Chapter 1199: Sinister Ploy

The faint fragrance of grass and wood immediately wafted toward Han Li. The interior of the wooden box was filled with shimmering green light, and there was a thumb-sized green bead that was sitting in the box amid the light.

Han Li swept his spiritual sense toward it to find that the bead wasn't made of stone nor wood, and he couldn't identify what kind of material this was.

As soon as the bead was revealed, rich wood-attribute spiritual Qi immediately filled the surrounding area. After taking a deep breath, Han Li felt as if he had been completely reinvigorated.

Han Li picked up the bead between his fingers and stared at it for a while before turning to Yan Yan'er with a calm expression. "This is indeed a Spirit Gathering Bead! Some of these beads appeared during ancient times and it's unknown whether they were naturally-forming treasures or artificially-refined. It's been a long time since one of these has appeared in the cultivation world; I didn't think your sect would have one. Fairy Yan, is your Ghost Spirit Sect really willing to give me such a valuable treasure? If a cultivator using a wood-attribute cultivation art were to carry this bead during their cultivation, they would be able to cultivate more than twice as fast as a normal cultivator."

"This bead is indeed an extremely rare treasure in the human world, but our sect is still more important to us in comparison. Furthermore, as I'm sure you're aware already, Brother Han, our Ghost Spirit Sect barely has any wood-attribute cultivation arts, so this treasure is not very useful to our sect. As such, it's much wiser for us to offer it up in exchange for a chance at survival," Yan Yan'er replied with a serious expression.

"This Spirit Gathering Bead is indeed very useful to me. However, if you want me to step in and protect your sect, the Ghost Spirit Sect has to do something else for me as well. Otherwise..." Han Li shook his head as his voice trailed off.

The yellow-robed man's eyes lit up as he asked urgently, "What is it? As long as it's within the capabilities of our sect, we'll be sure to do our best."

Han Li turned to the yellow-robed man, and elaborated, "I don't care about anyone else from the Wang Family, but I don't want to see Wang Chan ever again. I have no interest in stepping in to save an enemy of mine. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

Elder Zhong's expression changed upon hearing this, and Yan Yan'er's features paled in response. The yellow-robed man had also fallen silent, but he didn't appear to be very surprised by this demand.

"I understand what you mean, Brother Han. This is not an issue; what do you think, Senior Martial Brother Zhong?" The yellow-robed man turned to the elderly man.

A conflicted look appeared on the elderly man's face, and he only heaved a faint sigh after a period of contemplation as he replied, "If Brother Han insists, then I'm sure Martial Nephew Wang Chan will be willing to give his all for the sake of the sect."

"Seeing as Senior Martial Brother Zhong doesn't have any objections, then I'll agree to this request on behalf of the sect." The yellow-robed man nodded without any hesitation.

Throughout this entire process, he didn't ask for Yan Yan'er opinion, nor even take so much as a single glance at her.

Yan Yan'er face was quite pale, but she didn't state any objections.

"Alright, I'll accept your presents, and I'll write a few letters in person to the Controlling Spirit Sect and the other sects." Han Li nodded in response.

The yellow-robed man was ecstatic upon hearing this. The trio from the Ghost Spirit Sect had achieved the objective for their trip, so they didn't wish to remain in the Drifting Cloud Sect any longer, and they rose to their feet before bidding farewell to Han Li.

Han Li made no effort to keep them, and merely looked on as the three of them departed. Yan Yan'er was the last one to exit the hall, and her footsteps suddenly faltered as she reached the entrance of the hall. She turned to look at Han Li with a complex expression and opened her mouth, but didn't say anything in the end. A resigned sigh escaped her lips and she turned away again before exiting the hall.

Han Li's expression changed slightly upon seeing this, and he also fell silent as he turned his gaze toward the three treasures on the table.

After the three Ghost Spirit Sect cultivators left the Drifting Cloud Sect, they immediately rose into the air as streaks of light.

Not long after they had departed from the Dreamcloud Mountains, Elder Zhong heaved a faint sigh and turned to the yellow-robed man beside him as he asked, "Junior Martial Brother Yan, do we really have to kill Martial Nephew Wang?"

"Senior Martial Brother Zhong, I don't want to have to do this, either, but Han Li is specifically requesting for his death, and we can't afford to hesitate here. Besides, he's not asking for us to eradicate the entire Wang Family, and Senior Martial Brother Wang has more than one son, so the Wang Family won't fall here. This is already a very lenient condition. After all, the Wang Family has wronged him greatly in the past, and I heard that Wang Chan had almost killed him back when he was yet to reach the Nascent Soul Stage. In that case, it really is no surprise that he's asking for Wang Chan to be killed. In my opinion, we should also banish all of our sect disciples from the Wang Family as a gesture to demonstrate our sincerity. Even though Han Li has promised to help us, it would be disastrous if he were to change his mind," the yellow-robed man replied.

A hesitant expression appeared on the elderly man's face upon hearing this.

The yellow-robed man then turned to Yan Yan'er, who had remained silent this whole time, and said in an apologetic manner, "Yan'er, I'm sorry that this has to happen, but I'm sure you had already anticipated this back when you were engaged to Wang Chan. Thankfully, you've reached the Nascent Soul Stage now while Wang Chan has failed to do so, so he doesn't deserve you anyway. Furthermore, the Wang Family suddenly attacked our Yan Family back then, and all of the high-grade cultivators from our family, including you, had restrictions placed upon them. I was fortunate to have been exempt from this as I was cultivating in a secret area, but that doesn't change the fact that the Wang Family has betrayed our trust. Seeing as that's the case, there's no need for you to pay any heed to whether Wang Chan lives or dies."

"I understand all that, Uncle, but he's still my Dao Companion; how could I bring myself to express approval toward this arrangement? I'm going into seclusion for a century after we return to the sect; there's no need for you to inform me of what becomes of Wang Chan and the Wang Family during that time," Yan Yan'er said in an indifferent voice before she accelerated through the air, leaving the yellow-robed man and the elderly man behind.

The yellow-robed man could only heave a resigned sigh upon seeing this, while the elderly man continued to remain silent. After a while, Elder Zhong finally conceded, "If this arrangement is beneficial to our sect, then I'll let you do as you please with the Wang Family, Junior Martial Brother Yan."

"Rest assured, Senior Martial Brother Zhong, I'll be sure to handle the situation appropriately." The yellow-robed man was ecstatic.

The elderly man merely shook his head without giving a reply, and he seemed to be in a rather dejected mood.

The yellow-robed man didn't pay any heed to this. He knew that Elder Zhong had known Wang Chan and his father for far longer than he had, so it was only natural for him to display such a reaction.

Following his initial rush of excitement, a wistful look appeared on the yellow-robed man's face as he murmured, "I still think it's quite a pity that we gave him the Spirit Gathering Bead, though."

In response, Elder Zhong chuckled coldly and said something that came as quite a surprise to the yellow-robed man. "Do you really think that Spirit Gathering Bead is something that belonged to our sect?"

A bewildered look appeared on the yellow-robed man's face as he asked, "What do you mean, Senior Martial Brother Zhong? Didn't you personally bring out this treasure from our sect's treasure vault?"

"Hehe, I'm not sure if this treasure initially belonged to our sect, but what I can tell you is that Old Devil Concord was the one who gave it to me," Elder Zhong chuckled.

"Old Devil Concord?" The yellow-robed man was even more bewildered upon hearing this.

"That's right. Not long ago, Old Devil Concord suddenly came to me and presented me with this bead, telling me that it was something that our sect had once lent to the Harmonious Bond Sect. He also implied to me that Grand Elder Han of the Drifting Cloud Sect was the only one who could save our sect, and that this would be the best present we could offer to him. Are you finding this difficult to believe, Junior Martial Brother Yan?" the elderly man asked with a meaningful look. The yellow-robed man's expression immediately changed as he speculated, "Even if this bead really did belong to our sect, there's no way Old Devil Concord would be generous enough to return it to us. Could it be that there's something wrong with that Spirit Gathering Bead?"

"There's nothing wrong with the bead. I've examined it many times, and it's completely identical to the legendary Wood Spirit Bead in any way. There's nothing amiss about the bead itself, either. Otherwise, I wouldn't have heeded his advice and offered it to Han Li." The elderly man shook his head with a serious expression.

"But there's no way that Old Devil Concord would do something like this without harboring any ulterior motives. Senior Martial Brother Zhong, you should've discussed this matter with me first. If something goes wrong here, our entire sect would be doomed!" The yellow-robed man was getting very flustered.

"Hmph, how else were we going to recruit the assistance of the number one cultivator in the Heavenly South Region? As for discussing the matter with you in advance, would that have done us any good? What other course of action could we take to save our sect? If there was another way, we wouldn't have had to visit the Drifting Cloud Sect and put on such a pathetic display," Elder Zhong harrumphed coldly.

The elderly man's remained furrowed upon hearing this, but he was at a loss for a response.

After an extended period of silence, the yellow-robed man could only offer words of consolation to himself. "In any case, we've already given him the bead, so it's too late to do anything now. As long as there's nothing wrong with the bead itself, we'll be fine even if something were to happen."

"You're certainly correct about that, Junior Martial Brother Yan. The Spirit Gathering Bead was a vast renowned treasure even back in ancient times. After so many years, even if something were to happen, we could easily pin the blame on someone else. Besides, even the number one cultivator of the Heavenly South Region identified the bead to be authentic, so any future mishaps won't have anything to do with us," Elder Zhong chuckled coldly.

The yellow-robed man contemplated the situation for a while before heaving a resigned sigh as he said, "We can only hope that that's the case. However, in order to be safe, I suggest that we close our sect for 100 years right after our relocation."

"That's a good idea, Junior Martial Brother Yan; we'll do as you say." Elder Zhong nodded in agreement.

After that, the two Ghost Spirit Sect elders weren't interested in discussing anything else, and they immediately accelerated in pursuit of Yan Yan'er.

Meanwhile, within a restricted area in the Harmonious Bond Sect, there was a humanoid figure sitting on a massive rock deep within the Heavenly Yang Pond. The entire area was enshrouded in thick grey mist, and the humanoid figure murmured to himself, "It's about time that the treasure was delivered to that Han brat. With this Wood Spirit Bead, your rate of cultivation will be drastically enhanced, but when you reach the Deity Transformation Stage bottleneck, hehe..."

A burst of eerie chuckling suddenly escaped from the humanoid figure's mouth.

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Johnchen and DoubleDD's Thoughts

Hey everyone, only one chapter for now due to some delays on Double's end, once we get that sorted out, the second chapter will be uploaded later on today :) Apologies for the delay