Chapter 455: Another Surprise
"Humph! Do you truly believe that you get to decide whether or not you go? If you don't go with us, this young lord will kill you here. Did you truly believe that our Zenith Yin Island wouldn't dare to act due to the words of the Star Palace enforcers?" Wu Chou's small eyes ominously glinted.
Although Wu Chou had been previously warned by Grandmaster Zenith Yin, he still attempted to threateningly pressure Han Li. Wu Chou felt Han Li was truly displeasing to the eye. The malice he felt towards Han Li was nearly innate, born from no particular reason.
Han Li found this feeling mutual. That recent outburst was merely met with an indifferent glance. Paying no further heed to Wu Chou, he spoke to Grandmaster Zenith Yin, "For a reason unknown to me, Senior requires this Junior's spirit beast. But this Junior is also well aware that if a spirit beast's master dies, their spirit beasts are incapable of recognizing another master. In addition, Junior is capable of ordering the Bloodjade Spider to self detonate during a moment of crisis. Surely, Senior doesn't wish to see that!"
Han Li clearly understood that Wu Chou was merely playing the part of a paper tiger. As such Han Li was unwilling to tango with Wu Chou and decided to speak with the true authority, Grandmaster Zenith Yin.
However, this action by Han Li caused Wu Chou to fly into a rage from the humiliation. After a hostile expression appeared on his face, he spewed a slew of profanities at Han Li. But he was soon stopped by a wave from Zenith Yin, "Good, I am fond of Juniors with courage and understanding. Since this island lord requires your Bloodjade Spider, I naturally won't drag you along without payment. Once we arrive in the Inner Halls, I will..."
Just as Zenith Yin was about to list his conditions, his expression suddenly grew sullen and he stopped speaking. He turned his head around to fiercely stare in a certain direction with a malicious look on his face.
"Let this Grandmaster have a look at you, eavesdropper!" Grandmaster Zenith Yin's voice was shrill and full of killing intent. He appeared extremely angry.
Han Li felt alarmed. He immediately thought that the Bone Sage had been discovered and was unconsciously pondering about how he should deal with this situation.
However, Han Li was surprised to hear an aged voice.
"Old Pal Wu, there is no need to be so angry. I merely encountered you by coincidence. Don't tell me you're going to attack?" A hundred meters away in the air floated a Confucian-robed old man covered in an azure glowing light.
It was someone Grandmaster Zenith Yin was quite familiar with, Layman Qing Yi!
"Fellow Daoist Qing! You followed me!" When Zenith Yin saw him, he grimaced, and his killing intent faded.
"What? Follow you? I was merely taking a stroll and happened to see Fellow Daoist Wu and this young Junior having a chat. So I thought I'd come over and say hi. I didn't think that I'd cause Fellow Daoist Wu to be so unhappy. Sigh, had I known earlier, I definitely wouldn't have acted so rashly." The Confucian-robed old man dryly laughed and spoke with a completely unconcerned tone.
He soon grew unconcerned with keeping up his own pretences and turned his gaze from the pale Zenith Yin to the Bloodjade Spider.
"Tch tch. This is a Bloodjade Spider? It is a truly rare spirit beast. From the analysis of earlier cultivators, this is one of the spirit beasts that are most likely capable of acquiring the Heavenvoid Cauldron. Its odds are far greater than your Fire Serpent or Wan Tianming's Gold Threaded Silkworm." Layman Qing Yi spoke, shaking his head.
'Taking a stroll nearby? While invisible?' After hearing the old man's shameless excuse, Grandmaster Zenith Yin grew furious. But his expression only grew gloomier upon hearing Qing Yi reveal the secret about the Bloodjade Spider.
After turning his gaze away from the Bloodjade Spiders, the Confucian-robed scholar examined Han Li several times before saying, "So this is the Junior that Old Pal Wu was concerned with earlier. This old man is also quite fond of guiding courageous and insightful youngsters. I am quite interested in taking taking him in as my disciple. How about it? I've never taken in a disciple before." Zenith Yin paled after hearing this.
"Take Junior in a disciple?" Han Li blinked several times. He didn't know whether he should be excited or cynical.
Zenith Yin's expression was icy, and threads of black Qi began to surge from his body. He spoke each of his words forcefully while staring at the old man, "Fellow Daoist Qing, what are you planning?"
"Hehe! I was only joking! Old Pal Zenith Yin doesn't need to be so nervous. If I were to truly take this youngster as a disciple, I fear Fellow Daoist would attack me without restraint. However, if Hu Manzi were to know of this Bloodjade Spider, would he back down?" The old man chuckled. A strange expression appeared within his eyes as he played the matter off.
Layman Qing Yi's words initially caused Zenith Yin to relax. But upon hearing him mention Man Huzi, he started to feel a strong headache.
Zenith Yin had originally planned to keep the Bloodjade Spider a secret and manipulate the others into driving the Righteous Dao cultivators away from the Inner Halls or have both sides suffer a mutual defeat. He would then use to the fire serpent to put on a display of being incapable of acquiring the treasure while secretly using Han Li's Bloodjade Spider to secure it. He alone would acquire the Heavenvoid Cauldron. As for his previous promises, he had never intended on keeping them in the first place.
But he didn't expect in the slightest that his meticulous plan would be thrown into disarray by this old cunning fox. He was uncertain about whether or not he could kill him to shut him up. And even if he were confident, he couldn't easily act and weaken his own side prematurely. After all, he still had the Righteous Dao cultivators to contend with.
Zenith Yin's face twitched when the old man mentioned Man Huzi. He had previously experienced just how fearsome Man Huzi's Heavenbearing Devil Arts were. Even with his newly acquired minor mastery of his Heavenwide Corpsefire, he didn't hold any confidence in facing that man. If by chance that man were to use the pretext of taking in that youngster as a disciple, then he would insist on taking the lion's share of the treasure. He wouldn't have any way to prevent it. Unless...
Seeing that he was no longer able to preserve the secret of the Bloodjade Spiders, Zenith Yin started to think of how he wouldn't suffer a smaller portion of the treasures.
At that moment, his heart stirred and he looked at the old man with an odd expression, faintly guessing the meaning behind his previous words. The Confucian-robed old man faintly smiled in response to his odd expression and transmitted a message to his ear.
Zenith Yin's expression started to ceaselessly fluctuate.
The old man's voice transmission was short and he quickly resumed speaking out loud,"How about this proposal?"
Without taking much time to think, Zenith Yin gloomily said, "Fine, I accept."
The old man revealed a pleased expression and said,"Good, this is how it should be." He then glanced at Han Li and unhurriedly said, "Now, between the two of us, who do you think is more suitable to become his master?"
After muttering to himself, Zenith Yin said, "Naturally, he will decide who will become his master. That would be a bit more fair."
The old man blankly stared for a moment before revealing a strange expression. But after some conderation, he nodded his head in agreement.
When Zenith Yin saw this, he wore a seldom seen smile. He then turned towards Han Li and indifferently said, "You must've already heard our chat! Your Bloodjade Spider is something that we require in our treasure hunt, something that we cannot declone under any circumstance. If you believe I won't kill you because you are the master of the spirit beast, then you are gravely mistaken. This Grandmaster happens to know of a convenient method to refine spirit corpses. If worst comes to worst, I will kill the Bloodjade Spider and refine it into a demon corpse. Since the Bloodjade spider's cultivation will greatly suffer from this, I won't do this unless I am forced. If you are afraid of any disadvantages that will result from being involved, then you can become either of our disciples and receive our protection. Also, you will acquire a portion of the treasure should we be successful in acquiring it. As you appear to be a smart fellow, you should know what to do!"
Zenith Yin calmly laid out both the carrot and the stick, causing Han Li's expression to change.
In fact, Han Li was inwardly cursing without end. Ever since the Confucian-robed old man had arrived, Han Li felt ill at ease as if the situation had taken a turn for the worse. He had originally wished for the two eccentrics to fight amongst themselves, allowing him to slip away in the ensuing chaos. But he didn't expect for the cunning old foxes to reach an agreement after only a few words.
Now, Han Li reckoned there wasn't the slightest chance that the Bone Sage would appear to help him.
As for using the Bloodjade Spider as a threat, it seemed it wouldn't have any effect. He reckoned that if he were to truly order the Bloodjade Spider to self detonate, Zenith Yin would rush to refine them. But as his life was hanging by only this thread, he couldn't afford to damn himself by angering these Nascent Soul cultivators.
It seemed that if he didn't agree, he would only be met with death.