Chapter 823: Blood Curse Gate
Marquis Nanlong and Lu Weiying each took a medicine bottle and carefully placed them into their storage pouches. Afterwards, the three glanced at the two remaining ancient treasures. It appeared that splitting them would be quite awkward.
As the Marquis and the old man hesitated over the matter, Han Li blinked and smiled. "How about this? I am not lacking in ancient treasures, so if you two have enough spirit stones, I will let you two have them at the appropriate cost."
"We will respectfully accept Han Li's modest proposal. I've brought quite a number of spirit stones." Lu Weiying promptly agreed with joy. After all, ancient treasures were something that couldn't be bought.
Marquis Nanlong particularly lacked ancient treasures and he happily agreed to Han Li's proposal. They promptly gathered together nearly all the spirit stones in their possession and handed them over to Han Li, resulting in a satisfactory conclusion for all parties involved.
When Han Li saw that they had taken the two remaining ancient treasures, he casually waved his hand and summoned the azure silkworm robe into his hand before putting it away.
The other two watched this with a blank expression, but since Han Li had given the two ancient treasures over to them, they left the matter alone. Although the robe was rare, there weren't many uses for it.
With the treasures now divided amongst them, they harvested the grass that was growing at the side of the lava, resulting in several stalks per person.
The spirit grass wasn't a common item since it was able to grow under such harsh conditions. It was revealed to be the flame-attribute Golden Yang Grass, a top grade material used for refining flame-attribute spirit pills.
Without anything else there to capture their interest, the three gathered back together on the stone platform and discussed their plans moving forward.
Han Li spoke first with a calm tone, "Since the treasure has been acquired, I am planning on leaving the valley depths and returning the way I came. Will you be returning with me?"
Marquis Nanlong chuckled and said, "Fellow Daoist Han must be joking. Brother Lu and I have only just managed to enter the valley with great difficulty. We can't return so soon. Why are you so impatient to leave?"
With a casual tone, Han Li answered, "It's nothing surprising. I've already made a profit and I don't want to take any further risks. The path of cultivation ahead of me is a long one. I have no interest in staying in an area as dangerous as this one and risk cutting that path short."
Lu Weiying wore a beaming smile and said, "Hehe! I didn't think that Fellow Daoist Han was so aware of his future path. It is a pity we won't be returning together. Fellow Daoist Han can go ahead and leave the valley first."
Wearing an odd expression, Han Li asked, "Leave alone? If I leave with the Yin Yang Ring, how will you two get past the Greatnorth Essence Lights?"
Marquis Nanlong quickly replied, "Brother Han doesn't need to worry. We've already considered it. Master Cang Kun found a transportation formation in the valley depths during his time here. However, it is quite a distance away from here so it would be faster for you to return the way you came. I would've told you about it previously if it were closer."
Han Li's expression blanked for a moment but he soon nodded and said, "So it was like that. Then I must bid you farewell. I hope you two have a rich harvest."
When Marquis Nanlong and Lu Weiying heard Han Li bid them farewell, they hastily replied.
"Many thanks for your kind words, Fellow Daoist Han."
"Please go ahead."
Han Li smiled and took a glance at the crystalline bones before flying out in a streak of azure light, disappearing in the blink of an eye.
When Lu Weiying saw that Han Li had disappeared from sight, his smile vanished. As for Marquis Nanlong, he expressionlessly slapped his storage pouch and released several small golden birds, the Eternal Flight Orioles that he had nurtured. They flew out of the cave and disappeared in streaks of light.
Marquis Nanlong closed his eyes as if sensing something. When Lu Weiying saw this, he raised his brow, but remained silent as he waited.
After an unknown amount of time had passed, Marquis Nanlong's eyes stirred and he opened them while saying, "Han Li has truly left. At the very least, he isn't anywhere near us. The Eternal Flight Orioles have observed an area of five kilometers around us and they have found no trace of him."
Lu Weiying frowned and asked, "Didn't you say that his spiritual sense is particularly powerful? Couldn't he be hiding from you?"
Marquis Nanlong stroked his chin and wore an odd expression as he said, "Relax. If he has truly concealed himself, then he definitely wouldn't be able to hide from me. However, I can't tell you the reason why I know this."
Lu Weiying felt somewhat skeptical of Marquis Nanlong's confidence, but after a time more of thought, he clutched his hands in a spell incantation and cast spell seals all around him, forming a small barrier of light around them.
Marquis Nanlong smiled, but a trace of disapproval was betrayed from his face.
With the barrier laid down, Lu Weiying finally said, "It isn't ever wrong to be too careful. We've never been able to see through Fellow Daoist Han, Brother Nanlong. He truly gives us a sense of mystery. And don't you think there was something strange about the way he glanced at the skeleton?"
Marquis Nanlong shook his head and said, "Brother Lu, you are too suspicious. Although that Youngster Han possesses vast abilities, he couldn't possibly know the secret behind the bones. It should only be an incidental action. After all, the skeleton looked quite unordinary. It should be natural to want to take a look at it."
After some more thought, Lu Weiying thoughtfully said, "Regardless of whether he has seen through it, it is true that he didn't wish to stay here with us. Perhaps he feels that with his abilities, he would be able to search for treasures alone in the valley. Then so long as he doesn't get in our way, all we can do is be more careful, considering that he might not have left the valley. Since too much time has passed, we should act quickly."
Marquis Nanlong sighed and said, "According to the records left behind by Master Cang Kun, the ancient cultivator skeleton is the key to dissolving the Blood Curse Gate. Since the gate is sealed with such formidable restrictions, it is obviously no small matter. During times of antiquity, the Blood Curse Gate was a storage of fantastical treasures. The diseased cultivator's transparent bones were a sign that they had opened the gate once before. Master Cang Kun's inability to acquire them is a great convenience to us."
Lu Weiying continued, "However, the treasures we've acquired shouldn't be nearly as valuable as those stored behind the Blood Curse Gate. Alright, let's set off. Although the Blood Curse Gate isn't far away, the quicker we acquire the treasures, the better."
"Your words are reasonable. Let us set off. I am looking forward to seeing the items behind the Blood Curse Gate. Were it not for Master Cang Kun spotting the cultivator remains near the Blood Curse Gate, we would've had no chance of opening it. Those who placed the gate under the restrictions in the past can't have been too far away from it. However, it is odd as to how they died. There should be another story of what happened to those ancient cultivators."
"I don't have any interest in what happened to them in the past. Let us go, Brother Nanlong."
Soon, the two shot out of the passageway and were flying toward some unknown passage in the giant mountain.
At that moment, Han Li was fifty kilometers away and on the route back to the outer valley.
Silvermoon's puzzled voice asked from the back of his mind, "Master, you're truly leaving? Those two are clearly concealing something from you. There is something strange about that skeleton."
Han Li replied, "Of course I know this. It most likely has something to do with other treasures. Although I am tempted, I have something more important to attend to, the Spirit Kindle Fruit. And there are still other treasures in the valley I have use for. Since we've lagged too far behind the Ghost Spirit Sect, I cannot afford to be drawn into Marquis Nanlong's and Lu Weiying's scheme."
"So it turned out that there truly are no other treasures in Devilfall Valley that hold as much value to Master as the Spirit Kindle Fruit. However, why did Master seize the azure silkworm gown at the very end? I don't believe that Master truly sought the item."
Han Li grinned upon hearing this. "Hehe! Well, I'm sure that those two old men also had no idea why I took it."
Silvermoon puzzledly asked, "Master, what do you mean?"
Han Li didn't immediately reply. Instead, he extended his hand and slapped his storage pouch. In a flash of green light, a silk robe appeared in his hand. With a crackle, Han Li easily tore open the corner of the robe.
Silvermoon exclaimed at the sight of this. Han Li's tear had revealed a small fabric of sorts that was written on with a primitive crudeness. Han Li then put away the azure robe and began to closely examine the fabric.
As Han Li looked at the item, Silvermoon was able to catch sight of it as well. After a glance, she cried out, "This is a map, likely of Devilfall Valley!"
Remaining silent, Han Li stared at a few large symbols on the map and couldn't help but narrow his eyes.