Chapter 449: Ruse
The Bone Sage's frightening red eyes shifted several times before their radiance gradually disappeared.
After the Bone Sage's eyes returned to normal, he calmly said, "Correct, the Ninecurl Spirit Ginseng really is here. Traces of its pure spiritual Qi can be faintly seen from the surface of the mountain."
Han Li's heart stirred. He poured spiritual power into his eyes and examined the small mountain with great attention. However, he was greatly disappointed to have found nothing unusual.
When the Bone Sage saw Han Li's eye shine with azure radiance, he obviously knew what he was doing. He disdainfully smiled and said, "Don't delude yourself into thinking you can see the pure spiritual Qi of the Ninecurl Spirit Ginseng. Only Nascent Soul cultivators possess a sufficiently powerful spiritual sense to be able to do this. Although my cultivation has shifted to the Ghost Dao, the power of my original spiritual sense hasn't suffered in the slightest." The Bone Sage's words carried a trace of mockery.
Han Li's face didn't reveal any change, but under the Bone Sage's unintentional advice, he started to circulate the Great Development Technique in his body.
After a short moment, Han Li rejoiced. He actually caught sight of extremely faint traces of azure light scattered throughout the mountain.
Not aware that Han Li could clearly see the pure spiritual Qi, the Bone Sage looked down at the mountain and indifferently said, "As I have been here before, I fortunately have a method of acquiring the Ninecurl Spirit Ginseng. As a result, I acquired a few particular items from a small island along the way. We will first arrange a trap. Then, we'll have the Ninecurl Spirit run into it, allowing it to be easily captured." He then extended his hand towards his storage pouch and took out a dazzling gold item.
"This is?" Han Li looked on with amazement.
The egg-sized golden ball of thread released a faint radiance as if it had been specially refined.
The Bone Sage scoffed at Han Li's bewildered expression and clutched the ball. With a flash of black light, long golden threads shot out from the ball and quickly wove themselves into a small, exquisite gold net. It was only the size of his palm, but its sparkling shine gave an unusual impression.
The Bone Sage stared at Han Li and solemnly said, "The Ninecurl Spirit Ginseng is something that can only be caught with an object of pure gold. Other magic treasures and tools will be completely ineffective. Take proper care of this. It will be used to catch the spirit ginseng when it tries to flee."
Han Li raised his brow and pondered for a moment before silently beckoning to the gold net. Woosh. The net flew into his hand, and he placed it into his storage pouch without a further glance.
When the Bone Sage saw this, his eyes smiled. With a flip of his hand, he took out four earth-yellow flags. The small flags were layered with talisman markings that concealed their flickering brilliance.
"Yi!" With Han Li's current mastery of formation flags, he was startled by the site of the small flag. After taking a cold breath, he revealed a trace of disbelief.
"What? Han Li, my boy, you recognize these flags?" When the Bone Sage saw Han Li's astonishment, he couldn't help but feel surprised.
Han Li didn't immediately reply and rigidly stared at the small formation flags for a moment more. He then raised his head and solemnly said, "Is that the Celestial Black Tortoise1 formation flag setup set? Apart from this ancient formation spell, no other formations are able to form a great earth-attribute formation from four small flags."
Surprise flashed across the Bone Sage's face, but he soon regained his calm. "I hadn't expected you to be proficient in the Dao of Formation Spells. It seems that I've found the right person to be my assistant. You're correct, these Celestial Black Tortoise formation flags were something I had refined on the way here. With this formation, we will be able to restrict the mountain stone in an area of a hundred meters, hardening it into metal and trapping the Ninecurl Spirit Ginseng. Since you posses knowledge of formation spells, I'll let you place down the formation. While you do that, I will be looking around for any solid traces of the Spirit Ginseng."
Soon after, he calmly handed over the four yellow flags and turned into a black cloud as he silently flew down towards the mountain.
Han Li looked at the flags in his hand and then turned to look at the back of the old devil with an odd expression in his eyes. After a moment, he licked his lips and flew downwards with a sneer.
At the same time, a man's resounding voice was heard from deep within the Bone Sage's body.
'Bone Sage, why did you give him the formation flags? I see that your relationship with is quite shallow. Could it be that you're up to no good?' This person spoke as if he greatly understood the Bone Sage.
'What do you mean? I only had Youngster Han set down the formation flags so that I can capture the spirit ginseng with certainty. After taking advantage of this opportunity, I will kill him.' The Bone Sage sinisterly spoke with a chilling voice.
'You're going to kill him now? Did I hear wrongly? I thought you'd at least wait until Zenith Yin was killed before you acted against him!' The deep man's voice displayed astonishment.
The Bone Sage grimly said, 'That won't do. This Youngster Han is far too cunning. I fear any more delays will only bring more troubles. In addition, this person understands my methods and will not allow himself to be controlled by me. If he were to by chance betray me to my traitorous disciple Zenith Yin, it would be beyond terrible. Although the possibility of this is low, this Bone Sage refuses to take such a risk! After all, I've already suffered betrayal once and will never easily trust others ever again. Also...'
The man's voice lazily continued, 'Also, you never intended to give the Ninecurl Spirit Ginseng to him from the start!'
'That's right! After spending so much thought into acquiring this spiritual item, how could I be willing to give it to another? Even if the Spirit Ginseng had no effect on my cultivation, it would prove equally useful for trade. And with that Gold Lightning Bamboo magic treasure in his possession, he will inevitably become a great enemy for us demon ghosts. The sooner we exterminate him, the better. Besides, what do you think about his body?' The Bone Sage revealed a sinister expression as he spoke.
The question at the end had startled the male ghost. He grew immensely excited. 'It would be great! You must help me seize his body! But, how do you plan to deal with Zenith Yin?' His question was slightly hesitant.
'When I passed down Zenith Yin's Profound Yin Art to him, I left behind a flaw that I could use to kill and refine him. So long as he is alone, and with your newly acquired body, we will be able to exterminate him.' The Bone Sage spoke with great confidence.
'So that's how it is! But weren't you thinking of exterminating the Youngster Han from the start? You still deliberately sought to ally yourself with him despite this? You really are a cunning fox!' The man seemed to hold the Bone Sage's cunning in high regard.
'You overestimate me. Before I came across you, I truly wished to join hands with him to kill Zenith Yin. After all, even if I know the flaw in my traitorous disciple's cultivation, having an assistant will be far more reliable. But now that I came across an old friend like you, I no longer have need of him. It would be better to kill him as soon as possible and prevent any mishaps later.' The Bone Sage nonchalantly said.
'You've put on quite the display! I had truly believed your apprehensive appearance at the jade pavilions. I didn't expect you were already planning to kill this required helper of yours.' The man sighed and spoke with a complicated tone.
'Humph! My worry at the time was genuine. However, I didn't fear the loss of assistance for my revenge but that his Gold Lightning Bamboo flying swords had fallen into someone else's hands. If such an event came to pass, it would prove to be disastrous to those of us following the Ghost Dao.'
After a moment of silence, the man asked with concern, 'You dare to so recklessly act against him even though he possess a Gold Lightning Bamboo magic treasure? Are you truly certain of victory?' As this matter pertained to himself, he naturally wanted to know the finer details.
At that moment, the Bone Sage was flying circles around the mountain at a low altitude.
'What I originally imagined was that we'd use both the golden net and the Celestial Black Tortoise Formation to seize both the spirit ginseng and that Youngster Han at once. I hadn't expected that he'd be proficient in spell formations. It was then that I was struck with a clever idea. I would hand the formation flags to him and have my plan become even more perfect.' The Bone Sage revealed a strange smile and spoke with a mysterious tone.
'Could it be that you've done something to the flags?' The man spoke with sudden realization.
'Hehe! You'll know when the time comes. For now, we'll find the Ninecurl Spirit Ginseng. Otherwise, that youngster definitely won't be fooled.' The Bone Sage deliberately omitted the main details, much to the man's dissatisfaction.
'Nevertheless, my ghost demon cultivation art was something that you had imparted to me. I had originally thought to use it to search for the spirit ginseng, but I hadn't expected that my traitorous disciple would betray me. It has become my last hope!' The Bone Sage's eyes flashed with cold light.
'I wasn't really imparting anything. We were just taking what we needed.' The man spoke with a deep sigh.
1. Specifically references to the constellation, ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Tortoise.