Following the conclusion of Xiang Zhili's voice transmission, Hu Qinglei's expression eased as he turned to Han Li, and said, "So you're familiar with Devilish Concubine Ling Long, and you contributed significantly to the devil-slaying effort on the Kunwu Mountains Fellow Daoist Han. Tsk tsk, you were also responsible for what happened at the Yin Sifting Sect recently. I must say, I'm quite surprised; I'd thought that a Deity Transformation cultivator had been responsible for these feats. In that case, you really are powerful enough to be regarded as my equal, Fellow Daoist Han."
"I've also heard a lot about you, Brother Hu. I hope you'll forgive me for making an unannounced visit like this," Han Li replied with a respectful smile.
"Of course! I'm naturally more than willing to acquaint myself with a brilliant prodigy like you, Fellow Daoist Han." Hu Qinglei then turned to Xiang Zhili with a smile on his face, and asked, "By the way, you two have some recollection of the other fellow Daoists here, right?"
The Nascent Soul cultivators standing behind Hu Qinglei had been completely dumbstruck upon learning the fact that Han Li had been involved in the Yin Sifting Sect incident that they had just been discussing. Furthermore, they were even more surprised to see Hu Qinglei regarding Han Li as an equal.
Only after being prompted by Hu Qinglei did they receive the opportunity to extend respectful salutes toward Xiang Zhili and Eccentric Wind, to which the two merely waved their hands to acknowledge their salutes.
However, after paying his respects to Xiang Zhili and Eccentric Wind, one of the Nascent Soul cultivators suddenly cupped his fist in a salute toward Han Li. An envious look appeared on his face as he said, "Congratulations, Brother Han. It's been a long time since we last met, and you've already progressed to the late-Nascent Soul Stage."
This was a young man in a set of green robes. He was none other than Old Man Bitter Bamboo, whom Han Li's humanoid puppet had once fought against. He was still at the pinnacle of the mid-Nascent Soul Stage after all this time, so it appeared that his cultivation path would conclude here.
Han Li didn't have a great impression of this Old Man Bitter Bamboo, but he still smiled as he replied, "I didn't think that I would meet you here, either, Fellow Daoist Bitter Bamboo. I only managed to progress to the late-Nascent Soul Stage through sheer luck."
Old Man Bitter Bamboo gave a slightly awkward cough upon hearing this, and he was just about to say something else when Hu Qinglei impatiently interjected, "Alright, this is not the place to talk. If you don't mind, you can all come to my palace for a chat, Fellow Daoists."
As such, Old Man Bitter Bamboo could only swallow his words as he offered Han Li a smile.
Thus, the ground flew downward together, heading toward the palace that Hu Qinglei and the others had emerged from.
Everyone entered the palace before taking a seat.
Han Li was seated right next to Hu Qinglei along with Xiang Zhili's trio, clearly setting him apart from all of the other guests present.
It was no surprise that Xiang Zhili and Eccentric Wind were offered seats next to Hu Qinglei as they were Deity Transformation cultivators as well. However, Han Li was only at the Nascent Soul Stage, yet he had been given the same treatment. That was quite bemusing to all of the cultivators present, and everyone was speculating about his identity.
All of the guests in the palace were prominent characters in the cultivating world and even they were all quite perplexed, none of them allowed their confusion to creep onto their faces. However, the cultivator beside Old Man Bitter Bamboo was unable to repress his curiosity, and asked him about Han Li in a quiet voice. Even though he had made effort to keep his voice down, the entire palace was filled with high-grade cultivators, so his question was still audible to everyone.
Old Man Bitter Bamboo had only met Han Li once, so he was unable to provide much information, much to the dismay of all of the cultivators eavesdropping on their conversation.
Meanwhile, Han Li remained seated calmly in his chair with a calm expression, looking as if he were completely oblivious to the fact that everyone was dying to know who he was.
Hu Qinglei was chatting with Xiang Zhili and Eccentric Wind, as well as all some other Nascent Soul cultivators, and it appeared that none of the three Deity Transformation cultivators were going to introduce Han Li. As such, no one dared to ask them about Han Li, either, so they could only continue to deny their curiosity.
After a short while, the blue-robed scholar turned to Han Li with a meaningful expression before suddenly rising to his feet. He cupped his fist in a salute extended toward Han Li as he asked, "Fellow Daoist Han, I heard from Senior Hu earlier that you had something to do with the incident that had taken place at the Yin Sifting Sect not long ago. Is that true?"
Han Li was surprised to hear this question. He merely nodded calmly, and replied, "I was indeed involved in the incident that took place at the Yin Sifting Sect. Why do you ask? Are you connected to the Yin Sifting Sect somehow?"
"I'm just an itinerant cultivator with no ties to the Yin Sifting Sect, but I have met Fellow Daoist Fang from the Ying Sifting Sect on several occasions. This is not an extremely important matter, but I just wanted to ask if Fellow Daoist Fang's death had anything to do with you," the blue-robed scholar asked with a solemn expression.
All of the other Nascent Soul cultivators in the room had all fallen silent upon hearing this, awaiting Han Li's response to this question.
Hu Qinglei's conversation with Xiang Zhili and the others had also come to a temporary conclusion as he turned his attention toward Han Li with a hint of a smile on his face.
Han Li narrowed his eyes, and replied, "If you really want to know, then I have nothing to hide; the master of the Yin Sifting Sect was indeed killed by me."
His response created quite a stir among all of the Nascent Soul cultivators present.
"I see. Thank you for answering my question, Brother Han." The blue-robed scholar was also rather shaken by this response, but he merely nodded before taking a seat again.
This was rather surprising to Han Li, but he remained silent as a smile appeared on his face.
Hu Qinglei chuckled upon seeing this and was just about to say something when a servant in a palatial dress made her way over to him, ducking down by his side in a dainty manner before whispering something in his ear.
Hu Qinglei nodded and stroked his beard as he chuckled, "Even before your arrival, you were planning to see my three concubines-to-be, and I agreed. They're right outside the palace now, so I'll call them in to pour some wine for you. Hehe, feel free to bring out your congratulatory presents in advance. Especially you two, Brother Wind, Brother Xiang, you have to make sure to offer some presents of substantial value. Otherwise, it'd be quite embarrassing for you two if these juniors present were to make offerings more precious than yours."
"Hmph, ever since we've first met, I've lost count of how many treasures I've had to give you as presents because you keep taking more and more concubines! You sure are a lucky old rascal."Eccentric Wind harrumphed as a resigned expression appeared on his face. Despite his protests, he still flipped a palm over to produce a small wooden box, which he placed onto the table before him.
Xiang Zhili also pulled out a jade box with a smile, but didn't say anything.
Not only was Hu Qinglei not enraged by Eccentric Wind's words, he burst into raucous laughter instead as he said, "Haha, don't try to accuse me of benefitting from you two; all of the presents you've offered have been given to my concubines, and I haven't kept any for myself, so don't be so stingy. Besides, these treasures are nothing in comparison to your enormous wealth anyway, so you may as well hand them out to my beautiful concubines."
All of the other cultivators in the palace also began to offer congratulatory presents of their own, among which there were rare materials as well as dazzling ancient treasures.
Han Li had already decided on what present he was going to offer prior to coming here, and he pulled out two vials of pills from his storage pouch.
These pills were very effective for Nascent Soul cultivators to advance their cultivation bases, so it wasn't a bad present by any means.
Just as Han Li was examining all of the other presents being offered, he heard the sound of footsteps from outside the palace gates, following which a group of servants in five-colored palatial dresses strode in with three exquisite beauties at the center of their group.
All of the cultivators in the palace turned their attention to those three women in unison, and gasps of awe rang out in quick succession.
These three women really were extraordinarily beautiful!
One of them was rather petite, but her skin was as fair as snow and her facial features were like intricate works of art; another had an elegant figure with a pair of seductive eyes that were capable of captivating one's soul.
The last one to complete the trio was a lithe and graceful woman with luscious black hair. She was also quite an exquisite beauty, but the expression on her face was rather aloof.
All three women possessed exceptional looks and cultivation bases, and it was really difficult to determine which of the three was the most beautiful at first glance. However, the lithe and graceful female cultivator's facial features were exceptionally gorgeous, and each and every one of her movements seemed to infused with an air of seduction. However, her expression was quite cold and her eyes were completely blank, creating a stark contrast that somehow lent her a unique sense of allure, and all of the cultivators present couldn't help but take an extra glance at her.
In contrast, Han Li's body abruptly shuddered upon seeing this woman, and his expression changed drastically.
"You three, come and pour some wine for our fellow Daoists; they didn't come all this way here just to congratulate me. Violet Spirit, come here and pour some wine for my three esteemed guests here," Hu Qinglei instructed as he gestured to the lithe and graceful woman.
The other two women nodded with dainty smiles in response. Immediately thereafter, three servants made their way toward the three women, holding jade platters that were each carrying a wine flagon along with several cups. The two women accepted a platter each and began to offer wine to all of the guests. In response, all of the cultivators hurriedly rose to their feet and thanked them for their efforts.
However, the exquisite beauty by the name of Violet Spirit didn't immediately do as she was told. Instead, her brows furrowed slightly before she turned her gaze toward Xiang Zhili and the others.
A shudder ran through her entire body as she caught sight of Han Li, and the life seemed to have returned to her blank and aloof eyes. She stared intently at Han Li, seemingly unable to look away.
A series of emotions appeared on her face in rapid succession, beginning with incredulity, then elation, and finally a hint of concern...
Judging from her strange reaction, anyone could tell that she and Han Li were acquaintances, and very close acquaintances, at that.
Hu Qinglei's expression immediately darkened upon seeing this. The entire palace had fallen completely silent, and everyone turned to Violet Spirit and Han Li with peculiar expressions on their faces.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Time for the big reveal! The concubine is indeed Violet Spirit LOL