity; he is not from the State of Yue...”
“You aren’t someone from our State of Yue?” Upon hearing this, Han Li’s face revealed a fraction of the shock he felt in his heart.
“I was actually a Controlling Spirit Sect cultivator from the State of Tiandou.” Crooked Soul slowly said.
“The Devil Dao Controlling Spirit Sect!”
Han Li couldn’t help but narrow his eyes and stare at him with a gaze as sharp as a sword.
“That is correct. I arrived at this place several years ago but I hadn’t expected that one of your country’s cultivators would ruin my mystic body and reduce me to this state.” As Crooked Soul spoke about the destruction of his body, he wore a helpless expression.
After a moment of thought, Han Li asked with raised eyebrows, “Your body was damaged six years ago?”
As Han Li’s voice was calm, Crooked Soul was unable to make out Han Li’s interest. He honestly replied, “That’s right!”
“After you took possession of this body, you hadn’t thought of returning?” Han Li calmly asked.
“This one had naturally wanted to do so. But it seems your esteemed self doesn’t understand much about our Devil Dao.” Crooked Soul’s face continued to appear helpless.
“What was the matter? Although I know a few things about the Devil Dao, they are only bits and pieces from rumors.” Han Li openly admitted.
“Our Devil Dao is particular about how strength is truth and how the weak are just prey for the strong. Only with strength would one be able to enjoy authority. Originally, my position at the Controlling Spirit Sect wasn’t low. I had a dainty, pretty Dao Companion and a few obedient disciples. But now that my cultivation has greatly diminished, those things would no longer be mine if I returned. My position would most likely be coveted by my fellow disciples and fall to a hidden scheme.” Crooked Soul explained with a cold smile.
After hearing this, Han Li wrinkled his brow and remained silent.
Crooked Soul continued, “This one’s cultivation was lowered to this stage because he took possession of this body. Thus, this one is confident that he will be able to restore his cultivation within forty years and will be able to openly return. What, did Daoist Friend believe that I wished to remain in this backwater place where even birds don’t go to shit?”
“From what you’ve said, you haven’t encountered any other cultivators while you hid nearby Jia Yuan city?
“None. Daoist Friend is the first cultivator from the State of Yue I’ve seen after taking possession of this body.” He said with a uneasy appearance.
“Then why is it that you tried to impersonate a Spirit Beast Mountain cultivator at the start?” Han Li closely continued with his interrogation.
“I believed that your esteemed self was a Seven Sects cultivator and didn’t want to put myself at a disadvantage.” Crooked Soul brightly assured.
Having heard that, Han Li suddenly smiled.
“Is that the truth?” Han Li amiably asked. However, his kind appearance caused Crooked Soul to feel a chill down his back.
“That’s right! Could it be that Fellow Daoist is unsatisfied with something?” He cautiously asked with an uneasy expression.
“I’ve previously heard people say that it is easiest to deceive others with words holding seven parts truth and three parts lies. I wonder, how much of what your esteemed self told me just now is true?” Han Li slowly said this as he stared at him.
“Hehe! Daoist Friend’s suspicions are far too strong. I am telling the truth.” Crooked Soul was clearly uneasy. But once he thought of the consequences of telling the truth, he could only boldly continue to hold his ground.
“How about I mention a few things first? Your Devil Dao has already invaded our State of Yue. As such, we are now enemies. Thus, I now feel disinclined from torturing you for any secrets. I’ll just rip out your soul and save myself some time.” Han Li sinisterly said with a calm expression.
Having recently suffered, Crooked Soul’s complexion turned pale.
“Invade your State of Yue? How is this possible? The timing is clearly off.” In an instant, his pale face revealed an expression of remorse.
Han Li felt shocked.
“You knew of this matter? It seems I’ve truly underestimated you. Regardless, even if your status in the Controlling Spirit Sect was great, you are currently only a Qi Refinement cultivator! Don’t blame me for being ruthless.” Han Li gradually narrowed his gaze and said with a menacing expression.
Han Li turned his hand, causing the “Soul Congregation Bowl” to appear once more. Its dense, cold Qi immediately filled the air.
But what happened next left Han Li stunned. “Crooked Soul” didn’t reveal any fear and stared at the alms bowl with a strange expression, causing Han Li to feel ill at ease.
Han Li couldn’t use the “Soul Refinement Technique”; he was only using it as a threat. If Crooked Soul truly intended to die, then Han Li could only watch on as he perished, taking his body with him. He did have a few soul extraction spells among the secret blood sacrificial techniques, but unfortunately, he hadn’t practiced them in the least.
Just as Han Li thought this, Crooked Soul let out a long sigh before saying, “I have a few secrets on me. Furthermore, it has much to do with the life and death of your Seven Sects. However, what will guarantee that you will spare me after I reveal them? You might just kill me and refine my soul afterwards!” When he said the words “Soul Refinement”, he couldn’t help but twitch.
Having heard Crooked Soul speak so solemnly, Han Li stroked his nose and put away the alms bowl once more.
“What guarantee do you want? So long as it is reasonable, I will consider it!” Han Li responded indifferently as if he didn’t consider the secrets to be of importance.
“Humph! I cannot trust a common oath. But to the best of my knowledge, those that cultivate the “Soul Refinement Technique” are able to swear forbidden oaths with their soul tools. If they were to break them, then their Soul Refinement technique will backlash and kill them.
“Alright, I agree!” Han Li agreed with the slightest hesitation, coldly laughing in his heart.
After that, Han Li took out the Soul Congregation Bowl and made a death-pledge in accordance to Crooked Soul’s words.
Seeing Han Li so easily and cleanly swear the oath, Crooked Soul grew suspicious and faintly felt that something was amiss.
“I swore your death-pledge. Don’t tell me that you have other conditions?” Han Li stonily interrupted Crooked Soul’s doubts, deliberately revealing discontent.
“Of course not. This one knows what happens to those who are greedy. However, before I divulge these secrets, Daoist Friend must first tell me about the current circumstances of our Devil Dao and your Seven Sects as I am unsure whether this information is outdated.” Crooked Soul was distracted for a moment before explaining with a big smile.
Han Li revealed a slight trace of hesitation before slowly describing the current circumstances of the Seven Sects and Devil Dao.
Crooked Soul attentively listened but once he heard of the great battle that was to take place in a month, his face revealed a slight sneer. Han Li, who had been paying close attention to his face, clearly saw this.
Once Han Li finished, Crooked Soul muttered to himself for a moment before starting.
What he said first left Han Li at a loss for words.
“Daoist Friend, if you are willing to hear me out, you have no need to hurry over to the Seven Sects’ border camp. It is very likely the Seven Sects and the cultivators of their allied countries will have already been defeated. If you go, then you will only be throwing your life away.” Crooked Soul said with a strange expression.
With an indifferent face, Han Li coldly stared at him, waiting for an explanation.
The Controlling Spirit Sect cultivator couldn’t help but be impressed with Han Li’s collected demeanor. Although he felt increasing trepidation toward Han Li, he still continued, “You probably don’t know it, but Spirit Beast Mountain was actually one of our own sects. They had never actually broken their secret relations with our Controlling Spirit Sect, and their recent rebellion was just a cover. If I’m not mistaken, this cover was prepared by the six sects in order to wait for the cultivators of the two allied countries, dealing with the three countries’ cultivators in a single move. Presumably, after the battle is over, our Devil Dao will reign over several countries.” These slowly narrated words secretly left Han Li in shock.
“Cover? Isn’t this too much? Spirit Beast Mountain took the initiative to reveal their relationship with your Controlling Spirit Sect. It would’ve been better if they had kept it hidden.” Han Li asked with an unsightly expression after recovering from his shock.
“Did Fellow Daoist truly believe that the other six sects didn’t know of Spirit Beast Mountain’s origins? Apart from Spirit Beast Mountain, there is another sect among your Seven Sects that was once a branch of the Devil Dao, the most powerful among the State of Yue, the Masked Moon Sect. The Masked Moon Sect once originated from the Harmonious Bond Sect. However, the Masked Moon Sect ambitiously planned to become independant and have truly broken their ties with the Harmonious Bond Sect several hundred years ago.” The words of the Controlling Spirit Sect cultivator continued to leave Han Li in shock.