“Time? Place?” When Xi Tieniu heard this, he was stunned momentarily. It seemed he had no recollection of it. But now, seeing Han Li so serious, he knew this was the crucial point of his service. He lowered his head and pondered deeply, trying to recollect his memory.
Half a quarter of an hour later….
“Got it!” Xi Tieniu suddenly shouted, raising his head. His face was completely cheerful.
“I heard the female Immortal tell her male companion that before they participate in the Immortal’s Great Assembly, he was to accompany her to an Immortal gathering place called the Great South Valley.”
(TL: Great South (Tainan)?? could almost mean southmost or the most southern)
“Great South Valley?” Han Li softly murmured to himself. He had never heard of it before, not even the slightest impression.
Han Li turned his gaze to Sun Ergou. If this place had a name, then this local gang boss should have a bit of information.
“There is no such place in Jia Yuan City! If there is truly such a valley, I would remember it quite clearly.” Sun Ergou creased his brow and shook his head left and right.
“Did you for some reason remember incorrectly?” Han Li brought his gaze back to Xi Tieniu as he spoke in a cold, severe tone.
“I absolutely did not. That woman also said that, as long as they hurry for half a day, she would be able to attend the meeting with her friend at Great South Valley.” Xi Tieniu said, hastily swearing to the heavens.
“Half a day! If a person were to walk by foot then they would no longer be in the vicinity of Jia Yuan City. But if these two were rushing on flying beasts, then the scope would be great. Even so, it shouldn’t stray from the boundaries of Lan Province.” Han Li inwardly pondered.
“Do you two know of any places called ‘Great South Valley’ or with names that include ‘Great South’?” Han Li’s expression eased a bit as he asked the two.
“Sun Ergou and Xi Tieniu looked at each other and spoke nearly at the same time:
“Great South Temple.”
“Great South Mountain.”
“There are two places called Great South?” Han Li was surprised. Groaning, he started to have a small headache.
“Young Master, there isn’t! There is only one!” Sun Ergou hastily replied.
“That Great South Temple was build on Great South Mountain.” Xi Tieniu added, not to be outdone.
“Oh! Very good. Then it seems that Great South Valley should located there,” Han Li easily stated.
“But Young Master, we have never heard of a ‘Great South Valley’ near Great South Mountain! It could be wrong.” Sun Ergou warned with doubt.
When Han Li heard this, he chuckled, “It isn’t wrong, it’s this place!”
‘You aren’t cultivators, so of course you wouldn’t know of this place. I suppose that there should be some sort of cultivator’s residence,’ Han Li excitedly thought.
“Where is the lowest point of this Great South Mountain?” After Han Li’s excitement, he recalled that this place wasn’t well known and asked without thinking.
“Young Master, Great South Mountain is in the Lan Province’s southmost area.” Sun Ergou respectfully said.
“Lan Province’s south?” Han Li wrinkled his brow. The Hegemon’s Villa and the Sovereign he was to assassinate were right in the center of the Lan Province, out of the way and absolutely inconvenient. It seemed that he would have to make several trips.
“Sun Ergou, after you return, have Xi Tieniu become the Fourth Level Gang’s Vice Commander. I know you aren’t too willing but since I already promised this person, the promise must be kept.” Han Li instructed Sun Ergou.
“I don’t dare to refuse, Young Master. Your wish is my command. I wouldn’t voice even half a complaint!” When Sun Ergou heard this, he had a fright. Recalling what Han Li had said before, his complexion turned pale.
“Be at ease, I am well aware of your loyalty. This bottle contains the antidote that will completely dissolve the poison in your body. Just like I promised, you will have nothing further to fear. I treat everyone fairly, so I will certainly not cheat you.” Han Li removed a bottle of medicine and handed it over to Sun Ergou.
When Sun Ergou saw this, he was pleased beyond expectation. The Rotten Heart Pill inside his body had made his meals unappetizing and his sleep restless. Now that he could completely remove it, how could he not be moved?
“Thank you, Young Master! Thank you, Young Master! This servant will certainly repay this favor even if he were to die the cruelest death!” After Sun Ergou took the bottle, he sincerely said these words.
Han Li non-committedly nodded his head.
The reason why he had given the cure to Sun Ergou so frankly was mostly because he felt that giving Sun Ergou a dose of antidote every month would be far too troublesome! Since he would be far away from Jia Yuan City for a prolonged period of time, he decided to forego using poison to control Sun Ergou. Of course, if someday these two truly betrayed him, Han Li wouldn’t care about it in the least. He would just immediately kill the two and find their replacements.
In addition, Han Li had no use for the Fourth Level Gang as of now. He had already prepared the Fourth Level Gang to be a fallback plan in case all else failed.
Han Li clearly understood that in this world, there were no loyalty nor betrayal without reason. By using force to control others, it would be the easiest method to acquire the desired results. But at the same time, it was also the worst method, because the party being forced may retaliate at any time. As a result, if one were to instill some loyalty, it would be best to include both incentives and punishment.
Hence, Han Li gave Sun Ergou the cure. On one hand, he would greatly raise Sun Ergou’s loyalty for a long period of time. On the other, Xi Tieniu and Sun Ergou would feel meaning behind his words: Results will merit rewards and mistakes will be punished. This benefited Han Li’s long term control over the two.
That was what Han Li had thought after some deliberation.
After Han Li saw Sun Ergou consume the cure, he suddenly said something that made Sun Ergou both frightened and happy.
“I will leave Crooked Soul in your care later on, but I won’t allow you to use it to provoke quarrels. Although this Crooked Soul may be ferocious, there are a great many extraordinary eccentrics in this world. You might be so unlucky as to provoke a deathly calamity. Keep this inmind!” Han Li said with a heavy tone.
“Of course, I will keep this in mind. I will properly make arrangements for Sir Crooked Soul. Esteemed Young Master, please feel at ease.” Sun Ergou was like a chick pecking grain, nodding his head incessantly.
“Were it not for the fact that I no longer need Crooked Soul as a personal bodyguard, his far too eye-catching appearance, and the inconvenience of him following me on a long journey, there is no way I could hand over Crooked Soul to this person’s care!” Thinking this, Han Li sighed and inwardly shook his head, somewhat reluctant to part with his large companion.
“Look out for yourselves! In the coming days, you do not need to come see me, I will soon leave on a prolonged journey far from here, and I do not know when I will return.” Han Li softly waved his hand as he told them to leave.
When Sun Ergou and Xi Tieniu heard these words, they respectfully withdrew from the room, leaving Han Li as the sole person within. Even so, he was still contemplating about something.
“This Great South Valley, at the very bottom of Great South Mountain…what sort of cultivators will there be? If I come to their door without prior notice, would it be improper? Would I encounter danger?” Han Li foolishly thought. As of now, he could not help but let his mind wander and enter a state of selflessness.
Time flew by, and in a blink of an eye, two months had already passed. At this moment, Han Li could not longer be found in Jia Yuan City. Furthermore, Han Li’s silhouette would no longer be seen for quite a long time.