Chapter 345: A Small Old Man and Bell Tolls
After looking through the items in the storage pouch, Han Li bluntly moved all of the items into his own storage pouch before slicing the original storage pouch into pieces.
Although this storage pouch was clearly much better than his own, Han Li didn’t dare to use it as he wasn’t sure if the bag possessed any hidden traces.
Han Li then rested for another day before he felt that it was about time to leave. With Crooked Soul in tow, he flew toward Yellow Maple Valley instead of the Seven Sects Camp.
Han Li reckoned that if anything bad occurred at the Seven Sects Camp, the sects would be the first to receive this information. Therefore, he first headed to the sect in order to hear if there was any news. If nothing was out of the ordinary, then he would quickly convene at the Seven Sects Camp.
After flying for six days, he had uneventfully arrived at the Tai Yue Mountain Range.
Han Li didn’t notify anyone. Instead, he first secretly returned to his own Immortal’s cave first.
Once he entered the cave and closed off his formation from the outside, Han Li felt much more at ease. After all, he was in the safety of his own territory.
Han Li immediately rushed to the secret room containing his spirit well spring.
He found two fist-sized spiders floating in the spirit well spring, having already hatched from their eggs. Although they weren’t large, one could tell that they were beyond ordinary from their sparkling and translucent bodies.
Upon seeing Han Li, the small spiders blurred, immediately shooting toward him. Han Li was surprised at first, but something immediately came to mind, and he didn’t avoid them.
As a result, the two spiders steadily landed on Han Li’s shoulders and mischievously crawled over Han Li’s body.
Han Li faintly smiled. It seems the soul controlling restriction that used his blood essence had an effect. The two spiders already saw him as their parent and thus had shown such affection.
Delighted, Han Li picked up a spider off of his body and carefully observed it with curiosity.
Although spiders generally gave people feelings of great disgust and hate, this spider had a shining, pure-white body. It was extremely beautiful, giving people the notion of wanting to pet it in admiration.
But what surprised Han Li the most was that the small spider already had the Spiritual Qi of a fourth layer Qi Condensation cultivator. It was already a genuine low grade one demonic beast. It appeared it had great potential!
With regards to the white spider’s ranking on the list, it was listed as the “Bloodjade Spider” at about rank one hundred. Although it was not as fearsome as the “Golden-Back Demon Mantis”, it was a rare breed.
Han Li played around with the two small spiders for a moment before placing them inside a leather bag. Since he didn’t know when he would be able to return, he naturally wanted to carry them with him so that he could properly train them.
Afterwards, Han Li went to his own bedroom and took out a small chest from underneath his bed.
The box contained storage pouches filled with all kinds of talismans. Han Li casually took two of them. Since he had nearly used all of the talismans on hand, he had to replenish them.
Having finished his affairs, Han Li left Crooked Soul in his Immortal’s cave and confidently flew straight toward Yellow Maple Valley.
Perhaps it was because a majority of the people had already hurried off to the Seven Sects’ Camp, Han Li only came across a few separated Qi Condensation disciples. He casually stopped one and made an inquiry about the circumstances of the valley. No news had arrived about misfortune falling upon the Seven Sects, much to Han Li’s relief.
But since this had only come from a Qi Condensation disciple, Han Li couldn’t let this matter drop. After a moment of consideration, he headed straight toward the Hundred Medicine Garden. As a mid Foundation Establishment cultivator, that small old man should have some reliable information.
A short moment later, Han Li had appeared above the Hundred Medicine Garden, but he was blocked by the white mist formation spell.
He had long returned its command medallion to the small old man and could no longer enter the Hundred Medicine Garden as he pleased.
Although Han Li had already witnessed the power of the Five Elements Reversal Formation, the small old man’s simple illusion formation was still able to obstruct Han Li. Instead of entering by force, Han Li sent a sound transmission talisman instead; after speaking into it, it turned into a streak of fire, flying into the white mist.
Not long after, the white mist below him blew away, allowing him a path in.
When Han Li saw this, he chuckled and gently descended.
When he arrived at the center of the Hundred Medicine Garden, he found two people waiting for him.
“Senior Martial Brother Ma, it’s been a while!” Han Li grinned at a small old man as he said this.
“Humph! Even without seeing each other, you still went and found trouble for me!” The small old man, the master of the Hundred Medicine Garden, didn’t greet him with a smile and rolled his eyes instead.
“Hehe! Could it be that such an adorable disciple like Young Lady Xiao is not to your satisfaction?” Han Li continued to grin at him completely without concern.
With a slightly red face, the young woman saluted Han Li and greeted him with gratitude, “Xiao Cui’er pays her respects to Martial Uncle Han. Many thanks for Martial Uncle’s great kindness!”
This young girl was the granddaughter of that Xiao grandparent-grandchild pair.
When the small old man heard this, he revealed an unsightly expression. But when he wanted to say something, Han Li quickly interrupted him. “Senior Martial Brother Ma, the reason why I came here is because I have a few important matters to discuss with you. It concerns something significant!” Han Li suddenly said with a solemn expression.
Having seen Han Li’s solemn expression, the small old man wrinkled his brow. An instant later, he instructed Xiao Cui’er, “Guard the garden’s entrance. I have a few matters to discuss with your Martial Uncle Han!”
“Yes, Master!” The young woman respectfully replied and silently walked to the garden’s entrance.
Xiao Cui’er’s obedient action was clearly to the small old man’s satisfaction. He had even revealed a trace of a fond expression.
When Han Li saw this, he inwardly laughed. This Senior Martial Brother Ma said that he gave him trouble, but he was inwardly fond of Xiao Cui’er. Even so, he was still trying so hard to save face in spite of this!
The small old man brought Han Li into his guest room. After they both sat down, he insipidly asked, “Junior Martial Brother, shouldn’t you be at the border camp? How do you still have time to come here for questions? Let’s hear what’s so important that you had to come here!”
Senior Martial Brother Ma wore an indifferent expression.
“... It’s a long story!” Han Li sighed and bitterly smiled.
Because Han Li had been friends with the small old man for so many years, he knew that although the old man’s words were caustic, he had a truly good character. Thus, he had told him about his encounter with the Controlling Spirit Sect cultivator. Naturally, Han Li glossed over the finer details of the fight and focused on the possibility that Spirit Beast Mountain was still working with the Devil Dao.
After hearing Han Li out, the small old man’s expression became stiff.
A long while later, he eventually asked Han Li with a strange expression, “Junior Martial Brother Han! You exterminated the soul of a Core Formation cultivator? And Spirit Beast Mountain is still an agent of the Devil Dao?”
He was in complete disbelief as if he had listened to a tall tale.
Han Li’s face became bitter in response.
It was no wonder why the old man was like this. No one could be convinced in such a short amount of time.
Han Li tensely wrinkled his brow and replied, “I don’t know how reliable this information is. That’s why I returned to the sect first to see if there was any news from the border camp. If nothing had happened, I would be able to go there with an easy heart.” Han Li didn’t conceal anything from the small old man, fully revealing his great desire to preserve his own life.
“There is nothing. We’ve only received requests to transport large quantities of spirit stones and other supplies. No negative news had arrived. It has all been very ordinary.” The small old man said with a stern expression.
Han Li lightly sighed and stroked his nose, muttering, “It seems I was completely made a fool of by him! I want to curse that cultivator out to vent my gloominess. Or maybe I should be celebrating that nothing bad had happened to the main camp instead?”
Dāng. Dāng. Just as he finished speaking, the sound of a huge bell continuously tolled from the official hall.
The small old man and Han Li couldn’t help but look at each other in dismay.
The bell tolls continued for the time it would take to finish a cup of tea before stopping.
The small old man had an extremely unsightly expression and took a deep breath. He spoke with a deep voice, “No less than eighty-one tolls. It seems your information is most likely true. The circumstances are far from great!”
“Let’s go and see what happened. It might not have anything to do with my information.” Han Li calmly said after a moment of silence.
“Humph! It’d be a miracle if it were not! If it’s not a major defeat at the frontlines, what else would cause the Dragonwaking Bell to toll eighty-one times, representing a extermination level crisis of our sect?” The small old man bitterly smiled.