Chapter 342: Bewilderment
While holding his breath, Han Li gazed at the huge mantis as it flew several few kilometers nearby before suddenly shooting toward Han Li’s hiding place.
Han Li’s complexion turned deathly pale.
With a cold face, he firmly held the “Blood Spirit Drill” in his hand and began to pour spiritual power into it, causing it to gradually heat up.
Han Li coldly gazed at the demonic beast as it approached, waiting for the mantis to come closer before releasing the magic tool. Only by doing this would he have a higher chance of injuring or even killing it.
Naturally, waiting for it to come closer put him in far greater danger, but Han Li was left with no other choice.
150 meters, 120 meters, 90 meters...
Han Li’s heart violently thumped in his chest, and he couldn’t help but suck in a deep breath as he prepared to release the Blood Spirit Drill in his hand.
But what Han Li saw next left him dumbstruck.
When the demon mantis was just sixty meters away from Han Li, it suddenly circled off into another direction, descending not far away from Han Li. After two miserable roars sounded out, the huge mantis flew away without the slightest reluctance, carrying a large mountain boar in its forelimbs.
After seeing the demonic beast fly away into the distance, Han Li finally let out a long sigh of relief and sat on the ground, despite appearing unbefitting of a cultivator.
He had just gone through a matter of life or death!
Had he went ahead and launched the attack, he would’ve ended up just like that boar, as food for the demonic beast.
He was extremely fortunate to come out unscathed!
Han Li silently rejoiced. This was the first time he had felt that his luck was quite good.
But now that he had calmed down, Han Li thought of the culprit that caused all of this, the Controlling Spirit Sect cultivator that resided in Crooked Soul’s body.
Han Li couldn’t help but feel burning fury. It was clear the cave was a trap; those jade slip letters were just a fabricated lure.
Despite his carefulness, he was still no match for that cunning old fox. He had fallen deeply into his trap and had nearly died as a result.
“Oh, very good! Since I’m still alive, I’d better go and pay you a visit!” As Han Li rested, he felt an intense hatred burning inside him that he never felt before.
Han Li knew that because he stuck three Soul Lock talismans onto Crooked Soul, it would be impossible for him to escape; his cultivation was simply too weak. Once Han Li returned, he would be able to easily take his life.
When he felt that his physical strength and magic power had recovered, Han Li shot off on his Divine Wind Boat toward Crooked Soul.
However, he now didn’t dare to boldly fly up into the sky. Instead, he cautiously flew at a low altitude, about thirty meters up in the air, because he was afraid of catching the demonic beast’s attention once more.
On Han Li’s journey back, the freezing night wind had calmed a majority of Han Li’s raging fury. Once his mind became clearer, he started to reexamine his interactions with “Crooked Soul”.
The words and actions of the Controlling Spirit Sect cultivator were well thought out. In addition, with the fearsome strength of the demon mantis, Han Li was beginning to doubt that he was a Foundation Establishment cultivator.
How could such a fearsome demonic beast appear within fifty kilometers of a place like Jia Yuan city? There was no way it could be wild.
When he thought of the Controlling Spirit cultivator, he couldn’t help but think that this huge mantis was likely a domesticated spirit beast.
It's hard to imagine that such a fearsome spirit beast was domesticated by a Foundation Establishment cultivator. From his point of view, that mantis spirit beast could handle four late Foundation Establishment disciples; it was beyond ferocious.
‘Could it be that this “Crooked Soul” wasn’t a Foundation Establishment cultivator but actually a Core Formation...’ Han Li couldn’t help but guess.
Han Li’s heart jumped!
Seeing that he was about to arrive, Han Li stopped his advance and entered deep contemplation while still floating in midair.
How could a Core Formation cultivator be reduced to such a miserable state where their body was destroyed and their soul was cast adrift? Could it be that he was forced to eject his soul because he was no match for another Core Formation cultivator? Or could it be that he ran into a Nascent Soul Eccentric from the State of Yue?
However, the Seven Sect’s Nascent Soul cultivators have long since detached themselves from the world. Only two or three still remained within the State of Yue. Even among the clashes between the Devil Dao and Seven Sects, Han Li had never heard of a Nascent Soul cultivator taking action.
Such a display was quite hard to imagine. With just a single wave of a hand, such an expert could easily shatter mountains and overturn the seas.
However, Han Li felt some resentment toward these Nascent Soul cultivators and inwardly cursed them several times for their detached observation of the wars of lower level cultivators. When would these profound cultivators finally take action?
‘Could it be that was what happened? Is it possible that this Core Formation Expert came across a Nascent Soul Eccentric?’ Han Li speculated in his mind.
If a Core Formation cultivator truly was trapped inside Crooked Soul’s body, it completely made sense. After all, he knew much secret information about the Devil Dao’s invasion and possessed such a powerful spirit beast as well.
After further contemplation, Han Li conceded that Crooked Soul was most likely a Core Formation cultivator. This caused him to break out in cold sweat and wear a queer expression, holding traces of both fear and excitement.
“Could it be that he had disguised himself to lure me in? Did he pretend to have low cultivation to play with me this entire time?” Han Li did his utmost to ponder about the possibility of the worst case scenario.
“Impossible. Those displays of weakness couldn’t be faked!” After a moment more of deliberation, he finally arrived at a definite conclusion.
It was an indisputable fact that he had already occupied Crooked Soul’s body for several years. The only possible reason for this was because he had lost his body, along with his profound cultivation, like he previously said.
Even with his primordial soul, Crooked Soul would only be able to re-cultivate without any bottlenecks. His current cultivation should be as it appeared.
Furthermore, Han Li figured out that he was unable to control the mantis spirit beast. Otherwise, why wouldn’t he have such a fearsome beast follow him as a bodyguard?
During his current moment of weakness, Crooked Soul’s greatest need was strong protection. That was why he had no choice but to trick Han Li into entering the cave, in the hope that his uncontrollable mantis would kill him.
With his sharp mind, Han Li mulled through the series of events before gradually realizing the complete truth. His heart grew courageous once more.
Han Li wasn’t merely taking advantage of someone’s weakness. He was dealing with a Core Formation cultivator, a great enemy belonging to the Controlling Spirit Sect.
If Crooked Soul managed to run away, he would come back as a Core Formation cultivator and be certain to dismember him into countless pieces.
Therefore, Han Li absolutely couldn’t leave this person alive.
Understanding how things stood, Han Li continued his flight without the slightest hesitation and flew onto the small mountaintop.
In the blink of an eye, Han Li arrived on the mountaintop and saw Crooked Soul still held in place. The talismans on his body were still untouched.
Han Li was jubilant and descended about thirty meters away from Crooked with a relaxed heart. But at the same time, he held a magic tool in each hand.
Having seen Han Li descend, Crooked Soul appear extremely shocked, as if he hadn’t expected that Han Li would return alive.
Following that, he forced himself to widely smile, wanting to say something.
But Han Li just advanced several steps forward and raised his hand, shooting two black streaks of light toward him.
Since Han Li already decided to kill him, he had no need to speak with him.
Seeing the fierce and overbearing advance of the Black Dragon’s Claws, Crooked Soul’s complexion paled.
Recognizing that Han Li wanted to rip him apart, Crooked Soul’s body suddenly flashed, jumping several meters to the side and avoiding the attack.
“What are you doing? Don’t tell me you forgot about your death-oath?” The Controlling Spirit Sect cultivator cried out in a fluster.
He clearly hadn’t expected to see Han Li again and was caught off guard by his attacks.
Han Li appeared to have ignored Crooked Soul’s words. Instead, he was intensely staring at the three Soul Lock talismans still on his body as if he didn’t dare to believe his own eyes.
‘The talismans weren’t removed but he can still move?” Han Li’s heart was filled with doubt.
However, now was not the time to be distracted by questions. Thus, Han Li snorted and remained silent. He pointed at the Black Dragon’s Claws and caused them to immediately grow several times their original size, turning into two huge black lights before charging toward Crooked Soul.
Han Li had already made up his mind. Even if he had to sacrifice the body of Crooked Soul, he had to thoroughly eliminate this Core Formation cultivator.
Seeing that Han Li had no intention to stop until he was dead, Crooked Soul gaped from desperation upon seeing the Black Dragon’s Claws oppressively charge toward him. A streak of green light spouted out from Crooked Soul’s mouth, rigidly blocking the full power of the Black Dragon’s Claws.