Chapter 526: Interrogation
Upon hearing Han Li, the three couldn't help but look at each other in amazement. What was the insect devil's purpose in asking them why they were afraid of him? Could it be that he wished to amuse himself before he killed them?
The fierce-looking man steeled his heart and said with open hostility, "If Fellow Daoist wishes to take our lives, then do so! What use is there in talking?"
"That is strange. Was there something wrong with my question?" Han Li's expression suddenly grew sullen and cold.
Seeing that there was possibly a chance of survival, the cultivator surnamed Min persistently pleaded, "Us brothers didn't know that Senior was hunting demon beasts here. Otherwise, we wouldn't have dared to disturb Senior Insect Devil. We rushed to this location unintentionally without even a sliver of hostile intent. I hope Senior will spare us." It appeared a trace of blood had returned to his face.
Han Li frowned and a trace of confusion flickered from his face, "Insect Devil? That's what you call me?"
When the gaunt old man heard this, he couldn't help but wear a bewildered expression, muttering, "You're not Senior Insect Devil?"
"It seems you three Fellow Daoists have misunderstood something." Han Li chuckled and after some hesitation, he waved his arm and three azure lights flew towards their collars. With a low-pitched hum, the collars scattered, returning them back into a swarm of countless beetles. The beetles then returned back to the spirit beast pouches at Han Li's waist.
The three rejoiced at being spared from death. Although they were confused, they felt somewhat convinced they had mistakenly identified him. There would be no way the Insect Devil would do something so unfathomable, given his notorious reputation. But after seeing Han Li's astonishing display of ability, they didn't dare to take any rash actions and respectfully addressed him.
The old man wore a smile and promptly said, "Hehe! It seems we were mistaken. There would be no way that the Insect Devil would've let us off so easily. May I know your esteemed name, Fellow Daoist?" Although the old man understood that the youth before him might not be the Insect Devil, his abilities were quite similar, and he could still take their lives with ease. He naturally didn't dare to slight him.
When Han Li heard this, he thought to say something, but he soon turned his head to the skies.
Han Li leisurely spoke as he stared at the sky, "Oh! It seems you three had companions, and they've just arrived."
The old man paused for a moment before turning his head in a certain direction. But since he didn't catch sight of anything, a trace of confusion appeared on his face.
Doubtful, the old man honestly replied, "Us brothers did bring along a few of our disciples. I reckon this is about the time that they should arrive!" Just as he finished saying this, a string of lights suddenly appeared off in the horizon. They were the Foundation Establishment cultivators that they had left behind.
They had chased after the three Core Formation cultivators at a comparatively sluggish pace on their magic tools.
When the old man saw this, his expression changed. This had illustrated that the youth possessed spiritual sense far beyond his own. His fear of Han Li unconsciously grew.
Han Li glanced at the three Core Formation Cultivators with narrowed eyes and cryptically said, "I'm not one for crowds. How about you make arrangements for your disciples, and I'll wait for you three on the other end of the island. I still have a few questions I wish to ask you. I hope you won't leave without saying goodbye." He then smiled at them and flew to the far end of the island below them.
The three let out sighs of relief. Although they didn't know whether or not the youth was truly the Insect Devil, it appeared that he currently didn't have any plans of killing them. Their lives were safe for the time being.
As a result, the old man solemnly uttered a few words. Cultivator Min nodded his head and took to the skies. After the group of disciples arrived, he coldly gave a few words and had the cultivators slowly descend to the side of the island.
At that moment, Cultivator Min then worriedly returned to the old man's side.
After Cultivator Min arrived, the fierce-looking man hesitantly asked in a voice transmission, "Brother Qiu, must we go?"
With a change of expression, the old man solemnly warned, "Fellow Daoist Xuan, don't think of anything ridiculous. Did you not just witness what he was capable of? Do you truly believe we will be able to escape him? Just give an honest answer to anything he asks, but do not provoke him by any means. Treat him exactly as you would a Nascent Soul cultivator. With his abilities, he should feel disdainful towards killing us."
Brother Min nodded his head and said, "Brother Qiu makes sense. I also can't make out this person to be the evil, bloodthirsty sort. It would be better to not take any rash actions."
Although the fierce-looking man wasn't entirely in favor of this, he reconsidered after hearing them.
Soon after, the three obediently flew over to the far side of the island.
Han Li was sitting down cross-legged on flat coral, calmly waiting for them.
Han Li casually beckoned to the three with a calm expression and said, "Fellow Daoists, how about we sit down and have a chat! Tell me about the recent happenings near Wondrous Depths Island. I've just returned from the far seas, and I've encountered several groups of cultivators in the recent days. From what I remember, cultivators should rarely tread in these seas. Why aren't cultivators hunting demon beasts in the depths? Naturally, I'd also like a detailed explanation on the matter of this 'Insect Devil'."
The three became increasingly uneasy upon seeing Han Li's calm appearance. They respectfully agreed and carefully sat down nearby.
The old man bitterly smiled and slowly said, "It's been two years since we've been to Wondrous Depths Island. At that time, the Wondrous Depths had already become a restricted area. One can no longer hunt demon beasts in the depths. In fact, whenever it is discussed, everyone turns pale."
With an unchanged expression, Han Li softly said, "Oh? Please explain, Fellow Daoist!"
The old man felt relaxed upon seeing that Han Li was intent on listening. Then after some thought, he gave an honest collection of what had happened, "This matter is actually quite a long story. Two years ago, the demon beasts violently emerged..."
Han Li quietly listened until the old man had finished. He then unconsciously frowned and muttered to himself, "According to what you've said, the insurrection of demon beasts in the depths killed no small number of high grade cultivators. Even Nascent Soul cultivators are unable to withstand the depths. It is not wonder that the other regions of the seas have so many cultivators!"
Although Han Li didn't show it on his face, the old man's recollection had truly shocked him. The demon beasts of the depths went berserk! Even Nascent Soul cultivators are unable to return after entering. Everything that he heard seemed to point to disaster. Could it be that a great war was about to erupt in the Outer Star Seas?
Han Li paused for a moment before asking with an interested tone, "So how about telling me about that Insect Devil business? After you three saw me, you believed me to be this Insect Devil. Could it be that person is quite similar to me?"
When the three heard this, they couldn't help but exchange glances at each other.
The old man dryly coughed and answered, "How do I say this? At first glance, Fellow Daoist looks very similar to the rumored Insect Devil. He uses azure flying swords, has a young appearance, and also appears to only have an early Core Formation cultivation. Additionally, he can also control over a thousand flying insects..."
But as he continued speaking, his voice unconsciously grew soft. Because no matter how he saw it, this youth completely matched the details of the rumored Insect Devil. Even Cultivator Min's confidence was wavering.
Although a trace of surprise appeared from Han Li's eyes, he calmly said, "Huh? That does sound quite like me. Fellow Daoist should be a bit more specific! What has the Insect Devil been doing? It seems his reputation is quite large."
Cultivator Min carefully answered, "There are many events related to the Insect Devil, but the most famous among them was when he used his insect swarm to kill eight Core Formation cultivators four years ago. That was when he became famous."
Although his face didn't show it, Han Li felt his heart drop.
"After that battle, the Insect Devil vanished without a trace. A year after that, near Wondrous Depths Island, cultivators began to be hunted down for their treasures. According to the survivors, it was all the doing of the Insect Devil. He would control the insects to fill the skies and cleanly devour his victims. This would occur every other month of so. According to the rumors, no less than a hundred cultivators have fallen at his hands. This was how the Insect Devil acquired such a fearsome and resounding reputation." After all that was said, Cultivator Min wore a trace of nervousness and unease on his face.